Category Archives: Film and TV Reviews

Reviews of films/TV Programme I’ve loved or hated, and a mix of the old and the new.

“Arrow” Season 1 Review

Arrow1

I’ve heard a fair amount about the TV programme Arrow over the past few months; mostly talk about how good it is. Yet I was wary about starting it, as I don’t consider myself a fan of comic books (okay, I’ve never actually read one yet…), or at least comic book adaptations – frankly, I think Marvel have just put me off thanks to every Marvel film I’ve seen. But, perhaps DC would change that and I would discover a very well hidden love for comic book heroes that I never knew I had. Even then, I wasn’t all that sure I would ever buy the series, but then I saw the cover of series 1, and that pretty much decided it all for me – I just loved it, and I still do. Trying to put into words what, exactly, it is that I like about it is pretty difficult, but it’s a mixture of the colouring, is outfit, and (of all things), the font used – everything goes so well and is just really enticing; it worked for me, anyway!

I found that the series took a little while for me to get into, although to be fair I did spend a lot of the time on my phone or laptop at the same time as watching it, as I seem to struggle to concentrate on the one thing. Despite that, each episode (23 in all) is extremely addictive, especially with the cliff–hangers they specialise in ending on – they ensure you can’t stop after only one episode; instead, you’ve got to get through at least 5! Which, in fairness, is no bad thing, but it does tend to mean a LOT of late nights (for me, at least) – in order to finish the last six episodes of Series 1, I was up until 2 in the morning. Totally worth it, of course, although I did want to start series 2 as soon as I had finished the last episode…

I’m not going to pretend that this is a flawless series: it’s not. Some of the acting is questionable to say the least, in particular some moments from Stephen Amell (who plays Oliver Queen/Arrow), and the actress who plays Thea Queen just downright gets on my nerves most of the time (but I still like her, for the most part). It also has to be said that Arrow uses every single cliché in the book, and the script is something I could write in my sleep – it’s pretty predictable, I’m afraid. Very few times have I guessed at what was going to be said next, and been wrong – maybe not word for word, but the fact is it’s not the most stand–out script. And yet, that doesn’t bother me as much as it might – it’s still a very enjoyable show. The action is, in my eyes, brilliant, and I love watching the fight scenes.

Even better, not all of the characters are wooden or downright annoying – Felicity and Diggle are, without doubt, my two favourite characters on the show. They’re likeable, funny, and I find they make the show a lot more enjoyable too. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Laurel – I swear she changes her mind on Oliver, and his alias, at least every second episode, and after a while it gets pretty tedious. But as surprisingly badass characters go, she’s quite high up there. Helena is another character I kind of loved, and I feel we didn’t get quite enough of her – here’s hoping she’s in Series 2, because she’s just great. I loved her outfit, her appearance, just about everything she said – her in general, really. I like to think I can’t be blamed for that… I mean, look at her!

HelenaArrow

One of the best parts of this series is undoubtedly the score, composed by Blake Neely. It’s not too in–your–face, but it’s noticeable and it’s brilliant. I bought it the other night, and although I really like the whole thing, there are some superb tracks that need a special mention: Oliver Queen Suite, Sacrifice, I Can’t Lose You Twice, and my absolute favourite: I Forgot Who I Was. The first time I heard it, I nearly cried and that feeling hasn’t changed yet. For about the past hour, I’ve been sitting here listening to it, and I love it a little more with every listen. It’s beautiful, and I can’t imagine ever tiring of it.

To round my review up, I really recommend Arrow; although it can be ridiculously predictable, and the clichés make me want to cringe sometimes, it has its plus–sides too: it’s addictive (so, so, so addictive), the music is brilliant, the action is great, the outfits are great, and it turns out to be pretty emotional too – I was surprised at how much I cried during the last few episodes.

