The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, The Proposal) is Michael Bryce, a former Triple A bodyguard based in London, who due to the unfortunate death of a client, has hit hard times and is now struggling to be taken seriously as a bodyguard. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Kingsman) is Darius Kincaid a hitman serving time in Manchester Prison who becomes a key witness in the case against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Child 44), the former President of Belarus who is on trial for crimes against humanity. The case against Dukhovich isn’t going well as any witness’ testifying against him keep mysteriously disappearing, therefore it is down to Kincaid’s testimony to make sure Dukhovich is imprisoned. Interpol arrange for Kincaid’s journey from Manchester to Amsterdam – where the trial is taking place – but moments into the journey they are ambushed by Dukhovich’s men, making it clear that there is a mole within Interpol. Agent Roussel (Elodie Yung) who was leading the Interpol group is forced to put Kincaid under Bryce’s care. Not only is there history between Roussel and Bryce but there is no love lost between the two men either. The story continues with the men having to put their differences aside and make their way to Amsterdam all the while being pursued by Dukhovich’s men.hitman2

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is actually a very good film (I won’t lie, I was only initially attracted to the film because of Ryan Reynolds!) but both Ryan and Samuel L. Jackson are brilliant actors and know how to work comedy naturally into action films. There are some fantastic one liners and some genuine laugh out loud moments. The partnership both on and off screen between the lead men is clear to see, making their dialogue natural and believable. Both characters, though ultimately doing the same line of work, have very different approaches to their jobs and this is evident throughout as the two men clash over how to tackle every obstacle thrown their way. Ryan’s character Bryce is sensible and only resorts to killing if absolutelyhitmans-bodyguard-880x320 necessary. Kincaid on the other hand will shoot first and deal with the consequences later. Both actors play their roles perfectly, and it’s not all about the action, there are some more emotional scenes from the pair as various secrets are revealed, making us understand their characters better and forging a connection with them.

The action scenes are filmed brilliantly and there are plenty of different sequences to keep the film moving, from car chases to stairwell fights there is something for everyone. Rated 15 the violence is a little gory so if you’re squeamish maybe look away for a few minutes!

CRM_6874.NEFThe supporting cast is full of some brilliant characters, Gary Oldman is unrecognisable as Dukhovich, Richard E. Grant (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) has a very small role as one of Bryce’s clients but the stand out is Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty, 30 Rock) who plays Kincaid’s very unhinged wife Sonia. Sonia is herself serving time in prison in Amsterdam and is incredibly fiery 4fe81761384e45dee14b3973f73d1b5bd3e38ad5ec670a608628f026ff7b94c7towards not only her poor cellmate but towards Kincaid himself and even the prison guards. Her scenes definitely bring the most laughs and her dysfunctional relationship with Kincaid is shown to us through flashbacks. Salma and Samuel are great opposite each other, what’s very sweet though is that though Kincaid is this notorious killer he is brought down to earth by his love for his wife. This continuous declaration of love is what ultimately bonds the men as Kincaid strives to help Bryce sort his estranged relationship with ex-girlfriend Agent Roussel.

Overall, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a surprisingly good film, the inclusion of the romantic side in Kincaid means that it’s not just another all-action film. The pairing of Reynolds and Jackson is perfect, two great actors doing what they do best by combining action and comedy. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a fun, dramatic and very enjoyable film, there are twists and turns throughout and each character is portrayed brilliantly. If you can stomach a bit of gore I would definitely recommend this!

Atomic Blonde

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Undercover MI6 agent Lorraine (Charlize Theron, Mad Max) is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to partner up with David Percival (James McAvoy, X-Men, Atonement) and investigate the murder of a fellow agent as well as recover a missing list of double agents. Directed by David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool) who is a stuntman/actor as well as a director – this shows in the quality and realism of the fight scenes – David cleverly uses a lot of greys and dark colours to represent the Cold War surrounding the actors but throws in a lot of neon lights to contrast with this and keep an 80s vibe going. This vibe is beautifully thrown in your face throughout by the very impressive 80s soundtrack featuring the likes of George Michael, Queen, Depeche Mode, The Clash, David Bowie and New Order.

