Reviews of the Week

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Locke

Katy, 17

5 out of 5
School
The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Review Date
14 January, 2015

Locke

In normal circumstances, watching a one man show that takes place in the one and only car that is displayed on the poster, would not usually interest me. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the film had much more to offer than what it first seemed. Tom Hardy plays the successful family man, Ivan Locke, who is on a journey, both physically and mentally. He battles his subconscious and tries to find justification in his actions throughout this. Ivan makes and receives many life-altering phone calls as he travels, to deal with the mistakes he has made; these calls are not ones you would typically expect from an important and stable (although I do doubt this at times) man. Hardy's portrayal of the Welsh accent enhances his already astounding acting and creates a brilliant persona.

However, one cannot ignore the way this was sensationally written by the director, Steven Knight. I had not pictured myself in suspense whilst watching this movie, but I have to say, waiting for the next phone call was very tense. I felt that I really needed to know who was on the other end of the receiver and what they had to say. Hearing the dreaded, “You have a call waiting” during Ivan’s conversation was enough to send you over the edge! To add to this (like you need much more!), the actors voices were very impressive; without ever seeing them, their personalities were easy to distinguish and you feel as if you know how they would appear.

In my opinion, this film was ingenious. I feel as if I am running low on positive adjectives to describe it. It was cleverly produced and the odd bit of humour was just the icing on the cake. Highly recommended.

The Iron Giant

Olivia, 10

3 out of 5
School
Crakehall C of E Primary School
Review Date
19 January, 2015

The Iron Giant

I liked it, especially the funny parts. There is an evil detective who frendly or not wants to kill the iron giant. I only gave it three stars because it was too sad and nearly made me cry. I recomend it to people who arnt touchy and sensative.

**POSTCARD REVIEW**

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Sophie, 16

5 out of 5
School
Kirkwall Grammar School
Review Date
17 January, 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s latest work, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is little short of a masterpiece. His charismatic and colourful direction makes it an unforgettable film, just like the rest of his work.

The film is known for its exceptional cast by those who haven’t seen it: Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law and Saoirse Ronan to name a few. These and all the rest of the cast are very talented actors and actresses and I very much enjoyed all the familiar faces that cropped up over the duration of the film.

Wes Anderson’s unique and unchallenged style makes this film stand out to me. Just the name and you know you’re in for an enjoyable watch from past gems such as Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox, but his work never ceases to surprise me. Every shot looks like a beautifully composed photograph, filled with vibrant colours – every shot is one to be proud of.

The plot of the film is bizarre, exciting, and hilarious. It escalates quickly in an incredible spiral of events that keep the film in your head for weeks after viewing it.

I think this film is wonderfully funny and a joy to watch. Wes Anderson defies all conventions, his work fresh and individual, the actors embracing and filling the characters perfectly. The film is deserving of every Oscar nomination it’s been given.

