Archive for January, 2012

A Portrait of Margaret Thatcher: “The Iron Lady” (2011)

Posted in Old Non Horror Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews
  • Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
  • Screenplay by Abi Morgan

“The Iron Lady” as a title for the portrayal of Britain’s longest-running Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in itself is ironic. Viewing through the eyes of someone who did not experience the conservative society of the 1980’s the film presents an image of a strong-willed yet sympathetic feminist icon during the political aspects of the film. However the majority focuses on Mrs Thatcher’s mental decline in recent years; therefore is it a story of an elderly woman and her family coming to terms with mental illness rather than the achievements and mistakes of one of the most influential leaders in history? Although what can be said is Meryl Streep who takes on the main role does a stunning job at re-creating the 2oth Century’s most loved yet most hated political figure in appearance and in mannerisms. As a protagonist she engages the audience in a wave of empathy as she recalls her days in parliament and how she got there while struggling with day to day life. The fact that controversy has been generated surrounding the film is no surprise as opinion has always accumulated a divide among the public when it comes to Thatcher. Its fair to say and understandable that her real life children Carol and Mark were against the film’s production describing it as a “left-wing fantasy”. Perhaps a film in general on Margaret Thatcher has been released too soon, taking into consideration the woman is suffering with dementia to this day does ignite a sense of disrespect. Despite this it was an interesting approach at portraying the time through Thatcher’s perspective. Many films such as Shane Meadows “This is England” (2006) showed how the government policy’s and war affected the working classes therefore in terms of viewing history it proved insightful and different.

The main issues as in the Miners strike and the Falklands War are touched on depicting Thatcher’s reactions, one of the most poignant scenes being where she decided to write to all the casualties families of the Falklands. Due to the main focus being on Thatcher’s later decline the political issues weren’t given a lot of depth. This acted as a shame for the film-makers as concentrating on the impact of these historical events and how she dealt with them as Prime Minister had the potential to create something much more powerful rather than personal.  The use of the real footage from the time did provide an impact, reminding the audience of the reality of what was happening and adding grit to the piece. At times by showing her vulnerable side it was as if the motivation of the film-makers was an attempt at endearing her to the public after all these years. An alternative approach to the narrative with removing the flashbacks would have been effective taking the audience through the beginning of her life, what led to her ambition, her time in parliament then closing on her resignation allowing a fascinating depiction of 1980’s history.

For what “The Iron Lady” does convey is an emotional story with a thin historical backdrop, however depicting the personal nature of a human being’s mental state especially the hallucinations of her late husband Dennis (Played by Jim Broadbent) made an uncomfortable watch. Its strength lay in the way it acted as a vehicle for feminism through the message of never giving up and fighting for your beliefs. Thatcher was brave to stand up and fight to get where she wanted to be in a male-dominated world and succeeding. The film does overall give out a mixed reaction through being interesting on one hand and distasteful on the other, but there is no denying Meryl Streep’s performance was touching and engaging and ultimately carries the film.

Hayley Alice Roberts.

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Coming Together…The First Cut (Abertoir 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 24, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Exciting news people!!! Myself, Elliot and James have edited the first cut of the “Abertoir 2011” promo with just a few tweaks left to do! We have been asked to present a talk to our University Placement lecture regarding our project and how it came about, followed by a rough screening of the film or one of James’s “Making Of” videos. The official screening of the film is still undecided so watch this space and until then, here are some teasers below to give an idea of what to expect!!

