Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

A biography of one of the most well-known bands in history: Queen. Revolving around the tale of the lead singer, Freddie Mercury (played by Rami Malek). The film follows the story of how Queen created their brilliant songs and albums, how their band was born and how they reached Live Aid in 1985 from an extremely bumpy, but musically-successful road.

Some of the classic Queen songs brought to screen, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘I Want to Break Free’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ etc. I did enjoy the development of the albums, especially the creating of the songs in the recording studios which was fun and creative with experimental musicals that made Queen’s music so unique and classic. Although, I have to admit, quite a lot of the songs were suddenly cut off, leaving me singing into the next scene… I was also hoping that the film would incorporate and intertwine real-life videos of Queen into the film, but sadly that didn’t happen – I just felt it would make it more authentic. However, saying this all the actors played their parts bringing their characters to screen visually as if Queen were all still alive today.

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To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by this film. It just didn’t reach the potential of the hype surrounding the film. Freddie Mercury was painted in quite a bad light, but then again it’s a biography so perhaps that was the truth of it all. But I felt like it shattered the reality of the great Queen band with a lot of squabbling and selfish demanding from the lead singer. The film was also very fast-paced and a bit misleading at times, you sort of had to read between the lines to understand some aspects. But also I don’t know if this was done this way because maybe the truth wasn’t found to be so specific with Mercury’s life in such secrecy when he was alive? Maybe the unsure elements needed to be there for the audience to make their own assumptions. Overall, it seemed Mercury’s personal life presumed to be lost in “the wrong crowd” as they say, rather than actually understanding anything from his point of view. On the other hand, you can tell which of the character’s real personas have had an impact on the film and have had their own say.

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I guess the reality of this grand band wasn’t as smooth-sailing as believed. Therefore, the film was very drama-driven and not as much as the music-making as I thought it would be. But the music in it was thoroughly enjoyable and fun. Sadly, the film just wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. However, I didn’t hate it, I just don’t know if I’d be rushing to watch it again.

Instant Family (2019)

‘Instant Family’ follows the real-life story of a couple who, in a snap decision, decide to adopt from the foster-care system. The film follows a comical, fast-pace, enjoyable film of a new family. Initially, wanting to adopt a child, they end up fostering a teenager and two other younger siblings. The family fly through the ‘honeymoon phase’ as the new happy family, to crash and hit the realistic struggles these children have gone through and the hardship of entering a different family. The parents hit the realities and struggles of new parenthood and the worries of replacing parents they already have.

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I really enjoyed this film. The actors and actresses are all phenomenal. With Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne at the centre, they execute the plot line brilliantly. I also loved that it was a film that could go anywhere, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and I was happy to go along with the rollercoaster. The whole film feels very realistic with understandable struggles. But not to worry, it also captures the comedy well and makes a heart-warming, sweet film. The movie got me giggling at quite a lot of moments. Wahlberg and Byrne bounce off each other in such an excellent comical way, they add a lot to the film. As do the social workers at the foster-care orientation and social support groups, particularly Karen (Octavia Spencer) who was a great character.

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The children are brilliant in the film: Lizzy (Isabela Moner), Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Lizzy seems to be more of the centre of the film, the 15-year-old who has adapted to the mother of her two younger siblings. She is the one who finds it the hardest to adapt into a different family, feeling unloved and alone. Then, there’s Juan, an overly sensitive boy, who seems to spend most of the film worried or crying. However, he is the source of some comical moments and he is a great character to watch. Finally, Lita, the youngest of them all. Very stubborn and loud, Lita only wants to eat crisps and nothing else. Being the sole main reason of the film, they really add some genuine and real struggles for children and the realities of some foster children’s backgrounds.

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‘Instant Family’ is a thoroughly enjoyable film. As I said before, extremely fast-pace, I was a little confused at the beginning of who people were and where they are, but soon enough these sort of things don’t matter and I understand why time wasn’t spent on it to clarify. Instead, the film is about a new family and the adjustments they are having to make. In a loving, chaotic adventure a family try to join as one, but with rejections and difficulties along the way, you’ll enjoy the ride as a normal comical family appears.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

This is one of the most heart-breaking films of my childhood. ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ deals with extremely real-life struggles in a school for children. The whole film is littered with real-life situations but underlining it all it’s a beautiful film about friendship and delving into a fantasy dreamworld with the great imagination of children.