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Rated 15, Atomic Blonde is incredibly graphic with its violence. There are some pretty gruesome fight scenes including a few where blood splatters fly onto the camera lens. I had to look away a couple of times as it was all very realistic – the image of a set of keys going through a man’s cheek is one that will take a while to leave me! What I did like though was how Charlize’s character Lorraine was often the one initiating the fights and she certainly did not hold back. Her character is very hardcore, she comes across cold and distant to others but there are moments when she is alone that this exterior slips and we see a tired, bruised and vulnerable woman. These moments humanise her and make her more likeable. Charlize is great in this role, she is totally believable and gives off a quality that makes you aspire to be like her in atomicblonde-1280w-1496702129156_1280wcertain ways. Of course the fact that she is incredibly beautiful (even whilst fighting) also helps!

James McAvoy’s character David is the total opposite to Lorraine, and the two of them struggle to form a partnership, with David often setting Lorraine up and resulting in her having to fight her way out of situations. They both have the same goal but very different ideas of how to get there. James McAvoy is again totally believable in this role, his shaved head and dodgy clothes gives off the air that Berlin is his city and he knows how to run it. The intrusion of Lorraine displeases him and James and Charlize work perfectly together to show this distrust throughout.

The way the story is told takes us back and forth between the present day where Lorraine is being interviewed about her mission and the past, the mission itself. Leitch cleverly flits between the two times and often imposes the different scenes on top of each other so we slowly fade between the two (an aspect I particularly liked). It also keeps the mystery/thriller genre going as we try to piece together what is happening.hero_4102_fpf_00241rv2

The supporting cast includes some well known names and faces who all give excellent performances. It was great to see two British actors known more over here for TV shows getting decent roles on the big screen. Eddie Marsan (Little Dorritt, Sherlock Holmes) is Spyglass, an informer seeking safety on the other side of the Wall and Toby Jones (Dad’s Army, The Hunger Games) is Eric Gray, one of the men interviewing Lorraine. Another star who is slowly making a real name for herself is Sofia Boutella (Kingsman, The Mummy) who plays French agent Delphine who forms a close relationship with Lorraine.11-atomic-blonde-w1200-h630

Overall, Atomic Blonde is a very good film. It is filled with superb – if gory – action scenes and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing (although I did predict quite early on one of the big plot lines). The only thing that lets it down slightly is the ending is a tad confusing, I can’t say much without giving anything away but we came out the film not entirely sure what had happened! On the plus side though the soundtrack really is fantastic, so definitely go and see it for that alone!

Dunkirk

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The world has been patiently waiting for the release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk – his first movie based on a historical event – and finally it is out, with a range of exceptional reviews to follow. I don’t think we were ever taught about what happened at Dunkirk, but the events are still well known anyway. Here Nolan takes us right into the action that occurred over the course of a week when thousands of British soldiers were trying to get back home. Nolan cleverly splits the action between three places, the land, the sea and the air and each place runs on a different time scale. The action on the land takes place over the course of a week, the sea a day, and the air an hour. We are taken to and from each setting and get to see how the three connect to each other. Dunkirk is filled with characters and yet Nolan doesn’t give us any background information to them – with the majority we don’t even learn their names – however this just highlights the action taking 25-harry-styles-dunkirk-w710-h473place and is true to real life, because in reality none of these men would have stopped to have a chat, their focus was solely their own survival.

