The Haunting of Hill House – The Review.

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I am home, I am home, she thought; now to climb.

 

Recently I have been watching “The Haunting of Hill House”, or commonly known as, the Haunted House on the Hill, The Hill Haunting House, or that show that makes you poo your pants! For some reason everyone I have spoken to struggle to put the name together properly . . . maybe it’s the show that has scarred them too much.

Firstly I want to begin by saying this review will be a SPOILER FREE review. One because I don’t like being THAT guy and Two, because the show needs to be watched rather that told. I won’t be able to do it justice if I try to explain the ending, the twists and the resolution.

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I went into the show, hearing so many people rave about it, sing its praises but also claim the nervous wrecks they became from it. Now horror films aren’t really my thing, I don’t think they are made these days with fear and horror in mind, but more to show special effect and a bucket full of fake blood. But I pushed on and jumped into this and wow I am so glad I did – I loved it! It is so much more than a horror show.

The premise of the show is about a family being haunted by mysterious supernatural forces within a house. The narrative jumps across about 30 years, from the family as kids moving into the house, to present day where they have all grown up in different ways after the ordeal of the house.


The main story revolves around 5 siblings who have all taken different paths in life after several traumatic experiences from their childhood. Showing different coping mechanisms from Drug Abuse, to Denial, to Over Compensation. I’ve read and agree with that each sibling in the show is a symbolic version of a step of Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief” process. Which thinking back to how all the characters act and process their surroundings it becomes very obvious that theory could be spot on.

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Another aspect of this show that I loved is the cinematography and the style of shots. Most memorably Episode Six which included an 17 minute long shot. Which is beautiful. Giving the desired impression that the single shot is happening in real-time. While choreographing swift and solid movement with the cast and set to not interrupt the shot. You will know the scene when you see it and afterwards just think “Wow” – I did.

Overall the show, the feel of it and the story is superb, gripping and captivating. Even with the scares involved. The true horror I think comes more from the depiction of Human Nature and how it reacts to unreasonable events, or events you logically can not make sense of.

Please go and watch it. I can not stress enough how much I enjoyed this show and how I want everyone to witness it. True horror making at it’s best.

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Side note – after I had finished it, which I had started while moving into a new house (I know right), I had a small dose of paranoia set it, I found myself standing in the empty spare bedroom in the dark one morning getting ready for work, thinking about the end of the show and what it all meant. But the more I thought about it, the more my mind began to play tricks on me with sounds and imaginations of what could be behind me. Silly I know but I put this down to how good the show was, the idea and story stuck with me and played on my mind so much that I felt it could be real.

One final tidbit that I learnt when I was on about episode nine was from an article I read about the show and the missing ghosts. Take a read over HERE – I can’t promise it is spoiler free, but I can promise shock, this article goes into explaining how the show has ghosts all through it but you just don’t notice them because you don’t know where to look. The sheer amount of detail the show runners put into this is amazing. They knocked it out of the park and I for one love that.

Anyway enough of my ramblings, it’s Friday night. Pop Netflix on and start this show. You will not be disappointed.


Have a great weekend boys and girls  . . . . if you survive that long.

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Bohemian Rhapsody – The Review.

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I am struggling to find a way to start this post. Does that happen to you guys? Do you get lost in a sea of “Hey Guys”, “Morning” and “Welcome back” – well that is me this morning. So I am going to just jump into this post.

Because last night I went to the cinema to watch Bohemian Rhapsody and I was blown away.


For the longest time I have been a Queen fan, their music, talent and story has always been a part of my life. Top three favourite bands of all time and annoyingly it took me a good week and a bit to go see the movie when it came out. But I made a point to go this weekend, we’ve been very busy as you might know with house stuff but it was time to take a break.

So me and the GF went out for dinner, then popped over to the Cinema for some overpriced ice cream and a cute impromptu date night. With Bohemian Rhapsody on the cards we were set to go.


Let’s begin. Get on your bikes and ride!

Two years ago Channel Five did a docudrama about Freddie, his life, his troubles and his death – The Freddie Mercury Story: Who Wants To Live Forever. If you ever get a chance to watch this please do. It’s amazing. In my eyes this film and that Docudrama compliment each other so well they are almost like a double feature. Then when they announced they were making this movie I was hyped and psyched.

I loved this movie, the entire thing was amazing, breathtaking and emotional.

Following the life of Freddie Mercury a young Parsis man in 70’s London being discriminated for his heritage, his style and his teeth. We see Freddie meet May, Taylor and Deacon, form the a group called “Queen”, take some big gambles, record some unique styles and sounds, then just watching their music and career go from strength to strength.

