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  • 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.

    BRAVO!

  • 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.

  • Film (Re)View – Hacksaw Ridge

    The true story of Desmond Doss who, due to a violent childhood (almost killed his brother, beaten by his father, stopped his father killing himself) turned to religion and became a pacifist.

    Despite this, he enlisted in WWII, to serve his country as a medic, but refused to bear arms. Even though he was mercilessly persecuted by his platoon, he stuck to his beliefs and, with the help of his father, won the right to enter the war unarmed.

    ‘In a world so bent on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem so bad to want to put a little piece of it back together.’

    Pushed to the brink of defeat and annihilation on Hacksaw Ridge, Doss didn’t retreat, instead spending a whole night rescuing fallen men – 75 in all, including 2 Japanese, who didn’t survive.

    He wanted to save lives, not take them, and he went from being a pariah to a hero, so much so that the survivors would only go back to Hacksaw Ridge a second time if he went too. They won, but Doss was wounded.

    Desmond Doss is a real hero and he is the role model kids should be shown today, not these untalented reality TV idiots.

    What a phenomenal man and an inspiration. Life is life, irrespective of colour or battle.

    An added touch, at the end of the film, was an interview with Desmond Doss himself, which was very moving.

  • Film (Re)View – Sing

    It all ends in disaster and the truth comes out. Buster, ashamed and defeated, hides in his friend’s pool house.

    The film, though not as funny as many animated films, like La La Land, is a message to us all about not giving up on our dreams. Each of the cast dreams of being a singing sensation and Buster of having a successful theatre. Even through lies, deception and disaster, the group pull together, knowing that the only way for their personal dreams to come true is by helping each other.

    For me, it is a film highlighting success through unity, not singularity. Support of fellow dreamers is often the key to your own success.

    It’s about standing up for what you want and not giving up – Johnny’s and Ash’s stories highlight this, with Johnny standing out as he stood up to his thug of a father.

    Cartoon or not, it is a message to us all to not give up on our dreams because, if we work hard enough, they can come true.

  • Film (Re)View – T2 Trainspotting

    Anyway, I am older, wiser and more broad-minded now, plus I have a great deal of respect for EM, JLM and RC. Also, their interview on Graham Norton sold the film to me!

    I wasn’t disappointed overall; it was a very good film and you didn’t need to have seen the first one, due to the cleverly interwoven flashbacks.

    It is an interesting take on life and the human condition, and shows how people who start out from the same base can have very different lives, depending on their strength of character.

    Renton left Edinburgh and made a life for himself in Amsterdam. He only returned home after a heart attack and his life fell apart. The question is, would only one of those events have brought him back? The sad thing is that he was soon dragged back into the old ways and it kind of flew in the face of his positive attitude at the start of the film.

    Sickboy is running his Aunt’s now down and out pub and is engaging in various nefarious activities, as well as having a bad cocaine habit. The film also hints at his impotence, given his ‘girlfriend’, whom he pimps out, he has only slept with once. Is the fact he’s stayed, the reason he hasn’t done anything worthwhile with his life?

    Begby is in prison – no surprises there – where he has spent the last two decades festering and plotting his revenge against Renton. Again, this shows the aspect of the human condition lacking the ability to change. The part that annoyed me the most was him, initially, trying to force his son into a life of crime, maybe because he wasn’t smart enough to want better for him. What didn’t ring true for me was that no one came looking for him after he escaped. This wouldn’t happen and his wife’s house would be the first port of call – shame on you, Mr Boyle!

    Foe me, it was Spud’s journey that made the film. Suicidal at the beginning because, despite his best efforts to make a life – job, wife, son – he lost it all because, underneath it all, he is still a junkie. It was Renton’s return that literally saved Spud’s life and his advice to ‘obsess’ about something else, which got him off heroin. With Sickboy’s girlfriend, Veronica’s, encouragement too, he wrote down his stories from their life together. At the end, it hinted at a rosy future for Spud and a positive reconciliation with the love of his life.

    The film implies that there is no escaping where you come from, no matter how hard you try, which I disagree with.

    Aside from the prison break incident, the only other thing ‘glossed’ over was the loss of the money (again) or weren’t they aware of it?

    I did thoroughly enjoy the film and it is certainly left open for a 3rd instalment.

    As a writer, this film highlighted the need to ensure your story is believable and has no unresolved issues which could leave your reader dissatisfied.