Visually this film is superb, particularly the scenes in the air when the spitfires are flying around. We are shown wide angle views of the planes chasing each other as well as camera views from inside the planes themselves. Some of these shots really are spectacular and I would love to know how they filmed them. Equally the scenes on land and at sea are also brilliantly done, the aerial shots of the thousands of men lining up on the beach of Dunkirk waiting to be picked up really brings home the realities of how many men were involved in what was a relentless attack. What dunkirk-8makes this film so good is the fact that Nolan doesn’t concentrate on showing us shots of men being killed, the focus is on the men’s continuous desperation to stay alive and get themselves home. This decision stops the film from being overly gory but that doesn’t mean that the thousands of deaths that occurred aren’t touched upon, because it is still very much shown. As well as wide shots there are plenty of close-ups, particularly on the faces of the soldiers. There are also some harrowing shots underwater as the men struggle to survive yet another attack from the enemy.

bb-t2-0044Hans Zimmer brings the soundtrack, and my goodness what a soundtrack! This film is carried by the continuous score that Hans brings. It is relentless much like the attacks the men faced over and over again. The tension throughout the film is heightened by the score and together it creates a dramatic watch from start to finish.

Dunkirk is full of well known names and faces, and even though we are told little about each of their characters we are still drawn to each man and feel every emotion that they go through. There is no real main character but the one we follow the most is played by Fionn Whitehead in his first major film. He has very few lines but he is brilliant at showing us the exhaustion and desperation that he feels, as does Aneurin Barnard (War & Peace, Cilla) another soldier – with even less dialogue. christopher-nolans-dunkirk-imax-poster-croppedThe two meet on the beach at Dunkirk and are drawn together, tackling the following challenges by each other’s sides. Later they are joined by a third soldier played by Harry Styles (yes the lad from One Direction) and who is surprisingly not a bad actor. Harry has more lines than I thought he would but if the rumours are true, Nolan had no idea who he was when he was cast so his role has nothing to do with the fact he was in one of the biggest boy bands of all time. A lot of attention was drawn towards the film purely because of Harry’s casting but if that means that more youngsters go and see the film then it’s good as they should be learning about what those poor soldiers went through.

Up in the air we have Tom Hardy (Inception, Mad Max, Peaky Blinders) and Jack Lowden (War & Peace) as Bodega Bayfighter pilots. Tom Hardy spends the entire film in his spitfire so unfortunately we don’t get to see much of his lovely face. On the sea there is Oscar winning Mark Rylance (BFG, The Bridge of Spies) who plays Mr Dawson – the only character we really learn anything about. Alongside his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Peter’s friend George (Barry Keoghan) the three take their boat and sail to Dunkirk to help rescue the soldiers. Along the way they pick up a stranded and shell-shocked soldier played by Cillian Murphy (Inception, Peaky Blinders). Their journey shows us how the home front were just as determined to help the war effort, risking their lives to save the men fighting for their country. The final big name is Kenneth Branagh (Wallander, and Director of Cinderella), as Commander Bolton who oversaw the evacuation of the soldiers from the beach. Every character is well acted and this includes the hundreds of extras used to portray the soldiers. You really feel a connection to these men and spend the entire film willing for their survival.screen-shot-2017-03-29-at-7-06-42-pm

Overall, Dunkirk is most definitely a must-see. It’s not an easy watch due to the nature of the narrative; and the constant tension as each narrow escape from death is faced with yet another, means you don’t fully relax until the end! However Christopher Nolan has managed to pull off a film both visually and emotionally gripping. It really is an epic film and I’d recommend you see it on the biggest screen possible to fully appreciate the cinematography and visual effects. Definitely one I’ll be watching again, and hopefully it will be used in schools to teach future generations about the horrors that unfolded during that week. Dunkirk will certainly stay on your mind for a while after watching it and it brings a powerful sense of respect towards the soldiers as well as the home front who all ultimately just want to get those men home to safety.

 

The Beguiled

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Directed by Sofia Coppola (Maria Antoinette, The Bling Ring) and starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning, The Beguiled looked to be a good film. The story follows Nicole as Headteacher Miss Martha at a girls’ school in Virginia, where due to the Civil War there are currently only 5 students – the eldest being played by Elle Fanning – and one teacher, Kirsten Dunst as Edwina. The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union Soldier, Corporal McBurney – Colin Farrell, leads to jealousy and betrayal amongst the women as they fight over the Corporal’s attention.

