Wounds (2019)

wounds-movie-review-2019-netflixDirector: Babak Anvari

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Main Cast: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz, Karl Glusman, Brad William Henke, Kerry Cahill

Plot: Will is an alcoholic bartender dealing with a failing relationship. One night in the bar a fight breaks out which turns ugly, and in the scuffle some College kids leave a mobile phone behind. Will takes the phone home but is horrified by what he finds on there.

My Thoughts: It took me longer to write that plot description than it did to write the rest of this post because quite frankly, I have no idea what Wounds is even about. This is what happens when I take a break from blogging – I fall out of the loop on what movies I should be avoiding like the plague, and I end up watching crap. It sounded promising though, and I kind of enjoyed the start of the movie. Armie Hammer is always fun to watch, and I liked the banter between his character and Zazie Beetz’s.

This is just one of those movies where so many details and plot points just seem to be meaningless. As fun as she was, Zazie’s character served no purpose. Dakota Johnson was seriously underused, too. When I got towards the end of the movie, I paused to see how long was left and saw it was less than 10 minutes. You know what these mystery movies are like, sometimes nothing makes sense until those last few minutes and then bam! Clarity. Nope, just weird grossness.

Netflix movies are always a bit hit and miss, and normally even with movies I didn’t enjoy I would still recommend that you give them a go and form your own opinion, but I couldn’t do that to you this time. Steer clear from Wounds, folks!

wounds-2019-armie-hammer-dakota-johnson-netflix

Best Bit: I actually can’t think of a single great moment, but the only time I really jumped and felt creeped out was when Will was driving, and picked up that phone just to look down and see his arm covered in bugs. It’s making me a little bit itchy just thinking about it.

Worst Bit: That ending was…ugh. I mean, it’s an ending I won’t forget in a long time, and is it better to be remembered as bad than it is to just be forgotten? I’m not sure…

Fun Trivia: Based upon the horror novella, The Visible Filth, by Nathan Ballingrud.

My Rating: 1 out of 5 cockroaches, and if you’re seeing them regularly at work and at home, maybe you should tell someone, yeah?

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Gemini Man (2019)

gemini-man-2019-movie-review-posterDirector: Ang Lee

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 117 Minutes

Main Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge, Ralph Brown, Linda Emond, Ilia Volok, E.J. Bonilla

Plot: Henry Brogan is the best hitman his Government has, but as he’s getting older, the job is eating away at him, and he retires. He discovers his last target wasn’t who he was told he was however, and now he’s on the run whilst also trying to uncover the truth.

My Thoughts: I wanted to start this section with a summary of how Will Smith’s movies have been received terribly as of late, but Rotten Tomatoes gave me something more interesting to mull over, check this out:
Gemini Man – Tomatometer (25%) Audience Rating (84%)
Bright – Tomatometer (28%) Audience Rating (84%)
Aladdin – Tomatometer (57%) Audience Rating (94%)
Turns out only the critics seem to hate Will Smith movies after all! I’ve always liked Will Smith, I tend to put him in the same category in my mind as Dwayne Johnson. When I watch their movies I’m not expecting a masterpiece, but I know I’ll be entertained.

I didn’t enjoy Gemini Man as much as I wanted to, but I have to blame a lot of that on the trailer, which has been heavily pushed in the UK for months now. It honestly shows off the entire plot, and for a movie thin on plot to begin with, it didn’t leave much to enjoy when it came to going to the cinema. There are some breathtaking action sequences, sure, but the rest felt mostly like filler. I think most would enjoy this more if they went in blind.

At the end of the day, although I was disappointed that there weren’t any big surprises along the way, the cast and the action was enough to keep me happy for the runtime and that was enough for me on a Sunday evening.

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Best Bit: One good thing to come from Gemini Man is a showcase of how fast computer technology is moving. Remember in Rogue One, how obviously CGI’d Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing were? I had no idea, but the younger Will Smith was created in the same way. I thought it was the de-aging technology that was used in Captain Marvel but no, and the difference in quality in just 3 years is quite baffling!

Worst Bit: *SPOILERY SECTION* So perhaps I lied when I said the whole plot was in the trailer. There’s a little twist at the end, but it’s so obvious that it’s coming that it ended up being quite a comical moment. Know what would have been a good twist? Original Will Smith finding out that he was a clone, too! Hollywood, sign me up, yo.

Fun Trivia: From 2003 to 2010 Nicolas Cage was attached to the project. It was finally due to go into production in 2008, but Cage convinced Jerry Bruckheimer to work on the live-action remake The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) instead.
I don’t know whether to be thankful or gutted after reading this!

My Rating: I heard you like Will Smith, so I put 2 and a half Will Smiths in my blog post about a Will Smith movie starring Will Smith…

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What I Watched: October 2019

Happy November, everyone! The pumpkins have been sweeped away, and after Bonfire Night on the 5th I’ll be officially in Christmas mode! Is it too early to watch Love Actually? Anyway – I’ve been on hiatus for a couple of weeks while I attempt to get my personal life together. I can’t say that was hugely successful and Halloween was a bit of a disaster, but my little girl had a great night and got to eat cake right before bedtime so that’s all that counts!

