Film Review: The Mountain Between Us

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Based on the 2011 romance novel by Charles Martin and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, The Mountain Between Us follows Dr Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and journalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) who are stranded in the High Uintas Wilderness after their charter plane crashes when the pilot has a heart attack mid-flight. Knowing that nobody is coming to their rescue, the couple must trek through the snow-capped mountains against the harsh conditions to find safety. The ordeal leads them to rely on each other to stay alive and, ultimately, brings them closer together.

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Film Review: Avengers – Infinity War

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The third Avengers ensemble film and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War sees The Avengers – Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Vision (Paul Bettany), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier) – and The Guardians of the Galaxy – Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) – come together for the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, these new superhero allies have to sacrifice everything in an attempt to prevent the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin) from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

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Film Review: Coco

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Pixar’s latest, directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco is set in Santa Cecilia, Mexico, and follows 12-year-old aspiring musician Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez). When his family forbid him from playing music, due to an ancestral ban after his great-great-grandmother’s husband abandoned their family to pursue a career in music, Miguel enters the Land of the Dead to find Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a legendary singer who Miguel believes to be his great-great-grandfather. In an effort to find him, Miguel enlists in the help of Héctor (Gael García Bernal) who claims to know Ernesto, as they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

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Film Review: The Greatest Showman

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Directed by Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman celebrates the birth of show business, inspired by the life of P.T.Barnum and the creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film tells the story of a visionary, Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Alongside his wife, Charity (Michelle Williams), and children, Barnum works with playwright Carlyle (Zac Efron) to bring together a cast of live stars, including a bearded lady (Keala Settle), a trapeze artist (Zendaya) and Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey).

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Film Review: Thor – Ragnarok

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Directed by Taika Waititi, the third instalment in Marvel’s Thor films, Thor: Ragnarok, sees the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) return after being banished by his long-lost goth sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett). Imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, which is ruled over by camp tyrant Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Thor is pitted against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a gladiatorial contest. But, with the help of his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a defender of Asgard, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), his priority is to return home to save it from of the prophesised catastrophe of Ragnarok.

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Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Directed once again by James Gunn, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the return of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos and must fight to keep their newfound family together. Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, old foes become new allies as the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage is revealed when they meet his father, Ego (Kurt Russell).

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Film Review: The Light Between Oceans

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Based on M.L. Stedman‘s 2012 debut novel and directed by Derek Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans follows war veteran Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), who returns home to Western Australia after fighting in the western trenches of World War I in Europe. After meeting and quickly falling in love with the young Isabel (Alicia Vikander), the newly married couple move to an isolated island where Tom maintains the upkeep of a working lighthouse, and Isabel gets used to married life away from her family. But as Tom struggles with his numb emotions from serving in the war, and after the heartache of not being able to start a family of their own, the couple rescue a baby girl who has washed up on an adrift rowboat. Believing their prayers may have finally been answered, Isabel encourages Tom to informally adopt her as their own but, as a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves. Against his better judgment, he agrees to let Isabel keep the child, naming her Lucy and informing their families that she is their own. But when Tom and Isabel return to the mainland a few years later, they soon discover that their actions may have had devastating consequences for the lives of others.

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Film Review: Howl’s Moving Castle

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From the amazing Japanese animation film studio, Studio Ghibli, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Howl’s Moving Castle is based on British author Diana Wynne Jones‘ 1986 fantasy novel, the first in a series of three, that follows a young, unconfident girl called Sophie Hatter (voiced by Emily Mortimer) from the fairytale land of Ingary.

For Sophie, being born the oldest of three is only the beginning of her troubles, since the oldest child is doomed to fail first. When Sophie’s father dies, her stepmother, Fanny, takes Sophie and her two sisters out of school. But whilst Lettie and Martha go off to become apprentices, Sophie is left with no one to talk to but the hats she creates. One day, the Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) makes a visit to Sophie’s shop, and leaves Sophie under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady (Jean Simmons). Her only chance of breaking it is to find the ever-moving castle in the hills, and plead with the castle’s owner, the heartless Wizard Howl (Christian Bale). To untangle the enchantment, Sophie makes a deal with Howl’s fire demon, Calcifer (Billy Crystal): if Sophie can break his contract with Howl, then he will fix her curse. Finding herself caught up in Howl and the Witch’s conflict, Sophie soon discovers that there’s far more to Howl — and herself — than first meets the eye.

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Film Review: Arrival

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Based on the short story, Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, which is a part of his Stories of Your Life and Others collection, Arrival is directed by Denis Villeneuve and is premised during an alien invasion after multiple mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe. Recruited by the military alongside mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) and US Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker), linguist Dr Louise Banks (Amy Adams) must assist in translating communications with an alien race known as Heptapods. As mankind scrambles for answers as to why these aliens are here, Banks tries to distinguish between their two distinct forms of language – the Heptapods’ spoken language, which has a free word order, and their written language, which has a complex structure that a single semantic symbol cannot be excluded without changing the entire meaning of a sentence – a vital study to maintain peace with this mysterious race.

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Film Review: The Girl On The Train

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Directed by by Tate Taylor and based on the book by British Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train follows an alcohol divorcee, Rachel (Emily Blunt), who takes the same train to work every single day. As Rachel passes by the same houses, she comes to recognise the people she sees and begins fantasising about the relationships and lives of those that reside there. One of these houses belongs to her ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux), who now lives with Anna (Rebecca Ferguson), who he cheated on Rachel with, and their baby daughter. A few doors down, Rachel spends most of her commute fantasising about the seemingly happy lives of Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett). But everything changes when Rachel witnesses something from the train window and Megan is later found to be missing, presumed dead. Becoming entangled in a missing person’s investigation, Rachel’s involvement promises to send shockwaves throughout both her past and future.

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Film Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Based on Ransom Riggs‘s debut book and directed by Tim Burton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children follows teenager Jacob (Asa Butterfield), who sets off to a mysterious Welsh island, using clues from his grandpa’s old photographs, to find out who his grandpa really was after his unexplained death. Led to a large, abandoned orphanage, run by the mystical Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), Jacob begins an adventure that spans different worlds and times. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and about their special powers, as well as the powers of their enemies. Chosen to protect the Peculiar Children, Jacob must discover his own power to save his new friends from the nightmarish Hollows and Wights, who are led by the mysterious Mr Barron (Samuel L Jackson).

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Film Review: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

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Directed by David Lowery and a reimagining of Disney‘s 1977 musical family film of the same name, Pete’s Dragon follows the adventures of an orphaned ten-year-old boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a giant, green dragon. For years, old wood-carver Mr Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), a forest ranger, these stories are little more than a folk tale… until she meets Pete, living in the woods with no family or home. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father, Jack (Wes Bentley), owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about his dragon.

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