Reviews of the Week

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The Lion King

Abi, 12

4 out of 5
School
Chiltern Hills Academy
Review Date
11 January, 2017

The Lion King

This was, in my opinion, one of the greatest Disney films. It is a classic. Many children have grown up watching this young, free-spirited lion cub grow into a king. he has many obstacles to overcome, his own fears to face head on. After watching this film several times I often feel it is strongly influenced by Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'. I will not go into detail as that is likely to ruin the magic that was created through animation. The film features songs that are undeniably catchy. Each has its own special aura to go with it. I feel that having a great artist like Elton John creating helping to create the soundtrack we know today from this particular movie. The characters are all strong-willed. Every animal you find on the pride land is content with what they have. They are fully aware of the dangers that could be posed around them. The content is astonishing. It is a film you will want to watch over and over again just to feel like a child again. To feel like your life is still right ahead of you. Some things are seen in this film you would not see in the Disney movies today. You see a sense of memory, feel that sense that your childhood is still there. I feel that 'The Lion King' is an interesting watch that can be its own story or based off famous tales from years before its time. This is just an opinion but I do feel that this film is certainly worth the watch just to feel magic in your home for a short while.

Zootropolis

Ryan, 11

4 out of 5
School
Killard House Special School
Review Date
23 January, 2017

Zootropolis

**POSTCARD REVIEW**

I liked the film because it involves investigating. It's funny and tells you to keep trying because anything is possible.

La La Land

Zak, 15

5 out of 5
School
Into Film
Review Date
14 January, 2017

La La Land

La La Land.
Director: Damien Chazelle.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone.

“I’m always gonna love you." -Sebastian to Mia.

This is by far the best film I have ever seen in recent years, with it ranking number 2 before Goodfellas in my top 50 of all time.
Ever since the first, incredibly vibrant La La Land teaser was released, i have been looking forward to seeing it. Although, at some point i did think "Is this Oscar bait?" but i can fully assure you, it certainly is not. La La Land, to put it simply, is a masterpiece.

I will however start by saying, if you enjoyed Whiplash, you will adore La La Land. It isn't as intense as Whiplash, but it follows a similar structure with certain events that occur in the film. And that is not a bad thing at all.

The tagline for this film was "Here's to the fools who dream." and those words spoke to me, it made me think, we may all be dreamers and we may not get anywhere, but we can still work towards things and be imaginitave and creative in our own ways.
The performances in this film are incredible. Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Sebastian, a passionate Jazz enthuasiast and pianist is deeply moving, and gorgeous. A man of many talents, and when he plays that piano, you can't help but admire the time and commitment he put into creating such a wonderful, music loving character.

Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring actress, loved up with 60s Hollywood, walking out on dates and dancing.
Stone gives a very strong performance, and in some instances had my jaw wide open. The undeniable scintillating chemistry between Stone and Gosling is outstanding, and definetly a duo performance overall to remember. The scene where they do "A Lovely Night" is by far one of the best choreographed dance scene i have ever seen since Singin' in the Rain or any film for that matter. It made me cry just by how fantastic it was and how beautiful it was crafted.
But in this film, music is the very heart and soul that keeps it going.

Damien Chazelle's burning passion for Jazz has never faded which i love, and the music in this is probably the best soundtrack for a film i've ever heard personally. Justin Hurwitz returns alongside Chazelle as he composed the score for Whiplash, and he absolutely nailed it. Some songs I don't think i will ever forget. There is one scene that takes place on a highway involving music, and i don't think i've ever seen something as stunning, so outrageously daring in a film ever. And that scene is a tracking shot, Chazelle pulled it off excellently which led to a brilliant sequence.

"The End" by Justin Hurwitz had me in tears as its beautiful crescendo echoed through my ears and found its way to my heart, like the entire film ended up doing. Also, "Planetarium" is gorgeously composed, and a deeply moving, euphoric addition to the long line of incredible original songs used in the movie.