Big Eyes

Eden, 16

5 out of 5
School
Reel Access Limited
Review Date
16 January, 2015

Big Eyes

Tim Burton the director that directed the movies Frankenweenie, Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd (which is my favourite movie of all time), and other Burton masterpieces has hit yet another home run, this time with a movie about an artist who paints big eyed people and the artist's husband who sells the paintings, the film is about people who fraud paintings to earn fame for themselves, it is about people who want to make themselves be in the spotlight and when they are not they feel like they're not special and this makes them aggressive, the film ultimately is about selfish people who want all the fame for themselves, Tim Burton's new home run did not go into the crowd, it soared over the stadium, went over the parking lot, then started falling nicely into the country park and landed into the country park pond with a nice splash, Big Eyes is that good, and way better than every other movie that is currently in your nearest multiplex (I'm looking at you "Unbroken"), Big Eyes not only cements itself as the best film of 2014, but it is also further proof that Tim Burton is the BEST filmmaker in the film industry, the things I have to say about Big Eyes are these, firstly the acting is pitch perfect, Amy Adams really shines as Margaret Keane as she is the one who is suffering the most in this film, from the opening shot of the film the audience is automatically shown that Margaret Keane is the tortured soul as she is running away from her husband with her daughter "Jane", she later meets Walter Keane who she marries, I have to say that throughout this entire movie the performance that stands out the most is Christoph Waltz's performance as Walter Keane, Walter Keane is a really nasty person yet you kind of care for him because you can understand why he wants to have the spotlight to himself as his previous artworks have not been successful at all and then all of a sudden when he's selling his wife's paintings to art companies he all of sudden start's getting the attention, and then he feels that he likes this attention and he wants it all to himself, I like it when Walter Keane refers to Margaret as a princess because throughout this entire movie she begins to become the damsel in distress once again, and that right there brings us onto the next thing that I need to talk about and that is the brilliant screenwriting, the dialogue in this movie is well written and well executed by the cast, the dialogue makes perfect sense unlike in Inside Llewyn Davis where all of the dialogue was completely crass, disgusting, vulgar and made completely no sense at all, Big Eyes' dialogue is the complete opposite to Inside Llewyn Davis' dialogue, it makes sense, it's charming, it's quite nice, and it's actually brilliant, thirdly Danny Elfman's music is absolutely outstanding just like in Burton's previous works, Danny Elfman is at his best when he is working with Tim Burton, the music that Danny Elfman conducts for Tim Burton just begins to start singing in tune with the movie from the very beginning of the film, Danny Elfman's music just fits with every single Tim Burton movie including this one, also the way Danny Elfman does his music in this movie is kind of like the music you would find in a caper movie and to be honest with you I thought it fitted perfectly with this movie, the next thing I want to talk about is Colleen Atwood as she has done the costumes the majority of Tim Burton's movies and I have to say that once again she has perfected her craft, the costumes look absolutely amazing just like in Burton's previous works, the costumes fit perfectly well with the 1950's style yet you can kind of see Colleen Atwood's style in the clothing, if anything the clothing is closely related to the 2012 film "Dark Shadows" (which is also directed by Tim Burton), where the clothing kind of had the same style as Big Eyes' clothing even though "Dark Shadows" was set in the 1970's, but none the less Big Eyes' clothing looks absolutely amazing just like in every other Tim Burton movie, also the film goes at a very fast pace, the film overall is 106 minutes long which is actually about around the same run time as Inside Llewyn Davis (which is 105 minutes long) but Inside Llewyn Davis plods at a very slow pace which actually made that movie feel like it was 150 minutes long and it was boring none the less, Big Eyes goes at such a fast pace that it only feels like it is 85 minutes long, the film is so enjoyable that the time just flies by as you sit through a film that you actually don't want to end, I also like the Margaret Keane cameo that is hidden in the film at some point in the film, it fits quite well unlike the Hugh Jackman cameo in "Night at the Museum 3" which I just thought was placed there because Shawn Levy (the director of "Night at the Museum 3") worked with Hugh Jackman before on "Real Steel" (which is a 2011 movie directed by Shawn Levy), the Margaret Keane cameo in Big Eyes is the complete opposite to the Hugh Jackman cameo in "Night at the Museum 3", the Margaret Keane cameo is relevant to the movie as she is the actual person who was in the actual events which the movie is based on and the cameo fits perfectly good in the movie, the scenery in the movie looks awesome when you can see all of the big eyed paintings in shopping malls and in art galleries like the Keane gallery, every you look in the movie you can see the big eyed paintings, you can see the big eyed paintings on tables, walls, as posters for the Keane art gallery, and any other place you can think of, that said this also leads onto another positive for the movie and that is the scenery is relevant and consistent with the movie's topic, which is great because it gets people thinking about the movie's topic and sets in the audience in the correct mood that the movie wants you to be in, there was one thing in the movie though that really made me feel distraught and sad, and that bit was when the end credits started rolling... as it meant the movie ended, I didn't want the movie to end because overall Burton's latest outing is the brilliant time you want whenever you want to watch a masterpiece, Big Eyes has perfectly executed performances from both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, and brilliant performances from the entire cast, it has a brilliant screenplay created by intelligent screenwriters (Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski), it has been adapted to screen brilliantly and leaves you thinking about the movie from the moment the movie starts all the way until you get home after seeing it, in fact I'm still thinking about the movie now and it's been like weeks since I've seen this movie, it has brilliant music by Danny Elfman which instantly begins to sing in tune with the movie from the very beginning of the movie all the way through to the very end, Colleen Atwood's costumes look fantastic and fits perfectly with the 1950's style but it never lets you forget that Colleen Atwood got these costumes as the costumes look familiar to Colleen Atwood's previous costumes which is great, the film goes at a really fast pace and you never get bored whilst watching this movie as the movie is so enjoyable that time just seems to fly past you as you watch this movie, the Margaret Keane cameo is relevant to the film's topic and the cameo fits in the film perfectly well, the scenery of the big eyed paintings is relevant and consistently seen in the movie which is fantastic as what Tim Burton is best at doing is looking at every scale of the movie and fitting in every single detail which is one of the reasons why I love Burton so much, and I forgot to say that I absolutely love all of Burton's quirkiness in this movie just like I do in all of Burton's movies, it is really funny and absolutely beautiful as it fits perfectly well in this movie and in every other Tim Burton movie, I didn't want Big Eyes to end because Big Eyes... is... absolutely... WITHOUT A QUESTION... THE BEST FILM I HAVE SEEN IN 2014!, it puts Inside Llewyn Davis into the graveyard where it belongs and it makes the wait for "Alice: through the looking glass" and "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" a lot harder for me, Big Eyes was the movie I anticipated the most in 2014, yep the year in which films like "Guardians of the Galaxy", "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies", "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", and "Godzilla" are released, I didn't anticipate those movies as much as I did for Big Eyes and boy was it worth it, this movie is worth every penny you pay to go and see it, and I will give Burton's new masterpiece Big Eyes a 10 out of 10, with the "Best film of 2014" title from me, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE IMMEDIATELY!, and it is rated 12A by the BBFC so that means everyone can go and see this movie, so there is NO EXCUSE to not going to see this movie!

