Rocketman – Review

A candid tell-all story about a truly great musician and artist…

rocket

Rocketman succeeds somewhat where other biographical stories fall short because this film follows Elton John on a very personal and sometimes brutal level. First and foremost it’s a musical which is delivered in way best described as fantasy.

Lead man Taron Egerton whom I was yet to find a good film of until now has found a great way of not only embodying Elton John but also carrying it in his own style while still very much resembling the music superstar we all know. In fact the realism and brutality of fame intertwines brilliantly with a back catalogue of well known and  sometimes melancholy songs that blend together to bring what is a fun immersive story.

We see Elton’s routes from his very early home life and interest in playing the piano. His mother played by the probably over glamourous Bryce Dallas Howard who is believable with an English accent. This is also where the absence of a Father figure emerges for young Elton while he tries to figure out his emerging talent. Soon the story transitions to Egerton’s portrayal where he meets long time lyricist and friend Bernie Taupin; the film does well in telling a story of two artists here; the perfomormer and the writer; something where a lot of bio’s fall short. Eventually they make their way over to the US where Elton’s performance at the LA Troubadour club is portrayed in a fantastical but real way showing the effect of his talent to a new audience. His rise to fame and fortune follows while the life of a Rockstar begins to take its toll.

Overall the premise of this film is delivered in an original reflective way as we are introduced to Elton in full bright orange garb as he sits down for group therapy. He tells the story as if he is in that therapy; from drugs, alcohol and even shopping addiction to even loneliness nothing is sugar coated in what is a great biopic about a great musical artist.

Even the next morning I found myself singing to myself.

5/5 Starts 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Logan Review

I don’t think anybody knows where the actual timeline of events lies with the last few X men films but I can happily say that’s not relevant. As a matter of fact I myself have never seen a bad X men film and so I went into watching Logan with rather high hopes.

If you have read my reviews before I do my best not to include major spoilers so consider this a warning if you haven’t seen Logan.

logan.PNGThe year is 2029 and quickly we are introduced to an older beat up Logan. Hugh Jackman fits into an older wolverine well considering he is older now. Walking around with a limp you immediately believe Logan has seen better days. The mutants we all know too well with this universe are nearly all but gone. That is apart from the Professor himself (Patrick Stewart) who brings probably his greatest performance of Professor X I have seen.The wheel chair bound genius is reduced very much to his somewhat demented thoughts and is reliant on medication.

For the first time in these movies we see the pinnacle icon characters for who they really are, and without being poetic this film about mutants has never been so human. Wolverine is literally floating down at the bottom of the barrel and trying his best to keep Professor X above water. The likes of Storm, Rogue, Cyclops and the school for the gifted has long gone making the premise of Logan dark and even desolate in some places.

The story soon enough unfolds which is; survival of the mutants. The mostly mute and brilliantly cast Dafne Keen plays a young girl caught up in the full on extermination of her kind. It is up to Wolverine and Professor X albeit their conditions to bring her to safety. Action is woven in and out of the plot and feels relevant at all times even if this is an uber violent version of an X men film. We see the very graphic repercussions of what clawed hands actually do to a man in a somewhat Tarantino style. Paired with this is the swearing and a lot of if which is no complaint to me, it just adds to the humanistic realism.

The bad guys come in the form of Boyd Holbrook a bounty hunter type and later on the twisted doctor played by Richard E Grant who are equally great and convincing. They do their best to track down the final mutants some of which are very young kids all in hiding.

As much as we could predict from the trailer this film did feel like a final send off for an era of great films.Anything that did happen wasn’t predictable and even came out of the blue. I must give full credit to Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stuart who both in my opinion put in oscar worthy performances. Both of them were really emotionally attatched to their characters and you get a well invested performance across the board, even the minor characters felt like they were well thought of.

As much as its uncomfortable to see X men favorites in such a position it has given them a brand new angle and relevance. Emotion, brutal struggle and coming of age are the words I would use to define this film which was watchable all the way through.

