Table 19 (2017)

I’ve been saying lately that trailers at the minute seem to have no mystery, seem to have no element of the unknown. It seems to be that you watch a trailer and you watch the whole film, and I’ve hated it! But I am so happy to say that this trailer definitely did not do that. To be honest, I thought it was doing that and I was going to know everything that would happen from what I was watching from the trailer, but no. You are deceived and that is what is missing from trailers now-a-days.

Firstly, this is not a romantic comedy. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I have to state straight off, this is more of a drama, but still does have light humour. Moments of slight comedy, moments of heart-warming, heart-breaking, some very moving moments – I may have nearly cried… This is definitely a film I didn’t expect, nothing seems as it is. I was constantly shocked by things revealed throughout the film. I loved that about the film, it really did make it so much better!

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Anyway, what is it even about? One wedding, one wedding day, many tables. The main protagonist is the brilliant Anna Kendrick, she plays the bitter ex-girlfriend, the heart-broken and understandably mad drop-out maid of honour, Eloise. She’s the ex-girlfriend of the best man, Teddy (Wyatt Russell); the oldest friend of the bride, Francie (Rya Meyers). The girl who was dropped from Table 1 to the last, Table 19. The table nearest to the bathrooms, the one furthest away from Table 1. Table 19 is the table of the “randoms”. There’s the bickering married couple, Bina and Jerry Kepp (played by the amazing Lisa Kudrow (obviously Phoebe from ‘Friends’) and Craig Robinson). To be honest, Bina was definitely not my favourite character, although I did quite like Jerry, both played well of course! Next, Nanny Jo (June Squibb), the first nanny of the bride – this woman is amazing in this film, she is a fabulous addition, such a great character. Then there’s the younger man, Renzo (Tony Revolori). He’s socially awkward, he tries a bit too hard to get attention (mostly failing), and he’s extremely reliant on his mother who constantly calls with her own personalised ringtone and a caller ID of the “mothership”. Finally, the man who you never really understand until he says who he is himself. This is Walter (Stephen Merchant). He comes across a bit odd and secretive, obviously lying at personal questions about himself, but as the film goes on he becomes more of a character you get to know and you quickly understand he is easily manipulated, which does become comical. All the characters are appreciated, they all definitely bring a different element to the film, and subsequently they are all given the same about of screen time, it definitely isn’t a film all about Anna Kendrick’s character (even if quite a bit about her).

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I loved the way things were revealed at the beginning, the things the audience need to understand to not be confused in the film – because it does go straight into the wedding right off. To show the other randoms who Eloise was to the bride, she shows off by explaining every table, not only to the rest of Table 19 but to us as well. In a short amount of time you surprisingly get a lot of information on characters. Although, that is hardly anything to what is actually happening, and there is so much depth. A lot is said without it actually being said, but then again, suspicions are confirmed in dialect. It is very clever how everything was secretive, it made the audience become more absorbed into the characters, wanting to know more about them, because when you think you know the information you need to know, more is revealed. It definitely reflects the reality of life, the reality that everyone has their own personal things going on, yet society points them as something else when actually other things are quiet behind closed doors. The whole film reflected a reality, it broke down film walls of good and evil, characters were not flawless, no character was perfect. There were things to like and dislike in most characters, their lives and this day was unexpected for them and the audience. It was great to see this difference to so many other films.

Table 19 - Eloise, Renzo, Jo, Walter

This drama was brilliant, it was inviting and rocky. To be honest, this film is just of one day and actually not that much happens, but so much is revealed and so much is said about these characters that you become invested in them all. It is a clever real-life film. This film is truly beautiful and I really enjoyed it. At one table of randoms, unlikely friends will develop.

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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.

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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.

The Book Thief (2013)

‘The Book Thief’ is a beautiful drama, a drama based in Nazi Germany from 1938 through World War Two. The story follows the life of a young girl named Liesel (Sophie Nélisse). At the beginning, we discover she is on her way to her new foster family, at the age of twelve being left to a husband and a wife she has never met before. Her new parents are Hans (Geoffrey Rush – recognisable in a completely different film as Captain Barbossa in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) and Rosa (Emily Watson). Soon she meets a young boy living next door, eager to become friends with the new girl on the street, this is Rudy (Nico Liersch).

