Oh Spielberg sometimes you just blow my mind…

13 Nov

So what does one do when they’re exhausted, overworked and feeling downright lazy? Well many of my lovely friends probably turn to some retail therapy, however I have to say I’m glad I head to the cinema. This weekend was no exception. Firstly lets get some admin out of the way…

Huge apologies in the first instance for my tardiness this month in terms of blogging. Following my fantastic stint at the London Film Festival, I’m afraid exhaustion and lack of money somewhat took over and I’ve been back to the daily grind trying to pull in some pennies. Having a rare day off like today, I’m happy to report that in the last week I’ve been lucky enough to watch not one but two fabulous films: The Help (Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain) and The Adventures of Tin Tin – The Secret of the Unicorn. So where does one begin? Well after that turkey of a film A Dangerous Method, which was my last review, I’m happy to report that I have some uplifting content for you – the Hollywood studios haven’t gone completely to pot, even if David Cronenberg does seemed to have stumbled into a very large pot hole with that latest offering…lets move swiftly on shall we?

THE HELP

Its the time of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, and where the class divide is at its most evident we follow the story of a tenacious young female writer (“Skeeter” – Emma Stone) as the unconventional middle class Jacksonville daughter who sees straight through the Stepford lifestyles of her friends and finds wonderful compassion in the stories of those who help make the households the show homes that these women and their families live in. Convincing the black community of maids to start telling their stories, she unveils the mis treatment, inequality and narrow mindedness of not only women but men in that period of time.

This film for me sits a staple piece of fantastic storytelling – much like The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. It made me laugh, made me cry and most importantly it made me learn from the film. I would like to class it as one of those films which you would quite happily keep in your collection and refer back to year upon year for a pleasant watch with great performances and a morality tale for the last century.

The performances as I previously mentioned are wonderful, Emma Stone leads the pack with her ugly duckling heroine Skeeter who is not afraid to be who she really is and cross boundaries to allow other people to try and live a better life. I couldn’t think of a better actress than Stone to play this part. We also have the almost unrecognisable Jessica Chastain as Ceelia Foote, the outcast ‘hussy’ who really puts dumb blonde on another level. Her versatility in her roles demonstrates her to be one of the most exciting new actresses in Hollywood at the moment. The one who really stands out for me however, is Bryce Dallas Howard who plays the ‘villain’ of the piece Hilly Holbrook. So desperate to be the perfect wife she reminds you of the prettiest but meanest girl in school with her posse of dimwitted followers at her feet. Howard expertly portrays this character with such a fine balance that audiences really begin to hate everything she is and stands for (she throws her own mother ‘Sissy Spacek’ into a nursing home for laughing at her!) but at the same time you can’t help but warm to her lack of awareness and education and although her comeuppance is comedic, it still brings forth the overall messages of the film.

A wonderful film, great performances and if you haven’t yet read the book, I’m pleased to say that its not the be all and end all, you can still enjoy the film regardless and if you’re anything like me, make sure you bring a box of tissues for the second half of the film – its a weepy!

THE ADVENTURES OF TIN TIN – THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN

Where do I begin with this one? Well lets start with a bold statement – this film hosts possibly the best animation in a film I have ever seen!!! There you go, how d’you like them apples?! From start to finish I was gripped. I usually don’t like 3D movies a hell of a lot, my eyes start to hurt and I hate how the glasses make the screen just that tad darker. But never the less, I can safely say that I was lost with this film. Lost in a fantasy world where Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean and everything you’d want from a great family film adventure was handed to you on a plate… Oh if only it was real…wait a minute, it is isn’t it? I certainly got lost for a good few moments forgetting that what I was watching was an animation. Although different in form, whatever hype there was around the skills of Avatar, here Spielberg blows Cameron out of the water!!!

So the story follows the journalist Tin Tin (Jamie Bell), who by buying a model of a 16th Century boat (as you do) lands himself in the middle of an age old rivalry between a pirate (of course) and a Captain Haddock – (Andy Serkis, pure genius). On his quest to uncover the story of this rivalry and inevitable hoard of treasure, we follow Tin Tin’s journey around the seven seas as he pieces together the puzzle.

The detail in the animation is just phenomenal, my particular highlights are when one scene merges into the next and like a wave magicians wand we are transported to a flashback of a land far and wide! Now there are a few minor faults, it does take just a pinch too long to get going in the beginning, but you’ll quickly forgive that. This film is smart, funny, and the chase scene towards the end is just exquisite. Like the Goonies is for me now, if I was ten years old, this would be the film I would take through with me to adulthood as my keepsake. Its just an absolute gem, and without giving too much away I would urge you to see it on the big screen before it’s too late.

Oh and just one last comment – its quite clear from this film, that Tin Tin wouldn’t be half as famous as he is if it wasn’t for his genius dog Snowy! Why can’t all pets be that clever!!

Finally to help you on your way to the cinema, here’s my LSQTV colleague Michael Kern getting all the film’s gossip at the premiere of Tin Tin last month…enjoy!!

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: