The Iron lady (2011)

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Writer: Abi Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant, Olivia Coleman, Alexandra Roach, Iain Glen

 

Plot: An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: The Iron Lady starts as we meet an elderly former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Streep) who has been having conversations with her husband Denis (Broadbent) while finding herself trying to escape the guards guarding her.

Margaret (Roach, younger Margaret) has flashbacks to the war time the lessons her father Alfred (Glen) gave her in life as she gets into Oxford. Getting through Oxford she meets Denis who loves her determined mindset on making change, we continue to watch in flashbacks as the elderly Margaret remembers her rise through political career to become one of the most famous Prime Ministers England has every had.

 

Thoughts on The Iron Lady

 

Characters/PerformanceMargaret Thatcher is easily one of the most iconic Prime Ministers England has ever had, seeing how her life from humble grocery’s daughter to leader of a country comes about, she was one of the strongest women in history taking on the world centred around men, but in her elderly age she looks back at her role in defying the country. Denis is her husband, we see how he keeps her grounded even after he passes on he plays a big part in what she sees when looking back. The rest of the characters are people from her life, her whole life which all have an impact on the decision-making process.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep is fantastic and you can see why she went on to win the Oscar. Jim Broadbent is fun in this role as the husband both alive and dead talking to Margaret. The rest of the cast all go great even if this is the Meryl Streep Show.

StoryWe all know that Margaret Thatcher is one of the most famous prime minsters the UK ever had. This film focuses on how Margaret was looking back on the key incident leading to her run to Prime Minister, through it and what led to the end of it. I really liked how we looked back without getting bogged down with the politics of her reign. The story is told as if a once great leader looked at what she sees as success and failure.

BiographyThis is a great look at Margaret Thatcher, a woman who came from a family of groceries to become leader of the Prime Minister, we see the good and bad moments of her life as well as paving the way for women in politics.

SettingsEach setting used fits the time we are seeing, nothing looks out of place for this great moment she lives through.

Final ThoughtsHaving a history lesson can sometimes get boring when looking at one person’s life, but this doesn’t focus on this too much instead looks at the idea of how she remembers everything.

 

Overall: This is a biopic with a difference and well worth a watch.

Rating

 

 

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IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jaeden Leiberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Scares

 

Story: It starts in the small town of Derry where children go missing on a frightening high amount of times, with Georgie being the latest victim in the town. When the next summer comes around Georgie’s brother Bill (Lieberher) is still hoping to find answer to what happened to his brother. With the summer vacation starting Bill is joined by the rest of the Loser’s Club Richie (Wolfhard), Eddie (Grazer) and Stanley (Oleff) to investigate.

As the investigate deepens the friends all start getting haunted by Pennywise (Skarsgard) and are joined by the new kid Ben (Taylor), the home schooled Mike (Jacobs) and outsider Beverly (Lillis) as the battle against Pennywise last the summer and the friends learn the value of friendship when trying to overcome their fears.

 

Thoughts on IT

 

Characters – Bill is the leader of the Loser’s Club who has lost his brother to the strange occurrences in the town. He has been trying to figure out the what happened to Georgie for a year and has the support from his friends. Ben is the new kid in town who has been left on the outside with no friends going into the summer but is welcomed into the Loser’s club with their mutual hatred to the school bully. Beverly has been branded a slut at school as rumours spiralled out of control, she has a terrifying home life when the Loser’s club offer her friendship she needed. Mike is home school living on a slaughter needing to learn the trade. I will say Mike is the character we learn the least about of the 7. Richie is the fast talking of the group who can’t help but spit the first words that come to mind out, often used for the comedy in the film. Eddie is member of the group who is paranoid about becoming ill and getting dirty, he is also used a lot for the comedy side of the film. Stanley is the Jewish member of the club that is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah which is going to be the most important part of his summer.

Pennywise is the clown haunting the children of Derry searching for fear in the children so he can feed on it, he knows the children’s biggest fears and becomes them in the most frightening way possible.

PerformanceAll seven of the children give us great performances and you fully believe the chemistry created between them as it could easily be on a par with the Goonies or Stand by Me. Bill Skarsgard has one of the hardest jobs in Hollywood this year and he does deliver as Pennywise bring fear from his character while not destroying the legacy of what Tim Curry brought to this role.

StoryThe story of a small town that seems to have a large number of children going missing and nobody is doing anything about it does seem strange. The kids joining together to solve this mystery is the core of the story though, this brings back the idea of the children needing to entertain themselves during the summer but this time it is a deadly adventure against an enemy that is waiting to kill them. The story bottles down to friendship being the answer to overcoming fears, learning to grow up and understanding the history of their town.

HorrorThis is easily one of the best horror movies of the year, it does feel like we have a scare nearly every 5 minutes and each one plays into a different fear for our characters. If you don’t enjoy a certain moment of fear the next will get you.

SettingsThe small town is a fantastic setting as it helps play into a legend of what happened in the town before to make the strange moments happen now.

Special EffectsThe effects add to the horror immensely here, each horrifying creation comes off legit because of the effects used.

Scene of the Movie – Slide show viewing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why are the cops not doing more to investigate the missing children?

Tagline – You’ll Float Too.

Final ThoughtsWhen we look at horror remakes this could easily be up there as one of the best of all time, it brings new life to an already excellent horror that isn’t afraid to scare as often as possible.

 

Overall: Massively enjoyable horror that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Director: Macon Blair

Writer: Macon Blair (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Michelle Moreno, Devon Graye, Jane Levy, Christine Woods,

 

Plot: When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky Fun Comedy

 

Story: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore starts as we follow our lonely woman Ruth (Lynskey) who lives her normal routine and finds herself getting stepped on by people but not standing up for herself. When Ruth’s house gets burglarized she struggles to get help from the police.

