Reviews of the Week

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Grave Of The Fireflies

Julius, 16

5 out of 5
School
St Alban's R.C. High School
Review Date
21 November, 2016

Grave Of The Fireflies

In 1988, Isao Takahata created a spectacular war film focusing on the story of a brother and his younger sister (named Seita and Setsuko, respectively). It is set during the final months of the Second World War and this story taking place within the brutal environment of wartime Japan is told masterfully and powerfully.

The character of Seita is one that is cocky but highly vulnerable. The fragility of his personality is something that is extremely painful to watch as he attempts to take care of his innocent and ignorant younger sister, Setsuko. Both Tsutomo Tatsumi (Seita) and Ayano Shiraishi (Setsuko) are exceptional in the Japanese dub, as they manage to convincingly humanise their characters and you have a much grander understanding of what most families would be like during the traumatic time of the Second World War.

During the 1980s, a golden era of animation, I feel as if Grave of the Fireflies was overshadowed by both Akira and My Neighbour Totoro. I believe that Akira and My Neighbour Totoro are timeless films with such beautiful hand-drawn animation, fantastic scores and very realised characters but Grave of the Fireflies is something much more. Its message is universal. War can affect us at any time and destroy everything in a matter of days. That is what this films captures so superbly; the harsh effects of war and how it can consume the most innocent people, even the ones we love.

The brilliant writing, magnificent voice performances, the beautiful hand-drawn animation and the wonderful direction makes Grave of the Fireflies one of the greatest and the most heartbreaking films I have ever seen.

Adaptation.

Edward, 16

4 out of 5
School
St Joseph's College
Review Date
26 November, 2016

Adaptation.

A brilliantly layered film, containing scintillating performances from an incredibly talented cast, who perfectly capture several elements within the film; comedic interjections, dramatic escapades, and exceptional depictions of mental illness. An original film, only let down by a disappointing and predictable climax.

Despite the success of his first produced script, Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) is riddled with issues in his work and personal life – he struggles to adapt a book to the big silver screen after being hired to do so by Valerie Thomas (Tilda Swinton) and the strong sense of self social situations he experiences prevents him from enduring any such event without embarrassing himself or regretting what he did or didn’t say. His writer’s block intensifies as the film continues, as he is unable to make the non-fictional book, The Orchard Thief, interesting enough for what he believes makes a compelling script, whilst we as viewers are given insight into the author, Susan Orlean’s (Meryl Streep) life. Writing a book about John Laroche (Chris Cooper), an orchid breeder with incomprehensible views on the workings of the world and the role he takes upon himself within his distorted view of society, has its impacts upon Orlean, as Kaufman, with assistance from his twin brother Donald, come to discover…

A film with a steady pace that some may call slow, succeeds thanks to the pairing of writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, who thrilled audiences and box office alike with their superb creation 'Being John Malkovich', whose complementary ideas bounce off each other to great triumph, revealing another approach entirely to the production of a film, that pays off immensely. Kaufman’s delicate handling of his own character’s depression, portrayed so sincerely and understandably by Cage, conveys how he yearns to fill an empty void within himself, yet fails due to his inability to summon up the enthusiasm, shut out as he is from his own emotional store. The introduction of the fictitious Donald into the main plot lifts the tone of the film, adding elements of a thriller, reflective of the genre he himself writes about within the film, though the high-stake drama fails to deliver a satisfactory end, as it grants the audience the end they have come to expect, leaving its ground-breaking and profoundly shrew approach into examining human psychosis and the route it can take them to. If a film blunders its way through an end chapter of its story, it will undoubtedly leave an unsavoury impression upon the audience, who then strain to remember what made the film strike so close to the unbridled genius it had within its grasp.

Though not the first film to explore the creative process, it arguably deals with it the most deftly and elegantly of any that tried – it is true testament to the skill of all that were involved, particularly Kaufman for both exposing his own vulnerabilities and for taking a risk in being so ‘self-indulgent’ and ‘solipsistic’, to use his own words. 'Adaptation' is a substantial visit into the mind of man and his motivators, and most suitable for mature audiences who will be able to appreciate and grapple with the depth the film explores.

Wallace & Gromit - 3 Cracking Adventures

Erin, 14

3 out of 5
School
Larne Grammar School
Review Date
24 November, 2016

Wallace & Gromit - 3 Cracking Adventures

We watched Wallace and Gromit The Wrong Trousers.

This film was not my preferred film but a lot of effort went into the production of it. The story is about the two main characters, Wallace and Gromit and how they get into a bit of money trouble and Wallace has to let out their spare room to a mysterious penguin who is no normal penguin. My favourite part of the film was near the end when there was a shoot out on the train track but I don't want to give too much away. The whole film was made by photos, a technique called stop motion which took TWO whole years to make. This film is a family friendly comedy with some adventurous twist and turns through out. I would recommend it to younger watchers.

