Reviews

‘Wild’ Film Review

A inspirational montage of hallucinations, beauty and heart. Wild captures the struggle of addiction, grief and loneliness and still manages to uplift, reminding you that no matter what happens, you have to keep moving forward, one foot at a time.

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s best selling memoir Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found, Wild is a great comeback for talented actress Reese Witherspoon. Far away from the blonde bombshell of Legally Blonde, Witherspoon shows her vulnerable side and shows the world that she is anything but a one trick pony.

The film deals with sex, drugs, addiction, grief and learning from past mistakes but the dark themes are juxtaposed with inspiring moments of faith, freedom and enlightenment. Cheryl Strayed is a flawed character but that only makes her more relatable.

When the film begins, we learn about Cheryl and how her mother’s premature death has sent her into a downward spiral of self-destruction. Cheryl is determined to find herself again so she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, alone with her thoughts, she works through everything she was previously trying to forget.

The film incorporates Cheryl’s backstory by using hallucinatory memories, poetry and songs. The narrative is honest, the acting is superb and the message is crystal clear. Wild is a terrific film that brings to life the real story of one woman’s journey that helped her find herself again.

Rating – 5/5

Reviews

The Fault In Our Stars Film Review

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The Fault In Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, an intelligent and witty teenager living with terminal cancer. Her parents encourage her to attend a cancer support group and it is there that she meets to love of her life Augustus Waters.

Hazel and Augustus embark on an ambitious journey to grant Hazel’s only wish, she wants to know how her favourite Imperial Affliction ends. After contacting the author and taking a life changing trip to Amsterdam, the two fall in love and enjoy every moment they have together.

I read the novel shortly before the film release, but knowing the contents of the story did not spoil the film adaptation for me it only enhanced the emotions I felt as I turned the pages of the heartbreaking novel. I often feel an aching disappointment when I watch film adaptations of novels I feel emotionally attached to but in this particular situation, the film amazed me with it’s similarities to the book. John Green stayed clear of the typical cancer clichés and approached the story in an original way, the film also achieved this.

The film is sombre in places but the balance is restored with lots of laugh out loud moments between the cute on screen couple. The chemistry was electric between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort and many readers will agree with me when I say that they are the perfect Hazel and Gus.

The plot of the book and film isn’t anything exceptional but the story is character driven and the beautiful simplicity of young love pushes the story forward and keeps you on the edge of tears from beginning to end.

The Fault In Our Stars is a roller coaster of emotions and it explores the honest, funny and thrilling moments of being alive and in love.

Five Stars!

Reviews

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Film Review

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Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is back with the second adaptation of The Hunger Games Trilogy.

Catching Fire is a wonderful addition to the first film and it has definitely stayed true to the book and true to the characters that the readers created in their minds when reading the series. I am always sceptical when I watch adaptations because most film makers ignore some of the important points in the book and leave them out of the film. Catching Fire was an exception to this. It was exactly like the book! The first Hunger Games left out a couple of key points but the film contained all of the plot points that were needed to tell Katniss’ story.

The story takes place in a futuristic place of Panem, where people live in districts and teenagers compete in a televised fight to the death called The Hunger Games. In the first book we are introduced to this concept and follow Katniss as she wins The Hunger Games alongside Peeta Melark (Josh Hutcherson), a boy from the bakery who also lives in district 12. The Capitol, who are in charge of the games were not best pleased with the stunt that the two young teenagers pulled and their act of rebellion would definitely come back to haunt them this time round.

President Snow, still in charge, decides to hold a Quarter Quell for the 75th Hunger Games, which means that victors from all of the games compete together. There are some new quirky characters in the second film, Katniss and Peeta fight, holding hands, pretending to be in love for the sake of both of their lives. This Hunger Games was set in a tropical jungle, the challenges that they face are even more dangerous than before. Catching Fire is a step up from the first, Mocking Jay is hoping to be even better. There are rumours that the final film will be split in two parts. I can’t believe that I have to wait another year to see Mockingjay in the cinema.

Catching Fire is an excellent film, the book, written by Suzanne Collins is equally excellent. The perfect young adult fiction series since Harry Potter in my opinion. Collins has created her own franchise, just like JK Rowling. I really believe in The Hunger Games franchise and I know that it will carry on being successful.

If you love the books or just want to see a fantastic action-filled exciting adventure then Catching Fire is for you. This film adaptation exceeded my expectations and more.

Brilliant!

It definitely will not disappoint you!

Rating 5/5

Reviews

‘Now Is Good’ Film Review

 nowisgoodNow Is Good is an inspiring film about a teenager fighting Leukemia, you will definitely be reaching for the tissues.

Based on the novel Before I Die by Jenny Downham, this film may be packed full of clichés, but I think I can make an exception for this film. I read the book over a year ago and no book has ever affected me in the same way since.  A story that will make you feel enlightened with tears of joy and tears of sadness. The story follows Tessa (Dakota Fanning) a seventeen year old girl who makes up a bucket list of things to do before she dies. Refusing anymore treatment, Tessa decides to love every single moment of the life she has left. Making her way through her list she finds something that isn’t on the original list – love. The handsome next door neighbor Adam is exactly what Tessa needs to fill her last months with joyous moments. She realizes that the little things in life are more important, like talking to your brother, holding your father’s hand or simple lying next to the one you love.

