The Beach Bum: Film Review

With a cast which includes Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Jonah Hill, I figured Harmony Korine‘s The Beach Bum would be an enjoyable way to spend 95 minutes – but it’s not.

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Top Films for October

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It’s that time of the month – movie preview time! This October isn’t a massive month for releases to be honest, but that certainly makes my job of picking my recommendations much easier. Here we go:

American Honey

This is just a wonderful character study starring newcomer Sasha Lane, who is definitely one to watch. We follow her as she joins a ‘mag crew’ who travel the country selling magazines, she gets involved in their heavy drugs and drink lifestyle and has a sort-of relationship with Shia LaBeouf, who gives his strongest performance in years. It’s a tad too long but seriously life-affirming. Review on its way. Released: 14th October

War on Everyone 

Michael Pena and Alexander Skarsgard star in this brilliantly un-PC comedy about two crooked cops, who basically use their badges to steal drugs, money, etc and get away with it. The dialogue is hilarious; it is sharp, witty, and so, so wrong. Theo James also stars as their main villain. Released: Friday 7th October

 

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The Girl on the Train 

Okay, so this hasn’t received the stellar reviews we had all been expecting but I would still recommend you check it out. It is still good (just not amazing) – it is gripping, shocking and features an impressive performance from Emily Blunt, who plays an alcoholic who becomes involved in a missing person’s investigation. It also stars Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, with brilliant small appearances from Laura Prepon and Lisa Kudrow. Released today – you can read my review here.

Trolls

I do love a good children’s animation and I’m hoping this new musical featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick is just the ticket. They play Branch and Poppy, who go on an adventure to save their town from the troll-eating bergens. I want this to be so much fun. Released: 21st October

 

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Doctor Strange 

Marvel is back WOOHOO! This time we are meeting Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a top surgeon who is put out of a job following a car accident. He encounters the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who become his mentor in the mystic arts. It looks like an Inception-style superhero movie from the trailer and I’m very intrigued, though definitely not as excited as other MCU offerings. Released: 28th October

Keeping Up with the Joneses

The trailer for this action comedy really made me laugh so I’m hoping the rest of the movie will do the same. Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis star as the Gaffneys, a regular married couple, who end up involved in an espionage mission after discovering their neighbours The Joneses (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot) are secret agents. This better be hilarious! Released: 28th October

Now You See Me 2: Film Review

I was a big fan of Now You See Me so I was very happy when this sequel was announced. I love Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, and Morgan Freeman individually, so having them all together in a movie is the dream. So two helpings are even better – especially with the addition of more favourites Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe.

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Top Films for 2016

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2016 has well and truly kicked off so what better time to look at the movies coming up in the year ahead and get excited about some the releases to come?

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The Great Gatsby: Review

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I had been looking forward to this for such a long time and so my expectations were really high. It didn’t disappoint as it was true to the book (by F. Scott Fitzzgerald) and the performances by the cast were amazing but it did have its flaws, which made it difficult to connect with any of the characters so the turns of events didn’t have the impact they should have done.

Tobey Maguire is the narrator, Nick Carraway. He is telling a psychiatrist about the time he moved to Long Island, New York in the 1920s. He moves into next to the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who throws marvellous parties but no-one knows who he is. Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) welcomes Carraway because he has a motive- he is in love with Nick’s cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and he wants Nick and Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debecki) to set up a meeting. Problem is that Daisy is married to wealthy Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton), who won’t let her go, despite his own affair with Myrtle Wilson (Isla Fisher).

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My friend (who hadn’t read the book) had expected there to be more to the story but it is that straightforward so you would think the movie could have been shorter (it’s 124 minutes) and the emotional connection would have been easy to establish. However, the characters aren’t likeable because they are all so flawed. Nick sees everything yet does nothing, Daisy is too indecisive, Gatsby does illegal business and is wooing a married woman and Tom hasn’t been a faithful husband. So it is hard for you to care about any of the events because you don’t relate to them on an emotional level. You wish Nick would do something, wish Daisy would make up her mind, that Gatsby wouldn’t put so much pressure on her and that Tom would just let her go. That being said, none of these elements are the film’s fault because it is staying true to the book. The characterisation and plot is EXACTLY how it is in the book, so it is the source material’s fault really.

