Showing posts with label Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Romance. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Diana Movie Review

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

UK Release Date: 20th September 2013

Running Time: 113 minutes 

Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Cas Anvar, Geraldine James, Douglas Hodge

"Diana" is a film that was highly anticipated for one reason;  it is a movie about Diana, Princess of Wales who was tragically killed in France in 1998.  Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, "Diana" unfortunately does not do justice to the once most famous woman in the world. Despite this, the film still manages to deliver an emotional connection to the audience but even this can be attributed to the connection/remembrance to Diana herself, not the film.

The film portrays the latter years of Princess Diana's life, showing major events that occurred.  Having split from the Royal Family, Diana (Naomi Watts) looks for and finds her true love, Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) a heart surgeon. They try to find a balance between their different lives and quite differing personalities. 

It was always going to be difficult for any director, cast and film to make a movie 'work' when it is going to be about Princess Diana.  Unfortunately, "Diana" is not a film that is a good portrayal of the final years of Diana's life or even a good film at all. Most things related to the film do not work or feel as if they fit it together in a way that allows the movie to flow.  It is jagged, empty and ultimately very disappointing.  

With this film, an opportunity was presented to make a very good film. However, the casting has to be questioned.  It is important to be clear here,  Naomi Watts is an good actress, however she does not present a good portrayal or representation of Diana. This is in all aspects.  Unless it is from distance, she does not look like Diana, neither does she sound like Diana.  Unfortunately, her mannerisms are not perfect and this makes the film feel unauthentic. This is nothing against Watts, but she was just not right for the role.  The portrayal and script also present Diana in a way that is not what we are accustomed to.  From watching the film you would think that Diana was  shallow. Hirschbiegel may be trying to over compensate her innocence but on the screen it does not come across this way. 

"Diana" generally feels odd.  The film starts slowly and rarely gets going.  It is interrupted throughout by too many scenes of silence which do not enable and storyline or plot to develop in a way that is watchable.  It rushes over important events nearer the end of her life and portrays her in a way that can only be described as degrading.  

The movie is definitely not what you wold expect before watching.  It does not inspire like a film about Diana should.  It is a poor attempt at making a film of the last few years of her life. The sole focus is on the relationships that defined her final years but even this is not done to great effect.  It is able to bring out an emotional response by the end of the film but this is limited.  "Diana" is unable to live up to the fame of the real person it portrays and turns out to be a very frustrating and discouraging movie.

M+F Rating: 4/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Titanic Movie Review

Review of Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet

Director: James Cameron

UK Release Date: 23rd January 1998

Running Time: 194 minutes

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Gloria Stuart

From director James Cameron comes "Titanic" - a film loosely based on the passenger liner RMS Titanic that struck an iceberg and sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean on the 15th April 1912.  A hugely critically acclaimed film, "Titanic" brings the sad true story of loss from the ship entwined within a fictional love story that is both gripping and emotional.  This romantic drama features a good storyline, interesting characters, a beautiful soundtrack and most importantly hits the balance between romance and drama perfectly.

The film features an older and younger version of one of the main characters, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), as she tells the story of the Titanic to a group who are searching for lost treasure on the ship wreck. She explains the beauty of the Titanic and her story, from when the ship set sail and how she met Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young broke artist.  As the Titanic continues its voyage and its eventual end, the story and connection between Rose and Jack only strengthens.

Titanic movie review, rating, photos and trailer

The film is very impressive in terms of looks.  The recreation of the incredible passenger ship looks amazing on screen and full credit has to go to the team behind the film for this.  The magnitude of the ship is portrayed very well and its pure beauty is brought back to life.  The realism helps a great deal in relating to the movie - it also keeps it respectable as there was a huge loss of life in the maritime disaster. 

The characters in "Titanic" are primarily made up.  Obviously some characters, like the boats Captain, are not 'made-up' as such but even the characters that are fully fictional like Jack and Rose fit into the film very well.  For anyone who did not know, they could have been real and the film could have been a full reconstructions of the Titanic's maiden voyage. The two aspects of the movie fit together well with the story of love and romance flowing perfectly along with the story of the Titanic until the very end where the two collide in an excellent yet emotional movie ending. 

