Lion

Photo of cinema ticket, taken by Mary Boag

I’m not from Calcutta… I’m lost.

Last week when my friends and I were planning our monthly cinema trip we were upset that our schedules didn’t work well with the local screening times of Split, a movie we were excited to see. We had already seen La La Land and not all of us had seen the first Trainspotting film.. so we all decided to give Lion a chance.

Half of us had never heard of Lion. All the other half knew was that it starred  Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Compared to the extensive amount of media attention that La La Land, Split and Trainspotting were receiving, I didn’t have very high expectations for Lion nor did I know what to expect.

Since watching Lion.. all I can say is that I am so upset it hasn’t gained the same amount of attention (in my eyes) as La La Land, and if you’ve read my review then you’ll know I loved La La Land! But Lion is so much more special… it’s a completely amazing, true story that everyone needs to see.

The plot is so intense and exciting and heart breaking. The acting from all characters is amazing, but 8 year old Sunny Pawar’s performance, in particular, is outstanding. I went into the cinema with an open mind, not knowing what to expect from this Oscar nominated film and was completely blown away, and I think you will be too.

Although I’d like everyone else to approach this film with an open mind too, if you really want to know what it’s about, I’ve inserted an image below with a quick explanation of the plot that I sent to my friend over text.

Screenshot of my text

 

La La Land

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Photo taken by Mary Boag

I guess I’ll see you in the movies.

I’m always excited to watch new films. Going to the cinema is one of my favourite hobbies and I try to go at least once a fortnight, but this week I was especially excited to go out and see La La Land.

There are many reasons why I had high hopes for Damien Chazelle‘s latest masterpiece. Number one being that it features one of my most favourite actresses ever, Emma Stone as well as Ryan Gosling – well known for his emotional performance in The Notebook. I was also excited about this film because it is so well critically acclaimed, winning a record-breaking seven awards at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. And finally, because it’s a new musical. There is always room for a new musical in today’s theatres.

Since watching La La Land I can happily confirm that it completely lives up to my high expectations. Set in sunny Los Angeles, California the story follows the blossoming romance between Mia, a struggling and undiscovered yet passionate actress and Sebastian, a pianist playing any gig he can get while trying to achieve his dream of saving jazz music from social extinction. The emotional story of two young artists ever growing fondness mixed with beautiful filmography and several catchy musical numbers creates one of the most heart warming and colourful films I have seen in a long time. But it will also break your heart.

You can watch the trailer for La La Land here and catch it in cinemas while you still can!

 

 

Moana

 

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Cinema ticket, photo taken by Mary Boag

The chicken lives!

Moving on from Tangled and Frozen, Moana is the latest Disney “princess” movie to hit our screens, though it’s important to note that unlike Anna and Elsa,  Moana is not a princess…

Moana is an adventurous teen living on a beautiful island called Motunui where her father is the chief and she is his heir. As she begins to take more responsibility around the island she’s shocked to suddenly find out that there are no fish left for the islanders to hunt and eat. While she attempts to find a new source of food for the island she discovers that the waters surrounding Motunui have been cursed.

Moana soon realises that the only way to stop the curse from spreading over the waters and ridding Motunui of its beauty, greenery and wildlife is for her to travel across the water to find a legendary demigod named Maui – voiced by Dwayne Johnson – who can help her put things right.

We follow Moana on an emotional and empowering oceanic journey while – in true Disney fashion – she finds herself and realises the importance of family, strength and ambition.

Despite this movie clearly being targeted at younger viewers, I see no reason why people of all ages wouldn’t enjoy it. Moana has a beautiful and uplifting soundtrack which fits perfectly with the stunning colours and animation we see throughout the entire film. One song, “Shiny“even plays tribute to late musical legend David Bowie.

Voiced by 16 year old Auli’i Cravalho, I’m sure many would agree that Moana is the perfect kind of Disney character for young children to look up to – and fortunately she doesn’t have a musical number anywhere near as annoying as Elsa’s.

You can watch the trailer for Moana here.

 

Love Actually

Love Actually on STV on Christmas Day, taken by Mary Boag

Aren’t you a bit young to be in love?

As we are well and truly into the holiday season I thought it would be a good idea to review Love Actually; a classic, festive film from 2003 that is aired on TV at least once every Christmas.

Those who have already seen and loved Love Actually will be surprised to find out that many people have never watched it, and those who haven’t seen it will be wondering what the fuss is all about.

Love Actually is a romantic British comedy/Christmas film. The story line is fairly complex as it looks at 9 different intertwining stories about love, some of which are completely heartbreaking while others are really funny, but once you get used to it – which you will – it’s really easy and enjoyable to watch. The range of stories makes the film really interesting and means that everyone watching can relate to it in one way or another – some main characters are the UK Prime minister, 12 year old Sam and an ageing pop star named Billy Mack.

