Rachel Weisz Weekend – My Cousin Rachel (2017)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Roger Michell (Screenplay) Daphne Du Maurier (Novel)

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger, Iain Glen, Pierfrancesco Favino, Simon Russell Beale

 

Plot: A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin’s mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.


Tagline – Did she or didn’t she?

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Slow Drama

 

Story: My Cousin Rachel starts when young man Philip (Claflin) gets letters calling for help from his close cousin Ambrose about his wife Rachel (Weisz) he goes looking for answers, only to learn that his cousin has died, believe Rachel was the cause of his death, he invites her to the family home.

When Philip starts spending time with Rachel, he learns of a different side and even starts to fall in love with her, this offers him a chance to learn about the tragic story of her previous love, showing his early feelings against her were misled.

 

Thoughts on My Cousin Rachel

 

Characters – Philip spent his life with his cousin until he got married moving away from him, only communicating through letters, become concerned about his cousin he searches for answers which gives him bad news and a new look on life, even if his jealously can cause his own problems. Rachel is the mysterious cousin’s wife that comes into Philip’s life after her husband’s death and soon she doesn’t seem like any of the letters created her to be. When we look at the rest of the characters none make an impact with Louise being a family friend who offers advice, while Kendall is the guardian trying to advise Philip.

PerformancesI can’t complain about the quality of acting in this film, Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin are both strong in their roles without hitting the full levels that show us just how far their characters will go. As for the supporting cast they are mostly fine, they really don’t have enough to do to stand out in this film.

StoryThe story follows a young man trying to figure out just what happened to his cousin, with the only living connection to him being Rachel to whom he falls wildly in love with. This plays out like a mystery which is the interesting side to the story, though it falls into forbidden love that never really connects on the levels it was hoping too. The story doesn’t feel as dark as it should, it focuses way too long on the romance or any of the mystery to stand out and teases too long into the sanity of Philip over the mystery. The other clear frustration with this story is that we focus too heavily on rich people having too much money for their own good.

Mystery/RomanceThe mystery comes from not knowing just what is going on for the most part, it never connects us enough to know the truth because the romance overshadows everything when it clearly doesn’t feel real or need to be that upfront.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the rich society setting, which frustrates because we know they have too much money for their own good.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The romance doesn’t work.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery romance that doesn’t connect enough on either side, it falls flat and ends up feeling like something we could have skipped.

 

Overall: Romance without the sparkle.

Rating

 

 

Love, Rosie (2014)

loveDirector: Christian Ditter

Writer: Juliette Towhidi (Screenplay) Cecelia Ahern (Novel)

Starring: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Christian Cooke, Jaime Winstone, Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton

 

Plot: Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn’t possibly be right for one another…or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor When Harry Met Sally Rehash

 

Story: Love, Rosie starts as we meet Rosie (Collins) on what should be the happiest day of her life, she looks back on her friendship with Alex (Claflin) who she has been friends with since they were 5. We start the flashbacks when they are 18 and the two have a drunken kiss on her birthday before both going their own direction when it comes to the dance.

Alex goes off to America to study at Harvard, while Rosie finds herself pregnant and keeping her baby, keeping that a secret from Alex. When the secret comes out the twos friendship stays strong with Alex living the life of luxury in America while Rosie raises her own daughter Katie back home.

As the years roll by the twos friendship has its up and downs like any relationship before we learn where the two find themselves having separate lives but being the go to friend when they need someone but this could be that they are cover up their own feelings for one another.

 

Thoughts on Love, Rosie

 

Characters/PerformanceThe Rosie character represents people who believed they had the perfect life planned out, only for something to change it in a completely different direction, one they are happy with but not the one they dreamed off. Alex is the best friend who can never announce his love but I do feel we needed to learn more about the life Alex lives other than just the women his dates. Ruby is a scene stealer in the best friend role and every time you see her you know there will be a laugh.

Performance wise I did feel that Lily Collins struggled to start with but she did grow into the role nicely, Sam Claflin is good in these romantic comedies, where he might not be the best at the comedy but knows how to get a laugh. Jaime Winstone does make us laugh the most through the film while the girlfriends Alex have seemed too beautiful to be part of this story.stars

StoryLove is a story we all like to watch unfold and this story filled with almost moments for these two comes along nicely as we have been there with the person we think could be perfect for us when they are not available missing our chance of that love. I did find myself enjoying this movie more than I thought I would.

Comedy/RomanceWe don’t have silly over the top comedy instead we get nice gently nods to comedy which I did like in comedy. The romance is mostly about who you could be with and knowing how you do love someone you can’t be with.

SettingsHere is where I have the biggest negative for this film, I couldn’t put my finger on where the film is set, I got told it is set in Ireland but everyone gets called English, and I also didn’t understand why Alex was always in night when talking to Rosie when it should be the other way around, I think.genre

Final ThoughtsI did like how this looks at miss loved between two people that are clearly meant to be.

 

Overall: I did enjoy this movie but I can see why the fans of the book don’t enjoy it.

