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Joy (2015)

This is the third David O. Russell movie that I have watched and the third colander with Jennifer Lawrence. The first was Silver Linings Playbook which is one of my favourite movies of 2012. The second was American Hustle which I didn’t enjoy as much as everyone else. It was fine but weak after the movie that is Silver Linings. For Joy, I didn’t know what to expect. The reviews were mixed from what I had heard.


Joy is a film about the women who created the miracle mop. It shows her life and struggles she had to overcome to be the business women that she is now.

I got to watch this at an early screening and I have to say that I enJOYed it (get it). It obviously isn’t the best movie but I love the journey the character goes through. We start off with a little back story of her past and go into the future where her life isn’t perfect. She looks back and wonders what went wrong instead of looking into the future. It must have been hard for Joy because she always put everyone first and it took a long time for her to do something she wanted to do.

We do get a few flashbacks here and there. Whilst they were great and told us a significant part of how she ended up in this position, I did forget the main story at times. I get why they did that but I can also understand if someone doesn’t like the movie because of this. I on the other hand found it to be strong when it got the point across. Watching this can encourage a lot of people, particularly women to follow their dreams. At times, things may not work out and it might not be easy, but if you work hard, you can accomplish anything.

I have yet to see a bad performance from Jennifer Lawrence, she is amazing. Her and David’s teamwork is the best. They always create great performances and exceptional characters on screen. It’s like Leonardo Di Carprio and Martin Scorsese. Robert Di Niro and Bradley Cooper are also amazing in this movie. The performances altogether are great. There is no bad actor in this film.

I have given this an 8/10. I loved it and I will probably watch it again because of the performance and the message, never give up on your dream and someday, you will do something great.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Last year was the first time I had ever watched a Star Wars movie. Nobody in my family has ever watched it so I’ve never grown up with it. I watched the prequels first which I think was the wrong choice when I look back. They were horrible as expected and I didn’t want to hate the originals so I waited for a year to watch them. This year, I finally saw the original trilogy. A New Hope was interesting and I was able to follow the story but after Obi Wan died, it was still going on and I got bored. From then on, I tried to watch the other two but I could never get into it. I knew then that Star Wars was over for me, even though it never started. I still wanted to be part of the fandom, even though it annoyed me when people say it’s the best franchise in the world. So I told myself that I would watch The Force Awakens and if JJ Abrams, the guy who made me fall in love with Star Trek couldn’t convince me to invest in Star Wars, then it’s over for me and I should just give up. So here it is, my verdict on the Force Awakens.

 

30 years after the Galactic Empire was defeated a new threat. This time, they come as the First Order.

Guess what, I’m a fan of Star Wars. I never thought this day would come but it did. I was following the story throughout and even though I got pulled out the film a couple of times (especially with the scenes of the revelation fighting) I still enjoyed it. As soon as the opening title comes up, I knew that something big was going to happen. There was humour in this and I loved it. For someone who wasn’t a fan before, I was surprised by how many times I geeked out when I saw characters from the previous films. It happened a lot.

It does feel a bit long at times but something amazing happens and you forget about the time. I already knew a major spoiler before watching this and I thought that it might ruin my experience. It did sort of but even not knowing it was going to happen, I would have expected it.

The new characters are incredible. I’ve always known that John Boyoga was a great actor from seeing clips of him in Attack The Block when it first came out and his character was great. Daisy is an incredible actress. I loved her character so much and the journey that she goes through is good. I love the characteristics she has as it makes me cheer for every time. Harrison Ford as Han Solo was amazing. The villain was good, much better than marvel villains. He was more human than I thought he was going to be. I never knew that I could enjoy as CGI character as much as I did when I saw Lupita N’yongo’s character. She wasn’t in it as much but her character is so wise and charismatic. I wish she was in it more.

Oscar Issac who plays Po was good. I didn’t see a lot of him and wish that he was in it more. BB-8 is so cute. I really want to buy a BB-8 toy now. I like that C-3P0 didn’t have a big part like most of the films because he did get on my nerves in the past.

The score was unbelievable. I found myself getting lost in the music. John Williams is great.

In the end, I enjoyed this film a lot. It could also be because the guy who wrote The Force Awakens also wrote Toy Story 3. Or it could be that Star Wars is the best. All I know is that I will watch this again, maybe in 3D this time and I can’t wait until the next one.

