The Vault

‘The Vault’ is here to hold my archived reviews from the time before this site came into existence, because as you can probably tell, I’ve been obsessed with the film industry for quite some time.

2015

Burnt (2015)

Cooking couldn’t get any sexier with Bradley Cooper as head chef.

The heat is turned up on this curious biopic that follows the rise and fall, and then the rise again of an American chef that lives by the rules of second chances.

Once a renowned chef in Paris, he now find himself starting from the bottom after a drug infused battle that has left him bankrupt and friendless.

A film such as this is not necessarily one that you would imagine Cooper taking on, but I’m glad he did, as his enthusiasm for the story is evident throughout every scene; not to mention that he’s not exactly an eye sore on the big screen.

Whilst many will criticise the film’s success, in regard to its adaptation, the story itself holds itself regardless of any comparisons that may be raised.

Daddy’s Home (2015)

Two dads, two kids, one mum, what could possibly go wrong? Here’s a hint; everything.

Being a step-parent is notoriously hard, so why not make it a bit easier, and make the whole experience into a hilarious Hollywood blockbuster. Well, it’s funny you should mention that, because that is exactly what they’ve done.

This film in question explores the uphill struggle of a stereotypical pencil pusher stepdad as he tries to win the hearts of his stepchildren, but this is easier said than done when the biological dad turns up on a motorbike with more abs then you can count.

Needless to say that this film is full of many, some may say too many, dad jokes and a enthralling rivalry which is sure to warm the hearts of all who have ever been part of a broken family.

So what’s the verdict, well I have two words for you: Will Ferrell. AKA comedy genius. Enough said.

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

There’s nothing worse than an overprotective Vampire Dad, oh no, wait, yes there is, it’s an overprotective Vampire Grandad (or Grampire, as they like to call themselves).

The hotel like none other is back in business, and this time there’s a new addition to the family; Mavis has had a baby boy, and there’s only one question on everyone’s mind – will he follow in his mother’s footsteps and be a vampire? Or, like his father, will he remain human?

Well it’s safe to say that Mavis’ father, Count Drac, is crossing his wings that it’s the first option, mainly because he can’t take the social embarrassment of having a human grandson, considering how infamous his bloodline is in the monster world.

The only problem is that his grandson, Dennis, only has until his fifth birthday to prove himself to be a true monster and grow his vampire fangs – no pressure kid!

Despite the overall silliness of this film, it is a story that will be loved by all ages, and is just as, if not more funny than its previous counterpart, which was a huge success in itself.

Inside Out (2015)

Everyone wants to know what makes the other tick? But what if it wasn’t that simple? What if we’re not actually the ones in control? But rather the one’s being controlled.

Well, Pixar studios have brought such a reality to the big screen this summer, as they attempt to unravel the inner workings of a tween (otherwise known as that particularly awkward stage between childhood and puberty) girl as she reluctantly moves from suburbia to city life.

So, what is it that makes us tick? According to the wise animators at Pixar HQ, the five emotions that run our minds are; anger, disgust, sadness, fear, and joy. As is to be expected, joy is of course the life of the party, and more often than not takes full possession of the brain to the dismay of her (yeah, she’s a girl) fellow emotions. And so it only makes sense that sadness would be the one to oppose joy in, well, in pretty much everything.

It is therefore unsurprising that Riley (the starring tween girl) struggles to control her feelings throughout the film as her brain continues to find a healthy balance of joy and sadness. This film follows Riley’s story as she strives to adjust to her new way of living all whilst fighting with her ever-changing hormones.

Riley is not the only focal point for this film however, the film also focuses upon the reactions of her parents, which quite frankly brings all stereotypes of parenthood to a hilarious climax. I mean, who hasn’t been sitting at an insanely awkward family dinner watching their mother failing to gain the attention of their father as she subtly attempts to gain back up for their child’s bad behaviour? Everyone has, which is why this film is so unbearably amusing.

