Review: T2 Trainspotting

First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
-Synopsis taken from IMDB

I feel like all my reviews at the moment are “The reason this film wasn’t brilliant was because it was, in essence, wasted potential.” But for me, that is the summary I would use for T2.

Spontaneous-Brain-Thoughts;
An aside… what is it with the only films being made at the moment being sequels and remakes? Is it that difficult to find more book adaptations or original plot ideas? The Oscar nominations might be a little heavy-going but at least they’re full of originality!

The vast majority of the film was setting the scene for the ‘betrayal’ and played largely off references to the first. This was certainly not a stand-alone-film. That isn’t an insult as it was advertised heavily as being a sequel to a cult classic. If you enjoyed the first, then you’re likely to enjoy the second. On the whole, if you went in expecting it to be as good, you were bound to be disappointed.

Begbie was being cast as the villain in this film and Robert Cartlyle was amazing. That man is such a versatile and outstanding actor. Ewan McGregor is fantastic in everything he’s in and the fact that he was able to get back into a character that initiated his career was admirable. I know that there was a disagreement between the director and him for a considerable length of time but hearing them talk about it on the Graham Norton show it’s clear that they’ve set all their differences aside. It was clear that this time around, these characters reached new depths I didn’t think fathomable.

There was a moment towards the end that would have changed my impression of the film substantially. In the first film they killed off a main character… and it actually added to the plot. I think we all knew they wouldn’t do it again. When that was happening… I found myself being amazed by the shock and I was empathetic for all of the characters. They didn’t, however, follow through with it… leaving me with a bit of a lackluster sensation about the film.

Random-Brain-Thoughts

Come on, guys! 2017 has to be better for film!!

Character writing = Good.
Plot = Hit and miss.
Acting = Incredible.
Enjoyment Factor = 6.5/10

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Review: Trolls

From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colourful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, the film stars the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more.

I will always remain to be a person that adores easy-watching family films; which is why Disney and Pixar will never cease to captivate me. I have an inital opinion that Dreamworks can be hit and miss but the fact that Anna Kendrick was amongst the cast made me optimistic about this one. Also, when someone dabbles in something you have fond childhood memories off, it can make you skeptical and for this reason, it’s safe to say that I approached this film with caution.

Within a few minutes, I was confident that even if the film was awful, I would leave with a smile on my face simply because of the catchy music, multitude of colours and the abundance of happiness. I, actually, found it incredibly cute and worthwhile watching.

Visually, it was hard not to be blown away with the incredible bright colours that, even though they could have become garish at some stage, always stayed the right side of the line. Colour makes you happy! I didn’t even realise just how much it can affect you until now! Poppy should teach a master class in scrapbooking happiness into the hearts of people – I was practically skipping out of the screen!

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake did a wonderful job as the protagonist couple and even though the ending was wonderfully predictable from the beginning, I was executed with a laugh and warm feeling inside – not an eyeroll or tut anywhere!

I liked the use of the literal “happiness is on the inside” thing with the fact that the Bergens believed they could only access happiness by digesting it and even better that there was a moral within the story as well! Children will hopefully be leaving believing that they don’t have to eat to be happy – whether that was an intention to reduce childhood obesity or not, I think it might’ve worked. On leaving the cinema, I heard a child say that he knows happiness is on the inside and eating stuff won’t help. Sure, he was probably about 5 and not craving a chocolate bar, but it was progess!

Well done, Dreamworks! My favourite in a long time! A new go-to happy film and with an amazing soundtrack!!!!!

Review: Girl on the Train (Film)

Ultimately, I was disappointed. I really don’t think that the film lived up to the hype that it’d had for months. Also, I’m not sure that I’ve been this disappointed in a book-film adaptation in a while.

Don’t get me wrong, I did find the book a little slow. It was unique in the sense that it remained a page turner despite lacking pace. I conclude that it most likely achieved this because of the confusion that it placed on the reader; you were left continually wondering what was real and what wasn’t. I’ve always been the type of person that has unintentionally been able to predict the endings and twists to stories. It can be irritating but when I read Girl on the Train, I couldn’t see where it was going (hence the “page turner.”) And yet with every turned page, it still lacked pace, adrenaline, fervour…

The film was on a whole new level of mundane. When I thought it was because I’d read the book before, I remember my reaction to Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep – I’d read those books and I still thought the films were brilliant! Girl on the Train was advertised to be in the same league of these thrillers and it really wasn’t.

Credit where credit is due though; Emily Blunt proved herself to be quite the versatile actress. She is usually so pristine, so naturally beautiful and I can’t begin to comprehend the hours of work that she had to undergo in order to look so disheveled and rough. Although appearance can help solidify an impression of a character, the quality of the acting had a really lasting affect. Emily Blunt played it well.

I feel bad that this review is so short… but I’m really not sure what else to say. I guess if you’re reading this review before you’re going to see it I might have done you a favour – if someone had lowered my expectations this much, I may have actually found it enjoyable to watch.

It almost became a very expensive nap!

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.