I have given this an 8/10. Well done JJ. You turned someone into a Star Wars fan and made it even better than the original.

Update 26th December 2015:

Watched it again and it gets better every time. 8.5/10

In the Heart Of The Sea (2015)

I went to a secret screening so I didn’t know what movie I would watch.There were a couple of films that could’ve been shown at the screening, but I was hoping it would be this film because I’ve already seen Snoopy.A few people thought it would be Star Wars even though we got told that it wouldn’t be this movie. I kind of wanted it to be that film even though I’m not a fan of the franchise.


This film is about the true story that inspired the novel, Moby Dick.

This movie was ok. Took a long time to get into it. Once you do, it has some great parts and some slow parts. I got bored a couple of times and some scene didn’t feel as intense as it should be. ┬áIt has a Cast Away feel to it at some point but cast away is better.

Some of the actions were expected such as the cannibal scene. If you are out at sea for a long time with no food or water, you would end up eating a human at some stage. It was still horrifying to see. I didn’t like that it still continued after they come back from being on sea. This is not a film that I want to watch again.

I have given it a 4/10 because the whale was the best part but the film isn’t actually focused on the whale.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (2015)

In the UK, there was an advanced screening for this movie but I missed out on it. I was so happy that they decided to do another one this week. I’m not really a big Snoopy and Charlie Brown fan but I do know about them and I’ve seen some of the comic strips. Watching the trailer, I was even more interested and excited to see this.

  

Charlie Brown embarks on a quest to win the heart of the love of his life. Snoopy also embarks on his own mission to defeat his arch-nemesis.

This film is so sweet. At times, it can be a bit too child friendly for my liking but I still smiled throughout. Charlie Brown is just a character who wants to belong and fit in. The only one who doesn’t judge him is Snoopy, his dog. I love that the film is about both the characters. We have Charlie’s story and Snoopy’s story and they have a good mixture of both. You didn’t feel like one was more focused that the other. They were equally panned out.
I love all the side characters in Charlie’s class. They were hilarious. I also love the bird that’s Snoopy’s friend. When the two are together, they have great comic timing.

There isn’t much that I can really say apart from the fact the storyline is simple and yet it works. It knows its aim and it gets to the point. The only thing that annoyed me slightly is the way the adults speak. I know they don’t want to focus on them and we have to acknowledge them but it go on my nerves at some point.

Overall, it was a great movie that I wouldn’t mind watching again. 8/10
P.S the cinema that I went to had the lights on for the first 20 minutes of the movie. It then switched off, came back on and swicted off again. I usually love that cinema but this one in particular needs to get that screen sorted, especially as 4 chairs were out of order.

Also, during the movie someone’s phone was ringing and they didn’t switch it off. 

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I wasn’t as excited as most people. It just reminded me of Brave and how they tried to make it mysterious but there was nothing special. It wasn’t until I saw the second trailer that I got more excited as I knew a bit more about the story. 
The Good Dinosaur is a movie that shows what might’ve happened if there was comet to destroy the dinosaur? How will humans and dinosaurs live together on earth?

  
Before I talk about this movie, I want to talk about the short shown before the main feature because Pixar are known for their shorts. I remember seeing the first clip on YouTube and I wanted to make sure that I got to the cinema on time to see it in full. I have to say that I loved it, every minute of it. It is based on a somewhat true story and it’s amazing. I don’t really want to give much away but it’s about Superheroes, religion, and father and son. I would really love to see it again and I’m sure it would get nominated for an Oscar.Now the main event, The Good Dinosaur. 

This film is emotional, especially when you see the bond between the dinosaur and the human. In this situation, the human is the dog and the dinosaur is the human. The human even has the name Spot. The two may not understand each other language wise but emotionally, they have the same feeling. There is one scene in the movie that might make people cry in particular because it is just that powerful. There were some scenes that made me chuckle. I’m even laughing just thinking about them. It is a journey film which is similar to the Land Before Time and is a good thing because that film is great.

It gives a great lesson to kids about fear. You will never get rid of your fear but there are ways that you can overcome it and seem brave. This is why I love Pixar. They give kids great life lessons and messages such as this.

The whole time I was watching this, I was thinking that the film looks visually stunning. Some of the land looks crisp and clear, making it look lifelike. The 3D gives it an edge making it more special and an unforgettable experience.

