Hugh Jackman Weekend – Pan (2015)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Jason Fuchs (Screenplay) J.M. Barrie (Characters)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried

 

Plot: Twelve-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be for ever known as Peter Pan.


Tagline – Every legend has a beginning.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks That True Spark

 

Story: Pan starts when young Peter (Miller) is in an orphanage in London during World War II, he notices that the other orphans have been disappearing, when he final abduction occurs Peter is taken by Blackbeard’s (Jackman) men and taken to Neverland. Blackbeard is mining for fairy dust and using the orphans to make this happen.

When Peter breaks the rules he is sentenced to death which only unlocks his own powers to fly, where a fellow prisoner James Hook (Hedlund) helps him escape and search the land for answers about his mother with the help of the tribal people led by Tiger Lily (Mara) who have been at war with the pirates, Peter must unlock his own destiny to save the land.

 

Thoughts on Pan

 

Characters – Peter is an orphan during World War II, stuck in a boys home, he believes something is happening and wants to be reunited with his mother, taken to Neverland, he learns that he has an ability unlike anyone else, he just needs to learn to believe in himself. Blackbeard has been taking orphans to help him mine for fairy dust in Neverland, he runs a strict ship which Peter upsets, however this will put Blackbeard closer than ever to getting what he wants. Hook is one of the miners that helps Peter escape, he wants to be free with his own tragic backstory. Tiger Lily has been leading the war against Blackbeard for years now, she knows the secrets to the fairies and now must protect them at all costs.

PerformancesLevi Miller as the young Peter is good because he shows us the innocence needed for this film while dealing with the emotional impact his life is having. Hugh Jackman does seem to be having a lot of fun in this role even if he is overacting at times. Garrett Hedlund just can’t catch a break, his performance is solid enough, though it does feel like he just wanted to be the next Han Solo. Rooney Mara again is solid, it looks like a role which meant something to her and will help her take on the bigger roles.

StoryThe story is an origin story for Peter Pan and Hook, well it seems to be, Peter is in the human world where he is an orphan taken to Neverland to help fight in a war between the two sides who want control of the fairy dust, he works with Hook which is strange because he is a good guy. The film shows us why Peter never wanted to leave Neverland and just what is meant to him once he learns about his parent’s identity. When we look deeper at the story it does feel like a pretty safe story and by having Peter needing to learn his own identity before going on to be the character we know now. The problem comes from any moment of peril he is in or Hook we know they will make it out of there because we know their story is only just beginning. The additional problem comes from just how Hook is a good guy and doesn’t get given any moments to tease his villainous ways.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film is good because it shows a new life Peter could have away from the war his own reality is involved in, this does take us to the fantasy world of Neverland which only seems to have one unique animal in, but it has magic.

SettingsThe film uses the colour tones well, we see the darkness which shows us how bleak Peter’s real-life is, while giving us the bright open world of Neverland to show the hope of a future.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are solid enough without looking as flawless as they should, though the overly ambitious nature to it all doesn’t help.


Scene of the Movie –
Hook’s escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not filling enough of the blanks between the time period.

Final ThoughtsThis is another cash-in on a franchise which feels overly done, it doesn’t capture the rue magic and only ends up confusing the time between the movies.

 

Overall: Magicless fantasy film.

Rating

 

 

Jude Law Weekend – Side Effects (2013)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta Jones, Channing Tatum

 

Plot: A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Clever Crime Thriller

 

Story: Side Effects starts with a bloody apartment before we flash back to 3 months earlier, we meet Emily Taylor (Mara) whose husband Martin (Tatum) is about to be released from a 4-year stint in prison for insider trading. Once released Emily’s depression comes back hard and she even tries to kill herself.

Dr Jonathan Banks (Law) takes Emily on as a patient looking to help cure these thoughts and after consulting with a former doctor, Victoria Siebert (Zeta-Jones), Banks agrees to try Emily on a new drug which does give her unusual side effects, one of which was murder, now Banks must prove whether this was just a side effect or his own mistake.