How To Train Your Dragon 2

ELIZA, 9

5 out of 5
School
Alfred Sutton Primary School
Review Date
16 January, 2015

How To Train Your Dragon 2

I absolutely LOVE this film. It is a perfect sequel to the film as amazing as this one; How to train your dragon. A film with adventure, sadness and exciting moments ALL IN 1.Out of (literally) MILLIONS of good things I could say I will mention 3:1)The script helps make the film more realistic as it has words and phrases which,in those situations,the character is quite likely to say.2)The graphics really affect the film(in a good way)and really help set the scene.Finally,3)It has a really good plot(and no,I will not say what it is!)which makes the film MUCH more enjoyable. So,overall,I would highly recommend this film to anyone who likes sitting down,picking up their popcorn and getting stuck in to a PERFECT film(which is quite rare...)filled with suspense,sadness and fun with HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2!!!
By Eliza ( a film lover)

A is For Autism

Martha, 9

4 out of 5
School
Roch Community Primary School
Review Date
15 January, 2015

A is For Autism

I think that this is a great short film on Autism because it lets you know about other children who are different. I like it because it shows that people who have Autism are actually as good as you but can't understand the world like we do. There are some incredible artists in this film and it really makes you think that people who act different, are just trying to fit in. I think this film is emotional and is suitable for age 7+.

Moon

Antoni, 17

5 out of 5
School
The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Review Date
14 January, 2015

Moon

I was intrigued to watch this film for a while, predominantly due to the fact that one of my favourite (and undoubtedly underrated) actors, Sam Rockwell, stars in it. Furthermore, the film is directed by Duncan Jones; who has previously impressed me with 'Source Code' and has since left me wanting to explore more of his work. Essentially, I went into this film with high expectations, and oh boy, were they exceeded.

'Moon' takes place on the moon, surprisingly, and explores the isolated character of Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) nearing the end of his three-year stint on the moon, whilst working alongside his friendly computer GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). I'm not going to give away any more details of the plot, as with all films, it's best to go in blind or with as little information as possible in order to simply 'experience' the story unfold. This film most definitely deserves that approach, it captures isolation and human emotion on a genuinely profound level, and Rockwell's riveting performance is undoubtedly an Oscar-worthy one. Even Spacey's voice acting as GERTY is strangely satisfying to me; evoking this calming yet intriguing tone throughout the film which additionally helped to stabilise the drama, combined with Sam Rockwell's truly magnificent acting preventing this film from falling into a feeble melodrama.