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That being said, I did find the use of visual effects distracting from the story. It was so obvious that Gatsby’s house wasn’t real, that they weren’t actually in New York and that they didn’t live near the sea. It did annoy me because those effects weren’t really necessary- they could have shot the movie in New York, for example, instead they shot it in Australia. It had a surreal quality to it and a lot of the exterior shots felt like green screen backdrops. The heavily stylized production reminded me of director Baz Luhrmann’s other movie, Moulin Rouge. It was okay once you got used to it but all of my favourite scenes were interior ones for that reason.

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There were great scenes, like the one in the Plaza Hotel and the one with Gatsby and Daisy’s first meeting at Nick’s. I felt like the ones towards the end should have more emotional pull but I didn’t even feel upset. It was more of a “that’s a shame” reaction rather actual sadness and I think the style and the flawed characters stole the heart from the story.

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The film looked and sounded amazing. The party scenes were incredible and the visuals were so vivid and full of colour. Visual quality was amazing (except the CGI moments). I loved Jay-Z’s soundtrack but I did feel its use jarring on occasions. It just didn’t feel right to have hip hop in a 1920s movie. I also felt like some of those tracks could have been used better. For example, Florence + The Machine’s “Over The Love” is an amazing, powerful song but it only usually subtlety in the background whereas it should have been used during a dramatic moment.

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All these criticisms make it sound like I didn’t like it but that is not the case. I really enjoyed it. It looked amazing, the soundtrack was amazing and the cast were so good. Leonardo DiCaprio was on point the entire time. I loved seeing Tobey Maguire as he hasn’t done anything big for ages. The dialogue was brilliant too and it all stayed true to the book. Usually when I’ve read a book, I feel disappointed at the film adaptation but I was completely satisfied with what they did. It really was worth the wait.

Isla Fisher almost drowns in underwater stunt

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Isla Fisher has revealed that she almost drowned filming scenes in Now You See Me, in which she plays an escapologist trying to escape an underwater tank.

Her chains got tangled while she banged on the glass as part of the illusion but she started to panic for real when she couldn’t get free and couldn’t reach the “kill switch” which would have emptied the tank.

“They had a guy who was off camera, but he was a long way away with a can of oxygen,” she said. “By the time I realised I couldn’t get up and beckoned for him, I realised that I had run out of air.”

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She was submerged for two and half minutes before getting free. She said: “Luckily, I managed to get free and stay level-headed and got out before it went even more horribly wrong.”

In the moment of panic, the 37-year-old thought “Not in a swimming costume. No one wants to go in a swimming costume.”

The mum-of-two, who is married to Sacha Baron Cohen, spent days submerged in a tank of water in a sparkly costume and heels because she didn’t realise she could opt out of doing her own stunts.

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“The director [Louis Leterrier] said to me, ‘Wow. I’ve worked with so many actors on big action movies, and you’re the only one who’s done all their own stunts.’ I said I didn’t know I had a choice. I thought you just had to get on with it. It’s the Australian way.”

Now You See Me also stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. The story follows a group of magicians who use their skills to rob banks. It is released in the US at the end of May but unfortunately, it isn’t out in the UK until July. You can see Isla Fisher in the upcoming The Great Gatsby though.

Big Pics: Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato & Bradley Cooper

Boybands!

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Imagine this for a boyband supergroup! Here we have Harry from One Direction, Dougie, Danny and Tom from McFly and Matt from Busted. What a group! It’s great to see they all get on at a party in London.

Bradley Cooper

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Check out Bradley’s perm! Those curls are pretty tight. Also, check the tan and the strong facial hair lines! Crazy transformation. Brads will be reunited with his Silver Linings co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, as well as director David O Russell in this FBI thriller. It also stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams. I hope they’re sporting crazy hairstyles too!

