Knights of the Rose

Knights of the Rose tells a story of royalty, betrayal, love and hate set during the Shakespearean age. Entwined with an impressive soundtrack of hits from the likes of Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler and many more.

Prince Gawain is the head of the army and it is therefor his job to fight for crown and country and protect the pride and honour of his father and family.

The story opens at the end of a Great War with Prince Gawain and his battalion are returning home to their wives, girlfriends and families.

Princess Helen, Gawains young sister, awaits the arrival of her true love, Hugo, to be greeted by him vowing never to fight again if she takes his hand in marriage.

After an attack on the King by a rival settlement, Avalon, Hugo is called forward by fellow soldier Palamon.

Palamon also bids for the Princess’s heart and therefor persuades Hugo to fight in hope that he will fall and Princess Helen will be his and he shall one day be King.

Full of twists and turns and love and hate, Knights of the Rose is the perfect combination of heart and humour.

Although containing a bit of cheesy dancing and a lot of unnecessary ‘clicking’ this new musical had its crowd well and truly entertained.

The cast were faultless, some incredible voices; Adam Pearce’s bass tone never fails to impress (having previously seen him in Les Miserables and Sunset Boulevard …safe to say I’m a big fan!).

All cleverly carried by the stories narrator and brilliant performer, Ruben van Keer.

Side note: I also really loved the horses! Fantastic use of lighting and props all the way through.

I highly recommend this new musical full of heart and familiar songs.

Well done to the entire company!

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Knights of the Rose

Eugenius!

Soon to make it’s return to London’s The Other Palace theatre, after a sell-out run earlier this year, is Eugenius! The Musical. A vibrant, upbeat musical about a boy named Eugene who dreams of writing comic books and telling stories about his beloved Tough Man. After getting scouted in a high school competition, Eugene is flown to Hollywood to turn Tough Man’s origin story into a blockbuster movie.
Eugene gets swept up in the excitement of Hollywood and ends up getting pushed around by his not-so friendly producer, Lex.
In a bid to help Eugene, his best friends Janey and Feris fly to Hollywood to be “tough, but fair” and save him from making a huge mistake.

Whilst all of this is happening, a parallel story of Tough Man’s evil twin brother, Evil Lord Hector, is taking place. He has flown to Earth from his home planet of Itsaballoon to track down Tough Man and kill him!

The two stories cross paths in this hilariously uplifting musical, full of courage, friendship and above all genius!

Chris Wilkins and Ben Adams bring this show to life with it’s bonkers characters, witty dialogue and fantastic songs. Full of brilliant catch phrases, 80’s sci-fi references and a theme song you’ll be singing forever. I for one am very excited for this brilliant show to be making a well deserved comeback. With a few returning faces to the cast (the likes of Dan Buckley, Laura Baldwin and Scott Paige) and a whole array of new talents (Rob Houchen, Neil McDermott and Alex Bourne among others).

This show reminds everyone in the audience that no matter how hard something may seem, if you are willing to work for it and give it your all, you have the ability to achieve it. As Eugene and his friends remind us throughout the show; don’t shoot for the stars…shoot higher!

Eugenius! The Musical will return to The Other Palace on September 1st 2018.

Eugenius!

SDCC 2018 – Highlights

Sadly, no, I wasn’t there. But hopefully one day I will be.

However, I’m going to briefly discuss my highlights from SDCC which I witnessed from the misery of my own home. Counting down from 5 – 1 I’ll discuss the posters and trailers released at Comic Con…starting with…

5. Aquaman

This poster is awful, too much going on, I’m bored just looking at it.

