Departures (2019)

Director:  Peter Hutchings

Writer: Fergal Rock (Screenplay)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev, Ken Jeong, Tyler Hoechlin, David Koechne, Peyton List

 

Plot: A hypochondriac working as an airport baggage handler is forced to confront his fears when a British teenager with a terminal illness enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list.


Tagline – Living in the moment is hard to do alone.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Rollercoaster

 

Story: Departures starts as we see Skye (Williams) receives the news that her terminal cancer isn’t giving her much more time, even though she takes the news positively. Meanwhile teenager Calvin (Butterfield) believes he has cancer with his hypochondriac state, even though every test says he is completely fine.

Calvin attends cancer support groups where he meets Skye, who wants a ‘To Die List’ which sees Calvin reluctantly help Skye complete, even though he can’t find the courage to tell her the truth, even though she is teaching him to live hi life more, than he could ever imagine.

 

Thoughts on Departures

 

Characters – Calvin is a hypochondriac luggage handler, he goes through tests believing he is ill even though every test says he is fine. He attends cancer support groups in a hope to get prospective of his mindset, only to meet cancer victim Skye who brings him out of his shell, he goes from shy to outgoing through his time with Skye. Skye is a British teenager that has been given the terminal diagnosis for her cancer, she has gotten to the stage where she just wants to make the most out of her remaining life, which sees her befriend Calvin, mostly because he is the only friend she can find in the world, using humour as her biggest defence to what is going to happen to her. Izzy is a flight attendant that has been having no luck in love until she meets Calvin and sees a different type of guy in him. The remaining characters we meet include the parents that have been through their own problems, two random police officers that end up helping the two complete the goals which will get the laughs.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield takes the leading role here and over the past for years he has handle a few of the teenage coming of age roles, he has never put a foot wrong with his own performances in these, with this film once again showing him to be a big talent in the future. Maisie Williams steps out of Game of Thrones to a role that is full of energy, which should be lower in her character, to show us a character that just wanted to live life to the fullest. Nina Dobrev is the best of the rest, with the supporting cast getting their moments when needed for an extra emotional moment or a laugh.

StoryThe story follows a teenage girl that is going to die who befriends a teenage boy that is scared he is going to and the two help each other learn to make the most of their life, through their time together. The story doesn’t hide any facts about the two characters from the audience, which with other films using the same subject matters have used as a late twist in the film. This story is about friendship, adventure, enjoying life and taking chances. While the story might be easy to read just where everything is going to go, you will still need to bring the tissues for this film.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure elements used in this film are a lot simpler than you would imagine, this is because we get to see how Calvin learns to make life an adventure instead of being scared about what could happen. The comedy in the film is handled tastefully, I have always seen people say ‘you can’t have comedy in a cancer film’ this comedy comes from seeing how Skye is dealing with everything, she wants to laugh and not feel sorry for herself.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, using the airport as one of the main backdrops, elsewhere we see how Calvin ends up going places he never would have considered until he met Skye.


Scene of the Movie –
The real list.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I am going to pick timescale, not sure if it was days weeks or months.

Final ThoughtsThis is an emotional rollercoaster of a film, it will make you laugh, smile and cry, sometimes in the same scene.

 

Overall: Must watch with tissues.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Director: Mark Herman

Writer: Mark Herman (Screenplay) John Boyne (Novel)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga

 

Plot: Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.


Tagline – A story of innocence in a world of ignorance

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heart Shattering Movie

 

Story: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas starts as Bruno (Butterfield) and his family Mother (Farmiga), Father (Thewlis) and sister Gretel (Beattie) move from Berlin to the countryside during World War II. The new home takes Bruno’s family near a concentration camp, this leaves Bruno wondering why everyone there is where Pyjamas and leaving him forbidden from going out of the house.

When Bruno befriends one of the boys Shmuel (Scanlon) who is in the camp, Bruno must start to learn why the people are being kept like this as he learns that Jews are considered the enemy of his country, but he doesn’t understand this. The truth will only shatter Bruno’s view on the world.

 

Thoughts on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

 

Characters – Bruno is the 8-year-old boy living in Germany during World War II, he doesn’t understand the world yet, he must learn that his new friends are Jews and considered the enemies to the non-Jews. He tries to become friends while not becoming blinkered like his own sister to what is expected within Germany at the time, showing us the innocence that was affected by war. Father is the rest why the family must move, he is in charge of the concentration camp but hiding the truth from his family. Mother tries to put a smile on but when she learns the truth she is in shock with what her husband is doing but can’t talk out because it would leave her with the same fate. Shmuel is the Jewish boy that Bruno befriends, he is in the concentration camp which makes their friendship forbidden but through him we see how Bruno doesn’t see how the world truly is.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield is fantastic in the leading role, he shows all the innocence to play this character. David Thewlis is always good in the almost villainous role, while he is the bad figure in history, he is a good father. Vera Farmiga is great as the mother that sees the light in what is going on and how wrong it is. Jack Scanlon is great as the Jewish boy that is behind the fence that befriends Bruno, he shows the despair in what the Jews would be going through.

