That Terrible Jazz (2014)

This unique and stylistic short film throws you straight into the past; most defined by the fact that it has been shot in black and white. Watching the whole 16 minutes in black and white changes the effect of the film to make it intriguing and delving the audience into a past and the mystery of the missing saxophone player. The black and white effect to the film is also excellently harmonised with the costume and props in order to create this past so different to modern day. From the suits, to everyone smoking in every scene, to the telephones, down to all details.

Sam Sellers (Ephraim Davis) is a private investigator. He is hired by bar owner, Nicky (Timothy J. Cox), in order to discover what happened to Wynn DuMont (Gyasi Howard). Meanwhile, the rest of the Jazz band have no idea what happened to him. Sam goes on his investigation trying to solve what happened, while the audience secretly know more about the characters than he does, yet we’re not entirely sure what we know. On his route, we meet Jimmy Calder (David A. Rodriguez) and Bethany (Ellay Watson); both of them we feel are hiding something from Sam. The audience is caught into the mystery, unknown to what has happened to Wynn. So the movie stays intriguing until the very end. And still then, there are some things we are unsure of.

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The audience is also kept away from personal information of all the characters; we don’t actually find out much about any of them, although it’s not needed. We just know what we need to know and that keeps the film close to the plot and doesn’t stray. However, saying this, there are some moments where it seems the camera is suggesting things the audience might need to know about the main protagonist, Sam. There is a focus on particular things drawing the audience’s attention to it, for example the notebook or the empty glass.

Among all this, there is tense music which is instrumental and works well with not only the style of the film but the plot. Also the title cleverly comes from the main protagonist’s own comment at the very end of the film.

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This director is very clever in creating an intriguing short film, where the audience is captivated into what happened to Wynn. Even if they’re previously suggested to what has already happened, we cannot be sure of anything until the end. So I would recommend delving into a mysterious past and discovering what happened to the poor saxophone player.

Socks and Cakes (2010)

This 2010 short film was directed and written by Antonio Padovan. At a dinner party, the audience gets to meet five characters, all very different may I add. A married couple, Richard (Jeff Moffitt) and Amanda (Kirsty Meares); the main protagonist, a man who came alone, Harry Mogulevsky (Timothy J. Cox); and finally a new couple, David (Ben Prayz) and Sophie (Alex Vincent). The film is only just over 12 minutes, but a lot is cleverly said within this small amount of time, that’s why it is a short film worth watching. A lot of revealed about the characters within 12 minutes.

I love the different style of camera work in this film, I feel it gives a different edge to others I have previously seen. I especially liked the use of an intradiegetic narrator; this being Harry. I was watching the film and felt like he may have looked into the camera for a second, but with my Hollywood head on I thought it couldn’t have been, but then when he spoke to the audience directly, walking towards the camera looking at us only, I loved the difference and change. It’s not a film similar to those in Hollywood and I didn’t think it would be, but with most people now-a-days flooded by blockbusters and big cinematic film releases, it’s refreshing to see something different. I also liked the use of long takes within scenes, even though it is a short film and obviously the long takes wouldn’t be as long in a longer film, but it still made a difference to watch you were watching and worked well with the style of the film. The camera was very still and there were few cuts, which meant that the audience could focus on what they wanted to; and I felt that some of the cuts were more focussing on time change, which is clever.

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I felt that the film was supposed to be something that is relatable for the audience, a realistic film for them to watch. The witnessing of many different relationships crashing, most predominantly a marriage. The film was definitely heavily based upon relationships, a new relationship, an old one, a past one, or one where the other person doesn’t turn up… Truly experiencing all kinds of situations.

The title is one that is intriguing, yet clever once you’ve seen the film, as it focuses on conversations between the married couple with other people. Additionally, I liked the music that was used as it went well with the film; the music was like classic dinner party music. The dinner party itself, I felt made the audience feel like something was missing before you actually knew what it was. It was patchy in a good way, to give an illusion to the audience something else was happening.