By making the emotions into actual characters, it gives the film a new sense of life, and allows both adults and children alike to react and relate to emotions in a way that nobody thought possible, well accept the Pixar animators, obviously.

Legend (2015)

If you like unrelenting violence and typical British humour then this is the film for you, if not, then I suggest you scroll along.

The Kray twins; Bullies? Criminals? Trouble makers? It doesn’t matter what label you put on them, their name alone is enough to induce fear. Needless to say, these two brothers were amongst some of the most notorious gangsters known in British history.

But this isn’t a film to showcase their brutality in the east end, it instead focuses on the men behind the madness with an in-depth look at what it took to bring them to fame.

Whether it be Ronnie’s eagerness to share his homosexuality, or Reggie’s romantics, this film certainly isn’t short on humour; admittedly something that comes as a surprise in a film that professes a great amount of trauma.

It would be hard to wholeheartedly praise the production of the film without a mention of the man himself, Tom Hardy, who I’m sure everyone can agree did an absolutely incredible job of portraying each twin with equal measures of awesomeness.

So, in conclusion, if you’re a gangster junkie who loves a comedic edge, then if I were you, I’d get yourself down to a cinema pronto. But I feel I must warn you, this film contains substantial scenes of unrest accompanied by an insane amount of blood, so be prepared, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Minions (2015)

What’s little, yellow, and pill shaped? No, it’s not the new happy pill; the minions are back.

Think of all the unanswered questions you’ve ever had regarding these infamous yellow fellows, and now think of an amusing yet factual way to answer said questions; that’s pretty much this film in a nutshell, or rather a banana skin.

BG (that’s before Gru to all you none Despicable Me watchers), the minions were just like everybody else; looking for a job and someone to love. The only difference between the average person and a minion is that normal beings tend to cause a lot less devastation in doing so.

Sure, they look super cute and harmless, but minions have a tendency to be rather clumsy, usually resulting in universal panic. Whether it be their ancient mummy boss that they accidentally burn to death, or their dinosaur leader who they just happen to walk of a cliff, the minions have made a reputation for themselves, and I’m not talking about the kind that looks good on a CV.

But Minions being Minions don’t back down easily, and despite some obvious, and quite frankly dangerous setbacks, these dungaree clad villains are far from ready to give up their search for the ultimate leader.

Sisters (2015)

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in a movie together; a comedy duo that just gets funnier the more you watch them and this film is no exception. In fact if anything this is the perfect stage to showcase their infectious comedic genius.

Needless to say this film is about two sisters, both of whom must learn to let go of the past and embrace adulthood, but let’s just say one of them is little less willing to partake in the whole ‘let’s be grownups’ thing.

And as you can expect, this resistance leads to an endless carousel of jokes that these two infamously crude actresses leap onto without hesitation.

But if there’s one thing to be said about this film, it’s definitely not a PG, on the contrary you wouldn’t want your parents anywhere near you as you watch this. Let’s just say that a good 89% of the jokes have some sort of sexual innuendo; not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Pan (2015)

Whilst it’s definitely not on par with the Disney classic we all know and love, it’s certainly worth the watch.

In this reimagined take on J.M. Barries Neverland, the film follows Pan on his journey to discover all things magical as he comes to terms with his orphaned past, and unites with some of Neverland’s most infamous characters.

One of which turns out to be the villainous Captain Hook, who turns out to be a lot less of a threat as we learn of the origins that paved his way to the dark side, and makes him one of Pan’s most famous arch enemies.

The creators behind the re-imagination of this famed land seem to have tried almost too hard to distance themselves from the original Disney classic most people are so familiar with. And whilst comparisons perhaps shouldn’t be the be all and end all of this film’s success, it is hard to ignore certain aspects that are just so relentlessly different, like a pirate ship that flies, rather than sails for instance. I mean it’s called a pirate ship, not a pirate plane for a reason; it’s not supposed to fly.

But despite the clear misjudgements that have been made by the film’s production team, this film still takes you on a magical adventure that explores Pan’s origins in a way that is sure to resonate with audiences , despite the inevitable Disney shadow that has been cast over it.