Everything works perfectly here: the cleverly written script, the visually pleasing set design and even the slightly slow pacing which I didn't see as a flaw whatsoever. The pacing was perfect in this film; it made it feel all the more real and thus enticing, along with a captivating soundtrack to create an utterly fascinating atmosphere throughout. This film is without a doubt, truly astonishing in all aspects, and certainly exceeded my already high expectations. Duncan Jones' direction and Sam Rockwell's amazing performance (he absolutely deserves all of the praise) combined with a compelling plot result in a masterpiece of a film that doesn't shy away from exploring human emotion and struggles on a deeper level, whilst delving into two of the trickiest genres to pull off. I highly recommend this film to anyone who appreciates good cinema, not just the fans of Sci-Fi.

Grizzly Man

Dominique, 17

3 out of 5
School
The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Review Date
14 January, 2015

Grizzly Man

This film had the potential to be great, if things had been done differently. Although, of course, that is just my opinion. I know people who have enjoyed this film and would give it a much better rating than I, so why have I only given it a 2/5?

It's because the film dragged. By about the halfway mark, Herzog was losing me. I was bored, and I thought the documentary had already given all that it had to give. It had given us interviews with friends, it had given us footage of Treadwell out in the wild with his beloved bears, and most importantly, it had given us information about how the story ended: with Treadwell being killed and eaten by a bear. It had already gone into this in depth, with gruesome images and so forth. By the time I began to get bored, I was eagerly anticipating the film's end.

I felt that most of the second half of the film could have been cut out. If this had been the case, my review would be much more positive and I would have given at least a 4/5 star rating. It was the most tedious in the last 20-or-so minutes, when there were 'false endings'. I would see a shot, and think: "This is the perfect place to end the film!" And then I would see another shot, confirming to me that evidently the director thought otherwise. There was at least 3 of these moments, and left me audibly groaning each time it didn't actually end.

It also didn't help that Treadwell is an unlikeable person. He acted as though he was superior to everyone else, calling himself the saviour of bears, and on more than one occasion, he told pretty much the whole of civilisation [...] So naturally, I didn't take a shine. So an unlikeable main character (if that is what we can call him), coupled with the dragging out of the film, didn't really capture my interest.

The Tigger Movie

Austin, 5

3 out of 5
School
Frodsham CofE Primary School
Review Date
13 January, 2015

The Tigger Movie

Tigger is funny and bounces everywhere. He wanted someone to bounce with him - I would love to bounce with Tigger.

Where The Wild Things Are

Sally Jane, 17

5 out of 5
School
West Thames College
Review Date
13 January, 2015

Where The Wild Things Are

Spike Jonze, a joker on former project sets like Jack-Ass and other Johnny Knoxville films, is actually a gorgeous screenplay writer. With an Academy award for his more recent writing on his film 'Her' (2013), Jonze has quite some stuff to get off his chest.
A beautiful representation of Where The Wild Things are, originally written by Maurice Sendak, that could be a metaphor for what it's like to live as a depressed child. Max, who supposedly lost his father in either a divorce or death, only lives with his mum and sister. He's very angry, but most of all he's misunderstood. Children's comments or actions are often dismissed as "They're just kids, they don't know, they don't understand." And I think this film was a beautiful way of showing how children deal with depressing situations. It does affect them from a very young age.
The different characters might be a bit too diverse for a larger audience, but it can definitely connect to those people who have specific issues and feel like they're delinquents, just like Max.
I love this film. It's one of my favourite films of all time. It's cinematically gorgeous, beautifully written and very well casted. And lastly, I think the graphics are one of the most realistic I've ever seen.

Locke

Elliot, 16

4 out of 5
School
The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Review Date
12 January, 2015

Locke

Steven Knight wrote/directed a film in a car, with half the dialogue being about concrete... How did this not fail horribly?

"Locke" is the legitimately enthralling story of Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) driving to London because of a mistake he made and a choice he's making, which progressively changes his entire life. It is delivered surprisingly well!

Tom Hardy's performance was fantastic at captivating the calm and collected man who will soon start to destroy his life and potentially his sanity, which cannot be easy to do whilst stuck in a BMW with the script being so reliant on his performance.

Good vocal performances from Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson and Olivia Colman are also noteworthy, who all create their character's personalities effectively through just voice acting.

The cinematography always keeps the images and colour active whilst maintaining consistently close to the narrative. It is executed stylishly to create brilliant shots and visuals without straying away from the story.

"Locke" is a great film that successfully uses creative imagery and a brilliant performance by Tom Hardy to form a compelling drama and an impressive piece of film-making.

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