Kingsman: The Secret Service – Film Review

Duration: 2hrs 9mins

Rating: 15

Release Date: 29 January 2015 (UK)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Sofia Boutella, Sophie Cookson…

Description: Eggsy is an ordinary street kid with family issues until Harry Hart recruits him to participate in the Kingsman training program to become a spy. To become a member of Kingsman, Eggsy has to compete against a group of other young adults who have had a much brighter past than he has. The group have to take part in a number of different assignments to prove their loyalty and abilities to Kingsman. Meanwhile a man designs free SIM cards to turn the human race against each other in the hopes that ultimately he is saving the world.

My Thoughts: I have a huge list of tiny scenes that I disliked and liked but before I go into more detail I’m going to talk about the film as a whole.

To be honest I had to pause it and get the people I was watching the film with to explain what was going on because I had no idea what was going on, probably because I was spending so much time writing notes.

Anyway… the main storyline was about a guy that we were supposed to see as evil who had designed SIM cards which were going to make the human race turn against each other and that was hopefully going to kill off enough people that humans were not going to be destroying the planet in quite the same way any more. Now I obviously don’t think killing off loads of the population is the way to go but I was quite impressed that a film of that genre would tackle such a serious and important issue in the modern day, obviously it had a comedic and action-packed twist on it but if you took of all the layers the serious stuff was still there, and I always love a film that tackles with the real issues of the world whilst also providing an entertaining film.

Now it’s time to go into more detail!

I haven’t seen very many comedies, especially not the cheesy kind and I wasn’t sure whether I would find the cheesiness of this film too much and feel like they should have just made it a serious action film … surprisingly I thought it worked quite well, they merged serious and comedy quite well together.

This film isn’t a good film for anyone with a fear of heights or water (I’m afraid of both) there were two disturbing scenes within the film; one which involved Eggsy being woken up in the middle of the night because he’s bedroom was going under water and then having to try and find a way to escape without drowning. Another scene in which they had to jump from a plane and one of the people that jumped discovered they had no parachute whilst airborne. Both these scenes I found quite distressing whilst watching them.

If you love puppies then there’s a great surprise waiting for you in this film in the form of cute puppies! (Well, it’s not a surprise anymore… sorry!) but don’t let the idea of cute puppies fool you because as well as that there is also an upsetting scene (which made me cover my eyes) in which Eggsy has to shoot a dog.

It was in some places cringy but I liked it and overall I think it was a good film even if there were a few scenes I disapproved of (such as the scene in which a captured young woman offers Eggsy sex if he lets her out and then you see the actresses bare bum which was completely pointless and irrelevant and just something they added in to be sexist).

Although this is rated a 15 it’s a really good family film for people with older aged family members wanting to sit down together. Or if you’re just wanting to have a laugh at the end of a bad day.

I found the ending very satisfying (after you got past the stupid bare bum scene) and it seemed to end the film perfectly and kind of left you not needing to wonder what happened next. It was just like it ended and you could be at peace with it.

4 and a half stars/5!

Quotes: Warning there is some swearing in the quotes below. 

“No one’s going to die,” – Roxy “Shame…” Eggsy

“You shot your dog and got him fucking stuffed?! You fucking freak!” – Eggsy

“That’s what happens when you shoot someone in the head, it feels good right?” – ? “No, it does not, it feels fucking awful!” – Valentine

Warnings: There are sex references and one nude scene (mentioned above). There is an abusive father figure in the film, there is a scene in which a mother tries to murder her child, a scene in a church which results in many people being murdered horribly. Alcohol is consumed within the film and quite a few scenes happen in a pub. Many uses of the F word and a couple of uses of other bad language. For full details click the link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802144/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg

Trailer: To see a trailer and read other information including a full cast list click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802144/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Book Review

Title: Allegiant

Author: Veronica Roth

Length: 526 pages

Genre: Dystopian Fiction, YA fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction,

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: 2013

Description: Without the factions Tris and Four don’t know what to expect their future to look like… Is the violence finally over? Can they stop carrying guns and being prepared to fight 24/7? They decide to explore beyond the fence that’s kept them and the factions in captivity their whole lives, but little do they know that more dark horrors await them. Are they ready to learn the truth about the world they’ve never understood?