Hayley Alice Roberts

 

“The Making Of Abertoir 2011 Coverage:Day One” Video

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Here is our eagerly awaited first day “Making Of…” video edited by James Moore on Adobe Premiere; showing us on location at the Aberystwyth Castle Grounds, along with the track “Happy as Saturday” by Devilish Presley. As for the film itself we made a productive start to the editing and everything has been put together in a coherent structure, we are going to apply the finishing touches very soon! Below is the video and some stills of our editing progress.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Outcast Productions: Abertoir 2011 Film- Day Three Info

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Today’s shoot proved rewarding as we managed to film all the additional footage needed for the Abertoir Film. All the interior shots were filmed in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre (The Home of Abertoir!) featuring myself presenting an introduction to the vox pop’s we’re going to feature, the events that were held and the special guests that attended (meaning I could briefly mention my favourite film INBRED!!). Also  festival director Gaz Bailey kindly allowed us to film inside the cinema which added a fitting atmosphere to my presentation. Overall everything ran smoothly and we had no seagulls to contend with unlike yesterday (result!!). Tomorrow will consist of myself and Elliot going through all our footage before we begin to finally put everything together for the first cut! Exciting stuff! Once more I would like to thank everyone for their support in regards to this project. Also keep an eye out for more updates on facebook and twitter as well as our group’s wordpress blog that will be coming soon….

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Hayley Alice Roberts

“Know This, We’ve Noticed” (#9.1) One Tree Hill: The Final Season.

Posted in Old Non Horror Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

CONTAINS SPOILERS

“I don’t wanna die yet. At least not until One Tree Hill gets cancelled….” -Glee

“One Tree Hill” the long running US “Teen Drama”/”Soap Opera” series returned to the CW last week with a brand new episode beginning the show’s final season. Preceding the upbeat tone of the Season Eight finale, “Know This, We’ve Noticed” (#9.1) conveyed a darker edge with the show appearing to be going as dramatic as possible to see the series out for good. Instead of the familiar opening credits, the black titled background returned with sombre piano music over it emphasising the dark and  melancholic feel that its approaching the end. Notorious for its time jumps the episode begins with the characters thrown into chaos with the reasons unknown to the viewer. There’s an explosion implying that as its the final season its going to go out with a bang, a familiar face has returned in the shape of Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) who hasn’t been seen since way back in the fourth season (see. #4.17), at first the character re-introduction seems random but as loyal fans will be aware there will be a reason for his return. The major question however lies with why is he with Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) discussing “killing”? As well as where is Nathan (James Lafferty)? Why is his wife Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) identifying a body? is it his? Why’s Brooke (Sophia Bush) smashing up the cafe? Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn’s (Shantel VanSanten) relationship appears in jeopardy and Brooke and husband Julian (Austin Nichols) don’t seem to be experiencing the parental bliss we left them in back in the previous season. With interesting conflicts and over-the-top drama, the viewers can expect the series to finally end in epic fashion, with the intriguing opening encouraging us to keep glued. But as always the important part is the journey and how the characters ended up in this place…

Chris Keller

“Know This, We’ve Noticed” sees Haley and Brooke running the recently opened “Karen’s Cafe” successfully judging by the amount of customers and warm welcomes they receive. Haley soon discovers upon arriving at “Red Bedroom Records” that she has accidentally taken on blast-from-the-past Chris Keller to run the label much to her dismay. Haley and the audience are well-aware that he hasn’t changed since the high school years as he continues to aggravate the other characters to the best of his ability, re-igniting Haley’s past conflict with the singer. Alex (Jana Kramer) also encounters him with negative first impression, demonstrating that he has the same irritating effect on the new characters alongside the more established ones. Chris Keller adds a fresh dynamic while also giving a sense of nostalgia to the show’s earlier and better seasons.

Haley and Nathan don’t appear in scenes together as he is away on business, they do however communicate over the phone and unlike the other couples that are physically together, Nathan and Haley still have strong chemistry, giving out a sense of longing for each other and vulnerability in their separation. Despite their farcical and less believable beginning’s with marrying at sixteen and becoming teenage parents, one of “One Tree Hill’s” strengths is the development and growth of their relationship into adulthood, its stood the test of time; therefore as its rumoured James Lafferty won’t be appearing as much this season and due to the return of his half-brother Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) it would be incredibly devastating for fans to see their favourite, long-standing couple end under tragic circumstances.