The BeguiledThe story line looked to have a great potential and with the film being sold as a Drama/Thriller, I was very intrigued. However there was little promotion for the film over here, even though the cast are top actors, and now I know why…

Unfortunately The Beguiled really doesn’t have a lot to it. The story line is slow, and quite frankly nothing really happens until the last twenty minutes or so and then it just gets plain weird. There are a lot of scenes in which there are no dialogue, just shots of various characters doing activities – sometimes having no real importance to the plot – and whilst these shots are visually stunning, the film is filled with far too many of them so the beauty of them gets taken away as we are1omd2thvnoxklulkckn2xtg shown yet another misty shot of some trees.

I honestly don’t know why this is being classed as a thriller, there is nothing remotely thrilling about the entire film! The opening scene has a slight horror feel to it as we see a young girl picking mushrooms in the woods, with the music and the way the camera follows her giving the sense that someone is going to jump out at any second…but that is literally the only time you will be on the edge of your seat. The rest of the film you will probably be looking at your watch hoping it’s nearly over, or else trying to make sense of what is supposedly going on!

360132_068The dullness of the film has nothing to do with the cast, who all make a good go at their roles. Colin Farrell is delightful as the wounded solider thrown in amongst the women, but then I can never resist an Irish accent! Nicole Kidman pulls off the strict but protective headmistress, keeping the young girls in check but always having their best interests at heart. Kirsten Dunst’s character is the one that really catches the Corporal’s attention (not entirely sure why as she doesn’t smile during the entire film), and Elle Fanning, as the oldest student and desperate for male attention, sets her sights on the Corporal and will stop at nothing to claim him for herself.

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The Beguiled could have done with delving into the characters a bit more, showing us the different women’s attractions towards the Corporal instead of merely hinting. We are shown enough to get the general idea but then something will happen to make us question what is actually going on. Maybe this is the ‘thrilling’ part of the film, maybe we aren’t supposed to really know what everyone is feeling, but to be honest it just makes you lose interest in the film.

Overall, The Beguiled is definitely not one I’ll be seeing again and isn’t one I’d recommend. Honestly haven’t a clue what the film was really about, and things only got going towards the end and even then the story line went off into a totally different direction and everything went a bit mad. Yes there are some lovely shots of the country and thankfully the film is only 90 minutes but it’s not worth the bother even for such a great cast!

Baby Driver

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Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars) is a young getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus and so constantly listens to music to drown it out. His music means he can make any wild move while in motion with the right 3068927-poster-p-1-baby-driver-sxswtrack playing. It’s a critical talent he needs to survive after being coerced to work for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey, House of Cards), who values Baby’s role in his meticulously planned robberies. However, just when Baby thinks he is finally free and clear to have his own life with his new girl friend, Debora (Lily James, Cinderella), Doc brings him back for another job. Now saddled with a crew of thugs too violently unstable to keep to Doc’s plans, Baby finds himself and everything he cares for in terrible danger. To survive and escape it will take all of Baby’s skill, wits and daring, and the right soundtrack of course!

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Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and with a great cast including Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Baby Driver is an excellent film from start to finish! Filled with stunningly executed action scenes and stunts, and with a soundtrack with an abundance of classic rock and soul tracks as well as heavily relatable characters, there is nothing to criticise about this film. The reason Baby Driver is different from other action films is due to the heavy reliance on music leading the action. Every move fits the rhythm and beat of the music, with action sequences building along with the song’s climax. An excellent example is when Baby and Debora are having a romantic meal, all we can hear is the music maxresdefaultbut the movements of the two – down to the flick of an eyebrow – is all in time to the beat.

