The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Another of the Conjuring Universe films, this time ‘The Conjuring 2’. Again, by the same director, the film follows a very similar pattern and direction to the original movie. We follow another tale from the paranormal experts, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, while travelling to a different family with some sort of supernatural occurrence. This time we are set in 1977, in London, England, in the Hodgson Residence. This tale talks of one of the daughters of the Hodgson family, Janet (Madison Wolfe), where she starts sleep-walking and noticing things move: it becomes only the start of something that has taken place inside her.

The Conjuring 2 - Janet and Lorraine

Set in London and the accents are a bit odd in this film. I don’t know if I was just overthinking it, but for some reason some sounded a bit fake and initially it got a bit annoying. Nevertheless, you get used to it once the film really starts to kick in. And the film does kick in quite quickly, once the scene is set and the strange occurrences start to happen, you quickly become engulfed into this creepy plot line once again. However, I have to admit, this second film is no way near as good as the first. The first set a good story for the evil spirit, where this one seemed quite weak and to be honest didn’t seem to have much explanation at all! Regardless, it still was able to create the intense creepy feel like the first does with some jump scares throughout.

I really quite enjoyed the story with the Warren’s in this film. There are many scenes where I was more on edge with the story of Ed and Lorraine, particularly with Lorraine, rather than with the Hodgson’s. It seemed a lot more revolved around them, and I did like that. This connection was all linked in with ‘The Nun’. I also enjoyed the brilliance of the camera angles, the lighting and the sound, which of course had a great response from the first film and was well executed into this film too. They cleverly do create a horror.

The Conjuring 2 - Possession

Overall, ‘The Conjuring 2’ is a good horror film, not as good as the first, but still good, nonetheless. I felt the story of the spirit should have been better executed and some of the acting a little less shaky. Additionally, the appearance and disappearance of the fourth child, Johnny, seemed very odd. I didn’t even know he was part of the Hodgson family until over an hour into the film where things had massively escalated. I did like the back story of the Hodgson family, it felt real to recognise. Moreover, Ed and Lorraine are a great couple of ghost/demon-hunters to watch on screen, with their own essence of family and torment threaded into the story of the Hodgson’s.

The Conjuring (2013)

The first of the Conjuring Universe films. The first that explores the stories of Ed and Lorraine Warren, bringing them to life. Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal experts: the demonologist and clairvoyant. This particular film follows the tale of a family, parents and their five daughters, who move into a new house. One thing after another, unusual and unexplained occurrences start to happen. The clocks stop at 3:07, the youngest meets a friend no one else can see, and even the dog has a refusal to enter the house.

THE CONJURING

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren travel America as paranormal experts, wanting to help any of those who declare something supernatural could be haunting their house. From creaky floorboards that are easily explained to the worst situation they’ve ever had to delve into: the case of the Perron family. Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn (Lili Taylor) Perron and their five daughters, try to bring a happy, homely feel to their new country farmhouse. But Christine (Joey King) keeps thinking something is grabbing her leg, Andrea (Shanley Caswell) keeps complaining of a rotten smell in the house, and Cindy (Mackenzie Foy) keeps sleep-walking to the same area: the start of something unholy is woken in their new house.

I did enjoy this film. I thought it was cleverly directed, particularly with the sound and camera angles, which are always essential in horror movies. There is a lot of clever work with lighting too, where darkness engulfs the screen to only leave the audience in suspense. The film had a repetition of intense emotions throughout the whole two hours. But amongst this was just an ordinary story told of two families. Things, obviously, continue to escalate and the horror only builds in jump scares and unnatural occurrences. I did find myself shouting at the screen to not go down to the creepy cellar that is boarded up – but do they ever listen?

The Conjuring - Lorraine

Overall, it had an intriguing plot line and one to definitely get lost into. Even to just try and discover and understand this house’s past to piece together it’s unnatural history. I did think it was going to be scarier than it was, don’t get me wrong, I was tense and worried in many parts, but I think I was more scared for something to happen which never did… It’s a good horror movie and definitely intrigues me to watch the second Conjuring film. But happily, don’t think I’ll be scared from this film afterwards, if that’s what you’re looking for. However, don’t think I will be playing ‘Hide and Clap’ any time soon. With an intriguing plot and some excellent acting, ‘The Conjuring’ is a good horror to make you jump and wait for the next creepy thing to happen.