My Thoughts: In March I went to see Insurgent in cinemas, – I’ll review that as soon as I can – after the credits rolled one of the first thoughts I had was I have to find out what happens next, I have to. So I went home and I reserved Allegiant in the library and it’s taken this long to get it because so many people had reserved it to find out what happened next. It’s not possibly to watch Insurgent and not be desperate to find out what happened next and I’m quite an impatient person and I couldn’t wait a year until the next film came out so why not read it? So that’s what I did.

When I first got this book I noticed that it was slightly different to the rest in the fact that Veronica Roth writes from both Tris and Tobias’ perspective. My first thought was that it would be really annoying and that if she hadn’t done it before, why start now? But after actually starting to read it I realised it actually worked quite well, I think Tobias/Four is a very complicated, secret character, who has learnt to hide his emotions because he’s Dauntless and he’s supposed to be superior to the other factions he’s supposed to be strong and kind of like a warrior/soldier so he can’t let his emotions control him. When he’s with Tris he can be himself you get to see part of who he really is inside, but I still felt like we never got to understand Tobias enough – not until this book. Being able to see things from Tobias’ perspective and getting an insight into his thoughts and how he processes and handles things and how he controls his emotions made you like Tobias more as a character (although personally I already thought Tobias was a great character). I sometimes even found myself wishing that all the chapters were from Tobias’ point of view but I do also love Tris don’t get me wrong I just wish that she wasn’t as cold as she is. I think she’s a great female character though, capable of saving herself and making her own decisions without having to run to a male character for protection and I think in some ways Tris is a better character than Katniss in The Hunger Games I like the fact that she loves one guy and that’s it, but Katniss is in a stupid love triangle and I don’t really like those. Tris is more loyal I think, she never has second thoughts or doubts about whether Tobias is right for her and Katniss does. I think Tris and Tobias are a better couple than Katniss and Peeta because I feel like Katniss and Peeta’s relationship is a bit fake but Tris and Tobias’ relationship is just like destiny. Anyway, I’m reviewing Allegiant not The Hunger Games. 

Allegiant didn’t have as much going on as Divergent and Insurgent did, there wasn’t enough action and not enough moments when you really didn’t know what was going to happen next, but closer to the end of the book there was quite a bit of action and drama and there were some moments that really shocked me hard and I just sat there like Oh, my god is this actually happening?! This can’t be happening right now! To be honest though I really don’t know how they plan to make Allegiant into two films. I think the first film will be really bad but then the second will come out in 2017 and everyone will just be blown away and be sat there in shock unable to move.

One of the things I thought when I started to read this book was I really hope there’s not an epilogue set years in the future to show how happy and amazing the world is now and how they’ve all just magically got over their traumatic lives and behave like it never happened! But guess what?! There was a stupid epilogue set years in the future! And I was really disappointed because these books were so good and I really didn’t think Veronica needed to end her book like this and it should have just ended, it would have had a much bigger impact on the audience – I understand why she did it and I understand why some people would be glad that they knew the future of the characters because I know lots of people (me included) just can’t get over books and I don’t know about other people, but I read books and I don’t feel like I’m reading a book I feel like I’m living another life and that all the people within the book are my friends and when a book or series ends it’s like my friends just stop existing and I will never know anything else about their lives; I’ll never know if they had children or got married or any of that so I can understand why people like to have the years later epilogue but I think sometimes it can ruin the end of a book – this book had the opportunity to end and just leave you sitting there just like ………….. what do I do with my life now? I don’t know if I can get over this ………… but it didn’t and I found that really disappointing.

I think Veronica is an incredible author and she’s got really good ideas and she creates great characters and relationships and she’s created an amazing series and I think she’s particularly good at keeping you hooked because you trust her you know? Even though the first half wasn’t as action-packed and dramatic as the first two books I kept reading because I trusted her as an author and knew that something big would be coming next and I just had to know what happened.

In some ways I wish that Veronica wasn’t a great author, I wish that I hadn’t been desperate to read the last book in the trilogy and in some ways I wish I had never picked up the book in the first place because I don’t want the series to be over I want it to go on forever I want to get to know more about the characters but most of all I wish Veronica hadn’t broken my heart… But she did, and that’s something I can never forgive her for but I’m grateful that she wrote an amazing trilogy of books and created an amazing couple who will surely end up part of fictional history!

I hope that this review has left you curious and you too will be compelled to read it and I really think you should, for whatever reason; whether it’s because you can’t get enough of how cute Tris and Tobias are together, whether it’s because you need to know what happens next, or maybe you want to know what lives outside the fence? Pick up this book and read it word to word until the very last page and if you’ve reviewed it make sure you comment with a link to your review! I’d be very happy to read what you thought of Allegiant! I know I’ve criticised it but it really is a great book!

