Ghostbusters (2016) Film Review

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Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is trying to be taken seriously as a science academic, but is haunted by her past with Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and their book that dealt with the possible reality of ghosts. So when she meets up with Abby again, now working with the weird and wacky Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and they actually see a ghost, she has to reconsider many life choices. Then things start to get a bit out of control in the ghost world; they end up hiring a very handsome and very stupid secretary, Kevin (Chris Hemsworth), get a fourth to their group, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), become celebrities, but then quickly get shut down by Mayor Bradley (Andy Garcia) and… it continues.

Yes, there was a lot of talk about the remake of a classic film, and even more when it was revealed that the main characters would all be women. I understand the fear that the original, that so many of us grew up loving, might be tarnished by a remake. Well, I thought it was fabulous. It had much of the silly humour of the first, as well as a few of the scary shock moments. And what an awesome cast! I kind of wish that it had been more of a long-awaited sequel – I couldn’t be bothered with a whole origin story. But still, I just loved it. Especially the Holtzmann character – it’s been ages since I’ve seen such a fun 80s style crazy character.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016) Film Review

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There are these superheroes who go around and save the world against terrible horrors – like giant alien worms and the like. And behind them, they leave destroyed cities, dead civilians and people are not happy about it. So, the world wants to set a restriction on them – make them responsible to a panel. Some of the heroes, notably Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) are for this – he is feeling particularly guilty from the last film. Others, like Captain America (Chris Evans) are against this, concerned that they would become puppets for bad guys. And then there are problems, and they all fight, and it gets exciting.

I love it. They’ve thrown in some new guys, like Spiderman (Tom Holland), and brought back loads of the originals. Notably, the Hulk is missing, and I want him back, but I’ll still enjoy all the fun and ridiculous stuff that this film gives me. And I’ll watch more in the future!

 

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Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid – Book Review

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This is the second in the series that inspired the television show. Carol Jordan is working with a police team who are investigating a death that occurred in a factory fire. Meanwhile, Tony Hill is working with a group of officers that they are hoping to train up as the first key profiling team in the UK. But when one of his team discovers a link between several young missing persons and soon ends up dead, things get real. And horrible.

It’s not taken me long to get addicted to this series. Both main characters are flawed, but still immensely likable. You want them to recognise their connection and get together, but are also aware that this isn’t an American sitcom, and that there are an awful lot of hurdles to leap before there is any chance of a happy ending. Realistically, there is not going to be a happy ending for these guys, and that’s also ok.

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The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

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One year, in a small American town, six five-year-old children go missing from school. They are believed to have been on a bus that no-one has seen before or since. Eleven years later, five reappear with no memory of where they have been or what has happened. Five families are happy, though changed; one family wait. And wait. The town and, indeed, the country watch with general attitudes changing from happiness upon their return to suspicion and mistrust.

I could not put this down. It’s a quick read that just keeps you wanting more, wanting to know, to find out what they find out as they find it out. At times, it is frustrating, but only because it is frustrating for the characters as well. It’s now been a few months since I read this book and I just keep going back to it – my mind keeps wondering about the characters, about the decisions they made, or the way they were treated. Fascinating.

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Bill (2015) Film Review

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Want to know how Shakespeare became Shakespeare? Well, I’m not sure this is the best way to find it out. I mean, there is bound to be some truthish stuff – this is the Horrible Histories gang – a group of UK comedians who make tv and the like to show the gross parts of history.

And it’s fun – with the queen with rotten teeth and the overly-keen body collector, or the palace guard who loves his tunes, and add in to this the slightly sweet Bill Shakespeare and you got yourself a bit of fun. Gross, and fun.

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Truman (2015) Film Review

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Julian (Ricardo Darin) is dying, and his oldest friend Tomas (Javier Camara) travels across the world back to Spain to visit. They spend a few days together trying to find a home for Julian’s dog, Truman, and wrapping up his affairs.

Not surprisingly, this is quite a tear-jerker of a film. How do two men relate to each other when they haven’t seen each other for years and they know this is the last time they will spend with each other? It’s a beautiful film – very well created, with a perfect mix of humour and melancholy. There are a few things that I had issues with, most notably the inclusion of the relationships with Julian’s sister, Paula (Dolores Fonzi) that felt quite out of place. But put that aside- it’s a decent take on male friendship – with all the ups and downs.

 

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The Martian (2015) Film Review

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On Mars, things can be unpredictable. Like, you may just be doing some routine things, collecting rocks or whatever and then a big storm can hit and you have to get out. But what happens when one of you gets left behind? Well, if you happen to be Mark Watney (Matt Damon), you are a lucky guy. You’ve got a whole lot of brains, and you can do stuff to keep yourself alive in the hope that your awesome crew and the folks back on Earth can figure out that you are still alive and try to work out how to get you back

Apparently a lot of the science is based on real science, but really, I don’t care. It was a good, fun film. Matt Damon gets to play a character who has a lot more personality than I’d expected. The supporting cast are pretty terrific, just check out these names: Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor and it goes on and on. I loved the suspense, the fear, the making things work -it was like a whole new and exciting Apollo 13.

The Martian was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Matt Damon), Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Writing (Adapted Screenplay). It won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Matt Damon) and was nominated for Best Director – Motion Picture (Ridley Scott). IT was nominated for BAFTAs for Best Director (Todd Hayes), Best Actor (Matt Damon), Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Special Visual Effects.

 

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