Double Feature

Well I’ve just done my first double feature at the cinema. London has blessed us with a beautiful 8 screen cineworld (used to be the empire in Leicester Square) so I thought I would take full advantage of it as I have some time off work.

The first film I went to see was a long anticipated one for me so I’m going to discuss the films I saw in reverse order.
So I will start with me second film of the day, Sausage Party.

I was actually left practically speechless after this film finished. If you’ve seen the trailers you will know this is an animation about food and absolutely not for kids. With a disrespectful 15 rating this film is full of awful innuendos and horrendous sex scenes. Also very graphic drug taking scenes which, call me a prude, I wouldn’t want 15-17 year olds seeing.
It’s full of gags, some of which I found fairly amusing but then I realised it was because they were all stollen, recycled jokes from other films. (Although the Star Wars reference really did make me laugh)
The cast was predictable but it worked. Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogan go together like…a hot dog and a bun, sorry I couldn’t resist.

For the right audience (ie the 4 19/20 year old lads in front of me) this film is perfect. For people like me that live by Disney/Pixar animation, it’s really not my thing.

The animation was good, although the use of 2D in the flashback scene was a bit lazy. And there’s a huge amount of diversity in the characters, well done Apatow.

With a catchy opening song and some lovable characters there’s no doubt this is going to be a huge hit.
Now, the first film I went to see was basically a dream come true for me. Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg and Steve Carell. Cafe Society.

I mean, really, it was going to be a winner from the start. Narrated by the man himself, Woody Allen bring this beautiful story set in the golden age of Hollywood about a young boy from New York travelling across country to find his happy ending in tinsel town whilst working for his uncle.
The narrative has an addictive quick pace and keeps the audience completely hooked from the opening image. If you’ve read any of my reviews before you will know I can’t say anything bad about Jesse. His talent is so raw and compelling. I am completely addicted to his talent and his ability to portray such versatile characters.
I also have a lot of respect for Woody Allen in that this is a male dominant film, sure enough, but the female characters in it were also great. I wouldn’t say I’m a Kristen Stewart fan, but she did this role justice.

The film is stunning, completely beautiful, the set designer deserves a pat on the back and the enchanting use of lighting helps you feel the scene before anything has even happened.

I was very very impressed and I will be going to see it again.

Woody Allen has done it again.

What’s next? Hmmmm

Double Feature

The BFG

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written one of these, I’ve been busy and somewhat uninspired. However, if there is any film that is going to inspire me to write about the beauty of film making, it’s going to be the BFG. 

The BFG follows the story of a young girl called Sophie who is snatched in the night by a giant and taken to giant country. After getting to know him she names him the Big Friendly Giant, or BFG. She learns all about his life, his job as a dream giver and the big mean bully giants who make BFGs life a misery. With the help of, shall we say, a higher source, Sophie manages to make BFGs life better. 

Based on the beautiful work of Roald Dahl, the BFG is a warm, funny story that is bound to touch the hearts of adults and children a like. 

Mark Rylance, who most of you will know from Bridge of Spies, brings a true warmth to this film and manages to portray the innocence of this character in the most charming way. Under the direction of Steven Spielberg and the production techniques of Kathleen Kennedy the strong cast tells this story just how Roald Dahl wrote it.

I recommend this film to everyone,

Spielberg has done it again. 

The BFG

Independence Day 2

This film, I don’t even know where to start. I absolutely love the first one, it’s probably one of my favourite films (even if it does have Will Smith in it) but the second one, as I predicted a year ago when it was first announced, is a complete waste of time, totally unnecessary and quite frankly not a good film. 

The first half an hour was a complete jumble of a million different story lines, I guess this was an attempt to re-introduce all the old characters and a couple of new ones. The order of events happened in the same way they did in the original, only on a much higher budget and the only decent characters were Jeff Goldblums, David and Liam Hemsworths, Jake. The rest of the team were boring, predictable and down right cheesey. 

