Promising Young Woman (2020)

Rating 15
Length 1h 54
Release 16.4.2021
Director Emerald Fennell
About Nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be — she’s wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she’s living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs from the past.


The Good

  • This film is visually beautiful. There were so many times during the runtime I thought ‘put that on a canvas and I’d hang it in my house’. Very few films have even one frame like that for me. Yet here is this film, a Film Studies academic’s dream, giving me enough canvas for a museum.
  • The film holds a wonderful familiarity with one of my favourite films, Get Carter, and a beloved tv show of mine, Veronica Mars. Not in a way that screams “remake” or “rip off”, but gives me the indication that the creatives behind this film are aiming for my demographic. That this is a film for me, by someone like me.
  • The entire cast is incredible, but this really is Carey Mulligan’s time to shine. It was Cassandra’s story and Mulligan told it with such a presence that you’re drawn right in. I always knew she was going on to do great things when my favourite episode of Doctor Who became the one in which the Doctor, David Tennant’s Doctor no less, was barely present. It makes the geek in me really happy to see her hold her own in such a powerful and important film.
  • Okay, there’s one other person I need to mention and that is Jennifer Coolidge. Holy crap, she blindsided me. She has been the epitome of comedy and caricatures that I am ashamed to say I cringed when I saw her name in the credits. Gone was that nasal squeak that she seemed to have branded herself with, gone are the blonde locks and instead we get a rather understated performance that really added to the family dynamic in the film. Directors, I hope you use this woman more because she is so much more than her 2 Broke Girls’ “Hi everybody”.

The Bad

  • Eat before you press play. Do everything you need to because you are not moving once it starts. I stupidly didn’t think I was going to like this movie, so I naively put it on about 30 minutes before I was going to have my dinner. I couldn’t pause, I couldn’t just nip out… this film had me not only engrossed, but invested. To have paused, even for a moment, could have altered the outcome.
    Now, that, that is cinema at its finest.

The Ugly

  • Its not the most comfortable of watches when you consider the themes, the story and the characters. This isn’t a film for entertainment’s sake. This is a cautionary tale and a societal mirror for trauma, grief and gender prejudice.

Final Thoughts

Watch this movie. Show your mother, your sister and most importantly, show your son, show your brother and show your dad this movie.

Thunder Force (2021)

Rating 12
Length 1h 47
Release 9.4.2021
Director Ben Falcone
About Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people superpowers.


The Good

  • Jason Bateman certainly looked to be having fun as the miscreant The Crab. On anyone else it really would have looked and felt cringe. However, he has enough of that dry smarm to get away with it.
  • The premise is pretty good. The idea that whatever it was caused villains and the heroes have to be manufactured is pretty good. There’s a really decent film here, under the McCarthy-branded humour.

The Bad

  • The film took too much time setting it all up. I don’t need to see these two friends as children. I don’t need to see Lydia’s daily routine if it has absolutely no baring on the plot. It doesn’t endear me to the characters, it doesn’t provide a challenge for the two to over come. It just felt like a waste.
  • The bad guy motivation was a bit, meh. If I cared enough, I could scrutinise it and it would all fall apart. As it stands though, I don’t care enough to actually pin point what it is that makes it so shit.
  • That. Dance. Scene?! What the actual fuck?

The Ugly

  • I really don’t like the crude humour, or the “You didn’t get it the first time, so I’m going to repeat it” thing McCarthy does. Its all humour that doesn’t stick the landing for me and it got old about ten movies ago.
  • Raw chicken?! I know they weren’t eating raw chicken, but it was a bloody good imitation and it made me sick to my stomach.

Final Thoughts

I’ll be sticking to my House of Mouse for my superheroes from now on. Thank you.

Palm Springs (2020)

Rating 15
Length 1h 30
Release 9.4.2021
Director Max Barbakow
About Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.


The Good

  • Andy Samberg is just a delight in a role that was totally made for him. While there’s still that 99 goofball humour, there are layers to the character of Nyles giving Samberg a chance to show his range. It could not come at a better time for the SNL alumni, given that the 99 are bowing out.
  • It might seem a little jarring at first, but stick with it. I’ve not seen as clever a time loop since Star Trek Discovery’s episode Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad (S01 Ep07). Its a fresh take, while acknowledging everything that’s come before.
  • Its that sweet spot run time. With a time loop, there is a sweet spot. Groundhog Day, depending on when I watch, doesn’t always hit the mark and I drift in the middle. This has me for the whole thing.
  • It is a film you’re going to want to watch again. I have the feeling its the sort of film you learn more and discover things you missed each time you watch it. There’s also some deep philosophical shit going down that I think had I not been day-2 post Covid jab, I’d have a better insight to.
  • There’s some STEM shit too. Proving you’re never too old to learn… shit.
  • JK Simmons. That’s all you’re getting.

