Historically Inaccurate, But Very Entertaining – My Review of Bill

Funny, clever and historically inaccurate, Bill is certainly a comedy that you wouldn’t want to miss.

So, what’s the story? Set in his “lost years”, William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare is struggling to achieve his dream of becoming a playwright in London. Meanwhile, Philip II of Spain is hatching a ‘Plan B’ plan to murder Queen Elizabeth I and to restore England as a Catholic country again. Then, ciaos breaks lose when the two men meet. It’s up to Bill to save the day, but will he be able to save the Queen in time? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The storyline is very creative. Although it is unknown about Shakespeare before he made it big as a playwright, the way the film is portrayed is a classic; very traditional Horrible Histories fashion. As a teenager, I was obsessed with the television shows. It was the one to watch at Secondary school and I fell in love with the show from the very beginning to the end. Watching Bill brought back so many memories and it was pleasure to see the cast again, only this time, they were on the big screen. 😉

The cast are funny, talented and spectacular. As well as the amazing H.H team, we’ve also got the chance to see more film stars including Damian Lewis, his wife Helen McCrory and Justin Edwards. They delivered an inclusive, comedic environment where every member of the cast has a turn to portray more than one character from the famous to the ordinary. Each character is the icing on the cake – they’ve been remarkable and fascinating to see. Some times, they are hardly recognisable. There are no more words to describe this wonderful cast; they are very, very good. 🙂

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Bill and give it a 9.5 out of 10. I highly recommend watching it either in the cinema or when it comes out on DVD. However if you are a parent of very small children or children who are not used to violence or blood, I strongly recommend you to watch with them because there are a couple of scenes of them.

What’s Going on Inside Our Heads? – My Review on Inside Out

Ever thought about what’s going on inside their heads? Well, Disney Pixar’s new film, Inside Out has the answer.

I first heard of Inside Out through my family and friends – I had doubts about the film, as I heard it’s too emotional or it had a complicated storyline, but they all told me to go and see it. So, I did; I went with my parents and one of my nephews (as a birthday treat). And I loved it; I certainly was not expecting a lot of pure and excellence, which captivated my attention.  

So what’s the story? Riley, an eleven year old moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, with her family. While she is trying to adjust her new life, inside Riley’s mind, there are five manifestations of Riley’s emotions—Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. All seems to be well until Sadness touches Riley’s core memory. Then, Sadness and Joy are in the ride of their lives when they end up in the labyrinthine storage area (full of Riley’s long-term memories) and take a journey to Headquarters, while Disgust, Anger and Fear are left in charge. 

Without Sadness, Joy or the core memories, Riley slowly becomes homesick and falls into a deep depression, turning back on everything she loves – including her own family.

The story line is a first class standard and really easy to follow. During the film, I noticed to pick up two different levels of morals to both children and adults. For children, all they see is Riley and her emotions. For adults, however, I discovered that the team on a Inside Out were pointing out all the emotions we have – relating to Riley and those around her. I also love the relationship between Joy and Sadness; in the film, Sadness wants to be part of the team but Joy (being selfish, without realising it) takes over, since she’s team leader. Later on, Joy has to realise that without Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, she can’t make a team co-operate with one another. It was wonderfully done and it shows how much mistakes we learn as we’re growing up or as adults. 

The cast were excellent. I loved Amy Poehler’s voice as Joy (she also wrote additional dialogue for the film), Phyllis Smith’s voice as Sadness and Kaitlyn Dias’ voice as Riley. Although I don’t make notes on child actors in my reviews but Kaitlyn’s voice made a real connection with me; she has really huge talent and will go really far in life. Pixar made really good choices for the voices and they brought the story to life, which made the plot stronger.

  
                                         Joy – who wouldn’t have made it far, for not it had been the voice of Amy Poehler.

But the nomination for my favourite part of the film goes to the Animation. I noticed that there were a lot of vibrant colours and excitable settings (inside Riley’s mind). According to Wikipedia, the art design is “intended to reflect 1950s Broadway musicals”. 

Docter [Pete Docter – the director and story pitcher] imagined that with emotions for characters, they could “push the level of caricature both in the design and in the style of movement to degrees [they’d] never done before.”

Also, the team focused on glowing, “effervescent qualitys”to the emotions (particularly Joy). But, this nearly scrapped because which was difficult to animate and it would of affected the budget of the film.  However, John Lasseter suggested for them to be applied for all five emotions. 

