I am reviewing the animated film “My Life as a Courgette (Zucchini)”, which is available to see at the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne.
The plot followed a young boy, nicknamed Courgette who went into care and adapted to living without his mum. It was hard to see him struggle however very uplifting when a new arrival to the home made him and the children happier.
It was an animated film, however it did pull on my heart strings a bit. It was the lack of belonging and failure that these children felt towards their parents that got me emotional.
I enjoyed the film however it did not stand out as much as other films I have seen.
I would give the film 3 stars as it was not as memorable as I hoped.
What do you think?
Do you have anything to add? If so please get in touch!
I must say watching Alien was a bit sureal. It was very different to our culture and society now and it did make me wonder whether in 2104 we would be living in spaceships, travelling to planets and cultivating new life.
I found the graphics at first quite ineffective – I was not blown away by them and did not feel like I was sucked into the whole space theme.
I found the plot started off quite slow and unexciting and it was only in the last hour that the main action happened. Yes there were gory scenes and blood near the start but they only got really thrilling by the end. I found myself wishing for more gore, death, excitement and drama and frankly I was bored.
In the last hour it was anyones nightmare and an Alien fans dream. The fight for survival was intense and there was action around every corner (finally). I had a change of heart and saw for myself why people loved the Alien films! The plot also thickened and everything was not as it seemed even towards the end, which in my opinion gives Alien Covenant the opportunity to continue the series. It also made the film more interesting and I was captivated (at last) by what was in front of me.
I found the characters were very happy and alive at the start, however this didn’t last long and we saw the characters come out of their shells. The crew numbers fell as the film progressed. Some were lucky to make it out alive, however only by a whisker. The fast, insect looking predators, were engineered to be intelligent and adaptable to the environment around them! Bad luck for the crew!
Final Note and Conclusion
I wasn’t blown away with the start, however it did eventually get better! I found it a bit tedious and would reluctantly recommend it. It did not really meet my expectations.
But by all means, watch it and let me know what you think!
I would give Alien Covenant 3 stars overall!
I hope you liked the review. What did you think of the film or the review? Let me know!
See you for three next one!
I thought it would be more of a thriller, much like Girl on the Train, however I was surprised by how revealing it was. The content was understandably an 18, with the amount of nudity that the film contained.
The general plot
Michelle (acted by Isabelle Huppert) was a CEO of a successful game design programme. She was in her home one night and was attacked by a man in black clothing. He had his face covered so she did not know how he was.
The best scenes
A horrific scene at the start of the film showed Michelle being attacked by a man in black clothes in her own home. This came as a big shock and she was left bleeding and still on the floor, surrounded by broken glass.
Michelle was quite calm after the incident and that surprised me. She seemed to compose herself quickly and acted like it had never happened. She was only reminded when she saw her cat, who had observed the attack happen. I was also confused and worried when she continued to meet and talk to the man who did it. She had unmasked him to find that he was her neighbour, Patrick.
Despite this, she still talked to him and had a little flirt with him when she started a game of footsie at a party. She even left the door partly open, after he drove her back home from another gathering. She knew that he would come in and he did.. it almost seemed like she enjoyed the way he did it and that was worrying as it was not a healthy relationship.
I must say though, that some of the scenes were very funny, especially when Michelle accidently sprayed her work colleague, Richard, in the eyes with pepper spray. She saw him in his car outside her house and thought that he was the attacker. Richard was actually making sure she was safe and was worried about her. They laughed about it later that night.
Michelle’s attitude towards less conventional sex was not all her doing – her mother was attracted to and regulally dated “toyboys” and her father was an extremely violent man who murdered a group of people. Her relationship with her mother and especially her father, was not friendly, which could explain her behaviour.
So what happened to Patrick, you ask? Well he was caught attacking Michelle by her son Vincent, who responded by hitting Patrick with a log and causing a deep head wound. He did not survive the injury, which was a good thing?
The film, upon reflection was not really to my taste and had more nudity than I anticipated.
I have still not got to grips with what really happened, as there was not really any storyline to it.
I must say that the only thing I have really taken from the film is that everyone has their preferences and that we should respect them, even if they are rather odd.
Overall, I would not recommend this film if you are under 18 (as it was very inappropriate) or if you are sensitive.
This 2015 film, directed by Anne Fontaine, was showed in the Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle.
The opening scene to this film displayed a convent in Poland, 1945, and as you would expect, the sisters were singing praises to the Lord. What we were not expecting was a high pitched scream. At this point, we were unaware of the cause and it was not until one of the sisters convinced a red cross nurse to help, that we realised the awful truth.
The French Red Cross nurse, Mathilde was taken into a room where one of the sisters was lying on a bed, clearly pregnant and in labour. The nurse informed the sisters that it was a breech baby and had to be removed through an emergency caesarean.
