Florence Foster Jenkins – Review

by Georgia Sanders 

Based on the true story of the woman dubbed ‘the worst singer in the world’, Florence Foster Jenkins is an emotional immersion into the very real problems of a woman with an unwavering determination to become a part of the musical world for which she had such intense affection.

Unable to play the piano since contracting syphilis and damaging the nerves in her hands, Florence – played by the ever-perfect Meryl Streep – takes to singing as an outlet for her musical passions; despite her lack of skill in the area. A combination of her wealth, large entourage of friends, and tirelessly devoted husband, St Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), ensure that she never receives an honest word’s feedback – that is, until her ambition gets the better of her, and she books herself in to perform at Carnegie Hall.

St Clair’s blatant love for his wife is so tangible that, even upon seeing their relationship’s complications, one has the utmost faith that their connection is a deep one – and that there must be more to the situation than at first appears.

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It seems almost a waste of breath to attempt to explain how flawless Streep is in this role – for she is eternally flawless – but to do the film justice, I truly must. She fully embodies the human layers of Florence; her real talent, her passion, the seriousness with which she takes her craft – as well as her naiveté, her aging wounds and their result in her striking need to attempt projects way out of her depths in an almost bipolar surge of positivity.

Accompanied by polite, timid, pianist, Cosme McMoon, formidably portrayed by The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg – whom, it seems, is much more capable an actor than Chuck Lorre gives him credit for – Florence pours her soul into her painfully screeching performance through a combination of confidence and obliviousness.

Meanwhile, even side characters such as McMoon develop their own depth, bonding with the audience and bringing you in to their select group of unlikely companions.

Rarely does one come across a film that is filled with such overwhelming joy and yet such devastating sadness. The quippy and soulful script leaves us both laughing and ugly-crying within moments of each other, with classy comedy – sometimes in as little as a masterful look from Grant.

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Enveloped in all of the glamour and wonder of the era, Florence Foster Jenkins beams with laughter, tears, new friends and inherent solidarity. It is an utter joy to witness – and like the very real quote from both Streep, and the real Florence herself states – “they may say (she) couldn’t sing, but they’ll never say (she) didn’t sing.”

And with that; I’m off to see it again.


Florence Foster Jenkins is out 6th May 

Robinson Crusoe – Brand New Clip!

Only yesterday, I was talking about how children’s movies have hit the point of over-saturation this year. It seems that every week companies are churning out horrendous, colourful escapades to keep sugar-addled cherubs happy with some onscreen antics that make no sense. Enter Robinson Crusoe, an actual film that’s getting an actual cinematic release, movie making folks.

The film revolves is so loosely based on the acclaimed book by Daniel Defoe and revolves around a man and his island animals who he befriends.

I feel sorry for parents. They have to drag their mouth-stained bundles of joy to these affairs just to keep them occupied so it’s sad that they have to spend two hours of their time starring at the screen with this garbage.  Children’s moves can be good, people. Come on!

 


Robinson Crusoe is out 6th May

The Shallows – Brand New Trailer!

Damn. We all hate sharks. The reason we hate sharks despite the fact they literally kill less people than cows do (maybe we should be weary of the black and white bastards) is because of the movies. Jaws made us all terrified to go into the water after a shark pursues a small seaside down and people die. Sharks are generally docile but because they have the capacity to kill, we are terrified of them.

The Shallows is going to carry on this anti-shark propaganda.

The film stars Blake Lively as Nancy, a surfer on a secluded beach who is attacked by a great white shark and stranded just a short distance from shore. With salvation 200 yards away, it looks to be a simple swim over; that’s if the vicious creature wasn’t circling…

Tense water movies like Open Water and Dead Calm has left indelible marks on our souls and maybe The Shallows will do the same. The big thing is that Blake Lively is one of the best actresses – an underrated one too – and could bring something special to the splashing film!


The Shallows is out August!

Green Room – Review

There are movies out there that refuse to let go. As you appear from the shadowy room, the credit sequences rolling through the names and pounding out a feverish song, you peel yourself from the seat and shakily make your way down the stairs. Your wobbly legs threaten to topple you over as you gather your belongings and are shuffled out with an equally bemused crowd. Tired, sweaty, and utterly exhilarated, you know that whatever you’ve witnessed on the big screen has viscerally gripped you and changed your entire being.

Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin is that type of film. The story of a revenge plot put the director and his leading actor Macon Blair on the map. It also altered your complete DNA and made you a better person and film watcher in the process. Now Saulnier is back with Green Room and yet again, we’ve had to change our name, passports, and entire make-up because we’re a whole new person right now.

