Review: Bridget Jones’s Baby

It’s safe to say that the general consensus on this film is that of pleasantly surprised enjoyment. I think all loyal Bridget Jones fans will, if they’re honest with themselves, admit Edge of Reason was good but certainly not on par with Bridget Jones’ Diary. The third enstallment of the series seemed to satisfy most fans. Although I would disagree that it is the “Best Jones yet” (as the tag line would suggest), it definitely exceeded expectations. (And none of the others had Emma Thompson in and she was flawless – as always)

The brilliance of the film deserves to be recognised as it had a lot to live up to. The hype of a third film had been building for years and the news that Hugh Grant had decided not to return had been a big disappointment to many that were following the news so closely. With all of this pressure, I was fearful it would be a massive let down. Most sequels are flops and I think that’s what I was preparing myself for. (Amongst all of the excitement and anticipation, of course.) As many others have, I would dub it “better than the second, by far, but not quite as good as the first.” I certainly was no  disappointed. 

My opinion varies on whether or not Hugh Grant should have made an appearance. Rumour has it that he thought that he had reached a point in his career that he thought he was better than returning to do a sequel to the film franchise that had lay dormant for years – I beg to differ, I think it was those films that helped him obtain a larger fan base and he’s rarely playing a different “type” of character than Daniel Cleaver. Don’t get me wrong, Four Weddings and a Funeral made him famous, in Notting Hill he won the hearts of many, but he definitely capitvated a lot more ladies after Bridget Jones. He’d read the script and tried for some adjustments but couldn’t seem to work with the idea of returning. I think he made a mistake for his career there, but although to begin with, I missed him, it’s clear that Hugh Grant isn’t fundamental to producing a successful Bridget Jones Film.

Patrick Dempsy’s addition was… interesting. I think he was marvellous and definitely the as dreamy, as successful and (controversially) slightly more charming competitor to rival Mark Darcy.  Yes, Patrick was amazing. His character, though…? The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a little bit contrived. His first appearance in the film brought in “Prince Charming” references and Enchanted flashbacks. I was concerned he was going to be a cliché two dimensional perfect character and, in a way, I think he might’ve been. The short scene where he went through the motions of their ideal relationship in five minutes was heartwarming. He won us over then, I think. Jealousy and competition changes people but I felt that his character was inconsistent. The nastiness that came out toward the end, and the “breathe out the pain” nonsense didn’t seem to match the logical, mathematical structure that was presented in the first half of the film. It made me wonder if the slightly cruel edge was put in to make you feel more for Mark Darcy’s situation…?

Speaking of Mark… he certainly wasn’t as “wooden” in the previous films and I find myself plagued with thoughts of how him and Bridget raising a child together just wouldn’t work. The Eton argument in film number two, his inability to do emotional declaration…etc etc etc! Every time a pivotal decision needs to be made in that boy’s future, they with have polar opposite views. I agree with Bridget when she says, “Sometimes you love someone for all the reasons they’re not like you,” but I also think that sometimes you can’t force opposites together no matter how comfortable or “like home” they feel. This would be if you were viewing this from an entirely cynical perspective! I, on the other hand, am a sucker for a story that works out alright in the end. I believe it was clear character development in Mr Darcy’s case was necessary but he showed that he was willing to make the effort to change on multiple occasions towards the end of the film. Wether it was forced or not, Mark’s ability to adapt to what Bridget and the baby needed ,accompanied by Colin Firth’s phenomenal acting skills, made the pairing suitable and pleasing.

As for Renée – other than my huge disagreement with her outright lie about not having any work done, I’d say she was perfect! In the films initial opening, I was definitely concerned about the remaining two hours. I (wrongly) judged the fact hat she was clearly thin, her lips were a completely different shape and her expressions had become less expressive. It was clear she’s had some form of Botox or something and I thought that would infringe on her ability to portray Bridget Jones. It didn’t.  I was wrong. Her mannerisms, her diction, her gate and her clumsy performance were perfect. Absolutely spot on! I’m glad she didn’t force the weight back on and I’m glad she returned for the role. No other woman would have been so outstanding.

The film successfully orchestrated a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings though out. Did I want it to be Mark’s? Did I want it to be Jack’s? I couldn’t really be sure of my own preference until almost the very end! Ultimately, It was hilarious. I even found myself laughing at bits I would’ve wanted to roll my eyes at! I have, and would even still, pay to see it again. 

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Review: NT Live – Hangmen

8Stars

I really want to open with appreciation for the remarkable writing, acting and casting in this play. There were sometime moments that meant  I wasn’t fully able to appreciate these things to their entirety but I will disclose later. But, overall, I think I came away with a really great opinion of the play!

Hangmen follows Harry Wade (David Morrissey), the second most famous executioner in the country, who now works as a pub landlord in Oldham. Things begin to sour for the retired hangman and his wife Alice (Sally Rogers) when a mysterious man named Peter Mooney (Johnny Flynn) appears at the hotel.

The opening scene successfully presented us with the perfect balance of setting the scene and being humourous without detracting from the difficult nature of the scene itself (a hanging). This scene concluded with a harrowing picture of an empty noose, swinging gently – the lighting was superb and the juxtaposition of laughing one minute and silence the next as you appreciate the gravity of the situation… was mesmerising.

Johnny Flynn stole the show – I mean, my goodness! His whole demeanour was absolutely perfect. Anyone that can be that menacing and still retain a large degree of humour and humanity is clearly someone of talent! Such a versatile actor. All actors involved in Hangmen did an incredible job but Johnny Flynn was in a league of his own. I found the humour of the play to be quite slapstick occasionally and I think it’s difficult to stay on the right side of slapstick when playing someone that appears to have multiple personalities. Johnny never crossed that line – although evoking laughs it was done in such a way that left the audience more scared of what this man was capable of (if anything).

Although, it needs to be recognised that it couldn’t have been done with out such amazing writing – Martin McDonagh managed to successfully write a character who was a clear sociopath; showing signs of remorse whilst simultaneously boasting about alleged crimes. He really was menacing and definitely sent a chill down my spine.

You do come away from the play with a question unanswered; did they catch the right man? Has justice been served? And you never quite know the answer to this – which drove some people insane. Leaving the theatre people were saying “did he do it, though?” and things like that…

But just in case you missed this… I want to explain why this is even more proof of a fantastic plot; The whole play was about the abolition of the death penalty. Two people wind up dead by the end and they still don’t know 100% sure that the guy that committed the crime is dead. Sure, that’s what you want to know – but you can’t. And that’s the point! Hanging was abolished because in some cases, the police might have pieced together mountains of evidence but they still couldn’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that they’d committed the crime. That’s the rub! Someone’s life is a very definitive price to pay only to be pardoned later. It made you ask yourself… is it worth taking the risk?

Okay, so some of the humour wasn’t to my taste and the repetition of the word “cock” induced one-too-many eye-rolls. I have already commended the placement of gags in large parts of the script but I did feel at times that the sexual jokes weren’t fitting with the calibre of the rest of the play (eg, the time that Andy Nyman’s character was fishing around for the guys keys)… It did add another level to the play but one that I didn’t think was necessary. That, I know, is personal preference and call me a prude if you will!

Ultimately I came away with a real sense that the play had moved me. I was left thinking and the play had done more than enough so I would, without a doubt, recommend it to friends and family – Well done!! Outstanding!!

8/10

8Stars

Review: Pretty Little Liars S6 EP17

So! Here we are again! “We’ve all got baggage”… Let’s see what A has install for us and the girls this evening!

00:10 – Wait? They can just walk into Sarah’s room? Since when? I really hope this isn’t left unmentioned because if it is I’m going to have missed something here…

So Sarah’s checked out? This can’t be a bad thing!

UPDATE: Yeah, Hannah tells us – thank you, Hannah!

00:57 – How can they not see the mask? The maid is clearly wearing a mask! Definitely A-Related

1:33 – BOOM! Nailed it. This show has made my jaw drop a few times (The Toby = A incident) but sometimes they’re really predictable.

4:04 – I’ve always suspected Melissa of something… but I don’t understand why anyone would torture their sister like that?! Hmmmm… maybe a genuine secret that’s not entirely A-material.

6:57 – So Hannah isn’t happy with her new boyfriend… that’s not news (picked up on the vibes) but I’m seriously praying she doesn’t cock things up for Spencer and Caleb! Sure Toby is amazing and he loved Spencer so much… it worked. It was great but Toby has moved on. He’s building a house for his new girlfriend (soon to be fiancée) for crying out loud! Please don’t just split the couples up for a plot device!

7:40 – This dude speaking to Emily is really creepy! *noted*

9:18 – Spencer is so strong! I love her! I’m so glad she told her mum – the less secrets in this show, the safer they are. “Courage is about having grace under fire,” that’s beautiful!

10:45 – Oh my goodness, what has Alison done now?! Seriously? Sure the A text is kind of creepy and stalker-ish and I’m meant to be bothered by it! But it anyone else wondering how Ali ends up in the middle of all of this? I’m more than confused why she still is completely blameless in this whole charade. A wouldn’t have had so many people recruited if it weren’t for the number of people she pissed off!

