REVIEW: IN TIME

CAST

Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Amanda Seyfried (Jennifer’s Body)
Cillian Murphy ((Batman Begins)
Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike)
Vincent Kartheiser (Angel)
Olivia Wilde (Tron Legacy)
Matt Bomer (Flightplan)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Collins Pennie (Prom Night)
Ethan Peck (Eden)
Yaya DaCosta (Ugly Betty)
Rachel Roberts (Simone)
August Emerson (I Melt With You)
Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows)
Ray Santiago (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Kris Lemche (Ginger Snaps)
Melissa Ordway (17 Again)
Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Flash)

Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In Time (2011)In 2169, people are genetically engineered to stop aging on their 25th birthday. Everyone then develops a countdown on their forearm set for a year. When the clock reaches zero, that person “times out”, or dies. Time has thus become the universal currency, and can be transferred between people or within “time capsules”. Two major areas exist within Los Angeles: Dayton, a poor manufacturing area, and New Greenwich, where people have enough time to essentially be immortal.Justin Timberlake in In Time (2011)Will Salas is a Dayton factory worker living with his mother Rachel. He rescues a drunken man named Henry Hamilton from an attempted robbery by a gang of time-robbing thugs led by Fortis. Hamilton reveals to Will that the people of New Greenwich hoard most of the time for themselves to live forever, while constantly increasing the cost of living keeps poorer people dying. The next morning, Hamilton transfers 116 years of his time to the sleeping Will, before timing out and falling off a bridge. Raymond Leon, leader of the police-like Timekeepers erroneously assumes that Will played a part in Hamilton’s death.Amanda Seyfried in In Time (2011)Will visits his best friend Borel. Borel warns him that having so much time within Dayton will get him killed. Will gives Borel ten years in return for their years of friendship before meeting his mother to leave for New Greenwich. Rachel uses all but 90 minutes of her time to pay off a 2-day loan and finds herself short for a bus fare to get home. She urges the bus driver to lend her 30 minutes, but he refuses and advises her to run. She dies in Will’s arms before he can lend her time.Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In Time (2011)In New Greenwich, Will visits a casino and meets time-loaning businessman Philippe Weis and his daughter Sylvia. While playing poker with Weis, Will comes dangerously close to timing out but eventually wins more than a millennium in a flawless gamble. Sylvia, impressed, invites him to a party in the Weis mansion. Will buys a new sports car and drives himself to the party. After a quick dance, down at their private beach Will tempts Sylvia into a nude moonlit dip in the waves (her first brush with danger). Once back indoors, Will is surprised by the Timekeepers, there to arrest him.Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In Time (2011)Dismissing Will’s claim of innocence, Raymond confiscates all but two hours of his time. When asked why he is investigating a suicide, instead the Timekeeper insinuates he knew Will’s father. Left with little choice, Will takes Sylvia as a hostage and drives back to Dayton. They are ambushed by Fortis’ gang, crash the car and are left with 30 minutes each. Will attempts to get some time back from Borel, but his wife Greta tells him that he has drunk himself to death, blaming Will for the stupidity of his generosity. Sylvia pawns her diamond earrings for extra time, and Will calls Weis to demand a 1,000 year ransom (to be paid into the time-mission for the desperate). When Weis refuses to pay, Will releases Sylvia anyway. She calls Weis from a pay phone, but they are ambushed by Raymond, whom Sylvia shoots in the arm to protect Will. They steal his car, and Will gives Raymond enough time to survive.Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Alex Pettyfer, Brendan Miller, and Paul David Story in In Time (2011)Will and Sylvia team up and rob Weis’ time banks, giving the extra time capsules to the needy. After a decade reward is offered for their capture, Fortis’ gang tracks them down to a hotel room. Fortis challenges Will to a “time-duel”, which Will wins through a trick used by his father. Will shoots the rest of the gang while they are distracted by Fortis’ death. The pair soon realize they cannot steal enough time to significantly change anything, as New Greenwich simply raises prices on Daytoners. They rob Weis’ personal vault and obtain a one-million-years capsule. Raymond chases them back to Dayton but is too late to stop them from distributing the stolen time. After chasing them to the city’s outskirts, Raymond reveals that he came from Dayton and intends to stop other Daytoners escaping. He realizes too late that he forgot to collect his daily time allotment and times out. Will and Sylvia, each with just over a minute to live, race to Raymond’s patrol car. Will collects Raymond’s daily share and runs back to Sylvia in a scene reminiscent of his mother’s death. This time, he saves her when her clock only has seconds left. TV reports show factories in Dayton shutting down as everyone has enough time and abandon their jobs to go to New Greenwich. Will and Sylvia continue robbing banks as part of their efforts to crash the system, while the rich attempt to cope with the sudden surge of people infiltrating their zone.Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried in In Time (2011)Great premise, great start to the movie, decent follow-through. Although I wish the strong start was able to be carried throughout the movie, I found this movie quite enjoyable to watch.

