Little Women – Is it too soon to call film of the year?

The ink has barely dried on the first page of 2020 and I’m going all in – I think I may have already seen my favourite film of the year. Call me crazy, roll your eyes, snort tea out of your nose, but maybe don’t laugh too hard until you’ve seen it yourself.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

I fell absolutely head-over-heels in love with this film, and wow has it set the standard high for the rest of the year. Greta Gerwig has triumphed again – it was a delight! Funny, heartwarming, emotional; both timely and timeless. And presenting the story in this new and non-linear way was a huge success – there are no clumsy flashbacks to be found here, all the threads are woven together as one masterful piece, and the two timelines move together to give poignancy to the four journeys laid out before us, both past and future.

And in answer to controversies about the film being “too white”, my first answer to that is that most of the main cast are related, so you would struggle to have one sister a different race. And to add to that, I think in this case it would be shoehorning a minority character in, which is just tokenism, and does nothing to solve inclusivity. So no, I don’t think Little Women is too white.

Continue reading “Little Women – Is it too soon to call film of the year?”

Quentin Tarantino – The journey Vol. 2

Since my last appearance, I’ve consumed a couple more of those Tarantino movie things that I somehow managed to avoid for so long. And it’s only right that I now add them to my growing list, the first part of which I documented in my last blog outing. The rankings as they stand are…

  1. Inglourious Basterds
  2. Kill Bill Vol. 2
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. Kill Bill Vol. 1

So where do the new contenders Reservoir Dogs and Once Upon a Time In Hollywood fit into the mix?

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

I liked Reservoir Dogs a lot, and it’s easy to see why so many people rate it highly. The acting is strong, the soundtrack is great, and I love the way almost everything happens in that one warehouse. The opening breakfast scene started everything off shakily for me, and I was thinking that Tarantino might have lost me already. I mean, who were these people? Why did I care? What on earth was Tarantino himself doing at the table? I’m really glad he didn’t continually crop up, because that was really distracting. But the upward slope kickstarted after the opening credits, and kept going up.

Continue reading “Quentin Tarantino – The journey Vol. 2”

Quentin Tarantino – A journey

I seem to have earned myself something of a catchphrase, especially at uni in film student circles – “I haven’t seen that.” As many horrified film students soon discovered, I said it about a lot of Tarantino films. All of them, in fact. So I decided that it was about time I went on a journey of discovery, into Tarantino world. I started with The Hateful Eight. Because if you believe the people, the only way is up from there. Next on my hit list was Inglourious Basterds, which was followed by both Kill Bills a few days apart from each other. So, how does this Tarantino newbie rank them all?

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

Coming in at no. 4… Kill Bill Vol. 1

In a word? Mad. In a large part that came from the numerous styles that featured throughout the film, which I found made the whole thing feel disjointed. And it was never clear how much of it was experimental, and how much of it was supposed to be saying something profound. In which case, any profoundness soared way over my head. I found the film to be a bit uncertain of what it wanted to be.

Continue reading “Quentin Tarantino – A journey”

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**

Continue reading “Toy Story 4 – When they said ‘to infinity’…”

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.

Continue reading “Aladdin – Lazy filmmaking”

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.

Continue reading “Ready Player One – A note on adaptation”

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.

Continue reading “Lady Bird – Mothers and daughters, a love story”