About Erzi Paris

Erzi Paris lives in London and loves writing, going to the theatre and watching films. Always abreast of celebrity news, his biggest hope is to be a reporter. He likes keep-fit too. His favourite authors are Michael Crichton, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins and Rosalind Miles.

Café Society

Cafe Society - Wikipedia
Café Society is all about Bobby Dorfman’s (Jesse Eisenberg) adventures when he moves to Hollywood. New York wasn’t exciting for him so the move is welcome.

He stays with family, his Uncle Phil (Steve Carrell) gets him a job and Phil’s secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart) looks after him. Bobby is mesmerised by Vonnie, unaware she’s seeing his uncle.

When Phil won’t leave his wife, he ends his affair with Vonnie. Vonnie starts dating Bobby, who mentions to Phil his new love. Phil now wants Vonnie, he will divorce his wife and asks Vonnie privately to leave Bobby and go with him! Vonnie chooses Phil.

Heartbroken Bobby goes back to New York and falls in love with Veronica (Blake Lively). Things take a turn for the worst when Bobby’s brother Ben is convicted of murder and he ends up running their nightclub alone.

This movie was good. It had drama and humour, but didn’t quite hit the high notes. The love affair never really got started and why Vonnie would want Phil was a complete mystery.

The locations might have been better if they were closer together rather than New York to Los Angeles. Also the nightclub theme is getting a little tried and tested. I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Great Gatsby.

Blake Lively is a welcome addition to the cast and adds the needed glamour. It would have been better for her to have been in the Hollywood section so she appeared sooner rather than later. She lit up the screen and being a big name it was a surprise she was left till later on.

I was glad that they had Woody Allen narrating. There was a good cast. I think it might have been better to start the story further down the line to speed things up. The tension could have been drawn out then.
All in all a good effort but no cigar. 6/10 from me. A nice way to spend an afternoon or evening in.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50262732

Trailer reproduced from Lionsgate Movies.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train Poster - IB Times
The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller about what happens when a woman sees something from a train.

A rather complex plot in which Rachel (Emily Blunt) was in a marriage, but she’s an alcoholic who has black outs. Tom (Justin Theroux) is her ex-husband and she believes they spilt up because of her alcohol addiction and unable to account for large gaps of time.

Now Rachel is living with a friend and travels on the trains spying on Tom. As you do when you’ve nothing else to do. She wasn’t happy to catch him with another woman called Anna. Going backwards and forwards on the trains – no it’s not really supposed to be her day job. Rachel gets jealous of another couple she sees and thinks they have the marriage she wants.

Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Haley Bennett) don’t appear to have the ideal lifestyle though. Rachel sees Megan on the balcony one day with another man – she goes berserk and intends to lecture Megan – how dare she ruin an ideal marriage! She doesn’t know them but what does that matter? But somehow she blacks out and wakes up in her own house hours later, all bruised. What happened in all that time?

The police think Rachel is responsible when Megan is reported missing. Then Scott gets arrested and then Megan’s baby might be fathered by another man! Not Scott’s nor the man spotted on the balcony.
Then Rachel’s husband Tom gets thrown into the mix as he might have something to do with Megan’s disappearance or was it Anna? Rachel’s all confused!

Well, Rachel wasn’t the only one! This was extremely difficult to follow. With so many twists and turns it could’ve been added to the Maze Runner franchise! Doctors, husbands – no ex-husbands, mistresses even get brought in and added to goings on. What did Rachel really see? Is her mind her own? Or is it Anna’s? Or Tom’s? Has Rachel been a pawn all her life with no control at all?

It all got a little muddled for me. It felt they were just making things up as they went along. I haven’t read the book but based on this offering I don’t want to be confused anymore than I am. Also it wasn’t as tense as the Miss Marple mystery offering 4.06pm from Paddington. Which was also about what someone spotted from a train.

If Rachel was being controlled surely she would be kept drugged or something. They wouldn’t want her running around amok. It didn’t make sense that she was so dependent that she could be independent.

There’s only one thing I am sure of. That’s my mark. 5/10 from me. Very ambitious but it just felt like a big Lego set before you finish it – things all over the place and you’re sure you’ve missed a bit somewhere!

Image reproduced from IB Times UK.
Trailer reproduced from Movieclip Trailers.

Dirty Grandpa

Dirty Grandpa - Lionsgate - Wikipedia
Dirty Grandpa is Zac Efron’s new movie. The film is about family relationships. Jason (Efron) meets up with his grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro) when his grandmother dies. Their relationship is put through the wringer when Jason agrees to drive Dick on a long journey.

Jason is a lawyer but when he was younger he dreamed of being photographer, Dick wants Jason to return to this dream and he thinks Jason is far too rigid now and getting set in his ways. Dick doesn’t have a problem with expressing himself!

What begins is a massive adventure where Jason ends up drunk and Dirk attempting to woo anything in a skirt before reaching Boca where his retirement home is.

This was a very funny movie, De Niro and Efron banter perfectly together. Jason is originally shocked and repulsed by his grandfather’s behaviour but he learns not to be so uptight and follow his heart.

The only thing I found was there was a lot of background characters which half the time I felt were not needed. Also a lot of scenes featured huge crowds and the choice of storylines seemed to veer towards needing these big numbers. Perhaps the director felt the need for a lot of visual stimulus or something. For me they drowned out the major characters somewhat .

Also Jason’s fiancé (Julianne Hough) doesn’t really bring anything to the table and is clearly a means to an end.

I did like the concept of this movie, an elderly man playing up and acting much younger than his age. It was hilarious. Robert De Niro is such a great actor and he really threw himself into the part.

And once again Efron finds another great role bouncing off De Niro nicely. There was a lot of chemistry between them and it paid off.

7/10 from me. Great concept, great leads but cull the crowds.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia – Lionsgate.
Trailer reproduced from Zero Media.


Allegiant - Wikipedia - By Source (WPNFCC#4)
Allegiant is the next one in the Divergent series. A society ripped apart by war are trying to fix their society. Some are being experimented on and others are trying to stop them.

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) escape from those who are trying to control society by genetic work. Only those who are truly Divergent can save the world. Tris is one of them.

After escaping they think they’ve found a haven in another organisation called The Bureau. But as time goes go, Four is the first to realise not all is as it seems but Tris won’t listen. Can he get her to see the dark intentions that lie underneath in the race to purify the human race?

I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by this offering. To me it this franchise is like ‘The Host II – Warzone.’ The weapons look like they’ve been borrowed from other sets. I’m sure I’ve seen some of the guns elsewhere!
The futuristic ideals seem very fanciful, giving Tris her mother’s memories for example. I just didn’t see the point or why anybody would invent things like it. (No Google – don’t develop an app!)

Also the plot that the organisation was crooked, was very obvious and for me there was little imagination deployed in the script. I haven’t read the books (the books by Veronica Roth might be better) but the world that’s been imagined is just too similar to what’s already been out or coming out!

There are some good names among the cast, Naomi Watts & Jeff Daniels for example but I didn’t feel they were used well and appeared ‘just there’.

5/10 from me. If the next movie includes crossovers from the Host I’ll raise the score!

