Minions: The Rise of Gru

The little yellow pills of fun are back, and ready to take on the world in a new adventure.

Gru’s childhood is about to a little heated, as his dreams of hitting the big villain league get a little out of control.

In this heartwarming tale of adolescence, Gru finds his way in the world, with the help of his little yellow minions, to use his talent for getting up to mischief.

But what he doesn’t expect, is meeting his villainous idol, who takes him under his wing and shows him the ropes.

From incredible animation, to crazy plot twists, this film delves into the mayhem of the minion world.

But what this film loses in fluffy unicorns, it makes up for in jokes, that are there to bring a new level of enjoyment to the franchise.

Though this film won’t be everyone, it is an easy watch, and makes for good and wholesome family entertainment, that will make everyone from your 5 year old to your second uncle twice removed glow from ear to ear.

Cinema Etiquette

Seeing as I spend a vast amount of my life at the cinema, I thought I’d document my experience.

Much like the film ’10 things I hate about you’, I have compiled a list of 10 unforgivable sins you can commit on a cinema outing.

  1. Arriving Late

There is absolutely no excuse for this, the time is literally printed in black and white; you wouldn’t arrive late to a job interview late, would you? No, and yet you think a simple ‘sorry, excuse me’ will make up for me missing the all important opening scenes because apparently not only are you late, it takes you about half-an-hour to actually sit down. Unacceptable.

2. Children

If it’s not a children’s film, then leave them at home. There’s nothing worse than having a three year old getting so bored they begin touring the cinema under the illusion the auditorium is just a massive play area. Not to mention the fact that apparently they need to empty their bladders every 5-minutes, which further upsets the equilibrium.

3. Babies

Speaking of children, babies are just as annoying, perhaps even worse, mainly because of that crying thing they do, which apparently most parents don’t think constitutes reason to leave.

4. Popcorn Munchers

Now, admittedly its not our fault that some nut-job decided that, possibly the world’s nosiest food, provides perfect accompaniment for the cinema, but that does not mean you have to live up to expectations and chew with your mouth open, prolonging that astonishingly annoying crunching sound. I think we can all agree that there is nothing worse than being unpleasantly surprised by a ginormous crunching sound just as the plot drops its biggest twist yet.

5. Can Openers and Slurpers

These guys are probably best mates with the popcorn munchers. Why, oh why do people wait until the middle of the film to open a can, it’s not as if you were given 20-minutes of advertisements to prepare or anything.

Likewise, we get it, your drink is finished, making horrific slurping noises isn’t going to make things better, at most you’ll get  an extra 0.01 ml out, just admit defeat already, some of us are actually trying to watch this film.

6. Phones

There is absolutely no excuse for this one, if you want to browse instagram, just stay at home. In case you haven’t noticed you’re in a darkened room, a bright light kind of draws attention and distracts everyone.

7. Armrests 

Just because you’re a man, or excessively overweight, does not give you the right to claim both armrests. We’ve all paid the same price, I deserve one of those armrests too. And if you are really that determined to hog both armrests, then can you at least try and keep your elbows to yourself?

8. Coughing

Yes, I know, we all get a tickly cough sometimes, but if your coughing is continuous, then the least you can do is excuse yourself from the screen whilst you compose yourself, as opposed to ruining the atmosphere for everyone else.

9. Talking

The cinema is not a social engagement, it should be a silent procedure. As such, talking is not permitted once the opening credits have begun and if you persist on doing so, then expect sour looks from your fellow cinema-goers, because no one likes the low hum of conversation during the film.

10. Excessive Laughter

At this point you might be thinking what an utter Grinch I’m being, but hear me out. Granted, we all laugh during films, it is only human nature after all, but there’s always that one guy who has to take it too far and is still laughing two scenes on; it really wasn’t that funny and you’re just annoying everyone, even your family and friends are embarrassed for you.

And that, Ladies and Gentleman,  pretty much sums up my cinema pet hates. I’d love to hear if you agree or not in the comments.

The Harry Potter Book Tag

So, I saw this tag over on one of my bestest buddies’ blog, Ardent Attachments, and simply couldn’t resist doing it myself, seeing as Harry Potter is basically my all time favourite thing.