 

Ansel Elgort is perfect as Baby, it’s easy to see he is trapped in this role of getaway driver and takes no pleasure in what he is a part of. He has a beautiful relationship with his deaf foster dad which shows a completely different side to him compared to the one who drives criminals around. His character is totally likeable and believable, you root for him the entire time and feel a protectiveness towards him when he is amidst the others. His growing romance with Debora is sweet and shows yet another side to his character. Lily James is great and the two work alongside each other perfectly. The role is very different to what we’ve seen her in before but she pulls it off brilliantly.

baby-driver2_1490284950566_9027863_ver1-0Kevin Spacey brings the serious and sinister role, leading the various criminals through each heist but never doing anything himself. He has a power over Baby and constantly uses this to his advantage. He is very much in charge and won’t take any nonsense. Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm both play slightly psychotic characters. They bring a few laughs throughout which stops the film being too full on. Again this is a very different role for Jon Hamm – nothing like the calm persona of Don Draper in Mad Men – but he plays it brilliantly.

The film is packed with car chases, right from the opening sequence through to the very end, and each chase is amazingly pulled off. It would be interesting to know how exactly it was all filmed as I’m pretty sure the likes of Ansel, Jon and Jamie would not be allowed to be involved in scenes so dangerous! 5efb9d29878b790cd4117428ce25eafc06e466b4

Overall, Baby Driver is a fantastic film! I really wasn’t sure what to expect but had seen a lot of good reviews, and now I’m so glad we went to see it. Yes there are a lot of action scenes but the plot and the romance between Baby and Debora bring another side to the film so it really is suitable for everyone, and with a soundtrack including the likes of Lionel Richie, Queen, Chuck Rio and Pharrell Williams, you really can’t go wrong!

Gifted

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Frank Adler (Chris Evans, Captain America) is a single man raising his niece Mary (McKenna Grace) after the death of her mother. His plans to give Mary a normal life are thrown into disarray however when after her first day at school it becomes clear that she is a Maths prodigy. The news makes its way to Frank’s mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan, About Time), who previously had had no contact with Mary, and soon Frank is in the middle of a custody battle with his mother whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer (The Help, Hidden Figures) is Frank’s landlady and friend who has a very close bond with Mary and along with Mary’s teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate, Girls) they help Frank in his fight to keep Mary.

gifted-trailer-stillI don’t know if we saw a special showing of this film but there were no adverts or trailers, we had literally just sat down when the film began, throwing us straight into the lives of Frank and Mary and their special bond. Gifted takes its time to tell us the background of the pair, leaving a bit of mystery as details are slowly revealed. The two main characters clearly have a deep connection and this is shown throughout the film. Frank is obviously torn between fighting to give Mary a normal childhood and letting his mother enhance Mary’s mathematical abilities. There are some very powerful scenes between the two throughout and the whole film is beautifully acted.

McKenna Grace gives an amazing performance considering she’s only 11. She is able to bring a range of emotions and takes the audience on a journey with her character. One scene between Frank and Mary will have you fighting back the tears! Chris Evans, known more for action films, takes a different role entirely here. His portrayal of Frank is perfect, the love he has for Mary is clear but the fact that he doesn’t really know whether he’s doing the right thing by Mary is evident too. He is completely torn and Chris acts this beautifully. The bond between Chris and McKenna is strong throughout and all the scenes they have together are brilliant. You can really believe the relationship between the two of them.

gifted-webOctavia Spencer, though only a relatively small role, is perfect as always. She is Frank’s right-hand woman, taking Mary every Friday night so he can still have a bit of his own life. It’s clear from the start that Roberta and Mary also have a very close bond but as the court case goes on Roberta points out her feelings have no say in what happens to Mary, no matter how much she loves the child. Along with Mary’s teacher Bonnie they support Frank in his fight but ultimately there is nothing they can do. Jenny Slate is great as Bonnie, she spots Mary’s gift and encourages her in class and along the way she also starts to get close to Frank.