Solo – A Star Wars Movie

Solo – A Star Wars Story is another stand alone instalment. Set between Revenge of the Sith & A New Hope. An origin story of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in how he became a smuggler and obtained his beloved Millennium Falcon.

It all starts on Corellia, a world ruled by gangs and crime syndicates. It’s a harsh place and you have to be ruthless to survive. A deal goes wrong and the young Han is left to explain why he’s come back without the goods.

A fight breaks out and he escapes with his friend and love interest Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). He’s stolen some expensive crystals and is willing to exchange them for passage out of Coreilla. At the checkpoint the Imperial officer excepts but Qi’ra is whisked away by another group and he’s forced to go on alone.

He joins the Imperial Navy but because he can’t keep his mouth shut he is expelled and has to join the infantry. During one land battle he realises the people he’s with aren’t Imperials but smugglers impersonating Imperials. Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), his wife Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio Durant (voiced by Jon Favreau) are out for their own gain. Han tries to get on their team, so he escape the planet. His goal is to get back to Corellia and rescue Qi’ra. Beckett dislikes Han on first sight and betrays him and throws him to a monster.

The monster is… Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and this is how they form a bond as Han can speak Wookie. From there the duo join forces and embark on some thrilling adventures where he meets Lando Calrissian and gets his first sight of the Falcon. When Han discovers some secrets his whole life risks being turned upside down.

I really liked this movie. So much better than the dreary Last Jedi. Sharp and pacy. It has some very good character moments as well. The slow parts didn’t feel heavy or dull. The new actors are believable as younger versions of established characters.

The effects are brilliant and there’s some very good battles and manoeuvres. The Falcon itself gets some very good screen time with some amazing flying sequences performed. The inside was very familiar and I’m glad they chose not to change anything.
The Imperials are not featured as much as the crime syndicates. However this makes sense as Han is essentially a smuggler – he’s hiding from Imperials rather than engaging them.

There’s a few twists and turns to keep the action going and sometimes you are left guessing people‘s real agenda.

It’s a 8/10 from me. A good ride, characters and story. I think it’s a must have for any Star Wars film collection and provides some interesting insights to how things under the Empire were for some planets.

Image reproduced from Wide Movie.

Trailer reproduced from Star Wars.

Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow is a film starring Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games/Passengers) as Dominika Egorova. A ballerina turned into a spy cum assassin. Dominika suffers an injury that ends her dance career so her uncle offers her an alternative job.

This begins her changing career, training to be a spy. She has a mother to care for and medical bills to pay. She is forced to continue with the job, after a bungled first operation where she has to saved by her uncle’s guard Simionov and the man she was sent to meet is shot. The only other option would have her killed, so there’s no witnesses as the man Simionov had to eliminate was a politician.

Her code name is Sparrow and she is to use her looks to seduce other men into getting information out of them. After training, the main assignment she gets is to find out who someone called ‘Marble’ actually is. Nobody knows and only CIA man Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) might have a link.

Sparrow is to seduce Nash and get the identity of Marble and it seems a simple enough mission. She doesn’t realise that Nash has never met ‘Marble’ either and that she is about to embark on the biggest mission, one that will test her loyalties, love and life to the limit.

This might sound like a standard spy film but Jennifer’s presence does lift it. The others characters are less well written and this lets down the story at times.

It’s quite sexual in nature as she has to seduce her ‘targets’, but it’s not tacky and it does show some of the training agents go through. Although overall I found it had a mournful tone. This was due at times the characters are quite mistrustful, making you wonder how they could work together.

The level of violence at times was quite striking, with vicious fighting and torture scenes. These were not necessary and were out of place with the slow parts of the film. One scene in a bathroom reminded me of Psycho except Dominika isn’t the victim she’s the one who is striking out.

There’s a lot of travel included and I felt this could have been trimmed. Did she really need to keep going here, there and everywhere?

There’s little humour and it ended up more being a gritty drama. Most films these days I notice are darker in tone.

It’s a 6/10 from me. There was too much violence. There was little fun as well but the mark is higher as Jennifer Lawrence always turns in a great performance.

Image reproduced from IMDB.

Trailer reproduced from AMC Theatres.

Spiderman Homecoming

Spider-man Homecoming is a movie intertwined with the Marvel universe! There’s a brand new Peter Parker/Spiderman (Tom Holland) to get to know.
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) features as his mentor.

This is not an origin story (I haven’t seen Civil War where this Spiderman starts off). To me it seemed it’s the next step after he gets bitten by the spider.
Tony has loaned him a suit that has an inbuilt computer, rather like Jarvis but it’s female. The suit fits to his body shape after he puts it on.
Eager to prove he belongs with The Avengers, Peter goes for every opportunity to prove he’s a crime busting machine they need.

He has to go to school, hide his abilities from his Aunt May and do his homework. His best friend finds out about his secret identity and even helps him out.

The villain is Adrian Toomes/The Vulture (Michael Keaton), who starts off as a salvage operator after the Chitauri attack of The Avengers Assemble but whose contract gets swiped by Tony Stark. Adrian decides to sell some of the weapons they have already taken as a means to make money to support his family and his employees.

Peter is tested to the max as The Spider takes on The Vulture! He has to report to Harold ‘Happy’ Hogan (Jon Favreau) – who was Tony’s bodyguard but now oversees the moving of equipment from the original Avenger tower to a new headquarters. This is the equipment that the Vulture needs to get a big pay check!

I found this movie fresh and fun. I remember the grim and dismal Winter Soldier (shudder).
Tom Holland (who looks like a younger Josh Hutcherson) brings a cheekier and happier Peter to the table, capturing the funnier side of Peter/Spiderman (who after all is suppose to be a teen.)

Most of the cast gelled well and even the storylines around school were good and enjoyable. Michael Keaton was a very good villain, rather than be straight forward evil – he was trying to look after his family and friends but just going the wrong way about it and wasn’t willing to change direction.

I was glad the scene with Tony, Pepper & Happy was done, it was a nice nod to Iron Man.

The only complaint I would have is Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, she’s just too young to be his aunt. Her scenes looked more like a big sister or cousin to Peter than aunt. It was odd to think of her as his aunt and I think it’s disappointing in thinking an older person wouldn’t be advisable. Wisdom comes with age after all.

Still it did not dampen the fun, the effects were astounding and the script does justice and together delivers a riveting ride. I would definitely go see this again.

This is a great movie and well worth seeing. 9/10 from me.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia via Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures.

Trailer reproduced from Marvel Entertainment.

The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is the brand new Star Wars movie in the new trilogy that’s set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. My review does contain some spoilers as I need to explain some of my opinions.

Well, Rey (Daisy Ridley) is now trying to get Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to teach her the ways of the force, the First Order are chasing the rebel fleet across the galaxy and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is as disturbed as ever and now smashes his helmet up when Snook tells him off.
Whilst General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is trying to save her fleet. With low supplies and the Order able to track them using light speed, they can only speed away at impulse maintaining a large gap so the weapons fired on them are less effective. But they need to escape or the rebel fleet is doomed.

Finn (John Boyega) joins new girl Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) in finding a master code breaker to disarm the tracking device the First Order is using. Yet the code breaker is odd and they don’t know whether they can trust him.