The sisters and mother were informed that the new born baby was taken away and given to a new mother. Meanwhile, Sister Anna was treated after collapsing in the hallway. The convent asked a big favour of Mathilde and requested that she kept their secret. The convent could not call in help or the convent would be shut down.
Mathilde continued to assist with the Red Cross, whilst travelling to the convent in secret and providing medical care. She cared about the polish and she was more than happy to help them, even though she knew getting caught would get her in trouble.
Mathilde was driving back from the convent late at night on day, and she was stopped by two soldiers. They were violent and were about to be assault her when the commander arrived. Mathilde was shaken and upset, and was sent home.
The next day, a group of soldiers, visited the convent and insisted that they were hiding imposters. The soldiers were so close to discovering their secret , when Mathilde explained that the convent was hit with an epidemic. As a result they left, but threatened to return!
Her disappearances at night and lack of sleep became suspicious to her colleague and he started to question her whereabouts. Mathilde still kept their secret and was loyal to the convent. She was called in to treat the mother of the convent, however found this difficult as she refused the help and additional drugs.
Mathilde was then faced with a harsh reality and found out that the Red Cross would be leaving Poland at the end of the month. Their mission of aid was complete and Mathilde was unsure of how to inform the sisters. The timing of this news was inconvenient as the convent was reliant on Mathilde and were approaching the birth of dates of various sisters.
Her fellow colleague was getting even more suspicious and Maria told him about the convent. She informed him of how soldiers had invaded the convent a year ago, stayed for a few days and impregnating seven sisters.
Mother of the convent did her normal duties and took Sister Zofia’s new born baby to their new parents. Hours after giving birth, Sister Zofia collapsed and died. The nuns grieved over her death and Zofia’s parents are informed. This scene was heartbreaking to watch and I felt myself tearing up.
Mathilde’s male colleague and surgeon came with her to the convent, after find out their secret and came to help. Sister Irena gave birth and with the knowledge of where their babies have gone, the baby was taken to the Red Cross centre, to protect them from the mother of the convent.
Mathilde has an idea that can stop the convent from hiding their secret and proposed that the convent took in some orphans. That way the public would not know about the pregnancies and the convent would be more welcoming to the public. It was this moment when they were all told where the babies were really being taken… instead of being given to a new family, the newborns were placed in a basket and left on a hill in the snow, overlooking the landscape. While the sisters enjoyed having children around, the mother of the convent could not forgive herself for abandoning the babies in the cold.
Mathilde was happy to be a part of the convent and thanked them when she moved away with the Red Cross.
The film was complex and showed how innocent and good people can be exploited. The caring character of Mathilde expressed the importance of friendship and trust and the fact that it was a true story, emphasised that there are people in the world who are selfless and would do anything to help others. This is such a feel good film, even if there are scenes of sadness and surprise.
We are so lucky in our towns and cities, to have access to electricity and water supplies. It has become a first nature for us and we take advantage of it more than we need to.
A small percentage of the population however like to be more isolated in locations where they manage their own water supply and generate their own electricity. These people live “off the grid”…
This documentary was directed and written by Jonathan Taggart and is available to see at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.
We see the lives of people living in remote, off the grid locations. They live a totally different lifestyle to one you would live in a city.
They live without connection to the national grid and therefore rely on wind and solar power to generate electricity. They set up, manage and maintain their own clean water supply and know exactly where the water is from, and where it is going to. According to residents, It’s not an easy place to live, but they like it that way, as less people visit the area for tourism. Individuals believe that what they are doing is best for the environment and that by preserving resources, they can live in a future when non-renewable sources run out. As they produce their electricity supply, they are also more careful about how much they use.
Living somewhere so isolated allows you to know basic skills – skills that you lack when living in the city.
Individuals in Quebec, Canada built their houses for themselves so they did not have to put a mortgage on it. One women constructed her house with soil filled tyres, and then covered them with plaster and wallpaper. Another man went even further and built his house with a mixture of straw, sand, clay and water. The compound was then waterproof, insect proof, animal proof and earthquake proof!
In Ontario, Canada, a couple would live on 5 hour’s worth of electricity, totalling 5kwh. Each kwh would be produced from one solar panel. They would also treat themselves to the hockey on television on an occasional saturday night, whilst grinding grain with an exercise bike!
In Novia Scotia, Canada they put their waste to good use and use it for fertiliser. The bodily waste is mixed with peat moss, changing the texture to a non-smelling, soil.
Advantages of Life off Grid
You can wake up and know that they don’t need to go anywhere and you can work in accordance with nature.
Tips for Life off Grid
“It is a way of thinking”
If you live on the grid, you need to balance the ecological and practical benefits as this way of living is harder than you think! Basic DIY to building skills are essential to ensure that you can be fully independent.
For a clip of the film, you can visit http://lifeoffgrid.ca/ .
I found this film really interesting and I left, wondering if I would the guts to leave a city and live off the grid, and be able to survive. It clearly can be done, and from what I have seen, you can be happy anywhere, as long as you have all the necessities.