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I’d be as bold to say I am about 10% excited for this film. I’m going to be a bit uncouth when I say it’s because I enjoy the way Jason Mamoa looks, and that’s the only reason. No matter how hard I try, and how many chances I give DC they never seem to impress me and there’s no chance this will change my opinion. Anyone who knows anything about my opinions on films knows I start with the cast, the story comes next and then after that the execution of the story. If the cast is wrong, I won’t be interested. With Aquaman, and the whole DC Universe, the casting for the lead roles (Ben Affleck is exempt from this statement) has always been on point for physicality. Henry Cavill looks like Superman, Gal Gadot looks like Wonder Woman and to continue the trend Jason Mamoa looks like Aquaman which is great. But the supporting cast is always so incredibly weak and just stems from weird casting choices. Amber Heard is not a good actress (I know it’s brutal but it’s my blog so if you don’t like it then don’t read it.) I don’t like her as an actress, there’s absolutely no doubt that she is beautiful, but she can’t act. As we have seen in Magic Mike XXL and from the trailer of her upcoming film London Fields. I also have conflicted views of Nicole Kidman, she’s a fantastic performer no doubt but there’s something I find very hard to watch about her. I did love her in Big Little Lies and I think it gave her a chance to really act, but having her in Aquaman just seems bizarre?! Maybe it’s just me.

You might now be thinking, after I’ve just ripped the film to pieces, why it is featured in my SDCC 2018 Highlights post? well, because although I am not by any stretch of the imagination a DC fan, I enjoy being entertained. DC films are bad comic book films that don’t hold a patch on Marvel, but when me and my friend Neel (@_NeelsReelDeel) go and watch them, we have fun, mostly because we rip them apart, but we still have fun. So yeah, I probably will see Aquaman but no, I probably won’t enjoy it.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/387HZ-Wpgew

4. Shazam!

The poster doesn’t really give anything away except the title, but I like it, it’s simple and to the point. The trailer tells us everything we need to know at this point.

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Yep, from one DC film to another. But this one actually looks like it might be quite fun, I like the idea of DC finally not taking itself too seriously. Comedy meets comic book is slowly becoming a hybrid genre of it’s own thanks to the likes of Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy and Shazam! looks like it’ll fall perfectly into that category.

Featuring all the generic conventions of an origin story Shazam! looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and a classic coming of age film. Zachary Levi will be portraying the title role of Shazam! who is the adult super hero that the lead character, Freddy Freeman, can turn into at the use of one magical word.

It looks funny, charming, light hearted and above all else, entertaining

Trailer: https://youtu.be/-oD7B7oiBtw

3. Godzilla: King of Monsters

The poster is okay, it doesn’t really look like a film poster, I think it looks more like the cover of a video game.

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Much like many other people I am completely sick of re-makes, re-runs, sequels, prequels etc. However, this one really did spark my fancy. I really enjoyed the 2014 Gareth Edwards Godzilla and because of that I am feeling the hype for King of Monsters. The first teaser trailer released features only Millie Bobby Brown trying to communicate with (as it seems) anyone who will listen. I thought the build up to the release of the trailer was perfect and the suspense was perfect. It seems to be taking a completely new direction compared to the Godzilla films we already know and I’m honestly really looking forward to it.
The official trailer was then dropped a couple of days later (I lost track of time this weekend, it was just film news after film news). I find teasers are a brilliant way to get me interested in a film, their short, to the point and leave you wanting more. More often than not I am then let down by the official trailer because they tell you too much (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom springs to mind), that was not at all the case for King of Monsters, we are introduced to the characters and shown some of the promising visuals but other than that, it’s all we’ve been given. And I loved it. It’s making me intrigued and excited to see the film.
Coming May 2019, Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farminga, Sally Hawkins and Kyle Chandler will be heading into cinemas to protect the world from the infamous Godzilla.

Teaser: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741700/videoplayer/vi1254406937

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741700/videoplayer/vi2143795993

2. Glass

I absolutely love this poster, I found myself staring at it for ages after it was dropped. It’s so clever and I love the use of colours.

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I’m guilty of not having done my research for this film as I have actually only seen Split, I’m yet to watch Unbreakable. I definitely will have seen it before January when we get the final installment of M. Night Shyamalan’s trilogy Glass. Does this trilogy even have a name? I’ll call it the “James-McAvoy-is-a-fantastic-actor-and-was-robbed-of-a-nomination” trilogy for now. Honestly, why didn’t any one in any awards academy pick up on him, I think it’s possibly some of the best acting I’ve ever seen (big claim, I know, I’m an enthusiast).