The Bad

  • You don’t get a full resolution for Sarah and her family. It may leave a few viewers frustrated.

The Ugly

  • Get ready to feel your HIMYM rage all over again. Within five minutes of seeing Cristin Milioti as Sarah, you will not only be mad about the ending, or the fact that the last series took place over the course of a few days. You will be mad that they cast this great, amazing person and wasted her.

Final Thoughts

Cannot wait to watch this on 9th November 2021. Its become my new Groundhog and Rex Manning Day.

Godzilla Vs Kong (2021)

Rating 12a
Length 1h 55
Release 1.4.2021
Director Adam Wingard
About Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home. Along for the ride is Jia, an orphaned girl who has a unique and powerful bond with the mighty beast. However, they soon find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla as he cuts a swath of destruction across the globe. The initial confrontation between the two titans — instigated by unseen forces — is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the planet.


The Good?

  • I do love the title sequence. It’s used throughout the franchise and is about the only thing that connects all the movies together.
  • It does have a pretty decent music score.
  • Some of the “Vs” in this film are quite cool. Especially in the final act. Except for the Godzilla laser. That’s never cool.

The Bad

  • I do not like the song choices which seem at odds with whatever this franchise is trying to be.

The Ugly

  • Godzilla is one ugly motherfucker, aren’t they? Like Godzilla is a beautiful creature, or at least they should be. This franchise seems to be stuck with a design that got stuck in the printer. Its just… off.
    And, please do not get me started on that stupid fucking laser and that charging sound it has… sometimes?! The glowing? what the fuck? The film’s so dark that if you’re watching at home you ain’t seeing that shit anyway!
    In my notes, towards the end of the film, I’ve written “Kevin Smith’s Golgotha Shit Demon looks better than Godzilla” and you know what? That’s bloody fair.
  • Its two prehistoric-ish animals beating the shit out of each other. You don’t need to make the story complicated. There’s about three film’s worth of plot in this mess and it feels so disjointed and as if I’ve missed an instalment or like the Godzilla aspect was written by one person and the Kong by another.
    As a result of this over stuffed plot, I don’t feel like everything is explained and I found myself lost very quickly. I don’t like films that make me feel stupid, and this franchise makes my brain feel like mud. For the simplest thing, like “who the fuck is that?”, “why are we following you all the way there?”, “How did your dad get halfway around the world in a blink of an eye?” and “How is there an actual fucking sun in the middle of the earth?”
    They’ve also blown their whole load with this movie. Where you going to go now?
  • What was with the mystical shit with the little kid? Actually, what the fuck was with the little kid?
    1. Why was she adopted by the interloper (Rebecca Hall) instead of being with someone in her community? You know, the people we see are there?
    2. Why the fuck does no one know that the kid and Kong had been signing?! Like, its not till much later that Rebecca Hall explains to Alexander Skarsgard that the girl has a bond with Kong, but that she didn’t know Kong had been signing to her. How the fuck do you MISS that? His hands can block out the sun!
    3. How is there never a conversation about safety?! She’s allowed on the boat, which you know could be attacked by Godzilla. riiiiiight. After that, we get the whole signing and trust thing which means she has to be on the platform in the Antarctic, but then you let her onto what is essentially a space ship into the centre of the earth (or to a different fucking universe, I haven’t got a clue.) which you know is going to be traumatic. What. the. fuck?
    4. She can ‘sense’ Godzilla?! Like, seriously she’s a Mary Sue.
    5. When you think it can’t get any worse; “she can feel his heart slowing down.” What is the need?!
  • Why give me Mecha Godzilla and then immediately make it shit?! Like, seriously?! It broke my bloody heart. He at least looked cool and showed promise.

Final Thoughts

My only advice is to play a drinking game. Take a shot every time the word Apex is uttered and you at least might not remember this turd of a movie.

Yes Day (2021)

Rating PG
Length 1h 26
Release 12.3.2021
Director Miguel Arteta
About Always feeling like they have to say “no” to their kids, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a “Yes Day,” during which the kids have 24 hours to make the rules.