The first thing I should mention is that this is not a film you watch for thrilling moments or comedy or fast-paced action; it couldn’t be further from this. The film is rather slow, but not in a bad way, it is clever in the way the film progresses as you need to understand what is happening. Obviously, there are parts of history that are not covered in the fact that this is well-known in your knowledge anyway, so you do not watch a film knowing what is happening even though it covers the history of Nazi Germany. The story of Liesel and her new family is one to get warped into, there is so much emotion in this film and it really does grip you into the two hours.

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This film is different to many others of war; this is a story from the side of the Germans in World War Two, those that were living in Germany – of course this is not a true story or based on facts, but it gives a different side to a war we see many films from English or American point of views. We travel years through Liesel’s young life as she tries to come to grips with what is happening in Germany, her growing hatred with what is happening, and even more so her growing love for books and the importance to them in her life. The use of books in this film, is something that means so much more than just something to read, it is so clever in the film to add so much of this depth and detail. Even perhaps to give a love to people watching the film of books and the importance of imagination and seeing and processing the life around.

There is a narrator in this film, voiced by Roger Allam, I don’t want to give much away with this aspect of the movie, but it clever and different to many other narrators in films. The voice is not so much as a character in the film, yet contributes to the lives in ways that are very different. The voiceover is not continuous throughout the film, he is there at the beginning and the end, and other parts in which he is embedded in the storyline. Every actor in this film is brilliant and truly play the part well. Even the growing up of Liesel is recognisable and well done. There are characters to really appreciate and love in this film, for example, my favourite being Hans.

The Book Thief

Overall, it is a beautiful drama, it is a tear-jerker, but I think that is probably expected. Like I’ve already mentioned it isn’t a fast-paced movie, but I was invested in the characters, worried for all of them, emotion filled in every aspect of the film. It’s an eye-opening into Nazi Germany from a young girl’s point of view, a family who risks everything, men at potential of being called to war, but among all just young Liesel growing up wanting to surround herself with books. If you think this is a film for you, I would definitely recommend it, but I understand it is a film of particular taste. A film of bravery and courage in a dangerous place.

Big Fish (2003)

First thing to remember, this is a Tim Burton film. It is a very weird film, but quite different to some Tim Burton films, the creepy feel you get quite often in his films, such as ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Corpse Bride’, ‘Frankenweenie’, isn’t there in ‘Big Fish’. Of course, there is the weirdness, the bizarre elements of Burton’s films definitely. But not at all the creepy elements. So in this way, it seems quite a different film to other Tim Burton films, for the better or for worse? I’m not sure.

The film begins quite slow. It is very random and I found it quite difficult to get into. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure what was actually happening. It takes a while to understand what is happening, but persist with it, because it really does have a beautiful ending that just makes the film seem worth it. ‘Big Fish’ relates around the stories of Edward Bloom’s life. The film does jump through timelines, we witness Edward at a young age, at a teen, then through his adult years. But during the present, the film revolves around the plot of Edward’s son, Will (Billy Crudup), desperate to figure out what the truth was behind his father’s life. As Will is at his father’s side while he is dying, Edward retells stories of his past, one that of course Will has heard before, but what is the myth and what is the honest truth is too difficult to tell. The audience are thrown in the past, different pasts of different stories, as we are told stories of this man’s bizarre life, stories of a giant, of a two headed woman, and most importantly stories of a big fish. Like I said, the film is very weird. The film has elements of adventure, romance, and full of random, bizarre fairytale stories. They really are stories unlike so many heard before, once you get used to that, they do warp in the audience as we are transported to a completely random world.

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There are many recognisable actors in this film. The young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor, obviously recognisable in many films, such as ‘Moulin Rouge’ or even playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. The senior Edward Bloom in the present is played by Albert Finney. Both of these played very well, all of them are to be honest, the acting in this film is superb. Edward’s wife is played by Jessica Lange, probably most recognisable to people in ‘American Horror Story’. Then of course there is has to be either Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter in a Tim Burton film; this one only has Helena Bonham Carter in it, she plays the older Jenny in the film, obviously she plays her character brilliantly. She also plays the witch, but I’m not sure how the witch and Jenny are related if at all, but that just adds to the bizarreness of the film I guess. There is also the appearance of Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi (‘Reservoir Dogs’, also the voice of Randall in ‘Monsters Inc’) and Missi Pyle (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song’). Even Miley Cyrus makes an appearance. There will be many recognisable faces in this film for sure.

