Movie Review – A United Kingdom

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by Amma Asante

A tale of love, courage and perseverance

The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.’ (IMDb) (by Amma Asante, 111 min.)

I was so utterly surprised by how much I liked this film. I knew I would love the story, because it is a well-known story of love and of courage and of two people fighting for each other and for the country they care so much for. But the way this movie was made, the way this story was told was just so beautiful, that I couldn’t stop watching and kept rooting for them to succeed.

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There are still some things about the story, about the film that bothered me a bit. At the beginning of the film I wasn’t connected to the characters. I just didn’t believe in their love. It felt a bit pushed and not real. Not because of the actors, because they were great, but I felt it was pushed a bit too quickly. I think the film would have benefited from it if they put in 10 more minutes of them falling in love with each other. Because now it was too quick for my taste. I had the feeling that the director, Amma Asante, wanted to get to the ‘juicy’ part, to the real story of this film.

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Which made it a bit harder for me to connect to the characters. I did find that Rosamund Pike was perfect as Ruth, a young woman falling in love and leaving everything behind and pack all her belongings to go off to Africa. She portrays Ruth perfectly. You feel with her when she starts her life in Africa and feels the racism and the difficulties to fit in there, which she also faced in England. The fears and the difficulties to learn the language, to make his people love her and accept her, became real and made the movie so much better towards the end. Their love became so much more apparent and real towards the end of the film. Actually from the moment he left to go back to England and she stayed behind in Botswana. 

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David Oyelowo was great as well. He has already played in so much of my favourite films, that it came as no surprise that he portrayed Seretse so well. You felt with him, with everything he went through. When he got the news that he was banned from his country and from his pregnant wife, that just hit me in the heart. He was vulnerable, yet so strong because he didn’t want to give up on Ruth. You could feel his love for his country, but that he also wanted to do the right thing, even if he knew that he would be met with a lot of resistance. There were so much emotions going through me while watching this. 

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This is a great example of the perfect combination of great acting, gorgeous images and the right use of music. If only the beginning of the film wasn’t pushed so much and didn’t go by so quickly, I think this would have been in the top 5 of my favourite films of the first half of 2017. I will be checking out Amma Asante’s next film, because I do feel she evolves with every story she tells and she knows how to put her land on film in such a beautiful way. Can’t wait to see what she brings out next.

7/10 stars.

Movie Review – Hacksaw Ridge

Another interesting WWII tale

HR_03‘WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.’ (IMDb) (by Mel Gibson, 139 min.)

This movie came as a total surprise to me. I didn’t know I would like it so much. The story itself interested me, but I was a bit afraid it wouldn’t touch me. That they would focus more on the fight and not his story. But I should have had faith in Mel Gibson and his storytelling.

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Because he tells everything. We meet him when he’s a little kid. We see him growing up, trying to cope with his father who has Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the First World War and who is the only one from his group who came back to America. Needless to say, that when Desmond told him he would go to war, he freaked out. Completely.

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But the most important thing here, is that Desmond didn’t fire a shot at all. Because of his faith he can’t touch a gun and certainly not fire one. He wanted to go to war to help others, to save them, to be of service and become a doctor.

It’s a very long film, but the entire story is just so compelling that you just don’t see the time pass by. You’re so enthralled in the film and in this story, especially at the end, that when the movie is over, you wish there was more.

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The most important reason I think that is, is off course Mel Gibson’s way of filming. He’s a master of images, of long historic tales with grand endings. The images are brilliant, the music adds to the feeling of the film and his direction of his actors is just on point.

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Again here the movie is carried by Andrew Garfield. He’s just perfect in this movie. Just like in silent, he takes this out of the normal-role and takes it even more out of this world. He is Desmond and his accent is just so believable. The way he carries himself and goes through everything at training. Never throwing his friends or comrades under the bus. He’s just a brilliant actor and I can’t wait to see what he’ll play next.

8/10 stars… I’ll definitely be watching this one again.

Movie Review – Jackie

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by Pablo Larrain

‘Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.’ (IMDb) (by Pablo Larrain, 100 min.)

We all know the phrase: ‘Behind every strong man, there’s a strong woman’. And with the Kennedys this is especially the case and this is the main premise of this film.

It’s the story of what Jackie Kennedy went through the few days/weeks after her husband was shot. It shows us how strong she was and what she all did to make sure her husband and his name would be remembered. Sometimes coming over a bit cold, but never faltering in what she had to do.

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Natalie Portman is amazing as Jackie. Strong on the one hand, determined to never show the people how broken she actually is and then the few moments she’s alone, she lets go and we see how hard Kennedy’s death actually broke her. Natalie Portman carries this role through the ups and downs, never faltering and always true to the character.

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The only thing I could say about this film is the narration and how it was cut. The entire film we jump from one moment to the other. From a few days to a scene from the day itself, to a scene further in the story. In the beginning it was interesting because it was clear enough when the scenes were taking place in the actual storyline, but at the end it became a bit more scrambled and I must say I lost interest at some point because I just didn’t know when what was happening at a certain point.

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Being from Europe, I never grew up with this story in my history, only learning about it in high school and even then we never saw in detail what happened afterwards. I did learn a lot from it, but I would have liked to have some more explanations to be able to put the story more easily back together.

