New Year’s Eve (2011)

A film of multiple story lines, of multiple characters, just like ‘Love Actually’ or ‘Valentine’s Day’ (the latter being the same director – so very similar). The main difference between ‘Love Actually’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’, being that the former is British, the latter American, so the cast is very different, yet equally as great. Such as the classic Robert De Niro or Michelle Pfeiffer, or even Katherine Heigl and Jessica Biel. Like I said, many to recognise and throw yourself into the multiple story lines.

New Years Eve - Chef

I don’t know about you, but in films such as this one, I love to see connections between the very different plot lines. To see how they all connect, or their secret lives they hide and are revealed at the end. Which character is connected to who, which place will they meet up, do the storylines interlink with others, etc. I don’t know if it’s just me, but that’s what is great about this film. There are many different interlinks to keep you gripped, also just to uncover where all the stories are going. And alike to the others like this film, every story is completely different. Overall, the whole film revolves around New Year’s Eve, in particular in New York.

New Years Eve - Mother and Daughter

Ok, so I think I should at least explain the different stories. Firstly, there’s the maternity ward competition of two pregnant women and their husbands. The story to this is the closest baby born to midnight wins $25,000, so there’s a competitive rivalry there. Then there’s the two stuck in the elevator, a girl who has got to be somewhere and a guy who hates New Year’s. Moving across the city to the offices is a woman who decides to take control of her life, finally wanting to complete her New Year’s Revolutions. In order to do this, she hires the delivery guy for the day to help her complete the list. There’s the chef’s and the organisation of the party of the year, in which a famous singer turns back to his ex-girlfriend. There’s a daughter desperate to live her own life, but a mother being a bit too protective. There’s a man stuck in traffic, in agony of whether he will go back to the woman he met last year. The first time watching this story is great, because the mystery on who the woman is is intriguing and great. There’s a sadder story, in which I guess there normally is in these films. This is a dying man in a hospital, a man who never asks for anything but the only thing he asks for he’s denied against hospital policy. And finally, the organisation of the New York Times Square ball drop, what everyone is waiting for. So many different stories, yet they all are great! There isn’t one I don’t like. This is what is so important for one of these films to be successful, every story has got to be intriguing and wanted to be watched and this is definitely there in this film.

New Years Eve - New Years Revolutions

So if you’re still unsure, maybe the stardom of this film will intrigue you. So like I said before, there’s the brilliant Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl and Jessica Biel. But there are so many more! ‘Sex And The City’s Sarah Jessica Parker. ‘Catwoman’ Halle Berry. ‘Glee’s Lea Michele and ‘High School Musical’s Zac Efron. ‘That 70’s Show’ Ashton Kutcher. Bon Jovi’s lead singer. The strict father of ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ Larry Miller and head of security in ‘The Princess Diaries’ Hector Elizondo. ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’s Jake T. Austin, ‘American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson and ‘Charmed’ Alyssa Milano. There’s also the recognisable Josh Duhamel, Hilary Swank and Abigail Breslin. Then Seth Meyers, Ludacris, Til Schweiger, Sean O’Bryan and Sofia Vergara. And so so many more! A pretty great cast to say the least! And this definitely should be a factor in why you should watch it. Because of course they’re all amazing.

New Years Eve - Elevator

If you haven’t noticed, I love this film and would definitely recommend it. The stories are great, the characters are great. There’s romance and comedy, there’s some sad parts, but overall it’s an enjoyable film. It’s also such a throwback to 2012 New Year’s, seems so long ago now!

To Be Alone (2017)

This is definitely a short film where the audience don’t know much at all. This does make it intriguing. You want to watch in hope of finding out more, but nothing is ever fully explained. This is clever in drawing in the audience. One of the main reasons for this is that there isn’t much narration, only two voicemails in which are not from the main protagonist anyway. It is very clever in the way they do this, it makes the music that more important and the acting of Timothy J. Cox to portrays all emotions that are supposed to be shown, which is well executed.

