Movie Review – Rocketman

Out of all the movies I know that are being released this year – including my beloved slew of Disney ones – this is my most eagerly awaited release.

I love anything to do with music and especially love a biopic, add to that my slight obsession with Taron Egerton and you’ve basically got my dream movie…

I’ve watched this twice already.

It’s not strictly a straight forward biographical movie of Elton, sure it tells his story but its a bit more fantastical that your average true story. It uses his songs to tell his story in the colourful flamboyant way you would expect from him.

The format is clever having Elton tell his story chronologically in group therapy during his time in rehab and we follow him from a small child up until the late 80s/early 90s.

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Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

On first viewing I wasn’t sure what I thought of this. I found it a bit slow to start and although visually I loved it I wasn’t sucked in by the story. However on second viewing I came away with a totally different opinion.

There is no doubt that Elton John is an incredible musician. Even if you’re not the biggest fan you can appreciate that he is a phenomenal piano player, entertainer and singer. He’s sold millions of records worldwide and is one of the most loved British acts of all time. However to many he’s not a person that they necessarily like much, especially if you’ve seen ‘Tantrums and Tiaras’. He’s well known for being difficult, argumentative and a bit of a Diva.

I’m not sure if this movie will change the opinion of those people but I think it will go a long way to understanding him as a person.

It focuses a lot on his relationship with his incredibly toxic parents. Seeing some of the scenes between him and his Mum – played incredibly by Bryce Dallas Howard who is almost unrecognizable as she ages throughout it – were actually incredibly moving and as Elton is still here to be able to watch this movie it must have been a really hard thing for him to actually sit through. I ended up hating her character. His Father was equally awful there’s a heartbreaking scene where he visits him with his ‘new’ family and he’s just treated like ‘Elton’ and not Reggie.

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It’s not a fun movie. Yeah there’s singing and dancing and outrageous outfits but its essentially a drama about family struggles, bad relationships and addiction.

Eltons tumultuous relationship with sometime manager John Reid is documented in detail and shows the darker side of the business of music. John is played by The Bodyguards Richard Madden, playing a bad guy for a change and doing a really good job. I actually hated watching him on screen he was an awful character.

Amoungst all this abuse and sadness there is one little beacon of light and that is his relationship with lifelong song-writing partner and ‘brother’ Bernie Taupin. Jamie Bell was perfect for this role and they had real chemistry on screen. The love they have for each other really shone through and it was such a lovely thing to watch in the midst of all the heartache through the movie. You can see how much of an important part he’s played in the career and life of Elton and what a wonderful man and incredibly talented writer he is.

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Jamie Bell plays Bernie in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

One of my favourite scenes in the movie is the performance of ‘Your Song’, it’s beautiful. I’d like to think that the way you see it is the way it happened.

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Bryce Dallas Howard plays Sheila, Gemma Jones plays Ivy, Taron Egerton plays Elton John and Jamie Bell plays Bernie in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

The other incredible thing about this movie is Taron. He is absolutely outstanding. The fact he actually sings in this – all the cast do – is a stark difference to the dubbing of Rami Malik in Bohemian Rhapsody.  And he’s an incredible singer.  Some of the performances gave me goosebumps, he’s that good.

He looks like Elton as well. A lot. Which is bizarre being as they look nothing like each other in real life and there was no prosthetics involved. Just outfits and I think possibly some veneers.. There’s parts of this film where you genuinely can’t decide if you’re watching an old video of Elton or Taron.

This movie really shows how much of a versatile actor he is. He must portray every single emotion you can imagine and he does it with such ease. There is Oscar buzz with this film and he really deserves it.

I have to mention Kit Connor who plays teen Elton, he was wonderful, Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting was so good! He nailed that performance and he’s a great little actor.

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So, what didn’t I like about it?

I would have liked to have seen it come full circle to how he is now, how he overcame all the drugs and turned his life around. I would also have liked to see a little more of Renate in this as it seemed she was a small part in his life, the duet between Taron and Celinde Schoenmaker was one of my favourite songs in the film, I don’t know if it was more of Renate I wanted to see or more of Celinde. I feel there was more that could be included, I’d be interested to see if there’s a directors cut on DVD release. Maybe there will be a follow up who knows?

