10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

One of my favourite films ever, the best romcom, ‘10 Things I Hate About You’. The film is predominantly based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’; it’s obviously not a direct interpretation, but there are some relations to the play, no matter how small the connections are. For example, the girl that is “involved” with William Shakespeare, ie. she’s obsessed with him; or maybe the one liner that is actually Shakespearean. This doesn’t absorb the film however, it still carries its own weight.

The plot is based around two sisters, and their rivalry. To say they are opposites would be an understatement. The eldest is Kat (Julia Stiles), the girl with the “bad reputation”, who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her, she’s “the shrew”, just in a state of “annoyed”. Then there’s the younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), who loves all the attention, the stereotypical dumb girl, the one who is out of bounds for all of the guys who fancy her.

Kat and Bianca

With an “uptight” father (Larry Miller), the Stratford sisters aren’t allowed to date, but right at the beginning of the film, he changes the rules. Bianca is allowed to date, if Kat does. Kat being the girl who has no intention of dating or even looking at any of the “unwashed miscreants” that go to their school. This brings in the guys. Firstly, the new boy, Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who declares his passionate love for Bianca the moment he sees her.

Bianca and Cameron

When Cameron discovers the rule he takes it upon himself to find Kat a date in order to date Bianca. His plan is to use a “backer”, well someone “rich and stupid” in order to pay a guy to date Kat. The payer is Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), the ‘popular’ guy, well the one all the girls want to date, however his mission is to get Bianca because he can’t have her. This then creates a competition between Joey and Cameron to get the girl, but who wins? Cameron finds who he thinks as the perfect guy for Kat, Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). Also known as the guy who everyone is afraid of, the rumoured criminal, the tough bad boy. So basically, Joey pays Patrick to take out Kat, Joey’s intention of taking out Bianca, but Cameron pulling the strings in the background, hoping to get Bianca. The only problem is that Kat has no intent in dating and she has no issue at portraying these feelings, especially towards Patrick.

Kat and Patrick

The film is based at Padua High School, so it is predominantly a teen movie based in school. So for example, there is the use of cliques around the school, but in this film it’s not the cliques that is the issue. I would say that ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ is probably best for teenagers or young adults as there is quite a bit of swearing in the film and also some references to sex.

There’s obviously the aspect of a romantic film, my favourite between Kat and Patrick, even if there is hate; but also, I do find this film quite comical. There are cute moments that make your heart melt but also funny moments; however, don’t think it’s a film that has you non-stop laughing, there are just moments, and those moments make the film better. For example, Kat’s sarcastic, mean comments are hilarious and cleverly created. Or perhaps, the strange headteacher that has everyone thinking, did she actually just say that…

Due to the variety of the characters in ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ there will be one that everyone loves. Personally, my favourite is definitely Patrick, the bad boy demeanour, but turns out to be the loveable, caring character. Or there’s Cameron, the opposite to Patrick, the innocent and defensive of the girl he loves. But both have that fight that they will get their girl, but will they? Not much can go wrong. Except Patrick was paid to date Kat… And Bianca likes Joey… I definitely recommend to watch ‘10 Things I Hate About You’; that’s if you love a romcom, if so, you wouldn’t hate it.

Think Like a Man (2012)

‘Think Like a Man’ is a film based around six men, all mates, yet all very different. When an ‘Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man’ book is released and all the women flock to buy it, the men feel threatened and vulnerable as all their secrets are revealed, but they don’t know it is because of the book. But they realise the game seems different in the relationship world. It affects four of the men in this group and their relationships with women. To begin with, the two it doesn’t affect is the happily married guy, Bennett (Gary Owen), and the divorcee, Cedric (Kevin Hart), who pretends he’s happy he is no longer with his wife, but she’s all he talks about.

