Z: The Beginning of Everything

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This new Amazon Prime TV series has all the gin, jazz and debauchery that you would expect from the 1920’s. We finally get to hear more of the story about the famous Fitzgerald couple, more so from the prospective of Zelda Fitzgerald rather than her husband.

Zelda was known in history as being a fiery, unique woman who refused to be portrayed as inferior to men. This series managed to dipict that perfectly, as Zelda continuously broke societies rules. However, she was disapointingly still at the mercy of her husband as he handled their money and stole some of her written ideas to become a successful author, he cheated and she forgave him, he drank and offended her family but Zelda continued to stand by him – not exactly how I wanted her to be in my mind, butit probably wasn’t a surprise from that era.

Zelda and F.Scott Fitzgerald were such a famous and iconic couple during the time of the flapper culture, the actors managed to portray this fantastically and were dedicated to their roles.

The costumes and backdrops were stunning and dipicted a romantic and inspiring image of the 1920’s.

Z has a lot to offer as a series, it’s so easy to watch and I have always loved a good period drama.  The story of the famous duo isn’t a happy one though, as you may know Scott died at age 44 and Zelda died in a fire at a mental hospital she was a patient at. They had quite the dramatic life, which is why the producers wouldn’t have had a problem creating content for this series. Like the lives of this couple, this series is both magical and brave yet devastating.

Worth a watch.

7/10.

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xXx: Return of Xander Cage

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In this third explosive film of the xXx franchise we experience the return of ‘bad boy’ government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). Cage, along with his crew of misfits, race to find a weapon called Pandora’s Box.

Like the previous two films, this sequel is full of stunts, explosions and half naked women. The stunts, as predicted, were ridiculous, impossible and over the top. But it can be hard not to always enjoy a series like this, sort of like a guilty pleasure where you can laugh at the exaggerated stunts and awkward puns but still wish it was really possible to jump from a great height and land amongsts the trees on your ski’s.

This film reminded me of the Fast and Furious franchise but without the cars. I’m not sure Vin Diesel has ever been able to play a serious character, but I still can’t help but go and watch his movies at the cinema so he must be doing something right.

My first thought after watching Return of Xander Cage was that the producers had asked a 9 year old boy what he wanted in a movie and they made it come true.

This movie also manages to not so subtly objectify women, with the lead ladies in very tight fitting small outfits who need saving in the end by Vin Diesel and his bulging muscles…. he also randomly has a large orgy at one point (I think there was about 10 women throwing themselves at Xander at one time for no reason at all).

Anyway, despite this films many flaws, including it’s not so strong storyline and poor villain(s), it gave me some entertainment and a bit of a laugh, so if there’s nothing else on then perhaps go and give it a go.

3/10.

 

Split

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Split is based on a character called Kevin (played by James McAvoy) who has 23 personalities within his body. These personalities range from hilarious to disturbing, as one of his personalities wills him to abduct three teenage girls.

His psychiatrist is submerged in his mental state and continues to battle to understand his personalities and to raise awareness of his condition.

This movie starts on quite a dark basis as Kevin abducts the three young girls, but it does develop into some laugh out loud moments as he goes into the personality of a nine year old boy and sometimes that of a fashion designer, amongst others.

There are plenty of twists in this movie, touching on trauma and fate. This is one of James McAvoy’s best ever performances as he managed to portray each personality perfectly and jump in and out of each character very smoothly. I wonder whether he got 23 times his normal wage for playing so many characters…..

There are some hints at the supernatural playing a role in this movie, which provides a big finale.

Although I’m not usually a big fan of thrillers I did really enjoy this movie, however, it’s not for the faint hearted as it can get a little gruesome at some points. I’d like to add that I do enjoy a film that leaves me with questions at the end and one that makes me want to discuss it in detail with others, which this did for me.

I’d give it an 8/10.

 

Keep an eye out

In the next few weeks I have plans to see several movies at the cinema, these include the highly anticipated Split, the animated movie Sing and xXx Return of Xander Cage.

So be sure to keep an eye out for my reviews of each of these movies, which will be coming soon.

I’m very excited to see Split especially as I’m a big fan of James McAvoy, however this does look like it’s going into the region of horror film territory and I’m a massive wimp, but never the less the trailer looks really interesting and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to the hype.