Movie review, rating, trailer and photos of Titanic

DiCaprio, who after Titanic has gone onto star in films like Shutter Island (2010), Inception (2010) and more recently "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2013), gives a good performance alongside Winslet who also provides a promising display.  As the two title characters, their on screen relationship is great and they both really show the talent they had at a young age.  DiCaprio's youthfulness is perfect for his character and helps "Titanic" portray the innocence of people who were on the ship.

The soundtrack for "Titanic" is also very good. Most of you would have heard of the main song for the movie, 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion (This is an extended version),  and it really is a perfect accompanying song for the film.  It is emotive and parts of it are played throughout enabling the audience to build a relationship with the song and characters.  It bears a resemblance to a song from "Braveheart" (1995) in the instruments used.  The song is very powerful and whenever you hear it after watching the movie, it  hits you in the stomach as you think of the film.

"Titanic" is an excellent film that is able to combine the real story of the ship that did not make it across the Atlantic Ocean with the fictional love story between two young characters.  The look and feel of the movie is great and each scene is depicted perfectly.  The optimism shown as the Titanic sets sails really sets the film up to be great and it flows effortlessly from scene to scene. It looks aesthetically pleasing, with a good soundtrack and theme song while also provoking the audiences emotions. A great film all around.

M+F Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Don Jon Movie Review

Don Jon Movie Review

Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

UK Release Date: 15th November 2013

Running Time: 90 minutes

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's first directorial debut brings us "Don Jon" - a film billed as a rom-com.  However, it is not the typical film you would find in this genre and was a big risk for the "Inception" (2010) and "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) star. Does the risk pay off?  The film was certainly different and fresh from others but it is not a movie that stands out as a must watch.

Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is enjoying life; he loves partying, he loves his car, he loves meeting women but above all he loves pornography, claiming to watch it every day. This love infringes upon his relationships with women including Barbara Sugarman (Johansson) who he trails for a long time in search for love.  He also meets Esther (Moore) who he shares a connection with but can any female accept his love for pornography as part of the person he is?

Review, rating, trailer and photo of Don Jon

"Don Jon" is filmed in a unique way.  With many repeated scenes throughout with slight differences which is where a lot of the comedy comes from.  The  life of Jon Martello is the same day in day out verging on the edge of OCD.  The sheer extent to what he will do to get his 'fix' (of pornography) is portrayed very well and in a way that it can be watched easily by the audience.  Obviously the topic is still quite taboo to talk about in public and the film respects that to some extent. The film does not follow the usual romantic comedy plot line and this is something that is a positive for the film but come the end of the movie it does fall flat. It is predictable to watch and  you know what is going to happen yet it is not as clear cut as the usual films within this genre. 

The performances in the film are good but not amazing.  All three of the main actors, Gordon-Levitt, Johansson and Moore all provide easy and enjoyable viewing with not one standing out above the rest.  Moore and Johansson link up well with Gordon-Levitt who despite a dodgy awkward accent gives a solid performance in the lead role.  It is also a good directorial debut for Gordon-Levitt and his hitRECord production company.

Overall, "Don Jon" is a good film but does lack the final quality and edge to make it an excellent film. It is fun in places and the way it has been directed and put together is original - showing the raw talent of Gordon-Levitt.  It is a better than average movie and it is not one that you will want to watch with your parents. An entertaining movie with a good cast and interesting yet different storyline.

M+F Rating: 6/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Behind the Candelabra Movie Review

Behind the Candelabra Movie Review

Director: Steven Soderbergh

UK Release Date: 7th June 2013

Running Time: 118 minutes

Starring: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Eric Zuckerman, Dan Aykroyd

 "Behind the Candelabra" stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas in roles that are both challenging and eccentric.  The good thing is, they are both excellent in their portrayals of the titular characters in the film - Liberace and Scott Thorson.  The film itself is good but does not reach the heights of the performances that both Damon and Douglas give. 