This documentary was a pleasure to see and I would recommend it to anyone.
This is a review of the new release, Arrival, a mystery, science fiction film. I was pretty excited to see this film and I had the pleasure of seeing it twice! It is available to see at all good cinemas near you.
The Director and actors?
The director of this 2016 movie was Denis Villeneuve. You can view this film in all good cinemas. The film is adapted from the book “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.
The film stated with a view of Louisa Bank’s open plan house and visualisations of her bringing up a child and seeing her grow up. Linguistics professor Louise Banks, acted by Amy Adams went to her lecture to find that half the students staring at a TV screen at mysterious UFOs landing all around the world. She was called in to help decode an alien language, and was sent to an army campsite, situated close to one of the 12 UFOs. She lead an elite team of investigators in communicating with an alien species and finding out why they had come here and landed in 11 other countries. She was joined by a scientist named Ian Donnelly, played by Jeremy Renner, who led another team in the investigation.
She met the creatures for the first time and did not know how to communicate with them. She was taken aback by them and later, was told to analyse the audio and find a way to get information. She struggled to understand, and decided to take a visual approach with them. Her approach worked and on her second visit, the Heptopods produced signs, created in black air from one of their limbs. Not only that but Louisa formed a nice bond with the aliens. Louise analysed the signs and tried to link them to vowels, so they could communicate back. Louise was also having visions of her child and these thoughts helped her to solve little parts of the puzzle.
On day 25 of the investigation, images of the alien were released to the public and many of the 12 invaded countries panicked and saw the aliens as a threat.This was in addition to the decoded message “use weapon” which made several countries uneasy including China, Russia and Pakistan. China was the first country to declare war on the aliens and they were followed by Pakistan and Russia.
Louise was told that the camp was going to be evacuated, but before they could go, Louise slipped into a small pod and was taken into the UFO. She saw the Heptopods and was no longer protected by her colleagues. They told her that by “use weapon”, they meant a gift and the gift was their language, and that their language could help you see the future, as they saw time differently and it was not linear.
At this point, the Heptopods were under attack by China and Russia, and as the aliens had good intentions, Louise had to some how stop the war.
She stole a phone and with the power of the Heptopods language, she told the Chinese president his wifes future dying words. She convinced him to change him mind and share all their insight with the other countries. The UFOs left as they had achieved their purpose and shared their language with the human race.
After the occurrences, Louise saw more visualisations of her daughter and it became clear. All her visualisations were future events. We learnt that her husband was Ian Donnelly, that they were going to have a child, that she was going to grow up and develop cancer and that he was going to leave her when she told him that she could see the future. But instead of hating and dreading every moment, she decided that she would embrace it and enjoy every moment while it lasted.
The film was really mysterious and you did not really know what would happen next. The film just showed how amazing mankind is and that we reply on other species for understanding.
This is one of the best sci fi films out this year… make sure you watch it!
The documentary followed Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet and the connected world (IMDB, 2016). He interviewed various expects in their fields, who rely on the internet, including Elon Musk, Lawrence Krauss and Lucianne Walkowicz.
The documentary started with a visit to the UCLA in California, the birthplace of the internet and the first machine to ever send a message to another computer, via the internet. It was intriguing as the university students in 1969 had no idea that something so small could develop on such a large scale.
The film then explored the new dimensions that the internet opened up. Research, for example, was nearly impossible before the internet. The addition of computers and specialist software helped to collect data from multiple locations and individuals, speeding up scientific research.
We are also being bombarded with new technologies, that could only be possible with the internet.
Self driving cars, that use radars and sensors to monitor terrain, whilst sending the information to a computer, via the internet.
This all sounds good, but there is also a dark side to the internet:
We were enlightened about an uncommon illness, which is strongly linked to wireless signals. We talked to a lady who become ill from radio signals and moved to an idyllic location, called Green Bank, that suppressed phone and radio signals.
In the beginning, the internet was created to connect communities. This meant that little security measures were put in place to protect people’s identity. Cyber attacks and hackers take advantage of this, even to this day and find their way into secure systems. Infected emails can send trojans and viruses that can allow hackers to access names and bank details.
Companies can spend millions on security, but if you manipulate one member, you are in!
Despite this darker side, the internet has more potential than we believe:
Current projects such as SpaceX, overseen by Elon Musk, aim to investigate if the internet can exist on Mars. The logistics are simpler than we think… four or five satellites and relays in the future can create a global connection!
In addition to this, there have been ideas about the potential of robots in the future. Could you imagine, for example, a robot serving your coffee? or defeating the Brazil football team? Well these may be in your imagination for now, but soon enough they may come true.
The film opened my eyes to how overlooked the internet really is. We now rely on a technology filled life, and the thought of not having the internet worries us all. The internet has not reached its peak potential…
In the future we may not know if we are talking to a dog, robot or human online!