The Good

  • This is the sort of family movie I feel has been missing for the last few years; one that can be put on for everyone. While Jennifer Garner is the ‘name’, its an ensemble effort. It requires no grey matter and will charm everyone.
  • It is fun. Once it lays the groundwork and sets up the family dynamic, the film just allows everyone to have so much fun. It also gives a lighthearted lesson to everyone.
  • Its short, its a simple plot and perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Bad

  • The father, Edgar Ramirez, has a beautiful set up for a story arc. Not only at home, which does have some form of resolution, but work too. Unfortunately, that aspect of the story is left at the misway point. Its a shame because it wouldn’t have taken much in that final act.
  • I’m still not sure how I feel about the parent teacher meeting. I know it was there to be the catalyst that prompts the ‘yes day’, but what point was the teachers trying to make? Did they really think that the mother was endangering her children? It felt totaly forced.

The Ugly

  • I don’t know why family films still use the trope of a weird, bording on creepy, charater that becomes an almost running gag. That’s what happened to Nat Faxon’s Mr Deacon in Yes Day. School Councillor meets PE teacher, due to ‘budget cuts’. I’ll be honest, the last place I’d want to find this oddball is in a school changing room.

Final Thoughts

Its not a film I’ll rush to watch again, but I suspect those of you out there with children out there might just want to keep this as on of your go to movies.

Moxie (2021): Review and a Rant

Rating 12
Length 1h 51
Release 3.3.2021
Director Amy Poehler
About Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy teenager publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.


First Things First

I’m pissed. Not at the fillm, the film is an excellent adaptation. I watched it and I did what I never do; I checked the reviews. The first one on the list had the headline “Moxie, review: the only joke here is Amy Poehler’s idea of ‘inclusivity’”
I knew before clicking the link, this was going to be some white-assed dude taking issue with a film that wasn’t meant for him. Damn, I hate being right. Mr Robbie Collin, Film Critic, writing for the white middle-to-upper-class ‘The Telegraph’.
I actually took to twitter to admonish him; high on Moxie confidence. This is not a comedy. To boil it, and Amy Poehler, down to comedic elements and then slate it for its lack… it made my blood boil. Even worse, his response was to screenshot and circle the genre listings.
I’m a woman, I’ve read the book and I’ve spent the last ten years teaching the film’s demographic. Oh, and I have a film degree. Seeing it on a list, currated by white men, does not make it true. He watched the god damn film; events are triggered when a jock spits in a black girl’s coke and culminates with another classmate admitting she was raped.
How has this dude not paused, thought ‘it doesn’t really fit into comedy, so I’m not going to review it as if was misold as a comedy and failed to hit the mark.’ The irony, of course, is that Mr Robbie Collin completely missed the point of the story and, as a result, became the exact thing Moxie was fighting against.

As for Seth (Nico Hiraga), Vivian’s hunky male classmate, here is a figure with a valuable lesson for any teenage boys watching at home: if you’re an “ally”, girls will want to sleep with you, even if fealty to the cause comes at zero personal cost.

Robbie Collin. The Independant

Over the course of his 650 word review, 245 of those were simply retelling the plot (and the only place you’ll find any positive words), 325 were given to his lambasting of a film based upon its diversity, apparent stereotyping and expressing one of the most dangerous misinterpretations of a character i’ve ever seen.
Those last hundred and odd? Oh, he bitches about how Poehler and Tina Fey drew hearts and stars on their hands, as if political statements on the Red Carpet haven’t been a thing for years. From Emma Stone and Dakota Fanning wearing planned Parenthood pins to the Times Up movement that was commonplace at any carpet walk in 2018 and beyond.
Yes, to Collin, it seems a little less important and more fickle. However, as someone who watched it become a ‘thing’ in the school I taught at when the book was publish; its not a gimmick or publicity. There is sincerity when you get off your high horse.


The Good

  • The casting was incredible. Hadley Robinson had a hard job of being able to show this complex development of character; the introvert being pushed out of her comfort zone. It’s all there; a young woman frustrated at the sexism around her, the strength that comes from anonymity and the fallout from growing beyond what was there before.
  • Anjelika Washington has most recently been seen in DC show Star Girl. It was most excellent to see her in another role and, hopefully, an insight of things to come with her character in the show.
  • The film does well to cover all the bases from the book. the viewer will get an empowering narrative if they’re the demographic for the film. If you’re not a 14 year old girl, its not that this film isn’t for you. It’s more that its a lesson for you; should you be open minded enough.
  • The music and punk rock asthetic is such a wonderful sight. Yes, the book does have that element, but film is where it was always going to have its biggest impact.