That’s the main plot points, but the trouble with this film was that it reminded me heavily of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, with it’s big cruiser and smaller support craft on the run from the enemy. It was grim in tone and more like a war documentary in places.

One thing I noticed that was original characters had little direct scenes together.
For instance, Luke only had one scene with Leia and one with R2, the rest of time he was only with Rey. 3P0 is separated from R2 and doesn’t even chat to Chewbacca whose on the same ship. You would think they had never met.
Nobody else bar Rey seems bothered Han’s gone. The original characters seem to serve as figure heads only.

Where’s the scene and dialogue for the original cast? People who have known each other a long time would chat with each other and discuss things even talk about the ‘newbies’ but this was missing.
It was focused on the new kids like most reboots and this is an oversight. History is just as important as effects and storylines.

Luke was as dreary as the stricken rebels. There was some good story telling but it was long and things could’ve been relayed quicker.
Yoda appeared but seemed to be senile, now he’s not bothered about the Jedi tradition and yet he was the most vocal against change.
He had been teaching the same way for hundreds of years, opposed Anakin’s entry to the Jedi and initially forbade Obi-Wan teaching Anakin after Qui-Gon’s death.
He was involved in accepting Anakin on the Council but denying him the rank of master along with Mace Windu.
There was no explanation as to why Yoda has this huge viewpoint shift.
Where was Obi-Wan‘s Force ghost? Why was only Yoda appearing?
Even poor Admiral Ackbar dies suddenly… and I think that’s why it didn’t feel for me a full Star Wars movie. It was disconnected from the originals.

On the positive side there were a few funny scenes, Leia stunning Poe, Luke and Rey bounced off each other well. BB8 gets some fantastic scenes and is the sort of droid you need when in a tight place.
Maz is only in one scene but it’s very good but I would have liked her to have a larger role.

Sadly the new characters also suffered from changes, General Hux (Domhall Gleeson) has lost all his menace attained in the first movie and now seems to exist just for Snook and Kylo to use the Force on and humiliate. This was very disappointing. Out of him and Kylo I found him to be the darker one.

Snook (Andy Serkis) was a direct copy of Emperor Palpatine and why his hologram appears much larger is never explained. His goading Rey towards the dark side of the Force was too much like The Emperor taunting Luke.
Also the choices Kylo makes in the movie are not surprising and so time was wasted on ‘will he, won’t he’, as it’s only the second movie it’s quite clear what he has to do.

Laura Dern’s character Vice Admiral Holdo had too much neck and along with her bright purple hair, was very distracting. She served no purpose until towards the end, questioning what was she doing there? It wasn’t clear why the chain of command fell to her.

The Porgs were stated as being like the Ewoks but apart from a few comedy scenes they seemed rather pointless, they were not as heavily featured as listed. I liked more the other aliens that Rey kept annoying when she broke stuff and they had to repair it. They should’ve been used more.

There were a couple of very good fight scenes though. Kylo and Rey against the new Red Guards for instance was a standout scene. The late Carrie Fisher is wonderful as Leia and is sorely missed in the middle of the movie. The Rebel’s plans had a surprise twist.
Luke standing off against the entire ground force of the First Order was one of the best scenes I’ve seen.

However I will award this film an 7/10. All in all it was, for me, a very good space adventure but not totally Star Wars. The theme of the new Battlestar Galactica was quite heavy and they need to tone it down.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from Star Wars.

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is a film starring Hugh Jackman (Wolverine/X-men), Zac Efron (recently Baywatch), Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek) who I know. Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya I’ve not come across before.

The film is more or less about how PT Barnum (Jackman) started his circus to become ‘The Greatest Showman’. Struggling with money and life, it is not an easy path for Barnum to take. Initially buying a museum but this does not have great appeal, so he starts introducing live acts instead.

Phillip Carlyle (Efron) provides some much needed support and with his help the circus takes off. Barnum though wants to move up in society, unintentionally distancing himself from the others. This need to be accepted by the upper class also creates a rift in his marriage and he doesn’t see his star act Jenny Lind (Ferguson) has fallen for him and her future with the circus depends heavily on whether he accepts her romantically.

A nice film with some good stars. It is based on how Barnum & Bailey Circus started and there does seem to have been some research on the people which I liked.

The songs are good and most of the cast gelled well. Although it wasn’t the most amazing film I’ve ever seen, it was a good A-Z of how to make a enjoyable movie and pass the time. Well worth the entry price.

Jackman provided a charismatic performance and he sung his own parts. I didn’t know he could sing so that was a nice surprise. Efron provided the action and glamour, his singing voice is superb. Williams shone as the wife whose husband is pulling away from her and what was she going to do if he didn’t start paying more attention to her and the kids? Ferguson gave a compelling performance of a star that falls for her manager – a very tricky dilemma!

Zendaya’s character really was a loose thread, as she was lumbered with the role of romantic love interest and therefore did not provide an essential nor original plot to the film. I assume if they had to follow a true story, her character was locked. As it’s a film and not a history lesson, the story could’ve had a different layout for her.

It’s a 7/10 from me for an enjoyable couple of hours. Thank you.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from 20th Century Fox Belgium.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them starred Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander.

Newt has a very special suitcase which hides all the animals he collects to help them. He is also trying to educate his fellow wizards and witches on how to care for some of the more dangerous animals rather than destroying them.

When Newt arrives in New York he causes mayhem as one of his creatures gets out of the case, a very cute Niffler – who likes shiny things and like a magpie will hoard them!

Newt in his pursuit of his furry rascal pal ends up bringing a Muggle along for the ride Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), which is against current laws as the wizard kind want to remain anonymous. Newt’s attempts are spotted by a ministry official Porpentina Goldsten (Katherine Waterston) whose determined to catch him!

It isn’t long before Jacob sees an opportunity to take Newt’s case to make some money so he can escape his dreary life working at a factory. But he allows more animals to escape.

Newt tracks down Jacob with Porpentina ’s help. She starts to feel sorry for Newt and invites him to say at her house overnight before she takes him in. Her sister falls for Jacob. However Newt shows Jacob inside his suitcase and convinces him to help him track his animals down. They escape but Porpentina and her sister catch them again!

The magic community soon become aware of Newt and his case and with something strange terrorising Muggles in New York, so much it risks the exposure of the magic world, the blame soon falls on Newt’s escaped animals.

Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) in particular wants to see Newt hanged for allowing the animals out. One of Newt’s animals can become invisible for long spells and as it seems an unseen phantom is stalking Muggles, the evidence stacks against Newt. Propetina is shocked when she is accused of helping Newt and will be punished alongside him.

But the attacks are getting worse and Newt is adamant that none of his animals are capable of such ferocity but can he find out what really is the cause of everything before all his animals are put in captivity or worse destroyed? Will he get Propertina to trust and help him out?

This movie was breathtaking and every bit as good as the Harry Potter movies. Redmayne shone as Newt and Farrell was perfect as vehement Graves. There was some great moments from all the cast. Newt and Jacob built a great friendship. The Niffler was so funny. The magic world never ceases to amaze with how huge rooms fit inside little cases and how they fool us Muggles.

