Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

If she is the one who’ll break the spell, you must finally learn to love…

Beauty and the Beast is the live action adaptation of 1990s animated classic. It stars Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Sir Ian McKellen and Dan Stevens as the Beast.

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A retelling of a story where a prince is transformed into a hideous monster where he must find someone who will truly love him in order to lift the curse that’s surrounds him and his castle.


The Good

One of the best things about the animated classic are it’s musicals, as cheesy and theatrical as they are they are fun to watch and to listen to. Glad to say it’s the same case in this live action remake. From the opening song to the grand ballroom dance sequence they got the musicals down and even adding new songs didn’t hinder this movie’s ability to deliver on that front.

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The cast is great however Ewan McGregor as Lumiere undeniably stole the show. He’s a lot of fun to watch, he’s incredibly charismatic and funny and it’s a delight every time he’s on screen.


The Bad

There’s very little complaints about this movie, the biggest is the movie is almost a shot by shot take on the original, there’s nothing groundbreaking about it and being a shot by shot remake kind of hurt this movie just a bit.


Rating

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Overall Beauty and the Beast is still a lot of fun, the musicals were great to watch. Emma Watson did a good job as Belle and the Beast though doesn’t have the feral animalistic features of the animated one is still good. The supporting casts were also good and even Luke Evans as Gaston is entertaining. The movie looks great overall from the custom design to the talking furniture, the movie manages to make you believe that Emma Watson is talking to a tea cup or a candelabrum. Highly recommended for families or lovers as a date movie.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Musical Set Pieces
  • Lumiere
  • Ballroom Dance Scene
  • Nothing New
  • Beast is not very Beasty

Movie Review: La La Land

How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.

La La Land is a musical and the second film by Damien Chazelle it stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

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Emma Stone plays Mia a struggling actress in Hollywood and Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian a struggling pianist in Hollywood. They fall in love in the most romantic and gorgeous way.


The Good

Let me start off by saying that this movie is amazing, from the music to the dance sequences to the cinematography to the overall look. Damien Chazelle has outdone himself in an incredible way.

Both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and you can feel the chemistry between them. They are comfortable with each other from their duets to their dance sequences it worked really well on screen and both should be given credit with their performance.

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The dance sequences are also amazing as they appear to be filmed in one take, soaking you in as a viewer and keeps your eyes glued to the screen, Damien Chazelle did an incredible job filming the dance numbers and deserves a major award nomination at the very least.

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The film’s overall look is gorgeous, you can tell this is a love letter to the older musicals in the 60s. The colours are usually primary colours with deep saturation which makes it pop in the screen which makes every scene look like a painting. The film’s music is also a huge plus as we can tell that Damien Chazelle has a deep love for Jazz. Each song is memorable and lovely to listen to, it does make you appreciate the genre a bit more.


The Bad


Rating

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La La Land is easily one of the best movies of 2016 and for people who loves musicals, jazz and loves to dance this is for them. From the romance to the music to it’s characters, this movie rejuvenates the lost love for musicals. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were great and though you can tell they’re not singers, you can tell they had fun with this movie and it resonates to the audiences. La La Land is highly recommended for everyone.

Good Bad 4.9/5
  • Incredible Cinematography
  • Great Music
  • Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling

Movie Review: Cafe Society

Love is not rational. You fall in love, you lose control

Cafe Society is the latest movie by Woody Allen, it stars Jessie Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell and Blake Lively.

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Set in the 1930s’ Cafe Society follows Jessie Eisenberg as Bobby. A young man from New York who’s hoping to find success in Hollywood as well as success in finding love.


The Good

This year is not all bad for Jessie Eisenberg as he manages to bring out a decent performance in Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. Though similar to other Woody Allen movies, his lead is filled with his mannerisms and Jessie Eisenberg nails them perfectly. There’s a subtle charm behind him and he’s decent to watch through out the movie. Other actors such as Steve Carell and Corey Stoll are great, they bring a fun dynamic to the film and to their credit, their presence is felt through out.

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Another great aspect of this movie is its looks. This movie is beautiful to look at, the use of pastel colours compliments the film extremely well. The costume design is amazing and it does look and feel like the 1930s. As usual the music is great, Woody Allen knows how to pick his Jazz and they’re lovely to listen to.


The Bad

Unfortunately for this movie not all is good as it the story loses direction in the second half of the film. With what felt like random events compiled into a scene after another, it loses all momentum and frankly it might have a hard time retaining the audience’s attention.

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Another complaint is Blake Lively, usually Blake Lively is great in any movie, however there is not enough of her in this film almost resulting her role into a cameo appearance which is quite disappointing.


