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Review: Saving Mr. Banks

20th October 2013 | Films

For a very long time, Disney’s Mary Poppins has been a Christmas must watch on many a television channel and it’s one of the few classics to have not yet made it in the Bargain Bin at any of your local supermarkets. It tells the story of the rich British ‘Banks’ family who have their world turned upside down by a magical nanny who teaches them that you can make so much more of life if only you allow a spoonful of sugar into it every now and again.



The film, based on the book originally written by P.L. Travers has won Oscars for Besst Film Editing, Original Music Score, Best Song and Best Visual Effects – among many others.

However, one thing not many people know is how the book was turned into the hugely successful and famous film.

Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock, tells precisely this story with all of its emotionally-draining twists and turns.

Tom Hanks portrays a caring and loving Walt Disney who has spent the past 20 years trying to fulfil the promise he made to his children of turning P.L. Travers’ magical story into a feature film that fly’s off the pages. However, as he and his colleagues learn in this inspiring tale, Miss. Travers (played expertly by the beautiful Emma Thompson) doesn’t step in time with his vision.

Disney and Travers’ relationship that starts with lust (by Emma Thompson’s character) and slowly turns into mutual love makes this film the perfect drama to go alongside Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke’s classic.

The film tells two story’s side-by-side – primary scenes focus on the story of Disney trying to persuade Travers to allow him to turn the book into a…

Review: Kill Your Darlings

15th October 2013 | Films

5 Stars - This tragic story portraying the collision of love, lust and literature is irresistibly beautiful and engaging. One film you must NOT miss.



In 1944, literature was the way forward. It was an era of poetry and rebellion for the hugely popular literary world and, at the same time, a generation of great poets was forming. Most notably, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. However, there was another name who was supposed to be on that list.

Lucien Carr was born in New York City and, at the age of 14, met David Kammerer a man who, he was yet to find out, would have a profound influence on the course of his life. Kammerer was an English teacher at Washinton University and he was also a childhood friend of William S. Burroughs who also knew the Carr family.

Kammerer became obsessed with Carr and, over the next five years, he pursued Carr – showing up wherever the young man was enrolled at school.

On August the 13th, 1944, Carr and Jack Kerouac attempted, and failed, to ship out of New York to France on a merchant ship hoping to be in Paris in time for the liberation and to start a literary revolution. On the way back from the sign-up station, Kerouac bumped into Kammerer who asked where Carr was, Kerouac told him.

Kammerer, attempting to pursue his sexual desires, caught up with Carr and the two men went for a walk. According to Carr, from then Kammerer made a sexual advance on him – when Carr rejected it, Kammerer assaulted him physically which resulted (in desperation and panic) in Carr stabbing the older man. Carr then tied Kammerer’s hands and feet, wrapped a belt around…

Review: Inside Llewyn Davis

15th October 2013 | Films

1 STAR - It was too dry and dark, and tried far too hard to be funny

 


As a teenager, seeing a new movie at the Odeon Leicester Square has always seemed to be just a dream. Impossible to contemplate ever happening before the age of eighteen at least. Well, when I found out that I would be seeing Inside Llewyn Davis at this premiere cinema, excitement overcame me.

I should have preserved the excitement for a rainy day.

The rain outside was more exciting than this piece of dry piece of cinematography.

I wish I could say more about this ‘highly anticipated’ release, directed by the critically acclaimed Coen Brothers and starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake but it shortly sent me into a deep sleep. Admittadly, I did awake every 10 minutes but, to my despair, the horror was not over so I found myself drifting away again.

One part of the film that was of great interest to me was the fact that the lead character, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) lived in a fairly modern house (but 2013’s standards) although the film is set in 1961.

As well as that, I found it hard to decide whether the film was attempting to be dark and devious or ironic – but, either way, I couldn’t understand what the other 1,000 people around me were laughing about.

Maybe it’s just my age or it’s not my type of comedy (I am the boy who walked out of DreamWorks Animations’ Shark Tale when I was 6 years old) but I would find it very difficult to recommend this movie to anybody else.

It was too dry and dark, and tried far too hard to be funny. See…