I’m not going to tell you not to go and see it because that’s up to you, but don’t expect it to be like Jurassic World was to Jurassic Park because it’s not by any means on that level. It’s on at pretty much every cinema across the country at the moment so, sure, take a look and see what you think, it’s kinda worth it to see Jeff Goldblum looking like a true silver fox. 

Independence Day 2

The Departed

It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years since this masterpiece came into our lives, it is what I believe to be one of the greatest films of the last decade. It is so beautifully written with such a captivating narrative. The casting is 100% on point; as always Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, even Alec Baldwin, who I usually think of as a bit of a joke actor, create a compelling team of characters that truly bring this film to life.

Even before the title comes onto the screen we have already learnt so much about the story, who we should trust and who we hate, the goodies against the baddies. Yet, somehow, after learning all that in the first 8-9 minutes we are completely engrossed by the story and where it’s going to go.

The cinematography helps ass to the perfection of this film, smooth, long panning shots make each and every second so much more addictive. As for the editing I think of it as one huge montage, the inclusion of the continuous soundtrack makes the story feel fast paced. Each individual narrative has a different style to the score which helps the viewer relate to the characters and sets the tone of the scene.
I love to see a film that is solely dependent on the progression of the characters, everything about this film is because of the characters and without the insane amount of talent the characters would be nothing.

It’s also clever how people, like myself, who don’t know much about the setting of this film, mafia, Boston, Irish heritage, instantly know what’s going on and what it must have been like around that area when these things were happening.

Towards the end of the film evening is moving quite calmly, then all of a sudden Martin Sheen’s characters dead body falls off the roof of a building and then BAM the drama intensifies and that’s when it gets better and better right up to the closing credits.

I think my favourite moment in the film is the completely silent scene between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio when they’re on either end of the police phones. They’re just there, on the screen, with the phones to their ears and staring straight ahead. So much happens in those few seconds of silence that words would have killed it. It is that moment that Leo’s character, Billy, suddenly works everything out and we, as the audience, work out that aside from all the murder and the crime and the police the actual whole point of this film and the story is the relationship between these two characters. They don’t meet each other officially until the last quarter of the film, this moment on the phone is the first time they have contact and somehow, the whole film revolves around how they effect each other.

That’s the beauty of the simplicity of this piece of art.

 

The Departed

X-Men: Apocalypse

This is a slightly different review, as well as going to see the film on opening night I went to the red carpet of the European Fan Screening at the Southbank BFI IMAX on Monday 9th May.

We arrived at the BFI at approx 7am to collect wristbands as we had been informed to do by the BFI staff the day before. We were in line for about an hour and then managed to get good numbers (64-70). They were only giving out up to 200 numbers so we were very happy with those.
After getting the wristbands we all decided to go home to sleep and shower before returning at 12 to get into the pens (I know, we sound like animals)
We luckily got to the front barriers and with bags of food and drink in tow the wait began. We waited for about 5 hours before the stars started to arrive and the heavens opened. We got soaked. The carpet was no longer a beautiful shade of blue but a wet, dirty mess. I felt sorry for the stars tottering around in 6 inch stilettos.  (Although I didn’t really)

The event itself was alright, it was amazing seeing some of my favourite actors; the likes of James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Oscar Isaac. But the absolute highlight for me was meeting Tye Sheridan, he is one of the best under 20’s actors around at the moment and I managed to get my copy of Jeff Nicholls Mud signed by him which he seemed very flattered by.
Aside from being nearly crushed by the crazy sellers behind us we had a really great day. We got to see some of our favourites and I managed to get a few autographs.
Thanks to the BFI for a great event.

