Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Newest Marvel film

★★★★☆
5 word summary:
You can’t trust anyone, ever.
5 sentence review:

Probably the best Marvel Studio film that I’ve seen, although I do say that as someone who isn’t very interested in any of the Avengers (prefer X-Men or Spiderman).

When I came home I explained it to my parents as a Marvel film with much more focus on the plot than simply ‘look how cool superheroes are!’ (Although there was also so many great fight sequences and general inner-5-year-old wonderment).

We are given a little more about a lot of the characters, from Nick Fury to Black Widow, and everyone (even Captain America) comes across as more human, showing tears and flaws rather than being excessively bad-ass all the time.

The film does have a slight feeling of being a filler film, it sets up a lot and helps to introduce/develop characters for future events; of course all these films are interconnected so there is filler/linkage in all of them, but sometimes I felt it quite strongly in this one (possibly because it’s the one directly before the big one, The Avengers).

The two end of credit scenes were really interested and worth waiting for, I’m so excited to see how Winter Soldier’s character develop and hope that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be as good a villains as Winter Soldier was.5 good things:
1. The cast (especially the new-comers).
2. The fight sequences.
3. The Winter Soldier = awesome.
4. Explosions!!
5. Abed?!
5 bad things:
1. So many bullets and yet so few people actually hit (why does no one shoot at Captain America’s legs? The shield doesn’t cover his entire body).
2. Some of the dialogue was very cheesy (which is ok for the Captain, but not for Natasha).
3. Why is Black Widow in every other film but still not her own?
4. Why is there always a black side-kick but not a black superhero with their own film?
5. Some scenes felt unnecessary.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Newest Marvel film

★★★★☆

5 word summary:

You can’t trust anyone, ever.

5 sentence review:

Probably the best Marvel Studio film that I’ve seen, although I do say that as someone who isn’t very interested in any of the Avengers (prefer X-Men or Spiderman).
When I came home I explained it to my parents as a Marvel film with much more focus on the plot than simply ‘look how cool superheroes are!’ (Although there was also so many great fight sequences and general inner-5-year-old wonderment).
We are given a little more about a lot of the characters, from Nick Fury to Black Widow, and everyone (even Captain America) comes across as more human, showing tears and flaws rather than being excessively bad-ass all the time.
The film does have a slight feeling of being a filler film, it sets up a lot and helps to introduce/develop characters for future events; of course all these films are interconnected so there is filler/linkage in all of them, but sometimes I felt it quite strongly in this one (possibly because it’s the one directly before the big one, The Avengers).
The two end of credit scenes were really interested and worth waiting for, I’m so excited to see how Winter Soldier’s character develop and hope that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be as good a villains as Winter Soldier was.

5 good things:

1. The cast (especially the new-comers).

2. The fight sequences.

3. The Winter Soldier = awesome.

4. Explosions!!

5. Abed?!

5 bad things:

1. So many bullets and yet so few people actually hit (why does no one shoot at Captain America’s legs? The shield doesn’t cover his entire body).

2. Some of the dialogue was very cheesy (which is ok for the Captain, but not for Natasha).

3. Why is Black Widow in every other film but still not her own?

4. Why is there always a black side-kick but not a black superhero with their own film?

5. Some scenes felt unnecessary.

Leon: The Professional - Film starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman
★★★★★

5 word summary:

Amazing but odd assassin film.


5 sentence review:
After a little girl’s (Mathilda played by Natalie Portman) family is killed she is taken in by an assassin (Leon played by Jean Reno) who she convinces to train her in his trade; a lovely (if sometimes twisted) relationship is formed between he two.
The cast and characters are wonderful ad unique, from the overtly mature but also vulnerable Mathilda to Leon the heartless but caring and Gary Oldman’s bad of crazy character Stansfield, everyone is so interesting and well created.
It’s a film to be enjoyed for the acting and the plot but it can also be put on mute and looked at as a work of art because it’s so beautiful. 
The plot draws you in and you spiral with the characters and, although the ending could be predicted, you are never really sure where everything is going to end up (which is always the best way for a film to be).
I can’t really adequately express how much I enjoyed this film without explaining that I normally watch films at home while scrolling through tumblr, when watching Leon I actually put my laptop down; I need you to understand that this is a very important symbol of how engaging this film is.
5 good things:

1. Everyone’s acting. 

2. Especially Jean Reno.

3. Characterisation.

4. Mathilda shooting people with a paintball(?) gun.

5. Subverting the assassin film while maintaining some themes. 


5 bad things:

1. Mathilda and Leon’s relationship…sometimes…

2. Mathilda could have been a little older to make me feel more comfortable with her character.

3. Unexplained obsession with milk.

4. The fact that there isn’t a sequel (although that could also ruin how good it is as a stand alone film). 

5. The fact I can’t work out how to put an accent onto Leon’s name.

Leon: The Professional - Film starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and Natalie Portman

★★★★★

5 word summary:

Amazing but odd assassin film.