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Would I recommend this film? I’m not sure. I guess it’s one that you should witness at least once in your life, but it does take a while to get into. But hey, it’s a Tim Burton film and all of his films are so different to others anyway! It is a very weird film, like extremely weird. But the ending is actually so beautiful, not going to lie, I teared up a bit. The film is one where you reach the ending and you then fill fulfilled, but it just takes a while to get there. The audience are warped in to so many stories, we eventually become wrapped into it, but like I said it does take its time. Overall, it’s not an awful film, far from it, just one very out of the ordinary, but would you expect anything different?

Passengers (2016)

Well Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, recognisable actors, which is a high advertising sell point, and one of the reasons I wanted to see this film. Another? Just looks different. It’s not the same-ish things coming out at the minute, it’s completely different. Throw in a bit of romance, bit sci-fi, some tense moments, some emotional moments, occasional bit of wit; ultimately a very different drama from many I’ve seen before. And that personally is great for me. Something different, something new, how would you know if you would like it or not?

So if you’ve watched the trailer you would know that it’s about two people that wake up on Starship Avalon 90 years too soon. They were supposed to stay in their hibernation pod asleep for 120 years, while the Avalon travelled from earth to a completely different planet named Homestead II. These two that wake up too early are, mechanic Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and writer/journalist, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). Both recognisable actors, like I’ve already said. Chris Pratt from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, and others; Jennifer Lawrence from ‘Hunger Games’ films, also in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, ‘American Hustle’, ‘House at the End of the Street’, literally so many, understandable because she’s great! They both are great actors and play these characters brilliantly well, which adds to the effect of the film and make it that much better. There is also Michael Sheen in the film, who plays the bartender Android robot, again played amazingly, needed as he is a robot! As you can probably guess, there isn’t many other characters to take notice of; besides, they’re on a ship and everyone else is still asleep…

Chris Pratt; Jennifer Lawrence

Anyway, as regards for the trailer. You think the film is going to go one way, clearly and purposely done to think this way, however, this is not the truth of the film itself. And as I say time and time again, I am not a reviewer to spoil films, so if you want to uncover the truth of the film, then you’ll have to watch it, even in a midst of frustration that you were so far misled. I have to admit, I hate a trailer that shows all the best parts of a movie, or tells you everything that’s going to happen. Even though this trailer is quite open in what will happen, there is so much else not said. So many underlining questions for the audience to ask, even in the end, not all questions are answered, yet it is a satisfying closed end; without sounding like a complete contradiction there. A trailer you think you know everything, but that changes in the film.

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I have to admit, there are parts of the film that feel a bit blocky; felt like editing was quite sharp and skipped a chunk. Although the film was mostly consisting over two years, so it’s kind of needed. Also, the trailer assumes that the tense chaotic part of the film is throughout it, whereas that’s mostly at the end. The beginning is more devised around the romance element of the film, then that passes and in comes the chaotic tense drama. Gravity disappears. There’s a power cut. The ship starts to increase in heat. Etc, etc, etc. Although, saying this there were hints throughout the film that things weren’t going right, well the audience knew more than the characters, so we know there’s something going wrong.

Overall, I actually really enjoyed the film. Ok, so there were some sections that were a bit slow, but by the time I knew it, I was intrigued, absorbed, I had to watch it all. I needed to know the ending. Because you couldn’t guess, well I couldn’t anyway, and I guessed the ending of ‘Now You See Me 2’, just saying… It is a beautiful film, with amazing visual effects to get yourself lost in space, a place we are so unfamiliar of. Yet we are warped into a romance of unlikely souls, a film with a lot of emotion, I won’t lie to you, I did nearly cry at one point… It was amazingly played, amazingly made, I would watch it again. It wasn’t perfect, but it was different to what we are so used to.

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I hope I’ve made you a little intrigued to what was so different to the trailer anyway…

Love, Rosie (2014)

One of my favourite films, emotional, beautiful, brilliantly done. One, I have to admit, that is quite similar to ‘One Day’, a film between two best friends, and their rollercoaster lives through life. There constant missing of each other, chasing each other at the wrong times, the audience just left waiting and waiting, hoping and hoping. But life’s many obstacles just keep getting in the way. Obviously there are differences with ‘One Day’ and ‘Love, Rosie’, the main one being the film isn’t just set on one day, and of course the many character and plot differences, but if you liked ‘One Day’ I would hazard a guess you would enjoy this one as well.

