Posted in Movie reviews

The Greatest Showman (PG)


The Greatest Showman (PG)
DVD release date: 14 May 2018
Run Time: 105 minutes

The Greatest Showman is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Good

From the opening cheers of ‘The Greatest Show’ to the encore of ‘Million Dreams’ this film hooks you in and invites you on a beautiful journey of love, inspiration, ambition and joy. It’s a perfect fairy tale with a brilliant, happy ending.

The cast is amazing, each wonderful choice works well on their own. However, the true beauty is in the way in which the cast work together. Hugh Jackman is proving that men do indeed age like a fine wine; his voice and presence are the perfect fit for the real life figure P T Barnum. He holds his own and reveals a motivation behind his fantastic visions. He is a true joy to watch. However, put him on the screen with Zac Effron and the audience are shown something so extraordinary that you’ll be wishing that they had more songs together.

The Bad

Some of the graphics look a little ropey and take you out of the film. It’s something that is not exclusive to this film and is becoming a regular occurrence.

I found some of the themes in which PT became almost ashamed of his Circus crew a little out of character, but it did add to the dramatic pull of the move and brought about the wonderful, and award winning, ‘This is Me’.

The Ugly

I didn’t half ugly cry. It wasn’t necessarily that it was sad, in fact it was the exact opposite. It was such an overwhelming uplifting movie that I couldn’t cope.

Posted in Movie reviews, Ramblings

The Shape of Water

The Good

What a wonderful gothic fairytale. It’s really hard to not feel for these characters. At a time when people were separated because of the colour of their skin, it’s not hard to see how their love would be forbidden.

Weaving in the space race and an unknown creature that the villain would rather subdue than understand and you have a perfect cinematic treat.

The colours, tone and acting all scream sincerity and pull the audience into a world of awe and wonder.

David Hewitt, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Sheen are welcome additions to this beautiful homage to the Creature of the Black Lagoon.

It is, however, Doug Jones as the Asset who steals the show, and the lovely Sally Hawkins’ heart. The frequent Del Torro collaborator has such a distinctive form and elegance that he can emote so much without saying a word.

The Bad

There’s a gruesome edge to the film that I just couldn’t quite get on board with. It left me queasy and pulled me out of the softness the romance was conveying.

The Ugly

I found some parts unnecessarily crude. Perhaps I’m a prude, but it just took away a little bit of its charm.

Posted in Movie reviews

Black Panther

The Good

What. A. Cast. Not only do Marvel have a phenomenal cast of colour, led by Creed director Ryan Coogler, they have pulled together amazing women and British talent. It’s release couldn’t be timed better. It’s award season and people of colour and women are thrown the PC bone. It can be argued that there is a lack of a body of work to gain the nominations.

Well, here’s a film showing what can be done if money allows for it and mainstream Hollywood takes the archaic rod out of its arse and fucks off the Weinstein’s of the world.

The plot doesn’t take itself too seriously, but also wraps itself in wonderful African culture and tradition. It stands out from all other Marvel films, and that’s its charm.

From veteran actors Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker to up and coming Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o you cannot fault the acting. It is Letitia Wright, playing the Panther’s sister who steals the show. Part Q, part royal pain, she is the lightness any action film needs and I look forward to seeing her reprise her role.

The Bad

As with many Marvel movies, it’s the villain that often has the film faulted. The problem this time is not the motive, but the execution of the primary villain. He’s revealed a little too late and at the expense of another. It’s a shame as it came across a little convoluted.

The Ugly

I’ve never been a fan of origin stories, the feel full of baggage. It’s not that I don’t need to know it, it’s that they either cram too much in or set the sights on the sequel.

Now, Black Panther tries to avoid both of these, but just can’t quite remove itself from the origin territory simply because it’s not only setting up a character, but a new world in which he lives.

Posted in Han, Movie reviews

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: the Last Jedi 12a
Release date: 14.12.2017


The Good
The world building is as good as ever. The creatures, bar one, are masterful and awe inspiring. Adam Driver is as wonderful as before with his portrayal of Kylo. It’s interesting to see his development and conflict. In a mirroring, I enjoyed Rey’s struggling between the light and dark.
New character, Rose is a delight… if not a little far from what we’d expect to see within Star Wars. She appears a little bright and twee; someone who wouldn’t be out of place in Gilmore Girls.


The Bad
Hux! What did they do to my General? He was a panto villain of the highest order. From the initial holding call to his slapdown inside an At-At, Hux was the focus of the films more slapstick humour. And he wasn’t the only one who appeared to have a character change that irked me. Poe was not the same character I met in Force Awakens and there was nothing to explain away this change. He was too ‘hot headed’ and worst of all it had no impact upon the plot.


The Ugly
The plot, the reveals, the humour. I’m not going to lie, I *enjoyed* the film while there, part of an audience and constantly reminding myself by the credit roll, it would be worth it.
However, I enjoyed it as a film, not as a the part of a well established franchise. As a Star Wars film, it was appalling and an insult to fans. It pulled apart anything JJ put in place in the first installment and it will be hard to see it flow through to the third outing.
Two of my most hated scenes involved the Skywalker siblings; you’ll know what they are when you see them. They happen early enough within the film and are both completely out of character.
The whole film (jar) jars with the franchise. The tone is wrong, the treatment of the characters is far from what I would consider canonical and quite simply, I’m feeling a little at odds with the Force right now.


Posted in Han, Movie reviews, Ramblings

Hannah Challenge for 2018

I want to get back into watching films but I want to do it in a bit of a different way. I want a focus; almost a study.

