Welcome to Marwen (2019) Film Review

So as I mentioned in my look ahead to 2019 article, one of the films that I was most excited about seeing this year was Welcome to Marwen, and just recently I went to the cinema to check it out, and here are my thoughts.

I have to start off by saying that I personally love this film, I know that critics aren’t particularly warming to it exactly, but I found that it really struck a cord with me. I personally think it hangs on a scene that takes place early on in the film, where it’s the Witch of Marwen that I think it’s referred to appears. I think that scene in particular is one where you’re either going to watch it and accept this film for what it is, or it’s not going to work for you and you’re not going to enjoy it. For me, I personally interpreted it as this village is something that Mark Hogancamp utilises in order to deal with his trauma, so anything can really happen within the confines of this world really, because it’s his creation and it’s all taking place within his mind.

Similarly, in reflection to that I thought the end scene where Hogie banishes the Witch from Marwen, I interpreted that as Mark Hogancamp being able to let go of his trauma at that point, because he even says when he’s in that court room that his attackers can’t hurt him any more, so that’s how I interpreted those parts of the film.

In between all that however, I thought that one of the biggest aspects about the film that really stood out to me, was the lead actor in the form of Steve Carell as Mark Hogancamp. I personally thought he was great in this film. I found it to be one of those moments where an actor manages to inhabit a character so well, that you pretty much only see the character that they’re playing and not the actor underneath. I also thought he managed to portray the character really well in terms of making him a really soft and gentle character, as I found myself really sympathising with him throughout. Especially by the end, I thought the film reached a really heart-warming conclusion as he was able to let go of his trauma and be happy and feel safe and comfortable in the life that he now leads, all in all he got a big thumbs up from me.

I think on the subject of that heart-warming ending, that leads me on very nicely to why this film really struck a cord with me, and I think it’s because it feels somewhat personal for me due to being able to relate to his story to a degree. Thankfully, I’ve never suffered a brutal attack in the way that Mark Hogancamp did, but I did find that certain events in his life are very interchangeable with my own, to the point where my story doesn’t feel all that dissimilar from his in a way.

And I guess that leads me on very nicely to the themes that run throughout this film, because I think much like Green Book that I reviewed last week, this feels like a very timely film in today’s age due to the central theme of allowing yourself to be whoever you want to be and not being afraid to be different, which again is probably another reason why this film has struck such a cord with me because I left the cinema feeling my heart warmed to the knowledge that it’s okay to be who I am and to just do my own thing really, much like Mark Hogancamp does himself I think, and it’s safe to say that’s a very positive message to send out to people indeed.

And I think that’s a very fitting place to end this review, I do very much hope that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this film, then please do be sure to leave them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

Advertisements

Green Book (2019) Film Review

So in amongst all the madness of reviewing Christmas films and going to the cinema to see all the latest releases, one of the films that I went to see at the cinema, as part of another Limitless screening, was Green Book, a hot contender for this awards season no doubt, and I’ve got plenty that I want to say on this one, so let’s get right into it.

I have to start off by saying that this film is just absolutely joyous to watch in every way. It’s just such a happy story, and sure it deals with some heavy themes, but ultimately it’s story about friendship, and it’s a biopic that has a happy ending which is a refreshing change.

But by far and away, the biggest element about this film that makes it such a joy to watch are the two main leads, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as Tony Lip and Don Shirley respectively. They inhabit their roles so well that I can easily say it’s one of those times where these two actors are so good at what they do, you do pretty much forget that they’re actors, and you only see the characters they’re playing. I also liked how Tony Lip was portrayed as someone who wasn’t as hard as nails and playing into that very typical stereotype of how Italian-Americans are so often portrayed on screen, because again it made the film so much more fun to watch and I found myself easing into the film a lot more because of it.