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‘Love, Rosie’ is based around the lives of Rosie (shock there) and Alex, played by Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. Both characters played brilliantly and truly create so much emotion in the film. I’m going to be completely honest, the first time I watched this, I cried, it’s an emotional film ok? It really does pull on your heart-strings. The film feels very realistic, a real representation, alike to ‘One Day’ in that way too. There are moments of happiness, get the audience hearts warmed, moments of shock, moments of heart-wrenching feelings, also comedy, some surprising and hilarious things do happen. One thing I should probably mention, it is a 15, for understandable reasons. But throughout the film, it is constantly pushing the audience in hope they might be able to eventually get to each other; that throughout everything that has happened, things will work about between the two. From Alex moving to America, from Rosie’s unexpected pregnancy, things do take some dramatic turns, but we are warped in their lives, through the ups and downs.

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The film cleverly begins in the middle of the story, making the audience think a certain thing, but you have to watch it all to find out. We are thrown back years, to the beginning, Rosie’s 18th birthday, then we bounce slowly back up to the present, making sure we understand everything in both lives, then continue to watch from there. At times there is also a narrator, this is Rosie, giving the audience an insight into her thoughts, as significantly she seems to be driving the narration more than Alex. Additionally, I love the music in this film, it is brilliant, it reflects the moods of the film so well, it really does add to the whole essence of the movie.

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Overall, I just love this film. It’s a great film to escape into for a few hours. It is brilliantly created and acted so well, which just means it’s a beautiful film. I would definitely recommend falling into the complicated lives of these two best friends, as life’s twists and turns occurs as they have to grow up, when careers change lives, when dreams have to be put on hold for unexpected happenings… The film throws the audience in comedy, romance and drama. It is done well that even though you’re skipping years you don’t find yourself trying to uncover what has happened, nor getting lost. The film is just one of those feel-good, yet occasional tear-jerkers. If you think this is a film for you, I would recommend 100%, besides Rosie and Alex are played brilliantly as they carry the film, and we grow to love multiple characters in their lives. Aren’t you a little curious what happens in their lives anyway?

Me Before You (2016)

This beautiful film really should be one to remember. It truly is a stunning, yet heart-wrenching film, getting the audience in a state of thought, then thrown into utter balling your eyes out moments. An emotional, heart-breaking, life realising film.

Now I know there’s many films that have you balling your eyes out, or questioning everything at the end. A film that springs to mind when I think of balling your eyes out, is definitely ‘One Day’, and of course ‘Titanic’! I could literally name so many. However, I felt this film brought something different to these ones. Yes, they all are beautiful dramas, but this one had so much meaning behind it. I was warped into the drama, feeling all the emotions of the film, until that one breaking point. But even throughout this, I would definitely watch it again.

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When bubbly, bright Lou Clark (played brilliantly by Emilia Clarke – probably most recognisable from ‘Game of Thrones’) tries to find a new job, she finds herself in a situation she would never imagine. Looking after a young man, who in the past two years was paralyzed, unable to walk, unable to do a lot of things. This young man is Will Traynor, played amazingly well by Sam Claflin – recognisable from many films such as, (always the first to jump into my mind) ‘Love, Rosie’, the fourth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, or even Finnick from ‘The Hunger Games’, to say the least he’s an up-coming actor, becoming much more well-known and understandably, just shown in how brilliantly he played this character in ‘Me Before You’. There’s also some other recognisable characters, such as the iconic Charles Dance, the one and only Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), and even a glimpse of Joanna Lumley. A brilliant cast for a brilliant film.

The stars of the show are definitely Lou and Will. One of the best things I liked is the contrasts this films creates. Lou with her crazy outfits, the “chatty” and “insane” personality, alongside Will’s life, one a bit bleaker, yet his witty comments and sarcasm brings a little light, and Lou brings the brightness and “exotic tastes” to change Will. Among the seriousness of this drama, there are moments of adorable happiness, or even moments of hilarity, giggling at the quick wittiness of both of them. ‘Me Before You’ really is a film where you feel all the emotions, all wrapped up into just under two hours.

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I don’t want to ruin anything in the film, but I would definitely recommend if this sounds like a film you would appreciate. The audience are asked to reflect upon themselves, and the film delivers this so powerfully. The film is heart-breaking, a proper tear-jerker, but beautiful and comical in the right places. The audience are taken on a journey of paralyzed man’s life which most would probably have never known. Obviously from the book of the same name, written by Jojo Moyes, I would hazard a guess that the jump to screen is a one that shouldn’t be underappreciated, and I will definitely be reading the book after watching the film, because I am a believer that the books are better than the films, and the brilliance of this film must make the book exceptional.