IT

 

Date of Review :- 17th September 2017

Starring :- Jaeden Lieberger, Bill Skarsgard, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Jack Dylan Grazer and Finn Wolfhard

Director :- Andy Muschietti

Review :- Possibly one of the most eagerly awaited movie of the year (minus Star Wars, Marvel & DC films), it’s based on the 1986 Novel of the same name by Stephen King that originally was a miniseries in 1990, though personally I don’t think it lived up to it’s expectations and the hype but more about that shortly. It was also the second of back to back films I saw after watching mother!

If you don’t know it’s set in 1988 and Bill (Jaeden) makes his younger brother Georgie a paper boat which he chases after a starts gaining pace on the stream of rainwater until it washes down a drain, as he tries to retrieve it he sees a clown in the Sewer who introduces himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Pennywise then entices Georgie closer to the drain and severs his arm and then drags him in to the Sewer. We then jump to the following Summer when Bill wants to try and find Georgie and enlists the helps of his friends the so called “Loser Club” and are joined by Beverly Marsh who is picked on due to runours that she is Promiscuous and a new kid Ben who has been studying the history of the town and has found that the town is plagued by unexplained tragedies and child disappearances for years, he meets the “Loser Club” after escaping the Bowers Gang who have been bullying him for his large size as well as the Loser Club.

The Loser Club then rescue Mike from the Bower bullies and after whilst Bill talks about seeing Georgie the other members mention they have seen similar things and figure out that IT (Pennywise) assumes the appearance of what they fear the most and prays on this and believe it appears every 27 years. They all go to the Well House which they believe Georgie is and possibly where IT hides out, they then see Pennywise and try to attack him in the house but Pennywise manages to split the group and terrorize them but Beverly manages to impale Pennywise and allows them to escape. Weeks later Beverly confronts her father who had been Sexually Abusing her and incapacitates him but is abducted by Pennywise, Bill arrives at Beverly’s and finds a message to him written by Pennywise, he manages to reassemble the Loser Club and they go and try and rescue her. They find the well and start to ascend when Bowers attacks Mike who is still at the top of the well but he manages to push Bowers down the well to his apparent death, the rest of the group then make their way to Pennywise Lair where they find a mountain of decaying Circus props and children belongings and the missing children floating in mid-air with Beverly catatonic, Bill sees Georgie but realizing that he is actually Pennywise pretending to be Georgie and whilst listens to Georgie doesn’t fall for it, meanwhile Ben kisses Beverly and wakes her up, Pennywise then takes Bill hostage and offers to spare the others if he can keep Bill, they refuse and said they’re not afraid anymore and together they’ve conquered their fears, a battle erupts and Pennywise is beaten and retreats with Bill saying he will starve during his hibernation. As the summer ends and the Loser Club meet up Beverly informs the group of a vision she had whilst catatonic and she saw them fighting Pennywise again when they’re adults and they blood swear to return if the creature returns Beverly then tells Bill that she is moving to her Aunt in Portland.

 

Whilst it is a pretty decent film I didn’t find it scary (perhaps you need to be scared of clowns), originally I was in 2 minds with it being set in the 1980’s as this is when the book was published so thought maybe that’s when the book is set but that it turns out that this is not the case, then when the Sequel was announced I thought perhaps this could be were the 27 years comes in to it but even that won’t tie up so not sure about the settings plus it was made as an 80’s movie it looked 80’s as it reminded me of Stand By Me (which is based on another Stephen King book), I also noticed the 27 year reference that was in the TV Series Haven which was also based on another Stephen King book, perhaps the makers are trying to somehow linking TV/Film, this in truth is the only thing I can really fault it besides not living up to my expectations and it wasn’t scary (maybe because I know the story).

I think it’s hard to give it higher than an 7 as it didn’t engross me as other films do, so I will give it a 7/10, some will enjoy this more than others and some will find it more scary then I did.

 

 

The Mountain Between Us

Date of Review :- 9th October 2017

Starring :- Kate Winslet & Idris Elba with Raleigh & Austin as the Dog

Director :- Hany Abu-Assad

Review :- Been looking forward to this since I saw the it was being done though was concerned how Kate & Idris would gel together. I am and will always be a fan of Kate (as readers of my blog will know) though not every film has been good, but this was back up with her best and I think is a genuine Oscar Contender, I think this is the best performance I’ve seen of Idris and perhaps first non-action movie I’ve seen him in. A brief plot is that after their flight is cancelled due to an incoming Storm Alex (Kate) overhears Ben (Idris) saying he needs to fly tonight and Alex charters a plane to take them but over the mountains the pilot suffers a stroke and the plane crashes leaving Alex, Ben and the dog (you can’t forget the dog) to fight for survival in the wilderness. It’s based on a novel of the same name and was released a day after Kate’s birthday and for a 41-year-old (as she was at the time) mum of 3 she still has a wonderful figure.

