The Shape of Water (2017)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay) Guillermo del Toro (Story)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones

 

Plot: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.


Tagline – Based on an idea by Daniel Kraus And Guillermo del Toro

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacularly Beautiful

 

Story: The Shape of Water starts as we follow lonely mute woman Elisa (Hawkins) who works as a janitor in a secret government facility with her trusted friend Zelda Fuller (Spencer), Elisa’s silence helps the government know the secrets won’t get released with only her neighbour Giles (Jenkins) being anyone outside of work for her.

When a new creature Amphibian Man (Jones) is bought in with strict security officer Richard Strickland (Shannon) as the facility looks to experiment on the creature. When Elisa strikes up a friendship with the creature, she will do anything to make sure he stays alive and safe once the facility decides they want to examine his organs.

 

Thoughts on The Shape of Water

 

Characters – Elisa is a mute lonely woman that works as a janitor and only has one friend in her personal life. When a creature gets bought into her facility she sees the loneliness he is feeling and wants to save him, believing it to be her purpose. Amphibian Man is a creature taken from his home to be experimented on by the Americans, he is lonely and finds communication from Elisa comforting in his captivity, even though he is highly dangerous to anyone who gets too close. Richard Strickland is the man in charge of the operation with the creature, he wants to do harm and tries to intimidate the people who don’t want to follow his orders. Giles is the trusted neighbour that Elisa turns to for help, he is similar to him with his loneliness in the world too, while Zelda is the one co-worker that Elisa has to turn to and the one that translates her sign language. Dr Hoffstetler is the man that doesn’t want to see the creature hurt, for science and his true alliance in the world.

PerformancesSally Hawkins is fantastic in this role, her emotions are shown in every movement and expression on her face in a role with no words. Doug Jones has spent his career performing the odd roles being able to transform himself, this is his biggest and easily his best role to date. Michael Shannon in the villainous role shines just like we know he can every time. Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg complete the casting wonderfully playing the supporting roles just how they need to be.

StoryThe story follows unusual attraction, finding someone that accepts you to make you feel safe and how government will do anything to learn from an unknown creature. This is both magical, tragic and special from start to finish. Each side of the story shows how different people didn’t fit in during the early 60s and just how love truly works. This is an original story that plays on as many different emotions as it possible can.

Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThis is an adventure like never before, it shows the risk taken to do the right thing for love, which helps play into this unlikely love story that captures you from the first moment, showing just how love can change you in a second. The fantasy elements are full blown what you would have come to expect from a del Toro movie now, both magical and fantastical.

SettingsThe settings keep everything safe, we have a faceless city with a secret facility which works because we wouldn’t have this facility in a big city.

Special EffectsThe effects used through the film keep everything looking fantastic through the film, nothing seems to look out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Bathroom flood.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I actually think this is flawless.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most perfect movies I have ever seen, if has heart in every scene and just makes you feel on edge to just where it will go.

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning and fantastic.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – C – Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: James Ivory (Screenplay) Andre Aciman (Novel)

Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Ester Garrel

 

Plot: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.


Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Love Story

 

Story: Call Me by Your Name starts as Mr Perlman (Stuhlbarg) and his family in Northern Italy open their doors for one of his assistant American Oliver (Hammer) for the summer, Elio (Chalamet) the eldest son must give up his room for Oliver and notices the behaviour of Oliver being different to what he is used to seeing.

When Elio and Oliver start hanging out more, it starts with a mentoring effect, but soon turns into something else, a sexual relationship which posses its own problems for the two, with Elio’s age being one of them.

 

Thoughts on Call Me by Your Name

 

Characters – Elio is a 17-year-old music and book lover, living in Northern Italy, he is trying to learn how to seduce women and when Oliver arrives on the scene, he starts to learn a few things, but then he starts to question his own sexuality after he becomes attracted to Oliver. Oliver is an American research assistant working with Elio’s father, he is a charismatic man who grabs the attention of the people he is around, he takes a shine to a local woman, but the attention he really wants is Elio’s, he knows this could be bad for his career, leaving us to wonder if it is work the risk. Mr Perlman is the father of the house, he has ben working on a ground-breaking historical discovery and Oliver is part of his research team.

