My Weekly Recommendations 19th November

Hello readers,

I know I missed last week but I thought I would catch up with my thoughts on films I have seen this week.

Cinema:

Borg vs McEnroe (2017)

This film about the Men’s Wimbledon Final in 1980 was a great in depth look at how competition and the media affected the players involved. Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason), a Swedish tennis player trying to break the record for 5th consecutive Wimbledon title is up against John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), a US player known for his quick temper trying to win Wimbledon for the first time. The film follows their journey from childhood as young tennis stars to the final. The actors truly commit to the role and embody their characters not just by looking like them but by being them. I was shocked at how emotional and heart warming the film was, Borg had to deal with his extreme fame and how he cannot even walk down to the street without people running up to him chanting his name and McEnroe has to try and show the media and the world that he is good enough to beat the 4 time champion and not loose his temper. This film also stars Stellan Skarsgård (Thor) as Borg’s coach, an ex-Wimbledon quarter finalist who has backed him since he was a teenager, Robert Emms (War Horse) as Vitas Gerulaitis, an American tennis player and Ian Blackman (Hail Caesar!) as John McEnroe Senior. The actual match played between Borg and McEnroe was an amazing sequence, the whole film had been leading up to this match and you want both players to win. Overall I give Borg vs. McEnroe 5/5. 

Amazon Prime:

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

This film is a 90s rom com classic and I don’t know why I haven’t seen it before. The story follows Kat played by Julia Stiles (Bourne Ultimatum) and her sister Bianca played by Larisa Oleynik (The Babysitter’s Club). Bianca really wants to date the cute, popular guy Joey (Andrew Keegan) but her dad says she cannot date until her older sister Kat does. New boy at school Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) also wants to go out with Bianca but when he learns of her dad’s rule he conspires with new buddy Michael (David Krumholtz) to get Kat a boyfriend. Enter Patrick, a cool, clever, school-hating bad boy with a motor cycle played by the young Heath Ledger (Batman Begins). He starts dating Kat for a price paid by Joey. Kat and Patrick get closer but will she discover their relationship is all a sham? Based on Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew, this is an American teen movie with a twist. Also starring Gabrielle Union (Bring It On)as Bianca’s best friend; Larry Miller (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) as Kat and Bianca’s dad; Daryl Mitchell (Galaxy Quest) as Kat’s crazy English teacher and Allison Janney (American Beauty) as the guidance counsellor who likes to write erotic novels. Overall I give 10 Things I Hate About You 5/5.

Box of Broadcasts

Deux jours, une nuit (2014)

I saw this film via a streaming service provided by my university but it is available on DVD and possibly other streaming services. This film is different to most films in the cinemas because it wasn’t made on a big budget and most of the actors were not professionals with dozens of credits. It shows a woman, Sandra played by Marion Cotillard (Inception) one of the few names in this film, as she goes around her small French town trying to convince her co-workers to vote for her to keep her job rather than their bonuses. She had a long period of leave due to depression but she feels better and wants to go back to work. The only thing standing in her way are her colleagues. Whilst this film is realist, showing ordinary activities like making dinner, buying food, travelling in the car it has a pull to it that makes you feel for Sandra and you hope she succeeds in her mission. Also starring are Fabrizio Rongione (Rosetta), Catherine Salée (Blue is the Warmest Colour). All the other actors and actresses are virtually unknown. The Dardenne Brothers who directed this film like their films to be realist and full of people we don’t recognise so that the audience is more invested in the characters and setting and not thinking where they know each actor from. This film really struck a chord with me and showed how vulnerable yet strong women can be. Overall I give Deux jours, une nuit 4/5.   

I hope reading these reviews inspires you to check out these films or maybe some of the actors in them. This is my weekly selection. I have watched a few others this weeks that deserve a mention: No Strings Attached (2011), I Am Not A Witch (2017), The Bad Education Movie (2015), Bring it On (2000) and The Mummy (2017).

Happy Watching,

Robyn

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Top 10 Films to Watch on a Girly Sleepover

Hello again,

Now I know if any guys are reading this are thinking wow that title is sexist, then I have to agree but from the little male culture I understand, boys don’t tend to watch these types of films on sleepovers. Instead they watch action or horrors. However if you are a guy and like any films mentioned please tell me in the comments. Anyway seeing as I am a girl and have been on many a girly sleepover here are my top ten film choices.

