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Latest Film Reviews - Allied, Fantastic Beasts and more!

30th November 2016 Posted by: Safia Yallaoui

What a month it's been for the world of film! Harry Potter fans finally got to see J.K. Rowling's new creation Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, plus all the other releases this month were completely mind boggling (in a good way). Here's what we make of the latest films...

The Accountant

Rating 5/5

Worldwide Box Office $140,940,144

Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a mathematical genius who works for the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world. He’s a good guy with a secret life, which consists of killing a hell of a lot of bad guys. The authorities get wind of the ‘accountant’ that is helping criminals and they go on a mission to find out who he is, but they would never have guessed Christian Wolff was behind it all. Christian was born with autism so his character is very interesting, because as an adult he tries to act ‘normal’ to the world but as soon as he gets home the signs of autism show themselves and he struggles to keep himself together. He has trouble socialising with people, which is why he constantly has a sad stern look on his face – you can count the amount of times he cracks a subtle smile on one hand! You naturally feel sorry for him because he clearly hates the way he is and he hates his autism. The story follows Christian as he tries to help a robotics company find the millions of dollars that have gone missing from their accounts. When he realises something is a bit fishy, he gets stuck in the middle of a dangerous plot and as people around him get killed and threatened, he chases after the criminals with the authorities hot on his tail. It’s one of the most interesting films I’ve seen in a long time because the story is quite detailed and unique. Affleck plays the character perfectly and Anna Kendrick also stars in the film as the damsel in distress who gets close to Christian, but not as close as you would think. There are lots of unexpected twists that literally left me open mouthed in shock! That’s why I highly recommend this film and think that you’ll be missing out if you don’t go to see it.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Rating 4/5

Worldwide Box Office $473,728,123  

Written by J.K. Rowling, the genius behind the Harry Potter series, there were high hopes for this film. On the whole it didn’t disappoint. The special effects were on par with that of the Potter films and there were lots of wonderful magical creatures (the fantastic beasts) that kept the film fun. The main character Newt, played by the talented Eddie Redmayne, travels to New York to find a rare beast, but once his own beasts that were hiding in his suitcase escape all hell breaks loose as the wizard world threatens to be exposed to the ‘muggles’. The plot is average and most of the story is predictable, which is why I haven’t given it top marks, but it is still enjoyable to watch and provides a great sense of adventure. Although it’s a spin off from the Harry Potter films, Hogwarts is mentioned in order to give that cohesion, it’s got nothing on the Potter films. It lacks some of the magic, unexpected twists and complexity of the Potter films, but it’s Dan Fogler’s character in particular that carries the film and makes it fun. His character, Jacob Kowalski, is a non-wizard who works in a cannery factory, but is bored with life. He gets wrapped up in the wizard world, through no fault of his own, and finds that life is much more exciting than he ever imagined.

 

Arrival

Rating 4/5

Worldwide Box Office $93,287,300  

The trailer gave me expectations of an Independence Day type film, another sci-fi where humans fight aliens, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The opening scene is unexpected and makes you realise this film is not going to be a typical sci-fi. Actress Amy Adams is fantastic in her role as a linguistics professor, who helps the government to decode the language of the aliens that have landed in 12 countries around the world, with no intention of attacking humans. Well that’s what the characters learn, because of course at first they worry that the aliens will start a war, but Professor Louise Banks is the only one smart enough to find out what the aliens really want. Her colleague on the mission, theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly played by actor Jeremy Renner, is her biggest help in decoding the mysterious symbols that the aliens use to communicate. Ian ends up playing a much bigger part in Louise’s life than she ever imagined. At times the film is a little confusing because we are constantly thrown back and forth between present day, the past and the future and there are a few scenes that bring the tone of the film down when it shouldn’t have. The film is spectacular to watch and is a mixture of sci-fi, drama, love and at some points there’s a horror-film sense to it. The beginning and the end were unexpected and fantastically intriguing, but there are some scenes in the middle that were boring and waiting for something to happen. Luckily, it was all worth it in the end as it was an interesting emotional rollercoaster and not like anything I’ve ever seen.  

 

Allied

Rating 4/5

Worldwide Box Office $27,422,000  

I’d heard that this film had quite a poor rating, but after seeing it I struggle to see why because it was a great film with a poignant mix of emotional drama and cold-blooded action. Brad Pitt plays Max Vatan, an intelligence officer during World War 2 (the era the film is set in) and the beginning of the film sees him meet Marianne Beausejour, played by the fantastic Marion Cotillard. At first they must act like they are married, even though they have only just met, so that they can infiltrate the Germans and fight on behalf of the French Resistance. After managing to escape a shooting unscathed, they decide to flee to London together and get married for real this time. They fall in love, have a child and live a happy year of their lives in London before trouble strikes again. Max is told that his wife is suspected of being a German spy, and that if they find out for definite that she is, he must shoot his wife or he will be killed. This is where the interesting story of the film really kicks in because Max almost drives himself crazy trying to find out if the love of his life and the mother of his child has just been fooling him the entire time. Marianne’s character, although sometimes shifty, is likeable as she’s a perfect wife and mother who dotes on her family. Max's character isn't as complex as Marianne's but they work well together. The ending came as a bit of a surprise, the middle did get boring as tends to happen with a lot of films and I suppose it was predictable at times. But the emotion and drama in this war-time film is powerful.

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