Movie Reviews

The New Mutants (2020)

the-new-mutants-movie-review-2020Director: Josh Boone

Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 94 Minutes

Main Cast: Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Alice Braga

Plot: After something mysterious winds up destroying her home, Danielle (Blu Hunt) finds herself in a secret facility with 4 other teenagers, all ‘mutants’. In charge of the facility is Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), tasked with helping the young mutants control their abilities to a point where they can move onto a new facility.

My Thoughts: Would you like to know how desperate I am for new movies and more cinema trips? I booked myself onto The New Mutants knowing nothing about it at all. It’s completely fallen under the radar in the UK, I’d never even seen a trailer. So I assumed it was to do with Marvel, but even now I’m not sure where it fits into the MCU or the other X-Men movies. I didn’t watch a trailer until about 2 hours before leaving my house, and started regretting my decision because it looked a bit scary!

Well, I can only say the trailer was very well edited, because it wasn’t scary like I assumed. It’s quite creepy in places, but never feels threatening so I slept soundly. I won’t keep you waiting, I feel very ‘meh’ about this movie. What’s with the kids’ powers? One bursts into flames, is that not an existing X-Men power? Another is basically a wolf. One can…move really quickly. Then there’s Anya Taylor-Joy’s character Illyana, arguably the coolest character of the bunch, who carries around a dragon puppet and has the power to turn her arm into an armored sword and open up a portal to limbo. Danielle’s power remains a mystery until the climax of the movie so I shan’t spoil that for you. All in all though, a mixed and strange bag of powers.

Then there’s the plot. What was the point of it all? Is this an origin story? Where does this movie actually fit in to the wider MCU? Or does it not at all? Maybe it’s a stand-alone movie. It wasn’t a dull watch, it wasn’t boring, but none of it seemed to serve any kind of purpose. Don’t even get me started on the dialogue…that’s a mess that needs it’s own post to rant about!

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Best Bit: It wasn’t all bad, I’m still glad I went. But like I mentioned, Anya Taylor-Joy’s character is the star of this story, unintentionally. When we get to see what her greatest fear is, and the way it’s manifested itself in her mind, it’s a cracking bit of story telling and could have been so much darker and scarier than it was.

Worst Bit: Look, The New Mutants. I’m super happy that you gave us a lesbian romance on the big screen. It’s awesome, it’s wholesome and I’m all for it. But it’s obvious when those characters first meet that there’s chemistry. Did we really need a scene with one of them watching a lesbian kiss on the TV just to try and tell us this? We’re not as stupid as we look!

Fun Trivia: The film has had five release date shifts. It was originally slated to come out on April 13, 2018, but was first delayed to February 19, 2019 in order to conduct reshoots. Later, it was pushed back again to August 2, 2019 while Disney’s purchase of Fox was finalized. It was pushed back yet again to April 3, 2020 to make room for the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019). On March 12th, 2020 it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 13th, 2020 its new release date of August 28th, 2020 was announced and finally released on.

My Rating: Two and half DEMON BEARS. If you know, you know.

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Movie Reviews

Emma. (2020)

emma-movie-poster-review-2020Director: Autumn de Wilde

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 124 Minutes

Main Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny¬†Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Miranda Hart

Plot: Based on the 1800’s novel by Jane Austin, Emma Woodhouse is a young, independent and wealthy woman with a passion for matchmaking.

My Thoughts: What happens when you have an ODEON Limitless card, a period-drama loving bestie and a free Sunday evening? You end up at the cinema, watching Emma. I don’t know how much longer I can hold onto my ‘I don’t like period dramas’ membership card, but I’m coming very close to losing it by now, I reckon. I just get driven mad by the insane way these characters talk, and nothing much ever seems to happen apart from tea-drinking, gossiping and dancing at balls. But I have to admit, I did enjoy this one.

