The Shape of Water (2017) Review

If I spoke about it – if I did – what would I tell you? I wonder. Would I tell you about the time? It happened a long time ago, it seems. In the last days of a fair prince’s reign. Or would I tell you about the place? A small city near the coast, but far from everything else. Or, I don’t know… Would I tell you about her? The princess without voice. Or perhaps I would just warn you, about the truth of these facts. And the tale of love and loss. And the monster, who tried to destroy it all.

I can’t think of a better opening to this review than by quoting the opening lines because I don’t think that the amount of words I have could make up for the amount of praise I have for this film. I will be reviewing Guillermo Del Toro’s new film The Shape of Water.

The film is set in the Baltimore 1962, the Cold War era. Elisa Esposita (Sally Hawkins) and her friend Zelda Delilah Fuller (Octavia Spencer) are cleaners at the Occam Aerospace Research Center. This is a government facility which is currently run by Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). He collects an asset (Doug Jones) from a river in South America and brings it to this research facility to see if it will help win the cold war against the Russians. Elisa sneaks into the lab and interacts with the asset. She starts to fall in love and does whatever she can to free him. A story of love in the most unconventional way possible.

I had not paid attention to the film and couldn’t care until I saw behind the scene photos of the film. I watched the trailer and became enamoured. You see the film was made by Guillermo Del Toro, an amazing director that made the Hellboy films. I was in love with those films and I grew up watching them. He had based this film on the ‘romance’ between the creature from Black Lagoon and Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams). I then went on to watch and saw that everything was intricately designed and by intricate, I mean INTRICATE.

The asset or Charlie as his name was is a very real person, or should I say suit. In an interview with Doug Jones (plays Charlie) he talks about how Guillermo approached him for this film. It was an entire wet suit made with latex. The glow effects were lights. It was a real suit and not some fake CGI and this elevated the film in so many ways. It was an authentic honour to the old filmmakers that made the monsters costumes. Everything in this film is beyond amazing and not just Charlie’s design but Sally Hawkins does an amazing job. All the actors show a need for completion which they succeed in the end.

The plot may come across weird but it is a true joy to watch with the music constantly going, the raw emotions and the development of a great relationship on screen. I was in tears and moved, the film gave me a new vision to the world and I love this movie. I recommend watching it and I don’t think that the amount of praise I have for this film is enough. It deserves all the awards it is given and I cannot wait to see more of Guillermo’s work. A perfect end to Valentines Day!


Brokeback Mountain (2005) Review

I can’t think of a way to address what I’m about to write. The one question, I always ask myself is ‘Why have I not seen this film sooner?’ Sit tight and listen closely to what I am going to say about the film: Brokeback Mountain.

The film tells the story of two men: Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger). These two men are hired as sheep herders and one night have a passionate night of romance. The two men separate yet make attempts to carry on their love affair for twenty years, despite having wives and children.

The entire film tugs at your heartstrings and I don’t think I could ever be the same after watching the film. The soundtrack is so prominent that hearing the song, ‘Wings’ instantly makes you cry. The song summarizes the mood of the film and that is not the only best thing. The visuals are absolutely stunning. Each shot truly encapsulated the year and Ang Lee deserves all the Oscars for everything he has done for the film.

The characterisation is absolutely perfect. The story between Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar is truly authentic. Their story is broken and passionate that you can truly appreciate it’s realism. I don’t think you could class this a ‘Cowboy romance’ because it’s not just about two cowboys in love. It’s two men who try so hard to protect their desires. The romance was not easy in the beginning and it made me appreciate the movie so much more. This is Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal’s best role to date. There can’t be another remake or reboot because the movie is perfection in itself.

The film makes you feel a plethora of emotions and it is the perfect romantic story. I’ll admit the plot was a bit difficult to follow, however I was enthralled by the performance of the characters and the symbolism. The amount of praise that I supply to the film is not enough.

I definitely recommend watching this film. It fills you with so much emotion that you could explode. It is honest and powerful and one of the best films I have seen in my life. This is a true story of love and the difficulty that comes along with love.

Justice League (2017) Review

IT HAS ARRIVED! After waiting for months, since July 2016 when the SDCC footage released the first look at the film I was hooked for the big heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman to create the JUSTICE LEAGUE! An addition of Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. So come together and listen to my review of this film: Justice League.

The film is set after the events of Batman V Superman and *spoiler* Superman is dead. The world is lost without him and a threat is emerging from an ancient being known as Steppenwolf. He and his parademons are rising to destroy the world in exchange for the dark ages. Batman Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman Diana Prince gather round metahumans: The Flash Barry Allen, Aquaman Arthur Curry and Cyborg Victor Stone to stop Steppenwolf and save the world.

This film is basically The Avengers (2012):

  • Both films are a set up for a bigger extended universe.
  • There is a group of five to six heroes saving the world from a big villain.
  • The villain is somewhat related to one of the heroes.
  • He has an army which threatens the fate of the world.
  • The fight takes place in the city of the country.
  • The team struggle to get along until before the fight they unite and fight together.
  • There is one female hero while the rest are men.
  • One of the heroes come in and save the day.