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Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman from Paramount Pictures.

All in all, I really enjoyed this film.

It reminds me of Tommy as there are parts of it that make NO sense. Some of the song and dance routines are a little out of context with whats going on in the film but then that’s the fantasy element.

It’s interesting, emotional and hard-hitting. A must-see for music fans.

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Movie Review – 100 Movies in 2019 – Number 12 – Instant Family

I’ve been so looking forward to this movie.

I love Mark Wahlberg and everything Rose Byrne has been in so it was a definite must-see for me. Plus the supporting cast includes Tig Notaro and I love her.

The trailers looked great and for a change it looked like a comedy that actually didn’t show all the best bits in them.

It’s a great subject for laughter, a couple who have no idea how to bring up kids decide pretty much on a whim that they’re going to adopt. When they are cleared for it and choose a child they actually end up with 3, including a troubled teen. It’s a recipe for disaster and you can pretty much see all the hilarity that can and will ensue from the situation that they’re in.

However, although this film does bring you in on the premise of this being a funny film, which it is, there is a really important story being told.

Over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80% of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK. Although not all of these will be away from their families permanently a large percentage of these children do need a forever home and sadly there are not enough families to take all these children. Especially when they’re teenagers.

Statistics in the UK show that over half of the young people in youth custody are from the care system and that children in care are six times more likely to be cautioned or convicted of a crime than other young people.

All because they don’t have a stable family or people that look after and care for them.

This movie is a wonderfully candid story about a couples struggle to make that stable family unit and bond with the children that come to live with them.

I have a friend that works in the care system, this movie is incredibly realistic. Events that happen throughout this film are sadly all to common. The ‘new’ parents doing something they think is nice for the child, only for it to trigger a bad memory and have the opposite affect, teenagers being overlooked in favour of the younger ‘cuter’ children and the effects of being in that system on the emotions and trust issues these children have.

It is based in part on director Sean Anders own experiences with adopting siblings.

It’s a beautiful story.

It made me laugh a lot. It also made me cry.

This is one of my favourite films this year so far. The performances are great. Although there is a lot of humour in this its done with love and to make a point.

If there is one film you see this month make it this one.

If you would like more info on adoption and fostering in the UK please go to:

https://www.gov.uk/child-adoption

 

 

Movie Review – 100 Movies in 2019 – Number 10 and 11

Finally, some films that aren’t true stories… in fact far from it. A double bill of Kids Movies!!

Starting with….

THE LEGO MOVIE 2!

Emmett is back and this time he has stubble.. drawn on stubble but still..

This is set in post apocalyptic Bricksberg, the apocalypse actually being the invasion of Duplo from the planet Sista destroying the city.  The take all the colour and happiness out as that is what they feed on.

The only happy person left is of course Emmett who still thinks everything is awesome.

Until that is his beloved Lucy gets taken away by the Duplo for a wedding ceremony. Emmett must rescue her and turns into a tough guy for the occasion.

Its not the best film I’ve seen, some of the jokes were really funny judging by the reaction of the mostly adult audience watching it. I didn’t think much of the story though and I thought it dragged a little, not as good as the original movie or the Lego Batman one.

It does have a great soundtrack with a new annoyingly catchy pop song.

Sticking with the animation.. Number 11 is

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON – THE HIDDEN WORLD

This is the 3rd film in the trilogy, I’ve only seen the first one so was worried I might miss some bits or not understand what was going on but I did.

The movie opens with a midnight rescue mission from Toothless and his friends who infiltrate a ship where loads of dragons are held captive. They rescue almost all of them, except one who manages to make herself invisible.

She proves to be a major part in the story.

She is a female called ‘Night Fury’ destined to be a mate for Toothless she is used by Grimmal as bait to capture him so all the other dragons will follow and meet a deadly end.

Meanwhile we learn about the Hidden World from a flashback with Hiccup and his Dad. It’s a world of legend where Dragons can live safe from harm and Hiccup wants to find that world and seal it so the dragons are always safe.

That’s basically what happens, there is peril when Toothless is captured and needs to be rescued and a little love story between him and Night Fury.

