The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

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I just stumbled upon this film one Friday night on gold old channel Five. I’ve not read the book I’ll be honest but I have read other books by the same author and they’re very addictive reads.

So the story is that an aspiring writer, Andy Sachs played by Anne Hathaway is struggling to make her mark in the world.  She has countless interviews and just doesn’t get anywhere, but is advised to intern. So she stumbles across the chance of an interview for a fashion magazine called Runway.  It’s safe to say that Andy is in need of a makeover if she is going to stand a chance of landing this job however, Miranda Priestley played by Meryl Streep decides to hire her regardless of her look.

Miranda is the career woman, she’s obsessed with her job and treats people in roles below hers like they don’t even matter.  Her first assistant Emily, played by Emily Blunt is equally as nasty and they both enjoy making fun of Andy’s appearance.  Don’t worry though, as you might have guessed Andy does receive her makeover from fairy godmother Nigel, played by Stanley Tucci. As Andy starts to excel in her career, her personal life suffers and she’s faced with choices and the consequences of those choices.

The cast in this film is perfect, I think both Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt shine in their roles and Stanley Tucci is brilliant as Nigel.

There’s no effects in this film to mention, it’s all about wardrobe. The various outfits you see the cast in are so stylish and perfect for this film.  It did make me want to work in the fashion industry however, I feel I enjoy food too much…

I’ve heard people talking quite negatively about this film and just want to highlight my opinion in this review because, that’s what reviews are for… People think that it gives a negative image of woman, I can see where these people are coming from because it’s as though Andy needed her makeover to strive in her role.  However, Nigel explains that if she want’s to be taken seriously then she has to take her job just as seriously. She works in fashion, she attends events and meetings in the fashion world so she should interpret that in her appearance because she’s one of the faces of Runway. It’s like a uniform for them clothing wise.  I know that she does end up going down to a size six though and that’s different, weight has always been a controversial topic in the fashion industry and I think that this film was just showing that and making it known.

Overall it’s a good film, it shows how hard it is for people in higher positions in the industry struggle to balance their personal lives with work.  It’s predictable in some parts but still a decent watch.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I personally give this film an eight, it’s well made, stylish and shows the cut throat side of the industry.  – 8/10.

 

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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So I saw the book when browsing in a local book shop and thought, ‘what a strange idea…‘. This film has an interesting concept but I’m not sure that it worked…

It’s based on the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen but with an added twist of zombies. So we have Elizabeth Bennet, played by Lily James who lives with her parents and (many) sisters, all trained to defend themselves against the undead. Their mother is obsessed with marrying her daughters off to literally anybody including the girls cousin (yes, I know) Parson Collins played by Matt Smith.

Even though they’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, one must of course attend social gatherings to improve ones social status (I’ll stop now…). When at the party Elizabeth’s younger sister Jane falls for the host, Mr Bingley, played by Douglas Booth and (of course) the pair get engaged.  Elizabeth does capture the attention of a guest at the party, who could this mysterious gentleman be? (How did you guess that!?) Mr Darcy played by Sam Reily (sorry Colin Firth) is very arrogant and rude to Elizabeth at first so when he does eventually ask for her hand in marriage she refuses (you go girl!).

There’s a couple of twists in the film but if you don’t see them coming you must be very tired or this have it on in the background and not be paying attention… It’s basically a mockery of the original and all it’s characters so please do not take this film seriously because if you do, you’ll miss the point and it will be terrible to watch.

The cast are average, Lily James seems to be the new Keira Knightley as she’s being cast in a lot of period drama roles lately. I do have to mention that Matt Smith is hilarious in this film and he’s my favorite character because of this. There’s also some seriously badass zombie slaying from the queen herself, Lena Headey.

The effects are actually alright and the zombies themselves are quite creepy. The costume designs for all the characters are great and it’s a very well done film in that respect.

Overall it’s not the worst zombie film I’ve seen and there’s been a fair few. There was a fairly decent plot and although it got far to dramatic in parts and you couldn’t tell if it was still taking the mic or genuine it was still quite fun to watch.

Perfect Popcorn Score –I’m giving this a seven, it’s an interesting take on the classic tale and there’s some good laughs and gore.. – 7/10.

Crimson Peak (2015)

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When I saw the trailer for this film I was really excited to see it, I’m a big fan of Guillermo del Toro’s work as his standards for special effects in film are so high. I mean look at the above poster, even the promotional work is beautifully designed.

Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing, a young aspiring author that is drawn to a mysterious stranger.  This stranger is Thomas Sharpe a English inventor played by Tom Hiddleston.  There’s an instant attraction between the pair and when I say instant I mean it doesn’t take long for them to become engaged and married in the film, I know it was different back in the day but come on! She then moves into his family home, Crimson Peak.  Thomas lives with his sister Lucille, played by Jessica Chastain.  Their family home is a large mansion but it’s in need of a lot of restoration, we’re talking holes in the roof here so the family are clearly not the wealthiest.