Also, John Barrowman…

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“Guardians of the Galaxy” Film Review

GOTG-poster

I really wasn’t a huge fan of Guardians of the Galaxy when I went to see it in the cinema. I enjoyed it, kind of. It was more enjoyable than having a tooth removed, but maybe on par with sticking pins in my eyes (I’m kidding – the latter is so much more fun). I’m frankly a little unsure why I decided to buy the DVD, but it’s most likely because I was hoping it had improved – you know, like both The Pretty Reckless’ and Black Veil Brides’ new albums did after a time of not listening. Yet Guardians seems to have got…worse.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those films that has plenty of hype surrounding it…but deserves very little of it. It’s the film that gets cited as “The greatest Marvel film since…well, the last Marvel film!”. And that’s the same as every Marvel film before that. I’m beginning to think I don’t like Marvel films: The Avengers Assemble was alright, but by my 3rd viewing I couldn’t get past the first half hour. The first Iron Man was pretty dire, I never saw the second, but the third was quite good – don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again though. I’ve seen the first Captain America and nearly fell asleep; Thor was even worse and was put off after 15 minutes. Damn it Avengers, you gave me unrealistic expectations for the other films and I was sorely disappointed! I watched 2 episodes of the programme Arrow this morning, and the first five minutes were more entertaining and thrilling than Guardians could ever be.

I’m going to be honest and admit that the main reason I decided to see the film (because honestly, the trailer looked awful) was because of Karen Gillan. And can you blame me? I mean, she’s Karen Gillan! Unfortunately, even she couldn’t carry the film and I was more looking forward to the end than I was to seeing her. It was just so boring; when I watched it the other night, my expression barely changed from the look of boredom it maintained for pretty much the majority of the film. People claim this is a really funny film – well, then can someone point me in the direction of the humour? Because apparently I missed it. The only bit I found slightly amusing was when Peter Quill called Drax a thesaurus (I like my words), and then Rocket says that the metaphorical meaning will go right over his head, to which Drax replies:

“Nothing goes over my head, my reflexes are too fast. I’ll catch it.”

My facial muscles twitched slightly at that. Of course, they then proceeded to drag out how literal everyone was until about the end of the film – it was funny the first time, by the 5th…not so much. The acting and dialogue seemed awkward at times too; there were moments where someone would say something that was probably meant to get a reaction, or be funny, but was just met with total, deafening silence – it made me, just as someone watching it, cringe inwardly.

The main issue I have with this film is the characters. Not one of them is likeable in any way, but most of all I can’t stand Peter Quill – sorry, “Star Lord”. I don’t like his actor, which probably plays into that, but his character is too smug and irritating for me to feel anything other than a really strong urge to punch him. The green one annoys me too (and what the hell is up with that scene where the two of them nearly kiss? There was NO interaction beforehand to suggest any kind of attraction), and Drax…well, what’s his purpose, really? Oh, right, to get in contact with the evil blue one (the evil blue one working with the evil blue Karen Gillan, not the other evil blue one) and nearly get everybody killed. Yay, reasonable plot (if you can call it that)! Groot makes me angry for two reasons: 1. He’s a tree. 2. All he says is “I am Groot” and it is singlehandedly the worst and most used sentence in existence now – I’m pretty sure it’s probably beaten “I volunteer as tribute!”. And not forgetting Rocket, who is the only semi-amusing character in the entire film. There’s also the various ensemble of villains and side-characters who all seem to add very little to the plot, or lack thereof. I don’t think I could even try to sum up the plot of Guardians, because at the moment I still have no idea myself – when I work it out, I’ll get back to you.

There’s one redeeming feature of the entire film (and not just that it finally ends), and that’s the music. I don’t mean the “awesome mixtape” that everyone but me seems  to love – no, the standout music of this film is the score by Tyler Bates. The score contains some really fantastic pieces, but my personal favourite is this one:

And when the main theme kicks in around the 1.30 mark, it puts a ridiculous smile on my face. I’ll happily sit and listen to the score for hours – it’s 10x more badass than the film could ever hope to be.

All in all, I was really unimpressed with Guardians of the Galaxy, and I find the Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailer of it to be pretty accurate:

Indeed, when he says “What you gonna do? Watch DC?” my answer would be a resounding yes: Christopher Nolan’s Batman films were some of the best superhero films I’ve ever seen (The Dark Knight Rises, however, was almost worse than this, so I’ll just exclude that), and although I’m only two episodes into Arrow I think it’s great.

I’m still looking forward to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, though, so hopefully Marvel can redeem themselves through that.

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“The Maze Runner” Film Review (Spoilers)

The Maze Runner

I’m a terrible person – I went to see The Maze Runner today. And I’ve never read the books. I own them, but I don’t think they’ve ever been taken out the box, mostly because a friend recommended them to me, I bought them, then he said they weren’t very good (no, I don’t know how it works either) so I didn’t ever get round to reading them. I saw the trailer and thought it looked  alright, but decided I was unlikely to see it in cinemas because I don’t like seeing films if I’ve not read the books beforehand – and that’s why I’m a terrible person, because that’s exactly what I did. To justify my actions slightly, it was a last minute decision. I met up with a friend, and as we were playing darts we decided to go to the cinema, and The Maze Runner was the only decent–sounding film showing anywhere. She wanted to see it because she thought some of the guys in it were cute (namely Newt and Thomas), whereas I wanted to see it because it was based on a book. Priorities, huh?

