David Copperfield (1999)

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The Good Liar (2019)

Director Bill Condon has two great talents to tell us a story which is seemingly about a liar. Do not be fooled! There is much more than meets the eye!

Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren bring a class act alive on screen about a second shot at love. Very soon we see multiple layers reveal themselves and try and catch the lie and liar.

An interesting film with some fine nuanced moments.

3/5

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

The comfort with a tale oft told is the feeling it creates when you see it. That very comfort can work against you when the film doesn’t offer it. This time round however, director Bill Condon has a heart warming experience to share with us.

Disney took a big risk with Emma Watson, the lead star with many illustrious voices around her, to carry such an expensive fairy tale on her petite shoulders. She does so with unassuming talent and grace. The canvas is large, the work is detailed and they have managed to recreate the feel of watching a stellar musical which, to our advantage, plays in cinemas across the world.

Dan Stevens as the beast is ‘U’ rated, I must admit. Disney made it so, so that children would warm up to him rather than be afraid. Great care has been taken to craft his look, his introduction, evolution and his revelation, all of which make him endearing.

The supporting characters are made with stunning CGI and voices to match. Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are wonderful inhabitants of the castle. Kevin Kline, Luke Evans and Josh Gad provide the drama in the village.

The music is a delight to the ears and eyes, with the title track playing in your head much after the movie has finished. The other songs have been given equally aesthetic treatment just like the broadway or the animated versions, a spectacular vision and execution.

It has been very well received, and for good reason, as it combines technology and art to produce a modern day masterpiece.

4/5

X-Men: Days of Future Past

When a super hero film doesn’t try too hard to impress, this is the result. It was easy to watch, the characterisation was strong, the effects were excellent (a standard these days) supported by a decent plot. You settle into the film pretty quick after its dramatic beginning, knowing exactly how it will end, but the action, drama and visual sequences are engaging till its timely conclusion.

An ensemble cast comprising of Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are surprisingly given important and appropriate footage, except Halle Berry who has very little presence.

Bryan Singer has directed X-Men, X2, Superman Returns, produced X-Men: First Class, amongst many others, so is no stranger to the genre, which shows in his film making. He builds the right tone and feel quickly, taking you on a mixed paced ride with enough thrills and mutant theories to await the next one. Watch out for a 10 second glimpse after the end credits have completely finished.

3/5

The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The journey of the dwarves continues in the second part of The Hobbit trilogy. The first part was heavier on the eyes with more cgi action, this time round the drama and dialogue quotient was high, which made it easier to watch.

Long at 2 hours and 40 minutes for a 3D film, it is an effective bridge between the first and third part. Smaug probably got a bit too chatty, but the scenes were crafted well, treasures rolling all over, keeping the audience entertained. The escape scene of the dwarves, action scenes between orcs and elves, the spider encounter, were some of the highlights.

A lot of scenes conjured up ‘Harry Potter’ moments, showing us how much J.K. Rowling may have been inspired by Tolkien’s writing. There was grandeur, there were small moments, which entertained and occasionally tickled.

3/5