For a start, the cast is just too good. I’ve missed Anya Taylor-Joy, and she’s perfect in this role. Viewers over the sea won’t know who Miranda Hart is and I worry her humour won’t translate well, but she is a NATIONAL TREASURE in the UK and she’s a delight in this movie. Fans of Netflix’s Sex Education will be pleased too as Tanya Reynolds has a fairly big part and although he isn’t credited, I swear Connor Swindells is there, too.

But anyway, I did enjoy this. It’s full of silly little moments and I found myself laughing more than I thought I would. The characters are tough to keep track of at first but I warmed to most of them instantly. Emma is a tough character to portray I guess because at face value, she’s quite unlikeable. She makes terrible choices and comes across as quite stuck up. In fact, Jane Austen herself described the character as “a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like”. By the end of the movie, she does definitely redeem herself, though.

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Am I at risk of being converted into a period drama fan? Probably not. But will I be going to the cinema with the bestie for the next Austen-type movie that comes out? Absolutely. She brings me wine, after all.

Best Bit: The entire movie is a feast for the eyes, but oh, the cakes! I would quite happily walk around in ridiculous dresses for the chance to feast on some of those gorgeous looking macarons. I also laughed every time we got to see that one fed up Dad. Poor guy is regretting many of his life choices, I’m sure.

Worst Bit: You guys, Emma made my precious Miranda CRY. We had a weirdly busy screen for a Sunday night whilst the storm was raging outside, and I have never heard such an audible gasp at the offending line Emma said.

Fun Trivia: Clueless (1995) is a loose American modern adaptation of the novel, set in Beverly Hills and starring Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz (Emma).

My Rating: 3 and a half tarts out of 5. Put on your poshest, British voice and repeat after me, “You MUST sample the tart!”

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Movie Reviews

Glass (2019)

glass-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: M. Night Shyamalan

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Runtime: 129 Minutes

Main Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlyane Woodard, Luke Kirby, Adam David Thompson

Plot: David Dunn, the security guard we all remember from Unbreakable (2000) is using his powers, with the help of his Son, to track down Kevin Wendell Crumb, as well as the rest of ‘The Horde’.

My Thoughts: So I really didn’t know much about Glass before heading out to see it. I’ve obviously seen Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) so I knew all about the characters, but I knew nothing about what Glass would actually be about. One thing for sure is, boy have I missed Bruce Willis on the big screen! I haven’t seen anything from him in a long time, and he’s always fun to watch.

I have to be careful how much I say about the plot because there are a few twists and turns that I don’t want to ruin. So keeping it brief, the introduction of Sarah Paulson’s character really shakes things up in terms of what we’re lead to believe…but there’s such strong evidence it’s really hard to fully get on board with this theory.

What was really neat thought was to find out more about our three main characters, especially David and Mr Glass, who we haven’t learned about in almost 20 years (20 years!!). The story of when Mr Glass was a child was particularly hard to watch, as heartbreaking as it was.

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Best Bit: James McAvoy just absolutely shines in this role, or should that be in these roles. I thought the same thing when I watched Split, but I don’t think anyone else could play it/them anywhere near as well. The fact that you can tell which personality has ‘come to the light’ by McAvoy’s facial expressions alone is just fantastic.

Worst Bit: What an anti-climatic ending. The screen I was in was quite busy and everyone seemed to have the same ‘oh’ reaction. I’m not saying I could have written a better ending myself of course but still. Couldn’t we have just had Mark Wahlberg show up, tie the movies into the ‘The Happening’ events? Shyamalan Cinematic Universe anyone? After the amazing moment in the credits of finding out Split’s connections, I was really hoping for something else…

Fun Trivia: James McAvoy based one of his 23 multiple personalities on a young Saoirse Ronan. The pair had worked together on “Atonement”.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 clovers, reminding me of another funny opportunity. Was anyone else hoping Glass would suddenly reveal a connection to the Cloverfield Universe? Clearly, all I wanted from this movie was a dumb tie-in…

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