5 sentence review:

After a little girl’s (Mathilda played by Natalie Portman) family is killed she is taken in by an assassin (Leon played by Jean Reno) who she convinces to train her in his trade; a lovely (if sometimes twisted) relationship is formed between he two.

The cast and characters are wonderful ad unique, from the overtly mature but also vulnerable Mathilda to Leon the heartless but caring and Gary Oldman’s bad of crazy character Stansfield, everyone is so interesting and well created.

It’s a film to be enjoyed for the acting and the plot but it can also be put on mute and looked at as a work of art because it’s so beautiful.

The plot draws you in and you spiral with the characters and, although the ending could be predicted, you are never really sure where everything is going to end up (which is always the best way for a film to be).

I can’t really adequately express how much I enjoyed this film without explaining that I normally watch films at home while scrolling through tumblr, when watching Leon I actually put my laptop down; I need you to understand that this is a very important symbol of how engaging this film is.

5 good things:

1. Everyone’s acting.

2. Especially Jean Reno.

3. Characterisation.

4. Mathilda shooting people with a paintball(?) gun.

5. Subverting the assassin film while maintaining some themes.

5 bad things:

1. Mathilda and Leon’s relationship…sometimes…

2. Mathilda could have been a little older to make me feel more comfortable with her character.

3. Unexplained obsession with milk.

4. The fact that there isn’t a sequel (although that could also ruin how good it is as a stand alone film).

5. The fact I can’t work out how to put an accent onto Leon’s name.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Film directed by Wes Anderson
★★★★★

5 word summary:

Wonderfully quirky and quite genius. 

5 sentence review:
This film tells a story within a story within a story about M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) when he is embroiled in a murderous tussle to inherit a ex-lovers fortune; he is helped by his lobby boy, Zero, (Tony Revolori) and a few other interesting figures.
When we left the cinema my Dad (who I saw it with) happily stated that it was nice to see a film that was made to be looked at, and that describes this film quite well, because it was beautiful (as all Wes Anderson films are) with bright colours, amazing costuming and perfectly symmetry throughout.
Ralph Fiennes character is delightful, it is the perfect word to describe him, and quite a step away from a lot of the other roles that I’ve seen him do; along with Fiennes I want to give a special mention to Edward Norton, whose character should have been given more screen time, and Adrien Brody, one of my favourites who was styled particularly well.
It followed a fairly basic plot, with people squabbling over a fortune, but Anderson managed to make it extraordinary because of the excessive of unique touches, like casually mentioning The Society of the Crossed Keys or giving Saoirse Ronan an unexplained and unquestioned birthmark on her cheek.
This is one of those films that leaves you smiling when you walk out of the cinema, although when you think about it after, there are a huge number of potential questions that could be raised which is indicative of Wes’s style. 
5 good things:

1. The cast (and how much fun they seemed to be having).

2. Costuming.

3. The obsession with moustaches.

4. The fact that no one changed their accents.

5. Willem Dafoe.

5 bad things:

1. Three of the female characters died, another three were ‘comically’ ugly and the final one was servile. 

2. Some of the fantastic roles were too small.

3. I can’t go to this hotel.

4. I can’t eat the Mendl’s pastries.

5. The cat was killed.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Film directed by Wes Anderson

★★★★★

5 word summary:

Wonderfully quirky and quite genius.

5 sentence review:

This film tells a story within a story within a story about M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) when he is embroiled in a murderous tussle to inherit a ex-lovers fortune; he is helped by his lobby boy, Zero, (Tony Revolori) and a few other interesting figures.

When we left the cinema my Dad (who I saw it with) happily stated that it was nice to see a film that was made to be looked at, and that describes this film quite well, because it was beautiful (as all Wes Anderson films are) with bright colours, amazing costuming and perfectly symmetry throughout.

Ralph Fiennes character is delightful, it is the perfect word to describe him, and quite a step away from a lot of the other roles that I’ve seen him do; along with Fiennes I want to give a special mention to Edward Norton, whose character should have been given more screen time, and Adrien Brody, one of my favourites who was styled particularly well.

It followed a fairly basic plot, with people squabbling over a fortune, but Anderson managed to make it extraordinary because of the excessive of unique touches, like casually mentioning The Society of the Crossed Keys or giving Saoirse Ronan an unexplained and unquestioned birthmark on her cheek.

This is one of those films that leaves you smiling when you walk out of the cinema, although when you think about it after, there are a huge number of potential questions that could be raised which is indicative of Wes’s style.

5 good things:

1. The cast (and how much fun they seemed to be having).

2. Costuming.

3. The obsession with moustaches.

4. The fact that no one changed their accents.

5. Willem Dafoe.

5 bad things:

1. Three of the female characters died, another three were ‘comically’ ugly and the final one was servile.

2. Some of the fantastic roles were too small.

3. I can’t go to this hotel.

4. I can’t eat the Mendl’s pastries.

5. The cat was killed.

Despicable Me 2 (2013) – Sequel starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig



★★★★☆



5 word summary:



So silly but very enjoyable.



