Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

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Last Chance Harvey (2008)

logoDirector: Joel Hopkins

Writer: Joel Hopkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Kathy Baker, Liane Balaban, James Brolin, Richard Schiff

 

Plot: In London for his daughter’s wedding, a rumpled man finds his romantic spirits lifted by a new woman in his life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Romantic Drama

 

Story: Last Chance Harvey starts with pianist Harvey (Hoffman) and Kate (Thompson) who are both in their 50s but clearly very lonely. Harvey is going to London for his daughter’s Susan (Balaban) wedding but is being put on a deadline at work with the next job being his last chance to save his job. We also watch Kate getting forced into blind dating with a co-workers partner’s friend.

When Harvey has to give up seeing part of his daughter’s wedding to try and save his job he ends up losing his job and finally getting a chance meeting with Kate after we see certain almost moments between too. As the two become friends from their one afternoon together Kate talks Harvey into returning to the wedding being it is her once in a lifetime moment.

Last Chance Harvey is a story that shows that however long you have to wait you will get your chance as long as you are willing to take it. We do get to see how one man has lost his moment to experience the most important parts of his life and clearly looks unhappy but isn’t willing to let his latest chance go. The story really does focus on what would be the chance we miss not letting them be the chance we don’t take. This story is filled with charm but really is just about the conversation and reaction between the two leads. The time period being used is over two days which makes the idea that the chance is even higher risk with their decision. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dustin Hoffman: Harvey Shine is the jingle writer who has to travel from America to London for his daughter’s wedding. Harvey has to go through the situation of being left alone through the rehearsal dinner while seeing his ex-wife happy with her new husband. His life is turned upside down when he loses the chance to give away his daughter because of his job which he later loses before meeting the equally lonely Kate who starts a potential romance. Dustin shows he always had the charm to be a leading man to sweep a lady of her feet. (7/10)

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Emma Thompson: Kate Walker is the single lady who has to deal with her mother wanting someone to talk to all the time, being set up with the wrong type of guys through work friends before meeting Harvey, Harvey is reluctant to let her go without a conversation which opens up the doors to a potential romance between the two. Emma shows here that she is still filled with her charm for a romantic film. (7/10)

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Support Cast: Last Chance Harvey has a supporting cast that includes most of the wedding party that all work to show how Harvey may have missed out on too much of his life. it also has the members of Kate’s life that make her feel out of place in the group.

 

Director Review: Joel Hopkins – Joel gives us a good romantic film that is focused on the relationship between two people. (7/10)

 

Drama: Last Chance Harvey looks into the ideas of missing moments in life and taking the chances that present themselves to you. (7/10)

Romance: Last Chance Harvey shows that a simple conversation could start a romantic angle. (8/10)

Settings: Last Chance Harvey centres the most part of the story in London but never uses the traditional landmarks to remind us. (8/10)

Suggestion: Last Chance Harvey is one to try, it tells a nice simple story that could easily have just been a chapter in Love Actually. (Romantic Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Hoffman and Thompson are great.

Worst Part: We don’t really meet too much of the supporting cast, but this does work because it shows how distant our two leads are from them.

 

Believability: The idea of that moment coming to change everything in our lives is always good to see. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Chapters of Love Actually.

 

Awards: Both Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman were nominated for Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: When it comes to love, is it ever too late to take a chance?

 

Overall: Last Chance Harvey is a touchingly charming tale of love when you least expect it.

Rating 70

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Domhnall Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall

 

Plot: Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It ends with a bang

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two starts by reminding us of the closing scene in Part One with Voldemort taking Dumbledore’s wand from his grave. Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) continue in the quest to stop Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). The plan to find the final item of the three Deathly Hallows items takes our heroes down to Bellatrix Lestrange vault. After which they must sneak back into Hogwarts to meet up with the former classmates as they have to work together to uncover the next Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort is searching for to make him stronger.