I wasn’t too sure what to expect, as I had no real idea what it was about and although I thought the trailer was alright, I didn’t think it looked all that great. I knew it would either be a hit or a miss (and honestly, I was going with miss!), but as it turns out I was pleasantly surprised. It was a pretty good story and the acting was quite good too – there were predictable moments, as there are in all films, one of the main ones being towards the end where Chuck jumped in front of Thomas when Gally went to shoot him. But that didn’t bother me too much, as the film was overall very good.

The attention to detail and basically just common sense was something I was very impressed by – these kids were covered in dirt and scrapes, and they stayed covered in dirt and scrapes. They weren’t beautifully presented all the time, which some films like to do, and one of my favourite things was just Teresa’s hair. It was visibly tangled and wasn’t perfectly kept – she really looked the part. I may have got a huge grin on my face when I first saw her, played by Kaya Scodelario, on the screen – she played Effy Stonem in the TV show Skins and I kind of love her. Her presence really bumped up the film for me! I know she was the only girl there, and I’m assuming the reasoning behind that is mentioned later in the series, but I was somewhat surprised that nobody seemed to notice the lack of female figures? I was half–expecting Thomas to notice or bring it up at some point, because surely if you find yourself surrounded in a strange place surrounded only by guys, you might think there’s something strange about that? I was hoping someone might cotton onto it when Teresa arrived, even Teresa herself, but apparently not…

I also loved that there was no romantic subplot! At least, not yet… I’ll need to read the series and find that out. I find it’s quite uncommon to find a film aimed at teens and based on a Young Adult book that doesn’t have at least the underlying romance, and even if it does begin to surface in later books/films, I don’t think I’ll mind too much because it wasn’t forced in our faces from the beginning. This didn’t need romance, and I’m glad the author didn’t think it was necessary to add it in just for the sake of it – though if we end up with a bloody love triangle, I’ll be pretty annoyed because that’s even less necessary!

The music in the film was also really fitting, and I’ve been listening to it non–stop since I got home. I really love soundtracks, and often find they can make or break a film – I’m pretty sure that the main reason I love The King’s Speech so much is because of the music in it. And the music in this film is just great; I’ve never heard of the composer before, but I think he’s done a great job of making music that fits the film. There was one part in particular which just took my breath away, but unfortunately all I can remember of the scene it was played during is that they were running through (I think) a tunnel – I guess that means I’ll have to get the DVD when it’s out so that I can hear and see it again!

One of the things I was really unsure about was the maze itself. In all the posters I’ve seen advertising it and in the trailer, I couldn’t help but think that it looked a bit too made–up, almost out of place. However, the more I saw it in the film, the more I started to like it – and the vines hanging from it really added something and looked so good. I never knew that the maze moved, so that was a bit of a surprise to me. I did wonder why nobody thought to jam the doors though, especially in the scene where Minho is trying to drag Alby towards them – they had huge, thick sticks lying next to them, why not jam them in the mechanics and try and buy the guys some time?! And why Thomas left it to the last minute to run through to them I do not know, what did he think was going to happen?!

That aside, I found The Maze Runner to be an overall very enjoyable film and it was far better than I expected it to be. In fact, it’s now tempted me to start the book, which I’m hoping is going to prove to be worthwhile!

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Doctor Who Series 8 “Flatline” Episode Review

DoctorWho
To be honest, reviewing the new series of Doctor Who wasn’t something which had ever really crossed my mind (mostly because I haven’t been liking it at all), but I enjoyed the new episode so much that I just had to write something. I’ve also been somewhat inspired by the collaborative reviews over on nevillegirl’s blog as I like reading them a lot, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it myself.

As someone who hates Clara, you would think that such a Clara-centric episode would be an absolute nightmare. Surprisingly it wasn’t – it pains me to say this, but I think Clara has improved. Just a little, mind, as I still don’t like her, but there was nowhere near as big a temptation to throw things at the TV as there usually is. Obviously this was of huge benefit to the episode as a whole, as it meant I could relax and watch it without sneering, rolling my eyes, or passing internal comments whenever she opened her mouth – so Brownie points for Clara, I guess?