Similarly linking in with that in a way, I also really liked the whole setting and feel of this film, and this is probably the thing that I love most about it because I think it just goes to show how clever it really is. This is because at the beginning, it focuses a lot on setting, and making sure that the audience has got a good understanding of what the film is going to be like. Then when that’s all set up, the film slowly develops into something that focuses more so on the two main characters, because at the end of the day that’s what’ more important. But the clever thing about how it does that it, is that it does it in such a way that you don’t even really notice, as it was only really towards the end of the film where I realised that it wasn’t so focused on setting any more, and if anyone has seen the film then you’ll know what I’m talking about, but that was definitely something that stood out to me when I was watching it, because it felt like the film wasn’t talking down to you in a way, and it felt like the audience watching this film were really intelligent, which was refreshing to feel like about a film I felt.

Going hand in hand with that in a way as well I think, I also really liked the narrative arcs that these two characters go on. This is because at the start, I wouldn’t say that it was jarring necessarily to see them on screen together, but I was a little worried that they wouldn’t particularly get along in the film, perhaps falling into that trap of portraying Tony Lip as a stereotypical Italian-American as I talked about before. But I think the fact that they did get on, and you could see that they very much rubbed off on another by the end of the film, I think definitely ties into what I was saying before about feeling like I was eased into the film, because it was such a nice thing to see these two unlikely people get on so well with one another. I guess tying in with that as well, when it came to the end of the film, it felt like this was a film that’s more timely now than ever, because of the fact that we have these two unlikely characters who end up being really good friends with one another, it felt like that was an incredibly positive message to send out to people, particularly in this current political climate and as I say one that feels more timely than ever.

And that I think brings me to the end of my review, I do very much hope that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this film then please do feel free to share them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

Doctor Who Resolution Review

So as I mentioned in my previous article, one of the things that I was most anticipating in 2019 is of course the New Year’s Special of Doctor Who, and even though it is sadly the only episode that we’ll be getting this year, it is still obviously one of my highlights. And I’ve got an awful lot that I want to say about this episode, so let’s get right to it.

My overall thoughts on this episode are that it’s absolutely fantastic, I thought it definitely felt like the episode that people had been waiting for from this series, and for sure felt like more of a finale than The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos that we had a few weeks ago. Tying in with that as well, I also thought the stakes felt genuinely high in this episode, and it felt very exciting and thrilling and made the Daleks feel scary again in that very Doctor Who way, which I really liked. Similarly tying in with how exciting and thrilling it felt as well, I also thought it felt very much like a film in a lot of ways, or certainly the closest that Doctor Who has ever felt in terms of feeling like a film, just in terms of the scale and the grandness of it all with the amount of explosions and action-packed sequences that we had.

But let’s not muck about here, the Daleks, or rather Dalek. I would say that I went into this episode not really knowing what to expect in all honesty. And having now watched the episode, I think it’s safe to say that’s exactly what we got, something that was unexpected, which I loved. I personally loved this new twist that we got on the Daleks, as I said at the top of the article, it made the Daleks feel scary again in that very Doctor Who way, because let’s face it what’s more scary than an alien psychopath clinging on to your back and controlling your every move. And I think as well, with this being arguably our first Dalek story in over three years, that break has definitely helped in making them feel scary again. I think it will definitely help in the future if they bring back the Daleks every few years or so, rather than every series, because I think if you start bringing them back more often as they have done in the past, then I think the Daleks start to loose their edge in a way, something that’s been argued in the past of course.

Now I know I’ve talked about this no end of times in my previous reviews of this series, but I have to say that Jodie Whittaker was on absolute top form in this episode, quite possibly delivering her best performance yet as The Doctor I think. Now I know I’ve talked about in the past about how good Jodie Whittaker is as The Doctor, but I think with this episode it certainly felt very different this time around. I think it’s probably down to the fact that this is her first encounter with the Daleks, and I think going hand in hand with that it very much felt like she’d fully embraced the role of The Doctor by this point, not to say that she didn’t feel like The Doctor before of course, but this time it felt like she’d embraced The Doctor more so than ever before, and there wasn’t any question as to whether or not she’s The Doctor anyway, because it’s safe to say that now she’s faced off with a Dalek, she truly is The Doctor.