  1. What Happens in Vegas (2008)

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This rom-com starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher is one of my all time favourites. It is set at first in Las Vegas where two strangers get crazy drunk and married then one of them wins $3 million on a slot machine and they are forced to be married for 6 months. Sounds simple right? It is although the twist is the two characters who got married whilst very drunk hate each other and have to live with each other for six months. I personally love hate-to- love stories which this definitely is. I also like the New York setting where they both live as its adds glamour. Lake Bell (No Escape) plays Diaz’s best friend and Vegas buddy whereas Rob Corddry (also mentioned in my Weekly Recommendations) is Kutcher’s friend (and lawyer). These two provide great comedy to the film as they also hate each other but with a burning passion. Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Queen Latifah (Girls Trip) and Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) also star. Overall I think this movie is a classic for sleepovers and a good all round film if you need to believe in love again. Overall I rate What Happens in Vegas 5/5.

2. Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)

Related imageA great film based on a series of books by Louise Rennison. Georgia is just like any normal girl, she has friends, lives with her family and her cat and goes to school. Except she is far from it. Her sister Libby, believes herself to be cat, her actual cat Angus is an absolute mongrel, her parents argue all the time and the Sex God that has just moved to town has no awareness of her existence. Georgia charters her crazy life in her diary. This film starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) as Robbie the Sex God, Kimberley Nixon (Fresh Meat) as Georgia’s enemy ‘Wet Lindsay’, Alan Davies (QI), Karen Taylor (The Sketch Show), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) as Best Friend Jas and Georgia is played by Georgia Groome (London to Brighton) is one that will make you laugh out loud and close to tears. Most girls who have been or are teenagers can relate to the conversation Georgia has with her mates. She also dresses as a cocktail olive at the beginning so what’s not to love? I have actually seen this film on a girly sleepover so it is definitely perfect for one. I have deducted one point for the fact that the ending would not happen in real life. No spoilers! Overall I give Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging 4/5.

3. Mean Girls (2004)

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This film is seen as a classic by many, for its great cast, quotable lines and relatable story about wanting to fit in at high school. Lindsay Lohan plays Cady, a girl who has lived in Africa her whole life and is suddenly dropped into an American high school. For the first time in her life she has to worry about what she wears, who she associates with and her place in the social hierarchy. She in filtrates the most popular girl group in the school, the Plastics. They are made up of Regina George – The Queen Bee who rules the school and her minions – Gretchen, whose dad invented the Toaster Strudel and Karen, who is possibly “the dumbest girl you will ever meet”.  Cady plans to ruin Regina’s life but she soon becomes one of the Plastics. In between trying not to fall for Regina’s gorgeous ex Aaron Samuels, get out of Mathletes run by Ms Norbury and remembering who her real friends are, Janice and Damian. This film is a must see for any teenager trying to navigate school. Joining Lohan in a great ensemble cast are Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia), Rachel McAdams (The Notebook), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Tina Fey (SNL), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Jonathan Bennett (Cheaper By The Dozen 2), Lizzy Caplan (Now You See Me 2) and Daniel Franzese (I Spit On Your Grave).

‘That’s so fetch! Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It’s not going to happen!’ A great film to see on a sleepover, you will quoting the script for months! Overall I rate Mean Girls 5/5.

4. She’s the Man (2006)

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Based loosely on the Shakespeare play ‘Twelfth Night’ this football film had great laughs and heart. Viola just wants to play football but her school cuts the girls teams she dresses as her brother and pretends to be him at his new school for two weeks while he cuts school and goes to London. What could go wrong? What Viola didn’t account for was falling for her cute roommate and having to deal’s with her brother’s psycho ex-girlfriend. She also has to work much harder to keep up with the boy’s football team. Will she be able to prove to her ex and her old school that girls can play football too. This film is laugh out loud funny with some unique lines, it will make you sigh and cringe for the heroine Viola, played by Amanda Bynes at the height of her career. Also starring are Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) as her roommate, Vinnie Jones (Snatch), Laura Ramsey (The Ruins), Julie Hagerty (Just Friends) and Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2). Overall I rate this She’s The Man 5/5.

5. It’s a Boy Girl Thing (2006)

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A classic enemies to lovers story, this teen movie has a rather unusual twist. Nell and Woody have nothing in common except their loathing for each other. She is a clever, hardworking, poetry loving academic with Yale University in her sights and Woody is lazy and rude and his place at a bog standard college is resting on his football skills. They also happen to be neighbours. On a school trip to a museum, a mysterious statue casts a spell on them and the next morning, they wake up in each others bodies. At first, they both see this as a chance to mess with the others’ life but they soon figure that to achieve their college dreams they have to work together. This film really highlights the (stereotypical) differences between boys and girls and it had a lot of heart. Physical comedy and costumes were also very important in this film. Also starring are Sherry Miller (Sabrina The Teenage Witch), Robert Joy (Sweet November), Sharon Osbourne (X Factor) and Maury Chaykin (Dances with Wolves). Overall I give It’s A Boy Girl Thing 3.5/5.