The film focusses on the relationship of Liberace (Douglas) and Scott Thorson (Damon).  The film is based on the real memoir written by Thorson called Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace which was published in 1988. The film recounts how the two of them meet and interact with each other and ends with Liberace's death.

As a film "Behind the Candelabra" is presented in a good way. It is easy to follow and portrays the story well.  The background music throughout is in true Steven Soderbergh style and similarities can be drawn between this and the films in the Oceans film series. Although this film is not billed as a comedy it can be quite amusing at times.  Firstly it is quite funny to see Douglas and Damon is the roles they play as they are so different to what they have done before, and what we are used to.  This is more so for Damon who usually plays an action based character like he does in "Elysium" (2013) and the Bourne Trilogy.

Matt Damon and Michael Douglas as Scott Thorson and Liberace in Behind the Candelabra

Staying with Damon as Scott Thorson - it really is a tremendous performance.  As we said, it is very different to what we have seen him do before but he plays the role really well and is convincing.  It is funny to see him with a face that has been modified and even by the end you are still not quite used to it but this does not take away from how good Damon is in "Behind the Candelabra". 

Equally good is Douglas as Liberace himself. A spectacular performance that is a near on perfect representation of Liberace, Douglas shows his greatness as he has done before. At first it is odd to see Douglas play a character like this but we felt more accustomed to it compared to Damon's portrayal of Thorson. 

"Behind the Candelabra" is a highly entertaining and well thought out film.  It flows relatively easy throughout and is flamboyant in each scene while featuring great acting performances provided by Douglas and Damon.  This film really depicts how loneliness can creep up on someone but does it in a way that is not obvious.  It is not something you realize while watching - but if you think in more depth about the film afterwards you realize it.  However, the film is funny, exciting and gives a good account of the life and times of Liberace and Scott Thorson. A nice watch.

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Midnight in Paris Movie Review: Elegant and Sweet

Midnight in Paris Movie Logo

Director: Woody Allen

UK Release Date: 7th October 2011

Running Time: 94 minutes

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston, Marrion Coltillard

We had not heard much about "Midnight in Paris" but decided to watch it anyway and we are certainly glad we did.  A lovely film that is simple, elegant and a pleasure to watch. Owen Wilson stars as the main character Gil, who is trying his hand at writing while in Paris.  Struggling with his novel, he uses Paris as inspiration and mysteriously finds himself going back to 1920's Paris at midnight every day.  While doing this, Gil meets characters such as F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) and Pablo Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo).

We really enjoyed watching this film as it is not too intense.  Yes, there is obviously some sort of time travel involved but it is portrayed within the magic which is Paris.  We are never concerned with or question how Gil can go back in time, we just accept it.  It really is a nice story and Wilson is perfect for the role considering his own, soft and gentle way of acting. 

Owen Wilson, Michael Sheen and Rachel McAdams in Midnight in Paris

The storyline was good and we liked how it linked into real life characters like Hemingway and Fitzgerald.  The film is ultimately a rom-com yet it features less on this aspect compared to other films.  Rachel McAdams plays Gil's fiance and gives a good performance in a role that sees similarities between her character in "Mean Girls" (2004).  This is not your typical rom-com film which is pleasant as it gives the film a sense of seriousness and credibility.  

"Midnight in Paris" is a wonderful film and can be enjoyed by many. Written and directed by Woody Allen it is a great film that highlights the beauty of Paris and is complimented by good characters who are played by respected actors giving the film a different sort of depth that the storyline does not have.  This portrays onto the screen very well as you feel like the film is deep emotionally and it lets you relate to the main character while not requiring a huge amount of thought or thinking to understand what is going on.  It truly is an innocent film that is very satisfying to watch.

M+F Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Great Gatsby Review: How Great is Gatsby?

Director: Baz Luhrmann
UK Release Date: 16th May 2013
Running Time: 143 minutes
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

The Great Gatsby sees Leonardo DiCaprio link up once again with director Baz Luhrmann as he did in Romeo + Juliet (1996). Joining DiCaprio in the cast are Carey Mulligan in what is the biggest film of her career so far, Joel Edgerton and Tobey Maguire.  The film is an adaptation of  Francis Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name.  The film follows character Nick Carraway (Maguire) as he tells the story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) set in 1920's America. 

