Bird Box (2018)

I couldn’t resist not watching this film for a long time. I saw the trailer and I was intrigued, absorbed into this odd concept. To be honest, the first thing I did think was that it seems very similar to ‘A Quiet Place’, that instead of noise attracting these creatures, it’s sight. But after watching, it is quite a different concept to that. True, sight does attract the madness and the “end of the world”, however it’s not that simple, because as the watcher you never fully see what they do, it’s personalised to that human being, making them want to commit suicide. That’s the concept of this film: if you look when the wind blows and darkness comes with, you’re worst nightmare will be presented and the only option available is to die. So stay blindfolded.

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Now I can’t comment on whether it is similar to the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman, because I haven’t read it, although I’ve heard they follow well. As a film, I thought ‘Bird Box’ was brilliant! I was hooked from the beginning, absorbed into this life never being able to see, taking on a whole new perspective. The whole film has an eerie and intriguing feel to it; you are constantly asking questions, but things only become clearer slowly throughout. You have suspicions, but you’re not entirely sure, you can’t guess it all with confidence. Personally, I didn’t think it was thrilling all the way through, however it had its moments of unnerving and unsettling tension, where something could happen, but you don’t really trust everyone to know who is the untrusted. There is quite a bit of drama-related scenes, which I did enjoy because it built up the film well.

‘Bird Box’ is designed by jumping back and forth, you start in the present, as main characters run to the river and start rowing. Then you jump back five years, when the unexplained suicides first started happening, when the end of the world arrived. Then back to the river, we are unsure why they are rowing, where they are going, but it’s the survival of three, and the desperation in a post-apocalyptic world. This jumping between tenses is well done and creates that need for answers even more.

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Alike to ‘A Quiet Place’, horror is built even more because of the involvement of pregnancy and eventually children. There’s a constant worry for our main protagonist, Malorie (Sandra Bullock), as she is heavily pregnant when this first kicks off. Then the children are brilliant, they act as normal children would, confused in this new state of a world. I have to mention all the other actors too, because they were phenomenal. Sandra Bullock is fabulous, obviously. As my cousins stated, it’s like she brings some sort of comfort to the screen. John Malkovich is of course brilliant as usual, his character portrayed as pessimistic and angry at everything. Again, Trevante Rhodes was brilliant in his portrayal as the loving help in hand to one angry pregnant lady. The only issue I would say was the arrival of Tom Hollander, even though his character was unnerving yet had a sense of forgiveness, did a terrible American accent, if that was what it was supposed to be.

I was absorbed into ‘Bird Box’ from the start. Hooked into wanting to know more and find out everything. It was a great film, thrilling and mysterious, drama-filled and desperate for all characters. Give it a watch, aren’t you a little intrigued to what a bird box has to do with it anyway?

Bride Wars (2009)

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as Emma and Liv. Two brilliant actresses. I can’t say I’ve ever watched a bad film with either of them in. Admittedly, that statement probably stands stronger with Anne Hathaway because I’ve seen tons of those. But Kate Hudson as well is great. Come on ‘How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days’?! Classic! ‘Bride Wars’ is just a basic chickflick, funny and simple, predictable yet great, cheesy although fab. The actors are great, even the two grooms, Bryan Greenberg as Liv’s fiancé Nate and Chris Pratt as Emma’s, Fletcher. And finally, Candice Bergen (‘Miss Congeniality’) as Marion, the most sought out wedding planner.

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‘Bride Wars’ is a film of friendship, not going to lie to you, that’s the whole point, but it’s still great. An easy-watching chickflick. A competition between the best of friends when their wedding dates clash and they both want the perfect wedding – a wedding they’ve both been planning together at a young age. So when neither of them will change their wedding date, the pranks start against each other. They go to extremes you think they would never go, the stereotype horrors no bride wants on her wedding day. But they would do anything for their wedding day, even destroying their best friend’s.