Both Stone and Gosling get their share of the limelight, as Gosling performs the award winning song 'City of Stars' which to me, is a very good song but personally Emma Stone's 'Audition (The Fools who Dream) takes the cake for me and should be nominated instead of City of Stars. Both songs are amazing in their own way, but Stone's emotive, fantastically moving Audition is a classic, and will always be the song i remember most from this film, from the lyrics, to the music, to the intensity and heartbreak in Stone's vocals, it's just spectacular in every sense of the word.

The cinematography is exquisite. Linus Sandgren uses a certain shot in a scene taking place in a Planetarium, accompanied by the score, which made my jaw drop and cry at how stunning it was. A lot of wide shots were used, but i liked that as it showed the entirety of where the characters are. The tracking shot at the highway was simply incredible, and something very, very hard to do and it was an absolutely unforgettable scene.

Damien Chazelle has created a thought provoking, sun-drenched, poignant, effervescent, euphoric cinematic experience which will never be forgotten for audiences to come. It's heartbreaking, and effortlessly beautiful.

HERE'S TO THE FOOLS WHO DREAM!

Spirited Away

Hewie, 11

5 out of 5
School
Meadows Primary School & Nursery
Review Date
11 January, 2017

Spirited Away

This film is by far the best anime I have ever seen, maybe even the best animation I have ever seen. Before we watched this film, I didn't think I would like it as much as Howl's Moving Castle, but I liked it even more!
This film is about a girl called Chiriho Ogino (Rumi Hiiragi/Daveigh Chase) inside an "abandoned" amusement park, she is told by Haku (Miyu Irino/Jason Marsden) that if she wants to get out, she'll have to get a job.
The animation in this movie is really beautiful, you can tell how hard the animators worked just by looking at the cover of the box! The way the characters' body, hair and clothes move is almost real! A real work of art.
The music in this film was great too, it reminded me a lot of the music in Home Alone, which is really great in my opinion. The music is almost as amazing as the animation!
The English dubb was really good, and that can be quite rare with a good anime. You can only expect great dubb with Funimation and Studio Ghibli, since it is technically a Disney studio.
I just have to say that this film won't be for everyone, and you kind of have to know what to expect, because there are a few Japanese-English barriers that are crossed in means of content, and there a few things in it that American Disney wouldn't dare put in their movies, like one of the characters literally coughing up blood. I would probably show this to ages 8+ who already watch anime, or would like to start watching anime.
In conclusion this is a very, very, very good film.

Paddington

charlie, 11

4 out of 5
School
Westfield Primary School
Review Date
10 January, 2017

Paddington

Its weird that nobody really cared that there was a walking, talking, marmalade loving BEAR!!!!!!! walking around LONDON, and flying, it was a good film though.

Monster House

Sai Sathvik, 12

4 out of 5
School
Mayfield School
Review Date
5 January, 2017

Monster House

Monster House

The film is about a boy named DJ and his friend Chowder. They notice unusual occurrences in the house opposite DJ's which is owned by a mad person called Nebbercracker who doesn't like people to come near or on his garden. However, Chowder's ball is gone over there due to which DJ is told to go and get it. From there the real adventure starts...

I adored the film because of the horror, comedy and the adventure in it. Also, the minute bit of romance. It is how the children of the age of eleven would be and what type of things the would do and like to do.

I enjoyed the film due to the way they speak, the expressions they use and the tone of the voice they use. These are the reasons I chose, because these are the main things that make the movie fun and therefore are important.This is because the way they speak show how they are feeling, the way they use expressions show how they react to the situation and the tone of the voice show how they want to express themselves. These will be the key to understanding and enjoying the movie properly as you go along.

However, the downfalls are that it is gross only once in the movie and they waste to much time showing one thing.

I would recommend it to people who would not be scared so easily and would like a bit of fun and horror of the right amount. There are some intense parts in the movie and you should always hold your seat tight.

So, get your seat belts straped on and your diapers ready because it is going to be a scary and funny one hour twenty seven minutes of action, adventure and also lot of tears. Tears of laughters. So get your tissues ready to wipe your eyes.