 

Thoughts on Side Effects

 

Characters/PerformanceEmily Taylor is a troubled young lady dealing with to depression, she gets treatment and things start to getting better only for the side effects of the new drug taking over, one leading to murder. Dr Banks is the man treating Emily and willing to try a new drug for her treatment but after she murders her husband, his life starts to come crumbling down around him, his practise dries up, his personal life becomes difficult and now he must rebuild it all. Martin is the husband who has been released from prison trying to get his life back on track with his wife. Dr Victoria Siebert is the former doctor of Emily that suggest the drug.

Performance wise, Jude Law is good through this film and is convincing as a man whose life is falling apart. Rooney Mara is also good as the unstable woman. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum both give good supporting performances too.

StoryThe story does start off being about a young woman that needs treatment for her depression but soon turns into a mystery that is filled with twist and turns that will only keep you guessing. I wasn’t sure going into this movie because dealing with the depression can be difficult subject matter but the twist makes things reach a new level of interest that only keeps us guessing which is always good.

Crime/MysteryThe crime and mystery side of the film only come out in the second half because the twist brings this drama to life.

SettingsEach setting shows us where the characters come from to show us just how desperate the characters are during twists in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis film does start slow but the twist in the half way mark is one of the most interesting twists to a film which does keep us guessing.

 

Overall: Interesting thriller that saves the slow start.

Rating

 

 

The Social Network (2010)

socialDirector: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Ben Mezrich (Book)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara

 

Plot: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated and Hard Work

 

Story: The Social Network starts as we meet Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) on a date with Erica Albright (Mara) showing how socially awkward he can be during his time Harvard. Upset about the break up Mark with his friend Eduardo Saverin (Garfield) Dustin Moskovitz (Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Mapel) create a comparing girls photos on a website that spread through Harvard instantly bringing down the servers.

This night’s events cause Zuckerberg on front of a disciplinary panel as well as showing us the ongoing court case going on against Zuckerberg. His stunt has grab the attention of the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler (Hammer playing both) who want Zuckerberg to help them with their big idea.

The story continues to show Mark works with Winklevoss twins only to use their idea to build his own site The Facebook. When the site takes off it grabs the attention of founder of Napster Sean Parker (Timberlake) who wants to take the site from Millions to Trillions. This is the story of how Facebook ends up becoming one of the biggest things the world has ever seen.

 

Thoughts on The Social Network

 

StoryThe story shows us how Facebook was built by making enemies with the people who helped start it going by borrowing ideas to make it the biggest sites in the world. We get plenty of business talk, tech talk and lawyer scenes which mix up the story for us making it difficult to understand everything that goes on because most of the story is very American, so if you don’t understand the terms you will find yourself lost in the mix. I feel this will always be a complex story that will be remember but is told very slow and confusingly.

Biography/DramaShowing the actions of the real-life people involved Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins and Sean Porter show how they were all effected by what happened with the creation of Facebook which is all good as we see how these people were meant to be acting towards making this happen. There is nothing bad to say about this side of the story watching the genre.

Characters/PerformanceThe performances are nearly all flawless as we see just how these people are portrayed, we see how Zuckerberg comes off very brash arrogant and rude towards the people who help him. When you see the cast being involved you can see how the stars have started and come onto the next big things.

SettingsEach setting makes us see just how much a party incident this started as which would be where the idea started but the most important side of this is showing how it started with dorm room before turning into the business venture in a tower.

Final Thoughts Overall this is a very interesting look at how Facebook started even if the story can be hard to follow. We get heavyweight performances from all but the early stages of the film come off slow but the final acts of the film are the real highlights of the film.

 

Overall: Great performance, important story but at times tells a story we don’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

A Ghost Story (2017)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr, Kenneista Thompson, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke

 

Plot: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.


Tagline – It’s all about time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Film

 

Story: A Ghost Story starts as we follow couple C (Affleck) and M (Mara), they live a happy life in their home even though they are planning to move, but when C dies the perfect world becomes shattered. M dealing with the loss of her husband but C not going into the light and returning home to watch over his wife with a bed sheet covering him.

