A love story as exciting and slow as a lazy river: Hampstead film review!

This is a review of Hampstead, a romance which is now available to watch in cinemas.

My Thoughts

I found this film too slow and sedentary. The uneventful plot of a middle class woman, Emily (Diane Keaton) helping, befriending and falling in love with a tramp, Donald (Brendan Gleeson) was not my kettle of fish. After having the pleasure of seeing it twice, I am in no rush to see it again.

I found their love story nice but rather creepy. Who could ever say that their relationship started with a pair of binoculars and a spying? The fact that she regularly spied on him from her attic was off putting, even if it did end up bringing them together and happily finding where they belonged.

I just felt that the time spent watching Hampstead (twice) was a waste of time and could have been used for better things. I didn’t find the film captivating either – everything was too “old” for me.

What I do applaud about this film is how they perceived the relationship between Emily and Donald. Two unliklies (according to society) find a way to make it work.

 Last Note

I was very disappointed by this film and I would not see it again.

Star Rating

I would give Hampstead 2 stars overall.

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Not a good film in my opinion and lucky to get two!

Until the next review…

Bye guys 🙂

The supposedly spooky film My Cousin Rachel is not as dark as it lived up to be! (Spoiler alert)

So I am reviewing the film, My Cousin Rachel, staring Rachel Weisz as Rachel Ashley, Sam Claflin as Philip Ashley and Holliday Granger as Louise Kendall.

This period drama followed Philip who met his cousin Rachel and fell for her, only to find out that she was darker than she seemed. Under that beautiful complexion was a women with a strong desire for power and greed.

My Thoughts

The film was not what I expected. I was expecting something more haunting, and fast paced – some kind of horror film where she jumps out and I was disappointed. Instead I got a love story that was rather less exciting than I imagined.

How did I feel while watching it?

I felt like the plot was developing very slowly and I lacked engagement, up to the last 30 minutes where everything got a little confusing. What was the point of her demise at the end and why was he still thinking about her after what she had done to him If I was him I would have rinsed him off my hands, yet he was still remembering her when he has gotten a fresh start.

However, despite this, I did find that Rachel Weisz really adapted well to the role and her emotion/lack of emotion in her character was astounding.

Final Note

I found the film, My Cousin Rachel a little disappointing and I thought that it would be a lot more jumpy. Still a good film, despite the different outcome.

Star Rating

I would give this film 3 stars as I didn’t really connect with it at the start.

3 stae rating Oh My Blog

Have your say

Let me know what you think.. I would love to hear from you!

Until the next review…

Bye guys!

 

 

I was left in knots by Berlin Syndrome! (Spoiler alert)

I looked at the plot before hand, but only briefly. I wanted to know what was going on but still be surprised and gripped to the screen. The film did not disappoint.

My Thoughts

The thriller had the two key ingredients – a psychotic killer and obsessive and an unwilling victim who was prepared to risk her life to escape. The way Clare stabbed him in the hand with a screwdriver was gutsy and how she cunningly beat him with his own weapon was sneaky.

At first looks you wouldn’t think that anything was wrong with Andi or odd but looks can be deceiving. Under that neat beard and nice eyes, there was a monster who would manipulate, abuse and lock woman away against their will. His creepy stare and photobooks of disturbing naked photos would be enough to damage someone for life. Especially if they are not you…

Of course this man had no intention if stopping after his previous victim Nathalie and moved on to Clare. A sweet young Australian tourist who just wanted to travel and develop memories.

The plot was definitely gripping and my eyes were locked on the awful situation in front of me. My criticism was that Clare got involved with Andi very quickly and didn’t really think “hmm I don’t know this guy and I am on my own so I should probably be careful”. I think the “stranger danger” advice that parents tell their children is relevant here. Furthermore the dangerous fling between Andi and Clare was a bit naive and rushed.

Final Note

What a film and my attention was glued to the screen right to the end! Apart from my little criticisms, it would be happy to see it again or recommend it to others!

Star Rating

Based on my review, I would give Berlin Syndrome 4 stars as it was gripping, captivating and nail bitingly tense!

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Have your say!

If you like the review, please comment or like.

You can also follow Oh My blog on Facebook – Oh My Blog and Twitter OhMyBlog for more posts.

Until the next review..

Bye guys 🙂

The Other Side of Hope showed humanity but didn’t hold my interest! (Spoiler Alert)

When a film focuses on war, death and refugees, it really makes us hurt emotionally. Stories of war, depicted beautifully by Abi Kaurismaki, made me appreciate what I have – a home, family, food and security.