I would recommend this short film, as it was very creative and something rather different stylistically to the common films many watch today. There were fades in between scenes to portray time has passed, lighting changed compared to situations of the house, and there was a very abrupt ending something the audience might be shocked by, or perhaps unknown to what will happen next but never know. It surely is a dinner party where every secret is exploded out, so I would recommend a watch to experience what happens.

The Mummy Returns (2001)

In 2001, Stephen Sommers came back with this sequel of the classic ‘The Mummy’, an equally as good second film, ‘The Mummy Returns’. As the title says, the mummy returns… However, this time he’s not brought back accidentally by our heroes, instead he’s brought back for very specific reasons and by the bad guys of the film, the leader being Anck-Su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez) reincarnated.

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It’s nine years later extending from the first film, and it’s the Year of the Scorpion; the plot of the film. Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) are married with an eight year old son, Alex (Freddie Boath). And thankfully, Jonathan (John Hannah) is also back, living with them, therefore getting caught in the action and joining the plot as well. All the characters are as great as the first film, all of them familiar for the audience to love. Jonathan is hilarious once again, his obsession and distraction to everything gold is familiar and comical for the audience, and also his absence of bravery is brilliant too. The romance between Rick and Evelyn is of course new to ‘The Mummy’ series, although should be loved by the audience, it truly is adorable! Alex is a great new addition to the film. He is a bright boy who is interested in the Egyptian past as much as his mother; but also is brave like his father. A perfect combination to create a believable son of the two main protagonists for the audience. He is also very cheeky, so he adds to the humour of the film. Even though, it’s not a comedy, but there are comedic moments like the first. Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) is also back as a protector of man again; he of course follows the family to try and stop the terror the Mummy plans to bring on the world. There are also some new characters for the audience to enjoy. Dwayne Johnson appears as the Scorpion King, even if hilariously animated at the end of the film, but remember it was done in 2001. Also introducing Izzy (Shaun Parkes), another comical addition for the audience to laugh with. Additionally, there’s a character for the audience to hate, especially at his constant want to kill poor little Alex, this is Lock-Nah (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), one of the bad guys.

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Things start to go epically wrong when the Mummy is brought back to life; the gang try to stop him from raising the Army of Anubis to end the world… Of course. The end of the world excuse. But I don’t care, he’s a Mummy, of course he wants to end the world! There are some similarities to the first film, which is a nice familiarity for the audience. However, not too many to make the films repetitive, it’s done in a perfect way between the two films. A difference to the first film, is that ‘The Mummy Returns’ tends to delve more into lives of Rick and Evelyn. Most significantly, Evelyn’s Egyptian past life. We witness many visions of Evelyn’s past going back to Ancient Egypt. The props, sets, costumes and make-up are really great during these visions to make her dreams come to life for the audience. We also discover more about the past of the Mummy and his love for Anck-Su-Namun, which obviously connects to the first film. But this significantly creates a human emotion for the audience to recognise in the Mummy; especially at the end where the audience almost seems sympathetic towards him. I really like this new addition to the Mummy.

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Alike to the first film, ‘The Mummy Returns’ is packed full of action. There isn’t a boring moment in the film, lots of gun, sword and fist fights for the audience to watch. Alike again, there are some jump scares, which I realised where skipped out when played on TV in the early evening; some parts are a bit too scary for younger ages. There is also a variety of tense scenes, or just full on action, but also some emotional scenes.

I would definitely recommend watching this action-packed mummy film. Preferably watch it after you’ve watched the first, I feel it’s needed for the love of the characters to grow; but it doesn’t make a huge difference. This really is a great film to escape into, so join the fight against the Mummy; again…

Sausage Party (2016)

I remember when this film came out for trailers. People started watching thinking it was a children’s animated film, just like many others. But this time one with talking food and their perception of humans. Until you actually watch the trailer and get to that one part where you realise this isn’t a kid’s film at all. I repeat, this is NOT a children’s film! It’s definitely an animated film about talking food, yes, but one for older ages, 100%.