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REVIEW: PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMAN

 

CAST

Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Rebecca Hall (The Gift)
Bella Heathcote (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
Connie Britton (A Nightmare On elm Street)
Oliver Platt (Love and Other Drugs)
JJ Feild (Austenland)

Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)The story is told in flashbacks set during a 1945 testimony that William Moulton Marston gives to representatives of the Child Study Association of America. William and his wife Elizabeth teach and work on their research at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges in 1928, when William hires one of his students, Olive Byrne (daughter of Ethel Byrne and niece of Margaret Sanger – two famous suffragists and feminists of the 20th century) as a research assistant. Olive aids in the Marstons’ work in inventing the lie detector and conducting research on William’s DISC theory on human interactions, and the three soon grow close. One after another tests by the lie detector reveal that they have fallen in love with one another, and they begin to engage in a polyamorous relationship.Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)As words about their unconventional relationship gets out, the Marstons are fired from the university. Olive reveals that she is pregnant and moves in with the Marstons shortly after. They decide to build a family together and create a fabrication to keep secret the nature of their relationship. The family settle in a New York suburb, happily together. Both Elizabeth and Olive bear children by William, telling the neighbors that Olive is a widow and taken in by the Marstons. William starts trying to make a living as an author. Elizabeth takes a job as a secretary and becomes the main breadwinner of the family. Olive stays at home and take care of the kids, occasionally submitting her writing samples to publishers. They raise their four children together, and Elizabeth names her daughter after Olive.William stumbles upon a shop run by Charles Guyette, who introduces him to fetish art themed comics and photos. The art captures William’s imagination as a demonstration of his DISC theory. Elizabeth initially disapproves of the art, but she relents during a presentation wherein Olive tries out an outfit that later would be the prototype for Wonder Woman’s costume.Luke Evans in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)After finding limited work as a writer, Marston comes up with the idea of creating a female Amazonian super-heroine for comic book. The comic would feature his ideas on DISC theory, drawing inspiration from the Marstons’ work on the lie detector as well as Elizabeth and Olive in real life, and intend to support the feminist movement to further equal rights for women through a populist medium. He pitches his ideas to Max Gaines, then publisher at National Periodical Publications (today DC Comics), who ultimately accepts the comic and suggests simplifying the female superhero’s name to “Wonder Woman.” “Wonder Woman” is an instant hit, leading to prosperity for the Marstons/Byrne family. However, one day, their neighbor Mary wanders into their home by coincidence and walks into the three having sex. This incident leads to their children getting bullied and asked to leave school. Worried about their  children being attacked and ostracized, and thinking they have no other choice, Elizabeth reluctantly demands Olive to leave the household with her children. At the same time, the “Wonder Woman” comic gets growing accusations of featuring overtly sexual, sadomasochistic, and lesbian imagery that lead to the testimony.Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)Leaving the testimony, William collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Learning that he is dying of cancer, William asks Olive to see him and Elizabeth again, trying to help them reconcile. William persuades Elizabeth to submit to Olive as she should not always dominate in their relationship. The Marstons get on their knees and beg for Olive’s forgiveness, and Elizabeth tearfully admits that she cannot live without Olive. She eventually agrees to come back to them.JJ Feild, Rebecca Hall, Luke Evans, and Bella Heathcote in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)Epilogue text reveals that after William died, Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together for another 38 years until Olive’s death in 1985, and Elizabeth lived to be 100. It also notes that sexual imagery disappeared from the “Wonder Woman” comic after William’s death, along with Wonder Woman’s super powers. Wonder Woman was finally reclaimed by famous activist Gloria Steinem in 1972, when she put the character on the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine as the quintessential symbol of female empowerment. The credits conclude that “Wonder Woman remains the most famous female superhero of all time.”Professor Marston and The Wonder Women is a damn good time and the rare biopic you rarely see anymore. Classy, funny, sexy, delightful, brilliantly acted, and overall passionate, you have to see this!

