Movie Reviews

Kajillionaire (2020)

kajillionaire-movie-review-2020-posterDirector: Miranda July

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 104 Minutes

Main Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Debra Winger, Richard Jenkins, Mark Ivanir, Madeleine Coghlan, Steve Park, Challen Cates

Plot: 26-year-old Old Dolio has been raised by her parents to be a small time, petty criminal, helping to pay the rent by stealing packages from the post office and preying on the generosity of the wealthy to get by. In the middle of a lost baggage claim heist, her parents enlist the help of Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), a stranger they met on the plane, in a last ditch attempt to avoid homelessness.

My Thoughts: This is the kind of movie I’ve been waiting all year for. I would happily push all of this years and next years blockbusters into 2022 if it meant getting to watch movies like Kajillionaire. Sadly the cinema industry wouldn’t survive, so for now I’ll watch whatever I can and sit through the Bond trailer in silent rage. Kajillionaire is a heist movie like no other I’ve ever seen. Imagine Ocean’s Eleven was actually a Sundance movie, and that’s what you get. Evan Rachel Wood is completely unrecognizable as Old Dolio, with her over-sized tracksuit and gruff voice.

We’re thrown straight into this family’s life straight away, watching them wait for an opening outside the post office. And you have to think, a family this hard done by must be so close at the very least? But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Old Dolio and her parents are business partners who split everything 3-ways, they don’t do love, or hugs. And really, that’s all Old Dolio has ever known until Melanie comes into their lives. Melanie is a ray of sunshine in a world of darkness, and the whole family is smitten by her. That’s when things really become strained.

I tried to explain the basics of the movie to my husband when I got home as I usually do, and it was so difficult. Kajillionaire is funny, shocking, and heart warming all at the same time, and my husbands response was, “Is it like that movie you love where Willem Dafoe looks after that Motel near Disney World?” He’s talking about The Florida Project (2017) if you hadn’t worked it out, and he is so right. These kind of movies were made for me.

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Best Bit: *SPOILERS* When the gang were at the old gentleman’s home and they made Old Dolio wait in his bedroom for him to die so they can take his chequebook. He’s clearly in pain and waiting to pass and it’s such a tender moment watching her help him through it. To then find out he was still alive was such a funny shock.

Worst Bit: It wasn’t a bad moment in terms of the quality of the movie, but when we find out why her parents even called her Old Dolio is just broke my heart, poor girl never stood a chance.

Fun Trivia: I can’t seem to find anything fun to share with you, but from the looks of it, the movie will be released digitally on Friday 16th October so please give it a watch if you aren’t able or comfortable to go to the cinema!

My Rating: 4 and a half buckets that you’ll need to scoop up those bubbles leaking from the wall every afternoon.

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Movie Reviews

The Wall of Mexico (2019)

the-wall-of-mexico-2019-poster-movieDirector: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Runtime: 110 Minutes

Main Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Esai Morales, Marisol Sacramento, Carmela Zumbado, Alex Meneses, Moises Arias, Mariel Hemingway, Xander Berkeley

Plot: Don (Jackson Rathbone) takes on a job as a handyman for the Aristas, a wealthy Mexican-American family with two outrageously decadent daughters. The source of the family’s wealth is a mystery to Don until he is told about the well on their property.

My Thoughts: First of all, how great is it to see Jackson Rathbone again? It feels so strange that this movie has come along at a time when I’ve recently re-watched all of the Twilight movies. He’s great here, and the role has clearly done him some good as his IMDB profile is showing a good few movies in the pipeline for him.

I’ve got to be honest with you – I don’t have a lot to say about this movie and it’s given me a week-long writing block. I don’t necessarily mean it as an insult though, sometimes you watch a movie and you think, this is fine, I enjoyed it, and now I’ve moved on. That’s how I feel about The Wall of Mexico. It has a political theme behind it as you can probably guess, but it’s not punchy enough to really make a point. I wish those themes had been pushed harder, that would have made the movie stand out.

Still, it was a decent watch and it’s an indie movie originally screened at the SXSW festival. It’s available to stream TODAY, and as a movie blogger I feel a sense of duty to put a bit of spotlight onto the movies you might not have heard of.

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Best Bit: When Don finally cracks and finds out for himself what the big deal with the water is all about. I loved his outburst. I spent most of the movie thinking the same, what is the obsession?!

Worst Bit: Those sisters are real jerks, for sure. I guess that’s what money does to you!

