The Snowman (2017)

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I saw the trailers for this movie when I went the cinema to see IT and it looked really interesting, kind of a like a horror/thriller.  Plus, I won’t lie I’m always up for a Michael Fassbender film…

So the plot is pretty straight forward, there is a serial killer on the loose that’s targeting women and he leaves a snowman at every crime scene. Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is on the hunt for the killer with fellow agent Katrine Brett (Rebecca Ferguson). Now as with most thrillers, for some reason the lead detective is flawed due to alcohol addiction.  I mean will we ever have a detective in a movie or television series that isn’t like this? Who knows…

The acting in this film is good, Fassbender and Ferguson both do the best they can with the material they’re given.  There’s not any special effects worth mentioning with it being your standard thriller.

The trailer made the film look at lot better than it actually turns out to be.  I expected a more psychological thriller however, the killer was just a sad bloke with a bad childhood but the reveal was so anti-climax that it just didn’t work for me.

It was a movie I was really looking forward too, hoping it would be a thriller along the lines of Seven with a cast like this one but sadly it was no where near as gripping to watch and in some parts it was just plain boring and predictable.  Especially the fact that Harry’s ex wife is clearly still in love with him despite being with someone else.   I’m afraid we’ve just seen it all before but done better than this.

Overall, I suggest you wait til it comes on Netflix or Sky because it was a disappointing watch and not worth seeing at the cinema.  Fassbender is a great actor but he really isn’t picking great films at the moment with this and that terrible movie adaptation of Assassins Creed… I know this is a shorter review than you’re used to folks however, with it being a thriller I don’t want to give too much away and unfortunately there’s not really anything to rave about with this movie…

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Snowman get’s a five from me.  So predictable and not what you expected from the trailer… 5/10 

 

 

Gerald’s Game (2017)

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Stephen King has always been a good source of material for a plot for a film and Netflix have taken his novel, ‘Gerald’s Game’ and given it the movie treatment.

Now this isn’t a remake which is refreshing so I hadn’t heard of the story before watching the movie.  It’s an interesting story but if you want a horror movie then look elsewhere…

This movie is all about psychological manifestation.  In other words, the way your mind can play tricks on you in horrible times.  Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) decide to go to their second home (I assume…) to ‘spice up’ their marriage.  It’s got no neighbors and Gerald has kindly given their staff the weekend off so that the couple are left all alone for the whole weekend..

So Gerald and Jessie start to role play in the bedroom as the trailer for the film shows you, Gerald suffers a heart-attack just as poor Jessie is handcuffed to the bed.  She’s then left their to well, pretty much go insane.

The acting in the film is quite good, both Gugino and Greenwood are great, especially Gugino as she get’s more and more mental throughout and starts mixing fantasy with reality.  There’s not really many characters in this movie, it all centers around Jessie as she fights to survive.

There’s not CGI in this movie although the Makeup FX are brilliant in one scene in particular and when you watch the movie you’ll know exactly which scene I mean. I did have to look away for a moment actually…

So basically this story is all about how Jessie’s past, a certain incident in particular made her strong enough to survive this game she’s ended up in.  It touches on how your mind can play tricks on you when you’re terrified and how the night itself ties into that.

Now there is a twist in this movie towards the end and it’s not bad but I personally think this film could have been so much more.  It also annoyed me a bit how quickly Jessie began to loose it, I mean it felt like she gave up pretty quickly when she ‘had all her strength’ in the beginning.  Sure, she screamed for a long (long) time but surely you’d quit after twenty mins or so? Like I said she didn’t really try that much for my liking…

Overall, it’s an OK film, I’ll be honest with you (as always) it got dragged out a bit too much and when you learn what she’s trying to get from her flashbacks it makes them pretty pointless… I think it’s more about what could happen that may get into your head rather than what actually happens in this movie but that’s probably the whole point right?

Perfect Popcorn Score – Gerald’s Game get’s a six from me, I get where it’s trying to go but I just lost interest sadly… It has a lot of potential but doesn’t fulfill it…  6/10 

Me, Before You (2016)

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I’ve not actually read the book but quite a few of my friends have so I knew the basis of the story and the film had got decent reviews so I thought I’d give it a watch when it came to Netflix.

