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  • Film (Re)View – King Arthur

    Sticking with believability, the early scenes with the rogue mages and the godzilla sized elephants didn’t ring true, as Ritchie had failed to build a supernatural world of giant monsters that we could accept by suspending our disbelief. This flaw turned me cold as it is a huge no-no.

    Arthur’s story was good and even the modernism of language and wheeling and dealing worked for me (although my friend would vehemently disagree).

    The main issue I had with the film was Arthur. I just didn’t like him, engage with him or anything. He was portrayed as arrogant and self involved, cocky and disrespectful. Basically, he possessed all the bad traits a man can possess. Not a good image for a hero.

    The other huge flaw was the fight scenes. A couple of them actually looked like computer game footage and this turned me completely off. Animation where animation fits; real people where real people fit.

    This film could have been so much better. It came over as a medieval gangster film which it most definitely should not be. That’s not to say I didn’t like it; it just could have been far better.

  • Film (Re)View – Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

    It is circa 21 years after the last one and Will and Elizabeth have a son, Henry, who is hell bent on breaking his father’s curse (on the Flying Dutchman). To do it he needs a map, which no man can read, to find the Trident of Poseidon.

    Cue Carina Smythe, an astrologer, horologist and, hence, assumed witch, who has a diary given to her by her father which, when the Blood Moon rises, will reveal the way to the Trident.

    When Captain Jack trades his beloved compass (which takes you to your heart’s desire) for a bottle of booze, Captain Salazar (and his ship and crew) is freed. Salazar is a Spanish military captain who basically cleaned up the seas of pirates until he was outsmarted by a very young and newly made Captain Jack, who trapped Salazar and his ship in the Devil’s Triangle. Now free of the Triangle, they want Captain Jack and the compass to find the Trident, to break the curse (of Devil’s Triangle).

    Paths cross and entangle as everyone is out to double cross everyone else, including Barbossa, whose ship Salazar takes over in his hunt for Captain Jack.

    Carina steers a restored Black Pearl, following the map laid out in the stars, to successfully find the Trident.

    Curses are broken and Barbossa, recently revealed as Carina’s father, sacrifices himself as he takes out Salazar to save the others.


    1. Jack has his beloved Black Pearl back and a full and adoring crew.
    2. ALL curses are broken.
    3. Will Turner, and the Flying Dutchman, are now free.
    4. Will is reunited with Elizabeth.

    And, everyone lives happily ever after……..yes, Henry and Carina fall in love (eye roll!!)

    My only criticism is that  neither Jack, the pirates nor Elizabeth Swann had been aged to reflect the passage of two decades. Jack and the pirates can argue various curses, but not Elizabeth. Shame on you Disney!

    As a writer, if you write a series, your final volume MUST tie up all storylines and leave no loose ends. I feel this film did that, hence my opinion it is and should be the last one.

  • Film (Re)View – Sleepless

    Superb cat and mouse story of how seriously an undercover operation can go horribly wrong.

    Vincent Downs (Foxx) has lost his family (divorce) due to a two year undercover op. He is Internal Affairs and is undercover trying to weed out corrupt cops. When they steal the wrong man’s cocaine stash, they bring the wrath of the Novak’s (drug family) down on them. Downs’ son gets kidnapped as leverage.

    The trouble is, Bryant (Monaghan) is also investigating corruption and believes Downs is the bad guy and finds and hides the drugs that he needs to get his son back!

    Fast paced, action packed and with a huge body count, the film has a surprising twist. After believing the corruption has been quashed…….the DEA soon prove otherwise!

    As a writer, the pace action and content of this film were in balance and kept you on your toes. I didn’t see the twist coming, but I also did’t feel it was the right twist, as it left the story unresolved which is a big no no!

  • Film (Re)View – The Promise

    A heartfelt and harrowing tale of the invasion of Armenia by Turkey in WWII, and the senseless destruction of so many lives for no other reason than being on the wrong side.

    The love story between the three leads is so very sad and something many of us can identify with, as Chris is in love with a woman who no longer loves him. Ana and Michael, torn apart by the war, are brought back together in horrific circumstances.

    The ending, though heartbreaking, is probably the simplest and best, from a writer’s point of view, otherwise you are into the whole love triangle issue and who will win. It isn’t good to leave a story unresolved as it leaves readers unhappy and dissatisfied!

  • 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.