27 Dresses (2008)

‘27 Dresses’ is a film about “the perfect bridesmaid”. One woman who has grown up loving weddings, understanding they are the best days of brides’ lives; therefore, she would do anything to make that perfect day come true for any of her friends. Whether that’s riding a horse or wearing some of the ugliest dresses, she will always be that “perfect bridesmaid”.

First of all, I have to admit, this is one of the films I immediately go to when I want an easy-watching yet great film. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve actually seen it. It is my number one classic romcom, one of my favourite films. So you might be able to guess from that, that this review won’t hold many faults.

27 Dresses

As one of the romcom stars, Katherine Heigl plays Jane. The “perfect bridesmaid” of the film. She will do anything to please everyone; including her boss, George (Edward Burns) who she is completely infatuated with, and her sister, Tess (Malin Akerman) – see where this is going? Yes, Jane is put in the worst situation when she ends up planning the wedding of the man she’s in love with and her sister. Along the way, Jane ends up with a new follower, curious about her wedding-full life, reporter, Kevin (James Marsden) becomes desperate in discovering who she is. A wedding-cynic and a wedding-lover, Kevin and Jane have some hilarious scenes together as they bounce off each other in opposition.

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Finally, it’s time for Jane to put herself first in this brilliant movie. I truly believe this is one the best romcoms of the 2000s. It’s got comedy, romance, cringe-worthy moments but soppy ones too. The whole film just puts a smile on my face, every time. Jane is a great character too, obviously as played by Katherine Heigl! But Kevin has to be my favourite character, everything he does just makes me smile or giggle. If you’re a fan of the classic romcoms, this one should have already been watched! 27 dresses for 27 weddings.

Dumbo (2019)

Fall into a new fantasy adventure of the Disney Classic ‘Dumbo’. From 1941 to 2019, Tim Burton reimagines this emotional tale of a circus and an elephant whose looks are different from others. Ridiculed and misunderstood by its large ears, the baby elephant has to perform for laughs. But soon, they discover this calf is only one that has a secret talent: it can fly!

Dumbo - 2019 (3)

As we all know, Disney Classics are coming out as live-action films quicker than anything – maybe not as quick as Marvel at the minute, but you get my point. From ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to the waiting of the new ‘Lion King’; ‘Dumbo’ has been released as a live-action film to reminisce all the way back to 1941. I don’t know about anyone else, but ‘Dumbo’ hasn’t been one that I always jump too when I watch Disney Classics, but after watching this remake, it only intrigues me to re-watch the film I’ve seen so many years ago! As it’s been a while, I can’t comment on the similarities between the two, but I do believe, as you would always assume, Tim Burton has put his magical twist to reinvent this wonderful tale.

This is truly a beautiful tale; it is so emotional! The graphics are phenomenal in bringing in the life of the circus, you become invested in this adorable little elephant. An elephant whose emotions are felt by the whole audience, and you can’t not have a little tear up when he’s feeling down. And understandably so! This elephant goes through a lot!

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Furthermore, I thought the addition of these excellent actors who pave the way for Dumbo’s journey is also magnificent. The two children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) Farrier have an adorable love for the elephant as we watch them teach him how to fly. And I cannot forget the flawed character of the circus leader, Max Medici, whose want for greed and money, transfers into him discovering the need of a family. I only mention this character due to the brilliance of its actor, Danny DeVito, bringing this character to life in the forefront of the circus. But also, he has the comical unwanted duo sketch with the rebellious monkey. All the personalities in this film have deeper real-life challenges, which only brings the characters to life in a more realistic way on screen. This is not only a film of an elephant, but one of a family in a circus altogether.

DUMBO

This remake definitely has a deeper emotional moral embedded into the film. It feels real to watch, making it become even more hard-hitting of how animals can be treated. It’s a film that paints a moral of looking after our animals and ending animal cruelty. Don’t be expecting a film to have a good laugh, instead it becomes one of drama and chaos, but brilliance and satisfying to the end. Watch as all the characters develop in spirit and personality throughout the film, as new enemies rise and old challenges have to be faced. If that doesn’t make you want to watch this magical film, just watch the sheer spirit in little Dumbo and his feather.