It’s a fun, action packed kids movie and although it was a little slow it was fun. Toothless is cute to watch and there are some more grown up jokes to keep the parents happy.

I did prefer this to The Lego one but neither of them were must sees.

 

 

Movie Reviews – #9 and #10

I am so behind with these reviews! I’ve just watched number 16 and I’ve not even written up the last 7!!

So I’ll do them 2 at a time – unless I thought it warranted a longer review of course – and I’ll continue with…

NUMBER 9 – CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Again this was another true story starring Melissa McCarthy in a more dramatic role as down on her luck writer Lee Israel. Based on the memoir of the same name this is a honest account of the lengths that Lee went to revitalize her failing career.

When Lee has a sick cat and no money for the veterinary care she starts to sell her stuff to raise it. Whilst researching a book she is writing at the time she finds a letter written by Fanny Bryce and decides to sell that. After being told she would get more from better content she embarks on a new career in forgery. Embellishing some letters from notable literaries and also completely making some up.

McCarthy is great in this, its nice to see her in a serious role showing she’s not just a funny lady.

Richard E. Grant as well is brilliant as her drinking partner and eventual friend/accomplice.

Although its not the most exciting of scripts it is quite an interesting story and you do get sucked in wanting to know if she gets away with it and how the story ends.

I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be….

Which brings me on to…

NUMBER 10 – GREEN BOOK

Another true story!!

When will they end and I get to see something entirely fictional and unrealistic…

This has been in the press a lot lately after some controversial comments from Spike Lee at the Oscars but aside from all that, what is it like?

This story centres on Tony (Viggo Mortensen) who was head bouncer at the infamous Copacabana club in 1960’s New York.

When the club closes for a refurb he needs to find some way to earn money to support his family.

Enter Jazz Pianist  (Dr) Don Shirley.

Tony initially takes the job thinking it’s driving a Dr around and is shocked to find Don is not only not a Dr in the literal sense but he’s also black.

Segregation was still rife throughout the USA during the time and the notion of a black man being the employer and the white guy the ‘help’ was a bit alien.

I initially wanted to watch this because of the music references, Tony is essentially a tour manager, a job I’ve done in the past and anything that has a connection to your life is always going to be something you’re interested in watching.

This was so much more than that.

‘Green Book’ is named after an actual book, published throughout the 30s and into the 60s which was a motoring guide for negros. It was essentially a handbook of places throughout America where they would be welcome, whether that be a hotel or rest stop even recreational activities. The fact that something like that had to be published still in what was essentially not that long ago is absolutely shocking.

I know there has been a lot of hate for this movie but I felt it educated me a lot about the issues with race and equality and it shocked me in all honesty.

This movie was set in a time when my Dad was a kid. Those people showing the disgusting attitudes to people based on the colour of their skin are the same age as my Grandparents would be. This was not that long ago!

It’s not all about that though and thankfully that isn’t the world we live in today.

It’s a buddy road movie at the very core and seeing Don and Tonys friendship develop as they spend more time together, learning from each other is wonderful. Tony teaches Don how to eat fried chicken and Don teaches Tony to write wonderful love letters to his wife. A fair trade I feel.

For Tony I think seeing the way Don – a very rich and educated man – was treated really made a difference to his outlook on life.

It is a true story and its a lovely one. Don and Tony stayed friends their entire life.

I really enjoyed Green Book, although there were points that were incredibly hard to watch. It makes you think. It educates you and I think it’s a really important movie.

 

Movie Review – Vice – 100 Movies in 2019 – Number 7

‘CLEVER SORT OF BIOPIC OF US VP DICK CHENEY’

Not bucking again from the current trend of ‘real life’ movies this one follows the rise of Dick Cheney who was Vice President of the United States during the Bush Administration including throughout the devastation of 9/11 and the whole of the Iraq War.

Although this is based as much as possible on real events there is a disclaimer at the start saying that it’s as true as it can be considering how incredibly private Dick Cheney is as a person.

It’s not your average biopic this one. Christian Bale is completely unrecognisable as Cheney. Showcasing yet again just how much of a versatile actor he is. I’ve seen interviews etc with Cheney himself and it’s genuinely difficult to tell the difference between them.

