Movie Review: Endless Love

After the death of her older brother, Jade (Gabriella Wilde) withdrew from her social life focusing solely on her high school studies and dreams of becoming a doctor. But when a popular classmate David (Alex Pettyfer) who watched her from afar for 4 years finally strikes up a conversation with her on the day of their graduation, Jade realises what she has been missing out on.

The pair quickly fall for each other in this story about the power of love and the passion of a first romance. Much to the excitement of Jade’s mother Anne (Joely Richardson), who was worried about her daughter’s seclusion, the two are completely devoted to each other. They speak of the possibilities of love with so much passion that it inspires Anne and reminds her of how true love can be . Of course, there is one problem: Jade’s overprotective father (Bruce Greenwood) who seems to have lost sight of the simple pleasures in life after the death of his son and will do anything to keep his innocent daughter from the rough boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Apparently the film is based on the novel by Scott Spencer and is a remake of the 80’s movie of the same name. However, in an interesting and rather unusual (do author’s usually do this?) article for the Paris Review, Spencer voices his feelings about both movie adaptations. Personally, as I have neither read the book nor seen the original film, I can’t offer a comparison but if you have let me know for I am curious to see how you think it compares.

Though it may not be a very good adaptation,  as far as Valentine’s Day movies go, Endless Love is pretty standard with the typical way too many clichéd lines so if you’ve seen any Valentine’s Day movie ever, you can probably give this one a miss. That said, Alex Pettyfer’s sexy English accent did make a surprise appearance so it’s almost worth it for that.

Endless Love is in Australian cinemas now through Universal Pictures

Rating: 2.5/5

Steph @frangipaniprincess xoxo

Watch (And Cry): The Fault In Our Stars Trailer

The official The Fault In Our Stars trailer premiered last week, to the delight of John Green fangirls across the globe.

The Fault In Our Stars is one of my all time favourite books. Augustus Waters comes in second only to Draco Malfoy in my list of fictional guys I’d really, really like to marry. The book is so grand, so wonderful, that I had a lot of fears when I first heard it was being made into a film. After seeing the trailer, a lot of those fears still remain. Is Ansel Elgort right for the role of Augustus? (probably not, but is anyone?) Will the pretentious language of the novel translate into realistic teen conversation in the film? (again, probably not, because books use a different language to film. Maybe they should have adapted the conversation, but then most of the beauty would have been lost. Maybe it’s a lose-lose.) Will they ever be able to capture the bittersweet perfection of the relationship between Gus and Hazel?(This one I’m surprisingly less pessimistic about – Ansel and Shailene have amazing chemistry.)

I guess we’ll just have to wait until the 5th of June to find out for sure.

frangipani princess xoxo

Movie Review: The Hobbit – The Desolation Of Smaug

In the second instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, we once again catch up with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his rag-tag bunch of accompanying dwarves on their quest to reach The Lonely Mountain and regain the Dwarves’ homeland. After two hours of being chased by White Orcs, a quick run in with some Elves (hello Orlando Bloom), and a detour through Lake Town, our heroes finally reach the mountain. Bilbo makes some small talk with Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), there’s some fire breathing, and then the movie ends. It goes for almost three hours, but both times I left the cinema, I felt like I hadn’t actually seen anything.

I’ve never read The Hobbit, but I do know it’s not exactly the largest book in the world. Why, then, it needs to be split into three incredibly long and rather dry movies is beyond me. The premise would make an excellent film, maybe even two. But three films pushing three hours each? Nobody has time for that.

The movie wasn’t terrible. The barrel riding scene was excellent. Smaug, as Bilbo said, was indeed stupendous. Stephen Fry as The Master of Laketown was brilliant. Peter Jackson’s beautiful cinematography is absolutely perfect. But, there just wasn’t a plot. Or, more fairly, a plot that couldn’t have fitted in perfectly with the first equally overly long film. If both had been purged of unnecessary scenes and been smushed into one more action filled film that began in Hobbiton and ended at The Lonely Mountain, I would be much more of a fan.