Outstanding, just outstanding. Very worthy of 10/10 from me.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia via IMP awards.

Trailer reproduced from Warner Brother.

Dirty Dancing 2017

Dirty Dancing 2017 is a remake of the classic 1987 film. The original with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey is still in my own top ten films!

This film had a lot to live up to. The new stars are Abigail Breslin as Baby, Colt Prattes as Johnny and Nicole Scherzinger as Penny.

There’s not many who don’t know the overall plot so I won’t go into as much detail. For those who still haven’t seen the original Dirty Dancing, a young girl called Baby goes with her family on holiday to Kellermans – a holiday camp, the film is set in 1963, she’s very sheltered and naive. She meets a dance instructor called Johnny and learns to dance, she teaches him to stand up for himself and he teaches her to follow her heart. They fall in love.

This review will be more about my opinions about the remake.

Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!

The new film started differently, with Baby as an adult going to a production of Dirty Dancing, you see the film as if you’re in the theatre with her and then when it’s finished there’s some interaction with Johnny whose made the film and bumps into her as everyone is leaving the theatre.

The remake is still set in 1963. One plot hole is how can Baby be in a theatre watching her younger self? Are you supposed to assume she’s dreaming about her time at Kellermans?

The changes were the parents – played by Bruce Greenwood (Pike in Star Trek) and Debra Messing (Will & Grace) – were more focused on, Lisa and Baby were more catty with each other, Lisa had more air time and Vivienne Pressman had a larger role.

Some of the original songs were kept but sometimes played in a different scene.
There were some different tracks played like The Mambo song that Max cuts short when Johnny and Penny dance with each other on the first evening. However Max introduced them in the first place so cutting them here doesn’t make sense. (In the original they were supposed to dance with the guests which was why Max cut their performance.)

There was no magic act for Baby to attend. Omitted was Baby finding Penny cowering in the kitchen.

Vivienne Pressman sings ‘You give me fever’ in the most cringe worthy scene I’ve ever seen. It went on too long and I’m still trying to forget it!
In a family themed holiday camp, the management wouldn’t have let her get away with fawning over Johnny like she did. She wasn’t being subtle! Only Jake seems to leave finding it vulgar yet everyone else including Marge is avidly watching her gyrate away.

In a later scene Vivienne tries giving Johnny a valuable watch and wants a relationship. She is divorced. In this time period divorced women would come across a very unforgiving public but nobody seemed to care. Her friends were in awe of her divorcing.

There was a live singer in the staff room, the songs were swapped and ’Love Man’ played first, but it looked like ‘Do you Love Me’ song was sung by Johnny to Baby.

The scene in which Robbie and Johnny trade insults is done in a different way. Max makes it much clearer the dancers are cannon fodder and waiters who come from ’good homes’ will always be preferred and Max is happy to replace dancers as and when.

Penny was played more like a wig hustler ‘Buy my wigs’ and obviously as Nicole was playing Penny, she got to sing and dance. No surprises there. But Penny plugging the wigs was very annoying, the guests try them on for fun – not to buy them.

Jake and Marge talk about travelling but it’s clear Marge is very unhappy with her husband devoting his life to work and contemplates divorcing him at one point. She wants some loving. Why the audience needs more information on Jake and Marge is baffling. It takes time out from Johnny and Baby.

Also changing is Johnny claiming to be the father of Penny’s baby to Jake. How this shields Penny who had a dalliance with Robbie resulting in the pregnancy is confusing. (In the original it was a misunderstanding. Jake asked ‘whose responsible for this girl?’ And Johnny assumed he meant who looks after her and not whose the father of the baby.)

When Baby gets the $250 Penny needs to see a doctor to have an abortion, she says Johnny can teach her to dance in exchange for lending the money.
Penny also teaches Baby to the song ‘A Whole of Shaking Going On.’

There was a disturbing scene in where Robbie attacks Lisa whilst they’re on the beach. She has to fight him off.

These modern themes such as assaults even racism is shown etc were added obviously to update the film but they had no place. That’s not what Dirty Dancing was about. They forgot the time period they were in (and the magic, fun and passion!).

The leads had no charisma together and looked more like they were going through the motions because the director was telling them to.

The only good thing about this film was that Neil Kellerman was still a jerk.

Scene bloopers noticed:
Johnny having a magic vest under his white shirt that kept coming and going in the same scene – watch carefully!

In the scene where Johnny has to leave the camp, he packs a truck with his stuff only to zoom off on a motorcycle!
(And what did they do to ‘She’s Like the Wind’?)

However the ending and the insult dance routine to ‘I’ve Had the Time Of My Life’ was the last straw. The routine was more akin to something at an amateur ballroom rather than the satisfying routine of the original.
When Baby and Johnny talk after the movie in the theatre it’s very unsatisfying and does not bring a good ending.

1. How did this film get approved and financed?
2. Was that really Lando from Star Wars playing Tito? And why did he do it?

It can only ever be a 1/10 from me. The phrase ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’ really applies here.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from Hollywire TV.

Assassin’s Creed (film)

Assassin’s Creed is based on the PC game and stars Michael Fassbender in the title role.

I’m going to review this film differently as the story is attached to my review of the film itself.

There’s a lot that happens in it and you have to keep up. Fassbender plays Callum who comes home to find his father has killed his mother, now the main corporation comes to take the dad, the dad convinces his son to make a run for it.

Years later Callum is now a convicted murder awaiting execution. He is rescued by the Abstergo Foundation. A group calling themselves the Templars are searching for an apple, now the daughter of one of them can make Callum relive his past memories from 1492.

And there’s where I got lost.

It’s a very action packed film, but from what I remember of playing Assassin Creed’s – there wasn’t much in this offering that was familiar to it. The signature jump is there and wow that was good. Yes! Some of the gadgets I think I remember, but it has been a while since I played. Was there ever an apple?

The CGI is outstanding, the city environments were set on a grand scale and Michael Fassbender is great in the lead role. I was very impressed with the ambition of the movie and the cast worked really well. It all came together and made a highly enjoyable film – just don’t over think the plot lines!

It’s an 8/10 for me for this great film. Next time I hope the plots are more streamlined.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from 20th Century Fox

Lego Batman Movie

The Lego Batman Movie is a spin off of the Main Lego Movie released last year. Will Arnett reprises his role of the voice of Batman.

Batman is still defending Gotham City and the latest threat comes in the shape of his old foe The Joker (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Batman makes the Joker feel he doesn’t count so that’s reason enough to step up his game plan and cause trouble for The Dark Knight.

Commission Gordon is retiring and his daughter Barbara is going to revamp the force – and Batman isn’t part of her plans! That doesn’t go down very well at all. When The Joker bursts in on the gala and surrenders – Batman senses a plot.

Wanting to send The Joker away, he breaks into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and steals his Phantom Zone Projector.

Barbara is not impressed when she finds out and has Batman and Robin arrested! Interim Joker’s sidekick Harley Quinn gets him out of the zone and The Joker summons all the villains housed in there. Now Gotham City is under extreme threat from multiple sources. Is it time Batman actually sought some help out? Or will he continue to be stubborn that he can do it all by himself?

