Film review: Eddie the Eagle

I’m not sure if they intentionally released this movie on April Fool’s Day but Eddie the Eagle has been one of the UK’s more controversial sporting heroes

Dad and I love skiing and if God granted us a wish to do one sport without killing ourselves, we would strongly consider ski jumping. It must be the closest feeling to flying as you gently float down that mountain. Hence, Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards (Taron Egerton) being one of our personal sporting heroes. Though people criticised him for not matching the top ski jumpers in performance, he was the British record holder for a long time

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Film review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Dad and I are big sci fi fans. Cloverfield is one of our favourite films. Using clever script writing and filming, the movie tells the story of a couple’s experience of an alien invasion of New York filmed from the perspective of found footage on a hand held camcorder. A good sci fi story but you also get to see their romance as some parts of the tape haven’t been overwritten by the filming of the aliens

┬áSo, we were excited to see 10 Cloverfield Lane advertised. Now, without wanting to give the plot away, let us say that there is a link to Cloverfield but it’s brief and it’s peripheral. So, if you’re expecting a sequel, prequel or a movie similar to the original, you will be disappointed

Instead, 10 Cloverfield Lane is really a psychological drama. More Hitchcock than JJ Abrams in construction and delivering shocks Continue reading

Film review: Room

As film studios get ever more risk averse and churn out sequels or clones of successive movies to try and guarantee revenue, it has become increasingly difficult to find unique films

Dad and ‘future mom’ had seen trailers for Room at the cinema and it promised something different. So, when Brie Larson was nominated for leading actress in this movie, they put it on their must watch list

 It’s hard to pigeon-hole this movie and it’s really a tale of 2 parts. I can’t really review this movie without giving away spoilers, so if you really don’t want to know, please stop reading after this paragraph. Just now that it’s a fantastic movie with drama, tension, a study of human emotion and terrific performances from the cast. It does drag a bit in the middle part but gives a satisfactory conclusion Continue reading

Use the Force, dad!

“This is not the Malaysian you’re looking for”

One of the best known sayings from the Star Wars universe which has entered our popular culture alongside ‘Use the Force’ and ‘May the Force be with you’. It had even spawned the reason behind an annual Star Wars day (May the fourth) Continue reading

Film Review – The Peanuts Movie

The trouble with trying to bring a book to the big screen is that every reader will have their own visual image of the characters and how their voices sound in their head

Bringing a comic strip to the big screen has the advantage of having the visual images to work with but with so few panels to tell a story, it relies on the power of the reader’s imagination to fill in the action

So, did The Peanuts Movie match up to the mental image that dad, ‘future mom’ and I had built up over years of reading Charles M Schulz’s classic cartoon? Well, we walked out of the cinema with big grins  Continue reading

Film review: The Assassin

Any hint of a wuxia movie makes dad’s film antennae stand right up. Hailing from Malaysia, he was brought up on a diet of Hong Kong martial arts movies and there were many fond memories of family trips out to the latest Jackie Chan blockbuster

It was nice to see this genre of movie break through into the western mainstream with Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Tiger in 2000. Dad remembers the spontaneous applause that broke out in the cinema after the first martial fight scene in Crouching Tiger. Other than the action sequences which put the Hollywood attempts into the shade, it introduced well-trodden eastern movie themes such as duty and unrequited love to western audiences

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Film review – Brooklyn

Let me tell you a little secret. Dad’s an old softy and a romantic at heart. He doesn’t feel that chicks should have the full monopoly on chick flicks and he can just as often be found engrossed in a rom com as the latest sci fi epic. Hence, when ‘future mom’ suggested going to watch Brooklyn, it wasn’t hard to persuade him!

Brooklyn is one of those films that it’s hard to pigeonhole and when you attempt to describe the plot to your friends when recommending the film, it sounds like it’s about nothing. However, Brooklyn is the perfect example of how great cinema doesn’t always need the grand plot to create magic. So, let’s get the plot bit out of the way first and dad & I can then tell you why we really enjoyed it. Don’t worry about spoilers here as we won’t give the main spoiler away and knowing about the story won’t diminish your enjoyment of it

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Is the Everyman cinema in Winchester for everyone?