Something that helps keep the film entertaining throughout is the number of well known faces we see on screen; Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Andrew Lincon, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer are only a few examples of the great actors and actresses with starring roles in Love Actually.

I’m sure we are all aware that there is and endless amount of Christmas films out there but Love Actually really is worth watching, after all it wasn’t voted the nation’s favourite Christmas movie by the Radio Times for nothing.

Thanks for reading! You can watch the trailer for Love Actually here, and it is available to buy on DVD and iTunes.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Cinema ticket, photo taken by Mary Boag

So you’re the guy with the case full of monsters, huh?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set around 90 years ago in the world of Harry Potter – although well before his time. The film focuses on the main character, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his suitcase of magical creatures. Unlike the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts is set entirely in America, mostly New York City – where magical creatures are completely forbidden. So when Newt’s creatures begin to escape he finds himself and his fellow wizards in a lot of danger. Continue reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Lucy

 

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Photo taken by Mary Boag, Lucy available on Netflix

 

“We humans are more concerned with having than being.”

If you appreciate Scarlett Johansson even slightly as much as I do then you will love this film. Lucy was released in 2014 and is regrettably one of those films that I never bothered to watch until now; despite being told many good things about it since it’s release.

The film follows the journey of the main character Lucy, who is forced into carrying a bag of ‘CPH4’ drugs inside her stomach as part of an illegal drug experiment led by the villain of the story, Mr.Jang. Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman who plays a professor educates us that humans only use 10% of their brain. We then find out that the drugs in Lucy’s body are helping her access more parts of her brain. We see changes in her abilities as she accesses 20%, then 40% and so on.. When she meets with Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman) we realise she will no longer be able to exist as a human once she reaches 100%.

The film is described as an action, sci-fi thriller, which it definitely is. It only takes a couple of minutes for the story to suddenly get dramatic and exciting, which pretty much lasts throughout the entire film.

Lucy is such an empowering character. She is so cool – to put it simply. Scarlett Johansson does an amazing job of playing such a fierce and powerful woman, even though she is only capable of acting like this because of the drugs it is still fascinating to watch.

I’ve seen many reviews harshly hating on ‘Lucy‘ because it has been proven that humans actually can and do access more than 10% of their brain, but I think this argument to rate the film poorly is so silly. Since when do films like this need to be realistic to be enjoyable? Transformers, the Avengers and basically all superhero films are unrealistic but they’re still worth watching.

There wasn’t much about the film that I didn’t like, although it can be very graphic and violent in some scenes which I should warn you about.

One of my favourite scenes is very near the end: we see Lucy sitting in the middle of Times Square, New York and then watch as she travels back in time sitting in the same spot, we see the transformation of New York city from where it all began as she travels from current day all the way back to the age of the dinosaurs..But is she really time traveling? Or is she living through the memories of all the data she has consumed?.. I urge you to watch it and see what you think, as I’d say this part of the film alone is worth a watch – it’s that good.

Thanks for reading! You can watch the trailer for Lucy here, and remember it is available on Netflix and DVD.

A Street Cat Named Bob

photo-29-11-2016-21-50-40A Street Cat Named Bob

I understand that not everyone reading this will be a cat lover, but don’t let that put you off. The story is really about James, a recovering drug addict and busker living on the streets of London – until his support worker, Val finds him a place to stay. It doesn’t take long before James finds an uninvited guest in his new home, Bob – a confident, ginger Tabby cat – who climbs through his kitchen window during the night and then never leaves.

James makes several attempts to find Bob’s original owner and return him but luckily is unsuccessful. While doing this he befriends Betty, a neighbour and animal rights activist who volunteers at a local vet; which comes in handy. From here on we watch their relationship grow and it becomes clear that the pair belong together.

Throughout the film, James struggles with his drug addiction – his road to recovery is the main plot of the story. He jeopardises his relationship with Betty by not telling her he has been involved with drugs. His dad’s new family don’t want him in their life due to his addiction, and he nearly loses his home by failing to keep up with the recovery program. Things seriously begin to change when Baz, an old friend James met while living on the streets tragically dies due to an overdose. This helps James realise he desperately wants to get clean and live a good life.

The film captures drugs in a very realistic way which I like because it helps us understand the story better than if they were to sugarcoat the issue. It shows us the harsh reality of homelessness and drug addiction and teaches us that people in James’ situation need help. Not everyone is lucky enough to be saved by a character like Bob, so it is important for films to raise awareness of these topics.

Although A Street Cat Named Bob was not a hugely popular film internationally, I still found it important to feature it on my blog as it brings awareness to many issues which are often overlooked in today’s society. I recommend this film to everyone reading – and especially to cat lovers because Bob (played by the real Bob) is so cute.

The official trailer for A Street Cat Named Bob can be watched here.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on twitter for updates on when my next review will be posted: @marysmoviesblog