But at the same time watching his lavish and promiscuous social life take its toll on his friends and real relationships as it spirals out of control into a drug binge.

The film hits all the emotional notes you’d expect, you take the journey with the band, feeling the highs and tingle of them writing; Another one Bites the Dust or Bohemian Rhapsody, to the lows and troubles of Freddie being played, relationships breaking down and then watching him realise and get diagnosed with AIDS. The last 40 minutes of the film I had a frog in my throat, it chokes you up big time. But that is his story, the magic behind the Great Pretender.

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And what a story it is – another thing that really helped this film was the incredible casting, because for me the entire cast were spot on.

Malek obviously goes without saying absolutely nailed his performance as Freddie. But saying that the whole band were amazing; Lee, Hardy and Mazzello playing May, Taylor and Deacon bounced off each other perfectly and it’s exactly what I would imagine the real band would have been like.

Even having Mike Myers as Ray Foster the EMI exec who tries to tell the band that Bohemian Rhapsody is too long and not what the people want, claiming that no one will ever rock out and head bang in their car to that song  . . . . (Yes they made that joke and I seemed to be the only person in the cinema that laughed) was amazing casting.

Overall the film was amazing, I am still in awe of it. This morning I woke up thinking about it on so many levels and I can not recommend it enough as it’s a story you need to know and see. I can see it making an impact next February when Award Season starts. You have heard it here first!

 


Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Poster

 

Man Vs Movies – Venom Review.

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Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!

This review will have two time zones in one post. This is exciting right. Currently as I write this it is 14.01pm on the 3rd (Yes today is October 3rd) and tonight we are going to go and watch Venom. But I wanted to do a brief bit before watching it because of the storm Twitter and Rotten Tomatoes have stirred up regarding how good. . . or how bad this film is.

Firstly I want to start by saying in regards to film reviews and reviewers I do not trust the words of two sources; one being Rotten Tomatoes because it’s built off the back of Joe Bloggs opinion and as we know, people behind a keyboard become a troll and just taint everything, plus film is art and art is subjective. The second source I don’t trust is Mark Kermode. But more about him another time.


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Let me start by saying (as you might know) I am a big Marvel fan. I love most of the films regardless of what studio is making what and so when Venom got announced I was pretty excited for it. A cool twist on the Villain we know from the 90’s cartoon and with Tom Hardy at the helm what is not to love. In honesty I am hoping for a dark film, along the lines of Logan or Deadpool with the adult content and dark humour. Though with it being a 15 it might end up being slightly tamer. But still I am excited to see what they do and having Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson involved (which both I rate highly) what can go wrong. See you shortly.


Good Evening – Told you, two time zones. It is now 22.02pm on that faithful October 3rd and I have just got home from seeing Venom.

Ok in three words; Not That Bad!

Obviously it is hard going into a film when you have heard nothing but bad things about it. But here I am. I enjoyed it. I thought they have made a good start and can see it growing into a pretty neat franchise. I think it needs a night to sink in and settle but as a film it was fun. It’s no MCU film admittedly but they have their stuff down. It’s like an X2 standard of film. It’s good, it has heart and potential – let’s just hope they don’t follow with a Last Stand style Venom and cock it all up.

Tom Hardy was, as always a delight. Charming, funny and badass all rolled up into his normal deadly teddy bear persona. He nailed Eddie Brock, his personality and his coping mechanisms towards Venom were brilliant. Which per the review I have to agree with – their chemistry and relationship was perfect, that slightly mad, voices in your head style bickering was spot on. Sadly I mentioned Woody Harrelson up their and without spoiler it, his part is brief. But in true Woody style it was great.

Related imageThe story had a few plot holes and a few questions or solutions that seemed to be overlooked but that is a given now days in many films so I wont dwell on that part.

Overall I thought it was a good bit of fun, a great Saturday night chilled movie. You know the type – get the gang over, grab some snacks and throw this film on. It didn’t drag, it just flowed nicely. I would recommend giving it a whirl. Also as always keep an eye out for the Stan Lee cameo. This one was smart with a cool quip that he throws at our duo.

I am very interested to see what happens next and I do hope they green light a sequel. Watch this space because I can see it growing into some kind of dark guilty pleasure. Forget what you have heard, heck even forgot this review. Go in with an open mind and no expectations and just enjoy the movie. As always boys, girls and true believers thank you for stopping by, thank you for listening and thank you for being you!

