Category: Movie reviews

Truth or Dare – 15

About 
Release date  13.4.18
Summary A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
Time 1hr 40


Trailer


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The Good
If you like your horrors with a body count and a supernatural tone, this is the one for you. It’s reminiscent of the early Final Destination films; the deaths are scary because some of them can be easily passed off as an accident. It’ll chill you to the core.
The Bad
The premise is a little far fetched. I can’t get past the initial decision of Markie (The Flash’s Violett Beane) to withdraw Olivia (Lucy Hale) from her planned work experience holiday, never mind the fact that the whole group join Olivia and Carter on the big trek up the mountain. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’m tired and done on a night out, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me going home.

The Ugly
While it’s not exactly torture porn territory, but it’s almost there and is almost tasteless because of it. The dares are quite horrific and morally corrupt. I found the ‘lust’ triangle nauseating and the treatment of the gay character bordering on offensive.
The plot is so familiar and predictable that you can’t help but feel a little cheated.


Cinema offences
A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.
Viewing date/time: 13.4.2018/ 4pm showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: About 20 people.
Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 8 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): One of the girls that arrived late Boomeranged the screen for Instagram and then spent the next 5 minutes uploading it, with emoticons and everything! 
Talking: Same late girl was talking 3 -4 times throughout.

The Quiet Place – 15 (With spoilers)

Details
released 5th April
time 1h 30

About
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

Trailer

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The Good

Holy crap, this is one scary movie. There’s an intensity and a stillness that not only gets under you skin, but right into your bones as well. From the opening scene, to the credits your heart is in your mouth.

It also sucked me into the world (certainly, me at least) and while I’d normally gasp and in some cases, scream. I ensured I was absolutely silent too. The kids are amazing and both John and Emily bring their A-game and potential Oscar acting chops to the table.

The Bad

Lee and Evelyn are the most idiotic adults ever seen in a horror movie. Their decision to have another child once they find themselves in a post apocalyptic wasteland is hugely irresponsible and completely dangerous. Regardless of how the plot develops, the parents lose me as a viewer 15 minutes in due to their selfishness.

I mean, come on you’re in a world where if you make a sound, you’re shish kebab. Evelyn has had three other kids so she knows her childbirth alone will bring all the creepy things to their yard. Then there’s the baby to deal with… and I’m sure they haven’t forgotten that they cry. A lot.

I’ll agree, without this plot point, there isn’t much of a film. However, just a slight change in the dating and it makes the parents a little more sympathetic. Or have one of their children older and pregnant.

The Ugly

While this is an amazing film, worthy of award season hype when it comes around, it does highlight an epidemic within our cinemas. So often I have to ignore people on their phones, whispering, asking questions or even having a casual coffee shop chat. Most films have enough dialogue to drown out the annoyances, but in a film where there is very little dialogue it can’t be ignored.
People arrived late, a group of twenty-somethings whispered through the first act to the point where I considered going and complaining. But what was the point? It would have caused more disruption by getting someone in and they probably wouldn’t have stopped talking.

Rampage – 12A

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About 

Release date  11.4.18
Summary
Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Time 1hr 47


Trailer


The Good
This is a Dwayn ‘the Rock’ Johnson movie and I’ll hold my hands up here and now; there’s no wrong this man can do (sidebar: My dad calls him The Fairy because of The Toothfairy. When an actor or film gets a Dad Hunter pseudonym, that means they’re on the win list). With Johnson, so come some film expectations. There’s going to be fast paced action, quips and smouldering. There’s also an understanding that the plot will stretch reality to provide a fun plot and indeed it does provide. Bucket loads of it to the point that I’m not so sure we can really call it Science Fiction.
Johnson’s character works well with George, the CGI Gorilla saved from poachers during infancy and taught to sign (Yup, We verge into Congo territory. I’ll reassure you though; I think this one will be considered a little better). Some of the best scenes involved the two of them interacting. There’s heart and humour in their banter and it allows you to feel for them and root for their survival when the shit hits the atmosphere about 2 minutes later.
In addition we have Naomie Harris and Jeffery Dean Morgan helping Johnson ‘save’ his friend and Malin Akerman and Joe Manganeillo playing for the company that caused the mutations in the animals.

The Bad
It really is a shame that most of the film sees George and Johnson’s Davis separated. Not only that, but essentially on opposite sides. They truly do have amazing chemistry that no one else can come close to and it removes some of the natural humour. If the film could keep them together by tweaking the plot it would keep the comedic tone and not seem to be bookended by a separate movie.
The two outside sections have a lighter a tone and sees everyone in on the joke and having fun, however the bulk of the film takes itself a little too seriously.