As for the film itself, it was absolutely phenomenal. Better than Days of Futures Past but not quite as good as First Class.
The casting was perfect, I loved Oscar Isaac in a villainous role. He’s a very talented actor.
I think one of the best things that has been brought to the MCU is Evan Peters’ Quicksilver. He is such a funny, witty, likeable character who’s back story develops more and more with each film.
The audience loves him and again Brian Singers direction included a brilliant slow motion sequence where Quicksilver manages to save just about all the students in the school.
For me Tye Sheridan was the best newcomer to the series and of course McAvoy and Fassbender work so perfectly together.
Very very impressed. I loved it.

X-Men: Apocalypse

Demolition

Demolition follows the story of a young husband who has recently lost his wife to a fatal car accident. The character finds himself feeling very little emotion and comes to the conclusion that he actually doesn’t miss his wife and perhaps never really loved her. Throughout the story we see the character escape from his monotonous routine of everyday life and start to find new things to do and see and experiment with.
Davis, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, soon comes to terms with what he has experienced and finds comfort and friendship in that of a customer service worker for a vending machine company, played by Naomi Watts.

Jake Gyllenhaal leads this film with his impeccable acting ability, I failed to see anything within his performance that was anything less that perfection. To me, he is one of the greatest actors of his generation and I always look forward to whatever it is he is doing next.
Alongside Gyllenhaal is new young actor Judah Lewis who plays the young boy of a lady of whom Gyllenhaals character befriends. His character is going through a tough time as a young teenager struggling to discover his true self, a beautiful back story that actually has much more emotion and feeling to it than that of Davis. Lewis is a fantastic actor, with true potential and I look forward to whatever is in store for him in the future.

I really brilliant film, so beautifully written with an addictive edge to it. I really liked it, a lot more than I thought I would.
One day Jake Gyllenhaal will be collecting the gold statuette he so truly deserves.

Demolition

The Jungle Book

Jon Favreau is slowly becoming one of my favourite directors, his latest film The Jungle Book has convinced me even more. There were absolutely no faults whatsoever with the production of this film, the visuals were completely stunning, to the point where I had to remind myself that Kaa was not a real giant snake. The cinematography from Bill Pope was so clever, the way the camera followed the characters and caught every single emotion was genius.
The casting was probably 99% accurate for me, I have to admit (and this is hopefully going to be the only time I will ever say this) I didn’t like Idris Elba. I think for the character in question, Sher Khan, needed a much more menacing voice, he needed to be intimidating and passionate but also with a hint of crazy and unfortunately, for me, I think Idris’ voice is too smooth and velvety for that particular role.
I really loved all the other characters, I think Bagera is my favourite, Sir Ben Kingsley did a wonderful job in capturing the wisdom and age that comes with that character. Also, King Louis was fabulous, I loved the size they made him, I think that helped with making him seem like the secondary villain, which is how he is supposed to be. Christopher Walken was fantastic. The only thing I didn’t like about that particular scene was when he burst into song, yes ok I get that the audience wanted to hear the original songs from the original film which is fine (I too wanted to hear some links to the animated classic) however, I feel when the song started it took away from the seriousness of the scene and made it too comical which didn’t seem to flow. I think that song should have been kept for the credits to add a bit of comic relief to the end of the film.
I did, however, love when Baloo and Mowgli sang The Bare Necessities, that was beautiful and warming and funny, just like Baloo’s character.
Neel Sethi played a fantastic Mowgli, his childish behaviour and rawness was so clear and enjoyable to watch.

For me the absolute highlight of the film, what made it as perfect as it was, was the soundtrack. The music was absolutely stunning and the closing scene, when Mowgli is running like a man, not a wolf, has one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

(Oh – and the wolf cubs are reaaaaaally cute!)

Overall I absolutely loved the film, when the opening credits started I felt myself becoming slightly nervous because I have been anticipating the release of this film for a really long time and I was pleasantly surprised. Disney have done it again, and no matter how much people (myself included) moan about the constant stream of live action remakes, they never fail to impress.
I can’t wait for many more to come!

Thank you Disney for doing what you do best.

The Jungle Book