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.

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Camp NaNoWriMo Planning

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Okay, first things first, I want to apologise for a lack of real activity on here. A mixture of different things, mostly revolving around job hunting, have prevented me from posting and writing as much as I would have liked. Please forgive me for that.

My July project for Camp NaNoWriMo is based on the successful musical Wicked, which in turn is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Image Source: GoodSearch

Hopefully, the writing side of things will improve as I have signed up (perhaps stupidly) for another Camp NaNoWriMo session. Most of the writing I have done since April has surrounded planning for this next session, inspired by the musical Wicked. I am sure people will know what it feels like when you get thinking about something. I got thinking about this next session not long after my rather dreadful April attempt, whether I was going to take part in the July session and about the fact that Wicked is currently touring around the UK.

Unable to afford to go and see the professional version, I started wondering about whether there was any amateur performances of Wicked in my area. A quick search online revealed that there were no licenses available for am-dram groups to perform it so it was not possible for groups to do the show. Naturally (maybe to a writer’s mind), I started thinking about writing a script based on Wicked that can be performed by local drama groups and so July’s  project was born.

Whilst working on the basic planning, I realised that I was in danger of replicating the back story to another character I have. I also realised that whilst playwriting books and Celtx do try to help you write plays, I don’t actually know how to format a play script. So until I figure that bit out, I will be writing it as a moving image/film script. Don’t be afraid to get in contact if you can give me any advice or help on the formatting of play scripts. I will appreciate any and all help anyone can give me!

This new project may or may not work but I figure it is something well worth a shot. Will it get performed? Will I even edit it after I have finished the script? I don’t know but I really want to try. I am also curious about who else is planning to do NaNo this month. Hopefully, for me at least, July will be better than April.

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Sly Cooper Movie?

The Sly Cooper game series is getting  a movie it seems. Slated for a 2016 release, the film is being developed by Rainmaker and Blockade Entertainment but other than that, very little is otherwise known about the film.

Have a look at the trailer here:

What do people think? What are your hopes for the film? Is there anything you would hate to happen in it? Comment below.

Film Review: Epic (2013)

Yes, it’s a kids film. No, I don’t care.

MK (Mary Katherine) has just moved in with her father after a family tragedy and finds herself feeling ignored and isolated by her father, who is obsessed over the idea that little people live in the forest and keep it green and alive. She soon learns that it is all true when she finds the queen of the Leafmen dying and is entrusted with a flower pod to protect and to return to her people so that a new queen maybe named. However, this is not as easy as it sounds as there is an opposing force in the forest who want the pod for themselves…

The film is a rather simplistic in it’s story, with a good vs. evil plot line and is definitely for kids but I do like that there is a (very mild) environmentalist. I also like that the love story between MK and Nod is only there in the background and is not overpowering. There is also parallel story lines about familial love between a (surrogate) father and child (Nod and Ronin, MK and her father). I found this very appealing and enjoyed seeing it as I don’t think I have come across that before in other films or books I have read (whether for adults or children).

There is a lot of fighting in this film but none of it is over the top and the death of the queen is very well handled and I don’t believe this film would cause any nightmares for children.

What also appealed to me was the visual look of the film. I saw this film in 2D and have heard reports that it looks brilliant in 3D but going on what I saw today, everything was so detailed and amazing. The flying sequences, whilst not on the same level as the ones from How To Train Your Dragon (2010), made you believe that you were flying with them but didn’t quite have the same effect as HTTYD. It had the shiny look to be expected from an animated film for kids but the visuals, combined with everything else, drew me in and I found myself believing everything I was seeing. It even made me stop, for a short time, analysing the film and it’s writing just to enjoy it (which can be very difficult to do).

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, despite it very much being a kids film, but the family love story, the (again, very mild) environmentalist story, the visuals and the fighting sequences all combine to create a fun and enjoyable film for adults as well as children.