Fun Trivia Some Words from the Director: “The Wall of Mexico was conceived in reaction to the 2016 election and the continuing turmoil of its consequences. In our film, the clichéd power structures of American pop culture and news are flipped: a white handyman, uneducated and poor, tries to partake of the privileged and enticing world of a wealthy Latino family. To further complicate preconceived notions about ethnicity and culture, we decided to shoot the film on the other side of the looking glass and teamed up with producers and crew from Tijuana.”

My Rating: 2 and a half pairs of binoculars. If you want to work for the Aristas family you’re going to need them for your nightly well duty.

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TV Shows

TV Thoughts: The Boys (Season 1)

the-boys-amazon-tv-show-2019-reviewWhat’s this, Allie? You’re posting about a TV Show? It has been TOO long since I got properly stuck into TV. I much prefer movies which demand less of my time. There’s nothing worse than spending hours over the course of several years being loyal to a show that ends badly, I guess I’ve been burned too many times! Of course, I’ve been loving Modern Family and Schitt’s Creek but they’re happy little 20+ minute episode shows that I tend to watch whilst doing something else (she says, writing a blog post in the middle of Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek).

I’ve heard too many good things about Amazon Prime’s The Boys, though. My husband has been nagged by his friends to watch it too so we decided to watch it together. If you didn’t know already, The Boys is pretty much an anti-superhero show. In a world full of special people with powers, one company has cashed in and suddenly saving the world has budgets, advertising and hidden agendas.

Hughie (Jack Quaid) has his world crashing down on him one day when a superhero accidentally kills his girlfriend. Set on finding answers and closure, he ends up teaming up with vigilante Butcher (Karl Urban) and his crew to bring down the ultimate group of superheros, known as The Seven, headed up by the world’s strongest hero, Homelander (Antony Starr). That’s all I’ll say on plot, because if you’ve watched it already you know what happens, and if you haven’t given the first episode a watch yet…you really should.

The first thing that shocked me about The Boys is the violence and gore – but for good reasons! The moment Hughie’s girlfriend is killed sets that bar perfectly for what you can expect in the rest of the show. Think explosions, guts, severed limbs…the lot. This won’t be the show for you if you don’t like the C word, either. Every sentence that comes out of Butcher’s mouth contains at least one. He is clearly the standout character! For so many years our superhero movies and shows have been made for a family audience so it’s such a breath of fresh air to have The Boys.

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What makes something in the superhero genre stand out for me is the villain, or villains. The greatest villain should be someone we feel conflicted about. Take Thanos from the Marvel Universe for example. He commits a terrible act by literally wiping out half of the human race but…the reasons behind that action aren’t diabolical in the slightest. So with The Boys, who actually is the villain? These superheros are as corrupt as can be but Butcher’s team are murderers!

So in short – we are LOVING this show. We’ll be starting Season 2 tonight and I can only hope it stays being this great.

Random Posts

What I Watched: September 2020

How are we in the final quarter of this awful and weird year? Remember when we all thought things would be back to normal by Christmas? Ahh, sweet optimism. My little girl turns 3 this month. THREE. Does that mean the terrible two’s are coming to an end, because I’m not sure who has the most meltdowns now between me and her. She’s ace though, she talks fully and my goodness, she doesn’t stop.

In between a lot of movies, my husband and I have started watching a TV show together for the first time in literally years. We’ve been watching an episode of The Boys most evenings and we are LOVING it. That show is absolutely bonkers and Karl Urban is an absolute show-stealer. Every line he says has me laughing. I’ve also finally jumped onto the Schitt’s Creek bandwagon and it’s a delightful little comedy show.

But anyway, here’s what I watched but never blogged about last month…

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Class Action Park (2020)

I made the terrible mistake of watching this documentary a couple of days before going to a theme park myself. I knew nothing about Action Park before watching this but it’s an in-depth look at a water park in New Jersey that was hugely popular in the 1980’s and notorious for how dangerous it was. I’m not one for documentaries usually but this was as hilarious as it was shocking and chilling.

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Cosmopolis (2012)

No, the Robert Pattinson binging hasn’t come to an end yet. In Cosmopolis he plays a businessman travelling around in a limo but stuck in hellish traffic because of a political event taking place in the city. That’s um…all I really have to say about it I’m afraid.

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After (2019)

You might have seen I watched After We Collided (2020) at the cinema, and I had to watch the original so I knew what I was getting into. I hated the sequel but I really quite enjoyed the first one! It’s full of every cliche in the book but it’s an enemies to lovers kind of romance and you know I’m a sucker for those.