Other news about books n stuff

Ok so I have been looking for more ways to get eyes upon Open Evening (my first book) and may have actually found a little inch of success and a few sales. Over the past few weeks I have been running a few giveaways.

  1. Amazon giveaway to people of the US – Over 500 people signed up and glanced upon Open Evening, that competition is now closed and books are on their way to the winners.
  2. Goodreads – Giveaway runs until the 21st of March 2017, currently 555 people requesting 1 of 3 signed copies. Link here 

Both giveaways have helped immensely in terms of follows, facebook likes, and tweet people following me. I have even sold some books over in the US. Thanks to all who have taken part, got themselves a copy and have joined me on this journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Ghostbusters film? Too far Hollywood?

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The world reacted yesterday in a rather negative form as the new Ghostbusters trailer made its way onto the uber democracy of internet land. Having just seen the trailer myself and seeing that I haven’t put out a blog in a while it feels fitting to throw in my two cents.

 

joker protonFirstly, I have many close friends and acquaintances that truly love the GB franchise. I have even seen the UK Ghostbusters in action back when I cosplayed more frequently as the joker. (yes that’s me as the Joker with a proton pack and yes your argument is invalid)

So yesterday the news feed and message feeds were full of opinions in which most of were against the idea of a reboot/sequel.

To really analyse why many have turned away from the prospect of another film you have to go back to the 80’s. A place where many young adults of today have fond memories of some truly classic films. My favourite film sways towards Back to the Future and in a way both films are linked in terms of tone and humour.

 

Ghostbusters on the surface comes across as a light horror or supernatural thriller which is then lightened by the comedy aspect. Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd are natural with their humour and it somewhat fits into the narrative comfortably without any push.

After seeing the new GB trailer, the gags are somewhat over planned and pushed just for the sake of trying to achieve cheap laughs. The original was only funny because it meant something not because a laugh was simply planned.

I have nothing against the new cast and ‘all female’ line up but the script they are working with probably isn’t at its best. Comedy can be easy to write in terms of cheap gags, but putting out something meaningful and funny, now that is another talent completely

The whole reboot thing is the fad these days in Hollywood who at the moment have a hell of a lot to answer for. Without going all political right now, production companies find it preferable to recycle a known film franchise for guaranteed sales rather than risk it on something new. The only victim here is us, the movie watcher. That is why budding script writers and novel writers alike find it so hard to reach the ‘standard’ ways of publication because there is so much established crap in the way.

Overall I thought the trailer of the new GB film looked alright. I may even go and watch it just to find out if this is yet another unwanted reboot. Luckily for me although I really enjoyed the first two films it isn’t my favourite but its certainly up there.

Saying that, for a cult audience to have their favourite flick sort of ‘trodden over’ doesn’t make me particularly warming to the cause.

Have Hollywood gone too far? Are they looking for the same magic that made films of the past good? Films like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Robocop, the terminator and Rambo. Cult classics right, but the whole tone of movie making back then was different. The map was yet to be fully discovered.

Are you a GB fan? What do you make of it?

In other film news if you didn’t know this past weekend was the academy awards. This year Leo DiCaprio finally did it and got his Oscar! But to me it seems a little cheap this year, especially with the whole race discrimination thing and of course female actors seeking a more equal deal. It feels the academy did it begrudgingly just to distract us normal folk about how disjointed the academy and Hollywood is. Either way it was well deserved as Leo holds a catalogue of truly awesome films.

 

 

Into the Woods : Wicked : My musical weekend

From the very beginning many of us knew that this year was gonna be all about movies, considering I have pretty much one sentence to report on all things trying to get published I will do that now.

I have sent my manuscript out to agents again and now I’m editing my second book again.

Now that’s done lets get to it but wait, didn’t I say that this week’s offering would resume on a Tuesday? I lied, the world is full of liars including me.

My musical weekend began on Friday…….

