Toy Story 4 – When they said ‘to infinity’…

I’ve said it before, that sequels maketh Hollywood, and yet again this proves true with the release of Toy Story 4. I was disappointed from the beginning this film was even being made – it seemed so pointless when the third instalment had wrapped up the story so perfectly. Plus the timing of Toy Story 3, released over 10 years after the first film, meant that the sweet sadness of Andy giving up his beloved toys for someone else to enjoy, Andy growing up, tugged at the heartstrings of all the right people, of the right ages. It just worked. Another film seemed so unnecessary.

Did we really care about the journey, now that our beloved Andy had gone off to college? What about this plastic spork ‘toy’ we’ve been seeing everywhere? And Bo’s new character development that was so heavily publicised? What more could Toy Story 4 give us, really?

**SPOILER FREE POST**

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Aladdin – Lazy filmmaking

So as if Disney aren’t getting enough money out of the entire world already, they’re churning out yet more remakes of old classics. If they were all good, it might not be a bad idea… but safe to say they’re not. And it’s getting lazy.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

Their latest offering is a live action remake of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, with Will Smith put up to the task of filling Robin Williams’s gargantuan shoes, and needless to say, that was not to everyone’s delight. Though it has to be said, that wasn’t the worst part of the film. Not that it was a total disaster. There were some good things to say about it. Some.

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Ready Player One – A note on adaptation

You may or may not remember that I read Ready Player One about 6 months ago, although devoured is probably a better word. And after saying my piece about the book, it seems only right that I should follow up with a few words about the film, seeing as it’s arrived.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

The first thing to be said, especially for those of you who’ve read the book, is that it’s quite different to the original material. (If you need it, my brief-and-spoiler-free synopsis is in the post linked above, for reference.) The challenges that stand between player and key are significantly changed, and much of the real-world action has been doctored too. But stick with me, that’s not to say it’s all bad, far from it! The Gates that a player must pass through to obtain the keys that will eventually lead to finding Halliday’s Easter Egg in this virtual reality multiverse (I most definitely stand by my comments made in the last post – I do NOT envy the writers trying to exposition this bad boy on film) needed to be changed. They were far more complex in the book, with more stages to get through, and they were not always very visual, if at all.

Yeah that’s right, I’m praising changes made to the adaptation.

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Lady Bird – Mothers and daughters, a love story

At the London Film Festival, I had the immense pleasure of attending a screening at Leicester Square, which was hosting a ‘Surprise Film’ screening on Saturday night. And when previous years have shown the likes of Birdman and Silver Linings Playbook as the LFF Surprise Film, well, consider my curiosity well and truly piqued.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

(…I’m not a monster)

The Surprise Film turned out to be Lady Bird, the directorial debut of American actress and filmmaker, Greta Gerwig. Starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, the story follows a year of her life as she prepares to leave high school and go off to college, with all the troubles and turmoil that entails. It’s a character film, centred on the prominent relationships in Lady Bird’s life, and in particular her female relationships; it’s a different kind of love story.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Sequels maketh Hollywood

After the blinding success of Kingsman: The Secret Service it seemed only natural that there would be a sequel right around the corner. And here we have it: Kingsman: The Golden Circle hit cinemas a few days ago and the box office has been booming.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

The basic plot goes something like this… Kingsman HQ is blown sky high by Julianne Moore’s eccentric villain Poppy Adams, and the surviving agents head to their American counterparts, Statesman, for aid. The two organisations must now cooperate to get back to saving the world from the next evil genius in line to threaten humanity.

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Beauty and the Beast – Something there that wasn’t there before

Bonjour, bonjour! BONJOUR! It feels like we’ve been waiting for Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast for FOREVER, and it’s finally heeeere! (Cue the party poppers and champagne corks. And throw in a firework or two if you feel like it.) After the success of the live action remake of Cinderella a couple of years ago, which I thought was just magical, I waited with baited breath in the darkened cinema to see possibly my all-time favourite Disney film burst into new life.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

It was beautiful. The visuals were stunning, the story was touching (which we knew already), the new arrangements of the music were gorgeous. The choreographed sequences were enchanting, and the design of the whole production was magical … Have I thrown enough compliments at it yet? I promise there is more to say though.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I’ve got a good feeling about this

Yesterday, the latest film in the mighty Star Wars franchise was released, entitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Prior to its release, we knew next to nothing about it, other than it’s placement in the series between Episode III and Episode IV. From that, and some tasty trailer snippets, we gather it focuses on the rebels and the formation of the Death Star. But that was pretty much all we had.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

It turns out, the story revolves around Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who is sent out on a mission by the rebels, to capture the plans for the Empire’s ‘planet killer’ – the Death Star. Though what she signed up for and what she ends up with, are not exactly the same thing.

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