The film ends just as the action is finally beginning to get exciting, which gives me hope for the third and final instalment. Unfortunately, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, is still a year away. So for now, you can either sit through nearly three hours of film in which nothing really happens, or just know that the film includes some walking and a bit of a dragon, and skip straight to number three.

Rating: 3/5

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is in Australian cinemas now through Roadshow Films.

frangipani princess xoxo

Movie Review: American Hustle

Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are con-artists, and they’re good at it. In a time of financial crisis, they prey on desperate victims and scam them out of thousands of dollars. And then they try to scam Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), an FBI agent. Richie offers them a deal: they help him bring in five names, and they avoid jail. However, what begins as a small scale operation soon turns into a con within itself, and the trio find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water. When you add in Irving’s volatile wife, Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence), a family centric mayor – Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) – from New Jersey just trying to improve the quality of life in his community, and a frustrated FBI boss, Stoddard Thorsen (Louis C.K.), you have the potential for a lot of things to go wrong.

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I’ll be honest: I don’t completely understand the hype surrounding American Hustle. It was good, but not “holy crap that was the best movie I’ve seen this year/ever” good. Part of this feeling stems from the fact that the ending of the film is abrupt and in many ways, depressing. The film is, however, extremely powerful in its portrayal of reality; under the elaborate cons and huge parties, it shows real consequences and the stories behind many of the characters.

A recurring theme throughout the movie was Stoddard telling Richie a story about ice-fishing in his youth. The joke is that Richie always assumes the moral to suit his circumstances and leaves as quickly as he can, before Stoddard can actually finish telling the tale. But the movie ends before we actually find out the ending to the story. It’s a minor point that’s not at all relevant to the overall film, but it piked my curiosity and I left the cinema feeling frustrated at the teasing. It was things like this, and the too-realistic portrayal of some of the characters (especially Carmine, my heart broke at the injustice he faced), that made me not Love the film, rather than the overall film in itself.

Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as the crazy wife, as was to be expected. The film is directed by David O. Russell, who also directed Silver Linings Playbook  (also starring Lawrence and Cooper). While Silver Linings Playbook centered around mental illness, and American Hustle does not, I found that in many ways the pair played similar characters in both films.

There is a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding the film, and while I agree that some of the actors should win for their parts (especially Lawrence and Bale), the film as a whole is not Best Picture material (then again, I didn’t think Argo was All That either, and it won this year – maybe I’m just not a good film critic). Amy Adams’ boobs also deserve an Oscar, because wow she wore some plunging dresses.

If you want to see what all the Hype is about, go and see it, but at this time of year, you’re not exactly lacking other options.

Rating: 3/5

American Hustle is out now in Australian cinemas, through Roadshow Films. 

frangipani princess xoxo

Movie Review: About Time

At 21, Tim (Domnhall Gleeson) was told by his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family have the ability to travel through time. This time travel, however, is not without restriction. They can only travel backwards, and only through their own life experiences. Although skeptical at first, Tim soon discovers that he can, in fact, travel in his own timeline.

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Tim immediately uses this to rectify a recent embarrassing New Years kiss, and then soon attempts to use it to make his sister’s friend, Charlotte (Margot Robbie), fall in love with him.

Time passes, and Tim moves to London. He moves in with his dad’s eccentric playwright friend, Harry (Tom Hollander) and begins work as a lawyer. On a night out at a “dark restaurant” with his best friend Jay (Will Merrick), Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), who he immediately recognises is the girl of his dreams. However, upon returning home, Tim discovers that the opening night of Harry’s play has been a disaster, and so turns back time in an effort to make everything right. What he doesn’t realise, however, is that by doing this he erases his meeting with Mary. And thus begins a back and forth which lasts the first half of the movie, with Tim travelling through time to make Mary fall in love with him again.

