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  • Film (Re)View – Unforgettable

    What a fabulous edge of the seat, nail biting thriller! Even though it reminded me of Single White Female in its very dark and menacing undertones, I felt this was an excellent film.

    A held together Heigl plays an ex who feels she deserves another chance and, beneath her benign and friendly exterior, lies a malicious woman, determined to get her family back.

    Dawson, the soon to be new wife, is the only one shown this side of Heigl, and her fiance refuses to believe the truth until it is almost too late.

    As a writer, this film took me back to the days of Hitchcock and highlighted the power of suggestion – showing the audience things the characters do not know, making them root for the characters. This creates suspense and this is critical to a thriller.

  • Film (Re)View – Their Finest

    It highlighted the reliance placed on women during the war and the underlying fear that men held of being replaced.

    It was a tale of thwarted love as well which, although a shocking scene, highlighted the fragility of life during this time and how people had to live for the moment – something we pay thousands to learn how to do today – because they never knew how many moments they had left.

    As a writer, it was fascinating to see the inner workings of a scriptwriting department at this time – being given a one line idea or a news piece and having to make a film out of it. I wonder if it is still like this……how exciting!!

  • Film (Re)View – The Boss Baby

    Thoroughly enjoyed this kid’s film with adult subtext (required), about a baby sent to a family to stop the next puppy being released, as it would wipe out babies due to there not being enough love to go round.

    Mum and Dad work at Puppy Corp and Boss Baby works at Baby Corp. He was chosen for management and not a family due to his lack of baby skills. He is kept young due to special formula he drinks from his bottle.

    A hatred between Tim (Older brother) and Boss Baby soon becomes an alliance as they want the same thing – for Boss Baby never to have come. Needless to say, it doesn’t end that way.

    As a writer, this film, through its simplicity, illustrates the critical parts to a good story – a plot, characters to relate to, a problem that needs resolving, characters who grow and change and a satisfactory resolution.

    Plus, it made me laugh out loud in places – a very rare occurrence!!

  • Film (Re)View – Get Out

    A white girl takes her black boyfriend to meet her parents; the mother being a hypnotherapist.

    The weirdness is noticed in the black gardener and housekeeper and then when the mother hypnotises Chris, under the guise of getting him to stop smoking. He finds himself swimming in the ether of his subconscious, screaming to be released.

    The oddness continues when a very young black man appears on the arm of an ageing white lady, speaking and acting in a dazed and wooden manner. He is supposed to be her husband. A well timed camera flash breaks this ‘spell’ and the man urges Chris to run.

    Chris tries, but soon discovers he has been duped by his girlfriend and he is the next to be auctioned off to the dying white southerners as a ‘vessel’ for them to transfer into.

    A very believable and original idea and, for once, the film didn’t do something stupid to cause me to disbelieve.

    My only question was why the racial element? It seemed to be very segregated and it didn’t need to be.

    As a writer, you should never leave your audience asking why. Only leave them wanting more.

  • Film (Re)View – Life

    The movie started out well – a discovery of potential life on Mars is quite a find, but when they started poking around with said life, you knew it wasn’t going to end well.

    I suppose, the clue to the malevolence of said life, is that there is no thriving visible life on Mars. Why? Maybe because said life has annihilated it and is now dormant, awaiting its next gullible fools…..cue humans.

    Need I say more, really? The film became very bloody as a rapidly growing alien, one by one, wiped out the crew, whose only goal was to not let it get to earth.

    Don’t want to spoil your fun, but I think you can predict what happened.

    Suffice it to say, Mr G did not convert me to sci-fi. I’ll stick with my own brand of horror!

    As a writer, did they suspend my disbelief? Yes. Did they make it believable? Yes. It was just too predictable. Plus, whilst the story was believable, the metamorphosis of the alien…..not so much!

  • Film (Re)View – Beauty and the Beast

    The only faults I could find with the film were that they didn’t stick to the animated script (changing lines, adding in lines and songs) and the gay element (not needed).

    The way the characters are brought to life is amazing and Beast – wow! I can’t work out whether he is CGI, a robot or a costume. He is so lifelike and realistic.

    I loved the end when he changed to human form, as this was just how they did it in the animated version.

    This story resonates with me and my writing, which is probably why it’s my favourite. Belle is an outcast; seen as weird and different by the villagers. It is only Beast who understands and accepts her for who she is, and vice versa.

    This film is clever, magical, enchanting and, at the same time, it sends a message that it is okay to be different and you should never change who you are for anyone.


  • Film (Re)View – Kong: Skull Island

    To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but I did. I didn’t expect it to be any good, but it was.

    A ‘scientist’ – John Goodman – wants to go to Skull Island, the last uncharted territory on earth. He says it is for geology, but it is to actually to look for ‘monsters’.

    Kong makes an appearance early on, as a way too large protector of the animals and indigenous people from the prehistoric reptile like creatures which prey on them.

    He destroys the helicopters and kills half the team and so the mission ends up being about getting back to the rendez-vous point on time, to meet the extraction team.

    With the help of a US airman shot down there 28 years earlier, the team succeed, even though Samuel L Jackson and his men tried to thwart them at every step with their ‘kill it because we don’t understand it’ attitude (so typical of many people).

    Kong, as always, is a loveable giant that you end up feeling sorry for.

    As a writer, the film succeeded in keeping it real (Kong’s size and how he survived aside) in an unbelieveable world. This is paramount if you want to keep your audience engaged in your story.

  • Film (Re)View – Logan

    Logan’s last stand and what a stand it was. RIP Wolverine. RIP Professor Xavier.

    A thoroughly engaging movie, completely different from the previously fantastical X-Men movies. It shows us life after mutants have been exorcised. Logan is a chauffeur, earning to try and save for a boat to take him and Xavier to sea….forever. They live in an abandoned factory with Xavier restricted to an overturned water tower (due to his mind magic). They are both looked after by an albino seer.

    Soon plans are derailed when a young girl, bred in a lab where they made mutants, is thrust into their lives. She is a wolverine made from Logan’s DNA. Logan must save her and her friends, as well as protect his mentor.

    An extremely bloody and violent film, yet you don’t see this as you are shown a man who is dying, yet driven by his moral code to protect and do what is right.

    A moving and heart-breaking film which showed me, as a writer, how characters can and should change over time, just like we do.

    Johnny Cash on the soundtrack was an added bonus!!

  • Film (Re)View – A Cure For Wellness

    I am not even going to write much, except to say that it is about taking the waters, which don’t make you younger, but actually lead to your death.

    It is 2.5 hours of my life that I will never get back!!

    It was dull, slow, way too long, didn’t make sense and, when Jason Isaacs peeled his face off to reveal putrid slime, well…..that just finished it for me!

    To write horror you need to create a world which is believable, as you are asking your audience to suspend their disbelief. This FAILED!!!

  • Film (Re)View – Hidden Figures

    All three had children, worked long hours and were either single mums or had men who didn’t always understand and support them, but they soldiered on, even through the black/white divide within NASA, to succeed.

    It was belief in themselves and support of each other that enabled their success, in the face of discrimination and adversity, ensuring they became the FIRST in some areas, but highly senior and successful within NASA.

    Again, I feel this film should be shown to kids, to show them what a hero/role model actually looks like.

    As a writer, this film highlights the importance of having engaging characters whom your audience can identify with and root for.