entertainment

New Release Review- The Gift, 2015

Avaliable from 7th December on iTunes, blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Virgin Movies, TalkTalk Box Office, eir Vision Movies, Google Play, Curzon Home Cinema

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Sorry I’m a little behind on reviews because of university work! BUT The Gift is one of my favorite thrillers/ movies in general of 2015. SO HERE WE GO:

You know those movies that seem to get crazier and creepier as they go? Yeah, The Gift is one of those.

I don’t know why I expected a horror when I sat down to watch this, but it really wasn’t anything of the sort. Sure, it builds the kind of atmosphere you’d usually find in a horror film but The Gift is an all out psychological thriller.

Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut (you can also find him starring in this film, and on the producers list, and his name on the screen play), The Gift is undeniably creepy.

Husband and wife (Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall) move to a wonderful new house with high hopes for the future. Unfortunately Gordo (Edgerton) turns up. Although seeming innocent enough- perhaps a little unnerving- Gordo slowly starts to tear their lives apart. I know I’ve written the word Gordo one to many times, but Edgertons performance really carries the life of this film, however all three protagonists are great in their own right.

The ending is a punch in the face, the final blow that seals this movie in ‘totally disturbing but, ah! What a clever twist’ territory. The Gift is a must watch in my opinion.

4.5 /5 – Yeah I liked it a lot!

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New Release Review- Mistress America, 2015

Available from the 7th December on ITunes, blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Virgin Movies, TalkTalk Box Office, eir Vision Movies, Google Play

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If I’m not in my body then where am I?

Five feet to the left and unhappy.

Mistress America is strangely accomplished and cheesy at the same time. Noah Baumbach presents us with something so punchy and relentless and fast paced that it becomes just so enjoyable to watch.

Tracy (Lola Kirke) has just started college in New York, she is lonely and nervous and struggles to make new friends. That is until she calls her soon to be step sister Brooke (Greta Gerwig) and a strange relationship ensues. I can only describe it as Nick/ Gatsby- esque with the fast talker Brooke naturally taking on the Gatsby role.

With well written characters (screenplay from Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach) and well presented characters it’s impossible not to get drawn in. Brooke, played by Gerwig, is a central piece to this film. The acting performance from both Gerwig and Kirke is to be commended as is the writing provided by Gerwig and Baumbach. Add that to the feel good sound track with music that feels as if it has been taken right from a Joy Division album and I’m sold on this film.

Mistress America is an exploration of family, of marriage, generations and, of course, the struggle we all face in finding out who we are and what we want- and it does it well. There are moments, moments that most films like this will face, where the whole thing is veering towards an ending so cheesy and fake it could have ruined the whole thing. Mistress America avoids this and takes us to a place of harsh reality and comforting conclusion in knowing our characters will be okay.

4/5

Now On Netflix Review- The Babadook, 2014

Available now on Netflix UK

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Single mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), is struggling to look after her over- active son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), in the wake of her husbands death. When Samuel finds a rather disturbing book on the shelf in his bedroom the Babadook stops being a child’s nightmare and begins to become a terrifying reality for this small family.

The film is a chilling look at the tangibility of grief and addiction. Prescription drugs and the fathers death become central to the the film, but they only subtly let us know what The Babadook is really about. It’s sad, it’s disturbing, and it’s relentless. We’re treated to scene after scene of the difficulties in raising a child when both mother and son are struggling with their own terrors. Samuel with his childhood fear of monsters, and Amelia with visions of her dead husband- both protagonists of this film play their roles extremely well.

The film does not give us any relief as we soon dive into the unnerving world of the Babadook. As a horror film The Babadook fulfills what it’s supposed to do- the whole thing is absolutely terrifying. There’s a spine- chilling atmosphere to the whole movie as we’re often trapped in the blue/ grey house with Amelia and Samuel. Director Jennifer Kent plays on the films mood extremely well, it’s frightening at the best of times- and absolutely terrifying in others.

Undeniably gripping, emotionally painful, completely relentless- The Babadook is a must see horror.

4.5/5

New Release Review- Midnight in Paris, 2011

Available from 24th November on Amazon Prime Instant

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When couple, Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachael McAdams), take a trip to Paris Gil cannot help but use the opportunity as a way to gain inspiration for a novel he’s been struggling to write. Then, as if all his hopes are handed to him on a plate, he is transported back to Paris in the 1920’s- at midnight of course. He meets a whole host of famous writers and artists from Picasso to Hemingway, and the movie really begins.

As a student studying English at University the idea of being transported away to a time when these people existed, and then actually getting to meet them, was immediately fascinating to me. Even though I was consciously aware that this is not how these people would have spoken or acted they were still wonderfully engaging characters on film. Honestly an all round beautiful movie, but how could it not be when it’s set in one of the most magnificent cities in the world, Paris. Paris is just, if not more, important to this film than the characters are and we’re treated to some truly beautiful shots of it.

