Film Reviews

Circle (2015) Film Review

I’m always down to watch a psychological thriller, so when I came across this film on Netflix, my interest was peaked. I put it on and prepared for an emotional rollarcoaster as one does when they watch these kind of films. This is what I thought:

Firstly, the plot itself was fairly simply albeit a bit dark and depressing. A large group of people from various social, ethnic and economic backgrounds find themselves trapped in a room with no memories of how they got there or any idea on how to escape. They quickly realise that they have to vote for somebody to die or they will be randomly killed by the machine in the middle. The group spends the majority of the film arguing about who should go next and why they deserve to live.

As soon as the film started, I could not stop watching. I was addicted. In my opinion, this was due to the fact that neither I nor the characters onscreen knew what was going on. We were all in the same boat which in turn made me feel like I, too, was in that room standing on a red circle with the rest of the cast. This feeling was strengthened by the fact that the audience did not learn all the character’s names. As a consequence, the audience felt part of this group nameless people. The tension was real and that was before all the arguments started.

Once the debate started, I found myself pulled in so many different directions. On one hand, I was appalled by the people who were shamelessly voting for this child to die and the criteria that some characters were basing their decisions on. Yet on the other hand, I could not help but wonder what I would do in that situation. I would like to think that I would not be savage and cruel like some of the people in that program, but, I’m not so sure. After all, I’d definitely want to live. But at what cost?

Although, the film had minimal movement, I managed to remain engaged for the duration as there were many twists and turns accompanied by some unexpected deaths. Though nothing was as surprising as the ending which had me in shock because I could not believe what I saw.

My one criticism of the film is that it felt unfinished. After all the stress of the previous hour and twenty minutes, the final seven left me somewhat unsatisfied. I still had questions that I feel should have bee addressed in a sequel.

Rating wise, I will give this film 4/5 stars as I was thoroughly entertained over the course of the film. I would definitely advise everybody to watch it, especially if you’re interested in how people think and act under extreme stress.

Featured Image taken from Wikipedia 

TV Reviews

The Last Tycoon Review

I was browsing through Amazon Prime Video looking for something to watch when I came across The Last Tycoon, a series I had nearly forgotten about from the Amazon Pilot Season. I remember being super excited about it due to the cast, the sets, the costumes and the source material. Now that it has finally arrived, I decided to watch it and see if the rest of the series was as good as the pilot. And disappointed I was not.

Firstly, the show follows an extremely talented film producer named Monroe Stahr as he tries to make movies during the time of the Depression. Although, the premise seems fairly narrow, I was surprised by the amount of issues that the show manages to highlight such as socialism, capitalism, antisemitism, immigration and the rise of Nazism in Europe. These topics come up in period pieces all the time, however, I have never seen them in a series that focused on film making. So, for me, it was fascinating to learn how all these different topics effected the film industry during that time.

Furthermore, I have to say that the characters and the acting were the best part of the series. My favourites being Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr, Kelsey Grammer as Pat Brady, Lily Collins as Celia Brady and Rosemarie DeWitt as Rose Brady. Ever since I saw Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey in White Collar, I have been a huge fan. He is excellent at playing these suave, smooth and charismatic characters who are suffering from some kind of emotional trauma. Monroe Stahr was a fascinating character who I often found myself rooting for, even though I wasn’t always a fan of his methods. Furthermore, Pat Brady was the character that had me on the fence the most- that’s to say I couldn’t decide whether I liked him or not. On one hand, I understood that all the actions he took throughout the series were so that he could make movies during a difficult period. On the other hand, his heartless decisions often left a sour taste in my mouth as I began to question whether the ends really did ever justify the means. Nonetheless, I enjoyed watching him on the screen thanks to Grammer’s performance.

Additionally, Lily Collins was well cast as the daughter of a rich man who recognised her own privilege and worked to make the world fairer. Watching her progress throughout the series gave me the impression that I was watching the character grow up. At the end the season, I felt like a proud mother watching as her child graduate from uni. On one hand, this proves that I get way too invested in my TV shows. On the other hand, it highlights how Celia was a character that engaged the audience; one that everyone cared about and wanted to succeed. Moreover, Rosemarie DeWitt was probably my favourite female character as she was funny, sarcastic and clearly unappreciated by most who knew her. DeWitt played a familiar role (bored housewife who wants meaning in her life) but the character never became a stereotype.