PerformancesArmie Hammer is an actor that has always been braver with his own career decisions, this would be considered his bravest choice and his best performance, he is engaging through each scene as you just want to know where he will take the character next. Timothee Chalamet could easily be the biggest breakout star this year, he is fantastic in this leading role, where he shows the lost innocence while trying to discovery his characters sexuality. The rest of the performance in the film are great but don’t take away from the leading two stars.

StoryThe story examines the idea of needing to understand your sexuality when going into adulthood, the story does a good job of showing both of Elio’s choices, either being with Marzia or with Oliver, because this only continues to show the decision and discovery that he is looking to make about himself. The one weakness I did find in the story, which is part my own confusion I think, is that it never feels like a forbidden love, but it also feels like it was meant to be, forgive me if this doesn’t make sense.

RomanceThe romance side of the film is the whole deal, we get to see the whirlwind summer romance between Oliver and Elio, while also seeing the idea that Elio could have to avoid his homosexual side in the future.

SettingsThe settings are breath-taking landscapes of Northern Italy which could be postcard after postcard of beauty spots.


Scene of the Movie –
Distant bike ride.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not really knowing if it was a forbidden love or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful acted movie, visually pleasant experience with the landscapes, but if we are being honest, this film isn’t going to be for the casual audience, even with the fantastic story of love.

 

Overall: Beautiful love story.

Rating

 

 

Arrival (2016)

arrDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Ted Chiang (Story)

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O‘Brien, Tzi Ma

 

Plot: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This is a Pure Wow

 

Story: Arrival starts meet Louise Banks (Adams) who is a linguistics professor when they arrive. They being 12 mysterious shape spacecrafts that have appeared around the world.

With the world growing with tension about the visitors Colonel Weber (Whitaker) brings in Louise and Ian Donnelly (Renner) to help translate the language the crafts are speaking. The months go past as they search for a way to communicate making baby steps along the way but can they finally get through to each other?

 

Thoughts on Arrival

 

StoryThis is one of the most fascinating stories in sci-fi from out of space in years, it avoids all the mindless destruction to look at a logical answer to what it would be like it we got a visit from space, the solving of the reasoning if you like. The film does also have a twist that just leaves you confused at first but fully understanding everything that happens.

Sci-Fi/Mystery/ThrillerThe sci-fi elements are easy to spot here with the alien introduction with the mystery being all about why they are here with the thrilling side of the story coming from which side of the fence you believe the humans will act, in peace or in violence.

Characters/PerformanceLouise is a very interesting, down to Earth character that can tackle the problem at hand with minimal fuss to make sure that the right thing is done. While Ian does makes for a good supporting character he is happy to take a step back for Louise to take the lead on the case.

SettingsThe settings give us a full look at what it will be like within these spacecrafts as well having the full military presence throughout the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects being used are all fantastic as we get to see a constant use of unease within the spacecraft with the mist while we see the spacecraft look completely as one with the locations we find them in.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far one of the greatest alien incoming movies you will ever see that makes you think about what might happen if we did get visited.

 

Overall: Brilliant story telling, brilliant performances and unbelievable out to this sci-fi thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

Doctor Strange (2016)

drDirector: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Stand Lee, Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C, Robert Cargill (Screenplay) Stand Lee, Steve Ditko (Comics)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg

 

Plot: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning Origin Story

 

Story: Doctor Strange starts as we see Kaecilius (Mikkelsen) stealing artefacts to help him with his next plan only with The Ancient One (Swinton) tries to stop him in what is an early sign of the reality these characters will be fighting within. We move on to meet the brilliant Doctor Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) who has his own style of performing surgery which always saves the lives of the people he is saving.

When Stephen is recklessly driving his fancy car, he is involved in a horrific car accident losing all the skills he has learned in his hands forcing him into drastic measure to regain his surgical skills. Stephen’s journey takes him in search of an impossible natural cure as he finds Mordo (Ejiofor) who guides him to what he searches for the Ancient One.