5 sentence review:

Gru’s next step on his road from evil is to get a love interest and she comes in the quirky secret agent played by Kristen Wiig, the two get into a few scraped while trying to discover who stole a dangerous chemical.

There is a lot of charm in this franchise, from the cute little girls to the oddly loveable minions, and this film adds to the charm by affirming the themes of family and unity that were present in the first film.

Aside from the deeper aspect of this film, the humour is also enjoyable, although quite heavily dependant on slapstick (which is forgiveable because the film is aimed for a younger audience).

The new characters, like Lucy and El Macho, are good additions who managed to hold their own in amongst the already assembled kooky collection of characters.

It’s an enjoyable and well made sequel that builds on its original rather than simply trying to replicate it (which in my opinion is the downfall of any sequel).


5 good things:



1. The heart-warming moments.



2. The soundtrack (I have to admit that I’ve listened to Happy too many times).



3. The humour.



4. The guacamole hat.



5. The minions’ musical number.


5 bad things:



1. The girls haven’t’ seemed to have aged enough, I wish they were older.



2. They obviously focused a lot on the minions, who are funny but not really important.



3. No one noticed that minions were going missing.



4. The minion with sirens on his head was only in one scene.


5. Gru wasn’t dressed as a fairy for the whole film.
Despicable Me 2 (2013) – Sequel starring Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig

★★★

5 word summary:

So silly but very enjoyable.

5 sentence review:
Gru’s next step on his road from evil is to get a love interest and she comes in the quirky secret agent played by Kristen Wiig, the two get into a few scraped while trying to discover who stole a dangerous chemical.
There is a lot of charm in this franchise, from the cute little girls to the oddly loveable minions, and this film adds to the charm by affirming the themes of family and unity that were present in the first film.
Aside from the deeper aspect of this film, the humour is also enjoyable, although quite heavily dependant on slapstick (which is forgiveable because the film is aimed for a younger audience).
The new characters, like Lucy and El Macho, are good additions who managed to hold their own in amongst the already assembled kooky collection of characters.
It’s an enjoyable and well made sequel that builds on its original rather than simply trying to replicate it (which in my opinion is the downfall of any sequel).

5 good things:

1. The heart-warming moments.

2. The soundtrack (I have to admit that I’ve listened to Happy too many times).

3. The humour.

4. The guacamole hat.

5. The minions’ musical number.

5 bad things:

1. The girls haven’t’ seemed to have aged enough, I wish they were older.

2. They obviously focused a lot on the minions, who are funny but not really important.

3. No one noticed that minions were going missing.

4. The minion with sirens on his head was only in one scene.

5. Gru wasn’t dressed as a fairy for the whole film.


Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 4: Season 4

★★★★☆

5 word summary:

Shit’s starting to get real.

5 sentence review:

I have a confession to make, and this may account for the slightly lower mark for this season than that last…I watch breaking bad while either scrolling through Tumblr or playing random apps on my phone.
This season had a lot of talking, serious talking, a lot of which was also in unsubtitled Spanish (which is probably because I’m not watching this on DVD or TV…) but with such intense conversations either being incomprehensible to this monolingual girl or requiring my full attention, I didn’t get a lot of what was going on.
This season decided to focus on a lot of plotting, it seemed every character was scheming, even Skyler was getting in on the action, and this was enjoyable however it was also confusing because sometimes I didn’t know how much I was meant to know and whether I was only confused because I hadn’t been listening properly.
Everything seemed more devoted to tension and increasing the danger for these characters (which worries me because only one season to go and I’m expecting a lot of deaths) but I miss the old ‘funner’ days with Walt and Jesse, I’m sure this is an intentional affect, because they want the audience to realise that the two have gotten in over their heads, but that doesn’t mean that I still want it to go back to the original set-up.
Another unfortunate thing is that I knew what was going to be the climax of this season, which meant that I was just waiting for it to happen and was not overly interested in anything else going on in the episode because I knew where everything was leading too, this is the main problem with watching an incredibly popular show after it has finished – spoilers everywhere!

5 good things:

1. Jesse being paternal.

2. The final episode (although not a surprise).

3. Skyler being really intelligent and helpful.

4. Hank getting so close to the truth.

5. Giving Gus more of a back story.

5 bad thing:

1. Trying to drag up interest in Marie by having her nick things again.

2. Ted being annoying and Skyler falling for it.

3. Walter Jr. having all sorts of car troubles.

4. Walt sabotaging Hank’s investigations (let the poor guy do his job).

5. A lot of the scenes being in Spanish and yet none of them subtitled (my fault but still annoying).

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 4: Season 4

★★★★☆

5 word summary:

Shit’s starting to get real.

5 sentence review:

I have a confession to make, and this may account for the slightly lower mark for this season than that last…I watch breaking bad while either scrolling through Tumblr or playing random apps on my phone.

This season had a lot of talking, serious talking, a lot of which was also in unsubtitled Spanish (which is probably because I’m not watching this on DVD or TV…) but with such intense conversations either being incomprehensible to this monolingual girl or requiring my full attention, I didn’t get a lot of what was going on.