Friday : Into the woods

After walking into the foyer of my local empire cinema I could see that we may have trouble finding 7 seats for the group I was with. It was opening night after all and the last time I saw this cinema that packed was when Les Miserables came out. Just like that experience we were forced to sit near the front.

into woods1

So to the film, well here we see a rather stellar cast, I am talking Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, James Corden (Peeps from US will soon know who he is) Johnny Depp ( more of a cameo from him) Emily Blunt, Chris Pine who played the rugged yet charming prince charming and many more. It seemed that nearly every character big or small was a face I had seen before. This gave me much faith in what Disney had to offer.

We were introduced by the way of song to the many central characters and the sort of modified fairy tales in which they belonged. Jack and the beanstalk, Little red riding hood and Cinderella were amongst them.

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Meryl Streep and James Corden carried this film which saw him on a scavenger hunt into the woods. I wont give that much away as I feel it is worth watching but to me the final quarter of the film did lack a certain level of story and plot. Which is a shame because the cast all pull together and almost make this an anti Disney film with cliché at every turn. My favourite line of the film came from prince charming “I was raised to be charming not sincere” and he did turn out to be quite the sleaze bag. Seeing him and another prince singing a duet on a waterfall and trying to out prince each other was fun to watch.

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I lol’d at this guy

 

Go see it and tell me your thoughts.

If your still here this is part two of my musical weekend and that was to take my better half into central London to the very art deco Victoria Apollo theatre.

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Saturday : Wicked

As you take your seat there is already a visual spectacle  to take in. The safety curtain is a map of OZ with emerald city glowing in the centre. Around the stage is various ladders, walkways and cogs of the machine that makes Wicked turn. High above a dragon facing the spectators who were ready and restless on this busy Saturday afternoon.   (This dragon did move from time to time)

defying

Here we see the story of Elphalba (the wicked witch of the west) and how she came to meet herfate.  Again I won’t give anything away and just tell you this show was somewhat awesome.  Many people think that musicals are not for me (maybe because I am so manly, tough exterior etc.) but this show was great. The act 1 close of defying gravity did exactly that and really expressed the powerful vocal skills of the performers. Flying monkeys, munchkins and brilliant stage visuals gave the whole show had a magical element. I would strongly recommend you see it. We were sat in the dress circle looking down on the stage, but where ever you sit is a good view in the Apollo.

 

Final thought 

Some of you may know that for five years I have pursued a career in amateur drama. Having been a member of the Iver Heath Drama Club for that time I can happily announce that I will be the lead in their next show. This January I will be putting the tights on to be Robin Hood, the worlds most famous outlaw! Come and see me, tickets are available to purchase online for a reasonable rate, just click here.

Show your support for a good thing in the community!

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The Woman in Black : Angel of Death , 2015 is here!!!

2015 has rolled around quicker than a turkey dinner hiccup and the Hall of information is open again for all of your blogging needs!!!!

So come with me again if you want to continue to live as I will be your guide from all things current affairs, movie reviews and of course book related as I continue my journey to find publication of my first novel Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project!

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Happy new year from the Hall of information

A movie review! The Woman in Black : Angel of Death

Who said that cinema horror is dead? Well it’s certainly alive and kicking and extremely jumpy in some circumstances. But before I delve into reviewing I must make a side note.

 

Side note (notice how this note is to one side)

Before the movie commenced we were

exposed to a few trailers, one of them being

Insidious 3, OMG the trailer on its own made

many of the audience scream out loud! Including

Falcon Garman who was sitting next to me.

Back to the review:

So after our palpitation warm up we were ready for the sequel of 2012’s Daniel Radcliffe screamer! Here we are introduced from the very beginning to a rather sketchy looking house. Sort of ‘don’t go in there’ material. This sets the scene straight away that we will be returning to Eel Marsh house. Then we are taken to London 1941 and a group of young children including two teachers are being evacuated from the city. And guess where the local council are sending them!

woamn hous

Looking Sketchy

Now personally I feel uncomfortable with the whole kids being kind of hypnotized by the woman in black but it does make the story that much creepier. I refuse to give no more away as I feel this film carried on right where the first left off. It is mainly a lower profile cast but everyone involved works tremendously hard to capture the horror and of course the war time era that its depicted in.