The beginning of the film portrays a repetition in life, something so simple brings in a lot for the audience to understand what this character is feeling. Then as the film progresses, the music is piercing which creates a particular mood within the audience. From the audience not entirely sure what is happening, to knowing that we’re going to find out soon, brings in a lot of suspense and tension. We are intrigued into discovering more and wanting to uncover the secrets that this man is clearly hiding. Questions are not answered in this short film, as more is uncovered, more questions are in want of being answered, but we are never entirely fully known to what has happened to this depressed man. This is also further seen that the short film is left on a cliff-hanger, leaving an unsure feeling in the audience. Due to the type of film this is, I’m guessing this is what is intended, therefore clever in drawing the audience in.

To Be Alone

Overall, as you can tell the film is intriguing in wanting to discover what has happened and what will be happening afterwards, even if you are not told anything. This is not the happiest of short films, but it is clever in the way that is done to draw in the audience and create tension. The close-ups of the camera, the misleading views, are what we are witnessing the whole story?

Thin Places (2016)

A short film that to say the least is really interesting. It’s not very long at all, only lasting just over ten minutes, however ten minutes that are so gripping for the audience, that you can’t stop watching. The audience are dragged in, absorbed, wanting to know what is happening, wanting to discover what the short film is actually about.

‘Thin Places’ does this in certain ways. These key parts to the film are extremely important. So straight away the main protagonist is talking to a camera, in what seems like an interview, but the audience doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or why he is there. Yet we have to listen, as we are taken to a visual impersonation of what he is saying. Therefore, the beginning of the film, the first couple of seconds bring you in straight away. Another thing is the graphic effects, the zooming in on faces, the blurred vision, the change in colour – it’s all very clever in creating a particular mood in the audience, everyone feels the same sitting watching it, still unsure to what is going to happen. Again, the music is key. It pierces the audience, making them think something creepy is going to happen, bringing a tension to the short film. All of this adds to the drawing in of the audience.

Thin Places

This isn’t a film of answers, yet a film of more questions. Some things are more understood, yet you’re left hanging in the end. It’s very clever in that sense. The audience are hooked in right away. It also helps that the quality is amazing, it is enjoyable to watch and the quality is appreciated in the film, with landscape and views within the plot.

Overall, it’s a very clever little short film. One to hook an audience in, and one to get the audience thinking right away, wanting to know what is happening, even if they never fully find out. I hope I’ve made you intrigued with this review, as I was intrigued while watching this film.

In Time (2011)

A film of Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, action, sci-fi, thriller. Brilliant. And what’s even better, is that it’s a film that’s very different to many others out there. Time is currency, time predicts death, time is stolen, time is given, time is the controller in their lives. Time is everything. The world is divided into time zones, time zones that are divided by the rich in time of New Greenwich and the “ghetto” as they call it, where time is stolen for people to survive, bodies dropping “timed out” constantly.

A sci-fi Robin Hood, where all Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) wants is to give time to those timing out in the poorer zones, stealing from New Greenwich where they roam around with centuries on their arms. This is where he meets Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfriend), one of those who have many years on their lives. A complicated character Sylvia seems, she’s not taken willingly but in the end has something to prove herself, she’s played great as an interesting character in the film. On the run in hoping to help the others from his time zone, they both find themselves running from the Time Keeper (Cillian Murphy) and also hiding from the stealers in the ghetto led by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer). Of course, all the actors and actresses are amazing, not forgetting Leonard from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (Johnny Galecki), playing Will’s best friend, Borel. In my opinion, the majority of Amanda Seyfried’s films are great though. Plus bring in Justin Timberlake! Need more?

In Time

The film is full of action and thrilling moments, I can’t say there is a boring moment. It kicks in straight away, bringing you into this world we know nothing about. It takes some while getting used to, and understanding everything that is happening, but soon you get to grips of everything. We bounce from time zone to time zone, which can get a bit confusing, there’s a lot of driving around. Suddenly, you’re in the richer time zone and then back in the poorer, back in the rich and then back again. It is a bit confusing how they get to many different time zones in no matter of time. But nevertheless, I don’t think this makes a difference to the film however. Just adds to the thrilling moments within the film.