This season decided to focus on a lot of plotting, it seemed every character was scheming, even Skyler was getting in on the action, and this was enjoyable however it was also confusing because sometimes I didn’t know how much I was meant to know and whether I was only confused because I hadn’t been listening properly.

Everything seemed more devoted to tension and increasing the danger for these characters (which worries me because only one season to go and I’m expecting a lot of deaths) but I miss the old ‘funner’ days with Walt and Jesse, I’m sure this is an intentional affect, because they want the audience to realise that the two have gotten in over their heads, but that doesn’t mean that I still want it to go back to the original set-up.

Another unfortunate thing is that I knew what was going to be the climax of this season, which meant that I was just waiting for it to happen and was not overly interested in anything else going on in the episode because I knew where everything was leading too, this is the main problem with watching an incredibly popular show after it has finished – spoilers everywhere!

5 good things:

1. Jesse being paternal.

2. The final episode (although not a surprise).

3. Skyler being really intelligent and helpful.

4. Hank getting so close to the truth.

5. Giving Gus more of a back story.

5 bad thing:

1. Trying to drag up interest in Marie by having her nick things again.

2. Ted being annoying and Skyler falling for it.

3. Walter Jr. having all sorts of car troubles.

4. Walt sabotaging Hank’s investigations (let the poor guy do his job).

5. A lot of the scenes being in Spanish and yet none of them subtitled (my fault but still annoying).


Kill Your Darlings (2014) – Film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan

★★★☆☆

5 word summary:

Another pretentious Beat poet film.

5 sentence review:
This film tells about Allen Ginsberg’s first years in university, and his encountering the soon-to-be murderer Lucien Carr. Carr and Ginsberg’s relationship becomes strained by Carr’s older lover. We see how Ginsberg struggles with his admiration of Carr while other characters and circumstances get in his way.
I can’t say that I am a fan of the genre of film (such as On The Road) which just present the way these guys lives and worked as mesmerising, which I’m sure it was, because these men are incredibly talented and interesting, but not for a modern cinema audience, because unfortunately we need more than just well read poetry to draw our attention now-a-days.
Another thing I dislike about this type of film is that it is ‘based’ on real events but this begs the question…how much of this is true and how much is just artist licence? Coming from this film I think I know more about Kerouac and Ginsberg and this is now all that I really know about Lucien Carr and this seems slightly unfair to their memories because a lot of this is probably not true, even if the bare bones of the story is.
The assembled cast was good, Dane DeHaan is phenomenal (I’m very excited to see him in a big-budget film like Spiderman) although I would like to see him doing a role that isn’t essentially evil, and even Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t as bad as he is in everything else.
The film looked good, Radcliffe’s glasses and hair were a particular highlight, and the way it was filmed drew you into the actors, which makes sense because this is a biopic, you could enjoy their performances without being too distracted with the 1940s regalia (this could be because they couldn’t afford to fill a scene with authentic 1940 scenery).

5 good things:

1. The acting standard was generally high.

2. Costuming.

3. How pretty but gritty the 1940s looked.

4. If you are a Harry/Malfoy shipper then Radcliffe has a slightly graphic sex scene with a blond gentleman.

5. I finally saw a film with Elizabeth Olsen in (although she wasn’t in a lot of it).

5 bad things:

1. How many times Dane DeHaan hanged himself.

2. Not knowing how true anything is.

3. The fact you don’t meet people this passionate in university.

4. The odd scene where Ginsberg is on drugs but thinks he has stopped time in a bar (not sure if I explained that well).

5. Michael C. Hall wasn’t very effective.

Kill Your Darlings (2014) – Film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan

★★★☆☆

5 word summary:

Another pretentious Beat poet film.

5 sentence review:

This film tells about Allen Ginsberg’s first years in university, and his encountering the soon-to-be murderer Lucien Carr. Carr and Ginsberg’s relationship becomes strained by Carr’s older lover. We see how Ginsberg struggles with his admiration of Carr while other characters and circumstances get in his way.

I can’t say that I am a fan of the genre of film (such as On The Road) which just present the way these guys lives and worked as mesmerising, which I’m sure it was, because these men are incredibly talented and interesting, but not for a modern cinema audience, because unfortunately we need more than just well read poetry to draw our attention now-a-days.

Another thing I dislike about this type of film is that it is ‘based’ on real events but this begs the question…how much of this is true and how much is just artist licence? Coming from this film I think I know more about Kerouac and Ginsberg and this is now all that I really know about Lucien Carr and this seems slightly unfair to their memories because a lot of this is probably not true, even if the bare bones of the story is.

The assembled cast was good, Dane DeHaan is phenomenal (I’m very excited to see him in a big-budget film like Spiderman) although I would like to see him doing a role that isn’t essentially evil, and even Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t as bad as he is in everything else.