The house is very eerie and there’s clearly more to this family than meets the eye.  Edith is a very curious character, probably because she’s a writer  with imagination and looking for inspiration.  This film was sadly very predictable and not as creepy as it could have been. I feel that del Toro should have an 18 age rating in his films because this allows him more freedom to be scarier and darker with both his stories and visuals.  

The casting was OK, Mia Wasikowska has innocent yet feisty down in most of her films.  Hiddleston is always going to be able to play a English Gentleman well with that voice… The rest of the cast work well, I just feel that the script didn’t do them justice. 

It’s a bit long winded really, you’re just waiting for something to happen and when it does it’s like I mentioned earlier, predictable. There were no surprises for me in this film and it did disappoint me as I was looking forward to it so much. 

The effects are beautiful, probably the best thing about this film is the style of it.  The costumes, sets and character designs are amazingly detailed but I expect nothing less when watching a del Toro film, just look at Hellboy.

Overall it’s not the worst film del Toro has done (I’m looking at you Pacific Rim) but it’s certainly not his best either.  If you want something just simple to watch but with nice visuals then sure, give this a go but don’t expect the story to blow you away.

Perfect Popcorn Score –I’m giving this a six, like I said not his best work but worth a watch for the visuals…the story not so much.. – 6/10.

 

The Age Of Adaline (2015)

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I’m going to say something you may not like, I watched every single episode of Gossip Girl when I was younger… I’m a Blake Lively fan, she isn’t the best actress I will agree with you there but she seems like a nice enough person and so I gave this film a go, plus the story sounded interesting.

So Adaline Bowman played by Blake Lively is a woman that, through a car accident, cannot age.  Due to this she’s watched a lot of people she loves pass away and has had to keep moving and changing her identity every few years so that no one learns the truth about her.  I mean the idea of being young forever may seem great but if it’s just you, on your own it’s going to a be lonely life…

Adaline meets a young man called Ellis Jones played by Michiel Huisman that falls for her, she falls for him too but tries to not show her feelings because of her secret. This doesn’t last long and she decides that for once in her life, she’d let herself love someone and have an actual relationship.  There’s a couple of twists to this story that keep it interesting but I will warn you, her little dog sadly passes away (I don’t like spoilers but it got me, I have a thing about dogs in films sorry..). 

The cast in this film are great Blake Lively plays the lead role really well in my opinion.  Harrison Ford is also in this film as he plays Henry HusimanEllis’ father who is an important part in this story. Without giving the story away I will just say that Ford is very good in this film and when watching it I hope you’ll see what I mean by that.

It’s a good story and a well written film, something you can watch any time. It is a romantic film but it’s not exactly cheesy, there’s more of a feel-good vibe from this movie.  Obviously with a story like this one the film isn’t going to be realistic but let’s face it not many romance movies are, I’ve sat and watched many and thought Oh come on! 

There’s not any effects to mention really but I will say that the costumes in this film are beautiful, Lively always seems to get the best wardrobes in her films!

Overall this film is definitely worth a watch if you want romance and drama without too many of the cliches in films today. It wasn’t a film that was overly publicized and it did surprise me. I think that because the male lead wasn’t necessarily a well-known actor or it wasn’t based on a book by Nicholas Sparks’ it didn’t get the ‘hype’ it deserved.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I really enjoyed this movie, it’s just a nice film to watch and it makes you think about life and how people are needed to make it worth while (deep, I know) It gets a solid 8 from me (long live Lively!) – 8/10.

30 Days Of Night (2007)

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So I wasn’t actually old enough, at the time to watch this movie at the cinema but that didn’t stop me watching it as soon as it came out (I’m a rebel, what can I say).

This movie is based on the graphic novels of the same name, they’re worth checking out as well by the way, there’s some amazing artwork.  Anyway, back to the film… So it’s a simple story and a pretty clever idea actually.  There’s a small town in Alaska that has a month with zero sunshine which is, 30 Days of Night.  Enter the vampires, obviously wanting a nice holiday destination with as little sunshine as possible and plenty of snacks…

The acting is pretty decent, you’ve got Josh Hartnett as Eben, the town sheriff and Melissa George as his estranged wife Stella. You’ve also got Danny Huston as the leader of the vampires Marlow, who’s quite menacing actually.

Decent effects, nothing big enough to mention really it’s more about gore than CGI but it all works very well.  For all of you Twilight fans, there’s nothing romantic about these vamps at all and they certainly don’t sparkle.

There’s a lot I like about this film, it’s become a bit of a classic to me actually. It’s such a straight-forward idea like I said and it’s not exactly scary but it’s very gory and there’s a few jump scares for you.  I like how as I’ve mentioned, there’s nothing romantic about these vampires, they’re here to kill everyone.  None of them have any feelings towards these towns people other than hunger, I mean they purposely remove the heads so that none of them turn.  They have their own language so there’s no communicating with them or trying to reason or bargain so when encountering one, you wouldn’t try to talk you’d run.