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Welcome to the life of young Jess (Josh Hutcherson – Peeta from ‘The Hunger Games’), whose school life involves being bullied by various boys and eighth grade girls, and his home life involves being lost amongst a mass of children and unable to connect with his parents, particularly his father. Then introducing the new girl, Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb), who on her first day beat all the boys in a race and stands up for who she is, creating a ripple in the school dimension for only good reasons. Both bullied and seen as outsiders, they soon become friends as new next-door neighbours. Down in a forest, across a rope swing, they find the adventures of what they call the Kingdom of Terabithia. A place of imagination they dive into a world of just their own, where they fight creatures and trolls in the trees.

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‘Bridge to Terabithia’ is such a beautiful, yet soul-destroying film. It’s full of adventure-filled fantasy with such real-life problems. The children struggle through but find a place of mercy and solitude for themselves where they are the King and Queen. A place where they can run and save the world. If you haven’t seen this film, it is great, although be warned for a good old cry! ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ isn’t just revolved around this fantasy world, there’s so much more to it than that!

Taxi Driver (1976)

A Martin Scorsese film starring Robert De Niro, with all the other classic Scorsese tell-tells. The underbelly of New York city, violence, crime. I completely understand this is a film of its time, it is politically situated relevant to 1970s America. I would just say that one time for me watching this is enough, don’t think I need to be watching this film repeatedly, it’s not that kind of movie.

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I don’t really know how to explain the plot. It’s all revolved around a night-time taxi driver, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), driving around in the underbelly of a city. He becomes infatuated with one woman, Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), but doesn’t quite understand the social ques of how to talk to her appropriately. He then falls down a track of “cleaning up the streets” himself as he’s on a mission we don’t fully understand or know what this unpredictable man is capable of doing.

This film feels like it doesn’t have a designated purpose, it feels unsettling and emotionally draining throughout the whole movie. As ‘Taxi Driver’ embodies the darkness and underbelly of the city, the film becomes an 18 rather quickly. It is full of violence, particularly by the end. The language is horrid; I’m not a fan of the language throughout this film, however it does just reflect the flawed protagonist in his unnerving state.

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‘Taxi Driver’ made me constantly feel uncomfortable, it was quite hard to watch. Especially as there wasn’t a hook to bring me in. It doesn’t start interesting and we just watch a realism type of film, with silent and very quiet real noises. The main protagonist is very untrustworthy, there’s an uneasy edge where you cannot quite understand or grasp who he is. This film is a film of iconic scenes, which are remembered in cinematic history from the 1970s. As I said, I wouldn’t watch this again, it feels quite slow. But it’s one of those classics.

The Big Wedding (2013)

Now ‘The Big Wedding’ has a great cast! Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, Topher Grace (‘That 70s Show’), Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), Susan Sarandon! They are all so brilliant. ‘The Big Wedding’ is a weekend of chaos, of secrets and lies. A wedding where everything goes wrong and all secrets come out, mistakes are made. But all revolving the family, not actually any issues with the bride and groom. It’s the wedding of Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried), and the gathering of their both crazy families. It’s brilliantly hilarious.

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Each character is completely different to the other, this gives a refreshing feel to the film. Most of the characters seem flawed and it makes the film seem cleverly more realistic. No character is perfect. Although saying this, I don’t think there is a character to hate as such, but there are many to love and appreciate. Adopted son, Alejandro, after realising his birth mother will be flying from Columbia to go to his wedding, asks his divorced parents a big favour – to pretend to be married. One lie. As you can probably guess this creates issues from the beginning. A divorced couple must act in love, while the father, Don (Robert De Niro) has already another woman, Bebe, in his life. So where does Bebe (Susan Sarandon) fit in? Bebe angry at Don, but determined to do anything for Alejandro’s wedding, comically acts out in the subtlest ways she can. As the family starts to join up we realise that everyone has things going on, and chaos starts to erupt when they are all brought together. Angry at her father, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) brings chaos with her as she tries to keep secrets. The final son, Jared (Topher Grace), is tested with the one thing he’s managed to keep safe his whole life – his virginity.

