Pulp Fiction (1994)

So let’s be honest, I have been incredibly slow to watching this absolute Quentin Tarantino classic! Who hasn’t heard of ‘Pulp Fiction’? Yet I quiz you to actually tell me the plot because after watching this classic, after too many years and recommendations from family and friends, I could not tell you a define plot of what actually happens over this two-and-a-half-hour film.

Pulp Fiction 1

‘Pulp Fiction’ is split into named chapters which tell the stories of mini movies. There are recurring characters and the whole film is cleverly linked into a circle – which I loved. But everything in the middle doesn’t seem to have much connection – this tended to confuse me as I didn’t really understand what was going on. However, the ‘mini movies’ as such, were excellent. I was absorbed into each story, mesmerised by what was going to happen, horrified by the extremities, intense with the unknown.

There were some stories I appreciated more than others. I think the best would have to be the one with John Travolta and Uma Thurman. Within this chapter, there were so many memorable and classic moments – such as the coolness of the twist dance, the ‘comfortable’ silences, the famous meme of John Travolta confusingly wondering around the house (you know the one). Both actors are phenomenal, all are in the entire movie, of course! With actors like Uma Thurman and John Travolta, is Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Tim Roth. Then, we have Quentin Tarantino as one of his films he’s made a cameo in.

Pulp Fiction 2

As a Quentin Tarantino film, every chapter had some sort of violence in it, some a lot more extreme than others. This film is one riddled with crime embedded with symbolism; in every chapter there is a lot of meaning. Gangsters are at the centre of this film but they do not control over the narrative; other characters have a lot more input than you would believe.

‘Pulp Fiction’ is odd, puzzled in a single narrative. I don’t fully understand what the whole film is about, but every chapter is a film on its own and clever in its creation. The cinematography and acting is outstanding, every character comes to life on screen and it so unbelievably real – particularly the main three (Travolta, Thurman and Jackson). It is so obviously a classic in its own right, phenomenally executed. I would watch it again!

The Alienist (2018 – )

I may have binge-watched the whole first season in a day… that’s how addictive this show is. Set in 1859, New York City becomes riddled by horrific murders. One serial killer with seemingly no pattern leave the police in despair with no leads and no suspects. Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty), naïve to the corruption in the Police Department, is forced to turn to one others would disagree: an Alienist, as they called it in the 19th century, someone who studies the mind of those with mental illnesses as a mind that is alienated. The show itself explains the terminology as set in the 1800s.

The Alienist 1

With well-known actors this is a show to be watched for the stars but continued to be watched for the plot. Daniel Brühl is the main character – his character of a psychologist, who is ahead of his time, is disregarded by many, his science is one not yet understood. Dr Laszlo Kreizler is determined to understand what controls men to be evil; he becomes so driven and obsessed to the point where he will do anything to uncover this new evil that has broken in New York City. His old friend, played by Luke Evans, seems one extremely loyal to Laszlo. His job, however unlike to the doctor, is an illustrator of the New York Times. His character doesn’t seem to be one likable at the beginning, but you learn a lot about John Moore as the show progresses. Finally, is Sara Howard played by the fantastic Dakota Fanning. Her character is probably most likable – easily, most likable. As a strong, powerful female in the show, Sara battles as the first woman working in the Police Department, she fights against grotesque sexism and corrupt detectives. All of the characters are ones riddled from an interesting troublesome past making them feel so real on screen, particularly with the phenomenal acting in all roles.

1859 is brought to life on screen. In setting, society and clothing, the entirety of the programme engulfs a time of so many years ago. Before forensics, which this show nods to; before women’s rights, which again the show nods to; before the understanding of the human mind, which the show is revolved around. There is a lot going on in the plot with a lot of deeper meanings – societal pleas and agonies, corruption and control from the rich. ‘The Alienist’ briefly encounters a lot of mishaps and plotlines, but one that solely remains in front of all is the psychopath murdering the little boys.

These crime scenes and horrifying murders do bring a natural crime mystery drama to the show. But they also bring in horror. There were times, towards the end of the series, where I was frozen in suspense of what was going to happen while fearing for the lives on screen. The audience easily become engulfed into this old setting and become easily revolved around these three characters and their desperation to catch an unknown creature. Meanwhile, other villains rear their ugly heads and only create more problems.