Beautifully shot, this is a must-see for everyone interested in Jackie’s story, but keep in mind it can be a bit jumbled.

6.5/10 stars.

Movie News – We have a new Lara Croft

We’re getting a new Lara Croft and I’m so excited! You can find the news right here.

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Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft. After several games and a memorable performance by Angelina Jolie, it’s her time to bring this epic character to life. Am I excited? Well, we’re getting a female kick-ass character, a sort of Indiana Jones, fighting her way through whatever this story will give us… Yes I’m excited. I want to know how she’ll portray this character and what she’ll bring to it. I think Alicia Vikander is a little sweeter and less intense than Angelina Jolie (though if you have watched Ex Machina, she can be really intense as well), so this new take on this character will be different and I can’t wait to see it.

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I’m a sucker for a strong female character, because let’s be honest, there aren’t many out there. Although there is a good evolution in current movies, which of them mostly have one or two kick-ass female characters in them, it’s still not enough. We’re getting there with Wonder Woman and Star Wars (I mean Rey in VII & VIII and Jyn Erso in Rogue One). And these are great, but where is Scarlett Johansson in her solo Black Widow movie? Fans have eagerly been waiting for this one, but Marvel keeps on coming out with other movies. 

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These first pictures got me excited and I can’t wait to see what other news will be dropped soon or even the trailer! How exciting will that be! Another kick-ass character for me to cosplay later.

What do you think? Are you excited for this movie?  

Movie Review – Dracula Untold

by Gary Shore

by Gary Shore

‘Facing threats to his kingdom and his family, Vlad Tepes makes a deal with dangerous supernatural forces – whilst trying to avoid succumbing to the darkness himself.’ (imdb) (by Gary Shore, 92 min.)

This movie was ok. It was an exciting and thrilling story with lots of action and visual effects. It was also the only thing that kept me interested.

The story was well-built, but wasn’t very interesting for me. It was just another take on a story that we saw a lot of times before. It had an interesting concept, but there wasn’t a lot made out of it. We saw how the prince of Transylvania turned into Dracula and the reasons behind his decisions. It’s an interesting take on Dracula’s story, but felt a bit slow to me.

The sort was action-packed and it never felt really boring because there was always something happening on the screen. But sometimes, I had the feeling that some of the shots in the action scenes were so quick and blurry. I never got a good look at how the fights were going on and how he transformed in Dracula and in a vampire. And why make a story about a strong vampire if we can’t see how he fights. I get he’s quick and that you don’t see him coming until he’s upon you, but there are still ways to show that and show how he fights to us, the public.

3 out of 5 stars, still an interesting concept

Movie review – If I Stay

by R.J. Cutler

by R.J. Cutler

‘Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.’ (imdb) (by R.J. Cutler, 107 min.)

I’m always a bit wary when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations and especially with my favorite books. If I Stay is definitely one of them. That story grabbed me from the get go and I read it multiple times when it came out. So when the movie rights were bought, I was scared they would ruin this story, like they did with The Vampire Academy or The Mortal Instruments series.

But they did ok with it, more than ok actually. There were still some things that bothered me, but I liked the movie and I’ll definitely re-watch it if I have the chance and time. It was a good adaptation and it was loyal to the book, but changed some things for the film-medium without being negative or aggressive to the book.

I first had my doubts about Chloe Grace Moretz. I liked her in Kick-Ass, but I was disappointed with her in Carrie. So when I know she would play Mia, one of my favorite characters, I was a bit scared I wouldn’t find the character in the movie that I liked so much in the book. I would give her a chance, especially because Jamie Blackley who plays Adam, is perfect for that part. He’s the perfect choice and brings so much to that part.

Their connection seemed so real and brought so much to the film. It was also one of the biggest reasons why this film works and why I felt in love with Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia. Her connection with the cello was also very real. I had the feeling she put a lot of work in playing the cello and just trying to  put the emotion I, and I think a lot of other people, had when reading about her love for classic music and her cello.

It was just a perfect blend between sadness and hapiness. I felt the same way about the movie I did with the book and I cried at the same moments. I was prepared, I knew what would happen. I know the story inside out, but still I wasn’t prepared for the movie and I just let it all out. I had no shame crying in the theatre. This movie was worth it and I need to see it again, soon.

out of 5 stars!

Moie review – Lucy

by Luc Besson

by Luc Besson

‘A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.’ (imdb) (by Luc Besson, 89 min.)

This movie was a non-stop thrilling ride. It was a mix of psychological thriller with lots of action-packed scenes. Lucy had me entertained from the moment the film started and I never had the feeling that it was too long or the story dragged on.

I was raised in a scientific family, so having a movie that is in our world with a science-fiction approach about the capacity of our brains, was a breath of fresh air. It sometimes went a bit far with their theories, but it was an interesting approach to the studies that are currently made about our brains.

Scarlet Johansson was amazing as Lucy. Her character changed a lot during the movie and she made it seem real. Her eyes were important in this and the director thankfully chooses to pull us close on the moments when it was needed and give us space when it helped. It was just a perfect blend of image and sound.

Some choices the director made were a bit far-fetched, for example light coming out of her mouth, and it did pull me out a bit of the story. But it didn’t bother me a lot. Once I got over it, the story pulled me back in and I could enjoy the crazy theory of the director. A film definitely worth seeing!

4 out of 5 stars