Tuesday, 27 October 2015

October Watch List

Man Up
 First off, I love both the leads. Simon Pegg because of Spaced, mainly and from there onwards. Lake Bell is awesome. I loved her debut, In A World... as she wrote, directed and starred. She is actually one of the very few American actors I don't mind putting on an English accent, mainly because she does it so naturually. The story is fun too plus you get to see bits of London, Southbank, my favourite place AND Waterloo which I see almost on a weekly basis, something thrilling about that. The poster pretty much says it all, right time, right place, wrong date. Two people are on a blind date but she's not the right person but it turns out they are a perfect match. Its funny, I laughed quite a few times which is usually rare with rom-coms. I have faith now that the gener might get better. Fingers crossed. Oh yes, Simon Pegg does cry in this film. He does that quite a bit. 3/5

The director, Anton Corbijn, used to be a photographer, he has an excellent eye, which is what made his debut Control so well done and beautiful to watch. The subject here is blurred between two people, James Dean and the photographer who helped make him an icon, Dennis Stock. Stock wants to be famous himself or at least be able to make credible art not just movie stills. He meets James Dean, played pitch perfectly by Dane DeHaan, by chance at a party before he got the role of a lifetime in Rebel Without a Cause. James is looking for a friend, so it seems, but Dennis wants to make art. The film is set 7 months before James Dean died and although its not addressed at all, no major hints, just subtle things, this event we all know happens looms over the entire film.

Its not about James Dean, its actually about Dennis Stock but Dean, like always, steals the attention. It's an odd subject for a film. I wish we saw more of the photographs than just at the end in the credits. Throughout we see how they were made and how the people felt at the time which was interesting, but the film dragged a bit too much. DeHaan was definitely the film stealer here. 3/5

I do like Shakespeare but I am more of a fan of the comedies rather than the tragedies. I studied Macbeth at school like many others and we saw countless versions of it, good and bad. I've not seen any of the Macbeth films apart from a filmed stage version. This film is both visually striking and beautiful at the same time which is an odd way to describe this violent play. This is how this story was meant to be seen. Everything from the cast, the costume, the setting and the beyond amazing scenary. 'Be bloody, bold, and resolute' can illustrate the mind and motive of Macbeth. I'm hoping most know the story of Macbeth, a play where the protagonsits (that's including Lady Macbeth) are evil and not people to cheer for. But if not, rather than me ruin it here, seek it out, maybe just a summary somewhere, but its best discovered in a book first then play then film. Sound snobby but I think its needed. I've seen a few Shakespeare plays without being familiar with the text and not enjoyed it as much at all. 4/5

I did have a lot more to discuss about this film but the film festival was a big distraction. I will add more later, hopefully.

The Martian
When this was first announced I wasn't too keen on watching it. If I saw it, I saw it. The trailer looked good but again, I wasn't too bothered. My friends were more keen than me. Having watched it, it was everything I expected, feeling an ache the whole way through, scrabbling around in my seat at the more difficult scenes, not enough Sean Bean. But it was a brilliant film, Ridley Scott has emerged from the Russel Crowe obsessed darkness, dusted off his alien suit and come up with an adaptation of the novel of the same name that is beyond the spectrum of the definition of survival. There are too many things to mention is a short paragraph, so forgive me if I ramble. After an expedition to Mars is cut short by a disaster, Astronaut Mark Watney is thought to be dead and the rest of the crew of Ares lll leaves to go back to Earth. But Watney is alive. To survive Watney oragnises the food rations he has while trying to gain contact with NASA. When NASA work out that Watney is alive through satalite pictures of the planet, they kick into action.