 

 

REVIEW: DARK SHADOWS

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CAST

Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardist)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Eva Green (Sin CIty 2)
Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen)
Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers)
Bella Heathcote (Pride and Predudice and Zombies)
Chloe Grace Moretz (The Fifth Wave)
Christopher Lee (The Hobbit)
Alice Cooper (Wayne’s World)
Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones)

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Dark Shadows is a typical Burton’s film. It comes across as quirky, surreal, gothic and richly entertaining. I enjoyed the film. Johnny Depp proves how versatile he is as an actor. He plays the role of a vampire really well. I love the make -up and the costumes of the characters. The setting sets the tone of the film really well. The characters are interesting and eccentric.

The plot initially starts three centuries ago. The opening sequence shows a young Barnabas and his parents leaving Liverpool for a new life in an American fishing town. The family build a huge mansion. Barnabas becomes a businessmen and a servant played by Eva Green falls for him. She is later rejected and takes revenge by killing the parents. She is a witch. Barnabas returns alive in the 70s.  The mansion is passed on to a new generation, who are dysfunctional and strange. Barnabas is a vampire and even the past haunts him, as you are about to discover. The film is filled with plenty of comedy moments and a few glory bloodshot moments. It has a good cast, as Michelle Pfeiffer and Helen Bonham compliment the main characters well with their roles.Dark Shadows is classed as a comedy film. It is a bit like the Adams family, as it is gothic and vampire influenced. I admit it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is entertaining and worth seeing if you like to have a good laugh, but I would not say it is totally light hearted. The term light hearted is a bit of an understatement, as there are some sickening moments in the film. I enjoyed the film as a whole.

REVIEW: PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES

CAST

Lily James (Cinderella)
Sam Riley (Maleficent)
Jack Huston (American Hustle)
Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows)
Ellie Bamber (The Falling)
Millie Brady (Legend)
Suki Waterhouse (Insurgent)
Douglas Booth (LOL)
Sally Phillips (Bridget Jone’s Baby)
Charles Dance (Dracula Untold)
Jack Huston (The Longest ride)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Matt Smith (Terminator Genisys)
Emma Greenwell (Dare To be Wild)
Aisling Loftus (Mr. Selfridge)

In 19th century England, Colonel Darcy (Sam Riley) travels to the home of a wealthy family to investigate rumors of a newly infected zombie. He arrives at the home and sits with the family before taking out a small vial containing carrion flies as a means to detect the undead. When the flies land on the house’s patriarch, Darcy kills him. Assured that no one else could have been infected, he leaves. One of the young girls in the house retreats upstairs to check on the niece of the recently dispatched zombie. She discovers the niece devouring a servant; the niece then proceeds to attack her. The Bennet sisters—Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), and Mary (Millie Brady)—have all been sent to China by their father (Charles Dance) to learn in the art of weaponry and martial arts. Mrs. Bennet (Sally Phillips) wants her daughters to be married off to wealthy suitors. As it turns out, the Bingley family has moved in nearby and are throwing a ball, wherein Mrs. Bennet hopes that the young and handsome Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) will win over one of her girls. Elizabeth, on the other hand, doesn’t want to seek a husband.
The Bennets attend the ball. Bingley instantly sets his eyes on Jane. When Elizabeth overhears a disparaging comment about herself from Mr. Darcy, she walks outside tearfully and encounters Mrs. Featherstone (Dolly Wells), now a zombie. Before Mrs. Featherstone can converse with Elizabeth, she is killed by Darcy. A horde of zombies then attack the party, prompting the Bennet sisters to fight them off. Mr. Darcy instantly becomes smitten with Elizabeth when he witnesses her in combat.

The Bingley sisters invite Jane over for tea at Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet forces her to go on horseback, thinking she will be invited to stay overnight due the oncoming rainstorm. While on the ride, Jane encounters a zombie and fires her gun. The gun backfires leaving a bite-like wound on her hand. She kills it but then spots a zombie woman with her child. Jane hesitates and is attacked by the zombie. At Netherfield, Mr. Darcy orders her confined to her room, in fear that she may have been bitten. While in Jane’s room, Mr. Darcy releases his flies to detect a zombie, but Elizabeth catches each fly with her hand and returns them now dead to Mr. Darcy.

The Bennets are visited by Parson Collins (Matt Smith), who intends to marry one of the sisters. He initially sets his eyes on Jane, though he is told that she is with Mr. Bingley. He then tries to seduce Elizabeth, and proposes to her, but states that she must give up her life as a warrior, something that she adamantly refuses to do. Mr. Collins later decides to settle with Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte (Aisling Loftus).

