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  1. Tenet

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    Cinebling Movie Review Tenet

     

    Tenet

     

    Chances are, if you’re reading this review, you’re wondering if you should brave the trip to the cinema to see Tenet. My short answer: yes, absolutely. You might also want to know if I think Christopher Nolan did the right thing in waiting for cinemas to re-open before releasing Tenet. Again, the short answer: yes, absolutely.

     

    I’ve been to the cinema several times since they re-opened, and have felt safe the whole time. The closest anyone has sat to me is a single seat away (approx. 1m) and then there was no one in the row in front or behind (and I just put my face mask on and it was fine). Most places, you can choose your seats before you get your tickets, so you can choose how close you want to get to other people. I’ve felt safer at cinemas than I have anywhere else, mostly because once people take their seats, they’re down for the duration of the film so the distance is maintained.

     

    Anyway – back to Tenet.

     

    Tenet is the latest film from British writer/director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Inception, The Dark Knight). The movie stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and, of course, with an appearance from Michael Caine.

     

    Tenet is a single word (and a gesture) that an agent who is assumed to be dead is given in order to save the world. Fortunately, he does have some other help on his side, though the sources of that help are a little vague. It’s a globe-trotting film with a 150 minute run time (plus trailers!) – definitely opt for the larger size of popcorn or an extra scoop of ice cream! Tenet crams a lot in, and coming out of the cinema, you will genuinely feel like you have been through a lot and are maybe a little bit jet-lagged.

     

    Through a character, the film actually tells us at one point, “don’t try to understand it. Feel it.” It’s good advice. There is plenty to feel too – car chases, a few gadgets and a race against the clock to save the entire universe. Let your subconscious process everything that’s crammed into the movie, and it will make more and more sense over the next few days.

     

    Christopher Nolan has a hardcore group of fans – Nolanites – and something as conceptual as this was always going to be hard to pull off for that reason. It must be both gratifying and frustrating to know that every single detail of every single frame of film will be examined over and over and over. No doubt there are already plenty of forums that have sprung up to discuss the finer details of the story and its world and rules.

     

    Will the action from Tenet look as good on a small screen? Only time will tell. The action certainly looks tremendous on a large cinema screen.

     

    Will this turn out to be the movie that saves cinema from coronavirus? The signs are promising so far.

     

    How much you enjoy Tenet is likely to depend on what type of film fan you are. If you like movies that are cinematic, eye-popping and truly visual, you will probably love it. Christopher Nolan the director has made a tremendous film. If you prefer stories that are coherent, abide by their own rules, and have every neat little detail tied up, you may not enjoy it so much. Christopher Nolan the writer will be answering questions for some time yet.

     

    CONCLUSION: A cinematic spectacle that’s worth leaving home for.

     

    Overall rating: Not everybody’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a look.

     

    Check it out on IMDB here.

     

    [Image via IMDB]

  2. Unhinged

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    Cinebling Movie Review Unhinged

    One of the new releases of summer 2020, Unhinged is definitely different. Listed on IMDB as an Action Thriller, it stars Russell Crowe as an unstable man (just called ‘Man’) who focuses all his anger on one woman after a disagreement at an intersection.

    I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from a film that I knew was about road rage. Was every scene going to happen in cars or on the road? Would other motorists intervene? Would it just end up in a pile up? I’m sticking firmly with my ‘no spoilers’ policy, but what I will say is that if you let it, the movie will suck you in and take you for a ride – so fasten your seatbelt!

    There is only minimal background given to Crowe’s character, but that aligns us firmly with the perspective of Caren Pistorius, who plays Rachel. The initial focus of the film is on Rachel, rather than on ‘the Man’, and I think for this reason, we empathise with her and her situation more. The performances of the co-leads are such that you will find yourself asking ‘what is this guy’s problem?’ along with Rachel, while also being very convinced that for whatever reason, this Man is a serious problem now.

    That said, I found myself frustrated with Rachel a couple of times, as her panic kicked in, and was internally screaming ‘why are you doing that? Call the police!’ But if I held that against every action or horror film I watched… well, I wouldn’t watch many. This isn’t a documentary, it’s a thriller, and it definitely delivers on that.

    The characters are explored in a fresh way – you know something’s a bit different if afterwards you’re thinking ‘what would happen if someone did that to me? Who would they call? Who could get hurt?’ There’s also some good improvised use of everyday objects as weapons, which reinforces the idea that this isn’t a movie, or a man with a plan, it’s someone who is operating solely under the fever of ‘red mist’.

    I also think the casting choice of a slightly older man as the antagonist was a great choice. It subtly hints that the climax of the movie is not just that, but it’s also the climax of a life-long struggle with anger – and potentially mental health. You almost feel as though if the Man was asked at the end 'why ARE you doing this?' he'd have to pause for a moment to try and remember what triggered the latest trail of destruction. 

    The movie is adrenalin-charged from the moment it starts and it rarely takes its foot off the pedal to let you catch your breath.

