Your Name (2017)

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yuki, Nobunage Shimazaki, Kaito Ishikawa

 

Plot: Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Your Name starts as we meet small town girl Mitsuha who dreams of getting out of the town and moving to the busy Tokyo, we also meet Tokyo school student Taki who has found himself looking after himself searching for his next stage in life.

With an incoming comet passing over the strange event starts to happen for the two strangers who find themselves swapping bodies and lives, the two start communicating through messages to inform the other what they have been doing, some good other bad, but when the communication is lost, the truth about their connection comes out.

 

Thoughts on Your Name

 

Characters Taki and Mitsuha are both fantastic characters, they both come off like normal high school students in the lives they are living, both dreaming off things outside what they see as their reach, both confused but adapting to the body swapping lives they believe to be dreams. The rest of the characters who are part of both lives which does work for our main characters story arc.

StoryThe story brings a fresh approach the body swapping sub-genre, we become invested in the lives of both of the students and the bigger story going on which I don’t want to get too detailed but this story will make you go through a full range of emotions and you will be left shocked with the final outcome of the story.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of the film comes from the body swapping elements which does get increased when you learn the twist within the film’s story. the romance comes from how these two people from different worlds can fall in love being part of the others life.

SettingsThe settings for the film show the different worlds the two come from, we get to see the busy streets of Tokyo and small town where families work to support the next generation filled with tradition.

AnimationThe animation is as you would expect almost flawless for telling the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I have heard only wonderful things about, those things were not wrong, this is a wonderful story with great leading characters, that will pull on the all the emotions you have through the whole film.

 

Overall: Truly special animated film.

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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

shakeDirector: John Madden

Writer: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck

 

Plot: A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Oscar Heavy Classic

 

Story: Shakespeare in Love starts as Philip Henslowe (Rush) has been struggling to pay his debts to Hugh Fennyman (Wilkinson) and with his star scripter William Shakespeare (Fiennes) working on the latest play for the theatre which can clean his debts.

Shakespeare looking for his latest muse sees just how Queen Elizabeth (Dench) sees his work where we get to meet Viola De Lesseps (Paltrow) a wealthy daughter of London who dreams of being in a Shakespeare play. When William meets Viola the motivation behind Romeo and Juliet is born and with Viola is undercover as the lead actor of the play but is also being forced into marrying Lord Wessex (Firth) by Queen’s order. With the love between William and Viola being kept a secret one of the most iconic plays in history becomes the reality in the famous Rose theatre.

 

Thoughts on Shakespeare in Love

 

StoryThe story here plays along the lines of seeing how love can inspire the best work from playwrights as we see the struggling Shakespeare re-discover his best work once he falls in love once again. The parallels to what is going on with the play and everyday situation all comes together very well as we see how the final pieces of the puzzle comes together. This does have a full stage feel to everything going on which could easily be a turn off for some people though.

Comedy/Drama/RomanceWe have good theatre based comedy without being a joke a minute throughout this film, the film really does focus on the romantic angle between William, Viola and the problems she must face with arranged marriage to Lord Wessex.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all loosely based on real people that also become the characters within the Romeo and Juliet story that we have all come to know. The performances are all brilliant here showing us that if we want a stage play movie we can turn to these actors for first choice.

SettingsEach setting fits the time period perfectly as we would all be willing to believe we are in the middle of 1593 watching the creation Romeo and Juliet.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that not everyone will but is easily one of the most fascinating ones around as we learn the creation of one of the greatest plays ever written.

 

Overall: Classic in its own right.

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The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell

Writer: Justin Lader, Charlie McDowell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Mary Steenburgen, Brian McCarthy, Riley Keough

 

Plot: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Sci-Fi Mind Bender

 

Story: The Discovery starts in a world where DR Thomas Harper (Redford) believes he has proven there is an afterlife, one year after this announcement the suicide rating in the world has sky rocketed with people believing they will ended up in this afterlife free of the problems they face in the real world.

Thomas’ son Will (Segel) a neurologist returns to his research facility on a remote island where his other brother Toby (Plemons) has been working on collecting more evidence with other volunteers who believe this afterlife is real. Being joined by Isla (Mara) the latest suicide failure to join the course Will is left to face the reality that not everything is as cut and dry as he believes with all of his science and medical beliefs. Will finds himself working with Isla to learn about a mysterious recording that came from the mind of a dead man, searching into his own past coming to a conclusion to everything.

 

Thoughts on The Discovery

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is a neurologist that is living in a world where people believe there is scientific proof of the afterlife, he still doesn’t believe in his own father’s discovery. He gets to investigating in a scientific mentality hoping to get to the bottom of everything. Isla is one of the people who had planned to kill themselves to get to this afterlife, she finds hope in searching for the answers with Will. Thomas is the doctor who believes he has discovered an afterlife, he has people working for him in a cult like situation while he is still trying to get the complete truth.