Overall I think this is a very good film and I think the pairing worked and as mentioned I believe this has got a good chance of being nominated for several awards. I’ve read some other reviews since I watched the film and I’m not sure what some people expect in a movie or what a human would do in the same situation it seems some people expect them to die after 24 hours in the plane which would make a short film. Films to me are suppose to take you away from everyday life and tell you a story, even films based on true stories are exaggerated and this did, it was another film that I didn’t touch my drink as was that engrossed in the film. I can’t not mention the dog as he brings light to the story and verfy much part of the story. Maybe the ending is a Movie ending but it was a nice ending, I don’t think it would’ve mattered too much to the movie if ended differently but I liked that way it did.

My rating has to be 9/10, watch it.

Rough Night

 

Date of Review :- Sunday 8th October 2017

Starring :- Scarlett Johansson (Jess), Kate McKinnon (Pippa), Jillian Bell (Alice), Ilana Glazer (Frankie), Zoe Kravitz (Blair)

Review :-

We start in 2006 when 4 friends; Jess, Alice, Frankie and Blair are at College and we then fast forward 10 years and Jess is about to marry Peter so Alice decides the 4 of them should spend the weekend in Miami partying as a Hen weekend. Alice is now a teacher, Frankie an activist, Blair an Estate Agent going through a divorce and Jess a Senatorial candidate. They arrive in Miami and meet up with Pippa Jess’s friend from her semester in Australia and they all go to a club and end getting high and hire a stripper for Jess. When they make their way to the house they’re staying in for the weekend, they meet the neighbours who have the key for them. Once in the house and start telling stories a man arrives who the girls presume is the stripper and gets him to start stripping, Alice then jumps on him and cause them both to fall with him hitting his head on the fireplace killing him. As that happens Jess takes a phone call from Peter and mentions that her friends hired a stripper and doesn’t know what to do whilst panicking before Alice destroys her phone. Peter not hearing the fall part thinks that Jess is going to leave him and starts panicking himself and his friends don’t help him so he starts setting off to drive to Miami to speak to Jess.

We then end up following both storylines the girls and trying to get rid of the body and Peter’s trip to Miami.

Whilst the storyline of the girls is straight out of Weekend at Bernies, Peter’s is not very good at all.

I feel that this film missed an opportunity and felt it tried to match Weekend at Bernies and focused too hard on them trying to dispose of the body and the storyline with Peter should’ve left out. It was disappointing to be honest so I’m only give it a 6 out of 10 as not bad enough to deserve less.

 

 

John Grisham Books to Films

As a John Grisham fan and am just about to watch The Pelican Brief I started writing about the films that are based on his books (The Pelican Brief being 1 of these), these are the books/films I can remember without checking.

The Pelican Brief, The Firm, The Runaway Jury, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, A Painter House and Skipping Christmas (The film was called Christmas with the Kranks), I know there is probably 2 or 3 more but will need to check this.

Complete list below which brief outline and who is in the film.

*The Chamber – Stars Chris O’Donnell, Gene Hackman & Faye Dunaway – I must admit I can’t remember too much about this one, a young attorney fresh out of law school seeks to save his grandfather from execution after he killed 2 boys 30 years previously as part of the Ku Klux Klan, I will need to re-read or watch this again to remind myself of this one as though I can picture some of the film I can picture the story.

*The Client – Stars Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones,Brad Renfro & Mary Louise Parker – this one I can remember but for some reason missed it on my original list, a young boy sees a Man try to commit suicide with an exhaust pipe running in to his car but the boy saves him only for the man to shot himself instead and sends the boys younger brother in to a state of shock, after the police question him he hires an attorney to protect himself as the man who committed suicide was a lawyer for the Mafia and had disclosed information the police what to know but would put his life at risk.

The Pelican Brief – Stars Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington & Sam Shepard – The film I was just about to watch when I started this post. 2 Supreme court justices are killed but no-one is able to link the murders though they have the same suspect for both until a young Law Student who is having an affair with her College Professor comes up with a theory and writes the Pelican Brief, she shows it to her professor who passed it on to the FBI, the Professor and his FBI friend are then killed and she fears for her life and makes contact with a reporter who her lover trusted and she meets up and starts giving him the brief, the reporters boss urges him to drop it and he becomes a target to, to stop the brief ever making it out.

