Exodus: Gods and Kings – A True Epic

The new film from visionary director, Ridley Scott, is an action packed rollercoaster.

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver

Certificate: 12A

Release: In Cinemas Now

Exodus: Gods and Kings is one of the biggest epics of the 21st Century.

The film is an adaptation of the Biblical story of Moses who rescued the Hebrews slaves from the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses.

Everything from the huge cast to the enormous set designs, this film really brought back the concept of an epic movie such as those made in the 1950s including Ben-Hur.

Despite being an adaptation of a miracle filled story, the film focused more on the humanity of Moses.

As the film progressed, the ten plagues of Egypt (or the power of God) was shown and was visual stunning to watch.

The amount of flies and locusts that were created using CGI reinforced the power of God and the impact they had on the whole of Egypt.

As previously mentioned, this film focused more on the humanity of Moses and shows him as a man who was reluctant to undertake God’s demands.

It also brings out his emotional side especially when the Angel of Death takes the lives of the first born.

Christian Bale portrayed Moses as both a messenger of God and a normal man brilliantly. He managed to combine both these characteristics through his adaptation of Moses but would anyone expect anything less from The Dark Knight?

Joel Edgerton managed to bring to life the evil Ramses and added suspense in the more tense of scenes. Throughout the film, it was clearly through his acting that Ramses was becoming more and more reliable on the slaves and, because of this, he became vicious and heartless.

Together these two great actors worked perfectly together and showed their acting talents as they brought to life the relationship of the two Princes of Egypt.

The rest of the cast including Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul all added their own to the film even if some had more minor roles.

One thing to say about the film was that it was much more action packed than the Biblical story but that was not surprising from the Gladiator director.

Some parts of the film were also not realistic with the era the film was set in.

There were scenes of the slaves being trained how to fire an arrow without any guards knowing and it seemed like the film was edging more towards Robin Hood.

Nevertheless, the film was a truly magnificent epic with stunning visual effects that were extremely realistic.

Pride Review

Pride is a film set on the back drop of Thatcherism and follows a group of lesbian and gay men fighting to raise money for the miners who are on strike.

This moving film brings to life the struggles that the gay community went through up until 1985 and how they were shunned even for trying to help.

Despite the main narrative of helping the striking miners in a small Welsh town, the film is really about groups of neglected and deprived communities coming together as one, a message that is reiterated throughout the entirety.

It also tackles the concept of personal acceptance of who you are with the young, in-the-closet character Joe played by George MacKay.

With a brilliant cast including Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Andrew Scott and This is England star Joseph Gilgun, Pride is without a doubt one of the best British films to date.

As the film is centred on Thatcherism, each character is magnificently dressed in the Mod Rocker style of the 1980’s with big hair and high-waisted jeans.

The only criticism is that the film was a bit slow to start and there was little character insight but nevertheless everything in this brilliant comedy drama worked perfectly.

As well as dealing with these strikes and protests, the film also briefly brings up the HIV Epidemic through the cameo appearance of the brilliant Russell Tovey (Being Human, Him & Her).

This moving yet hilarious feel-good film may tackle Gay and Lesbian elements but it is a film for everyone.

It is a heart-warming, true story about people coming together and will have you smiling from start to finish.

Only until the end, do we understand that the events taken place are based around real characters and real events.

This really adds to the emotional narrative as it shows how a little help from both communities can go a long way.

Everything, from the fashion and music to the narrative, works perfectly together and the ending will have you in tears as it brings together all the characters for the Gay Rights March.

Directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford, this brilliant film will take you on a whirlwind of emotions from beginning to end.

A moving but hilarious film for all to see.

The Grand Master Review

This stunning masterpiece, by the In The Mood For Love writer, tells the story of the martial arts genius, Ip Man, who is renowned for teaching the infamous Bruce Lee.

Starting in the 1930’s, we follow Ip Man (played by Tony Leung) as he makes his way up to the Grand Master in kung-fu.

As all martial arts movies, they wouldn’t exist without the fast-paced and exciting fight scenes and The Grand Master does not fail to do so.

The first fight scene reinforces the fast-paced movements and the overly dramatic punches that martial arts films are renowned for doing and this element is kept throughout the entirety of the film.

The film uses slow motion during the multiple fight scenes to build tension through slowing down feet movements, rain and props which reinforces the talent Wong Kar-wai has as a director.

The film begins with intertitles that gives the audience a look into the martial arts history and background.

The intertitles are frequently used throughout the film as a device that allows the audience to gain a better understanding of what is happening and gives more information on each character and when a new essential character is brought onto the screen, Wong Kar-wai uses intertitles showing their name giving the audience a better understanding of each character.

As the film draws to an end, the scenes became more and more emotional and moving and with the added use of intertitles, the audience are able to know just what happened to each of the two main characters.

Not only does the film use intertitles as a way of giving more information, throughout the film there is frequent voice over narrations from Ip Man which allows the audience to gain more information on the character including his wife and family.

Music plays a vital role in the film and is often used as a way to increase the tension throughout the film through the fast paced drum beats to coincide with the fast-paced editing.

In relation to the music, it also plays a vital role in showing the relationships between the characters on the screen, with soft piano based music as the motif for love and romance and fast drum motives for the fight scenes.