It doesn’t seem to follow anything chronologically which for someone who doesn’t really understand a lot of politics it was quite a tough one to follow, but I did grasp it all and it was a really interesting and shocking film.

Its interesting to see how Dick Cheney ended up as Vice President when he was actually a college drop out with a DUI so it does show that even if you don’t succeed academically there’s no reason you can’t go on to run the most powerful country in the world. His political career started when he managed to bag an internship in congress and he proved his worth and worked his way up from there, not always in the most ethical of ways and not always making the best decisions.

There’s a lot of areas in this that show he was given far too much power and there were some really controversial laws that didn’t get passed because he said no, the way they were shown in the movie is just like it’s a game show. He pushes a red button and that law gets thrown out. It was nothing to him so he was incredibly ruthless with those sort of things. He definitely comes across as power mad and although it does seem that most of his decisions he does believe were for the good of America maybe in hindsight they weren’t best at all.

It’s an incredibly interesting insight into the world of US politics. The relationship of the narrator to Cheney was one I didn’t see coming which was a nice little twist. It’s very very emotive, with real news footage of 9/11, Iraq War and some of the more horrific videos that emerged of US troops torturing civilians in Iraq. It’s very cleverly edited to imply that those real events that we see are directly related to specific actions that have been made in congress.

I really enjoyed this film. It’s not for the faint hearted there are some disturbing scenes in this, there were parts where I had to look away. It’s a very clever script, incredibly well acted (Sam Rockwell as Bush is wonderful and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney also) and inciteful too. It does appear to be a little one sided and there are very few scenes that enamour you to Dick Cheney I’d be interested to see what he has to say about it, although being that he is notoriously silent about things he doesn’t wish to discuss I think that’s unlikely.

This weeks movie visits – Mary, Queen of Scots and The Upside

Another double movie week this week with 2 more true stories. One being more accurate than the other. MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS and THE UPSIDE.

I had really been looking forward to seeing Mary, Queen of Scots. The trailers look amazing it’s an incredible cast and I’ve been quite enjoying the historical movies of late.

This film is based on the biography ‘Mary Queen of Scots – The True Story of Mary Stuart. It tells the story of the conflict between Mary (Saoirse Ronan) and her Cousin Elizabeth 1 (Margot Robbie) over who should have the throne of England. On paper it’s a story of 2 very strong and powerful women both fighting for the good of their country. A pretty gripping and exciting premise for a movie. In reality however it wasn’t anywhere near as good as it could have been.

Robbie and Ronan were both faultless in their performances in this film, but the script was lacking and some of the supporting actors were a bit mis-cast. David Tennant in particular. Not that he wasn’t good in this, his costuming however made him incredibly hard to take seriously, he looked like a bad extra from a Harry Potter film. Nothing in his performance could take away from the really awful beard he was sporting.

There’s been a lot of talk in the press about the historical inaccuracies in this movie and I can’t help thinking that if they were embellishing the story anyway they could have made it a lot more exciting. There seemed to be a lot of parts where issues were magically resolved without giving any clue as to how. It felt like key bits of the story had been edited out with a detrimental effect on the story.

I noticed a lot throughout the film that the scenes in Scotland always depicted it as a grey, miserable place to be, yet the scenes in England were always more bright and sunny. I’m not sure if that was to show some significance that maybe that’s how it felt living in those places at that time but being that it was for the most part set in Scotland it was pretty dreary.

All in all I was so disappointed by this movie. See it if you’re really interested in history but there are some really great movies still out that would be a much better way to spend an afternoon… which brings me on to THE UPSIDE.

This is another one based on a true story. And in all honestly it wasn’t one I was overly aware of.

It tells the story of a quadriplegic wealthy man who has a history of not getting on with his carers. An ex-con accidentally ends up interviewing for the position thinking he’s being interviewed for a cleaning job and its actually one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

It stars Brian Cranston as the wealthy man and Kevin Hart in what is easily his best performance as the carer.

As someone with a disability movies about this sort of thing are always interesting for me but I do also find that the majority show it as a negative thing. They show the bad stuff and leave out the humour. They make you come out almost pitying the afflicted character and you just feel utterly miserable after watching it.