The Firm – Stars Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman – Possibly the most famous of the films from a John Grisham book, stars a lawyer fresh out of law school being selected by a prestigious law firm only to discover that the lawyers that were killed just before he joined may have been murdered and starts to find that the law firm has two sides and he is then approached by the FBI to help them take down the law firm as they suspect they help run the Mafia, he now has 2 options but both mean his life is over as he knows it.

Runaway Jury – Stars  John Cusack, Rachel Weisz & Gene Hackman – The film and book differ on the subject of the case as in the film it is a gun and gun firm whilst the book is about smoking and a tobacco firm however the rest of the story is the same. Where Nicholas Easter plants himself on a jury and with the help of his girlfriend and manipulates the jury whilst holding the decision to ransom with the 2 sides.

A Time To Kill – Stars Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Spacey & Samuel L Jackson – This was the first John Grisham book I read and made a lasting impression on me. A young black girl is raped by 2 white men and left for dead but is found and taken to hospital.  When they go on trial the girl’s father shots them and also injuries a deputy, he is arrested and goes on trial and hires against the NAACP and local African American leaders a white lawyer to represent him which puts him in line of the Ku Klux Klan, the odds are stacked against him but he deals them a joker in the closing statement.

The Rainmaker – Stars Matt Damon, Danny Devito, Claire Danes & Jon Voight – A young lawyer fresh out of Law School is hired by an Ambulance chasing lawyer but after the firm is raided by the police and FBI he goes out on his own with a Paralegal who has failed the bar exam several times and have just one case which is for Insurance Bad Faith and files suit, but having never faced a trial before and going up against countless lawyers for the Insurance company but gets some good luck when the original judge suffers a heart attack and a more sympathetic judge takes on the case, whilst the case is preparing to go to trial Rudy falls for a young lady who is being beaten by her husband and Rudy tries to persuade her to leave him, her husband finds out and they have a confrontation which Rudy kills him but Kelly tells the police she killed him in self defence this taking the heat of Rudy (though his family expect that Kelly didn’t kill him). Rudy then concentrates on the suit which they win but the insurance company files for Bankruptcy leaving no fee for Rudy and no Damages to the family he represented. Rudy and Kelly then leave town.

A Painter House – Stars Scott Glenn, Arija Bareikis, Robert Sean Leonard, Melinda Dillion & Logan Lerman, this was the first non- legal book/film that John Grisham did. This was a TV Movie and is told through the eyes of a Young boy (Luke) and tells the story of 1 summer of harvesting cotton with the help of Migrant workers from Mexico and Red Necks and how they clashed by respected Luke’s father and how Luke developed a crush on the girl from the Red Neck family. The title comes from when Luke wasn’t allowed to pick cotton along with the invalid boy from the red neck family helped paint their house.

Christmas with the Kranks (Skipping Christmas) – Stars Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis & Dan Aykroyd – When their daughter Blair decides to go to Peru with the Peace Corps and will miss Christmas her parents device to go on a cruise over Christmas and decide to Skip Christmas to pay for the trip as they won’t need a tree or all the food but the Neighbours resent that they’re not putting their decorations up and start a feud however a few days before Christmas Blair calls and says she’s coming home for Christmas with her Fiancé and now have to enlist the Neighbours help to get everything together and to throw the Christmas Party they normally throw.

*are the ones I couldn’t remember

I’m an avid reader of John Grisham and for this reason watch the films too, as you can tell by the casting these are not low cost films though not all have been big hits, The Pelican Brief and The Firm are probably the 2 biggest films in the list but A Time to Kill and the Runaway Jury I think provide to be hits too. The Painted House always reminds me of a Sunday film and I liked it was told by a character in the film (Luke). I’m looking forward to hopefully more of his books being made into films especially Camino Island which I read recently as I reckon this can be adapted easily in to a hit.