I really loved this film, loved how different it was to so many other action films. I was absorbed into the film, it didn’t seem like I was watching it long at all. I love how clever a film can be in being so different to others but still contain all you want to get out of an action film. This film had it all. The intrigue, the multiple story lines, the brilliant actors, the thrilling moments, the fast-pace movements, everything. I would definitely recommend this film! Besides, Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, they make a great team. Although, they really missed out on not putting ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ by Queen in the credits…

Hairspray (2007)

One of my favourite musicals, an enjoyable song-full film! Great people, great songs, great performances, great dancers – what more is there to ask for? Great storyline? Yes. Original musical standing out from others? Definitely. Bit of comedy? That too! Even some romance! Again, I ask what more do you need. This is definitely one of the best musicals out there. Up with the likes of ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Grease’, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Chicago’.

Hairspray - Corny Collins Show

To begin with, the numerous recognisable actors and actresses has to be mentioned! First of all, John Travolta, although in a very different costume from his numerous other characters, but still amazing as ever. To say the least, there’s no Danny Zuko in this film. Then there’s Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken! Not forgetting, James Marsden (‘X-Men’, ‘27 Dresses’), Amanda Bynes (‘She’s the Man’, ‘The Duff’) and Brittany Snow (‘John Tucker Must Die’, ‘Pitch Perfect’). And of course High School Musical’s Zac Efron! Then introducing the perfectly selected Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad and Elijah Kelley as Seaweed. All actors play their parts brilliantly, all perfectly selected for their roles. Also helps that they all can sing and dance great as well!

As it is a musical, there are of course numerous songs within the film. Like I’ve already said, all of the songs are great. I don’t think there is a song that I don’t like in this musical, they all are enjoyable, especially the ones where they really put a show on with the performances and dancing. It’s definitely not a disappointment in that aspect, in any aspect, but happily this musical stands out as a musical. Oh and I cannot forget to mention the power Nikki Blonsky puts into her songs, the deep attitude definitely is noticed and appreciated amongst the songs.

Hairspray - Tracy and Edna

So I guess I should quickly go over the plot if you’ve never seen the film. Set in 1962 Baltimore, revolving around Corny Collins television show are apparently “the nicest kids in town”, when Tracy makes her dream to get on the show, she struggles as Velma Von Tussle and her daughter Amber ridicule at her weight. Nevertheless, she is persistent in participating in the Miss Teenage Hairspray pageant. As it’s set in America’s 1960s, segregation between black and white people is throughout the film, the film is a celebration of integration and the struggle of bringing it to, but eventually seeing all as equal as it should have always been.

So as you can probably guess, I love this film! It’s a great feel-good film, a film to get you singing and dancing along. To say the least, I know all the songs, I guess that makes it more enjoyable. But if you’ve never seen the film and like musicals, because I appreciate they are of certain taste, then I encourage for you to watch this one! You won’t regret it. There’s comedy, there’s romance, there’s quick-pace moments and there’s moving moments. Everyone is great and played perfectly, it’s a really great film to escape into for an hour or so.

Hairspray - Link and Amber

Anyway, “you can’t stop the beat!”

Brave (2012)

‘Brave’ is a really good animation in my opinion, one very different to others, one where the main protagonist is at fault for what happens. However saying this, I do find that there are heart-breaking moments in this film. It is a kids film, although some parts might be considered scary for young children, I know my little brother used to find it a little bit too scary – however this is highlighted that it is a PG rather than a U.