Though this is kind of more bookish, there is a film related aspect to it, so I thought I could get away with putting it on my blog!

One – Favourite book?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Harry does the most growing up in this book, and finally has a father figure to fall back on in the form of Sirius with whom he bonds with throughout the book.

Two – Least Favourite book?

If I really had to choose, which I really don’t want to, I would probably have to go with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, simply because I thought too much was going on and the story escalated too quickly.

Three – Least Favourite Movie?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Seriously, what were they thinking? They made Ron part of the Quidditch team in this film, when we all know that was supposed to have happened in the Order of the Phoenix. AND they invented non-existent story-lines, such as a death eater attack on the burrow that results in it’s very flamey demise. Ugh. I have so many feelings about how badly adapted this film was; I could rant for days, but I’ll spare us both the trauma.

Four – Favourite Movie?

The Order of the Phoenix. Gary Oldman as Sirius Black; enough said.

Five – Favourite Quote?

‘We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.’

– Sirius Black –

Six – Favourite Weasley?

Fred and George Weasley (they count as one, right?). They may not be academically minded, but they always provide comic relief at the right time, and despite their cockiness, their hearts are full of love.

Seven – Favourite Female Character?

Hermione Granger. Regardless of other people’s opinion of her, she is an independent thinker, and just shrugs criticism and insults off, even if they come from Harry and Ron. She’s the ideal heroine; making an impression because of her intelligence, not her beauty.

Eight – Favourite Villain?

Lucius Malfoy. Simply because he’s such a hilarious failure of a villain, but thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Nine – Favourite Male Character?

Sirius Black, obviously. He’s the perfect combination of father-figure and big brother to Harry, and his wit knows no bounds.

Ten – Favourite Professor?

Professor Mcgonagall, she’s such a badass and yet cares so much for her students.

Eleven – Would you rather  – a) wash Snape’s hair OR b) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?

Wash Snape’s hair, mainly just so he’d stop getting bullied.

Twelve – Would you rather duel – a) an elated Bellatrix OR b) an angry Molly?

An elated Bellatrix. SHE KILLED SIRIUS DAMMIT.

Thirteen – Would you rather travel to Hogwarts by – a) Hogwarts Express OR b) Flying car?

Hogwarts Express without a doubt. I would raid that lunch trolley so hard.

Fourteen – Would you rather – a) kiss Voldemort OR b) give Umbridge a bubble bath?

Give Umbridge a bubble bath…so I could drown her.

Fifteen – Would you rather ride a) a Hippogriff OR b) a Firebolt?

Firebolt, every time. I want to play quidditch so badly.

Sixteen – Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?

Remus Lupin. They left so much of his story out of the movies, which is super disappointing because he was one of my favourites in the books. He is also way closer to Harry than the movies let on.

Seventeen – Is there a movie you prefer to the book?

Absolutely not. Books for life.

Eighteen – Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

Michael Gambon. I just don’t think Richard Harris had the veracity or passion needed to pull of the character. If I’m honest, I kind of wish Gambon had been Dumbledore from the beginning.

Nineteen – Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie, that you wanted there the most?

The argument between Dumbledore and Harry after Sirius is killed in the Order of the Phoenix. This is one of my all time favourite parts of the book. I feel like it really changed the characters’ relationship and helped Dumbledore to realise that Harry was no longer a child.

Twenty – If you could remake the movies, which would it be?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, because EVERYTHING was just SO wrong.

Twenty One – Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be apart of?

Slytherin, obviously. Have you met me?

Twenty Two – Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?

Slytherin; computers don’t lie.

Twenty Three – Which class would be your favourite?

Probably transfiguration. I’d love to be able to transfigure myself and objects, mainly just to annoy or avoid people. Plus,  McGonagall would be teaching, which is just an added bonus.

Twenty Four – Which spell do you think would be the most useful to learn?

Expelliarmus. If it’s good enough to kill Voldemort, it’s good enough for me.

Twenty Five – Which character do you think you’d instantly get on with?