The film poses many questions, some being difficult to face. Do they save this one man for sake of billions of dollars? Do they ask a crew of 5 to risk their lives for the sake of one man? It sounds harsh but when you're watching the film, you start to see things from everyone's point of view, NASA, the engineers, the crew of the Ares lll but with Watney, its different. The scenes with just him are brilliantly done and the fact that Watney the Botney, he's a botanist, is that he has a winning spirit that is unparalleled with any other survivor. He doesn't sit around at any point, apart from one scene where he's watching Happy Days, he is always working, whether it is growing potatoes on Mars, writing out long messages to communicate with NASA or trying to fix a broken window on the hub. He is the key to all of the film. The intense scenes that I found myself squirming in my seat involve being stranded in space and floating around hoping to be caught. I find those scenes stressful. But that aside, its a great film, with a brilliant cast and core. As I said, Ridley Scott is back everyone! 4/5

After watching The Martian I threw myself at another nail biting story that I didn't realise was based on real events. Of course, we do not know for sure what happened on the mountain smmit which depicts those who lost their lives, but my god it felt real. A complete tragedy and loss of life all for the sake of climbing an impossible mountain. The climbers, leaders and followers alike ask the question 'why do they do this' and  they answer 'beacuse it's there'. You can apply to this literally anything though, why do we do these things? Because we can. Because we want to. Because we need to. All the climbers have their own reasons for being there and we only get an insight to a few in depth, such as expedition leader Rob Hall and Beck Weathers, an experienced climber and author of one of the books that the film takes its knowledge from. The gruelling conditions that these climbers put themselves through are painful and in some cases heartbreaking, especially for those who you know died on the mountain. This film could easily put classed as a disaster film as nature is the cause of all the problems but there something about the people involved in this tragedy that makes it an true life story (and it is with added cinematic touches). It is an emotional film. And views are incredible. 3/5

Crimson Peak
'Beware of Crimson Peak'. This is the hook that got me in the trailer, after seeing the beautiful gothic images of course. I thought I could handle ghost films, but I was hiding under my scarf during some bits of this film, as my friend, he had his jacket covering his face. Like cowards huddled under a blanket for safety we were spooked, but, we both agreed after the film, there wasn't enough ghost bits. The film location, set and not to mention the beautiful costumes are all visually amazing. These create an excellent introduction to Del Toro's gothic setting. The story is a little too predictable but the hidden secrets which our heroine Edith discovers upon arrival, are sinister enough to scare the hell out of you. The ghosts, when we do see them, are spirits, twisted and disturbed or wonderfully dressed all with a smoke like presence that I haven't seen before. These ghosts are elegant and actually bring warnings to help the living and it is the living that should be feared. You know, that old chestnut. But despite the predictable story and lack of ghostly bits, the film has enough atmoshpere and Tom Hiddleston to keep me watching. Technically a three person show who all show they're strengths is slightly different roles from previous ones, makes it interesting to watch (enough though you know the out come). 3/5

I was in two minds about this film. I've read so much about and yet these articles and reviews barely give anything away. I understand why but I can't agree with everything I've read. The part Emily Blunt plays, Kate Macer, was originaly meant for a male actor. To be honest, the part is gender neutral. But I'm glad Blunt was cast otherwise there would have been no women in the film. That is pretty bad. Macer is an FBI agent brought in on a mission by the CIA and army. The purpose was to collect a senior member of the Mexican cartel back to the USA. We all know as much as Macer does and that is barely anything. She is literally there to observe. It's irritating. Aside from the uncomfortable tension throughout that does build up to an event that both brilliant and terrible, that irritating feeling haunted me throughout the film. It was a good thriller but like Macer, I was annoyed at the lack of information provided and the feeling of being left in the dark was mutual. The scenes between Blunt and Benicio del Toro are some of the best scenes, no matter how short, in the film. They seem to be wary of each other and even at some point trust each other but ultimately they both have their own stronge principles that go against each other. I gave it a higher rating originally but I switched to lower as I though I gave it higher only because of Blunt. But overall it needed a little more light on the situation. 3/5


  1. So many great films here! Firstly, I loved Man Up so much more than I thought I would. Isn't Simon Pegg just the cutest? I only saw the trailer for Life last night but I'm really looking forward to that. Dane DeHaan is brilliant.
    - Allie

  2. I do love Dane DeHaan ever since I saw him in Lawless and then in The Place Beyond the Pines. He's such a perfect James Dean. Man Up was great fun - love both Pegg and Bell. Hoping this is the route of Brit Rom-Coms now.