Stay tuned….

Much love,

Emma

Sherlock: The Final Problem

Caution: this blog post will contain spoilers so don’t say I didn’t warn you if you haven’t already watched it.

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The things I have loved about Sherlock throughout all of its series is: Benedict Cumberbatch, Moriarty, the complex story lines, John and Sherlock’s relationship and the riddles. I also love how it’s often quite outrageous with its story lines, but I wonder whether it went a bit too far in this last season, I know some critics certainly think so.

I mean Sherlock had a secret sister, who’s crazy to say the least, but oh wait he also had a secret brother too and Sherlock reprogrammed his own brain to forget about them because of the loss he suffered – eh?

However this series still managed to be a roller coaster ride and I think the second episode was actually one of my favourites – second to the one where Sherlock faked his own death. Sherlock’s flat in Baker Street is blown up, his sister worked with criminal mastermind Moriarty to mess with Sherlock, he had to work quickly to solve puzzles to save many lives and break into a mental asylum.

I am glad we got to see bits of Moriarty from ‘beyond the grave’, however he was my favourite villain and even Sherlock’s evil mastermind sister couldn’t top him for me.

This emotional script provided plenty of laughs as usual and excitement, still leaving us with many questions, as each episode has always managed too. For example did Sherlock’s sister brainwash Moriarty or did Moriarty get Sherlock’s sister on his side first? blah blah blah.

They had a fantastic little montage ending of John and Sherlock at the end as they leave this episode wiser and stronger in their friendship, ready to solve crimes and continue writing blogs about it. If this was the last ever episode it had a lovely sign off, but I hope it’s not as I can’t get enough of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.

If you don’t understand what I’m on about and you’ve not watched this series yet, you must!

La La Land

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What a fantastically funny, utterly charming and romantic film this was. I was so worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype that it has had, but it was enchanting.

This movie tells the tale of a couples journey as they try to accomplish their dreams in LA. Emma Stone plays a wannabe actor and Ryan Gosling is a talented jazz musician who wants to keep jazz alive in Los Angeles.

I am always a bit skeptical about musicals, not on stage but in the movie format. There aren’t many film musicals that I have enjoyed, but I slightly fell in love with this one, I mean nothing beats the Moulin Rouge for me but this was high up there. What was also great was that my husband enjoyed it too as he wasn’t over joyed about going to see this film in the first place and has never been much of a fan of musicals, but he even liked it as well.

The effects and use of camera shots were fantastic and it managed to make you feel like you were watching something on the West End. I also liked that this movie wasn’t completely predictable, there was no cheesy love at first site story line and although there’s somewhat of a happy ending it’s not how you think it’ll be (I won’t give anymore away).

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At some moments I had a huge smile across my face and had to remind myself there were other people sat around me in the cinema.

Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone played their characters perfectly and have great chemistry, but that’s not surprising as they have stared in other films together, like Crazy Stupid Love for example. What I also thought was fantastic is that these two actors learnt all of the dance routines and songs and Gosling even learnt to play the piano, there was no stand in pianist – which you’ll think is even more impressive when you see the sections where he plays.

So anyway, in summary after watching this movie I’m ready to move to LA and become a stereotypical waitress trying to make it as an actor, whilst still managing to live a glamorous lifestyle on minimum wage.

This film is timeless and one I look forward to watching again in the future. I imagine all the family could enjoy watching this.

9/10

Why Him?

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It’s all parents nightmares, to meet the boyfriend of their daughter and to hate him. This movie goes through all of those emotions as a serious couple meet their daughter’s hipster and insanely rich boyfriend (played by James Franco) for the first time in this comedy.

Franco’s character got plenty of chuckles from the audience whilst I was watching this movie, including from me. To be honest whilst I was watching this film one ladies laugh throughout the whole thing took the attention away from the film itself. Her high toned ridiculously loud laugh had the rest of the audience looking and laughing at her instead of the film, at least we know whatever was going on was amusing for her.

Anyway, back to the movie. Whilst this movie really hit the nail on the head with father daughter relationships and how today’s tech wiz kids are dominating the rich and elite and pushing out the old, it sort of lacked a real story line and was pretty predictable.

