Tag Archives: Danny Boyle

Yesterday (2019) Review

Time: 116 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast:
Himesh Patel as Jack Malik
Lily James as Ellie Appleton
Kate McKinnon as Debra Hammer
Ed Sheeran as himself
Director: Danny Boyle

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James). After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, Jack becomes on overnight sensation with a little help from his agent.

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I heard about this movie for a little while, what I knew was that it involved The Beatles and had Lily James. It feels like a strange movie for Boyle to make, yet from the trailers seemed like a simple but fun movie to watch. Having seen it, it’s definitely not one of his better movies, and it doesn’t even have the same energy displayed in the trailer. Yet it is enjoyable for what it is, I had a good time watching it.

Yesterday isn’t really great and has some issues. There isn’t a lot of depth given to the story, though I wasn’t expecting much really. As it turns out, The Beatles aren’t the only thing that disappeared from history. With that said, there is no explanation as to why they disappeared from existence, nor is there any explanation for why the main character is like the only person to remember them. The movie also doesn’t really take advantage of the premise, it’s like you could swap The Beatles with any iconic music group like Queen or The Rolling Stones, and would basically get the same effect, outside of some different references. It’s very clear that the romance is the focus, and in that most of the movie works fine enough, it’s just that it feels very familiar and simple. The movie certainly works a lot better when viewed as a romantic comedy, so definitely go into it expecting that. It’s got a light tone and is perfectly watchable, though at a little under 2 hours feels slightly long.

Most of the cast play their roles very well. Himesh Patel is the lead in this movie, I’ve never seen him in anything else and this appears to be a breakout role for him, he plays the role really well. Lily James shines as always, the two of them share good chemistry, though we don’t really see enough of them together. Ed Sheeran is in the movie as himself for more than just a cameo, he’s actually a noticeable part of the plot. Let’s just say that if you don’t like him then I don’t think you’ll like the amount of screentime that he gets. Kate McKinnon’s character is a very cartoonish agent who’s only interested in money and all that, but McKinnon elevates the role quite a bit and manages to make her work and genuinely entertaining whenever she’s on screen.

Danny Boyle is directing, and you really get the feeling that he’s really limited by the whole romantic comedy genre. It’s about as well directed as it could possibly be and he does his best to add some of his style to the movie. We only get like brief scenes focussing on the music but when it’s there it’s good as expected, it’s The Beatles after all.

This isn’t among Danny Boyle’s best movies, it really doesn’t take advantage of its entertaining premise as much as it could’ve and doesn’t do quite enough to make it stand out among the rest of the genre. However, if you like a light hearted romantic comedy, Yesterday is worth giving a watch. Boyle does the best with what he has, and both Patel and James are likable leads. Just don’t expect much more than that.

T2: Trainspotting (2017) Review

Time: 117 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use, sex scenes & content that may disturb.
Cast
Ewan McGregor as Mark “Rent Boy” Renton
Ewen Bremner as Daniel “Spud” Murphy
Jonny Lee Miller as Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson
Robert Carlyle as Francis “Franco” Begbie
Kevin McKidd as Tommy MacKenzie
Kyle Fitzpatrick as Fergus
Elek Kish as Dozo
Bradley Welsh as Mr Doyle
Kelly Macdonald as Diane Coulston
Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika Kovach
Director: Danny Boyle

First there was an opportunity, then there was a betrayal. Twenty years later, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place that he can ever call home. There waiting for him are old buddies Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, love, fear, regret, self-destruction and mortal danger are also all lined up and ready to welcome him.

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I only recently saw the original Trainspotting, it was definitely a unique movie, especially with its style and direction. 21 years later, director Danny Boyle and the cast from the original returned to deliver a sequel with these returning characters. A lot of sequels decades in the making don’t live up to the hype, it didn’t seem necessary to create a sequel, Trainspotting of all films definitely didn’t need a sequel. However, T2: Trainspotting was really pulled off well and now I’m glad they actually decided to go ahead with a sequel. Everyone returns to deliver a worthy sequel that is at the very least at the level of the original.

The issue that this film could face is that it could end up being a total departure or just a repeat and rehash of the original. Fortunately that’s not what happened here, it is new enough while still feeling like a Trainspotting movie. It really does feel like a continuation of the Trainspotting story, it definitely helped that John Dodge, the writer of the original film wrote the sequel as well. The film deals with addiction and other themes in a different way than the original. It doesn’t focus as much as drugs as the original, the issues that these characters are going through are more existential and a lot different. It handles everything overall in a more darker and mature way. You won’t see sequences that are absolutely bonkers like the toilet scene in the original. However, it is still full of that crazy energy from the original, just used in a different way. It is also very funny but its also very emotional too, it really balances everything out all things considering. I don’t really have many issues with the film to be honest.