Ok so firstly, this is a 15, and for very good reason! I can’t begin to explain how understandable this is… Also I thought I would mention that, it is not appropriate for those who: a) don’t like too much swearing – it swears non-stop, even sings swear words… b) don’t like sexual innuendos – I don’t even know if they were innuendos or just straight out strong sexual references, even beyond that… and finally c) don’t like watching things that could be taken quite offensively – this is also a bit of an understatement. Put simply, this film is of a required humour.

I have to admit, some parts of the film, yeah were hilarious, my favourite having to be ‘I Would Do Anything For Love’ song coming on and then an actual meatloaf appearing to sing it. Although parts during that song… Umm, words can’t explain how weird they were. I just thought the singing meatloaf was funny to be honest. And some parts were so stupid they were funny, or perhaps I was so confused by what I was actually watching that laughter was the only choice… But I have to say, I was stunned in some parts that they even went to those areas… I actually had my mouth hanging open in disbelief in the cinema.

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Focussing on the trailer, I have a few things to say. Yes from the trailer you know it’s a comedy and yes from the trailer you know it’s a film for adults mainly based on the whole load of swearing. But one thing that the trailer did not portray was how rude it actually was! Also, I found the trailer more focussed on when the food were at a human house, whereas the actual film was mostly based in the shop itself. Although, you can’t have a trailer telling you everything, that would spoil it so I understand why this was done.

Anyway, so what is the film actually about? At Shopwells, food has a fantasy that they want to be chosen by the Gods and be taken outside into the greater world beyond, yet they don’t know the truth that they are being taken to be eaten and as they call it “murdered”. When one finds out they try desperately to tell the others, this being Barry (voiced by Michael Cera). Meanwhile, back at the shop, some of the food accidentally gets taken to the wrong side of the shop and there’s a mishap where they fall out of the trolley being separated from their friends and their God who chose them. This being a sausage and bun who are in love, and a bagel and a tortilla I think, they never actually say what food he is… These then try to make it across the store to make it back to their own aisle, while on the way meeting up with a taco, Teresa (Salma Hayek – possibly recognisable from ‘Grown Ups’) and being chased by something angry, I really don’t want to say what… Anyway, the sausage, Frank (Seth Rogan), believes that the outer world might be something else so he tries to discover the truth behind it all, whereas the others, don’t want to believe anything he says, especially his love, Brenda (Kristen Wiig). It is a creative storyline, can’t say I’ve watched a film like this one before. At all. I did like how they jumped from how the food saw things and then how the humans did. It was predominantly from the foods eyes obviously, but had occasional jumps to what the human’s saw which cleverly adjusted the lighting and saw food as we see food. To say the least, I’ll never look at food the same…

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Overall, I have to say this was the weirdest film I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life. It was quite bizarre, but I have to admit some parts were funny. I just strongly advise that you have the right humour for this film, then you’d perhaps love the craziness and absurdity of ‘Sausage Party’.

The Mummy (1999)

If you’re looking for a realistic, relatable film to watch, turn away from this one with a big no. However, if you’re looking for a film to throw you into some hectic action where Mummies are brought back to life and many die, then you’ve found yourself a perfect choice with this film. This really is a great action film to escape in.

The plot is very simplistic, not in a bad way though. But it’s not one to throw you about or get you confused. It isn’t complicated at all. It’s very easy to understand what is happening, and to kind of predict what will happen. But it’s an action movie, so it’s ok. Librarian Evelyn (Rachel Weisz) takes it upon herself to try and find the hidden city of Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Her brother Jonathan (John Hannah) tags along for the hope of finding some gold. And one other person is needed, a man who has made it to the City of Dead and came back alive… Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser). Small problem, he’s in prison… Finding a way round this, they make their way to the secret city. Once they arrive the curse is stubbornly read aloud, the Book of the Dead is found, and a mummy (who wants to bring death to the world) is accidentally revived. Apparently nothing bad can happen from reading a book… Things start to get a bit hectic as the mummy is set loose on Egypt and more things start to go wrong. Like I said a simple, yet action-filled, plot.