Think Like A Man

The guys it does affect is who the story is based around. Firstly, there’s the “Player” of the group, Zeke (Romany Malco), the one-night stand kind of guy. He ends up chasing a girl who has adapted the 90 day probation rule of no sex from the book, this is Mya (Meagan Good). This throws Zeke into a complete different world, and he comes more annoyed that he doesn’t get what he wants. Then there’s the 9 year long relationship between Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union). Jeremy is more the non-committer, who is happy where he is in life; whereas, Kristen wants more from him, she wants marriage to be an option, so she decides to adopt ideas from the book in order to try and change her boyfriend’s perceptions in life. Kristen and Jeremy

Thirdly, probably my favourite of all of the guys, the “Dreamer” Dominic (Michael Ealy), who aspires to want more out of life but hasn’t quite got there yet. Dominic falls for the woman who wants a man with money and a fancy car, this being Lauren (Taraji P. Henson). It’s the woman here that seems to be the one who is less interested in the relationship as even though she likes Dominic’s personality, she finds herself not wanting to be with him as he doesn’t earn more money than she does. Finally, there’s the “mama’s boy” Michael (Terrence Jenkins), who becomes involved with single mother Candace (Regina Hall). This relationship is more complicated as her six year old son is involved, but she just wants to be put first before his mother, but he finds it difficult to do so. All characters are different, yet great in their own way. Candace and Michaek

There’s a narrator in ‘Think Like a Man’, talking to the audience. This is Kevin Hart’s character. This is cleverly done, because it gives his character more say in the movie, but also because he isn’t involved with the outcomes of the book, he talks to the audience from the outside, looking into the relationships of Zeke, Jeremy, Michael and Dominic. The narrator is important to the film as it joins all the relationships together, for example when he explains one relationship going wrong due to the new release of this book, Cedric pulls together how it happens to the others as well.

There is swearing and references to sex in the film, so probably not appropriate for younger ages. Additionally, they probably wouldn’t understand the references to the jokes or the plot line much anyway; it is not a complicated plot line, not at all, it’s just because it’s following adult life. The film is probably most suitable for teens. It is rated a 12, so isn’t too inappropriate as other romcoms.

I think it is a brilliant romcom, it has a classic cute ending, also is funny and just has a feel-good mood to it. Overall, I enjoyed the film and loved the ending a lot, the plot is really good and the characters are loveable. So I would recommend the film. To get insight on the man’s brain watch ‘Think Like a Man’, however, I’m not sure how relatable it really is.

Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

As I finally finished ‘Gossip Girl’ today, I thought I’d write a review on it. A couple of years behind, I know, but I prefer to watch programmes after they’ve finished so I don’t have to wait for the next episode. I’m not so good with suspense and waiting, I tend to get impatient. But six series later and it’s finally finished and I have to say it is such a good show. Even though, I had two massive breaks in between watching them all, I was hooked in each three times. I believe there has to be some breaks, otherwise it just takes over your life. It’s a very addictive show.

So what is ‘Gossip Girl’ even about? Set in New York City, and filmed there too, the show follows the lives of the Upper East Side; the rich, popular, have everything want everything kind. Gossip Girl in the show is an internet website posting about the main characters lives, all their truths and secrets, everything is exposed; and to say the least, the programme always has something going on. There is a focus on fashion and art because the world that is based upon is full of money; fashion is definitely key to the characters and to express their personalities. So the main characters? Firstly, there’s the blonde star of the show, Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively). Then her best friend, well sometimes best friend, they go through a lot in the show, is the mean “Queen B” Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester).Serena and BlairThere’s of course the bad boy, who throughout the film strangely becomes the dark horse for the audience to start to love, no matter how unbelievable at the beginning, this is Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick). Then there’s the guy that all the girls want to be with, the rich boy trying to find his own way in life, Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford). Lastly, there’s the character that doesn’t quite fit in, the one who tries all he can, but doesn’t ever seem to get there as he’s not from the Upper East Side, he has his ups and downs, but realistically he is always known as the “Brooklyn Lonely Boy”, this is Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley).

Nate, Chuck and Dan

All of the characters interlink with each other, and are confronted in one way or another.

There are also some reoccurring characters that also become key to the plot in different series. One of these is Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg), someone that can’t be trusted, the master of scheming is probably best for her character personality. Additionally, there are the parents, most significantly Dan’s father, Rufus (Matthew Settle), and Serena’s mother, Lily (Kelly Rutherford). Both having their own significant stories. In Blair’s life there is Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski), her maid, who I believe is a great character, even if she isn’t one of the main protagonists. Also, Dan’s sister, Jenny (Taylor Momsen), Serena’s brother Eric (Connor Paolo) and Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr) are all key characters in certain series. There are obviously many more characters, but somehow it doesn’t become confusing to who is who, especially that most characters are stuck to their plot line in their series; so as a new character comes in, one leaves. All of them have their own plot lines and something big happens to all, so you can understand how many things are going on at once. I love most of the characters, I think they’re all great in their own way, they’re scheming and funny, and they make the show so great. Moreover, they’re all so different, so there is a character for everyone to love.