This was a complete breath of fresh air. This is hilarious. It shows the hilarity of day to day life and the ridiculousness of the way some people react to someone in a chair.

Kevin Harts character is probably the worst candidate for the job but as is the case with films like this he does end up learning as he goes and seeing the relationship between his and Cranston’s character as it evolves is just beautiful to watch. The catheter scene is up there with one of the funniest movie scenes ever.

I do sometimes find Hart a little over the top. He seems to constantly have to be the funny man and that can backfire. But in this? It’s such a natural performance. I wouldn’t have expected to see that from him and the chemistry he has with Cranston is just phenomenal.

Not only is the performance great in this, the script is as well. It’s a wonderful, uplifting movie. It’s light hearted and shows a positive spin on disability.  It’s essentially a ‘buddy’ movie. One of those ones about an unlikely friendship where they get up to all sorts of mischief much like kids. Nicole Kidman is great in this too as Cranston’s PA. She’s very much disapproving of his decision to employ Hart and acts like the Mum telling off 2 naughty kids that she quite clearly loves.

I honestly loved this film. It’s one I’ve told everyone that they must watch. If you’re going to pick one this week this is the one you should see. You will not be disappointed.

Movie Review – Glass

CURRENTLY THE NUMBER ONE MOVIE IN UK BOX OFFICE’’

Sequel to M.Night Shyamalan’s supernatural thrillers Split and Unbreakable

I’ll be honest, although I was looking forward to seeing this movie I wasn’t expecting to have this as my movie of the week. I was expecting to enjoy another movie more than this one.

This film ties up the Unbreakable and Split movies following on from both of them. Here we find Bruce Willis’ David Dunn running a home security firm by day and being somewhat of a vigilante by night. After being the sole survivor of a fatal train crash years before he finds himself not only ‘Unbreakable’ but also able to see visions when he has contact with people.

After a series of brutal murders in the area David and his son Joseph have managed to figure out where this serial killer may have the latest of his victims held. He walks around knocking into people until he finds the one who is responsible through one of his visions. This so happens to be Kevin Crumb in the guise of Hedwig one of his many personalities.

Both himself and Kevin are then captured and taken to a mental hospital where Dr Ellie Staple is heading a research project into individuals who believe they have superpowers. She wants to convince them that they don’t and that they do in fact have some sort of mental illness.

Joining the two in the hospital is Elijah, or Mr Glass, a man of incredible intelligence but very brittle bones. Are these gentlemen actually superheroes or is Dr Staple correct? How will each one prove the other wrong and who is right?

This film has an incredible cast. James McAvoy is sensational in this. Playing someone with multiple personality disorder has got to be a challenge but the speed that he switches between characters and the smoothness of it is just incredible. There’s one scene with about 10 changing every few seconds. Hedwig, the 9 year old boy seems to be the most prominent in this one and we see more of his real identity as well. He is the best thing about this film. I think I preferred this one to Split, there’s more of his personalities. Bruce Willis reprises his role as David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson is back as Elijah.

As is expected from movies from M. Night there are some shocking twists in this film. Its one of those that keeps you guessing, you think you know what’s going on and then it goes off in a totally different direction. It’s essentially a film about Superheroes, maybe a bit of an Origin movie.

It’s not as creepy as I was expecting it to be, I normally find myself a little jumpy in his movies. This doesn’t have any of that. It’s very clever though, brilliant script incredible cast and it really does make you think about the possibility of there being some real life superheroes….

Double Bill of Period Movies – The Favourite and Colette – Movie Review

COLLETTE and THE FAVOURITE

This week was a bit of a double bill of period movies with these 2. A vain attempt at getting a little bit of culture in my life. I’m not normally a fan of movies like this but there seems to be a lot of them coming up with Mary Queen of Scots out next week as well.

COLLETTE is the true story of French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Kiera Knightley). Now regarded as one of the greatest French literaries of all time. Although initially no-one knew she was the person behind the Claudine books she is now so famous for writing. (although I’ll be honest, no idea who she was at all before this film).

