Aaaaaaaah! Review

Written By: Sophie

Director: Steve Oram
Certificate: 18

A human’s instinctual behaviour is to eat, reproduce and fight to survive. From the dawn of man, humans have evolved from apes to what we are today – but what if we didn’t evolve and continued to act like apes? From the writer and actor of Sightseers comes this satirical zoomorphic comedy. Aaaaaaaah! starts off with Smith (Oram) and Keith (Tom Meeten) in a forest in which they come across a city where they are soon to attempt to fight for territory. They meet a female (Lucy Honigman) in this city and from then on things go pear-shaped (or banana-shaped); the film is a primal mix of ape noises, house parties and nudity, suggesting that maybe ‘we are not men’. I know you’re thinking, why would I want to watch a film with ape-screeching humans for an hour and 20 minutes? Well, the further you get into the film, the more it becomes apparent that we humans are not so different from apes after all; you soon get a slap in the face from reality when the seemingly outrageous and animalistic behaviour is not so outrageous and animalistic after all. The territorial and instinctive acts of violence are domesticated by the human environment that surrounds the characters and this makes you realise that society is made up animals.

One thing I particularly like about Aaaaaaaah! is that it still maintains a level of humanity within the primitive plot. In one particular scene, Honigman’s character leaves her house with Alpha male Smith and his Beta, Keith – who she met at a house party – where they find a wealthy person’s house and take advantage of their empty home. In that home they dress up in the homeowner’s clothes and end up taking drugs in their back garden; this scene is one that is especially evocative for me as it epitomises the idea that we, the human race, have the capacity to be monsters and to be destructive. Oram’s satirical comedy had a very low budget and whether, intentional or not, he has created such a raw piece in terms of editing and cinematography; the improvised score from Toyah Wilcox’s husband, Robert Fripp, adds to this rawness and although it sounds bananas, it is clever. Definitely worth a watch if you fancy a listening to ape noises for an hour and 20 minutes whilst simultaneously contemplating the rather primitive actions that society makes.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Written By: Sophie

Director: Wes Anderson Certificate: 15

It’s safe to say that Wes Anderson’s films have an acquired taste; his directing style is very distinctive and the obsessive attention to detail is definitely something you don’t see in every film. From experience, people either love his films or hate them and I, personally, absolutely ADORE them – and The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of my favourites of his yet.

Grand Budapest starts off with a young writer (Jude Law) staying in the brash, run-down hotel, whereby he meets Mr Moustafa (F Murray Abraham), who ends up telling him the story of his life as a lobby boy in The Grand Budapest Hotel as Zero (Tony Revolori). He shadows the colourful character, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), to learn the tips of the trade but slowly ends up following his story in which he is framed for the murder of one of his temporary love interests, Madame D. (Tilda Swindon).

The casting is one thing that is particularly brilliant (as usual), making it a refreshingly comedic piece; Ralph Fiennes plays a charismatic concierge, who does not hold back on the swearing, with a meticulous and arrogant attitude to both his job and life in general, giving the film a more uplifting tone amongst the current situation of war. In contrast to M. Gustave, Jopling (Willem Dafoe) and Dmitri (Adrien Brody) are two-dimensional caricatures of cold-blooded villains who are determined claim the painting ‘Boy with Apple’. What is so brilliant about the purposely black and white characters is that it accentuates the depth of M. Gustave and Zero and so you, as a member of the audience, get see more than just an arrogant concierge and an inexperienced lobby boy getting to know each other. The score is something that can make or break a film – luckily, it one of my favourite things about this film. Alexandre Desplat has done an amazing job and it is beautifully composed, suiting the style and tone of the picture seemingly effortlessly. It is dramatic and entertaining yet all the same wonderfully delicate and peaceful, making you want to just close your eyes and imagine you are in the orderly world of Wes.

The film is heart-warming and enlightening, still managing to keep that delightfully comical tone that is apparent in all of Anderson’s films and I am sure that it would even entertain the minds of some sceptics of his films.

The Fast and the Furious Series

Written By: Marie

The fast and furious series consists of six movies, with a seventh on the way in March 2015. They are action movies that centre on Illegal Street racing and heists. The films follow the story of Dominic Torretto, played by Vin Diesel, and Brian O’Connor, played by the late Paul Walker as they and their friends and family face a number of challenges and a lot of races.

Below are each film and a brief summary:

The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Directed by Rob Cohan and Produced by Neal H. Moritz.

  • Los Angeles police officer Brian O’Connor must decide where his loyalties lay when he falls in love with the street racing world he has been sent undercover to destroy.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Directed by John Singleton and Produced by Neal H. Moritz.

  • Brian O’Connor and childhood friend Roman Pearce are re-united by the FBI to bring down a Miami drug Exporter in exchange for clear records.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
Directed by Justin Lin and produced by Neal H. Moritz.