I think the main thing which has kept me watching Doctor Who (other than it’s something tI’ve watched and loved since it came back in 2005, and I’m still clinging to the hop of improvement) is the Doctor himself. I liked EARLY Matt Smith, but towards the end I Was getting fed up with him (coincidentally around the time dear Clara appeared…), but I think that’s also down to his episodes and not just him. Luckily Peter Capaldi is restoring my faith in the Doctor; he’s great – hindered somewhat by his wonderful companion, I feel, but… Okay, I’ll let Clara have her moment, she did well in this episode (apart from one appalling moment, but I’ll come to that later), so I promise to stop complaining about her for now. On with the Doctor – I really do think he’s great. He’s dark, but not too dark. His sarcasm and sense of humour really remind me of myself: “This is huge! Well, not literally huge, slightly smaller than usual” so that’s probably why I like him. He’s also Scottish! Not the first Scottish Doctor (but hopefully the last; and I mean both Scottish and the Doctor. Oh, who am I kidding> If the BBC can keep spinning money out of this, it’ll be on for another 50 years), of course not, but as a Scot I think it’s acceptable to get excited over it – and that accent! I don’t have much of an accent myself, so I love the opportunity to hear Capaldi’s, especially when it gets more pronounced the angrier he gets. Admittedly there are some moments where I can’t quite make out what he’s saying, but the fact that my parents like to talk over it probably don’t help that.

Having read over this after a day of not writing it, I’ve realised this is more of a character observation than an episode review, so it’s about time I stop getting sidetracked… I thought the concept of this episode was a very interesting one, and the creatures were certainly pretty creepy to look at when they where moving whilst inhabiting the bodies. There was something about the way they flickered that was really quite sketch-like, and often reminded me of the episode Fear Her, which featured 10, Rose, and the girl who made people disappear by drawing them. I also liked the fact that you couldn’t quite see the creatures before they attacked; sure you saw the lumps and bumps as they moved, but they weren’t like the typical monster than you can see fully.

It was definitely pretty clever that the victims “became” the graffiti under the bridge; it looked good and even though you knew they were really victims and not a memorial, it was still pretty smart. I must say, though, that I was a bit disappointed that Rigsy didn’t react much at all when realising his aunt was dead because of the creatures. He had mentioned in the beginning about how she had gone missing and was now a part of the memorial – it would have been interesting to see his reaction to the realisation of what had really happened to his aunt. Unfortunately, as they so often do, it was either skimmed over or totally forgotten about, which is a shame. But never mind.

The were two main things about this episode that really annoyed me, the first being when Clara and Rigsy were trying to escape the house and Clara ANSWERED THE PHONE. Why?! Yes it was to emphasise that Danny (I’m not a fan, by the way) didn’t know she was still with the Doctor, but it was just really unrealistic in that situation. As annoying and stupid as that was, though, it’s a pretty minor thing in comparison to this next one…

“Why can’t you say I did good?” There was a collective gasp of shock and horror from my parents and I when that line was uttered by Clara. What she was looking for was “[…] I did well?” – and she DID do well, up until that point. Clara is a teacher, shouldn’t she have known that was horrendously wrong?! And how did the writers let it pass by?! That one mishap really didn’t help me to warm to Clara at all; I just can’t understand why t was said. The thing is, she got it right the first time round, why change it? I was half-expecting the Doctor to pick up on it and say something about her being a teacher so should know better – but no. It was left like it was an acceptable thing to say (it really wasn’t), and that was just disappointing to me.

I’d like to end this on a more positive note, so can I just say how much I loved the title? It hadn’t occurred to me until just now, but “Flatline” is wonderfully ambiguous in this sense:the word often refers to when a patient’s heart and/or brain is showing no “activity” (according to wikipedia), and so technically dead. And that’s accurate in this episode as the victims are dead. BUT the creatures are 2D – they are FLAT LINES. That’s such something I think is brilliant, and it only just occurred to me so has made me wonderfully happy!

Overall, I felt this was a really good episode, and probably one of the best of the entire series – certainly the best in a very long time. I’m hoping the episodes will start to improve, and I’m hoping that Clara also continues to improve – I would like to like her, but that’s just not really happened so far.

