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'Subject to change'
'Subject to change'
'Subject to change'
'Subject to change'
'Subject to change'
Return to Sender (2015)
It's an OK film as long as you have low expectations
*****This review contains spoilers***** If you don't expect Gone Girl then the film is quite good. Nothing special but definitely watchable.
The film follows Miranda (Rosamund Pike, pretty much the reason I wanted to watch this film) who lives in a small town. We only see her with her work colleagues and also her father (Nick Nolte). We see her having troubles around town and she is also dating. One day one of her dates, William (Shiloh Fernandez), arrives early and causes her a lot of harm, going to prison in this process.
I'm sure if you have read anything about this film you will know the subject matter. This particular scene is very brutal and quite a lengthy scene. It made me feel sick.
The film from this point goes a few different directions and had me questioning some of the actions of the characters. We see Pike and Fernandez's characters agreeing to meet in the prison. They believe that they can erase the horrible memory by getting to know each other and putting things right. Some of these scenes are hard to watch and at times a little cringe worthy.
When William is released from prison, the film becomes even more strange as we see him go to Miranda's house (something which she agrees to) to help fix the house up. She is trying to sell the house but nobody will buy. William goes to the house for a few days helping her out and it is just strange, it is one of the weirdest on screen relationships I have ever seen. I didn't know if this was it or whether there would be one last twist.
It was very much a slow burning process appearing to go nowhere until that classic scene happens, yes you guessed it, William's drink is spiked by Miranda...how predictable. She then takes him hostage in her basement and becomes to torture him in a style similar to Ellen Page in Hard Candy (2005).
After finally getting to this stage of the film I felt the ending was rushed. Everything is left open to the imagination of the viewer as nothing is really shown but I'm pretty sure there was only one outcome.
Overall it was an OK psychological thriller with a good performance from Rosamund Pike. At times the film felt a bit unnecessarily slow and cringe worthy but it is a decent film to watch once if there is nothing else on.
Car Share (2015)
A comedy I hope is renewed
I've never really been a massive fan of Peter Kay so I was quite surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this show. Each episode provided enough laughs to keep me coming back for more.
I liked the whole concept of the show, 95% of the time is just John & Kayleigh in the car together (occasionally some other characters join them) going to and from work. This comedy is unique in that way because we learn a lot about the characters just from their conversations, we don't actually see anything about their personal lives. If we did I suspect it may have been a bit generic.
Peter Kay and Sian Foulkes had a great on screen chemistry and I liked how their friendship developed by simply sharing a car and getting to know each other as we the viewer also got to know them. Sian Foulkes stole the show for me with great comedic timing, she is just a very quirky character.
The jokes were very funny and each episode had it's main subplot to follow which kept it fresh. The jokes never seemed repetitive. My favourite episodes were when Kayleigh and John were discussing dogging & also when they give a lift to a colleague (Reece Shearsmith). Also when Peter Kay had a laughing fit it made me have one too.
Some parts that I didn't think worked so well was there seemed to be too much singing and also the daydreaming stuff was a bit tedious after a few episodes.
Overall it was a comedy that I enjoyed and I hope to see it renewed for more episodes. I hope the two of them can carry on car sharing but I have a feeling that if there is another series then Peter Kay may have a new car sharing partner. A nice lite comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously.
The Class of 92 (2013)
The Class of 92
The Class of 92 tells the story of 6 Manchester United players who all came through the academy system and went on to achieve great success, winning the treble in 99 being the highest point.
The 6 players were David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, Gary & Phil. All of them have now retired (some of them were in their final years at the time of filming) so it was time to look back on their achievements.
Whether you love or hate Manchester United, you would struggle to find anyone who doesn't admire what they have done. I am an Arsenal fan so obviously watching this documentary bought back some horrible memories of Bergkamp missing his penalty in the FA Cup semi final but looking back now I have the utmost respect for what they done at the time. It also made me feel nostalgic about the old rivalry between Arsenal & Manchester United.
All of the players came across well in the documentary and you could tell that they were just normal blokes living the dream. Paul Scholes & Nicky Butt were particularly interesting as during their playing careers we never really knew much about them off the pitch. David Beckham is of course a global superstar who is known for other things but he came across as a very humble guy, as did Ryan Giggs who undoubtedly achieved the most success as a player at Manchester United. The Neville brothers were full of grit and determination as well, they wasn't the most talented of the bunch but their love for the game kept them going to the highest level. Both of them are now pundits and Gary in particular is very informative when talking about the game.
Overall I feel the documentary was a good insight although it perhaps came a little too soon. It may have worked better to look back once another 10 or so years had passed. I liked how we was snippets from the other youth team members but the input from Tony Blair seemed pretty irrelevant. I also feel the documentary could have been done in more detail, for those of you who are not football fans you may get a little lost when they jump through various timezones and start talking. I also think it would've been interesting if they had also talked about their careers after Manchester United (as 3 of them did move on to other clubs) and also maybe some more input from other team members such as Roy Keane etc.
