The Hundred-Foot Journey – Review

After initially closing myself off to seeing this film at the cinema, it was in fact thanks to the persistent determination of my grandmother, pleading with me in the middle of Leicester Square, that finally convinced me to see it.

Despite seeing the trailer, it turns out my prejudgement of the film was completely unfounded and I in fact new very little of what the story was actually about or the cinematic masterpiece I was about to witness.

Based on the novel by Richard C. Morais and directed by acclaimed filmmaker, Lasse Hallström (ChocolateThe Cider House Rules), The Hundred-Foot Journey follows the Kadam family, who after fleeing India, find themselves stranded in a small French village, that may just turn out to offer the fresh start at life they’ve been looking for.

But as life has already proven, things will not be so simple for this family as they invest their entire life-savings into a new restaurant, that just so happens to be opposite an already established Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

As the war of kitchen’s commences, Hassan Kadem (Manish Dayal), the eldest son of the family, may just hold the key to his families survival as his world-class talents in the kitchen start to shine.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is the truly inspiring and heart-warming tale of life, family, and acceptance, with breathtaking performances by a talented cast that bring undeniable chemistry to the story.

One of the must-see, stand-out films of the year that teaches us that sometimes we must let fate guide us in order to find our true purpose in this life.

Lucy – Review

In an industry where the term ‘Auteur’ seems to have almost entirely disappeared, and only survives thanks to a handful of filmmakers who battle to keep its principles alive, writer/directors such as Luc Besson always provide us something truly special and utterly unique.

That same excitement and anticipation has surrounded the film since the trailer first released back in July and will no doubt help draw in the crowds, especially with one of Hollywood‘s most popular leading ladies in the title role.

In the modern world where we humans have only so far unlocked 10% of our cerebral capability, Lucy follows a young woman, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson), who after finding herself caught up in an international drug smuggling ring, accidentally overdoses on a revolutionary new drug that allows her to unlock 100% of her minds true potential, which she then uses against the drug cartel responsible, along with the help of a renowned scientist (Morgan Freeman).

There can only be respect and admiration for a filmmaker that sticks to his ‘auteur’ principles but isn’t afraid to adapt and move with the modern advances in film-making, a view that best sums up Luc Besson and his latest cinematic release. Lucy opens the world up to the somewhat frightening possibilities that the human brain could be capable of and whether or not the human race is ready for such an advancement in evolution.

With subtle references to Besson‘s most loved and celebrated cult classics, Leon and The Fifth Element, references in the form of the distinctive soundtrack and gritty cinematography, Lucy, despite losing the plot in some respects, is a refreshing look at a question many of us have often wondered – “What are we humans truly capable of?”. A must see for drama and action junkies.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES (2014)

It’s been 13 years, yes you heard it right…13 years, since the greatest film saga in history came to fruition with the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001), yet sadly we have reached the end of the road, and as with all good things, the ‘Middle Earth‘ saga must finally come to it’s conclusion.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) sees the conclusion of Peter Jackson‘s epic Academy Award-nominated, ‘Middle Earth‘ trilogy, which along with it’s ‘Lord of the Rings‘ counterpart, has become the most successful and critically-acclaimed film franchise in history – generating billions of dollars in revenue and accumulating an incredible and unprecedented seventeen Academy Awards, including three for it’s visionary Peter Jackson.

Leading straight on from the explosive final scene in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), ‘The Five Armies‘ sees the cunning and merciless dragon, Smaug, inadvertently unleashed upon the unsuspecting fishing village of Lake-town. Meanwhile Dwarf King, Thoran (Richard Armitage), who’s finally reclaimed his thrown inside the Lonely Mountain by unintentionally driving Smaug from the mountain and towards Lake-town, begins to fall victim to the ‘dragon sickness’. The same illness that drove his Grandfather mad and one that sees him become corrupted by gold and forsaking the promise he made to the people of Lake-town to share in the wealth of the mountain.