Understand the picture? Well I’m not complaining about it. In fact, I enjoyed Justice League more than The Avengers. (“Come at me Marvel fans”). The story line was easy to follow and the chemistry between the characters was more developed. They were all well written and acted.

Each actor was perfect for the role and I think that the critics are being unfair to the film. I loved Ezra Miller as the Flash. He was funny, heartfelt and relatable. A perfect match for the audience. I really wanted more Victor Stone ‘Cyborg’ for I felt his story line wanted to come out and entice me. Wonder Woman was awesome and I fell more in love with her. Aquaman was perfect for Jason Momoa and my favourite moment of his, is when he starts revealing the truth about his teamates only for him to have been sitting on Wonder Woman’s truth lasso. Finally Batman, a broken shell of a man and in love with Superman. Batman has a big crush on Superman and I want Batman and Superman to be in a relationship. Instead of #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, it’s #SuperBat.

The film had equal amounts of action, drama and comedy. Every fight scene was a good length that kept your focus. I really want to say my favourite fight scene but that would be spoiling the film and I don’t want to do that. The visuals were amazing and the moral of the film was just fantastic. I would definitely recommend it and it is so much better than The Avengers but most person have over hyped The Avengers. All everyone can focus on is ‘When is the Infinity War Trailer dropping?’

Please watch Justice League because it has a better plot and character chemistry than The Avengers. Sorry ‘not sorry’ for talking constantly back and forth about The Avengers but watch Justice League!

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Review

ALL ABOARD THE GEEKSHAKE EXPRESS! Welcome fellow passengers on the Geekshake Express. I will be your conductor and our last stop is the film review for this mystery thriller Murder on the Orient Express.

The plot follows Detective Hercule Poirot, who takes a train called the Orient Express. He is travelling from Istanbul to London to solve a mystery. On the train he comes across different passengers: a Count (Sergei Polunin) and Countess (Lucy Boynton), a Governess (Daisy Ridley), a Professor (Willem Dafoe), a Salesman (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a Maid (Olivia Coleman), a Princess (Dame Judi Dench), a Doctor (Leslie Odom Jr.), an Assistant (Josh Gad), a Butler (Derek Jacobi), a Missionary (Penélope Cruz), a Gangster (Johnny Depp) and an Heiress (Michelle Pfeiffer). All these passengers are stuck on a train for a couple of days due to an avalanche. But the Gangster is murdered. Hercule Poirot must work to find out who killed the Gangster.

When I first saw the trailer, I was enamoured by the style of the trailer. It was amazing and the trailer song had me hooked when the first revelation of the murder to the passengers appeared. The final shot of Kenneth Brannagh as Hercule Poirot was interesting and I’ll be honest I had never heard of the notorious Detective, nor did I know that it was a book from the famous Agatha Christie. It was only when I wanted to find out the release date, did I discovered that it was a book. I was further hooked.

Watching the film was an amazing experience. It was like playing Cluedo but on a train. The mystery is constantly there and as an audience, you are constantly hooked on who did it. I promise it has an amazing twist and you will feel content with the films finale. The characters perfect and Kenneth Brannagh as Poirot was interesting. The moustache was fake as you could tell it was glued on the face of Brannagh but other than that, he gave a convincing performance as the Detective.

The camera style was amazing and I was instantly reminded of Brannagh’s Hamlet film which used 65mm lenses. The locations shot were impressive and I truly felt immersed in the film. The aura of the film was authentic and I truly recommend watching the film. The art style and costumes were great as well as the mystery and suspense.

IT: Chapter One (2017) Review

HIYA READERS! What a nice post? You wanna read it bad? Well come into the sewer to read and … you’ll float too. You’ll float too. You’ll float too. YOU’LL FLOAT TOO. We all float in what I am about to tell you in my review for Stephen King’s adapted novel: IT: Chapter One.

IT Chapter one is set in the eighties, following a group of children who call themselves the ‘Losers Club’: Bill Denbrough, Eddie Kaspbrak, Stan Uris, Richie Tozier, Ben Hanscom, Mike Hanlon and Beverly Marsh. These group of kids come together to defeat an evil threat known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The children, each with their own difficulties, unite in order to help Bill seek what happened to his little brother Georgie.

Focusing purely on the film, it was a great watch. Bill Skarsgård’s performance as Pennywise was certainly unique and special. His performance will certainly be as memorable as the Tim Curry one. That is without saying either one is better because they aren’t. They both are amazing in their own ways. However he does certainly place you in a tense atmosphere with his smile, drool and gruff voice. The voice was exceptional and I truly getting the feeling of coming face to face to Pennywise not Bill Skarsgård. ALTHOUGH I am not going to deny I do have a weird crush on Pennywise. Then again it is bad because he did kill children so it’s a weird thing.