6. We’re the Millers (2013)

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This comedy always makes me laugh out loud but be warned there are some very dirty jokes and slight nudity so stay away if you are under 15. For those who are old enough, We’re the Millers is a comedy about a man called Dave, who is a drug dealer (Jason Sudeikis) tasked with bringing a huge amount of weed back from Mexico and to do it he enlists the help of his neighbours to pretend to be his family. Rose (Jennifer Aniston) is a stripper who needs the money Dave is offering to go on this crazy road trip, Casey (Emma Roberts) is a runaway who has nowhere to go and Kenny (Will Poulter) is just plain weird. The 4 of them fly to Mexico and drive an RV back to the good ol’ USA. Sounds simple but many mishaps befall them. They are chased by drug dealers, bitten by spiders and have to get through the week without losing their tempers. They start off doing it for the money but do they start to become the family they are pretending to be? With hilarious and very dirty jokes, this comedy will have everyone crying with laughter. Also starring are Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Molly C. Quinn (Castle).  Overall I give We’re The Millers 5/5.

7. 17 Again (2009)

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Zac Efron (High School Musical) stars as Mike, who had it all at 17, a beautiful girlfriend, a great friend Ned, a promising future playing basketball. Until his career away when his girlfriend became pregnant. At 37, his life has gone down hill, his wife Scarlet wants a divorce, he is living with Ned, who since high school became uber rich (but still a nerd), his son Alex is bullied and his daughter Maggie is dating a jerk. He gets a chance to fix his life though when he falls through a time vortex and emerges looking how he did when he was 17. He goes back to high school to help his kids but is the person he really need to help himself? Also starring are Matthew Perry (The Whole Nine Yards) as Mike aged 37, Leslie Mann (Knocked Up) as his wife, Thomas Lennon (Night at the Museum) as Ned, Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Maggie and Sterling Knight (Starstruck) as Alex. This film has its funny moments and cringey ones but essentially it is about a man trying to get his old life back whilst looking like he did at 17. Overall I give 17 Again 3/5.

8. The Breakfast Club (1985)

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This film is an 80’s teen classic and also one for people aged 15 or over. The film is about 5 teens who get all day detention on a Saturday. They don’t really know each other as they are all from different walks of life. They all slowly start to become closer and rebel against their horrible teacher Mr. Vernon (Paul Gleason). They realise that they have more in common with the others than everyone thinks. Directed by John Hughes, who has a reputation for making great 80’s teen movie like Sixteen Candles (1984) and led by an all star cast, The Breakfast Club has become a must see for anyone who has been to high school and knows what it is like to try and find your gang. Starring Emilio Estevez (The Way) as Andrew ‘The Jock’, Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles) as Claire ‘The Princess’, Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight) as Brian ‘The Brain’, Ally Sheedy (Short Circuit) as Allison ‘The Basket Case’ and Judd Nelson (St. Elmo’s Fire) as John Bender ‘The Criminal’. This film is as funny as it is it poignant and the script really resonates with you. It is also fun and it makes you want to be part of The Breakfast Club. Overall I give The Breakfast Club 5/5.

9. Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)

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This film has a more unusual plot but the same Hollywood script is still there. A separated couple who both have very high profile jobs in New York City. They become witnesses to a murder and to go into witness protection. As they are still legally married they are sent to the same place, Ray, Wyoming. A very small town where people live like they are in a western from the 1950s. Paul and Meryl have to learn to live with each other after he cheated and they are stuck in the same house. They also have to learn how to shoot, ride a horse and avoid bears. Starring Hugh Grant (About a Boy) as Paul and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) as Meryl, this film is great for believing in love again and perfect for a sleepover. Be prepared for laughs and the odd sad moment. Also starring Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), Michael Kelly (Changeling), Sam Elliott (Hulk) and Mary Steenburger (Back to the Future Part III) this is a simple little rom-com designed to warm your heart. It’s downside is that it is a bit unbelievable at times. Overall I give Did You Hear About the Morgans? 3/5.

10. The Switch (2010)

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Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston star in this hilarious comedy. Jennifer plays Kassie a woman who decides she wants to have a baby – even though she hasn’t got a man. She decides to use a sperm donor. Her friend Wally (Bateman) supports her decision even though he is against it – because he is secretly in love with her. At her insemination party, Wally gets very drunk and spills the sperm sample. He then switches it for his. He was so drunk he doesn’t realise what he did. Kassie moves away but comes back 7 years later with her son, Sebastian. The sperm donor is now divorced and looking to get together with Kassie. Wally whilst looking after Sebastian can’t help noticing the similarities between himself and Kassie’s son. This laugh out loud comedy is great for anyone 12 and upwards. You will route for Wally long before he admits he in love with Kassie. A stellar supporting cast of Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park), Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), Thomas Robinson (Tomorrowland: A World Beyond) and Bryce Robinson (Marley & Me). A classic rom-com and the child actor is amazing, overall I give The Switch 5/5.

