Book v Film: The Jungle Book (2016)

“The reason the beasts give among themselves is that Man is the weakest and most defenceless of all living things.”

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Based on Rudyard Kipling‘s classic collection of stories, and a re-imagining of the 1967 Disney animation, directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book tells the story of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), an orphaned human living in the remote jungle of India. Guided by his guardians – Raksha the wolf (Lupita Nyong’o), Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), and Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley) – Mowgli sets out on a journey of self-discovery, meeting monsters of the jungle – including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) and King Louie (Christopher Walken) – while evading the threatening Shere Khan (Idris Elba).

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Film Review: Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice

(This week I took a trip to my local Showcase cinema to watch the new release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Thanks again to Showcase Cinemas for asking me to host a game of #OscarsBingo. By playing, I won two free cinema tickets, which I used today.)

Directed by Zack Snyder, the follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel and the second instalment in the DC Extended Universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice sees Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) share the screen as the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. Two years after Superman’s battle with Zod, which left the city of Metropolis in ruins, the collateral damage has left many feeling angry and helpless. Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, while the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade.

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Film Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and the second film in the Cloverfield franchise, originally developed from a script titled The Cellar, 10 Cloverfield Lane follows a young woman, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who wakes up after a car accident to find that she is locked in an underground bunker with a young man, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr). The shelter belongs to doomsday-prepper Howard (John Goodman), who claims that the outside world is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe of a widespread chemical attack, and insists that he saved Michelle’s life. Uncertain what to believe, Michelle is soon faced with the decision to believe a questionable stranger, or attempt an escape at any cost.

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Film Review: Deadpool

Marvel‘s first release of 2016, and the eighth installment in the X-Men series, directed by Tim Miller, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who, diagnosed with terminal cancer and willing to do anything to spend more time with his fiance, Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), undergoes a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers. Thus, he adopts the alter ego, Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humour, Deadpool hunts down Francis Freeman a.k.a. Ajax (Ed Skrein), the man who nearly destroyed his life, and his sidekick Angel Dust (Gina Carano), alongside fellow X-Men Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapičić).

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Book v Film: Dark Places

“I felt hollowed out. My mom’s death was not useful. I felt a shot of rage at her, and then imagined those last bloody moments in the house, when she realised it had gone wrong, when Debby lay dying, and it was all over, her unsterling life. My anger gave way to a strange tenderness, what a mother might feel for her child, and I thought, at least she tried. She tried, on that final day, as hard as anyone could have tried. And I would try to find peace in that.”

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The second adaptation of a Gillian Flynn novel to make it onto the big screen, the first being the hugely successful Gone Girl which was directed by David Fincher and released last year, Dark Places is a crime mystery based on Flynn’s second novel of the same name, which was originally published in 2009.

Dark Places follows Libby Day (Charlize Theron) who, at the age of eight, witnessed the brutal murder of her family in their rural Kansas farmhouse, for which her brother was convicted for at the time. 30 years later, running out of money and with doubts beginning to creep up, Libby agrees to revisit the crime in an attempt to uncover the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night.

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DVD Review: Crimson Peak

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak is set in the aftermath of a family tragedy, when a young, aspiring author (Mia Wasikowska) is torn between love for her childhood friend (Charlie Hunnan) and the temptation of a mysteriously seductive outsider (Tom Hiddleston). Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak.

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DVD Review: The Lobster

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster is set in a dystopian near future, where single people, according to the law, are taken to a hotel where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in 45 days, or else they are transformed into an animal of their own choice and sent off into the woods.

The film follows David (Colin Farrell), who enters the hotel with his brother, a dog, after his wife leaves him for another man.

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