To say the shows contains scandals and lots of drama would be an understatement. Seriously, I’ve never watched a show with so much drama in it, and that’s saying something because I’ve watched a lot of TV series. A great thing about the show as well is that it also has the shock factor, things you wouldn’t expect to happen. The characters all have their secrets and the audience is not always known to what they are; especially to who Gossip Girl is, which isn’t released until the final episode. But because of all these secrets and how the show is created, you become attached to the characters, more so than you would in a film, and sometimes you love them, next minute you hate them, then you love them again. You just never know who can be trusted and what the character’s real agendas are. This is what makes the TV programme so addictive, you just want to know everything that has happened or how things are going to spin out. Even though some plots are best kept in their series, some are continuous throughout the show. This is clever in making not just one series addictive but all of them. For example, the relationship between Blair and Chuck, this is definitely something that audiences have been hooked on and wandering if anything would happen, and I’m not spoiling anything, so I’ll leave it there.

I would probably say that this is not a show for young children, and is probably aimed at teenagers and young adults. A lot of the scandals are revolved around sex, and there is the occasional swearing.

If you’re wanting a show full of drama and scandals, yet characters to love, then ‘Gossip Girl’ would be at the top of your list. I highly recommend it. But then again, it probably is for certain people. But nevertheless I would still recommend. It’s a teen drama with numerous shocking scandals and stressful moments. Things happen that are good, many that are bad. ‘Gossip Girl’ is definitely an emotional TV programme, besides it is following the lives of the same five characters for six series.

Legend (2015)

2015’s ‘Legend’ is based on a biography of the Kray brothers in 1960s East End, London. The film is full of violence, fraud and more violence. To put across this danger of the Kray brothers, violence is specifically used, but not as in the use of guns, which is still involved, but more aggressive, punch fights, or the use of hammers etc. There is also the sound of breaking bones and there is lot of vision of blood. It’s a tense film to say the least. It’s not a pretty film, one rather the opposite. But then again, it is a film meant to show the truth of the Kray brothers that were around in the 1960s.

In my eyes, it is Tom Hardy that makes this film so brilliant. I believe that without him, it wouldn’t have been as near as good as it was. Hardy plays both of the main characters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray. And just to prove how great of an actor he is, they are both parallel characters, yet played excellently. Reggie is more calm and collected than Ronnie, however to say he is calm is not true, I just meant more than Ronnie. Reggie is more of a think out a plan and succeed, he threatens in a subtle way, if there’s such a thing. He is the one that finds his love and even plans a marriage. Whereas, Ronnie is wanting the full gangster life, just wanting him and his brother to conquer London. Ronnie is more aggressive, he’s unstable, crazy, quite scary, and he’s schizophrenic. It’s Ronnie that adds an uncertainty to the film and makes it tenser, Ronnie does as well, as the audience are unknown to when he might lash out, but Reggie’s schizophrenia is uncalming. As Tom Hardy plays both the brothers, they have to look slightly different in order for the audience to know who is who, this is brilliantly done, and it is noticeable to which is which.

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The Kray brothers carry a tense element around London, this also is put across to the audience. The audience are uneasy around them even though they are the main characters. The violence is excellently played it seems real, when it’s obviously not. But then things aren’t fully violent, but still unsettling, for example the unknown reason to Reggie bringing a cup of tea to the police outside his house who are following and tracking him and his brother.

There is a drama aspect to the film, so it’s not all crime and thriller. This is between Reggie and Frances (Emily Browning – Violet from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by the way). It’s a relationship where Frances is hopeful at the beginning, yet things get incredibly worse, it’s definitely not a happy relationship nor a happy ending to it. Frances is a character who the audience feel sympathetic towards, that Frances hopes for the best in Reggie but that’s not always there. This relationship adds a freedom from all the crime of the gangsters in the film, but changes to a heart-breaking love. There isn’t really any moments in the film where you feel happy, but then again why would you in a gangster film?