This is a fabulous movie with lots of characters making an appearance. It’s not just the world of Batman! The theme that Batman doesn’t always need to work alone is a good one to explore. The film is very funny and action packed and keeps a terrific pace. There’s lots of visual gags and I just love the way they do those Lego minifigs.

Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter, Skyfall, Spectre) voices Alfred the butler, Channing Tatum (so many films!) is Superman, Hector Elizondo is Commissioner Gordon (Pretty Woman, Chicago Hope) and Rosario Dawson is Barbara Gordon. Too many great talents to list them all!

Nearly all of Batman’s vehicles feature and there’s a lot of chases and madness as he tries to save the city. There’s also many references to other characters, who though not featured are mentioned such as Iron Man. Hopefully this might hint at a Marvel Lego film in the pipe works!

It’s an 8/10 for me for this great film.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia – Warner Bros.

Trailer reproduced from Warner Bros.

Beauty and the Beast – 2017 film.

Beauty and the Beast film is a live action take on the classic Disney cartoon.

Emma Watson (Hermione from Harry Potter) plays Belle, whilst Dan Stevens (Matthew from Downton Abbey) is the Prince that becomes the Beast.

Set in France, the Prince is rude to a magical enchantress, for his rudeness she transforms him into a Beast. He must learn to love and get love in return before the rose she leaves runs out of petals – or he remains a Beast forever. She turns his household staff into objects as well!

Some time later Belle’s father falls foul of the Beast and gets imprisoned. Belle goes to rescue him but the Beast won’t release her father – so she trades places.

She has a suitor after her called Gaston (Luke Evans – Bard from The Hobbit). He seeks Belle only to look good and show her off!

Belle manages to befriend the staff such as Mrs Potts the teapot, Chip her son who’s been turned into a teacup, Lumiere the candelabra etc and they like her very much. It’s when Belle discovers the rose and what happened to the Beast that the doubts arise. The Beast scares her into running away but she’s attacked by wolves and he rescues her getting himself hurt in the process.
Belle tends to him and a romance begins…

This a timeless story and this film pays a great homage to it. The magic is all there and the cast gel so well. I thought it was very very good. What I liked is that were no major changes. No reboots where Belle is a naval pilot etc.
I think nearly all the characters have stayed the same. I remember the staff such as Mrs Potts, Chip etc from the 1991 Disney cartoon. The costumes are splendid and decadent.

Even some of the original songs from earlier versions is included. Celine Dion was persuaded to sing her song from the cartoon again.

Other cast members include Ian McKellen, Kelvin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson so you know you’re in for a real treat.

It’s an 9/10 from me for this charming and delightful film.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from Movie Clips.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 blasts back on the big screen. The usual gang is saving souls and causing mayhem in equal measure!
Chris Pratt returns as Peter Quill/Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax with Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket and Vin Diesel does Baby Groot.

It starts in 1980 with Peter Quill’s parents (you see someone who could be his father), this man plants something in the ground hoping it will grow – it‘s looks like an alien plant. Peter’s mother knows the man she’s with is not from Earth but doesn’t seem to mind.

Then it fast forwards 34 years later. The Guardians’ first job is protecting some batteries for a race called the Sovereigns. Their payment is getting Nebula (Karen Gillian) into their custody.
Of course Rocket pockets some of the batteries which means they’re on the run from the word go.

Their ship gets damaged and they must crash land on the nearest planet. This is where Peter meets his father Ego (Kurt Russell), the man his mother was with, he has arrived to say Yondu (Michael Rooker) from the first film was meant to bring him Peter years ago, but kept him as Yondu found Peter useful in his gang, Peter being a child at the time was smaller and could get into places to steal stuff for him.

Ego has an assistant, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) a charming alien lady with antennae, who is empathic and senses emotions on touch. She also make some one sad, feel better for a bit.

The question is whether Peter has really found his dad or more importantly his family – or is he among them already with his gang? Peter is in for a few shocks though!

This is great film, this is mainly due to the cast who are excellent. They can argue and fight the bad guys at the same time. The soundtrack is really good and it’s from the second tape given to Peter at the end of the first film.

Many faces from the first film appear in the sequel which I actually like. Exploring the original characters more in depth was a fantastic idea and everyone gets a turn. This film has the feel of an ensemble rather than focus on a particular character.

The new additions (Sylvester Stallone appears) add another dimension to the relationships.

Of course, Baby Groot does have a lot of funny scenes where he’s dancing, eating popcorn and getting things mixed up. He’s a real plus to the film but only Rocket seems to understand what he really means when he utters ‘I am Groot.’

It’s a 10/10 from me, I am very impressed.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia via Walt Disney Studios.

Trailer reproduced from Entertainment Access.

Fate of the Furious

The Fate of the Furious (Fast and Furious 8) has arrived! Get set for another dazzling array of car chases and thrilling automobile acrobats!

There’s plenty of action to keep you glued to your seat. Those familiar with the franchise will recognise many of the returning faces.

The basis of the story is looking after your family. At the start life is good for Dominic Toretto (Van Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) as they make a life in Havana.

However a master criminal called Cipher (Charlize Theron) has discovered there’s secrets from Dom’s life and blackmails him into helping her which means betraying his Letty along with his crew – his family.

Just what she has over him isn’t clear to start with but he helps her obtain an EMP machine and some nuclear codes. (Lots of vehicle damage and chases ensue!)
His team now have to work against the head of the family – but don’t understand why he’s gone rogue.

The police and the secret service enter (the organisation is not confirmed on screen) and equip the team to help capture Dom. Agent Sr (Kurt Russell) is soon dubbed Mr Nobody – as nobody knows anything about him and his protege (Scott Eastwood) is nicknamed Little Nobody. There’s a few surprise faces joining in the fun.

The humour is fantastic and there’s lots of banter, I think you would have to see the other films to understand some of the relationships and humour.

What I liked was the techno babble was kept at a minimum. The effects are dazzling and amazing. It does make you think if having computerised cars is sensible with the mayhem Cipher is able to cause. Cipher has the best plane (although I’m sure it’s similar to the one I saw in the first series of Marvel: Agents of Shield… or dubbed now The Agents of what are we called now?) Maybe Mr and Little Nobody work for them?

It’s very sad that Paul Walker could not be present and his untimely death is still grievous but his character is mentioned and remembered. Also Jordana Brewster does not appear but is likewise mentioned.

It’s an 9/10 from me for this action packed blockbuster film. Here’s hoping for number 9!

Image reproduced from Fanart.

Trailer reproduced from Fresh.


Passengers - Wikimedia
Passengers stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and is a story about two people who are woken early during a long voyage in space to another colony world. The journey from Earth to Homestead II is a hundred and twenty year hike.

Jim Preston (Pratt – Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy) gets woken first when a meteor hit causes a malfunction that opens his pod first. He is shocked to discover he is the only one awake. His sole companion is an android bartender called Arthur. He finds out he’s been in stasis thirty years so would have another ninety years left. As he’s in his thirties/forties he’ll be dead when they reach the colony.

