Movie Reviews

Back to the Future (1985)

back-to-the-future-1985-poster-reviewDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Main Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, George DiCenzo

Plot: A high school student named Marty is sent back in time 30 years after his friend and eccentric scientist Doc Brown invents a time-travel machine out of a DeLorean. He must be careful though – because his actions have consequences which could erase him and his family from existence.

My Thoughts: What a wild time to be alive. On Sunday evening, me and the bestie went out on our first cinema date since mid-March…to see a movie released 4 years before we were even born! Our local Odeon is still closed but we have a Showcase very close too which has been showing all sorts of older movies. Now, I kept this quiet until we were actually sat in our seats incase she disowned me…but I didn’t think I had ever seen Back to the Future until that night. There’s a good chance I did as a kid, didn’t we all? But I couldn’t remember any of it.

So let’s cut to the chase…I loved it. I’ve always loved time travel theory so it was never going to disappoint. I’d have maybe liked it to have delved deeper into the theory but I guess 1) this is a family movie and 2) there are sequels…so I can’t complain. How adorable is Michael J. Fox in this? If I’d watched it as a teen I definitely would have had a crush. You know what threw me though? If I closed my eyes when he was speaking…it’s Tom Holland! So weird.

Back to the Future is, at its heart, good, fun storytelling. It’s nothing too flashy, there aren’t any gimmicks, just loveable characters and a fantastic story. You just know that everything is going to be okay in the end, but it doesn’t stop the climactic scene where Doc desperately tries to fix the cables from making your heart pump fast. It was so cool to watch this for (possibly) the first time on the big screen. I can’t wait to see the sequels. Are they good?

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Best Bit: It’s definitely toeing the line of being just plain creepy, but Marty going back 30 years and meeting his Mum who totally has the hots for him? It was a joke that never got old.

Worst Bit: Speaking of creepy…Biff! I mean, in family movies today you just wouldn’t be allowed to have a character like him. He was so, well, rapey!

Fun Trivia: The rights to the film and its sequels are owned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. In a 2015 interview, Zemeckis maintained that no reboot or remake of the franchise would be authorized during his or Gale’s lifetime.

My Rating: 4 and a half orange bodywarmers floatation jackets.

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Blogathons

Badly Drawn Christmas Movie Posters: Christmas in July Blogathon

Note: Originally posted on Drew’s blog here – please check him out and follow him if you aren’t already!

How many years has Drew been hosting my favourite blogathon now? I lost count, but I think I’ve taken part every year. This could, however, be the first year I’ve submitted my entry on time.

In previous years I’ve listed my favourite Christmas movies, defended Die Hard as being classed as a Christmas movie, picked which Christmas movies I can’t wait to watch with my daughter and suffered through the Star Wars Christmas Special movie. This year, after having a lot of fun hosting a Zoom quiz round on movies based on posters that I had badly recreated, I decided to do it again.

So, I present to you…5 badly drawn Christmas movie posters! All drawn by yours truly whilst binging my latest Netflix obsession, Modern Family. Can you guess them all? I’ll pop the answers at the bottom of this post.

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Now…my favourite part of Drew’s Christmas in July blogathon is that he hosts a party, and we get to bring any celebrity guest we would like, particularly someone we would like to meet under the mistletoe. In previous years I’ve invited Chris Pratt, Dan Stevens…and practically the whole male cast of the Star Wars sequels…oh and Keanu Reeves too! I’m starting to run out of options. I also can’t help but feel that in a Coronavirus-filled world, we might be forced to be socially distanced at this party…so I can’t bring someone too irresistible.

My lockdown TV obsession has been Modern Family. I haven’t seen a single episode before but now I’m wondering what to do with my life when I finish Season 7 as that’s all the UK Netflix has! So Drew, to your party this year, I’m bringing my Modern Family BFFs, Mitchell and Cam!

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Oh and if my terrible drawings have left you scratching your head…here are the answers!

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Movie Reviews

Hamilton (2020)

hamilton-disney-poster-review-2020Director: Thomas Kail (Screenplay written by Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Genre: Musical, Biography, Drama, History

Runtime: 160 Minutes

Main Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Chris Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones

Plot: A recording of the live performance of the Broadway hit Hamilton from 2016, telling the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

My Thoughts: Every now and again I get the pleasure of watching something that I love so wholeheartedly, I find myself at a complete loss for words. I tried to write my post earlier in the week but it turned into a 500+ word ramble about a musical play I was in as a kid, I’m all for going off topic every now and again (hence the blog name) but this was too much, so you can look forward to that in a future post of its own soon. So back on track. I’ve never been a theatre person. When I went to New York for my honeymoon my husband and I made the effort to see a show on Broadway, how can you not? We chose Finding Neverland because it was a) Disney and b) a musical, and we had such a good time. So yes, Hamilton was a must when it got released on Disney+.

My knowledge of American history all comes down to one of my favourite ever games, Assassins Creed III. I know enough to know who the main characters in Hamilton are and how the story goes, which was handy. As for the show itself, I knew nothing at all. When the first song started with that hip hop vibe (I sound 900 saying that) I was really taken aback, but oh boy, it goes so well. There isn’t a single song in the whole performance that didn’t make me want to get up and cheer.