I miss the blog though – and these coming months are the most exciting for a movie fan so I couldn’t keep myself away for any longer. I’ve been dabbling in TV this month, attempting to catch up on Mr. Robot (I’m almost done with Season 3), fully catching up on The Good Place (new episode tonight though, yay!), starting to watch Living with Yourself (not sure how to feel about it yet) and giving 13 Reasons Why Season 3 a chance to redeem itself (actually seems quite good so far).

Despite everything, I still caught 11 movies this month, which isn’t half bad. Here’s what I saw:

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Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Live in Concert

Okay, so this was actually my present for my Husband for his 30th Birthday. We went to the Arena in Birmingham where they showed The Empire Strikes Back, with a live concert on stage playing all the instrumentals. It’s something that wouldn’t have interested me at all a few years ago, but watching/listening to an orchestra play the Imperial March right in front of you? Literally breath-taking, and I’m so glad we went!

watched-october-in-the-shadow-of-moon

In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

My brother told me to give this Netflix movie a go, but warned me not to watch the trailer beforehand, and I’m so glad I listened to him! The movie is a strange Sci-Fi/Detective crossover kind of movie, and it was interesting to put together the pieces. I worked out the twist mere seconds before it’s reveal but I think that’s how it was intended. It might not make anyone’s ‘Best of’ list but you can pick a lot worse from Netflix’s selection right now.

watched-october-four-lions

Four Lions (2010)

My local cinema offered a preview of The Day Shall Come last month, directed by Christopher Morris, better known for his comedy Four Lions starring Riz Ahmed as a terrorist. I ended up missing the new movie but I still watched Four Lions. It’s dark humour at it’s finest for sure – one of those movies where you find yourself feeling guilty as hell for lying. I’ll tell you one thing though, Riz Ahmed is brilliant. He’s played an entirely different role in every movie I’ve seen him in!

watched-october-fractured-netflix

Fractured (2019)

I’m going to try and do a full review of this at some point, if only because judging by the reviews I’ve read, I’m the only person out here who loved it. I love a twisty movie that allows you to think you’ve worked it out, only to pull the rug from under your feet. Fractured kept me guessing and changing my mind right up till the very last moment, and that final shot still makes me shudder just thinking about it. Don’t let the reviews put you off, and make your own mind up.

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

My Mum loved the first Maleficent and was dying to see the sequel at the cinema. In her words, her number one choice turned down her offer, so I was second best. Love you too, Mum! I didn’t get a chance to see the original before going to see Mistress of Evil but a quick narrator-provided recap told me everything I needed to know. Hey, maybe I needed the escape from reality that day but I really enjoyed it! The costumes, in particular, were stunning and I just got myself caught up in the fantasy of it all.

watched-october-dolemite-is-my-name

Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Based on the story of real-life legend Rudy May Moore, Eddie Murphy might just be winning some awards this year for Dolemite Is My Name. Rightly so, too. The movie was too slow for me to truly love it but I laughed a lot, and it’s got me on the hunt for the original Dolemite movie, too. Does anyone else find that they just can’t rid themselves of the image of Donkey from Shrek though? It’s a blessing and a curse!

I also watched:

The Babysitter (2017)Full Review
Joker (2019)Full Review
Gemini Man (2019) Review coming this weekend
Wounds (2019)Review coming next week
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)Review coming soon, hopefully!

Going Off Topic (#20) A Short Hiatus

I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. Since I got back from holiday last month I’ve really struggled to stay active, and it’s led to me having a huge catch-up day of writing my own posts and reading everyone else’s posts, then feeling burnt out and staying away for 3-4 days at a time, only to play catch up again. It’s honestly starting to make blogging feel like a chore and I don’t want it to be that way!

I just feel so out of the loop at the moment, there are movies coming out in the cinema and on Netflix etc that I’ve never even heard of, and I’m usually so in the know. I just want to take a couple of weeks to get my head sorted and my personal life in check, and perhaps get a few posts drafted up ready for when I come back.

I’m far from giving up on my blog though, I absolutely adore it. I love logging in to see new comments, and reading other posts to add to my watch list!

There are a few new releases I’m really excited about. Zombieland: Double Tap comes out in the UK this week, I’m growing ever more impatient for Knives Out to be released, and we’re bound to be getting a Rise of Skywalker trailer soon! Speaking of which, we’re getting THREE Adam Driver movies before Christmas. So there’s that!

I’m trying to catch up on TV Shows, too. I gave up on Mr. Robot for a while but I’m working my way through Season 3, and I’m all caught up with Superstore now which I really enjoyed. Plus, we’re getting new episodes of The Good Place on Netflix so there’s a lot to look forward to.