The film looked good, Radcliffe’s glasses and hair were a particular highlight, and the way it was filmed drew you into the actors, which makes sense because this is a biopic, you could enjoy their performances without being too distracted with the 1940s regalia (this could be because they couldn’t afford to fill a scene with authentic 1940 scenery).

5 good things:

1. The acting standard was generally high.

2. Costuming.

3. How pretty but gritty the 1940s looked.

4. If you are a Harry/Malfoy shipper then Radcliffe has a slightly graphic sex scene with a blond gentleman.

5. I finally saw a film with Elizabeth Olsen in (although she wasn’t in a lot of it).

5 bad things:

1. How many times Dane DeHaan hanged himself.

2. Not knowing how true anything is.

3. The fact you don’t meet people this passionate in university.

4. The odd scene where Ginsberg is on drugs but thinks he has stopped time in a bar (not sure if I explained that well).

5. Michael C. Hall wasn’t very effective.


Just 5 quick thoughts on 2014 Oscars:

1.       Although I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave, from what I’ve been hearing it was the best of the rest. I will now be rushing out to watch it ASAP.

2.       I’m very happy Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o won for their best supporting roles.

3.       Evilly I am equally pleased that American Hustle won absolutely nothing because I didn’t feel it deserved nominations anyway, it was a very bland film with a very big cast.

4.       I don’t think that Her should have won Best Original Screenplay, because I hated the way it was written, I thought it was clichéd and quite boring.

5.       It’s not a surprise but Gravity definitely deserved all its cinematography, editing and visual effects awards.

Just 5 quick thoughts on 2014 Oscars:

1.       Although I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave, from what I’ve been hearing it was the best of the rest. I will now be rushing out to watch it ASAP.

2.       I’m very happy Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o won for their best supporting roles.

3.       Evilly I am equally pleased that American Hustle won absolutely nothing because I didn’t feel it deserved nominations anyway, it was a very bland film with a very big cast.

4.       I don’t think that Her should have won Best Original Screenplay, because I hated the way it was written, I thought it was clichéd and quite boring.

5.       It’s not a surprise but Gravity definitely deserved all its cinematography, editing and visual effects awards.

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad
Season Review no. 3: Season 3

★★★★★

5 word summary:
Getting better with every season!

5 sentence review:

The threat of the underworld is becoming more present for the characters and there were several moments when you worry about each character, which is brilliant because the best shows are the ones where you have no idea who is going to die.
The changes of Walt and Jesse’s involvement in the meth industry is really interesting because they have been elevated to an industrial level, with the help of the sinister Gus, and this means that we see a very different working dynamic between the two compared to when they worked in the RV.
A few characters are being developed more, mostly Hank, Skyler and Marie, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing because Hank is obsessive, Skyler is still unforgiving despite being willing to accept the drug money when it suits her and Marie is really horrible to everyone when Hank is in hospital.
A lot of these behaviours can be explained away, and the imperfection of these characters makes the show more believable, however this isn’t a documentary, you can write unbelievable but likeable characters.
Overall the narrative progression is drawing me into the plot and I’m fascinated to see where the next 2 seasons take all these characters.

5 good things:
1. Fly episode (made me laugh, made me cry).
2. Badger and Skinny Pete being in it more.
3. Jesse messing around in the industrial meth lab.
4. Saul not being completely spineless and helping Walt and Jesse.
5. Showing rehab as positive and Badger and Skinny Pete not wanting to corrupt them.

5 bad thing:
1. The annoying ‘threatening’ Moncada silent brothers.
2. Odd drawing of Heisenberg which I don’t think was explained (yet?).
3. Odd crawling scene which I don’t think was explained (yet?).
4. ‘Family is everything’ drowning scene…necessary? Or just for shock factor?
5….

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 3: Season 3

5 word summary:

Getting better with every season!

5 sentence review:

The threat of the underworld is becoming more present for the characters and there were several moments when you worry about each character, which is brilliant because the best shows are the ones where you have no idea who is going to die.

The changes of Walt and Jesse’s involvement in the meth industry is really interesting because they have been elevated to an industrial level, with the help of the sinister Gus, and this means that we see a very different working dynamic between the two compared to when they worked in the RV.

A few characters are being developed more, mostly Hank, Skyler and Marie, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing because Hank is obsessive, Skyler is still unforgiving despite being willing to accept the drug money when it suits her and Marie is really horrible to everyone when Hank is in hospital.

A lot of these behaviours can be explained away, and the imperfection of these characters makes the show more believable, however this isn’t a documentary, you can write unbelievable but likeable characters.

Overall the narrative progression is drawing me into the plot and I’m fascinated to see where the next 2 seasons take all these characters.

5 good things:

1. Fly episode (made me laugh, made me cry).

2. Badger and Skinny Pete being in it more.

3. Jesse messing around in the industrial meth lab.

4. Saul not being completely spineless and helping Walt and Jesse.

5. Showing rehab as positive and Badger and Skinny Pete not wanting to corrupt them.

5 bad thing:

1. The annoying ‘threatening’ Moncada silent brothers.

2. Odd drawing of Heisenberg which I don’t think was explained (yet?).

3. Odd crawling scene which I don’t think was explained (yet?).

4. ‘Family is everything’ drowning scene…necessary? Or just for shock factor?