As the film progresses, it makes you believe that the film is another martial arts movie however, when an out of the blue explosions thrusts you into the Japanese invasion in China the story takes a different tone and becomes much more moving and serious.

We usually think of martial arts films to be set in the ancient China era and it is rare to see a film that uses similar themes to be set in contemporary times and that focuses on modern issues including Opium addictions.

When viewing the film, it became clear that the film was set in two parts, one that focuses on before the war and one that focuses after the war.

As well as this, there were really two central stories. The obvious Ip Man story that follows the story of Ip Man moving from his home town to the 1950’s Hong Kong. The second story follows Gong Er (played by Ziyi Yeung), the love interest of Ip Man, who seeks to reclaim the 64 Hands that was taken from her father.

Both of these stories intertwine and the way they are shot and brought together shows just how talented Leung and Yeung are.

Their performances were truly outstanding. Yeung is known for playing the rebellious, tough female lead as in her previous film catalogue of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and this films shows how well she can take on that role.

Leung, who has a filmography ranging from In The Mood For Love and Internal Affairs, is fantastic as the infamous martial arts expert and his talents at performing the action sequences and the more emotional scenes without slipping out of character is truly one to watch.

The film is based on real characters and events and is a true masterpiece but, then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less from Wong Kar-wai.

The Girl On The Roof Review

In his directorial debut, Skeet Ulrich brings to life the thoughts and actions of a bullied girl in The Girl On The Roof.

This short film tells the story of Lila who is a lonely, isolated girl who is bullied at school and ignored in a loveless home.

The 25 mins short film is a shocking and brilliant portrayal of how bullying can affect people and will have you hooked from start to finish.

Not only will the film grab your attention in the very opening scenes but the film comes with a moral and an important one.

What can be said is that Skeet is trying to get across the impact bullying has on a person and that someone should not be afraid to speak about it.

The Girl On The Roof attracted film stars including Lennie James, Todd Lowe, Susan Mary Pratt, Naiia Ulrich, and writer/producer Amelia Jackson-Gray.

Skeet Ulrich has appeared on our screens in the likes of the cult franchise Scream and the TV series Jericho but has now taken control behind the camera.

Skeet has worked alongside many directors including Ang Lee, Bruce Beresford and James Brooks and through his 20 years of experience, he has become a creative force in the film and TV world.

The award-winning debut is an engaging and thought-provoking film that had its world premiere at LA Shorts and won the award for Best Short at Catalina Film Festival.

Not only that, but the film went on to win Best Short at ITVFEST and will be enticing the audience of Williamsburg Independent Film Festival between Nov 20-23.

It is an outstandingly brilliant film that deserves all the recognition that it has already received and undoubtedly will receive.

Check out the trailer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5tQgv3O4RM

What is the meaning of Christmas nowadays?

With the festive season slowing approaching, I was just sat wondering ‘what the meaning of Christmas is nowadays’?

When I was younger, I would always get so excited about the season and loved nothing more than spending quality time with my family and looking forward to having a few days off during the school holiday (and obviously presents).

But now it seems that everyone is obsessed with the present concept of Christmas when they shouldn’t!

Christmas is a time for everyone to spend a few days without any work commitments and relaxing and eating food.

Each year, people get excited around November but it seems ridiculous and it is sad to think that there is no meaning but for retail companies to get money each year.

Plus, as you get older it is so costly to buy presents as more and more stores have grabbed on to this festive (retail boosting) season and increase prizes.

They cleverly bring out last year’s stock and make people think that a post-Christmas sale is happening when in fact it is a clever trick that they do.

As I have grown up and noticed that the Christmas season isn’t as jolly as it was when I was younger.

People rushing around shops, pushing and shoving to purchase a gift they have in their hands and not even being polite and say ‘excuse me.’

What really does it mean now? It is expensive. It can be dangerous. It brings out the worst in people.

There is nothing enjoyable about Christmas these days. Not even the weather relates to the Christmas season.

Having a ‘white Christmas’ is without a doubt one of the best things to wake up to and fingers crossed that might make this year enjoyable for once.

What is the appeal of reality TV?

With more and more reality TV programmes that are being aired on the hundreds of channels available, it seems that there needs to be some decent programmes.

This recent phenomenon is something that I cannot get my head around.

Why do I care what people in Essex, Chelsea, or Newcastle are doing with their lives? It does not interest me at all.

What is the point of watching other people’s lives, which are obviously fake, and getting entertainment from it?

Their lives do not spark any interest in me but instead brings the hatred out of them. They are not famous and should not be seen as them as they literally bring nothing to the entertainment world.

As well as all the tripe that I have to sit through most nights, as they are on every channel nowadays, there is all the contest reality programmes that just need to end.

The X Factor has had its run of failed and pointless ‘stars’ that it needs to stop and people need to get entertainment from somewhere else.

There are brilliant programmes that are on that no one seems to care about as they are watching ridiculous programmes about utterly pathetic and annoying people who are the worst actors but believe that they are going to make it.

They probably have more chance of becoming an A List celebrity by busking in the street.

All these programmes need to stop. They are ruining the entertainment industry. People who watch these don’t watch them for fun, they watch them to MAKE fun of the people on them.

They are without a doubt the worst programmes to ever be made with downright annoying (and extremely ugly people most of the time).

Pure and utter tripe – Go away!