I felt so connected to the characters in the book and expected to feel the same way with the film. However,  I felt that the film lacked the same connection. This often happens when books are adapted into films. However, the moments in the book that made me cry translated perfectly to screen. Each character has their own way with dealing with Tessa’s illness. Her father is ‘cancer obsessed’, seeking an answer to try and take all of her pain away. Her mother is quite a selfish character, too wrapped up in her own life to care about her daughter. When Tessa needs her mother the most she pulls through but I still disliked her character.

What I loved about the main character Tessa is her attitude. She doesn’t let cancer change who she is. She is witty, confident and optimistic for the most part. Knowing what was coming didn’t affect the way I watched this film. Sometimes it isn’t the ending that needs to be a surprise, it’s the moments leading up to it. Even though this film was heartbreaking, I felt a sense of joy when it ended. The film is uplifting and makes you realize how short life really is.  A true gem. I would definitely watch it again.

Rating – 5 Stars

Reviews

‘Lost In Translation’ Film Review

Lost in Translation is a film directed and written by Sofia Coppola. The film came out in  2003 and was given the rating of 7 out of 10.  The main plot of the story is about the character Bob, a film star who is visits Tokyo on a business trip and the other main character is Charlotte, a young woman visiting the same city with her photographer husband. We know from the beginning that they have a lot in common, but they are yet to meet.

Both characters are unhappily married individuals with lives on similar paths. The film begins with close ups of the two protagonists, emphasising the similarity in their lives. Lots of shots are of Bob and Charlotte alone, unable to sleep and clearly unhappy with their lives. When both of the characters suffer from insomnia, they take comfort in each other and try and experience things to do in Tokyo.

The film is a simple, linear narrative, which focuses on the characters actions and how they react to one another. The audience will probably not know what’s going to happen because I wasn’t sure, I was expecting a romantic link between the two protagonists despite the age difference, but I was wrong. The title is subjective to the story because the pair are literally lost in translation as they do not know Japanese.

The title however might have a different meaning. Could the title be talking about the characters being ‘Lost in Translation’ in their relationships? I guess we’ll never know. Throughout the film love is implied between Bob and Charlotte, I thought they would get together in the end. However, when the end comes to a climax where they kiss and then Bob whispers something to her and then leaves. The audience are left wondering what happens next and the film is left on a lingering cliffhanger. In my opinion this is my favourite type of ending.

The audience walks away and thinks about the film and what could happen. We never know what Bob says to her so as a viewer we can just imagine our own interpretation. The message in ‘Lost in translation’ is that you don’t always have to be alone. Loneliness can be resolved by an unlikely friendship. The director Sofia Coppola does an excellent job at keeping the audience guessing. I really enjoyed this film.

Rating – 4 stars

Reviews

‘Life As We Know It’ Film Review

Directed by Greg Berlanti and starring Katherine Heigl and  Josh Duhamel. ‘Life as we know it’ is a fun, romantic comedy about lifes unexpecting turns. We all know the typical ‘boy meets girl’ and they fall in love stereotype in these types of films. They have a baby and so it ends with a happy ever after. In this case however, the story shows two characters who really dislike one another.

Holly and Messer have one thing in common though, their love for their god daughter Sophie. They never understood why their friends picked them both together as her secondary guardians but it all becomes clear as the plot unravels. I don’t want to give too much away but this film was a really great film to watch.

Added to my dvd collection, I can watch it over and over again. The humor, the tears and the tantrums. Every little bit of this film is brilliant. I loved the journey of the characters and the actors were very well casted. With most romances you know what’s going to happen.

In this film there is a slight element of knowing what’s coming but there are also a few shocks along the way to keep the audience wanting to watch more. Simply brilliant. If you want to see a film that shows how one incident can change the path of life then this is the film for you. I love this film and I am glad I watched it and I will continue to watch it over and over again.

5 stars!

Reviews

‘The Hunger Games’ Film Review

I went to the cinema today to watch ‘The Hunger Games.’ I saw the trailer  about a month ago and I had already heard a few of the songs on the soundtrack. I don’t really know what my expectations of this film were but they were definatley exceeded. I loved the film because the storyline was strong and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The main protagonist Katniss Everdeen is a brave character who volunteers to fight in the hunger games for district twelve instead of her sister Primrose. The other main character Peeta Mellark is also part of the same district and without spoiling too much for you they also have a strong bond throughout the film. I loved the mix of elements displayed in the film, there were some parts that almost made you laugh but the sadness overshadows most of the film.

The ending is a surprise too and you know that the story doesn’t end there, I knew there was two other parts to the hunger games trilogy so I knew the film makers would end the story on a nice cliffhanger. The film is amazing and if you have a chance to go to the cinema I would go and see it. I usually read the book and then go and watch the film because the books are usually better.

In this case I watched the film first, I am going to go and buy all three books from Waterstones and hope to not be disappointed with the comparison to the film. The Hunger Games is the next big phenomenon and I know that fans will be praying that Catching Fire and Mockingjay are also made into films.

Rating – 5 stars