Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

fast-furious-hobbs-and-shaw-2019-poster-reviewDirector: David Leitch

Genre: Action

Runtime: 137 Minutes

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart

Plot: I wanted to try and explain the plot in my own words as I usually do, but the plot on IMDB is just so darn perfect I couldn’t even try and do it better: ‘Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity’.

My Thoughts: Never did I ever think my most anticipated movie of the summer would be a Fast & Furious movie. Nothing against them, but I’ve only seen the first and fifth ones so far. I enjoyed both, but it feels like there are so many of them now it would take ages to catch up! That said, the trailers that got thrown at me for months never got old and I was SO excited to see Hobbs & Shaw on the weekend. If nothing else, it was worth it to see Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bicker for over 2 hours.

The move just does exactly what it says on the tin. Okay – the first 10 minutes pretty much tell you exactly how the movie is going to end but you don’t go into movies like this expecting surprises (apart from one huge one I’ll come to shortly). My bestie and cinema date last night should be grateful I wasn’t driving home because there’s something about crazy car chase scenes in busy cities that make me want to drive away like I was driving something 10-times more powerful than my go-kart of a car!

Loads of movies can do action well but what seals the deal for Hobbs & Shaw is the cast. I’ve raved enough about Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham but Idris Elba rocks it as the bad guy (is there anything the man can’t do?!) and Vanessa Kirby? Yaaaaas! She can kick your ass, pour you the biggest drink you’ve ever seen and then insult you so quickly you won’t even know what happened. What a badass.

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Best Bit: You guys, I’ve been raving about this movie for months and NOONE mentioned Ryan Reynolds was in it?! How did I not even know myself? It was so blatantly clear he wasn’t even given a script and I couldn’t be happier. Who cares if he’s typecast when he does his thing so well? Our whole cinema was on the verge of tears from crying so much at his lines.
Also – please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t realise the joke until the airport security guy read out “Mike Oxmaul”??

Worst Bit: It’s my age-old complaint, it dragged towards the end. I’ve nothing against the runtime but that third act seemed to go on forever, and the weirdest part was it ended so abruptly, only to continue the actual story whilst the credits were rolling. What was up with that? We almost left the room just when Ryan Reynolds turned up to spoil the Game of Thrones ending for anyone who hasn’t faced watching that last episode yet!

Fun Trivia: Idris Elba refused to say a scripted line for his character, calling himself “the black James Bond”. He instead used the phrase “black Superman”. Elba has been rumoured to be in consideration for the role of James Bond, and would be the first black actor to portray Bond.
Good on him to be honest…it would be an odd line to say anyway considering he was playing a bad guy?!

My Rating: 4 best friends necklaces…I’ll give you half, Ryan!

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Mini-Reviews: Movies Watched in July

I basically fell off the blogging wagon this month, so I’m really sorry for neglecting everyone else’s blogs over the last few weeks. I still managed to watch 13 movies though and post full reviews for most, which isn’t too bad I guess!

Summer feels like it’s come and gone already in the UK but I can’t help but be a bit smug as I’m going on holiday in less than 3 weeks now. That obviously means I’ll be away from the blog again for 2 weeks, but I’ve got some of my older reviews from my previous blog scheduled on those days just to keep this little corner of the internet active, and I’ll catch up as best as I can when I’m back!

For now though, as usual, here are some mini-reviews for the movies I watched last month but never got around to writing about…

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Hotel Artemis (2018)

This was so disappointing. It had such a good premise, not dissimilar to the Continental hotel in the John Wick series, the cast was full of stars, but it all fell flat. It was a bit style over substance and when I couldn’t really care less about any of the characters, it makes for a tough watch. It was alright, but nothing more.

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It Comes at Night (2017)

I’d file this movie in the same drawer as Bird Box (2018). It’s a dark but quiet little horror movie, and although I mostly enjoyed watching it, it was also super depressing and kind of bummed me out a little. Worth a watch for sure but not when you’re already in need of a pick me up!