My Thoughts

The Other Side of Hope had a simple plot and followed a restaurant owner who helped a Syrian refugee who fled war and was desperately trying to find his sister.

Themes in the film included war, in which we learnt of horrible family losses. For Khaled, this consisted of his mother, father, brother and friends family.  We were introduced to Khaled who fled war for a better life and payed to be smuggled over borders. There were some moments where we saw true discrimination and violence against immigrants and I found this very uncomfortable. This was however bypassed by the humanity of local Finnish people who supported Khaled. I found the way Khaled was welcomed by the restaurant owner and the team very encouraging and I hope that those who watch this film understand refugees more and the risks they take to get to safety.

In contrast, I would say that the plot was slow and it took a while for me to get into it. I found myself getting bored and only really being captivated in the last 30 minutes. This film was not really meant to be fast paced though, rather was aimed to be close to the heart and teach us about morals. The film has definitely given me some food for thought!

Last Note

Overall I found the film very heart warming. The only thing I would say is that it was slow to develop and not as funny as I expected.

Star Rating

I would give this film 3 stars as it was not fully to my taste and quite slow in the plot.

3 stae rating Oh My Blog

 

Innocence can be deceiving! Love and passion developed into something disturbing in the adapted film Lady Macbeth! (spoiler alert)

This is a review of the newly released film “Lady Macbeth”, adapted from Nikolai Leskov’s novel “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk”.

My Thoughts

I saw the film cover to Lady Macbeth and I read all the reviews. It made me wonder. From first impressions, Katherine (played by Florence Pugh) was innocent. I saw the ridicule she went through and the thought of marrying a man twice her age who she did not love was very disturbing. She was treated like an added extra that the family did not want or need, if anything, she was an inconvenience. I saw very little respect shown towards her by the family or their staff.

The language that Katherine’s husband used was vulgar, disrespectful and is is sad to think that women in the 19th century were treated like that and sold with land. Sentences like “You have gotten fat and foul smelling” and “Take your night dress off. Face the wall” still invade my thoughts.

As the film developed I got the sense that she wanted more freedom and passion. Once a young sweet girl, Katherine became more mature and dominating. She had sexual desires that had to be met and she resisted commands from her husband and his family.  She had an enormous sense of power and did as she pleased, without admitting her mistakes, instead framing others.

At first I thought she wanted to be with her love Sebastian, who she met when her husband was away. It seemed clear towards the end that she had little love for him (or anyone) and did it all for her personal gain.

I must say that the acting by Florence Pugh was effortless. She flowed so well as Katherine changed from quiet and innocent to disturbing and unpredictable. I was unable to anticipate any of her actions. What she did and how she acted was unsettling and I was perplexed all the way through.

I left the film thinking did this poor treatment drive her to be this cruel or was it skin deep?

Last Note

I was drawn in by the plot and the demeanor of the character. Lady Macbeth was enticing, impossible to ignore and captivating to the end.

Star Rating

4 star rating Oh My Blog

It may not be to everyones taste, but with my interest in multiple genres, I liked it. Mind you, I think seeing it once would be sufficient as none of the shocks in the film will have the same effect.

Comment Corner

Let me know what you think of the film and the review. Comments are welcome 🙂

Until another review…

Bye guys 🙂

 

 

Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire were dead funny in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead! (Spoiler Alert)

So I had the pleasure of seeing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as a live feed from the Tyneside Cinema on the 26th April.  The performance staring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire, was being taking place in the Old Vic Theatre in London.

My Thoughts

I did not know what to expect from the play so I was watching the play with an open mind.

Plot, Characters and Script

The plot to this play was slow to start at first so the first act was just introducing us to the characters. It was not until the second act where we got a better idea of the two main characters roles in the screen play.  So naturally, I found myself a little bored in the first half as there was little to follow, this however improved as the play went on.

The opening of the show introduced us to our two main characters – Rosencrantz as Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as Guildenstern. They were amusing themselves with a coin flipping game, in which Rosencrantz had landed 90 heads in a row. Whether this was genuine or just double sided coins, I was not sure.

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Rosencrantz – Daniel Radcliffe (right) and Joshua McGuire – Guildenstern (left)

This was an intellectual introduction and as the script went on, I found myself having to concentrate harder into what they were talking about. Topics such as death, complex probability – a lot of it went over my head, but it showed how clever these two characters were.

