Natalie Portman Weekend – Jackie (2016)

jackieDirector: Pablo Larrain

Writer: Noah Oppenheim (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard E Grant


Plot: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Look Into Jackie Kennedy’s Life


Story: Jackie starts one week after the assassination of President John F Kennedy and Jackie (Portman) wants her husband remembered the way she wants, calling on journalist (Crudup) to write an article on what she will do next.

Jackie recounts the intimate accounts of the aftermath of the assassination as Jackie herself must come to terms with her husband’s murder while the country comes to terms with the death of their President. Jackie wants to make sure her husband gets a funeral a leader of state should receive.


Thoughts on Jackie


StoryWhen you look at American history there is two shocking assassination we have seen of Presidents and JFK was the first world saw, we have seen how people have speculated, remade the event for years to come but we have never looked at Jackie’s part during the event. This is where the story shines because unlike the nation she is experience the death of her husband who was going to make America a country that was moving onto greatness. Looking at the intimate details of what it was like for Jackie after the event was refreshing and enjoyable to see from start to finish because you fully understand every decision she made.

BiographyLooking into this tragic time for Jackie Kennedy was something we have barely seen before as most of the focus is on JFK’s death. looking at how Jackie has to deal with the tragic events is something this film gets so right we can enjoy she just how powerful she was too.

Characters/PerformanceWe have real people being portrayed once again in this film so it is hard to look past the people’s decision making process through the events. Portman is leaps and bounds above the rest of the cast shining through every single scene she is part of, it is when you look past Portman’s performance you get good performances from the rest of the cast that all do great without being considered to be on Portman’s level.

SettingsEach setting used in the film makes us feel like we are part of the chapter of the life of Jackie Kennedy after her husband assassination. We fully believe this is unfolding on front of us as the story continues.

Final ThoughtsThis is an important look at one of the most shocking moments in American history.


Overall: I think this will be a film many people will miss but they will miss out on something very important.




Divergent: Allegiant (2016)

alligentDirector: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage (Screenplay) Veronica Roth (Novel)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q


Plot: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Just End It Please


Story: Divergent: Allegiant starts with Evelyn (Watts) closing the walls, has something to do with the last one. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are on the outskirts and Four is going to try and change the mind of Evelyn. When Evelyn starts acting the same as the former leader Tris and Four along with the other friends Caleb (Elgort), Christina (Kravitz) and Peter (Teller) plan their escape.

Over the wall they only find destruction before being rescued by David’s (Daniels) people the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who created the world they started in. This time Tris gets the chance to save the world not just a city, but can she trust everyone around her this time?

Divergent: Allegiant is the third instalment of the franchise with at least one more to go, great. This time we meet yet another group of people who want control of the city that Tris ends up having stop. The plan seems very familiar oh yeah it is the basic plot of Batman Begins, wanting to spread gas in a city to kill/infect everyone. I am getting tired of these because what happens is they hire a well-respected actor only to make them the BAD GUY yet again. Simply put this is nothing new.


Actor Review


Shailene Woodley: Tris having opened the box to the outside world last time escapes the city only to learn that the city is part of an experiment to find genetic perfection which is why they search for the Divergent in the first place. Tris is the most powerful Divergent, purest if you like that must represent the success of the experiment.  Shailene is working her way through the contract where we know she can do better.tris

Theo James: Four for is the boyfriend, fellow Divergent and son of the new dictator of Chicago. When he escapes he finds himself being separated from Tris for not being pure finding it hard to adjust to the change. Theo improves from last time out but let’s face it his body got him this role.

Naomi Watts: Evelyn is the new dictator in Chicago that has continued in the ways the ruler before had, she is ready to fight anyone who goes against her. Naomi is wasted in this role where you would expect to see a lot more from her.

Jeff Daniels: David the running the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who have been watching Chicago for years, he sees Tris as the first case of purification to come out of the city proving their experiment has been working at last. Jeff is the star of the show without being too impressive.david

Support Cast: Divergent: Allegiant has a big supporting cast with some returning and a few more added but it is hard to keep up with who is work with who.

Director Review: Robert SchwentkeRobert gives us some very good shots but the story is very bland.


Action: Divergent: Allegiant has very basic action sequence you would expect to see now in the young adult genre.

Adventure: Divergent: Allegiant continues an adventure I guess.

Mystery: Divergent: Allegiant add mystery to where everything is going but really is milking it now.

Sci-Fi: Divergent: Allegiant brings us into a sci-fi of the future but too bright for the bleakness.

Thriller: Divergent: Allegiant doesn’t really keep us on the edge like it should have done.

Settings: Divergent: Allegiant continues to expand the world in this universe without really giving us enough.
Special Effects
: Divergent: Allegiant has some good effects without being anything breath taking.

Suggestion: Divergent: Allegiant does improve on Insurgent but still going the wrong way, skip. (Skip)


Best Part: Peter is so funny.

Worst Part: More of the same.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Hunger Games Mockingjays.