Rating

Overall Cafe Society is still a movie worth checking out, if you’re fan of Woody Allen, despite it’s flaws, this movie will still please you. The comedic timing is great though the romantic aspect didn’t hit as much. To her credit Kristen Stewart is decent, however nothing about her stood out.

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With great overall looks, music and soundtrack and the  and decent to strong performances, Cafe Society is still worth checking out.

Good Bad 3.5/5
  • Overall Great Cast Performances
  • Beautiful to Look At
  • Great Music
  • Directionless Second Half
  • Not enough Blake Lively

Movie Review: Kimi no na wa (Your Name)

Kimi no na wa (Your Name) is the latest movie from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai.

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Kimi no na wa tells the story of Taki and Mitsuha, both live miles apart from each other but were able through connect through their dreams and together form a bond that transcends through time.


The Good

This is easily the best looking anime movie this year, the artwork in this movie is gorgeous. The details are outstanding at its a pure joy to look at. Once again Makoto Shinkai has out done himself and delivered an artistically unforgettable movie.

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Along with the beautiful artwork the story is also incredible, though what starts as a cliched love story becomes something so much more around the movie’s second act. Accompanied by sci-fi and fantasy elements the story enthralls from start to finish. The characters are charming and funny, and though the movie is very strong with its romantic presence, the comedic parts also hit.


The Bad

As mentioned the movie is very cliched in terms of its romantic aspects, also like similar to other Makoto Shinkai movies it starts quite slow, however if you’re a fan, it’s an issue not worth thinking of.


Rating

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If you’re familiar with Makoto Shinkai’s work, you know what you’re getting into. That said, Kimi no na wa is without a doubt one of the best movies of the year, from the captivating romantic story to the hard hitting drama, this will no doubt pull the heartstrings of many. The movie is lovely to look at, the characters are great and the fantasy / sci-fi aspect of it is fascinating. This movie is a masterpiece and without a doubt the best anime movie of the year.

Good Bad 5/5
  • Gorgeous Animation
  • Great Characters
  • Emotionally Captivating Story
  • Music / Sound Direction
  • Slow Start
  • Cliche’d at some parts

Movie Review: Me Before You

Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.

Emilia Clark built her career on being one of the most popular characters of the hit TV show Game of Thrones. However with the unimpressive performance of Terminator Genisys, can she bounce back with this romantic drama and show that she’s as good on the big screen as she is on the show?

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Emilia Clark stars as Louisa Clark who’s desperate to make a living to help her family. She takes a job taking care of recently paralyzed Will Traynor (Sam Claflin). Things doesn’t go smoothly for Louisa as Will is proving to be very difficult to work with. However with her charming personality she’s able to form a bond with Will which may ease him of his pain and suffering.


The Good

For a romantic drama, glad to say our two leads were great. Emilia Clark plays a quirky small town girl with a very charming personality and she plays it as best as she could. From delivering lines with perfect comedic timing to crying in heavy dramatic scenes, she’s shown that she got range and that she’s not always the badass dragon riding person that we know from Game of Thrones.

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Sam Claflin is also great in the movie as he plays a very moody person who’s suffered and lost so much due to an accident. At first it’s difficult to relate to him since on the outside he’s still a ridiculously rich handsome person. But we do empathize at a certain level when exposed to his vulnerabilities.

The movie has a great mixture of comedy and drama which helped the pacing of the almost two hour movie. It’s never boring and you feel engrossed in the story.


The Bad

As great as Emilia Clark’s performance in the movie, she does feel miscast-ed as the movie sells her as a small town quirky person who’s not very smart and sometimes clumsy. Unfortunately it didn’t work as the movie hoped it would be. You don’t believe that she’s the average looking girl who magically transforms once she takes her glasses off or in this case, when she wears a red dress.

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The movie falls in cliched romantic tropes especially when it comes to Will Traynor realizing that Louisa Clark is beautiful this whole time and falls for her. And at times the writing didn’t make sense and becomes very superficial in certain scenes with issues mainly being first world problems.


Rating

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Overall Me Before You is a good romantic drama, the dialogue isn’t as pretentious as The Fault in Our Stars and it does a great job pacing through it’s running time. The performances were decent especially Emilia Clark who tried her best. Unfortunately the way she was portrayed and the movie’s superficial writing drags the movie down tremendously. Still, it’s a charming, tear-jerker movie which couples and some single women and men can enjoy.