Jack Ryan Review Part 1.

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“I’m just an Analyst”

Last friday Amazon Prime Video released the full season of Jack Ryan – the latest interpretation of Tom Clancy’s C.I.A hero.

For a few months now I had been excited to give this a try, it looked right up my street. Gun’s, Action, Spy Stuff, Drama and even the trailer had me hooked by the use of the song Human by Rag n Bone Man. Which is a song I’ve been loving recently.

So yesterday lunchtime at work I decided to start. I’d held off starting this as I was finishing Last Chance U on Netflix (which is brilliant if you get a chance). So with that over I was ready to start this one.

The first episode titled ‘Pilot’ was just over an hour-long but it set the story and show up in superb fashion. Introducing Jack, a low-level analyst in the financial team of the C.I.A. – in the first few scenes with Jack we learn so much about him, finding out he was in the Army, he had back problems, he rows and he has a vast general knowledge which is shown as he answers quiz show questions while eating his dinner.

He is set up perfectly.

We watch as he investigates money transactions in Yemen and comes across a potential threat who is assumed to big the next Bin Laden. After much deliberation Jack and his boss Greer end up at an Army Black Site in Yeman interrogating a money man and his bodyguard who have links to the mysterious account.

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I hope this first part has gripped up, because I don’t really want to continue plotting the show out. As it stands we are roughly 3/4’s of the way into the pilot now. But so much more happens throughout the episode that just keeps up gripped and on the edge of your seat. I did three episodes last night and intend on doing another few today. (Heck by the time you read this I could be up to episode 5 or 6).

The layers of the story are immensely inviting and intriguing – opening you up to almost like and side with each character, while also being left with a strange untrusting feeling as you ponder what their next move is.

I can’t sneaky off and wrap this up without mention John Krasinski who plays Jack Ryan. We know John from the American Office as the goofy, geeky, loveable Jim. Then POW he got shreaded for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”, then he went and made “A Quiet Place” which were both amazing pieces of work and now he is here. This man’s talent is ever growing and any excuse to showcase a new skill and he is jumping at the chance which I love. Good job John.

Even the feel and look of the show is beautiful, even when it’s not working with the fantastic action scenes, fire and gunshots – we also get stunning scenic shots, aerial panoramic shots and cityscapes which just add icing and a cherry to the top of the well made, well enjoyed and very tasty cake.

So go, watch, let me finish watching and once we are both done I will do another review which will be bigger and spoiler filled. This will be fun. Enjoy it, it’s a must.

 

Please note I am not being paid for this, AMAZON have not asked me to promote their show or service. I am just a fan sharing and caring.

Insert Catchy Film Series Title

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Insert Catchy Film Series Title

Today’s topic or setup is film related.

Now as you might (should) know. I am a BIG film buff. Love them. Can’t get enough.

Recently off the back of my review post for Molly’s Game (Which can be found HERE) I mentioned to Matt (Who can be found HERE) that once my friend and I sat down and made a huge list of Top Five Genres. But this list grew. I’m talking lists, columns and piles of names, papers and decisions. It was tough going. To which Matt – who might I add is such a sound supportive guy. Go follow him if you don’t already and see what he has to say. Matt said that the lists were a brilliant idea for a blog series. Wow. He is right. So this is where we are at.

I know my last series about Gadgets didn’t or should I say hasn’t taken off yet. But money is tight and buying a new gadget to review each month will cause stern and slightly judgement words from the GF. So that is on hold for the moment.

But what do we think? Could Top Five Genre films be am interesting subject? Maybe challenge me and throw some suggests of what you want to see in for yourself.

I also need to name this Series – but I am not sure what to call it. Shout out to the winning name or best suggestion.

This could be fun. Lets do this.

Molly’s Game – The Review

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Molly's Game Movie Poster


Deal me in.

A week back the lovely GF bought me Molly’s Game with the intention of having a cute film night in. I accidentally went and got very drunk at a wedding which I was meant to come home reasonably sober for the film night. . . . oops.

A week later and it’s on. Pizza was ordered. Comfy clothes are on and the film is in.

I really like a film that is based on a true story, the biopic genre is one of my favourites and this has just slide into my Top 5. . . . I’ll wrote that list down later to confirm.

The film follows Molly Bloom an ex Olympian skier who ended up running some of the most high-class high rolling poker games in L.A. and New York. This film shows her rise, her fall, her court case and her beating in the middle of the night.

