Tom Hiddleston Weekend – War Horse (2011)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Lee Hall, Richard Curtis (Screenplay) Michael Morpurgo (Novel)

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Plot: Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on.


Tagline – Separated by war. Tested by battle. Bound by friendship.

Runtime: 2 Hours 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible Story

 

Story: War Horse starts as the poor farming family Narracotts, former war veteran Ted (Mullan), wife Rose (Watson) and son Albert (Irvine) end up with a horse that shouldn’t be able to work on a farm that Albert manages to teach how to plough, being the only one Joey will listen to.

When the latest crop fails, Ted is forced to sale Joey to the military once the first World War breaks outs, Captain Nicholls (Hiddleston) takes him promising to bring him back safely, however much it breaks Albert’s heart. When Captain Nicholls is killed in action, we see Joey’s next chapter in the war, as Albert enlists in an attempt to become reunited with Joey on the front lines.

 

Thoughts on War Horse

 

Characters – Albert is the farmers boy that proves he will never give up and shows us when it comes to training the horse, which will achieving things it should never get through, he has bonded with Joey who is taken away from him, determined to be reunited with Joey, he enlists in the British army heading off to World War I to fight and find his horse. Ted is the war veteran father, who drinks to get over his problems with what happened in his own battle, reckless in his behaviour, he must make the difficult decision to sell the horse. Rose is the ever-supporting wife and mother that sees the good in both her husband and son, knowing while they might clash they will forever be doing the right thing. Lyons is the landlord that is making the life of the Narracotts difficult forcing him into the decisions that could take the family out of their home. Captain Nicholls is the man that buys Joey, taking him to the war promising to keep him safe and return him after the war with Major Jamie Stewart being the one that naively going into battle underprepared.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are impacted by the number of characters involved in the film, with the likes of Hiddleston and Cumberbatch left with only supporting roles where they make an impact with their limited time. The two main stars of the film would be Jeremy Irvine and the horses themselves that go through the biggest struggles through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the incredible journey through the first World War that a horse endured being forced to work for both the British and the Germans, somehow surviving through the difficulties both sides were facing. We see how one young farmer’s boy risks his life to head to war in hopes o finding his horse in a battle which would take millions of lives. The story itself is incredible, the pacing of the story however does feel inconsistent because we spend ten to fifteen minutes with each chapter, which never gives us enough time for the impact of those scenes.

History/WarThe history involved in the First World War is a moment that changed everyone involved, this is clear from the characters we see, each war scene does feel realistic even if it is more focused on the less graphic moments involved.

SettingsThe film uses the settings wonderfully to make us feel like we are involved in the scenes with the war scenes showing us how difficult the moments were for the men and horses.


Scene of the Movie –
Running free in no man’s land.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not getting enough time with each of the characters we meet.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story showing the journey of one horse through the first World War, this creates the shocking truth of war, while it does lack the time spent on each character.

 

Overall: Incredible story of one horses journey through war.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – A – A Prophet (2009)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard (Screenplay) Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufailit (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichm Yacoubi

 

Plot: A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.


Tagline – Escaping the prison of life.

Runtime: 2 Hours 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Filled Thriller

 

Story: A Prophet starts as Malik (Rahim) enters prison, he wants to keep to himself and get out quickly, but this doesn’t happen because crime boss Cesar (Arestrup) sees him as a potential new employee in need of protection on the inside, but in exchange Malik must do some of the dirty work for Cesar.

As time goes by Malik starts getting granted day release from prison where he must run jobs for Cesar, instead of getting back into normal life again. When things start getting out of control Malik must find a way out of this life before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on A Prophet

 

Characters – Malik is a young criminal, sent to prison where he wants to do his time and walk away from his mistakes, he isn’t going to get this chance as he gets recruited with the promise of protection on the inside. He finds himself doing whatever it takes to survive this, but can he find a way out. Cesar is the crime lord in prison, he offers protection in exchange for jobs to be done for him, he will kill anyone that crosses him though.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are fantastic, you believe each reaction and motive the characters must go through as things are happening in the film.

StoryThe story follows one young man’s fall into the crime world from inside a prison, to where he must find a way out before it finds himself too deep. There is a religious element to the story which shows the tension between Arabic and Muslims as Malik is stuck between the twos battle. This is a by the book gangster style movie where the new person enters and rises up the gang only to want to find a way out too.

CrimeThe crime world we enter starts in prison and shows how things can still be operated from within the prison walls if the ranks are high enough.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the prison, so you can see the world that can operate inside there, outside each process is where Malik is either sent or finding himself while going through the release procedure.


Scene of the Movie –
The first kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long for my liking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a tense crime thriller showing us just where a young man can fall into while trying to just get out of his own problems with a large amount of religious undertone.

 

Overall: One for the gangster fans.

Rating

 

 

By the Sea (2015)

by-he-seaDirector: Angelina Jolie

Writer: Angelina Jolie (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Melanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup

 

Plot: A couple tries to repair their marriage while staying at a hotel in France.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Painful

 

Story: By the Sea starts as Roland (Pitt) and Vanessa (Jolie) arrive at a small French hotel on the coast, to help Roland find inspiration for his latest novel but mainly to repair their marriage which with Roland’s alcohol problem and Vanessa’s depression.

The two find unity once more when they find a way to spy on the young couple in the room next door Lea (Laurent) and Francois (Poupaud), this brings the two closer as they watch the sexual activities of the pair for a peep hole.

 

Thoughts on By the Sea

 

Characters/PerformanceRoland and Vanessa are literally ripped out of the generic textbook for a struggling married couple looking to rekindle their love, we have the struggle writer and the bored housewife, yawn. The young couple also comes from a textbook of the being similar to our main couple in their younger days.

Performance wise this is all well below average for the big names involved, it is almost like Jolie and Pitt just filmed their own holiday and decided to make their own feature film with it all.stars

StoryThis is a play by play ABC struggling couple using a holiday away to try and save their relationship, there isn’t too much of a draw in this story because it is turns into a middle aged couple just spying on their neighbours for love they can no longer feel for each other.

RomanceJust trying to give us a real-life romance between the two middle-aged people who have started to go their own ways isn’t the most interesting love story by any means.

SettingsThe setting is beautiful with the whole film being set in and around a stunning coastal hotel, which is beautiful to see the scenery.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is incredibly slow from start to finish and you will find yourself struggle to get drawn into this story at any point in the film.

 

Overall: Way to slow for the casual audience out there and dare I say, failed Oscar bait.

Ratingrating