Official Secrets: Film Review

Official Secrets tells the remarkable true story of Katharine Gun, a whistleblower who took action and risked her livelihood in an effort to prevent the Iraq War. I didn’t know anything about her so I’m glad this film has been made to shine a light on her bravery.

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Official Secrets: LFF Film Review

Official Secrets tells the remarkable true story of Katharine Gun, a whistleblower who took action and risked her livelihood in an effort to prevent the Iraq War. I didn’t know anything about her so I’m glad this film has been made to shine a light on her bravery.

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Snowden: Film Review 

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Edward Snowden, who exposed the illegal mass surveillance techniques used by the NSA on all US civilians in 2013, is a very interesting person with an incredible story to tell so it’s just a shame that the dramatisation about his life lacks a certain something and isn’t as powerful as the Laura Poitras‘ 2014 documentary Citizenfour.

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She’s Funny That Way: Film Review

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She’s Funny That Way is a sweet, little ensemble comedy that harkens back to the old screwball capers where everything goes wrong, the web of characters gets all entangled and it is a joy watching it all unravel.

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Madame Bovary: LFF Film Review

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As a huge fan of Mia Wasikowska, I simply had to go and see Madame Bovary at the London Film Festival. She is superb in it, like the rest of the cast, in this adaptation of Flaubert’s classic novel.

Wasikowska stars as Emma Bovary, a woman who has just married a small-town doctor and moved to a rural village in 19th Century France. She soon becomes disappointed in her life and embarks on affairs to advance her social status. She also buys expensive goods beyond her means and her lavish lifestyle soon brings the Bovarys into debt which they cannot repay.

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The Amazing Spiderman: Review

There will be a lot of people saying that this was an unnecessary movie and that the franchise didn’t need a reboot only ten years after the original Tobey Maguire film. Those people will be right but that does not stop this movie being amazing. Andrew Garfield is by far a better Spiderman/Peter Parker and I just prefer Emma Stone to Kirsten Dunst. The film is funny, action-packed with great effects and a well-written script.

The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker, a awkward teenager whose parents leave him when he is young because his father was involved in some dangerous scientific research. He lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. He discovers that his dad was doing research with Dr Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a scientist for Oscorp. Peter blags his way into Oscorp and when snooping around, he gets bitten by a genetically engineered spider. The consequences of which is very well known. Peter gets in fights and tries to stop baddies while trying to figure out his capabilities. After a row with his guardians, he storms out and whilst Uncle Ben tracks him down, he gets shot and dies. During this time, Dr Connors has been working on a regeneration serum through cross-species genetics. As an amputee, he decides to try his latest formula on himself which turns him into a lizard. He becomes obsessed with turning the rest of New York into these creatures and Spiderman must stop him.

As with any superhero movie, there is a love interest in the form of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who is interested in Peter before he even changes. Her dad is chief cop, which makes matters difficult when a warrant for Spiderman’s arrest is issued.

I think this movie would have failed if it wasn’t for such a good cast and script. The action is very similar to the previous films except they are now enhanced with 3D (which is only really used for flying scenes). Although the character of Peter Parker and Spiderman have to remain virtually the same, most of the plot points are different because they are based on a different set of comics. I liked that Andrew was nerdy and awkward but not an outcast as you would expect. He has fun with his new skills, much like Maguire did before, but he is also quite depressive and is beaten up a lot.

The supporting cast and characterisation was brilliant too. I liked that the villain, Dr Connors, wasn’t inherently evil. He just became evil once he injected the serum. While I’m not a big fan of huge CGI monsters, I’m glad that this villain had a realistic genesis rather being a evil guy behind a mask. The science aspect to the script made this more believable. With Gwen Stacy, I preferred this role to that of Dunst’s Mary-Jane because she isn’t so much of a damsel in distress and she is torn with her love for Parker. She is also smart herself so she can help out too.

This film looks into Peter’s relationship with his guardians more and we also see his parents at the very beginning. The history with his parents isn’t explained but it is suggested that it will be revealed in later films. Make sure you watch the mid-credits scene because that will hint at things. I felt that Peter was more rounded and human, rather than a caricature outcast. He was funny, he had little quirks, he was repressively sad, incredibly smart but he’s deceptive and a liar. His interest in Gwen is quite subtle and they don’t have big romantic moments, which makes it more plausible.

I haven’t seen the 2002 movie for a while but I did enjoy it a lot at the time. I liked Toby, Kirsten and the story when it first came out but this one is better purely because the characters are fleshed out more, the script is wittier and funny, the action is obviously better (but that’s due to technology) and I just prefer this cast. I would definitely recommend this film whether you’ve seen the old one or not because I promise you it will be far better than your expectations.

