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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Fruitvale Station (2013)

fruitDirector: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael B Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray, Ahna O’Reilly

 

Plot: The story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Drama

 

Story: Fruitvale Station starts with the start of Oscar Grant’s (Jordan) day disagreements with his girlfriend Sophina (Diaz) but covering it up for their daughter Tatiana (Neal) who he does everything he can to be a wonderful father to. The day is New Year’s Eve and Oscar’s mother’s Wanda (Spencer) birthday that he goes out of his way to make today special for her.

As the day continues we get to see the sort of life Oscar has been living, fresh out of jail but recently losing his job trying to escape a criminal lifestyle which could pay for everything his family needs.

Finishing the parties and everything Oscar joins his friend’s on celebrating the new year stuck on a train but making the most of everything but this is only the beginning of this night for Oscar.

 

Thoughts on Fruitvale Station

 

StoryWhen you look at this true story you will know the outcome of what will hit hard, the story of the day in the life of Oscar a young man whose life has been tough with not everything going smoothly but this day shows how he could be turning the corner and cleaning up his act becoming fully responsible. Now to get into the overall problem with the big incident in the film, which only happens because chaotic scenes after a small scuffle which caused all the protests in the aftermath, if these guys where innocent they should have co-operated and not being all riled up causing the chaotic scenes which followed and then this tragic story would never have happened.

Biography/RomanceShowing the events of this day of Oscar shows how he wasn’t the squeaky-clean character which is important but one whose life decisions has put him on the wrong side of the laws eyes. This is important because we sympathise with the character but also know he hasn’t always walked the straight line.

PerformancesMichael B Jordan gives a truly wow performance here showing he is the star we know he is now, while he is the true star of the film the supporting performance are all brilliant too throughout.

SettingsEach setting shows us just where Oscar was in his life how he didn’t have everything just wanting to make sure his family had a roof over their heads and food on their table which comes through in every single scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard-hitting drama that shows just how difficult the divide between citizens and police is in certain parts of the world.

 

Overall: This is important to see just to see how tragic the story is

Ratingcard

 

 

Gifted (2017)

Director: Marc Webb

Writer: Tom Flynn (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Michael Kendall Kaplan, John M Jackson

 

Plot: Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Charming Engaging Drama

 

Story: Gifted starts as we meet single boat repair man Frank Adler (Evans) who has been home teaching his child prodigy niece Mary (Grace), he wants her to experience more of the world trying to push her into attending school against their supportive neighbour Roberta’s (Spencer) ideas.

When Mary finds herself stuck in a class she is clearly too smart to be a part of, it is up to her teacher Bonnie (Slate) to challenge her in class as Mary must learn social skills with other students. When Frank’s mother Evelyn (Duncan) returns to the scene, she wants the custody of Mary and get her into all of the gifted schools forcing her to follow in her mother’s footsteps, the very thing Frank wants to stop happening. We are left to follow the court case unfold leaving us with the questions on what we think would be best for a child with Mary’s gifts.

 

Thoughts on Gifted

 

Characters/PerformanceFrank is the single uncle of Mary, he has given up his life to raise his niece to make sure she doesn’t get forced into the same routines her mother had to go through and be a normal kid. He always wants to do the right thing for Mary. Mary is the niece that has an exceptional gift when it comes to numbers, raised by her Uncle who has kept her grounded she finds herself in the middle of the court case. Evelyn is the Frank’s mother and Mary’s Grandmother who wants to take Mary into her own custody to make sure she gets the best education to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Bonnie is the teacher that challenges Mary but ends up being a love interest for Frank, with Roberta being the good neighbour that is the only other adult Mary has befriended.

Performance wise, Chris Evans is fantastic in the leading role playing each scene perfectly, Lindsay Duncan is also great throughout the film as is Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer is the always reliable supporting actress. Mckenna Grace bursts onto the scene in the film where she is brilliant throughout the film.

StoryWhen you look into the story you must understand this is all about what would be right for Mary. We see both lives she could end up living, one with her Uncle and one with her grandmother. Watching how the court case unfolds shows us just how difficult the discussion could be as both have the positives. I think the story is paced perfectly to tell the story without creating a true villain and is just about two people who want the best for Mary.

SettingsThe settings show the different worlds Mary could live in, the regular person or the higher class, I do think this is important to everything that goes on.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best feel good movies of the year, it shows human issues without making anything aggressive towards each other just people wanting the best for a gifted little girl.

 

Overall: In a summer filled with mega budget films, this film shines brighter than any so far.

Rating

 

 

Hidden Figures (2016)

hiddneDirector: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Allison Schroeder, Theofore Melfi (Screenplay) Margot Lee Shetterly (Book)

Starring: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali

 

Plot: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important and Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Hidden Figures starts as we meet our three African-American women working for Nasa Katherine G Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), the three still must deal with racial hate but have learnt to overcome the hate. With Al Harrison (Costner) having to lead the team with engineer Paul Strafford (Parsons) to get the first American into space.

