Only God Forgives

Plot: After the death of his brother, a man of a criminal underworld ends up in a showdown with the murderers. A film about violence and revenge.

Year: 2013

Director: Nicholas Winding Refn

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm and Rhatha Phongam.

It’s an incredible film and quite unique. It’s a film that can be admired for its artistry. It’s vibrant and colourful which sort of contrasts with the horrific violence that goes on in the film. It’s a Danish-French film but it has a lot of English speaking scenes so it’s not too bad. I’d say watch it with subtitles though so you get the full experience.

The film is graphic and has a disturbing torture scene. It really doesn’t sugar coat anything, you see the full gore and it’s actually hard to watch. Usually, I’m okay with gore but when it involves eyes and ears, it makes my stomach churn. I did have to look away when this torture scene occurred.

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The film feels a little experimental which is what makes it unique. It’s quite different from any other films that you may have watched. Horror meets martial arts. The soundtrack is amazing. It creates tense scenes that make you want to sit on the edge of your seat. Absolutely incredible.

Definitely worth the watch, especially if you’re a Ryan Gosling fan. He’s mesmerising to watch. Also, if you’re wanting to watch a visually pleasing film then watch it.

Rating: 6/10.

Into the Forest

Plot: After an apocalyptic blackout that cuts off all power supply, including cell phones, gas, water and electricity, two sisters must band together and fight for survival.

Year: 2015

Director: Patricia Rozema

Starring: Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella and Callum Keith Rennie.

It has such an exciting premise and if you look at it as a Hollywood blockbuster then you’d expect it to be highly entertaining. However, it is a Canadian film and it seemed to focus more on the artistic feel rather than the entertainment factor. This isn’t a bad thing, some of the shots were very beautiful.

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It wasn’t your typical beginning, middle and end which is something that also goes against the conventions of Hollywood cinema. This type of film in Hollywood would have had an ending where everything is restored. There is no blackout anymore, everything would have been solved. Whereas in this film nothing changes at the end of the film. They’re still stuck in this shitty situation.

The acting in this film was great. I knew Ellen Page could act because I’ve seen her in so many films but the other main girl, I didn’t know but she was just as good. These sisters go through a horrific ordeal but together they make it through everything. It’s an honest and truthful film about devotion.

Rating: 5.5/10.

https://creators.co/@KatieMai/4206094

What’s Love Got to Do With It

Plot: This biographical film is loosely based on the life of Tina Turner as she finds fame. It also focuses on her turbulent marriage to Ike Turner.

Year: 1993

Director: Brian Gibson

Starring: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Rae’Ven Larrymore, Jenifer Lewis and Vanessa Bell Calloway.

Even if you’re not a fan of Tina Turner, it’s still worth watching. It’s an interesting and insightful film. Bassett who plays Tina Turner is absolutely outstanding. Her performance is nothing short of powerful. The actions she endures from the hands of Ike Turner are horrific and there are some hard scenes in this film that some people may find difficult to watch. Fishburne also deserves recognition for his performance, it can’t be easy playing a character that beats and rapes his wife. Together, they make this film truly emotional and heartbreaking. They’re both compelling actors.

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It’s not just about a woman who is a victim. It’s about a woman who finally says “no more” and actually means it. She finds a way to take control back over her life. She finds her voice and stands up for herself and it is truly inspiring. You can’t help but admire her for her courage. She went through a horrific ordeal but came out on top. If that’s not empowering then I don’t know what is.

Honestly, this film is so intriguing and you won’t be able to peel your eyes away. I recommend it to everyone. You really get to see how she became who she is today.

Rating: 7.5/10.

Hidden Figures

Plot: An incredible true story about the African American women who helped win the space race. It focuses on three women who muddle through in a time where equal rights were non-existent.

Year: 2016

Director: Theodore Melfi

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell and Mahershala Ali.

The first time I saw the trailer for this film I got goose bumps and a shiver ran down my spine. That’s when you know a film is going to be great! And it was. It was fantastic and it can really open people’s eyes into how bad discrimination was back then, especially a younger generation, one that doesn’t really know that much about it. The film offers insight into discrimination.

So much disgusted me about this film about how the women were treated. Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) who played the main character, got a job working in the numbers department and she was the only African American in there and they treated her like vermin. They made her make her drink out of a different water tank. She also had to go to the “coloured peoples” toilet which was 40 minutes away from where she worked. Imagine having to travel 40 minutes just to go relieve yourself. That is ridiculous.

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The story is just unbelievable and really empowering. It’s not just empowering for African American’s, it’s empowering for all women of any colour or ethnicity. It’s just empowering for anyone who has been in a situation where they haven’t stood up for themselves. The film teaches us to always stand up for ourselves.

The three actors that played the three main parts were completely loveable and they played the characters with strength and awe. This is an unforgettable story but these actors made these characters unforgettable too. They were very inspiring.

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It’s a film that is hard to dislike. It’s touching and a lesson in racial history. I can’t believe this story has only just been made into a film, honestly. The talent this year for films is insane. The Oscars are right around the corner and there is a lot of tough competition but I do hope this film gets the recognition it deserves. I hope it gets an award, it deserves it.

Rating: 9/10.

https://creators.co/@KatieMai/4206094

Manchester by the Sea

Plot: One day, a handyman called Lee Chandler, gets a call from his hometown. His brother has suddenly passed and he is named the guardian of his 16-year-old son.

Year: 2016

Director: Kenneth Lonergan

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges.

Amazing. From the cast to the story, it was a beautiful and stunning film. It was a fantastic drama about grief. It was much better than the trailer made it out to be, in my opinion. Some parts of the story were unexpected as well. I thought it was about a man with no kids who then all of a sudden had to look after his nephew but there was so much more to it than that. It was actually quite tragic.

The film really deserves all the awards it gets this season. There’s so much depth to the main character and Lucas Hedges is someone to look out for in the future. It’s a powerful film.

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*SPOILERS*

The main character, played by Casey Affleck had a wife and three kids but his three kids died in a fire and it was horrific. He practically lost his whole family, imagine that. It’s horrific. He even lost his wife because they split up. It was sad. You have to really feel for the character, he’s been through so much and even though he messes up a lot of the time, he is still standing. Reconnecting with his nephew is something he really needed.

The film is utterly magnificent. Watch it!

Rating: 10/10.