These are the films I think would be great for a girly sleepover, feel free to leave a comment suggesting any others you like to watch on a sleepover.

Happy Watching,

Robyn

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My Weekly Recommendations

Hello readers,

Even though this is only the second post on this blog, I feel like I am getting more into writing this. I had a small break from the blog before it really even got started due to starting university but now I am back.

So let’s get to the point: the films I have watched this week.

Cinema:

I now volunteer at the independent cinema where I now live so I get to watch new films every week and this week was Blade Runner 2049. I actually saw this last month for my birthday and I was not too impressed. This time around I actually consciously chose to have a nap in the middle of the film and I find it extremely hard to fall asleep watching any movie let alone a noisy one like this but somehow I did. The film is not bad but it is not the type of film I would watch again (like I did). I felt the marketing by Sony was too hyped up. I went in expecting an action packed Ryan Gosling/ Harrison Ford duo movie with sci-fi and amazing special effects. I was disappointed.

From a film student, point of view (which is also me) the film was visually stunning, the scenery of the desert and post-apocalyptic world was really amazing and the colours and lighting in every shot was clearly well thought out but I felt the script and lack of action was what let Blade Runner 2049 down. Granted I had not seen the original Blade Runner (1982) so I wasn’t as invested in the characters as some people but I felt this reboot was not the film for me. A lot of others did enjoy it like The Guardian gave it 5 stars, but I do not. It’s okay for me to have my own opinion and I still bought a ticket and contributed to their box office gross. Overall I rate this film 3/5.

DVD:

I bought the film Eat Pray Love (2010) on DVD from a charity shop and this week I decided to watch it. It is based on a book by Elizabeth Gilbert that was a New York Times bestseller that I read last year and absolutely loved. The book is about  woman who divorces her husband and then goes on a year long trip to Italy, India and Indonesia. The book is also about God as she starts praying and in India she goes to an ashram – a place of prayer that was set up by her guru. The book really spoke to me so I went in with high expectations and I was not disappointed. This film may sell itself as a rom-com but to me is about finding out who you want to be in life and what your goals should be. The author Liz is played by Julia Roberts who does an excellent job at portraying all of Liz’s emotions and feelings with using few words and her face. Other cast members include James Franco, looking very young playing her lover David, Billy Crudup, her husband and Viola Davis, Liz’s friend in New York where she lives. The story was adapted in the film but Liz Gilbert worked closely with the producers and oversaw all changes made. Some things were added that actually happened but were not mentioned in the book. The film is long over 2 hours but it is worth it to get the full story. The only negative is I felt the film did not go into enough did about Liz’s time in Indonesia. Overall I rate this film 4/5.

Amazon Prime:

I watched Office Christmas Party on Amazon Prime. I know it’s a bit too early for Christmas but this film features some of my favourite comedy actors and actresses like Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon and Rob Corddry. The film is about a technology company run by a relaxed boss who has taken over from his dad. The office branch is about to be closed by his workaholic sister (Aniston) so the office throws an epic Christmas party to close a client. Chaos ensues. I liked the fun nature of this film and the great one lines from some of the funniest comedic actors in Hollywood. The cast gelled well and set for the party was massive and very detailed. It also has drama and romance and an epic car chase at the end. For a funny Christmas movie, it actually had a plot that made sense. I also watched it because I saw the trailer when it was being marketed last Christmas and thought it looked like a good film to watch. Definitely one to watch if you love comedy and Christmas and don’t mind occasional American cheesiness. Overall I rate this film 5/5.

So these are my 3 recommendations for this week. Some weeks I may watch more films than this but this week I had some big assignments due so I watched more TV instead.

Happy watching,

Robyn

 

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Welcome to my blog!

Hello readers,

Welcome to my blog, Film Fanatic where I will be discussing all things film. I will be giving weekly recommendations of films to watch that are either old favourites or currently available in the cinemas.

I will be writing about my personal opinions on films, TV shows, actors and actresses, directors and everything in between.

I am about to start Film Studies at university in England and I wanted to start this blog to keep myself writing regularly about my favourite subject.

Anyway, hope this website interests you and I will be shortly making  Twitter and Instagram where I can be contacted for any suggestions or comments.

To get in touch my email is: indie@film-fanatic.co.uk

Love,

Robyn x

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