Basically the premises for the film is – Dad’s business is struggling, meets daughters boyfriend doesn’t like him, Dad gets over it after some highly comical incidents and accepts future son-in-law, they do business and everyone lives happily ever after. This isn’t something I haven’t seen before – very similar to Meet the Fockers style story line.

But besides the obvious this was a fun film to watch and I did enjoy it. It’s not one I’d want to watch again but I’m glad I’ve seen it and got some laughs out of it.

James Franco really makes this movie for me and plays his character fantastically, so if you’ve got nothing to do one night this week why not go and check it out?

For me I’d give it a 5/10.

 

Reign

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Reign is an American history romance series which I recently watched on Netflix and thought it was worth giving a review.

The series is based on following Mary, Queen of Scots in her early exploits as she joins French Court to marry Prince Francis, who she only met as a small child and has been betrothed to ever since. This fantasy TV show takes us through their troubled love story and their additional hardship of learning to become King and Queen of France and Scotland.

It only took one episode to get me hooked on this series and I was glued to the TV until I’d watched every season. The perfect way to describe it is Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl – and I love both of those series so it was perfect for me.

The reason it is alike Game of Thrones is for its various sex, violence and war scenes which there are plenty of. It reminds me of Gossip Girl because of the bitchiness that happens at French Court and the relationship dramas that unravel.

Queen Mary is played by the actor Adelaide Kane, who is both beautiful and a perfect fit for this role. I am immensely jealous of her because of the amazing wardrobe she has in each episode, the budget for this series was clearly high because of the costumes and castles used to film in – fantastically shot and directed in my opinion.

I am sure this type of show is not for everyone, but I must say personally that this is one of my favourite TV series of all time because it provides everything I am looking for – fantastic clothes, a devastating love story, very attractive men, sex scandals and action scenes. What more could you want?

Would definitely suggest giving it a watch.

 

Assassin’s Creed

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Movie adaptions of video games usually do receive a bad reception, the Assassin’s Creed movie has been highly anticipated for many of us as we waited to see whether they could break the bad rep that video game adaptions usually get.

As I’m not much of a game player myself it is hard to say how well the movie portrayed the games original story line and whether fans received it well, but I’ll try my best to give you my unbiased opinion of the film. I for one am a big action film fan so I was keen to see this movie because of the fast paced and dramatic trailer that I caught a glimpse of before its release.

To give you a bit of background on the synopsis, Michael Fassbender plays the character Callum Lynch. The start of the film shows Callum in prison following his history of violence which probably stem from his ‘daddy issues’. After being given the lethal injection, expecting to obviously die, Callum wakes up in a strange new environment and quickly learns that the ‘scientists’ who spared his life want to plug into his brain to receive the memories of his ancestors from the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Following me so far?

The movie continuously switches from scenes of Michael Fassbender strapped up to a strange contraption to dramatic (and quite unbelievable) fight scenes from his ancestors memories. Although the action scenes are insane and unbelievable, in some ways that is what I want from a movie – something unrealistic because otherwise it’d probably be a bit dull and it’s always fun to imagine myself being able to do the things that these assassin’s can do.

The movie starts to get more complex as Fassbender’s character struggles with whether to help the scientists retrieve an artifact that could take away everyone in the world’s free will – basically to make them more compliant.

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Some of the effects in this film are great, with the scenes of Fassbender climbing up walls and seeing ghost like images of his ancestor. However, during the first fight scenes which is based in a desert, the sand is flying everywhere making it hard to see what is in fact going on – perhaps they didn’t have the budget to actually let us see all of the supposed action scenes.

Also I do have to question some of the characters back stories, we don’t get to learn how the Assassin’s Creed started and what fueled their passion to protect the free world – it’s also hard to see what motivates Callum’s character and others like his in the modern day to take on the cause of the assassins. I mean has his ancestor taken over his mind or is he still himself and just wants to be a bad ass? It’s not quite clear.

Anyway, whilst I’m not sure how this film compares to the video game, over all it wasn’t a bad movie to watch. I definitely think it’s worth giving a try even if you’re not a fan of the video game. I mean for one Michael Fassbender does a fantastic job in this movie and I really enjoyed seeing him portray a thug turned assassin, plus he doesn’t look too bad with his top off so there’s even something for the ladies.

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

6/10.