11:48 – Aria officiating a wedding? Anyone thinking Joey from friends, much?

13:40 – Seriously lies get people killed in this programme! Doesn’t Melissa know that? Jeez!

14:12 – See Aria knows that lies don’t work! She told Ezra! Well done Aria – definitely gone up in all my estimations.

16:12 – I have a wedding that needs planning – but a styler? Hannah has a good eye for style but I’m not too sure about that dress she just recommened. I’ll wait for her to put it on!

17:48 – Ooo! Alison’s being honest too! I like this a lot. I’m ridiculously suspicious of this Doctor-dude though! Is that that what this programme does to you? Make you mistrust everyone. Basically, my theory is that the the doctor made Charlotte feel special, accepted… there was maybe even a ‘thing’ there. So when Alison told Charlotte she was betrayed! Alison just didn’t know it…

19:35 – Hannah said “he looks familiar” about the guy that Emily’s meeting up with! I knew I didn’t like him… but that seems unusual!

20:13 – Before “our baby” does? A is a man? or is this a red-herring. Oh wait – flash abck two episodes ago when A Suspect #1 was getting out of a limousine and “Sir” was used… Is there anyone thinking Alison’s Dad might be involved in all of this?!

20:20 – Go Veronica!!! You star; you strong independent woman!

Aw man! Don’t get me wrong; I do feel sorry for Hannah having to see her ex happy with someone else when it seems clear they didn’t break up because they stopped loving each other… but please don’t ruin this!

21:43 – Melissa looks haggard! Oooo phone privilages? Charlotte’s been talking to Melissa? But why?!

… Melissa is such a cow! Seriously… I’ve never liked her but I don’t even know why she’s so twisted!

24:20 – The moment Liam realises that Ezra and Aria were a thing… Liam is pissed and rightly so! Note a few moments ago… when I commended Aria for telling the truth – that’s so friggin’ rare!

27:05 – Will you please stop foreshadowing Hannah/Caleb – it will break my poor viewers heart! I feel sorry for Jordan a bit, actually… (Sure if you read my other blogs you’d know that I was in an engagement that I shouldn’t/didn’t want to be in…. and I get that… but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to go back to your ex!)

29:01 – Did good doctor dude actually just propose… Don’t be bought! Please don’t buy into this Ali… I don’t actually trust the dude!

30:15 – YOU! Melissa! You could’ve put that out there! Seriously, sometimes I want to punch her in the face!

30:20 – Do you ever get the feeling that when the girls follow a lead it’s because A knows that’s their lead? I swear, they’re never truly ahead of the game – Emily you are going to get yourself killed!

31:25 “Who are we when we’re alone? And who are we when we’re we with this other person? Are we really ready to be with another person until we truly know ourselves?” Beautiful, Aria! Thank you! I underestimated you and I’m sorry!

32:56 – Why is there never any phone signal when you’re about to die, Emily?! Seriously – don’t do this stuff alone. Will. You. Ever. Learn?

33:30 – Is that the murder weapon? Looks like a bit of the suitcase to me! But Emily, you doofus, now your prints are going to be on it!

34:12 – Jesus Christ! Even when people are honest on this programme it never works out for them! Seriously Veronica, you didn’t listen to your daughter before and look where that got you? Spencer is a good egg! Deal with it.

Caleb!? Why are you taking the wrap for this! You’re innocent. God, dude, you’re amazing and dreamy but you’re a fool!

35:21 – Now you drop the murder weapon with your prints on it? *sigh* Well as if we didn’t see that one coming… Emily!!

And A has it… You seriously couldn’t make stuff worse for yourselves! Right, in order for me to really respect you – go to the bloody police! Tell them before they’re handed the weapon.

36:42 – Aria is honest with herself now as well as Liam, which is progress! And I swear that Liam has to be the most reasonable, understanding person of all time. I hope he’s lovely and not some secret A guy. That would really hurt!

38:28 – Woop! Woop! May 17th and she seems happy! That’s good – better even! I just hope she’s not in love with planning a wedding rather than being married to Jordan himself.

40:08 – A web of A-People… great! No one is safe these days.

Alison is getting married to the doctor-dude? He’s so negligible I haven’t even learnt his name yet and I’m good with names! Maybe he wants to abuse the fact that you don’t have to testify against your spouse?! I don’t trust him….

End – Oooo, A was at the wedding? Or at least stole some cake? But if you were going to the effort of almost running people over, where would you have time to steal cake? Exactly! They must have been a guest!

Well done, Pretty Little Liars – I’m still gripped.