#30 – Trapped Magic – by Nick Andersen

“Trapped Magic is a short dark fantasy loosely based on the myth of Sally the Dunstable Witch and the Bottled Curse and is angled as a relative to the BBC series ‘Merlin.’ The film was spurred from my love for all things fantasy.” – Heather Aspinall (director)

From the two minutes of this short preview of Trapped Magic, I will share my honest opinions. The first thing I noticed and immediately liked was the cinematography. Great location, angles, lighting and that fade filter it has over the picture. The second thing I noticed and was thrown off by was Claire Pulpher’s acting. This troubles me, especially if this project will be turned into a film. Her acting is noticeably fake or theatre-like; as if she were in front of an audience, playing the part too hard so for those in the back of the crowd, could hear her. I feel like she overacted her part. Now, when it was Callum Wernyj’s turn to speak, it was quiet and disconnecting. Yes that may be because of his shy character, but it was very obvious since his performance is such an extreme opposite to Claire’s loud one. I hope this scene doesn’t set the stage for the rest of the film, because so far, I have no interest in watching the eventual completed film. I have spoken with Abdiel about this, and we watched it for the first time together, and he also shares the same experience as mine. I don’t mean to bash on someone’s hard-worked creation, but they have reached out and asked us to do a review on this short clip, and these are our honest thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading our review!

– Nick Andersen & Abdiel Galindo

 

#28 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – by Nick Andersen

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a 2015 action comedy spy film directed by Guy Ritchie and co-written by Lionel Wilgram and Guy Ritchie, based on the 1964 TV series of the same name, which was created by Ian Fleming, Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe. The film stars Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant. In the 60s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin unite for a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which works to create nuclear weapons. Thinking the entire time that it had a James Bond feel to it, I later discovered that Ian Fleming (creator of James bond) is one of the three who created the film’s original TV series. You know it’s going to be good if the director is well enough known for his selective and distinct films. Guy Ritchie is that kind of director, where you see his name and go, “Oh that guy! He’s made some interesting films!” Not so many, but the few that he did do, have all been successful and this film is no exception. A great cast, stunning cinematography and wardrobe, good action, excellent music and a subtle but brilliant sense of humor.

NO SPOILERS

Continue reading #28 – The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – by Nick Andersen

#26 – Lars and the Real Girl – by Nick Andersen

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Lars and the Real Girl is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Nancy Oliver as her screenplay debut. It stars Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner and Patricia Clarkson. The story follows Lars (Gosling) a socially inept man, who starts a romantic yet platonic relationship with a lifelike doll which he ordered from an adult website. The trailer makes it out to look more like a comedy when it’s more of a sweet drama. The comedy is innocent, like Lars and the people who play along because of their love for him. We get to see a unique performance by Ryan Gosling; one where he isn’t the attractive and take-the-lead kind of guy. The film is a wonderful one with a great message and examples of caring friendships that won’t waste your time.

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Continue reading #26 – Lars and the Real Girl – by Nick Andersen

#25 – Southpaw – by Nick Andersen

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Southpaw is an R-rated 2015 sports drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, and Rachel McAdams. It tells the story of world champion boxer, Billy Hope, who loses his wife in a tragic accident, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter. We get to see excellent performances by Gyllenhaal and Whitaker, as well as Oona Laurence who plays Hope’s daughter, Leila. It’s tough, it’s raw, it’s emotional, it’s motivational; it’s an amazing film and I highly enjoyed it.

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Continue reading #25 – Southpaw – by Nick Andersen

#24 – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – by Nick Andersen

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a 2012 comedy drama film directed and written by Lorene Scafaria as her directorial debut. It tells the story of Dodge, a recently divorced man, looking for a meaningful way to spend his last 21 days on Earth before an asteroid wipes out all of humanity. It stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Somewhere in the related videos section of films like The Way Way Back (2013) and Dan In Real Life (2007), I found this little independant one. While very funny at times, Steve Carell can also play the drama roles. The ones where he becomes the victim of some type of loss in his life yet in the end finds a way to be happy. To see the light out of all that darkness. This movie surprised me a lot of how good it became in the second half.

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Continue reading #24 – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – by Nick Andersen

#23 – De-Lovely – by Nick Andersen

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De-Lovely is a 2004 musical biopic directed by Irwin Winkler and written by Jay Cocks; based on the life and career of Cole Porter. It stars Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce and Kevin McNally. I personally do not enjoy film musicals. When people break into a song, I roll my eyes and count the seconds until it’s over. But I love biopics and this one came as a good recomendation, so like any other film, I gave it a try. In fact, I watched it with a friend because they wanted to see it again and in turn, I ended up liking it a lot. It’s a beautiful and entertaining journey through the start of Cole Porter’s career, his meeting with Linda Lee Thomas, his love interests and finally his death.

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Continue reading #23 – De-Lovely – by Nick Andersen

#22 – The Imposter – by Nick Andersen

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The Imposter is a 2012 documentary film directed by Bart Layton. It’s about the 1997 case of French Frederic Bourdin, who impersonated Nicholas Barclay, a Texas 13-year old boy who disappeared in 1994. The film has reenacted scenes including interviews with Frederic Bourdin and some members of the Barclay family, as well as real television news footage.

I hadn’t heard about this case before, so when I watched it, I couldn’t believe someone would prey upon a grieving family, not knowing whether their child is still alive or what had happened to him. It’s a pretty messed up story and yet an incredible one.

NO SPOILERS

Continue reading #22 – The Imposter – by Nick Andersen

#21 – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – by Nick Andersen

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What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? is a 1993 drama film directed by Lasse Hallström and written by Peter Hedges. The film is an adaptation from Peter Hedges’ book of the same title. Its lead actors are Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis. It’s the story about Gilbert, man of the house, who cares for his younger brother Arnie who has a development disability and for his morbidly obese mother with the help of his two sisters. They live in Endora, Iowa, a place where nothing really happens or ever will. It is the life of Gilbert and his dealings with family, work, and love.

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Continue reading #21 – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – by Nick Andersen

#20 – Ex Machina – by Nick Andersen

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Ex Machina is an R-rated 2015 science fiction thriller film written and directed by Alex Garland. It stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno and Oscar Isaac. It tells the story of a programmer who is invited by his employer to perform the Turing test to a humanoid android with artificial intelligence. This is Alex Garland’s first film as a director and after watching it you could say that he struck gold, so to speak. It’s brilliant, clever and psychological. Some say it’s a masterpiece. I say it’s one of the top best of 2015.

Spoilers at the end of the post

Continue reading #20 – Ex Machina – by Nick Andersen

#19 – Parallels – by Nick Andersen

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Parallels is a 2015 sci-fi movie directed and written by Christopher Leone, released only to Netflix. It stars Mark Hapka, Jessica Rothe, Eric Jungmann and Constance Wu. They are actors we have never seen before nor the director. This is a project put on Netflix so that someone would hopefully soon turn it into a TV series continuing from the ending. I really hope they make a TV series and you will too if you have watched the movie.

The synopsis is this: a group enters an abandon downtown building which transports them to random parallel versions of Earth. Some slightly different and others a total wasteland.

The story is an intriguing one and mysterious enough. It definitely keeps you watching and waiting for answers. At times it felt like it was lingering a bit too much but during the moment I didn’t know the full picture. Without revealing, I think those times were about character development for us to know for the future of this production.

I can’t say anymore as this isn’t a normal movie but a pilot for a possible TV show. If you like sci-fi films and/or playing with the idea of parallel realities then go watch it! It definitely keeps you entertained. If you don’t have Netflix you can probably find it somewhere else online.

Thanks for reading my short review!

– Nick Andersen