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In ‘Legend’, there is a narrator that speaks to the audience, this is from Frances. The view from her is bias towards Reggie as she loves him, but it doesn’t change how the audience sees the Kray brothers, but yet exaggerates the drama element between Reggie and Frances making it more sad.

The rating of this film is an 18 and that is understandable and should be obeyed. For many reasons, but mainly because of the scale of the violence and also there’s unsuitable language. So definitely not appropriate for younger ages.

I would say that this is a good film, and I would recommend it if you like the gangster movies. Be warned it is a crime movie, so there is definitely an unsettling, tense feel to the film, especially that is based upon a true story. Overall, I would say that Tom Hardy makes ‘Legend’ a film to watch.

Letters To Juliet (2010)

‘Letters to Juliet’ is a classic love story, it has to be if ‘Juliet’ is in the title, right? But don’t worry, it’s not a tragic, just a simple chick-flick with a proper feel-good mood and predictable endings.

I seem to find that Amanda Seyfried plays a lot of Sophie’s, and this film isn’t any different. In ‘Letters to Juliet’, Sophie goes on a pre-wedding holiday with her fiancé, she finds a 50 year old letter hidden in one of the rocks which was meant to be written back by the Secretaries of Juliet. Instead, Sophie decides to write back then, 50 years later. What is unexpected, is when the woman she wrote back to, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), decides to come back to Verona and find her Lorenzo, bringing along her arrogant grandson, Charlie (Christopher Egan). Sophie and Claire

This film shows a lot of different types of love. An old and hopeful love, this is from Claire and her hope to find Lorenzo, no matter how long it will take her; this element is beautiful in the film. There is also the love of a grandson to his grandmother, this obviously Charlie, he is protective and worries too much, scared his grandmother will be hurt and not find her true love. Charlie is a great character, the audience experiences an arrogant English man from the beginning, but as the film proceeds, things become more clear to who he actually is; especially this understanding of his protectiveness to this grandmother. There is also the pre-married love, but the audience don’t really witness it as a love, but more complicated, this is seen through Sophie and Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), her fiancé. There is also a new love, but I’m not going to ruin the film. So to say the least, it is a romantic film.

Verona as a setting is important to the film to express the romantic aspect, as it reflects strongly to Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as that is where it is set. Even if the three main characters in it aren’t Italian, yet American or British; although Christopher Egan is actually Australian in real life. Most of the film is set in Italy, as Victor advances on his own trips visiting food places, Sophie experiences her own journey with Claire and Charlie helping Claire find her love. The film is based upon Sophie and her own experience in Italy, rather than seeing Victor. Victor is more seen as the villain of the film; I wouldn’t say that there really is a bad guy, but he’s seen as the one that the audience don’t really feel sorry for or really know anything about, other than he’s interested in his own gains and ignores Sophie, so the audience automatically becomes more attached and sympathetic towards Amanda Seyfried’s character.

Sophie and Victor

‘Letters to Juliet’ is definitely appropriate for younger ages, I would say appropriate for anyone. The characters aren’t teenagers and it’s not set in a school, so it’s not that sort of chick-flick; however I would still probably say that the audience aimed at is for teens.

One of the things I really like about this film, other than the romantic element, because I’m a sucker for romcoms; is that it’s really fast pace, on paper not much actually happens in the film, but when watching it there seems to be a lot and it’s so excellently created that it doesn’t seem boring at all, that actually it seems like a really short film, when realistically it’s about an hour and 45 minutes. It also helps that I think all the characters are great, other than the annoyance of the personality of Victor. But I find Sophie a likeable character, Charlie even more so, and Claire, the loving grandmother.

So for a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ styled, yet happy, film, ‘Letters to Juliet’ is a good choice. It is modern, because I made that sound like it was Shakespearean; if I’m being realistic except the Secretaries of Juliet and the setting, oh and the use of the balcony; there really isn’t much relevance to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at all. But anyway, I would recommend this film, if you love a good romcom like I do, this is a great film. Probably one of the most predictable films I’ve ever seen though, and that’s saying something. I haven’t mentioned this, but there is some light humour to make the film more enjoyable of course, and the use of well-known pop music, my favourite being ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift, once again another connection to ‘Romeo and Juliet’… There are small connections. Anyway, if you decide to watch this film, hope you enjoy it, I obviously do, especially that I watch it so often.