 

Kingsman – The Golden Circle

The follow up to Kingsman – The Secret Service see’s Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Edward Holcroft, Sophie Cookson and Hanna Alstrom return with Julianne Moore (Poppy), Halle Berry (Ginger Ale), Elton John (as himself), Channing Tatum (Tequila) and Jeff Bridges (Champagne) joining the cast, we return a year after the Eggsy foiled Valentine’s neurological wave broadcast and the loss of Galahad, Eggsy is now living with the crown Princess Tilde of Sweden after he rescued her from Valentine, on his way home the Kingsman shop he is attacked by a former Kingsman candidate (Charlie) and his henchmen but manages to escape but Charlie’s cybernetic arm that he loses during the fight manages to hack into the Cabs computer system into the Kingsman database and sends missiles to the Kingsman HQ and also to the agents houses including Arthur and Roxy as well as Eggsy home though he is visiting Tilda’s parents at the time but his Pug JB is also killed when Eggsy residence is hit too.

Eggsy and Merlin the only surviving Kingsman (Merlin surviving as he’s not in the database as not an agent) follow the Kingsman protocol and end up at the Statesman their American cousins which poses as a Bourbon Whiskey distillery. When they arrive at the Statesman they go through some tests to make sure they are who they are and then are shown another agent who has lost his memory after being saved a year before and are then shown Harry who has also lost an eye but was saved by special treatment by the Statesman. The Statesman then brief Eggsy and Merlin about a drug cartel called the Golden Circle but when Agent Tequila develops a rash Agent Whiskey steps in and goes with Eggsy to Glastonbury to find Clara Von Gluckberg, Charlie’s ex-girlfriend who have stayed in contact. Eggsy has to plant a tracking device in Clara which he informs Tilda of what he has to do which strains their relationship as he must do this intimately (and a bit embarrassing to me as was watching with my friends 16-year-old daughter).

Poppy Adams the head of the Golden Circle broadcasts a message saying she has laced recreational drugs with a toxin that causes the user to develop a blue rash which progresses through 3 stages, Mania, Paralysis and finally Death but she has the antidote and demonstrates this on her hostage Elton John and she will release the antidote if the President ends his war of drugs and offers her immunity. The President orders all those effected to be quarantined by locking them up at football stadiums across the US including his chief of staff.

Meanwhile Eggsy and Merlin manage to cure Harry’s amnesia by pretending to shoot a dog which is part of the Kingsman training and using the tracker in Clara they learn the factory producing the antidote is in Italy, they infiltrate the factory and manage to steal a sample but as they escape Whiskey breaks it and Harry shots him in the head as suspects he is playing both sides but Eggsy saves his life with the same treatment that the Statesman used on Harry. Harry, Merlin and Eggsy then fly to Cambodia where they’ve discovered Poppy’s lair to get the remote to release the antidote, once at the Lair Merlin rescues Eggsy from landmine and sacrifices himself and takes many of Poppy’s soldiers with him, Eggsy manages to kill Charlie and Harry manages to destroy the robodogs that Poppy has with the help of Elton John, they then inject the toxin in to Poppy to get the password and then unlock the remote but as they start Whiskey arrives and tries to stop them as he wants to get rid of all the drug addicts and users in the world to avenge the death of his wife and unborn child at the hands of drug users in a robbery. They then fight and Whiskey is killed by being shoved into the meat grinder that Poppy had in the diner, they then release the antidote and save the drug users. The Chief of Staff then has the president arrested for conspiring to commit genocide. Agent Champagne announces that the Statesman has acquired a distillery in Scotland to help rebuild the Kingsman. Eggsy marries Tilda and Tequila moves to London to help with the rebuilding of the Kingsman.

Having only recently watched the first instalment of the Kingsman it was still very fresh in my mind but with this film also reference back to the previous film this kept the story flowing and you didn’t get loss in the film. This is getting close to be a mix of James Bond, Mission Impossible and Marvel/DC films but it was enjoyable and it work. I enjoyed even if gave me an awkward moment during the film. I would recommend this as a light-hearted film especially when Elton John turns Badass 😊 This is another film that boarders on 7-8 out of 10 so I’ll stick to the middle and give it 7.5 out of 10

 

Goodbye Christopher Robin

The story behind AA Milne Winnie the Pooh. Starring Domhnall Gleeson as AA Milne, Margot Robbie as Daphne, Kelly Macdonald as Olive with Will Tilston (child) and Alex Lawther (adult) as Christopher Robin (AKA Billy Moon).