Have you ever noticed in films, that when they show the moon it’s always full? A gorgeous pearlescent orb, hanging in the air.

So, in 2018 I’m going on a Moon watch.

However, I need your help. I need you to nominate films for me to watch outside of my cinema viewing. As random as you like, the only exclusion are werewolf centred films; for obvious reasons.

Head here and suggest a film for me to watch and review.

Posted in Han, Movie reviews

Paddington 2- PG

Paddington 2

Release date: 10.11.2017



Description: Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes. One fine day, he spots a pop-up book in an antique shop — the perfect present for his beloved aunt’s 100th birthday. When a thief steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on an epic quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy’s big celebration.

The good

Paddington and the Brown family are back, and they’re as charming as ever. This is the perfect antidote to the current climate and stresses of every day life.

From the opening narrated letter to Aunt Lucy to the films resolution you will be uplifted to the point of tears.

There’s a whose who of British talent who happily take on the number of flamboyant cameos. Some will go over the heads of international viewers, but there are enough Potter alumni to keep everyone happy.

The bad

A good chunk of the film takes place within Portobello prison. Here we get one of my favourite additions to the whole film; Brendan Gleason as chef inmate “knuckles”. Full disclosure, I have a soft spot for all the Gleason men but I’ll challenge anyone to hate the gruff cook who’s heart melts at Paddington’s influence. The one thing that enables an audience feel fulfilled is the progression and development; and you get it with Knuckles in all its Han Solo-esque glory.

The way in which the prison is ran is very fanciful and I LOVE that. It reminds me of a book I don’t remember the title of in which the parents of the protagonist purposely get themselves thrown into prison so they don’t have to cook for themselves. It’s clear that the film isn’t glamourising or even commenting upon the prison system; it’s simply just having harmless fun.

The ugly

I ugly cried. This film has found a winning formula and has worked out that tears are better when formed because of positive and bittersweet motivations. In a tone similar to It’s a Wonderful Life, it will render anyone with an open heart a blubbering mess. Thankfully, the film offers you some mid-credit sequences so you can sort yourself out before leaving the cinema.

Posted in Han, Movie reviews

Thor: Ragnarok (12a)

Thor: Ragnarok (12a)

Length: 2hr10
Released: 27.10.2017
Watch Date: 28.10.2017
Description: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.


The Good
The tone and humour of Ragnarok is spot on. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a fan of Flight of the Concord and chuckled at the Team Thor short; you are going to be right at home with this instalment by What We Do in the Shadows (2014) writer/ actor/ director Taika Waititi.

There’s a few actor cameos for you to geek over; a little blink and you miss it, but the pay off when you spot them more than makes up for. However, I will say this, yes, it’s him, no he’s not credited, yes, I am certain its him. So don’t bother checking IMDB mid movie like the naughty man in front of me./
The music is stunning and so very different to anything we’ve really had before. There is some evolution of style from Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of the decade in which it draws its inspiration from, and Led Zeplin’s Immigrant Song is a prominent feature, but that is very much where the comparisons end. Soundtrack Geek argues, in his review, that the 80s synth is rarely used. However, I would like to perhaps suggest that it certainly is a defining and welcome feature of the film’s suite. It brings together the visual style to allow the audience to accept this change of direction in the MCU.

The Mad (not bad)
The middle section can only be described as MCU’s expression of an acid trip. From the psycadelic worldscape Thor arrives in, to the delightfully eccentric Grandmaster it is pure unadulterated mind fuckery.

Jeff Goldblum is pitch perfect as Grandmaster, leader of the planet which enslaves anyone and everyone to perform in gladiator battles for the society’s pleasure. Goldblum is always a pleasure to have on the screen, never more so than here, when it is very clear that he’s having so much fun.

Thor’s entrance into the presence of the Grandmaster is a welcome nod to the journey down the chocolate river in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). The music fades in subtlety and develops to a wonderful crescendo.

(the bad)


I can’t not have at least one criticism of the film. In it’s defence, it’s not so much about the film, but the promotion of the film. There appeared to be this big thing about the disclosure of the Grandmaster’s undefeated challenger within the film. I could see the pay off, however the multiple trailers had pulled that rug MONTHS ago. Yep, the film was trying to hide the Hulk when the audience already knew Mark Ruffalo had a major role. I’m gutted I didn’t get that nerdgasm of Hulk’s reveal and Thor’s retort “I know him, we’re friends.” (Oh, and if you’d like to know the story behind that line, head here  )

The Loki


Be still my heart, Tom Hiddleston is back and much funny than ever. Dark World gave him that wonderful ‘Ta-Da’ moment and Ragnarok builds upon that to show more of a trickster than an angst-ridden man that would have felt out of place in this high-spirited adventure.
That said, Anthony Hopkins does a mighty turn as the God of Mischief too. Right before that Dark World cliffhanger is resolved and the story starts proper, we see Hopkins-as-Loki-as-Odin living a wonderful life, honouring his not-so-fallen self in the process. It’s joyful and I only wish we’d gotten a little more.
However, there is more to this placement than a witty pun on my usual review format. While Loki is undoubtedly my favourite part he is also my weakest part of this outing. How many times will MCU allow Loki to be used as a trope. He’s now way too predictable and no longer holds any authenticity as a character with depth. It’s quite sad really, because not only can he not be considered a villain, I am struggling to see beyond the self-parody to accept him as an anti-hero.

While I’m on the topic of villains, it would be hard to leave the review without mentioning our main antagonist of Ragnarok. Cate Blanchett arrives as Hela; our cookie cutter villain with a half-baked and, in this case, senseless motivation and strategy for dominance.