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Little (2019)

Okay, I actually enjoyed Little more than I thought I would. It’s one of those ‘Freaky Friday’ type comedies that suffers from the common problem of the main character being really unlikeable, but her younger self is so damn sassy and entertaining that I had a good time watching it anyway!

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Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

January was a rough month and I wasn’t 100% sold by the trailer for Alita so I skipped it. I think a younger audience would have an amazing time with this movie but it wasn’t for me. In terms of visuals, it was absolutely stunning and the world-building was fascinating, but I didn’t care for the story. It just wasn’t that original and didn’t bring anything new to the table.

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The Lion King (2019)

Umm…I really didn’t write a full review for this?! How did I manage that? Anyway – boo to the haters, I’ve been really enjoying the live action Disney remakes and don’t want them to slow down any time soon. I loved The Lion King. I literally started crying the second The Circle of Life started playing, and Timon and Pumba had me laughing out loud. It’s a little weird seeing the animals not as expressive, but that’s the only thing I could fault.

And so in case you missed any, these are the movies I did full reviews for in July:

Yesterday (2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Odd Thomas (2013)
Midsommar (2019)
The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
The Lake House (2006)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

The Current War (2017)

the-current-war-2017-movie-reviewDirector: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Runtime: 107 Minutes

Main Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfadyen, Damien Molony

Plot: Set in the 1800s, The Current War is a retelling of the cutthroat race between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system will change the way the world works.

My Thoughts: So this is how my week has gone. Love Island has finished and I have no more distractions on an evening – huzzah! So let’s see what’s new at the cinema…oh wait. NOTHING. Did no one want to release anything at all whilst The Lion King is playing for its first week? The only thing new in my local was The Current War, a movie that was meant to be released in 2017 but got shelved because of the Weinstein scandal. I can’t say I was excited to see it but look at that cast! It was worth a go just for them.

History was my least favourite subject at school – I detested it. So the great thing about biopic movies for me is that I don’t actually know what’s going to happen! Which is terrible I suppose, but at least it made a not-so-interesting subject matter a little more exciting for me. I have to admit as well – it wasn’t until the day after that I realised the pun in the name of the movie, the ‘current’ war…no, neither me or my toddler are sleeping well this week!

I have to say though, I did enjoy the movie. It was quite fascinating the lengths that Edison went to during the race, and I had to laugh at the irony of the fact that Westinghouse years later was awarded “The Edison Award” for his work! It’s not a movie I’ll probably watch again, but it was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Solid performances all round, too!

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Best Bit: I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch playing an up-his-own-arse genius. I think he’s at risk of being typecast right now but when he does it so well it’s hard to criticise him for it.

Worst Bit: I did actually know about what happened to the first electric chair trial, but must have forgotten about it. I can’t imagine how it must have felt when it failed to work not once but twice!

Fun Trivia: Jake Gyllenhaal was originally cast alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, however, Gyllenhaal dropped out and Michael Shannon was brought as a replacement.

My Rating: 3 bright, shiny lightbulbs that might kill you, if you listen to Edison.

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P.S. Does anyone else think Michael Shannon looks like Ron Swanson in the poster?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-2019-movieDirector: Michael Dougherty

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds

Plot: Following on from the events of 2014’s Godzilla, crypto-zoological agency Monarch are left defending themselves against criticism from the government as well as a bigger threat in the form of the three-headed King Ghidorah.

My Thoughts: I knew I would regret not seeing this in the cinema. Not because it was a cinematic masterpiece, in fact, it was far from it, but the monster scenes are just so damn cool. Yes, they’re quite dark – although not nearly as dark as I expected after all the reviews, or maybe I was remembering that GoT episode where I could see naff all – but I’d rather that than be able to see too much CGI.

Where it falls flat however are the humans. I’m quite happy to have a story arc there, it’s needed to be honest otherwise the movie would be an assault on the senses, but I just didn’t care enough about any of the characters other than Madison, played by Millie Bobby Brown. Also, it could well be because I’m a big fan of hers because of Stranger Things, but I felt like she out-acted everyone else there without even trying. She’s too good for this movie.

