Review: Me Before You (2016)

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“I don’t do anything, Miss Clark. I sit and just about exist.”
– Will Traynor

SYNOPSIS: A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of. – via IMDB

me-before-you-will

GRADE 5So I read this book a while back, then saw after that a movie was coming. I was absolutely not going to rush out to see it in cinema. Not because the book was bad, I rather enjoyed that, but because I just didn’t see how they were going to bring is to the screen successfully. My doubts were not wrong.

Me Before You was a right bland affair. Massive chunks of the book were left out, which I understand, but there were also particularly important parts that were skipped. Like, the ones we needed to flesh out the relationship between Will and Lou, to understand why they got so close, and why this was such an emotional story. I suppose due to that, you never get really involved with what is going on, and it doesn’t feel like the movie is playing too much with your emotions, so I guess that is okay. Or maybe they did want to mess with your emotions but put it together so sloppily it would never work. Who knows? It just felt ridiculously rushed, that’s what. Anyway. I really did enjoy the tights scene. That was an important one for me, and they did it perfectly. One score, at least.

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I thought Sam Claflin was a really good pick to play Will and I think he did a pretty good job, especially considering how limited his movement was for this role. I think he got the sarcastic, angry side of Will, and yet could be the sweetest person, too.  I did not particularly appreciate Emilia Clarke though. I think the world has an inexplicable and unhealthy obsession with her. You can ask Natasha, I was totally ready to flip out based purely on the fact that her eyebrows were overactive. So overactive you never actually know what emotion she is going for, which is absurd. Maybe she doesn’t get to express herself enough on Game of Thrones, so she goes overboard here. Whatever, she irritated me. She got he awkward side of Lou down though. But those fucking brows man.

There were definitely changes from the book. Some changes were fine, others were terrible, but that is to be expected with a adaptation to the screen from a book. A lot of the cast definitely felt immensely underused, and could have been used better. I quite liked the relationship between Mr and Mrs Traynor, albeit extremely different from the book. Nathan, too, was what I expected of him, so that is good.

While I have some major issues with this movie for a multitude of reasons, what with the pacing being all wrong, the story being rather hollow and ultimately forgettable, just to name a few, there are worse movies out there. This is utterly generic, with nothing special going for it.

 

Rapid Review: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part II (2015)

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the hunger games mockingjay part 2

“Our lives were never ours, they belong to Snow and our deaths do too. But if you kill him, Katniss, all those deaths, they mean something.”
– Peeta Mellark

SYNOPSIS: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7I was excited for this, I really was. I was unhappy with the split of this book into two movies, and it seems that that was justified. I just don’t quite get it… you all know I was not really a fan of Mockingjay Part I. It felt unnecessary, though it was interesting to explore some of the political issues there. Then there is Mockingjay Part II, and it is uneven, and a mess, and somehow manages to feel so rushed. I don’t get it. There are also things that really irritated me. The main two offenders being SPOILERS that Finnick’s death was not done more justice – because it was really just glossed over in the book, and that Prim barely featured, so her death  meant absolutely nothing here. The movie felt cluttered, and it was not nearly as smooth as Catching Fire, which remains the crowning moment for this franchise. I maintain that Jennifer Lawrence succeeded in making Katniss Everdeen far more likable than she ever was in the books (ask anyone – Everdeen is a total pet peeve of mine, ugh, whiny brat). This is not the worst way to end out the franchise, but really less oomph than I was expecting. Visually, of course, the movie was great to look at, but I was extremely disappointed in the pods at the outer edge of the city. Way less bang for my buck than I was expecting. The conclusion is also portrayed in a far more upbeat manner than the book, which is much better for me because the book made me want to throw it out of frustration because Katniss is such a selfish child. The trailer contained all the really good things, unfortunately, so there was spans of filler stuff (for me) while watching this. I feel that the cast again did a fantastic job with their characters, bringing all of them to life, though many characters were glossed over. Sam Claflin is still fantastic as Finnick Odair, Josh Hutcherson is precisely what you would expect Peeta to be, and Liam Hemsworth is a really good Gale, exactly what I pictured him to be (don’t know why he gets so much hate – but then I have only ever seen him in this franchise). That’s just glossing over the main cast, as it really is just too large to talk about them all, but just know that they all worked very well with what they were given. I liked this alright, but I did not love it – it just feels like it never really took off like it was supposed to. It felt unpolished, unfinished, and uneven. That being said, it is still a fun franchise, and I am totally looking forward to a nice box set to add to my collection!