Ratingrating

 

 

Their Finest (2017)

Director: Lone Scherfig

Writer: Gaby Chiappe (Screenplay) Lissa Evans (Novel)

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Paul Ritter, Rachael Stirling, Richard E Grant, Jeremy Irons

 

Plot: A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming War Time Story

 

Story: Their Finest starts in the middle of World War II England, Catrin Cole (Arterton) takes a job on what she thought was a secretary role but it turns out to be a scriptwriter role for propaganda films to show how important the women were during the war.

Getting hired with a story about twin women that help in the Dunkirk rescue, the film must go on with Tom Buckley (Claflin) leading the writing, it turns into a battle between the two to show the strength of the women instead of the male hero in film. Full of himself actor Ambrose Hilliard (Nighy) is hired to the film and continues the clash between the genders but can this film inspire the way it is meant to?

When the Secretary of War (Irons) hears about the film, he commissions the inclusion of an American to help sell the war effort to America and how the everyday person is willing to fight and now the film is ready to be shot.

 

Thoughts on Their Finest

 

Characters/PerformanceCatrin is a secretary who finds herself working on propaganda scripts during World War II. She makes an impact on the film making process by bring forward a story of two brave women who tried to help in Dunkirk. This is a strong minded leading lady who doesn’t want to let the men in her life control her. Tom Buckley is the lead scriptwriter that clashes with Catrin before seeing the potential in the story and offers the chance to be a love interest for Catrin through the movie making process. Ambrose Hilliard is the big-name actor the studio always goes for, he is reluctant to take the film offer but soon learns what he can offer the production.

Performance wise, Gemma Arterton is great in the leading role showing she can take the roles that are around the strong women characters. Sam Claflin is also great in his role getting away from the early career where I often wondered if he could be a leading star. Bill Nighy gets to have a lot of fun in his role where he also gets the serious moments down too.

StoryThe story of how the film world wanted to inspire people to continue the fight against the Germans during World War II, this side of the story I found very interesting, I did also like the idea of trying to show the importance of women during the war and just how this film being made was to show this. What I found slightly frustrating was what felt like the tagged in romance side of the film which at times felt very forced.

Comedy/Romance/WarThe comedy works to the levels they need to without being a laugh a moment, the romance side of the film as I previously said felt forced with the war side of the film being very important to see how the nation was being effected by the conflict.

SettingsThe settings show the Britain during World War II, we see the destruction aftermath from the bombings and the struggles the people went through during the war.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for all the history fans out there, we get to see how an idea of a movie could give people hope during a time where people could feel hopeless. The film making process has been done before and sure we can enjoy this side of everything but the strong minded leading woman is always going to be a draw as we keep looking back to see just how important they were during the war effort.

 

Overall: One for all the people that enjoy a good charming film.

Rating

 

 

Me Before You (2016)

meDirector: Thea Sharrock

Writer: Jojo Moyes (Screenplay) Jojo Moyes (Novel)

Starring: Sam Claflin, Emilia Clarke, Vanessa Kirby, Janet McTeer, Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis, Charles Dance, Brendon Coyle

 

Plot: A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tear Jerker That Leaves a Smile on Your Face

 

Story: Me Before You starts as we meet successful businessman Will (Claflin) who gets paralyzed in a car accident. We move on to meet sweet, innocent and hardworking Lou (Clarke) who finds herself laid off from her long term job. Searching desperately for a job she takes the job of being the carer for Will.

With Will putting up barriers in his life Lou refuses to let him bring her positive attitude down and need for the money to support her family. As we see the two start to bond the friendship grows that neither of the two could foresee.

When Lou learns of Will desire to end his suffering she comes up with a plan to show him even with his disability he can still enjoy the good things in life.

Me Before You does something different with the story because we watch how one man’s life crumbles down while one girls has never really got started. We do get to see how the two bond and we see how they try to help each other. We do have to take the negatives and that would be the fact the film focuses on ending your own life with euthanasia, the fact most of the film couldn’t happen if Will wasn’t mega rich. The final negative would be that Emilia Clarke is way too beautiful for the role she is in because the character seems to need to be an everyday woman that has flaws. Overall you can see past these facts this is a story that has good moments of laughs and tears going on throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Sam Claflin: Will was once an adventurer daredevil successful business man who gets paralyzed in a traffic accident. Will has closed himself off from the world knowing he will be stuck in a chair for the rest of his life he has enquired about ending his suffering. When Lou enters his life Will starts to open up once again as the two’s friendship grows. Will does come off as a cocky young man who saw the world thinking he would achieve everything and more. Sam is great in this role having to play the difficult role.

Emilia Clarke: Lou is a small town girl always willing to work hard to support her family and enjoying all of the little things in life. She has a unique sense of fashion that clearly makes her stand out in a crowd. Lou’s life is turned upside down when she gets to work as a carer for Will who helps show her the potential her life could have. Emilia does a great job in this role and you can’t fault her acting but choosing one of the most beautiful women in the world for a role that seems to be about a very average woman.

