Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an amazing surgeon until he has an accident and his hands are left injured and shaky. No longer able to work, he sees little point in life until he hears of a man he operated on who recovered from paralysis and he pursues this path, discovering a mystical world filled with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton – and I mean, what more could you really want? Magic? Sure, have some of that too.
I wish I had seen this in the cinema- the visuals are amazing. I found the movements that the magic people have to make a bit… geeky, really. Which was odd given how cool the magic itself was. I’m quite pleased that this guy is now in the Marvel Universe – I look forward to what next.
Doctor Strange was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Whitey Bulger was a criminal in Boston who managed, despite horrific crimes, to avoid being caught and prosecuted for anything. Eventually, it came out that he was an informer to the FBI – or was he? Til the day he died, Bulger denied being an informant. A recent documentary didn’t clear anything up for me – but then, that was a badly put together documentary.
Is this film the truth? I don’t know. I wasn’t all that engaged, despite the sterling cast. There was so much heavy and not very well done make-up and prosthetics to change the main actors appearances throughout the film, whether it was to make them look more like the characters that they were portraying or to age them or whatever – it was distracting and I found it really ruined a lot of the actual film for me.
Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a socially inept mathematician who, along with a series of other personnel, including a woman, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) break the German’s Enigma code using the first computer – a giant, electric machine. But, years later, he has some issue with the police, it is revealed he is gay and that is illegal and he is treated extremely poorly.
It’s not bad. It’s another in the category of extremely smart men with unusual habits who have beautiful women help them get through and are forever recognised as geniuses (A Beautiful Mind, The Theory of Everything). I found Benedict Cumberbatch perfect in this role, but he plays the rude upper-crust man so well (hence being a magnificent Sherlock). I was disappointed to see Keira Knightly appear, but for once, I really enjoyed her performance – she is good as the somewhat snobby but ultimately plucky English gal. And I get that the film has a whole other significant story about Turing’s sexuality and how poorly he was treated because of it. And add to that the treatment of women, and you have a film that says things about important issues. But overall, it didn’t do it for me.
The Imitation Game won an Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Graham Moore) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Keira Knightley), Best Achievement in Directing (Morten Tyldum), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Picture, Original Score and Best Achievement in Production Design.
As a youth, Albert (Jeremy Irvine) loved and trained a horse on a nearby farm. Then his drunken dad (Peter Mullen) bought it for far too much, to the chagrin of his mother (Emily Watson). But Albert gets the horse to work and everyone cheers him in the rain. Then war happens, and the horse is taken from them. Albert ends up fighting. Things are nasty and people are badly hurt. So is the horse.
I think this was a terrible film. Apparently, it was an amazing stage play, and that came down to fabulous puppetry to create the horse. But I found the start of this film absolute trite, and then the war parts were pathetic. Although the animals were treated badly, and that was unpleasant to watch, but probably the closest thing to realism you would find. I thought this was really a terrible, terrible film.
War Horse was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (John Williams), Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Art Direction.
Have you seen Madagascar? Were your favourite characters the penguins? Do you want more? Here y’are.
It’s fabulous. Essentially, you’ve got Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chirs Miller) Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights). Private is valued for his cuteness but is not listened to for any practical skills. Then along comes the scary Dave (John Malcovich), an octopus with an axe to grind, and the penguins need to combine with the creatures of elite fighter group North Wind to save the day.
Great cast, fab scripting, lots of jokes for adults and even many of the jokes for the kids were good too. It’s rare at a film aimed at children to hear the adults laughing as much if not more than the children, but that’s what you get from this. (Side note… with my usual bug bear, there is very poor representation of females in this film. There is only one woman, and while she is capable, she is also the sexy love interest. Why oh why oh why could there not have been even a couple of female characters? Why couldn’t a couple of the penguins been girls? Or more of the North Wind crew? Or the baddie? Come on, people. Come on.)
Based on a John Le Carr novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) as he attempts to discover which top ranking of MI6 is a Soviet Spy.
It’s an amazing cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke and Benedict Cumberbatch just to mention a few. I just wish I’d seen it in the cinema. It is relatively slow-moving, with not a lot of action, and I found at home that my attention kept drifting and I didn’t really follow it all. None the less, it was clearly an extremely good film that should have kept my attention. I blame me on this one.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Bridget O’Connot and Peter Straughan) and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.
The BBC one that everyone was talking about, you know, with the guy from The Office and the one with the crazy name? That’s the Sherlock I’m looking at here. So, Dr Watson (Martin Freeman) is a recently retired army doctor looking for a way of staying in London when he is introduced to Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) a consultant for Scotland Yard and they start to share a flat, with Watson being drawn in to Holmes’ world.
It’s a great interpretation, I think (I’ve only read one Sherlock Holmes and that was quite some time ago). It’s certainly great tv. Witty, funny, clever, fast-paced and with lots of unexpected twists. And it’s introduced me to Andrew Scott who plays Moriarty and is fantastic at it. I read some complaints online about the third season, how it did not explain Holmes’s absence and then return, but I don’t mind some mystery. It’s just so fabulous.