StoryThe story is already dealing with one of the most disturbing events in modern history as we see how the Germans handled the Jews. Seeing this from the perspective of an innocent Germany boy who doesn’t know what is wrong or right about the war shows us how horrific the events were. This is a story of how he must learn what is really going without ever being shown the truth he doesn’t know what is going on while we see both sides of his family react to what is happening differently. This is by far one of the most disturbing and shocking stories you will ever see that shows the heart break of what happened and how the children never knew the horrors of war.

WarThis doesn’t show the conflict of war, it shows the separation that the Germans had with the Jews through the eyes of young boy who didn’t know what was going on.

SettingsThe settings are Berlin and a countryside location never mentioned, it shows the divide created by the Germans in the war for no reason other than God figure people believed in.


Scene of the Movie –
The adventure in Bruno’s mind.

That Moment That Annoyed Me English accents.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most heart breaking movies you will see, it shows that the victims of war came from all sides and the reality of it was even worse.

 

Overall: Brings your tissues along.

Rating

 

 

The Space Between Us (2017)

Director: Peter Chelsom

Writer: Allan Loeb (Screenplay) Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis, Allan Loeb (Story)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, BD Wong

 

Plot: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Romance Film

 

Story: The Space Between Us starts with the first maned crew living on Mars, the Genesis operation lead by Nathaniel Shepherd (Oldman) is sending the 6 astronauts to Mars to live with mission commander Sarah Elliot (Montgomery) leading the mission. The mission goes wrong early on when Sarah turns out to be pregnant and dying in child birth on Mars. Back home Nathaniel must figure out a way to keep the story covered up raising the child on Mars even though his desire is to head to Mars himself to help raise the child Gardner.

16 years later Gardner (Butterfield) has grown up still a secret to the outside world on Mars, with the colony growing with Kendra Wyndham (Gugino) being the latest mother like figure in his life. Gardner has been sneaking around making friends with Tulsa (Robertson) back on Earth, but keeping his secret safe.

When the plan is to bring Gardner back to Earth his secret friendship is the desire he most wants to see but the business side of mission wants to us him as a PR device. Once back Gardner gets tired of the quarantine and escapes to learn about the world, find Tulsa and his father, but the longer Gardner spends on Earth the greater danger he is putting himself in.

 

Thoughts on The Space Between Us

 

Characters/PerformanceGardner is a Martian the lack of a better word, he was born and raised on Mars gaining all the intelligence from the astronauts he meets, but what he desires most is a human connection which is what he can get by going to Earth. He gets to see Earth in a new light for the first time which isn’t something original but always interesting to see unfold. Tulsa is a high school girl who is surrounded by students but completely alone because of being in the foster system. She speaks to Gardner being the only connection she has with the world, once they meet she shows her street smarts to help Gardner. Nathaniel is the lead scientist running the program, he wants to do the right thing but gets pushed out and left to regret his decision, but it is his choice to do everything to make Gardner safe on his return to Earth. Kendra also plays a similar role to Nathaniel only she is the closest person to a friend Gardner has on Mars.

Performance Wise, Asa shows again that he is a very capable young actor who I think we could see many more great performances from in the future, Robertson is continuing to play characters she is a lot older than but she does have the look for them. Oldman brings the heavyweight name to the film doing good throughout with Gugino also doing a good job through the film.

Adventure/Romance/Sci-FiThe adventure comes from Gardner seeing Earth for the first time with the sci-fi comes from the idea of life on Mars. The romance side of the film works because it is the driving force between Gardner and Tulsa.

StoryThe story shows us what it would be like is there was a baby born on a Mars colony, it also shows how two people worlds apart can become the closest of friends. The story is young adult material but at least this seems to be a one-off idea for the story, I think it fits the genre nicely and will have the whole audience enjoying how the story unfolds.

SettingsStarting on Mars we get to see what life up there could be, moving to Earth it is a standard road trip across America idea for settings not offering too many new ideas on where to go.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good when they are needed without being jaw-dropping.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good young adult movie that can be enjoyable by the romantic fans.

 

Overall: This is good for the market intended.

Rating

 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

missDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: Jane Goldman (Screenplay) Ransom Riggs (Novel)

Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L Jackson, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Allison Janney, Chris O’Dowd, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell

 

Plot: When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tim Burton’s X-Men

 

Story: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children starts as we meet every day average American teenager Jake (Butterfield) who has never fitted in. When his estranged grandfather Abe (Stamp) who has told Jake all the stories about Miss Peregrine and her home for peculiar children gets murdered his family tries to make Jake realize everything is just a story to deal with his loss during a World War II.