The film was a big budget movie and there was a lot of hype surrounding its release in 2013 which was originally delayed.  However, it was well worth the wait and this film of epic proportions does not disappoint.  DiCaprio produces another magnificent performance to which we have all been accustomed to.  Although you have to wait a while before you fully get to witness him as Gatsby with the opening scenes only ever showing small glimpses.  Maguire works well as Carraway and fits the role as someone who is trying to fit into his surroundings of the roaring twenties.  The lead female role Daisy Buchanan who is played by Carey Mulligan asserts herself on the screen alongside the likes of well established actors such as DiCaprio and Maguire showing she too can be a star of Hollywood.  The cast fit their roles perfectly and work well together. 

The roaring twenties is a period known for big parties and flamboyancy in the United States. It was boom time for the country with Wall Street flourishing.  The film represents this in a great way and you can see where a lot of the budget was spent. No detail was left untouched from the set, scenes and outfits the characters were made to wear.  This really adds to the whole experience while watching the film and makes it very enjoyable to see one interpretation of what the roaring twenties were like.

Another interesting aspect of Luhrman's version of this story is the soundtrack that is used to accompany it.  The soundtrack was executively produced by none other than Jay Z and here at M+F Reviews we were very impressed.  The soundtrack compliments the film and the time period The Great Gatsby is set in.  With some new tracks on the album and some covers, the soundtrack would have been a hit by itself even if not associated with the film. The soundtrack includes work by Florence + The Machine, Jack White, Brian Ferry and BeyoncĂ©.

If you like big movies then you will love the Great Gatsby.  Big parties, big music and a big cast make this Baz Luhrman film one of the greats.  It can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone with many different aspects ranging from fashion and music to the awesome set design and impressive cast. The Great Gatsby is great and M+F Reviews encourages you to watch it if you have not already!

M+F Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Silver Linings Playbook Review: Heart Warming Fun

Director: David O. Russell

UK Release Date: 21/11/2012

Run Time: 122 minutes

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver


David O. Russell directs a brilliant romantic comedy drama that can simply be enjoyed by all that watch.  Based on the bestselling novel ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ by Matthew Quick, the film draws in the audience from the start and leaves those watching satisfied, with a predictable but happy ending. The film utilises light hearted emotions throughout to maintain the attraction with fun loving characters.

The main characters, Pat Solatano and Tiffany Maxwell are played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence respectively.  It has to be said that both portray their roles superbly and convincingly throughout the film.  With both characters having suffered major setbacks in their lives, both Cooper and Lawrence are able to represent this in a believable fashion.  The film certainly deserves the applause it has generated since its release back in 2012.

Cooper’s character Pat, suffers from bipolar disorder while Tiffany’s life has recently been turned upside down with the loss of her husband causing her to spiral out of control. However, great care has been taken in portraying the sensitive storyline and a respective balance is met with the seriousness of the content and the way it is shown to the audience.  This sets the film up to be a great success that is enjoyable but still touches on subject matters that many films ignore.

Lawrence won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actress, confirming how impressive her performance is in this film.  Director, David O. Russell also picked up a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay showing the versatility of the film picking up multiple awards.  It certainly is different to some of his earlier works such at The Fighter (2010), a biographical sports drama.

The rest of the cast is headed up by the likes of Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver and Chris Tucker who add to the depth of the film.  Niro and Weaver play Pat’s parents and the emotional connection between these three characters can be felt throughout the film as they go about their lives.  Tucker, who plays Pat’s friend, Danny also adds a touch of comedy popping up where he should not on a regular basis. 

The culmination of  the director, actors and script turn this popular novel into a great film for all of the family to see.  Fun and energetic with great highs and good one–liners, Silver Linings Playbook is definitely at the higher end and if not the top of its cinematic genre. 

M+F Rating: 7/10

 Reviewed by M+F Reviews