When M leaves the home, C is seemingly stuck bound to the house for all time as he goes through different households and his only communication comes from a fellow ghost trapped in the neighbouring house, but C is determined to stay for the one he loves even through all the changes the environment around him goes through.

 

Thoughts on A Ghost Story

 

Characters – C is the husband of M that dies, he finds himself coming back as a ghost to watch over his wife but soon finds himself alone once she leaves their home, he sees different lives enter his as he waits for her to return. M is the wife that can’t cope with her husband’s death, she tries to move on but without any hope, so to get away completely she leaves the home. The two do make for a good screen couple.

PerformancesRooney Mara is good in her role even if she is only in part of the film, it is Casey Affleck who must wear a sheet for the most part of this movie that doesn’t say anything but lives a lonely life watching other lives.

StoryThe story here is difficult to describe as for the most part we just follow C the ghost with the bed sheet over his head watching every moment of this one location, wait for a chance to be with his love again. This isn’t a horror though it plays into deeper meanings that when you watch the full film you will get rewarded by, but it can be slow getting there. This is a story that will make you think about life and death which is one you need to watch to enjoy.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy elements of this film come on strong for the second half as we see the journey the sheeted C goes on, the romance side of the film looks at the idea of eternal love that people could have.

SettingsThe whole film is set in once location, the background may well change but our character can’t leave the area he finds himself bound too.

Special EffectsNot many effects are used but the ones that are do help the films journey.


Scene of the Movie –
The Beginning?

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a really long scene of Rooney Mara eating, I think it could have been near 10 minutes long.

Budget: $100,000

Final ThoughtsThis is a very different movie, it shows the idea of eternal love from the side of a deceased character. It will make you think and by the end you will feel like you experienced something different.

 

Overall: Interesting movie that makes you think.

Rating

 

 

Una (2016)

Director: Benedict Andrews

Writer: David Harrower (Screenplay)

Starring: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tara Fitzgerald, Riz Ahmed

 

Plot: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Watch Drama

 

Story: Una starts as we meet Una (Mara) a young woman with a troubled past after she was sexually abused at the age of 13. Una goes in search for the man Ray, now going by the name Peter (Mendelsohn) to learn why he did what he did. We get flashbacks showing the relationship between a young Una (Stokes) and Ray which started as friendship before it went too far, landing Ray in prison.

We follow how both Una and Ray have spent years dealing with the consequences of that moment, Ray believing he wasn’t a paedophile but branded one so much so that he had to get a new name and town, Una looks to get the closure she never received as a child and this night of conversation look like it will offer that.

 

Thoughts on Una

 

Characters – Una is the once sexually abused teenager but has spent the next 15-years wondering why, waiting for the chance to speak to the man again, we see how to confronts him to explain her feelings while dealing with the lack of closure she ever had with him. Ray was the man that sexual abused Una when she was 13, he served his time and started a new life with a new name, he also believes nothing was truly wrong with what he did.

PerformanceRooney Mara does give us an emotionally driven performance throughout the film, Ben Mendelsohn is great throughout showing us a true outline of a men living with regret.

StoryThe story does cover a taboo subject, sexual interaction between a minor and an adult, it plays along the idea that not everything is about the idea whether it was right or wrong but what the people involved must deal with later in life if it was just an encounter over abuse. There will be the questions asked about whether it was or wasn’t abuse but that will also be asked through the film otherwise this is a story that focuses on the victim not living a health life, the adult needing to rebuild his life and keep it together when the truth comes around. This is a slow burning story and isn’t going to be with the light hearted due to the sensitive subject but does show us the important message.

SettingsThe low key settings show us this could be everyday life for the people involved which is the highlight, as it never over victimises anyone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Breaking all the safety rules but not wearing hi-vis vests in a warehouse with forklifts operating.

Final ThoughtsThis is going to be a hard watch for many, mostly because of the subject matter. Away from this it also could play an important part to life looking at how the victims could be effected by anything that happens to them.

 

Overall: Important but slow drama.

Rating