So there you have it, a review that tells you next to nothing useful. Not that I write ‘proper’ reviews anyway but…just go and watch Hamilton.

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Best Bit: I feel like every new song became my favourite song, but the ones that stick out the most to me are My Shot, You’ll Be Back, Right Hand Man, What’d I Miss, Cabinet Battle #1…okay you get my point. I tried to only pick my favourites and it’s still a long list.

Worst Bit: If I tried to fault it at all, the only thing I can think of it that the second half feels slower than the first, but it still contains some epic moments, and the finale itself is just beautiful.

Fun Trivia: The cost of filming the show in June 2016 for later exhibition as an independent movie was financed by its three main producers for less than $10 million. In February 2020, Disney paid $75 million for the worldwide rights to release it, believed to be the largest price ever paid for a single film acquisition. Other studios that expressed interest in the film rights included Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox (which would eventually be acquired by Disney) and Netflix.

My Rating: A full 5 copies of Assassin’s Creed III which gave me all the background knowledge of American history I needed to understand what was actually going on.

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Lists

Best and Worst Movies of 2020…so far!

Can you believe we’re halfway through the shitstorm that is 2020? I like to do a little mid-year best and worst post but for a while, I thought it wasn’t going to be possible. Thanks to plenty of cinema visits before lockdown and the joys of Netflix, I can confidently say I’ve seen enough movies to give you a list of the 5 Best and 5 Worst movies of 2020 so far. With Mulan and Tenet pushed back AGAIN, who knows when the next big release will be?

I watched Hamilton (2020) on Disney+ between choosing which movies would feature in this list and actually sitting down to write it, so it’s excluded for now. I guess there’s an argument to be made that it isn’t a movie, but that’s an argument for another day.

Let’s kick off with the 5 worst movies of 2020 so far, shall we?

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#5 Bloodshot

I doubt I would have even watched this if it weren’t for lockdown. Vin Diesel isn’t my cup of tea and the movie trailer didn’t excite me. The actual movie itself wasn’t bad, just painfully average in every way. It would have been a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 if it came about 10 years ago, but action movies like this have moved on.

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#4 Dolittle

Since writing my full review of Dolittle I have learned that Robert Downey Jr was meant to be doing a Welsh accent. Oh. Wales is about an hour drive away from me, and my boss is Welsh. I really should have been able to detect that accent. Yikes.

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#3 Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is on par with Dolittle for the most WTF moment in a children’s movie. Dolittle had a grown man pulling objects out of a dragon’s butt, Artemis Fowl had Josh Gad widen his jaw enough to burrow using his mouth and fart out dirt. I don’t know what more to tell you, guys.

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#2 365 Days

I haven’t mentioned it yet but yes, I watched 365 Days. It’s surely the most-watched movie on Netflix by now. I never thought I would see the day that I could say I would watch something with a worse story than Fifty Shades…but here we are. Those…naughty scenes were quite something though, weren’t they?

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#1 Brahms: The Boy II

You know what? I’m still salty about this sequel. I kind of loved the original movie for thinking out of the box and I was optimistic about seeing more. The Boy II basically just pretends the first movie didn’t exist and was full to the brim of modern horror movie cliches. Brahms deserved better.

2020 hasn’t been a complete disaster (yet) in terms of movies however. I found no trouble picking 5 movies that I loved enough to award them the title of best so far, and I present them to you now.

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#5 Extraction

I’ll admit, by the end of the year Extraction will probably fall into the category of ‘good’, but for now, it most definitely ‘good’ enough to feature in this list. I was expecting an average, run of the mill action movie and a chance to drool over Chris Hemsworth for a couple of hours. Instead, I got a decent story, characters I cared about, and a huge action scene that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a John Wick movie.

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#4 The Invisible Man

One of the last movies I got to see at the cinema before they all closed. This was such a good experience, watching it on the big screen with nowhere to hide when the tension got too high. I’m normally very quiet at the cinema but that restaurant scene? I gasped VERY loudly.

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#3 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Warner Bros’ marketing department have a lot to answer for here. They failed to promote their own, promising movie and then tried to blame anyone but themselves when it flopped at the box office. Margot Robbie fits this role perfectly, and it’s full of fun, colourful action scenes from the very beginning. I’ve watched it 3 times now and it’s a blast every time.

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#2 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Jaja…DING DONG. I’m not sorry for ranking Eurovision so high. It was a solid 8/10 when I watched it and I love it even more almost 2 weeks after watching it. It’s everything I need it to be. It’s funny, it has a touching story, it has songs way catchier than Frozen 2 (I mean it) and did I mention that 4 men ripped Dan Stevens’ shirt off? I love it.

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#1 The Gentlemen

This was the first movie I saw at the cinema in 2020 and when I came out, I had to sleep on my feelings. It felt like a solid 10/10, but could I really give the first movie of the year full marks? Turns out yes. Yes I can. The Gentlemen is brilliant. Hugh Grant is disgustingly phenomenal in his role, and not only did Matthew McConnaughey not get on my nerves like he always does…I really loved his character and what he stood for. It was so much fun, and it’s going to take a lot to knock this off the top spot at the end of the year.