How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

A simple, comedy sitcom of the story of five best friends going through life. Similarities burst in this show to ‘Friends’, so if you’re a fan of one it’ll be weird if you didn’t like the other. The show has comedy, meaningful moments, morals, romance and more comedy.

How I Met Your Mother 2

Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) tells a very long story to his children of how he met their mother. He narrates reflecting on his past life, all the stories with his friends at MacLaren’s Pub or in his own apartment above the bar. His love life, his friendships, everything that has happened to the five lives in New York City. Ted is constantly looking for ‘the one’, for his soulmate. Him and his red cowboy boots as he tries to do anything to find the girl of his dreams, whether that’s waiting during Halloween every year in the same outfit or blurting ‘I love you’ on the first date. He’s extremely romantic with what his friends call cheesy actions with every woman he dates. His interests are very different to the rest of the group; with enjoyments found in fonts, coin collecting and architecture.

How I Met Your Mother - Ted

Next, is one of the best couples. Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel). They’re a reliable couple throughout the series. Lily is a kindergarten teacher who tells people off by taking something precious away and teaching them a lesson. She’s very fierce and the puppet-master of the group. As she loves to declare she’s a proper New-Yorker being able to translate conductor and understanding the quickest routes to get around. Marshall is superstitious and loyal in everything he does. He wants to save the world as an environmental lawyer. In Minnesota he’s very family-orientated, all he wants to do is be nice and kind to everyone. He’s always ready to lawyer someone with his catchphrase ‘Lawyered’. Lily and Marshall are the best couple in the show as Lilypad and Marshmallow, their great high-fives and pause in arguments, they’re always reliable for some comedy. Plus, they are the original finders of the “cockamouse”.
How I Met Your Mother - Lily and Marshall

Then there’s Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). She’s the newest to the group, arriving in the first episode as Ted’s love interest. From Canada, her friends always hold that against her. However, her life in Canada comes to America in spirit of songs and joy in malls (you’ll understand if you know the song); it’s a brilliance in comedy. Robin lives the life where she grew up as her father wanting a son instead of a daughter. She chooses her career over her love life again and again, as she moved to New York to become a famous journalist.

How I Met Your Mother - Robin

Finally, the best till last, Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). He’s the one with all the catchphrases: ‘True story’, ‘I only have one rule…’, ‘Challenge Accepted!’, ‘Suit Up!’. Barney is definitely the one crude in his attitude towards women; he lies to most women to do anything to pick them up at bars, successful time and time again to their friends’ disbelief. He has his own playbook where he writes about every scam he’s done. He always declares his hatred of marriage. But deep down he’s a great character, who will take the mick out of everything hilariously, but remain loyal to all of the group. Constantly in suits, always ready for a bet, and spent a year in a ducky tie; he loves to play lazar tag and demand he is the best friend of Ted’s.

How I Met Your Mother - Barney

They are all fabulous characters, and it’s very fun to watch their journeys. Overall, I just love all the reliabilities of the characters and their personalities that become so predictable yet loveable. Plus, there are some iconic guest stars, here are some: Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Morrison (‘Once Upon a Time’), Sarah Chalke (‘Scrubs’), John Lithgow, James Van Der Beek, Lucy Hale (‘Pretty Little Liars’), Nicole Scherzinger, Katie Perry, and many many more.

How I Met Your Mother 1

The show is fun and a bit OTT at times, but that just adds to the comedy. I also love some connections to brilliant cinematic history. Each episode is episodic but with story arcs across series just alike to many other sitcoms. You don’t have to watch in order, besides they’re on TV a lot in random episodes. I love how they tell stories in different ways, from different points of views or in flashbacks. Each episode is different; however, we can always rely on character catchphrases, interventions, slap bets or some brilliant songs.

