Pan’s Labyrinth of coping mechanisms

Mental Health Awareness Week (#MHAW17) brings with it anecdotes, admissions, well-wishes, and life-saving information. A communal spirit and heightened awareness does, for at least a week, attempt to make those with mental health issues feel less alone, and more equipped for the future. Sharing the in’s and out’s of your head isn’t for everyone – regardless of the state of your mental health – though that doesn’t mean there aren’t stories to be told.

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Review: The Lost City of Z

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Based on a true story, The Lost City of Z documents Colonel Percy Fawcett’s adventures to the Amazon as he seeks to uncover a hidden society he has named Z (zed, not zee). It is the turn of the 20th century and what can be considered new is becoming increasingly rare. Fawcett is starry-eyed at the prospect of being the first to find something untouched by the British.

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Review: Power Rangers

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Who is this 2017 interpretation of Power Rangers for? With a 12A rating, grittier action than its TV counterpart, and a surprising amount of swearing, it’s hardly kid-friendly. The grown-ups have been bombarded by so many updates and reboots (Ghostbusters, 21 Jump Street, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) that saturating the market further seems like folly.

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Review: Get Out

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Director Jordan Peele has a scathing satirical eye, and it’s that what makes Get Out worthy of the praise.

Typical jump-scare horror tropes are all present and accounted for, but the real scares are found in the film’s fearless attitude towards race relations in a seemingly tolerant and liberal neighbourhood.

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Review: Beauty and the Beast

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Trapped in time, Disney’s animated classic is protected from certain criticisms.

Belle is a little too perfect; the central romance is borne out of a kidnapping; and the film’s climax makes a mockery of its message up until that point, turning Beast into a conventionally dashing lad after atoning for his sins. Regardless, it is still one of the most magical stories ever told, and it retains that status because of its historical context.

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Review: Kong: Skull Island

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Entry number two in Legendary’s MonsterVerse series (beginning with 2014’s Godzilla), Kong: Skull Island is a more entertaining romp, trading environmental worries for big monsters punching other big monsters in the face.

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Review: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Macon Blair’s starring role in Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin has led to this, his directorial debut.

Thematically similar, yet wholly different in tone, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore follows Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) as she seeks revenge on those who burgled her home. Clearly out of her depth, she enlists the help of a bizarre neighbour (Elijah Wood) who possesses martial arts weaponry and loads of heavy metal posters.

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Review: Certain Women

Originally published on CommonSpace.

Certain Women follows certain women doing certain things. Laura Dern’s Laura has been putting up with a client’s protestations for eight months, believing he’s been ripped off by a settlement; Michelle Williams’ Gina is undermined and undervalued despite leading the way with plans to build a home for her family; Lily Gladstone’s Jamie is a lone rancher who attends a night class about school law taught by Kristen Stewart’s Beth.

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