The visual effects were amazing and really helped to bring elements of Stephen King’s novel to life. The symbolism of the red balloon was precise and exact and once again helped to make Pennywise creepy. Bear in mind the film did have two-three jumpscares but it was not an all around scary film. The film did make you feel tense and feel goosebumps. The film prepared you for the jumpscare, which I think for a film like this is a bit disappointing. A film that uses fear should involve sudden moments of jumpscares as it really helps to get the element of fear clear to the audience.

The plot was great and similar to the Tim Curry version and the child actors were amazing. Jackson Robert Scott in particular really did bring a authentic essence to Georgie and playing him as well Pennywise was perfectly balanced for a actor aged eight so great work Jackson! I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Losers Club and felt the character development was strong that I was empathetic to these characters rather than being hostile and it is important to have that in a movie like this.

I enjoyed the film what I enjoyed more was the memes that came along with it. There is this scene where Pennywise starts to do this goofy dance and on YouTube, many people have proved that Pennywise can dance to anything and he certainly has. He has danced to popular songs like ‘Despacito’ to the classic meme songs like ‘Never Gonna Give You Up”

Pennywise Meme

Click on the link and watch the entire playlist because honestly they are the funniest best thing to come out from the film. I would definitely recommend watching this film because it is well made and one should appreciate the art.

Victoria & Abdul (2017) Review

May I present, the most royal post you will have ever seen? The hidden history during the reign of Queen Victoria. A friendship people would have not expected: Victoria and Abdul…

The story follows Abdul Karim, who travels to England to participate in Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee to present a mohur coin. They make eye contact, which causes the Queen to be fascinated by him. A friendship ensues which causes high tension to run within the staff and inner circle. The Queen starts to learn new things and is taught how to read and write the Qu’ran by Abdul Karim. He becomes her Munshi (Teacher).

Three days ago, I went to the cinema to watch the film after I had fallen in love with the trailer. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the film. It amazing to learn something new as one does not realise the reality of a royal’s life. It gives great moments of laughter. The film relayed an almost truth about Queen Victoria’s last few years. I certainly did not expect the Queen to have friend in a servant, let alone a Muslim servant. It gave Queen Victoria, new image and certainly I envision her to be a wonderful human being with profound fondness in her friend Abdul.

The actors were perfect for the roles they were cast in. If Queen Elizabeth was not Queen of England, I certainly would love to have Judi Dench as Queen. She gave Victoria a perfect image and helped me to integrate well with the piece. Ali Fazal did an amazing job as Abdul Karim and I would loved to have seen further more footage of Abdul’s life after the Queen’s death. The film taught me about finding the right friend to bring out the best in you. It was a great moralistic film. The visuals were stunning and props to the location scouters for getting the locations but it brought great authenticity to the film.

The film does not give the entire story and tweaks a few events but other than that I would definitely recommend watching the film if you would like to see an ethnic portrayal within a film. I personally would recommend the film for the plot and portrayal because everything is absolutely perfect. It tells the beautiful story of a beneficial friendship.

The Counsellor (2013)

I write bad movie reviews as well as good ones and this one, is one of the awful ones. It’s so bad that Tommy Wiseau’s The Room would have won an Oscar for best film against this one. Today I am going to be writing about Ridley Scott’s crime thriller film: The Counselor (UK spelling: Counsellor)

The plot follows a crooked lawyer known to us as ‘The Counsellor’ (Michael Fassbender). He is preparing to run his first drug deal with a Mexican drug cartel. This would gain him a 4000% return rate and help him to run a night club with his friend Reina (Javier Bardem). Reina’s girlfriend, Malkina wants the money for herself and so she sabotages The Counsellor’s deal by hiring a hitman to kill The Counsellor’s middleman and steal the drugs to get the money. Essentially it’s a drug deal gone wrong.

How much can I insult the film without insulting the director? I adore Ridley Scott’s work. This film however, lacks story. It lacks everything. The story was stale and dry throughout the entire movie. I had no clue as to what was going on. There are random placements of unnecessary plot conveniences:

  • Reina informs The Counsellor of ‘The Bolita device’ which strangles and decapitates it’s victims – Half an hour later, it kills Westray.
  • Westray (Brad Pitt) informs The Counsellor about the drug cartel’s horrifying revenge technique of a snuff film containing necrophilia. Towards the end, The Counsellor’s recieves a snuff film of his girlfriend, Laura (Penélope Cruz)

Don’t get me wrong, every film needs a plot convenience to help move the story along. This film however does it so randomly that you might as well hold a big sign saying: “THE DRUG DEAL GOES WRONG. FILM OVER”. There is nothing good to say about the film. The story was undeveloped and the characters are nonsensical. I expected better from Ridley Scott. I expected better. There were weird moments which make you cringe for years. I’m surprised it did well at the box office: $71 million against a $25 million budget. I wasted two and a half precious hours of my life to watch this film. I honestly had have high expectations of this film because the the advertising of the film was interesting for me.

The film is a great big disappointment and I would definitely not recommend this film. Save your time for something worthwhile with great story telling and well developed characters. Do not watch this atrocious film.