Green Room
 is certainly May’s must-see gory thriller. Scratch that, it’s the one of the year’s greatest movies and one that you need to witness on the big screen.


Starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Imogen Poots, and Callum Turner, Green Room revolves around a down and out punk band named The Ain’t Rights who stop for a last minute gig in Oregon, only to find out that it’s filled with racist violent skinheads. After stumbling upon a murder, they are locked in their dressing room while the rabid masses try to dispose of their witnesses….

Like the crunching wail of a guitar that scratches down your back in agonising pleasure, Green Room is not for the faint-hearted. Even before the blood cascades on the screen, the tension that mounts is devilishly palpable and throws you to the edge of your seat almost immediately. Grim and unrelenting, the torturous titular cell that The Aint Right’s have been trapped in echoes the terror to the audience who feel the claustrophobia and terror almost similarly to the characters. The atmosphere catches you breathless as you yearn for the prisoners to escape. Bloody and vicious, the punches that Green Room delivers leave indelible bruises on your skin and soul, etched in brilliant brutality.

That’s not to say that Saulnier has drenched this movie with gritty and gruesome gore. Instead, his skilled writing keeps you invested because the band – Sam, Reece, Tiger, and Pat – as well as their captive friend Amber are likeable characters. Without an abundance of exposition, Saulnier keeps us in the moment and we immediately empathise with a struggling band thrown into a pit of awful purely because of circumstance.

It helps that the casting is spot on. Yelchin uses his boyish charms to develop this panicky troubled guitar player into the hero of the piece, and greatly so. Yelchin has certainly moved beyond being a mere Star Trek alum and his furore into independent movies has been stellar. He also spouts this amazing monologue that is one of the most emotional moments of the film. Though somewhat underused, Patrick Stewart’s menacing club owner Darcy is this brutal character that captures the worst of humanity in these tenderly spoken threats, making him completely petrifying. The addition of British actors such as Imogen Poots, Callum Turner, and upcoming favourite actor Joe Cole add different elements to this ferociously grisly film. American actors Marc Webber and Saulnier’s muse Macon Blair add a conflicting component to the pursuing skinheads, making the enemy force multi-faceted, human, and, therefore, even more chilling.


Green Room, in a small way, is not a slick as Blue Ruin. Some obstacles such as the runaway storyline are too underdeveloped to feel right. Also, some may hate the way the film carries on so quickly after a death but in many ways, it adds to the sicking, remorseless, assault. Saulnier curves into the fear and relishes the thick unease, juxtaposing the quick attacks against the slow and agnosing wait the survivors have to take which enhances the experience completely. Pulsating with fear and glorious revulsion, Green Room is this year’s ultimate thriller.


Green Room is out 13th May 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Brand New Trailer!

We at I’m With Geek absolutely love Taika Waititi. Unequivocally. Like, it’s the kind of love that borders on behind it and it stars an acting legend. Look, we’re already sold on the movie. Just give it to us now restraining order territory. And do you blame us? Between Eagle vs Shark and The Boy, I mean, What We Do in the Shadows, literally the best thing ever conceived. And luckily, we don’t have to Wait-iti any longer for new material as he returns to Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Yes, OK. I’ll leave the comedy to the pros.

Starring Sam Neill and young performer Julian Dennison, Hunt for the Wilderpeople revolves around Ricky – a rebellious young city kid who is relocated and fostered by a grumpy uncle. However, the pair unwillingly find themselves on the run in the wilderness…

The film has one of the world’s greatest comedic talents behind it and, therefore, it is a must see. The brand new trailer just solidifies his work.


Hunt for the Wilderpeople is out October 2017.
WHAT? That’s too far away.

Men Go To Battle – Brand New Trailer!

Civil War…

No. No. Not the greatest Marvel movie of all time, we’re not talking Captain America here. We’re actually talking about the real Civil War that happened in America many moons ago. The kind of war that the losers still ramble on about and hold their flag up with pride.

Anyway, a lot of movies this year are taking a look at Civil War this year, particularly with Matthew McConaughey’s Free State of Jones and The Birth of a Nation coming into our lives soon. Here’s another one too – Men Go To Battle.

The directorial debut of Zachary Trietz follows two brothers in the middle of war. Tackling the subject of the bloody titular battle at a personal level, the film will follow these lives torn apart by a political agenda.

Following on from the premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, Men Go To Battle balances soft spoken drama with evocative imagery, and a fiery emotional core. This new trailer made it a must see!


Men Go To Battle has no UK release yet but hits US cinemas July 8th