The Ugly
The CGI is rather ropy and it’s worrying that I picked up on it the first viewing. Normally because it’s all new, I miss the little flaws and only catch them during a repeat viewing, usually at home. It means I wasn’t as engaged in the story as I normally would have been and that could be because of many factors; one being the lack of feeling for the characters.


Cinema offences

A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.

Viewing date/time: 12.4.2018/ 11.40 showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: Quite a busy showing for early in the morning. That said, there couldn’t have been more than 40 people.

Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 4 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): 0
Talking: 3 separate groups, all persistent.
Oh this was a big one today. Fresh off the back of my annoyance from The Quiet Place I think my patience had already warn thin. However, it was people in the row right behind me and it was persistent; like a running commentary on a DVD. Imagine my horror, when I turn around to bollocks the tween triplets I’d mentally given three chance to are not in fact three kids, but a mum and her two sons. Instead of telling her kids to stop, she was engaging them in conversation. I was rather reserved, for me; I politely asked them to stop talking. Well, my dear readers, I might as well have taken a dump right there on her lap based on the look she gave me. All I heard was ‘don’t listen to her’ from the mother and I’d had enough. Premiere seats be damned, I got up and moved to one of the nice seats; I figured Odeon owed me this for allowing this sort of behaviour to become the norm (Disclaimer: It’s not an Odeon problem, the is a all-franchise epidemic. Seriously, this woman will have spent at least £25 on tickets. Alone. I’m sure she’d jacked her kids up on sugar too and when a ‘kids pack’ starts at £4.50, surly just setting fire to your money would be better?! Or at least buy a dvd, rent one from Sky and then let them chatter away to their hearts content at home.

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Love, Simon- 12A

About
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

Trailer

Love-Simon-banner

The Good
Where to start?! It’s a wonderful cast, a charming love story with an Indie tone and a message for everyone. The humour is on point and comes at the right time to alleviate the heaviness that some of the plotlines could bring to the movie.

Both Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are perfection as Simon’s parents. The weight of Jack’s (Duhamel) comments during Simon’s upbringing leave a broken man for part of the movie. It’s a refreshing change when he finally opens up and talks to his son.

Gah! We got Kid Flash. Who wouldn’t love seeing Keiynan Lonsdale outside of the Speedster CW show? It was wonderful seeing someone who is openly gay in real life play a supporting role within this movie.

The Bad
How is it, in this day and age, that this movie is considered ground breaking. That’s no reflection of the movie, but of society. This movie should not be ‘brave’ or ‘monumental’; this should be judged on its ability to stand up to  other teen movies such as Perks of Being a Wallflower or even Mean Girls (It does, by the way). It’s just a shame that the movie is being lost because of the challenges it brings to social thinking.

I also struggled with Katherine Langford as best friend Leah. It’s not her fault, but I still see her as Hannah from 13 Reasons Why and I hate Hannah. I’m waiting for a role that will break the spell of her being a little typecast. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it.

The Ugly
Tears. Oh wow! I cried like a bitch. There are your typical teen moments that have an emotional tug, but there is just one scene involving Simon and his Mom that will melt even the coldest of hearts. The group behind me, who had very annoyingly talked all the way through the movie, had a bit of a discussion about wanting a mother like that.

I think there’s some truth to that. No matter who you are; if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or just a supporter, you will certainly be able to empathise and agree that her stance is not liberal or LGBTQ specific. It’s something all parents should aspire to and something most (if not all) people want; acceptance and respect.

Into the Night – 15 #Jeffwatch

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Thanks to a wonderful Jeff Goldblum meme conversation, my love for Jeff has reignited. This was a man that was ever-present in my childhood. I’d mistakenly begged to watch the Fly and to this day I’ve not seen it all the way through.

So Friday night viewing had to be the recently Netflix added Into the Night; a 1985 thriller staring a young Jeff alongside the wonderful Michelle Pfeiffer and notable cameos from Jim Henson and David Bowie.

It’s not a great watch for those who like their thrillers fast paced. It’s almost halfway through before there is any sembilence of momentum. However, it is a brilliant nostalgia trip and an intriguing look at what life is like when you can’t be contacted through a phone.

If you asked me to describe Jeff in three words, they would be eccentric, charming and electric. The Jeff in this film is devoid of all of these (which is a testament to his ability as an actor) and is beige. His character is beige, the film is beige hell, even Bowie’s cameo is beige. Which is all good, except it means there is no character development; he’s a caterpillar and I’m disappointed that I don’t get the butterfly I know Jeff can provide.

Alas, this won’t be joining Jurassic Park as one of the #Jeffwatch repeated viewings.

