Me Before You Review: Ready your tissues – you’ll need ’em.

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Who knew Daenaerys and Finnick would make such a sweet couple? Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark (Emilia Clarke) is a young waitress who finds herself without a job when the cafe she works at decides to close down. Being the sole breadwinner for her family after her father lost his job, she had no choice but to visit the job center. Having had several failed job try-outs, she eventually lands a job as a caretaker for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor (Sam Claflin). Spending most of her time with Will, Lou falls in love with him while learning to appreciate things that she has never experienced before. But everything she had hoped for falls apart when she discovers a secret that challenges the time she has with Will, and the boundaries of her love for him.

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It’s good to have a dad like Mr Bates.  Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Me Before You is based off the New York Times Bestseller of the same name by Jojo Moyes. I had had the book for a while but didn’t really get round to reading it until I heard it was going to be made into a film. I am usually hesitant to do this (after The Maze Runner fiasco) but I’m glad I finished the book before I caught the movie.

In short, the movie didn’t disappoint. Most of what I saw in the film were scenarios from the book and I’m thankful that the impactful scenes didn’t end up on the cutting room floor. I also liked how the message for the film was clear and simple.

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My new OTP.  Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The casting for this film couldn’t have been more perfect. I didn’t know if Emilia was able to shed Daenerys for this film but thankfully the Targaryen was nowhere to be found! Emilia Clarke as the quirky Lou was simply brilliant. Her smile, her awkwardness, her crying was like how I imagined Lou to be. In fact, her smile and crying were so infectious that I found myself expressing similar emotions.

Leaving Finnick Odair at home, Sam Claflin took on the difficult role of Will Traynor with ease. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to not move your whole body except for your neck; but Sam managed to do it effortlessly. His chemistry with Emilia was evidently strong and seeing them as Will and Lou made their heart-breaking scenes even harder to digest. I was crying hard during the heart-wrenching scene on the beach with Lou and Will as I felt the reality of the situation between these two characters.

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Sister goals.  Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

I have to point out that I was feeling a major fandom collision while watching the movie as significant characters from Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones were interacting with each other; especially Mr Bates as the father of Clara Oswald and Daenerys Targaryen! Tywin Lannister as Finnick Odair’s father and Neville Longbottom + Daenerys Targaryen as a couple was totes weirdly awesome!

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Sweet but heart-breaking till the end.  Source: Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Despite the unlikely-but-perfectly put together cast, this tear-jerker of a movie will have even the bearer of the hardest of hearts shedding a tear or two. It will not only give you the feels but it will definitely set you thinking on the idea of living boldly and occasionally putting yourself first before others. It will dare you to love your life fully and treasure every moment you share with another.

We’ve all got one life to live – love it and live it to the fullest.

Rating:

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X-Men Apocalypse Review: So many mutants, so little time.

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“Damn. Please don’t tell me that’s our box office numbers next to Civil War’s.” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

Unlike Civil War, the lead-up to X-Men Apocalypse in theaters felt a little hushed. I’ve seen the many posters at bus-stops but still, nothing could compare to the buzz and excitement that Civil War accumulated before its big opening.

The film takes place after the events in Days of Future Past. Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) continues to run his School for Gifted Youngsters, Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has gone into hiding and Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has made it her mission to save mutants that were being treated wrongly. Everyone’s lives turn upside down when an ancient mutant, En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), awakes from his deep slumber. Flanked by his 3 horsemen, Elizabeth Braddock/Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Ororo Munroe/Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Warren Worthington/Angel (Ben Hardy), they recruit a angry-grieving Magneto to embark on a mission to re-shape the world where mutants reign supreme. As Professor Xavier gets kidnapped in the process, his students Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) and Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) take it upon themselves to join the rescue mission, to save the Professor and defeat Apocalypse.

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“I’m sorry – Did you say Ultron’s better than me?” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

There are a lot of mixed reviews regarding this film in particular – since everyone is still riding on a high from Civil War. But for a Marvel movie produced by the (superhero fail) 20th Century Fox, I’d have to say that this was not bad. It’s not Civil War good but at least it’s not Fantastic Four bad.

I feel that the one big issue X-Men Apocalypse had was the introduction of the many mutants. On one hand, it was great to see many of the familiar mutants that I know and love but on the other, if I don’t know how to distinguish them, I wouldn’t know who in the world these people were!

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Jubilee should have been given more screen time! Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

I was disappointed at how iconic characters like Storm and Jubilee were not given a proper introduction (with name) and all we had to go on for recognition was their clothes or hairdo. As a huge fan of Jubilee (since the retro 90’s cartoon), I was outraged at the failure of exposure for her! In fact, I felt that a lot of the lines in the movie were said by characters we’ve already known from the previous installments; with the exception of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler.

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“How is it that that other blue thing had more scenes than me!?” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

It was surprising to me how big of a part Nightcrawler played in this movie. He’s one of my favorite X-Men but giving him more lines than other characters like any one of Apocalypse’s horsemen didn’t seem right. Not to mention, he appeared in more scenes than Quicksilver (Evan Peters) did! Did I also mention that Quicksilver didn’t appear until two-thirds of the movie? They didn’t even give him a change of tactics with his fighting. It was the same fast-slow beat down which was funny but also unbelievable, since it was Apocalypse whom he was doing that to.

In a lot of ways, I felt that these great characters were getting bumped from speaking to make way for witty lines delivered by the other ‘primary’ characters. Even Wolverine’s (yes, Hugh Jackman) pleasantly surprising cameo, was chalked up to a waste of mutant appearance.

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“If only Westeros could see me now.” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

Although I had been a little worried about Sansa Stark Sophie Turner playing Jean Grey, I must say she did impress me. Her accent never faltered once and she definitely made Jean Grey a lot less annoying than her predecessor. Her moment with Wolverine was one of my most disliked scenes as it was bordering on creepy-pervy-eeks. But great job for an iconic X-Men role! As for Isaac’s take on Apocalypse, I had a damn hard time trying not to snigger at the lines he delivered. Most of which were supposed to be intimidating but I found them weirdly seductive. It could be the sultry tones of Oscar Isaac that made the lines weirdly suggestive or it could simply be that his character was meant to seduce mutants to the dark side (see what I did there?). But whatever it was, my mind was already pushed into the gutter as soon as he spoke.

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“The answer to my baldness is revealed in this film.” Source: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment.

If I had to choose the best superhero movie so far for 2016, X-Men Apocalypse wouldn’t come out on top. But, at least it was enjoyable and wasn’t made to kill a franchise. My best advice going in to watch this is to set your expectations as low as possible. In this way, if it turned out either good or bad, you wouldn’t be disappointed greatly.

Rating: 

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