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‘Bride Wars’ is a simple romance comedy, easy-watching and not a let-down. It’s not one I’ve seen hundreds of times, like ’10 Things I Hate About You’ or ’27 Dresses’ or even ‘Letters to Juliet’, but it’s still good and enjoyable for what it is. It’s great actresses with funny moments. It does make you laugh and shocked to their limits, but in the end, will they both get their perfect weddings?

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)

This is the second film of ‘A Christmas Prince’, where the first one was released in 2017, this one comes a year later to celebrate Christmas in Aldovia again. If you haven’t seen the first, this one will have spoilers as they do lead on from one another. As you can probably guess, the film is centred around the newly-wed couple, Amber (Rose McIver) and now King Richard (Ben Lamb). The couple are back, still adorable, when they’re actually together…

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Sadly, the second ‘A Christmas Prince’ is not as good as the first, it seems lacking in romance and instead is replaced by overdramatic acting. Also, they changed the actor of Amber’s father, which I don’t think was for the best. Although, it did make me laugh when they mentioned that he looked different, “maybe it was the goatee”. All of the other actors remained, so they were recognisable when they came onto the screen. I did like the links to the first film, such as the dislike in the “meat jelly” and the stealing of the taxis, or even the sneaking around the palace – it was nice to see those connections to the first film. The characters remained with their traits and they mentioned things from a year before as we would understand.

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‘A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding’ has been taken over by King duties and politics, while Amber’s wedding has been taken over and controlled by Royal protocol, meaning she can’t have anything she wants and she must sacrifice everything. Therefore, the romance has been lost in the politics, where the couple aren’t able to see each other. The plot was far too predictable and obvious – I know I said this is obvious for these sorts of films, but this one just didn’t work with it. It became samey and boring. Sadly, a bit flat.

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I mean it was ok. But that’s it really. Where I would watch the first film again because it was so soppy and cute, this one I’m ok just seeing the once. Give it a watch, see what you think, but it’s nothing special and has lost all the goodness from the first. The excitement of the couple definitely disintegrated.

A Christmas Prince (2017)

A Netflix Original film that was pushed to the top of my recommended list; I have finally watched it. It looked like a cheesy, romantic, chickflick that you either love or hate – and I love them! It definitely fell into this category, so if you hate these sorts of films, this one couldn’t get closer to the genre, so stay away. But if you’re like me and love a feel-good romcom, then this one is fab, especially around Christmas to get you into the festive spirit.

The star of the film is Rose McIver, which was another reason I was drawn into watching this. Those that may watch ‘iZombie’, would recognise this actress as the one and only dead-zombie murder investigator in Seattle. In ‘A Christmas Prince’ she instead plays a reporter with the opportunity to finally get her big break – to get the scoop on the scandalous Prince of Aldovia, Richard (Ben Lamb).

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I have to admit, there are a lot of familiarities in this film to others alike. Although, there are parts which are different to bring a freshness. Regardless, Amber (Rose McIver) discovers that when she meets this “playboy” Prince as the press call him, he is not what he seems at all, just like Kevin realises in ‘27 Dresses’ (one of my favourite films) that Jane isn’t what she seems. The whole essence of this film, for some reason, I think it was the look of the places, constantly reminded me of ‘The Princess Diaries’, both the first and second. Plus, the converse with dresses has to remind you of Hilary Duff in ‘A Cinderella Story’ right? Anyway, the named films are great anyway, so surely that just makes this one great too? Nevertheless, you don’t watch these sorts of films to be surprised or to watch something different – if you are, I suggest a different route. You have to watch them because they make you feel good, they have that cute soppy ending that warms your heart. They’re just nice films! ‘A Christmas Prince’ is definitely one of these.

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Saying this, there are still some different elements in this film that did surprise me. But not in a bad way, quite the opposite, parts of the film were refreshing and covered different subjects other chickflicks haven’t. I actually couldn’t predict the whole film, I thought I could, but there were parts I didn’t see coming and I didn’t expect to happen – overall, what I thought would happen did, but that’s obvious, it was just nice to see some different elements.