5….

Director Focus - Paul Thomas Anderson 

Film Review no. 3: Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

5 word summary:

Couponing can be very lucrative.

5 sentence review:

I need to start this review by saying that I intensely dislike Adam Sandler, I dislike his films and acting and persona and I found it very difficult to look past that when watching this film, so that has definitely impaired my enjoyment.

This was a confused film, I thought it was about a shy/lonely man as he struggled to feel happy, however it was actually about a very angry and violent man who ends up with the nicest woman imaginable.

At the beginning I was very confused as to why everyone was so awkward with their acting, then I realised it was because Adam Sandler was/his character but then I remembered….why is everyone awkward?

All the conversations were stilted and I got annoyed at Sandler’s sister for picking on him for being ‘weird’ when she was equally (if not more) so, and I can’t work out if it is the direction, delivery or writing.

The film itself shows some interesting ideas, however this has to be the weakest Paul Thomas Anderson out of the three I’ve seen.

5 good things:

1. Emily Watson

2. Luis Guzmán (I’m becoming a bit of a fan)

3. Extreme couponing.

4. Only 95 minutes.

5….

5 bad things:

1. Adam Sandler.

2. The script…delivery…direction…? All three? Just one?

3. The weird art-house fuzzy colourful lines.

4. Lack of explanation for a lot of things.

5. Violence/aggression not solve or presented as much of a problem.

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 2: Season 2


★★★★★


5 word summary:
Breaking Bad is the drug.

5 sentence review:
This is when Breaking Bad started getting really good for me, it has surpassed simply tom-foolery around two amateurs making meth and has now incorporated more interesting themes.
The most interesting relationship (between Walter and Jesse) is broken down in this season which is disappointing, although I love Jesse and Jane together (Jesse definitely has a lot of character progression from just a boy who says ‘yo’ a lot).
Walt’s movement towards a darker character is fascinating because it is so well written and acted, at no point do you think ‘this is unrealistic’, instead you are just swept away with it.
Despite the show taking a darker turn there are still moments of comedy and happiness which allow for the audience to relax for a few moments (before tensions runs high again!)
An IMDb rating of 9.6 still seems awfully high, because it means a vast number of people actually agreeing with each other, however it is beginning to warrant its rating (hopefully the next 3 seasons also keep improving).

5 good things:
1. Jesse and Jane
2. Introduction of Saul
3. Introduction of Gus
4. Ooooooh the death at the end!!
5. Character progression

5 bad things:
1. Less of Walter and Jesse
2. Less meth cooking times
3. The season long suspense built up to…a plane crash?
4. Ooooooh the death at the end!!!
5. Walt’s evil progression.

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 2: Season 2

5 word summary:

Breaking Bad is the drug.

5 sentence review:

This is when Breaking Bad started getting really good for me, it has surpassed simply tom-foolery around two amateurs making meth and has now incorporated more interesting themes.

The most interesting relationship (between Walter and Jesse) is broken down in this season which is disappointing, although I love Jesse and Jane together (Jesse definitely has a lot of character progression from just a boy who says ‘yo’ a lot).

Walt’s movement towards a darker character is fascinating because it is so well written and acted, at no point do you think ‘this is unrealistic’, instead you are just swept away with it.

Despite the show taking a darker turn there are still moments of comedy and happiness which allow for the audience to relax for a few moments (before tensions runs high again!)

An IMDb rating of 9.6 still seems awfully high, because it means a vast number of people actually agreeing with each other, however it is beginning to warrant its rating (hopefully the next 3 seasons also keep improving).

5 good things:

1. Jesse and Jane

2. Introduction of Saul

3. Introduction of Gus

4. Ooooooh the death at the end!!

5. Character progression

5 bad things:

1. Less of Walter and Jesse

2. Less meth cooking times

3. The season long suspense built up to…a plane crash?

4. Ooooooh the death at the end!!!

5. Walt’s evil progression.

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad 
Season Review no. 1: Season 1
★★★★☆
5 word summary:
America needs an NHS now.
5 sentence review:
This is my third attempt at watching Breaking Bad and the third time really is the charm because I’m actually enjoying it and blasted through the first 7 episode season in one day. 
I have to say that I didn’t find it spectacular, or any other superfluous word that could be used to describe this 9.6 IMDb rated TV programme.
Instead it was well-balanced with humour and seriousness and had very interesting points but I wouldn’t necessarily continue watching if I didn’t know the hype.
It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is good, and is able to almost masterfully weave the comedic elements with the overly dark themes, this is a testament to the writing and acting on the show.
Although well made that doesn’t mean it is enjoyable and there were times when I wasn’t necessarily paying attention because there was a lot of talking which seemed superfluous because the action outshines it, hopefully I will become more gripped next season and will be clinging onto every word.
5 good things:
1. Use of a character/actor with cerebral palsy without making it centric to his character.
2.  Using very graphic language and some sex scenes but not gratuitous nudity (except for Mr. White in his whites). 
3. The acting/interpersonal acting.
4. Awesome explosion.
5. Learning science stuff.
5 bad things:
1. Lack of diverse ethnicities for major characters.
2. I thought Marie (Skyler’s sister) was played by RJ Mitte (Walt. Jr.) in drag until IMDbing her.
3. Making me sad and think about cancer.
4. The title doesn’t make a lot of sense (although I’ve heard it so often that I just accept it now).
5. Doesn’t live up to the hype…yet.