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Some people might find ‘The Mummy’ quite scary and jumpy. It is a 15 for a reason. I’ve also noticed from it being shown on TV in the early evening some scenes are cut out, I think the reason for this would be that it is a 15. I mean quite a few people get eaten alive by bugs… Don’t get me wrong you don’t actually see most of it, you occasionally see the bug inside someone where a lump of skin is crawling inside them… But I wouldn’t say this is a gory film, it isn’t a horror. The use of shadows or lighting (mostly the lack of), and sometimes the focus on other people’s faces gives the audience the drift of what is happening. Most predominantly this film is action. It is action-packed, right from the beginning. There are a lot of gun-fighting scenes, this being most of the film… But there are also fires and explosions, some sword fights. But like I said, mostly guns. A lot of action in many scenes; many where a lot is happening for the audience to enjoy watching.

‘The Mummy’ is quite a long film, lasting over two hours; however everything is necessary in it, and there isn’t a boring scenes! Additionally, keep in mind that this film was made in 1999, so the special effects are not as great as they would be now. However, I don’t think this distracts the audience from the action of the film and still makes it great. The music is very clever and great for the audience as well. Most significantly the use of music with no lyrics, which fits in well with the type of movie it is.

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The actors are of course amazing in this film. This makes the film so much more enjoyable. Brendan Fraser plays a masculine fighter, who truly is a character for the audience to love. Rachel Weisz plays the intelligent and enthusiastic Evelyn, who the audience will also love. But my favourite, is John Hannah playing Jonathan, even though it is a close first place. But Jonathan brings comedy to the film, his comments are executed brilliantly to make him a comical character for the audience to really appreciate. Well I do anyway.

Well overall, I would definitely recommend this classic action film. And if you liked this film, I would highly recommend the sequel to this film, my favourite, ‘The Mummy Returns’. But first join O’Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan in saving the world in what they accidentally unleashed on it.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-)

At the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn, there is a team of detectives. And they are truly great, all so different, yet all hilariously brilliantly created. I’m writing this review based upon the first series as I don’t want to ruin or spoil too much, so I apologise if the characters and information is different in the future, but I really hope it isn’t. Firstly, the two superior leaders of the team, Captain and Sergeant. Introducing Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher), from the first episode he is a new addition to the Precinct. His character is played excellently with an emotionless face making it hilariously difficult for the rest of the team to read his mood. Next is the Sergeant, Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews), a new father trying to ease back into being a police officer and the action of the job. Terry Crews is always brilliant, personally knowing he’s the one who adores ‘A Thousand Miles’ in ‘White Chicks’ makes my day; yet he is equally great in this programme. Obsessed with staying muscular, there are many scenes of him working out whenever he can or perhaps eating 10 thousand calories every day…

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Here comes the detectives. What I love about this programme, is that even though it definitely seems like things are more revolved around Jake Peralta in advertising, things actually aren’t in the programme, all the characters get enough depth and screen-time so the audience can love all of them. So to begin with, Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), the hilarious detective who thinks he’s the best at everything and nothing is his fault. He is played extremely well to execute this hilarious comments to the audience. Samberg’s character is loveable, yet childish and unable to grow up. Next is Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). Santiago is described in the show as very competitive as she is the only daughter with seven brothers, however we learn this pretty quickly throughout the show. She is an excellent character for the audience to love, her determination to always search for approval of her new Captain is great and continues throughout the first series. This shows how great she is played, as something as small as that is in her character and a reliable element for the audience. Also, Jake and Amy’s relationship is competitive and snarky at each other, even if perhaps predictable still enjoyable.