Performance wise, Jason Segel is brilliant here showing he isn’t just a comical actor and can handle the serious performances, Rooney Mara is good as always in the supporting role with Hollywood Icon Robert Redford giving a performance that is great for a supporting one.

StoryAn idea that we are in a world where we could know there is an afterlife is truly fascinating, it offers up questions never once asked before because there is no ‘if’ it is a ‘when’. The film does claim to have this question with our main character Will looking to prove this wrong, which again is good because this is a scientific discovery. This story will keep you guessing from the start to the finish and leave you going ‘What’ even though you can understand the ending.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery is would you believe and is this discovery real, the sci-fi from the story comes from the discovery itself, as it offers up what is a scientific idea to the afterlife. The romance comes from Will and Isla story as they search for the truth.

SettingsThe one weak point I found in this film I would say is the settings, they do add up to the final story which is good but the film has the beach which is important and the lone mansion where the believers live.

Final ThoughtsI love a film that makes you think, this will do that, I love seeing actors who have been typecast to one genre prove themselves, Segel does here. I love watching how scientific ideas are posed to the audience offer us a question on what we would do in the situation. This is nearly everything I like to watch in a film, this should have been a cinema release not Netflix.

 

Overall: One of the hidden gems of the year.

Rating

 

 

Trainkwreck (2015)

trainwDirector: Judd Apatow

Writer: Amy Schumer (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Evan Brinkman, John Cena, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James

 

Plot: Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offense Comedy

 

Story: Trainwreck starts as we meet sexual adventurous Amy (Schumer) who sleeps around looking for the best sex of her life, she works for a magazine called Snap which is all about smut articles. She is going through helping her sister Kim (Larson) as they must move their father to assisted living.

Amy gets given an assignment to write an article about a doctor that could bring a new dimension to sports treatment. The doctor in question is Dr Aaron Conners (Hader) who just happens to be working with LeBron James. When the two hit things off Amy must decide if she wants to actually commit in a relationship for the first time in her life, we see how her past will test her relationship.

Trainwreck is a comedy that misses all the jokes because they all go through awkward sexual references. The romantic side of the story is almost non-existent because you don’t believe the chemistry between Schumer and Hader. I understand this is trying to give us the new look at relationships but nothing is believable in this film.

Amy Schumer shows that her stand-up routine is for the select few people because most of her jokes a pop-culture that will be out dated within a few years. She isn’t leading lady material and by taking the lead role the comedy ability of Hader is effected because he is almost wasted throughout the film. The best part of the film really is LeBron James as the friend of Hader’s character. This film is only going to be for the select few with nothing working for my own sense of humour.

 

Overall: This comedy explains what is so wrong about comedy now a days.

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Indecent Proposal (1993)

indiDirector: Adrian Lyne

Writer: Amy Holden Jones (Screenplay) Jack Engelhard (Novel)

Starring: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Seymour Cassel, Oliver Platt, Billy Bob Thornton, Rup Taylor, Billy Connolly

 

Plot: A millionaire offers $1,000,000 to a young married couple for a night with the wife.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Drama

 

Story: Indecent Proposal starts as we meet young newlyweds Diana Murphy (Moore) and David Murphy (Harrelson) who have been high school sweethearts who believed everything was going to go their way but once the recession hits they find all their dreams shattered with money becoming the serious problem after they both lose their jobs.

Wanting to make the money quickly they head to Vegas where they learn the good and bad side of gambling industry where they lose their remaining money after making it big. Their fortunes change when they bump into high roller billionaire John Gage (Redford) who shows them the life of luxury.

Gage offers the young couple $1 Million for one night with Diana, this gives the couple an almost impossible choice but we are left wondering just whether they could come to a deal or not. Making the deal we get to see how David and Diana deal with the night and the consequences of this decision.

 

Thoughts on Indecent Proposal

 

StoryThe story does give us one of the ultimate moral questions that any married couple could face to solve their monetary problems. We also get to see how they could become broken once the night is done. We get to see how the love between two people can be tested to the extremes as they need to solve their problems. The major issue I have with this story is that this couple have set an unrealistic dream in the first place putting themselves in the mess they find themselves in which a normal person wouldn’t end up finding themselves in.

Drama/RomanceWhen you look at the romance side of this story you get to see how a married couple with all the love in the world can be led astray by someone catching their eye even if it is the money that draws them apart. We get to see how undying love with always prevail whatever you have been through.

Characters/PerformancesDiana and David are the typical Hollywood couple with their unrealistic attempts to make their life the dream even though their love is all they need. John Gage is a man who believes he can buy anything but must learn that he can’t buy the one thing he wants. When you look to the performances everyone is great here with Woody Harrelson has the broken man, Demi as the naïve women dreaming of more and Robert Redford as the business man who can get all.

SettingsThe settings show us the difference in the lifestyles of the married couple and the billionaire which are used brilliantly as we see how Diana gets to look at a different life.

Final ThoughtsI see this film as one of the interesting films from the past that could be done on so many other levels with new technology but can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Good drama about love, money and decision making.

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