cinema

Miss You Already 7.5/10

*DISCLAIMER* – I am about as far from being an overly-emotional individual as can be… if you’re hoping for tales of weeping and heartache you’re in the wrong place, please move swiftly on.

With that said, I must confess that the thought of seeing a film so heavily intoxicated with raw emotion made me feel a little nauseous and I experienced major regret once my ticket had been purchased.

However. I’m going to throw in that worn-out phrase reserved for teacher’s and do-gooder’s, by saying ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ (or a ‘film by it’s trailer’ in this instance) – as I am shocked to be saying, I kind of enjoyed this one.

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So, if you’ve been living in a cave somewhere and managed to avoid the bombardment of trailer’s and promo’s, let me fill you in on the storyline…

Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Collette) have been ‘best friends’ since childhood. They do everything together growing up. Milly gets married to Kit (Dominic Cooper) and goes on to have children, whilst Jess settles down with Jago (Paddy Considine) – Fab cast eh?! The friendship continues through adulthood. The pivotal point is when Milly is diagnosed with breast cancer.

We follow Milly’s struggle of coming to terms with the diagnosis. We sympathise with Jess as she attempts to continue her supportive role whilst dealing with personal issues of her own.

Now I now what you’re thinking – THIS SOUNDS INTENSE

This is where you’re wrong… the script is so expertly written that many hard-hitting moments are coated with a believable dose of humour. For me, it is one of the most realistic portrayals of coming to terms with a diagnosis that I have experienced.

Unsurprisingly, the lead cast all shine in equal measures, admittedly some of our favourites in the biz here at thefilmcorner12. Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette create a friendship so believable that you want to third-wheel them (If you’re reading this – please take me out for cocktails with you gals).

It’s a bit of a life rollercoaster (as Ronan Keating so eloquently sang) – there’s the up’s, down’s, quick-spins where you get head-rush… it has it all, and then some.

So, if you’re in one of those moods where you need to be reminded of the true value of friendship and want to feel good about people again… give this a go. I wouldn’t bother taking the box of tissues, unless you’re a little wimpy, in which case wear waterproof mascara…

 

Endless Love (2014) – 6.5/10

I must advise that this film comes with a SEVERE HEALTH WARNING. Those who are lactose intolerant should steer well clear of this film as it comes served with a huge helping of cheese. Literally by the barrel-load.

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I have never quite felt the true meaning of ‘cringe‘ before viewing Endless Love. As is expected with the title, this film follows a teenage couple in love for the first time. They encounter a number of ‘first-world problems’ e.g. A protective father, a family affair and a jealous ex-girlfriend … but they decide that their love is *cough cough* endless, continuously displaying this through a charade of rebellious displays of affection.

Now I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t reluctantly confess that I actually enjoyed it. Yes, you read me right… don’t make me say it again.

As gooey and tragic as it is, it’s so bad that it’s so good. It almost becomes a comedy at one point, a highlight being when the lead girl says ‘I want to feel this with you’ before the first ‘love’ scene. The all-time greatest moment has to be though, when at a graduation party the 17/18 year old youths decide to pair up and make dance routines, kind of high-school musical style. I know this is a remake of an old classic, but surely some of the scenes could be updated.

I’m not going to say it’ll be for everyone, because it simply won’t. And I’m not going to say you won’t feel like diving to the nearest sick bucket in parts, because you probably will. But there’s something there that will ring true with everyone at points, admittedly a little over-exaggerated at times, but all the same you can’t help feeling a little nostalgia for a time when all was possible. Maybe it’s just me. Soppy shit.

Dallas Buyers Club 8.5/10

As I suppose many of you did, I succumbed to the overwhelming hype surrounding McConaughey’s latest role and raced to the nearest cinema as soon as I could to see ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. I’m happy to tell you that, it did not disappoint… £4.80 well spent.

The story centres on Ron Woodroof, a randy, heavily intoxicated electrician and part-time hustler. The poor man’s ‘Jordan Belfort’ – for those of you who idolised the ‘Wolf’. Based on a true story, Woodroof is diagnosed with AID’s during the 80’s epidemic; he goes on to create the ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ to give other patients the medication they need.

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The word ‘intense’ would almost be too weak to describe this piece of cinematic genius. I’ve used that word to describe much lesser displays of emotional drama. It is one of those films where you find yourself willing on the character… you are fighting for McConaughey from the edge of your itchy, hard and confined cinema seat (maybe VIP is worth the extra pound).

I don’t want to sound patronising, as I have found many articles to be when describing McConaughey’s recent transformation, but this man has truly transformed! I’m not going to lie, I swooned as much as any other crushing teenager when the McConaughey of yester-year ripped off his shirt in the likes of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ and ‘Failure to Launch’ (Yes, I have watched these films, don’t judge, I know you have too…). But that surfer God has now vanished, and in his place is an actor of the finest kind, award-worthy in my eyes.

Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner provide truly impressive support, making this a definite must-see film of the year. Prepare to well-up (even the ‘hard men’ out there), prepare to re-evaluate views (yes, it’s thought provoking) and prepare to have a thoroughly enjoyable cinematic experience. Get down to the cinema now… 

Precious – 9/10

Let’s start by saying that this film doesn’t leave a hard-hitting stone unturned… There are scenes of violence, rape, incest, bullying, teen pregnancy… The list goes on, you name it, and it’s there.

