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Showing posts from February, 2018

Black Panther - King of Marvel?

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Runtime: 135mins | Director: Ryan Coogler | Rating: 5 Stars
By now you’ve likely seen and heard the rave reviews for Black Panther, the latest instalment for the seemingly unstoppable force that is Marvel Studios. If you haven’t, I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under, but I’m impressed!
Either way, I’m here to tell you that it is worth every piece of praise it receives – it is phenomenal.
Taking place after the death of King T’Chaka (John Kani) during Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) must return home to take his place as King of Wakanda, and earn the title of the Black Panther. After he takes the throne, however, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) resurfaces and begins causing havoc. Klaue isn’t T’Challa’s only concern though as he soon finds himself caught up in a conflict with an old enemy which not only threatens his title as King of Wakanda and Black Panther but also the world.
First things first – I have been a long-time fan of Black Panther’s director, Rya…

Phantom Thread - A Finely Woven Tale or Narratively Thread Bare?

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Runtime: 130mins | Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Rating: 3.5 Stars
Phantom Thread tells the story of Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) - an affluent, upper class, fashion designing bachelor living in London during the 1950’s. Whilst it seems he lives a near perfect life, indulging in pastries for breakfast and socialising with countesses and princesses alike who travel far and wide to purchase his dresses, he still feels incomplete. Why? He cannot find love. Of course, such a highly regarded, charming and handsome man has no problem finding women to date, but he tires of them quickly leaving his sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville), to clear up the trail of romantic devastation he recurrently leaves.
After Woodcock breaks up with his latest dalliance, he decides to take a trip to the coast and clear his mind. Upon arrival, he decides to have breakfast at a picturesque seaside hotel where he meets, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who he then asks to dinner. As the story progresses Alma moves to L…

Advance Screening: The Shape of Water

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Runtime: 123mins | Director: Guillermo del Toro | Rating: 4.5 Stars
What do you get when you cross a soft-core porn with 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon?
The answer: Guillermo del Toro’s, The Shape of Water.
Whilst this may sound as if I’m trying to make an opening joke, it’s actually an accurate description of the film (albeit a very simplified version).
Does this make The Shape of Water a bad film though? Absolutely not. In fact, it is one of del Toro’s finest.
Set in the 1960’s amidst the height of Cold War paranoia, the story begins by introducing us to Eliza (Sally Hawkins), a mute woman who works at a scientific research facility. One day when she is cleaning one of the labs with her friend, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), a mysterious container is wheeled in holding a mysterious amphibious, humanoid creature (Doug Jones). During her shifts at the facility, Eliza starts to form a bond with the creature, and eventually, a romance. When she then learns that the creature is to be killed…

Darkest Hour – V for Victory, or Close, but No Cigar?

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Runtime:  125mins | Director: Joe Wright | Rating: 2.5 Stars

Ever since I was a child I’ve loved going to the cinema, and fortunately, my family enjoyed it too - my grandpa in particular. I have many fond memories of seeing films such as The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean with him, unfortunately though, due to him getting older and myself getting busier, we hadn’t been in a very long time. Therefore, when Darkest Hour came out and he asked if I wanted to see it with him, I jumped at the opportunity. This was of special significance for him due to the fact he has vivid memories of when Churchill was in power, and was curious to see Oldman’s portrayal of him.
The film opens in May 1940, with Hitler at the height of his power and Europe on the brink of collapse. British Parliament is losing patience with a seemingly passive Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) and pass a vote of no confidence, leading to Winston Churchill’s (Gary Oldman) controversial election. Once in power, Churchill ha…

Hostiles – Worth Seeing, or Should You Bale?

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Runtime: 135mins | Director: Scott Cooper | Rating 4 Stars

Anyone who knows me well will be aware of my borderline obsessive love for America. “Why do you love it so much?” I hear you ask – well, the answer is, I’m not really sure. I guess it stems from the fact I have family in Boston, but American politics has always fascinated me, their culture fascinates me, but most of all, their history fascinates me. For a country that claims to be the ‘leader of the free world’, they have a past steeped in racism, brutality and violence. And this is what Scott Cooper’s Hostiles captures so perfectly.

Set in New Mexico, 1982, Captain Joe Blocker (Christian Bale), a soldier notorious for his brutality toward Native Americans is tasked with escorting a dying Native American Chief, Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) back to his tribe’s homeland in Montana. Whilst warily and begrudgingly escorting the Chief and his family back home, they encounter Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) whose family was brutally murdered…