Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

After the phenomenon of a book series written by J.K Rowling, fans were highly anticipating Colombus’ take on creating the wonderful world of Witchcraft and Wizardry  on screen, and he nailed it.

Much to fans’ pleasure, Colombus stuck very closely to the original story in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone and from the very first scene we are instantly intrigued by this seemingly ordinary boy Harry Potter and his journey to Hogwarts and discovering magic. The fact that we follow Harry finding out about Hogwarts, a school of magic, and all the pros and cons that comes with it makes the audience feel like they are coming along with Harry for the journey, and the perfectly cast characters make that journey all the more enjoyable.

Harry’s best friends to be, Hermoine and Ron, are played by Emma Watson and Rupert Grint perfectly and together they make an unstoppable team with Harry being the leader, Hermoine the brains and Ron the happy go lucky, clumsy sidekick to bring some humour into a pretty dark plot. We also meet plenty more characters along the way such as Dumbledore, a man of Wisdom and the most powerful Wizard besides Voldemort, and Hagrid the groundskeeper who ends up becoming a good friend and almost father like figure to Harry which is a heartwarming addition to the story.

The detail put into every scene is mindblowing. From the thousands of types of wands stocked up in Olivander’s shop, to the tables and tables of mouth watering food in the great hall, to the gold galleons at Gringott’s bank, to the wizard card found in a chocolate frog box, no detail of magic has been spared. There are some parts in the book that have been missed out which some fans are disappointed about, but then again I think if anymore was crammed into this film then it would have been too much. There is the perfect balance between magic, relationships and mysteries, and the missed small details only make the book more special for the loyal fans.

One thing that really stands out in the film is the design elements such as costumes, props and scenes. Whether it’s Diagon Alley, the Great Hall or Hagrid’s hut, each scene is so distinct with detail that you’ll notice something new every time you watch it.

The story itself is full of twists and turns that will keep you on your feet. Not only do we get an insight into Harry’s story, his background and his current journey as he explores magic, but we also get a look in to the marvellous world of magic and the plot twists that come with it that will challenge Harry and his friends. We also get our first look into Voldemort and the story between him and Harry which will set the dark, twisted and utterly tense journey for the next 7 films.

If you haven’t already then you need to watch Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and introduce yourself to the magical world of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you’ll be hooked.

Frozen

When you think of a Disney film you think of things like magic, sidekicks, a Princess and of course, the Princess falling in love with her Prince Charming and living happily ever after, right? Well take that Prince Charming out of the main plot, make the sidekick an adorable snowman called Olaf and make it two Princesses instead of just one, and you’ve got yourself Disney’s latest spectacular animation, Frozen.

Not only does Frozen introduce two new beautiful Princess’, Anna and Elsa, but the main storyline is about sisterhood, self love, confidence and kindness rather than the typical Princess getting her Prince Charming, and I have to say it’s very refreshing and just what Disney needed to put out into the world.

Anna and Elsa are sisters, royal sisters, and Elsa is next in line to the throne. Unfortunately after a series of unfortunate events including Elsa accidentally shooting magic Ice into Anna when they were younger making her close herself off to Anna to protect her from any accidental harm again, and then losing their parents in a tragic storm while they were out at sea, Elsa must then stand up to the throne. However, there’s a problem. Due to lashing out when her emotions ran too high and not being able to control her icey magic powers, Elsa doesn’t want to come out of her room. Then at her Coronation she is left with no choice, but the pressure ends in disastrous events leaving Elsa running away into the forest and Anna has to find her to bring her home and end the Ice storm Elsa created.

The morals of this tale are truly heartwarming, with the main plot being about Elsa overcoming her fears and insecurities, and learning to let her worries go. We also see Anna learning about friendship with Olaf the snowman and Kristoff, an ice collector who ends up falling in love with Anna. We also see her get betrayed by a man who seems like he could be her Prince Charming which shows not to judge anyone too quickly, as we see that really Kristoff was the one who was there for her. I think every moral in this film will teach the audience something, especially young girls who is the main audience demographic. It’s also simply moving to see a story where friendship is more important than a relationship, although both are involved, showing two independent female Disney icons being created.

Although there are important morals shown in Frozen, that doesn’t mean Disney has skipped out that humour that we all know and love. Olaf the snowman has become a huge part of Frozen, his character being so popular that Disney recently did a Christmas short film based around him called ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’. As Olaf was brought to life by Elsa’s magic from a memory when she and Anna were children, there’s a sense of nostalgia and we instantly fall in love with the Character as an old friend who’s main goal is to help the sisters and bring them happiness, and comes out with some hilarious one liners along the way. I also love that Disney play on him being a naive Snowman such as when Olaf sings about wanting to experience Summer, not knowing the heat will melt him creating some mischievously funny humour. This also leads to the utterly heartwarming line at the end where he says to Anna “some people are worth melting for”, which quite possibly made me melt a bit myself.

Not only is the film itself brilliant and visually stunning, it also comes with an excellently catchy soundtrack. It’s most famous song ‘Let It Go’ (which you’ll definitely of heard of by now) was even brought out with 2 different versions. The original by broadway legend and voice of Elsa Indina Menzel, and the second by Pop Queen Demi Lovato.

If you haven’t seen Frozen yet, then what are you waiting for? It’s the most hyped about Disney film in years and for good reason. It’s funny, heartwarming and it will make you fall in love.

The Inbetweeners 2

After the success of the first Inbetweeners movie following on from the hugely successful tv series which follows 4 geeky kids, Will, Simon, Jay and Neil go through school and all the problems and events that come with being a teenage boy (including puberty, girls and sex), there was no doubt that there would be a sequel. However, after seeing it I can officially tell you, there shouldn’t have been.