Collette is a young farm girl whisked away from her provincial live to marry ‘Willy’ a much older Parisian publisher/novelist who makes money from having other people write for him. After putting his new wife to work replying to his fanmail he notices she has a bit of talent for writing and puts her to work on his new book. This book is the first in the ‘Claudine’ series. Although initially she enjoys the fame and money that her husbands success has bestowed upon her she gets increasingly frustrated that she has no recognition. Willy doesn’t treat her well and this movie shows the lengths he went to in order to get her to write more novels.

That however isn’t explored that much in this film which is a shame. What this does focus on is the extra marital relationships both of them had and focusses mostly on the controversial one between Collette and Marquise de Belbeuf who challenges the stereotypes of the age and encourages Collette to take charge and be herself rather than what is expected of her.  It has the wonderfully hedonistic backdrop of turn of the century Paris and shows the life that one of the very first ‘celebrity’ couples led at that time.

It is compelling and Keira Knightly is exceptional in this. It’s a great story about liberation, testing boundaries and exploring sexuality.

A little bit like the other movie I saw. THE FAVOURITE although very loosely based on a true story (Queen Anne was a real person and some of the other characters did exist..) does test a few boundaries and is again a lot about strong women. This story is essentially following a love triangle between Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman), The Duchess of Malborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Mashom (Emma Stone).

This movie has been nominated for a tonne of BAFTAS this week and it’s easy to see why. Watching it you know it’s going to win loads of awards. It looks incredible. It’s filmed in a really odd way – lots of fisheye lenses and it’s set up to run like a play. In fact I did feel a lot of the time like I was watching a stage play.  One I didn’t entirely understand.

It’s very much a comedy of errors and portrays Queen Anne as a very demanding childlike figure who quite honestly sulks when she doesn’t get her own way.  It’s hilarious in parts mostly down to Nicholas Hoults Earl of Oxford but in all honestly I have no idea what this film was even about!!

The language made no sense – although this has quite frankly some of the most shocking language I’ve ever heard in a film like this – It wasn’t Shakespearean but it wasn’t English either so I did find it quite hard to follow.  The story is of The Duchess using her friendship with Anne to try and overthrow the government to benefit her and her husband although I’m still not completely sure what it is that she wanted from that. Her cousin comes to work in the Palace and quickly earns the Queens favour which makes The Duchess jealous and both woman going to great and sometimes near fatal lengths to stay in favour with the monarch.

I’ve never seen a film that made me feel uneducated but this one did. Although I did have a little idea of what was going in I wish I’d studied languages more so I could understand exactly what was being said.

That being said. I couldn’t stop watching. Visually this was so good, I loved the costumes. Nicholas Hoults wig was a marvel!! The performances in this, especially from Olivia Coleman, were incredible most notably towards the end when Anne gets more and more poorly. Its one of the best performances I’ve seen from her and all the nominations she’s had for this are very well deserved.

Although I enjoyed it, I did come away confused and not really understanding it. And the ending was an odd one. It just stops. With no conclusion to anything.

It’s hard to pick the best one of these 2. They were both great in their own way. Collette was the better story but The Favourite was much better visually.

Lets see what Mary Queen of Scots brings this week.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Breakfast Show every Friday for movie news, reviews and new releases. http://www.voicefmradio.co.uk

Stan and Ollie – Movie Review

Delightfully funny biopic of legendry comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

Laurel and Hardy are one of those instantly recognisable greats of the entertainment industry, even if you haven’t actually watched any of their movies you will know who they are and no doubt be able to whistle their catchy little theme tune.

Starring Steve Coogan as Stan and John C Reilly as Ollie This movie follows the duo after the making of their ‘Way Out West’ movie in 1937 so it covers the later stages of their fledgling career and how they both struggled to come to terms with the break up of their partnership due to contractual disputes with their movie company.

Its an interesting insight into the fickleness of Hollywood back then in the fact it mentions that none of the rights of the pictures are actually owned by Laurel and Hardy. Although always the butt of the joke, the fall guy and often thought of as the not so intelligent one this shows how the complete opposite is true of Stan Laurel. Frustrated with the studio not willing to renegotiate a better and fairer contract once his ends he is released from the studio while Oliver Hardy still has a while to run. Stan writes constantly for the duo and works tirelessly to find something new for them to work on once they are both free of the studio. However Oliver carries on, makes a movie with another partner and Stan is left a little bitter and without a job or creative outlet.

