Stranger/Forest of Secrets Review

I knew after watching the trailer for Stanger/Forest of Secrets that I would definitely be watching the entire series as soon as it became available for me to do so. The premise of the show was right up my alley, touching on topics such as crime, corruption, power, money etc. Therefore, I was hoping for extreme amounts of shock, intrigue, scandal and tension and the show did not let me down! Here is my review:

Plot Summary

A seemingly apathetic Public Prosecutor and a Police Detective team up to solve a murder which ends up uncovering various levels of corruption within the organisations that they work for.

Good Points

Firstly, the show had me on edge every episode as nothing was ever as it seemed. The writers skillfully dropped hints and red herrings at every corner to the point where nothing was certain. Each episode revealed something new to the audience that completely changed the direction of the program. As a result, I spent 95% of my viewing experience with my mouth wide open in shock. The suspense was real !!

In addition, the high level of suspense was further maintained by the cast and characters themselves, who were all brilliant by the way. All of the characters were so multi-faceted that they seemed like real people with real desires and by extension, a motive for the crime. In fact, with the exception of  Hwang Si-mok (Jo Seung-Woo) and Han Yeo-jin (Bae Doona), every character could have been the culprit and that was truly exciting to watch.

Furthermore, the show also looked at the psychology of the people involved in the case, suspects and investigators alike. It looked at questions like:

  1. Why do people witness bad things and say nothing?
  2. Why do people do bad things in the first place?
  3. Can you do bad things for good reasons?
  4. Are people inherently bad or inherently good?

I found this angle to be intriguing because it highlighted the grey area that many people live their lives within. Also, it makes the case more interesting and multi-dimensional in the sense that it was not necessarily good guys vs bad guys.

Bad Points

Honestly, the show was so good that what I have to add is extremely nitpicky but it has to be done.

The one and only negative I could say about the show would be its tendency to lengthen certain dramatic scenes with long and drawn out staring competitions between the characters. I found that sometimes these moments took some of the tension out of the scene rather than actually augment it.

Overall Comments & Rating

As a whole Forest of Secrets/Stranger was an amazing series that definitely brought the drama and intrigue. It had a solid acting from a solid cast who had amazing script to work with. Rating wise it was definitely 4/5 stars

So what did you think of the show? Are you a fan of kdrama? Leave a Comment below!

Also, I’ve changed the format of my review in attempt to make it more direct and less ‘rambly’. I’m not sure whether I’ll keep doing it like this but we’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

Featured Image taken from Wikipedia 

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 Wikipediaย 

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 in efforts to get better. 

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 itwas 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 ! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 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 of.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Castlevania Review

Having never seen or heard about the Castlevania games before, I had nothing to go on except the trailers released by Netflix. They gave me an idea of what I thought the series would be like, however, when I actually began to watch it, I was surprised. But pleasantly so!

My first big surprise from the series was how gory it was. Honestly, I’m not really that squeamish and I’m quite used to fantasy style violence however, there was one scene where a hell monster had a presumably dead baby in its mouth. As a series, I have to admit that it was pretty dark but that’s not to say that it was bad, just a little unexpected.

My second big surprise was how funny the characters were. I absolutely love all the main characters particularly Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage). He was everything that you want in a protagonist; interesting, funny and relatable. As a result, I am looking forward to seeing him interact with the other two main characters more. This is due to the fact that this season was very much a set-up season, which saw the band come together, before taking the fight to Dracula. Dracula being another character that was different to what I expected yet, I liked him all the same and wished that we had more time with him. To be honest, for small moment at the beginning, I was Team Dracula! But I wasn’t really a fan of the whole genocide revenge plot, so I had to switch back to team Human.

My third surprise was the action sequences and how good they were. I very interested to see how action sequences are portrayed in series and films. There is this tendency to speed action sequences up so that the protagonist looks super impressive slicing through the fodder *cough* King Arthur: Legend of the Sword *cough*, but it reality, you can’t see anything and the fight looks way too easy. However, Castlevania wasn’t like that, instead, in every fight scene you could see Trevor thinking his way to victory, something that is always more entertaining for me. Also, the magic in the series was looked pretty impressive too, which is always a bonus.

If I had any complaints, it was with the overall length of the season. I began watching watching Castlevania hoping to have a nice long binge watching session of about 10 hour long episodes. Therefore, you can imagine my devastation when I realised that the series was only FOUR episodes long!! And the episodes were only 23 minutes each!! I can’t help but feel a little cheated! But with longer season 2 being commissioned, it’s smiles all around. ๐Ÿ˜€

So here you have it, my review of Castlevania on Netflix, if you want to discuss something, feel free to leave a comment.

‘You Get Me’- Film Review

After spending most of the day cleaning, I was in the mood to watch something new and entertaining on Netflix. That’s when I came across ‘You Get Me’, believing it to be exactly what I needed. And well… it was something lol..

The film follows Tyler (Taylor John Smith), an attractive high school student with a troubled home life, as he finds love with the new and attractive arrival in town, Allison (Halston Sage). One night at a party, their relationship abruptly ends after an argument between the two lovebirds over her previous choice of partner. And subsequently, he rides off with Holly (Bella Throne) and they spend a whole day bonding over their shared angst and absent family members. For Tyler, that was clearly an escape from reality for him, a moment that he believes will eventually fade into a distant bittersweet memory. Thus, he rekindles his relationship with Allison and settles back into the domestic bliss of before. He soon realises that he was wrong as it becomes clear that Holly is obsessed with him and her obsession quickly becomes deadly leading to a somewhat climatic confrontation between the Holly, Tyler and Allison.

I feel like the film wanted to be this psychological thriller where the audience watch a beautiful yet seemingly ordinary girl, slowly warp into this crazed person who’s a danger to all those who stand in her way. The audience would be sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering what exactly she’d do next and whether everyone would survive.

But that didn’t happen.

Sure Holly was definitely crazy by the end and there was also a confrontation where there was a possibility of some fatalities. However, at no point in this film did I feel remotely worried for the characters. In fact, I didn’t really care about any of them at all.

Furthermore, over the course of the film, I found myself asking questions like:

  • Why didn’t Tyler just tell Allison about Holly when it became clear that she was dangerous?
  • Why didn’t he just forward those articles to the everyone he knew instead of just sending it to Holly?
  • Why did the school still suspend him, when I’m certain they knew about Holly’s problems?
  • How did Holly manage to get Allison up there at the end?
  • Why is there a gun in the same house as Holly, knowing full well the extent of her problems?

With all that in mind, I’d say that ‘You Get Me’ wasn’t a great film as it didn’t get the audience to truly engage with the characters nor did it really build up the tension and atmosphere that I think it wanted to have. If I had to give it stars, I’d say that it was a 2/5 stars. I definitely don’t think that I’ll be watching it again.

If you agree or disagree, feel free to drop a comment ๐Ÿ™‚