Before this film I knew nothing of Molly Bloom. I had known of the Viper Room which was a watering hole of the stars. Being partly owned by the legend that is Johnny Depp. At the start of the film Bloom narrates to the audience saying that the story is true but the places and names have been changed to protect people. So when the Cobra Lounge popped up in the story. You kinda know what she meant.

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The acting was amazing. Jessica Chastain was outstanding, portraying a strong, sassy, intelligent woman climbing her way to the top of this dark underworld of poker. Even seeing Kevin Costner was a flashback to the 90’s hero he used to be. The two had great chemistry and worked off each other so well. Heads up for the scene in the park. That’s all I will say for them.

Making Poker look slick and cool, the same way James Bond did in Casino Royale really made me want to play, maybe even set up a high rolling game. Except High Rolling in my social circle would probably top out at 10 . . . maybe 15 pounds. No thousands and hundreds of thousands here.

Back to the film, this is Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut as well as writing the adaptation. He is a talent and a breath of fresh air – having written such amazing scripts and works that include; The Newsroom, Studio 60 on the Sunset strip, The West Wing, The Social Network and Steve Jobs. All of these have stunningly amazing scripts, with face cleaver dialogue. Usually setting characters up for long empowered speeches – In this Idris Elba had the privilege and it hard defending Molly.

You might also remember “Is America the greatest country in the World?” it’s a scene from Ep1 of The Newsroom and Sorkin’s writing shines right through. Click the link to remind yourself of that scene. Remember as well this scene is the introduction of the character and he starts like this. Wow.

Overall I really enjoyed the film, it was smart, well put together, informative and captivating all at once. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend you going out and giving it ago. If you have seen it let me know what you think to it.

Thank you. Cash me out!

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Oh yeah I forgot. The Top 5 Biopic films: Ok – disclosure it’s not a Johnny Depp appreciate list but he does do justice to every real life person he portrays.

  • Walk the Line
  • Ed Wood
  • Blow
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Molly’s Game

That is in no order at all and I was torn by the end, I wanted to put Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Black Mass, Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco and The Social Network in the list. See what I mean by I love Biopic Films.

What are yours?

Peace!

Film Review: Kodachrome

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Kodachrome.

We’re all so frightened by time, the way it moves on and the way things disappear. That’s why we’re photographers. We’re preservationists by nature. We take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity. Human nature made tangible.

Last night I found myself with an evening to myself. So after flicking through Netflix for what seemed like forever I stumbled upon this film. I remember seeing the trailer a while back and thinking “Oh that looks good”.

The film is about the troubled relationship between father and son, as they head across America to the only remaining place that can develop this specific photography film. – Which I am lead to believe is based on a true story, or at least the part about the photo shop having an influx of people as they stopped developing the film.

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It’s such a heartwarming bittersweet tale as we follow Matt (Jason Sudeikis) a music producer that is almost at the end of his rope within in his career and Ben (Ed Harris) his father, a world-famous photographer. Both actors hit their mark amazingly – it’s not a new role for Harris who has a list of talented roles under his belt, but it is refreshing to see Sudeikis take a step away from comedy and break into something with serious heart and drama.

Elizabeth Olsen supports the cast as Zooey, Ben’s carer who joins them for half of the journey. She is refreshing and of late I have started to really rate her (did you see Wild River).

The film had a strong “Into the Wild” feel to it, using similar techniques such as, a mix of amazing acting, moving story and subtle but undeniably fitting soundtrack of acoustic folk music. The whole package in my eyes.

Something like this shows we don’t need big action scenes, fire and car chases to entertain the senses. Strip it all back to basics and just run with a story and a handful of cast members. It works just as well.

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As the story goes on we learn more about the broken relationship between Father and Son, the hardships of adulthood and how life can change and develop (Camera Pun there. Sorry) without even noticing it. There is such a relatable tone to this movie that I still can not shift. It captivated me and did exact what “Into the Wild” did to me. And I am not too proud to hide the fact that by the end I was just laid there, tears in my eyes and emotionally lost for words.

The film ends as you would expect with this story, with the main characters looking at the photos that were the reason to drive across country. They didn’t know what was on the reel’s until this final scene which was captured so beautifully. Without going into too much detail ultimately that is the film – highlighting the fact that era’s and periods shift and change with the wind and the effects are with you forever.

If you looking for a really good feel-good film, or maybe you are just a bit lost and need some kind of therapeutic guidance this film is for you. Like I said I can’t stop thinking about it and I want to share it with as many people as I can. Go and watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

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