Saving Mr Banks

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I saw this film when it first came out at the cinema and for the life of me I can’t remember whether I reviewed the film at the time. I watched the film again on Netflix last night and thought I would review it, although I apologise if you have read a review of the film from me before.

Firstly I have to say that unlike Pamela Travers I loved the Mary Poppins film as a child. It has been many years since I last saw the film, but I remember it fondly. It was almost like a Christmas tradition to see Mary Poppins fly off under her umbrella.

This is the story of how Walt Disney got the rights to make a film of Mary Poppins. He had made a promise to his daughter that he would make it and had tried for 20 years to break through the writers reluctance to get her book on the big screen. Mrs Travers made it extremely difficult for Walt who was used to getting what he wanted. She was stubborn, argumentative, dismissive, angry,bitter, uptight… This made the process almost impossible, but we all know Walt got what he wanted.

We get the chance to see why Mrs Travers was so difficult. We see flash backs of her life as a child in Australia. She adored her father although he battled with alcoholism and died young. We see how important this relationship was in her life and how her mother struggled to look after her. We also see where Mary Poppins came from and who Mr Banks really was! The film is called saving Mr Banks because that’s who Mary Poppins was saving when she arrived, not the children.

Tom Hanks plays Walt in a very natural and friendly way. I couldn’t say if he is anything like Walt, But he is how you imagine him to be. It’s a good performance, but this film is about Pamela Travers. Emma Thompson plays the writer very well with the intention to make the part full of humour. We laugh at her obstinate ways and feel sad about her father’s shortcomings. She is played as a lady determined to keep hold of her characters and make no compromise. I think Emma Thompson plays the part very well. Is it realistic? From what I have read Pamela was far worse in real life and had a real mean streak and wasn’t the most caring of souls. I think had she been played more realistically the film would suffer. I think the light hearted way this film was made is important. We don’t want to wreck the magic of Disney.

I really enjoyed this film and could easily watch it again. It’s an easy watch and a heart warming tale. I enjoyed the relationship develop between Travers and her driver. I also enjoyed the humour brought about in the frustration that everyone felt when dealing with this obstinate woman. I think it was a good idea to make the story lighthearted, but still deal with the emotions Travers had held about her upbringing.

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A nice duvet day view.

8/10

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The Big Short

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This film was a complete surprise to me because I really enjoyed it. This film has what Spotlight lacked. I am a big fan of Christian Bale films too, so this is another to add to the list.

This is a story of a few guys who have the foresight to realise that if you give mortgages and loans to anyone without making any checks you are going to be in trouble. It really wasn’t a hard concept to realise, but the American banks brainwashed everyone into thinking that nothing could go wrong. People who had no chance of getting a nice house now had a chance, whether they could afford it or not? They didn’t even have to give their correct names, their dogs name would suffice. It’s pretty scary stuff!

Christian Bale plays Michael Burry the head of a company who wants to invest his clients money into betting against the economy. From his research he knows there will be a collapse, but like the rest of America they think everything is safe. They want to get their money out of his hands as quickly as possible. Michael is not the easiest person to deal with as he is socially awkward and finds it difficult to relate to people. He cannot understand why people will not trust him.

Mark Baum played by Steve Carell worked for Morgan and Stanley with a small group managing investments. He is a character that wants things to be put right and is always campaigning against those that mistreat people. His group were contacted by a man called Jared Vennett who gave them the idea to bet against the economy. His sole aim was to make himself extremely rich. Jared is the narrator to the story and not particularly likeable. Although Mark comes across as annoying he does genuinely care about the people being screwed over by the banks. He too has issues, partially  in relation to the suicide of his brother. He is definitely a man on the edge.

We then have two young guys who have made millions already and come across Jared Vennett’s proposal. They see the gap where they can make money and start working with a finance expert called Ben Rickert, played by Brad Pitt. The guys focus on how much money they will make from this venture and forget about the misery that it will cause so many. They realise the issue by the end and Ben Rickert who is also an environmentalist keeps them in line.

I love the direction of this film particularly as it feels like a documentary at times. I enjoyed the celebrity shots explaining the different elements of mortgages. I also enjoyed the narration from Ryan Goslings character throughout as it made you feel part of the film. I think like Wolf of Wall Street this has to be done in a light hearted way otherwise it would’ve been a seriously depressing film.