The Bad

  • I want more. The one thing the aforementioned review got right? Outside of Vivian, there isn’t much development of the other characters. That’s not, for me anyway, a slight on the film. It’s the nature of the medium. Some things have to go for storytelling purposes. This probably would have worked much better, in terms of characters, as a tv series; limited or otherwise (but not tell this story in one season and make shit up for another 3 like 13 Reasons Why did). However, in terms of the story and the message, it did well for its 1h 50 runtime.

The Ugly

  • Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions. Frustration at the Principle, sadness at the environment young women are still faced with, heartbreak for so many reasons. I think any woman will identify with a lot of what happens during the course of the movie and if you’re a parent I think it will have an even deeper meaning to you.

Final Thoughts

I want more Punk! Please tell me this will lead to more punkish films!
Its a film I will most defintely watch again. It’ll be something I’d show my children (if I ever have them); male or female as I think there is a lesson for all in here.

Flora & Ulysses (2021)

Rating PG
Length 1h 35
Release 19.2.2021
Director Lena Khan
About Flora, a 10-year-old girl with an imaginative mind, rescues a squirrel and names him Ulysses. She soon discovers that Ulysses is blessed with superpowers which help them embark on various adventures.


The Good

  • This is a heart-warming story about family and superheroes. It takes on an origin story, of sorts, but provides the viewer with enough charm that even those fighting the superhero fatigue will be won over.
  • Danny Purdi is excellent as the “villainous” squirrel catcher. Community fans will love that he gets to provide some excellent physical movies references throughout the film.
  • The film made the absolutely right choice when not giving Ulysses a voice. It kept him cute and Grogu-like.
  • It has a belter soundtrack. Almost GotG-lite.
  • Allyson Hannigan and Ben. Schwartz were adorable together and apart. The fact that they both reduced me to tears is a testament to them, their ability to demonstrate the hardships of a relationship, individuality and creative blocks.
  • Matilda Lawler is one to watch. She 10 year old Flora a delight to watch and her narration was perfect. She’ll bring any kid watching onboard straight away.

The Bad

  • The CGI of both Ulysses and Mr Klaus is a little disappointing. While all the actors work well with the furballs, I just found them reminiscent of the early 2000 CGI; almost too glossy and separate from the rest of the visuals.

The Ugly

  • I did not like the development of the character William. The actor did a fine job with what he had to work with, but I just really didn’t like the gimmick of him being blind. I most certainly didn’t like the usage of the outdated term “hysterical blindness”. With a film that has the charm that this does, the jokes feel forced and painfully gross.

Final Thoughts

Its definitely a film for families and one those young at heart will enjoy too. There’s some nice Easter Eggs for comic book and film fans alike. Its certainly on my list to watch again.

Film Review: Willy’s Wonderland (2021)

Rating 25
Length 1h 28
Release 12.2.2021
Dir Kevin Lewis
About When his car breaks down, a quiet loner agrees to clean an abandoned family fun center in exchange for repairs. He soon finds himself waging war against possessed animatronic mascots while trapped inside Willy’s Wonderland.


The Good

It’s chaotic and bonkers. It is Cabin in the Woods meets Jennifer’s Body by way of The Dead Don’t Die. It’s not going to everyone’s cup of tea but it is entertaining.

  • This film is chaotic, bonkers and the perfect vehicle for Nicolas Cage. This is gory, volatile type of horror that is more likely to make to chuckle or squirm than scream.
  • It’s not for everyone, but it feels like Cabin in the Woods (2011) meets Jennifer’s Body (2009) by way of The Dead Don’t Die (2019). So while its not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, if you like those movies this will be, at the very least, entertaining for you.
  • The lighting in this film (aside from the migraine inducing strobe) is incredible. I can’t put my finger on how it was done, but it adds light to the screen so you can see the action, without dulling the atmosphere.

The Bad

  • Nicolas Cage doesn’t speak. Now, he does a perfectly excellent job at presenting the character without words. That, I have no issue with. I just really missed Cage’s manic dialogue.
  • There are few really weird plot choices that are left unexplained. They just seem like plot devices and that’s a little disappointing.

The Ugly

  • The flashing/ strobe lighting that’s used at the beginning and partway through is nauseating. I totally understanding the artistic decision for it, however it detracts more than it adds.
  • With Nicolas Cage’s character mute, he’s not well rounded. It means we’re in the same position as the rest of the cast, but it has come at the expense of not investing in any of the characters.

Final Thoughts

It’s flawed (What Nic Cage project in the last decade isn’t), but well worth your time.