Brave 2

Anyway, so if you haven’t heard of this beautiful animation I’ll give a little plot detail. So it’s based in Scotland in the days of tribes, actors and actresses with heavy Scottish accents. And the princess is the main protagonist, Merida (Kelly Macdonald – Evangeline from ‘Nanny McPhee’), a young girl wanting to pursue her own dreams, wanting to be her own person, therefore rebelling against her mother who demands for her to be a ‘proper’ princess. Things escalate when Queen Elinor (voiced by the brilliant Emma Thompson – in which I can’t even begin to list what she’s been in because it is just so many films!) decides Merida must choose someone to marry, out of the three eldest sons of the lords of other tribes – one lord being voiced by Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid!!), although his voice is disguised well. In a rage, Merida follows the wisps to a little cottage, a cottage in which the witch lives (voiced by Julie Walters – Mrs Weasley!). After handing her a spell to change her fate, which means changing her mother, using the spell turns her mother into a bear, not exactly what Merida intended but that’s how it goes. You’re not supposed to trust the witch, how many animations tell you that?!

Brave 1

The animation is full of comedy, but also some heart-breaking and heart-warming moments. You’ll understand if you’ve seen the film. The kids aspect of the film is the morals, the relationship between mother and daughter, a bond never to be broken. It’s a heart-warming film and of course has a beautiful end, which for some reason does bring a tear to my eye – don’t judge me, I know it’s a kids animation but it is moving! The heart-breaking moments is the dedication they put into the transformation of the mother, how she struggles to come to grips at what her daughter did. But don’t worry, there’s also comedy! The Queen as a bear is comical at times. The highlight comedy being the three little mischievous brothers of Merida, who to say the least love stealing food around the castle. Also, something to be adored is the love between King Fergus (Billy Connolly – again great) and Queen Elinor, even if the King is defined as the “bear king”.

Brave 3

Overall, I would definitely recommend this animation! It’s a brilliant film, actually differing in many ways to others. Plus as I’ve already stated the voices are of course amazing, so many recognisable. Obviously, the animation is done well and looks amazing as well! It’s a great family film, not just for children. But like I’ve already previously said, it can be a bit too scary for some younger ages. Regardless, it’s a funny and heart-warming film! I hope I’ve made you a little intrigued. An animation of many to learn lessons when the Queen is turned into a bear.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

1947, Andy Dufresne comes to Shawshank Prison. While Red was serving 20 years of his life sentence. Yes, this is a prison film, I would be very surprised if you didn’t already know that as IMDb regards this film as number one, top film out there. It definitely is a classic high in memories of many. So if you haven’t seen it, you definitely should get onto it.

So Morgan Freeman plays Red, the con-man of the prison, the one who knows how to get things. Red is a brilliant character, we are delved so much into his character and personality, that the audience is invested in everything he says and does. Especially that he is the narrator of the film, telling us his story, but his story of Andy Dufresne. Andy’s harsh life in prison, but Andy wasn’t like everyone else in the prison – he declares he’s innocent. He was something different and that’s why this film is about him. Andy is played by Tim Robbins, extremely well. Everyone is played amazingly well, the story and characters are definitely top standard, but that’s of course expected, but at least it’s true as well.

Shawshank Redemption 2

Ok, so not a film for younger ages. There are some horrible scenes in this film, ok no there’s loads. But it’s supposed to be a hard-hitting drama of the lives of those in prison. It’s also quite an emotional film, a film full of emotions, I will admit it makes me cry every time. But amongst the horror of what’s happening it makes the smaller happier parts in the movie so much more significant and rewarding for the audience. To say you feel all the emotions of this film would be an understatement, it is perfectly executed and emotions are not hidden.

A lot of time passes in this film, but what is great is that they do the passing of age so well. It is believable in every aspect. Because of this big timespan, the film is rather long, about two hours and twenty minutes. However, there isn’t a single boring moment. So much happens in this film, so much, and again it just adds to that emotion of the audience and the character building.

One of the top films out there according to IMDb and I can’t fault the film so I guess that could be true. Yes the film is harsh, it is not a happy warm film, there are moments of nasty hard happenings. But it’s all part of the drama that it is. I would recommend the film. It is a drama standing out from others.

Sister Act (1992)

This is one of those films you have to say you’ve seen at least once, a film that’s well-known that everyone has heard of. But the question is: do people actually know what it’s about? Yes, I’ve heard of it, and yes I watched it recently for the first time knowing I should have watched it way before this. But I was so wrong at what the actual plot was. So if you’re not aware: when our main protagonist, Deloris (played by the brilliant Whoopi Goldberg), witnesses a murder committed by her boyfriend, the police have to put her in the one place he would never find her. And that is St Catherine’s convent. Deloris now Sister Mary Clarence, to say the least, finds it extremely difficult to fit in in this completely different place from her old loved life.

Sister Act - 2

So of course Whoopi Goldberg carries this film, she is the star of the show, carrying the narration and the comedy. And you don’t need me to say she plays the part well, because of course she does, it’s Whoopi Goldberg! The comedy of this film isn’t as much as laugh out loud, holding your belly, but there are some great moments that do make you chuckle. Mostly the film is a nice heart-warming film. The development of a strong-willed singer to a woman hiding as a nun in a convent, a change not that easy. Amongst her hiding and the comedy of her trying to fit in, is the crime of the film. Now, it is not scary crime at all! They make it more comical, especially at the end and the difficulties the two sidekicks of Vince (Harvey Keitel) have with Deloris dressed as a nun and their command to “waste her”. So as IMDb suggests this is a good family film, not scary in the slightest, and a rather enjoyable comical film.

Additionally, you can never forget that the brilliant Dame Maggie Smith is in this film! She is obviously amazing in her role as Mother Superior, struggling to accept someone so controversial to what she believes in. Maggie Smith always plays her characters to the greatest extent and this film is no different. You have to love Maggie Smith anyway! Professor McGonagall in ‘Harry Potter’, in ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang’ and so much more!

Sister Act - 1

‘Sister Act’ does have an element of music to enjoy in this film as well. It’s not a musical, but with Deloris loving her singing, her talents move towards the church’s choir. There are many songs that are enjoyable, starting the film with the classic ‘My Guy’. There are many performances to enjoy within the film, this just adds another element of the film to appreciate.

Overall, yeah I would recommend this film! It’s a nice easy-watch film, with funny moments and enjoyable songs. Whoopi Goldbery and Maggie Smith, I say again. You should at least watch it once, watch Deloris struggle to hide herself when she’s a star witness.

Final Girl (2015)

So when trying to find a different film to watch, a flatmate and I came across this one. I have to admit the trailer looked good, sold on watching this film, but then sadly it didn’t really work. Feel a bit deflated after watching it to be honest.

The whole concept of the film, the plot and storyline was original and sounded great, sadly execution wasn’t there. It could have worked and could have been great, but something just didn’t work about it. Firstly, here’s a quick plot line. Veronica (played by Abigail Breslin – ‘Scream Queens’, ‘New Year’s Eve’, ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, ‘Definitely, Maybe’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ – she’s in a lot) is a trained, well we’re not entirely sure why or what for, but trained for some program to kill some murderers. From the beginning we find out she’s orphaned and incredibly smart, but other than that, her life is a mystery to all. Anyway, she’s sent on this mission to kill four males, Jameson (Alexander Ludwig – from ‘The Hunger Games’) the brains behind the murders, Shane (Cameron Bright – Alec from ‘Twilight’), Danny (Logan Huffman) and Nelson (Reece Thompson). These males like to take adolescent girls into the woods and hunt them down. So there’s the creepy murderers, the trained, almost assassin in a way, and a plot line ready to be picked and played out on screen. Yet it still didn’t work.

Final Girl 1

Ok, so the beginning was rather slow, the film went into the training in much more detail than expected. The whole trailer only really being the end of the film, so you end up waiting for something which happens very close to the end, and that it doesn’t happen in the speed or thrilling suspense as the trailer upholds. Additionally, the film was a bit heavy on the romance element for some reason, I understand why some parts where there, but overall it was too much and affected the thrilling edge, taking away action and replacing an element that was unnecessary. Also, what was with the lighting? This film is definitely a fan of the harsh lighting and sort of spotlight moments, it all made it a bit unreal and you’re never transported to another film world.