I, Tonya – 15

Release date: 16 February 2018
Running Time: 118m

About
In 1991, talented figure skater Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition. In 1994, her world comes crashing down when her ex-husband conspires to injure Nancy Kerrigan, a fellow Olympic hopeful, in a poorly conceived attack that forces the young woman to withdraw from the national championship. Harding’s life and legacy instantly become tarnished as she’s forever associated with one of the most infamous scandals in sports history.

Trailer

Oscars
Allison Janney won Best Female support


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The Good
It’s a good movie that keeps its pace and takes on an almost meta quality. It doesn’t claim to be telling the truth, but many interpretations of the truth. There’s a lot more humor to it than the trailer gives credit.
The nostalgia for the 90s is very real in this movie and gives the whole tone a gritty edge that I hope to see in more. I just wish this was part of the ’88 Winter Olympics; you’d then have a trilogy of films to watch.

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We can’t leave the good without talking about the amazing Allison Janney. West Wing alumni deserved every single win during awards season. She is brilliant in everything she does and I, Tonya is no exception. She’s on point with her characterisation of Mrs Harding and the depiction of what I believe is COPD.

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The Bad
I obvioiusly don’t know Tonya Harding personally, but the end of the movie shows, as many biopics do, clips of the real life counter parts. Based upon the clips seen, Margot Robbie plays Tonya a little too hard. In the clips and from other footage I’ve seen, there was a softer side to her. I would have liked to have seen that represented.

The Ugly
That ‘tache! Poor Sebastian Stan did not make that facial fuzz look good.

As always with biopics of this nature, they are uncomfortable to watch. The violence, the anger and the damage makes for an entertaining movie. However, it does pull you out when you remember it is someone’s life unfolding before you.

The Greatest Showman (PG)

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The Greatest Showman (PG)
DVD release date: 14 May 2018
Run Time: 105 minutes

The Greatest Showman is a bold and original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the sense of wonder we feel when dreams come to life. Inspired by the ambition and imagination of P.T. Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Good

From the opening cheers of ‘The Greatest Show’ to the encore of ‘Million Dreams’ this film hooks you in and invites you on a beautiful journey of love, inspiration, ambition and joy. It’s a perfect fairy tale with a brilliant, happy ending.

The cast is amazing, each wonderful choice works well on their own. However, the true beauty is in the way in which the cast work together. Hugh Jackman is proving that men do indeed age like a fine wine; his voice and presence are the perfect fit for the real life figure P T Barnum. He holds his own and reveals a motivation behind his fantastic visions. He is a true joy to watch. However, put him on the screen with Zac Effron and the audience are shown something so extraordinary that you’ll be wishing that they had more songs together.

The Bad

Some of the graphics look a little ropey and take you out of the film. It’s something that is not exclusive to this film and is becoming a regular occurrence.

I found some of the themes in which PT became almost ashamed of his Circus crew a little out of character, but it did add to the dramatic pull of the move and brought about the wonderful, and award winning, ‘This is Me’.

The Ugly

I didn’t half ugly cry. It wasn’t necessarily that it was sad, in fact it was the exact opposite. It was such an overwhelming uplifting movie that I couldn’t cope.

The Shape of Water

The Good

What a wonderful gothic fairytale. It’s really hard to not feel for these characters. At a time when people were separated because of the colour of their skin, it’s not hard to see how their love would be forbidden.

Weaving in the space race and an unknown creature that the villain would rather subdue than understand and you have a perfect cinematic treat.

The colours, tone and acting all scream sincerity and pull the audience into a world of awe and wonder.

David Hewitt, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Sheen are welcome additions to this beautiful homage to the Creature of the Black Lagoon.

It is, however, Doug Jones as the Asset who steals the show, and the lovely Sally Hawkins’ heart. The frequent Del Torro collaborator has such a distinctive form and elegance that he can emote so much without saying a word.

The Bad

There’s a gruesome edge to the film that I just couldn’t quite get on board with. It left me queasy and pulled me out of the softness the romance was conveying.

The Ugly

I found some parts unnecessarily crude. Perhaps I’m a prude, but it just took away a little bit of its charm.

Black Panther

The Good

What. A. Cast. Not only do Marvel have a phenomenal cast of colour, led by Creed director Ryan Coogler, they have pulled together amazing women and British talent. It’s release couldn’t be timed better. It’s award season and people of colour and women are thrown the PC bone. It can be argued that there is a lack of a body of work to gain the nominations.

Well, here’s a film showing what can be done if money allows for it and mainstream Hollywood takes the archaic rod out of its arse and fucks off the Weinstein’s of the world.

The plot doesn’t take itself too seriously, but also wraps itself in wonderful African culture and tradition. It stands out from all other Marvel films, and that’s its charm.

