28 July 2017Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Dunkirk. This is a name everyone has heard of, how the allied troops were forced north onto the beaches and how a grand flotilla of small boats went and rescued them, but how many people have realliy sat down and thought about what actually happened. Films often romanticise war, and it’s not always their fault, stories transferred to the big screen often make heroes where there are none and hide true heroes in the background. That is not the case with this film……Christopher Nolan has written and produced a masterpiece. The raw edgy style of cinematography draws you in from the very beginning and you feel yourself running alongside these soldiers, sitting in the back seat of the spitfire willing the bullets to find their mark, and on board the small vessels urging their engines to go faster and get the job done. The film is full of heroes, not just the pilots or the skippers, but every single fighting man, played by actors representing real people, in a very real and terrible situation. I thought the way the film jumped between the three main parts of the story was captivating, I found myself getting immersed in each bit, not wanting to leave but eager to jump to the next part to see how that group of people were faring. Unusually for a war film there was very little in the way of blood flying around, but that in no way lessened the impact of the horror of war, and the desperation these men must have felt as they tried again and again to get off the beach and head for home. There were no fanfares, no trumpets, just a quiet satisfaction of job done and a sadness for all those who didn’t survive. An excellent job from Christopher Nolan.
24 July 2017Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester this evening – Despicable Me 3. So this is the third outing for Gru and his girls, and his weird dog, and his many many minions. I for one am happy to get back to the old team, I found the Minions film a little too much Minion. This outing gives us another outrageous villain, a guy called Balthazar Bratt, a character completely stuck in the 80s with his music and his dance moves and armed with expanding bubble gum as his weapon of choice. Throw into the mix the discovery that Gru has in fact got a twin brother called Dru and you’ve got a pretty watchable film. I can’t say it was outrageously funny but I did giggle throughout. The humour is very Benny Hill in its slapstick delivery and throw in the sheer determination of Agnes that the existence of unicorns is true, you have quite an endearing film to keep you entertained for a while.
23 June 2017Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Hampstead. Why do people find it so hard to reconcile themselves to the fact that it’s ok to be different. This story takes us on a journey of burgeoning love between a widowed American and a man who deliberately chose to remove himself from society. Putting nothing into society, yet taking nothing out, he is persecuted for his lifestyle and when he is being threatened with eviction he finds support from an unexpected source….namely Emily, played the the wonderful Diane Keaton, who brings her flighty style to this put upon, widowed character. Almost forced into rebelling by Fiona, her busy body head of the tenants association neighbour, Emily discovers Donald Horner, a man who has been practising his lifestyle for 17 years, yet is facing eviction by the developers who want to utilise his plot of land. Based on a true story this film shows the unpleasant side of some people’s characters and the nicer side of those who are drawn out from their shells. A feel good film which only had one uneasy moment for me, that was when Emily seemed to change her personality momentarily leading me to wonder where things were going. A good rainy Sunday afternoon film.
18 May 2017 Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Guardiansof the Galaxy Vol.2 – I finally got myself to The Plaza to catch this
next instalment of the great Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy. We rejoin
our heroes as they are defending a bunch of batteries for the The
Sovereigns……enter the cutest dancing twig of all time. I AM
GROOT!!!!! This film throws us right back in the mix of the weirdest
‘family’ group on the screen today, yet amidst all their bickering,
their fierce loyalty to each other enable them once again to save the
Galaxy and in the process discover more about themselves. Sisters, one
blue and one green, a scraggy pint sized raccoon with a big gun and a
big attitude, a blue man with a strange arrow controlled by an
attachment on his head…….need I go on, they are characters we all
know and love. This sequel is solid follow on film with a plot far
removed from the first, filled with action, adventure and a fair few
giggles along the way. An excellent film, watch it again and again.
Remember cinema going peoples, this is a Marvel Film…….stay to the
23 March 2017 Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Kong:Skull Island. Yet another remake of the old classic King Kong. Each
time we revisit this story it gets bigger and more fanciful, but each
time the visual effects can be more awe inspiring. This particular
outing ticked a lot of boxes for me. We have a group of scientists, a
platoon of soldiers due to return home from the Vietnam war, and a man
running an expedition with a hidden agenda, put all these factions
together on an island inhabited by monsters and there is bound to be
bloodshed. Tom Hiddleston smouldered in slow motion as a man hired for
his tracking skills, Brie Larson tossed her hair provocatively as the
pushy woman photographer and Samuel L Jackson delivered an epic
performance as Lt Col Packard, a man who is not yet ready to
leave the war and who is letting his fighting spirit cloud his decision
making process. This group of people made odd bedfellows but add a
tribe of non speaking painted natives, a huge primate and some
outstandingly ugly reptilian monsters and you have a movie that keeps
you interested from start to finish. Filmed in Hawaii and Australia, we
are introduced to some stunning landscape which proves to be barbaric
in its’ beauty as our group battles to survive all that nature and the
unnatural can throw at them. A much better telling of the Kong tale,
will there be another?
21 March 2017Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester this afternoon – The Time of Their Lives. Starring Joan Collins and Pauline Collins as Helen and Priscilla, two women who couldn’t be more different, they end up together on a bus on a day trip to the beach which culminates in them both ending up in France. Billed as a female buddy movie, this was a lot more mundane, these two characters were not really buddies, just two ageing women drawn together by the desperateness of their lives, one a Hollywood actress whose star is definitely on the wane, the other an unappreciated housewife haunted by memories of the past. What ensued should have been funnier, should have been more emotional but in reality the acting was wooden and slightly uncomfortable to watch. Take Joan Collins out of the equation and I felt I was watching a modern remake of Paulines Collins’ big hit Shirley Valentine. It was a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours but that’s about it.
20 March 2017Film of choice at the Plaza Dorchester tonight – Beauty and the Beast. If I was only allowed to use one word to describe this film I guess it would be spectacular, but I’m glad there are more words available as I want to use a lot of them. This film was sumptuous, extravagant, romantic, dark, joyful, and spectacular. Emma Watson was the perfect casting for Belle as she radiated naivety, beauty and the compassion we come to expect of this character. Dan Stevens played the beast and brought a tenderness to the part. Luke Evans shone as Gaston oozing stupidity, boorishness and an evil sly malevolence when he didn’t get his own way. This live action version of the Disney animation excelled in what it does best, bringing the stories of our imagination alive on the screen. There were moments of joy, moments of sorrow, moments that made us laugh and that made us cry, and although we all know the story, I find myself still willing the good guys to win as the film comes to its glorious conclusion. Although I knew who most of the cast were, it was still a wonderful moment when the true characters of the household objects were revealed. I must applaud the costume department and the people in charge of the set, I feel I could watch this film every week for year and look behind the characters to see something new every time. A truly magnificent piece of cinema suitable for the whole family is it a watch and definitely going to be part of my DVD collection. I urge you all to go and see it.