FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker ballet has long been a staple of children’s Christmas entertainment, offering a world of dolls, mice, and best of all, dancing sweets. With E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, acting as the original source material, the ballet is based on Alexander Dumas’ adaptation, The Story of the Nutcracker. With numerous ballet productions performed over the years, it’s a story that often differs in its retelling, with the Disney live action film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms the latest take on the classic. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

FILM REVIEW: The Children Act (2017)

Ian McEwan’s penchant for fine storytelling is on display once more in The Children Act. Based on his novel of the same name, McEwan has adapted his own work yet again for the screen with terrific results following on from the recent On Chesil Beach. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Children Act (2017)

FILM REVIEW: I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2018)

Few things make people roll their eyes as much as a girl obsessed with a boyband. The crazy, screaming teenage girl who has lost her grip on reality and thinks this crap is music.

But if we all stop being that arsehole for a minute, we might just understand what it is about these manufactured groups that makes them so appealing to young women. That it’s a rite of passage, a way to get through the tortures of adolescence, a welcome break from the extremely UNromantic boys they have to deal with in reality. Seriously, who wants an acne-ridden douche trying to get into your pants when you could just daydream about Nick Carter/Harry Styles/JT/insert-gorgeous-young-man-who-can-sing-here instead? Because they don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love him, and they want you back for good because you don’t know you’re beautiful. Pure poetry, amiright? Continue reading FILM REVIEW: I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Charming (2018)

Apparently the females have had their time to shine and it’s time to give some attention to the forgotten hero: Prince Charming. Charming, directed and written by Ross Venokur, begins with three vacuous princesses, Cinderella (Ashley Tisdale), Snow White (Avril Lavigne) and Sleeping Beauty (G.E.M.) who are all betrothed to the same man, Prince Philippe Charming (Wilder Valderamma). As a baby he was cursed with so much charm that every woman in the kingdom falls head over heels in love with him on sight, much to the chagrin of the men in their lives. Being a good guy, Philippe gives attention to all, saving the three princesses and somehow becoming engaged to each one of them despite his lack of genuine interest. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Charming (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

While adults are treated (or perhaps tricked) to a remake of Halloween this time of year, younger audiences also get another recycling of a tried and true formula in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. With a new batch of humans, the same group of monsters return with a few new additions, making for an entertaining enough comedy-horror for kids and teens. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Halloween (2018)

The franchise that, much like its villain, just won’t die, returns for the fortieth anniversary of the original. This is the eleventh Halloween film to be produced. That’s right, the eleventh. But no need to worry about catching up on all previous ten films because the latest offering disregards everything past the 1978 original. Laurie and Michael Myers are not siblings, Laurie isn’t dead, but she is still traumatised forty years on from that fateful night. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Halloween (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

Based on the memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy portrays a family’s ordeal with drug addiction with grace. Not to be confused with the 2010 film of the same name which focused on the parents of a mass shooter, the title does similarly refer to a well-loved child who hit rock bottom despite support. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Beautiful Boy (2018)

FILM REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)

Following the 1937 original, and two further remakes starring Judy Garland in 1954 and Barbra Streisand in 1976, the current version of A Star is Born has been in the pipeline for some time. With Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood expressing interest in directing, and Beyoncé attached as the lead for some time, the final product is brought to the screen by Bradley Cooper, with Lady Gaga as its star. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)

FILM REVIEW: A Simple Favour (2018)

Based on the book of the same name by Darcey Bell, A Simple Favour sees Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick), a mummy blogger, trying to raise her young son (Joshua Satine) on her own while keeping up an Energiser bunny-like enthusiasm. Despite her willingness to get involved she hasn’t made many friends, and quickly becomes enamoured by one of the other mothers, the mysterious Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). After sharing a series of playdates where they drink cocktails and exchange secrets, Emily asks Stephanie for a simple favour while her husband (Henry Golding) is away: to pick up her son (Ian Ho) from school. A few days later, there’s still no sign of Emily. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Simple Favour (2018)

FILM REVIEW: Searching (2018)

John Cho takes Facebook stalking to a whole new level in Aneesh Chaganty’s feature debut, Searching. When his daughter Margot (Michelle La) goes missing, David (Cho) goes looking for answers online.

Standing apart from your typical thriller, Searching takes place entirely on a mock computer screen. We see David make video calls, visit websites, check his messages and emails, watch the news, and even film his interactions through the use of spy-cams. Initially it feels like this style of film might be draining – just watching mouse click after mouse click on a screen. Surprisingly enough, it becomes incredibly tense. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Searching (2018)