At the end of the day though, I watched King of the Monsters because I wanted to see destruction and monsters, and I got plenty of that. I wasn’t bored at any point (although I did keep checking Twitter to see who won Love Island) and so really…my expectations were met! Am I crazily excited for the next Godzilla movie? Not really. Will I go and see it anyway? Absolutely – and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

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Best Bit: I’d heard that Mothra was a fan favourite but wow – isn’t she just stunning? In fact, all of the monsters are stunning. I also loved how in the credits, the monsters are listed with the other characters and are credited as playing themselves. That made me chuckle.

Worst Bit: Was I meant to laugh when that pilot ejected himself from his jet to avoid being eaten only to fly up into the monster’s jaws and get devoured? Because I did. That was hilarious. Also – anything that came out of Dr. Rick Stanton’s mouth made me cringe. What a gross character.

Fun Trivia: On the map showing the monarch sites for all the found titans, there is an area over Scotland as a nod towards the Loch Ness monster.

My Rating: 3 and a half moths fluttering around your bedroom at night. Just be glad they’re normal-sized…

godzilla-king-monsters-2019-mothra-moth

Going Off Topic (#18) Summer Lovin’

I’ve been so active on the blog for a few months and yet I haven’t posted anything for a week. You know why? I haven’t watched a movie for a week! Can you believe it?! It’s down to two things. The first being the UK had a bit of a heatwave and I honestly almost melted. The other being I got sucked into the reality show Love Island which took away all of my almost non-existent free time. The final is tonight though so I’m hoping to get back into a regular schedule this week!

What’s coming up next month though is…my 30th Birthday! Urgh. I’m going to be 30. It feels weird to be hitting that milestone age but yet I don’t feel too badly about it. I’m married, I have a gorgeous and hilarious little toddler, we have a house and mortgage, and I feel fairly accomplished with that. Any chance of a career has been pushed aside but hey – you can’t have it all!

So on my 30th Birthday, 23rd August, I’ll be flying out on holiday with said husband and toddler, as well as my parents and littlest brother, to the USA! We’re going to New York for 4 nights and then over to California for 10 nights to do Disney, Universal and chill at the beaches. I honestly can’t wait. I obviously won’t be on the blog for those 2 weeks but I’ve got some of my reviews from my older blog scheduled so at least there will be something posted from here regularly whilst I’m gone.

In other news, I’m almost finished with S3 of Stranger Things. It’s been a slow start and I don’t think it’s better than S2 (yet!) but there have been some amazing moments so far, like Daddy Hopper and the antics at Scoops Ahoy. I’ve heard it ends with a bang so I’m looking forward to it! I’ve also made a start on S2 of Big Little Lies which is looking promising so far.

The cinema releases seem to be unusually quiet for this time of year, but I’m chalking that up to no one wanting to release anything at the same time as The Lion King. I might venture out to see The Current War just for the cast, but other than that there’s nothing worth seeing until this weekend when Hobbs & Shaw comes out! I’ve only seen 2 of the Fast & Furious movies but Hobbs & Shaw looks like so much fun – I can’t wait!

So thanks for bearing with me while I haven’t been around – I’ll be catching up real soon!

The Lake House (2006)

the-lake-house-2006-movie-posterDirector: Alejandro Agresti

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Christopher Plummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Willeke Van Ammelrooy, Dylan Walsh, Shohreh Aghdashloo

Plot: Kate leaves a letter at her lake house home before she leaves asking the new owner to forward any mail she gets. Alex, the new owner replies with confusion as the house has been abandoned for years. A romance blossoms between the two as they exchange letters but a problem is apparent, Kate lives in 2006 and Alex lives in 2004.

My Thoughts: Ah yes, I’ve slipped into that stage of actor obsession where I start digging up their old romance movies. In my defence, my local cinema doesn’t seem to showing anything other than 30 screenings a day of The Lion King. Although, I’m behind on the Blind Spot Series and my watch list certainly isn’t getting any smaller so…

Anyway – onto the movie! I’m marking this as spoilers because I’m not sure how much of the plot is general knowledge. It took me far too long to actually let my brain switch off and enjoy this movie for what it is, I was definitely taking it too seriously for too long. You know that meme of Charlie Day with his map and markers looking a bit crazy? That was me for the first 45 minutes at least. I kept pausing and trying to work out how any of it was possible!

