The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) 3.5 out of 5

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) 3.5 out of 5

Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain actually look really good together. I’ve yet to see Jessica Chastain act in any fantasy films before so that was pretty refreshing. Emily Blunt played Freya. I am not entirely sure how Freya was written, how Emily Blunt was supposed to play the character, but she really did bring some heart and at times, vulnerability to the ice queen. I’m very sure that is really hard to pull off for an actor. Charlize Theron can do no wrong in my eyes and did a stellar performance in the brief scenes she had in the film. The effects, character wardrobe, set locations and film soundtrack definitely deserve a strong mention too. Chris Hemsworth? He plays hero roles very well, so no surprise he played the charming, strong and delightfully witty Eric effortlessly. I am still waiting however for him to play a much different sort of role in future. That would definitely be a movie I’d make a point to watch. A movie that wouldn’t need green screens or cgi or any weapons. Yes, a weaponless Chris Hemsworth movie. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is a feel good, very sweet adventure themed family movie. All the strong basics of a good movie. With emphasis on good. Not great.
Filth (2013) 5 out of 5

Filth (2013) 5 out of 5

James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a corrupt, junkie Scottish cop with bipolar disorder (well predominantly, because mental illness in itself is a vast overlapping spectrum). I watched up to only 75% of it because truly, it became a little too hard to watch. Really gritty, dirty, perverted bits in the storyline, but in its defence it wasn’t the entire storyline. It still was done in good artistic taste. It was beautifully executed and director Jon S. Baird did a stunning job and definitely did this novel by Irvine Welsh justice. I finally got it! I finally understood the movie and its objectives. No, no epiphany on my part. I stumbled upon an interview podcast with both James and Jon. It achieved its goal of being a non general viewing crowd pleaser and a movie that makes you decide and gives you power in terms of developing a perspective. It is up to you to decide if you love or hate Bruce Robertson, or love and hate him at the same time or worse, feel nothing at all. In many ways, this movie brings you to the dark (and also delicious) side of mania. It forces you to walk in his shoes through his inner painfully disturbing monologues. Lets just say, I was not at all prepared. I didn’t read the movie synopsis beforehand although the movie poster of him snorting lines of cocaine should have been an indication. After watching the 30 minute podcast. It made me realise that perhaps it wasn’t the crudeness of the character that I couldn’t take. It was my unwillingness to decide that made me stop watching. I still don’t intend to finish the movie. Some things are best left untouched and undecided. With that strong reaction alone, 5 out of 5. Any movie that takes you to the edge (and hopefully back) deserves acknowledgement of at least it’s brilliant originality. Watch with extreme caution.  
Room (2015) 5 out of 5

Room (2015) 5 out of 5

Room is an amazing movie. Beautifully shot, written and with an amazing cast. No big explosions, no fight scenes and not a general viewing crowd pleaser. I gather most of us want a break from our everyday lives and watch something exciting and fun, something uplifting and in most cases, that involves supernatural vampires or lightsaber fight scenes. This has none of that. Truth be told, it made me rather depressed and I didn’t have it in me to write a review at that point in time. The storyline is bound to make you shed a tear or two, or angry hot tears in my case. All I could think of was the 2008 Fritzl case. Austrian, Elisabeth Fritzl was help captive for over 24 years in a concealed basement area by her father Josef. She was held prisoner by her father and was raped, beaten and sexually assaulted which resulted in seven children. It was a huge media frenzy in 2008. I guess certain stories never leave you and cling on no matter what. The dark evil side of human nature. It doesn’t make it more acceptable though. Perhaps the use of the phrase ‘human nature’ is too generous for Josef Fritzl. The movie has a similar vibe, less disturbing (thankfully). From start to finish, it had my 100% full attention, no multitasking was possible. It was that emotionally intense. You empathise with the characters and sponge up their emotions, and therein lies the problem. Love hate relationship with this movie. Love for its actors and screenplay. Hate for how it makes you feel once the credits pop up. Still 5 out of 5. No contest. Just watch with caution if you have strong empathy in general. I suggest a blankie, a box of tissues and a cat (if any).      
Victor Frankenstein (2015) 5 out of 5