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Disney Classic number 39 is ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’; and I think a pretty good, funny Disney Classic at that. Basically, an arrogant, big-headed, self-absorbed Emperor gets a curse put on him, albeit the wrong curse, one that turns him into a llama. It sounds completely ridiculous, and it is, but it is a Disney film and it is comical.

The evil villain in this film is Yzma (Eartha Kitt), an older woman who wants the power of the empire. Her sidekick is Kronk (Patrick Warburton), someone rather stupid and childish, which adds to the comedy. When Yzma’s plan to poison the emperor and take his power fails, after Kronk accidentally chooses the wrong potion, Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) is turned into a llama. LlamaWhen told to get rid of the now llama Emperor, Kronk loses him on the cart of a kind family man peasant, Pacha (John Goodman). Most of the film then is the journey back to the palace, where many things go wrong and Pacha decides to save Kuzco’s life and helps him get back home; it’s on this journey where Kuzco needs to learn new lessons about his selfish personality and how he is perceived to other people. It is a Disney film after all.

Kuzco

There is a narrator for this film, this being the Emperor Kuzco. The film is clever where it starts the narration from the middle of the film, where Kuzco is already a llama, then tells the story of how he got there; this makes the film more intriguing, and also something that isn’t really seen in many Disney films, which makes it different. Kuzco introduces the characters and the plot, but all from his own point of view and his very selfish biased opinion, where he paints himself as the betrayed victim, but the audience sees the reality. This is how the film exaggerates Kuzco’s personality to portray the moral of the film more predominantly; for example when Kuzco stops the film to talk to the audience to tell him that the story is about him and him only, and to ignore the story that involves Pacha. Just like all Disney films, the moral is the most important aspect of the film; this one being that you have to be nice to people in order to get things from them and live a happier life.

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‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ is definitely different from other Disney films. There isn’t any romantic story, or making you pine for the main character to get his girl. Instead, it’s more based upon a new friendship between Kuzco and Pacha, no matter how much they resist and argue. Most predominantly, there is also the element of becoming a better person by being thrown into a bad situation and noticing that nobody helps. For this reason that it is so different, I think it is a brilliant Disney film; it’s not repetitive or alike to others. I know not all Disney films are the romantic ones, but you’d be surprised how many are or at least have a thread of romantic hope in it, but ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ isn’t one; and that’s what I like about the film.

I also like the characters, there is a definite range of personalities to enjoy in this film. Personally, Pacha is my favourite, he is the kind, forgiving type, one who always tries what he can for other people; it is the character of Pacha that contrasts to Kuzco so much. The character Kuzco is also likeable, as it’s following his story, the audience learns more about him; he is quite funny as well. Then there’s the constant angry, evil old Yzma, who no one feels sorry for and she is quite predominantly labelled the villain. But remember this is a kid’s film, so this is done so they understand who to trust and not to. Then finally, the comical stupid Kronk, but what’s great about him is that he is intelligent but not in the aspects for what Yzma wants, so makes a dumb evil sidekick. They also use the devil and angel on the shoulder for Kronk, so the audience understands that he is a good character, just caught on the wrong side.

Emperor's New Groove

Of course, there is comedy in the film. Personally, I do think it is funny; however, it’s not a hold your side constant laughter film, but just moments of light humour, for example when things go ironically wrong. This makes the feel better to watch; besides it has to have some humour in it as it can’t be a complete serious film for children.

I would recommend this film, I think it is a light-hearted, moral-driven, feel-good film. Also, it’s not only a moral for children, but for adults as well, making it an enjoyable family film. Besides it Disney!

Grease (1978)

One of the most famous musicals going, ‘Grease’, and I have to say one of the best as well. If you love a musical, you have to love this one. But if you’re not a big fan of musicals, you probably wouldn’t enjoy this, there are a lot of moments when they suddenly break out into song. This film is also a comedy and a romantic film; but predominantly a musical.