My little girl turns two tomorrow. I’ve actually kept a little human alive for 2 whole years! Go me. She’s growing up into the funniest kid as well, she brings a smile to the face of anyone and everyone who meets her! The lucky little kid has 3 birthday cakes, too. She took one into nursery with her this morning to share with her friends, and they’re all going to sing happy birthday to her. Then we’ve got family over on Saturday evening so I bought a cake for that. On Sunday, she’s got her official party with her friends so there’s another cake for that!

But yeah. I’m sorry to up and leave for a while. But it’s taken me over 5 hours to even write this post, so I need to step back for a little bit. In the words of Arnie, “Put that cookie down, now!”

Err, I mean…I’ll be back.

Joker (2019)

joker-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Todd Phillips

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 122 Minutes

Main Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais

Plot: Simple enough, this is the story about how a troubled man called Arthur Fleck descended further into madness and took a name familiar to most, Joker.

My Thoughts: Let’s skip past all the drama and controversy around Joker for this post, shall we? Enough people have covered it far better than I can, anyway.

I wasn’t expecting to love this movie. I hated the last Joaquin Phoenix movie I watched, I’m not a big Batman fan, and whilst I avoided reading too many reviews before I got to see it myself, I kept seeing Joker being compared to Taxi Driver…a classic which I can’t stand! So yep, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Although, enjoy and love are two strange words to use to describe your feelings for Joker, because it’s dark. Hella dark.

In fact, in between feeling uncomfortable, our audience laughed quite a few times during the movie. Not because we’re all sickos who found what Arthur was doing funny, but because the tension was getting so thick we seemed to find that collective nervous laughter was the best way to relieve it a little! I always find that the best bad guys are the characters who are utterly evil, but you can see and sympathise with how they ended up that way. You don’t have to condone their actions at all, but you can understand them.

Noone (in their right mind) thought Thanos’ idea to wipe out 50% of the planet with a click of his fingers was a good act, but we couldn’t help but admit that he had a point, you know? I hope the Academy throw some love this movie’s way, even if it’ll inflate Todd Phillips’ ego even further…maybe we’ll get some more stupid quotes from him!

joker-2019-joaquin-phoenix-put-on-a-happy-face

Best Bit: When Arthur made his appearance on Murray’s show. I felt like I knew how that scene was going to pan out, but it still didn’t prepare me for that moment.

Worst Bit: *BIG SPOILERS* The second we got to see a young Bruce Wayne I thought to myself, if we have to sit through Batman’s goddamn origin story one more time I will scream. WHY do we need to keep seeing this?! We KNOW what happened. It could have been left as a subtle hint, just a glimpse, something off-camera, but no. Let’s make a big deal of it. Again. 

Fun Trivia: The ending of the film where the Joker is in Arkham is meant to be ambiguous as the viewer is given to draw a line about what exactly did happen and did not happen throughout the movie because everything is from Arthur’s perspective. This is further hinted when he says to the doctor “You wouldn’t get it” when he was asked what he finds funny implying that the whole thing was one big joke to him.

My Rating: 4 and a half guns which you should NOT take with you to work if you’ve got a gig pretending to be a clown in a children’s hospital…

joker-2019-childrens-hospital-gun

Thursday Movie Picks: Teen Horror

Spooky season has well and truly arrived! The nights are getting darker, the air is getting colder, and you can’t go to a supermarket without being confronted by pumpkins or sweets! It’s the perfect time of year to hibernate indoors with a hot drink and a scary movie. This week’s Thursday Movie Picks theme is Teen Horror, and since finally welcoming horror movies into my life I’ve seen quite a few!

Here are my three favourites:

teen-horror-movies-it-follows-2014

It Follows (2014)

Also known as the supernatural STD movie, It Follows is one of the few movies that genuinely scared the crap out of me both whilst I was watching it and for days afterward. Basically, it starts with one girl after a sexual encounter. ‘It’ follows her, only ‘It’ can take any form it wishes and moves at a slow pace until it finds you and kills you. You’re the only person who can see ‘It’, also. The only way to stop ‘It’ is to have sex with someone else and pass it on to them.

teen-horror-movies-happy-death-day-2017

Happy Death Day (2017)

I’m so fed up with Groundhog Day-style movies that I avoided Happy Death Day until this year. It’s so good though! You can probably guess the plot, a teen girl is murdered one night and then wakes up at the start of the same day, only to die over and over again. It’s a bit jumpy, but it’s also quite funny and the sequel is surprisingly even better than the original!

teen-horror-movies-midsommar-2019

Midsommar (2019)

It only feels like yesterday that Midsommar was released but I’m starting to learn that with Ari Aster’s movies, you aren’t likely to forget about them anytime soon. After suffering a family tragedy, Dani travels to Sweden with her awful boyfriend and his friends to visit a fabled mid-summer festival. It’s a quiet movie for a horror, and a lot of the worse moments happen off-screen, but it’s a glorious movie.