From veteran actors Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker to up and coming Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o you cannot fault the acting. It is Letitia Wright, playing the Panther’s sister who steals the show. Part Q, part royal pain, she is the lightness any action film needs and I look forward to seeing her reprise her role.

The Bad

As with many Marvel movies, it’s the villain that often has the film faulted. The problem this time is not the motive, but the execution of the primary villain. He’s revealed a little too late and at the expense of another. It’s a shame as it came across a little convoluted.

The Ugly

I’ve never been a fan of origin stories, the feel full of baggage. It’s not that I don’t need to know it, it’s that they either cram too much in or set the sights on the sequel.

Now, Black Panther tries to avoid both of these, but just can’t quite remove itself from the origin territory simply because it’s not only setting up a character, but a new world in which he lives.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: the Last Jedi 12a
Release date: 14.12.2017

Trailer:

The Good
The world building is as good as ever. The creatures, bar one, are masterful and awe inspiring. Adam Driver is as wonderful as before with his portrayal of Kylo. It’s interesting to see his development and conflict. In a mirroring, I enjoyed Rey’s struggling between the light and dark.
New character, Rose is a delight… if not a little far from what we’d expect to see within Star Wars. She appears a little bright and twee; someone who wouldn’t be out of place in Gilmore Girls.

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The Bad
Hux! What did they do to my General? He was a panto villain of the highest order. From the initial holding call to his slapdown inside an At-At, Hux was the focus of the films more slapstick humour. And he wasn’t the only one who appeared to have a character change that irked me. Poe was not the same character I met in Force Awakens and there was nothing to explain away this change. He was too ‘hot headed’ and worst of all it had no impact upon the plot.

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The Ugly
The plot, the reveals, the humour. I’m not going to lie, I *enjoyed* the film while there, part of an audience and constantly reminding myself by the credit roll, it would be worth it.
However, I enjoyed it as a film, not as a the part of a well established franchise. As a Star Wars film, it was appalling and an insult to fans. It pulled apart anything JJ put in place in the first installment and it will be hard to see it flow through to the third outing.
Two of my most hated scenes involved the Skywalker siblings; you’ll know what they are when you see them. They happen early enough within the film and are both completely out of character.
The whole film (jar) jars with the franchise. The tone is wrong, the treatment of the characters is far from what I would consider canonical and quite simply, I’m feeling a little at odds with the Force right now.

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Hannah Challenge for 2018

I want to get back into watching films but I want to do it in a bit of a different way. I want a focus; almost a study.

Have you ever noticed in films, that when they show the moon it’s always full? A gorgeous pearlescent orb, hanging in the air.

So, in 2018 I’m going on a Moon watch.

However, I need your help. I need you to nominate films for me to watch outside of my cinema viewing. As random as you like, the only exclusion are werewolf centred films; for obvious reasons.

Head here https://goo.gl/forms/871pJA323rKCsPtO2 and suggest a film for me to watch and review.

Paddington 2- PG

Paddington 2

Release date: 10.11.2017

Trailer

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Description: Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes. One fine day, he spots a pop-up book in an antique shop — the perfect present for his beloved aunt’s 100th birthday. When a thief steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on an epic quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy’s big celebration.

The good

Paddington and the Brown family are back, and they’re as charming as ever. This is the perfect antidote to the current climate and stresses of every day life.

From the opening narrated letter to Aunt Lucy to the films resolution you will be uplifted to the point of tears.

There’s a whose who of British talent who happily take on the number of flamboyant cameos. Some will go over the heads of international viewers, but there are enough Potter alumni to keep everyone happy.

The bad

A good chunk of the film takes place within Portobello prison. Here we get one of my favourite additions to the whole film; Brendan Gleason as chef inmate “knuckles”. Full disclosure, I have a soft spot for all the Gleason men but I’ll challenge anyone to hate the gruff cook who’s heart melts at Paddington’s influence. The one thing that enables an audience feel fulfilled is the progression and development; and you get it with Knuckles in all its Han Solo-esque glory.

The way in which the prison is ran is very fanciful and I LOVE that. It reminds me of a book I don’t remember the title of in which the parents of the protagonist purposely get themselves thrown into prison so they don’t have to cook for themselves. It’s clear that the film isn’t glamourising or even commenting upon the prison system; it’s simply just having harmless fun.

The ugly

I ugly cried. This film has found a winning formula and has worked out that tears are better when formed because of positive and bittersweet motivations. In a tone similar to It’s a Wonderful Life, it will render anyone with an open heart a blubbering mess. Thankfully, the film offers you some mid-credit sequences so you can sort yourself out before leaving the cinema.