  • Alabama teenager Sean Boswell becomes a major competitor in the world of drift racing after moving in with his father in Tokyo to avoid a jail sentence in America.

Fast & Furious (2009)
Directed by Justin Lin and Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Vin diesel and Michael Fottrell.

  • Brain O’Connor, now working for the FBI in LA, teams up with Dominic Torretto to bring down a heroin importer by infiltrating his operation.

Fast Five (2011)
Directed by Justin Lin and Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Michael Fottrell.

  • Dominic Torretto and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to buy their freedom while in the sights of a powerful Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent.

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Directed by Justin Lin and Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Clayton Townsend.

  • Hobbs has Dominic and Brian reassemble their crew to take down a team of mercenaries, while Dominic comes face to face with a blast from the past.

Furious 7 (2015)
Directed by James Wan and Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel.

  • Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Torretto and his family for the death of his brother.

The Cornetto Trilogy Review

Written By: Sophie

Edgar Wright’s ‘Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy’ is his most well-known films, consisting of well-known block busters: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. Each one covering completely different genres yet using virtually the same cast to tie them all together (along with the use of a Cornetto in each, obviously).

Shaun of the Dead is a zom-rom-com that tells the story of Shaun (Simon Pegg), a basic guy with a basic life who has to choose between his girlfriend and his best friend. This unfortunately happens right in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The reason why I love Shaun of the Dead is because it has all the features of a typical zombie film: transportation issues, having to kill someone they love etc. Wright has cleverly put his own stamp on the genre by adding comedic elements to this apocalyptic matter.

Hot Fuzz was next on the Wright’s agenda with his 2007 cop film where the accident rate is so high because the locals of Sandford village belong to a murderous cult. This movie is full of clichés and that is what I love most about it. The generous use of whip pans, car chases and guns somehow perfectly fit in with the comedy and this gives a unique feel to an otherwise repetitive action cop movie. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost add to the inimitability of the film by creating all-round laughter from the audience to a dead serious silence in a split-second, which boosts the realism of a slightly outrageous film.

Wright’s latest film, The World’s End consists of five guys who go back to their home town to complete the pub crawl that they didn’t finish, when they realise that the entire town has been taken over by ‘robots’. You don’t stop laughing or smiling from the very start and that is why Edgar Wright is such a brilliant writer (with help from Simon Pegg) as well as a director. He portrays the characters brilliantly and there is definitely no lack of character development. The soundtrack for this film is, in my eyes, the best one out of the three as it covers a range of decades with a similar genre running throughout.

This may seem like I am slightly obsessed with Edgar Wright as I have previously written a review on Scott Pilgrim, but this trilogy is definitely worth writing about and I definitely recommend it to those whose would love to see a well-known genre with an original comical twist.

The Rocky Movies

Written By: Charlotte

Please Note: The song links below will take you to Youtube and will not work in school, please view this post at home to get the best possible experience.

There are six Rocky movies and I love them! I usually don’t like older movies but these are just amazing. They star Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, Talia Shire as Adrian (Rocky’s girlfriend then wife) and Burt Young as Paulie (Rocky’s best friend and Adrian’s brother).

In the first movie Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a very rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion of the world, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect. The fight is epic and will have you cringing in sympathy due to the strong punches.

In the second movie Rocky struggles with his family life after his fight with Apollo Creed, while the embarrassed champ insistently goads him to accept a challenge for a rematch, even though they agreed to no rematch in the first movie.

In the third movie Rocky has been holding the title as the heavyweight champion of the world until he is defeated by the brutal challenger, Clubber Lang. Now he must regain his fighting spirit through a big rematch, trained by an unlikely ally: Apollo Creed.

In the fourth movie Iron man Drago, an intimidating 6-foot-5 Russian boxer, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, so Rocky travels to the heart of Russia for 15 boxing rounds of revenge. Rocky trains in the gruelling snow covered terrain of Russia in order to become strong enough to avenge Apollo’s death.

In the fifth movie Rocky has reluctantly retired from boxing and is back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protégé who betrays him and Rocky’s son must adjust to his family's new life after bankruptcy. In this film Rocky takes to the streets in a fight to prove his worth against the protégé that betrayed him.

In the sixth and last movie it is thirty years after the ring of the first bell and Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for one final fight against the reigning heavyweight champion of the world Mason 'The Line' Dixon. Rocky strives to prove he can still fight as well as he once did and Mason intends to take the title from Rocky officially so he is no longer considered a ‘fake’ champ.

The soundtrack in these movies is incredible. My favourite songs are probably ‘Burning Heart’ from Rocky 4, ‘No Easy Way Out’ from Rocky 4, ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ from Rocky 3 and ‘Heart’s On Fire’ from Rocky 4. As you can see I think the fourth Rocky movie has the best soundtrack but the others are good as well.

My favourite movie is probably the first one, the third one or the fourth one but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t brilliant as well!