There isn’t one weak acting performance in this but with a cast whose members include Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, Tome Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Corey Stoll as Hemingway (some of my favorite performances in the film) there wasn’t really any danger of that. Add that to an undeniably charming script and some great visuals and you find yourself watching Midnight in Paris. It’s hard not to like this film.

From being genuinely funny to quite profound, and sometimes even ridiculous, this movie doesn’t disappoint. It’s a vibrant depiction of Paris and a romantic look at life.

4/5

The October Marathon- A Nightmare on Elm Street

So over the course of this month I watched all the Nightmare on Elm Street films and I was honestly surprised at how, once I started watching I only wanted to watch more. Take a look at my two line reviews for each film to see what I thought;

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Halloween Film List- Movies to watch on the scariest night of the year!

A list of films to watch on Halloween with something for everyone- as long as you don’t mind being scared crazy that is. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!  (more…)

New Release Review: Manson Family Vacation, 2015

Available from 27th October on Netflix UK

Manson Family Vacation is surprisingly funny and heartfelt. This charming film takes us along with two brothers on their bonding session- that just so happens to include the Charles Manson murder sites. After Nick (Jay Duplass) gets a long overdue visit from his wayward brother, Conrad (Linas Phillips), the film perfectly sets itself up for a charming but worrying brother dynamic. Jay Duplass is perfect in the lead role of this drama- comedy. In fact the off- beat humor in this film reminded me of another small- scale drama- horror film, Creep, staring Jay Duplass’s brother, Mark Duplass. See the trailer here.

However if the reveal towards the end was supposed to be a twist then it didn’t work for me, I figured it out very early on. Still, it was an engaging watch as the film beats forward at a steady pace and makes you feel exactly what you should, when you should.

Ultimately the film ends up in the place it felt like it was going, but not in a negative way. The end is satisfying as we hear exactly what these brothers needed to say to each other.

3.5/ 5

What to watch- The film list today!

Don’t know what to watch! Don’t fear! If new releases aren’t your thing- or you don’t see any you like- then don’t worry as I’ve complied a list of film lists for those times when you just don’t know what to watch.

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Buzzfeed recently release their ranked Steven Spielberg films, and lets face it, sometimes there’s nothing better than watching a Spielberg film. You can take a look at that list here.

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Or if you’re behind on your 2014 movie list Bustle have their best films of 2014- and where to find them! It’s available here.

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But if horror films are your thing you can always take a look at my favorite horror films of 2014/2015 here.

New Release: Cop Car, 2015

Avaliable from 19th October on Virgin Movies / EE / TalkTalk / Eircom / Amazon Instant Video / Google Play / blinkbox

Two boys (James Freedson- Jackson/ Hays Wellford) find a cop car in the middle of nowhere and take it for a joy ride. Of course things don’t go as planned when renegade cop (Kevin Bacon) finds out. Does he just want his car back or is there something more sinister going on?

I absolutely loved this movie. I am usually skeptical about child actors but James Freedson- Jackson and Hays Wellford play their roles perfectly. Cop Car had me on edge for the entire second half of the movie but I was hooked from the first scene- in fact the first fifteen minutes or so could be argued as the best bit of this movie. Two runaway boys finding a cop car, what could possibly happen? It’s simple, it’s dark and it’s great. Cop Car is the perfect combination of surprisingly dark moments fitted around some genuinely funny scenes with some real intense moments to top it off.

There’s no need to over complicate things with Jon Watts’ Cop Car, it is what it is and it does what it does- and it does it well. If you like thriller movies it’s a must watch, and it only stands at 86 minutes- which is a running time I like.

4/5

New Release: Knock Knock, 2015

Available from 19th October on Virgin Movies / EE / TalkTalk / Eircom / Amazon Instant Video / Google Play

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Eli Roth did a wonderful job on this movie. It’s trash, but it’s good trash.

I don’t know if this movie was supposed to be so funny, but I was laughing through a good portion of it. That may be why my review is pretty high for what it is- I just had fun watching it. There’s something about Keanu Reeves in this movie that is just hilarious, every reaction shot I was audibly laughing through the cinema like an idiot. I’ve seen comparisons to Nick Cage so that might be it.

Knock Knock is also pretty messed up. When Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is left alone things go terribly wrong when a good deed turns into a disastrous mistake. I mean, we all knew what was going to happen when two attractive women show up at the door looking for a party, and, lo and behold, slowly and surely Evan’s life is ruined. I don’t know if this movie deserves the rating I’m going to give it but, hey, I liked it.

Disclaimer: this movie may not be for everyone as when I watched it in the cinema I heard someone say, “Well, that was absolute shit!” when leaving.

3.5/5