Season by Season Review - Breaking Bad

Season Review no. 1: Season 1

5 word summary:

America needs an NHS now.

5 sentence review:

This is my third attempt at watching Breaking Bad and the third time really is the charm because I’m actually enjoying it and blasted through the first 7 episode season in one day.

I have to say that I didn’t find it spectacular, or any other superfluous word that could be used to describe this 9.6 IMDb rated TV programme.

Instead it was well-balanced with humour and seriousness and had very interesting points but I wouldn’t necessarily continue watching if I didn’t know the hype.

It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is good, and is able to almost masterfully weave the comedic elements with the overly dark themes, this is a testament to the writing and acting on the show.

Although well made that doesn’t mean it is enjoyable and there were times when I wasn’t necessarily paying attention because there was a lot of talking which seemed superfluous because the action outshines it, hopefully I will become more gripped next season and will be clinging onto every word.

5 good things:

1. Use of a character/actor with cerebral palsy without making it centric to his character.

2.  Using very graphic language and some sex scenes but not gratuitous nudity (except for Mr. White in his whites).

3. The acting/interpersonal acting.

4. Awesome explosion.

5. Learning science stuff.

5 bad things:

1. Lack of diverse ethnicities for major characters.

2. I thought Marie (Skyler’s sister) was played by RJ Mitte (Walt. Jr.) in drag until IMDbing her.

3. Making me sad and think about cancer.

4. The title doesn’t make a lot of sense (although I’ve heard it so often that I just accept it now).

5. Doesn’t live up to the hype…yet.

Director Focus - Paul Thomas Anderson 

Film Review no. 2: Hard Eight (1996)

5 word summary:

Gambling won’t make you happy.

5 sentence review:

After watching Boogie Nights, this was a bit of a disappointment.

It was a very slow film (based on the Noir genre which I can’t claim to be a fan of) and it focused on fairly unoriginal plot about four people who get entangled in a fairly minor crime (for cinematic standards).

The film felt  like an indie film, with techniques used such as shots of items on a diner table and the dialogue simply played over the top, and this was enjoyable to watch (because I don’t watch a lot of indie films).

Despite the indie feel, I also found some moments very Hollywood, especially when Samuel L. Jackson reveals something about
Philip Baker Hall character’s past which just seems oddly forced and over dramatic.

The messages were slightly crooked and I didn’t know how I was meant to take the ending, however its enjoyable moments were enjoyable but there was a lot that could be improved (for my personal need-thrills-every-scene taste).

5 good things:

1. The cast.

2. The casino rate card trick.

3. Small group of characters (only 4 major).

4. It’s only 101 minutes.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t always look perfect.

5 bad things:

1. Everyone smoking constantly.

2. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character only being in it for a tiny scene and with little explanation.

3. The big reveal of Sydney’s motives

4. The title seemed unnecessary and any scene that mentioned a ‘hard eight’ didn’t seem overly important to me. (Although apparently PTA wanted to call it Sydney).

5. How often they hit the hostage man.

Director Focus - Paul Thomas Anderson 

Film Review no. 1: Boogie Nights (1997) 

5 word summary:

Inside view of porn industry. 

5 sentence review:

Amazing film about an interesting, and often taboo, topic.

This doesn’t skirt over some of the more unpleasant details (in fact it dwells on some of them at length) and does not present the life as glamorous or desirable a lot of the time.

Anderson gathered together a ridiculously talented cast, most of whom are still heavy-hitters today, and they deliver his clever and funny script perfectly.

It’s a bright, bold and brash film, especially for such a young director, but this makes the film powerful and engaging throughout, despite its 155 minute running time.

Admittedly this film isn’t for the faint hearted because there is sex, drugs and disco dancing, however if you stick with it, Boogie Nights will not disappoint.

5 good things:

1. The cast.

2. The way it is filmed (from cinematography to shot angles).

3. The clothes/hair/make up.

4. The humour throughout (it doesn’t take itself too seriously).

5. Alfred Molina’s scene.

(6. The soundtrack).