This is where his training begins as Dr Strange learns about the different realities we live in and how to make them work to his advantage as he learns nothing he once knew was what he thought it was. We the training continues Dr Strange has to join in the battle against former student Kaecilius who has turned to the dark side to prove his worth to the cause.

Doctor Strange gives us a visually stunning superhero origin story because we haven’t had one of these in about two weeks. The story plays into the bigger reality battle which is a big plus to make this slightly more unique only we have this already with the inclusion of the Thor and Guardians universe. I can see why people enjoyed this but in the end this is just going to have to be another addition to a universe which is already over saturated with characters.

Cumberbatch doesn’t seem to have charisma to play what I feel is meant to be sarcastic character, Mikkelsen is just another villain that we have seen before that never makes the impact on the story but is never meant to be that much for an origin film. Swinton does a good job in her role and Ejiofor is solid as the trainer figure.

 

Overall: Visually amazing but as for origin story we have seen this all before.

Ratingcard

 

 

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

sevenDirector: Martin McDonagh

Writer: Martin McDonagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, Christopher Walken, Michael Pitt, Harry Dean Stanton, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Stuhlbarg, Olga Kurylenko

 

Plot: A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Crime Comedy

 

Story: Seven Psychopaths starts as we follow a screenwriter Marty (Farrell) who is working on his latest script Seven Psychopaths, his friends Billy (Rockwell) and Hans (Walken) are con-artists that kidnap dogs for rewards from the owners. When gangster Charlie (Harrelson) has his beloved dog disappear he becomes Psychopath No.3 of the script who is searching for his dog killing anyone involved.

When Charlie and his men discover Billy and Hans schemes they targeting them with Marty getting caught in the middle. Marty uses this experience to help write his script while we witness just how far one man will go to get his Shih Tzu back.

Seven Psychopaths has plenty of anti-Hollywood stereotypes being used through the film are we see how the characters understand they are involved in a world where movies happen. We get lines that explain how Hollywood does certain things wrong in movies with the discussion on woman not being strong enough with the film only including small scenes with woman characters. The film also tries to spell out the ending much like Shaun of the Dead did. This tries to do something different which should be praised but does leave us with certain parts being part of the story while others are fictional part to make the screenplay.

 

Actor Review

 

Sam Rockwell: Billy is one half of a dognapping partnership that takes gangster beloved dog. He lives a very plain life supporting his best friend Marty with his screenplay. He has a secret and is just as dangerous as Charlie really is. Sam gives us the performance you always expect to see from him.ily

Woody Harrelson: Charlie is local gangster who loves his Shih Tzu but when Billy & Hans take his dog he ends up going on a revenge path to get his dog back killing anyone who gets in his way. Woody much like Sam is one of the most reliable actors in the business today and shows why.charlie

Colin Farrell: Marty is a screenwriter that has been struggling on his latest script for a movie called Seven Psychopaths. His best friend is Billy and being friends with Billy has led him into the situation there Charlie is after him too. Colin shows he has all the skills to be a top actor in this role.

Christopher Walken: Hans is the partner of Billy in dognapping, his wife has been fighting cancer, but when Billy takes Charlie’s dog we get to see just the type of character Hans is. Christopher is always a brilliant supporting actor.hans

Support Cast: Seven Psychopaths has a strong supporting cast that all help make this a great film.

Director Review: Martin McDonaghMartin gives us one of the best crime comedy side of the story with his inclusion of some of the most talented actors in Hollywood.

 

Comedy: Seven Psychopaths has good laughs with a lot poking fun at Hollywood stereotypes.

Crime: Seven Psychopaths puts us into a world of dognapping, gangsters and psychopaths.

Settings: Seven Psychopaths uses the settings well without being overly important to the final outcome of the story.
Special Effects
: Seven Psychopaths has good effect when need without being too important to the story.

Suggestion: Seven Psychopaths is one to try just because it does against certain moments against Hollywood. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Rockwell steals the show.

Worst Part: Slightly slow in the middle.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Early credits scene.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: No te metas con el perro (Don’t mess with the dog)

 

Overall: Very enjoyable crime comedy that works on so many levels.

Ratingcard