5/5 stars

Warning: This book contains violent, sexual and very upsetting scenes.

Other Book In The Series: Divergent (Book 1) Insurgent (Book 2) Four: A Divergent Collection. To view all of Veronica’s Divergent books and where to purchase them click the link http://www.veronicarothbooks.com/

 Other Information: Divergent was turned into a film by Eone, directed by Neil Burger and starred Shailene Woodley (The Fault In Our Stars) as Beatrice Prior and Theo James (The Inbetweeners Movie) as Tobias ‘Four’ Eaton this film was rated a 12A and came out April 4 2014. Insurgent was turned into a film by Eone, directed by Robert Schwentke, the film was rated a 12A and was released March 19 2015. Allegiant’s is being turned into a two-part film which is being directed by Insurgent director Robert Schwentke. Part-one is being released in cinemas in 2016 and part-two the following year.

Inside Out – Film Review

Duration: 1hr 34mins

Rating: U

Release Date: 24 July 2015

Genre: Animation, Family, Adventure, Comedy,

Directors: Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

Cast: Amy Poelher, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias…

Description: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust all live inside Riley’s mind. They control her emotions and take charge of all her memories. When Riley moves to San Francisco, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust have to learn how to deal with their new surroundings.

My Thoughts: I don’t watch very many kids films and I don’t enjoy animations very much because I feel like if the characters aren’t played by real people you can’t connect with them as much because the situation just doesn’t feel real, I know you can watch TV and it can seem really unrealistic but I feel if they’ve got real people acting in the film they can make the situation seem more real but with animations it doesn’t feel like it could ever be real.

All of that being said when I watched the trailer I did think it looked quite funny and I really liked the plot idea, so I went to the cinema and watched it.

I felt like it was very psychological and it was all an idea of how the inside of your brain works and I personally liked that aspect of the film and I thought it was really interesting, but I think if you were a child watching that film you might not understand the concept of it as much… But I don’t know, I don’t want to insult younger children by saying how intelligent I think they probably are.

There was another storyline that wasn’t just about Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust controlling Riley’s emotions and memories where Joy and Sadness end up in long time memory and they need to get back to headquarters because otherwise the only emotions Riley can feel is Anger, Fear and Disgust and I thought this storyline destroyed the film a bit and it would have been better if it was just them controlling Riley’s mind.

It was funny slightly depressing and insightful.

I think ultimately it was a children’s film and I don’t feel it was very family friendly, some films I feel like all ages can enjoy but I feel with this film it won’t be enjoyable for all ages.

I think it would have been better if it was about the inside of Riley’s parents minds as well as inside Riley’s mind, there was a brief display of the inside of the parents mind but not as much as I would have liked.

All in all I would rate it 2 and a half stars/5

Warnings: For details on unsuitable content click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg

Trailer: For a trailer and more information on the film click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2096673/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Paddington – Film Review

Duration: 1hr 35mins

Rating: PG

Release Date: 28 November 2014

Genre: Comedy, Family, Adventure

Director: Paul King

Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman…

Description: After having to flee his home in Peru a young bear sets out to London, he arrives at Paddington station and hopes that someone will give him a home. Luckily for the bear the Brown family come along and offer him a temporary home while they try and arrange a better location for the creature. Whilst the bear causes chaos and disruption members of the Brown family soon start to regret offering their home to the young bear.

My Thoughts: I remember seeing the trailer for this film last year over and over again and thinking it actually looked quite good and it looked funny. Last night I noticed that it was on Amazon Prime and thought “Why not?” so I turned the film on and only minutes into the film it had me and other members of my family laughing.

It took awhile for Paddington to actually grow on me, when the film started I actually thought that the bear was going to be really annoying and as a result ruin the entire film. But eventually his cute, charming and cheeky personality won me over.

I thought the film was quite well cast although I feel like Nicole Kidman is everyone’s choice for a bad guy in children’s films. I thought Madeleine Harris and Hugh Bonneville we both good in their roles and they didn’t perform as if they were actors, you could actually recognise their behaviour in people you knew or had met and therefore it felt more realistic. Also Sally Hawkins was really good.

Some parts of it were just ridiculous and not even entertaining, I didn’t like Nicole Kidman’s character at all and I think the film would have been much better if it was just Paddington causing mischief rather than the entire bad-guy-trying-to-catch-the-bear storyline.