Evelyn is the baddie in the film, having never shown an interest in her granddaughter’s life she suddenly shows up and demands custody when Mary’s talents are revealed. The court case throws up all sorts of secrets between mother and son as the truth is slowly revealed. Lindsay Duncan gives a very good performance, it’s easy to not like her when put against the obvious bond between Frank and Mary, but towards the end of the film we fully start to understand why she is so desperate to oversee Mary’s upbringing and start to see her in a new light. The relationship between mother and son is strained and Chris and Lindsay really portray this through their scenes together.1494429135_chris-evans-gifted-trailer-1478031318-620x413

Overall Gifted is a beautiful film. The story is powerful and takes you on an emotional journey. Chris Evans gives a brilliant performance but young McKenna is the star of the film. I can guarantee you will cry at least once, definitely a must-see and I’m surprised it hasn’t had more promotion over here!

Wonder Woman

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Wonder Woman was one of the hotly anticipated releases of this year, it follows the DC Comic’s superhero before she gained her name, when she was just Diana, Princess of the Amazons. We see Diana growing up and her desperation to be a tribal warrior like the other women surrounding her, so when a pilot crashes into their world telling of a great war (WW1), Diana takes it upon herself to leave home and help fight. Along the way she wonder-woman-gal-gadotstarts to realise she has more power than she first thought, and just what this power could do to help end the war. Directed by Patty Jenkins – who has subsequently become the first female director of a studio superhero movie, and since the film’s release its given Jenkins the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director – and the lead played by Gal Gabot, Wonder Woman is definitely a female driven film.

Gal Gabot is utterly perfect in this role, she is undoubtedly beautiful but her kick-ass attitude means that women wish they could be her rather than hate her. I won’t deny that there were quite a few times I found myself wishing I could look as good as her in the outfit, but overall my feelings towards Gal/Wonder Woman is that I wish I had her guts! Gal’s portrayal gives us a woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, whether physically or 2017_the_wonder_woman_gal_gadot_widethrough words, she is a brilliant role-model. The character is passionate and brave and Gal really creates a role that is believable and likeable. Relatively unheard of as an actress, Gal has certainly held her own in this lead role, proving all the critics wrong (many didn’t believe she was capable of doing the iconic character justice). The fact that she was five months pregnant whilst doing the re-shoots just makes Gal more of a hero in my eyes! She’s definitely one I’m going to watch out for in future films, and she’s officially one of my girl crushes!

49052The leading male is played by Chris Pine (Star Trek) as the pilot who crashes into Diana’s world. His character, Steve, brings a light humour throughout as he tries to make sense of Diana and this strange world that she has come from. There is a clear showing of respect from him towards Diana though, probably due to her dominant nature – and the fact she could beat him in a fight any day! Chris and Gal work perfectly together, creating a believable friendship/romance. Steve and Diana’s journey takes them across countries as they track down the person Diana believes is Ares (the God of War). Diana’s belief is that if Ares is stopped then the war will immediately end, for the war is Ares doing and not man-kinds. Steve, although sceptical, agrees to help and enlist his friends to join them. They include Steve’s secretary Etta (Lucy Davis, The Office), spy Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), marksman Charlie (Ewen Bremner, Trainspotting) and smuggler Chief (Eugene Brave Rock, The Revenant). Together they create quite the team, and though there are now a lot of men involved it’s still Diana that is leading the film. Another familiar face is David Thewlis (Harry Potter) who plays Steve’s boss.

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Visually, Wonder Woman is fantastic! There are a lot of superb action scenes – proving women are just as good at producing action sequences – and some of these are equipped with slow-motion shots, really ramping up the drama and tension. There’s plenty of dramatic moments to keep the guys happy and the fact that it’s Gal who executes the majority of the moves gives women a feeling of pride and respect.

Overall, I honestly think Wonder Woman is a fantastic film! Gal Gabot completely owns this role and I came out the cinema feeling awed and a little bit in love. Some of the Marvel/DC adaptions can be too laddie so to have one which is not only female led but female directed means that the outcome is a film that women will thoroughly enjoy and aspire towards. This doesn’t mean that men won’t enjoy it, quite the opposite in fact, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Wonder Woman becomes a favourite amongst women when deciding between superhero films. I would wholeheartedly implore you to go and see this film, if only to give you the sense that women really are capable of anything.