If I had any negatives at all, it would be that when season ended, I was left with a few questions. Now, that’s all fine and good when a second season is confirmed but that is not the case here. I really hope that I won’t be left hanging lol.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

So, if you’ve seen The Last Tycoon, what did you think? Who’s your favourite character? Leave your answer in a comment, thanks for reading 🙂

Featured Image taken from imbd website

TV Reviews

Poldark Series 3 Episode 7 Review 

If you thought last week’s episode was filled with tradegy and despair, then you will extremely saddened to hear that episode 6 was even worse. Joyful moments were few and far between this week as tragedy left no character untouched (well maybe Dwight and Caroline)

Arguably, the person who suffered the most was the newlywed Morwenna since her gross and vomit inducing husband turned out to be worse than we could have all imagined. In addition, to being greedy, arrogant and repulsive, the Reverend Whitworth is also abusive, which leads me to believe that this character has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It’s a shame that Morwenna cannot leave this horrible man and run away with Drake, especially now that she is pregnant. However, the arrival of her sister may prove to her saving grace as Rowella (Esme Coy) seems to have a more confrontational attitude than her sister. 

Furthermore, it seems that Ross and Demelza are going through another rough patch in their relationship as Delemza is growing tired of Ross’ stubborn nature. Honestly, at times it seems that Ross is his own worst enemy. If he had stood as a candidate for Truro in Parliament, then he could have tried to make things better for the poor in Cornwall from inside the system. However, he decided it was better to complain about things from the outside and turned down the position. On one hand, it could be argued that this a noble decision by the character, the likes of which, we as an audience, have become acustomed to and would usually respect. On the other hand, his decision led to George Warleggan swooping in to become the candidate instead. Knowing George, this will not be something that the good people of Truro will benefit from. In addition, it became apparent that Demelza feels neglected by Ross as he is becoming more and more insular. It’s not helping that a certain Hugh Armitage is spouting poetry and sending contemporary chat up lines her way. Ross Poldark better be careful that another man doesn’t run away with his wife! It’s time he realised how lucky he is to have Demelza!

Additionally, the most heartbreaking thing to happen this episode was the death of Aunt Agatha. The blame for this lies solely at the feet of George Warleggan who effectively robbed Aunt Agatha of her will to live by cancelling her birthday party. Moreover, I don’t think starving her and refusing her basic human rights helped either. And this was all so he could feel like a “big man”, finally getting his revenge on the mean old lady. This is the character’s lowest and most pathetic act of the entire show and I honestly can’t wait for karma to drag the dick right back down to earth. Of course, the magnificent Aunt Agatha played by Caroline Blakiston couldn’t leave without laying down some home truths. In her final moments, she hinted to George that he may not be Valentine’s father, an act that visibly hit George where it hurts. Although, a small part of me can’t help but wonder whether she went a little too far…

In attempts to end this review on a high, I have to mention how nice it was to see Caroline and Dwight both super happy and officially wedded. After all the strife and separation, it was heartwarming to see them happy and healthy. Furthermore, it was a welcome sight indeed to see Sam Carne (Tom York) exhibit emotion like a real person. I can’t wait so see if he gets together with the pirate’s daughter. Maybe he’ll become less of a killjoy!!

So, what did you think of this weeks episode? Leave a comment below with your thoughts! 😊

Featured Image taken from the Independent Online 

Film Reviews

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review 

From the moment I saw Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Civil War, I have been super excited for Homecoming to be released so I could finally watch it. I had high expectations for this film and I wasn't disappointed!  But before I begin my review, I will give those you haven't seen it a fair warning. There may SPOILERS ahead!

Firstly, I have to say that Tom Holland is my favourite Spider-Man to date. Honestly, as a superhero, I've never really been a fan of Spider-Man but Tom Holland has changed that. He doesn't just play Spider-Man, he is Spider-Man! He plays both the superhero and the teenage boy part of the role to perfection. His scenes with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr.) were probably some of my favourite and as result, I cannot wait for Infinity War when he will almost definitely have more interactions with Tony and the rest of the Avengers. 