This episode wasn’t without it’s faults though, as I did have a few little quibbles with it, mainly with Ryan’s Dad being brought into the episode, I felt like that was a little bit shoehorned in in a way. The scenes with Ryan and his dad were performed well, but I felt like they were mostly just there to act as a breather from all of the fast-paced action sequences that were happening in this episode. I also kind of wish that we got more than one Dalek as well, like if the fleet actually arrived by the end of the episode, I think that would have been very exciting to say the least But these are minor nitpicks in all honesty, and I think upon re-watch these quibbles will be mostly overlooked, because for the most part, this episode was incredibly fun and exciting to the point of almost feeling like a blockbuster in a way, and at the end of the day what more can you ask for really?

But what are some of your thoughts on this episode? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you think Jodie Whittaker did a good job in facing off with a Dalek for the first time? How would you rank it amongst other Dalek stories? Please do be sure to let me know down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you, and do be sure to give this article a like as well if you enjoyed it as I really appreciate it. But apart from until next time, thanks for reading.

A Look Ahead to 2019

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great start to the year, and more importantly is looking forward to all the great entertainment we’ve got coming our way in 2019, as since I’ve done a look back on 2018, it seems only right to now do a look ahead to all the great things coming our way in the year ahead, and much like the previous two articles, we start with films.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a feeling that this is going to be a huge year for films in general. I’m obviously very much looking forward to all of the Marvel films this year, I think unlike last year I’m looking forward to them all equally, because whilst Blank Panther and Ant-Man and the Wasp were very good in their own right, the biggest stand-out of last year, by a huge margin, was obviously Avengers: Infinity War. Whereas with this year, I’m not just solely focused on Avengers: Endgame, but I’m also really excited about Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, simply because I think they’ve all got a lot going for them. In the case of Captain Marvel, it’s obviously Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie and is most likely going to tie into Endgame an awful lot, Endgame obviously has a lot going for it anyway, and I know a lot of people are really excited to see Mysterio on the big screen for the first time, so they’re all very exciting for various reasons, and I for one cannot wait to see all of them.

On the topic of film, other films that I’m also really looking forward to this year are Toy Story 4, Men in Black: International, both the DC films and Alita: Battle Angel, for the simple reason that they all look really exciting and fun, and I think in the case of The Joker and Alita: Battle Angel, they both look very different to what we’ve had before of those particular types of films, so I’m interested to see how those films will experiment with their respective genres when they come out. A similar thing can be said of that for Welcome to Marwen, another film that I’m really looking forward to seeing, for much of the same reason really in that it’s quite unlike anything I’ve certainly seen before, so on that front I’m definitely very interested in seeing it.

In terms of TV shows that we have to look forward to this year, there are of course a plenty of the, with one of them of course being Doctor Who, however I’m going to save my thoughts on that for when I do my review later. But apart from that, I can easily say one of the biggest shows that I’m looking forward to by a mile is The Mandalorian, for the simple reason being that we’ve never had a live-action Star Wars TV show before, so The Madalorian essentially has a blank slate to play on I think, so who knows what this TV show could be giving us really, and I think that in itself is a really exciting prospect. Another TV show that I’m really looking forward to this year, and I’ll hopefully going to get round to reading the book beforehand, is Good Omens. And the reason being as to why this show excited me so much is that, not only does it have Michael Sheen and David Tennant in it, who are great actors obviously, but to me it seems like a show that isn’t going to get bogged down with a whole bunch of lore and back story before it gets to the actual story itself, it feels like it’s just going to introduce these two characters and then the story will be off hopefully, which if that is the case I think is going to make for a really refreshing viewing experience.

Finally before I move onto books, another TV show that I’m really looking forward to seeing returning is Jessica Jones. My main reason for looking forward to this is that I’m hoping it will almost mirror Daredevil in terms of quality, in that it takes a slight dip in the second series, and then is back on form for it’s third series.

