8 February 2017Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Hacksaw Ridge. Everyone should watch films like this. Everyone should share the horrors of war and realise what this world has gone through, what people do to each other and how futile it all is. As the years go on we still keep discovering stories that need to be told and this was definitely in that category. Desmond T Doss was a Seventh-Day Adventist and a CO, a Conscientious Objector, who felt it was his duty to join up not to fight, but to serve in another way. Following the Lord’s commandment to the letter telling him thou shalt not kill, he refused to touch a gun, instead demanding he be allowed to go into battle as a medic. Meeting all kinds of resistance he stayed true to his faith and his beliefs and what followed was truly remarkable resulting in Doss becoming the first man in US history to be awarded the medal of honour having never fired a shot. Comparing this film to Saving Private Ryan does both films an injustice. Hacksaw Ridge, in no way detracts from the horror of Private Ryan, but stands out as one of those truly unmissable films. Directed by Mel Gibson, who has done an great job in bringing this tale of heroism to the screen, Hacksaw Ridge, before the bloodshed starts, is almost comedic at times and you find yourself grinning along with Andrew Garfield’s infectious smile. Vince Vaughn did a pretty good job in his role as Sargent Howell,and Hugo Weaving was brilliant as Desmond’s Father. This is a tale of our recent history, it needs to be told and it must never be forgotten, men like Doss and his beliefs alongside all our military both serving, retired and those no longer with us are the reason we go to work in normal jobs and live our normal lives. Well done!!!!
15 January 2017
Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – La La Land. It’s Los Angeles, circa..any time you want, a guy meets a girl, they fall in love, what’s new????? In fact very little is new in this film, we’ve kind of seen it all before, yet there is a little sparkle that makes it different!!!! The script is fairly ordinary and the songs are fairly bland, however, bring both these together and some magic happens. Emma Stone produces a pretty good performance as a girl trying to make it in Hollywood, she has some good opportunity to show a repertoire of various acting skills as her character trawls round audition after audition trying to break into the industry. Ryan Gosling plays a jazz musician passionate about his music but unable to bring his dream to fruition and having to sacrifice his goals in order to make ends meet. Musician meets actress and our story has begun. This film is trying to mix the modern with the glory days of Hollywood past and although successful in many ways it doesn’t quite reach the spot. Having said that I enjoyed it immensely, anything with a little song and dance is sure to keep me entertained the bright colours and jazz music evoke memories of the grand days of the big studios, yet we know we are in modern times as technology is evident in most scenes. This is a film I recommend you see if only took form your own opinion, just because the industry likes it doesn’t mean you have to, although I did!!!!
19 December 2016Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Rogue One. All hail the marvellous minds that come together to bring us films like this. This is not Star Wars, this is setting the scene for an epic saga, full of characters we have never heard of, yet are strangely familiar. This is a tale of good guys and bad guys and grand battles, narrow escapes and people fighting for the causes they believe in. We are invited to join the story before it begins and along the way we are teased with seconds of familiar noises, cameos of familiar faces and moments of mirth which were totally unexpected. We are introduced to a different generation of droid, who not only enthralled us like C3P0 but also very much reminded me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory (bizarre I know). Some very clever film techniques brought us unexpected characters and re-introduced us to weaponry and battle strategies of old (or new depending on which film you are watching). This film has provided an excellent stop gap whilst we wait for Episode 7, whilst at the same time negating the need to waste time watching Episodes 1-3. Excellent filming, a wonderful array of characters, a mixture of human, tentacle clad, masked, and downright squishy which is brought together in bars and streets from distant ends of the galaxy. There is also a splendid mix of spaceships, old favourites and new designs which given the timeline actually work together and you accept them as already existing. Brilliant film, well done to all involved.
9 December 2016Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Sully. It’s a strange experience to write about a film based on true events, even more so when you can remember the actual event occurring in real time. The landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York was testament to the skill and experience of Captain Chelsey Sullenberger and his Co-pilot Jeff Skiles as he brought the bird to an almost unheard of safe, yet watery landing which saved all 155 souls on board. Immediately hailed a hero by the media and pretty much the whole of the tv watching, social media connected world, Sully’s bravery and heroism was quickly brought into doubt by the NTSB enquiry which seemed to suggest that he needn’t have landed on the river at all. The cast was very cleverly assembled, bringing together a group of officials who were smugly sanctimonious and utterly sure they were bringing an airline pilot to task for a sure fire mistake which had almost cost people their lives. History tells us they were wrong but the film had me wanting to put these people in their place as I was itching to shout at the screen and remind them what a hero Sully really was. A first collaboration for director Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks, it was superbly shot and CGI has come on a long way enabling us to really believe the plane on our screens was hitting the water. Tom Hanks is a consummate professional, an actor who assumes the character of every role he plays with a flair you don’t find in many other actors, and he brought the personality of Sully to the screen with skill and compassion which made us really believe we could read the thoughts and feel the emotions of the man he was portraying. This was one of the rare films where I didn’t move in my seat until it had ended. A definite watch!!!!
21 November 2016Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For those of you who are missing the adventures of Harry Potter and his wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts plugs that gap with aclarity. With a cast headed by the supremely talented Eddie Redmayne, as Newt Scamander, this film immerses us once more into a place where the world of wizard and No-Maj (American for Muggle) collide. We are again treated to an insight of the machinations of J K Rowling’s brain, and I for one am always happy that she shares it with our world. You absolutely do not have to watch any of the Harry Potter films to understand any of the references to Muggles, Hogwarts and the like, this film is story on its own and we are introduced to a whole new collection of characters…….and magical beasts, some of which are cute and some downright weird. Excellent visual effects, and a screenplay which includes more than a few lighthearted moments. Another smash from the wizarding world and I eagerly await the next instalment.
25 October 2016Film of Choice at The Plaza Dorchester This Afternoon – Jack Reacher Never Go Back. Tom Cruise returns in the title role and plays the hero part with aplomb. The film begins, continues and ends with action and intrigue. In this outing Reacher has to uncover a government conspiracy to clear his name and that of a colleague. A complicated plot entwines itself around the characters and it takes a little concentration not to get lost. There is however a rather refreshing chase scene that doesn’t involve a single car. Highly watchable but not as good as the first film. Always easy to watch Tom Cruise when he’s strutting his stuff, whatever the plot.
20 October 2016Film of Choice at the Plaza Dorchester Tonight – Bridget Jones’s Baby. Bridget Jones……pregnant……..and in true Bridget style…….who is the father? Is it her long suffering, perfect in her mother’s eyes, on/off beau Mark or is it the ruggedly handsome, infuriatingly understanding, but you wouldn’t mind going home to meet his mother, and I forgot to mention, American, Jack. Throw in Emma Thompson as the no nonsense seen it all before, let’s get on with it, I seem to hate men, gynaecologist, and the bizarre group of work colleagues and friends that seem to be attracted to Bridget, and I find you have the funniest film in this franchise yet. We last met Bridget in 2004 and our much loved characters have aged somewhat, in fact I think a thinner Bridget is a much older looking Bridget. Colin Firth, is ageing gracefully but still manages to carry off that woebegone puppy look when things aren’t going his way. Bridget’s parents remain the same, and her best friends, although laden with husbands and children are still as wacky as ever. I hooted with laughter throughout and everyone came out of the cinema in high spirits. Another one for the DVD collection.