The acting is superb throughout! I had to check to see if Steve Carell was nominated for an Oscar and sadly he isn’t. In my opinion he is the best part of the film with a brilliant performance. Christian Bale is really good, as usual, but this is not an Oscar winning performance from him. I think it is safe to say that Leonardo DiCaprio has it in the bag. But I think Steve Carell would give Sly Stalone a run for his money for his performance here.

This is a must see film of this year. I really want to see it again. It’s great to be surprised.

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8/10

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The 33

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I think this film has been bypassed somewhat, which is a real shame. This is the story of the 33 miners who were trapped in a mine in Chile’s Atacama desert. At the time this was a massive story. I remember following each day thinking there was no chance of these men coming out alive. Day after day the families stood by watching the mine, surely their hope diminishing. Then the drill got through and there were cheers of jubilation as it was revealed that all 33 men were alive. This was not the end of the story because once they were through the hard work of getting them out had to start. To get the drill precisely where they wanted was a big ask and very dangerous.

Drillers from America, Canada and Australia came to the mine to drill a hole big enough to get the men out. At least now food and water could be sent down and they could even have video calls with their families. The rescue took months to work and a number of failed attempts took place. There was still a strong possibility that these men may be stuck down there.

This is a great story of survival. It is also a story showing the strength of families not willing to give up. So many have died in the mines and nothing was done to rescue them as it seemed an impossible task. This time it was different!

All those involved gave great performances. Their home lives were revealed and many had problems. One man had a wife and a mistress, one had an ongoing feud with his sister, another was about to be a father which all added to the drama. They fought each other, loved each other, trusted each other and shared many emotions. They had to keep each other going to survive.  Antonio Banderas is great as the leader who motivates the rest and keeps his head. He is not willing to give up because he wants to see his family again. Juliet Binoche is the sister involved in a long running feud with her trapped brother. Despite their differences she is the main protagonist when it comes to getting the politicians and the mining company in action to free the trapped.

This is a good film, well played and should have gained more attention. I think the performances were great and the emotion particularly strong. I felt more for this film than Spotlight although it doesn’t warrant Oscar nominations. Please go and see this film even if it is only to support those brave men who didn’t give up.

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8/10

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Spotlight

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I was really looking forward to this film as I had heard all the hype and obviously seen the nominations. I read one review asking whether it was the film or the subject that got nominated. I’m going to sit on the fence a little bit and say yes and no. This is a good film with a very interesting subject performed well by all involved.

I think whoever made the trailer did a great job as it really grasps you and takes hold. The lines in the trailer are far less powerful in the main feature. I did enjoy the film, but I think it lacked the power that such a subject should bring. That maybe because the characters are based on real people who were very business like in the way they dealt with the story. I just felt there was something missing?

This is the story of the Catholic church allowing priests to abuse children and covering up the abuse. This was not a small story and was a sickening tale of men taking advantage of children and ruining their lives and getting away with it. It was the job of the spotlight group to uncover the secret for the Boston Globe Newspaper. They didn’t realise how big the story would be? The numbers are truly horrifying.

Mark Ruffalo is the best part of the film with a great deal of energy and passion. You really feel his anger at what he is uncovering. You really feel that he feels their pain as he talks to victims of abuse. You also feel the conflict inside of him as his faith is shaken by the revelations. Michael Keaton is also very good in his role although his character is far more calculating in his approach. He has to think about the bigger picture. It’s a shame you do not see how his actions years earlier have now affected him. Rachel McAdams is also on fine form as she plays the softer member of the group. She battles with her faith and holds the burden of destroying her nan’s belief in the Catholic Church. You can see her empathy for the victims and her will to reveal the truth. Lieve Schreiber plays the part of the head of the paper who is methodical in his work and shows very little emotion, but is determined to get the right story.

Overall this is a good film with a topic that should bring a great deal of emotion. I wouldn’t have made it an Oscar nominee as I think there are better films out there. It’s also a shame that you do not see the priests brought to justice for what they have done. I think the characters are very measured and determined to get the story. This comes across as a lack of passion for the cause. It’s not a film that will blow your mind and considering how big this was, it really should. It was a good watch, but not outstanding.

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7/10

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Liebster Award

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Liebster Award

I was nominated by https://yeye2188.wordpress.com Thank you so much for the nomination!