The Intern (2015)

Old, retired, and widowed; not exactly the defining features attributable to an intern.

But for Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), these qualities seem to make him a prime candidate for an internship according to the company willing to employ him.

Whilst the company is happy to have him, its founder, Jules (Anne Hathaway), is a little more reluctant about his presence. Perhaps because when she said she wanted a senior intern, what she really meant was a high school or College senior, as oppose to a senior citizen. But alas, we all make mistakes.

Once over the initial shock, Jules begins to warm to Ben, who becomes somewhat of a father figure to her.

With this newly found meaning to life, Ben finds himself in the midst of 21st century technology, an area that is not exactly known to be his expertise. But always up for a challenge, Ben befriends a number of hip employees to show him the ropes. And as one might expect, various comedic plot twists ensue, as old meets new, and generations collide.

Talking of comedy, this film truly does have a warm hysterity to it that will make the whole family smile; if you’re lucky, you might even get a laugh out of your teenager.

The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

Yes, it is ridiculous. Yes, it will feel like you’ve wasted two hours of your life. But is it worth it? Yes.

Adam Sandler has taken silliness to a new level in a film that is sure to be every critic’s worst nightmare.

But if unexplained storylines, and donkey’s with diarrhoea is your thing, then I think this could be the film for you.

Part of the reason Sandler paired with Netflix to bring the film into the public eye, and side track the big screen, is because of its evitable failure; it is funny, and it is different, but is it worth a £10 cinema ticket? Absolutely not.

It is of course no secret that this film was made as a spoof for Tarantino’s upcoming film ‘The hateful 8’. Which of course makes this cinematic attempt even funnier, but this film was never about winning the hearts of Tarantino fans, but rather to impose a comical impact upon the nation.

And I for one am not going to forget a Donkey with projectile diarrhoea anytime soon.

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

As Disney Pixar film’s go, this one is definitely up there with the tear jerker’s of animation such as Up.

Death is a part of life, but I’m not sure it should necessarily be part of a Disney film.

Regardless of the emotional turmoil that may be created following the viewing of this film, there’s no denying that the film itself rivals some of the Pixar greats.

Arlo the dinosaur is an adorable character that pulls at the heartstrings of all ages, whilst Spot (the human boy) is an addition that everyone would want in their family. The two together, therefore is a magical occasion to be enjoyed by all the family as these characters venture into the unknown and take us on a journey of discovery.

It’s safe to that Disney Pixar have most certainly done it again, whatever ‘it’ is.

2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

A walking tree, a talking raccoon and a bunch of heroes coupled together with a hell a lot of fighting… I mean could you ask for anything from a Marvel film? Actually, don’t answer that.

After the death of his mother due to cancer Peter Quill runs away only to be abducted by villainous aliens who’s only objectives in life are to steal. Predictably then, Peter too turns his hand to plundering and stealing, however now he’s crossed the line as he discovers that this time the orb that he has stolen holds within it the power to destroy the galaxy; this is what one may call a little unfortunate.

Once those who hold the power discover that the Peter has the orb in his possession they decide to put a bounty on him to encourage his capture, however luckily for him he befriends those who attempt to capture him, providing him with allies to protect the orb and thereby saving the galaxy.

This wouldn’t be a Marvel film without at least one love story though and so alas Peter falls for Gamora, an orphaned alien whom was reared by the enemy. After several embarrassingly cringe worthy attempts to woo said girl he does endeavor to sneak a kiss, but is quite amusingly rejected.

Whilst this film does seem to have spent the majority of its budget on over elaborate fight scenes, it does show all the usual trademarks of a successful marvel film. In fact marvel have been so confident about the success of their new franchise that they have already promised a sequel; although it could still turn out to be stupidity rather than confidence – only time will tell.

22 Jump Street (2014)

It’s like 21 Jump street, but bigger, better and funnier.

Now I know what you’re thinking – sequels are usually rubbish, especially when it comes to comedies as they often end up not being funny at all. But I can safely put my hand on my heart and say that this film does not fit into that category.