I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.


Hint: There is only one part where you might cry because it is bit emotional.

Sanjay’s Super Team

Rushi, 12

5 out of 5
School
Alperton Community School
Review Date
3 January, 2017

Sanjay’s Super Team

An action short animated film created by an amazing company named Pixar. This story starts off with a young boy, named Sanjay, stuck between his love of superhero characters and his father’s religious traditions. One day he disturbs his father’s prayers by putting the TV on too loud so his dad switches the TV off and makes Sanjay sit with him. Magically Sanjay is transported to a cosmic temple in another world where he must bond with three Hindi gods to beat the evil Ravana.

Sanjay's Super Team feels like a true story that many Asian people might go through because it is based on some of the things that the director, Sanjay Patel, went through as a child. It was really different to see Asian culture and its religion in a Pixar film as this is not something that has been done before. It was great to see Hinduism and its Gods shown in a positive fun way and might help young western children understand their parents traditions and their own culture better.


I would recommend this film to my friends just for its title! Will Sanjay ever make a connection with his dad’s traditions and his own culture?

The Santa Clause

Alex, 13

3 out of 5
School
Upton-by-chester High School
Review Date
2 January, 2017

The Santa Clause

So I’m back, which is a surprise considering I’ve been very busy. though I’m really pleased to be sitting here at a computer again typing my review which feels strange, since I haven’t done it for such a long time.

I think this Christmas themed film was similar in characteristics to a Christmas cracker, it was full of surprises, enjoyment and atmosphere but what it contained was overall a fairly bad quality.
The effects were unsatisfactory at best and indescribable at worst and personally, I think the big problem they had was the amount of challenges they had put in front of the editing team, from a sleigh in the snow globe to edited in reindeer voices and if it wasn’t obvious enough I was sat in my chair long enough to see ‘reindeer voices’ on the credits- speculation confirmed! Watching the sleigh go made me cringe because it was so utterly fake, and yes the view over San Francisco was green screen, at least I think so. Oh yeah, one more thing the north pole was also green screen, it was so obvious!!!!

While it’s in my head, I really like the play on words in the title, the Santa Clause, well unless by chance John Pasquin spelt it wrong and decided he liked it that way.

Personally, I thought the acting was good, as per usual, after all these people are paid to do this. Though I couldn’t stand the overly awkward American accent put on by Eric Lloyd, well I guess maybe his accent was like that anyway because on Wikipedia it says birthplace- America. Tim Allen was awesome. Usually in films, such as secret life of pets and nativity (still my favourite), the main character isn’t particularly significant, they often portray the ordinary person, here it began the same but ended up with a really quirky character and I think Allen did this really well. Now for my favourite character Judy the Elf, she was so good, nice and kind hearted. I can’t recognise Page Tamada on the cast list at all, this film is really old! One thing I couldn’t stand was the really unconvincing attempt at putting children in as elves, it really didn’t work, in fact the north pole would have been more convincing as soft play area than Santa’s house, I think they took it too far in trying to allow the extras to have so much fun.

Oh yeah the elves ears were really disappointing, I probably could have got them out of a TESCO sale no offence costume department. Though I must say I loved the Santa costume and Neil’s Sweater, which really didn’t work.

The plot, at the start it was the all too familiar beginning, divorce. How dramatic! Not when you’ve seen it about 1 million times. Then the twist, well something had to happen, (and I won’t tell you what it was because I can’t reveal the plot, it is a FILMCLUB rule) which involves them going to the north pole, spoiler alert! And then back to the normal world where everything has changed. This is turning out to be a Shakespeare like structure. Old World, Green world or Polar world and New World, well they switch between the Polar world and the New world a bit but it’s still the same.

I hope you enjoyed this review and hopefully it won’t be so long before I write my next.

