The Greatest Showman (Cinema Review)

PG – 105mins – 2017


 

THE PRINCE OF HUMBUG

Eight years in the making, this original musical ring-mastered by Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman and directed by first-timer Michael Gracey is a spectacular if haphazard showpiece which often struggles to marry song and story with a true feeling of authenticity. Ironically for a film about a purveyor of hoaxes, The Greatest Showman has been criticised for taking giant liberties with its biographing of circus founder P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and his unconventional star attractions.

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Pitch Perfect 3 (Cinema Review)

12A – 93mins – 2017


 

THE CHAPTER BEFORE THE NEXT

Three years out of college, we re-join the (former) Barden Bellas as they embark on the next chapter of their lives… except none of them much like adult life and all are far too desperate to re-live their glory days and sing with their competition-winning a cappella troupe again. Hating their jobs and no longer with their boyfriends, they all jump at the opportunity to perform together one more time, at a set of concerts for the troops on an overseas United Services Organisation tour.

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2017 in Review: TOP 10 AT THE CINEMA

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A REVIEWER’S REVIEW

As teased in my Top 5 Surprise Films of 2017 post a couple of days ago, my Top 10 ranking of my favourite cinema releases from 2017 has now gone live over at 60 Minutes With. You’ll probably strongly disagree with my choices (#1 even surprised me!), but if it turns your attention towards just one amazing film you had not seen before, then my job is done.

Tuck in to my top ten – plus five honourable mentions HERE!

2017 in Review: TOP 5 SURPRISE FILMS

TOP 5 SURPRISE FILMS

I don’t tend to write too many blogposts which aren’t reviews of individuals titles or releases, but as we wave goodbye to 2017 I have been looking back over my movie diary for the year (yes, I keep a movie diary – don’t mock me!) and have been inspired to do a string of ‘year in review’ posts. My Top 10 Films of 2017 will be published on the 60 Minutes With website in the coming days, but I have a few companion ‘sister blogs’ to compliment this main piece, which I will publish here on The CR@Bpendium.

First up, as the title of this post reveals, is a rundown of my TOP 5 SURPRISE FILMS of 2017 – the films which may not have necessarily been the most awe-inspiring or flawless masterpieces, but they bowled me over nonetheless. This could have been because I had little to no prior knowledge of them, or I expected a flop and was pleased to be proved wrong. Prepare to be surprised!

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Cinema Review)

12A – 119mins – 2017 – 3D


 

… WE’VE GOT FUN AND BOARD GAMES

Based upon a children’s picture book from the 80s by Chris Van Allsburg, 1995’s Joe Johnston-directed adventure-fantasy film is fondly remembered by people of a certain age as being a much-watched childhood favourite. It also starred the late, great Robin Williams, which is perhaps one reason why a return to Jumanji was initially greeted with scepticism from the masses. However, Welcome to the Jungle is NOT a modern day reboot which tries to erase the charm of the first film, but a sequel which respectfully nods to and continues the story, expanding upon the world of the mysterious magical game.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Cinema Review)

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12A – 152mins – 2017 – 3D


 

THE BURDEN OF ALL MASTERS

“It’s time for the Jedi… to end.”

Having recently announced that writer/director Rian Johnson will spearhead a brand-new Star Wars trilogy unrelated to the principal Skywalker saga in the coming years, it is clear that Lucas’ successor Kathleen Kennedy et al at Lucasfilm/Disney are unequivocally thrilled with how Episode VIII has turned out. George himself is on record as praising it for being “beautifully shot,” while early reviews seem to be unanimously positive and box office projections astronomically high…

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A Quiet Passion (DVD Review)

12 – 120mins – 2017


 

THE LITERATURE OF MISERY

“Sometimes, Emily, you are as ugly as your poetry!”

Written and directed by Sunset Song‘s Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion is both a boldly compelling yet persistently frustrating portrait of a literary great: prolific 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, whose unusual existence is chartered from youth to death by two actors: Emma Bell for the opening twenty minutes takes on Emily’s post-school days, morphing into Cynthia Nixon for the concluding hour and forty minutes

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