Review: Pulp Fiction

While I discuss the outline of this film, I don’t give away any pivotal spoilers. But come on… this film has been out for a while.

Usually, when I go to the cinema to see a re-run of an old film, it’s no more than 30% full, therefore it really shows the staying power that in my screening of Pulp Fiction, over 80% of the seats were taken (I should have booked earlier and gotten better seats). So what is it that draws so many people to a 25 year old film on a Summer Wednesday evening in Portsmouth?

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Review: The Lion King (2019)

It’s been a while since I last saw a true Disney movie in the cinema. When I saw the castle come up on the screen with ‘When you wish upon a star’ blaring out, it felt like a walk down memory lane. That logo to me showed that a movie was going to be creative and made with care and affection. I knew I was going to enjoy the next 90-120 minutes. It was a stamp of quality. However, this film showed this to be the case no more. Disney took one of their most universally beloved films and sledgehammered it in the name of making a quick buck. When money comes before creativity for a studio such as Disney, something you love dies and I am certainly in mourning after watching the Lion King.

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Review: The Matrix

So guess what was on in the cinema last week…

From the opening green text on a black background, flying through the air to the last moments with a kick-ass song from Florence and the Machine, The Matrix is still very much a lesson in how to do Sci-fi correctly, still holding its own twenty years later. Did I care about the characters lacking depth? No. Did I care about the plot holes? No. Did I care that I would have to watch two allegedly bad sequels to get to the end of the story? Possibly.

Image result for Matrix bullet

For all of the flaws that plague the film and the genre, what the matrix does to make it a cult classic is to get the very basics right in a way that not many can. The world building is fantastic. You see some odd things, start to question them and then get thrown into this mind bending reality, which will leave you pondering it in the days, weeks and months to come. It hits you and lead character Neo head on from the moment he takes the red pill. The idea that you are merely in a simulation has been made iconic by this film. But what this film does is take it further, showing a dystopia where humans generate heat and energy for the artificial intelligence and are nothing more than batteries. If you knew this, would you rather have taken the blue pill and forgotten everything about it? This is the question that Matrix proposes to you. It makes you think. While there are clear morals set out, the decisions we could make are blurred by constant ambiguity.

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Review: Yesterday

A Danny Boyle film about the Beatles? Could this be any more British? Well, probably not unless we see a cameo from the queen (But she’s too busy with her Corgis). But unlike a bastion of the world that some would have you think, this film ends up more of a post brexit rubble (Okay, not quite that bad).

Jack (Himesh Patel) is a wannabe pop star who sings in pubs with his guitar. However, his mundane lyrics and over reliance on power chords mean he’s never going to make in anywhere. That is until one day the power goes out and he gets hit by a bus. Upon waking up, he learns that nobody else remembers who the Beatles are. He then uses their songs to make himself a world wide music star.

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Review: We The Animals

With X-Men, Men in Black and Godzilla all providing an avalanche of CGI , a film like We The Animals can be a welcome change of pace. However, just as CGI doesn’t guarantee a good film, a lack of it means a solid story, action and cinematography is required. What WTA offers is a beautifully told intimate story.

Based on a book of the same name, WTA focuses on Jonah, a 10 year old mixed race Puerto Rican/American boy and his two older brothers Manny and Joel. As the only mixed race boys in the neighbourhood, they have the attitude of them versus the world. Almost inseparable, they are synchronised and have one anothers back. They live in poverty with their mother and father.  We see the gritty story of these boys growing up as their parents have problems, ranging from poverty and unemployment to depression and domestic abuse.

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Review: Toy Story 4

As this is a new release, there will not be any spoilers

When a precious film gets a sequel, your first feeling is that of dread. By the end of the forth Shrek, I felt let down. Therefore, after the end of an almost perfect trilogy of toy story, one could be forgiven for considering this film nothing more than a potential stumbling block. However, the good news is that this film doesn’t dampen the legacy left by Tom Hanks and co and brings about a new age for Toy Story.

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Review: Rocketman

While your mum’s favourite film of last year was Bohemian Rhapsody, I must say it was one of my least. Therefore going into Rocketman, I felt a certain sense of dread. While I love queen, my reaction to Elton is more lukewarm. I like Rocketman and Tiny Dancer and I love your song. But he’s not Freddie. So was Rocketman better than BoRhap?

I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words.

Well, the quick answer is yes. The biggest difference between Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody is that Rocketman is a musical. The songs are integrated within the story unlike Bohemian Rhapsody which was a biopic with songs in. This lends more flow to the story as music is often used to transition between periods in Elton’s life. At first this is odd. As we are told of Elton’s childhood, we get out first musical number dancing with his neighbours in an overcast street to “The Bitch is Back”. While usually effective, some do feel forced in and there isn’t quite enough final variety within Elton’s songs to always match the moods portrayed.

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The setting for the film is a rehab center. Elton (Taron Egerton) has admitted himself saying he wants help for his addictions to drink, drugs and everything else. It’s a very harrowing look at where he has come, with a stark contrast against his colourful parties in his flashbacks. The story is well put together and you actually want to watch it unlike BR where you were just waiting for the next song.

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