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Additionally, there is scary Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz). Her character is so different to all the others; she keeps her past and life very close to herself and doesn’t share much, so as small things are revealed by different people in the Precinct, the audience learns with them. She has hilarious outrages which are great for the audience to witness. Next is the best friend of Peralta, Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio); a detective who works extremely hard. But that’s not what makes him great! His close friendship and dedication to Jake is loved by the audience. Some of his comments are brilliant, and his constant obsession with the best food in Brooklyn is a reliable theme. The one who actually isn’t a detective but an assistant is Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti), but equally still a part of the team. She is excellent, I love her character. She is hilariously mean and self-obsessed, yet there are moments where in her crazy ways she does the right things and they are so clever!

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Not forgetting, Scully (Joel McKinnen Miller) and Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker). However, I feel they are a bit underappreciated in this programme, yeah they aren’t involved in many of the cases to solve, but they’re in pretty much every episode and are great in their own way! Both of them at least making me laugh at least once in every episode. If it be Scully’s obsession with food and eating, or Hitchcock’s random decisions to take his shirt off, they are both comical.

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So as you can tell, there has to be a character for everyone to love. I can’t even begin to say who my favourite character is, I find them all so hilariously brilliant and all so different it would be impossible to choose. Just like any good programme, you learn new information about the characters and all the episodes are so different, that they are all watchable and don’t become repetitive for the audience at all. I can watch them over and over again… Just an easy 20 minutes or so watch to make me laugh. The show began in 2013 and is still on-going. It is an easy watch, hilarious, enjoyable sitcom. Amongst the comedy, there are also new cases to watch the detectives solve; some of them, the audience can even try to figure out where the murder weapon went or who the murderer was. However, even if it is based in a police station, I wouldn’t say it’s scary or a thriller type of programme. Like at all!

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So if this seems to be your sort of TV programme, I would 100% recommend. You can probably tell I love it!

One Day (2011)

‘One Day’. It’s called ‘One Day’ for a reason. The film is set on the same day in a year. 15th July. From the 15th July in 1988 all the way to the 15th July in 2011. It’s really clever of the director how so much can be told, even though it’s only ever one day in a year we witness. I love how different it is, yet still makes it an enjoyable and emotional watch. To say the least, a lot happens on this particular day. It has to or it wouldn’t make a good film, but it isn’t so much that it becomes unbelievable. It’s cleverly done so we learn things that happen over the year we’ve missed in different ways.

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Want a tear-jerker film? Well this one. This one over and over again. I remember the first time I watched ‘One Day’, when it first came out in the cinema, I cried then. And I cried last night watching it… A great beautiful film, it truly is. Based on a David Nicholls book, it is of course a stunning film for the audience to get wrapped up into.

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The actors are of course brilliant in this film. The two main protagonists are Emma and Dexter. Emma played by the amazing Anne Hathaway, and Dexter played equally as good by Jim Sturgess. The film is based around these two characters, their struggles in life and their friendship going through its high ups and dramatic downs. To say the least, they are polar opposite characters. Dexter’s life starts off very hap-hazardous as he lives life spontaneously and recklessly, bouncing from girl to girl with a constant drink in hand. His life hits some hard bottoms and things bounce hectically off track. Whereas Emma plays by the rules, even though her life doesn’t head the way she wanted it to go and she takes her time getting there. Throughout she spends a big chunk of her life in a relationship she doesn’t truly believe in, but eventually becomes more determined to be the writer she has always dreamed of being. Their lives go in complete opposite directions but they try to remain in contact throughout most things. We witness as they nearly get together, get different partners, and struggle as the other one copes. Their relationship really is a rollercoaster.

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This is one of my favourite films, I just love the emotion that can be put across and portray the developing and crashing relationship between Dexter and Emma. There are many things that Dexter and Emma struggle with in life, this makes the film very relatable for the audience, even if tragic. There are some emotional scenes, but also some enjoyable comical scenes. There are tense scenes and hopeful scenes. This film really does go through all the emotions. If you want a moving and stunning film to watch, then I would recommend this one over and over again. But beware it might make you cry… Just a pre-warning.