The Everyman cinema in Winchester is part of a small chain and it has just undergone a fabulous refurbishment. What was a conventional cinema is now interstellar. The front rows are still conventional cinema seating but the back rows now have super comfy sofas with tons of leg room. No airplane seat legroom here. The sofas have a matrix of either 2 or 3 seats. Whoever first got the inception for this idea deserves a medal 
The seats don’t cost peanuts but not much more than what I would pay for a full priced peak show viewing in a cramped conventional seat in London, so it’s good value – no inside out thinking there


 The foyer bar serves a wider range of food and drink than usually found at your local Odeon, including alcohol. No hunger games here. It’s almost like being in your own home but with a giant 3D screen and having your own chef to grease the dining experience and bring you joy

With only 2 screens, they have to be creative with rotating and scheduling their films but they do fit in a good mixture of big hits and more art house showings, including the sound of music from live broadcasts
It comes highly recommended by dad and ‘future mom’.

P.S. Yes, there are movie references in the post. Did you spot all 11?

Film Review – Star Wars episode 7: The Force Awakens

Wow! Sitting here 8 hours after watching the latest instalment of the Star Wars saga, dad and my minds are whirling with so many thoughts that we hope we can get them down coherently on here

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First off, we must disclose that we’re huge Star Wars fan and have been eagerly counting the days until the film arrived. We’ve watched the trailers excitedly and they served to raise our levels of anticipation

 

So, Disney and JJ Abrams have already got us on their side just by the fact that they bought the rights to Star Wars and are now making the last 3 parts of the 9 part space epic that Georhe Lucas had originally planned, something we thought we would never get to see

However, we also have the highest expectations and standards to go with those levels of anticipation. We’ve been stung once with the crushing disappointment of Phantom Menace and so, there was a level of caution in waiting for the new film but the trailers looked good and promised much

Having thought about it, we’re going to split this review into 2 parts. Knowing how desperate we were to avoid spoilers before watching the film, we’re going to tell those who haven’t watched the film yet when to stop reading this review to avoid spoilers but we can’t do the review of this film full justice without mentioning some of the major plot lines

So, first things first. After all the hype and buildup, was it any good? I’m glad to report a resounding yes. With JJ Abrams at the helm, it’s a return to the action style we loved in the original trilogy. It’s pretty breathless at times and the director now has at his disposal the appropriate special effects capability to realise his vision, resulting in some especially stunning flying sequences. Dad confessed he had a lump in his throat when the X wings were flying over the lake to the rescue

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Pew pew pew

Set 30 years after the Return of the Jedi when we left the Rebel Alliance and Ewoks celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star and the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, it soon becomes clear that things haven’t gone quite as well as hoped after that victory at Endor and our heroes from the original trilogy are scattered. We are therefore introduced quickly to a new cast of characters. Films like this, which involve a changing of guard are always a little tricky to balance but we think episode 7 just about gets this right

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Some of the new characters in The Force Awakens

Some of the most well known and best loved characters in the history of film make a return to our screen and we love the subtle way that JJ Abrams has done it. Some of best pulse-racing moments in the film come when, totally without any warning, the icons we’ve come to love so much are suddenly there, right in front of us again on the big screen. If we weren’t in a cinema with other people around us, I think dad may let out a squeal and applauded!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

‘Chewie, we’re home’

Some of the old characters have aged better than others and none worse than poor Chewbacca who has turned into large, slightly wimpy teddy bear, mainly for comedic moments as the comedy droid duo of R2 D2 and C 3PO have hardly any air time in The Force Awakens

 

Have Disney turned Chewie into too much of a princess?

 
If you’ve not seen the film, go and see it. You will not be disappointed. Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, the action will still entertain and maybe even persuade you to go back and watch the old films. So, it’s a big thumbs up from us

If you don’t want any spoilers, please stop reading now. Those who want a more in depth discussion about the film, please carry on and Continue reading