The Circle (2017)

Director: James Ponsoldt

Writer: James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers (Screenplay) Dave Eggers (Novel)

Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Bill Paxton, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Glenne Headly

 

Plot: A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Technology Warning

 

Story: The Circle starts as Mae (Watson) a bright young woman gets a dream opportunity to work for a tech company named The Circle thanks to her friend Annie (Gillan), the company has been creating technology that could give the world a one-use password for everything in their lives, with full security. Bailey (Hanks) runs the company is about to unleash the latest technology that analyse anything in filmed on a camera.

Mae learns that she is required to attended social events as the employees are meant to create their own circles depending on their interest through a social media account which they are meant to share through their employment. When Ty (Boyega) the original creator of the technology shows Mae the truth behind the technology and the threat it could hold to the human race comes through the battle between privacy or lack there off.

 

Thoughts on The Circle

 

Characters – Mae is a smart young woman that gets an opportunity of a lifetime to work for the biggest technology company in the world, at first she doesn’t fit in but soon she becomes the star new employee, even if she does step on the people who don’t want to be part of a social media world, we see how she was made for this world but also learns what the bigger picture could be. Bailey is the face of the Circle, he keeps everything feeling fresh when it comes to offering up new ideas to the technology world, he is open to an idea and discussion about improving to the next level. Ty is the creator of the technology that has been off the grid since it went too far for his own design, but he watches over it. Annie is the best friend that gets Mae the job but soon sees her potential and the danger the job has created. We do have the rest of the cast which work well as we have a blend of the people who do and don’t want to be involved in the technology side of the world around them.

PerformanceEmma Watson is good in the leading role but I do feel she doesn’t have the emotional range for certain roles including this one, this does frustrate because she has the look of a leading lady.

Tom Hanks is good as the Steve Jobs like character whose ambitious will drive his own greed but can give a speech we want to see unfold.

John Boyega is good in the supporting role but I do wish we had seen more from his character.

The rest of the cast is good throughout the film with each person giving their character the justice required throughout the film.

StoryThe story focuses on the ever growing idea of technology in the world, the Circle company is about trying to break boundaries even if the ideas are illegal and against the privacy laws. Most of the story focuses on Mae needing to question the moral reasoning behind technology because one side could be considered good while the other side could be considered wrong but the disappointment from the story comes the fact it doesn’t hit extremes it needs too.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi element of the film comes from the new technology being unlocked which does come off looking fantastic but we are never on edge wondering what could happen next.

SettingsThe settings show us the Circle would all be within one facility but opens the doors to anybody in the world. Nothing comes off that great in the end though.

Special EffectsSeeing how the technology is shown is where the effects come into play as they are used well because we can’t see how workings of the technology in places.

Scene of the Movie – The Search for Mercer because it is the turning point in the story.

I always get annoyed by one thing in a movie, this is that moment Emma Watson lacking the emotional range needed for this role.

Final ThoughtsThis is a warning movie about social networking and even going into the next level of surveillance. The idea is great but it doesn’t reach the potential or the darkness it should reach too.

 

Overall: Lacks the final conviction to hit home.

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Apollo 13 (1995)

apolo-13Director: Ron Howard

Writer: William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert (Screenplay) Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger (Book)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan

 

Plot: NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intensely Brilliant Drama

 

Story: Apollo 13 starts on 20th July 1969, the date Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Jim Lovell (Hanks) a fellow astronaut who missed out on the moon landing on Apollo 8 is hosting a landing party with fellow astronauts Fred Haise (Paxton), Jack Swigert (Bacon), Ken Mattingly (Sinise) who are scheduled to work together on the Apollo 14 mission.

When the team who are planned for Apollo 13 lose their place Jim, Fred and Ken are placed in for Apollo 13 with Jack part of the backup team. This does mean moving the preparation forward 6 months but an astronaut with Jim’s experience is trust to lead this mission.

With the world seeing this mission as curse because of the number 13 the team does have to make a last-minute crew change with Jack replacing Ken who is according to medical records going to become sick on the mission, with two days to prepare with Jack the mission is a go with mission commander Gene Kranz (Harris) controlling the mission back at NASA.

With the mission going well, it turns out the television networks just don’t want to show the mission because they see no excitement from just going to the moon once again, but the astronauts don’t know this.

When disaster strikes, the astronauts must use their skills to survive while the NASA puts together a rescue solutions for the men who could be lost in space forever. With the disaster potentially happen the television networks pick up the story with the nation watching on to see if the crew of Apollo 13 will make it home.

 

Thoughts on Apollo 13

 

Characters/PerformanceAll the characters are based on the real people, with Jim Lovell being the experienced astronaut leading the team of first timers in space. The characters are all real and made to all be heroes through this story, unlike most films of similar nature we don’t have anyone remotely like a villain in this film.

Performance wise Tom Hanks shines in the decade where he just didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. We also get brilliant performance from the whole cast playing the characters perfectly throughout the film.stars

StoryThe story is one that even Hollywood couldn’t write, this is one if not the most famous story in space history that could rival the actual Moon landing. It shows how NASA could work in limited time to prevent disaster. You are drawn into this story for the whole film which is part history lesson and part edge of your seat thriller.

Adventure/HistorySpace travel became one of the most interesting parts of history in the late 60’s with the moon landing stealing the headlines, this story captures the idea to become one of the most important moments in history for NASA.

SettingsOutside the space shuttle all the settings including mission command all fit the time perfectly with the space shuttle being the highlight of the film because it shows how the men had nowhere to go to survive.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are brilliant as the film doesn’t turn to them too often but when it is needed we are left believing everything that is happening.genre

Final ThoughtsIf you want to learn about one of the most amazing stories of survival in human history this is the one for you to see.

 

Overall: Breath-takingly brilliant movie about one moment in human history.