There’s a twist at the end and room for a sequel actually, I’m sure there was one but it went straight to DVD and I still haven’t seen it… One day maybe..

Overall this is still worth a watch even with all those other vampire films out there, the story is just a good idea and there’s a reason that the vampires target this town other than random misfortune.  It’s a pretty fast paced film, no nonsense and all action so you won’t get bored watching this.

Perfect Popcorn Score – 30 Days of Night gets a nine from me, good action, gore and story.  A good film to just switch off and watch the mindless violence as my dad would say…   – 9/10.

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

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So as you can probably tell with me having this blog, I’m a movie nerd.  I like to see what movies are coming out soon and watch various trailers etc.  That’s how I came across this film…Sadly it never came to a cinema near me so I didn’t catch it until it came out on DVD (yes, I still buy those sometimes).

It’s an interesting film, something that I’ve not seen before.  It’s basically a ‘mockumentary’ about the life of modern day vampires and the society of ‘supernatural’ beings. It’s from the creators of Flight of the Conchords, so that gives you a sense of the style of humor in this film, these guys know exactly how to do misfit humor well. 

We have a camera crew that have been granted access into the lives of four vampires that all share a house together in the 21st Century.  The four vampires are all unique characters, firstly you have Viago played by Taika Waititi who is very chatty and happy to tell you everything about himself and the others, he’s the main narrator really. Then we have Vladislav played by Jemaine Clement and Deacon played by Jonny Brugh who are both brooding, grumpy and think they’re cooler than they are.. Finally we have Petyr played by Ben Fransham who is clearly the oldest of the bunch as he can’t even take a more human form and just lives in the basement minding his own business.  As you can imagine these guys don’t always get along and it’s their situation of being vampires in the modern age that’s brought them together, clearly just not wanting to be alone.

Things take an interesting turn when one of the group accidentally turns a guy called Nick into a vampire.  Nick is pretty annoying but his best friend Stu is very popular with the group even though he’s human and teaches them how to use modern technology which results in some very funny scenes in the film. The vampires are able to control peoples minds, a useful trick when they make mistakes and need to resolve things. Nick doesn’t really take to being a vampire and the others take it upon themselves to try and help him even though they don’t really like the guy.

There’s no major use of digital effects as such in this film, it relies mainly on makeup and just good humor.

The casting is great, no one really well known as such but the cast work well with one another, clearly most of them have done projects together before.

Overall this film is an interesting watch, if you aren’t much for the Flight of the Conchords’ humor then don’t bother with this but if you’re a fan of that you’ll love this film.  I personally enjoyed it, parts are really funny but I can understand it wouldn’t be for everyone.

Perfect Popcorn Score – What We Do In The Shadows get’s a seven from me, some really funny scenes and a good idea for a film but it’s one you have to be in the mood to watch  – 7/10.

 

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

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The problem we have with horror movies these days is that we’ve seen everything, I mean I really do feel for the horror writers of today because it must be so difficult to come up with something remotely originally, story wise.  This film is something we’ve not seen before though, it’s a great horror/comedy mix but, I’d expect nothing less from the legend that is Joss Whedon.

So we have five twenty-somethings in a cabin in the woods. Oh, I’m sorry… Have you seen this before? Yes, OK but did I also mention that they’re being watched by an organisation that’s led them to this cabin and to complete a ritual?  You first see the characters and think, ah alright you’ve got your jock, blonde ‘bimbo’, stoner, nerdy girl, jocks ‘normal’ best friend. However, throughout this film you learn that the characters are being manipulated to appear this way, they’re all (well apart from MartyMarty is as he seems, a stoner) actually intelligent students.

This film is just great, there’s some dark humor and I love it, the guys behind the scenes understand their role and just want to ‘get the job done’ and you can’t help but like them even if they are trying to kill the students in the cabin. There’s a few twists in this film and they just add to the enjoyment.  I really liked the basement scene because you have a character, Marty saying exactly what you’re saying when you’re at home watching, ‘don’t read the latin!’  Of course no one listens to the stoner (or the audience) and unleashes the family of redneck zombies.

The effects are great, both digitally and FX Makeup wise for all the various creatures that appear. It’s nice to see a film that doesn’t rely on just CGI alone.

The cast in this film is decent, my one issue is with Kristen Connolly who plays Dana she just wasn’t likable as a lead role which is a shame, I mean she wasn’t terrible but I could think of better actresses for this part.  I don’t have any problems with the rest of the cast though, Fran Kranz is perfect as Marty the stoner and one of my favorite characters is this movie. Personal shout outs to Amy Acker and Tom Lenk, yes I’m a Buffy/Angel fan and was so happy to see these two in this film!

Overall this film is just fun to watch, like I said there’s a few twists and it’s an interesting story plot which is hard to find these days.  If you’re not into gore with clever humor this film isn’t for you, it’s not creepy scary but it’s a good film to see.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Cabin in the Woods gets an eight from me, great story, great gore and laughs but the cast could have been better  – 8/10.