Director: F. Gary Gray
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Adventure
Runtime: 114 Minutes
Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall, Kumail Nanjiani, Jess Radomska, Kayvan Novak
Plot: After a childhood encounter with an alien changed her life, Molly has spent years trying to find the Men in Black in order to join their ranks. Once she succeeds, she is thrown right into the deep end as it is discovered there’s a mole within the organisation.
My Thoughts: I think I’ve only seen the original MiB movie but I liked it a lot. It was funny, the action scenes were cool and it had aliens! What more could younger me want? With all the reboots and remakes lately, I guess a new MiB movie was inevitable, and honestly I’ve felt like the only person around who was actually excited to see it! If nothing more, we get Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson team up again, which is bound to be fun.
Surprising no one, I set myself up for a fall. I enjoyed Men in Black: International, more than most by the sounds of it, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. It just took itself too seriously most of the time and the jokes weren’t coming fast enough. The plot is really messy, and the ending was just a bit…sad, really. Still, there were plenty of things to enjoy. I’ve decided that every movie needs an Emma Thompson cameo. After Bridget Jones’ Baby and now this, I just want her to turn up and be sassy and sarcastic in everything I watch!
There are a few appearances from some familiar non-human characters, but I kind of wish we got to see a little more of them. There’s also a brilliant, tiny new character who I’ll get into in a moment, but he’s a show-stealer. All in all, there are definitely worse ways to spend 2 hours, but if you’re going to watch a silly action movie in which cool people clad in suits shoot at aliens…you’re probably better sticking with the original.
Best Bit: Pawny! Or Steve, as he called himself. He’s a little alien who was also a pawn on a chessboard protecting his queen, who sadly was murdered. Left feeling hopeless, Agent H convinced him to serve Molly, Agent M instead, and every time he popped up he made me laugh. I’m hoping Funko are putting in a rush order of figures of him so I can get one for my dashboard soon…
Worst Bit: Spoiler alert here! After watching the trailer, and scoffing at my excitement, my husband announced ‘It’s obvious – Liam Neeson is going to be a bad guy’. How it was obvious, I don’t know, but I spent the whole movie unable to get the thought out of my head and curse him, he was right. He’s so annoying. He did the same with Gossip Girl, he’s got a plot-twist radar!
Fun Trivia: The film was originally going to be a “Jump Street” – “Men in Black” crossover with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprising their roles from the franchise. However, plans fell apart, so it became a spin-off with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.
[ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING.]
My Rating: 3 pairs of standard issue black glasses that you’ll need to wear so you don’t forget all about this movie. On second thought…you don’t want to wear them, do you?
Director: Simon Kinberg
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Main Cast: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Jessica Chastain, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Plot: During a mission to save some of NASA’s astronauts, Jean Gray obtains unimaginable powers that she can’t control, and they corrupt her. The remaining X-Men are left to decide whether she can be saved before she becomes too much of a threat to humanity.
My Thoughts: It’s not that I’ve been actively avoiding the X-Men movies, I’ve just never had that much of an interest in them. I’ve missed a few, and I know nothing about the timeline or most of the mutants powers, so when I watch one of the movies I feel like an elderly person who’s just been handed an iPad. Lost! That said, when the internet hails a movie as being awful, my morbid curiosity kicks in, so I had to find out for myself if Dark Phoenix is as bad as the critics say.
I’ll cut straight to the chase – it isn’t. It’s not a great movie, it has a lot of flaws, but it’s far from being a disaster. I mean, I was entertained the whole time and that’s all you can ask for sometimes. The trailer was quite misleading, I thought most of the movie would be filled with action scenes of the different mutants trying to take down Jean Gray while she kicked their asses, but those kind of scenes were far and few between.
What stood out the most to me was the dialogue. Who wrote it?! It felt like it had either been dumbed down for the audience or just lazily done…by a 10-year old. Regardless, I still enjoyed the movie, and I liked the ending. It felt like it wrapped up the story for these characters but set up an opportunity for some new movies. Hopefully, those ones will be received better!
Best Bit: The best scene without a doubt was the fight outside Jean Gray’s family home. The slo-mo bits are just too cool. I really fell in love with Nightcrawler though – he’s adorable! Poor guy was nothing more than a mutant Uber during half the movie but he got his chance to kick some ass towards the end.
Worst Bit: Never did I ever think my complaints would include Michael Fassbender but…he pulled the subway train up out of the ground…and used it to make a fancy entrance into that house?! Is that honestly all he wanted to do with it?!
Fun Trivia: At the end of the movie, Professor Xavier and Magneto meet for a chess game at a Parisian cafe named “Les Vieux Copains” meaning “Old buddies”, apparently located on the “Rue de la Paix” literally the “street of Peace”.
My Rating: 3 ripe, juicy tomatoes, grown lovingly on Magneto’s farm.
It’s probably about time I admitted that I’ve been undercover all this time. Secretly, I’m actually a great blogger who writes concisely and elegantly and keeps to a strict writing schedule in order to post consistently. Just kidding, sloppy, incoherent and inconsistent me is the real me – nothing is going to change about that!
I do always try, though, and keeping up with Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks is at the top of my list. This week’s theme is Undercover, and whilst there have been many iconic, serious movies that fit the subject (Reservoir Dogs, The Departed, etc) I’m not going to talk about those today. My picks are pure fun!