The film had more of a psychological edge to it that the trailer doesn’t perceive. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but when you’re waiting to discover the deepest darkest fears of these psychotic murderers and one turns out to be panda men, it becomes a bit comical. There was no character building, which meant reasons behind things didn’t make much sense. There were moments that would have been perfect in finding out these backstories, but sadly they never came.

Final Girl 2

Saying all this though, it’s definitely not the worst film I’ve ever seen. Abigail Breslin played her character well, very realistic and I did find myself routing for her when the plot finally kicked in. Also Alexander Ludwig played the creepy leader of the psychopaths well, his whole manner and personality was on point. The other three were also played well, they were all pretty creepy. Danny being very over the top but worked with his character. Shane needed more story too because I felt there was a lot to his character that just wasn’t portrayed enough. And Nelson held that uncomfortable silence and you just know he’s not the character to trust in a film. I just wished there was a bit more of a story to him. Additionally, like I’ve already said, the plot was great, it could have been amazing… Overall, I wouldn’t say I would watch it again, but not so awful!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

What a classic! A film everyone must see as a classic amazing theatrical film. A film based on the story by Ian Fleming, and screenplay written by Roald Dahl, directed by Ken Hughes. Brilliant stars all amazing in their character. The inventor, Caractacus Potts played by the brilliant Dick Van Dyke, driving the narration and adding comedy and song, a willing to do anything father of his two children Jeremy (Adrian Hall) and Jemima (Heather Ripley). Also, the brilliant Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) and Grandpa Potts (Lionel Jeffries). The villain Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) and his wife Baroness (Anna Quayle), with their hilarious relationship, complicated with hate to say the least. Truly’s father, Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson Justice), with his harsh schedule to time and his love for his sweet factory. The kind and caring toymaker (Benny Hill), willing to help when no one would. And not forgetting the petrifying child catcher (Robert Helpmann), who to say the least was one of the scariest villains in childhood. All characters are amazing and bring so much to the film, all excellent in their own way and create a film never to be forgotten.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2

This film is a brilliant family film, enjoyable for all. As we follow the backstories of the characters, one day at the beach we are transported into a story, all about an evil Baron who wants the outstanding car of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is able to float and fly and be a normal car within that. There are great songs, comedy and so many memorable performances. The performances are just something that stands out by themselves. They make the film amazing. The memorable performance of the toys for the Baron’s birthday, or waiting for Lord Scrumptious to whistle on the toot sweet, or the fun dance sequence at the circus, or even the comedic sing and dance where the Baron tries to kill his wife, it’s much less serious than it sounds though, I promise. You can tell the actors and actresses are extremely skilled with perfectly executed theatrical performances amongst the film. All the songs are great as well, of course sung well! Especially the incredibly catchy theme tune of the film, you know the song! “Oh you, pretty chitty bang bang, chitty chitty bang bang we love you, and our pretty chitty bang bang loves us too, high low anywhere we go on chitty chitty we depend, bang bang chitty chitty bang bang, our fine four fendered friend”. It must be in your head now! There is of course tons of comedy, lots of different comedy to appreciate as well. There’s slapstick among the two spies sent to get the car. The eccentric commotion of the Grandpa. The cleverness of the puppet man. The whole film is fabulous!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1

As you can tell, obviously, I would recommend this film! It is a classic that is a must see! Everyone must have heard of this film and that alone stands at what a classic film it is. It’s one of those films you wouldn’t regret watching. A fun family film, an enjoyable performance film, a comedy and adventure film. If you haven’t seen it I would be surprised and you must watch it as soon as possible. It might seem a long film, but it has so much enjoyment in it that it’s never a waste of time!

Besides you have to love Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, it’s in the song!