After Jane recovers, the sisters attend another ball thrown by the Bingleys. There, Elizabeth meets a soldier named Wickham (Jack Huston), who seems to be charming and polite. He tells Elizabeth that he has history with Mr. Darcy and does not wish to further challenge him. Another group of zombies attack the party, resulting in Bingley injuring himself, and Mr. Darcy joining Elizabeth in fighting the horde. Elizabeth travels with Mr. Wickham to the In-Between, an area outside of walled-in London but inside a royal moat, to a church filled with zombies, who feed on pig brains to keep themselves from going completely savage. Mr. Wickham wants Elizabeth to join him in helping the zombies. He also suggests that she run away with him, but she remains conflicted. Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham then meet with Mr. Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lena Headey), a notorious zombie killer with major authority and wealth, to try and persuade her to come to peace with the more “civilized” zombies. Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine blatantly refuse. When she arrives home, Elizabeth is told that Mr. Darcy has convinced the Bingleys to move away. When Mr. Darcy approaches Elizabeth with a proposal of his own, she expresses her outrage at his actions and fights him in a duel. Mr. Darcy pins her to the ground, but offended by her accusations and hatred towards him, he lets her go and leaves.
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Mr. Darcy writes Elizabeth a letter to apologize for his actions and to state that he separated Jane and Mr. Bingley for fear that Jane only wanted to marry Mr. Bingley for his wealth, having overheard Mrs. Bennet drunkenly mention it. Mr. Darcy also mentions that Mr. Wickham had tried to elope with Darcy’s fifteen-year-old sister for her fortune. Mr. Darcy’s letter states that he is battling zombies in London, and that they have overrun the walled city. Elizabeth is then cornered by Lady Catherine and her bodyguard Wilhelm (Ryan Oliva). Lady Catherine states Mr. Darcy has been intended to marry her sickly daughter, Anne, from their youth and confronts Elizabeth about rumors over Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. When Elizabeth denies it, Lady Catherine instigates a fight between Elizabeth and Wilhelm in place of Lady Catherine who Elizabeth has refused to fight. Elizabeth overpowers Wilhelm. Afterwards, Lady Catherine decides to protect Elizabeth’s family from approaching zombies and takes them to her estate. Elizabeth later finds out that Mr. Wickham ran off with her younger sister, Lydia and decides to go rescue her.

Elizabeth joins Mr. Darcy in London and helps him battle the undead. Mr. Darcy encounters Mr. Wickham at the old church and rescues Lydia in the basement. While fighting Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy impales him and reveals a bite mark on his chest, revealing Mr. Wickham has been undead all along. When a horde of zombies, who had been living normally until the pig brains they had been eating were switched with human brains by Mr. Darcy storm the cellar, Mr. Darcy escapes with Lydia.

While heading for the last bridge from London, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham fight once more with Wickham gaining the upper hand. Before Mr. Wickham can kill Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth rides in and chops Wickam’s arm off and knocks him unconscious. Mr. Darcy rides with Elizabeth across the bridge as the army destroys the last remaining bridge to keep the zombies trapped within the In-Between on the inside of the moat. Mr. Darcy is injured in the explosion and is rendered unconscious. Elizabeth tearfully admits her love for him. After Mr. Darcy recovers, he finds Elizabeth and they share their first kiss, agreeing to marry. The two have a joint wedding with Mr. Bingley and Jane, officiated by Mr. Collins.

In a mid-credits scene, the now one-armed Mr. Wickham is leading the zombies toward them, ready for war.Despite mixed reviews for this horror/period drama mash-up based on the bestselling novel of the same name, I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. A romp from start to finish, this isn’t what casual cinema-goers who haven’t read the novel might expect – less zombie apocalypse, more Austen pastiche; the movie crackles with the tension between Sam Riley’s Mr Darcy and Lily James’ almost unbearably desirable Elizabeth Bennett. However, it is arguably ex-Doctor Who and real-life paramour of Lily James, Matt Smith, who pretty much steals every scene he is in; his interplay with James, Riley, and the Bennett paterfamilias (a patrician Charles Dance), as well as his typically bonkers manner, are absolutely delightful, and as Mr Collins, the unfortunate gooseberry in the relationship between Elizabeth and pretty much every man she meets, his performance alone makes this worth watching.