Cinderella (2015)

cinderellaDirector: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay)

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera

 

Plot: When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming step-sisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Telling of Classic

 

Story: Cinderella starts as we see Ella getting raised by her parents Mother (Atwell) and Father (Chaplin) who teach her to be honest and good before we see the tragic death of her mother. Years pass on and her father decides to real marry to her new Stepmother (Blanchett) but the now grown up Cinderella (James) has to get used to a new step sisters Drisella (McShera)) and Anastasia (Grainger). When Cinderella’s father dies on a trip she ends up getting placed in the role of housekeeper and all around slave for the family.

When Cinderella meets the handsome Prince (Madden) the two find themselves hiding their true identities as sparks fly between the two. The Prince is about the host a ball where he must pick a bride and he opens the doors to every woman in his kingdom.

Cinderella wants to attend the ball to meet the charming man she met in the woods but her dreams are dashed by her evil stepmother but her Fairy Godmother (Carter) is always looking over her to make the dream happen.

Cinderella is one of the most classic tales there is to tell and this outing keeps the fairy tale in the wonderful world we expect to see. We all know where the story is going and this does give us a couple of extra twits to the story with the Stepmother being more involved with where the story goes. If you just want to see a fantasy romance unfold this is all you need to see from the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Cate Blanchett: Stepmother is the lady Ella’s father marries, she has two daughters that are used to the high lifestyle. When her new husband dies she turns Cinderella into the slave of the house while the three continue to try and live their lives of luxury. Cate is good in this role where she looks like she enjoys the role.stepmother

Lily James: Cinderella grew up as Ella with her caring loving parents but when she is left with her new stepmother she ends up becoming the slave of the household. She only ever wants to see good, be good and be treated fairly, she never wants to look down on any a true pure sole. When she gets to go to the ball she could escape her life locked away by her stepmother. Lily is good in this role really looking the part.ella

Richard Madden: Prince is the charming stranger that Ella meets in the woods one day, they have instant attraction but keep their names a secret. When it becomes time for him to select a wife he opens the doors to any woman hoping to find her once more. Richard fits the character very well giving us a good performance.prince

Helena Bonham Carter: Fairy Godmother has been watching over Cinderella all her life but shows herself to make her dream of going to the ball a reality. Helena does well in her main scene and role of narrator.godmothr

Support Cast: Cinderella has great supporting cast that all give good performance throughout.

Director Review: Kenneth BranaghKenneth does a great job telling the story that every girl loves to hear.

 

Family: Cinderella is one for the whole family to enjoy.

Fantasy: Cinderella brings us into a fantasy idea where magic happens.

Romance: Cinderella brings us into a romantic story of true love.

Settings: Cinderella takes us into the fictional kingdom which all look beautifully created.
Special Effects
: Cinderella uses great effects that all look great in a fictional story.

Suggestion: Cinderella is one to watch with the family. (Family Time)

 

Best Part: Preparing for the ball.

Worst Part: Slightly too long with the final act going on too long.

Funniest Scene: Goose driving.

Favourite Quote: ‘I can’t drive, I’m a goose’.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar.

Box Office: $201 Million

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Midnight is just the beginning.

 

Overall: Easy to watch fictional fairy tale that is being retold once more

Ratingcard

 

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Ocean’s Eight (2018)

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch (Screenplay) George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell (Characters)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Richard Armitage, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Dakota Fanning, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson

 

Plot: Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.


Tagline – The plan is priceless.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Heist Movie

 

Story: Ocean’s Eight starts when Debbie Ocean (Bullock) is released from prison, sister of Danny with the same habits, she heads to New York to connect with her oldest friend Lou (Blanchett) to put together a team to pull of a heist in the Met Gala. Debbie’s team includes celebrity Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), fashion designer Rose Weil (Carter), jeweller Amita (Kaling), computer hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina) and retired thief turned tradeswoman Tammy (Paulson).

With the team together we need to learn the plan as Debbie teaches us about the motivation for the heist, can Debbie follow in her brother’s footsteps and prove she can put a team together.

 

Thoughts on Ocean’s Eight

 

Characters – Debbie Ocean is the one that get released from prison, sister of Danny, the heist work runs in her blood too. She puts the team together showing the leadership needed, while also risking the job for her own personal reasons to be involved. There doesn’t seem to be much more about her character though. Lou is the best friend and most reliable person in Debbie’s life, she has been working on her own money making ventures, with this being her chance to make a big payday by bank rolling the plan. She does have the most connection to help the job happen. Daphne Kluger is the famous actress the women use to help transport the necklace, the only way to get it out, she gets to poke fun at the celebrity culture we know, even though she is never in the plan. Rose Weil is the clothing designer in a need of a financial boost, she joins the heist by becoming the designer for Daphne. Amita is the jeweller that gets bought into the team to help make sure the necklace can be replicated, she has good banter with Constance. Constance is the pick pocket that street hustler that can’t sit still and must be on the move. Nine Ball is the tech wizard that likes her code name and helps show the ladies about the new modern way of tracking criminals. Tammy is the retired member of the team, she doesn’t get involved anymore, which gives her a reason to get back out there because family life just isn’t keeping her entertained enough. The problem here is the man the heist is against just doesn’t get anytime on screen to make us hate him.

