Movie Reviews

I’m Your Man (2021)

im-your-man-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Maria Schrader

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens, Sandra Hüller, Hans Löw, Annika Meier, Jürgen Tarrach, Wolfgang Hübsch

Plot: In order to obtain the funds needed to continue her studies, Scientist Alma (Maren Eggert) agrees to take part in an extraordinary three-week experiment. She must live with a humanoid robot named Tom (Dan Stevens) with artificial intelligence designed to be Alma’s ideal partner.

My Thoughts: I was trying to think about how best to describe this movie, and I landed on Black Mirror episode meets Married at First Sight, minus the creepiness and drama. That’s not really doing it justice though, to be honest. After watching (and loving) the American remake of The Guilty earlier this month without having watched the original, I feel like I’m reclaiming a bit of film blogger karma by watching I’m Your Man. It’s a German movie, and yes, even Dan Stevens speaks German! I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a remake of it soon, either.

I’m Your Man is a quiet and thoughtful movie, which wasn’t what I originally expected, but then I had to remind myself that not all movies have that Hollywood ‘loudness’ to them, and I really got into it eventually. Alma is a great character, she’s amazingly talented but also hurt, and struggles to even accept Tom as anything other than a robot, and pushes him away at every opportunity. Tom of course is learning all the time and only knows to follow algorithms to try and please Alma, leading to quite a few hilarious situations. All I’m saying is, if Dan Stevens wants to come and tidy my house in 11 minutes he’s more than welcome!

I’ve always had a fascination for AI and I wanted to delve so much deeper into the science and technology behind this movie. It was briefly mentioned about the ethics behind these robots, whether they should have human rights and so on, and I wanted to know more! I guess really I need to find myself a good TV show on the subject to get really stuck in to. Anyway – if you haven’t heard of this movie until now I highly recommend it!

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Best Bit: I can’t pick between Tom talking to Alma’s ex about the size of the painting and his car, or when Alma introduced Tom to a colleague at a party and Tom went full robot on him. There were so many subtle funny moments in this movie.

Worst Bit: This is the all-singing, all-dancing Hollywood fan in me but the ending left me feeling a bit deflated. It’s an ending I’ll appreciate more as time goes on and I think about it, but I can’t get past my initial disappointment. It felt rushed more than anything.

Fun Trivia: Official submission of Germany for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of the 94th Academy Awards in 2022.

My Rating: 3 and a half takeaway coffees that Dan Stevens will order for you and then wait in the pouring rain till you’re done with work.

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Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#30) Too Much Adulting

It’s been a while since my last proper off-topic ramble, but I desperately need one today! My blog activity has been a bit all or nothing because of slow cinema releases but I’m hoping that’s about to change this Friday. I tend to only write full posts for new releases, and I just haven’t had as many available to watch, and even less that I find myself with lots to say about. This Friday in the UK though we’ve got 4 new releases, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Halloween Kills, Ron’s Gone Wrong and The Last Duel. Wow! My daughter turns 4 on Monday and this weekend is set to be a lot of chaotic fun, so hopefully I’ll find the time.

Speaking of my daughter turning 4, that’s mainly what brought me to start this post! I feel like I’ve done too much adulting today. My little one starts school next September and now is the time to apply for her place. A lot of schools still aren’t doing tours because of COVID which doesn’t help, but yesterday me and my girl went to view a prospective school. She was THRILLED. I mean, she just wanted to join in with everything going on. She even spotted a friend from her nursery and off they went to the playground together! I think we all know who’s going to be crying at the school gates next year, and it won’t be her.

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But MAN, talk about imposter syndrome. Here I am, a parent, walking around a school holding an actual conversation with a Head Teacher? Nope. I can’t do that. I’m not grown up enough for that. But I did! And I think I did it convincingly! Dare I say it was even quite fun? When I was about to turn 18 I had a bit of a freak out about being ‘officially’ an adult and that’s the same kind of feeling I’m getting now. What if I don’t pick a good school? What if I pick the perfect school, but we don’t get offered a place there?

Phew. Thanks for letting me get all of that off my chest. If you need me this weekend I’m going to be hiding in a corner with a glass of wine, looking through my daughter’s baby photos and wondering how she grew up so fast.

Book Reviews

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

I think I’ve found my favourite book of the year. Possibly favourite book of all time. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself here, but hand on heart, I haven’t felt this way about a book in a really long time. I’m not even sure how Project Hail Mary got onto my radar but it was probably thanks to Goodreads. I haven’t read any of Andy Weir’s other novels but I’ve obviously seen the movie adaption of The Martian and thought it was great, so that was enough for me to plunge into a Sci-Fi book that I otherwise would have been quite apprehensive about.

It starts with our main character waking up inside a space craft with no idea who he is, where he is, or how he got there, so it’s a gripping read from the very first page. We soon learn his name is Ryland Grace, and he’s a scientist on a mission to save Earth from something known as Astrophage that is basically absorbing our sun’s energy, dimming it and threatening to plunge us into another ice age within years. If that sounds complicated, it is! I’m not even going to pretend that I understood half of the science in this story, but it’s written in such a way that you don’t need a PHD to enjoy it.

Ryland Grace is such a fun character – he’s wickedly smart but also sarcastic and funny, and reading the events from his perspective is a lot of fun. The most joy actually comes from a friend of Ryland’s but to tell you more would be giving too much away and I’d rather not talk about any spoilers. Just know that the friendship between Ryland and “Rocky” is the greatest I’ve ever read about!

I’m primarily a movie fan and so I can’t help but wonder when I read, would this book make a good movie? Project Hail Mary would be an EXCELLENT movie. There’s one particular element which I’m not sure how filmmakers would translate to the big screen but the rest would be so entertaining. There’s a stomach-dropping twist that would be so great on screen. So, imagine my excitement when I read that the movie rights to the book have already been bought and Ryan Gosling has been attached to play Ryland Grace! I had Paul Rudd pictured in my mind, but Ryan Gosling would be equally great, I’m sure.

Movie Reviews

The Guilty (2021)

the-guilty-2021-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Antoine Fuqua

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime

Runtime: 91 Minutes

Main Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keough, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard, Christina Vidal, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Dano, Bill Burr

Plot: Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) has been demoted to a call dispatch desk after an incident. He’s coming up towards the end of his shift when a call comes in from a woman who has been kidnapped.

My Thoughts: I only learnt about The Guilty around 5-6 weeks ago but I’ve been desperate to see it ever since. I’m a huge fan of Jake Gyllenhaal and I heard the movie being compared with Tom Hardy’s Locke (2013) which I found fascinating, so I’ve been counting down the days! I find these one-location movies to be quite spectacular. They could quite easily be boring so a lot of tension is needed to keep the tempo, and The Guilty has tension by the bucket-load!

It’s a remake of a Danish movie from 2018 by the same name, and I’ve heard the original is far superior. You’ll have to forgive me for not knowing about it sooner but I guess not being able to compare greatly helped my enjoyment of this remake, because I loved it! Well, as much as you can enjoy an hour and a half of being stressed beyond belief, that is. Joe isn’t a likeable character, he’s clearly done something wrong to have been assigned to this desk in the first place, he’s separated from his wife, and he’s hostile towards his colleagues. But his dedication to the job and wanting to do the right thing is admirable.

So, I’ll hold up my hands and promise to watch the original, but for now I have to say, The Guilty was everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved pretty much every second, I didn’t want to pause it for anything, I just needed to know what was going to happen next!

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Best Bit: I mean, the reality is shocking but watching Joe shout at the cyclist calling for help and repeatedly hanging up on him made me laugh so hard and it was the perfect way to ease the tension just a little!

Worst Bit: The only thing I can really find to complain about was the ending. It was good to finally find out what happened in the events leading up to that fateful night on call, but at the end of the day it didn’t really add anything to the story, really. Maybe that’s one part that’s done a lot better in the original, I’ll have to find out for myself.

Fun Trivia: Because someone near director Antoine Fuqua tested positive for Covid-19 mere days before the film began shooting, he had to isolate. Faqua directed the entire film from a van with monitors rather than on the soundstage with the actors.

My Rating: 4 and a half inhalers that I almost needed myself whilst watching the last few scenes of this movie.

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Movie Reviews

No Time to Die (2021)

no-time-to-die-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Runtime: 163 Minutes

Main Cast: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Wishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Billy Magnussen, Christoph Waltz

Plot: James Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is trying to enjoy a peaceful life, a dream short-lived when his old friend Felix (Jeffrey Wright) shows up asking for his help. Bond’s mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist becomes more and more complicated by the minute.

My Thoughts: It actually feels quite surreal to be writing about No Time to Die. It’s been a full two years of watching the trailer and after the movie’s release got pushed back time and time again, it’s finally here and the cinemas are full. It’s wonderful! I’m not going to pretend to be a Bond fan, I’ve seen all of the Daniel Craig Bond movies but only once. I think they’re alright! I enjoy them plenty but it’s not a franchise I get excited about. Still, this last weekend has seen cinemas fuller than ever, I didn’t even get close to my usual parking spot right opposite the front door!

I wish I’d at least made an effort to rewatch Spectre (2015) before the last installment because there are a lot of ties to that movie that I completely forgot about. Still, I enjoyed No Time to Die, despite its almost 3 hours runtime that was unnecessary. The action scenes were as great as you would expect them to be, and despite Daniel Craig’s age he’s still completely believable as the agile Bond, and rocks a suit just as well as he always has. Best dressed has to be awarded to Ana de Armas though, hands down!

The ending was bittersweet, I have to say. It was an ending that I expected, and it was well executed for sure (I didn’t think I would be shedding tears over a Bond flick) but it felt a bit deflating at the same time, if that makes sense. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Who is going to play the next Bond? I’m going to make an effort to rewatch the latest movies, and who knows, maybe I’ll find myself loving the franchise after all.

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Best Bit: I think we all fell in love with the amazing duo of Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas in Knives Out (2019) so it was so great to see them together again on the big screen! Ana didn’t get nearly as much screen time as she deserved. (If my bestie and cinema buddy Steph were here though she would have made me mention Bond’s final outfit choice and how much I appreciated it!)

Worst Bit: I was here for the action, I was NOT here for 3 jump scares within the first half an hour! At least I fared better than the woman to my right who almost knocked my drink out of my hand with how much she jumped at one part…

Fun Trivia: Reportedly, James Bond actor Daniel Craig personally hand-picked Cuban actress Ana de Armas to play Paloma in this Bond movie, after working with her on Knives Out (2019), which first released about only four months before No Time to Die was originally meant to release.

My Rating: 3 and a half sphynx cats which come with fur these days!

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