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Maps to the Stars (2014)

So next in the Robert Pattinson saga we have a movie where he plays a limo driver, rather than a passenger this time. This is one of those movies with many characters whose lives all intertwine towards the end of the movie. It was alright at the time but it’s quite forgettable to be honest.

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The Social Dilemma (2020)

Two documentaries in one month, Allie? This one is on Netflix and anyone with a Facebook account should give it a watch. There are some huge names in the social media industry speaking in this documentary and although it might be every so slightly dramatized, it’s shockingly insightful and makes me really quite terrified as a parent.

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The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

Where did this movie even come from?! I watched The Babysitter (2017) last year after falling in love with Samara Weaving in Ready or Not (2019) and had no idea a sequel was even in the works until BAM, there it is on Netflix. The sequel is just as good as the original and a lot funnier, it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.

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High Life (2018)

So after this I took a little Robert Pattinson break, because WOW he loves being in weird movies. Thisis what I get for not even watching a trailer first. How to describe High Life? It’s like Interstellar (2014)…with criminals…and a lot of semen samples? Bonus points for Pattinson being an awesome space Dad though.

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#Alive (2020)

Do we really need movies about being trapped in your own home due to a pandemic in 2020? I think not, but at least with #Alive you can watch it tell yourself, well it could be worse…

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Unpregnant (2020)

I know everyone is saying to watch Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) instead of this but I haven’t yet, and I adored Unpregnant (2020). It doesn’t take a genius to work out what happens in this movie but I think it’s so great that we have movies like this, normalising something that must be terrifying to go through. It has Booksmart (2019) vibes to it and I enjoyed it a lot.

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23 Walks (2020)

You want to know how desperate I am to keep visiting my cinema in fear of it closing again? Last week I watched a little British movie about a pair of single people in their 60’s who meet whilst walking their dogs. You read that right. It actually was a decent watch regardless of be being half the target audience’s age. Something VERY SAD happens though and I didn’t expect to find myself ugly crying that night.

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Saw (2004)

Fun fact – I’ve never seen a Saw movie until now. What’s the general consensus on these movies you guys? I feel like with a critic hat on they’re mostly garbage, but for gore fans they’re actually a lot of fun? I liked the mystery and the escape room-ness to it, but didn’t care for the rest.

In case you missed any of my full reviews from last month, here they are again:

Tenet (2020)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
Mulan (2020)
The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)
After We Collided (2020)
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
The Devil All the Time (2020)
Antebellum (2020)
Enola Holmes (2020) 

Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Movie Houses

Happy start of the spooky season, folks! Anyone else waiting for the plot twist in our lives that reveals we’ve been living in a horror movie since the start of 2020? I’m still hugely out of my depth in the horror genre but I reckon I’ve seen enough to take part in the Halloween editions of Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks this year. According to my Letterboxd account I’ve watched a total of 118 horror movies which isn’t a lot at all, but I’m embracing it this October!

This week’s theme is Horror Movie Houses. Generally speaking, I hate the kind of horror movies that take place in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere when it’s always dark and forever raining, but I do have 3 choices to share with you today. They’re all from 2019, the year I welcomed the horror genre into my life, and all center around a house in some way or another.

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The Lighthouse (2019)

I have to thank my local cinema for showing this again for one night only this week – feeding the Pattinson obsession but also giving my ideas for this week’s theme! It’s a tough movie to sell to your average movie fan,  and I don’t do a good job of explaining it, either. I mean basically, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go crazy whilst working together in a lighthouse. Dafoe gives a cracking shouty rant about lobster and Pattinson craves a steak so badly he would…well, let’s say it’s the first time I’ve ever envied a steak before.

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Vivarium (2019)

Put this at the top of the list of movies NOT to watch whilst in lockdown. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a young couple looking to buy their first home. An unnerving estate agent shows them to a house in a new-build neighborhood but they find themselves trapped. No matter which direction they head in, it always leads them back to this house. I’ll admit that the idea wasn’t executed perfectly, but it has so much potential.

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Ready or Not (2019)

I saved the best till last. Please give this a watch if you haven’t already! Samara Weaving marries into an unusual and wealthy family, their funds all thanks to their board game empire. As is tradition, on the night of the wedding the bride picks a card which determines the game they all play. She picks hide and seek. Harmless, yes? Think again. If she gets found, she is to be murdered. And so commences the greatest, goriest, yet funniest game of hide and seek in a beautiful house full of great hiding spots.