Anyway, Glass, it’s due to tell us the story of Samuel L Jackson’s mysterious character Mr. Glass after we’ve already been introduced to James McAvoy and Bruce Willis’ characters in the previous films. Featuring Sarah Paulson as a mental psychiatrist who’s aim is to investigate these particular people and find out more about them and their abilities.

I am excited about it, Split was fantastic. I only had one gripe about the trailer, there’s a line that Paulson’s character says about them “believing they’re superheroes” which I just thought was so out of context. After having seen Split I would never have used the word superhero to describe these films, it just seemed completely out of place. They’re human beings with intense abilities but in no way would they be conceived as super heroes. Maybe it’s just me and I’ve missed something vital in the plot?

If anything I’m excited to see James McAvoy in all his glory again and Shyamalan has a way of making films that shouldn’t work, work.

I also heard a rumor that he may have featured other characters from his past films in Glass? Who knows if that’s true. But wouldn’t it be interesting if “I see dead people” sneaked in there somewhere.

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6823368/videoplayer/vi2496051993


1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald

A beautiful poster, perfect theming, doesn’t give anything away other than the cast and has a real magical feel to it.

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Of course this is going to be my number 1 highlight from SDCC 2018. I think I’ve watched the trailer about 5 times already. 

The Fantastic Beasts films will never fill the hole of Harry Potter but they’re close. There’s so much within the new trailer for FB2 that gets me excited for it, starting off with the new Wizarding World logo. I was only thinking it was about time Warner Bros. came up with a name for the Potter-verse and The Wizarding World just seems perfectly appropriate. 

There’s no secrets as to the cast for the second installment of these films but that’s ok because I don’t think the fans would have expected anything other than what we’ve been given. Johnny Depp is obviously back as Gelert Grindlewald, Eddie Redmayne is reprising the role of Newt Scamander and we’re introduced to Jude Law’s rendition of the late great Albus Dumbledore. One thing I am most excited for is the return of Ezra Miller’s character, Credence Clearwater who we were led to believe has either died or disappeared at the end of the first film, he’s an interesting character who has room for a lot of character development. 

We get a scene of a flashback from Newt at Hogwarts in a Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson with Dumbledore as his professor, this has caused a few questions from Potter fans around the world because according to the books Dumbledore was a professor of Transfiguration, so what is he doing teaching a Defense Against the Dark Arts class? I personally am not that worried about it, but we’ll see how much it effects the film, if it’s just for one scene then I can get over it. 

After watching the trailer a few times and picking it apart I have been able to see two of the converted Deathly Hallows, there’s a close up of the Elder Wand and there’s a shot of a disembodied hand which implies the cloak of invisibility is somewhat involved. 

My absolute favourite thing about this clever trailer is how little of the plot is revealed, okay so we’ve got all the characters, there’s clear locations of Paris and London but we don’t actually know what is going to happen. And that creates the excitement desired from a film trailer. 

I cannot wait. 

Trailer: https://youtu.be/1y0hRocB9sM

Overall, SDCC 2018 sounds like it was a roaring success and one day I’ll be able to write one of these posts after having actually been there myself. 

I’ve included a few photos of my favourite cosplays from SDCC 2018 just to implement my love for cosplaying without babbling on about it any more. 

SDCC 2018 – Highlights

McQueen

Documentaries are a genre of film that I wouldn’t ever consider myself a fan of. Not to say I don’t enjoy them – the two I have watched in the last few days, I have loved them both. It just takes a particular topic for me to get invested.

I don’t actually know what drew me to wanting to see McQueen, maybe it was because I’d read good reviews. Or maybe it was simply because I liked the fact that I knew who he was (let’s face it, fashion really isn’t my thing).

Whatever the reason is and whatever it was that made me decide to see it, I’m glad I did.

The film tells the story of Lee Alexander McQueen but it delves so much deeper than just that. Yes, he was an outstanding fashion designer and succeeded to great heights at a ridiculously young age, but this documentary tells us so much more about Lee. The human being behind the lavish designs.

It starts by telling us how he began in the fashion world and the producers did a great job at getting some of his past co-workers and employers to feature in the film. He found fashion at an age when he wouldn’t have known what he wanted, he just needed a job and it came in the form of an apprenticeship in Saville Row.