You see Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are totally aware of the preconceptions the audience may have had in reference to their sequel and so they decided to do what nobody else has had the guts to do; they don’t take it seriously. They know as much as everybody else that this sequel was never intended to outdo its predecessor, it was at the very least only meant to equal it. So with that in mind they let themselves go and tried not to get hung up on the whole franchise thing.

22 Jump Street if you hadn’t already guessed is located mere feet away from the original 21 Jump Street across the road – a conscious decision at the insanity of it all I imagine. Whereas in the original Jump Street Channing’s and Jonah’s characters were sent into a high school as undercover cops to discover a lethal drug, this time the cops are sent on an undercover mission to discover a lethal drug in…College. Yep, that’s right it’s basically exactly the same story but at a College rather than high school.

But don’t be disheartened by its lack of originality, because despite it having a very similar plot, this film injects copious amounts of laughter into its audience, making it a must see summer flick.

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

I don’t know about you, but I definitely didn’t know that living in the wild west could be so dangerous.

This film was always bound to be a hilarious disaster at the very least given its creators and cast members. I mean fair enough the film was ridiculous, but it was suppose to be – Seth MacFarlane has never exactly been the serious type, he played the voice of a swearing bear in his last film for heaven’s sake; he makes a film for the laughs, not the drama.

Just to summarize storyline, the film itself is based upon a sheep farmer who gets dumped after he loses a stand-off, said girlfriend then begins dating the guy who owns the moustache shop, and so the film then follows the story of the sheep farmers various attempts to win back his ex-girlfriends, but then ends up falling in love with another women anyway.

Admittedly it’s not the best storyline in the world, but it was never meant to be, it’s the comedy that really makes this film stand out. It’s the ridiculous songs about moustaches, beheadings by giant ice-cubes and crude sex jokes that make this film a success.

And whilst many are probably too polite to admit it, everybody loves a crude joke now and again. Likewise it makes a change to make the deep and dark nature of death a light-hearted event. It won’t be the storyline keeping you in your cinema seat; it’ll be the tearing-jerking level of laughter inflicted upon you.

Annie (2014)

Annie’s just like any other kid living in New York, well, actually, there is something a little different about her; she’s an orphan.

Annie lives in a foster home with Mrs. Hannigan (who by the way is really quite horrid) and four other girls. Being an orphan is tough, especially when you have no idea what happened to your parents, as is the case with Annie’s parents. But this orphan isn’t giving up, she’s determined to find her parents and get her happy ever after.

But this happy ever after doesn’t seem to be going to plan; after pursuing another parental loose end, Annie has a rather unfortunate chance meeting with Will Stacks, a billionaire business tycoon running for mayor, who just happens to be walking past as Annie runs into ongoing traffic, leaving him with no choice but to conduct a heroic save which lands him on the front page of every newspaper in the city.

Following the incident, Stacks’ team decides it would be a brilliant campaign move to temporarily foster Annie, which to everyone’s surprise sparks the start of the most incredible relationship between Annie and her new father-figure.

The story of Annie is of course famous for being a musical, why then the films creators thought it would be a good idea to let Cameron Diaz sing her own songs is quite frankly beyond me; spoiler alert – it’s terrible.

Aside from the fact that Diaz is certainly not destined to top the charts anytime soon, this film is a good adaptation of the original, and the casting of Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie in her first leading role doesn’t disappoint. However, whilst this is a film that will keep the kids quiet, it is unlikely to make an impact on the over the age of seven generation.

Bad Neighbours (2014)

Having sex in front of their baby probably wasn’t the best start Mac and Kelly could’ve had to parenthood, but feeling constrained by this newly found responsibility they develop a lust for spontaneity, and that’s exactly what they get.

But having a Frat house move in next door wasn’t quite what they had in mind.  However determined to play it cool, the parents introduce themselves to the fraternity accompanied by their baby daughter to establish some ground rules. But what appears to them to be a super cool intro, is perceived as an embarrassing and somewhat cringe worthy attempt to be ‘down with the kids’.