Personally, I thought adding these affects were wonderful. It is something very original, appealing and creative. So, a round of applause for a top mark job – and nominate the team for an Oscar already! 

Overall, I give Inside Out a million out of ten and highly recommend seeing it; at home (only when it’s out on DVD) or at the cinema. But, bring plenty of tissues and leave them close to you. That’ll be the idea, in case your wearing make-up. 😉

My Top Six Films to See (May – December 2015)

As many of you guys know, I just adore going to the cinema. I love the entertainment, enticement, comedy, adventure, romance, etc, etc. But there have been films were I’ve seen trailers of and I think, “Oh yeah, I want to go and see that”. I many update some of the films in the near future (don’t when, but there’s no time like the now). So these are my top six films to see this summer, autumn and winter seasons: 

Pitch Prefect 2

Jurassic World
Pan
Spectre
Spy
Inside Out
Those are my top six. I would say top five, but Inside Out was a bonus extra! What’s your favourite film you’ve seen or want to see this year. Please let me know in the comments section below. 🙂

From Rags to Riches – My Review on “Cinderella”

When you think of Sir Kenneth Branagh, the first thing you say he has acted in films like Much Ado About Nothing or directed adult films. But directing a Disney live action film, is unheard of. To be honest, I didn’t know he could direct at all.

  

Lily James as Ella.

Today, I went back to the cinema and saw Cinderella. My cousin and I were very keen to see this one; for months and months, we wouldn’t stop talking about it. We also were excited about Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett being in the film as the Fairy Godmother and Lady Termaine. But, never, ever did I expect to be really good.  

I pretty imagine everyone knows the story and has seen the 1950 animated film. If not, I recommend watching it before seeing the modern version. The 2015 version does have some parts and lines from the 1950 film, the others are based on the orginal fairytale by Charles Perrault. It’s not a hundred percent remake but it’s nice to see bits of the original film in there. 

I liked the storyline; Ella’s story was very beautiful and emotional. So was the Prince’s. I couldn’t help but cry for and with them. Somehow, it gives me a sense that their feelings and emotions can relate to the audience. And not many films do that. I praise and give Cinderella a standing ovation for this. I was in tears at the sad moments and the end. I won’t give the plot away but I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you are looking for tear-jerker. 

The cast are – OMG – amazing! My favourite actors in the film were Downtown Abbey actress Lily James plays Ella (or Cinderella), Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. James’ portrayal as Ella is enchanting. I really, really like her; I couldn’t get enough and I wanted more of her. I like her smile, personality, etc. She’s the prefect actress to play a Disney princess. Blanchett’s portrayal as Lady Termaine is spectacular; I was scared of her when she tore Ella’s dress and broke her glass slipper. I have a feeling Blanchett did some research by watching the 1950 version because Termaine, in both films have a striking resemblance based on personality. Blanchett has recreated a master villain that will remembered for generations to come. Although she is only on screen for about ten minutes, Carter’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother is sweet, warming and really funny. More funnier than the 1950’s character. Even her transformation from an elderly, penniless lady to a younger woman is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed her performance. I also give her cerdit for her beautiful narration. 

James with Cate Blanchett as Lady Termaine.

The one thing that stood up for us were the costumes. Sandy Powell, an Ocsar winning costume designer was reponsible for them. She confessed that she wanted to design 19th century clothes but I think she went further than that. The costumes my cousin and I admired the most were Ella’s blue ballgown and wedding dress. We loved the petticoats underneath the ballgown, the glass slippers and the cominbation of multi-coloured flowers around the bridal dress and vail. I also loved the Fairy Godmother’s silver dress. It stands out from the rest of the costumes, as it reminds me from the Elizabethan era. Very unique and astounding. 

Ella’s beautiful wedding dress, one of my favourite dresses in the film. I must confess, I really, really want a dress like this. 🙂

The music is pretty cool too; it’s Rachel Portman with Hans Zimmer. But it’s not them. The composer is Patrick Doyle and he does a good job. Lily James’ version of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is truly beautiful. My eyes are filled with tears everytime I hear this; she has a beautiful operatic voice. 

In conclusion, I appulade Sir Kenneth Branagh for directing Cinderella and the cast for their amazing portrayals. Is it better than the original? Absolutely. This film is definitely a must-see, especially if you have little girls. You’ll be pleased to take them, as they may want to dance to the music at the end. That certainly happened when we came out of the cinema and I can’t imagine it’ll be the same. Smile, cry and dream with this live-feature film.  

James and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.