Jim being an engineer desperately tries to fix his pod, break into the command bay to get help and even call customer services on Earth which will take decades to send the message and then get a reply! Eventually he accepts his fate and begins to enjoy life aboard by breaking into one of the more luxury suites and having dance off competitions with the computer. He also begins helping himself to stuff out of the cargo bay. But his access level prevents him from getting the good food and flavoured coffee!

But after a year as the sole human, he begins to suffer depression and almost lets himself out of the airlock. The computer thinking he’s going on the spacewalk tour wishes him a happy journey.

He can’t push the button to open the airlock and when he stumbles out he comes upon another pod, holding Aurora Lane (Lawrence). He becomes infatuated by her and begins reading about her. He’s so lonely he contemplates waking her up and believes they‘ll be friends. He even shaves and starts wearing trousers. He eats by her pod reading her biography and listening to her video on why she’s going to the Homestead II colony.

After a few weeks debate, he does wake her up. He makes it look like an accident. He only tells Arthur what he’s done. After a while he and Aurora do get on and become friends. She even lets him use her card to get better food and drinks as she’s a gold class level member. Then things get romantic!

More errors crop up in the ship and Jim and Aurora must find a way to locate the cause before it threatens the whole ship and nobody gets to the colony world. As they’re passengers they can’t access all areas of the ship – this causes issues. Can they find a way around the ironclad security? Can Jim keep his secret from Aurora? Can they survive being the only two onboard?

This was a very good film. I loved Pratt and Lawrence together. They had chemistry aplenty. Jim seemed like a good guy but had a horrible choice to make. Did he do the right thing? That’s an interesting question and one that’s sure to keep people talking about this movie. What would anybody do if they were the sole person abroad?

It was like a romance drama set in space and it worked. I was really impressed. I don’t usually like films where there’s not many characters. Jim and Aurora were entertaining and easily held my attention.

The onboard computer was annoyingly funny, sounding like a supermarket checkout scanner!

It was the ship though that let it down for me. It was too CGI and didn’t look real. It was also very big. It seemed a very big space for two people to be bouncing around and I didn’t like the way it rotated.

I do want one of the spacesuits they wore – those things really could take a pounding! Just what materials were they made from?

All in all it’s easily an 8/10 for me for this great film.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from MovieClips Trailers.

Star Wars – Rogue One

Star Wars - Rogue One - Wikipedia
Star Wars – Rogue One is stand alone movie in the Star Wars story. It bridges the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope showing how the Rebels got the Death Star plans to give to Princess Leia.

Jynn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) father is the one who is helping construct the deadly Death Star. A space station with enough firepower to destroy a planet. She is freed from Imperial captivity to undertake a mission to make contact with Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) who has broken away from the Rebellion and they want him back. They believe as he helped Jynn when she was younger he’ll listen to her.
She is partnered with Cassain Andor (Deigo Luna) and his robot K-2SO a reprogrammed Imperial droid.

However she wants to find her father after hearing a message from her father that Chirrut obtained from a defected Imperial pilot – who her father gave his message to. Galen Erso has built a weakness into the station and he only worked on the Death Star to spare his daughter.
Little does Jynn know Andor has orders to kill Galen on sight!

They pick up some help and have a battle a new villain called Krennick (Ben Mendelsohn).

The hope of finding more about the Death Star and any weaknesses depend on the group’s survival!

I liked the movie but I didn’t love it. Lacking the usual Star Wars titles and the familiar theme tune with the rolling yellow titles that display the outline of the film, it immediately didn‘t feel Star Wars. I understand an episode number couldn’t be used but even the name would have been good!
Films and TV shows become famous, particularly long running franchises, for their titles and music and when you change it, it decreases the magic.

There was no leader of the group, rather more of a rag tag group effort – even the debates in the war rooms reminded me a bit of the TV you see of the House of Lords. Everyone talking but nothing being decided. Not really riveting for a cinema audience. Andor lacked authority and presence.

The rest of the characters were very similar that feature in other war stories. I didn’t really take to any of them.

There wasn’t anybody that I recognised in the cast. But some clever use of CGI allows some familiar faces to appear in the story.

The lack of a big name was a problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The group were just bumbling from one thing to the next. Yes there was good action and CGI but the protracted conversations, the lack of chemistry between the main characters and the usual sad stories explaining intents took the edge off it.
The only character I really liked was the new robot K-2SO, he had some great lines. ‘We have a problem on the horizon… there is no horizon.’

I did like certain nods to the Star Wars series with ships, characters and names in the background. Some of them blink and you miss. However the background isn’t enough when the front line stars can’t pull it together.

Why they made a new villain like Krennick is beyond me. Was he in the earlier Star Wars movies or the newer prequels? I don’t remember him. Some guy strutting about the place in white was just odd. The new main foe should have been either the CGI Vader or Tarkin.

Darth Vader does get some excellent scenes towards the end. It’s worth seeing it just for these and the ending!

I wanted to give this top marks but I really can’t. So it’s 8/10 from me.
Image reproduced from Wikipedia.

Trailer reproduced from Star Wars.com.

The Magnificent Seven 2016

The Magnificent Seven 2016 - Wikipedia
The Magnificent Seven is a remake of a remake! Last done in 1960 which was based on the 1954 film Seven Samurai. This version stars Denzel Washington (Pelican Brief), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) and Ethan Hawke (Black Hawk Down) to name but a few. There’s quite a few familiar faces in the crowd.

It begins with a corrupt businessman Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) who seizes the town of Rose Creek. Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) makes a stand against him but Bogue and his evil henchmen overwhelm his group and they are defeated. The town is left devastated by the loss. Bogue’s deadliest henchman is McCann (Cam Gigandet – Twilight).

But some still hold out hope and decide outside help is required and a few go searching for someone who can defeat Bogue. They come upon Sam Chisholm (Washington) who only agrees to help when Bogue is mentioned as the antagonist. He sets out to find a group of six other men to begin the fight back and reclaim Rose Creek and sets up a climatic battle they will either win or weep!

I really liked this movie. It was just a right tone and felt like a Western. It kept mostly to the tale but there were changes. Some names are different and the cast has more diversity in ethnicity.

The main battles were spectacular and were griping. It was always going to be difficult to do a remake, there’s a lot to live up to.
But they did a great job and you tell the cast had a lot of fun filming it.
Chris Pratt was excellent as Joshua Faraday. He’s going from strength to strength.

The only thing better than this was the 1960 version which remains a classic.

8/10 from me. A fabulous effort and a round of applause!

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50375695

Trailer reproduced from Fresh Movie Trailers.

Magic in the Moolight

Magic in the Moonlight
Magic in the Moonlight was an okay film. The plot was simple enough and it started very well. A family close ranks when they believe a girl who’s getting closer through a family member might be passing herself off as a clairvoyant but is actually a fraud.

Colin Firth plays Stanley, who’s revealed fakers before as he also has a stage persona magician Wei Long So. So he knows the tricks of the trade. Is the girl Sophie (Emma Stone – The Amazing Spiderman 1&2) all that she appears? Does she have any special gifts?
Brice Catledges (Hamish Link later – Fantastic 4) is head over heels about her.

