Film Reviews: Edition #3

My name is Stef and I am a cinema worker by both day and night. Due to my family and friend’s enthusiasm to exploit my staff discount, I have seen just about every film shown in the last 3 years. I have chosen to review 4 films that illustrate the unexpected highs and monotonous lows of the just after peak season at the movies.

Focus (2015) Directed by Glenn Ficarra

“Focus” sees Will Smith as an experienced conman and Margot Robbie as his protégé keen to learn the tricks of his trade. The film starts off fast-paced and fun with a good soundtrack to sustain the intense mood. Unfortunately as the film goes on it becomes more and more unrealistic and if you are paying attention you are sure to find some holes in the plot of Smith’s elaborate cons. The film then features some scenes where Will Smith’s character is explored on a deeper level. Unfortunately Smith just isn’t selling these emotional scenes and they end up feeling awkward and as if they don’t match the overall tone of the film. A lighthearted and entertaining film that unfortunately wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.

2.5 stars.


The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) Directed by John Madden

The sequel to the 2011 film by almost the same title continues to follow the lives of several elderly people who have retired to a hotel in India. The film also boasts the addition of Richard Gere to the already all-star cast. “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has all the hallmarks of its predecessor, charming and loveable characters, humorous translation issues and a visual feast provided by the beautifully colourful Indian backdrop. However I do feel this film lacked a little when it came to the plot and didn’t have the same level of intricacy as the pervious instalment. But I can guarantee that it will deliver on that warm fuzzy feeling you can otherwise only get from hanging out with your Nan.

3.5 stars.


Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Directed by Matthew Vaughn

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is the highly anticipated film adaptation of the book that sold over 100 million copies. I walked into the theatre expecting a fantastically tacky “so bad its good” kind of film. What I viewed would be better described as a comedy and better titled “How not to make a film”. The dialogue was laughably bad and will make you cringe more times that you can count. The film also includes a myriad of ridiculous moments that will have you distracted from the plot and internally wondering who the fuck still has a flip phone in 2015. As the film was finally wrapping with a particularly violent scene in Christian’s “play room”. One of the main characters was being beaten by the other and I wasn’t conflicted in the slightest, because the film had done such a poor job at building up her character or making her even remotely relatable or likeable.

1 star.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” tells the story of a gentleman spy, played by Colin Firth who takes a delinquent and misbehaving teen under his wing in the hopes of transforming him into a Kingsman secret agent. The film is fun, fiercely entertaining and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has all the cool gadgets and secret doorways of a Bond film but way more laughs and a vibrant tone far more suited to younger audiences. The film is clearly targeted at teenage boys and I feel that this may have been taken a touch too far with some overly violent scenes and crude humour. All in all “Kingsman” is a lighthearted and enjoyable film, the perfect thing to see with your teenage brother.

4 stars.

Words by Stefanie Parletta

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