We see a young woman called Lou, played by Emilia Clarke happily working in a little coffee shop when, sadly she’s let go of as they’re not making enough money there. Lou then tries to get herself a new job as her family are struggling since her dad also lost his job.  She goes through a few roles and then finds one she feels she’d be right for.  It’s a job as a carer at a wealthy families estate, caring for their paralyzed son, Will played by Sam Claflin.

Lou is overly happy and cheerful (yes, one of those people) and obviously given what’s happen to him, Will is the complete opposite and the pair clash a lot.  Lou is just about to give up and then Will seems to start to give her a chance and the pair finally seem to be getting on.  It’s a bittersweet film and it does make you think about what it would be like in both of these characters shoes.

The acting in this film is brilliant, both Clarke and Claflin are brilliant in their roles and look out for Matthew Lewis as Lou’s boyfriend Patrick. I think that it’s refreshing too see Emilia Clarke in a role like this one because we’re so used to seeing her in her Game of Thrones attire being bold and serious, this proves she has some range when it comes to acting.

It’s such a sad story and Will’s situation does raise some controversial issues, which feature in the film.  It’s more than just a romantic story because like I mentioned earlier, you see both sides to this and it does make you wonder what you’d do in their situation. I don’t intend to spoil the film for you but some scenes are a little stressful to watch because Will isn’t in the best mind set and doesn’t value his life anymore so it’s just to warn you really.

Overall this film is a really good watch, I cried I’m not going to lie and it’s not a chick-flick, it’s one everyone can relate too but maybe not young children as it might be a little heavy for them… It’s nice too see the pairs relationship change over time as they grow closer and the ending isn’t what everyone’s wants to see but that’s one of the reasons I like this film and it’s story.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this an eight, brilliant acting, moving story and something that will stay with you. 8/10 

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.

 

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.

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.

The Jungle Book (2016)

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The Jungle Book, is a story most of us know.  This film tells it beautifully, the visual effects are amazing, I’m actually gutted I didn’t go and see this in 3D at the cinema because it really deserves to be seen on the big screen in all it’s glory.

The story in short is about a little boy called Mowgli that gets separated from his family and raised by a pack of wolves as one of their own.  Then along comes Shere Khan the evil tiger, he believes that no man belongs in the jungle and sets out to kill Mowgli which leads the young boy on an adventure to find his village and be reunited once again with his own kind.

He meets many other animals of the jungle on his travels in this adaptation, such as Baloo the bear and King Louie. However, some animals were missed in script such as the elephants and vultures but they did still feature in the film.  As with almost all Disney films there’s songs throughout this movie but that didn’t bother me as much as it usually does (I’m personally not a fan of musicals).

Neel Sethi plays the role of Mowgli quite well, I mean he’s not been in any big budget films before and to act in this the way he does deserve some credit.  It’s got to be difficult for him when every other character is created after scenes are filmed so he’s got no one to work with in a way, it’s all about your imagination so I think he’s great in this film. The casting for the character voices is just perfect, I mean Bill Murray as Baloo, that’s genius! Christopher Walken is another great choice as he voices King Louie but I especially liked Idris Elba as Shere Khan, such a classic Disney villain voice, just brilliant!

The effects in this film are flawless, I’m picky when it comes to CGI and feel that it’s overused in a lot of films these days but I can’t fault this. From the animals themselves to the complete environments it’s just stunning to see on screen.

My only issue with this film is Kaa’s appearance, it’s just pointless whereas in the first Disney adaptation Kaa is a big character.  To have Scarlett Johansson voice this character for one short scene just seems like a waste of money to me.

Overall, this film is worth a watch just for the visual effects alone and it’s a classic story for all the family. I’m not sure what Disney are trying to achieve with these live-action takes on classic 2D Animations but this one is done well.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Jungle Book get’s a seven from me, the visuals are amazing, casting is great but I think it missed some key animals and the story wasn’t told as well as it could have been.  – 7/10.