Ponyo

Alissa, 9

5 out of 5
School
Crescent Primary School
Review Date
24 November, 2016

Ponyo

I really enjoyed watching Ponyo because it was really funny and it also was very interesting. Some people didn`t understand it but personally I really enjoyed it and understood it perfectly. I would recommend it to everyone because it is a good family film and it is good for young ages all the way up to a fully grown adult. Ponyo is a little fish who turns into a girl who loves ham. Ipersonally love ham as well. Overall, I think it is a very good film.

Paddington

maryanne, 0

5 out of 5
School
Holy Family Catholic Primary School
Review Date
24 November, 2016

Paddington

i loved this movie because it shows the love of family and you don,t always have to change to make someone like u like i did not change to make my freinds, and family like my because they already liked who i was and if i was anyone else then i would like the people like me and paddington did not change

The Martian

Cameron, 13

5 out of 5
School
King Edward Vi School
Review Date
23 November, 2016

The Martian

This film juxtaposes the terrible reality of being left on Mars and the satisfying reward of when Marks superior intellect outfoxes the complications that the planet throws at him. The panoramic shots highlight the vast beauty of the planet Mars and the detail that has gone into this film is quite astounding. The CGI graphics of 2015 blow my mind and make it seem so real. I would recommend this film to everyone however I advise you to read the book first!

Life is Beautiful

Alexandra, -1

2 out of 5
School
St Andrew's Academy
Review Date
23 November, 2016

Life is Beautiful

I really, really enjoyed this movie. Most movies enjoy a happy beginning, a turbulent middle and a happy end. Not this movie that sheds the usual plot line and changes it up. The movie is set in fascist Italy so you'd think it be tragic but it changes the norm to be a black comedy. A COMEDY. let me repeat a COMEDY. I don't know how they did it but somehow they did. Anyway back to the review. The story follows a man, Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni, also the director) as he and his son Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini) as they are sent to a camp on Giosue birthday. The father, as to not scare his son, pretends that the camp is a game and that the end prize is a tank. The story sets you up to love these characters and then slam dunks you right through the net of feels. The soundtrack very much fits the movie theme and it helps with some of the scenes. All of the characters are great for the roles they play. The premise is incredibly well thought up as it is ingenious for the themes is explores. The comedy hits the nail on the head. But alas it might be a comedy but its a BLACK comedy so there tragedy and the tragedy really hits you. As much as I like this movie there is only one small flaw, the mother character. She plays a big role in the beginning but towards the middle she fads into the background and I think, if she had been in the movie a little bit longer I think the middle would have been a bit better. That's my thoughts and feeling on the movie.

Joy

Tamara, 18

2 out of 5
School
Milton Keynes College
Review Date
23 November, 2016

Joy

Joy took place in 80's America, and is the story of a struggling woman who decided to struggle no more. Through her hardship we see our leading actress, Jennifer Lawrence, or rather Joy, turn into a strong woman who wasn't taking any Brad Pitt, with the support of her grandmother and ruthless family who eventually tried to buy her out of success. I guess you could say she mopped the floor with anybody she cross paths with on her journey to success.


Throughout this film I was baffled that they chose this particular story to depict the uprising of the strong, independent woman. The movie may well have been about the disposable diaper created by Donavon in the 50's, a lot more ground breaking. It was hard to put myself in her shoes and relate to her as a young woman in a male dominated industry because she made... a mop? Spoiler alert, as it's probably the climax of the film... Yes the making of the mop, is the climax of the film... I want to see stories about females who fly fighter jets and crush their opponents with their cherry colored, nail polished, bare hands. If anything this movie said to me, "why aren't you cleaning hard enough to then bleed and make a better invention, so that you and your fellow women will never experience this? What are you doing with your life? Trying to become the world's greatest female director? Really?"
Her dreams of inventions could have taken her anywhere, I understand it's based on a true story, but how about a couple of fighter jets to really get the ball rolling? No?


That aside, the imagery used was outstanding. Different shifts of dominance was used well and was clear to me as an audience member. The actors themselves stayed true to their characters, and it was hard to notice any aneurysms that the actors have had in their previous films - apart from De Niro’s grumpy cat face - but some things you can’t help.The colours established reflecting purity, wealth, ambition, submission was epic and pushed the story forwards dramatically, to the point I could say that in this instance, the editing made the movie. The cast chosen was probably a bit far fetched. EVERYONE WAS CRAZY HOT in other words, but it’s film. Films are created to escape a reality, and if in David O’Russells world, everyone looks like a krispy kreme donut after a 10 day fast, then so be it.