But his family think Brice is being taken for a ride. It’s imperative that Stanley finds out the truth. However the more he spends time with Sophie, the more Stanley likes her. More and more he becomes convinced that she has a special gift. And then he realises he has fallen for her.

Then the film turns tail, with his aunt’s car crash, which makes him disown the supernatural inkling he has had. Whilst Sophie is found to be in league with his rival Howard!

What started off as a charming film became somewhat lost and disjointed. Colin Firth was great but even he could not save this offering once it went off the track. It would have been nice if Sophie actually had a gift. But the film world never does anything different. No, she has to be a fraud. And Stanley battles whether to expose her or forgive her.

I think the script suffered because, for me, it was like it was written by two different people. So one part was the meeting of Sophie and believing she was real etc. Then suddenly she’s not and the second half was very different in tone to the first.

The thing I did like was the scenery, there was some great footage particularly when Stanley took Sophie to see his aunt. But great scenery can only do so much.

Emma Stone did well with the role of Sophie, but it wasn’t her best role. The other members were okay and maybe this didn’t help the film either. OK won’t win Oscars.

So I will give this 5/10. Not the worst I’ve seen but far too predictable with no dazzle or shine to sustain it. Maybe this might work as a Sunday night film but if this was a DVD I’d wait till it was on sale £3!

Image reproduced from wikipedia.com
Trailer reproduced from CBM Trailers.

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond - Forbes
Star Trek Beyond is the third film in the rebooted franchise. It stars regulars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Anton Yelchin (in his last appearance before his untimely death).

New to this moive are Idris Elba (Luthor series/Thor films) as villainous Krall and Sofia Boutella as Jayleh who is an alien left to fend for herself by Krall.

The Enterprise visit’s a new star base Yorktown, that’s more like a big planet as the size of it is enormous! It is here that they receive a distress signal, an alien in an escape pod pleads for help and the Enterprise goes to respond.

After navigating a dreadful nebula, the starship is attacked by lots of smaller ships that, by working together, cause huge damage to the Enterprise. It’s so bad that the crew are forced to abandon ship and get to the nearby planet below that looks like Earth.

They are split up into groups. Spock (Qunito) and McCoy (Urban) are stuck together. Scotty comes across Jeylah. Chekov is with Kirk. Whilst the others are kidnapped by Krall and placed in a prison camp. The tension rises as Krall wants something the crew picked up on a previous mission and will do anything to get it!

This movie has quite a lot of visual effects. The super age starbase was amazing and so complex. The shots of the Enterprise docking there were some of the best.

Krall gives Kirk a worthy foe, with a nice added twist at the end. Elba gives Krall a chilling presence and single mindedness to complete his objective at any cost. I also liked the use of the aliens in this movie, one of them has a very good place to hide things!

The regulars gel and light up the screen and it’s a pleasure to watch them. Anton Yelchin’s sad death will have an impact and it’s unclear what will happen to the character of Chekov. I don’t think the part of Chekov could be recast – so it will be interesting to see if a new character is created or they manage with the remaining regulars.

I don’t see why they can’t introduce new characters as this is meant to be an alternative timeline anyway.

It explores some of the crew’s feelings as well. Kirk questions whether he can keep exploring the galaxy. Spock and Uhura end their relationship. Spock hears of Spock Prime’s death (Leonard Nimoy died the previous year) and discovers Spock Prime’s photo with his own Enterprise crew. (The original Star Trek cast in a nice touch.)

There’s also a ton of great action sequences that keep the adventure zipping along, the space battles are amazing. I liked the starship Franklin which seemed to be a nod to The Enterprise NX.

Sofia Boutella is a great addition to the cast and I love her character very much.

10/10 from me. Make sure you check out this movie!

Image reproduced from Forbes.com.
Trailer reproduced from Paramount Pictures.

The Great Wall – Movie

The Great Wall stars Matt Damon as William Garin, who arrives in China in time to help battle ancient monsters. The main plot of this movie is that the Great Wall of China was built to keep out dreadful monsters.

Set in AD 1010 in the time of the Song Dynasty, Garin and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) survive an attack by one of the monsters when they are exploring caves in China, they manage to cut off it’s hand and run for it, taking the hand with them, and they end up being captured by the army guarding the Great Wall.

They eventually join forces with the army and agree to help them fight the invasion that’s come early. Then the monsters attack and there’s weapons everywhere!

Now there’s more than several things wrong with this movie. Casting Matt Damon as the lead is very baffling! He’s not Chinese! The film ignores history, now some movies can get away with this, sadly this isn’t one of them.

Questions include: Why is there an army created to fight the beasts but not destroy them? Why only every sixty years?

If there were monsters afoot in 1010 then China wouldn’t be visited much – even by mercenaries word would have gotten around, particularly as this is supposed to happen every sixty years.

Were Europeans able to travel in 1010? The main port of travel was boats by sea and carts by land. It would take a very long time to get from one place to another. Surely gunpowder could’ve been obtained close to home? I’ve looked up travelling in the 11th Century and there’s no mentions of Europeans in the Song Dynasty or any main trade routes.
In the travels of Marco Polo – some of the Polo family were in China in the 13th Century but that was the Yuan Dynasty.

Why are there five divisions in the army? Why not have one master army capable of all feats of battle? The name ‘The Nameless Order’ doesn’t sound mysterious. Why not have the name of the monsters they were fighting? If it happens every sixty years – then people will get to know about them – hence secrecy is compromised. Why didn’t the monsters have better powers if they were supposed to be from outer space?

It might have made more sense if Garin was an explorer who had heard a legend and was coming to see if it was true. More of a type of quest, allowing more exploration of the origins of the monsters. This film decides to focus solely on the battles and there isn’t much more during the lulls. The dialogue and schemes between Garin, Tovar and Sir Ballard (William Dafoe) did not make up the gaps.

The timeline picked makes no sense and it seems more focused on the CGI of the monsters and the battle sequences.

I can only award 6/10 from me. CGI was good. But if you’re going to rewrite the past, make sure it’s believable! And please pick a Chinese actor for the lead for a film about China!

Image reproduced from Universal Pictures UK.

Trailer reproduced from Warner Bros.

Dad’s Army – ( 2016 film)

Dad's Army - Wikipedia
Dad’s Army is a film version of the popular TV series. It features all an new cast but most of the characters names have been kept.

Capt Mainwaring (Toby Jones) leads his troop to many adventures over the course of the film. During the Second World War, there was the Home Guard in Britain defending the country while the main soldiers fought the war abroad. The unit contains those who are either unfit to go to war, considered too old or are required to stay for business reasons.

The unit improves when a journalist (Catherine Zeta Jones) appears and the men seem to want to impress her. Even Captain Mainwaring appears to fallen under her charms and he even believes the suggestion one of his men are betraying Britain by sending messages to Germany!

I did like this film, the cast got it right. For me though it was like a TV movie and not really fit for the big screen. Most of the antics appeared in the TV series and it was just the way the new people delivered them that was different. It was no better or worse. Nothing new was brought to the franchise, which was a pity.