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‘A Christmas Prince’ tells the tale of a Prince struggling to decide whether he can fill his father’s shoes as King; and a reporter posing as Princess Emily’s (Honor Kneafsey) tutor. Princess Emily who is a fab character. ‘A Christmas Prince’ has some comical moments and some cringey moments, but an all-round feel-good movie with lots of romance. It’s not the best film I’ve ever seen, but it’s soppy and wonderful by the end anyway. Follow as Amber searches for the truth for her article around the magical snow of Aldovia and the grand palace with horses and wolves.

Hotel for Dogs (2009)

This used to be my little brother’s favourite film. When he was young, he used to watch it over and over again, obsessed with the dogs in the film and rewinding to start again. So therefore, it has been one I’ve seen a few times too, and I’m not moaning about it, because it’s great! It’s a heart-warming, nice film, nothing to say that’s wrong with it because it’s just such a lovely easy-watching film. It is more of a kids film, although I still enjoy it.

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Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin play sister and brother, Andi and Bruce; foster children in a house unloving and controlling. The film starts showing us they are understandably not happy with their new foster parents, Lois (‘Friends’ Lisa Kudrow) and Carl (Kevin Dillon), as they rebel and scam people for money. Soon we find out this is all to feed their family’s dog before they lost their parents. This dog is Friday, an adorable feisty terrier, that is mischievous and does anything for food with his great sense of smell. This is comically played on when Friday can smell a hot dog even though he cannot see it. Friday is a brilliant little dog, who alone is adorably funny in this film.

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When the children are involved in something that is nothing to do with them, they accidentally find an abandoned old vacant hotel to hide in. In this hotel are two stray dogs. Soon, the siblings have taken it upon themselves to rescue stray dogs from the pound and from the streets to give them a place to live. As you can probably tell the story is heart-warming and simple in its brilliance.

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We soon discover Bruce is magnificent in creating inventions as he creates an automatic ball-thrower for the new resident Georgia and a toilet to deal with any poop in the hotel. All the dogs are adorable and create a little comical element, for example Cooper who eats everything. It’s just a nice film to watch. Yeah it is a Nickelodeon movie, but you know what it’s one that is considerably better than others. It’s got so much to it, that is meaningful and heartening. If you like a simple family film, one of dogs and siblings trying their best to stay together and create their own family, then this would be perfect. It makes you giggle; it makes you feel for all the dogs and the siblings. I wouldn’t say it’s a ground-breaking film, it’s just nice. And sometimes that’s one of the best things of a film, it’s enjoyable and a little escapism for a while.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The first of the Pirates of the Caribbean’s, one of the better ones in my opinion, however, might not be the best, as the second and third are fab. But this one is the introduction of all the characters, of the brilliant plots and the pirates at sea. You can’t watch the others without this great beginning! I showed my boyfriend this film for the first time the other day, declaring he hated pirate films, but by the end even he pronounced that he “liked” it and that he was glad to have seen it at least once: that’s a high compliment!

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To begin with, this is a paragraph dedicated to the amazing actor, Johnny Depp. Just so you’re pre-warned. I know all the other actors are amazing in this film as well, for the massive success they have to be, but for me Johnny Depp is what makes this film worth watching a hundred times over. Depp is definitely at his finest in this film. Throwing him straight in he makes a brilliant, yet hilarious, entrance; floating in on a sinking boat. He’s comical yet clever, his witty comments or stupid outbursts are enjoyable for the audience. I couldn’t imagine anyone playing the character better than him. There’s the right amount of comedy and action to his character. He’s also slightly ruthless in the way he is dishonest and will only do things for himself; like he said, “you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest, honestly, it’s the honest men you need to watch out for”. The look of Johnny Depp as well is excellent. The costume is brilliant for everyone in this film, but Depp works the whole pirate look down to a T, he couldn’t look more realistic in everyone’s stereotypical eye of a pirate. His whole mannerism is excellent, the way he walks, yet his brilliant sword fighting, his clever mind figuring out his ways to get out of his tricky situations. He is one of the best characters every audience must love. Just remember it’s “Captain” Jack Sparrow, even without a ship.