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It’s not the best romcom out there, far from it! But it’s enjoyable and a little bit of fun escapism. ‘The Big Wedding’ is full of a great cast, with some classic comical moments. It is a film for older ages with swearing and sex – a 15 for good reason. It revolves around one event where one lie deepens and deepens: family crisis just gets worse and worse. I just think this film is so enjoyable because of the cast. It’s realistic in its faulted characters, with many relatable issues arising. Many stories going on, but easy to follow. Why not follow on with this chaotic weekend?

Captain Marvel (2019)

Let’s bring it all the way back to the beginning. To the beginning of earth’s understanding of out of space threats. To the creation of Marvel. It is the start of all stories.

I didn’t have my hopes up with this film, it’s just another film I was going to see. And to begin with, I wasn’t completely sold. But soon enough, I was absorbed into the film. I loved the music, who doesn’t love a bit of No Doubt and TLC? Then of course the special graphic effects were amazing, when are they not nowadays? ‘Captain Marvel’ was so fast pace, it was a great escapism to get lost into.

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Vers (Brie Larson) has completely forgotten her identity after a crash made her lose her memories. Living on the planet, Kree, she finally has the opportunity to use her powers that were given to her to fight for her country. In her first mission, an ambush is set waiting for her. Landing on earth, she finds her emotions always get in the way of her mind as she tries to track down the enemy’s target. But that’s not the only thing she discovers, but instead everything she’s forgotten. You become warped into an enemy that can shapeshift. You have no idea where they are as they could look like anyone. It’s fun and simple.

I really liked her story. I wouldn’t say it was the most shocking, because I could kind of tell where the whole movie was heading. But regardless, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching it unfold. I did love all the originality of the beginning of Marvel. Definitely enjoyed all the connections to unasked questions in all the other films. We see the return of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) – which I have to say, they did well to look younger – his story of how he first found out about space troubles. Plus, there’s a cat, and it’s amazingly hilarious. Other than the cat, I can’t say the comedy was hit there as usual in Marvel films, unfortunately.

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Was this the best Marvel film I’ve ever seen? Probably not. But I still enjoyed the story very much, particularly loved Vers back story and lost past. And I adored the connections to other films, the realisation of questions you didn’t even ask in previous Marvel films. I even enjoyed the plane fights and Vers growing into her powers. It’s an enjoyable escapism and a brilliant original story. You know you’ll have to watch all Marvel films before ‘Avengers: Endgame’ anyway!

Aquaman (2018)

A new DC character coming to life on screen after originally showing his presence in ‘Justice League’. Jason Momoa as Aquaman greets us again in his own film. A fun, action-filled movie that’s enjoyable and a great escapism as the characters go on a journey.

We have a brilliant back story to Arthur, aka Aquaman, as we are told about his parents’ forbidden love making him a son of both an Atlantian and a “surface-dweller”, both being able to breath above and below water. Therefore, he is regarded a “half-breed”, unworthy of his claim to the throne, even if he doesn’t want it. But when his half-brother declares war on the surface for how they have ruined the seas, Arthur is left with the only one being able to do anything to stop it. A journey begins when Mera (Amber Heard) orders Arthur back to the lost city of Atlantis in the bottom of the ocean where it once sank. They head on a scripted, tough journey in a hunt for another lost object, the first King of Atlantis’ trident. But things obviously don’t go according to plan…

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I did enjoy this film. I think Arthur is a great character, stubborn and ruthless in his ways, but also caring and desperate in others. Jason Momoa plays a brilliant Aquaman. His character is easily to adore. The things he says did make me giggle. His journey takes us underwater, to a cool new world of the city of Atlantis. I really enjoyed the back story of this kingdom and it’s sunken ending. It felt very Indiana Jones at times, on a journey through a desert searching for something lost. Meanwhile, King Orm (Patrick Wilson) is on a mission to destroy the surface world, but Aquaman can’t get his support when the Atlantians don’t know who he is.

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‘Aquaman’ brings new characters in a fun, exciting underwater world. Although, the film was extremely predictable, to the point of being able to predict words before they were said. But guess what? It’s DC and it’s not a film of unpredictability and shock, let’s be honest! It’s an enjoyable film, long but it works as they’re on a journey. Nicole Kidman is even in it! However, I didn’t realise it was her…

Moral of the story: We need to look after our seas…