And finally, before wrapping up this article, let’s talk about books, I know I said this last year, but I am hoping to read a lot more books this year, I know there’s been some great Doctor Who books released recently and that are due to be released soon as well, so hopefully I’ll get round to those, because they certainly sound great. I’m also hoping to read Good Omens as I just previously mentioned as it’s Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, so how could I resist. Similarly, I’m also hoping to read a lot more Stephen King, because there’s some more of his work being adapted on the way and also I just want to explore more of his work, because I just think he’s an incredible writer, and I just love his ability to be able to create these worlds in which these stories inhabit.

But I think all in all, it’s safe to say there’s a lot to look forward to in 2019, and there’s a whole heap more that I’ve not even been able to mention in this article, so do be sure to let me know down in the comments section below what you’re most looking forward in the coming year, as I can share some more things with you that I’m also looking forward to as well. But apart from that, I very much hope that you enjoyed this article, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it, and apart from that, until next time, thanks for reading.

A Look Back on 2018 (Part Two)

So as I said in my last article my look back on 2018 would indeed be a two-parter simply because I couldn’t possibly fit everything that I want to talk about in one article, so now having talked about my favourite films of the year, I now want to talk about the films that I’ve enjoyed but not quite managed to make my favourite list, along with the books and TV shows that I’ve also enjoyed this year, and much like the previous article, we start with films.

Other films that I’ve really enjoyed this year have been the latest Halloween film. I found that that film not only furthered my love of horror carrying on from A Quiet Place, but I also felt like it was the much needed breath of fresh air that that franchise needed. The same could be said I guess of Bumblebee, a fairly recent release that I thoroughly enjoyed and can safely say is the Transformers films that we’ve all been waiting for, as it is such a fun, enjoyable adventure that I will hope pave the way for more films of this kind. It’s been another big year for superheroes as well, as they’ve continued to dominate the box office, as not only did we have easily one of the biggest films of all time in the form of Avengers: infinity War, but we also had possibly the best Spider-Man film of all time in the form of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Similarly to Avengers: Infinity War, an absolutely incredible film in terms of what it manages to achieve, and similar to the previous two films mentioned, it’s managed to breath new life into a rather well-worn franchise, which again I hope paves the way for more films of this kind.

Onto books that I’ve enjoyed this year, and even though, I perhaps didn’t read as much as I would probably would have liked to due to being tied up with so many other commitments in life, I still did read a fair amount of books this year. In the world of Doctor Who, I read both the Target novels of Rose and The Day of the Doctor, written by Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat respectively, and I would say that my biggest takeaway from reading both of those novels is how amazed I was to learn that these two incredible writers still have some tricks up their sleeves even after all this time, and I’m honestly just continually in awe of how amazing they both are as writers, and if you haven’t checked them out already then I thoroughly recommend them.

Another couple of books that I’ve really enjoyed this year are It by Stephen King, for much of the same reason as the previous two books that I’ve just talked about, in that I cannot believe how incredible Stephen King is at being able to create these world that his stories inhabit, he’s really is one of a kind, and I hope to read more of his books in 2019, as similarly I am also continually in awe of how amazing he is as a writer.

The final book that I want to talk about that I’ve really enjoyed this year is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, quite simply because I find the character of Wade Watts very relatable and I find that there are a lot of similarities between me and him. Also, I really enjoyed the story itself simply for the pure escapism that it delivered and I’m definitely looking forward to watching the film when I get the chance to do that.

And last, but by no means least, the TV shows that I’ve enjoyed this year have been Doctor Who, obviously. As I have continually banged on about in my reviews, I thought that Jodie Whittaker was absolutely incredible as The Doctor in this series, and I certainly look forward to seeing how her Doctor develops going forward and overall I’ve just had a lot of fun with the range of adventures that we’ve had this year. It’s safe to say, I’m looking forward to seeing where the show goes next.