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You’ve Got Mail (1998)

youveDirector: Nora Ephron

Writer: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron (Screenplay) Miklos Laszlo (Play)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns

 

Plot: Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Romantic Comedy

 

Story: You’ve Got Mail starts as we see two complete strangers Joe Fox (Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) who chat online every night even though they are both involved in relationships with Patricia (Posey) and Frank (Kinnear). The two set up the rule of not knowing anything about the personal lives of each other and remain friends in New York City.

Kathleen owns a small book shop that is going to have a giant book shop open around the corner from it, Fox Books which just so happens to be run by Joe. When the two business rivals meet the tension between begins but when the two mail each other they still think they are talking to just any stranger.

When the truth comes out the love they feel towards each other online must go against the hatred they have for each other in real life.

 

Thoughts on You’ve Got Mail

 

StoryThe old story of falling in love with someone you have never met through conversation. The idea of not knowing who you are chatting to makes this story have this extra spark. We do get a smaller story about business how small family businesses can be closed by dominating force. I will say this story has now become outdated because of the next level of technology but the fantasy idea still works wonders for this film.

Comedy/RomanceThe romantic side of this story is all good showing how you could fall in love with someone you least expect. We do get small laughs throughout the film without them overshadowing the romantic story.

Characters/PerformanceJoe was the new age business man, he does care about people outside of work but is happy to squash them when it comes to business. Kathleen was one of the dying breed of shopkeepers who cares about their customers offering them the best service in New York. We do have supporting characters who are mostly all involved to advise our Joe and Kathleen.

This film has two brilliant performance from Hanks and Ryan who showed they have excellent chemistry together and you can see that in the romantic or the arguing scenes. I do think everyone else does everything they need to do working with the leads.actors

SettingsLooking in the settings we are have New York which is perfect choice because we get to see how small business would suffer next to the big store, it also plays into the effects of meeting someone even in the busy streets.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies you will have seen, it is accessible for all and will bring a smile to your face.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy this sweet charming love story.

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Inferno (2016)

infernoDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Dan Brown (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, Ana Ularu, Ida Darvish

 

Plot: When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Addition to the Franchise

 

Story: Inferno starts as we follow the charismatic preacher Bertrand Zobrist (Foster) who has been preaching about how the human race has been over populating the world and that ‘Inferno’ is the cure but his beliefs have got him in trouble leading him to have only one way out suicide.

We move to meet Robert Langdon (Hanks) who has been through a traumatic experience which has left him with amnesia waking up in hospital. Suffering nightmare visions Robert discovers he was being in hospital because of a gunshot and people are still trying to kill him, teaming up with his doctor Sienna Brooks (Jones) the two must unlock his mind.

On the run from the police, World Health Organisation and an organisation run by Harry Sims (Khan) with both Christoph Bouchard (Sy) and Vayentha (Uaru) both looking to cover up what looks like a potential viral outbreak. Can Langdon remember why he is in Florence before it is too late and save the world from the Inferno that could kill half the world’s population.

Inferno is the latest chapter of the Robert Langdon adventure in which he must use ancient clues to solve a mystery that could cull half the world’s population. This is a brilliant choice for a villain’s motivation because the world is suffering from an overpopulation problem and using this gives us the situation which would have people to support his motivation. The story keeps us guessing as to which side of the choice everyone who is hunting Langdon is on and this moves between characters a lot through the film.

Tom Hanks is as always is a good lead without truly excelling like other films this year as he is a good narrator style character which Langdon comes off as. Felicity Jones gets to have the trademark fun sidekick whose characters gets to live her dream of working with Langdon on a puzzle solving mission even with an extra dimension to her decisions. The rest of the characters hunting Langdon come off average with the film jumping between who is good or bad too often. Ben Foster is the shining light of this film even with most of his scenes being flashbacks or video recordings but his character is one of the most interesting villains in years.

This is the first of the instalment that I haven’t read first and while it does keep changing who we are meant look at as the good characters it is the step towards a much bigger threat which makes this film all the more interesting.

 

Overall: Twist filled addition to the complex historical charged mystery thriller

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Sully (2016)

sullyDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Todd Kmoarnicki (Screenplay) Chesley Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow (Book)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Valerie Mahaffey, Delphi Harrington, Mike O’Malley, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Holt McCallany

 

Plot: The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Brilliant

 

Story: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson starts as we see the dramatic flight through New York haunting the dreams of Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberg (Hanks) as he reflects on what could have been a true disaster. Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Eckhart) must go through investigation process to decide whether landing in Sully terms crash in other people terms.

Dubbed a hero at first Sully gets question through the investigation as the investigation starts to look at how dangerous the manoeuvre was as they believe they could have made it back to the airport for a safer landing. As the investigation continues we get to see how Sully’s personal life is becoming difficult as his wife Lorraine (Linney) is struggling to make ends meet.

We get to follow how Sully is considered a hero by the people of America but must clear himself from becoming the villain in the eyes of the airline.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is one of the most incredible stories of recent memory, we get to see the hero Sully who saved all his passengers from what could have been certain death. What we follow is Sully’s side of the investigation and how he was dealing with each situation which is great to see but the film doesn’t give us a fair assessment of how everything would have been looked at by the airline side of the story. I do understand how this is meant to look from Sully’s point of view and how anyone who would have gone through this might have questioned each decision afterwards.

Tom Hanks gives one of his best performance of his career in this role and it is great to see him back at his very best. Aaron Eckhart continues to show why he is always a great supporting cast member. The rest of the cast come off like you would expect from any Eastwood movie where they all do great jobs without stealing any of the attention from leading star. This film will always be looked at as one of the most amazing stories of heroism from a pilot in modern history.

 

Overall: One of the most fascinating movies of the year, with a show of true heroism.

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