I also found their relationship throughout the play very similar to two brothers. Their bond allowed them to be open with each other with conflicting opinions, yet still get on. They are bit like bread and butter – they go very well together and make each other better.

This play was directed by Katie Moore and based on a script play by Tom Stoppard, who had the opportunity to sit in the audience. This definitely would have added some adrenaline for the actors, as they were performing in front of the play write himself.

Even with the script being very intellectual, there were still a lot of humorous one liners. Viewers (including myself) were laughing throughout the play by Radcliffe and McGuire’s witty comebacks. One being very focused on the direction of the wind, which became a repetitive joke up until the end.

Costumes and Set

Something that did stand out for me was the costumes – all over the top and extremely realistic. One of these costumes belonged to the main player in a band (played by David Haig) who was a big burst of sound, energy and enthusiasm! His costume was vintage like those worn by Radcliffe and McGuire but more colourful with bursts of red.

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Main player – David Haig (right front) with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (both left)

However the best costume of all, in my opinion was worn by Alfred (played by Matthew Durkan). He was half naked in the first act, however changed into a vintage dress with a ruff collar and a white powdered face in the second act. He looked as fantastic as the female actors on the stage.

The set contrasted to the costumes and was very minimal, including two chairs randomly  spaced out, two backpacks and a ladder. The stage was opened up into space normally used behind the wings to give the actors a lot more space to work with. This also made them look very small on the stage when they were in solo scenes.

Final Note

The play was a pleasure to see, even if I saw it on a live feed. The acting was exquisite and passionate and I thoroughly enjoyed it by the end, despite the complex script and slow plot.

If you have any comments, please let me know!

Bye guys 🙂

 

 

The emotional and deeply moving film Fences follows a family through a tough time!

Family life is not always easy and the pressure on having that ” perfect, happy family” can really build. Fences really focuses on this and shows that no matter what happens, family is family.

The 2017 film has been developed into a film, after eight years on stage. The original stage cast, including Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo and Russell Hornsby all joined together to create this film, directed by August Wilson.

The plot

The film follows Troy (Denzel Washington), a proud and tough father who pushes his ideals onto his son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). His wife Rose (Viola Davis) is not as touch on Cory, and is more supportive or her son’s dreams. Troy’s attitude towards Cory at the start is very touching, but as it went along, Troy’s true opinion emerged. After being approached and recruited by a college football team, Cory was eager to follow his passion, but was stopped by his father, who believed that “it would not get him  a living”. His father did not mean this as anything bad, he just didn’t want Cory to be like him, not after what playing baseball did to him.

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Troy (Denzel Washington) as a touch but loving father

Of course times were tough for Troy. As a black man, he was subject to prejudice and was in a job that he did not enjoy – just so he could feed the family and provide a roof over their heads. As a working father, money was also very tight and he could not indulge in the expensive things in life. These are problems that you may recognise in your family. Troy also had numerous responsibilities at home, one of which was looking after his brother, who suffered brain damage while serving in WW2. Gabe was troubled and would drop in on the family, normally in his own repetitive world. It was grating down on Troy and he did not know how to handle him.

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Cory (left – Jovan Adepo) with his father Troy in a discussion about his football career.

His son, Cory thought that his father, Troy hated him and didn’t want him to succeed in life. This was untrue. Troy wanted Cory to be the best that he could be and the tough parenting seemed to succeed. Or did it? Cory become a corporal in the Marines and made a very good soldier.  Was this really what he wanted to do? Did his father’s tough love help him succeed?

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Rose (Viola Davis) deeply cared for Troy and wanted the best for her son, Cory.

All of this drama also rested on Rose’s shoulders. She was with Troy for 18 years, in the same place and house with him. She was supporting him and loving him with all her heart. The stress and worry impacted on Rose and sometimes she found herself lost.

One of these stresses included a new addition to the family – a baby girl, daughter of the women that he had been sleeping with behind Rose’s back. It was a shock to Rose and a big disappointment. It was a shame that the women he was sleeping with died during her pregnancy and Rose agreed to raise her daughter as her own.

Unfortunately Troy died after falling in their yard and it was extremely emotional. Troy was not able to see his son stand proud and tall in his Marines uniform. And despite his “loud” views, the family still wanted to live up to his legacy and raise their new daughter the way that they raised Cory. Cory also had a “little moment” when he was reminded his father, prior to attending his funeral. So he loved his dad and appreciated what he had done for him.