Baywatch (2017)

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Based on the popular television show of the same name, Baywatch follows Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympic swimmer who wants to join an elite team of lifeguards led by devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson). Brody thinks he’s a shoo-in, and his casual attitude starts to instantly rub Mitch the wrong way, but when drugs and a shady resort owner pose a threat to the bay, Mitch and Matt must put their differences aside to spring into action and save the day.

Now I haven’t ever seen the original Baywatch series but I know of it thanks to the many zac-efron-abs-2_u51gmentions it gets on Friends! So I know the basic premise is a lot of slow-motion running in tight swimwear – something which appeals to both genders…! I also know that David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson made their names from the show, and they do have small cameos near the end, so if you’re a fan of the original then you’ll be pleased. I went into this film with the lowest of expectations, it hadn’t received a lot of good press, and I fully expected to not like it. However, I was pleasantly surprised because Baywatch is actually a pretty decent film! The humour is silly and a little sexual but it never takes it too far so it’s crude, the story line is full of twists and turns and there are plenty of action scenes to keep you hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s one that both genders can appreciate.

58497f7adb4bc611c084da80_o_u_v0Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson bring the male hotness – and there are plenty of topless scenes from both of them – and they also bring a lot of the laughs as the two guys constantly clash with each other. Dwayne’s character Mitch takes lifeguarding very seriously and doesn’t appreciate how Matt thinks he can just automatically join the team because of his status. Matt therefore pushes back against Mitch and tries to prove that he is the better man in all situations. Dwayne and Zac work very well together, their character’s annoyance with one another is clear to see and their comedy timing is brilliant. Zac plays the good-looking arrogant role perfectly, and though at first you kind of hate his character, he goes on a journey in which he starts to understand the benefits of working in a team.

The stunning women of the film include Summer (Alexandra Daddario), CJ (Kelly http3a2f2fhypebeast-com2fimage2f20162f122fbaywatch-2017-0Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera) who all have enviable figures which they parade around in super small and super tight swimsuits. Yes there are a lot of slow-motion close-ups as they run down the beach but you can’t really say its sexism because the same amount is shown of the men too! Also the women aren’t just there for the sex appeal, they are as much a part of the action scenes as the guys. We don’t get much background to the girls except that Summer is a new recruit like Matt, the film very much centres around Matt and Mitch and their dynamic relationship.

Bringing the majority of the humour to the film is Ronnie (Jon Bass), who is ridiculously in love with CJ, but as a slightly chubby and unfit male, doesn’t stand a chance with her. However his poor fitness levels don’t stop him trying out for the lifeguard team every year and this year he impresses Mitch with his determination and is let in. His role is clearly one to bring comedy value and Jon Bass does a very good job with this. He reminds me a little of Josh Gad and the characters that he often plays.

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Overall, Baywatch is a simple comedy film suitable for everyone (15+), it’s easy to watch and provides plenty of laughs and was surprisingly a lot better than I was anticipating. The action scenes are brilliantly shot, and there are plenty of slow-motion moments to appease everyone! Definitely one I would happily watch again.

Snatched

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After the success of her first film, Trainwreck, American comedian, actress and producer Amy Schumer is back with another comedy film – this time with the legend that is Goldie Hawn. The two play mother and daughter Linda and Emily, who have very different attitudes towards life, Emily is carefree and a dreamer whereas Linda is ultra-cautious and spends the majority of her life at home with her two cats and grown up son Jeffrey (Ike Barinholtz). After Emily’s 705466_029boyfriend dumps her days before their (non-refundable) exotic trip to Ecuador, she is saddened to realise her only available companion is her mother. However she is determined to go and so convinces Linda to leave behind her safe life and journey with Emily to paradise. Unfortunately it’s not long before Emily is charmed by James (Tom Bateman), who is not who he seems, and Linda and Emily find themselves ‘snatched’ by the local baddie’s and must find a way back to safety.