Good Bad 2.7/5
  • Emilia Clark & Sam Claflin
  • Humorous & Charming
  • Emilia Clark’s Magnetic Eyebrows
  • Emilia Clark’s Character
  • Superficial Writing
  • Cliched

Movie Review: Mr Right

When two charming leads come together you would think they’d deliver a great movie with a lot witty dialogue, hilarious comedic scenes and likable romance. Unfortunately Mr. Right is not that movie.

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After witnessing his boyfriend cheating oh her with another woman, Martha (Anna Kendrick), goes on a self destructive path hurting everyone around her. That is until she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell) who sweeps her off her feet little does she know that Francis is a Professional Hit-Man with multiple targets on his back.


The Good

The only good thing going on in this film is Sam Rockwell. He’s charming, witty and sometimes funny. The rest well…

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The Bad

The movie is flat out terrible, the actions scenes are bland. The dialogue wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great either. You may get a chuckle here and there but there’s no genuine funny moment. The romance is even worse as it’s incredibly unbelievable but the most disappointing part of the film is Anna Kendrick.

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As a fan of hers, I found her unbearable. She’s irrational and incredibly dumb. Her material is dreadful and she’s got plenty of eye rolling dialogues and scenes. This is possibly the worst I’ve seen her in any film she’s been on and as a fan of her work, it’s very disappointing.

Last but not least is Tim Roth who tried and horrendously failed to produce a convincing southern accent. An accent he should never ever attempt again. It was cringe-worthy and just plain horrible.


Rating

Overall, Mr. Right is not worth anyone’s time, it’s a movie filled with childish, unfunny jokes and for it’s credit the movie doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s borderline a parody film and it knows it. There’s a target audience for these kinds of movies and that’s fine. It will hit those audience and they’ll like it but generally speaking, it’s a terrible film.

Good Bad 1.5/5
  • Sam Rockwell
  • Anna Kendrick
  • Unfunny Jokes
  • Tim Roth’s Southern Accent

Book Review: Replay by Ken Grimwood

“All life includes loss. It’s taken me many, many years to learn to deal with that, and I don’t expect I’ll ever be fully resigned to it. But that doesn’t mean we have to turn away from the world, or stop striving for the best that we can do and be. We owe that much to ourselves, at least, and we deserve whatever measure of good may come of it.”

-Replay, Ken Grimwood

Jeff Winston was 43 years old when he felt something his heart, he’s stunned and just like that he died of heart attack, in the year of 1988. Suddenly he awoke in his college dorm room at Emory, the year was 1963 and once again Jeff Winston was 18 years old.

Replay started off strong, right off the bat, our protagonist died and woke up 25 years earlier in his 18 year old body. Straight away there’s intrigue, I wanted to know how and why as well as follow Jeff’s bizarre story. There was a feeling of anticipation within me, it felt like I’m about to embark on an amazing sci-fi/fantasy journey with Replay. Unfortunately the sci-fi/fantasy aspect of Replay is underwhelming. It was during the beginning of the third act where I realized that Replay is more of a Romantic novel. That said, the romance was written very well, overwhelming on certain parts but if I’m going to give the book a credit it would be hitting the romance aspect right out the park.

With this being underwhelming on the fantasy/sci-fi part, the book also suffers on some aspects. There was a part of the first act where, there was absolutely nothing going on despite the strong early chapters. The pacing could have been a lot better and with the lack of sci-fi elements the book needed a quicker pace. Another complaint is our protagonist, Jeff Winston himself, he lacked the charisma to make me root for him. Compared to his counter parts or other characters he was the least person I cared about. His character was so bland where, there were parts where women went with him mainly because he’s got money.

That said, he was smart with several of his decisions. Any smart person would do what he had done when he woke up back in 1963. He was placing bets on winning teams, investing and buying stocks on start up companies who’re eventually going to become successful. There were a lot “yes that’s exactly what I would do” moments. Though unlikable as a character at least he was smart. Also a great part of the book was Jeff’s female love interest. She was written incredibly well she was the complete opposite of Jeff in terms of likability and she’s oozing with charisma. With her around Jeff sometimes becomes an afterthought and that’s how strongly she was written.

Overall the book is a great romantic story, just don’t expect it to be heavy on the sci-fi/fantasy aspect because waking up in a younger version of yourself is as good as it gets in terms of fantasy. It wasn’t what I was expecting but in the end I was OK with it. If there’s one lesson to take about the book, it is to remember major sports win or derby wins because you will never know. Highly recommended to people who are into romance-fantasy novels but for hardcore sci-fi/fantasy fans, this won’t be for you.

Rating: 3.5/5