PerformancesThe performances from the eight ladies are good throughout, each gets there moment in the sun, with Bullock showing good leadership, Hathaway enjoying playing into the celebrity idea, Blanchett doing her best Brad Pitt impression and the rest of the supporting team only increase the eyes on their abilities.

StoryThe story here follows Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie who just like her brother can put a team together for a heist even with her own motivations. Now for an Ocean’s movie, this follows the basic heist idea, with the plan coming together and having to overcome problems. The story does lack a main villain, while we do have one, they are just bad guy, the previous films in the franchise have always made us hate them and they always had a feeling something was going on. It would be fair to say this is one of the more forgettable stories in the franchise with this falling into the third best in the franchise ahead of 12. The brief cameos from former members are fine, though it might have been nice to keep some of the bigger names around the franchise.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe slick action that we are used to in the franchise felt calmer and never gets us believing anything is going to go wrong. The comedy misses for the most part we get to see pokes at the previous films that never works. The crime world helps improve the film as we follow the check list for heist movies.

SettingsThe film is set in and around New York which shows us the big city will always be the big setting for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The full heist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of villain, the Ocean film have always made us hate the mark, this one doesn’t.

Final ThoughtsThis is another attempted cash in on the Ocean’s franchise, it is mostly an average heist movie, the lack of villainous figure just holds everything back.

 

Overall: Just an Average heist movie.

Rating

 

 

Russell Crowe Weekend – Robin Hood (2010)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris (Story)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston

 

Plot: In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: Robin Hood starts with England at war with France, King Richard the Lionheart is leading his men which does include archer Robin Longstride (Crowe), when Richard is killed in battle the kingdom of England falls into Prince John (Isaac) a stricter ruler that wants to tax the country.

Robin returning a sword finds himself needing to pretend to be Marion Loxley’s (Blanchett) husband in Nottingham, while Godfrey (Strong) continues to play both sides as the French look to take advantage of John’s weaknesses. Robin starts to act in the way we know, stealing from what is heading towards the king to return to the poor but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on Robin Hood

 

Characters/PerformanceRobin Longstribe is an archer with loyal friends, he fights next to King Richard but once he is killed he wants to avoid returning to the new king, he soon finds himself needing to become the hero for the people of the land against the new enemy. Marion is the strong lady that wants what is best for her people wanting to lead in a time where women wouldn’t lead. Prince John becomes king but he is stricter than the previous king as he wants money from people who don’t have it. Godfrey is a man that has been playing both sides to raise himself through the ranks in England or France whoever was to win.

Performance wise, Russell Crowe is fine in this role but if you want to see him at his best Gladiator is superior. Cate Blanchett was an interesting choice here but she does well with her screen time. Mark Strong is always a good choice for villain and does what is needed here. The cast in general is all fine without being great in what is a solid but slow burning film.

StoryRobin Hood is easily one of the most iconic stories in British legend, we have seen plenty of versions of his actions of stealing from the reach giving to the poor, but this time we story has sucked all the fun out of the story and turned it into a medieval story that feels just like everything we have seen in the sub-genre before.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action is everything we have come to expect swords, shields and arrows being used throughout. The adventure side of the film is almost non-existent and calling it a romance film well there isn’t any.

SettingsThe settings are the only highlight as each look like the correct time in question.

Special EffectsThe effects all work for the film without becoming too heavily involved.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor re-imaging or the iconic hero that just doesn’t make the subject matter interesting.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Robin Hood Story.

Rating

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Eric Pearson (Screenplay) Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Eric Pearson (Story)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Karl Urban, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Jeff Goldblum, Ray Stevenson

 

Plot: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thunderous Blast

 

Story: Thor Ragnarok starts as Thor (Hemsworth) is on a mission to stop a threat to Asgard but returning him he learns of a new threat in the disguise of his Brother Loki (Hiddleston) pretending to be Odin (Hopkins), but this has bigger problems as the brothers must locate their father to return him to his throne before Hela (Blanchett) Goddess of Death comes to claim Asgard for herself.

The adventure takes the two across the universe meeting Hulk (Ruffalo) fighting as a champion for powerful ruler The Grandmaster (Goldblum) but this only gives Thor the fuel he needs to build his team to head back to Asgard before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Thor Ragnarok

 

Characters – Thor we know now, the God of Thunder but after Hela arrives on the scene he must learn to control his true powers to once again save his people from their impending doom, showing the leader skills, his father was admired for. Loki is back exposed but Thor but joining him to save the people that raised him, he does try to use his tricks to say ahead in this mission but finds he isn’t up to the standard he once thought. Hela is the Goddess of Death, hell bent on destroying Asgard and everyone who will not follow her orders, this is a villain that isn’t afraid to fight as we see her killing anyone that gets in her way including whole armies alone, she is easily one of the better Marvel villains and shows this franchise produces the best villains, but don’t get me wrong this character only works in Thor.