An interesting watch never the less. A documentary that all football and sport fans should watch and admire.
Modern Family: Family Portrait (2010)
Series 1 - Very impressive overall
Modern Family was already on Series 6 when I decided to give it a go. I watched a random episode from Series 2 and found it to be quite funny even though I had no idea of how each character was related. I decided to watch it from the beginning and I had such a blast. I watched all of series 1 in 4 days and I'm now already on my way through series 2.
Each episode has made me laugh, which certainly can't be said for all comedies out there. I love that it is done in a mocumentary style and characters often look into the camera to show their reactions. We also see the characters talking in to the camera giving us a different perspective which is also really funny at times, especially when they explain something completely different to how we see it.
I love the whole family, each character brings something to the table. We have the Dunphy's, Phil and Claire and their 3 children Haley, Alex & Luke. Phil is that goofy kind of dad and so far he is my favourite character. Claire is also funny in her own way trying to the best for the 3 children who sometimes just don't want to listen. Claire's brother is Mitchell who has just adopted a baby daughter with his boyfriend Cameron. I find the relationship between these two hilarious, the are so different but so right for each other and provide plenty of laughs. Mitchell and Claire's Dad is Jay who is married to a younger and very hot Colombian woman, Gloria who also has a son called Manny. I just love how the whole family interacts with each other and it feels like from the start, we the viewer are getting to know the characters just as much as they are getting to know each other.
As I said each episode has made me laugh a lot and it's not one of those comedies that relies on swearing or toilet humour. It's a very fresh and unique comedy which stellar writing and great comedic timing and chemistry from all of the cast.
My favourite episodes of Series 1 would be the final 3 episodes as we saw a bit of continuation in these episodes, but overall each episode has been great with something different happening all the time.
Very impressed with the first Series and can't wait to watch more, I'm sure I will be up to date by the time Series 7 airs. If you are unsure, just give it a chance and like me you may not be able to stop watching.
I loved it
Jon Favreau is Chef Carl Casper working in a restaurant for a boss he doesn't see eye to eye with. He ends up leaving his job after he becomes fed up with the menu and receiving some bad criticism from a food critic. He exchanges insults with the food critic via Twitter and of course it goes viral and Carl's reputation is really on the line. He's also having some problems with his own personal life after he and his wife split and he is trying to build a relationship with his young son. The story follows Carl as he looks to get his career back on track and build stronger bonds with his loved ones.
The whole cast was very likable and easy to relate to, Carl and Tony had a very funny working relationship and are then joined by Carl's son, Percy when they get the food truck going. Then we have smaller roles for Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman and Sofia Vergara...some cast list that.
This is certainly a feel good film, I couldn't help but smile when watching. There was some lovely looking food on display and a great soundtrack to boot. Although it was mostly a comedy (and it was pretty hilarious in places) the film also had some heated arguments for dramatic effect, I felt this worked really well to show the viewer just what the characters are going through. Overall it was just a fun, unique film.
A really enjoyable film, heartwarming, feel good fun, one of the best films of 2014. 9/10.
Excellent bit of drama
I've always known who Inspector Morse is because my Grandparents were always watching the original series back in the day, I however had never really sat down to watch it. Therefore my opinion on Endeavour is based solely on this prequel which I decided to give a go earlier this week after all the praise it had been getting. I have to say I am really impressed and am now looking forward to watching the rest of the series as well as possibly going back to watch some original episodes.
I really liked the way Morse thinks about the crimes he has to solve, he's a deep thinker and he's not scared to admit if he gets it wrong. He's a very complex and intriguing character, played superbly by Shaun Evans. The acting overall was of a good standard all round and I got really sucked in to the world of Morse. It really got me guessing and I liked how we got closure at the end of the episode (hopefully each episode will continue that way). The setting is beautiful too and seems like a true representation of the 60's.
Without giving too much away plot wise, I think if you are looking for a crime/mystery drama that isn't too simple then Endeavour might be for you. I will certainly continue watching.
Wild Card (2015)
Nothing new or special overall but the action scenes were great
The low ratings and reviews for this film severely lowered my expectations but I watched it anyway as I'm a fan of Jason Statham. This film is nothing special but it's certainly not his worst film in my opinion. If you like Statham you will probably like this film, he plays the same character in every film doesn't he?
The storyline is very basic, most of the film is just following Statham's character around Vegas as he seeks out a bit of revenge for an old friend. Although the action scenes were few and far between, when they arrived they were phenomenal.
The film had a great soundtrack which I felt worked really well with the slow motion effects during the fight scenes. Jason Statham is beating up loads of dudes in over the top ways and White Christmas is playing in the background, I couldn't help but laugh, it was so brutal and funny I was in awe. The torture scene was pretty grim to watch though. I even went back at the end and watched the fight scenes again they were so good.