Ron Weasley. I just identify with him so much. We would be besties for sure.

Twenty Six – If you could own one of the Deathly Hallows, which would it be?

The Invisibility cloak, it would be super useful and probably the least dangerous of the three.

Twenty Seven – Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?

No, J.K. Rowling nailed it.

Twenty Eight – Favourite marauder?

Sirius Black, obviously.

Twenty Nine – If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?

Sirius Black. I don’t need to explain myself, if you’ve read this far, you’ll just know.

Thirty – Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows. Horcruxes probably have bits of Voldemort still stuck on them, and no one wants that.

I’m not going to specifically tag anyone, but if you love Harry Potter I implore you to do this tag.

BAFTAs 2017

Thoughts on the BAFTAs…

So I’m sure as many of you will know, Sunday evening was one of the biggest nights for British cinema, with global stars commuting to London’s Royal Albert Hall to hear Stephen Fry’s cinematic commentary as he reeled of the awards with a little help from some famous friends.

Now, as is so often the case with award season, decisions are made that not everyone agrees with, and I for one can second the notion that I certainly did not agree with many of the awards given and here’s why:

Best Film

Winner: La La Land

The Cinematic Explorer pick: La La Land

Image result for la la land

For once, I actually agreed with the choice for the Best Film Award. This film was revolutionary for Hollywood cinema and brought back an aspect of film making that has long since been erased. Not to mention, the soundtrack alone is beautifully award worthy.

Best Leading Actor

Winner: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

The Cinematic Explorer pick: Viggo Mortenson – Captain Fantastic

Image result for captain fantastic

In case you didn’t already know, Captain Fantastic was my absolute favourite film from last year, and so naturally I’m backing its characters and actors alike. Mortenson’s performance in Captain Fantastic is nothing short of epically thought-provoking; I can’t help by being angered that such an unusually independent film has been so horrifically overlooked by the academy.

Though as much as it hurts me to admit it, Affleck’s performance too was just as stunning in its execution and is, I suppose, well deserved on his part.

Best Leading Actress

Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Image result for meryl streep florence foster jenkins

Now, I love La La Land as much of the next person, but there’s no need for it to hog all of the awards; was taking over the golden globes not enough?

Meryl Streep, for me, was much more deserving of the award. No matter how old she gets, she never fails to delight in the characters she inhabits, and the fact that she can take on such a misunderstood character whilst pairing with Hugh Grant, is a wonderful show of not only perseverance, but proof of her love for the arts.

Outstanding British Film

Winner: I, Daniel Blake

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Image result for fantastic beasts and where to find them

I understand completely why the academy made the decision they did, I, Daniel Blake was an unbelievably powerful hit at the British government about the relentless suffering of many UK inhabitants. But this, for me, should not be why a film wins; a story about political induced suffering is a strong one, but that alone does not make a film award-worthy.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the winner for me. Not just because I am beyond obsessed with the wizarding world, but because of the epic scale on which it has been produced, and the very fact that said production was 100% British.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Voila Davis – Fences

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Viola Davis

Image result for viola davis fences

In all honesty I have not seen Fences, mainly because it is yet to be released in the UK. However, having said that, I have watched all of the other nominated actresses in action and none of them particularly stood out for me. I can only therefore guess that Viola was indeed the correct choice in this category, mainly because I’m yet to see her give a bad performance.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Dev Patel – Lion

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Image result for jeff bridges hell or high water

Dev Patel is of course deserving, as many of the nominated actors and actresses are, but for me Jeff Bridges truly excels in Hell or High Water, which is a sentence I never thought I would utter, simply because I have never been a particular fan of his. Which is why, he is, in my opinion so deserving of this award; he managed to change my opinion of him, no easy feat I can assure you.

 Best Director

Winner: Damien Chazelle – La La Land

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Image result for tom ford nocturnal animals

The La La Land director, Damien Chazelle, took home the award which was far from surprising given the film’s current hype.

But for me the true winner was Tom Ford. I must say that I didn’t particularly enjoy Nocturnal Animals as a film, I found it extremely bazaar and somewhat forced at times. But what I will say is that the way in which it was filmed was nothing short of miraculous and always kept the viewer aptly engaged throughout.