It’s hard to rate this film if it is appropriate for younger ages. I watched it when I was younger, and I’m not sure if I was just naïve but I thought it was suitable; but as I got older, I realised it wasn’t. It’s like watching two different films when you’re a child and when you’re an adult. As a child I watched the film innocently, just loving the music and romance of the film. But as I grew up I saw a completely different film; one that is very rude. It is clever how they can do that, but I still found it very shocking that I watched it as a child after watching it when I was older. It is predominantly adult humour, so children probably don’t understand the humour part to it; I surely didn’t anyway. But then again, it’s still an enjoyable film, especially because of the music.

‘Grease’ begins with a summer romance between Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) and Danny (John Travolta). But when Sandy ends up staying in America, instead of heading back home to Australia, things become more complicated as they end up at the same school, Rydell High. Sandy is a hopeless romantic, innocent girl, unafraid of showing her feelings, especially the ones for Danny. Whereas, Danny is the leader of the ‘T-Birds’, the leather jacket group, the ones that don’t show nice affections to women. T-BirdsDanny acts as a different person to how he is with Sandy and how he is around his ‘gang’, this makes the audience unsure who the real Danny is; but as we watch the film, he learns what is more important and where he wants to be in life. ‘Grease’ definitely makes you attached to the characters, this is significantly done through the music, where they sing their true feelings.

The film follows Danny and Sandy as they struggle in their relationship, especially as each group clash with each other and they end up seeing more of each other; Danny hides his emotions, Sandy becomes more upset. However, the audience also becomes more acquainted with the ‘Pink Ladies’ and the ‘T-Birds’. Including Danny and Sandy, we go into detail of other characters such as, the disobedient Rizzo (Stockard Channing), the Beauty School Dropout Frenchy (Didi Conn) and the irresponsible Kenickie (Jeff Conaway). Pink Ladies

The music in ‘Grease’ is pop music. There’s a mix from joyful to slower music; all the songs represent the moods of the characters, like a musical should. I really like the songs, I think they’re great, from ‘Summer Nights’ to ‘Greased Lightning’ to ‘You’re the One that I Want’. It also helps that all the actors and actresses who have solos can sing, so there’s no cringey, avoiding to listen moments in the film. Also, don’t need to mention, but of course, it’s brilliantly acted, especially the great actor John Travolta, but all the others as well.

Another thing to keep in mind, this isn’t a modern film, it was released in 1978, so things are a bit old school. But that just makes it one of those classic films everyone has to watch, it still is a great movie that has to be one of my favourites. So I would definitely recommend this brilliant classic musical that will get you singing and laughing along. Because of course anyway, “Grease is the word”, right?

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Joe Wright’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a beautiful drama based on Jane Austen’s novel from 1813. I think it is a very close representation of the novel, and I really enjoy watching it.

First of all, it is definitely a film of particular taste. Because the film is set in the early 19th century, the language is very different, it is understandable, but obviously it sounds different to modern films to make it more believable and represent the time it is set in. Also this is particularly seen through the music, which is mostly calming piano music, but also joyful ball music; this is mostly diegetic music that is involved in the film. There are all the aspects of the film being set in the 19th century; the costume, the locations, the people; so if you prefer the modern films that you can relate to, do not choose this. However, I think it is clever and brilliantly set in this time, making it believable it was from then, even if it was actually released in 2005.

Bennet Sisters

So the plot. I assume most would have heard of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, but I’m going to give a full review on it anyway. Set in the countryside, in the big Bennet family, one of the five daughters, Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), believes all men are not for her and she’ll never find the one, also she believes she must marry for love, not wealth, nor someone pushed towards her and arranged. But things become more difficult for her when her pushy mother, Mrs Bennet (Brenda Blethyn), troubled by nerves tries to force her into a marriage to someone she doesn’t love; Mrs Bennet of course, tries to marry off all her daughters in hope to make sure they are wealthy and comfortable for when she grows older.

At the beginning of the film, it throws you straight into this idea of marriage, as a rich man arrives to town; this being Mr Bingley (Simon Woods). The hope is for him to marry one of the Bennet daughters, the most likely fall being to Jane (Rosamund Pike), the eldest; the film follows her story but mostly side-tracks to Elizabeth.