21 Jump Street (2012)
2012 was a magical year for Channing Tatum. He was obviously already well known for the Step Up movies but in 2012 he not only stole the hearts of women everywhere with Magic Mike, he broke those hearts with the romantic weepy movie The Vow, and then cheered us all up with the surprise hit, 21 Jump Street. It’s a remake of an 80s show where Channing and Jonah Hill play 2 cops going undercover as High School students to take down a drug ring. It’s honestly one of the best comedies of the decade!
Miss Congeniality (2000)
I just love Sandra Bullock. It doesn’t matter what the movie is, if she’s in it I’ll watch it. I haven’t seen Miss Congeniality in years but Sandra basically plays a tough cop going undercover in a beauty pageant, and it’s as funny as you can imagine. It must have done well at the time because they made a sequel, but it’s sadly nowhere near as good as the original…as always!
Point Break (1991)
Sometime, a week will pass without me mentioning Keanu Reeves. This week is not that week. How can I not mention Point Break?! Keanu plays an FBI agent going undercover as a surfer to catch a group who are suspected bank robbers. I only watched it for the first time recently (before Keanu fever hit, thank you) but it was so much fun! I ended up watching the remake straight after and actually compared them – excuse the self-promotion!
Director: Terry Gilliam
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Runtime: 132 Minutes
Main Cast: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard, Jordi Molla, Joana Ribeiro, Oscar Jaenada, Olga Kurylenko
Plot: Toby, once a starry-eyed film director is now an advertising director. Whilst shooting on location he realises how close he is to the town where he shot his first movie. When he visits, he comes across the man he hired to play the character Don Quixote…only the man believes that he really is Don Quixote.
My Thoughts: What a strange, odd movie! The Man Who Killed Don Quixote started production in the year 2000, and finally finished in 2017. There’s even a documentary about the problems and challenges the crew faced to actually bring this movie to our screens. Then in May 2018, it was released at the Cannes Film Festival. It got shown at several other festivals that year, and then got a 1-day theatrical release in the USA almost an entire year later. Finally, this month it got released on DVD & Blu-Ray! Phew…what a journey.
The movie is insane, that much is established within the first few minutes. When Toby meets his old cast member, he fully believes himself to be the great Don Quixote of La Mancha, and thinks Toby is his squire, Sancho. Hilarity ensues, but Toby starts to question what is actually real…and so did I! I completely lost the plot at about the halfway point, but it was so damn entertaining that I kind of didn’t care. I signed up for 2 hours of Adam Driver shouting the f-word in the way only he can, and I was in for the long haul.
I wonder if this is the kind of movie you actually need to be drunk for in order for it to make sense? Regardless, it’s a shame it wasn’t a masterpiece after taking so long to make, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. I found myself asking, but who is the man who killed Don Quixote? He isn’t even dead? And I guess my question got answered…in a very amusing way!
Best Bit: Towards the end, when the crazy got turned up to 11 and Toby gave into Don’s disillusions, that’s where it got fun. Plus, that black outfit with boots Adam Driver was wearing? Yes, please. Can that be Kylo Ren’s new get up? Anyway – that’s when Don Quixote meets his end. It’s hilarious!
Worst Bit: I think it was the moment that the gold in Toby’s hand turned out to be rocks or dirt or goodness knows what – and Stellan Skarsgard showed up again. That was when I realised I had no idea what was going on, and it was useless to try to work it all out.
Fun Trivia: The film is dedicated to the memory of John Hurt and Jean Rochefort. Terry Gilliam had chosen both to play Don Quixote in past incarnations of this project, and both died before the film was completed.
My Rating: 4 murderous GIANTS that I, Don Quixote of La Mancha shall…oh no wait, they’re just windmills.
Before you judge my taste in books on that cover image, let me explain! As you might already know, all the books I’ve been reading are ones I picked from Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal. Basically, every day there are 3 books on sale for 99p, and I’ve accumulated a bit of a backlog. I only pick books that sound interesting and have decent reviews! Well, when I looked at the reviews, loads of people said how hilarious the book was, and that’s why I picked it – for a light-hearted break from all the thriller novels.
I actually finished reading this weeks ago, but, embarrassingly, I’ve been sucked into this reality show in the UK called Love Island. It’s absolute trash, but it’s horribly addicted, and it reminded me a lot of this book – hence my review today!
So, in a nutshell, Melinda is a single gal working as a receptionist for an escort agency. She used to be a nurse, but a mistake of hers cost a life and she left the profession. She keeps bumping into this hot guy called Arlie in the most embarrassing ways – think Fifty Shades of Grey – and basically, they wind up on a reality show where they’ve been matched as soulmates and put on an island together to fall in love, or whatever.
My biggest problem with the book is that I didn’t find it anywhere near as funny as others seemed too. Melinda has a gay best friend called Chris who provides most of the jokes but he’s such a stereotype that he came across as cringey to me. If it were a movie, the jokes might translate a bit better. It’s not a dull read by any means, but it didn’t make me laugh out loud or anything like that.
Just like this show I’m watching, this is a really trashy read but it’s impossible to put down. It’s the perfect book to pick up at the airport departure lounge to read on holiday whilst catching the sun. Sadly, I read it in bed at home every night listening to the rain…