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Demi Lovato

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Demi uploaded this make-up free pic to Twitter to encourage followers to embrace their natural beauty. She wrote: “Ladies, be brave today.. take off your make-up and stop using those filters!! WE are beautiful!!” I have to say, Demi looks amazing without make-up!

Isla Fisher

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Isla looks gorgeous here! Speaking to Fashion magazine, the Aussie revealed how she picks her red carpet dresses.

She said: “I have a stylist [Rachel Zoe] who styles Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway and whoever else. So they get all the dresses first, and then whatever they refuse – there are few, since they hang on to all the dresses until the very end – the couple left to choose that no one wants, I get that rack.Way down on the food chain is me, so I pick on those crumbs and usually it is the first dress that I try on that wins because I’m always in a rush. I’m happy to wear anything.”

I find that so hard to believe because she always looks amazing! Isla will next be seen in The Great Gatsby which is released next month.

Justin Bieber

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Justin tried his hand at tattooing. Anything he can’t do?! The singer, who has plenty of his own, put some ink on celebrity tattoo artist Bang Bang. Check out the cartoon figure he drew!

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Big Pics: Louis Tomlinson, Jennifer Lawrence & Isla Fisher

Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson

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They may not be holding hands but I take the fact that they’re hanging out as a sign they’re going strong. I am very happy about this, no matter what you guys think!

Kim Kardashian

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Kim as admitted that she has gained 20lbs. Did it all go to her boobs?! Seriously, those things are huuuuge! They were big before, but damn. The shape of the dress doesn’t help her either, as it makes her look wider than she actually is. She was making an appearance on Good Morning America today.

Jennifer Lawrence

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Jen is sporting a dodgy ‘do for her next movie! She is currently filming the untitled David O Russell project in which she plays the wife of a con artist, played by Christian Bale. Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams will also star. This will mark the third movie in which she is alongside Bradley (after Serena, which is due for release in September) and the second with director David after Silver Linings. This movie has an amazing cast. It will be epic.

Louis Tomlinson

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One Direction seem to have a hobby of getting as many tattoos are they can. Louis showed off his latest tattoo on his lower legs and in another picture (below), you can see he has another one on his chest! Seriously, these guys need to slow down.

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Isla Fisher

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Isla completely stuns in this bright number. She can next be seen in The Great Gatsby and  Now You See Me, which are both ensemble pieces out in May. She admits that she doesn’t want to play leads at the moment as raising two children are tiring.

She doesn’t really talk about her marriage to eccentric comedian Sacha Baron Cohen but she will admit that they have a strange relationship. She said to C magazine: “‘It’s definitely not a normal relationship. You know there have been times in the past with the guerrilla style film making of Borat and Bruno where there were surreal conversations: “How many people are suing us? Are you wanted in any states? Are you alive?””

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Big Pics: Katy Perry, Isla Fisher & Madonna

Katy Perry 

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Katy Perry and John Mayer are obviously getting serious after choosing to go public in a posed picture! The pair have shied away from cameras for months and always did things separately but last night, they took a big step and went a red carpet event together. They posed outside the new Broadway show, A Christmas Story. Earlier that evening, the pair were joined by John’s dad Richard at a restaurant.

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Madonna

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This picture completely grosses me out! Madonna is too old to be doing this stuff in public. It grosses me out even more to know that this is her actual boyfriend Brahim Zaibat. For some unknown reason, Madonna decided to appall her fans at her Brazil show with a game of tonsil tennis. LOVELY.

Mariah Carey 

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How cute is Mariah’s son?! The singer tweeted this picture of her one-year-old Moroccan in his pjs.

Isla Fisher

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You hardly ever see Isla Fisher in the press so I’m lapping up these pictures! The Aussie actress is seen joking about with her husband Sacha Baron Cohen after the British Comedy Awards, where he cracked a bad taste Jimmy Saville joke. I find them an odd couple but it’s cute to see them in an off-guard moment like this.

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