MOVIES & BOOZE: Going to the cinema this weekend?

Sarina Bellissimo reviews the week's top releases

This week Sarina Ballisimo reviews Hidden Figures and Patriots Day...

Hidden Figures

We all know that it was men that first walked on the moon, but how many of us know that if it were not for some extraordinary women, America may not have won the race to the moon? This is the tale of “Hidden Figures”. It is the true story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), phenomenal mathematicians who were crucial to NASA’s early space program.

Hidden Figures is an astonishing story. Here were three women who not only had to make it in a man’s world, but they had to fight even harder to have their voices heard because not only were they women, but they were black women living in a time of racism and segregation.

This film deserves to win big at the Oscars. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae give killer performances and are finely supported by Kevin Costner (it’s great to see him back), Mahershala Ali, “The Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons and Kirsten Dunst.

“Hidden Figures” is outstanding! It never once manipulates the audiences’ emotions, but at the same time it has you feeling a range of emotions. You will be inspired, happy, cheering, and at other times you will be angry, sad and frustrated, but, ultimately you will be in awe of what these women were able to achieve! If these women could kick butt under such repressive circumstances, what excuse do we have for not doing the same in our lives?

It is great to see that finally, Katherine G Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson are getting the recognition they deserve. They are hidden figures no more! Go see this film and walk away not afraid to dream big and to make it happen!

Patriots Day

Patriots Day is based on the true story of the horrific events that happened on 15th April 2013, at the Boston Marathon, and the law enforcements’ attempts to catch the two bombers.

I was very sceptical going into this film. I didn’t understand why this tragedy needed to be turned into a film. In my mind, film is a place we go to escape, to learn or to marvel. This was a tragedy that serves no entertainment purposes, and only having occurred less than 4 years ago, surely this was still too raw to break down and learn from? I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Patriots Day” is a film that people need to see. As weird as it is to say, this film instils hope. The actions of the Boston people on that day and the weeks after, show how love will always trump hate.

From the very beginning, “Patriots Day” goes out of it’s way to humanise all involved, showing us what the ordinary things people were doing the day before, and hours leading up to the marathon. There was a real connection with the “characters” and there was no doubt that what we were watching was real.

It is very well made, with outstanding performances from the cast, including Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan and JK Simmons.

The portrayal of the bombing was handled with sensitivity, not once did any scene feel sensationalised or done in a way to manipulate the viewer’s emotions. There was a very good mix of archival footage with scenes shot especially for the film. These were so seamless that, at times, it is difficult to differentiate between the two.

You will not watch this film to be entertained. Given the subject matter, I felt sick watching it, but I was still enthralled and amazed at the city of Boston and the actions of the law enforcement officers. “Patriots Day” is more of a case study of how the law enforcement agencies captured the bombers. It also makes you thankful for the amazing men and women who put their own lives at risk, running into the danger zone, while we run from it, to save the lives of others.

The events that happened on 15th April 2013 were frightening, horrendous and came from a place of hate, but this film chooses to find a positive. You walk away feeling that while there is hate in the hearts of some, love will always reign supreme. As Mark Wahlberg’s character, Tommy Saunders, says, “love is the only thing they can’t touch and take from us.” Patriot’s Day is an incredible film. This isn’t a film I would watch more than once, but it is a film I would recommend you see.