My top 10 movies of 2017

A lot of people have been doing their end of year lists since the start of December, but I like to wait a little longer just in case there is a late entry – I thought The Greatest Showman might have made it (it didn’t) – so here are my top 10 films of 2017.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming – Film Review

I must admit I wasn’t remotely excited about Spider-Man: Homecoming because it didn’t feel necessary, I had enjoyed both previous iterations and I also had superhero fatigue. The only reason I checked it out while on holiday was because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews and I’m glad I did because it’s a total delight.

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Big Pics: Rihanna, Katy Perry & Jennifer Aniston

Rihanna

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Revealing much?! Rihanna gets her ass out again. I don’t think we’re even surprised anymore!

Victoria Beckham

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Victoria takes a pic of herself on a shoot with Ellen Von Unwerth. I wonder what magazine it will be for. I love the heart print!

Katy Perry

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Katy seems to be going overboard on the supplements! She posted this pic with the caption: “I’m all about that supplement & vitamin LYFE!” You can see that she takes them three times a day with dinner, breakfast and upon rising written on each bag. That is ridiculous!

Jennifer Aniston

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Check out her bod! You wouldn’t think she was 44, she looks amazing! This is a still from upcoming movie We’re The Millers.

Tobey Maguire

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This is an one odd shoot with Tobey for Interview magazine. I love it! Not sure about the gold teeth though.

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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.

Great Gatsby release date moved to 2013

Sadly, the upcoming Baz Luhrmann adaptation of the F.Scott Fitzgerald classic will no longer be released in 2012. It was originally set for release at the end of December this year but it was announced today that it will have a summer 2013 release.

I’m gutted about this because I have been looking forward to it and now it is even further away. I know it is a blockbuster but that doesn’t mean EVERY blockbuster has to come out in the summer! I thought December was the perfect time for it to be honest.

The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, will now be competing against other big name flicks when it is released. The exact date has not been revealed as yet.

A rep for Warner Bros said, “Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more.

“It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”

That doesn’t really answer anything really. He just talks up the film. How does the release date affect the audience numbers?! Perhaps because it is released on boxing day and they think people won’t go? I’m not sure. Anyway, not impressed people!

 

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.