Two other TV shows that I’ve really enjoyed this year are Stranger Things, which I know wasn’t released this year but I still really enjoyed it. I loved how cinematic it felt in the scope of the story it was telling, and I also found the character development and portrayal just absolutely spot-on and something that I was just completely blown away by. Obviously I will watch series two soon enough, but I’m still very much looking forward to series three nonetheless.

And finally, bringing my two-part look back on 2018 to a close, the other TV show that I’ve really enjoyed this year, again I know it wasn’t released this year, but it was Brooklyn Nine-Nine no less. I would probably go as far as saying this is my favourite TV show behind Doctor Who, simply because I see so much of myself in all of the characters that are portrayed on screen. I also find it to be one of those things that manages to balance really solid storytelling alongside proper belly laughs, and I can safely say that I’m looking forward to series six when that comes out later this year.

And there you have it, that brings me to the end of my look back on 2018, I do very much that you enjoyed it, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any highlights of the year that you would like to share, whether that be in film, TV, books or comics, please do be sure to share them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. And do be sure to check back tomorrow, as I will be sharing the things that I’m most looking forward to in 2019. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

A Look Back on 2018 (Part One)

So we’re coming to the end of 2018 and it’s safe to say that we’ve had a smorgasbord of TV, films and all round good entertainment that we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed throughout the year, so what better time to look back on it all, and we start with films.

Now I should say these are in no particular order, these are just my favourite films from the year in general, and one of them was A Quiet Place. Now as I’ve mentioned before I’ve not always been the biggest horror fan in the past per say, but I feel like with the arrival of this film this is definitely a turning point for me, and I can safely say that I’ve fallen in love with horror now because of this film. I think that’s because I’ve never come across a film before that’s just evoked so many emotions, because on the one hand it is obviously a horror film, but without a doubt at the heart of it, it is a film about family and about how far they will go to protect one another. And I also think the scares in this are absolutely terrifying and they will leave you paralysed to your seat, but not only does it balance all of that alongside solid storytelling, but I think the thing that makes this film stand out amongst most other horror films is that you really feel for the family and you really care about them, in a way that I think not many other horror films manage to pull off. Also, experiencing a film in a cinema with an audience that is totally silent is truly unlike anything I’ve every experienced. Put simply, A Quiet Place is one of a kind.

Another favourite film of the year, has to be of course, Avengers: Infinity War. I’ve seen this film three times now, and I honestly think it just gets better every time, I still cannot believe how much that film manages to pull off and pull off extremely well at that. It could have so easily gone wrong, but that fact that it didn’t, I think is going to put it as one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time. It’s safe to say, I’m very excited for Avengers: Endgame.

Moving on to a little bit later in the year, and one of the biggest summer releases we had this year was of course Mission Impossible – Fallout, and it’s without a doubt one of my favourite films of the year. Above all else, it’s just an incredible amount of fun. It tells its story in such a solid way and has edge of your seat thrills, with Tom Cruise being at his most daring yet, giving us not one but two high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled stunts, that have definitely kept us on the edge of our seats this year, I think it’s safe to say. And who can forget that moustache as well? Put simply, I think Fallout could quite easily one of my favourite Missions yet, if not my absolute favourite.

But then, just when you thought 2018 had given us it’s all, out came Mary Poppins Returns, a film that I can easily say is not just one of my favourite films of the year but one of my favourite films of all time, quite simply because it just feels very personal to me. And I think if you’re someone who’s maybe going through a tough time in life at the moment, or you find the world incredibly depressing every time you turn the TV on, then I can assure you that when you watch this film, your heart will sing and your soul will be joyful once more. It is utterly incredible, and it still blows my mind how they’ve managed to make a film that’s as good as the original, even after all this time.

And that is where I shall bring this article to a close for now. But fear not, for this is not the end of the story as this is going to be a two-part look back on 2018, simply because they was so much that I watched and read this year that I enjoyed that I couldn’t possibly talk about everything in one article. So do be sure to stick around for part two of my look back on 2018, as I will be looking at the other films that I’ve enjoyed this year, but just didn’t quite manage to get on my favourites list, along with the books and TV shows that I’ve also enjoyed along the way this year as well.

