Oscar Season Challenge – The Danish Girl (2015)

Rob and I have decided to make a twist on the challenge where we will be looking at Oscar related films first before moving into going back to look at different Oscar winners from the past.danishDirector: Tom Hooper

Writer: Lucinda Coxon (Screenplay) David Ebershoff (Novel)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Eddie Redmayne, Tusse Silberg, Adrian Schiller, Amber Heard, Emerald Fennel, Ben Whishaw, Matthias Schoenaerts


Plot: A fictitious love story inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Inspiring Story


Story: The Danish Girl starts in Copenhagen 1926 with artists Gerda (Vikander) and Einar (Redmayne) a married couple whose relationship is different to everyone else for the time period. Einar has a fascination with dressing as a woman that his wife embraces it for a night turning Einar into Lili. Things get complicated when Einar decides that he enjoys dressing like the woman against his wives wishes at first.

When Lili makes Gerda a bigger name in the art world the couple move to Paris as Einar struggles with his art work an old friend and now current art dealer Hans Axgil (Schoenaerts) gives them a chance to push him back into the art world. As Einar embraces his Lili side we get to see how Gerda is struggling with it but in the end we see how Einar was one of the pioneers in transgender decision making.

The Danish Girl shows the inspiration story showing how one man’s determination to be transformed into a woman gained the movement which is popular today. How Einar got to the moment of transformation shows how naïve humans were to this issue back in the 1920s as they tried to make him a mental patient. This really is a difficult watch because the subject matter is something people will not want to see. Overall the story really is inspiration for anyone who is going through the same mind set.


Actor Review


Alicia Vikander: Gerda is the Danish artist married to Einar who wants to support her husband even as he is going through his identity crisis, she uses his new identity to grow her art work but then supports him as he searches for the final transformation. Alicia gives us an incredible performance in this role.gerda

Eddie Redmayne: Einar/Lili, Einar is the Danish artist married to Gerda, he has a fascination with dressing and being a woman, enter Lili his female side that he starts by flaunting at party before it takes over and Lili becomes the real person as one of the first transgender in the world. Eddie gives us a stunning performance showing the transformation needed for the role.lili

Ben Whishaw: Henrik is the young man that Lili attracts but Lili doesn’t know how to deal with any relationship. Ben gives us a good supporting performance without getting too much screen time.

Amber Heard: Ulla is a friend of the couple, she encourages them to just both be happy and tries to help with the situation. Amber gives us a good supporting performance.

Support Cast: The Danish Girl has a good supporting cast that all offer Einar a chance to get his dream.

Director Review: Tom HooperTom gives us yet another brilliant period piece that will get all the praise is deserves.


Biographical: The Danish Girl shows the incredible story behind one of the world’s first transgender.

Romance: The Danish Girl shows the love between Einar and Gerda even going through the personal decision Einar wanted to make.

Chemistry: The Danish Girl Einar and Gerda have brilliant chemistry through the film.

Settings: The Danish Girl creates the settings to make us feel like we are in the current time period of each country they go to.

Suggestion: The Danish Girl is one film I would say watch even if it does have its difficult moments for the casual fan. (Watch)


Best Part: Redmayne and Vikander’s performances.

Worst Part: Difficult subject matter.

Favourite Quote: Henrik ‘I’ve only know a few people in my life and you’ve been two of them’.


Believability: Based on the real people involved.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Actor/Actress and Original Score

Oscar Chances: Will be up for nomination.

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Find the courage to be yourself.


Overall: Inspiring story about making the change for yourself



Big Ass Spider! (2013)

big asDirector: Mike Mendez

Writer: Gregory Gieras (Screenplay)

Starring: Greg Grunberg, Lin Shaye, Ruben Pla, Alexis Kendra, Lombard Boyar, Ray Wise, Clare Kramer


Plot: A giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampage the city of Los Angeles. When a massive military strike fails, it is up to a team of scientists and one clever exterminator to kill the creature before the city is destroyed.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Creature Feature


Story: Big Ass Spider Starts by show Alex (Grunberg) as he walks through the destruction of the city caused by the Big Ass Spider, before flashing back to 12 hours earlier. Alex is doing his job as an exterminator he gets bitten by a spider ending up at the hospital where he finds himself volunteering to figure out what sort of animal bit Carl (Pla) in the mortuary.

When the military turn up lead by Major Tanner (Wise) we learn that the body bought in should have been sent to a military base and along with Dr Lucas (Bauchau) we learn just what Alex is really up against. With the military thinking they have everything under control Alex teams up with security guard Jose (Boyar) to catch the spider and make a name for themselves.

Big Ass Spider can only be described as the best type of creature feature, it does everything you want in the film with reluctant hero, strict military and giant creature that seems unkillable. The film takes part over just a 12-hour time period which works to make this feel like it is unfolding instead of just have today this happened, yesterday this happened. I will this might not be for everyone but this is just fun.


Actor Review


Greg Grunberg: Alex is the small time exterminator who finds himself in the middle of the hunt for this unknown spider, he uses his skills and smart mouth along with his new partner Jose to try and kill the spider and get the girl. Greg is great in this role where he gets to be action and comic star.

Ray Wise: Major Tanner is the leader of the military trying to hunt down the spider, he takes control of anywhere that gets in his way but knows the errors of his ways. Ray does a good job in this basic military role.

Clare Kramer: LT Karly Brant is the second in command on the military side of the story who has to deal with Alex and his flirting throughout the film, she is also the connection between the two sides searching for the spider. Clare is good in this role making a good romantic angle for Alex.

Lombardo Boyar: Jose is the security guard who ends up teaming up with Alex to hunt the spider, they make for a great odd couple as Jose isn’t the smartest person in the film and makes for great chemistry with Alex. Lombardo does a great job in this role getting most of the extra laughs in the film.

Support Cast: Big Ass Spider has the supporting cast you would expect to see in creature feature type of films.

Director Review: Mike MendezMike gives us such a fun creature feature that it has to be watched.


Action: Big Ass Spider does have plenty of action while trying to kill the spider.

Comedy: Big Ass Spider has plenty of laughs through the film, mostly between Alex and Jose.

Sci-Fi: Big Ass Spider shows us a world where an alien like spider comes to terrorising LA.

Settings: Big Ass Spider uses LA as the main setting showing how the city couldn’t cope with the spider invasion.
Special Effects
: Big Ass Spider has good effects that are done cheaply but work to make this fun.spider

Suggestion: Big Ass Spider is one to watch for all the creature feature fans to enjoy. (Watch)


Best Part: Opening sequence is beautifully shot.

Worst Part: It won’t be for everyone.

Funniest Scene: Amateur footage of spider


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Eight Legged Freaks


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Tagline: 10 stories high and very hungry


Overall: Truly a fun creature feature


2015 Awards – Worst Romantic

Through the month of January I will be looking back on 2015, I will be looking at a range of subjects where I will be picking my best or worst in separate posts.

Today I will be look at Worst Romantic

My pick for worst

·         Aloha aloha This romantic comedy just comes off just awkward that really doesn’t have many laughs or romantic moments at all.