Tag Archives: rating: 4.5 stars

Fast Five Review: The Expanse – Season One

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The Expanse: Season One
Science Fiction | 2015 | Reviewed by Michelle

Hundreds of years in the future, humans have colonised the solar system. In the asteroid belt beyond Mars, a washed-up detective is tasked with tracking down the missing daughter of a powerful Earth businessman. In space, the first officer of an interstellar ice freighter witnesses a Martian attack on his ship. And on Earth, a ruthless UN undersecretary is desperate to prevent war. These three strangers are about to uncover a conspiracy that will bring them together – and change the galaxy…

1) Did you like it?

Confession time: I’m a bit of a sci-fi buff, and I really enjoyed The Expanse.

2) Why?

This is great big futuristic sci-fi at its great big futuristic best – and the kind that we haven’t seen on TV for a while now. If you’ve got fond memories of Battlestar Galactica, or maybe even (nerd alert!) Babylon 5, clear your calendar and microwave some popcorn, because I reckon you’re going to love The Expanse.

theexpanse23) You’ll enjoy this series if…

The Expanse isn’t just great sci-fi, it’s great television. In the same way that many Game of Thrones fans wouldn’t necessarily call themselves epic fantasy buffs, The Expanse has the potential to appeal to anyone who likes compelling characters and a fast-paced plot. That’s pretty much everyone, right?

4) This series made me think about…

Also like Game of Thrones, The Expanse is based on a series of books. I’m impatient for more, and wondering if I should just read the books (and know what’s going to happen in advance) or just be patient and let it be a surprise…?

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

 

Fast Five Review: Baby Driver

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Baby Driver
Action | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle

Baby is a semi-charmed young getaway driver who uses music to drown out the constant ringing in his ears, a condition he’s suffered nearly all his life. Just when things are starting to look up for Baby – he’s met the love of his life and he’s finally earned enough money to walk away from crime for good – he’s dragged back behind the wheel for one final, doomed heist. There’s no song that can help Baby out of this one…

1) Did you like the film?

I was expecting this to be a big, dumb action movie along the lines of the Fast and the Furious franchise. What I got was something completely different…and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it!

2) Why?

For starters, Baby Driver probably has more personality in its first ten minutes than all the Fast and the Furious movies combined. From the dialogue to the characters to the soundtrack, this movie has so much going for it. It’s loaded with originality, and it doesn’t get too wrapped up in its own conceit (looking directly at you, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) to be enjoyable. Twee? Maybe a little. But that’s okay. Baby Driver is proof that movies can be fun without having to switch your brain off for a couple of hours.

babydriver3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

If you’ve ever wished you could live in a video clip (I know I have!) you’ll love Baby Driver.

4) This film made me think about…

What would the soundtrack to my life sound like? Probably much dorkier…

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

Fast Five Review: My Cousin Rachel

mycousinrachelbannerfinalMy Cousin Rachel
Drama | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle

Philip is an orphan, raised by his slightly older cousin, Ambrose, who he came to regard as a father. But when Ambrose travels alone to Italy and falls in love with a woman named Rachel, Philip can’t help but feel neglected. Soon, word arrives that Ambrose and Rachel are married – and then, Ambrose’s letters home begin to take a worrying tone. Ambrose is sick, and blames Rachel for his illness. When Ambrose dies in Italy, Philip is furious, and is determined to confront Rachel, who he is convinced is directly responsible for Ambrose’s death. However, upon meeting Rachel – young, beautiful, mysterious Rachel – Philip is suddenly lost for words…

1) Did you like the film?

I really enjoyed My Cousin Rachel, and if literary adaptations, fancy costumes and repressed sexual tension are your jam, then I think you’ll love it too.

mycousinrachel2) Why?

What, fancy costumes and repressed sexual tension aren’t enough to convince you? Okay, fine – from the very first scene, My Cousin Rachel will grab you and won’t let go until its thrilling conclusion. If you’re looking for something romantic – say, along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. This isn’t a love story. My Cousin Rachel is dark and twisted and dripping with drama.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

I’ll say it again – My Cousin Rachel is a literary adaptation (based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca), it has fancy costumes galore, the repressed sexual tension will fog up your television screen…and did I forgot to mention Game of Thrones’ Ser Jorah Mormont is in it?

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(…All the other actors are A+ too.)

4) This film made me think about…

I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read the book. I need to fix that…where’s the nearest library?

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

 

Fast Five Review: Get Out

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Get Out

Horror | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Chris is an African-American photographer; his girlfriend of five months, Rose, is white. And rich. When Rose invites him to spend the weekend at her family’s sprawling country estate, Chris is reluctant. What if they’re racist? Has Rose even told her family he’s black? But as the weekend drags on, Chris realises that he’s going to have much more to deal with than awkward conversations…

1) Did you like it?

Yep. I’m not even a horror fan and I loved Get Out.

2) Why?

Here’s the spoiler free version: Get Out is a film about racism in every form – from the well-intentioned racism of young, “woke” white people trying (and failing) to do the right thing, to awkward dinner party conversations, to racial violence and slavery. It’s smart and scary and it’ll make you think.

getoutimage3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re into films that have you on the edge of your seat…not only because they’re scary, but also because they make you aware of uncomfortable truths about yourself and your society.

4) This movie made me think about…

Lots. Get Out is a nailbiter of a film that will have you thinking about it long after your nails have grown back. Make sure you Google the film’s alternate endings, too. Yikes.

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

Fast Five Review: Jasper Jones

jasperjonesblogbannerJasper Jones
Drama | 2017

One night in the scorching hot summer of 1969, outcast Jasper Jones knocks at Charlie Bucktin’s window and beckons Charlie to follow him into the bush, where Jasper reveals to Charlie evidence of a crime – a crime for which Jasper is sure to be blamed. It’s a secret that will change Jasper and Charlie’s lives forever…and will tear their small town apart.

1) Did you like it?

First up, it’s taken me a while to watch Jasper Jones because I really enjoyed the book (which was written by Craig Silvey and published in 2009, by the way) …and I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand bad adaptations of books I love. I get grumpy when filmmakers take too many liberties with books. Or play it safe, and follow the book too closely. In summary: I’m pretty picky.

So, with all that in mind: yes, I liked Jasper Jones.

2) Why?

The thing with Jasper Jones is that it’s a seriously complicated book, with subplots galore – and even though it juggles some pretty heavy themes, it’s also genuinely funny.

Of course, the film can’t capture every one of the book’s nuances and threads. That’s always the case with film adaptations. However, Jasper Jones does a really good job of capturing much of what makes the book unique. Sure, there are a few questions that the film doesn’t quite have time to answer, but for the most part, this is a faithful, careful adaptation that does its source material justice.

(In fact, there are even a couple of elements of this story that the film actually improves, like the relationship between Charlie and Eliza, and Toni Collette’s portrayal of Ruth, Charlie’s mum, brings a humanity to the character that didn’t seem as pronounced in the book.)jasperjonesimage1

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

…you loved the book. But that’s not to say that this will only be a hit with novel fans – it’s also set to become a classic in its own right.

4) This movie made me think about…

How rare (and welcome!) it is to encounter a good film adaptation of a much-loved book.

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars