Social Icons

Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella (2015)


Lily James
Cate Blanchett

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Disney’s decision to start making live action adaptation of their old fairy tale animations has been a financial success. They started in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland which grossed over $1 billion in the box office and Maleficent in 2014 starring Angelina Jolie which was also a commercial success grossing over $750 million in the box office.
Although the first two made so much money they received mixed to negative reviews, but Cinderella has been nothing but positive reviews all the way.

Disney stayed close to their 1950 classic, we had magic, glass slippers and animals helping Cinderella get by. It was magical and wonderful.
Kenneth Branagh (Thor (2011)) the director did something magical for the new generation, he took Charles Perraults fairy tale and made it suitable for everyone.

Disney went far with the visual effects, and the costumes are to die for, you have to see Cinderella’s dress when it was magically being done, and the after effect of the magic on it, beautiful. Three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell was on board for this movie and after seeing her work here, she deserves another Oscar. The Cinderella gown needed 18 tailors working for over 500 hours to make (talk about dedication) and guess what? 19 of the gowns were made… do the maths.

Disney went all out to make sure this movie would be a masterpiece and it sure was.

The plot of Cinderella is ever the same: Ella is the only child of her parents, her mother died early and her father later remarried Lady Tremaine who had two daughters (they were the wicked step mother and the wicked step sisters). After her father died the step mum and her daughters turned Ella to a slave and changed her name to Cinderella because of the cinder that was on her face when she slept by the fire place.

So with some magic from her fairy god mother… well you know the rest.

Other than being a critical success, the movie was also a commercial success Disney’s combined cost of $145 million brought in more than $530 million in the box office. This movie deserved to make more money than Disney’s previous two live action adaptations (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent).

The acting done by Lily James and Cate Blanchett are enough to dazzle you. They were so good in their portrayal of Cinderella and Lady Tremaine (Lily and Cate respectively) they made it hard for me to notice if the other actors in the movie were good enough to stand close to them.

Disney has decided to release more live action movies of their classical animations so in 2016, we will be having a release of The Jungle Book and Alice Through The Looking Glass.

I really enjoyed this movie to the fullest, although I preferred the ending of Walt Disney’s 1950 animation of the same name in which this movie was partly adapted from to this.
In that, the mice had to get the key from the step mum’s pocket, take it up the artic where Cinderella was. There they had to deal with the cat (Lucifer), and the dog came to chase the cat away. The mice then took the key safely to Cinderella and she escaped… the rest of the story from here was classic. None the less, you have to go see Cinderella.

Ex Machina (2015)

Please Leave A Comment Below

Ex Machina (2015)


Domhnall Gleeson
Alicia Vikander
Oscar Isaac

Directed by Alex Garland

If man desire for a future with A.I. that will be so advanced it will function independently and will be confused for a human, that future is near. The way movies paint such a future I guess we are in line for a hostile takeover from the machines. Ex machina explores that possible future and it does so with so much style, you the viewer will be as lost for what is happening as the men involved.

I guess that suspense for what the real motive for developing such a magnificent A.I. in isolation was what drove to me to see this film to the end. It was intriguing none the less; you wouldn’t want to miss the sessions between the A.I. and her interviewer Caleb.

In the movie we have a company named Bluebook the world’s most popular search engine, which in a way seemed like Google. The company (well the owner) makes use of people’s search history and preferences to develop his android.
Here is a movie about the future where you will be expecting some high graphics and visual effects, but the movie played more on delivering a powerful script, which will keep you on your seat as you watch things unfold gently, making you wonder what is going on.
But none regardless, with a $15 million production budget the movie/makers delivered a smooth cool visual effect of the androids in the movie.

Written and directed by Alex Garland (Dredd (2012)) Ex Machina is about a high intellect programmer who invited one of his employees (Caleb) who is also a programmer to administer the Turing test (The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. - Wikipedia) to an android he developed with artificial intelligence.

The android Caleb was interviewing has the features of a woman and during the tests, started to display affection and other forms of emotions confusing Caleb to think she was programmed to do so.
Things took an odd turn when the android named Ava, told Caleb that his employer isn't telling him the whole truth about the test and shouldn’t be trusted.

This began a sub-plot in the plot and more twists that will leave you gasping in awe at the unpredictable ending awaiting you.

Ex Machina is a great movie and one I will recommend you see when you have the time.

St. Vincent (2014)

Please Leave A Comment Below

St. Vincent (2014)


Bill Murray
Melissa McCarthy
Naomi Watts

Directed by Theodore Melfi

You can never get enough of feel good movies, here St. Vincent plays to you heart. It exploits the innocence of our childhood, it took a deep turn into friendship in unlikely places (how as kids we always seem to make friends with even the people we started off with as enemies.)

St. Vincent is not a movie for you and the family to go watch, the high use of language is very inappropriate, but the love in the movie is of high dosage. To cap up this movie we have a cast that will knock your socks off. The cast is led by Bill Murray who plays the grumpy, foul mouthed old neighbor Vincent, we have Melissa McCarthy who plays the lovable mother of Oliver and Vincent’s neighbor.
In supporting we have Oliver the innocent little child who befriends the grouch and Naomi Watts who plays the pregnant Russian prostitute and Vincent’s mistress.

All the cast in the movie are memorable and lovable, even down to Vincent’s beautiful wife and the loan shark played by Terence Howard.

St. Vincent is Bill Murray at his best, it has been a while since we have seen him deliver a mountain of role or character on the screen, but here he delivers the expected mountain as a funny man who hides his sentimental side to the world.

The movie starts with an ugly introduction to the lead male character Vincent, and builds up gently bringing in one character at a time until we are familiar with everyone and their role. Then director and writer of the film Theodore Melfi (who is making his full length debut with this film) guides the story gently as we see a mother (Melissa McCarthy) struggling to be there for her child Oliver and leaves him with her neighbor to babysit.

Her neighbor Vincent ended up being a bad influence to the child, but took care him in ways his mother never had the time to do. A friendship started, but ended quickly as divorce issues with Oliver’s dad ended up in a joint custody 50/50 judgment, a tragedy and stroke brought a growing friendship to an abrupt halt.

Oliver not ready to say goodbye to his new found friend soon, did all he could to get him and Vincent back on good terms.

I guess that is it for me in the movie, we are used to the adults learning from their grumpy ways and changing to meet their mentees half way, but that didn’t happen, Oliver had to come up with ways to meet Vincent half way.
You have to see or possibly own this movie as it is a wonderful drama.

The DUFF (2015)

Please Leave A Comment Below

The DUFF (2015)


Mae Whitman
Robbie Amell

Directed by Ari Sandel

The DUFF is a movie you can sit through without getting pissed at the writers of the obviously obvious things you can guess will occur 5 minutes into the movie.
What made me like this movie is not the story, but the modernization of it, we have seen many teen rom-com with the same tale: someone is side lined and decides to be more out there – in reality it isn’t like that, most of the time. The DUFF plays on the reality which is, you may be socially awkward and still have friends who are not, that being said The DUFF designate the awkward person as a D.U.F.F (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) who doesn’t have to be ugly or fat just less popular and more accessible than the others in the group. The DUFF is the one people go to for information about the other people in her/his group.

None the less, I didn’t feel the movie was great as I have been through this story (not really in this form) many times in other high school rom-coms.

The movie plot starts with an introduction of the group our lead actor is in – Bianca’s group consist of three people, she and her two hot friends. Life was great in their community until Bianca’s childhood friend and neighbor Wes, told her she was the THE DUFF in her group.
The statement caused Bianca to part ways with her friends and seek assistance from Wes to be more less a DUFF and more of a hotty so she can finally be able to get a date with the guy she wants.

I guess my problem will be my age, I was born in the era when She’s All That (1999) was the movie to see, the teen rom-com for the 90s. With that at the back of my mind (not to mention the countless times I have seen it) every teen rom-com reminds me of it, especially when it has to do with a girl coming to reality of who she is and wanting to change, with the help of a guy, that is why this movie is ok for me and why I find it hard to give it a 6, so I will settle for a 5.

The movie rounds up with her acceptance of who she is, and not the transcend balance of the makeover which we see in the regular high school rom-coms. I guess that is why the movie is a critical success, although she did change her looks to a sexier acceptance of herself.

Every other actor in the movie were not near as good as Mae Whitman (who plays the lead Bianca (The DUFF)) she owned this movie and I will advise you wait for your local TV to get the right to show it for ya.