AA Milne is a writer who after returning from fighting in France during the First World War struggles to readjust and to continue his writing and wants to do a book about ending war altogether. His wife Daphne is a socialite and is against the idea of the book and after falling pregnant and having Christopher Robin who they call in private Billy Moon (or just Billy) hire a nanny (Olive) to look after him whilst his parents attend parties and openings but Milne is still struggling with adjusting and they move out of London to East Sussex with Olive. Whilst in East Sussex Daphne starts getting bored and returns to London to look at some wallpaper and Olive and Billy go with her and visit London Zoo, Christopher takes a Teddy Bear with him who is called Edward or Teddy for short and when at the zoo visit a real bear call Winnie after the place he’s from (Winnipeg), Olive and Billy return back to East Sussex whilst Daphne stays in London, after they’ve returned Olive has to go and see her Mum who is ill leaving Milne to look after Billy, at first they do some woodwork before starting going for walks in the Forest and Milne telling Billy some stories that involves Billy’s toys, during these walks the stories become bigger and Milne starts writing these down and Billy asks him to write him a story, the story at first becomes a poem that Milne sends to his wife before coming bigger with Milne’s friend Ernest doing sketches to help tell the story with Billy’s teddy being called Winnie and the boy being called Christopher Robin which Billy dislikes as people will think he’s not real if in a book like his toys Winnie, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. Daphne forward the poem on to Vanity Fair and it got published and was a big hit and meant Milne’s publisher wanted more and pushed to get the Winnie the Pooh stories published on the basis that if the poem was a hit the story would be too. The story and Winnie The Pooh took off and it thrusted Billy into the spot light as Christopher Robin and over time of being in the spotlight he began to resent it and after Olive had a run in with Daphne over Olive male friend she left and left Billy on his own with his parents, it was only when Milne went with Billy to another public appearance at London Zoo to have a photo taken with the real Winnie that Milne realised what he was doing with his son and said he would  not write and more about him and his toys and will stop the Public Appearances and they sent Billy to Boarding School in hope to get him away from all the publicity but the films suggests he was bullied through much of it and blamed his father for this. At the end of school he failed a medical to get into the Army but asked his father to ask that he can join and he is allowed to join which upsets his mother and she doesn’t come to see him off. Daphne and Milne receive a telegram stating that he is missing presumed dead but a few weeks later he arrives home and later go to the woods with his father and they start bonding again and his father apologises about the story and about his childhood. This is where the film finishes.

I enjoyed the film and really liked the tale behind the stories and behind Winnie The Pooh and feel sorry for the real Christopher Robin who had this childhood in real life even though it is only 90 years ago it seems like Winnie the Pooh has been around for centuries and the life he lived and the life Daphne lived just seemed so ancient and is hard to remember that this was life between the wars (or so I’m led to believe), but it is so believable that something like Winnie the Pooh can make the country happy again and to banish the blues after the war and the recovery of the nation that lost some many people.

Though this film has not a lot of action (a couple of war flashbacks) it is a true story and gives a real insight so I think very enjoyable, if you want fast cars and fast action this is not for you but if you want a Sunday Movie and a good story this is for you. My rating for this is 8/10

Unlocked

This review has taken me a few months to finish for some reason as never got back to finishing after starting this, I think this is probably because was disappointed with the film and not as good as hoped it would be.

Starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Michael Douglas, John Malkovich and Toni Collette, a CIA Agent, Alice (Noomi Rapace), who moved to London after failing to stop a Terror attack in Paris years previously is called back into action and into a ruse by her Mentor and former boss Eric Lasch (Michael Douglas).

Alice living in London is called into action by the London Station to unlock a suspect who is believed to be a messenger for a Terror attack, whilst she is unlocking the suspect she receives a call from her CIA bosses in the US about them making contact with the London Station but she says they’ve contacted her she’s told they’ve not informed the London Station and Alice then believes she’s caught in a ruse and helps the suspect escape, she makes her way back to Eric’s place and when it’s attacked she manages to escapes and finds an old CI and with his help finds another suspect in the circle but ends rescued by an ex solider (Orlando Bloom) who helps her before she realizes that he is also part of the ruse and she can trust no-one besides the agents that are confirmed on her side by the CIA in the US and part of the London Station that’s not part of the Ruse.

Alice finally stops Eric from unleashing the biological substance at Wembley stadium where an American Football game is being held and is welcome back into the field full-time after it’s discovered that there was delay with the her report of the potential Paris Attack from reaching the French Police which could’ve stopped the attacks.

I was really looking forward to seeing this film as one of the genre’s I find interesting but I was disappointed with the film and thought it could’ve been better, it was also too American to be set mainly in London as didn’t feel like it was set in London besides the background for example they choose American Football as the big game in London.

There was nothing wrong with the actors/actresses in the film it was just the script and setting I thought was wrong.

It’s a okay watch and I’ll give it a 6.5 out of 10.