Goin’ #BackToHogwarts

Missed the train so listening to this instead.

Black Butler (2014)

Want to see so much!

Playback Reviews

Black Butler filmLength: 119 min

Release date: 18 January 2014

Synopsis: An orphaned aristocrat summons a demonic butler to aid her, at the price of her soul.

Genre: Action / Crime / Drama

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Kentarô Ohtani / Kei’ichi Sato

Writer: Yana Toboso (manga) 

Starring: Hiro Mizushima / Ayame Gôriki / Yûka

MPA-Rating: 15

Black Butler (also known in Japanese as Kuroshitsuji) began life as a manga that debuted in 2006. Published by Yen Press for the English market, it is written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. It’s currently ongoing and has twenty-one published volumes so far.

The original manga of Black Butler (and later its popular anime counterpart) is set in VictoriaBlack Butler mngan London. It tells the story of a thirteen year old orphan, Ciel Phantomhive, as he strives to lead household, and solves crimes as the Queen’s Watchdog. He is accompanied by a “one hell of a butler”…

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Harry Potter’s 18th Birthday

18 years ago, a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling was released here in the UK, which led to the phenomenon today that defines many young people’s childhoods and created a generation of readers and writers, myself included.

Quite timely, today JK Rowling revealed that she is working on a play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child due to open next year in London. Telling the untold part of Harry’s life, including the story of James and Lilly’s life. Find further details by visiting the BBC News story.

This is to be closely followed by the film version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November 2016, starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

Happy Birthday Harry and may you keep fans new and old fascinated for years to come.

Film Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Apologies for the lack of real posts. Life as usual getting in the way. This review is not promising to be well written if I am being honest.

Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a young man lost in his life and after he lands in trouble with the law, he is bailed out by Harry Hart (Colin Firth) offering him a new life: to become an agent with the Kingsman, an independent spy organisation. Plucked from a deprived background, he has to fight against the other more affluent and upper class applicants to become a Kingsman. Meanwhile, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), an internet mogul is planning to unleash a signal that will send everyone into a psychotic murderous rage in an act of eco-terrorism.

Kingsman is a flashy comedic take on the gentlemen spy, a mix of a spoof but genuine attempt at the genre. The fight scenes are fluid and fun with amazing cinematography. The main moments that kept the audience hooked in from start to end were also the moments which had everyone in the showing laughing together. I can’t really explain which they were without spoiling the film and let’s face it, the puppies are cute.

All the characters are fun but I would say that not all are relate-able to the average audience. The upper class is heavily spoofed making it hard to relate. Later I wondered if the British characters were intended as social commentary about British society. Eggsy is from a council estate with a step father and a half-sister whilst many of our politicians are seen as out of touch private school old boys. The rivalry and hazing of Eggsy by the other applicants of upper class background was possibly there to show the divide in British society. Eggsy’s application was noted to possibly be a case of social engineering, which is frequently claimed in some circles, especially in regards to university applications.

I have to say though that I feel Kingsman was lucky to get its 15 certificate with the swearing and violence prevalent within the film. If you are not expecting it, it can be shocking whilst also being fun. In that respect, it is surprising that there hasn’t been more of an outcry over how controversial it is. The film is also somewhat clichéd with the story but if they had done the opposite, I can’t help feeling that I would still be saying that it was clichéd. Perhaps this is down to genre.

Kingsman is a fun film, definitely of its genre and possibly has more to say for itself than it seems at first glance. Despite it possibly being controversial and very violent, it was a great film.

Film Review: Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War

I know! A film review! Only a quick short one really.

Source: GoodSearch Images

Mrs Caldicot (Pauline Collins) has been kept under her husband’s thumb for years so when he dies, she thinks she has the perfect chance to become independent. Her son (Peter Capaldi, long before Doctor Who) and daughter-in-law however force her into a retirement home where she is drugged to keep quiet and forced to sign over her house to her son. However, when the drugs wear off, she incites revolution among her fellow inmates, leading to her to discovering her fire and creating more change than she anticipated.

This British film does not sound like it is going to be particularly entertaining at first however Pauline Collins soon warms you up, getting the audience to relate to the character through the themes of finding independence and fighting against a system that is wrong through, initially, small acts. Capaldi is wonderful in his role of the manipulative son (attack eyebrows included), with fellow Doctor Who star Annette Badland as the homes cook and Tony Robinson of Time Team fame as chat show host, Nick Reid. There are some laugh out loud moments, mixed in with warm moments whilst also asking questions about the treatment of our aged and elderly that are as relevant today as they were back in 2002 when the film was made.

It’s not exactly a film that would grace TV’s at prime time and is more suited to a quiet Sunday with the family to curl up and enjoy. Not all plot lines I feel are tied up, the ending comes out of nowhere and character development, away from Mrs Caldicot, is minimal, if any happens at all. It certainly could draw lessons from fellow Brit comedy-drama Keeping Mum, which also features a lot of British talent. Some fleshing out and rewriting was needed in places. Unfortunately, this does let down an otherwise funny, warm film.

Definitely a film to curl up with a slow day but certainly not the best. I know I, at least, would rather watch Keeping Mum or Call the Midwife over this.