Victor Frankenstein (2015) 5 out of 5

First of all, I am incredibly biased because James McAvoy plays the lead. We all know how the novel by Mary Shelley goes. It’s been ingrained in our minds the imagery of the evil ‘made by Hollywood’ mad scientist bringing to life the undead, followed by manic evil “It’s alive. It’s ALIVE!” shrieking. The novel however, I believe was written from the perspective of the creature. All in all, it’s a sad tale of trying to right (in his mind) a wrong. The inability to forget and forgive an unfortunate past and followed by the inevitable descend into madness because of it. Seeking redemption in all the wrong scientific ways. One thing for sure, James McAvoy makes madness forgivable and desperation endearing. Worthy of strong mention, Mr Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. He is flourishing for sure! I loved him in Kill Your Darlings (2013). For some reason IMDB rated this movie ONLY 6/10. My biased, ferociously loyal mind naturally refuses to acknowledge any flaws in the movie. 5 out of 5. 5 out of 5.
Joy (2015) 3.5 out of 5

Joy (2015) 3.5 out of 5

This movie has the same cast as Silver Linings Playbook (2012) which happens to be a fav of mine, so in many ways this movie had quite an expectation hurdle to cross. I’m happy to report, that yes, this movie is pretty darn awesome. I love the childlike flow of the movie, the funny and slightly dysfunctional characters and the gist of the movie about not giving up on a childhood dream. If you are a female entrepreneur or aspire to be one, this is a great movie to help you get out of that funk you fall into once in awhile, ESPECIALLY when people start doubting you and worse, when you suddenly doubt yourself. What resonates with me is that – when you hide yourself away from the world, you are truly hiding from yourself as well. When you put yourself out there, pain is inevitable. This movie is about working through the pain. Side note, Jennifer Lawrence, please stop being so awesome.
Burnt (2015) 3 out of 5

Burnt (2015) 3 out of 5

I can’t quite put my finger on Bradley Cooper, I’m not entirely sure how to place him. I really liked him in Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and Limitless (2011). I can definitely say he’s come a looonggg way since the TV series Alias. I kept thinking about The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014). Although that movie was a lil’ more entertaining. Burnt is a good movie, not a-mahzingly good but still would recommend it especially if you go weak in the knees for Mr Bradley C. It’s an existential type movie, but in the world of culinary arts – passion, redemption, love, acceptance and a lot of throwing away good food.
Spotlight (2015) 4.5 out of 5

Spotlight (2015) 4.5 out of 5

Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaten did an amazing job and really tied this great movie together. Based on a true story. It’s about the hard truths most of us sweep under the denial rug because either 1) we were unable to handle the truth at that particular moment in time 2) didn’t have the resources to do anything about it 3) had our own personal issues to handle 4) the assumption that there’s nothing we could do to change things and 5) standing against it would mean losing something that is precious to us, be it sanity, support or physical possessions. In short, being bullied by those that are in power and worse of all, by your own thoughts. What resonates from Spotlight is that, while it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to abuse one.
Into the Wild (2007) 2.5 out of 5

Into the Wild (2007) 2.5 out of 5

The gist of it – the main character Christopher McCandless was resolved in completing his mission of being free of mundane day to day life no matter the physical and emotional cost. The rigmarole of completing a degree and pursue a career. How he had a rocky childhood. He felt trapped. He felt doomed to live life like the rest of us. The movie was based in late 1980s to early 1990s and yes, based on a true story. Uncanny how the real person and the actor (Emile Hirsch) chosen to play him, look eerily alike. As journeys often lead you to surprising paths and pitfalls, he made plenty of life threatening mistakes (involving a moose!) but also met many people who eventually became family (which he saw and met now and again predominantly by chance). He liked living by chance. Nothing planned. If it was meant to be, it just would. The scenes, they had put a lot of heart and thought into it. No special CGI or sound effects in play. Those movies usually have a greater impact, if not on your mind, in your soul. If slightly slow moving movies with deep story lines isn’t your thing, I don’t recommend it. It’s not for everyone. Apart from it being a little draggy, still pretty good.
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