Movie Reviews

Hamilton (2020)

hamilton-disney-poster-review-2020Director: Thomas Kail (Screenplay written by Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Genre: Musical, Biography, Drama, History

Runtime: 160 Minutes

Main Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Chris Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones

Plot: A recording of the live performance of the Broadway hit Hamilton from 2016, telling the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

My Thoughts: Every now and again I get the pleasure of watching something that I love so wholeheartedly, I find myself at a complete loss for words. I tried to write my post earlier in the week but it turned into a 500+ word ramble about a musical play I was in as a kid, I’m all for going off topic every now and again (hence the blog name) but this was too much, so you can look forward to that in a future post of its own soon. So back on track. I’ve never been a theatre person. When I went to New York for my honeymoon my husband and I made the effort to see a show on Broadway, how can you not? We chose Finding Neverland because it was a) Disney and b) a musical, and we had such a good time. So yes, Hamilton was a must when it got released on Disney+.

My knowledge of American history all comes down to one of my favourite ever games, Assassins Creed III. I know enough to know who the main characters in Hamilton are and how the story goes, which was handy. As for the show itself, I knew nothing at all. When the first song started with that hip hop vibe (I sound 900 saying that) I was really taken aback, but oh boy, it goes so well. There isn’t a single song in the whole performance that didn’t make me want to get up and cheer.

So there you have it, a review that tells you next to nothing useful. Not that I write ‘proper’ reviews anyway but…just go and watch Hamilton.

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Best Bit: I feel like every new song became my favourite song, but the ones that stick out the most to me are My Shot, You’ll Be Back, Right Hand Man, What’d I Miss, Cabinet Battle #1…okay you get my point. I tried to only pick my favourites and it’s still a long list.

Worst Bit: If I tried to fault it at all, the only thing I can think of it that the second half feels slower than the first, but it still contains some epic moments, and the finale itself is just beautiful.

Fun Trivia: The cost of filming the show in June 2016 for later exhibition as an independent movie was financed by its three main producers for less than $10 million. In February 2020, Disney paid $75 million for the worldwide rights to release it, believed to be the largest price ever paid for a single film acquisition. Other studios that expressed interest in the film rights included Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox (which would eventually be acquired by Disney) and Netflix.

My Rating: A full 5 copies of Assassin’s Creed III which gave me all the background knowledge of American history I needed to understand what was actually going on.

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Movie Reviews

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in January

Since I’ve started logging all of my reviews on my Letterboxd account, I can’t help but feel jittery about those movies logged in my film diary that I didn’t write anything for. I like things like that to be all uniform and neat (why I can’t apply this to my house I don’t know) and so I think a monthly round-up of the movies that forgotten about is a good idea. I get to write a little about everything I’ve seen, and my film diary will be satisfying to look at.

Of course, it’s already mid-February so I best catch up quick! There were 4 movies I saw in January that never got any love on the blog, so here they are now in brief…

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Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

I missed Bad Times at the cinema, they only showed it for about a week and always at weird times, so I was desperate to finally give it a watch. I thoroughly enjoyed the weirdness of it all and the performances all-round were stellar. Highlights were the scene with Cynthia Erivo singing and clapping to hide Jeff Bridges digging up the floorboards, and Chris Hemsworth in all his glory. Sign me up for his weird Fight Club!

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Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Shamefully I’ve never seen the original Mary Poppins, so I think I enjoyed this sequel(?) more than the average blogger. The sets and costumes were gorgeous and the whole movie had a wonderful charm about it. It’s just a shame none of the songs were particularly memorable, although enjoyable at the time. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an absolute treasure and I demand he be more present on our screens!

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Stan & Ollie (2018)

I’m slightly too young to appreciate the comedic duo Laurel & Hardy so I was really looking forward to seeing Stan & Ollie, almost as an educational watch more than anything. The movie was interesting enough, the performances absolutely fine, but I’m baffled at how a movie about comedians turned out to be quite so dull. The only thing I really loved about it was Stan’s wife’s cold, deadpan humour. She was ace.

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Widows (2018)

How/why I missed Widows at the cinema is beyond me. I was so excited to see it, and oh boy it did not disappoint. Viola Davis was absolutely terrifying, I would 100% not mess with her. The political side-plot got me confused for a while but I caught up eventually. Plus, isn’t it great when a movie pulls a sudden twist on you that you never saw coming? I can’t recommend this one enough – it would have been in my Top 10 of 2018 if I’d watched it earlier.