Review : The BeguiledĀ 

“The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls’ school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal.”

The Beguiled 2017, not the be confused with the 1971 movie of the same name, is the latest from Sofia Coppola. The movie even won nabbed her the coveted best director award at the Cannes Film Festival. And honestly, that shows because this movie is really a directors showcase. That’s not to say that there isn’t great acting on display here, there certainly is, but this movie is all about directing and directorial choices. The first two acts of this movie as completely soundless, in terms of musical score or the like, all we get is either dialogue or something like birds chirping. When we get to the third act however, the reason for that decision becomes clear as when the first horn blast hits us, it really rocks us, in a way it wouldn’t have if we had it all movie. And that really is the corner stone of this movie in its strong, purposeful, and definite directing choices. It’s also a really hard movie to review in terms of trying to rate it. It deliberately paced, but it’s also only about 90 minutes. It has distinct directing, but great subtle acting (most of the time). This is a movie I think that’s really made for certain people. Some people will see this movie as boring and a bit silly, others will see it as tense, suspenseful and unnerving, and in there somewhere is this movie. All in all, The Beguiled is a real showcase of directing, with enough great acting on there too for good measure, and a story that’s definitely something else.

Review Score : 8 out of 10

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week is:

Darkest Hour (Trailer #1)

See that guy in the video thumbnail, yep, that’s Gary Oldman (when did he get fat I know right!). Impressive make up and prostetics aside, this movie looks to totally be a vehicle for an already great actor to act his balls off, and give us possibly his best ever performance, and thats really exciting. And as much as he is being “made up” to look like Winston Churchill, he still has to ACT like him, and act thought that make up and prosthetics no less.

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Set around the earliest days of his appointment to the office of prime minster of Egland, and as the trailer states, not being anyone first choice, and follows him through one of the most turbulent times in our history. Given the decision to try and reason and bargain with the likes of Hitler, or fight to the bitter end, and stand behind those decisions for better or worse. Gary Oldman has made his career as a chameleon, and he’s always found a way to fully immerse himself in a role, to the point where you’d genuinely forget that that role was being played by Oldman. This will be the first time to see him so heavily made up, and its really exciting to see what he can do with that. Is Darkest Hour on your radar, and are you looking forward to Oldman’s performance?

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week is:

Thank you for Your Service (Trailer #1)

This weeks trailer of the week is the new first trailer for Thank You for Your Service. Based on the book by David Finkel, and adapted for the screen by Jason Hall, Thank You for Your Service tells the story of the affects of post traumatic stress disorder, and the way it affects the lives of returning service men and women. The movie also directed by Hall of American Sniper fame stars Milles Teller and Haley Bennett in the title roles, but also sees the likes of Amy Schumer in smaller roles.

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The trailer also gives us a real good sense of the sense of tension and way in which PTSD creeps into your life and then just doesn’t leave. It also illustrates the great juxtaposition of the way these returning soldiers are seen as heroes, but they don’t see themselves as heroes, just comrades who had a shared experience. It looks to tell a heart wrenching, gutt punching type of story, but one that I think both needs to be told, and told well. Are you looking forward to Thank You for Your Service?

Review : Wonder Woman

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“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

So just for full disclosure, I’ve had Wonder Woman’s theme as my phone ring tone, for like a year now, needless to say I have been nothing but super hyped waiting for this movie, and my expectations were super high. All that being said, this movie is pretty awesome. Gal Gadot, is honestly the greatest incarnation of the character we have ever gotten, and she brings everything to the role. She’s absolutely stunning, she brings the physicality, and she does excellent at playing both the strong, soft, and funny moments. However, she does have some help in here in a fantastically played secondary character in Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. The two had a great chemistry and they played extremely well off of each other, especially in the softer more quiet moments in here. And even for all the great action in here, a lot of the best scene are honestly these soft, quiet, and subtle scenes between Chris and Gal (and some others with the other supporting cast). Like I said before though, the action in this movie is here, and its very well done. The film itself is also absolutely stunning when it needs and wants to be, doing a great job at juxtaposing the colour and vibrance of places like Themyscira, against the drab and dull world of man and of war. Wonder Woman is truly a film firing on all cylinders here, from acting, to action, and everything in-between. All in all, I think this movie will be a bit of a game changer, and come Monday, will likely be the most successful female directed and lead film we’ve ever seen. Go see it right now!