Thinking that they have made a lasting impact on their neighbours, Mac and Kelly settle down for the night only to discover that a party has broken out next door. Rather than phoning the police however, this couple decide to go it alone and confront the fraternity themselves, but of course the sweet talking students manage to talk themselves out of it and even get invited to the party. Most parents at this point would go back home to their doting baby daughter and phone the police, but not this couple, this couple decide that getting drunk and high with a frat house is totally justifiable so long as they still have their baby monitor with them.

As with every hangover, regret ensues, and the parents come to the realization that they cannot be responsible parents if they encourage such behaviour, and so they decided to phone the police, needless to say that all hell breaks out as the neighbours go from friends to enemies, and the film darkens as it becomes a tale of good vs. evil.

With Seth Rogan and Zac Efron playing the lead roles within this film it really is hard to pick your favourite. On one hand there’s Zac Efron, the president of the fraternity who is the proud owner of some serious abs and just a generally gorgeous human being, and on the other hand, there’s Seth Rogan, whose erm…well…just really funny I guess. OK, so I lied, it’s an easy decision.

Do not however be under the impression that this is a light-hearted comedy that you could take the kids along to, because you can’t. Not only is this film packed with a whole host of nudity scenes, it is also ripe with some rather fruitful language, and quote frankly doesn’t contain the morals that you would want to instil in your children, which is why I imagine it has been rated as a 15.

But don’t let me put you off; it is after all a hilariously cringe-worthy comedy that has done wonders at the box office!

Blended (2014)

Two single parents both of whom have kids of their own end up on a horrific date together which somehow results in them both going to Africa together, what could possibly go wrong?

Quite a lot. It turns out that neither family is ready to embrace the other, resulting in what can only be described as total carnage.

Lauren (Drew Barrymore) has two boys, one of which suffers from ADHD making him somewhat mischievous and another, whom quite frankly is about as sexually frustrated as it is possible to be as a teenage boy. Jim on the other hand is the proud owner of three daughters, well at least I think their girls; it’s hard to tell as their wardrobe seems to only contain tracksuits, probably due to the fact that their father buys all their clothes from the sports store he manages. Needless to say that these families are in desperate of some help.

Luckily for them, they’re in the right company as both parents begin to help one another out for the sake of their children – or at least they try.  Because of course, being an Adam Sandler film, this is met with an endless spiel of comedic scenarios, including a rather unfortunate incident with a Rhino, and a pair of Ostriches who just don’t when enough is enough.

This film, whilst a bit dry in areas is still an excellent feel-good family film, which could easily provide some light-hearted Saturday night entertainment when accompanied by the odd slice of pizza, or perhaps a glass or two or wine for the older viewers.

The Imitation Game (2014)

Benedict Cumberbatch’s depiction of Alan Turing may skim over the emotion to get to the drama, but who wants’ to see a grown man cry anyway?

Turing, along with a bunch of other cryptanalysts, who quite frankly get very little screen time in comparison, attempt to crack the German enigma code. And they do, eventually.

As is the case with any cinematic biography, the film writer’s take great pleasure in adding and exaggerating the plot, and this film is no exception, the film maker’s constantly have us on the edge of our seats, right from Cumberbatch’s first line: ‘are you paying attention’? Well, quite frankly, it’s hard not to.

Turing’s lack of tact, and all round rude personality often leaves him with very little support, but this film strips Turing’s personality back to reveal a frightened persona that has only been hindered by his forbidden love; his homosexuality. But rather than drilling down into his homosexual relationships, this production decided instead to focus upon his brief and possibly only close friendship with the opposite sex – Joan Clark.

Considering that Turing was punished in such a brutal way and has only recently been granted pardon for his ‘crimes’ of gross indecency, which lead to him being chemically castrated, it  really is a shame that his sexuality was brushed aside.