It was you’re average family film with a few laughs but nothing particularly stood out, there wasn’t a moment I could particularly name as being a really great part or the highlight of the entire film.

I would rate it 2 and a half stars/5 but only because it made me laugh.

Warnings: Some scenes may be upsetting or distressing to younger children, there is a romance element and a couple of kissing scenes, alcohol is consumed, for full details click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1109624/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg

Trailer: To see a trailer and more information on the film click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1109624/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Other Information: Nominated for six awards in which it won one. Paddington is based on the series of books written by Michael Bond. The series is over twenty books long and the first one was published in 1958.

One Day – Film Review

Duration: 1hr 47mins

Rating: 12A

Release Date: 24 August 2011

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Lone Scherfig

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Tom Mison, Jodie Whittaker, Rafe Spall

Description: After college graduation Emma and Dex form a unbreakable friendship and they are shown on the same day as their college graduation every year so you can see how much their lives change and don’t change from year to year.

My Thoughts: I failed in my plan to read the book before I watched the film but that could be because I found the film in a shop for only 40p! And I thought it was an absolute bargain so I bought it and then of course had to watch it!

The start of the film had some weird blue filter put on it for the effect of it being night-time and a bit drizzly but it just looked like someone had put a blue filter on it and it didn’t look good, so not a great start to the film, anyway…

I have always wanted to have a really close relationship with a guy, just as friend’s and I like films or books that have friendships between boys and girls because it’s too often just a love element rather than a friendship element and I feel like because we don’t have enough things about friendships between a boy and a girl people think that they can’t be friends with boys if they’re girls and they can only see them as a love interest and that’s not true. So I liked that they had an unbreakable bond although obviously because it’s TV they end up together and that was obvious from the start, but that’s not all the films about them being friend’s and then ending up together, no, it’s about so much more than that! I will go into more detail now.

Although I enjoyed the film when I watch films I Iike to be able to look away and do a couple of other things whilst watching the film but with One Day I felt like that wasn’t easy because if you looked away you wouldn’t know what year it was supposed to be and that was frustrating and I was constantly having to rewind it to find out if the year had changed.

I thought Anne and Jim worked really well together and I thought they both performed excellently in their roles, they were funny but serious when they needed to be; charming but horrible when they needed to be.

It showed me that you should always, always be considerate of others because even if you’re at a good part in your life doesn’t mean that everyone’s going through a good part in their life and you can make a real difference if you’re their for them when they need you instead of being so caught up in you’re brilliant life to care about their problems. And vice versa if you’re going through a bad time in life doesn’t mean they are so don’t be horrible to them and make their life miserable just because you’re life is at the moment.

Although I said I didn’t like how you couldn’t look away in case the year changed (and I don’t) I liked how it was based on the same day every year because it showed me that things constantly change and sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s for the worst but ultimately life is amazing and will always get better. And what we have to do is cherish the great moments and try as hard as we can to get past the bad one’s because you never know what to expect out of life.

It was funny, romantic, sad, awkward and heart-breaking. An uplifting and empowering film about friendship, making it through bad times and growing up.

4 and a half stars/5

Quotes: 

“We all like to laugh, I know I used to.” – Emma

“It’s a yin-yang” – Dexter “It looks like a road sign,” – Emma

“I love you Dexter, so much! I just don’t like you anymore.” – Emma

“Sometimes I think the only way I’m going to see my name in lights is if I change it to emergency exit.” – Ian

“It’s not quite what I was expecting…” Dexter “The future never is that’s what makes it so bloody exiting!”

You make her happy, so happy! And I’ll always be grateful to you for that.” – Ian

“I’m not answering that, you know who you are.”

Warnings: Sex references, swearing, alcohol consumption, some scenes may upset or offend. For full details on the content of this film click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1563738/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg

Trailer: To see a trailer and more details on the film click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1563738/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Other Information: One Day was adapted from a book by David Nichols. It was nominated for three awards but didn’t win them. It was Anne Hathaway’s 22nd role.

Now Is Good – Film Review

Duration: 1hr 43mins

Rating: 12A

Release Date: 19 September 2012

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Ol Parker

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Jeremy Irvine, Paddy Considine, Olivia Williams, Kaya Scodelario, Edgar Canham,

Description: Tessa is 17-year-old’s and she’s dying of leukemia. Tessa doesn’t want to die but she knows that it’s going to happen so she compiles a list of everything she wants to do with the rest of her life. Falling in love with Adam isn’t on the list but it’s something she’s very grateful for.

My Thoughts: I watched Now Is Good because I had read the book which was originally named Before I Die by Jenny Downham, I had wanted to read the book for a long time and I wanted to know what the film adaptation was like. It wasn’t at all how I imagine everything in the book and some parts were better and some parts were worse.

I think Dakota Fanning was a poor choice to play Tessa, and in the film they made Tessa really cold and unresponsive and I feel like it was a bit over-the-top compared to how it was in the book. I thought Jeremy Irvine was a brilliant choice to play Adam and I think he did brilliantly, he played Adam the exact way I imagined Adam to be. I thought Kaya Scodelario was the perfect choice to play Zoey, she played Zoey’s character so well. Paddy Considine was also brilliant as Tessa’s Dad, he played the role so well, it was exactly as I imagined him.

I felt like the film got rid of a lot of the content from the start of the book and I felt like because of that you didn’t get a chance to really get to know the characters and care about them, you weren’t sure whether you were supposed to like them or not. And I thought that was a shame. I also felt like the film was too short so it wasn’t as sad as it could have been.

Unlike The Fault In Our Stars Tessa actually did look really ill and it put dramatic effect on the film and you felt like any moment she could die and it was really depressing but with Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars although we know she’s got cancer but she looks perfectly healthy and therefore doesn’t really set as much effect (and this isn’t me moaning about the film because I love TFIOS!).

There were some moments that made me smile and really want to live in the moment and make each one count. It made me happy to be alive but it also made me realised how short life really is and how we never have as much time as we think we do, and we never know when we’re going to die.

As I’ve mentioned before I write notes before I type up my reviews so I can really remember something and know what I thought of it in that moment and I literally wrote inspirational that’s all my note said.

It was funny, sad, depressing, happy, inspirational and heart-breaking. The saddest film I’ve seen since The Fault In Our Stars. 

Quotes: 

“You don’t have to call him sir.” Tessa to Adam “Sir will be fine.” Tessa’s Dad

“See, some people would think this was beautiful” (The snow) “But all I can think is it’s killing my poor vegetables.” Adam

Warnings: Drug use, Sexual references, bad language, strong medical theme, for more information click the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1937264/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg

Trailer: For the trailer and other information on the film click the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1937264/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Other Information: Now Is Good was adapted from the book Before I Die by Jenny Downham. The film was nominated for 5 awards and won 4 of them. For my review of the book click here: https://abloggersreviews.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/before-i-die-review/

The Prestige – Film Review

Duration: 2hrs 10mins

Rating: 12A

Release Date: 10 November 2006

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson…

Description: A magic trick goes wrong and results in a terrible tragedy, this causes two magicians in the act to become rivals. The magicians compete to have the best magic trick but how far are they willing to go?

My Thoughts: I really enjoy watching magic and if it’s done well I think it’s really impressive (Jamie Raven on BGT was the most amazing magician I have ever seen) and if it’s a film of course it’s going to go well because they have special effects and everything although the film was set in the Victorian times so the magic tricks were quite out-dated and not all that impressive.

The film kept switching between past and present and at a few points it was a bit confusing whether it was supposed to be past or present.

I was really surprised by the quality of the acting, the acting was so good! I didn’t feel like I was watching actors I felt like these people were actually real. I have to admit that I think Christian Bale was the best, he just gets into character so well and it’s just really entertaining and mesmerizing to watch him.

I thought the storyline was absolutely amazing, it was compelling and it kept you on the edge of your seat at all times and I think it was really cleverly done, I could never have predict the things that happened. It was amazingly directed thanks to Christopher Nolan.

When I bought these film I didn’t really have any expectations although I did already know that Christian Bale was an amazing actor and Christopher Nolan an amazing director but I didn’t have any expectations of the quality of the film and I was so pleasantly surprised, I was physically shocked at the film and how unexpectedly good it was.

If you asked me to criticise it I don’t think I could…

It was funny, it was dramatic, it was compelling, it was sad, it was clever. It was a really great film and I would really suggest going and watching it.

5/5 stars!

Warnings: Violence, detailed injury, suicide, kissing, gore (including multiple detailed dead birds) for full details click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/parentalguide?ref_=tt_stry_pg This link takes you to the Internet Movie Datebase (IMDb) A safe website with information about film and TV

Trailer: For a trailer and more information on the film click the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482571/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 Ditto