We see the return of the 4 favourites Will, Simon, Jay and Neil, however the only girlfriend that’s lasted from the original film is Lucy, Simon’s sweet girlfriend who he fell in love with for being a kind hearted girl. However, in the sequel the character Lucy has turned into a possessive girlfriend who tries to control Simon, is always shouting at him and is cheating on him. This plot twist to me is totally unbelievable and kind of ruined any chances of me liking the film from the get go as it just seemed to go down hill from there. There’s also a scene where Will tries to serenade a girl he has a crush on and in typical Inbetweener style it turns into a very awkward moment. However, a scene like that would normally be funny for the audience but it goes on for so long that it actually loses it’s edge and by the end of it you’re glad it’s over. It becomes awkward viewing for the audience rather than the audience looking in at an awkward moment between characters. The Inbetweener lads still had their characteristics which made us love them, but the writing didn’t add up to that unfortunately and ruined it.

Throughout the entire film it was clear that the producers were desperate to cling on to this franchise and churned out unnecessary and overly thought out jokes that failed to humour me once unlike the first film where at parts I would be left laughing uncontrollably. The story lines were too played out and took away from the original 4 characters that the show is about. Unfortunately it seems there is too much of a good thing in this case and if you’re a fan of the Inbetweeners and have seen (and liked) the first film then do yourself a favour, save your money and skip seeing the second. You can thank me later.

Beauty and the Beast

The highly anticipated remake of the classic Disney fairytale Beauty and the Beast was everything it promised to be and more.

Beauty and the Beast tells the tale of a beautiful girl Belle who loves to read and is an outcast in her village, and how she ends up trapped by a wicked beast in an enchanted castle under the spell of a witch who cursed the prince, after his obnoxious behaviour, into being a beast until he can find true love. The time to find true love and break the spell is set by the infamous withering rose in a jar and as time goes by the rose withers more, when the flower is gone time is out.

Perfectly cast, Belle is played by Emma Watson, an actress who is known for being graceful, elegant and intelligent herself, much like the character. She is also known for being a feminist and throughout her career, since rising to fame from playing Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter, has promoted brains over beauty, equal rights, intelligence and being a strong, independent woman, which portrays the qualities of Belle perfectly. Belle’s independence is proven in Beauty and the Beast when she turns down Gaston, the most lusted after bachelor in the village. Gaston, an arrogant, self absorbed hunter who wants to make Belle his wife, is played brilliantly by Luke Evans who delivers his line with such charisma, charm and humour that it instantly makes us recognise him as the character Gaston that the audience loves to hate.

I was pleased to see that Director Bill Condon stuck to the original story without making it outdated while it still felt like I was watching it for the first time. The soundtrack, mostly made up be an orchestra, makes the film even more enchanting and we hear all of the songs from the original film that we all know and love such as Be Our Guest, Beauty and the Beast and Something There with some new additions in there too which fit the film perfectly, including ‘Days in the Sun’ where the servants of the castle sing about when they were human before the curse which gives the audience a bigger insight into those characters’ side of the story.

The costume design was another thing kept very close to the original film, including the classic yellow dress Belle wears when she first dances with the Beast and we see them falling in love.

However, there were a few small tweaks used to add small details to the costumes such as when Belle is wearing her blue ‘working’ dress it has pockets on the front. This is a historical symbol to represent how the film is set in 18th Century France, and it also shows Belle as the active heroine who is a working girl and gets jobs done just like a boy would.

This film will make you feel every emotion on the spectrum, it will make you laugh, cry and smile. It also proves it’s ever important morals of the classic tale that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, and that beauty isn’t everything, which I think is very important especially for younger girls to see. It’s a must see for all the family.

Demi Lovato – Simply Complicated Documentary

Pop Icon Demi Lovato has released a Documentary on Youtube following her journey to a life ‘free of demons’ following her very public, troubled past.

Demi Lovato is a strong, confident figure, but in Simply Complicated, be prepared to see a more personal side and get a real look in to her daily thoughts and struggles. She has been known to speak out about her mental health problems in the past releasing a documentary ‘Stay Strong’ to her fans which was a tell-all documentary on her struggles with depression and substance abuse. Simply Complicated follows on from Stay Strong but this time fans see a different side to the Sorry Not Sorry star. She is as open as ever about her ‘demons’ in life and how she is overcoming them but we also see a more insecure side to the icon. Demi speaks out for the first time about her struggles with Bulimia, a mental health condition which makes her feel the need to purge to lose weight, proving how much her insecurities affect her. I find it admirable that Demi spoke about these mental health troubles as it’s such a taboo topic although so many people are affected by mental health conditions daily. It proves that in so many ways she is a great role model to her young fan audience.

Demi is also the first artist to release a major Documentary through Youtube. This is a breakthrough into the phenomenon of social media and how much influence it has on generations of the 21st Century. As it stands the Documentary has currently racked in a huge number of 12 million views so it shows that the risk of releasing the film on Youtube has paid off. I think releasing it this way was also more personal for her fans as it wasn’t a big, commercialised movie and it is free to watch.

If you’re a fan of Demi Lovato, or even if you’re not, I’d say this is a must to watch. Fan or not we learn so much more about Demi Lovato, her struggles, her thoughts and her personality through this. The Documentary also highlights Demi’s amazing singing voice, which after watching raw demos and recordings for her latest album, you’ll see is much underrated.