This is Where I Leave You (2014)

Rating 15
Length 1Hr 43
Release 24.10.2014
Director Shawn Levy
About When their father passes away, four grown, world-weary siblings return to their childhood home and are requested — with an admonition — to stay there together for a week, along with their free-speaking mother (Jane Fonda) and a collection of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. As the brothers and sisters re-examine their shared history and the status of each tattered relationship among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterically funny and emotionally significant ways.


The Good 

  • It’s a rather uplifting film considering it centres around a parental death and cheating spouses.
  • Adam Driver is hilarious as the youngest sibling. This is the anti-emo to his portrayal as Kylo Ren. He has some wonderful scenes with many of the cast.
  • Kathryn Hahn really surprised me with her performance. It’s so very different to everything else I’ve seen her in and I loved that I even began questioning whether it was her.

The Bad

  • Timothy Olyphant was wasted in his role. There needed to be more screen time and I’m so sad about the lack of closure with his character.
  • Jason Bateman was too safe a choice for the lead role. It’s pretty much the only role I see him play, but he’s capable of so much more. 

The Ugly

  • I don’t know what it is about Rose Byrne that makes me want to punch her in the face, but I do and that distracts me from the film.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed the film. It’s a bit messy and included a lot of depressing themes, but I certainly left me feeling uplifted.

John Wick (2014)

Rating: 15
Length: 1hr 41
Release: 10.4.2015
Director: Chad Stahelshi (David Leitch-uncredited)
About: John Wick, a retired hitman, is forced to return to his old ways after a group of Russian gangsters steal his car and kill a puppy gifted to him by his late wife.


The Good

  • It’s a pretty decent movie that plays on a number of genres in order to make its story work. The action and dialogue keep a decent pace and plays on all the actor’s strengths. It feels like a comic or game come to life. 
  • Reeves, to many, is perfect in the role; bringing his stoic Neo chops to this hit-man revenge chaos. I can see why he, and the franchise, is so successful. I feel a little apathetic to his presence, preferring to see him in Bill & Ted or Speed type roles. But I cannot fault his performance.
  • It’s always a pleasure to have Ian McShane in a film. There’s never much diversity in his delivery, but he’s certainly fun to watch and almost the middle ground to Tim Curry’s ham and Ian Hart’s classically trained performances.

The Bad

  • I found the opening act a little clunky. It felt a bit like the obligatory ‘death of Bruce Wayne’s parents’ scene at the start of EVERY. BATMAN. MOVIE. MADE. However, I feel very detached from the protagonist and I don’t like that I ever get a sense of who he was. Wick feels very flat as a character. 

The Ugly

  • “Just a dog” fuck me, I’ve never ugly cried so much at an action movie in my life, nor have I known a death was as much of a sure thing since Coach died in Rocky. I’m amazed how invested I was in little Daisy considering her screen time. In fact I was more invested in the revenge for her than in the character of John Wick.
  • The score and soundtrack was a little too trance and techno for my liking. It was a little too loud and relied too much on the bass for me to enjoy the film fully.

Final Thoughts

I think it is very telling that I had originally planned to watch the films in a movie night, back to back. I couldn’t bring myself to even put on Chapter 2, let alone watch all three. That said, I am aware that they will be enjoyed by others.

Christmas Film Advent- Santa Claws (2014)

“I’m old enough to decide if I celebrate Christmas or not.”

Length: 1 Hr 26
About: 
Santa is allergic to cats, but Tommy has been so good this year he decides to bring him a kitten for Christmas. When Santa has an allergic attack, the kitties have to take over the sleigh to deliver all the presents.

It’s 3am, I can’t sleep and I’m not quite ready to put on a ‘proper’ film. Now my cat is sat glued to the TV watching this kitten focused festive offering. For that alone, it’s worth the watch.

It’s hard to not watch this with a different mindset; its clear from the outset that it is not of the same quality as other films I’ve watched. However, this is not the sort of film that is wanting reviews comparing it to the countless Scrooge incarnations.

What it comes down to, is not how dire the plot might be or how many times I cringed. It doesn’t even matter if  special effects are ropy or the acting is top notch. What matters is if the target audience will love it. Parent’s, I give you warning; don’t show this film to your little ones without being prepared for it being the only thing you watch.

For a kid, its fun, cute and the plot doesn’t matter. The three kittens running about and causing mischief will entertain and engage. For the fury felines, just pop it on as your leaving the house. When you return, you’ll discover that your kitten hasn’t moved anything other than its head. Cassius’ head followed the kittens from start to finish.