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11 Facts about Myself
1. I travelled Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South America.
2. I am happily married to my perfect partner.
3. I dream of travelling with my wife in a VW Campervan.
4. I was involved in a major car crash in 2014 which has left Me with a permanently damaged knee.
5. I am the proud owner of two beautiful bunnies called Pip and Scout.
6. Charles Dickens is my favourite author and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist is my favourite book.
7. I love film and Its a Wonderful life is my favourite film.
8. I have supported MUFC for 23 years.
9. I met, got engaged to and married my wife in the small town of Rye East Sussex. England.
10. I have taken part in a re-enactnent of a ski lift disaster filmed for the National Geographic.
11. I love music and I am a fan of The Beatles, Thin Lizzy, REM, The Prodigy, SOAD and many more.

Don’t forget to let me know when you’re done answering your questions! I’d love to see your answers!

ALSO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NOMINATION, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND! 

Here are the Rules:

Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award!
Answer the 11 questions that the blog gives you.Give 11 random facts about yourself.Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.Let the bloggers know you nominated them.Give them 11 questions to answer!

Blogs I nominated:
https://air1106.wordpress.com
http://nakedthoughts.net
https://valerieamani.wordpress.com
http://iheartfilmblog.com
https://fitness9555.wordpress.com/
My answers:

1.What’s the point? To make a difference to the lives of others in a positive way.
2.Where do you find happiness? In helping others and away from the stresses of life somewhere naturally beautiful.
3.Where do you find inspiration? From my own thoughts and questions.
4.If you’re lost, how do you try and find yourself? I set myself goals and targets.

5.Do you live with regrets? Never! I never look back and only forward. Why worry about things that you cannot do anything about.

6.How?How do you cope with sadness? I don’t really I just let time help me. I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t sad at times.
7.If money was no object, what would you do with your life? I would buy a VW Campervan and travel. I would like to set up a sustainable program for third world villages and improve their lives. I would also like to set up programs for those that suffer with addiction.

8.What must you experience before your time is up? Seeing life like others do by travelling, emerging myself in other cultures and experiencing as much as i can.

9.What are you going to accomplish today? Exercise to help aid my recovery after my third knee op.
10.Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met? My wife.

11.Why?What was your latest great idea? I have no idea?

Questions for you
1. What morals do you stand by?
2. What/ who is most important to you?
3. What is wrong with this world?
4. Who do you look up to?
5. If you had a time machine where would you go?
6. What part of your body are you pleased with?
7. Which actor/actress do you like most?
8. When were you last wrong?
9.why did you follow my blog?
10. Where would you live in this world other than the country you live now and why?
11. What makes you feel free?

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YOURENOTALONEINTHISWORLDsays:

JANUARY 25, 2016 AT 7:51 PM

Yay! Nice answers.

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IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY says:

JANUARY 25, 2016 AT 8:43 PM

Thanks

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Champion

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This is the original Rocky filmed back in 1949 and in black and white. This is one of my favourite films and I treated myself to it last night after work.

The story follows two brothers heading off on their travels to the promise of a share in a restaurant. Unfortunately when they get there they realise they have been conned and end up being paid dishwashers. They are hard up and take whatever money they can get. Midge Kelly played by Kirk Douglas is used to fighting to get where he wants and he gets the chance to become a. Boxer and grabs it with both fists.

You see him train in an elegant sequence although most of his wins come down to raw ambition and spirit. You see him take on a number fighters as he wills his way to the top. Unfortunately money and success doesn’t make you a better person and boxing was a pretty dirty sport back then. A chance comes to throw a fight, But he just can’t do it. Midge wants the belt and doesn’t care if he puts his life, in danger to get it.

There are a few women by his side but only one he wants, but can’t have. They complicate matters for him and that’s no good. His brother who has always been with him gets left by the wayside as success looms. I can imagine that this character is very much like the true man having been so driven to success having felt the deep punishment of poverty.

The fight scenes scenes are short, raw and ragged. This is real fighting, but this is the story of the man behind the gloves. The end scene is dramatic and I won’t spoil it for you.

I have been a fan of Kirk Douglas since I was a little boy. It’s amazing that he is still around and one of the few golden era actors left. He certainly had passion and motivation which made him a little unpopular in Hollywood and even he admitted to that. You learn a lot however by the age of 99 and he has mellowed somewhat. To bring yourself from his background up to the top sometimes means you have to be singleminded and cut throat.

This is a great film and won an Oscar for cinematography. I think this was down to the fight scenes. Which st
ill stand up today.

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9/10

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