16 April 2018
Second fIlm of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Rampage. When man interferes with nature, it always goes wrong, you think people would learn but why do they have to when Dwayne Johnson is there to save the day!!! Inspired by a video game I’m not familiar with, Rampage is as corny as they come, yet with monsters as gargantuan to the species as Dwayne Johnson is to his, this film somehow works. A science experiment, in the eyes of many, has gone wrong, but in the greedy money grabbing eyes of the people who are in control of the scientists, everything is right on track to make their fortune. Throw the military into the mix and you have a typical Hollywood all action disaster film. Once again Chicago bears the brunt, and it’s such visual feast of varying shaped buildings, interspersed with bridges, waterways, a raised railway transit system and a huge lake next to it, it must be a movie makers delight to base it as the battlefield of all manner of horror/disaster/saving humanity stories, and I for one love seeing it used as a set for such film genres. This film will not win any best actor awards, but the special effects guys should get a look in. Moments of humour intersect all the dramatic action and it makes for a very enjoyable film.
16 April 2018
First Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Peter Rabbit. A whimsical yet modern take on an old children’s favourite. James Corden providing the voice of Peter brings a whole new character to this mischievous young rabbit. This is a true family story with children young and not so young filling the cinema, and what a treat it was to hear everyone screaming with laughter at the slapstick humour. All our old favourites were included, Jeremy Fisher, Pigling Bland, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck as well as the core characters of Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Benjamin Bunny. Beautifully filmed and exquisitely animated, when we bring human characteristics to animals you get real expressions on their faces which somehow fit. This film easily melded the country and the city life to one another and also cleverly reminded us of the original Peter Rabbit productions by animating the old illustrations. A lovely film, one to be enjoyed again and again, especially on a rainy Sunday afternoon with the children.
26 February 2018
Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Finding Your Feet. This is a great film about growing older and learning to enjoy it. It’s a film with happiness, sadness, joy and disappointment. Starring some of our favourite older actors and actresses this is the story of Sandra (Imelda Staunton) who, as she is about to embark on her golden years with her husband, discovers he has been having an affair. Sandra immediately decamps to her sister’s tiny flat and proceeds to fall apart. What happens next is a tale of survival and reinvention as she puts her life back together. I thought this film was great, we met people with problems and secrets of their own who came together to forget about it all in a weekly dance class. I hope we can all age like this, there was very little that was graceful about it but my goodness they looked like they could have some fun. A great cast including Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley and the utterly fabulous Celia Imre, I urge you to go and see his film, even if for a couple of hours to escape your own life. Funny, moving, outrageous and lots of fun.
19 February 2018
Second Film of Choice at tHe Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Black Panther. Time for another Marvel production. This was not your usual Marvel film. However it was fabulous. What made this one different is we were not bombarded with lots of superhero stuff this was more a tale of sci-fi folklore which erupted from a hidden city in the depths of Africa onto the rest of the world. This was a tale of who wins the throne and who is worthy to carry on the name and the work of Black Panther. There was much solemnity in this film interspersed with irreverence at solemn moments which elicited burst of laughter from the audience. Although slow it parts I felt this was necessary to the storyline and kudos must be given to the model makers and animators for creating a city fitting of both a metropolitan situation and an African savannah. Great use of rhinos, and some rather fancy intense battle scenes. I like the panther suit and the technology which comes with it. It was a little like watching Q from James Bond with all his gadgets, only way cooler. Although very different from the usual Marvel film I do feel this slots neatly into its place in the franchise. Once again people…….don’t leave before the end of the credits…..two extras this time!!!!
19 February 2018
First Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – The Shape of Water. This is a love story…with a difference. A strange but beautiful tale from the stable of Guillermo del Toro. Elisa is a mute who works as a cleaner a high security government facility in the early 60s. She witnesses the arrival of a new top secret ‘asset’. What follows is the strangest most beautifully surreal love story I’ve ever seen. We are treated to the perfect example of how many bigoted people hold in contempt that which they don’t understand, and how the person you least expect is the one who steps up to help the underdog. I always watch the credits, not only to acknowledge the work of everyone who has contributed to a film, but also for any snippets I might learn. In this instance I learned that Guillermo del Toro part contributed to the vocalisation of the Aquaman and that included in the list of thank yous at the end were notables such as James Cameron and Joel and Ethan Cohen. A superb piece of acting from our leading lady played by Sally Hawkins, no mean feat when you don’t have any lines.
12 February 2018
Second Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Winchester. I am not a fan of horror, it doesn’t scare me, and I find it all slightly ridiculous but I thought I would give this one a go, it’s Helen Mirren after all. Believing herself to be haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by a Winchester Rifle, Sarah Winchester (Mirren) believes she can help them find peace. However her board of directors think otherwise and they send in Dr Eric Price to evaluate her and encourage him to declare her unhinged and incompetent of running the company. However once he arrives at her eccentric mansion things start to happen……..! Supposedly based on true events the story is quite absorbing. The atmospheric camera work keeps you interested and there is a good helping of bangs and crashes and explosive music in the score but I’m sorry to say I stand by my view that films like this are slightly ludicrous. Probably at its most effective on a big screen in a dark cinema. Helen Mirren on the other hand was exceptional in her role. She acted her socks off and brought us a huge range of emotions from sorrow and fear to heartbreak and triumph. This film is worth a look for her performance alone.
12 February 2018
First Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – The 15:17 To Paris. If you go to watch this film expecting a real superhero story with lots of action, you will be very disappointed. Based on the true events of 21 August 2015 when a terrorist attack was thwarted by three Americans on board a train to Paris, this is a story more of friendship, growing up and selfless actions to save lives of others with no thought to themselves. Using the actual three men instead of actors, you get a real insight into their world and I had the feeling I was watching the contents of someone’s diary, but not in a voyeuristic manner, more like being invited in to the story of someone’s life. It was a refreshing way of telling the tale and although a little stilted in the dialogue sometimes I rather enjoyed it. There was little focus on the terrorist himself and rightly so. Ok the acting was not the greatest’ and the story meandered a little but this served to emphasise how ordinary people leading ordinary lives can do extraordinary things. This is a story of true heroes!!