Hogwarts is under a new head master Severus Snape (Rickman) who threatens the whole school both students and staff only to finally get confronted by Harry and taken out of the picture at Hogwarts. Voldemort tries to get the students to turn Harry over but united they stand ready for the final battle against Voldemort and anyone who stands with him.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two complete the saga we have seen for a grand total of ten years. We FINALLY get to see a proper battle instead of a small five minute one which most of the films have had. We do get more causalities and a conclusion that any saga would be happy with, we get some twists we don’t see coming that will bring our opinions on certain characters around. We get rewarded for sitting through the other films that developed the characters so we don’t have to waste time with anymore preparation. In the end all the fans will be rewarded with a conclusion that we deserved. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter going through his final preparation to face Lord Voldemort in a battle that will define him. Daniel gives a great performance in his final outing as the wizard hero. (9/10)

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Emma Watson: Hermione along with Ron work on their own plan to stop Voldemort. Hermione helps in the battle by letting Harry focus on the main one ahead of him.  Emma gives a good performance. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron along with Hermione work on a plan to stop Voldemort and final show each other how they feel about one another. Rupert gives a good performance in the supporting role. (8/10)

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Ralph Fiennes: Lord Voldemort along with his army is out to take down Hogwarts and kill Harry once and for all. Ralph makes for a great villain through the last couple of films and finally gets a chance to be the full force villain we have been waiting to see. (9/10)

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Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has a huge supporting cast for the battle which sees old friends return, enemies exposed and true alliances revealed. They all help in the final battle with each offering something we didn’t expect from them.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. (9/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two remains one for the growing family to enjoy but this one would be too much for the younger audience. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two keeps its fantasy elements going with the magical battles. (8/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two doesn’t have much mystery about it anymore as we solved most of the mystery in the previous film. (5/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two cuts its setting down but that works because we don’t need many as the battle takes place at Hogwarts. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has great special effects throughout that keep everything looking very real. (10/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two should only be watched by the fans who have seen the previous films, if you don’t you won’t get the full reward with this one. (Watch After the Rest)

 

Best Part: Hogwarts battle.

Worst Part: 19 years later doesn’t fit in at all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hogwarts battle

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The end for now

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Box Office: $1.3 Billion

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: It All Ends

Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe reportedly broke 80 wands throughout the series because he used them as drumsticks.

 

Overall: Great Conclusion to the Saga

Rating 90

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Michael Goldenberg (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Harry Melling, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Imelda Staunton

 

Plot: With their warning about Lord Voldemort’s return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Battle Is Coming

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix starts by Harry (Radcliffe) getting bullied by his cousin before getting attack by two getting attacked by two dementors. Fighting them off leads Harry to get expelled from Hogwarts while he is still dealing with the nightmares of what happened with Cedric. Harry does get rescued from his human home by Moody (Gleeson) and taken to meet up with his friends, where he learns of the Order of the Phoenix who come together to protect against Voldemort. Harry has to go to a hearing to decide whether he can return to Hogwarts. Harry does get its expulsion over turned he returns to Hogwarts with a war approaching.

Harry has to deal with the other students who question what really happened with Cedric but his friends Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) stay loyal to him. The teachers who have joined (yes more teacher changes) are selected by the Witches Council who are out to show Harry as a liar and expose Dumbledore (Gambon). The new dark arts professor Dolores Umbridge (Staunton) is out to change the school and stopping the wizards from learning to fight back against any evil that comes their way. Harry ends up trying to teach his classmates to defend themselves much against the new rules put in place at the school. With the school divided Harry learns who he can trust and who he will have to battle against.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, continues on from the last one with the consequences having an effect on the world we have got to know. We show the sides starting to be drawn up in the battle along with the personal battle between good and evil going on inside Harry. This once again returns to the building up to the bigger battle showing each side preparing and even though we have a battle in the end it is just a test to see how each side is doing with the battles. It is a solid builder to the next chapter but it would be nice to see the bad guys get the final word for once much like Star Wars did. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter after surviving his first encounter with Voldemort he has to help the students get ready for a battle against the dark lord but he has to do this in secret while learning about the dangers that may lie ahead. Daniel continues to improve in the role that is showing a higher level of maturity in his performance. (9/10)

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Emma Watson: Hermione while she helps Harry find the motivation to stand up for what he believes in she also learns more about her own powers. Emma gives a good supporting performance that seems to be getting small as each film unfolds. (7/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron as the trusty friend of Harry he helps Harry stand up to the other students who doubt him. Much like Emma, Ron’s performance was good for a supporting role which is getting smaller. (7/10)

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Imelda Staunton: Dolores Umbridge part of the Wizard’s Council who becomes the head teacher at Hogwarts and tries to change everything that the students learn. Imelda gives a good performance as the very unlikable teacher. (9/10)