Within only a few years of this first venture he became founder of his own line, McQueen, holding vibrant shows and creating stunning collections. To then go on and (with a group of his closest friends) became creative director of Givanchi in Paris and soon enough becoming head designer of Gucci. He was a man of many talents and managed to retain his own personal style throughout his career becoming, quite simply, a visionary.

The film is built upon this outstanding human being as well as his career. Friends, family, colleagues, models and admirers discuss their love and gratitude for him. His friends moving statements about the kind of person he was are warming and at times funny and charming.

The whole production design of the film is as stunning as the content. With the astounding graphics of the skulls which defined him as a designer leading the documentary through the story and the constant reflections of his personal life, the pace is perfect and the film is fascinating.

One thing I love particularly about documentaries like this is how much I learn from them. I know they’re designed to inform but I always feel enlightened by the subject and I am so glad I was drawn to this one.

I highly recommend it, even to people who are not interested in the sheer madness of the fashion industry, but purely for the incredibly mastery of the filmmaking.

Fantastic film.

McQueen

Unsane

***SPOILERS***

Sawyer (Claire Foy) is accidentally committed into a mental institute on what turns out to be an insurance scam, after befriending a fellow “inmate” (who was quite clearly a journalist from the off) she finds herself under threat of an old familiar face.

I have just spent the last 15 minutes reading other people’s reviews (something I rarely do) on this film to try and structure how to write what I thought because, to be quite frank, I can’t tell if this film was utter brilliance or completely dreadful.

All I found from my readings were people applauding Soderberg for filming the entire thing on an iPhone. A detail I think he should have kept quiet until after the release as all I could think throughout the film was “this was shot on an iPhone”. I don’t really think it added anything special to it, if anything it just made me feel a bit motion sick from all the insane closeups and bad use of framing. It was clever in the sense it felt very intrusive and claustrophobic but that’s something that could have been achieved by shooting in the conventional way.

The story itself was definitely gripping but the plot didn’t quite take me where I thought it was going to. I was waiting for some big psychological twist at the end but actually it stayed fairly tame in terms of storyline. There also seemed to be some big gaping holes throughout and moments where I found myself thinking “what on earth would she have done that for?” – one of the reviews I read said it seemed like a script written in college that is finally being made and I totally agree on that. The script itself is weak.

There are some stand out performances throughout the film, Claire Foy outdoes herself in the lead with a strong supporting cast from Juno Temple, Joshua Leonard and Jay Pharoah. Foy has definitely proven herself in this role given that the only thing most people know her as is the Queen in Netflix’ The Crown.

I also have the same issue with it that I had with Get Out. It started off as a very clever concept and didn’t mess about with getting right into the story and the first half was strong. It got to the halfway mark and I found myself checking my watch and feeling bored. “Girl gets captured, girl figures out way to escape, girl escapes, girl kills capturer” which is exactly what I thought of Get Out. Textbook.

Anyway, in terms of film it was enjoyable for one watch but I doubt I’ll see it again. The cleverness of shooting on an iPhone was wasted and the plot was weak. Strong performances throughout and how could we have a film set in Boston without our favourite Bostonian making a cheeky cameo? (Easily my favourite part).

Unsane

Wonder Wheel

I know, I know. Woody Allen has a bad rep. But there is absolutely no denying his films are works of art. My favourite to this day is Midnight in Paris because the radiance it brings to the screen is not like anything I had seen to date. Wonder Wheel is on par with that. (Cafe Society is also one of my favourites but that’s mostly because Jesse Eisenberg is a dream).

Wonder Wheel tells the story of Ginny (Kate Winslet) a waitress in a clam bar on Coney Island. Ginny’s husband also works on Coney Island as a ride engineer and subsequently they live in an unused shack which used to be one of the carnivals main attractions, it is now a not-so-comfortable home to them and Ginny’s son.

Ginny’s stepdaughter arrives on the scene fairly early on in the story, Carolina (Juno Temple) is on the run from a mob as she has left her gangster husband and told too much of his story to the police, resulting in his hoodlums wanting to kill her.