Home Alone

Meghan, 10

5 out of 5
School
Fairview Community Primary School
Review Date
19 December, 2016

Home Alone

Home Alone is a film about a young 8 year old boy called Kevin who got annoyed at his older brother then hated his family... personally love this classic popular movie... I would also love to watch any of the others but this one is the best and probably the 2nd most funniest because I also love the 2nd one. There was my favorite part where one of the robbers got half his hair burnt off. It is also a 1990 American Christmas comedy film written and produced by John Hughes.

This film was a very old movie but I absolutely love love love it...

I love all the adventurous films we watch at filmclub so I would recommend joining to all those film lovers out there reading this right now...!

Thank you for the people who made this film because the whole selection of these types of films are amazing that I just can't keep my hands of them! I am a film fan and amazed at how perfectly they make these films and it doesn't even look like they use affects. If they didn't and pulled those stunts I would love millions of autographs signed by them in person!

I love the speech part saying "Hey Harry why do you look like a chicken?" And I do not really remember what mauve said to Harry... Sorry if you wanted to know all that remember from what he said was that is was really funny!

I would recommend this to funny people and comedy lovers as well as my family and myself cause this is how much I love it that I have literally written like an essay!

Doctor Strange

Dan, 18

3 out of 5
School
The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Review Date
17 December, 2016

Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch has made a name for himself by mispronouncing the word "penguins" and playing the egotistical genius role in many a film and TV show. He's been Alan Turing, Julian Assange, Sherlock Holmes and Khan, but now Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange... A genius with an inflated ego... Well if it ain't broke don't fix it am I right? Doctor Strange is a decent Marvel film that doesn't quite reach the ranks of other 2016 Marvel films Deadpool or Captain America, but at least it's better than X Men Apocalypse.

The film is overall well acted, Cumberbatch plays the type cast role as good as ever and works rather well together with Chiwetel Ejiofor. The two together provide theatrical level acting as if they were cast in a critically acclaimed dramatic stage production rather than a MCU film. The British duo are also joined by Rachel McAdams who does fine in this film as well as Tilda Swinton, who controversially plays the Ancient One. Although the Ancient One wasn't played by an Asian actor luckily Wong is. Played by the aptly named Benedict Wong this character was the best and most entertaining in my own personal opinion. Now, we know that every blockbuster film is often only as good as its villain. So that explains why this film felt average as Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius joins the ranks of pretty much every Marvel film villain... Pretty much you will forget about them fairly quickly. Be that as it may this is not down to Mikkelsen's performance at all but more the lack of things for him to work with.

Which leads onto the next point about the film itself perfectly. The film feels generic. The dialogue is typical of superhero films in which the fate of the world is at stake and some of the visual techniques are as well. The one scene in particular that screams the word unoriginal is the scene where Kaecilius and the Ancient One circle each other while they talk before fighting. The film is hard to pin down as I enjoyed its simplicity by being generic but it is also just too generic to the point of not bringing anything new besides kaleidoscope visuals to the table.

The film is visually beautiful with its kaleidoscope styled visual effects and its magic portals etcetera, but overall the film lacks originality and to an extent substance. Doctor Strange is an average Marvel film similar to the first Captain America film but nonetheless I'm intrigued to see what the MCU plans next for Stephen Strange... Maybe some more bargaining?

Charlie Chaplin: The Mutual Films, Volume 1

Jome, 9

5 out of 5
School
Meadows Primary School & Nursery
Review Date
16 December, 2016

Charlie Chaplin: The Mutual Films, Volume 1

The Rink was an amazing film and I would definitely want to watch some more Charlie Chaplin films.This was a fabulous silent film because the Unsilent movies accompanied it with live music and the drummer made me jump out of my seat lots of times.THIS FILM IS 100 YEARS OLD!!!

Charlie Chaplin is in a public restaurant working as a waiter but causes lot’s of chaos ;he kept on bumping to the other waiter, giving different food instead of what the customers wanted.Then he goes to the skating rink and falls in love wit.Edna told Charlie Chaplin that a man was annoying her so Charlie Chaplin said that he will deal him.Edna asked if Charlie would like to come to the party and he said yes but at the party he caused much more chaos.Will he escape?

I would definitely recommend this film and give the star rating 5/5!

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