I was debating on the rating between 8 and 9. At times, it felt like a 9 but the way some scenes rushed made me want to but the rating back a bit.

In the end, I have decided to give it an 8 because I don’t know if I might watch it again but it is well worth a view. 
P.S if you do plan on watching this, look out for the hidden Disney logo in the movie.

Bridge Of Spies (2015)

I got the opportunity to go to a special screening before the release of this movie.

  
This film is set during the Cold War. An American lawyer has to defend a Soviet Spy after he was recruited.

This film is a bit slow but when it gets interesting, you’re hooked. Tom Hanks gives a stellar performance as always. His character always did what a lawyer was supposed to do, help his client in any way that he could, whether it would be positive or negative. It made him the most hated man in America and the most liked man in America. There are some scenes that are just powerful with his face expressions. Mark Rylance is incredible as well. His character knows that there could be a chance where he may or may not live but he is always positive. 

This movie is very important because it tells us that we should always follow the law and give people their rights, especially if they are an American and have been for a long time.

I have talked about the movie being slow and this is its problem. There are a couple of pacing issues that can take you out of the film, particularly at the beginning. They were able to solve it later on but sometimes it can be a bit too late (especially since a few people left the screening early). 

In the end, this is a must see, despite pacing issues. I have given this an 8.5/10.
P.S. Great screenplay by the Coen brothers.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2015)

Since the first movie, I have been following this franchise. It’s a series that made me go back to reading books again. It inspires a young generation and tells us that we have a voice. This year has been great for me because I managed to go to a press conference for the movie and watch the movie a day before it officially comes out. 

  
This is a continuation of the the last movie where everything comes to an end. The big finale.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was a great conclusion to an incredible series. The movie starts straight away, as if there was no part one and part two, just one movie as a finale. As someone who has read the book, I know a few pointers of what may happen but not enough to justify the whole story so it felt like I was learning something new each time. I was feeling anger when needed and sadden when I was supposed to ( especially the scene with Katniss and the cat which made me tear up). 

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson’s performance were the standouts for me. It’s scary to see Peeta the way he is. The Capital corrupt him and turned him into something that he is not. All he is trying to do is find out what is real or not real. Katniss is trying to find out how to kill Snow and keep the innocent alive because she knows it not their fault. It’s like the Hunger Games where they are forced to kill people by a greater power. Donald Sutherland’s character was menacing, even when he wasn’t on camera and that is an effective villains. He knows that even though he might have accomplished something, it is still not over.
I have tried not to put a spoiler in this review but I’m afraid that I have to talk about a minor one. So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, I suggest you skip this section. …………

You have been warned.

The ending felt like Deathly Hallows Part 2 and not in a good way because I didn’t like the villain death scene in that film. This one is a bit stronger but the feeling is still there. You think about this big epic ending and when it comes, you go “meh.That was ok”. It could be because it was split into two movies which was unnecessary or the fact that I read the book so I wasn’t as surprised as I was supposed to be. When I watched the epilogue , I was happy that the series ended. Not in a way that I thought it was bad but in the way that the whole series was satisfying and now, it’s time for it to end. 

I’m going to miss this franchise but I’ll remember for the rest of my life because it gives young people a voice, especially young women that we affect this future and we are smart. Like they say in The Help, “you is smart, you is kind, you is important”( I know the grammar is poor but you understand where I’m going here)

This movie deserves its 8.5/10. Thank you for everything Hunger Games, I’ll never forget you.
(Silently whistles and does the three finger salute)

Steve Jobs (2015)

This is another movie that I wanted to watch during the festival but I missed out on the opportunity. It was released this Friday and I really wanted to see it on Saturday. I left a few minutes late but I thought it was fine because the only thing that I would miss are the ads. I didn’t know that there would be traffic on the way. As soon as I got there, I was told that I couldn’t go in because I was 40 minutes late (20 if you take away the ads). I wasn’t going to go the next day but I woke up early and thought that I should at least try. Luckily, I was 10 minutes early.

This movie focuses on events that happen backstage at the three most important moments of Steve Jobs’ life.