The story is narrated by one of Coneys lifeguards, Mickie (Justin Timberlake) who ends up having an affair with Ginny whilst gradually falling in love with Carolina.

The story is full of twists and turns, although being fairly predictable (story-wise) it’s witty and charming nature makes it very easy to watch and the pace keeps the viewer interested.

Although Ginny isn’t the nicest human being on the planet (she is having an affair after all) I did end up caring deeply about her.

The whole film is a triumph but the icing on the top of a large, delicious cake comes in the form of Kate Winslet’s performance. She is just outstanding, her accent is flawless, she’s naturally genuine and completely captivating to watch. The support performances are also very strong, Justin Timberlake and Juno Temple work perfectly as the jam and cream within the cake (I think I might be hungry).

I strongly recommend this beautiful piece of original cinema. 🎡🎢🎠

Wonder Wheel

I, Tonya

I, Tonya follows the story of champion figure skater Tonya Harding from the age of 3 right up to her 40’s when she gave an interview about her career. It battles with domestic violence in the worst kind and family dramas. And it wasn’t for me.

I find it a lot easier to write about films I didn’t enjoy, compared to films I love. There’s only so many times I can say “it was amazing” before it starts loosing it’s meaning.
As always, at this time of year, like a lot of people I try and see as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible before the big day (for me, second to Christmas Day, the biggest day of the year). I now have exactly 1 week until the Golden Statue will be shining again and everyone (inevitably dressed in black #timesup) will be walking the red carpet in sunny Hollywood. I’m down to just 1 ‘best picture’ nominee left to watch, Lady Bird, which I am going to see today and yesterday I had the…pleasure? of watching I, Tonya.

I’m disappointed to say, I didn’t like it. I know, I know, you should never start a review off by saying you did, or didn’t, like something but that’s the honest truth. I wouldn’t say I was particularly excited about it in the first place but I was looking forward to seeing something new and different but was disappointed with what I saw.

I had the impression from the trailer that it was going to be a heavily performance based film and I thought the entire thing was held together with Alison Janney and Sebastian Stan, Janney was raw and honest and Stan was gritty and nasty to watch which both worked really well for me. Margot Robbie, who is nominated for the best actress award at the Oscars, was good but not like blow me away amazing. I think she has serious potential and has, obviously, been in a lot of big films but I just haven’t seen her in anything yet that made me think “yes, she’s one of the greats”. I look forward to the day I can say I was wrong.

The script was a big downfall for me, I couldn’t bare the way they kept breaking the fourth wall outside of the interview scenes, it didn’t fit in at all and I didn’t see the relevance of it. Not only was it a bit weird to watch but everything they said during those moments was pointless, not funny, not relevant and just out of place. It was like it was trying too hard to be something it’s not and didn’t need to be.
I also didn’t quite understand why it was trying to be a comedy, there were people around me laughing at things that in my head I was thinking “what on earth is funny about a mother throwing a knife into her daughters arm” – do people just laugh when they’re uncomfortable or was that the desired reaction?
There was a huge spotlight on the domestic abuse throughout Tonya’s life, which I understand was a big part of her growing up and her marriage but it felt a bit like it was constantly being repeated for audience reaction instead of actually focusing on the story. I got a bit lost in the middle when the “incident” happened and I didn’t even know who the person they were sabotaging was…or was that just me? Maybe I drifted off for a bit.
I was kind of hoping for something huge to happen at the end, which I know couldn’t have been made up because it was biographical but it felt very anti-climactic to me, like I was literally just waiting for it to end and for the “this is what happened to Tonya after the film” text came up.

I always take it as a sign that I’m not enjoying a film when I have to look at my watch during to find out how long I’ve got left and when I did that during I, Tonya I was disappointed to see I’d only watch an hour so far.

Clearly, this wasn’t a film for me and won’t be getting my vote come Sunday, even though I know Alison Janney is very likely to win. I’d much rather see Octavia Spencer pick up the Supporting Actress award.

But hey, I don’t decide the winners, yet.

I, Tonya