Film Picks for July

Well, this month is going to be massive and that’s all down to two films- The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises- which means that there aren’t many other films that I want to see. Film distributors must have considered this a dodgy month so there isn’t many other worthy films seeing this July. The Dark Knight Rises in particular has scared off all competition because producers know that no movie can compete with it. While that is so, I have managed to find three other movies which could be worth a watch. But first, let’s take a look at the two biggies….

 

The Amazing Spiderman 

This has had mixed reviews and that is mainly because the previous Sam Raimi trilogy only started in 2002. It is a bit soon for a reboot but this does use different source material and it spends more time on Peter’s character, his family, his work at Oscorp and how he becomes the Spiderman. While I don’t think another Spiderman origins movie is needed, I still think I will enjoy this. I’m a big fan of Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker). The villian is Dr Curtis Connors, whose work on a regeneration serum goes wrong and he ends up transforming into a monster called The Lizard. It may not have been critically praised but I reckon it will do well at the box office.

 

The Dark Knight Rises 

I have been excited for movie since last year and I am so glad that it is finally being released. Besides The Avengers, I reckon this is the most anticipated movie of 2012. Christopher Nolan is a genius and the previous two films have been amazing (The Dark Knight especially) so the final instalment will definitely as good, if not better. After the death of Harvey Dent in the previous film, Batman (Christian Bale) takes responsibility for Dent’s crimes and leaves Gotham after being hunted by the police. He returns eight years later to find a villain named Bane (Tom Hardy) trying to destroy the city. Anne Hathaway joins the cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman as does Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Regulars Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman will also return.

 

And the other three movies which you may care to see….

Magic Mike 

Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey star as male strippers in this comedy-drama. Tatum is “Magic Mike” who takes on Pettyfer (Adam) as his protégé. Adam learns how to be a stripper and is nicknamed “The Kid”. Adam soon gets into the sex and drugs lifestyle and life starts to get a bit dangerous. It turns out that Mike wants out of the business and he hopes Adam will take over his role. It all seems like harmless fun on the outside but underneath the facade, the stripping business is attached to a lot of shady activities. This is a comedy in that you see the actors do routines and get their kit of but there is also a serious side to it. If you want some eye candy, this is for you.

 

Katy Perry: Part Of Me 

Now I am not one who usually buys into concert docu-movies and have never watched one before. But since reading interviews with Katy about how she deals with her marriage breakdown during her mammoth tour, I’m really intrigued. I feel this one is slightly different to other concert movies because it isn’t a puff PR piece- you are seeing a completely different side to her and she is revealing who she really is. While I doubt I will see this in the cinema, I would definitely like to watch it at some point.

 

 

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 

Longest title ever! This comedy-drama is quite a simple concept and the title is very self-explanatory. Steve Carell stars as Dodge and Keira Knightley plays his neighbour Penny. When it is announced that humanity will be wiped out in three weeks when a meteor hits Earth, Dodge doesn’t really know what to do with himself and you see him plodding along with life, contemplating suicide and just feeling a bit lost. He strikes up a friendship with his neighbour and they go on a road trip to find Dodge’s high school sweetheart. This is an interesting concept and looks quite funny.

The Amazing Spiderman premiere: The Pics

So tonight in London’s Leicester Square, the cast of The Amazing Spiderman dazzled the red carpet for the UK premiere.

There were a few other celebrities besides the main cast but they were mainly reality television stars that don’t particularly interest me to be honest.

Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans and Andrew Garfield were the only people I turned up for and they didn’t disappoint.

Here are my pics:

Andrew Garfield 

Emma Stone 

Rhys Ifans

Andrew was really friendly and spent a lot of time signing. He even went off the red carpet to sign for the people outside. He chatted to everyone and seemed to take it all in his stride. Emma was lovely but she didn’t speak much and I think that’s because she was quite overwhelmed. She seemed panicked by having so many things to sign and having someone rushing her along and she kept apologising to everyone. I felt a bit sorry for her actually as she was the last big star to arrive so she had less time than the others. Rhys didn’t seem to care all that much and he seemed a bit moody to be honest. He hung around with his girlfriend, actress Anna Friel (who looked so pretty!), and then started signing. He didn’t seem as happy to do it as the others.

Andrew was definitely my favourite personality-wise but Emma looked stunning and I love her even more now. I’m really sad I didn’t get her signature because everyone else around me did but someone put their stuff on top of mine so she missed it. Her plunging glittery top and trouser combo was great and, while I prefer her as a redhead, her blonde locks looked impossibly smooth. I’m very jealous of her looks, her talent and of course her boyfriend!