Colossal (2017)

Director: Nacho Vigalondo

Writer: Nacho Vigalondo (Screenplay)

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tom Blake Nelson, Dan Stevens, Hannah Cheeramy


Plot: Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in NY and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Very Hard Work


Story: Colossal starts as New York party girl Gloria (Hathaway) is kicked out by her out of patience boyfriend Tim (Stevens), forcing her to return to her home town. It doesn’t take her long to meet an old friend in Oscar (Sudeikis) and the regulars from the bar Joel (Stowell) and Garth (Nelson).

Finding herself a job at Oscar’s bar the world starts to come under panic when a giant monster appears in Seoul randomly and continues to appear, after a while Gloria notices a movement the monster makes that is like the nerves tick she has.

When Gloria confirms she is the monster she must figure a way to stop things happening using only her new friends knowing the truth but things take a turn for the worse through the days of trying to control this phenomenon.


Thoughts on Colossal


Characters/PerformanceGloria is an out of work alcoholic who enjoys the party life, she is forced home to face old memories but soon finds herself dealing with a bigger problem, she is in fact controlling a giant monster terrorising Seoul. This is a good look for a character that has seen life not go the way she wanted it too. Oscar is the old friend in the old town that finds himself going through the same routine going in the direction he never thought his life could go. The rest of the characters are the trademark bar locals and the boyfriend that gives up help Gloria.

Performance wise, Hathaway and Sudeikis are good without being great, I personally feel we could have got a lot more out of other actor in both roles but that is down to the confusing and poorly decide tone for the film.

StoryI want to start this by saying I liked the idea, I think there was loads of potential in this story, but I feel this feel missed out on most of it, only really uses the concept, not using the personal growth needed in the characters and lacking the idea of what a comedy is meant to be.

Action/Comedy/Sci-Fi The action doesn’t happen often and when it does it is easily forgettable, the comedy happens in the early parts of the film but soon gets forgotten that this is a comedy, with the sci-fi side of the film coming in how monsters arrive.

SettingsThe small town setting should be used for the personal growth to go next to the monster side of the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good when needed and are the best part of the film.

Final ThoughtsFor me this film disappoints on many levels, it should be a full comedy but it does turn dark and serious for the 2nd thirds of the film, I feel we can have better written characters and a better selection of story creation.


Overall: Disappoint comedy that drags once we forget the comedy side of the film.





Bridge of Spies (2015)

bridge of spiesDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell, Billy Magnussen, Michael Gaston


Plot: During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Espionage Thriller


Story: Bridge of Spies starts by giving us the tension between US and Soviet States in 1957 over nuclear weapons and how both side deployed spies to investigate the other. We start by meeting Rudolf Abel (Rylance) living in Brooklyn an artist by nature before being arrested by the US government. James B Donovan (Hanks) is an insurance lawyer who gets requested to defend Abel to show America is willing to give anyone a fair trial.

America is running their own spy mission on the other side of the world with pilot Francis Gary Powers (Stowell) being the main pilot involved after a string of tests. When Donovan loses his case he takes a drastic idea to keep Abel alive in case they ever needed to trade if one of the American spies is captured which becomes the case when Francis Gary Powers ends captured by the Soviets. Donovan has to play the part of negotiator in the acceptance of the spy trade.

Bridge of Spies is a real life true story about one man trying to go against all the odds trying to get the spies back to the home sides. We get to see all the tension between the three side not wanting to work together as they look to find a way to make the trade happen. Yet again I found myself enjoying a film that I knew very little about the history behind it which doesn’t help and I found that this film could find people wondering more about why the tension is truly so high but is a brilliant watch.


Actor Review


Tom Hanks: James B Donovan is the insurance lawyer who ends up having to defend a potential spy against America only to find the nation turning on him as he tries to give this man an honest trial, once he loses the CIA continues to use Donovan on a mission to trade an American spy for Abel. Tom gives a brilliant performance in this role that he gives us his best without even trying.donovan

Mark Rylance: Rudolf Abel is the man living in America who is accused of being a Soviet spy, Donovan defends him against the American states. He remains calm throughout his trial and conviction. Mark gives us a stunning performance that really shows he will be a great star for future performances.

Alan Alda: Thomas Watters Jr is the boss of Donovan who puts him on the case before turning on him once he wants to defend Abel. Alan gives us a small supporting performance without really doing too much.

Austin Stowell: Francis Gary Powers is the American pilot who gets captured by the Soviet states, he is trained to be a spy but fails to destruct his plane, he becomes a pawn in the game between the two countries. Austin is good in the supporting role without getting too much screen time.

