Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: A Film Review.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a fun, wonderful and emotive film.

All of the characters were grounded in their emotions – Peter who is troubled and lost after the loss of his mother, the absence of his father, Gamora is plagued by her childhood and father, Drax by the death of his family, Rocket by the experiments he was subjected to and Baby Groot who is just so damn adorable – and that is what made this film so different and compelling. These warriors, who go off and defend the galaxy (and sometimes steal and a lot of the time get into trouble), were, at their hearts, broken, stitched together by flimsy string, depending on each other for love and support.

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Moana: A Film Review.


I finally watched Moana the other night, I know, I know it’s late. Don’t hate me. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to watching it, but regardless, I’m so glad I have. It was emotional, empowering and above all, magical. A story about a young girl, who is gifted with a quest to save her people, it is a tale to inspire all young girls. That even if the world is against you, never give up. Set on a small Polynesian island, called Motunui, Moana is the chief’s daughter who longs to travel the seas. As an adventurous child, it is clear that she is something of a wanderer, venturing into the unknown.

Years later, she is chosen by the ocean to receive the heart of the goddess Te Fiti. When the fish become scarce and vegetation starts dying, Moana is sure that this is the answer – the curse was spreading and all would be consumed by darkness if not fixed. However, the story of Te Fiti and Maui, the demigod who stole her heart, is but a mere myth and Moana is forced to escape her island without her father knowing, after the death of her ever wonderful and loving grandmother.

On her travels, she fends off the ocean’s tests and comes across Maui, the demigod who proves to be a loving, hot tempered but well-meaning man, who only wanted to help humanity after his parents shunned him. Much like Prometheus who stole the fire from Olympus to give to the humans, Maui stole the heart of Te Fiti to give the land life, except it came with a price, much like Prometheus’ actions, even though they had good intentions.

Together, they overcome their differences through stories, songs and the beauty they find in the ocean. Over their time, they bond as souls who have been forced into a life that they had not wished for and as they journey to restore Te Fiti’s heart, Moana learns more and more about her own people, about what happened to the voyagers from the past. It brings her closer to her grandmother’s spirit and gives her the power to keep going, even when all else seems lost and Maui has given up.

What I really loved about this film was that it explored a young girl’s journey – not a princess, not a blond haired, white woman’s quest for love. No, instead, this film was based on a young warrior who wishes to restore her island and people to what they had been, to save Te Fiti from becoming consumed by her own darkness. It showcased women’s strength and the power young girls have, their intelligence and beauty is not restricted to what is placed upon them, but so much more.

The exploration into Polynesian mythology was sweet, emotive and beautiful, it was a breath of fresh air, a break from the predominately white narrative Disney films have run with for years. As was the variety in shapes and sizes of the characters in the film, instead of everyone being one type or the other, it felt far more realistic of human body types – a range of figures and appearances which were all empowering and representative.

It also has an addictive soundtrack.

 

Get Out: A Film Review.


Horror films are hit and miss with me – sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad and other times they’re just plain silly. So, when I went to see Get Out yesterday, I had some doubts on how it would pan out, if it was as good as the trailers and ratings suggested. And I was wonderfully impressed.

A dark, thrilling and morbidly funny film, the audience are hooked immediately. It opens with the abduction of a black man, who was previously on the phone. He is taken by someone dressed all in dark clothing and thrown into the back of a car. From then, we are drawn in by the strange music and surprised when the story line begins lightly, a boyfriend and girlfriend going about their business, only to be broken when they accidentally hit a deer when driving to her parents’ house.

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Kong: Skull Island: A Film Review.


Kong: Skull Island was one of those films I had been dying to see for a long time. And boy, did I love it. Different from previous telling’s of the story, this I found was far grittier and survival based. None of this hero and damsel in distress nonsense, it was very much about the survival of the characters involved.

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Logan: A Film Review.


Ah, Logan. I’ll be honest, when I first saw the trailer for the last Wolverine film, I wasn’t sold. It is safe to say, I was terribly wrong. It was a heartfelt, bittersweet and powerful film. By far the best x-men film and definitely one that that had the most love, emotion and character development. Set in the future, in a time where mutants are scarce, Logan is now a limo service driver, while taking care of Charles Xavier, who has since deteriorated in his old age.

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Beauty and the Beast: A Film Review.


It is no secret that this live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast has been a long-awaited film by Disney lovers and critics. As many Harry Potter fans, of course my friends and I flocked to the cinema to watch the film with one of my favourite actresses playing one of Disney’s beloved characters, Belle. Emma Watson was wonderful, refreshing and exciting. Her new take on Belle was both nostalgic and progressive.

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Passengers: A Film Review.

Note: Can I stress that this review is not a reflection upon the actor/actress themselves. This is my view of the film and the characters, not an attack on Jennifer Lawrence or Chris Pratt. Both of whom, I like.


Passengers was a strange film.

What started off as a film with Jim (Chris Pratt) waking up after the star ship he was in, Avalon, which was carrying 5, 000 people to a new planet, called Homestead II, malfunctioned and his hibernation pod opened, 90 years early. Of course, we as the audience feel sorry for him, being trapped in space, with no one else to speak to, except an android. He begins to drive himself insane, trying to find out why he woke up early, soon realising there was something wrong with the ship. Unable to get into the controls room, as he does not have access, as an engineer, he tries to break through to reach the ship’s command centre.

He fails and realises that he is going to die alone, while the rest of the passengers and crew go onto Homestead II. Unable to go back into his pod, he opens the airlock and attempts to kill himself. He is unable to and breaks down into tears, haggard and broken. Then, he discovers Aurora and starts to take an interest in the sleeping woman. He stalks her while she sleeps, reading up on her profile, developing an obsession with her. Jim wakes Aurora, a complete stranger, he has developed a sickening fascination for, without her consent, without her knowing him at all.

Jim took Aurora’s life from her – there is no way to go back to sleep and they’d die on the ship, or at least, grow old and die before much else. Jim’s decision is very troublesome, because while living alone for a year on a ship that he couldn’t fix, knowing that he’d die alone, would force someone to the brink of suicide, or attempting to wake another up, it is still not a choice that he should’ve taken from Aurora. Condemning someone else to his fate was not fair, even if he was slowly dying from isolation and despair. To bring someone else down with him, is unforgivable.

What is even worse, the film seems to romanticise this, as they fall in love with each other and he does not tell her about waking her up. Not only was her life taken from her by a stranger, the love arch of the film seems to try and rectify that, by showing Jim as a good, kind man.

But that does not excuse the very awful decision he made – to wake her up.

When she does find out that he had woken her up, she tries to kill him but finds she cannot. Unlike Jim, she is unable to take another’s life, but shuns him, telling him that he’s sentenced her to death, because there is no other alternative. However, when a crew member wakes up, he gives them his access band, before dying of internal injuries (his pod malfunctioned too), and Jim and Aurora are forced to work together to fix the ship.

They manage to but Jim dies in the process and Aurora resuscitates him. She decides that instead of using the infirmary facilities as a hibernation pod for herself, that they’d live together and she finishes her book, for the passengers when they wake up 88 years later.

In all, I agree with many critics who have called the film “a creepy ode to manipulation” (Rebecca Hawkes) and that Jim’s decision was a “central act of violence”, which the film tries to justify, by the companionship formed between the two. It is stalking – he finds her pod, sees her and then reads up on everything he can find on her, all the information the ship has of her background, to the point where he feels as though he knows her.

Alissa Wilkinson called it a “fantasy of Stockholm syndrome”, where the captured person, in this case Aurora, “eventually identifies and even loves the captor”, due to forced mind manipulation among other things.

Once more, the obsessive actions of a character, seem to be brushed over by painting their intentions as good and wholesome ones. By presenting the character’s obsessions and actions as ‘love’. Not for what they truly are which is abusive, manipulative and frightening.