Belinda_kisses_tnBel’s happy with the series so far!

 

 

shadow huntersThis is a Netflix exclusive, 13 episode TV show based on the best selling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

Some would class the City of Bones film as a bit of a flop… (I personally liked it). So I was utterly thrilled to see recently that the TV series was heading to my Netflix account on the 13th of January 2016. Episodes are to be released on a traditional once weekly basis and I’m looking forward to seeing the installments pertaining to the slideshow shows when mousing over the tile.

The special effects are pretty damn cool and though the first thought that ran through my head when they pulled out the Seraph blades was ‘Wow hope they bought enough batteries’, the rest of it is better than most I’ve seen before.

They didn’t stick to the storyline rigidly; Clary is 18, rather than 15, and the cast has completely changed… not necessarily a bad thing.

I want to hear what you all thought and tell me if you’re going to keep up with the series.

I am totally sucked in.



Belinda_kisses_tnBelinda Hamilton reviews Suffragette.

 

 

suffragetteDirected by Sarah Gavron

Remember the mother from Mary Poppins, singing heartily about her sister Suffragettes? This film is a long way from the frilly frivolity of spoon-fulls of sugar and spit spots.

Emmeline Pankhurst has had a gutful of inaction in the women’s rights moment and decides to rally the foot soldiers to create anarchy to get the message across. “Deeds not Words.”

We fall into the movie as Suffragettes take aim with rocks and anything they can get their hands on to break multiple panes of glass in 1912. We follow Maud (based on the real life Suffragette, Hanna Mitchell) as she gets swept up in the women’s moment.

Along the way we see the bitter pill many women in the Suffragettes had to swallow. Be it losing their jobs, their children, being ostracised, being thrown out on the street by their unsupportive husbands or being beaten; not only by the males in their lives but the police.

The casting is superb. Edith Ellyn (based on Barbara Gould) played by Helena Bonham Carter, makes me want to wave the flags and don the sash.  And as for the few minutes Emmeline Pankhurst, played by Merryl Streep is on the screen you can clearly see she was such a force of Nature.

The watershed moment of the suffragette moment is also covered in the film. Emily Wilding Davis played by Natalie Press. But you’ll have to either do a little research or see the film yourself.

The one thing that boggled my mind was the timeline displayed at the very end before the credits roll.

The last decade of the 1800’s was when New Zealand became the first self-governed colony in the world to allow ALL women to vote. But it took 122 years for Saudi Arabia to catch up when in 2015 women were finally given the right to vote.

Suffragette is at the end of its run in the cinemas but hopefully it won’t be too long a wait for the DVD release; and if there is any justice in the world, the DVD will be jam packed full of history filled extras.

We may think the work those ‘pesky’ suffragettes were marching toward is done and dusted, but baby, we’ve still got a long, long way to go.

If you saw Suffragette please let me know what you thought.

 

 



Belinda_kisses_tnBelinda Hamilton reviews The Dressmaker based on the bestselling book by the same name by Rosalie Ham

 

I don’t know about you, but when I was in my teens, the thought of a movie set in Australia made me cringe. They’d be full of clichéd and irksome stereotypes, which they’d attempt to palm off as ‘charm’.

Well, today I walked into the cinema to see an Aussie movie inspired by the trailer, which I’ve seen countless times on YouTube…

That red dress and the pretence of going back to a small country town sucked me in.

Before we get on to talking about the cast, I want to take my hat off to Victoria Mielewska who was the woman behind Kate Winslet’s unbelievably authentic Aussie accent. It wasn’t that disrespectful yarning that makes us sound like a bunch of drunks, or the that snobbish British-tinged snipping either. As Goldilocks put it, it was just right.

The_Dressmaker_film_posterWhere to start on the cast? I guess since Tilly (Kate Winslet) is the first character we meet, it makes sense to start with her. She hops off a bus in the middle of freaking nowhere Australia armed with her singer sewing machine and a drive to find the truth. There is a raw honesty to be found in this portrayal of Tilly. I cannot think of anyone else who could have done it better.