For the secondary characters we have, Hulk who has found himself being a champion fighter after going missing from Earth and as Bruce he gets to explore the galaxy unlike he could imagine. Valkyrie who is a drinker but lethal bounty hunter collecting contenders for the fights but does have a connection to the Asgard history. Heimdall returns as the once all seeing guardian of the Bifrost the teleportation they use to get from different worlds, he is in hiding after what happened in the previous film but he will always fight for his people. We get a string of other character with Grandmaster being the powerful ruler of a planet people are forced to follow his entertainment of death matches from across the galaxy.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth as completely embraced this character as his own now, this is now one of the best performances from any actor in a superhero role. Tom Hiddleston continues to entertain as Loki, he does look like everything is ticking in his mind in every scene too. Cate Blanchett gives a great performance in a role you can see she is having a lot of fun playing. Idris Elba finally gets a kick ass character to play and is great too. Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster is fantastic to watch, part charismatic leader part psychopath. Tessa Thompson gives us a performance that could rival any female supporting character in any Marvel film, plus she is gorgeous in this role. Mark Ruffalo gets great moments, embraces the characters he is playing too. The whole cast is great even the small roles throughout the film.

StoryThe story bottles down to Thor needing to learn his powers to once again save Asgard, this has been the route for all the film in his side of the franchise but you know what, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it baby. This does increase the stakes to the threat but it isn’t only bringing Thor’s character around we also learn more about Loki, Hulk and even Heimdall while introducing us to new potential heroes in Valkyrie and Korg. This shows brilliant world building in preparation for Infinity Wars because you will feel by the end of it Thor will know his place in any battle that could come his way. We do also have a lot of distance between the heroes and villains which helps because we only get the one showdown fight which is kind of all we need too.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is great, we have hard hitting comic violence, hero versus hero and a villain that isn’t going to get beaten easily. The adventure takes Thor across the universe to work with new friends, old friends and family to defeat the enemy. Take Thor’s full story into space helps too, because we have only ever seen the Guardians in space, but this shows we can have a space hero without it being the star side of it all, instead new worlds, with new monsters.

SettingsThe settings all look fantastic, we do have a new world, that could be anywhere but have plenty of new species of aliens on it which Thor must navigate, Asgard of course and a moment or two on Earth but only 5 minutes or so.

Special EffectsAll the effects seem to hit the mark for me, from the opening battle Thor goes through to the final showdown between the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Thor versus Hulk

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Trailers give too much away.

Final ThoughtsI love the Thor movies, I won’t deny this, I find enjoyment in them over most of the other Marvel films because I like the idea of ancient Gods. This does take things into a complete mix of Gods and Sci-Fi which works, the soundtrack beats out Guardians for fitting the scenes, the style is delicious to watch and for me this is the perfect last building block before Infinity War.

 

Overall: Fun, frantic, enjoyable superhero movie that will make you laugh more than you could imagine.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Talent Mr Ripley (1999)

talentedDirector: Anthony Minghella

Writer: Anthony Minghella (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn. Philip Baker Hall

 

Plot: In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: The Talented Mr Ripley starts as we meet Tom Ripley (Damon) living in New York who has been teaching himself music while getting by without people noticing him. When he meets million Herbert Greenleaf (Rebhorn) he sees potential in Tom and sends him to Italy to bring his playboy son Dickie (Law) back home.

Arriving in Italy Tom introduces himself to locals as Dickie before putting himself into Dickie’s and Marge Sherwood’s (Paltrow) life as he befriends him explaining how he got asked to travel to Italy to bring Dickie home.

The three enjoy a holiday through Italy as Tom studies Dickie he strengths, weakness and tendencies. After falling out of favour with Dickie, Tom kills him and decides to cover it up with Marge while becoming Dickie to the rest of the world but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on The Talented Mr Ripley

 

StoryThe con-artist film focuses on how one man who has been using his skills to keep his appearance up. The film is slow moving with a well over 2 hour run time but this just helps with the development of the story. Everything plays out that the rich have too much money for their own good making sure they stay above anybody else while Tom goes out his way to become one of them. The story is told brilliantly as we come to understand Ripley’s decision making process through the film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime going on is always being covered up by Ripley as we are being kept on edge waiting to see what will happen next throughout the film. We get kept on edge as the suspense works almost perfectly through the film.

Characters/PerformanceMatt Damon shines in this leading role as Mr Ripley becomes one of the most fascinating characters from the 90s. Paltrow and Law give brilliant performances in supporting roles while the ever-impressive cast of Blanchett, Hoffman, Rebhorn and Davenport all give excellent performance too.

SettingsItaly makes for a stunning backdrop for the film as we see the lifestyle Tom could only have dreamed of living but soon starts taking part in.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fascinating films of the 90’s which is full of powerhouse performance from one of the most impressive cast in film.

 

Overall: Truly interesting film that grabs your attention from start to finish.

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