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The Great Gatsby (2013)
Film was good except the annoying music/soundtrack
I like Luhrmann's take on films and soundtracks usually - but this film's strange annoying choice of music style was really off-putting. It was so mismatched like they were trying to MTV it with advertising Coke or something mainstream. Shame, would be great to see this with a soundtrack that suits the style of the storytelling/theme.
Turn Up Charlie (2019)
Great to see this side of Elba's acting
This great light hearted series with some characters you don't see portrayed often enough in British entertainment - and well done. Also great to see Elba acting in the Charlie character, does it brilliantly as you'd expect. There are a few formulaic bits but good enough to enjoy overall.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Timeless classic - rare quality
I realise just how amazing this film is and beautifully acted by an extremely talented cast. Even watching it now in 2019, it remains such high quality acting and screen adaptation - while there are some really good films today, this holds a rare quality you don't come across often now.
Lines are well delivered, Every single actress was amazing and I love how Sally Field portrayed Shelby's mother M'Lynne. Darryl Hannah too showed how she's able to pull off such a different character compared to her previous roles.
And the setting/shots/visuals just made it all realistically set the scene, feeling those characters and amazing story telling of life's experiences with these women.
Steel Magnolias (2012)
Not a good remake
When remaking an amazing original film - the remake needs to either live up to it or be just as well adapted to be worth it - and this wasn't.
I saw a few glimpses of the actresses doing as well as they can (and they did a few interesting acting lines in a few scenes), but many of those scenes just didn't work in their adapted version because they took away the original things that made it work.
Lesson - don't do a remake unless you have the vision to do its story justice.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Overhyped with industry backing no doubt
There's no point doing remakes if you can't make them better - just riding off the originals and indulging with formulaic strings, there's just so many other original films out there.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
Clever story involving you and control if you realise it
What a great project the team pulled - not only for giving us an interactive film but also the premise of how the story linked to the viewers. It is all about question who has control over what happens - both the character Stefan and us the viewers. It's quite funny seeing other reviewers criticising there was not much choice - I think that's the point. I think there were times when the scenes weren't so compelling that could lose my attention otherwise, and going around repetition got a little boring - but who knows if that was part of the message.
There were some great options that involved Netflix - this was a great touch.
I have to say I prefer the other Black Mirror productions to do the tradition movie going so I can consume the story rather than be involved - but this I must say is cleverly done and still manages to be thought provoking.
The Connected Universe (2016)
Great convincing film but not necessarily consistent or evidenced
The production and story telling of the film/documentary is amazing - it is enough to convince you it makes sense and the science seems to support it. However viewers would benefit being aware that some of the statements framed could be misleading, they are inconsistent and/or are not actually supported by scientific rigor of evidencing as indicated - scientific methods and society are skeptics and rigorous specifically because of the bias we can hold for observing and determining truths and facts.
I do appreciate and enjoy watching the film from the story telling, ideas and cinematic experience though.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Keeps Bladerunner too
One of the few films revived after the originals that has worked and stayed true to the original theme, it continues with a key point on humanity. Casting lead surprisingly worked, the others were well cast too, I'd expect Jared Leto in that role.
The last scene and plot was done well I think, maybe not so intense reveal but because of the story, itself really worked well.
Wish more quality films like this are made
Kathy Bates deserved that oscar, great film adaptation of Stephen King's book even if there were differences, I think they adjusted well.
That bi-polar Annie Wilkes character was played realistically and amazingly by Kathy Bates, while James Caan's character is still more underplayed, he still managed to pull off a few of those most desperate moments.
Supporting characters were good too, very chilling/disturbing moments mainly done by the psychological projection of those characters and scenes - hardly any physical visual scenes needed (apart from the one or two max of the infamous ones).
Walk the Line (2005)
Meh - odd choices for a Johnny Cash film
The stories or slim snippets of people's truths were an odd selection for a basis of a Johnny Cash film.
Seems superficial, given everything of Johnny Cash's life and character, I didn't think much of this, and if I base my opinion of it all solely on the film, I couldn't believe in the characters, I can't believe in the Hollywood drama that could have been a workable formula 15 years ago.
The acting was ok given what they had to work with on the film.
Also there was not enough good material in this film to engage with the audience given the subject matter, but if you want a light formulaic drama film bearing in mind this probably more resonant of a 'based on a true story', it could be your thing.
By the Sea (2015)
Would have been great as a short film
Beautifully shot, I admit partly too superficial in some parts, but other parts are really well done - some really great constructed scenes to capture that moment in the story.
I did forward bits of this film because it did drag in a few places - I think this would be perfect and easily told as a short film instead of a feature - there's not enough content to the story, many scenes not really needed to tell it, hence it felt very slow and hard to follow (unless you're quite happy to be distracted without any concentration during those times).
Again, there were a few moments of really great acting for part of the story as with the plot, others again maybe a bit too self-indulgent dramatics maybe thought of as good to show for 'complex' character, but can come across as superficial and OTT in how emotions were shown.
You can tell there's a lot of effort gone in to a great 'look'ing film (scene shots, costume etc.), but it's not enough to compensate the overall content used to tell what could be a much shorter story.
Great film, surprised by some negative IMDB reviews
We are star war fans and thought this was just as great an installment as The Force Awakens and original trilogy with well-loved trademark elements mixed with better quality next generation story telling/film-making which gives this trilogy a great unique edge - I personally think this makes the final trilogy relevant both from its original theme and for the new generation of films we see (the acclaimed ones rather than the overdone franchises out there). There are great contemporary characters and storytelling with morals to learn in this film too that you don't get to see done so well or even covered in most mainstream movies, one thing I particularly love about Star Wars.
If you remember the original Star Wars trilogy and appreciated it for what is (great story, still sci-fi with some light hearted fun), and appreciate the new trilogy is made in this generation - I then hope you enjoy this film all the same.
If you expect it to be exactly the same as the original attached with characters that haven't developed since then, you might not like the movie, and it's probably best to re-watch the originals that already exist.