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Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess Film Review

Fairy Tail Phoenixx Priestess

I remember being so excited when I realised there was a newly released Fairy Tail film – for the first time, I could watch Natsu & co. for over an hour uninterrupted instead of having to watch episode after episode (not that that’s a bad thing!). Perhaps even more importantly, I would be buying it on DVD so I could watch it on a bigger screen than my computer; that was a very exciting realisation for me. Of course, there was also the worry that they might not manage to pull off an hour and 20-minute long Fairy Tail story which was entirely unrelated to the rest of the series (so far, of course), but why I had such doubts I’m not quite sure. The film was brilliant.

I personally think that part of the reason for Fairy Tail’s success is not only the characters, but also the humour throughout it. Whether it’s due to a quick one–liner, or a whole scene, this anime is undoubtedly the funniest I’ve seen. I was slightly concerned that the humour in the film wouldn’t be as good as it is in the anime, but I ended up laughing out loud more times than I can count. It’s been a while since I’ve genuinely laughed at a Fairy Tail episode (that’s not to say they’ve not been funny, they’ve just been too busy breaking my heart for me to do much else than cry), but Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess has some utterly brilliant moments in it. Sure, there are a few predictable moments – one scene in particular springs to mind – but they’re still pretty funny. Although there are some recurring jokes and things from the episodes, they’re not over–used, and nor do they spoil anything for anyone who may not have seen all the current episodes, which is good – I had waited until I caught up with the series before I watched the film, because I didn’t want to risk spoiling anything for myself, but I don’t think there’s anything that would ruin it (at least, nothing obvious or important).

My intention had been to watch the film with the subtitles, because the site I use for watching the anime hasn’t yet dubbed all the episodes so I’m now more used to the original voices than I am to the English voices. When I first watched the trailer for the film, I genuinely recoiled hearing the English voices because they just didn’t sound right at all – I hadn’t heard the characters sound like that in such a long time, and I was totally convinced I wouldn’t watch the dubbed version of the film. However, when the film first started, it was the dubbed version, so I turned up my nose at it and was just about to try and change it to the subbed one, when Gray spoke. Ever since I started Fairy Tail, Gray has been my favourite character, and when he first spoke in the film I was immediately brought back to when I first started it about 5 months ago, and so I thought “Hey, I could get used to this again!” and decided to keep the dubbed version going. And honestly, the voices are nowhere near as bad as I was expecting them; it didn’t take too long for me to get used to them again and it was nice just being able to concentrate on what was going on without having to quickly read the subtitles too.

I must admit, I was a little unsure of Éclair at first; a character just introduced in the film. She was quite stand–offish, though to be fair that was part of her character, and I just didn’t like the way she treated Lucy and the others – but again, that was part of her character. It took me a wee while until I found myself liking her, but in the end I did like her a lot more, and I certainly felt sorry for her too – that’s the thing with Fairy Tail; no matter what, they can just tug on your heart–strings in an instant and leave you a crying wreck, mere seconds after you’ve been laughing your head off. It’s brilliantly done, as I’ve yet to see another anime – or indeed, see anything – so good at playing with your emotions.

I only have one very slight complaint about the film, and that’s the music. Normally I love the music of Fairy Tail, and I could listen to it for hours, but the score for the film just wasn’t quite as up to scratch as some of the other pieces. Don’t get me wrong, it was good and it did tie in with the film, but having tried to listen to it whilst writing this, I found I wasn’t interested and each piece just blended together. With the “regular” Fairy Tail soundtracks, each piece is beautiful and great to listen to – they also accurately represent the anime. Some pieces you listen to and can picture the battles unfolding in your mind, others make you want to cry with how emotive they are. The music in Phoenix Priestess is just lacking something, and it’s unlikely I’ll listen to it again other than when watching the film.

As a whole, however, the film was great, and I imagine it’s something I’ll watch a lot as I wait for new episodes to be released each week! The characters are just as good in this as they are in the anime, and the longer running time than that of an ordinary episode don’t have any negative effects on them. It was entirely possible that they may be a little duller or not as funny in something that’s at least 3 times longer than an episode, but that didn’t happen; if anything they were almost better, though I’m probably only saying that because I got to see them for so much longer!

Although I do recommend watching Fairy Tail: Phoenix Priestess, I would say that you at least watch some of the anime – or read the manga! – first, as that way you’ll get a better feel for the characters and more things will make sense.