Jumpy throughout this one is similar to the first but ultimately lifts the lid a little more on who the woman in black is and she’s still up to her old tricks. It’s a cinema film and works well in the dark. I recommend it. There were some occasions throughout the film when I would whisper ‘oh shit’ knowing that something was about to jump out. Part of the fun I say!

That’s my first film of 2015 but it wont be the last, Star Wars, Jurassic World, Hot tub time machine 2 and the Avengers age of ultron are all yet to come!

 

Next week the Hall of information will resume on it’s normal day of Tuesday

 

OMG Movies Everywhere: And they are good ones! : Terminator, Star Wars, Exodus, Dumb and Dumber to, Annie, the theory of everything….

Ok so Christmas is quickly approaching and it seems that there are literally films being thrown towards it from all directions.

T’is the season for next years movie blockbuster trailers it seems, but come with me if you want to live! By that I mean firstly survive a holiday season jam packed (not marmalade packed oh no) full of films. In fact this blog is so full of movie preview goodness I have no choice but to make it a feature length offering!

the force

The new star wars looks decent

 

The last few weeks has seen a sneak peak of Jurassic World’s offering followed by a full trailer, that was then followed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer which was then followed by Terminator Genisys.

schwarzenegger

He’s back, again. Click on me if you want to live and watch my trailer

 

As I said last week on my Facebook page Oh my f***ing god he’s back!  I imagine next year to be a record breaking box office affair especially after the new James Bond was announced also! Films everywhere!

But that isn’t all, here’s the rundown of what’s coming out this month first (and January)! (Some will only apply to UK but waving to readers from other places)

 Dumb and Dumber To (19th December UK)

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Great to see these legends back together!

“No way, that’s great. WE LANDED ON THE MOON!” The trailer has been around for a while now and so has the rumor of this comedy establishment getting a sequel. One of my all time favourite films as a child, as a teen and as an adult. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are back for gags, laughs and physical comedy. Daniels has been quoted to say something like, ‘you may not like all of the gags or laughs but we will get ya’. Sounds awesome!

 

 Night at the Museum : Secret of the Tomb (19th December)

Yes Ben Stiller returns along with Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke , Ricky Gervais and many more in this star studded magical mild action. Many Robin Williams fans will be going to see this by default simply to tribute the legend that was. Trailer here.

 

frigginnight A Merry Friggin Christmas (not sure on release date or if it comes out in the UK)

I came across the trailer for this last week . There’s shades of the typical Christmas disaster film about a family who spend the holiday with their extended family of misfits. One of them includes Robin Williams. The premise seems to be mother forgets to bring presents and has to go on a road trip back to get them. I was sold by the fact there was a hobo santa character, other cast members include: Oliver Platt, Clark Duke and Lauren Graham.

Swords and sandals blockbuster time!

Exodus: Gods and Kings (26th December)

Christian Bale leads the way as Moses in this epic looking offering from Ridley Scott. The Moses story with an all star cast of a godly persuasion include: Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley and John Turturro. Trailer here.

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I’m Moses (In a batman accent)

 

 

 

 

 

Annie (not so much swords and sandals, 26th December)

annie

The holiday blockbuster season wouldn’t be the same without a musical and a remake so luckily enough this ticks both boxes in one sitting. Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx are the headline . Trailer here.

              The theory of everything (2nd January UK)

This looks like a great story of famous physicist Stephen Hawking and the relationship with his wife. It starts before his health deteriorated and shows the legendary journey he has been on. Eddy Redmane and Felicity Jones star. Perfect timing for the award season and it wouldn’t surprise me if it won a gong or two. Here’s the trailer.

theory