Rapid Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

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the quiet ones poster

“What if you could prove that the supernatural was merely a manifestation of what already exists in the mind, the subconscious?”
– Professor Joseph Coupland

SYNOPSIS: A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process. – via IMDB

the quiet ones

GRADE 4I know that this wasn’t necessarily a favourite for most people, but I still wanted to check it out for Sam Claflin, I actually like him. He’s a pretty good actor, and holds his own in a film. This was no exception – he did the best he could with the material, but unfortunately it was bland. I mean very bland, and this could have been something. I understand what the filmmakers were trying to do, they just didn’t get it down. The film itself also had no real idea as to what it wanted to do with itself, and that is painfully evident for the duration of the film. The “relationship” or attraction between Brian and Jane popped up far too quickly for my liking, and the movie wove in and out of semi-interesting and mediocre, but the majority of the time in languished in the boring field. The acting was alright, but nothing groundbreaking. I suppose that is par for the course in this genre, though it was better than most. I am looking forward to seeing more of Claflin in future, and it was nice to see Olivia Cooke here, too. It took me a while to recognise her, I have gotten so used  to her in Bates Motel. Ultimately it was nothing like what I was hoping for, thoroughly forgettable, and this was a movie I was quite looking forward to. So disappointing, and I don’t really have much  more to say about it.

Rapid Review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire (2013)

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catching fire poster

“I agree she should die but in the right way. At the right time. Katniss Everdeen is a symbol. We don’t have to destroy her, just her image.”
– Plutarch Heavensbee

SYNOPSIS: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8.5So I strolled myself and my themed nails into this film, incredibly excited as well as wary over what it would hold. My biggest worry came in with Sam Claflin to play the ever detectable Finnick Odair. Was he up for it? Just oh my and wow yes. This movie worked on so many levels and completely thrilled me. It was also very loyal to the book. There were no boring moments that had me begging for the time to just hustle up already, and I was awed by the manner in which Francis Lawrence pulled this together. Philip Seymour Hoffman was fantastic in his role as Plutarch Heavensbee. Elizabeth Banks was finally given a lot more screen time, and built up Effie’s character a lot. Woody Harrelson is ever entertaining as the pisscat Haymitch, and played the drunken fool so well. The anger that burns within Gale is portrayed so well by Liam Hemsworth, and his whipping had me at the edge of my seat, even though I was expecting it. The relationship between the victors was shown and it captures the essence of their anger and betrayal at having to be sent back into their nightmares. Jennifer Lawrence remains a phenomenal cast for Katniss Everdeen, and the movies really manage to take away that totally annoying part of her character that the books brought in at the best of times. The arena was simply fantastic, and all the actors cast to play the victors and tributes from the various districts were so well done, and completely captured everything. Jena Malone is definitely someone to highlight from the lot. Sam Claflin gave Finnick the epic upper hand and I am pleased to say that he got me to believe in his abilities. He isn’t a bad actor; I was just so worried that he would not have the energy Finnick does. I am pleased to say that my worries were unfounded, Finnick remains my favourite character, and Claflin does him justice. Catching Fire far outstrips its predecessor, and is well worth the watch! I was so impressed with this movie, and if they can conclude the final two movies in this strain, this will be one of those absolutely great film series! (Can I just hem hem here at the Potter debacle…). Tom, let’s sound like gushing schoolgirls!

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

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“Do you hear that? It’s the sound of battles fought and lives lost. It once pained me to know that I am the cause of such despair, but now their cries give me strength. Beauty is my power.”
– Queen Ravenna

Snow White (Raffey Cassidy) is born to her beautiful mother, Queen Eleanor (Liberty Ross), and father King Magnus (Noah Huntley). Her mother passes while Snow White is a young girl, and her father cannot bear to deal with her death. Soon, he fights a war against a Dark Army and a young and beautiful captive is taken in. King Magnus falls in love with Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her absolute beauty and weds her the next day. Unceremoniously she usurps the throne when she murders her new husband and lets an army through the kingdom gates. The war she began she will now finish. The city is butchered, and Snow White does not make it out. Her best friend William (Xavier Atkins) and his father Duke Hammond (Vincent Regan) make it out, but cannot go back for her. Ravenna orders her brother Finn (Sam Spruell) to lock Snow White away in the northern tower of the castle. The Kingdom of Tabor wastes away under the cruel new queen’s rule.