Other characters that I really loved in this film were The Vulture (Michael Keaton), Ned (Jacob Batalan) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). The Vulture is up there with Loki as one of the best Marvel Villians out there. Furthermore, the reason why the Vulture turned to crime is so relatable that you can't help but sympathise with the character. It's refreshing to see a villain that isn't villainous for villainous sake. Ned was the best, best friend that Peter could ask for and often he felt speaking on behalf of the audience. Moreover, Aunt May was so cool and funny. In fact, I love the direction they went with this character, it really worked with the whole direction of the film as a whole. Overall, the cast for this film were mostly amazing and well chosen. One of the things I loved the most was the fact that these high schoolers actually looked like they could be high schoolers in a diverse place like New York. That's rare to see and something that should be largely applauded. 

The actions sequences were great particularly the boat scene and the plane scene at the end. They were well-chereographed (if that's the right word) and clear. What's more, you could always see the Peter Parker had a plan and wasn't shooting aimlessly and winning by accident. I also loved when the suit's AI was turned on and began interacting with Peter. Karen was hilarious and I hope she's back for the next film. 

If I had to pick something to criticise, I'd have to say that I don't feel like Zendaya really needed to be in this film. That's not to say I did not like her character because she did have some funny lines. However, I feel like her contribution as Michelle (or MJ 😮😮) wasn't integral and she could have been put the next film with more of a substantial role.

Overall, this was brilliant film with superb acting, great action sequences and side splitting comedic scenes. Over the course of the movie, I laughed, I cried and I fangirled. Rating wise, it was solid 5/5 as I can't really find much fault with it. 

So what did you think of Spidey this time around? Leave your thoughts in a comment below 😊

TV Reviews

Poldark Series 3 Episode 6 Review

Whilst watching Sunday’s episode of Poldark I was reminded of two things:

  1. Aunt Agatha is a boss
  2. George Warleggan is a dick

It seemed like this episode was George Warleggan’s turn to ‘win’ against Ross in their endless and pointless feud. Of course, whenever Ross wins, everybody cheers because the poor people are given food and work, good men are rescued and everyone is generally better off for it. However, when George wins, it’s an entirely different story. In this episode, George’s win saw a Drake being locked up and almost sentenced to death for ‘theft’, even though, the object in question was almost certainly gifted. But, the slimy social climber did spare Drake’s life… only to condemn Morwenna to lifetime of despair as the wife of that repulsive clergyman. This was all in effort to improve his own social standing! It just goes to show the lengths that George Warleggan will go to buy what he can’t inherit. 

As a result, this episode seemingly marked the tragic end for Morwenna and Drake’s burgeoning relationship which is a huge shame, especially since everything was going well for the pair. But you never know what the future will hold, so maybe there’s hope for these characters. 

Furthermore, another example of tragedy and broken relationships was that of Caroline and Dwight. The recently reunited newlyweds seem to be in some difficulty since Dwight has come back from the French prison. He’s suffering from PTSD, something that Caroline and most of her contemporaries are unable to understand nor treat. However, with some encouragement from Hugh Armitage and Ross Poldark, Dwight is able to open up and tell Caroline about his trauma. This was a sweet scene to see, I really hope that these guys get the moment of happiness and joy that they truly deserve.

Now whilst there was a lot of despair and tragedy in this weeks episode, their was also a lot of laughs too- mainly involving Toads and Aunt Agatha. 

Aunt Agatha continues to the real MVP of the series as her witty dialogue and useful insights make her the best character in the show. It’s especially fun to watch her mock George. Although, judging from the preview of next week’s episode, will she go too far?

Overall, this was a good episode and I can’t wait to see what happens next. But did you think of this episode? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below 😊😊

    Film Reviews

    To the Bone- Film Review

    There was a lot of controversy surrounding this film on the subject of whether it glorified Eating Disorders. So, I wanted to watch the film and decide for myself whether the criticism it was receiving was justified- and also, I wanted to see if it was a good film. Here is what I thought:

    Firstly, in my completely subjective and non-ED suffering point of view, I do not believe that ‘To the Bone’ glorifies Eating Disorders in any way. As I watched the film, I found myself confronted by the harsh realities of living with an Eating Disorder. In my opinion, the film showed the absolute harsh and brutal reality of living with an ED and how it effects those around you. In fact, as a person who doesn’t really know much about Earing Disorders, the film was extremely informative. It showed me that EDs don’t discriminate by age, race, gender, sex and sexuality. Therefore, I think it is a great example of why films that tackle this issue must be made and shown more often.