To help Jake get over the loss of his grandfather his father Franklin (O’Dowd) take him to a small Welsh island where Abe was once at a school only to discover that it was destroyed by a bomb in World War II. While exploring the ruins, Jake finds himself being followed by some strange children led by Emma Bloom (Purnell) who take Jake back to 1943 to meet Miss Peregrine (Green). Miss Peregrine has been guarding the children in a time loop from the evil Barron (Jackson). Jake learns of the impending threat coming towards the home he learns his own ability that will be key to saving the children and his grandfather.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a good fantasy film that tells a story that could easily get pushed off as covering for a traumatic event in a life. We get the tradition teenage character that needs to find his place in the world and is portrayed to be so average it is unbelievable. We get the mix of peculiar children who are basically X-Men with their own abilities that will help then to defend themselves. Eva Green gives her best Johnny Depp impression by playing the over the top strange character and Samuel L Jackson brings his own stamp to the villain role. This is slightly too dark of a film for the younger viewers but also has too many moments that adults won’t like either so this is an good film either if it is slightly too long.

 

Overall: The peculiar look at dark fantasy concept in the X-Men style universe.

Rating65

 

 

Hugo (2011)

rob challengeThis week in the challenge Rob selected Hugo for me to watch, this is one film that i always planned to watch one day but had never got around to see it.

logo

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: John Logan (Screenplay) Brian Selznick (Book)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Jude Law

Plot: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Special Little Story

Story: Hugo starts in the Paris train station where we see young Hugo (Butterfield) an orphan who lives in the walls of the station. He is always out to keep away from Station Inspector (Cohen). Hugo has been working on trying to work on his father’s work and Georges Melies (Kingsley) has discovered the work and stolen his book. Hugo not giving up easily follows Georges and meets Isabelle (Moretz) who agrees to help retrieve the book for Hugo.

We learn that Hugo’s Father (Law) was trying to build this automaton with Hugo but the mystery of how to get the machine to work is one both of them are searching for before his father is killed in a freak accident. Hugo is left having to live with his Uncle Claude (Winstone) who teaches him about running the clocks but takes him out of school. We do continue to flash between the two time periods and in the 1930s Hugo must now earn his notebook back from Georges by working in his stale for all the parts he has stolen.

We watch how Hugo gets his first love interest as well as learning about growing up by working in the stands inside the train station as he could final get to finish his father’s work and unlock a secret about Georges.

Hugo is a story that is very easy to watch unfold and brings us a positive feeling through a negative time. I really didn’t know where the film was really going which is always a good part of a story. When we end up looking into the past of the film director it ends up going towards giving the people who deserve credit getting what they deserve. We also have the idea of learning and a building friendship with a clash of different backgrounds. There is also small parts to the story that show romances between minor characters. I think this will give everyone a feel good factor by the end, but I slightly too long especially having two different character explain about the directors past. (9/10)

Actor Review

Asa Butterfield: Hugo Cabret is our orphan who lives inside the train station, he is still trying to finishes his late father’s work which will help him unlock a secret somebody is trying to keep quiet. He spends his time constantly trying to hide from the station inspector who wants to send him to an orphanage as he keeps all the clocks running inside the train station. Hugo ends up going on an adventure with Isabelle. Asa does a great job in the leading role alongside a much more famous cast. (9/10)hugo

Chloe Grace Moretz: Isabelle is the young girl similar age to Hugo that tries to help him unlock the secrets that have been kept hidden. Chloe continues her career here with a good supporting performance. (7/10)isabelle

Sacha Baron Cohen: Station Inspector is the hapless inspector who is trying to keep the orphans out of the train station, he enjoys catching them, but Hugo always escapes his grasps. Sacha shows that he doesn’t need to do all these horrible comedy films because he is a very good actor. (8/10)inspector

Ben Kingsley: Georges Melies is the Godfather to Isabelle who has taken Hugo’s notebook, but the truth is that he is hiding a secret that he doesn’t want coming back out. Ben brings the heavyweight performance here having to show a true range of emotions through the film. (8/10)georis

Support Cast: Hugo has a mega cast of cameos and small parts that all help the story unfold, including Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer and Ray Winstone.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin uses all his skills from the years and experience and brings us a great film. (9/10)

Action: Hugo doesn’t have the most action with most just being chases around the train station. (6/10)

Family: Hugo is one for the whole family to enjoy because they can have the moments of family, friendship and a final chase to be remembered. (/10)

Mystery: Hugo does create a small mystery but it isn’t the whole factor from the story. (6/10)

Settings: Hugo re-creates the settings perfectly for the time periods being used during the film. (10/10)
Special Effects: Hugo uses the special effects to help create the authentic look of the locations. (9/10)

Suggestion: Hugo is one for the family to sit down and watch together giving you a nice feeling by the end. (Watch)

Best Part: Learning about the early films.

Worst Part: Repeating the same story in the film.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars and nominated for another 6.

Box Office: $74 Million

Budget: $170 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Tagline: Unlock the secret

Trivia: Martin Scorsese and Christopher Lee are very good friends, but up until 2010 had never worked together. Lee’s response when he was asked by Scorsese to appear in Hugo was: “It’s about time!”

Overall: Brilliant Tale an achievement in story telling.

Rating 90