Support Cast: Bridge of Spies has a big and good supporting cast that all play their part in the story.

Director Review: Steven SpielbergSteven shows he still has the brilliant ability to show how to make the thriller that keeps you guessing from start to finish.


Biographical: Bridge of Spies gives us a magnificent look at the people involved and how much they had to risk to make a difference.

Thriller: Bridge of Spies keeps us on the edge of the seat from start to finish.

Settings: Bridge of Spies creates the realistic settings for the story to take part in.
Special Effects
: Bridge of Spies has good effects when needed mostly with the plane crash.

Suggestion: Bridge of Spies is one for all the film fans to watch mainly for part history lesson and part thriller. (Watch)


Best Part: Hanks performance.

Worst Part: If you don’t know the history it is just a thriller.


Believability: Based on the real events.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for one Golden Globe

Oscar Chances: Unlikely but outside shot.

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

Tagline:  In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.


Overall: Thriller that has to be watched even if only for the history lesson.


Whiplash (2014)

logoDirector: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton


Plot: A promising young drummer enrols at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Stunning


Story: Whiplash starts by introducing Andrew (Teller) a brilliant drummer caught in the act playing on a drum set by Fletcher (Simmons), only a first year student at Shafer School for Music. Andrew proves to be a very determined young man making sure he gets into extra practise. Andrew’s practise pays off when Fletcher gives him a shot in his class. Fletcher is the strictest teachers in the school and Andrew gets to witness first hand to just cut throat he is when he finds a problem with the players.

After a nightmare experience where Fletcher embarrasses Andrew in-front of the entire class, Andrew decides to put in extra practise to learn the ‘Whiplash’ music. During the first competition Andrew gets his chance to be part of the band after the lead drummer makes a huge mistake in the eyes of Fletcher. This performance leads to Andrew getting the lead seat on the drums in the band. Andrew struggles receive the praise and encouragement from him own family for all the work he has achieved. Andrew ends up sacrificing everything he can to make it in the band even if it means giving up morals. As the story unfolds we learn about the results in Fletcher’s methods and that it is getting investigated with Andrew being the choice the make something change and expose the methods. Ultimately Andrew wants to prove he is as good as his potential has shown even though he clashes with Fletcher on every decision.

Whiplash asks the question how can film about jazz music drumming be interesting to none jazz fans. What Whiplash does is make the music seen intense you literally don’t know what Fletcher will do next. We have seen the idea of going to unbelievable levels to achieve being the best in a range of subjects before but I struggle to find one that has such conflict between student and teacher before. I enjoyed the idea that Andrew’s obsession with his dream takes over his life leaving him pushing any social life out of the window to become the best. The idea of seeing how hard the students would have to work to become the best and showing how willing they are to give up anything for that dream. Even if the subject isn’t for you, you have to see this amazing story. (10/10)


Actor Review



Miles Teller: Andrew young drummer who wants to be the absolutely best drummer, he goes to extra lengths to make sure he is the best. He has to overcome a perfectionist teacher as he looks perfect his art. Miles gives a brilliant performance that could really be his breakout role. (10/10)


J.K. Simmons: Fletcher strict perfectionist teacher who is after the best of the best in his band. He rips his students apart to make them the best and to get rid of the weak. Simmons gives an absolutely stunning performance that is so unpredictable you just won’t know what he will say or do next. (10/10)


Support Cast: Whiplash doesn’t have much a supporting cast, the ones we meet are only there to show how much Andrew will give up or the band members that Fletcher has on edge because of how hard he pushes them.


Director Review: Damien Chazelle – Damien makes one of the most intense films about a subject that could be boring with ease to make it one of the most interesting films of the year. (10/10)


Drama: Whiplash uses the unfolding story to create the drama side of the story, it makes it one of the most interesting films even if it comes off as a rather boring subject. (10/10)

Music: Whiplash enters into the world of music to pull us in and never lets us go, every time we see the drums in action we give our full attention. (10/10)

Settings: Whiplash uses the school and concerts as the main locations used and this helps show the work behind the scenes before seeing the work in practise. (10/10)

Suggestion: Whiplash is a must watch, I don’t really need to say much else than you have to see this. (Must Watch)


Best Part: The final scene.

Worst Part: The non-music scenes though important just are not the same.

Favourite Quote: Fletcher ‘Get the fuck out of my sight before I demolish you’


Believability: To achieve greatness people may go through this much. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Black Swan


Awards: Nominated for a Golden Globe.

Oscar Chances: Could get a lot of nominations.

Box Office: $6.8 Million so far

Budget: $3.3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes


Overall: Unbelievable Brilliant

Rating 96