Every night Conor O’Malley has the nightmare. Every night. But tonight something is different. Tonight there is a new monster. A new nightmare. And Conor isn’t sure if this is a dream or not. But either way, this is the monster he was fearing. This monster, the yew tree, tells him that it will tell him three stories. And then Conor will tell the monster a story. A true story. And if he doesn’t, then the monster will eat him alive.
by Roald Dahl
Sophie couldn’t sleep.
A brilliant moonbeam was slanting through a gap in the curtains. It was shining right on to her pillow.
One night, a young girl, unable to sleep makes her way to the window and spies a mysterious giant, with a suitcase and some sort of a trumpet. Discovering that he has been spotted this giant kidnaps the little girl, Sophie, and takes her off to Giant Country. There Sophie discovers that this giant, The Big Friendly Giant, is not like the other giants. He is much smaller than them for one thing, but also, they are murderers who delight in guzzling up human beans, whereas the BFG is only interested in sharing Dreams with people. Can Sophie and the BFG come up with a plan to defeat the like of The Fleshlumpeater and The Childchewer.
So y’all know that I luuurve James Purefoy, mainly because he was so great as Mark Anthony in Rome, but also so adorable in A Knight’s Tale so of course I was predisposed to like this. Then again I wasn’t too impressed with Vanity Fair so it doesn’t always follow that actors I like = good films.
It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been occupying my imagination now for some days.
The Remains of the Day is about Stevens, a butler in a “grand old English house”. He spent his life trying to be a “great” butler in the service of Lord Darlington. With the death of Darlington he remains in Darlington Hall working for the new owner a rich American, Mr Farraday. It is at Mr. Farraday’s suggestion that Stevens, our narrator, first begins thinking about taking a short trip out into the English countryside, and to see Miss Kenton. Now Mrs. Benn she recently sent him a letter, hinting, Stevens thinks, at her unhappy marriage and her wish to return to service in Darlington Hall. On his journey Stevens reflects over his life and the changes he has seen.
In Bruges dir. by Martin McDonagh
Ray and Ken are two Irish hit-men hiding out after a job. Hiding out in Bruges on orders from their boss, Harry. Ken is all set to relax and enjoy the medieval scenery and architecture. Visit the castles and churches. Harry says it is like fairy tale, coming in on the canal. Ray isn’t so sure of that, but when he comes upon a film shot he is much more interested.
300 [based on the book] by Frank miller, Lynn Varley dir. by Zack Snyder
I have a feeling that how you feel at the end of seeing this film will be hugely coloured by your mindset before the film began. Personally I loved it. Wonderful visuals and a great story. Wasn’t overly impressed with the characterisation, but you can’t have everything.
The film begins with a voice-over, and this narrator pipes up throughout the film, sometimes describing the action that we are watching on screen. I have no doubt that some will find this redundant, but, given the ending and who the narrator is I think this device actually works really well. Plus he does add to the melodramatic, over the top atmosphere that make this such a good film.