The Fault in Our Stars

Ross, 13

5 out of 5
School
Saint Augustine's Catholic High School
Review Date
22 November, 2016

The Fault in Our Stars

'The Fault In Our Stars (2014-Boone)' must be one of the most brilliantly acted and visually striking films I have ever encountered. Its tenderness and emotion makes this film one I will never forget. I think that the actors were expertly chosen for their roles, and the chemistry between them is truly beautiful and utterly convincing (the featuring cover demonstrates this).
I think the film in its entirety successfully achieves all of the key things a film of that genre should.

Belonging to the drama and romance genre, 'The Fault In Our Stars' contains all of the genre conventions you would expect, including symbolic codes: mutual love, a meet-cute, immediate chemistry, etc. It also contains audio codes: romantic, atmospheric music where appropriate, sad music during the emotional scenes, romantic dialogue (whatever you would define as such), etc.
The dialogue throughout the film, that primarily takes place between Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) is, in some parts, surprisingly not what you would expect to find within a teenage conversation. The couple are clearly wise, literate and insightful, and this is shown widely in every one of their scenes.
The mise-en-scene also plays a huge part in setting the scene. It gives us an idea of the place the film is set: an present-day, cultural American state, represented by all of the normal, current architecture and natural scenery. The way the actors are dressed and the way they handle themselves are especially appropriate to the roles they play - two young teenagers, both smitten with one another.

I also think that the opening montage in the film, portraying a life that the main protagonist, Hazel, has always dreamt of, before presenting to the audience the way things really are, is extremely clever, as it deceives the audience and builds up to the inevitable, which basically sums up the plot of the film itself - building up to an event that cannot be delayed nor prevented.
It is also clear that each shot taken and edited together was clearly thought out, be it the wide shots that establish the surrounding setting, the close-ups of the characters faces during tense, emotional moments, or just a medium two-shot that features both of the lovers inside of the frame, as the chemistry between them slowly intensifies.
The lighting used in this film is applied appropriately in all places, be that an outdoor scene, where natural light is required, or an indoor scene that needs a lower key, more intimate use of light.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who appreciates the cliche that is young love, or anybody who enjoys a well-acted, moving romance (who doesn't!).

Hoodwinked

Faith, 10

2 out of 5
School
Holy Cross Catholic Primary School
Review Date
21 November, 2016

Hoodwinked

OMG!!!! What on earth was the reason of this film.):

okay, okay, let me start from what it was all about.

Basically, a thief is stealing recipes. Not a big deal. Then a giant comotion happens at grandmas. The police happened to be there to solve why and how it all happened. The chief was going to arrest them all untill mr flippers (dont ask) came into the building and did it his own way. He's a frog.by the way

We boringly listed and watched all the stories from their point of view. First up was Red. She was singing such an annoying song that i had to hear throughout all the stories. (except grandma's).
Then she tried to act heroically just for a recipes thats been stolen. no biggie. This review will be really long if i add all the points of views. i really dont want to do it anyway.

The reson why i gave this movie 2 stars is because of watching this movie, it really got you thinking now and again. On the other hand, the animation was poor, i mean, have you seen Red without her hood.It's as scary as a killer clown.

Oh yeah, turns out it was the bunny who stole the recipe. Again creepy with the bunnys evil laughing face. Geez, he needs plastic surgery or something.

Now that i've written my review, you can write your own review about this movie. See how you feel about it. You will be very intruiged by grannys personality. Thats all folks.

The Jungle Book

Louis, 11

4 out of 5
School
Ysgol Llannon
Review Date
20 November, 2016

The Jungle Book

I loved this amazing action movie adapted from the original version by Jon Favreau! This version , having mostly the same events as the original, was fantastic, and was even better in 3D. Even though I have seen this specific version I enjoyed this one more because it was 3D and because now I have viewed this edition in the cinema.The main story line is about a boy, man-cub, called Mowgli that lives with wolves.In his early life his father was massacred by a tiger.That tiger out to kill Mowgli too! Later in the film we notice Mowgli's big mistake, bringing fire into the forest, fire + forest = forest fire!I enjoyed the scenes with Baloo, a big lazy bear, aspecially when he lied to Mowgli about him being able to hibernate. Bears don't hibernate in the forest!After a while we enter the monkey temple. I was quite embarrassed though because there was a big, fat monkey in the temple called King Louie and it is pronounced Looh-eeh and my name, Louis, it pronounced the same as well! Without a doubt, the graphics in this movie was ridiculously lifelike! Although the graphics were amazing the voices really suited the characters.Here is the main cast:
Mowgli: Neel Sethi
Baloo: Bill Murray
Bagheera: Ben Kingsley
Shere Khan: Idris Elba
King Louie: Christopher Walken
In my opinion, my favourite scene was when 'Shere Khan' was burned by the fire( also known as the 'red flower' ). As I have researched, the estimated budget was $175,000,000, that is almost £141654558.50 Sterling!' The Jungle Book' was first released on 4th of April 2016 in Los Angeles.
We ,as a school, were extremely lucky to have watched a new film in 3D! Thank you Film Club!

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