The characters from the original film, Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie return, with Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle reprising their respective roles. They feel just like their characters, just 20 years older and they continue to share incredible chemistry. Most of the characters haven’t changed, Renton is the only one who has made a significant change since the end of the original film. We do also get to see more insight into their characters and their lives, the treatment of the characters was quite good. As I said previously, everyone is great here, but if there was a standout I’d say it is Spud, who has a surprisingly emotional story in T2. A new character is Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika, Sick Boy’s girlfriend. She does a really great job in her scenes, having great chemistry with Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner. She also does very well at standing out amongst the four main characters, she definitely needs to be in more movies.

Danny Boyle returns to direct the sequel and really he’s the only person who should’ve directed a Trainspotting sequel. Boyle was once again great, he’s clearly evolved with his filmmaking style. He has combined his new filmmaking style with the style that he used back in 1996 with the original Trainspotting. You don’t get crazy visuals like the original with sequences like the toilet and the baby and others, not necessarily a bad thing, in fact the visual style is great for the story. The style is perfect, with the camerawork, editing and the framing being excellently done. It still has an erratic feeling to it that fits perfectly. The soundtrack in the original Trainspotting was great and that’s the same for the sequel, it fitted the movie and scenes so incredibly well.

The sequel to Trainspotting was the best it possibly could’ve been with its great script, the returning cast and Danny Boyle’s excellent direction. While they are at similar levels of quality, I personally liked Trainspotting 2 slightly more than the original. The best thing I can say is that it’s a perfect continuation of the story. If you liked the original film, I recommend at least checking out the sequel. Even if you might not consider it as good as the original, it’s still very close to be as good as the original. T2: Trainspotting was surprisingly great and one of my favourite films of the year.

Steve Jobs (2015) Review

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Steve Jobs

Time: 122 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language
Cast
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs
Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman
Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak
Jeff Daniels as John Sculley
Director: Danny Boyle

With public anticipation running high, Apple Inc. co-founders Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve “Woz” Wozniak (Seth Rogen) get ready to unveil the first Macintosh in 1984. Jobs must also deal with personal issues related to ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterson) and their young daughter Lisa. Eventually fired, Jobs launches NeXT Inc. and prepares to release a new computer model in 1988. Ten years later, Jobs is back at Apple Inc. and about to revolutionize the industry once again with the iMac.

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This movie had been going through many changes, with names like David Fincher considered to direct and names like Christian Bale considered to star. Despite all this controversy and work around the project, for whatever reason Steve Jobs was a box office flop, which is a shame because this movie was really great. Steve Jobs had great performances, especially from lead Michael Fassbender, a pretty good direction by Danny Boyle and a fantastic script by Aaron Sorkin. All this culminated in a great movie that shouldn’t be missed.

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Before going in, you should know that this movie isn’t a biopic of Steve Job’s life, this takes place in three points of his life. Some may be disappointed in this but I felt that the moments were well chosen, connected well and were the most interesting and relevant parts of his life to tell. Even though the film doesn’t explore his past, it does explore who Steve Jobs is as a person. One thing I liked about this movie is that it doesn’t really sugar coat who Steve Jobs was as a person but it also allowed us to see why he thinks how he thinks. When the Steve Jobs movie was in development, I immediately thought that the best writer for the script would be Aaron Sorkin due to his work on The Social Network and surely enough, that’s what happened and once again Sorkin is as much of a star as the actors were in the movie. This is a dialogue driven movie and Aaron Sorkin absolutely excels at that. As this is a dialogue driven movie, not everyone will love it, and I can see how some people might get bored if that’s not the sort of film they like. As someone who really likes well written dialogue driven movies, I personally loved it.

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Michael Fassbender is phenomenal as Steve Jobs and this is one of his best performances, and that’s saying a lot. It wasn’t overly showy like it could’ve been, it was just right and felt completely natural. I did not see Michael Fassbender playing Steve Jobs, I just saw Steve Jobs. Other actors like Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels were also excellent in their roles, and despite Fassbender being the star, they pull off solid performances and are memorable when they were on screen.

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This being a Danny Boyle film, you can expect that this movie will be very stylish. Even though this is the case with most of his movies fortunately he held back with Steve Jobs and allowed the actors and Sorkin to take centre stage instead of his style and direction. One decision I loved was the change of lens the first act of the movie was shot in 60mm, the second act was shot in 35mm and the last act was shot in digital, as it showed a progression in technology as time went on. Little things like that make this movie even better.

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Steve Jobs has great acting, an excellent script and great direction from Danny Boyle. It was a shame that this movie didn’t get more attention when it came out because it definitely deserves it. If you get a chance to see it, do so. But if you do decide to see it make sure you know what you are in for.