5 bad things:

1. Sexist (every women either provides sex or is demonised).

2. Mark Wahlberg’s hair.

3. The fact I thought Burt Reynolds was Sean Connery

4. The fact Alfred Molina wasn’t in it more.

5. The fact I can’t think of a 5th thing (although no. 1 is a pretty big problem).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2014 -  ) - TV programme on Channel 4
★☆☆☆☆
5 word summary:
Odd-ball police officers solve crimes.
5 sentence review:
I do not understand why people like this TV show so much.
There have only been bout 5/6 episodes shown the the UK and I’ve seen 3 (or so) of them (I really tried) but I found it boring, unfunny and try-hard.
It follows the typical American TV idea where there is a cast of quirky characters who have to deal with each other, I normally love these types of TV shows (Community, The Office, etc.) however I feel as though this one doesn’t create interesting or funny enough character.
I find the characters either unlikeable or uninteresting or stereotypical seen-before types.
I’m not a huge fan of police shows (except for Criminal Minds and Castle) so this may be another reason why I don’t really like this programme.
5 good things:
1. The diversity of genders and races.
2. Terry Crews
3. The fact that it’s only 20 minute long episodes.
4. The fact that Mose from The Office wrote it.
5…….
5 bad things:
1. The characters.
2. The comedy.
3. The title.
4. The plots.
5. The theme.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2014 -  ) - TV programme on Channel 4

5 word summary:

Odd-ball police officers solve crimes.

5 sentence review:

I do not understand why people like this TV show so much.

There have only been bout 5/6 episodes shown the the UK and I’ve seen 3 (or so) of them (I really tried) but I found it boring, unfunny and try-hard.

It follows the typical American TV idea where there is a cast of quirky characters who have to deal with each other, I normally love these types of TV shows (Community, The Office, etc.) however I feel as though this one doesn’t create interesting or funny enough character.

I find the characters either unlikeable or uninteresting or stereotypical seen-before types.

I’m not a huge fan of police shows (except for Criminal Minds and Castle) so this may be another reason why I don’t really like this programme.

5 good things:

1. The diversity of genders and races.

2. Terry Crews

3. The fact that it’s only 20 minute long episodes.

4. The fact that Mose from The Office wrote it.

5…….

5 bad things:

1. The characters.

2. The comedy.

3. The title.

4. The plots.

5. The theme.

Her (2014) - Film directed and written by Spike Jonze
★★★☆☆
5 word summary:
Love is complicated (as always).
5 sentence review:

This film seemed like a self-help book set in the future, which I wasn’t expected and was disappointed about, however this is mostly because I strongly detest films like this because they provide a bildungsroman type of character who we are meant to care about and I just don’t (Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Way Way Back are other examples that come to mind) .
I was watching hoping to see an interesting and unique love story, instead I was punched in the face with moralistic spiel about how unique and complicated humans and love are.
It follows the trend that many auteur films do because these creator believes that (s)he know a lot, and what they know is worth listening to; as Jonze wrote and directed Her he is an auteur director, in my opinion, and follows the pattern of presenting his views and musings on life as fact.
If Jonze had handed this story over to someone who could have written it from a less personal stand-point I think this film would have improved, but this is clearly just my opinion that not many other people agree with.
Aside from the rather pointless plot and unnecessarily preachy script the film was masterfully directed and acted, I can understand why so many people love it however I find it very difficult to overlook one of my major cinematic pet-peeves, preaching.
5 good things:
1. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance.
2. The realistic and relaxed presentation of the future.
3. Amy Adams!
4.The look of the film (especially the use of space).
5. People being accepting of Operating System relationships.

5 bad things:
1. Joaquin Pheonix’s unexplained moustache.
2. The preachy nature of the script
3. The ending (I didn’t understand it so may need to watch again)
4. How little Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt and Olivia Wilde were in it.
5. The beauty spot the surrogate Samantha wore.

Her (2014) - Film directed and written by Spike Jonze

5 word summary:

Love is complicated (as always).

5 sentence review:

This film seemed like a self-help book set in the future, which I wasn’t expected and was disappointed about, however this is mostly because I strongly detest films like this because they provide a bildungsroman type of character who we are meant to care about and I just don’t (Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Way Way Back are other examples that come to mind) .

I was watching hoping to see an interesting and unique love story, instead I was punched in the face with moralistic spiel about how unique and complicated humans and love are.

It follows the trend that many auteur films do because these creator believes that (s)he know a lot, and what they know is worth listening to; as Jonze wrote and directed Her he is an auteur director, in my opinion, and follows the pattern of presenting his views and musings on life as fact.

If Jonze had handed this story over to someone who could have written it from a less personal stand-point I think this film would have improved, but this is clearly just my opinion that not many other people agree with.

Aside from the rather pointless plot and unnecessarily preachy script the film was masterfully directed and acted, I can understand why so many people love it however I find it very difficult to overlook one of my major cinematic pet-peeves, preaching.

5 good things:

1. Joaquin Phoenix’s performance.

2. The realistic and relaxed presentation of the future.

3. Amy Adams!

4.The look of the film (especially the use of space).

5. People being accepting of Operating System relationships.

5 bad things:

1. Joaquin Pheonix’s unexplained moustache.

2. The preachy nature of the script

3. The ending (I didn’t understand it so may need to watch again)

4. How little Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt and Olivia Wilde were in it.

5. The beauty spot the surrogate Samantha wore.