Janet McTeer: Camilla is the mother of Will that hires Lou to care for him. She is supporting his every decision even the difficult one he wants to make. Janet is good in the supporting role but this really is all about the lead pair.

Support Cast: Me Before You has a supporting cast that includes all the different people in our main two characters’ lives be it the nurse, Lou’s family or Lou’s boyfriend. Each member of the supporting cast helps Will and Lou on their voyage of discovery.

Director Review: Thea SharrockThea gives us a near perfect mix of laughs, tears and smiles throughout the whole film.

 

Drama: Me Before You gives us a story that tackles difficult life decisions as we watch the odd couple fall in love and learn to enjoy life for everything it is meant to be.

Romance: Me Before You starts when the two have to start as complete opposites but learning Lou hasn’t lived the life Will had the two become involved even though they both know the end is coming.

Chemistry: Me Before You has the two start off opposite but soon we see the chemistry between them grow and it shows.

Music: Me Before You uses the music to show each tone each scene is going to be heading in.

Settings: Me Before You has the settings showing us the different worlds both Will and Lou have come from to strike up the unlikely friendship and later relationship.

Suggestion: Me Before You is one I do think you could use for a good date night. (Date Night)

 

Best Part: Mixing the happy moments with the sad almost perfectly.

Worst Part: I do feel Will’s choice will upset fellow paralyzed people.

Funniest Scene: After the photos are broken.

Romantic Moment: The beach.

Favourite Quote: Will ‘Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.’

 

Believability: Certain parts.

Chances of Tears: Yes

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Fault in Our Stars

 

Oscar Chances: Maybe one for original songs.

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

Overall: Tear jerking feel good film.

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin (Screenplay) Evan Daugherty (Characters)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach, Sope Dirisu, Sam Hazeldine, Sam Claflin

 

Plot: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Sequel/Prequel

 

Story: The Huntsman: Winter’s War starts as we see Ravenna (Theron) first using her powers to gain the reputation we know as the evil queen along with her sister Freya (Blunt) her only weakness rise to the power in the kingdom as the Ice Queen after losing her child.

The Queen brings only one rule to her kingdom, you can never fall in love which her two best child warriors Eric and Sara do, once grown up Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) become lovers leading them to be punished with separate banishment from the kingdom.

To confuse matter The Huntsman has to continue to fight for Snow White so now this is a sequel to stop Freya getting her hands on the mirror and its evil powers. The Huntsman teams up with his wife Sara who both believe something different happened during their banishment from Freya’s kingdom.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes off confusing because we are sold on the idea that this is a prequel only for it basically have a longer opening sequence to the original and being a sequel which means Ravenna is barely even in this one. The story comes off very familiar with not much actually happening through the film that we haven’t seen. I didn’t find the story very appealing because it ends up feel like a dark version of Frozen.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Hemsworth: The Huntsman was trained from a child by Queen Freya to be one of her best warriors but when he falls in love he get left for dead believing his love has been killed. He has defeated Ravenna once and now he gets called upon to retrieve the mirror that has started to take control of the Snow White. Chris is good in this role doing what you would expect him to do.

Charlize Theron: Ravenna is the evil queen that is the sister to Freya, she has used her powers to make Freya rise to power before we know what happened to her in the first film. Now she is trying to control the world from inside the mirror. Charlize is only in a supporting role and doesn’t reach the levels we know she can with this character.

Jessica Chastain: Sara is another one of the huntsman trained by Freya taught not to love only to fall for our leading Huntsman.  Pushed out she teams up with the Huntsman as they look to rekindle their love once more. Jessica is solid in this role but I can’t help but wonder what happens to her accent through the film.

Emily Blunt: Queen Freya gets turned into the all-powerful snow queen once she witnesses the father of her child over a burnt out cot. She takes children to raise her own warriors cheating them not to love but when she learns her best warriors have fallen in love she exiles them as she continues to conquer the south. She learns of the mirror and wants it for herself. Emily is solid in this supporting role in what is meant to be the main villain.

Support Cast: The Huntsman: Winter’s War has a supporting cast that is stolen by the dwarf performance that are clearly the highlight of the film.

Director Review: Cedric Nicolas-TroyanCedric gives us a sequel we didn’t really need that offers little new to the story only expanding the world it is set in.

 

Action: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is filled with plenty of mindless fantasy action throughout that gives us nothing really stand out on this side of the story.

Adventure: The Huntsman: Winter’s War throws our characters on a reluctant adventure much like the first one.

Fantasy: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is in a fantasy world of witches and creatures etc etc etc.

Settings: The Huntsman: Winter’s War puts us back in the world created with nothing newly created.
Special Effects
: The Huntsman: Winter’s War has basic supporting effects which just don’t really come off completely believable.

Suggestion: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is one that can only really be watch if you loved the original. (First Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Dwarfs.

Worst Part: Wasting Charlize Theron.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Frozen

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $115 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: The story before Snow White

 

Overall: This is just a dark version of Frozen let’s all be honest here.

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