Despite the protests, from his fellow Dwarf kin as well as Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), to honor his word, Thoran soon finds his newly reclaimed thrown under attack from not only the people of Lake-town but from the Elf King Thranduil (Lee Pace) and his highly skilled army, who seek lost Elvish jewels.

Blinded by their desire for the riches stored away inside the mountain, the three armies fail to see another army marching on the mountain, one that posses a much greater threat to each and every one of them. The evil Lord Sauron has dispatched an army of Orcs and other foul creatures to stake claim on the treasure and destroy everything, and everyone, in their way.

With the battle for Middle Earth imminent, it’s up to Bilbo and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to unite the armies of Dwarves, Elves, and Men by any means necessary, to fight together against Sauron and his army if they are to stand any chance of survival.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is an truly epic conclusion to this breathtaking franchise that has so far defined Twenty-first Century cinema – and with first-class special effects never-before-seen on screen, a cast born to play these iconic and timeless characters, and a creative team who’s unwavering devotion to this franchise has helped breath life into the magical world that is ‘Middle Earth’, I’ve no doubt J.R.R. Tolkien would have been extremely proud of how is literary masterpiece has been immortalized on film.

Horrible Bosses 2 – Review

Most people have been there – work life’s a misery because your boss is either a psychopath, sociopath, or some ridiculously hot sex fiend obsessed with making you her bitch even though there’s no logical reason why she should want to (this of course would only really be a problem for most guys if you’re already married).

And so, there you are, sitting at your desk, which resembles something similar to a rubbish tip, secretly plotting the creative and faultless demise of your boss and how wonderful life would subsequently be, once they are out of the picture entirely, and their poising influence destroyed forever.

In 2011, Horrible Bosses saw three very average-Joe’s, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) resort to the extreme decision of killing each others bosses in order to free themselves from the metaphoric restraints that had been placed on them – only to realise that in order to actually pull off three murders, you kind of have to be good at it in the first place.

Well they’re back, and this time they’re their own bosses, free from the rule of anyone else and about to take the US by storm with an ingenious new shower invention that will change the way we wash forever – ‘The Shower Buddy‘.

But as we learned the first time round, nothing is ever simple for these three, as they find themselves in the cross-hairs of retail-titan Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), and his eccentric son, Rex (Chris Pine), who wish to invest in this revolutionary new product.

To say anymore would ruin the story, but the one thing that’s guaranteed is chaos, as these part-time criminals find themselves wrapped up in extortion, kidnapping, and a host of other really bad things that may just push their luck to the limit.

Horrible Bosses 2 is bigger, funnier, and more outlandish than the first, and with a returning cast including Kevin SpaceyJennifer Aniston, and Jamie Foxx, it’s comedy gold that keeps you guessing throughout – not surprising really considering it’s written and directed by Sean Anders, the genius behind We’re the Millers (2013) and the up-coming Dumb and Dumber To (2014).

A must see for all you who sometimes wish what it would be like to be your own boss!

The Babadook – Review

Written and directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook tells the story of lonely widower Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son Robbie (Daniel Henshall), who after discovering and subsequently reading a mysterious and horrific children’s book, begin to find their life haunted by an unknown evil known as the Babadook, which starts to infest their home, terrifying them to the point of madness.

With family and friends keeping their distance due to the strange behavior exhibited by young Robbie, Amelia soon finds herself cut off and at the mercy of this evil monster.

Australia has been known to produce some horror gems over the years and The Babadook looked set to offer something truly unique and special to a genre saturated with ‘jump-out-of-your-seat’ scares and limitless gore.

Sadly however, The Babadook‘s engrossing and tense storyline seemed to descend into chaos at the end, undoing the fantastic build up of the films first sixty minutes, resulting in my disconnection from the fascinating characters.

Despite my view on the storyline, there was one saving grace of the film – Essie Davis and Daniel Henshall gave incredible performances that brought a chilling and unforgettable relationship to this mother and son, and will certainly make a trip to see this horror worth while, even if you do end up sharing my views on the ending.