Then we have the glimmering stars who are an absolutely perfect supporting cast. Liam Hemsworth is more than just white hot window dressing to the plotline. I loved seeing Rebecca Gibney and Hugo Weaving on the big screen, and then there’s the return of Shane Jacobson; I was a pig in mud. Out of them all though, my favourite character was Mad Molly played by Judy Davis.

If you’re planning on having a party like with Pricilla Queen of the Desert you can forget it. The frocks are magnificent and the soundtrack is mostly for ambience only. You will belly laugh and there are some seriously nice torso shots of that Hemsworth bod. But be prepared, take tissues. Bullying and the repercussions of decisions are the central themes, as are the notions of doing what you’re good at and moving on.

There’s less whimsy and more sucker punch to this magnificently presented film.

Run time is 118 minutes

If you end up seeing it and enjoy it please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you thought.

 



bec2012_TNBec Stafford’s review is courtesy The Spotlight Report

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MeAndEarlAndTheDyingGirlPoster (1)Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is an offbeat, yet moving, tale of friendship and loyalty. Greg is a nerdy teen who, with his best mate, Earl, spends his time making short films based on cinema classics. Greg generally does his best to steer clear of the school’s complex social web, instead preferring to spend his lunch hours in a favourite teacher’s office with Earl, where they watch their favourite directors’ films. One afternoon, Greg is approached by his mother, who tells him the sad news that one of his schoolmates, Rachel, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Furthermore, his mother insists that he reach out to Rachel and offer her companionship throughout her difficult time.

Based on Jesse Andrew’s popular novel of the same name, this film is by turns funny, sombre, touching, and uplifting. Told from Greg’s perspective, the melancholic moments are tempered by a teenage boy’s tendency to confront sentimentality with humour when faced with challenging subjects.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has added some playful, creative elements to an otherwise often heartbreaking tale. The well-selected cast is a delight. Thomas Mann (Project X) imbues Greg with just the right balance of idiosyncratic charm and introspection. As his buddy Earl, Ronald Cyler II turns in a strong performance demonstrating impressive comedy chops and onscreen charisma. As Rachel, Olivia Cooke delivers an understated, nuanced performance, which adds authenticity and emotional depth to the mix. Some of the other cast members will be familiar to movie goers: Molly Shannon is excellent in the role of Rachel’s mother and Nick Offerman is a hoot as Greg’s eccentric father.

It’s not surprising to learn that the movie was a hit at Sundance, winning both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl makes for a moving, humorous, and relatable experience — one which will be appreciated by teens and adults alike.



Belinda_kisses_tnBel reflects on this powerful documentary.

 

 

bowling-for-columbineI have my own personal thoughts on the gun laws in the USA, so watching this one brought up a lot of emotion, made my mind boggle and my stomach churn. Michael Moore takes a look at the gun culture in the US, with a focus on the Columbine school shooting and the Buell Elementary school shooting.

There are extremely graphic scenes of people being shot, shooting themselves and the remains of those who were shot. It is not at all comforting. Nor should it ever be.

The emergency calls from those within the Columbine school are horrific, the desperate pleas from parents asking for information on their kids, and the media vultures wanting to be patched through for live on air information.

He interviews one of the creators of South Park,Matt Stone, who shone a light on the internal stresses on students. I have to agree there was unnecessary stress put on students to achieve. The focus was less on their personal well being and more on their academic or sporting prowess — the fear of the unknown beyond high school, and how that may have lead to the school shooting.

Marilyn Manson was given his chance to comment, and though I’m not a fan of his music, he spoke sense. He said that perhaps people were not listening to them, or listening to the people who may have been able to signal any problems.

Moore takes a look at the differences between Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and the US, and asks the question ‘Why there is so many gun related deaths in the US?’

The jewel in the crown would have to be the interview with Charlton Heston the leader of the NRA (National Rifle Association). This man showed up after both of these tragic shootings and rallied on his constitutional right to bear arms.

There have been over 20 gun-related mass shootings in the US since the release of Bowling for Columbine.  There is no question that changes need to be made; the difficulty is trying to get the change to happen.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this documentary if you’ve seen it.

 

 



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