This film has a very British and crisp feel about it; nothing is said for the sake of it. It has very little excess, it is concise and historically accurate, but above all it is engaging, and no matter how full your bladder may be, you couldn’t possibly detach yourself from the cinema screen, not even for a second.

 

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Stephen Hawking is a world renowned physicist and all round over-achiever, but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye.

In 1963 Hawking had embarked on a Cosmology PhD at the University of Cambridge; no easy feat as I’m sure you’ll agree. But what starts out as an iconic research project soon turns into a life-changing catastrophe, as he is told he has a mere two years left to live after being diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). This admittedly isn’t the best news to discover, especially when you’ve just met the love of your life, also known as Jane Wilde.

This film delves into the endless pit of problems surrounding the limitations orchestrated by such a disease, as well as the constraints that apply to disability. It really is hard to fathom how one copes in such a situation, but this film really does emphasise the Hawking’s strength and determination to defy both science and medicine, all whilst upholding the most remarkable amount of relentless optimism.

With this story being so unique in its refreshing hopefulness, it’s hard to contemplate how director James Marsh could ever do it justice on the big screen. But he does, he really does. The talent that runs throughout this film is, to put it simply, extraordinary. Casting Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking may have been deemed too risky by many in the industry given his experience; or rather his lack of it, but boy was it worth the risk. To play such a famous character is, in itself a problematic task for an actor, but to play a disabled famous character, and to do so with such ease, is genuinely a delight to witness.

The acting, however, isn’t the only thing that this film’s got going for it; the creativity that has been injected into every single scene to create an authentic 1960’s Cambridge was definitely worth the effort. And if you didn’t already wish you were clever enough to attend and live in the grounds of Cambridge University, you certainly will now.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

John Green’s eagerly anticipated book adaptation may induce emotional turmoil, but it’s definitely worth the pain.

But I suppose with a tagline that reads ‘one sick love story’, this film was never going to have a happy ending now was it?

The film revolves around Hazel Grace and Gus as their stories collide at a cancer support group; admittedly not the most romantic of venues. As the film progresses, Hazel and Gus become almost inseparable and before long are faced with the unpleasant realisation of their terminal illnesses which constantly threatens to tear them from the world as well as each other.

Despite this being a love story formed from the angry clutches of cancer, this film isn’t all doom and gloom. In fact if anything it shows the undeterred resolve of humanity. But above all, this is a film that inspires hope and determination; elements which have been translated from page to screen with impeccable modesty, making this film one of the best of its generation.

However, we must not forget that this film would not be as tremendously moving as it is without the effort of its casting. Because quite frankly without Ansel Elgort (Gus) and Shaliene Woodley (Hazel), this film would not nearly be as awe inspiring.

It is therefore safe to say that this is probably the must see film of the summer, and you would be …well…well you would just be silly not to see it.

2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)

The aftermath of Flint Lockwood’s infamous food invention machine has left his town a mess, but on the upside at least he now has friends, although even he probably wasn’t expecting to become friends with a Tacodile (that’s a crocodile made of tacos, in case you were wondering…)

You see after Flint managed to save the town from his food producing creation a group of scientists came to rescue the town and perform a drastic clean-up operation and so the inhabitants of swallow Falls were required to temporarily evacuate. But what they didn’t know is that these so called scientists were in fact part of a corporation known as The Live Corp Company, an organisation founded by Flint’s idol: Chester V.

Whilst at first Flint is undeniably excited by Chester V’s job offer, things soon start become more and more suspicious as Flint begins his job at Live Corp and Chester V sends him on a mission to Swallow Falls with a device that he says will destroy Flint’s invention once and for all. And although Flint is told to keep this mission top secret he ignores Chester’s instructions and proceeds to bring his friends along with him.

However when they arrive back at Swallow Falls to begin their mission to destroy the machine they soon realise that all is not as it seems; Flint’s invention is not dangerous as Chester had said, in fact it has somehow managed create its own eco system where there are food animals (or foodimals, as Flint calls them), milk waterfalls and syrup pounds with pancake lily-pads.

