‘The Impossible’ [Film Review]

So last night I decided to re-watch ‘The Impossible’ – a film that I saw in the cinema when it was released around 5 years ago. All I remembered of the film was that I cried my eyes out through most of it. And what happened this time? Exactly the same xD

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‘The Impossible’ is honestly the most emotionally draining film you will ever watch. Set in Thailand, it follows the journey of a family of five who travel there on holiday but, in turn, face the aftermath of a tsunami. With fairly graphic images of the destruction of buildings against skin, it’s difficult to watch without feeling as though you’re being damaged yourself. The acting of the mother by Naomi Watts and the son Lucas by Tom Holland, I personally thought was amazing. Often in films, scenes of devastation seem rather forced or lack a sense of realism, however here I felt everything they felt and it was suddenly as if I was a part of the situation too – something all films aim to capture and one which this film certainly did.

The fact that this film is based on a true story, most of all, enhanced the emotions you felt towards it whilst watching. It’s something that could happen to anyone. You start asking yourself all these questions. Would I survive in this situation? How would I feel? It makes you feel lucky to not have been in their position.

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What I loved most about this film, as well as the acting, was the way it was filmed to seem as realistic as possible – the camera floating between the depths of the waters and the freedom of the air; the camera dipping amongst crowds to show the sheer amount of people damaged by the tsunami (directly and indirectly) and the difficulty of searching for someone in such a vast and unknown space.

Honestly, I don’t really have anything negative to say about this film because I really felt everything it was trying to convey and I appreciate how it brings awareness to these sorts of issues which happen a lot more often than we think. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I wholeheartedly recommend it. But don’t be surprised if you have to grab some tissues.

To The Bone [Film Review]

Recently there have been lots of new films and TV series added to Netflix so now that it’s summer and I’m officially free, I’ve decided to make my way through a lot of them and hopefully review most of them too!

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First off I’m starting with ‘To The Bone’ which is a depiction of a girl suffering from anorexia nervosa and how she tries to overcome it (if this may be triggering for you, it may be best not to read). I had watched the trailer previously and had heard the mixed reviews but I thought it’s always best to watch it first before making a judgement. Lily Collins, who plays the main role, suffered from an eating disorder when she was a teenager and so she draws upon her her own experiences to portray the protagonist. On first thought it is kind of dangerous to cast someone who may easily be triggered by the content, however it was her own decision to lose the weight and if she feels it can be done for the greater good, then props to her.

Overall, I really liked the film. Not having any experience of anorexia myself, it’s interesting to have an insight into the lives of those who do. When people criticise this film for glamorising mental illnesses I just think that they’re criticising it for simply speaking up about it. But isn’t that what we all need? I think the film most of all brings awareness to something that most people are completely oblivious to or don’t understand enough to sympathise or be able to help. Yes, it won’t show the exact life of someone suffering from an eating disorder, but it never will because no one ever has the same experiences. The fact that I’m writing a blog post about it now is enough to show that it is getting people to talk. And the main problem I think with mental health is that people don’t talk about it enough. If we talked maybe there wouldn’t be such a stigma around it.

I think mostly people criticised the film for a portrayal of an “innapropriate appearance” however I think, again, that this only brings awareness. It may be triggering but it is undeniably clear what the film is about before you click ‘play’. If someone who is likely to be triggered by it decides to watch it despite knowing what it contains, then it’s their responsibility. If they see something online about it without their consent, that’s a different matter – the internet makes it triggering but the film itself should really only be watched by those who feel they can digest it.

Personally, I think that TV shows, films and books are the best way to express new knowledge on sensitive and unknown areas. I remember a while ago I read a novel containing a character who suffered from OCD and it wasn’t until I read this book that I really understood it. If I hadn’t read it, perhaps I wouldn’t even know now. Therefore, although films may not be able to portray something in exactly the way everyone wants it, at least they are speaking up about it. Otherwise, how else will we be educated? A film is more likely to spark our interest, whatever the content, than being fed information through booklets or at school.

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As a result, I don’t have anything against films such as ‘To The Bone’. I think it’s brave to put something like that out into the world, especially as it was so close to the actress’ own experiences. It gave me more knowledge on something I didn’t know too much about and I think films that have that kind of effect on you are the most important.

Have you watched ‘To The Bone’? What do you think?

Life in Pieces (TV Show Review)

So as you guys know, I love films and spend a lot of time writing reviews on themImage result for life in pieces tv show however I thought I would also write a TV Show review for a change. I’ll be going on holiday tomorrow so will probably not be posting for the next two weeks however I hope to still try and reply to any comments 🙂

‘Life in Pieces’ is a show I started not so long ago and the first two seasons (22 episodes each) are on Amazon Prime. I’ve got to say this has to be one of the most addictive shows I’ve watched – not only because the episodes are so short but the characters are so funny and realistic. It’s quite different to most shows I watch where there is some sense of mystery or thriller involved, however I love the everyday aspect to this and through telling the lives of four different couples within one big family, you can get to know how their lives interlink and affect one another.

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Greg and Jen

If I were to compare this to another show, it has definitely got the same vibe as ‘Casual’ which is another great show I’ve been watching and I suppose it is similar to ‘Friends’ in that it just follows the lives of people and what they get up to – just as a family rather than mates.

My favourite couple out of the show has got to be Greg and Jen. Bringing up a baby for the first time, Greg comes across as an excitable child himself who is always doing the most ridiculous things and Jen always has a sarcastic remark for anyone.

I’m currently one episode away from finishing this season which kinda sucks but hopefully there will be a season 3 (fingers crossed!)

Have you started any good TV shows lately? What did you think?

Whiplash [Film Review]

So I was flicking through Netflix wondering what to watch when I came across ‘Whiplash’ – a vaguely familiar sounding film and yet I didn’t have a clue what it was about. With J. K Simmons winning an award for best supporting actor I thought, it’s got to be good right? And it was. It was ridiculously good.Image result for whiplash movie

‘Whiplash’, to put it briefly, is about a drummer  in college who wants to make it big in the world. Andrew joins a band, under the leadership of a guy named Fletcher, where he tries to fight for the core place in order to reach the top. However Fletcher doesn’t take leadership too lightly.

My first thought when I started watching this film was: what the hell is wrong with this guy?! And by that I’m talking about Fletcher. He throws abuse at his students undeservedly for the amount of effort they put in and immediately I felt complete anger towards this guy, because who has the right to put people down like that for simply doing what they love?

What I loved most about this film was the absolute passion that it gave. Although Miles Teller had help from other more experienced players and may have shot these scenes in parts, the end product of his drumming was simply amazing – and even that’s an understatement – because the amount of energy he put into it, along with the facial expressions, made it seem so raw a talent. I loved the way this film was directed, focusing a lot on the close shots of Andrew and Fletcher wherein you could really feel the intimate tension between them as the film progressed. It was undoubtedly frustrating to see how many times Andrew tried and how many times he was put down for it but as it got to the end of the film I begun to see why this was so important.

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(*warning spoilers ahead*)

What I took away from the film, most of all, was that if your passion is strong enough no one is ever going to stop you. The last ten minutes of this film was just one of the best moments because the satisfaction I felt as he walked back out onto that stage was just relentless. I felt so goddamn angry when I realised Fletcher had screwed him over again but the fact that he walked straight back on and threw it in his face absolutely made it. If I had been in the audience I would have stood up right there and then and clapped because that’s the kind of determination that barely exists anymore but the kind of determination that is necessary to succeed.

All I can say is I’m so glad I stumbled across this film because it’s definitely made it onto my favourite movies list of all time. And I’ve only just realised it was directed by the same guy who directed La Land Land, so that also explains its magnificence.

Have you seen ‘Whiplash’? What were your thoughts?

Fight Club [Film Review]

“Every evening I died and every evening I was born again.”

“The things you own end up owning you.”fight club

I’d heard the name of this film being thrown about places – on social media, on blogs, everywhere – but I wasn’t really sure whether it was my kind of film. On first glance, the title makes you think of a gang of guys who fight all day to make money and to be honest, I thought the film was going to be exactly that. But then I convinced myself that there had to be something more, because why else would everyone be saying it is amazing? And now that I’ve seen it, it is amazing. And this is why.

Fight Club, to put it briefly, is about an insomniac who is addicted to going to meetings for those with various terminal illnesses, despite him not suffering from any himself. He’s looking for a way out; a way to cure himself, but he doesn’t know how. Then, he finds himself meeting a guy called Tyler on an airplane who he’s somewhat drawn to. Next thing you know his flat is on fire and he’s calling up this new friend for help. Together, they create the Fight Club.