Hotel Artemis (2018)

Set in Los Angeles 2028, the city is close to lock-down with riots and criminal activity at a high. In the middle of this crazy unsafe city, there’s a mythical hotel just for criminals. A place for them to hide and looked after during injury. A place that must be kept a secret. But there’s rules that must be obeyed: members only, rooms are not to be held for someone, guests must be at a minimum, no cops, and the no.1 rule, not to kill other patients. Safe to say this “normal Wednesday” has all rules broken pretty quickly, and only gets worse throughout the night.

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This was an interesting film, very unusually designed and created. ‘Hotel Artemis’ doesn’t have a plot what-so-ever. The film just seems to escalate and escalate to utter madness. It’s starts off as a “normal Wednesday” then slowly gets worse throughout the film until there is a breaking point and the film ends. The problem was we couldn’t see how this hotel functioned normally, so when it got to escalation, we could tell this wasn’t the “normal Wednesday” but there wasn’t anything we could connect to. You don’t really get much explanation for reasons, to why the future is the way it is, to the riots, to the need of Hotel Artemis, to anything really. Or to any of the characters, I didn’t really feel like I understood their presence, other than a few which felt a bit forced. The whole film feels so open-ended, with the beginning, middle and end. The whole thing was just unanswered. It also takes quite a while for the action, especially all that is seen in the trailer, to actually hit the screen of the film.

Because of this, the film feels extremely character-led, since there was no story to lead the film. ‘Hotel Artemis’ just seems to be delving into the life of the Nurse (Jodie Foster). The story of her past before the Hotel, her anxieties and her progress, the development of closure and the need for answers. But it doesn’t feel like a pressing issue for the character, it just feels like an ache of the protagonist throughout the whole film and it slowly reveals why. It is strangely done. The escalation was supposed to lead to the biggest criminal of the city arriving, the Wolf King (Jeff Goldblum), but that was definitely a let-down. He really wasn’t a great character, not interesting or otherwise.

Sterling K. Brown and Sofia Boutella in Hotel Artemis (2018)

I can’t say this was the best crime film I’ve ever seen, but it’s not the worst. I was intrigued to what was going to happen, but a bit deflated by the forced escalation to not really understand it. It could have been so much more with the idea of a criminal hospital for members-only, but it didn’t quite hit the nail on the head. Instead, I only have more questions that I’m not too desperate having answered.

The Dark Knight (2008)

‘The Dark Knight’ is definitely one of the best superhero films out there. With the most phenomenal villain on screen. Batman vs The Joker. This is the second of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy: the first being ‘Batman Begins’, the third ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

The Dark Knight 1

A new villain has come to Gotham, one crazier and extreme unlike any other that Batman (Christian Bale) has seen before. In his crazed make-up and his purple suit, The Joker (Heath Ledger) resembles a mad man with nothing to lose and only chaos to gain. Meanwhile, there’s a new hero in town, the District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who will do anything to clean the streets of Gotham, a knight in shining armour determined to take the Mob down and all the criminals in his city. But The Joker is determined in his acknowledgement of Batman being his perfect half to “complete” him, he wants to continue a warp of madness in the city that messes everything up for Dent, forcing a clean city to turn on its head.

I truly think this is a brilliant film. It is quite a long one, but there is so much to the plot that you become emotionally invested, warped into Gotham. There is so much meaning and drive to the plot that brings this film to light. The director is obviously essential in making this trilogy as phenomenal as it is. The brilliant use of sound and lighting makes the audience feel tense in the crucial places. But we cannot forget the outstanding cast of this film. Personally, I think Christian Bale is one of the best Batman’s. With Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman on his side as Alfred and Lucius Fox retrospectively, who can’t appreciate the characters? Additionally, the magnificent Gary Oldman as Gordon, the officer trailing the streets with Batman in the shadows on his side. However, I’ve left best till last, the brilliance of the villain can never be forgotten. Heath Ledger brings The Joker into a different, creepy, unnerving light. Every word is listened to in tension. His laughs echo through the film in remembrance of Gotham’s crash. He becomes the antagonist and brings this phenomenal cast to a close.

The Dark Knight 2

I would definitely recommend watching this film. You become warped into Gotham with Bruce Wayne’s new chaotic life where The Joker personally victimises Batman. The film is a whirlwind of action and special effects excellently executed for the audience to escape into. You really don’t know what can happen with The Joker in the mix.