Kong- Skull Island

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This is a massive monster movie where the monsters are the stars. I have seen Kong before in various adaptations and it hasnt really worked since the 1930’s version. This most recent film is pretty spectacular in the monster sense. There are monsters everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes.

The story explains how the island of Kong is discovered. It is like the Bermuda triangle where people suddenly go missing. It is a land sheltered by a storm which can suck you in when it feels like it. This happens to two unfortunate pilots who come from different sides of WW2. They continue to fight until a large shadow is cast over them.

The film whizzes off to 1973 where crazy scientists claim that they have found an undiscovered island home to many monsters. An expedition is agreed with the support of the army who have just retreated from the Vietnam War. We also have a photographer and a  tracker who will help on the journey.

They manage to fight there way through the storm, but soon wish they hadn’t as they have reached the scariest place on earth. To state that Kong isn’t happy about them being there would be an understatement. He soon gets his hands on those small helicopters leading to a spectacular and imaginitive fight. The survivors now have to find their way out of this nightmare.

As I mentioned from the top, the monsters are the stars. The fight scenes have been created brillianty. The monsters are pretty scary and some scenes are pretty brutal. The human cast struggle throughout and are a complete side show. Tom Hiddleston as the hero is truly  awful and wooden. This was really miscast and he struggles in this action film. The same can be said for Brie Larson as her character has no real depth. John Goodman is good as the crazy scientist, but again it is not a great part.The star of the film is Jonh C Riley who plays the pilot left on the island from 1944. He struggles having been isolated for all these years and comes across as a little crazy. He has the best background story and some great lines. Samuel Jackson struggles too, but he does have some strength to his character. The slow motion camera scenes are just pure cheese and feel cringeworthy.

Unfortunately the makers of this film spent more time on the monsters than the humans. This makes for great peaks during the Kong scenes, but huge troughs for the humans. The monster scenes are definitely worth a watch and make a poor film into  one worth a watch.

6/10

A Cure For Wellness

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Well what can I say? What a weird film that had very little structure in it’s storyline and very hammy acting. I have enjoyed quite a few of Dehaans performances since Place Beyond the Pines and he is the best part of this film. The rest of the cast are just far too over the top to be credible. This is even before we learn the truth, which is painfully clear quite early on.

Dehaan plays Lockhart a coldblooded businessman who knows how to get results. He is pretty emotionless most likely because of traumatic events in his past. He is a young scrooge type guy who cares about no one. The board of the company task him to bring back a member called Pembrooke  from Switzerland to close a company merger. Unfortunately this member is suffering from ill health and is residing in a hospital in Switzerland for his treatment. 

It is clear when Lockhart arrives that this is not a normal hospital. It is a building from centuries ago linked with a Baron who was in an incestuous relationship with his sister. She was burnt at the stake for her sins and their legend lives long amongst the local community. His aim was to create a pure blood line, which wasn’t uncommon centuries ago. Did he succeed?

As you have probably guessed it isnt a straight forward task to get Pembrooke back to business. Firstly they wont let Lockhart see him due to their strict visiting hours. The plan to come back is scuppered when Lockhart is involved in a major car crash on the way back to his hotel. Fortunately he is not too far from a hospital and guess which one he ends up at? Now with a cast on his leg he is an impatient along with his friend Mr Pembrooke. It is clear that not all is what it seems, there is certainly something in the water. All the patients are blissfully happy as they receive their treatments, play sports and eat a banquet of food.

They are all under the marvelous care of the doctor played by Jason Isaacs. He puts on a german accent for the role as he plays a mad scientist trying to cure everyone. Such a lovely kind man! Most of the patients are old, but for one girl who has not seen beyond the hospital walls. She has been kept very childlike as the doctor treats what ever is wrong with her. She reveals to Lockhart that no one ever leaves the hospital.

Lockhart soon meets up with Pembrooke and plans to get him out, but Pembrooke soon disappears. Lockhart is soon under the water treatment aswell which involves a number of Eels swimming round him as he is submerged. A male nurse wstches as he lays in the water, but is distracted with a game of doctors and nurses involving another nurse. This almost leads to Lockharts demise.

Lockhurt is determined to find answers. We see many horrors along the way as treatment starts to resemble torture. We see blood, bodies, violence and monsters. This is not the tranquil place it first seemed as there is a disgusting underbelly to the hospital led by the mad scientist.

This is just a weird film which resembles a huge mess of a storyline. The performances from the supporting cast are fun, but over the top. The young girl strangely has an English accent, which makes no sense. The history of the hospital and the people in it just sounds ludicrous. You will need a cure for your ownwellness after watching for nearly two and a half hours. Definitely one to miss.


5/10

Hidden Figures

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This is the story of three amazing women who played a major role in Nasa’s space program. They helped the U.S win the race to the moon during the 1960’s and they did it with a great deal of adversity. This was a time when there were very few women working for NASA and yet somehow three black women were able to fight their way to becoming pivotal to the space mission.

If ever anyone wanted someone to look up to then look no further than Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Their intelligence and willpower helped them fight against the prejudices of women and black people. This film tells their story.

Katherine johnson is the focal point to the story. She was born with a major talent for Maths. From a young age she could solve complicated equations to the astonishment of her parents and teachers. Her talent got her a job at NASA working as a computer in a segregated sector of only black women. Segregation was a major part of their lives both in public and at work. There were black only bathrooms, workspaces and canteens. When Katherine was chosen to help with the space mission she was one of only a small number of women and the only black person. She still had to use the coloured toilets which were a great distance from where she worked. This lost her vital time and remember this was a space race so time was vital. Katherine even had a separate coffee pot to everyone else.

She fought for her rights and proved that her brain was superior to most of her co-workers. This gave her the right to be treated at least as an equal. This was the same as her two friends.Dorothy Vaughan was a supervisor and was in charge of the black sector of computers. This was in name only as she was not given the pay of a supervisor or given the role officially. She was alarmed that a new machine would replace her and her team. The machine known as an IBM was able to work out figures at rapid speed making humans redundant  Dorothy was determined that this wouldnt happen and chose to work with IBM rather than fight it. She learnt how to use the machine better than anyone else and encouraged her fellow workers to do the same. Her intelligence and hard work helped her stay at NASA.

The third hidden figure was Mary Jackson. She wanted to become an engineer. She was well qualified to do the job and was encouraged by the engineering team.NASA kept raising the bar so Jackson had to take schooling to reach the criteria. The problem was that she wasn’t allowed to attend the school due to her colour. She had to go through the courts to get her place in school.

This is a brilliant film which I believe should have got more notice. Taraji Henson should have been nominated for an Oscar for her depiction of Katherine. She was able to portray the strength of character with great skill. She handled the comedy perfectly and the distress of being treated so badly. The three characters are completely different and Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae made up a pefect team. They were able to show their different battles to get where they wanted, have fun with the role and project a powerful message of equality to the audience. The supporting cast of Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons played their roles perfectly, often making life hard for the three genius ladies. 

This film was a joy to watch and one of the most enjoyable films of the year. The three women deserve to be seen as important figures in the space program and for fighting for equality, not only as women, but black women as well.

8/10