Final Thoughts

There are themes in this film that we can all relate to – money, stress, aspirations and dreams or tough parents. The way that the family stuck together despite all their struggles was inspiring. The film really moved me and the performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were mesmerizing, no wonder Viola won Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTAs this year!

Amazing film that gives us an insight into the struggles of family life and I would definitely recommend that you take some time out of your busy schedules to see it. Fences is available to see in all good cinemas now!

Any comments are welcome!

Bye for now.

 

The Trainspotting boys are back but will they still get on twenty years later? (Spoiler Alert!)

Trainspotting, originally released in 1996 followed the lives of five young men and their involvement in a drug alliance and campaign. The plot of the original Trainspotting film included Spud, Sick Boy (now Simon) and Begbie (now Franco) being swindled out of their £4,000 share by Renton (now Mark), who left the group with all the money.

Trainspotting T2, set in the iconic city of Edinburgh and directed by Danny Boyle, was set 20 years later. Their lives had now moved on, however even now, tension, disappointment and anger surrounded the events that took place 20 years ago.

The cast included Ewan Mcgregor as Renton, Robert Carlyle as Begbie,  Ewen Bremmer as Spud and Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy.

The plot

Renton (Mark) returned back to Edinburgh and was greeted by his old friends, Spud and Sick Boy (Simon). They were not happy to see him, if anything, they hated him and wanted to get revenge. Most of this anger was communicated through fights and a lot of swearing! If you drank every time one of the characters swore, you would probably be very drunk by the end of it.

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Spud and Renton (Mark) on the till having a heart to heart

There were many iconic scenes in the films, including a heart to heart between Renton (Mark) and Spud, overlooking a beautiful natural, green landscape. Renton (Mark) provided some friendly advice to Spud regarding his drug addiction. Spud was addicted again and he was struggling to quit, and live. Renton (Mark) told him to “Be addicted to something else? Boxing” and even though they have their differences, it was like they had never been apart.

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Begbie (Franco) in the toilet cubicle

While Renton (Mark) was a gentle character, Begbie (Franco) was the opposite. He had a sense of threat to him – the kind of guy that you would try to avoid at any cost. His violent and forceful nature was not only towards his son, but also towards Renton (Mark). Begbie (Franco) visited the club that Sick Boy (Simon) and Renton (Mark) were clubbing at and Renton bumped into him in the neighbouring toilet cubicle. When they both realised, it was like a war started. Begbie (Franco) climbed onto the toilet seat and screamed into the cubicle, it was utterly terrifying. Begbie (Franco) chased Renton (Mark) out of the club and into a carpark, before losing him on the open road.

Begbie (Franco) was not finished with his quest for revenge… he crafted a plan and trapped Spud, Sick Boy (Simon) and Renton (Mark) in the “Port Sunshine” pub (the pub which Sick Boy and Spud were investing in and decorating) and chased Renton down. He attempted to strangle Renton (Mark) with random cables hanging from the the ceiling. Renton (Mark) was saved by Sick Boy (Simon). They had eventually forgiven him

There was really no way that Begbie (Fanco) could forgive Renton (Mark) as he was the reason that he was in jail. Sick Boy (Simon) and Spud became good friends with Renton by the end of the film, which was nice, because at least they had found some common ground.

My Thoughts

The film was not really to my taste and was a bit too “over the top” violent for me.  I just found a lot of these boyish fights and death attempts (mostly the plot in general) unnecessary. Again you may disagree and that is fine.

By no means are my reservations towards the film down to the acting. No the acting was fantastic. Ewan Mcgregor as Renton was very inspirational and Robert Carlyle as Begbie  was extremely terrifying (but in a good way).

If you liked Trainspotting, 1996, then you will definitely like this!

Feel free to contact me or comment with any of your thoughts on this movie or review in general.

Bye for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La La Land is a delight to watch and will make your day more musical! (Spolier Alert)

La La Land has been hyped up as one of the best films released in 2017 and has won Seven Golden Globes and dominates Oscar nominations. I have been so excited to see and review it, as I have heard many good things.

La La Land is an upbeat musical which will make you feel good. The cast include Emma Stone as Mia and Ryan Gosling as Sebastian.

The plot

La La Land follows Mia, an aspiring actress and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician (Rotten Tomatoes, 2016). They are struggling to keep their head above water. They both meet in Lighthouse Bar and their lives change. They grew closer to each other and tried to balance their relationship around their work. There were moments where Sebastian and Mia found success at the expense of the other, and this created tensions in their relationship. Despite this, they always found each other and resolved their issues.