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“Divergent” Film Review

Divergent

Sometimes you see a film’s adaptation of a book which was so amazing, you just have to see it again. And sometimes you see a film which leaves you thinking “WHY did they think making that was a good idea?” Divergent, based on Veronica Roth’s novel of the same name, doesn’t really fit into either of those categories; instead it falls relatively nicely into the middle. I knew it wasn’t going to be exactly like the book, and I knew things would be missed – but that didn’t prepare me for how angry I was going to be at some of the things they missed out.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad film – it just wasn’t accurate. If this wasn’t a book adaptation I would say it was a very good, enjoyable film, but as it is I was slightly disappointed at how certain things panned out. Let’s take my main annoyance – Edward. Remember how, in the book, Edward came in first place, so Peter stabbed him in the eye which resulted in Edward being made Factionless? You know how that’s quite important in Insurgent? Well guess what DIDN’T happen in the film! Yeah, that part not being included in the film made me quite angry. In fact, I don’t think we were even shown who Edward really was, except possibly a brief cameo and someone saying “Edward”. I guess it wasn’t totally important to the film, but it would have helped to show how ruthless the character of Peter was, which was definitely something important. Even the scene where Peter, Al, and I think Drew attacked Tris and were trying to hang her over the chasm is done wrong; instead of grabbing her from the room, they somehow manage to nab her as she walks down a corridor, even though they didn’t know that she was going to be there! Despite that though, I really liked that whole scene and feel it was done pretty well.

In fact, that’s how I felt for most of the film: “That’s not how it happened, but they’ve done it pretty well”. My favourite part was from the start of the game of Capture the Flag (seriously, the Ferris Wheel scene… amazing) straight through to the zip–lining scene; that entire part was just fantastic. My heart was genuinely in my throat when Tris was going down on the zip–line, but at the same I really wished I was there, doing it myself. It was just done so brilliantly and looked so exciting – it was one thing to read about it, but honestly, getting to see it like that was something else. Actually, that’s definitely something I loved about the film; reading about it could in some cases be a bit difficult to picture, but when you were watching it happen it obviously really helped and actually made a difference. Normally I don’t like films as much because they mean you don’t get to use your imagination in the same way you would by reading it, but Divergent didn’t make me feel like that at all.

Going onto our main characters now, and I feel that Shailene Woodley was perfectly cast as Tris. She’s also going to be playing Hazel Grace Lancaster in the film The Fault in Our Stars (out in June) which I’m really looking forward to, so it was nice to get a feel for her acting and see what I thought of her. As it turns out, I really liked her and she is a very good actress. Tris, in the book, annoyed me a little bit so I was quite worried about her portrayal in the film, but as it was I had nothing to worry about – Tris was a likeable character in the film and it certainly made the film more enjoyable. Four/Tobias, played by Theo James, was also a good cast choice, as he matched the idea of him I had in my head, and that doesn’t happen too much these days. Despite the two aforementioned characters being our protagonists, my favourite character was probably, of all people, Eric, one of the leaders of Dauntless. Played by Jai Courtney, he didn’t look or act at all how I thought he would, but seriously he was so much better than I could ever have imagined. Admittedly every time he was on the screen, I got quite distracted by his tattoos and piercings (though I think that’s partially why I liked him!), but he was an extremely good character and actor.

Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, I found that I really rather enjoyed the film – though, somehow, I would have enjoyed it more if they had stuck more to some of the book – and I’m hoping that they do make the sequel, Insurgent, into a film too. Not only was that book far more enjoyable, I’ve just not quite got my Divergent fill yet, which I wasn’t expecting at all! I recommend going to see the film; if you’ve not read the book it probably won’t have much of an effect on your enjoyment of the film, although I don’t know if it will all make sense that way. If you have read the book, then like me you might get a bit annoyed at some of the thinks they missed out, but it’s definitely worth seeing regardless of whether you’ve read the book or not.

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Frozen Review – Spoilers!

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.indd

I went to see Frozen last week, and although I was really looking forward to it, and loved the trailer, I was a bit worried, because… well, I’m 17, and Disney films haven’t been quite how I remember them. Even the old Disney films haven’t been as good as I remember them being – I watched Peter Pan last night, and I couldn’t fathom why I loved it so much when I was younger! 2010’s Tangled was the last Disney film I watched that I loved, and after seeing the trailer for Frozen, I thought “This could be a really good film!” And then I thought “But it reminds me a lot of Tangled… What if it just turns out to be a complete rip–off?” So yes, I was a little bit worried.