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The audience is more attached to Elizabeth’s character, this is mainly because she is so different from her sisters; she is more independent and is more assertive in her own rights, which in that time would not be the norm. Elizabeth swears all men are rude until one finally challenges her and she claims she hates him, but as the film proceeds her feelings are more lost and confused. It is very obvious what the ending is going to be and it isn’t hidden, all the advertisement for the film anyway show Elizabeth happy with her man. The film is all related round Elizabeth as we watch her struggle with this rude man. This man being Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen); a very complex character, outspoken and offensive, yet the audience see there is something he is struggling with himself, and we notice a likeness when he looks at Elizabeth, even if his words contradict what we see.

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Inconvenient and consistent crashes between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy’s lives, means they constantly see each other and we watch the romance grow. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a film full of traditional dancing balls, full of celebration, although contradictory in some where we watch Elizabeth struggle through her pain and confusion with the effect Mr Darcy can have on her. We witness their lives, become aggravated by Mr Darcy’s remarks, and adore the moments they share together. Well I do anyway, I just think this film is really beautiful. It’s not cheesy and it’s excellently played by all the actors and actresses.

‘Pride and Prejudice’ is full of depth, there is a lot going on, it can get a bit confusing knowing which characters are which and whether they are significant or not. Although, by the end of the film, all of the questions are answered and nothing is left unknown. Some people might find the film slow paced or a bit boring in some parts, it is a two hour film and it takes a lot to watch it. But I think as a film overall it is great even if it is a bit hard watching at times.

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So if you like a 19th century based romantic drama, this is for you. It is a good film even if it feels like it takes a lot of time, it builds the emotions well and creates a good drama. However remember, this film is definitely for certain people’s tastes, you’ll either love it or hate it.

The Duff (2015)

‘The Duff’ is a modernised chick-flick, a technological, dramatic, teenage humour romcom. So firstly, I would recommend it for teenagers only, as it is cheesy and cringey specifically aimed at struggles for a teenager’s life.

Alike to most school romcoms, the school is split into groups, traditional cliques, for example if you’ve seen ‘Mean Girls’, similar to that. The Jocks, the Goths, the Glee Club… Yes, it is more modern and relates to popular teenage-society media today; understandably as this film was created only last year. It’s clever that it does this, because it makes it more relatable for the targeted audience, for instance a mention of ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is relatable to me. Traditional to a school romcom film, there is also the stereotypical popular mean girl, this being Madison, who has a proper crazy bad girl demeanour. Then there’s the stupid jock who’s the captain of a school sport team and his only hope getting into college is a scholarship, but everyone loves him and all the girls want to be with him, this is Wesley. Then lastly, there’s the girl that doesn’t quite fit in and is seen as “weird”, this being our main character for “The Duff”, Bianca.

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I quite like the plot of the story, I think it is humorous, even if it is a bit overboard of cheesiness. When Wesley Rush, tells the main protagonist Bianca Piper, that she is a Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), she starts to find it more difficult to see that she’s not. It follows her story around school seeing a different light and starts to take advice from her next door neighbour Wesley, who she claims she hates. I really liked the characters and I feel that makes a massive difference for the film to be enjoyable or not. All the characters are very different, this adds different humours and makes it more enjoyable to watch also. Firstly there is the Duff Bianca (Mae Whitman), the two best friends Jess (Skyler Samuels) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos), the mean girl Madison (Bella Thorne), the captain of the football team Wesley (Robbie Amell), the crush Toby (Nick Eversman) and finally the pant-suit wearing mother Dottie Piper (Allison Janney). However, I have to say, one of my favourite characters is such a small part of the film but I think he just adds to the comedy, it has to be the teacher Mr Arthur (Ken Jeong); it is so cleverly done that such a small character to the plot can add to the comedy and say some of the funniest things to be remembered afterwards.

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The film follows Bianca’s life. The film jumps into her thoughts when she is happy or excited, but the audience is unaware to when it jumps then snaps back to reality. Also fake fireworks shoot into the air around her when she’s happy, it doesn’t happen in the actual school, but shows the audience what happens in Bianca’s head, also the use of dramatic music; this over-exaggerated feelings though just adds to the cheesiness and the comedy altogether.