There were beautiful scenes of their friendship blossoming, with moments of romance and anticipation. They are connected by the struggle to achieve their dream and the way they interacted with each other is mesmerizing.

The very opening scene was very outgoing, with a sudden burst of song. It started with a young girl and her sweet voice, then it became a big production. Residents stood on their cars and sang about about “Another Day of Sun”.

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The cast performing “Another Day of Sun” in the opening of the film

La La Land is very much about dancing and singing, and it is no surprise that the best scenes contain both. One that came to mind included when Mia was walking back to her car after a party. He walked with her to her car and on the way, they stopped to look at the view. He broke into song and starts to tap dance. They started to tap dance together with the beautiful backdrop. Their movements just flowed beautifully together.

Mia had auditioned for many parts and had not been successful, but this one was different. She was auditioning for a role in a television series, and she was asked to tell a story. She told them about her grandma and her adventures. She exploded into song – her voice as a sound of perfection, and as I was watched her sing, I felt myself get goosebumps.

Another example included the first time they could have met and the events that followed. He was playing his beautiful melody on the piano in the LightHouse Bar and she finds comfort in it. Their eyes meet and you can see how much they were going to influence each other. The way he played his piece was the equivalent of a cup of herbal tea – it made you melt inside, your worries just disappearing for a few minutes. She went to congratulate him and they kissed. From then their live revolved around each other and they started a family together.

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Mia (Emma Stone) in the Lighthouse Bar, where she first met Sebastian

It was not just the heartwarming scenes that impacted us, it was also the music.

The song “City of the Stars”  was positive and emotional and talks about the achievement of the dreams. It was communicated so beautifully in the song that we felt it too.

Sebastian was a very talented Jazz musician, and one of his pieces stood out amongst them all. This was the tune that Mia remembered him by and the tune that began his career.

 

Recommendations?

La La Land showed the struggles that people face to achieving their dreams, and it taught us a valuable lesson:  that you will fail on multiple occasions but you will eventually succeed. The film also gave us a warm feeling in our hearts as we saw their relationship grow so strongly. It will make you day shine a little brighter and you will be singing the soundtracks in your head for a few days.

Anyone would like this film. Its enticing, upbeat and highly entertaining. The acting is beautiful and the storyline is relatable to current society.

 

Tom Hanks braces us with this high flying, thrilling film, Sully!

Tom Hanks has graced us once again, in a new 2016  gripping thriller, that is based on a true story. This 2016 film  was directed by the brilliant Clint Eastwood and was definitely making a big wave!  The cast included

The Plot

Tom Hanks, played Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and was presented with an unfortunate situation. He was left to land the US Airways flight with his fellow co-pilot, Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles  (played by Aaron Eckhart) after a flock of birds damaged both the engines. Flight 529 was scheduled to fly from  LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, however three minutes in, the pilots had to act fast and decided to land in the Hudson River.

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The 155 Passengers standing on the wings – waiting to be rescued

The passengers were frightened and rightly so… flights that crash on water generally do not end up well, so the fact that all 155 passengers survived was a revelation. The cabin crew and pilots were very effective at their job and

His approach was criticised by the board and as a result he felt downgraded and guilty.

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Their appeal, in which their decisions on the flight were criticised

He attended a hearing and evidence was presented against him. The board were suggesting that there was time to land the plane safely and land back on the intended runway. They also presented simulations that duplicated their flight, height and bird flock attack.

The case seemed to be piled against him but then he presented them with some thoughts. Firstly he mentioned how the simulations did not have the human aspect and  lacked the 35 second pause before the left turn for the runway. The board also revealed that the pilots who took part in the simulation had 17 attempts, meaning that they knew when to turn and how to land.

With this is mind, the simulations were repeated with a 35 second pause and on both routes, the plane did not make the runway. Not only had Sully been right to land in the Hudson River, but the board had presented evidence that was not reliable and did not represent the situation correctly.

By the end of the film, I felt like he had gone through unnecessary grief over the flight. I had a feeling at the start of the hearing that he was telling the truth and it would have broken my heart if his career ended after one bad call on a three minute flight.

You can view the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjKEXxO2KNE .

Recommendations

The film was gripping and non stop! I loved it and felt so much respect for Sully and what he did for the passengers.

Book your seat for this film while they are still available!

Bye for now