But as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. From beginning to end, I was completely entranced and I loved the whole thing. I’m genuinely unsure as to whether or not the beginning was supposed to be really quite emotional, but I had tears in my eyes for quite a while! It was so sweet watching Elsa creating the indoor winter wonderland for her and Anna, but when she slipped and hit her by mistake, a lot that happened after that made me a bit teary! It made me quite sad that Anna had to forget all about Elsa’s magic, but that was nothing compared to how upset I got when Elsa shut Anna out completely, so that she wouldn’t learn about her power or get hurt. I felt the song “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” really added to the emotions and atmosphere, especially when combined with the way you see the sisters (well, Anna at least, because you don’t see Elsa) getting older and farther apart.

One of the things I really like about Frozen is the fact that it’s not a conventional Disney film. Most, if not all, of their films with princesses and castles etc., include an evil step–mother, or some form of evil family member. But in Frozen, Elsa doesn’t cast this eternal winter over Arendelle because she wants to; in fact she doesn’t even know she’s done it. She’s run away on her coronation day, but that’s because her power has been discovered and it’s got out of her hands (literally!) and the public don’t react well to it; they’re afraid, yes, but so is she. As much as I was sad that she ran off, and didn’t stop for Anna, I absolutely love her song “Let It Go”. It’s brilliant, and Idina Menzel’s voice is simply stunning. Listening to it, it’s great, but when you hear it in the film, with the visual effects alongside… I just can’t think of a word to describe how beautiful and amazing it is. Needless to say, I’ve had it in my head for the rest of the day, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past half hour!

And another Disney film similarity is the fact that there’s almost always either a conflict with who they’re going to fall in love with, or the future of them/their kingdom rests on their true love’s kiss. But again, this is all different in Frozen. Okay, Anna is falling in love with Prince Hans, and they have their “Love Is an Open Door” song, and yes, we’re introduced to Kritoff who is definitely falling in love with Anna, but they’re not the main focus. I loved the fact that you’re led to believe throughout that Anna will think her “true love’s kiss” will be from Prince Hans, but if you’re anything like me you’ll be positive that it’s really Kristoff who saves her… But in actual fact, both assumptions are wrong. When Hans admits to Anna that he never loved her at all and was just using her, I was stunned – that is not something Disney! Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was great, it was just totally unexpected. Naturally, after that you can just tell that it’s going to be Kristoff who, on his way back to her, will be the one she realises she loves and he’ll be the one to kiss her and save her – and again, Disney lead it up to be like that. But at the last moment, Anna sees her sister Elsa about to be killed by Hans and she rushed over to save her… and turns to a statue of ice. I don’t know about anyone else who’s seen this, but I was pretty convinced that Kristoff was still going to try and kiss the statue to see if he could bring her back. Of course, that didn’t happen, but what did happen was that Elsa, distraught that her own magic had caused this to happen, hugged her and cried, causing Arendelle to lose the eternal winter – and also unfreezing Anna! Now, I knew it was going to happen, Anna surviving, but the manner in which it was done was fab. Nobody said that it had to be a true love’s kiss; it was just assumed that “an act of true love” would be the kiss. But no, it was the love that Anna had for Elsa (and vice versa) that saved Anna and Arendelle. And I thought that was a really, really cleverly done twist and I’m so glad that Disney went in that direction, rather than going in the typical and predictable route that their films so often go down.

The characters were also really likeable – I really felt sorry for Elsa, and I don’t usually end up sympathising with characters so much. Anna and Kristoff were also great, and I loved the dialogue they both had. But the real star of the film for was… Olaf the snowman. He was brilliant and I feel he really made the film so much more of an enjoyable experience. I absolutely loved his song, but my favourite of all his lines was, without a doubt, “Some people are worth melting for”. It was just so sweet!

Disney’s songs have also been slowly improving – I absolutely loved the music in Tangled, and indeed loved that entire film, but Frozen… Well, that just blew Tangled and its music completely out of the water. Honestly, the singing (especially Idina Menzel’s Let It Go) was just phenomenal and the lyrics and tunes were fantastic. I’m definitely going to have to invest in the soundtrack (and the score) at some point because I thoroughly enjoyed it all and it really made the film such a great experience.

Now, those of you who’ve not seen Frozen yet, go and do so! It’s a brilliant film, and so funny too – even my 15 year old brother, who doesn’t like anything Disney and never communicates with anyone, was laughing and thought it was great! I’ll be going back to see it again during the holidays, and I feel pre-ordering the film might be in order too!

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