One thing that’s so great about this film is that it’s so thought-provoking. Although it does involve fighting, there’s meaning behind it and you feel yourself as part of the narrator’s psychological journey to freedom. At the start of the film, I found myself really liking it; I felt like I was part of the character and his struggles. And then there came a kind of “neutral middle” where I found myself questioning what was going on and why. What was happening seemed almost strange but in a good way – I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The characters all had depth to them but I was wondering how they all matched up; how it would all conclude.

fight club 3And then around twenty minutes till the end of the film…damn, all was revealed. It was the best plot twist (I won’t say to avoid spoilers) and I honestly can’t believe I didn’t see it before but at the same time I’m glad I didn’t because it was such a great moment.

I don’t want to give away too much on the film because I feel like it needs to be seen right from the beginning to the end to understand its true value, but definitely don’t give it a miss because of the title or when you reach that “neutral middle” – you will love it, seriously, you will.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence [Film Review]

“For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”

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To be honest I have no idea where to start when leaving a review on this film except it’s just the most heartbreaking thing you will ever see. When a family loses their son to a terminal illness, they temporarily substitute him with a robot – the first of its kind who can feel emotions just as humans do. However when their actual son returns, it causes conflict between them.

Honestly, the robot, David, literally has me feeling so sorry for him the entire film. Stuck in a world where everyone believes he is inferior to them, he goes in search of finding out how to become a ‘real boy’ and it’s just so sad how far he goes just to be like everyone else; just to feel loved for once. Yes, the film is kind of weird and has some strange parts (especially when the weird creature alien things appear at the end) however the actual ending, without giving any spoilers, is just so good even though I was like crying my eyes out.

So if you find futuristic concepts about robots and emotions interesting, and you’re up for having your heart shred into pieces, then I recommend watching this film! In the mean time, I’ll be hoping this never actually happens in the future. a i artifical intelligence boy

David: “I’m sorry I’m not real.”

Monica: “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the world.”

 

‘Dead Poets Society’ [Film Review]

I was looking through the DVD shelf in ourImage result for dead poets society quotes lounge the other day when I came across ‘Dead Poets Society’. I’d heard of this movie before, of course, but didn’t know we even owned it. Being a writer and a massive fan of poetry, I knew I had to watch it. So I did. And wow I’m so glad I did.

‘Dead Poets Society’ is set in a strict boy’s academy where classes are taught in an orderly fashion from textbooks and the curriculum. They have a set routine in order to go about the day and are expected to oblige to it, until one day an English class are met with a new teacher and they are transformed into a world where students may finally be able to think for themselves.

Image result for dead poets society quotesHaving seen ‘Good Will Hunting’, Robin Williams is undoubtedly a great actor and after watching this movie too, it only strengthens my opinion of this. Of course, Robin Williams plays the teacher who drives the students to great lengths and after seeing the movie, I know I’d love to have a teacher who cares so much about individual thinking rather than memorising words on a page.

What I loved most about this movie was the relatability; having spent pretty much my whole life under the education system I know that sometimes I do get frustrated with the way things are taught and assessed. This movie kind of brought these feelings to the surface and reminded me that I love English because of its freedom, because you can think and feel anything when you read it and there’s no right or wrong answer. That’s how I think education in general should be like; learning for fun rather than for your capability to know it all. And I loved that the group of boys in this movie took on the role of defiance against education by reliving the ‘dead poets society’ and creating a future of individuality.

Of course, I don’t want to ruin the ending of the movie for those who haven’t seen it, butImage result for dead poets society quotes the final scene is one of the best things you will ever see. I just love the way its filmed and the way Robin Williams reacts to it and the intention behind it all. I was not expecting the outcome of one of the boys at all (that’s all I’ll say as to not give any spoilers) but I feel like that needed to happen to express how challenging and difficult it is to overthrow a system in which individuality and differences are arguably ignored.

As a whole, this movie is just so wonderful and my ramblings could never really do it justice. I watched the bonus material after the film and they explained how the scene in the snow (you’ll know if you’ve seen it) was shot in one take because the snow was real and they didn’t have time to cover over footsteps and it was actually meant to be set in a bathroom but they thought the snow would be better and I just think parts like this are what makes this movie so raw and so real. And if that’s not a reason to watch it, I don’t know what is.