What’s On – March 2020

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Right, now that awards season is firmly out of the way for the timebeing, it’s time for some new movies to breathe a little. That’s not to say the quality of new releases will now diminish in any way… far from it! We’re now likely to see many of the films that were screened during film festivals hit your average multiplex or indie cinema, so there’s plenty to sink your teeth into in that regard, but we’ve also got some great entertainment coming our way this month! The top choices for March may not seem like the most exciting of choices, but don’t judge them purely by their posters…

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Birds of Prey – Review

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Director: Cathy Yan
Writer: Christina Hodson
Cast: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, Ewan McGregor, Chris Messina, Ali Wong

Once upon a time, a girl fell in love with a guy. This love was not really reciprocated, but the girl did everything the guy asked of her. She would kill for him, causing people to think she was crazy. But who was the real crazy? Eventually he grew tired of her and he gave her the boot. Tale as old as time, right? And what became of the girl post-break up? That’s what Birds of Prey is here to tell you, as the break-out star of 2016’s Suicide Squad, the titular Harley Quinn, goes it alone (before amassing a team that dub themselves the Birds of Prey). Suicide Squad wasn’t the biggest success (though it does have a James Gunn-helmed sequel on the way, which is promising), but Harley was. Does she do better in her own movie, or was she better off sticking with the OG squad?

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The Personal History of David Copperfield – Review

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4 STARS

Director: Armando Iannucci
Writers: Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell
Cast: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Daisy May Cooper, Paul Whitehouse, Anthony Welsh, Aimée Kelly, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Rosalind Eleazar, Gwendoline Christie, Darren Boyd, Jairaj Varsani

It’s been around fifty years since the last film adaptation of one of Dickens’ greatest novels. David Copperfield is often hailed as his greatest, most meaningful and personal work, and so it stands to reason that it has been adapted numerous times for different platforms (and surely to be many more… a musical, anyone?). It’s also generally well-known for being quite an emotional story, as David traverses the trials and tribulations that life has to offer, from his birth to middle age. Iannucci’s version, however, takes a more comedic approach, lightening it and reimagining it in ways that potentially make it more digestible, particularly for the more sensitive moviegoer. Has this proven to be a good approach from a writer/director known for his comedy work, or does it step too far away from the meaningful source novel?

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What’s On – February 2020

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February is here at last, after what’s felt like an eternal January, and it brings with it two of the biggest award ceremonies in the film calendar (the BAFTAs and the Oscars, in case you were unaware). As a result, many of this month’s releases are those that proved rather popular at the big film festivals last year, so we are quite spoilt for choice this month! So much so that choosing a top four was especially challenging. It’s worth checking out the trailers for most of the films releasing this month, as chances are you’ll find at least one to your liking. So, without further ado, let’s check out some choices for your February viewing pleasure…

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Parasite (기생충) – Review

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5 STARS

Director: Bong Joon-ho
Writers: Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, Jo Yeo-jeong, Lee Jeong-eun, Lee Sun-kyun, Park Myeong-hoon, Jung Ji-so, Jung Hyun-jun, Park Seo-joon

As foreign language films go, not many manage to make it into the Western/Hollywood mainstream alongside English-language cinema. Hardy any at all, really. But now and again something comes along that manages to break down the language barrier and become something truly special (by Western reckoning). Parasite is apparently one of those special films. In fact, potentially the most special to date. It’s been winning numerous accolades and awards, starting with the Palme D’or at Cannes last year (being the first Korean film ever to win the award), right through to Best Foreign Language film at the Golden Globes (again, the first Korean film to do so), Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the SAG awards (the first non-English film ever to win in this category) and numerous nominations at the upcoming BAFTAs and Oscars (including Best Film/Picture at each, and being, yes, you’ve guessed it, the first Korean film to be nominated for any BAFTA award and Best Picture at the Oscars). It’s truly a mouthful to reel off all the praise that’s been bestowed upon Parasite already (making it a huge travesty that the UK and Ireland are the last to see its release in cinemas), but is Parasite really worth all this buzz, or is it a whole lot of hype over something that’s really nothing?

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