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Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix introduces yet more character that all end up helping the next chapter of the story unfold, this does have side effects because the regular characters seem to be getting less screen time.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing what is the build-up to what will be a bigger battle in the future. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues the adventure side to the story that we have all got to know. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is starting to sway towards the older family and losing the appeal to the younger children. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix keeps us in the world on fantasy throughout. (9/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix offers up a solid level of mystery as we are not sure who is on what side. (8/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses the best settings it can making everything feel very authentic throughout. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix uses good special effects but sadly you can see how much CGI has gone into them. (7/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix should be watched by the fans of the series but by now it will be too late to pick up in the middle. (Watch After The Rest)

 

Best Part: Magic training.

Worst Part: CGI lets it down again.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 5 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 2 BAFTAs

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $940 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Tagline:  The Rebellion Begins

 

Overall: Battles Lines Drawn

Rating 90

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

logoDirector: Alfonso Cuaron

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Richard Griffiths, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Emma Thompson

 

Plot: It’s Harry’s third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards’ Prison and is coming after Harry.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Getting Darker

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban starts by showing Harry (Radcliffe) back at his neglectful Uncle and Aunt’s house where Harry finally snaps and walks out. Getting on the night bus Harry looks for help from some friends. Along his way he learns about Sirius Black (Oldman) having escaped from Azkaban prison. Before returning to Hogwarts Harry gets warned about the danger looking for Sirius could put him in. Harry, Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) journey get interrupted by a mysterious visitor searching for Sirius. With the third year changing for the student as it does for staffing with the third teacher in the defence of the dark arts. We have the same issues between the students with Draco (Felton) not liking Harry.

While Harry tries to put together the mystery of what happened on the train, he continues to learn more about his parents. Sirius continues to elude his captures and makes his way into Hogwarts leaving everyone on high alert. Harry learns more about Sirius Black and how he was connected with his parent’s murder. As always in the series not everything is as it seems but one thing remains clear that Harry Potter will learn more about the person who killed his parents.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to fill in the blanks about Harry Potter’s parents without completely giving away everything. As a person who has never shown much interest in the Harry Potter films this one was always the one that tempted me in the past. I liked the look of the darker side to the story and I really wasn’t let-down. I feel that by taking the story to a darker level helps show where the story will be going. On the negative side I found this one kind of just ended like a large chunk went missing. This does take the series in a different direction and continues to leave things open for next time. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter our young wizard in his third year at Hogwarts now where he learns more about his parent’s death when Sirius Black breaks out of prison. Daniel gives a good performance as the growing up wizard showing more emotion than previously. (8/10)

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Emma Watson: Hermione our heroine of the three friends who has become much more involved this time around. Emma gives a good performance and with a larger involvement we see more of her in the main story. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron the clumsy friend who keeps finding himself caught out in the wrong place. Rupert gives a good performance but his clumsy antics are starting to get repetitive. (7/10)

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Gary Oldman: Sirius Black the prisoner of Azkaban himself trying to find out who framed him all while hiding from the creatures searching for him. Gary gives the film its first real villain even though he turns out to be good, it is the first time we actually know who is being targeted. (9/10)

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Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has the large supporting cast as we have come to expect but sadly this time we don’t seem to get as much as we did before from many of them.

 

Director Review: Alfonso Cuaron – Alfonso does a good job directing taking the story into a new direction which will be the tone for the rest of the series. (8/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is again one for the family to enjoy even if this is slightly darker than previous outings. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to keep us in the fantasy world showing us more magical creatures. (10/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban offers up more mystery about the Potter family and the battle they had with Voldermort. (9/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to use the brilliant settings that make every scene look real for the audience. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been improving its effects but that is because the Quidditch is cut right down this time. (9/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a much darker film but if you have started watching them you should watch this one as it is the beginning of the change in tone. (Harry Potter Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Overall tone of the film look darker.

Worst Part: It seems to end suddenly.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 3 – 8 of series

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for two Oscars

Box Office: $797 Million

Budget: $130 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Have you seen this wizard? Approach with extreme caution! Do not attempt to use magic against this man!

Trivia: A clause in Alfonso Cuarón’s contract forbade the director from cursing in front of the kids on set.

 

Overall: Change in Direction, But Lower Standard

Rating 80