It takes 16 years for them to come together again and this is the main storyline of this film. Stan has found a UK company seemingly willing to make a new Robin Hood film with the duo and he has enlisted the help of a UK Promoter to put together a Laurel and Hardy tour to prove to the movie studio there is still an audience for them so it’s a sound investment. Obviously things don’t quite go the way they should.

For me I feel like this movie is more about Stan. Steve Coogan plays him wonderfully in a role I would imagine he was honoured to play. Seeing some of the more famous skits performed in this movie you can see how they influenced some of Coogans own comedy creations.  I never realised before seeing this that he was the one that wrote everything for the duo, he came up with the ideas for the movies, wrote the scripts, came up with the routines literally everything.  He even continued to write for Laurel and Hardy after Ollies death.

There were some classic scenes recreated for this movie, the funny dance from ‘Way Out West’ and ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine’ being the most notable. And they were an absolute delight to watch. Although there is some sad tragic parts of this movie there are also some real laugh out loud moments – to be expected from a movie about comedians. A lot funnier than I was expecting. There’s a scene when they check into a guesthouse and keep ringing the bell – genuinely laughed so much I thought I was going to wee myself!

A lot of the humour comes from the wives too. They’re a double act themselves. Stans wife Eva being my favourite. She’s brutally honest but charming with it.

I really enjoyed this film and can see why it’s been nominated for so many BAFTAS this week. It’s a charming and funny story, beautifully acted. It really shows why Stan and Ollie are so beloved.

My only criticism is that I would have liked to see a little more about the start of their career, more of an entire biopic rather than focussing on what was essentially a small and not so productive part of their lives.

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Robin Hood – Movie Review

I’ve been somewhat slack at doing these reviews of late, laptop failure and the pressures of organising a big charity event have kind of taken up my time for a while.. BUT I’m back now and I’m continuing with this one.

Now I’ll be honest, I am a HUGE Taron Egerton fan so I will watch anything he’s in but I was not really expecting much from this. It’s been slated left right and centre, even BEFORE it’s release and when I saw the trailers I wasn’t left overly excited for it.

However it’s not that bad!

Sure it’s not a ‘true’ telling of the legend of Robin Hood but a bit of a twist on it but I really liked it.

It was a good story.

I honestly don’t know what I was expecting from this, maybe something like the Hansel and Gretel remake, more just gratuitous violence and less of a story line, watchable but thin.

It shows Robin (or Rob as he’s known in this) as a Lord and Marian as the thief to begin with and follows him as he goes to war showing the events that turn him into the Hood that we all know him for. How he came home from the crusades, presumed dead, to his manor and his lady no longer there waiting for him. The story is him dealing with those losses and getting justice for his people. But not in the way that we all know.

You think you know whats coming next and then they throw a curve ball in there.

It’s a brilliant twist and the script is great. It made me laugh a lot, courtesy of Tim Minchin mostly who is Tuk (The Friar) I wish he’d had a bigger part.

The Sheriff of Nottingham is very sinister and although Alan Rickman will always be the best one he is played very well by Ben Mendlesohn. He’s creepy and terrifying in equal measure.

There is a lot of violence in this, some great fight scenes and things I never knew you could do with a bow and arrow. It’s fun, action packed but not a family movie. Decapitation and hanging are not the thing for a cosy family movie night. Some of the stunts in it are great and the climax of the film where Nottingham gets his comeuppance is really great.

Taron is brilliant as Rob. I don’t think the chemistry he has with Jamie Foxx is as watchable as his past partnerships with Hugh Jackman and Colin Firth but I enjoyed it. Hes definitely showing himself as a really diverse actor. Plus he’s kinda pretty to watch which does make this film a lot more enjoyable than it would have been if the casting was different.

All in all it’s a fun movie, it’s not going to change the world or go down as one of the greatest adaptations of all time but it’s a lot better than the critics have made out. It’s got everything you would want in a movie like that, action, killing, romance, comedy the whole lot. In fact I enjoyed it so much I very nearly went straight back into the next showing of it… instead I went home and told my husband he needs to learn archery…