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Drama

Seat 25 (2017)

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You decide to go to Mars forever and you forget to tell your husband?

I’m open to all kinds of films. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster with star actors. I love indies as well. And already several times I was lucky enough to see a gem of a movie. A film that’s not well-known to the general public. But to be honest, “Seat 25” is a film that has tested the limits of my stamina. Coincidentally I saw “The Martian” a few days ago on some television channel. “Seat 25” is about a young woman named Faye Banks (Madeleine Cooke) who has won a golden ticket. Just like Charlie in a very different movie. Not to immerse herself in a stream of chocolate in the factory of Willy Wonka, but to become a member of a team that booked a one-way trip to Mars.

 

 

It all looks boring. Or not?

So, are you looking forward to an exciting SF with the red planet as the central theme, then you can skip this one. Apart from some red-tinted images of a sandy, rocky landscape, there’s not much interplanetary to see. Sometimes it seems as if Faye is living on another planet. But don’t expect similar action sequences like Matt Damon did in “The Martian“. Or scenes with a large rocket. Or an overcrowded Control Center. The only thing that just kind of stuck with me is that it all seemed terribly boring and everything seemed so insignificant. Really everything radiates dullness. Faye is boring. Her family is boring. Her clothes look dull. Her work is boring. The colleagues are boring. Fay’s life in itself is boring. Mr. Popescu (Adnan Rashad) was dead tired of all the dullness in his life. The conversations are boring. The interior is boring (Yeak, those symmetrically placed pillows). You’d fly to Mars for less. Neighbor Peter (Stephen Lloyd) and his daughter Flossie are the only ones who breach this overall dullness.

 

 

She’s also a science person.

It’s not only the monotony of her life Faye wants to escape from. She also seems to have a degree in science. You can easily deduce this from the fact that her husband Jim (Nicholas Banks) persuades her to take a job at a certain moment, even though it has nothing to do with science (“I know it’s not in science, but it’s a job. We need the money “). That Jim-guy really is an intrusive and bossy fellow. And probably this trip to Mars is an unfulfilled wish of her. Seems quite obvious to me when you look at her box full of high-tech scientific material: a space helmet made of aluminum foil, a few pictures frames with space photographs and a pile of VHS tapes about planets from our galaxy. Probably these are remnants of demonstration material that she used for her thesis.

 

 

The Mars issue isn’t the most important thing.

Maybe it all sounds a bit sarcastic and it might be better to simply skip this film. It’s indeed all rather slow and boring. The whole story is infused with melancholy and sadness. So you won’t feel happy or excited about this movie. And yet it did fascinate me in one way or another. Forget about the science part. About a Mars trip. And you’ll discover an interesting story about how an individual is trapped in a daily routine. A life Faye isn’t really satisfied with. And maybe she expected more of life. Hence her candidacy for seat number 25.

 

 

When is she going to tell it?.

Madeleine Cooke isn’t only a fun and attractive appearance. She plays the role of the timid and introverted Faye in a perfect way. Even though it sometimes seems as if Faye is feeble-minded and spends more time looking at the sky. Or reads the discharge procedure for the umpteenth time in an apathetic way. Or has lunch on that bench in the park in an upright sitting posture while staring into space. And the whole time I was asking myself two things. Will she make the decision and leave everything behind to go on an adventure? And when is she going to tell she’s the chosen one?

 

 

There really is a trip to Mars?

No, “Seat 25” is not high-quality cinema. And no, it really isn’t SF. It’s rather melodramatic. Even though it sometimes comes across as humorous (but that has more to do with English correctness and stiffness). The film focuses more on the relations between everyday people. Faye has the choice between going to Mars on her own or staying in her current family situation. For her, the first option will be more satisfactory. Now she leads an ignored, misunderstood and numb life. With a man who has more eye for his own career and therefore is punctual and precise in terms of work. It’s a man who decides on his own that it’s time for them to have children. And Faye’s sister lives in her own pretentious world. And finally, her parents treat her as a stranger. Not really a rosy life. There was only one thing I doubted at first. And that was whether the whole thing about flying to Mars wasn’t something that only existed in Faye’s imagination.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Adventure

Enola Holmes | Very Much Worth A Watch

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Enola Holmes [Netflix]

‘Enola Holmes’ is one of those films that confirms my belief that I will never make a serious film critic. There will no doubt be people who will review this film pointing out the number of flaws, from the inaccurate backdrops to the overtly political messages (BLM and Feminism are all over this film, which personally made me love it more), but none of that concerns me. I thought it was terrific fun and enjoyed it immensely.

I watched this with my 12-year-old daughter who is probably slap bang in the demographic target audience of this film, and like me, she loved it. What is clear is that this is a career goal vehicle for star and producer Millie Bobby Brown, who is allowed to show off her considerable comic timing, her tough as nails action abilities and demonstrate an emotional side she has shown so well previously in three years of ‘Stranger Things,’ and you know what it works. She is a completely enchanting screen presence from the moment we meet her as she clumsily, comedically struggles to ride a bike across a field.

The constant breaking of the 4th wall with narrations and knowing winks to the camera may grate on a few, but I thought it added to the charm of the whole piece, nobody is taking this too seriously, and that surely is the point. Henry Cavill comes in as older brother Sherlock in casting that probably helped get the film made, with Cavill turning up occasionally as the reassuring presence in Enola’s life, but is generally given very little to do. Likewise, Helena Bonham Carter is a touch of familiarity but is sparsely used. The subplot involving the darker side of Bonham Carter’s Eudoria’s disappearance isn’t fully explored and is one of the lower aspects of the film.

The film itself isn’t all slapstick, sweetness and light, Burn Gorman’s Linthorn is at the top end of sinister as a hired hitman who would have served as an equally terrifying adversary in one of older brother Sherlock’s adventures, and Sam Claflin has great fun as moustache-twirling “nasty” older brother Mycroft Holmes.

The film lags a little in the middle third which after the breakneck pace of the opening act is to be somewhat expected but picks up sufficiently for a more than satisfying conclusion.

Like most child stars, the true test is when that child becomes an adult, and Millie Bobby Brown has proved here that she has the presence and personality to be able to have a long and varied career. Only time will tell of course, but if nothing else this is a film that can be enjoyed for years to come. Great fun all round.

You can follow me on Twitter @DomHolder  and read some of my reviews on Letterboxd at letterboxd.com/DomH and read some more of my film blogs on dominicholder.wordpress.com/

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Action

Marvel / Disney + Release – WandaVision | Official Trailer 2

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Drama

Release Date:

2020

Director:

Marvel | Disney

Cast:

Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Kat Dennings, Kathryn Hahn, Randall Park, Teyonah Parris, Shane Berengue

Plot Summary:

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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Action

Dune – Official Trailer | Beyond Fear, Destiny Awaits

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Genre:

Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 18, 2020

Director :

Denis Villeneuve

Cast:

Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac

Plot Summary:

Paul Atreides leads nomadic tribes in a battle to control the desert planet Arrakis.

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