Picture Courtesy Of Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy Of Universal Pictures

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Movie Review: Carrie

High School is full of bitchy girls, it’s just a fact of life. 99% of girls will come into contact with a total bitch, and the other 1% will be the queen bitch. Unfortunately, some girls are more prone to bullying than others. Girls like Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz). Carrie has been raised by a single, fanatically religious mother (Julianne Moore). Carrie has been so sheltered that she made it to seventeen without finding out what menstruation is. And this is here the film begins: Carrie in a high school locker room, screaming that she’s dying while girls throw pads and tampons at her. Being 2013, of course it’s filmed and before the end of the day everyone has seen the horrible video.

Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures

Picture courtesy of Sony Pictures

But then popular girl Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) decides to help Carrie, and convinces her boyfriend Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to prom. Her best friend, Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) does not approve, and her refusal to apologise leaves her kicked out of the prom by kind gym teacher (Judy Greer). Chris doesn’t want to take no for an answer, and begins planning Carrie’s ultimate humiliation.

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Movie Review: Catching Fire

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) hoped she could fade into the background, living her regular life in District Twelve, content with the knowledge her winnings would keep her family alive. But fate had other things in store for Katniss and her pseudo-boyfriend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), with their love story becoming a symbol of hope for the downtrodden districts. Unfortunately, the last thing The Capitol wants is for the districts to have hope, because hope means revolution. And so President Snow (Donald Sutherland) decides something must be done to catch the fire of revolution before it spreads.

And so for the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell, it was announced all Tributes would be reaped from the pool of previous victors to prove that nobody is invincible. As the only female victor in District Twelve’s history, that means back into the arena for Katniss. And despite the planning of Katniss and mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), it also means back into the arena for Peeta.

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With an engagement, a fake pregnancy, a President out for blood, and twenty-two bitter fellow tributes, the road back into the Hunger Games was never going to be an easy one.

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Movies That Shouldn’t Be Sad But Make Me Cry Anyway

In life there are movies that you expect to be sad. Movies that don’t pretend to be anything but what they are: tearjerkers. And I love movies like that. I know what to expect and I go in with tissues at the ready. But there’s another type of movie. A sneaky, sneaky type. The movie that pretends to be a regular film and then BAM, suddenly you’re sobbing.

Here are the films which I’ve found to be the biggest culprit of sneaky-sadness.

Juno – I love Juno, but every single time she has the baby I sob. Every. Single. Time.

The Way Way Back – I saw this movie twice while it was in cinemas, and I cried both times. I don’t know what it is about this movie, but gosh it deeply affected me.

Struck by Lightning – You know from the outset that this is a movie about death, but I didn’t expect it to affect me on such an intense level. I watched it for the second time recently and thought I would be fine, but my tear ducts defied me as the film hit the final scenes.

Where The Wild Things Are – I have only ever tried to watch this movie once. I got approximately five minutes into the film before I realised I was crying, and I couldn’t work out why and yet I couldn’t stop. I made it a bit over half way through before it got too much for me and I had to turn it off.

The Breakfast Club – Their confessions make me absolutely lose it. And the ending? Don’t get me started on the ending.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – I’m Going Home, more like I’m Going To Sob For An Hour, amirite?!

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – I debated putting this one on the list, because I’m not sure if it’s considered a sad film or not. All I know is I tear up at the first party, and by Sam’s farewell I’m a mess.

I guess a lot of these movies are relatable and thus make me think of my own life and then cry, but that doesn’t explain Where The Wild Things Are, Juno, or Rocky Horror. So the mystery remains unsolved.

What non-typically sad movies always make you sob?

frangipani princess xoxo

Watch: Kill Your Darlings Trailer

One of the movies I’m most looking forward to this year is “Kill Your Darlings”, the story of  poet Allen Ginsberg (played by a very post-Hogwarts Harry looking Daniel Radcliffe) in the most formative year of his life.

Indie films are always my favourite, and this one, also starring Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, and Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs is sure to be amazing. It premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, and I’m counting down the days until we can see it here.

Kill Your Darlings will be released in selected Australian cinemas on the 7th of November through Sony Pictures.

frangipani princess xoxo