Amy Schumer brings us a character that is instantly likeable, Emily does and says things that all girls certainly think about but don’t always have the courage to do – which is all part of Amy’s humour and why she’s so popular with women the world over. Goldie Hawn is perfect as Emily’s mother, Linda is desperate for some proper contact from Emily (avidly following her every post on social media) and their predicament on snatchedholiday means that the two are forced to face up to their differences and start working together again. Underneath all the on-going action there is a lovely story arc that sees a mother and daughter reconnecting. Amy and Goldie work perfectly together, you can really believe the mother/daughter connection. They bring both humour and emotion and really bounce off each other both on screen and off – judging from the promotional tour – which makes the film really natural and easy to watch.

The supporting cast includes the familiar faces of Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), Wanda Sykes (Bad Moms), Joan Cusack (Toy Story) and Tom Bateman (Cold Feet). Wanda and Joan in particular bring a lot of laughs as two fellow holiday goers who attach themselves to Linda and Emily. Tom Bateman is unfortunately one of the baddies which is slightly annoying as he’s the only bit of eye candy in the film and he’s not even in it that much!thumbnail_25315

Overall, Snatched is a simple action comedy film that is exactly what’s needed to just let your mind relax. The story line is a great mix of humour, emotion and action, so there’s something for everyone. Amy really has a knack for writing scripts that hit on real life, her comedy is relate-able and although a lot of it is sexually linked she never lets it become too crude, always allowing just the right amount to shock but not disgust the audience. There are some great comedic moments throughout, and some genuine laughs were had. It’s probably more of a girls film, but there is plenty of action to keep the guys interested and at 90 minutes it’s just the right length to keep you connected for the duration.

Going in Style

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After witnessing a bank robbery – and facing losing his house due to his pension being stopped – Joe (Michael Caine) decides he too will rob a bank and take the money that he is owed. He ropes in lifelong friends, Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin) who are also plagued with money troubles, and together the three embark on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their pension money.

e821e9af9fb04e064dfebcd90b19fd27-1491541597Directed by Zach Braff (Scrubs), Going in Style is a lighthearted comedy for all ages. I really didn’t know what to expect from this film, but I like Zach Braff and with legends Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman fronting the film I figured it couldn’t be that bad. In fact it turned out to be a lot better than I imagined! The story line is simple, the jokes natural and the characters with their different lives are all totally believable and relate-able. You totally feel the desperation the three men have in getting their much-needed money and you’re rooting for them the entire time.

It’s not very often these days to be given a film led entirely by an older cast, but Going inrs_1024x759-150908141715-1024-michael-caine-morgan-freeman-jr-90815 Style proves that actors like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkle still have what it takes to give us characters who we can fall in love in. The three men give us scenes of comedy and drama, both individually and together, creating well-rounded characters and some hilarious as well as emotional scenes. United by their money problems the three men also have their own personal reasons in robbing the bank. Ultimately they might be committing a crime but they’re not bad people and this is fundamental in the emotional pull throughout the film. Michael, Morgan and Alan all play these roles brilliantly, giving a perfect balance between comedy and drama but all the while keeping everything natural and believable. They are so at ease with each other that it’s easy to think they FILM Reviews 093789have been friends for 30+ years like the story indicates.

The supporting cast are all great and help boost the three leads, Ann-Margret is particularly funny as Albert’s love-interest. The film also stars Matt Dillon, Maria Dizzia (Orange Is the New Black), Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) and Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy). Each character, small or big, all bring a different aspect to the film and help shape the lead characters.

Overall Going in Style is a very good film, there are plenty of laughs throughout. Visually there’s plenty of action and there’s a scene when the three men are on the phone to each other and the screen splits three ways to show each of them, which was cleverly done. The comedy side isn’t forced, the film isn’t trying too hard to make you laugh, instead everything is very natural, which makes it a more enjoyable watch. I would definitely recommend this film, it’s one all generations can enjoy and one I will certainly be watching again!