But apart from that I do very much hope that you enjoyed this half of the article, if you did then please do be sure to give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you want to share any of your favourite films from the year that’s just gone by, then please do be sure to share them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.

Bumblebee (2018) Film Review

So in amongst all the big hitters in cinemas this Christmas season, one of them is of course Bumblebee and having seen all the other big hitters that we’ve had so far and not this one, naturally I headed down to my local Odeon to check it out, and here are my thoughts.

Now, I’m going to say right from the off, I can confirm that having now watched this film, the rumours are indeed true and this is the first good Transformers film. Now I feel like I should say at this point that my affiliation with the Transformers films has always been that I’ve acknowledged that they are bad, but I still kind of like them because there’s always that little kid inside me who gets excited at the prospect of a big alien robot transforming into a car. Now however, with the arrival of this film I feel like I can pretty much disregard the other films entirely and simply accept this one as the only good one, because let’s face it at the end of the day, the other five films are pretty terrible, with the first one, at a push, being good.

But where here today to talk about this film, so what makes it so good? Well, quite simply it cares about the characters, it has good action sequences that you can see clearly as to what’s going on, and the humour is actually funny for a change, as opposed to the rather crude and cringe-worthy humour that’s so often plagued the previous films. Hailee Steinfeld though is easily the best thing about this film, along with the character of Bumblebee of course, they are both very much the central focal point of the film and they are what gives the film it’s absolute heart and soul and make this film such a joy to watch. I think what makes them so great in the film, and again this feels obvious to say, but they’re treated with a lot of care and respect and I guess are made to feel real to a certain extent as well. The scene where Charlie Watson discovers Bumblebee for the first time for example, I think is easily a highlight of the whole film, and that whole sequence of events that take place after it as well was just such a joy to watch that I just never wanted it to end really. I feel like the reason being as to why it was such a joy to watch was because not only does Hailee Steinfeld give a really good performance, but I think it feels true to how someone would normally react were they to discover that their car is actually a giant talking robot from outer space. I personally hope that we do get a sequel to Bumblebee because these two characters are honestly just such a joy to watch on screen, that I really hope we get more from them both.

Sticking with characters, I also thought John Cena was an absolute joy to watch in this film as well. I thought he had some of the best one-liners, which really added to that sense of humour that I talked about before. I also thought he had a really interesting character arc in this film as well, because I never really felt like he was the villain all the way throughout, because even though he was against Bumblebee, I felt like the reasons why he was against him were well founded and it made sense for him to be against him due to what happens at the start of the film.

Another big aspect of this film that I really liked was the eighties vibe that ran throughout as well. This is because I felt it hit the balance just right in terms of evoking the right amount of nostalgia of that time period, whilst at the same time making it feel like it’s own thing which I really liked. This is because I think sometimes films can fall into that trap of trying to evoke too much nostalgia, that it can often feel overwhelming, but in the case of this film, I felt like it hit the nail on the head just right for me.

All in all, I feel like this is a very fun, easy romp of adventure to get into, which is kind of what I was expecting really, and if you go into this expecting that as well then you won’t be disappointed. Personally, I think this is a very interesting turning point in the Transformers franchise, because my hoping is that this film does really well to warrant a sequel and then all of the previous films prior to this are simply disregarded, because I do think Transformers as a film franchise does have an awful lot of potential, I just don’t think it’s been well utilised in the past in all honety, but I guess time will tell on that front.

And there you have it, that brings me to the end of this review, and the end of 2018 in fact. But the story’s not over just yet, as for the first time ever in doing this blog I will be doing a two-part look back on 2018, followed by a look ahead to 2019, so do be sure to look out for that as it’s going to be a good one. Apart from that, I very much hope that you enjoyed this article, if you did then please do give it a like as I really appreciate it. And if you have any thoughts that you wish to share on this film then please do be sure to leave them down in the comments section below as I would love to hear from you. But apart from that until next time, thanks for reading.