Life Itself (2018)

life-itself-movie-review-2018-posterDirector: Dan Fogelman

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 117 Minutes

Main Cast: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Antonio Banderas, Laia Costa, Alex Monner, Samuel L. Jackson

Plot: Will and Abby fall in love at college, get married and have a child. But after a cruel twist of nature, tragedy befalls them and the aftershocks affect more people around them throughout the years.

My Thoughts: I don’t know why, but this week I’ve been making an attempt to catch up on the movies I missed which have been hailed as being terrible – it’s an odd hobby but there’s a certain guilty pleasure about awful movies. I’ve seen Serenity (2019) but I can’t put my thoughts into words on that yet. Today I’m talking about Life Itself, but let me share an odd fact about myself first. When I was a kid I’d let my thoughts run away with me. I’d wake up in the night needing the toilet but I was afraid I would wake my parents, and my thoughts continued until I’d caused World War 3 just by having a wee at 2am.

It feels like that’s the kind of message this movie is going for. One small event can lead to much bigger consequences. Or maybe not. Who the hell knows, because this movie is all over the place. I didn’t hate it though, I actually almost loved it. During the opening scenes, I was baffled as to why the movie was so hated. I’d like Samuel L. Jackson to narrate my life, please. I also would have quite happily watched a drunken Oscar Isaac singing in a cafe for the entire movie because the biggest problem for me was the start of the movie was the best part.

If you’re looking for a sappy rom-com this certainly isn’t it, it’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever watched, but there is at least a beautiful message at the end of it all that brings some hope to the melancholy. From what I’ve read, the haters have called it ‘2018’s Collateral Beauty’ and I can’t argue with that. I guess the problem is I really enjoyed that movie!

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Best Bit: Any of the scenes with Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde together. They’re so sickeningly cute, and their dog has the best name ever. Can we please have the rom-com we deserve?

Worst Bit: Once the story switched over to the Gonzales family, that’s where it started to lose me. They were introduced too late into the movie for me to invest in them and so to be brutally honest I just didn’t care that much for their drama.

Fun Trivia: During the writing of the film, Dan Fogelman listened to Bob Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind and in particular the song Love Sick, which opens the film. Written after the divorce of the singer of his second wife, this double album, dating from 1997, speaks of love and mourning with melancholy.

My Rating: 3 double espressos in large cups, that a drunken Oscar Isaac will want to pour 2 healthy measures of whiskey into before staggering about, trying to serenading you.

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Captain Marvel (2019)

captain-marvel-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 124 Minutes

Main Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Rune Temte, Lee Pace

Plot: When a mission goes wrong, Vers finds herself on Earth. Whilst trying to get back home, she struggles with the fact she remembers little of her past. When captured by Yon-Rogg, she sees glimpses of who she used to be, leading to more confusion.

My Thoughts: There hasn’t been a single movie in the MCU that I haven’t really enjoyed, so although I was fairly certain Captain Marvel would be great I was never really sold on the trailers so I was also a little hesitant. It was nothing to do with the character or Brie Larson herself, I was just unsure where the movie itself fitted in with the rest of the story. I certainly wasn’t one of the disgusting internet trolls who had a problem with a female lead or, ridiculously, the shape of Brie Larson’s butt. Human’s are so gross sometimes.

Anyway, I had such a good time watching Captain Marvel! Our cinema screen was absolutely packed and it was opening night in the UK so there was a great atmosphere in the room. Brie Larson was amazing – she kicked ass and she had a really dry, witty sense of humour that worked so well. This is probably my favourite Marvel movie for Samuel L. Jackson who provided most of the laughs this time around. He was so funny!

The special effects, of course, were stellar as expected. What blew me away though was the technology used to de-age Samuel L. Jackson. It was absolutely unreal – I wonder if it’ll garner any attention when awards season rocks up next year? I think what I enjoyed the most was the mystery element of Captain Marvel’s background. I knew nothing about her going in so everything was a surprise to me, and I loved putting the pieces together as the movie went on.

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Not long to go at all now until Avengers: End Game! I told my toddler to be on her best behaviour when my parents babysat her so we could see Captain Marvel. Hopefully, she put on her cutest face so they’ll babysit again soon!

Best Bit: Goose, the cat. He was straight up adorable from the moment he showed up, but I kept getting the feeling there was more than meets the eye. Then we find out that he’s a ‘Flurkin’ (sp?) rather than a cat…and then? Thanos better watch out.

Worst Bit: It took me a while to wrap my head around what was going on, to begin with. It was probably my Mum-brain not running at full capacity but I wanted a moment to pause the movie to ask the room to fill me in on what was going on.

Fun Trivia: When Talos confronts Carol and Nick in Louisiana, he sips from a fast food drink container. It is the exact same design as the cup that Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson) sips in the scene in Pulp Fiction (1994) where they steal back the briefcase.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 retro lunchboxes, perfect for storing your most important possessions!

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