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A Monster Calls

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Poster for the movie ""

A Monster Calls

Stories are wild creatures.

20161 h 48 min
Overview

A boy attempts to deal with his mother's illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping to a fantastical world.

Metadata
Runtime 1 h 48 min
Release Date 7 October 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
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A Monster Calls is a gruelling emotional exploration of loss and grief as seen from the point of view of Conor O’Malley.  Conor is a 12 year old whose life is being ripped apart as he watches his beloved mother engulfed by cancer and the prospect looming of living with the grandmother he dislikes.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, just for good measure he’s being bullied at school.

The monster, a yew tree brought to life by Liam Neeson, arrives to impart guidance in the form of stories animated in stunning watercolour.  Never sentimental and often unexpected this is a beautiful film if you can stand the deep and underlying sadness running throughout.

The Huntsman – Winter’s War

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Poster for the movie "The Huntsman Winter's War"

The Huntsman Winter's War

20161 h 54 min
Overview

As two evil sisters prepare to conquer the land, two renegades - Eric the Huntsman - who previously aided Snow White in defeating Ravenna, and his forbidden lover, Sara, set out to stop them.

Metadata
Runtime 1 h 54 min
Release Date 6 April 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
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Let’s get the accents out of the way.   One of my filmic pet hates is dodgy accents.   I’m thinking Tom Cruise in Far and Away and Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly.  I’m surprised that with all the expertise employed to create some of the most technologically advanced films ever we still struggle to either get the actor some dedicated voice coaching or if that’s not successful maybe employ someone who has the ability to do the accent for real, you know, like a native of England, Scotland or Ireland.  I wonder if film producers/directors believe that their star has an authentic accent or they decide it’s not that important.  It really IS important because it can become completely distracting and ruin a film for many of us.  Back to The Huntsman and I have to admit I didn’t see the first film in this franchise so Chris Hemsworth’s wandering accent came as a surprise. Scottish by way of Ireland and Northern England..just weird!

Accents to one side I did enjoy the spectacle of this film (I splashed out the £1.60 over and above my unlimited ticket to watch it in 3D) – the effects were stunning as were the costumes and makeup.  Casting Sheridan Smith and Rob Brydon as dwarves seems crazy and controversial, visually it worked really well and their humour and obvious chemistry added a light touch, but ethically I’m not so sure.  Did they really paste their heads on to actors with dwarfism?  Hmm. .  The storyline itself left me confused – there were obvious nods to the earlier movie so maybe it’s my fault for not watching the films in order.  Overall it was like a mash up of The Snow Queen, Frozen, Game of Thrones and a touch of Lord of the Rings but none the worse for that.  Fantasy eye candy.

 

 

Charlize Theron as The Evil Queen, Ravenna