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“I shall give this wretched world the queen it deserves.” – Queen Ravenna

Snow White (Kristen Stewart) grows into a beautiful young woman who agonizes over the incredible amounts of pain of her past. The injustice she has suffered at the hands of her stepmother Ravenna, the evil sorceress, is just terrible.  One day an opportunity presents itself when Finn comes to collect Snow White and bring her to Ravenna. Ravenna consulted her Magic Mirror and found that she is no longer the fairest of the kingdom, and that to make her immortal she will have to kill Snow White and consume her heart, or else Snow White will be Ravenna’s downfall. Snow White escapes into the Dark Forest, where she becomes lost to Ravenna’s pursuers. In a rage, Ravenna calls upon Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to navigate the Dark Forest and recover Snow White. When he refuses, she promises to bring back his dead wife for whom he so desperately pines and he is quickly sold on the idea of bringing her back.

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“I would rather die than live another day in this death!” – Snow White

He soon finds Snow White in the Forest, though she is reluctant to come with. In the argument that ensues when Eric wants to know that Ravenna will keep her word, he learns that she was going to betray him, have him killed seeing as though she is powerful, even she cannot raise the dead. In a rage he escapes with Snow White, whom he soon wants to get rid of seeing as he has no idea who she is. She soon persuades him that she is worth something and that he will be rewarded handsomely for protecting her and brining her safely to Duke Hammond. Snow White’s childhood friend William (Sam Claflin) has just learned that she is still alive, and informs his father that he will not desert her again and leaves to join Finn’s crew of bandits that are theoretically supposed to be bringing Snow White in for Ravenna.

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“You have eyes, Huntsman, but you do not see. You, who have been with her the longest. She is life itself. She will heal the land. She is the one. ” – Muir

A new hope seems to be spreading throughout the Kingdom of Tabor, and it all seems to be attributed to Snow White’s escape. Snow White and the Huntsman have met a group of dwarves on their way to Duke Hammond’s castle, and soon they build their own little party. One of the dwarves, Muir (Bob Hoskins), informs them that Snow White is the true Princess, and that she alone is able to end Ravenna’s dark and evil reign. Snow White will have to go head to head with Ravenna and defeat her. Will Snow White rise up and step into the role of conqueror? Will she be able to reclaim her father’s lost kingdom? Will William find Snow White and win over hear heart? Will Snow White and Eric the Huntsman make it to Duke Hammond’s castle?

A 5.5/10 for Snow White and the Huntsman. I haven’t ever really given a lot of thought to watching this movie, though I reckon it was about time to see if Kristen Stewart would change her expression once and whether Chris Hemsworth will forevermore rock that big, manly and aggressive character. So to report, nothing has changed. While Kristen Stewart is the joke at the expense of many people (yes, I am one of them), she is not a dreadful actress per se, it is just her facial expressions are majorly lacking, and sometimes that is unhelpful when attempting to convey an emotion. Like when the dwarf dies and she cries, there is no real heartbreak there, though Hemsworth gives the scene some emotion. I suppose it is a good thing then that she gets the haughty roles where she is not expected to have a vast acting range, just enough to keep the story and character going. Chris Hemsworth embraced his character’s story, and it was a sad one, too. I am not a Charlize Theron fan at all but I really think that she was excellent to play Ravenna, and kept the role interesting. I thought the way that the Mirror was done was bloody brilliant, and it just looked stunning when that gold seeped from the Mirror, flowed upward and into the Mirror Man that Ravenna held so dearly. Sam Spruell was sufficiently disgusting to play her brother, and really was absolutely nasty. I was not particularly fond of the battle fought or the ending, and how that bloody three-way relationship (that is so damn popular for whatever ridiculous reason) went down. It wasn’t precisely strongly written or sufficiently explained; it was just thrown in there and not really worked out. There was supposed to be humour in here though I missed a lot of it (yep, very hard to please), and there was drama. The fairy utopia that Snow White and her party went to was absolutely beautiful, and carried the air of beauty and utter perfection and total peace, so that was nice to check out. Not the greatest film, though definitely not so bad it deserves all the super hate it gets.