What I Watched: September 2019

Well, this month has been pretty nuts, to say the least. on the first day of September I was on vacation in Disneyland, and today I’m dealing with a poorly toddler and working out how to deal with the fact my office is moving in December. Oh life, how you love to throw curveballs at me. Did I mention that said toddler is going to be TWO this month? I cannot even.

Amongst all the fun, jetlag, illnesses and stress I still managed to watch a few movies. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found movies to be a good escape from the real world, even just for a couple of hours. I’m glad my movie mojo is back though because there are so many October releases I’m looking forward to!

First, the movies I watched but never got around to reviewing properly…

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The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Okay, this was actually a rewatch, and I already did a full review back in July, but I needed to see Adam Driver in that smart car again and let me tell you, he didn’t disappoint. Still love that song, too.

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Plus One (2019)

I saw the poster on Netflix when I was having one of those ‘ugh, don’t know what to watch’ nights and genuinely thought it was Joel McHale. I realised very quickly that it wasn’t (I also thought Dax Shepard and Sam Rockwell were the same person for years) but I was in the mood for a romcom so I stuck it out. It’s your average, boy and girl who are only friends go to loads of weddings together and fall in love kind of movie. Nothing to go crazy about, but an enjoyable watch nontheless.

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Late Night (2019)

Despite the lukewarm reviews I was gutted to miss this in the cinemas. Emma Thompson seems to pop up in cameos in everything lately and she’s always the best part of whatever she’s in. She obviously has a bigger role in Late Night and is still the best part of the movie, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I’m all for political jokes but they got old really fast, and this movie isn’t going to age well.

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The Drop (2014)

What can I say? It’s a movie in which a scruffy Tom Hardy rescues an injured dog, adopts him and kicks the ass of anyone who dares to threaten said dog. If that’s not enough for you then ugh, there’s just no pleasing you!

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Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Yes, I was in a VERY odd mood the other night. Jim Carrey movies were my goto in my teens and yet I don’t know how I avoided Ace Ventura for so long! I loved it, it cheered me right up and I can tick another Carrey movie off my list. It makes for a funny watch in 2019 though, there’s no way a script like this would be greenlighted in this day!

And then, just in case you missed any, these are the movies I watched in September that I did write a full review for:

The Aftermath (2019) 
It: Chapter Two (2019)
Downton Abbey (2019)
The Perfection (2018)
Ad Astra (2019)
Ready or Not (2019)

Ad Astra (2019)

ad-astra-movie-review-poster-2019Director: James Gray

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Main Cast: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland, Liv Tyler, Jamie Kennedy, John Ortiz, Greg Bryk

Plot: Astronaut Roy McBride travels through the solar system to learn the truth about his father who went missing years ago, as well as finding out what is causing an attack of solar flares on Earth which have the potential of destroying the planet.

My Thoughts: Before I start my rant I want to be clear, I don’t go into any movie expecting or wanting to dislike it. Even widely hated movies – I try to find the good in them. I can absolutely see why the majority love Ad Astra, and I wouldn’t argue their points, but it didn’t work for me at all. There are plenty of movies in the same genre that I’ve loved, but I couldn’t love Ad Astra. I’m going to flag the rest of my post as spoiler territory just so I can make my points without being cryptic!

Firstly – did Roy really need to travel all the way to Mars to make that transmission? Are you telling me that in this future, where you can buy a Subway sandwich ON THE MOON, that you can’t pre-record a message and transmit it to wherever they know Roy’s father is? That alone was frustrating me endlessly. Also – kudos to Helen for sneaking Roy onto that ship so he could find his father, but could she not have given someone else in the crew a heads up? Come on Helen!

I’m all for a surprise ending, but this one was just really depressing. I liked finding out that actually, there’s a super high chance that us humans are the only intelligent beings in the universe (too many sci-fi movies are like, ALIENS) but it just made everything seem so…pointless. Like, I guess you could argue that Mad Max: Fury Road was just as pointless, but at least the ride was fun!

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Best Bit: The buggy chase and shootout scene on the moon was pretty darn cool, right? The whole movie is full of beautiful cinematography but that scene, in particular, was pretty breathtaking.

Worst Bit: Why scare the crap out of me with a giant, crazed, murderous space monkey, which seemed to add nothing to the plot? I’m filing Ad Astra in the same cabinet at Nocturnal Animals for jump scares that are unforgivable.

Fun Trivia: While shooting the climactic scene, Brad Pitt ended up crying unprompted in character. But as the scene takes place in zero-g, Pitt told director James Gray that the tear should be edited in post to float like a bubble off his face, rather than run down his cheek. “You gotta replace my tear, that’s not how it works in zero-gravity,” Pitt reportedly said, to which Gray responded, “I’m sorry, I’m keeping it. The acting’s too good, buddy.”

My Rating: 2 Subway sandwiches which you can purchase once disembarking your commercial Virgin Atlantic flight to the moon.

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