Review Score : 9 out of 10

Incase You Missed It!

American Honey :

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How can I explain the film that is American Honey…Firstly, I’m not sure there is anyway to really know what you’re getting into going this movie. American Honey to me really feels like an experiment more than anything else. Its almost like a case study, in character studies, in character journeys.

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One part of this movie, is its road trip of misfits. Like if the Goonies were teenagers, but also gutter rats, really poor, had no general direction in life, and were stranded in middle America. The movie does a very interesting job at presenting the dynamic between such a group of youths. And as over the top as some of their personalities might be, their interaction comes across in such a sincere manner, like they really have been sharing the same van and motel rooms for months together.

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Another major aspect of this movie is love, but love in a few ways. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a representation of love like this movie portrays in any other movie. For one, it goes after the concept of love when contextualized by your financial stature, but it goes further also and looks at both young love, and the way in which that can shape our lives. It doesn’t try ever to romanticise it or make it seem like something to fight for, but more as this force of nature that sometimes we just can’t fight, and we can’t leave alone.

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Thats why I say its so hard to describe or explain what this movie is to people. I don’t think I know myself, but, I don’t think that means that this movie shouldn’t be seen. I think there needs to be some warning that this movie can be very explicit and its done in such a real and honest manner that some people might not be expecting based on what I’ve said before. American Honey I think is a movie about ideas and experimentation, and if you’re a fan on film and film making on a whole, then give this movie a look.

Review : The Lost City of Z

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“A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.”

Based on the trailers for this movie, I thought I had a good idea of what this movie was about, but I was wrong. This movie is much more a character study than anything else. It about the acting here, the introspective and reflective moments juxtaposed with the larger than life events of Col. Percival Fawcett’s life. And the acting here is where this movie really shines. Charlie Hunnam does a really great job at portraying the character here, giving him both subtle and more striking features and behaviour. The real stand out performance here however, is Robert Pattinson’s Henry Costin. The role in itself is very subtle, but it plays deftly by Pattinson and is honestly award worthy. All the performances here are honestly top notched, but it must be said that Pattinson is a cut above. The Lost City of Z is a real slow burn also, and that’s something I think you should know if you’re going to watch it, because it is also a long film (2 hours 21 mins) and as such it feel extra long at times. The movie itself spans much of Col. Fawcett’s life and it has a distinct feeling of having a beginning, middle and end. All in all I think if you like these kind of movies (slow burn dramas, that are about the acting more than the pay off) then you will be intrigued and impressed with this movie as I was, if not, you might find this one a bit much to sit through.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10

Review : Split

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“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.”

Split is one of those movies that might actually and no pun intended, leave audiences split. It a Shyamalan movie in every sense of the word, which is sometimes very good and other times…ridiculous. But its a line that when he walks properly, he walks almost perfectly. This movie is movie built on tension, and a slow and steady release of information, and those are both vital for this movie to work. As we go deeper and deeper, we keep getting just enough new information to keep things grounded and tight. Then towards the end when the movie starts to release all of that tension, its speeds up to help keep convert that slow tension from earlier to a fast paced explosive one. For the majority of this movie we get one of the many characters played by James McAvoy, and he plays them to perfection. He seamlessly is able to switch and swap and drop and pick up these personalities and their unique expressions and tones thats done so convincingly, that you never question that aspect of the story. There is a twist of sorts at the end of this movie, and to be fair its more of a reveal than a twist. About 90 seconds before it happened i found myself muttering a phrase to myself and wondering if thats where he was going to take it, and to my surprise and delight he did, and i applaud him for it. Split is a real pulse pounding, heart beating kind of thriller that I highly recommend.

Review Score : 9 out of 10