I think the relationships between characters is something to love as well. The main relationships that the audience experience in this film is a breakdown of best friends, however, this is made comical. Then also the relationship between Bianca and Wesley when they give each other advice; the audience will experience that this relationship is more difficult and complicated; I personally think this relationship just makes the film better; maybe something to adore, or cringe over, or be annoyed at, as the film proceeds.

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There is the constant use of swear words and rude sayings, this is supposedly to add to the teenage humour though. Because of this it is not appropriate for younger ages and they probably wouldn’t be able to relate to or understand the comedy anyway as it is definitely teenage based. So I would definitely say that ‘The Duff’ has a specific audience for teens.

So if you like the sound of this film, ‘The Duff’, I would definitely recommend it, I think it is really funny. There are aspects that are relatable, and it’s a feel-good film. Just a good, modern chick-flick. It is slightly cringey though, but hey, that adds to the humour; if that’s your sort of humour.

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

‘The Midnight Meat Train’. Well, I’m not sure what I can say about this film. It is sure different. A horror film? Yes. An excellent one? I’m not so sure.

First thing to comment is that this film is definitely inappropriate for younger ages. It is an 18, for many, many reasons, and understandably, so this should be obeyed.

Now, I will explain what the film is about. Set in down in the Subway in the middle of the night. A butcher waits for the last train then murders his prey, so to say. The characters are quite stressful, especially the main protagonist, Leon (Bradley Cooper), a photographer, who chooses to take pictures of the dangerous times at night. Things start to go downhill when Leon decides to follow the Subway Butcher (Vinnie Jones). Personally, I wouldn’t say that it is the best plot ever.

Firstly, I’ll state the good things I thought of the film. To begin with, the camera angles are brilliant in creating the horror sense of the film. There is a lot of use of high angle cameras so things are restricted and the audience is limited to see where the killer is or what is happening in the broader scope of the film. Although, this does jump around. Sometimes during the film the audience knows more than the characters on screen. For example, when the audiences knows that Leon is following the killer, but Leon doesn’t know who this man is. There were definitely moments where I screamed at the TV to get the characters to turn around, and yes I know they can’t hear me. This switching from restricted to knowing more, definitely adds to the horror element.

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Secondly, it is a gory based film. There are lots of gross scenes, splatting of blood, breaking of bones, pulling out of eyeballs; so if you prefer the gorier types of horror films, this is definitely one. It definitely creeped me out to extremes with the amount of blood splatting. It is a graphic film with a high amount of deaths. This is obviously key for gory horrors, so I suppose that is good.

Another good element of that it was a horror film is that the butcher is brilliantly played. It is a killer who doesn’t speak, it adds a suspicious, uncomfortable feel to the film. However, I think this leads onto the not so good things about this film. I found that there aren’t really any characters to feel connected to. There is a focus into Leon and his girlfriend, Maya (Leslie Bibb), but there is also confusion for the audience and a lot of disbelief in what is true or not in the relationship. This confusion might add to the horror of the film, but I found it more confusing in what was happening and why it was happening rather than making it a good horror film.

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Additionally, looking at the name of the film, ‘The Midnight Meat Train’. It’s not exactly the best name for a film. It’s accurate for the plot of the film, definitely, but to my opinion I don’t think it’s a film to grab people’s attention, or scream that it is a horror film either.

A concept that needs to be addressed is the ending of the film. I thought the film was going to go a certain way which would have been a good horror ending, but instead it turned out to be something much more unrealistic. The ending just got weird, unbelievable, it took away the effect of the horror of the film. The ending made the film seem worse, even if the aspects I’ve named above where good in turning the film into a horror, but I thought the ending just undermined it all.

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‘The Midnight Meat Train’ left me more confused and oddly disgusted by the film rather than scared. I wouldn’t recommend the film, I was a bit let down by the ending of the film. There are no big reveals or mysteries and it definitely isn’t a psychological horror. It is a film that is supposed to purely scare you in the moment and leave you feeling frightened and unnerved and I feel it didn’t do that at all. But it succeeded in the gory aspect, 100%. I’ve stated the good and bad of this film and take what you want from it. Even though, there are some good aspects of making the film a horror movie, doesn’t mean it is a good film. In my opinion, aspects were just a bit too horrible or unnecessary to make it one of those excellent films to re-watch.