But this revelation came too late as Flint refused to listen to his friends and instead proceeded to destroy his machine on Chester’s orders. It is only once Flint is about to destroy the machine that he realizes what he is about to do, but by this point it is too late as Chester takes things into his own hands, revealing himself to be a villain that simply wants the machine for profit.

The situation is soon resolved as Flint’s friends and foodimals join together to fight off Chester and his villainous gang thereby restoring Swallow Falls to its new found self.

As animation gets more complex and technical some films really struggle to keep up, but this film is not one them. The colour and movement is flawless throughout and the facial expressions used are simply phenomenal – I mean who knew that a Tacodile could even exist let alone smile and giggle.

But what is truly inspirational about this film is its originality; the imagination that has gone into this film is just astounding. I never thought I would see giant spider burgers or talking blocks of butter made to look like frogs, not to mention a spring onion dinosaur. And when you take into account that this film is actually a sequel then the amount of new introductions into this film just seems crazy.

This film really is one the best family-films I have seen in a long time, and whilst it may seem somewhat weird to watch an animation about food I can assure you that both adults and kids will love it.

2012

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

A film about mental illness with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence playing the main characters, no, surely not?

Yup, it’s true. This film follows the lives of two recovering mental patients, one of whom became an avid sex addict after the death of her husband, whilst the other has recently been diagnosed with bipolar after beating up his wife’s bit on the side and spending a brief spell in a mental institution.

The two find themselves in one another’s company after being invited to the same dinner party, and unsurprisingly don’t engage in the most conventional of greetings given the fact they both know one another to be ‘crazy’. But what seems to be a dead end actually turns out to be the start of a budding relationship – turns out crazy really does attract crazy.

Though this film does take a fairly comical approach to the characters conditions in an attempt to make them more relatable, there are elements that attempt to capture the true nature and hardship that tends to pair itself with mental illness. And this is a concept that continues to reveal itself throughout the film as the characters find themselves faced with their problems, which often leads to abrupt outbursts.

Whilst this film does try to embrace mental illness, it doesn’t simply dwell on the unpleasantries  that accompany it, it also embraces the triumphs and accomplishments that can be achieved with a positive outlook, or as they say in the film ‘excelsior’.

This film admittedly isn’t a whimsical love story, but it does teach acceptance and offers a new perspective on life. And to be honest this film has now won enough awards that you could probably build a small house with them, so it can’t be that bad, can it?

2010

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

What is there to be said about this Disney extravaganza, except from the fact that Tim Burton’s done it again.

Image result for alice wonderland

From the offset the audience is plunged into his world of imagination. When your partner is Helena Bonham Carter and one of your best friends is Johnny Depp, it’s hard to imagine how one could possibly go wrong. And indeed he doesn’t, the film is simply flawless.

Johnny Depp captures the true essence of the mad hatter and grasps it with both hands as he guides us through the never-ending turmoil of his emotions, using a cunningly brilliant Scottish accent to present his alter ego; there simply couldn’t have been a better casting. Admittedly Helena Bonham Carter looks absolutely and unequivocally ridiculous with a head the size of a small space hopper, but it certainly does add something unique and amusing to this historical adventure first envisioned by Carroll over a hundred years ago. As well as Depp and Bonham Carter, Burton seems to have assembled a small army of acting royalty, starring the likes of Alan Rickman as the Blue Caterpillar, Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen.

The creative instinct employed throughout the film makes the relationship between character and environment completely seamless. Johnny Depps hair and make-up alone are enough to make you think that he’s never looked like anyone else except from the mad hatter; the creative team have plainly outdone themselves.

Apart from the new technologies and modernisation of this classic tale, the true nature of Alice’s adventure has been left untouched. But most importantly of all, the story and morals encompassed within the original have been upheld; there is simply a new twist for her to meet her destiny as she grows into the person she wants to be, rather the one her family are forcing her to be.

This film was always going to spark controversy due to its innovations. However a family classic was always bound to be a success, especially with the accompaniment of Disney, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp; it was always a fail-safe recipe.

 

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