    Almost every review I’ve read on IMDB says that this movie will make you think twice about being rude to another driver, and for me, that speaks to the success of this film. Yes, it’s more philosophical at the start before the tension escalates, but if that’s the one main takeaway the audience has, I think director Derrick Borte has probably achieved what he set out to do.

    Which is probably to scare the manners back into anyone with a driving license.

     

    Overall rating: Not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a look!

     

    Check it out on IMDB here.

  3. The Best of World Cinema

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    Whilst Hollywood blockbusters tend to take up most of any film-related headlines, there are many hidden gems to be discovered in the realm of world cinema. Inviting an audience to experience an entirely different culture to what they are used to, world cinema allows us to live vicariously through film in countries we have never been to before, with different political climates, and sometimes against the backdrop of crucial historical events. With world cinema, you can be a globetrotter from the comfort of your own home!

    Cinebling Movie Review Parasite

    Parasite (2019)

    Parasite made headlines in 2020 after it became the first non-English film to win the prestigious Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, as well as scooping Best Director for Bong Joon-Ho, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature. Premiering at Cannes Film Festival, Parasite is an amalgamation of dark comedy and horrifying thriller and is best experienced without any prior knowledge or information about the film. So, if you’re interested in watching this highly acclaimed 2019 release, we urge you to not watch the trailer!

    Cinebling Movie Review Cleo de 5 a 7

    Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962)

    Cléo de 5 à 7 is one of the defining films of the French new wave era, directed by Agnès Varda. The film follows the titular character, Cléo, a self-centred young woman, as she waits for some test results, which could prove grave and sinister. A sense of foreboding follows this aspiring songstress and ultimately forces her to undergo a pivotal transformation in the face of some terrible news. If you love all things French, you will admire Cléo’s stroll through the streets of Paris as she tries to figure out who she truly is.

    Cinebling Movie Review Pans Labyrinth

    Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

    This Guillermo del Toro film is a Spanish-Mexican co-production, set in Spain, against the backdrop of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Whilst this fantasy-adventure movie employs whimsical and magical elements to create a mythical world, it is the fusion of our real world that generates a unique experience for the audience. Pan’s Labyrinth is the perfect example of why spectators should watch world cinema, as it often takes more risks and provides a unique viewing experience, as opposed to only watching Hollywood blockbusters.

    Cinebling Movie Review Chungking Express

    Chungking Express (1994)


    Chungking Express, directed by Wong Kar-Wai, is a mash up of both comedy and drama, consisting of two separate stories, set in central Hong Kong. The overarching theme of Chungking Express is love, loneliness and heartache; the first protagonist, known as Cop 223, is desperate for company in the wake of a breakup with his girlfriend, and the second protagonist, Faye, obsesses over Cop 663, who has also broken up with his girlfriend. Both protagonists take matters to extremes, Cop 223 eats multiple expired tins of pineapple, and Faye breaks into Cop 663’s apartment to get to know him. Chungking Express is a wonderfully eccentric film that also has some more earnest undertones.

    Cinebling Movie Review Bicycle Thieves

    Ladri di biciclette (1948)

    Ladri di biciclette, also known as Bicycle Thieves, is an Italian neorealism film directed by Vittorio De Sica. This film is set in the aftermath of World War II in Rome and details the story of a man and his family’s struggles with poverty. Unemployment is rife, so our protagonist, Antonio, is offered a lifeline in the form of a job putting up advertisement posters – only if he has a bike. The family pawns one of the only things they have left, their dowry bedsheets, to get Antonio a bike, which is stolen on his first day of work. Along with his son, Bruno, Antonio searches all over Rome for his lost bicycle, his hope diminishing with each minute it is gone.


    Let us know in the comments what your favourite non-English film is.

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

     

  4. The Best LGBTQ+ Films

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    Mainstream LGBTQ-related films are a fairly new phenomena, with the history of cinema mostly focusing on narrow field of the human experience. In the twenty-first century, queer cinema has become incredibly popular, with LGBTQ+ movies scooping major awards at some of the most prestigious awards ceremonies. This list includes some of the most pivotal LGBTQ+ movies, which helped contribute to the welcoming of LGBTQ+ movies into mainstream cinema.  

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Moonlight Moonlight (2016)

    Appearing on many lists of the best films of the 21st century, Moonlight broke many records as the first movie with an all-black cast, as well as the first LGBTQ+ related movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. At the Oscars, La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight, making headlines when the mistake was realised and announced. This Barry Jenkins picture follows the protagonist through his youth, adolescence and early adulthood, highlighting themes of identity, masculinity, blackness and sexuality.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Brokeback Mountain Brokeback Mountain (2005)

    Starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain is cited as a pivotal film in pushing LGBTQ-related films into mainstream cinema. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, as well as winning Best Director. Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. Set against the backdrop of the hostile American West, Brokeback Mountain succeeded of subverting the stereotype of typical masculine cowboys and showing what happens when they fall in love with each other. Brokeback Mountain had many controversies upon release, such as being pulled from movie theatres and criticism by conservative media outlets, showing how revolutionary it was as one of the first prominent LGBTQ-related movies.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Carol Carol (2015)

    Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who develop a forbidden love affair during the 1950s. It was revered from start to finish, receiving a ten-minute standing ovation at its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, and earning six nominations at the Academy Awards. This Todd Haynes film is elegant, gentle, yet completely moving in its depiction of a female-female love story. Based on the 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel ‘The Price of Salt’, Carol had been in development since 1997, but came a long way to its release in 2015.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review Call Me By Your Name Call Me By Your Name (2017)

    This coming-of-age LGBTQ+ romance takes place ‘somewhere in northern Italy’ during the summer of 1983. Our protagonist is seventeen-year-old Elio, who meets twenty-four-year-old Oliver, a graduate student living with Elio’s family over the summer whilst he researches his academic work. Over time, a relationship blossoms between the two, however they must accept that their relationship will never last because of their inherent differences. Call Me By Your Name had the biggest opening for a gay romance film since Brokeback Mountain, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Song and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards. It was based on the André Aciman novel from 2007, which had its sequel published in 2019, meaning a second film could be in the works.

     

    Cinebling Movie Review The Favourite The Favourite (2018)

    This Yorgos Lanthimos black comedy takes a unique spin on period drama. The Favourite takes place during the reign of Queen Anne, and follows her majesty herself, played by Olivia Colman, as well as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, played by Rachel Weisz, and Abigail Masham, played by Emma Stone. The two women are competing with each other for the role of court favourite, and each develops a romantic relationship with Queen Anne. Olivia Colman won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her fantastic performance as the deteriorating queen.

     

    Let us know in the comments what your favourite LGBTQ+ movie is!

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

     

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

  5. Why I’m Staying in for the Summer – Part 1 – New Releases

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    For most people, summer means going out. Out in the sun, out in the long light evenings, out first thing in the morning when the birds are singing… just, y’know, out. I’d rather watch a movie!
     
    Being in the UK, we have to make the most of the good weather before it disappears without trace. I get it. It’s just not really my thing.
     
    Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of sunshine as much as the next person, especially if it also means a trip to the seaside! But I have sensitive skin that seems like it would get sunburn from a candle, and after a while, there just doesn’t seem to be enough factor 50 in the world to make it worth going outside.
     
    Inside has movies, right? And shade. And popcorn, and maybe even ice cream… I could go on, but I’ll skip to the exciting stuff!

    Cinebling Red Cinema Seats Folding
     
    Although 2020 has been a strange year for the industry, there are still some really exciting new releases to look forward to.
     

    [Unfortunately, this ended up being out of date almost as soon as I'd hit 'publish', but I'm still looking forward to treating my eyeballs to some of these, it's just a matter of when!] 

    • Unhinged – 1st of July
      • This is a dark psychological thriller that stars Russell Crowe as the unstable stranger that becomes determined to teach Caren Pistorious a lesson. This one might have me running back home pretty quickly!
      • Click here to read my review!
    • Tenet – 17th of July
      • Everyone knows I’m a Christopher Nolan fan, so this is really exciting! All I know is that Tenet is the story of an unnamed protagonist (John David Washington) – an agent who is “fighting for the survival of the entire world”, preventing World War III. He must do so armed with just one word – Tenet.
      • Click here to read my review!
    • Mulan – 24th of July
      • Disney’s live-action remakes of their classic animations have been getting great receptions, and there’s no reason to think Mulan will be any different. Liu Yifei seems like a safe pair of hands for the role. You think you know the story, but this is going to be unmissable for fans of Mulan or the previous re-makes.
      • Unfortunately, this went straight to DisneyPlus, so it will be a little while longer before I get to watch Mulan...
    • The SpongeBob Movie – 7th of August
      • One for a younger audience, or for those of us who are young at heart! SpongeBob is back in his first CGI-animated film Sponge on the Run. SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick Star must rescue Gary, who’s been snailnapped! Viewers are due to finally find out how SpongeBob and Gary the Snail originally met, so not to be missed!
    • Wonder Woman 1984 – 14th August
      • It doesn’t seem like three years since the last Wonder Woman film, although that could be because I’ve watched it a few times since. I’ve deliberately tried not to find out anything about it so it will be as much of a surprise as the 2017 film was. I can’t wait!
      • Sadly this has been pushed several times. Fingers crossed we won't be waiting until 2021...
    • Bill and Ted Face The Music – 21st of August
      • Can you imagine a middle-aged Bill and Ted? I’m smiling just thinking about it. I hope this movie will be ‘most excellent’!
    • The New Mutants – 28th of August
      • Based on the Marvel Comics of the same name, this is about five young mutants who are discovering their own powers. Sounds like classic Marvel, which is only meant to be a compliment!
      • Click here to read my review!
    • A Quiet Place Part II – 4th September
      • As summer starts to draw to a close, we get a great horror! A Quiet Place was so creepy because traditionally horror films are full of ominous music and screaming victims. I’m definitely ready for the next instalment!

     
    This isn’t all the planned releases for summer – and they just keep coming! Great news for us movie lovers.
     
    Stay tuned for part two and find out what classic movies I’m going to be watching – at the big screen or not!