Animated Film

Winner: Kubo and the Two Strings

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Zootropolis

Image result for zootropolis animation

There seemed to be a massive hoo-hah surrounding the animation technique of Kubo, but having watched it myself I cannot see what the big deal is. If anything the animation seemed to me to be very jolted and disjointed as though I was watching it from the a very wavy ocean.

Zootropolis however, was, I think, one of Disney’s greatest feats to date, with the animators going the extra mile to ensure all elements of the variant sized inhabitants of the city fitted in with authenticity. From the varying sized doorways to the ingenious camera angles, I was nothing short of disappointed that this film seems to have gone unnoticed this awards season.

EE Rising Star Award

Winner: Tom Holland

The Cinematic Explorer Pick: Tom Holland

Image result for tom holland spiderman

I cannot even begin to tell you my love for this young actor, who has injected such enthusiasm and charisma into my all-time favourite superhero; Spiderman. He may have only been on screen for less than 10 minutes during Captain America: Civil War, but in that time he managed to restore my faith in Marvel’s casting crew.

Disclaimer: Yes, I deliberately didn’t comment on ALL of the awards, because I didn’t want to comment elements I felt inexperienced in judging.

Let me know your thoughts on the BAFTA wins in the comments below.

Nocturnal Animals

If ‘A Single Man’ is anything to go by, I think we can all begin to accept that Tom Ford films are weird, but even with that being said, his latest directorial engagement seems to excel beyond  even his normal stance of unusual.

Image result for nocturnal animals movie

As plots go, this one certainly takes some getting used to, mainly due to the fact that it is essentially a story within a story; an inception that is never easily followed by cinematic goers.

What begins as a classic love story is quickly disrupted by a sinister force of reality, as a perfect life becomes a societal trap that leads to heartache and misery.

Nocturnal Animals uses a writers (Jake Gyllenhaal) perspective to create an alternative reality, with devastating consequences, all whilst taking the audience through conflicting emotions of love and loss as they struggle to decipher between what is real and what is not.

The deeper into the warped sense of reality the writer travels, the darker the plot becomes, eventually leading to the demise of the writer himself.

Despite the seemingly unconventional method of storytelling, Tom Ford does an extraordinary job in ensuring each scene sinks seamlessly into the next, regardless of any time difference that may occur between them.

Amy Adams also does a stunning job in pulling off what is probably one her most complicated characters yet; an art curator who has more money than sense, and is herself, a nocturnal animal.


The Girl on the Train

In this page to screen adaption of Paula Hawkins 2013 bestselling novel Emily Blunt holds the strings on an otherwise collapsing show.

Image result for the girl on the train film

If like me you have not read the novel prior to watching this film, you may be forgiven for thinking this film, whilst not particularly enjoyable in its feel good vigour, does delight as a standalone thriller, albeit a very dark one. If, however, you have taken to reading before watching than all I can say to you is sorry.

Because let’s face it, the film can be deemed unrecognisable in comparison. Not only has the setting been changed from the original griminess of London to a suburban New York town, but every actor bar one (Emily Blunt) is American. And given the fact than the novel was designed to have been portrayed in Britain’s capital I cannot help but think this quite a significant blunder on behalf of the Film Company and Director.

It would be a pleasure for me to announce that this is a small hiccup in an otherwise exceptional cinematic journey, but alas, this would be a lie. As it seems that despite having a novel on which to base the script and general production upon, this film fails abysmally to carry its characters and their vulnerabilities. And despite having an all-star cast, the limitations put on them are so painfully clear it is almost unpleasant to watch. What should have been a trio of feministic characters turns into a chaotic mess, with only Emily Blunt being able to hold up the persona of her otherwise lacklustre character.

This film was never meant to warm the hearts of cinema goers throughout the world, but neither was it meant to dampen the spirits of Hollywood enthusiasts. With a basic storyline of manipulation and alcoholism it can be hard to craft a film worthy of big screen production, and yet when you think back to film’s such as ‘Gone Girl’ such goals clearly are doable.