If you don’t like the sound of a magical mailbox with the power to deliver letters to and from the future then this isn’t the movie for you. But if you can push that to one side, The Lake House is actually a nice little romantic story. If Sandra Bullock gets to do another romantic movie with one of my favourite actors though I swear…it’s just not fair!

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Best Bit: I’m not normally this sappy but I loved the final scene where Kate and Alex finally meet again. Just too darn cute!

Worst Bit: The Lady who works the counter at that fancy restaurant is the worst. Like, you get all snobby when announcing that you’re fully booked till October because that’s just how good the place is, then get all confused when Keanu Reeves wants to book a table in 2 years time? If Keanu wants a table in 2 years time you GIVE him the table in 2 years time!

Fun Trivia: The actual house did not exist, and was built for the movie, then dismantled. In using Google Earth to see the house, enter 41.7142, -87.8901 in the window on the Fly To tab. This will take you to the center of the lake. Zoom to the clearing on the eastern shore. Then select April 29, 2005 as the date.

My Rating: 3 copies of Persuasion by Jane Austen, and if you happen to leave them behind at a train station, just ask Keanu to fetch them for you!

the-lake-house-persuasion-jane-austen

Top 5 Non-Christmassy Christmas Movies: Christmas in July Blogathon

Originally posted at Drew’s Movie Reviews to kick off his blogathon. Go check out Drew’s blog now if you don’t follow him already!

You try saying that title after a few cups of eggnog! Does anyone actually drink eggnog? I’ve heard it in Christmas songs I’ve seen it in Christmas movies…but I’ve never actually had any! I guess there’s a first time for everything. Speaking of which, this is certainly not the first time I’ve taken part in Drew’s Christmas in July Blogathon, but it IS the first time I’ve sent my post to him on time! For…any actual Blogathon he’s hosted, actually. I’m so sorry Drew!

It’s getting tougher each year to pick a topic for my post, but after last year when I defended Die Hard’s status as a Christmas movie my theme for this year has picked itself out. I’m going to list my Top 5 Non-Christmassy Christmas movies! You know, those movies you find yourself watching in October or November when the festive vibes are kicking in, but it’s not socially acceptable to be in the festive spirit yet!

christmas-in-july-die-hard

#5 Die Hard (1988)

Defending Die Hard’s Christmassy status is difficult enough, but last year Bruce Wilis himself declared that it wasn’t a Christmas movie. C’mon, man! When the winter months are filled with sickly sweet family movies, sometimes you need to see Bruce Willis kick some ass whilst still feeling festive.

christmas-in-july-bridget-jones-diary

#4 Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

I love a good rom com, and Bridget Jones’ Diary is up there with the best of the very best. Bridget is just so relatable, and the scene with her and Mark Darcy with his ugly Christmas jumper is brilliant!

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#3 The Harry Potter Series (2001 – 2011)

Christmas features very sporadically in all of the Harry Potter movies but for years now, the main UK TV channels feature them heavily in December, and so for that reason, it’s sort of become a tradition to watch them annually at that time of year.

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#2 Shazam! (2019)

This year has actually brought a new movie to my annual Christmas watch list! (I’m going to have to START in July at this rate). Shazam! has it all, it’s a cool and funny superhero movie, it has some touching family moments…and it takes place at Christmas! Winner winner, turkey dinner.

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#1 Just Friends (2005)

I’m a huuuge Ryan Reynolds fan, and Just Friends features Ryan Reynolds at what I consider one of the best moments in his career. Embarrassingly, I could probably recite the entire movie to you, I’ve watched it that often!

Now, as part of Drew’s blogathon, he hosts a huge celebrity party (ever the hostess with the most-ess) and we’re allowed to bring any guest we choose. I seem to have worked my way through the entire male Star Wars cast…but I don’t think you need more than one guess as to who I’m bringing this year…

Keanu, we are going to have a most excellent time!

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