Ruth recruits her neighbour Tony (Wood) to help her get her belongs back as the two enter underground crime world as Tony meets the man that stole from her Christian (Graye) and the gang he is part off with Dez (Levy) and Marshall (Yow).

 

Thoughts on I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

 

Characters – Ruth is a lonely depressed woman who does let people walk over her, keeps to herself until her comfy life is shattered when her home is broken into. We see her learn to stand up for herself to collect her belongings and accept people into her life. Tony is the obnoxious neighbour that likes loud music, keeping to himself and his dog Kevin, but learning about what happened to Ruth he steps up into the world showing he just wants to be part of someone else’s life. Christian is the waster who steals to get by with a gang of thieves, not caring who he steps on to get stuff to feed his habits.

PerformanceMelanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood are both fantastic in the leading roles showing both these stars are great and can continue to find success in smaller films. When you look the three main criminal roles we have good performances but none of them seem to offer much to the characters that we have seen before.

StoryThe story of feeling out of place in the world after a crime happen against you is one I feel people will understand, this does talk about how far people could go to get out of the rut by taking a chance on things but mostly it shows how the good people working together could stop the bad people in the world.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from nearly all the scenes with Ruth and Tony together trying to enter the crime world, the crime world shows us the world the innocent side of the story enter.

SettingsWe get a small town setting showing how people’s lives would cross at some point.

Scene of the Movie – The first team outing looking for laptop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does get dark in final third of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is the gem people have talked about, it has all the quirkiness you would expect from the odd crime comedy that works.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and quirky crime comedy.

Rating

 

 

John Leguizamo Weekend – The Infiltrator (2016)

infiDirector: Brad Furman

Writer: Ellen Sue Brown (Screenplay) Robert Mazur (Book)

Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Daniel Mays, Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Michael Pare,

 

Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Drama

 

Story: The Infiltrator starts as we meet Robert Mazur (Cranston) who has been working as an undercover US Custom officer who has just taken down a drug ring which for the time offers him a chance to walk away from field work. When one of Robert’s co-workers Emir Abreu (Leguizamo) comes to him with information of a Colombian drug lord Robert must decide whether to follow the lead.

Robert takes the job where he must go undercover as a banker for the Colombian drug lord where he must work with Abreu who he sees as a loose cannon to take down Pablo Escobar. The further Robert goes undercover the deeper he finds himself wondering just how far he will get pushed by the drug lords.

The Infiltrator gives us what seems to be just another look at a brave man who goes undercover to bring down a crime lord. We do have heavyweight performance from Cranston yet again that could easily get Oscar attention. I also think we get a great supporting performance from Leguizamo. The film gives us plenty of focus on the effects of going undercover on the personal life as well as the professional side of everything but it does sadly feel like just another story we have seen similar before.

 

Overall: Great performances to a crime story it feels we have seen before.

Rating70

 

 

It Comes at Night (2017)

Director: Trey Edward Shults

Writer: Trey Edward Shults (Screenplay)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Griffin Robert Faulkner

 

Plot: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nerve Shredding Nail Bitter

 

Story: It Comes at Night starts in a world where a virus has crippled the population, Paul (Edgerton), Sarah (Ejogo) and their son Travis (Harrison Jr) live in the middle of the woods in a secure house with only one entrance also being the exit. When their home gets broken into by Will (Abbott) the family dynamic must figure out whether to believe his story, help him or let him go.

Once the family make the decision the family welcomes Will and his family Kim (Keough) and son Andrew (Faulkner) into their home as numbers could help against a threat, but how long can this peace last?

 

Thoughts on It Comes at Night

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is the strict father of the house, he has created a secure home with the rules that will keep his family safe, he will not go easy on anyone that comes into the life and does the clean up when anything needs to be done. Will is the stranger that is just as desperate to keep his family safe and stumbles into the wrong house, but he is good and gets to work with Paul to start a safer home. Sarah and Kim are both the weakest written characters mostly because they are just the wives, Sarah does have slightly more about her because she will be smarter about the bigger decisions the family must make. Travis is the most interesting character in the film, he is the son of Paul & Sarah, he is attached to the late grandfather and his dog, we get to see a lot of the film through his eyes and ears as well as most of the truly horrific moments come in his nightmares.

Performance wise, Joel Edgerton is brilliant in this leading role, being a man of little words but many facial expressions when not explain the rules. Christopher Abbott is also good in this role showing how desperate people could be. Carmen Ejogo and Riley Keough are both good but could have been written stronger. Kelvin Harrison Jr is the new star to watch after his performance in this film, which shows curiosity being stuck with strict rules.

StoryThe story follows a world that has had a virus wiping out the population, we don’t learn what caused this which you could see upset people but I didn’t find this a stumbling block because it adds to the mystery. The story focuses on how desperate people would act to survive in this situation, how easy things could go wrong and just how even the best of people could go do unthinkable things. The story is filled with tension and mystery that just keeps you on the edge of your seat, just wanting to know what will happen next.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from how the family must survive what could come from anything, the disease spreading around the country. The mystery is also tied into the horror as we are left to see what is happening and what could go wrong.

SettingsThe film is set in the middle of the woods, the house is off the grid and has no main roads nearby. We get an excellent use location which only adds the tension needed in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best horror films of the year, but it could easily divide the horror community, I feel this could be considered to be in the same league as 2016 The Witch and could have had stronger written female characters.

 

Overall: Must watch for the horror fans out there.

Rating