    Regarding the plot, I have to say that it was nothing extradinary as nothing really happened. It basically just followed Eli/Ellen (Lily Collins) as she takes part in Dr. Beckham (Keanu Reeves) inpatient program designed to help her and people like her overcome their ED.

    Without a doubt, I have to say that the film was well acted with Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves being the standout performers. Watching Lily play Ellen/Eli, I really did see the struggle of living with an ED whilst watching Keanu, I did really feel like he was this caring no nonsense doctor who wanted to see his patients get better and live.

    However, one of the things that partially spoiled my enjoyment was the romance between Luke  (Alex Sharp) and Eli/Ellen. I feel like the main focus in this film should have been the Eli’s recovery not this unnecessary romance. Furthermore, I really didn’t like when he asked her to stay because he needed her. I feel like that was too much pressure to place on someone who was going through their own stuff and was clearly spiralling. In addition, the bottle feeding scene was super weird and took me out of the film a little bit. It just felt really random and out of place but maybe it just me lol.

    And one last thing, I really didn’t like the bit where they lied about having cancer in order to get the waitress to serve them alcohol. (A bit random I know). I feel like that was a bit selfish as that woman could have lost her job because of it. To manipulate her in that way was not funny and not necessary.

    To conclude, whilst the film tackled many important issues and tackled them well, the film itself was nothing remarkable or groundbreaking. That’s not say it was awful, so in terms of ratings I would give it 3/5 stars

    So what did you think of the film? And in your opinion, does it glorify Eating Disorders? Write your thoughts in a comment ! 🙂<<<<<

    Film Reviews

    Before I fall- Film Review

    After my last experience watching a similar film on Netflix (cue shameless promotion of You Get Me blog post) I was a little apprehensive about watching this film. However, I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed it. The film is far from perfect but it is watchable and even enjoyable, at times. But before I start this review I’m gonna put out a SPOILER warning for all those who may wish to watch it. You’ve been warned!

    The plot for this film is fairly simple, think teen high school drama meets ground hog day. The main character Samantha (Zoey Deutch) wakes up expecting her day to be absolutely fantastic. It’s Cupid day, so she’s looking forward to receiving loads of roses and finally pop her cherry with her “amazing” boyfriend Rob (Kian Lawley). However, her day doesn’t go as planned as her and her friends go to this party where they proceed to harass the weird loner girl from their school Juliet (Elena Kampouris). This altercation sours their night to the point where they decide to leave, only to later get into an accident with a truck. Normally, that would be the end but Samantha soon discovers she was mistaken when she realises that she’s reliving that same awful day. The film then follows Sam as she attempts to end the loop that she is stuck in.

    Firstly, I think the film was a bit lazy in its characterisation, for example, I knew straight away that Samantha and her friends were going to be a group of rich, mean, popular girls for these reasons:

    1. The way Samantha spoke to her parents and younger sister
    2. The way they discusssed the amount of roses that they had gotten previously and how much they expected to get this year
    3. The fact that they call each other ‘sluts’ and ‘bitches’

    There are plenty more examples like this that focus on the central group of friends, but I have to say that these stereotypes weren’t exclusive to those characters. In fact, every character could be stereotyped in a similar fashion for example, the douche boyfriend was exactly that- a douche boyfriend, the grungy, hipster lesbian had lines like “I’m in heteronormative hell!” that firmly grounded her in that specific stereotype and lastly, Juilet the apparent class weirdo dressed in odd clothes, painted dark and unusual paintings in her spare time and sat by herself at lunch.

    There were attempts to add depth to these characters which were somewhat successful but whether they were enough to stop them from being standard high school stereotypes is something I’m not too sure about.

    However, negatives aside, I quite enjoyed seeing Sam relive each day and eventually get her redemption. I thought “to hell with it phase” was hilarious as well as being the moment where she really stuck it to her horrible friends in particular, Lindsay (Halston Sage).

    Furthermore, the ending completely took me by surprise. A pleasant one at that! I was expecting a complete happy ending but I was so wrong. I thought that if she fixed everything about that day, she would skip off into the sunset a new and better woman (with better friends) but that did not happen. Admittedly, this ending was way better as it was in a way, more satisfying.

    So to conclude, this was a standard teen drama, tropes and all, but with an interesting twist. The film was definitely watchable though nothing outstanding and as a result, I’ll give it 3/5 stars.

    So what did you think about the film? What do think abou the ending? Feel free to leave a comment telling me your thoughts on the matter 🙂