Katherine being a mathematical genius gets the chance to work under Al Harrison in a room full of higher class white people who all look down on her except Al, while Mary is being pushed by a Jewish Polish immigrant Karl Zielinski (Krupa) to try out for the engineering opportunity who knows how to overcome what can look impossible. Dorothy is just trying to help motivate and get the supervisor role looking after the rest of the African American women working in Nasa known as ‘computers’. We get to see how these three women overcome the discrimination going through America to play key parts in America’s finest achievements.

 

Thoughts on Hidden Figures

 

StoryWe all know the space race story but not many of us know the story behind the incredible achievement. This story shows the hard work and the discrimination these three women had to overcome to make one of America’s great achievements happen. This type of story annoys me because I can’t believe how naïve people were when it came to treating people differently because of their race or religion has held back humans from so many crowning achievements it could have accomplished. Seeing how everything unfold is charming as it is serious subject matter because you want to support these ladies on their own ability to overcome the racial divides that were still going through America.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are mostly based on real people with Katherine, Mary and Dorothy all show how ground breaking these women were for both race and women everywhere. Al Harrison shows us a man who knew of the racial divide but chose to ignore it while we have Paul Stafford being the stumbling block between the two as he doesn’t accept the inclusion of an African American woman in his field. When you look at the performances Henson, Spencer and Monae are all brilliant all giving performances that show all the skills these actresses have. Costner and Parsons are also great in the supporting roles with everyone else making this feel like the true story with none of the overacting.

SettingsThe settings are all perfectly recreated for the time 1961 America including the old-fashioned computer usage, cars and use of the segregation between the races. We feel like we are fully in the time of the events in this story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch for all as we learn about the ground-breaking people in history that are often over looked.

 

Overall: Watch and learn just how important these women were to history.

Ratingcard

 

 

Zootropolis (2016)

casting card

 

Plot: In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Safe Enjoyable Film

 

Story: Zootropolis starts as we meet a young Judy Hopps who cleverly tells the story of how all the animals live in peace before show how she wants to be the first bunny cop. Having achieved this Judy Hopps moves to Zootopia to start her career only to be left on parking duty by Chief Bogo even with 14 missing mammals cases open.

On her first day Judy learns the hard way not to trust anyone after running into Nick Wilde a hustler in the big city. Upsetting the Chief Judy finds herself searching for one of the missing mammals or losing her job and who she turns to is Nick. The further Judy gets into the case the deeper she gets into a bigger case going on in the city.

Zootropolis brings us what we expect to see from an animated film where we have a film that encourages you to follow your dreams, yes we have seen this plenty of time. The story following the odd couple trying to solve the case comes of very repetitive through the film with it just being here’s a clue here is another clue etc etc. As for this being a film just to enjoy it is fine because the jokes do come off working with the family getting plenty of jokes through the film.

 

Character Review

 

Judy Hopps: Judy is the first bunny cop in the city of Zootopia, she has always overcome the odds and her first day it is nothing different. Standing up for herself she takes a case against the Chief’s wishes only to be given an ultimatum but uncovering something bigger than any other case. Judy is a good strong Disney character but not the most original at that.judy

Nick Wilde: Nick is a hustler fox that clashes with Judy early on as he tries to teach her the harsh lessons in the city but ends up getting tricked back into helping Judy uncover where the missing mammals are going. Nick is a good character but I do feel it steals a lot from Fantastic Mr Fox.

Chief Bogo: Chief doesn’t like the idea that he has to have a bunny working in his police force, he keeps her on parking duty and forces her to quit if she doesn’t find a missing mammal in 48 hours. Chief Bogo is very typical authority character not bringing anything fresh to the genre.

Bellwether: Bellwether is the assistant mayor who is happy to help Judy as she is looking to help any of the fellow small mammals in the big city. Bellwether is good but yet again very generic.

Support Characters: Zootropolis has so very funny supporting characters that all poke fun at how we think the animals would act if they were in peace.

Director Review: Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Rich MooreThe trio do make a safe and enjoyable film that doesn’t challenge.

 

Action: Zootropolis has good animated action being used throughout the film.

Adventure: Zootropolis puts our two odd couple work really well in this animation.

Animation: Zootropolis is always going to get top marks on the animated side of the film because of who made it.

Comedy: Zootropolis has good laughs throughout and jokes the whole family will understand.

Family: Zootropolis is one the whole family can enjoy together.

Settings: Zootropolis has a clever spin on settings by having animals all living like humans in peace.

Suggestion: Zootropolis is one for the whole family to watch together. (Watch With The Family)

 

Best Part: Sloths.

Worst Part: Repetitive.

Favourite Quote: Chief Bogo ‘Life isn’t some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and all your insipid dreams magically come true. So let it go.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Maybe.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Will most likely get nominated for Best Animated.

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Welcome to the urban jungle.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animated film that has clever twist being used.

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