Michael Fassbender is an incredible actor. That was all I could think of when I was watching this film. He may not look like Steve Jobs but you still believed that it was him (if any of those things that happened in the movie are true). I like that they didn’t start from the beginning of how he built Apple like the boring movie, Jobs. It starts from a very important part where the company was about to go downhill and Jobs got fired. They did have a couple of flashbacks here and there but only whilst they were trying to tell us what had happened that could impact their decisions in their situation.

It’s sad that for a long time Jobs didn’t acknowledge his daughter to be his kid. Every time that he would say she not his, I felt so bad for her, especially because she was in a place where her and her mother were suffering but she always tried to make everything positive. This is because she was so young at the time but it was still good that they were able to reconcile. Like the screenwriter Andy Sorkin said “She is the heroine in the movie”.

Kate Winslet does a great job. Jobs’ assistant, Johanna Hoffman was the only one who could stand up to him and tell it like it is. It’s great to know that even at that time, there were strong, powerful women in the business world.

In the film, there was something very important that was said from Steve Wozniak, the character that Seth Rogan portrayed who is a co-founder of apple and created Apple ii. The people who actually created the product from scratch never get credited. It’s always the ones who try to sell it. It’s good that we have people who are the face of a product and encourage us to buy but we forget or don’t even notice the ones who actually start the process from scratch and work hard to create it. This is why I try to acknowledge the people behind the music or movies. I may not talk about it in the reviews at times but I know who they are sometimes and I follow what they do. In music, this has always been with me. It is the reason why I look for and love singer songwriters.

I really enjoyed the soundtrack for this film. It may be because I am a somewhat fan of Bob Dylan. The score was also really good by David Pemberton, the same guy who did the score for The Man From U.N.C.L.E, another movie I also enjoyed.

In the end, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin have created another masterpiece to add to their collection. I have given this an 8.5/10. If you love the Social Network, you will love this film.

It’s Back To The Future Day

Today, I want to do something special. Instead of posting three different reviews for the movies, I thought that I could combined it into one and talk about the most memorable moments about the films. I’ll also talk about what they mean to me and some things that I have noticed while re watching them.

I don’t remember the first time I watched the movies but I do remember that they have been there for most of my life. I feel like these movies are my Star Wars. Every time I watch them, I never get bored. I always get excited when anybody talks about them.

If anyone asks me to pick one out of the three, I would choose the first movie. It has so many iconic moments, most importantly, Marty Mcfly playing Johnny B Goode at a high school acne in 1955. I can rewatch that scene a million times. It has a perfect storyline and gave us incredible quotes such as “Great Scott”, “This is heavy” and best of all, “Roads, where we’re going we don’t need, Roads”. It is also the one that started it all, bringing Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Robert Zemeckis into the movie scenery. It makes us believe that time travel can be possible.

The second movie is the reason why we are celebrating this day. Marty went to the future (21st October 2015) to help his future kids. He went with his girlfriend Jennifer and I didn’t notice before until watching this back to back that they used a different actress in the second movie. What he saw in the future were flying cars, hoverboards, an interactive hologram for Jaws 19, Flat screen TVs and so on. Back then, a lot of people were talking about how excited they were to see the future. Now, everyone is talking about how they got the future wrong. Looking back at everything they predicted, all I can do is applaud the whole team. They had a big imagination and even knowing that they may be wrong in the future, they wanted to create something that no one has seen before. They also gave people hope which is the best thing that anyone can do.

The third is a good conclusion. Even if it is not the best, it gave us a good ending. It is left open for a sequel which I hope won’t happen because this is the best trilogy. In all three movies, we literally go to the past, present and future. We get to see changes in decades from one city, Hills Valley. Also the decades that they go to in the first two movies have a distance of 30 years. 1955 to 1985 and 1985 to 2015.

Every Tuesday, Honest Trailers pick a movie to talk about and today they created a special just for Back To The Future. They pointed out the fact that most scenes are repeated and after watching all three, I have to agree. The storylines are similar. They go to a particular decades and accidentally mess with time. They have to try and change it back whilst fighting a bully and get back to 1985. Also, in every film, there is a scene where Marty thinks that he is dreaming and he wakes up startled by his mother (or great great great grandmother) in a particular time period. They may all be similar but it doesn’t make a difference because they are all special in their own way and it doesn’t change the fact that they have and will live on forever.

P.S. A special Back To The Future box set has been released for the 30th anniversary which has the TV show and exclusive scenes.

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