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An initial read of the blurb almost managed to deter me from what I imagined to be a slow-moving sob story, which would move me no closer to tears than the likes of a willowing James Blunt song. An overweight teenager, Claireece ‘Precious’ Jones, from Harlem suffers a childhood of torment and abuse but begins to turn her life around when she enrols in an alternative school.

Oh and it ‘stars’ Mariah Carey. I can tell you now that I enjoy watching an R ‘n’ B singer delve into the acting World about as much as I enjoy getting to Nandos to find out that they’ve run out of Perinaise/Lemon + Herb Marinade (that’s not very much at all, in case you’re questioning).

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself horrified at the abuse Precious was undergoing and felt myself willing her to turn her life around and be a success. And what was even more shocking, was the fact that Mariah Carey is almost convincing in her role and though I hate to admit it, she delivers a pretty stellar performance.
The whole thing is an emotional rollercoaster in the greatest sense, one that I would most definitely re-visit for a second ride. The main thing is that it’s believable, there will be a Precious out there somewhere and I’m sure many who watch it will relate to her in some way.

Now I don’t want to go all deep on you guys, because you all know that that isn’t my vibe at all. But if you’re in the mood for a heart-wrenching 110 minutes, take a little look into the life of Precious; I’m almost certain you’ll be willing her on as much as I was. There, I’ve admitted it, I’m a big softy at heart.

The Wolf of Wall Street 7/10

Let’s not beat around the ‘oh-so-obvious’ bush here and begin by addressing the fact that this film is a whopping 3 hours long! Yes I mean 180 mins, 10800 seconds, 2 whole football games, 1/8 of a day, a return flight to Paris…

If you can get past this rather off-putting point, please continue to read on…

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The story follows Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio)  a young naïve, newlywed with aspirations of being a Wall Street stockbroker, through his troublesome path to obscene wealth and drug addiction. There’s a charade of drug abuse, violence and butt-naked femalesthroughout the 3 hours (did I mention how long it was?) if that’s your sort of thing, run to the nearest cinema NOW. It will be the best film you’ve ever seen, genuinely.

For those who require more than a host of shaven genitals and powder snorting to awaken their entertainment juices… you will enjoy it, but I doubt you’ll want to see it again.

Leo Di undoubtedly delivers an outstanding performance, true to form. Similar to his portrayal of Gatsby, he is the suave, charming gentleman penned by many-a-noted writer. Matthew McConaughey gives an equally memorable performance (though his appearance is minor) with what I would regard one of the most memorable scenes in a restaurant on Wall Street (you’ll find yourself humming and beating your chest for a week afterwards).

There are plenty of laughs (not surprisingly supplied by Jonah Hill) and some extreme highs and lows. Leo’s speeches addressing his employees are Braveheart-esque, so much so that you find yourself wanting to fight for Belfort, party with Belfort and for the most part… be Belfort.

I’m finding it difficult to put across anything bad to you, and that’s because it wasn’t bad, there was just something… missing. (Don’t shoot me for the cliché). It could be this preceded hype that is continually putting films on a pedestal for the likes of me to swipe it from beneath their feet and beat their credentials to a lifeless pulp.

I’m not going to do that to this film, because I honestly didn’t dislike it. Maybe it was just my numb backside distracting my thoughts, but I switched off. Do this film in two sittings, and I reckon you’d be onto a winner. You will definitely want to work for Stratton Oakmont, Inc. if Carlsberg did workplaces…

The Shawshank Redemption 6.5/10

I would like to consider myself a pretty brave person. So … I’m going to be ballsy and kick off this long-awaited film blog with an honest review of what is hotly regarded as ‘The Greatest film of all time’, or so IMDb (the film God) seems to think so… The Shawshank Redemption.

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The Basic Plot centres on Andy Dufresne, a young banker sent to prison for the murder of his adulterous wife. Whilst at Shawshank prison he meets Red (Morgan Freeman), the story follows these two men, alongside a few other inmates, as they struggle through prison woes and form a lifetime bond.

So… what do I think?

Well I’ll start by saying straight away, that I think it’s good, pretty good… but certainly not OH MY DAYS AMAZING LET ME SEE IT AGAIN NOW PLEASE… If you get me?

To be fair, it would probably be a push for me to ever watch it again. Been there, done it, bought the t-shirt… that kind of thing.

There’s some good characterisation, very believable relationships and a strong sense of brotherhood throughout. There are also a few heart-wrenching moments that left even me close to a tear-stopping gulp (a difficult feat). But the whole thing seems ever so long (142 mins) and is sort of predictable for the most part.

The trouble with these kinds of films is the preceding hype that surrounds them. It’s impossible to give an honest critique when you’re expecting ‘God’s gift to film’ beforehand.

Have a watch if you haven’t already (I highly doubt it, just about everyone has) and see what you think.

I bet you won’t love it or hate it… it’s not Marmite, it’s just an ordinary plain digestive that you dip in a hot brew… nothing special, but worth trying because it’s there.