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: Break the boundaries of your world


Overall: Yet another bland sequel to a franchise which has gone on too long.




The Maze Runner (2014)

logoDirector: Wes Ball

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) James Dashner (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Dexter Darden, Kaya Scodelario


Plot: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Beginning of Another Saga


Story: The Maze Runner starts by introducing us Thomas (O’Brien) as he makes his way up through the ground to the outskirts of the maze. The area is run by young adults and teenagers, Alby (Ameen) shows Thomas around including meeting the second in command Newt (Brodie-Sangster) teases the idea of being a runner. The Gladers have three rules to live by, no free loaders, no harming anyone and don’t go into the maze.

We learn that the community has Maze Runners who try to map the maze surrounding the community but the problem is that the maze changes every night, Newt continues the rest of the tour teaching Thomas about all the different groups before Thomas face Gally (Poulter) in a bonding battle. Thomas being curious tries to figure a way out but every idea he has the others have tried be it climbing over or going back down. Things start to get bad for Thomas when out of character runner Ben (Sheffield) attacks him blaming him for something. Ben had become infected by a sting, which cause the changing.

When the runners and the leader get caught up in the maze Thomas runs in to try and save the guys trying to get back. Stuck inside the maze Thomas must work with runner Minho (Hong Lee) to be the first to survive the night. During the night Thomas finds out about the creatures inside the maze Grievers killing one of them. When the box sends up Teresa (Scodelario) the first ever girl with the message this is the last one ever the community has to work out what to do next. Thomas arranges a team to go back into the maze try bring back the body of the griever to hopefully uncover answers about what they are up against. Thomas becomes a runner and along with Minho tries to find the answers the maze is hiding in a way to try and save the rest of the people.maze

The Maze Runner does fall into the category of teens fighting back against adult in a world that is post-apocalyptic (just like Hunger Games, Divergent, Ender’s Game, The Host the list could go on and on) the point is do we need another one? The answer for this is no, but this one does come off very interesting for the most part, we get to see how the struggle to survive is going ok for the group but when things change and positions get challenged we end up facing off against more than we bargained for. The negative side to this story is the ending, because it is a builder for the next film and almost makes this whole film seem almost pointless. We also have to look at the fact that this one bloke came in and changed everything within 3 days, while others had been there happy for 3 years. Overlooking these two flaws I do think this was the best of the starter stories until the end which loses its creditability. (6/10)


Actor Review


Dylan O’Brien: Thomas the latest boy sent to the surface to be part of the community that has to figure out the way out of the maze. He is different to the rest and could be the one to lead them to freedom. Dylan does a solid job in the lead role and it will be interesting to see where they take his character next now. (6/10)


Will Poulter: Gally who is one of the longest serving members of the community who is very determined to stay and survive rather than find a way out, he slowly because the villain of the piece because he won’t let the rest escape. Will does a good job in the role that is meant to be stubborn and against change. (7/10)


Kaya Scodelario: Teresa the first girl to be sent to the maze who also has a past with Thomas that they can’t fully remember to start with. She helps lead the escape once she starts remembering. Kaya struggles to make an impact even as the only real female character. (5/10)


Thomas Brodie-Sangster: Newt second in command who helps Thomas understand the ways of the people as well as being one that stands next to him during the confrontation against Gally. Thomas does a solid job as the information guy telling us all we need to learn about what is going on. (7/10)


Support Cast: The Maze Runner has a support cast that mainly includes the other teenagers in the community, we have the leader who warns gets hurt and dies helping, the token comedy relief character who doesn’t look like they should be there and the heroes who stand up for what is right. They all help the story go to the next level without being too attachable.


Director Review: Wes Ball – Wes does a good job directing this to keep us fully interested in what is unfolding. (7/10)


Action: The Maze Runner has good chases scenes and combat against the Grievers. (7/10)

Mystery: The Maze Runner does put you in a position to ask what is going on creating a good mystery side to the story. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: The Maze Runner we don’t see the full sci-fi of the story until the end which means I can’t give this part of the series a high score. (4/10)

Thriller: The Maze Runner pulls you into to want to see how the teens get on but once you see the end you almost feel let down. (6/10)

Settings: The Maze Runner creates a good isolated setting for the characters to be in as the story unfolds, making them trapped surrounded by a maze waiting to kill them. (/10)
Special Effects
: The Maze Runner uses its special effects well to create the creatures that are after the teens. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Maze Runner is one to try, it will appeal to all the teenage fans out there because it another saga to follow along with. (Try It)


Best Part: Night in the maze.

Worst Part: The end leaves plot holes open.

Action Scene Of The Film: Freedom run.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It will have sequels.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Hunger Games


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $341 Million

Budget: $34 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Trivia: Of the largely British cast, only actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays Newt, got to keep his accent.


Overall: In the world with plenty of these teenage films this could easily have been one of the better ones but sadly it just gets pushed in with all the rest.