“Mamma Mia” (2008)

mammamia

Rating:  PG-13 / Genre:  Comedy, Musical / Starring: Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfriend, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth /  Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd / Written By: Catherine Johnson / Edited By: Lesley Walker /  Released: June 30th, 2008 / Runtime: 109 minutes / Studio: Universal Pictures

My Rating: 3.5/5

Summary:

Donna (Meryl Streep), an independent hotelier in the Greek islands, is preparing for her daughter’s wedding with the help of two old friends. Meanwhile Sophie, the spirited bride, has a plan. She secretly invites three men from her mother’s past in hope of meeting her real father and having him escort her down the aisle on her big day.

Review:

It’s hard to believe that this film is 10 years old this year! How did that happen?

What I admire about this musical is how remarkable it is the way they were able to weave Mamma Mia’s songs into a fully-fledged story. The story is entertaining and light-hearted. There’s nothing else quite like it, that’s for sure! And the choreography is amusing and sure to make you smile in spite of yourself.

Then there’s that one question still on everyone’s mind…Who thought having Pierce Brosnan singing was a good idea? *face-palms*. James Bond no more! And then there’s Colin Firth in all his bumbling awkwardness. *face-palms again*. The laughs are plentiful but maybe not for all the reasons the film set out to create them…

The casting isn’t all bad. Meryl Streep is always wonderful. And Amanda Seyfried is a great leading lady as well, who can sing well. Julie Walters is another amusing and excellent edition to the cast. Her and Christine Baranski’s characters make quite a pair. They are one of the best parts of the film in my opinion.

I cringe watching this film. I really, really do. But it’s not all bad.

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“Warm Bodies” (2013)

warmbodies

Rating: PG:13 / Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance / Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer / Directed by: Jonathan Levine / Written by: Jonathan Levine / Cinematographer: Javier Aguirresarobe / Editor: Nancy Richardson / Released: February 1st, 2013 / Runtime: 97 minutes / Studio: Lionsgate Films

My Rating: 4.3/5

Summary:

Following an apocalypse that claimed the lives of many, many people, a now zombie-infested community learn that there might be hope for them after all. When a young zombie by the name of ‘R’ (Nicholas Hoult) saves the life of Julie (Teresa Palmer) her humanness proves more infectious than a bite from a walking corpse.

Review:

Warm Bodies is certainly a heart-warming story. The age-old tale of star-crossed lovers never gets old, no matter how many new and inventive ways it’s retold. In this case, we follow the forbidden love of a young girl and a young corpse. – There’s hope for us yet if even the dead can find love.

All the characters have their little quirks and own little journey that interlinks with each other very seamlessly. The pacing is sharp and never fails to lose our attention. It’s a well rounded story with plenty of action and potential peril along the way. Perhaps a lot of this is down to our leading zombie, R, providing us with constant narration, we are brought into his world in a humorous and light-hearted way. The film as a whole does a great job of never taking itself too seriously, while also never straying towards what could have been the down-right silly.

If we wanted to look at this story on a different layer, underneath all the zombie-attacking-humans/humans-warding-off-zombies situation the characters find themselves in, this is also a film about how people treat each other. The zombies started becoming more alive again once someone showed them kindness and love. As clichéd a concept as that might sound to the cynics of the world, it’s a fair point to make. The people who appear the grumpiest and bad tempered are probably the people who need someone to push past that to love them more. Life is ironic like that.  If you wanted to go a layer further of course, I think it could be argued that the zombie-infection represents depression. If you get bitten you’ll feel dead and numb inside too. Misery loves company after all. But perhaps that’s an in-depth analysis for a whole other day.

It’s easy to say that a film has something for everyone. But in this case I think this definitely applies. The film covers a little comedy, a little romance, a little horror, some tragedy, some decent action sequences; it’s thrilling with even a touch of science fiction thrown in there for good measure. And hey, the characters themselves might not break into song and dance, but it’s got to be said that the soundtrack is on point. Plenty of catchy good songs crop up for many a time-lapse montage. It’s definitely something that adds to this film’s charm.

A thoroughly entertaining narrative that’s well worth a watch, for sure.

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A quick “Hello” :)

tenor

I decided to take a leap and move my blog The Reel Life of Real Life from Blogger to WordPress.

I will follow the same format as with my previous blog posts, with some extras now. Thank you to anyone who has followed along so far, and to anyone new who reads my posts to come.

Keep in touch via Instagram @the_reel_life_of_real_life

x

“All About Eve” (1950)

allabouteve

Rating: PG / Genre: Drama / Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Garry Merill, Marilyn Monroe / Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz / Written By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz  /  Edited By: Barbara McLean / Released: January 1st 1950 / Runtime: 138 minutes / Studio: 20th Century Fox

My Rating: 5/5

Summary:

Backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington. Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing, telling a melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Margo takes Eve under her wing, and it appears that Eve is a conniver that uses Margo.

Review:

This is a surprisingly humorous story about the glamour and ambition within Hollywood, and the backstabbing that can go on in show business. It has a certain similarity to the narcissism portrayed in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, though perhaps more light-hearted. From start to finish the script is sharp and extremely entertaining.

Bette Davis gives one of her best performances; the woman is a pistol. As talented as the rest of the cast are here, she steals every scene she’s in, hands down. She has such a great script to work with and she embodies the character well it’s hard not to become enchanted with the story. Each character pops off the screen with their own agendas and their own unique journey.

An extremely well written smart movie that is an absolute must for any lover of films. One of my personal favourites.

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