The cast give reasonable performances and all in all its not a bad film at all. It wasn't a film stretched out to over 2 hours so it managed to stay entertaining without becoming tedious. I feel it will always be rated pretty low on here though because the action scenes aren't a constant and there isn't much ambition with the story. Probably one just for Statham fans. Overall I enjoyed it despite it having some flaws.
Ordinary Lies (2015)
A few thoughts on the 1st episode
At the time of writing, there has only been one episode so these are a few thoughts of mine based on the opening episode of Ordinary Lies.
My feelings overall are a bit mixed in places, I can see a lot of potential here for it to be a very good/great series but there is some major flaws. The characters seemed quite easily led and most of the situation could have been avoided if character X did this or character Y did that. There were some parts were I just couldn't take it too seriously (despite the subject matter being very serious). It was a bit awkward in places and sometimes it seemed unintentionally funny.
There was a lot of characters involved in the show and as far as I am aware, each episode will tell a story from a different person's perspective. I'm not sure if it will be a different story line for each character or whether it will all link together to the original lie told in episode 1 (if that is the case then perhaps my points above may be justified later on if we see it from a different perspective).
The acting was of a very good standard and there was plenty of familiar faces on show for those who watch a lot of British soaps/dramas. I was quite impressed with Jason Manford as well who I only know solely as a stand up comedian.
Despite it having a few issues thus far (which may not even be issues as the series progresses) I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. It had good pacing and plenty of stuff going on to keep me interested, the 1st hour went really quick and it was a nice easy viewing drama. I will certainly tune in for episode 2 where Michelle Keegan takes center stage.
If I had to compare it to another show, I would say it is similar to BBC drama The Syndicate.
A promising start.
Edit: 9th April - Have now seen episodes 2, 3 & 4.
It seems each episode will focus on a different character and different storyline. The previous lies are only mentioned briefly (if at all). Despite originally thinking I would like some continuation with the series I am very much enjoying the concept of a new lie each week and learning more about character. It is a little frustrating that each episode seems to end without resolution and then that character appears at work as normal in the next episode but if you can take it as it is and just enjoy a different story each week then it's a very good drama series.
What We Did on Our Holiday (2014)
Starts well but becomes very tedious
I didn't have high expectations for What We Did on Our Holiday, I just thought it would be another comedy about a dysfunctional family. At the time of watching I wasn't aware that the film was written by the same guys who gave us Outnumbered (a terrific series) but after around 10 minutes all the comparisons were there, I could just tell. The street looked the same, there was 3 kids asking silly questions and two parents arguing and trying to keep control of the kids.
The premise of the film is basic but good, the parents are going through a divorce, the grandfather in Scotland is dying and the family are traveling up to see him for his birthday. The parents are trying to keep the kids intact as they don't want others to know about their divorce. The kids do a really good job and have some great comedic timing, they were just a charming trio although the jokes were pretty predictable.
The film was going well as that sort of comedy that just has you smiling/chucking now and again (not laugh out loud stuff) but then it took a turn for the worse. The film became stupid, tedious and unrealistic. There were some serious flaws after around 45 minutes. It was a bit too serious to be considered funny and as a drama it didn't work either because this would never happen, it was just cringe worthy to watch. After all that had happened we just had about 10-15 minutes of adults arguing and then it all turned in to a happy ending.
Most of the cast gave good performances (Rosamund Pike, David Tennant and the kids in particular) but the script was very weak in the latter part of the film. Not what I expected it to be, wouldn't recommend it to others. I enjoyed the first 45 minutes but it was very tedious in the second half of the film.
Deux jours, une nuit (2014)
Great performance from Marion Cotillard
Two Days, One Night - A very simple film, Sandra (Marion Cotillard) is losing her job as her colleagues have opted to take a bonus instead. The film follows Sandra over one weekend as she goes to see her colleagues to try and convince them otherwise. If you can't handle slow paced films then don't even bother trying to watch this film.
It is repetitive, she says pretty much the same thing to every person and then they give their reasoning why the opted for a bonus, some of them agree to change their vote in favour of Sandra. If the person is not in then someone else directs her to where they are and then she has the same conversation again. Marion Cotillard made it feel so real and you could see the pain and suffering in her face.
We don't really get to know any of the other characters as none of them really have no more than 10 minutes of screen time. I was expecting the film to take the cliché route where the main character would easily convince all the others and it would be all smiles at the end, this wasn't the case which made it feel all the more real.
Overall it's quite a unique film but ultimately not one I will remember very fondly apart from Marion's fantastic performance. I just felt there could have been a bit more to it, we never get to know any of the characters, we don't see the working environment, we don't see the original vote happen. We just don't get the full picture, too much of one repetitive thing and nothing else to go with it.
6/10 from me - Great performance from Marion but the film overall is just OK.