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“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates’ life for me”. The music in the Pirates of the Caribbean films are classic! It just sets the scene for the whole movie, excellently executed and brilliantly creates the sound of these pirates on the Caribbean. As does the costumes and props, everything adds to the atmosphere to bring this screen to life. Even the graphics are great from 2003! It wouldn’t be the same without all these elements coming together to create an older time. Furthermore, all the characters are great, not just Captain Jack Sparrow. I love the evolution of Orlando Bloom’s character Will Turner as he learns more about who he is after being found floating in the sea eight years ago. Then there’s Keira Knightley’s character, Elizabeth Swann, who fierce, starts fighting alongside pirates no matter how much to her father’s distaste. There are even some great villains to enjoy. Two in particular which just have a comical energy between them, apparently named Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook), but I didn’t know that were their names, you’ll know the duo if you’ve seen the film. “‘Ello there, poppet”. Finally, we cannot forget Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, a fantastic villain of the film, and his adorable monkey sidekick!

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‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ is quite a long film, however it is filled with lots of swash-buckling action and many introductions of new characters. Plus, many journeys back and forth, although somehow it doesn’t become confusing and you’re lost in this pirate world you hardly notice how long the film is anyway! Captain Jack Sparrow is on his own little journey to get his beloved ship back, The Black Pearl; Elizabeth Swann has been abducted by pirates hunting for gold, and Will Turner with a heart all loved up wants to save her. Meanwhile, the Royal Navy are on the hunt for any pirates to hang. That’s a quick plot summary, but there’s so much to it than just that! It’s an enjoyable escapism, and the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. If you haven’t given it a go, you’re missing out!

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Tom Hanks. Sold? I think that’s all I need to say. More needed? Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, romantic comedy. One of those classics. What more do you need? Plus the same writer as ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ – Nora Ephron (who also directed this fabulous film).

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The plot? Two people, strangers, found one another on a chat room, so they talk through mail. This is 1998, technology isn’t smart phones, it’s not talk over messenger, it’s email, hence the name of the film. They live two separate lives and tell each other all, except they cannot break the one rule – no specifics, meaning no names, no jobs, no living situations, no specifics. These two people? Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Of course, they meet in real life, unaware to who they are actually are behind screen. They become business rivals, creating a clever comedy where they give advice to each other about themselves unknowingly, or moaning about what is happening in their lives, which is actually in relation to the other. This business rivalry revolves around both of their careers; Kathleen owns an authentic independent children’s book store, and Joe is behind the superstore opening up around the corner. We follow both Kathleen and Joe’s lives, although I always seem to feel more sympathetic towards Kathleen, don’t know whether this is done on purpose or not. However, saying this Joe is of course a lovable character, Tom Hanks is brilliant.

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The audience are definitely more in the know in this film. We know everything from the beginning, who these people are and the most important thing that they are talking to each other, we know that they know each other. Tensions rise as they suggest meeting each other, but as things get more complicated, we watch as they struggle but always result in coming back to each other over mail. The other characters that we meet are also fun and bring deeper meaning into our two main characters. Every part of this film is great!

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I love this film, I truly do. When in need of a good romcom, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ seem to be two that come straight to mind. It is a wonderful, easy watching film, with brilliant comedy and a fantastic romance. The characters are ones to fall in love with and a want to follow their lives around. If you haven’t seen this and you’re a fan of the brilliant romcoms, this is one you should never forget! Tom Hanks! That should be enough anyway. This film remembers the “you’ve got mail” technology.