Haley and daughter Lydia

A sleep-deprived Brooke and Julian discover the downside of parenthood as they attempt to balance caring for their twin boys Davis and Jude as well as holding up careers for themselves. Julian utters in a tongue in cheek manner that he wants to go back to a life where they were free to do as they pleased, considering their initial struggle to have children of their own the remark feels out of place however also conveys the reality of the stress that comes with their situation. On the other hand Brooke delivers a stunning narration about seeing the place she grew up in in a different light after having the twins, metaphorically depicting the notion of viewing life differently as time passes on and through the changes it brings. Concluding with the line “Sometimes my heart aches at how my life turned out, in a good way, it doesn’t mean there haven’t been hardships, there have been, but I’m here and here is good” sums up Brooke’s growth as a character and her true appreciation of how her life has turned out. Finally seeing Brooke’s father (Richard Burgi) at the twins christening added a new spin and gives a better understanding of who she is and how she grew up, placing the missing piece of the puzzle.

Brooke and her father

Dan’s reappearance in the christening scene invokes many questions that have been present through various seasons of the show. It is unknown whether he is being genuine regarding the fact his home has been involved in a fire however its satisfying to see him in a desperate state with nowhere to turn but to the people he hurt in the first place. The encounter between Dan and Haley is an intense watch and cleverly depicted as Dan realises he’s asking far too much than he should.

Dan asking for forgiveness?

The sub-plots such as Clay and Quinn’s issues in recovering from the shooting/stalker incident and the Chase (Stephen Colletti) and Alex relationship still remain as filler storylines and possibly unnecessary as the show’s strength remains with the original core characters that the audience have grown up with for the past nine years. On a personal level these minor stories aren’t as compelling. With the eagerly-awaited return of Lucas it will definitely bring the show back to its origins and generate intrigue in seeing what his character has been up to in his absence, like Chris Keller, its going to be interesting seeing him interact with the newer characters and of course Brooke, Haley and Nathan given its been three years since we saw them on screen together.

Overall “Know This, We’ve Noticed” was a decent opening and an enjoyable watch with compelling moments that have the potential for greater development. “One Tree Hill” is finally on the way to closure and hopefully will meet all the expectations the fans and characters deserve. It will be missed but the right time has come to call it a day.

For my previous Season 8 Finale Review Click Here: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/one-tree-hill-season-8-finale/

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Outcast Productions: Abertoir 2011 Film- Day Two Info

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 17, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Day Two of our Abertoir project consisted of filming footage outside the Arts Centre of me presenting information circulating the Censorship debate; which occurred on the festival’s first day. The controversial screening of “The Human Centipede 2” (2011) was also discussed. There were a few issues in regards to the shoot as we had to change our location three times, firstly due to exams taking place in the Great Hall, followed by chirping seagulls and howling winds near the steps and Hugh Owen Library. Finally we obtained our footage outside the Arts Centre bar and everything ran smoothly from there on. We have a fair bit of footage to gain by the end of the week before we begin putting it all together, which will feature information on some of the films screened, the special guests and the events that were held. James Moore is currently in the process of editing some “Making of…” footage which will be up shortly so you can see our on-set/location antics! Stay tuned as there is much more on its way!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

 

OutCast Productions: Abertoir 2011 Film- Day One Info

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Announced earlier on the official Facebook group and Twitter page, OutCast Productions are currently in the stages of editing and adding the finishing touches to the coverage of Wales’s only horror festival Abertoir. An introduction scene was filmed today as well as some establishing shots of Aberystwyth town. Filming was enjoyable and productive despite the cold weather, with a relaxed atmosphere on location. Below are some stills of today’s progress and a making of video will shortly. Thank you to everyone who has supported this film and us as a production group, we hope you will enjoy the final product.

Keep a look out for more news from us in the coming weeks!

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Hayley Alice Roberts