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Drama

Downsizing (2017)

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I’m Dusan Mirkovic, your neighbor.
Neighbors are friends.
Friends tell friends the truth.
Okay, maybe sometimes I’m a little bit asshole,
but the world needs assholes.
Otherwise where would shit go out.

Are you expecting a movie such as “Honey, I shrunk the kids” or something similar to “Gulliver’s Travels” then you’re going to be a little bit disappointed. No, “Downsizing” is not a comedy about shrunken people. And it’s certainly not a fairytale where little people capture a giant man. Or am I wrong about that? Maybe it is a bit of both. First of all, “Downsizing” is funny at times. The whole process of shrinking and the way they travel with normal people are unique ideas. The first half hour or so you look with child-like amazement at it all. Just like children who visit “It’s a small world” in Eurodisney for the first time. Then the film gets a more critical character in which the ecology and our materialistic thinking are denounced. Just like in “Gulliver’s travels“. That ancient story was also a satirical view of the English and European society.

Let’s get small and rich at the same time.

The starting point is, to be honest, reasonably ingenious. Do you have a limited income and is it hard to come by every month, as Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) experience? No problem. The Norwegians have perfected the technology for shrinking people. Trouble-free and without side-effects (besides the fact you’ll be completely hairless and toothless during the starting procedure) one can reduce your body to a mini-person of about 13 centimeters. Initially, the intention was to significantly reduce our ecological footprint. But the reason why most chose to get small, is the financial benefit you have of it. The cost of living is much lower and everything only costs a fraction of what it’s worth in real life. “Ok, that’s simple.” thinks sheepish-looking Paul. So he and his wife decide to take the step. They sell everything they’ve got and they buy a spacious villa (Playmobil size) in Leisureland to retire for the rest of their lives.

Now let’s get serious.

Until then, it all feels like a fairytale and sounds funny. But then the socially critical atmosphere sneaks into the film bit by bit. First of all, there’s the report on how scaled down immigrants cross the borders of the U.S. very easily. That’s where the Vietnamese environmental activist Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) appears. Then the Serbian Dusan (hilarious role of Christoph Waltz) is introduced. A cunning businessman who imports luxury products from the ordinary world in smaller quantities and distributes all of it in mini-people’s country. Voila, that’s where the macroeconomics and capitalism aspect comes into play. And finally, poverty turns out to be an aspect in this miniature country as well. That means there are people there who lack a decent health care. The frivolous mood disappears systematically (but still here and there another comic note) to make way for more serious subjects.

A movie that brings up lots of questions.

Maybe the second part is a turn-off for some. The romantic part felt rather forced in my opinion. But otherwise, I thought it was a pleasant film. A film with ups and downs. Matt Damon plays the subdued Paul in a great way. But it’s mainly Hong Chau who steals the show. An energetic person who talks in an edgy way with a cynical undertone. A magnificent piece of acting. In the end, the problem of the ecology and the survival of our planet was slowly being pushed to the background. And maybe the makers of this film have put too many ideas and philosophies into this film. But the result is that it’s almost impossible to get bored during this movie. However, I was just wondering. The removal of hair is a necessity. But what if you suffer from ingrown hair? And bald people? Do they get a reduction? And who makes all the daily necessities such as a comb, hair dryer or drill? I don’t think these are ridiculous questions.

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

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Drama

The Fabelmans | Official Trailer | Steven Spielberg

Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, a young man named Sammy Fabelman discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.

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Genre:

Drama

Release Date:

November 23, 2022

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Cast:

Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen

Plot Summary:

Growing up in post-World War II era Arizona, a young man named Sammy Fabelman discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.

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Comedy

Heartstopper Review | An Irresistible Gay Teen Drama

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Heartstopper

Based on Alice Oseman’s beloved graphic novels, Netflix’s bite-sized adaptation of Heartstopper continues to kick the door wide open for queer stories on the small screen. In the same vain as Young Royals and Dear Victor, Heartstopper’s exploration of queer teen romance is just as endearing, if not made more real and lovable by some incredible performances by Joe Locke and Kit Connor who play the show’s main high-school sweethearts.

Heartstopper owes its incredible binge-factor to its main focus on the story of two British teens at Truham Boys School, Charlie (Locke) and Nick (Connor) and how their entanglement perfectly represents the highs and lows of young romance. Manoeuvring alongside our main characters’ connection are some other, deeply adorable queer-centric stories – from a pair of secret lesbians at the nearby all-girls grammar school, to the perspective of a trans girl navigating life outside Truham; all of which tangle throughout the show’s eight chapters, giving a genuine take on teen love and friendship during the digital age.

Photo: Netflix

While Euphoria is a ridiculously over-the-top representation of high school life with actors well-in their twenties playing teens, Heartstopper instead follows leads and supporting characters that feel like real teenagers, which doesn’t help the waterworks when it comes to some incredibly emotional moments in the show.

What the show decides not to focus on is sex and swearing, which is usual when it comes to these kinds of stories. Instead, Heartstopper goes down a more wholesome route, diluting some of the web comic’s more serious topics in favour of a more family-friendly teen drama. That’s more than acceptable, but it may leave the show not exactly suitable for everyone for how young it is leaning, despite how charming it is. It’ll be interesting to see how the web comic’s strong fanbase take to these changes, but it feels like a good move for the most part.

That being said, Heartstopper brilliantly doesn’t leave out realistic aspects that come to growing up queer in Britain; our main characters are never far from bullies or trolls. With how young the show’s audience is targeting towards, this feels like a great move on showing how to approach these pressures that make-up everyday life for teenagers.

Overall, Heartstopper is easily destined to prove a success for Netflix; from the authentic feel of all the friendships and relationships depicted to the enjoyable ride that comes with all eight chapters, this show is a welcome addition to the increasingly queer canon that is flying into the mainstream.

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Drama

Belfast review | A Magical Adaptation On The Town I Know and Love

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Belfast is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Jude Hill (Buddy), Lewis McAskie (Will), Caitriona Balfe (Ma), Jamie Dornan (Pa), Judi Dench (Granny) and Ciarán Hinds (Pop). A very big Irish cast that makes the film ever so better with everyone doing exceptional jobs but we’ll get to that later.

Branagh retells his story of childhood in a city of magic called Belfast. With this he details what it was like to be a Protestant during The Troubles a historical event that people from Belfast like me will always be reminded of and the horror that went down during it. I’m happy people can learn more about it through this adaption of the town because I remembered my Granny and Grandad’s stories while watching this, it helped me to immerse myself into the film and be brought back to the days of when my family was getting to know each other. It was nice to hear these stories of how accurate Branagh took The Troubles and put it on screen well.

The family aspect in this film was top notch, it showed the stress a protestant family would go through, especially this family. The pressure of paying bills and keeping the house and even being pressured to move across the water (something a lot of family’s had to for their kid’s sake) and I applaud Branagh for that because I know this film will hit audiences in Ireland and they’ll be happy with the adaptation. I was told people have been applauding the end, something that never happens in Ireland from my experiences but on to the performances.

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The entire cast do a phenomenal job with the script, they all looked to have fun during filming and in interviews. It’s great to see Irish representation in a film like this. Branagh was definitely the man for the job and the cast were the people for it. What makes me happy with these performances is how they work with the time period with the generic accent the actors have and it’s beautiful to see and hear and with the audio, they decided to use was immaculate and the aspect ratio they went with was great to see the on the big screen with the cinematography being a highlight.

Jude Hill was a standout in this film, he gives a brilliant performance as Buddy. He’s genuinely really funny in this and his emotional acting is top-notch and for a first-timer. He’s going to have a bright future ahead of him and I can’t wait to see him in more because he deserves it. Jamie Dornan also standouts out aswell with him taking loads of awards home which he deserves and it’s great to see him back in his home town for this because you can tell he’s trying hard in the role and in interviews he says he hopes people from the town like the film because he put his heart and soul into the performance and that’s always great to see.

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SPOILERS FROM NOW ONWARD

The beauty of Branagahs Belfast is so many things that happened during this film, happened to my family. I find that beautiful because I’ve never seen anything like it. One scene in particular, the grandad’s death that hit me like a bus because that exact situation has happened to me but with my granny and that exact singing scene was something we use to do to honour them. The number of tears I had during that scene was mad.

Now I’m going to discuss heavier themes of the film, the religion side of it. I want to give more info on that, so let’s get the thing you all probably know already. There are two sides in Ireland Catholic and Protestant and while Branagh was on the Protestant side it’s interesting to see that story of someone going through that because I can’t name a film that does it better. The story of The Troubles is something in the history books and I recommend you do more research on the topic because it is intriguing and the events that happen are shocking.

Now I’m gonna talk about the final scene, the singing scene again because of how great it is. It only reminds me of another fantastic film with heavy messages and near the same ending and that’s ‘Another Round’ but just how the cinematographer captures the two and then the others in the crowd is beautiful and I know I’m going on and on but I love this movie and I’ve talked about everything in it.

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AWARD CHANCES

Before I wrap this review up let’s talk about Belfast and if it has a chance at the big boy Oscars and I believe so it should win Best Picture and when it does I’m gonna be here screaming my head off and applauding the entire cast and Branagh because it’s a masterpiece and deserves everything it gets and in terms of acting I don’t think it’ll win much they’re some powerhouses competing this year, and that’s a shame.

For The One’s That Stayed, The One’s We Lost, And The One’s We Left Behind

KenNeth Branagh

Belfast is a magical film that captures Belfast in such an impressive way the film is instantly gonna become a classic and I cant wait to see it again and check this one out to learn about the beautiful city I know and I love thank you to the entire cast and crew you have made something that has hit me emotionally and made me want more from the story that is already over.

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