Blake Harrison (Inbetweeners) plays Pike, the youngest of the group but is inept and unthinking. ‘Stupid boy!’
Bill Nighy plays Sgt .Wilson. Mainwaring’s second in command.
Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) is Godfrey the gentle elder of the group.
Bill Paterson (Auf Weidersen Pet, Law & Order UK) plays Frazer – the dramatic Scot.
The others I didn’t recognise but they were:
Tom Courtnay was Jones.
Daniel Mays was Walker.

Ian Lavender appears and the vicar from TV show as a link, which was good. I did not like the fact Mainwaring’s wife was featured. She never was in the show and for me it was a bit like seeing Howard Wolowitz’s mother in The Big Bang Theory. Sometimes the idea is better than reality!

Catherine Zeta Jones was okay but I felt at times she gave the impression she was forced there and didn’t really engage fully as she could. There were a lot of other characters either relatives or townsfolk and I felt it was at times like a forest, far too many things going on at once and too many people trying to fill the screen.

A good effort so a worthy 6/10 from me.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia.
Trailer reproduced from Movie Clips.

Private Lives 2016 Play

Tom Chambers & Laura Rogers - Private Lives - Evening Times
Private Lives is a theatre show starring Tom Chambers and Laura Rogers. It was made by Noël Coward. It starts with a newlywed couple Chambers & Charlotte Ritchie. There was no programme available at my performance so apologies if a name is wrong. I have tried to find out as much as I can online.

Lonny (Chambers) has left his ex-wife and started afresh unaware his ex-wife has booked the room next door!

Audrey (Rogers) has re-married and wants to start afresh unaware her ex-husband has booked the room next door!

After a few near misses, Lonny and Audrey come across each other and at first panic about what to do. They both suggest leaving but which couple should go? Then they realise they still love each other and leave together! What will their stranded spouses say when they find out?

Part 1: Audrey Rogers shone as Audrey and lit up the stage. She had a whale of a time playing a bad girl. There was a lot of comedy, especially the near misses where Lonny and Audrey nearly meet.
However the sets themselves were confusing. I wasn’t sure where it was set. It could’ve a cruise ship as a yacht was mentioned a lot or it might have been a block of condos by the coast. There was also lots of smoking.

Tom Chambers got to do a bit of dancing as well. Just as week he did Strictly Come Dancing then. There was a very good fight scene with Lonny and Audrey throwing things at each other and smashing up the flat they were hiding away in during a row. It was very good.

Part 2: They didn’t use the maid much, I felt they could’ve used the fact she couldn’t speak any English to better effect. Not good use of supports at all. Again there was some comic moments, particularly the tea party Audrey serves when their spouses turn up having tracked them down! That was a gem. But some things were left open and the ending was abrupt.

That aside this still gets a 8/10 from me. A great day out with a mixture of humour and drama.

Image reproduced from Evening Times.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Wikipedia - The Source
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the next instalment in the franchise. Veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher return. New stars include John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron and Daisy Ridler as Rey.

The film starts with a search for Luke Skywalker whose gone missing. The First Order has arisen from the ashes of the Empire and they are taking over the galaxy. In a bid to stop them Princess Leia (Fisher), now General, has dispatched her top operative to track Luke down. As the last Jedi, he is the only one who can save the universe.

However her agent; Poe is discovered shortly after his arrival on Jakku and must store the map he’s been given in his little droid BB8. BB8 escapes as Poe is arrested.
The village square is full of captives. One Stormtrooper seems to not want to blast the innocent people.

Later, he pulls of his helmet and knows he cannot follow the First Order knowing they are wrong. This trooper becomes Finn and rescues Poe from the Star Destroyer. The main villain is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). He chats to Darth Vader’s old mask somehow salvaged from Endor. He has to contend with General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) as a fellow senior leader and they take orders from Supreme Leader Snook (Andy Serkis). Who or what Snook is remains a mystery but he’s the cause of the First Order.

The First Order have a new terrible weapon, an entire planet is like a Death Star capable of blowing other planets up. Corsucant is destroyed to send a message they are unstoppable.

On Jakku, a desert world littered with old Empire machines left abandoned. BB8 is rescued by Rey who takes him under her wing. She could sell him for extra rations, but she resists the deal. The trader though wants BB8 and a fight breaks out. Finn and Poe have crash-landed on Jakku, Poe is nowhere to be seen so Finn is on his own. He tries to help Rey but BB8 spots Finn is wearing Poe’s jacket.

As the First Order get involved in the spiralling fight, Finn and Rey join together as she thinks he’s a top agent in the Rebellion. Finn does not correct her. They escape on a very well known craft – the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!

From here they will be tested, they must stop the planet destruction and save the universe and discover what their destinies are. They’ll get help from old hands Han Solo and Chewbacca but have to face off against Kylo Ren in the ultimate showdown!

This movie has everything, it’s a great extension to the Star Wars movie franchise. I’m so glad some of the original stars were there and there are plenty of faces to spot! The new characters bring a new edge.

The Millennium Falcon is still the best spacecraft in the universe and there’s a lot of fun along the way. BB8 continues the adorable droid theme and I’m sure everyone will want one of their own!

10/10 from me.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia – The Source.
Trailer reproduced from Star Wars.

That Awkward Moment

That Awkward MomentThat Awkward Moment stars Zac Efron. It’s mainly about three guys dating and the resulting stories surrounding this. As the title states, you can be sure the dates won’t go smoothly!

Jason (Efron) is in a relationship but doesn’t take it as seriously as his girlfriend and wants to end it. Then you are whisked back to the beginning as Jason explains how he reached his decision to call time.

Enter his two wingmen Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B Jordan). They go out, go to a bar and get girls and each of them deals with the relationships formed their own way. This involves a lot of bedroom shenanigans thereafter.

To me, the whole movie was just an excuse for undressing and getting in-between the sheets. Not really movie gold. The plots were plain and predictable. Mikey leaves his wife, Mikey meets wife, wife tells Mikey he isn’t daring enough so Mikey and wife sleep at her workplace. Really?

Now let’s have a type of farce going where the guys have to keep their relationships secret, lest they break the pact forged to remain single. With such epic plot lines and a massively sumptuous script, I’m surprised more actors/actresses didn’t try to muscle in on the act. I thought I’d seen all the plot lines, I really did.

How are three best friends who see each other everyday supposed to keep secret they are in love? Okay, some of the resultant storylines means some separation of the friends. But why would you keep things from your best friend? I didn’t really find the way it was done amusing or intriguing. The whole point of the movie was not to admit you’re in a relationship?!

The one I feel sorry for is poor Zac Efron. He deserves better to be honest. Stuck with two lumps in some cheap version of the male half of Friends. Man, somebody has to give his guy a break and give him a real story – not a whose sleeping with who oddity!

The whole thing was just confusing; I still don’t see the point in starting in the future, then going back. Why not start from the beginning? There are far too many shows and films like this; frankly, it’s getting a little old. Did Cinderella start with her in the castle, saying to the audience; ‘Now let me show how I got to this castle.’ No, you saw her life before and her rescue.

I can’t low score Zac, I just can’t. Not Efron the man! Therefore, I’m giving 6/10 for bravery and hopefully it lead to better things for him!

Image reproduced from wikipedia.com
Trailer reproduced from Cieon Movies