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‘The Alienist’ is truly a magnificent show. The cinematography is outstanding in the camera shots and twisted views. Every segment of the programme was perfectly executed for the audience to feel all emotions and continue on this journey of agony and death. You may can tell that this show is definitely one for older ages with constant death and gory dead bodies. You find you have to just watch the next episode as the cliff-hangers linger in your mind. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a mixture of ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Mindhunter’ in which I would agree, just with an older age twist.

Criminal: France (2019)

Finally, to end this anthology ‘Criminal’ series off is travelling to France.

Criminal France Episode 1

Émilie is our first suspect in episode one. In a hideous, terrifying terrorist attack one woman has stayed outspoken about the horrors, helping the other victims there. However, the police suspect that a lie is behind all of Émilie’s protests and social media outcries. Émilie is forced to retell what happened that night over and over again as she becomes emotional by the reminder of her boyfriend’s death. Meanwhile, the detectives on the other side of the table ask her to replay the events every time as they consider whether she was actually there at all. As a new country introduced, we also start to get to know the new team behind the interviewing, to kick the first episode off there’s clear tension but ultimately seem an interesting team to watch for the next few episodes.

Criminal France Episode 2

In episode two, we turn to Caroline as the suspect. This story was a bit of a boring one. There seems to be a lot of animosity within the police team and this element has become more of the tale in this series rather than the solving of crimes and the interviewing of suspects. By the end of the interrogation, there didn’t seem to be much of a conclusion. Instead, we are left with the chief inspector who we are more concerned about again changing the course of the series away from the interview room. Additionally, there’s an extremely irritating detective who is unbearably hot-headed that it just seems unnatural that she’s revolved in this process, the only thing she does it blow up scenes and again defect away from the interesting cases of the series. Bit of a shame, this episode.

Criminal France Episode 3

Lastly, Jérôme comes in as the third suspect ending the twelve suspects across all segments. This is the best episode of France. Tackling such an important problem, this episode explores a hate crime which should never exist. Jérôme is the suspect of a murder where a man was horrifically beaten to death for being who he is. This episode entangles in the detectives fighting for the truth having no clue where the interview is heading. The balance has returned between the importance of the interrogation and the detectives’ squabbles, particularly with a nice summarising end to the issues from episode two. This episode definitely redeemed the series ending with a lot more potential.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

The 2010 remake of the classic horror starring the infamous villain Freddy Krueger. Everybody knows his scarred, burnt face, his clawed fingers, his perverse nightmare stalkings on children. This remake brought him back to life haunting new victims in their dreams. Unfortunately, this film 100% supports the phrase ‘the remakes are never as good as the originals’…

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Freddy Krueger
The whole film felt so random, there wasn’t a single back story and as the audience you’re suddenly thrown into this new place with new characters having no understanding of anything. Yes, I’ve seen the original, but this film must stand alone too. I didn’t really know the characters whatsoever, so didn’t care about them. Characters were dropping left right and centre, and there was no desired horror for the audience because there was no build up to create any emotions of fear. Furthermore, this film falls into the casting issue of high school teens. I never understand why actors and actresses are chosen to play characters that are ten years younger than them – there are some exceptions – but ‘Twilight’ star Kellan Lutz and ‘Arrow’ actress Katie Cassidy as teenagers in high school eroded away at any realness the film could potentially hold. Finally, the acting wasn’t great. The only reason I feel people hire older people to play younger characters is because “the acting is better”, but that wasn’t even the case in this film. The acting was quite weak and I just felt disinterested in all the characters on screen, which is an issue when fear needs to erupt into the audience.
Nevertheless, the film did get better from the beginning. It’s still not amazing, but the new interest is to discover that the children targeted have a hidden, suppressed memory from their childhood. This becomes a source of intrigue for the audience. The back story of why Freddy Krueger is one perverse and haunting which does stimulate a different type of horror. His story when he was alive is more horrifying than him coming back to seek revenge. The jump scares were a bit of a miss, but when the mystery turns to solving who Freddy Krueger was, the movie is more interesting.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 Claws
As a horror, the 2010 remake of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ was a flop. He’s not that scary haunting and killing and it’s seems quite bad effects on his face which annoyed me. The build-ups necessary for a horror to deliver needs to create some sort of fear for the characters on screen, this was only executed with one of the characters by the end. The reveal of his back story, which took a very long time to get to, had a lot of potential in its horror, which is why it got a lot better throughout the film. But everything before seemed in some sort of wasteland of unknown killing with no real reason. With a disgusting villain such as Freddy Krueger, this film could have done a lot more to execute horror.