What I learned from Anthony McCarten’s BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture

Anthony McCarten, who wrote the scripts for The Theory of Everything and the upcoming Darkest Hour, recently came to BAFTA’s headquarters in Piccadilly, London to give a lecture about his approach to screenwriting.

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Transformers: The Last Knight – Film Review

I’m of the belief that they should have called time on the Transformers franchise years ago and I never felt particularly excited about The Last Knight upon seeing the trailer but I’ve seen all the others and it was only right I saw this. It is exactly what you would expect, no more no less, so I imagine franchise fans will be satisfied.

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Westworld season finale: My thoughts

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*SPOILER ALERT*

So the Westworld finale took place last night and I was so keen to avoid spoilers that I actually got up before work to watch all 90 minutes of it. I’m glad I did but there weren’t as many shockers to avoid as I expected – cos we had seen most of the revelations coming for a while.

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OMG! Westworld has hit us with a shocking game changer

**SPOILER ALERT**

I haven’t written about Westworld before because I have been quite ambivalent about it. It looks beautiful, the acting is great and I felt assured that the story would have a good pay off but I felt confused and frustrated that no story seemed to be taking shape, or doing so too slowly. Things stepped up a gear at the end of last week and this week’s episode 7 is the game changer I definitely needed.

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Anthony Hopkins at the Transformers: The Last Knight filming

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As you will all know from my previous post and my social media promo, I saw Anthony Hopkins down at the filming for Transformers: The Last Knight on Saturday in London. I shared pictures of him and mentioned him in passing, but I’d like to go into more detail now because he was very cool and deserves his own post.

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See behind-the-scenes of the Transformers: The Last Knight car chase in London

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

Today I learned that Michael Bay had shut down The Mall, a very famous (and expensive to close!) road in central London – on a Saturday no less – for the fifth instalment of Transformers, The Last Knight. So of course I went down to check it out. This was the first time I have ever watched on-location filming and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – I saw multiple car chases, explosions, Anthony Hopkins and Bay himself – and you can see it all below!

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Hitchcock: Review

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This is an enjoyable, funny and interesting look into the life of Alfred Hitchcock, played here by Anthony Hopkins. However, it barely touches on his obsessive, creepy behaviour with his leading ladies and it is nowhere near as effective as the recent BBC TV movie, The Girl.

This biopic looks at the section of Hitchcock’s life in which he is making Psycho. At the time, it was considered too big a risk so no studio would finance the picture so he and his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren) put up the money themselves. While this looks at the making of Psycho, that film-making is more of a backdrop to an exploration into Alfred and Alma’s marriage.

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I did enjoy this and if it had been released before the BBC movie, it would have been fine as I wouldn’t have known anything about Hitch. However, in the BBC version, Hitch was possessive and lecherous towards leading lady Tippi Hendren (from The Birds) and I was hoping this film would look into that as well. It did touch on these subjects but it didn’t explore them- it skimmed the surface. Knowing what I know now about Hitch, I just don’t think it is an accurate depiction of his character.

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I feel like this movie isn’t really a biopic, just an interesting movie based on real-life characters. I felt that Alma was actually the star of the film as she stood out and was given more depth than anyone else. Helen was a perfect casting choice for that role. There is one scene in which Hitch accuses Alma of having an affair and the dialogue in that is brilliant and gripping. There aren’t enough scenes like it.

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The make-up for Hopkins was remarkable and he looks unrecognisable. He changed his voice as well and the way he walked. Both Scarlett Johansson as the star of Pyscho, Janet Leigh, and Jessica Biel, as a minor character, Vera Miles, were grossly underused and I would have liked to have seen more of them. I understand that the film focussed on Hitch’s marriage rather than movie, but I would have liked more behind-the-scenes action. Also, the part at the very end in which Hopkins narrate on-screen, straight to the camera, seems silly. I didn’t like that bit at all.

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I would say that if you wanted an enjoyable, easy watch about Hitch, watch this. If you wanted an uncomfortable, accurate depiction of Hitch, then watch BBC’s The Girl.

Top Films for February

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Flight

Denzel Washington stars in his Oscar-nominated role of a pilot who manages to land a plane when the system fails. He is hailed a hero until it is discovered that he was under the influence of alcohol during the flight, which is illegal so he has to stand trial. Don Cheadle plays his defence lawyer in what seems like a hard-hitting drama about morals. Released: 1st

 

feb2

Hitchcock

Anthony Hopkins stars as the famous horror director, Alfred Hitchcock, in this look at his life, his work and his marriage during the filming of the classic horror, Psycho. If you have seen the BBC1 drama “The Girl”, which is similar but on the set of The Birds, you will know that Alfred was a weird and creepy man. Helen Mirren has been Oscar nominated for her supporting role as his wife Alma. Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel also star. Released: 8th

 

feb3

Wreck-It Ralph

This looks like a quality Disney animation. It is completely original as it set in the world of arcade games meaning there are plenty of pop culture references. Ralph is fed up of being a villain in his game so he escapes and tours other games until he finds where he belongs. The trailer makes it look incredible! John C Reilly voices the lead and is joined by Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman. Released: 8th

 

feb4

This is 40

I CANNOT wait for this! It been released in the US for ages. This is the “sort of spin-off sequel” of Knocked Up and revolves around the marriage of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. If you remember what they were like in the original movie, just imagine how dysfunctional their marriage is now that they are pushing 40. Judd Apatow is a genius, so as long as it is as good as the first one, I’ll be happy. It co-stars Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Chris O’Dowd and Lena Dunham. Released: 14th

 

feb5

Mama

I thought I would throw in a horror to mix it up a bit. This genuinely looks petrifying though AND it stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, so it must be good, right?! Annabel (Chastain) and Lucas take on his young nieces after they had been left alone in a forest for five years. Naturally, they are going to be a bit messed up but it seems they brought something into the house with them… Released: 22nd

 

I have deliberately missed out Hansel & Gretel, A Good Day To Die Hard, Warm Bodies and Cloud Atlas. These are all “big” films for this month but they just look so bad and I have no inclination to see them at all.