Wounds (2019)

wounds-movie-review-2019-netflixDirector: Babak Anvari

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Main Cast: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz, Karl Glusman, Brad William Henke, Kerry Cahill

Plot: Will is an alcoholic bartender dealing with a failing relationship. One night in the bar a fight breaks out which turns ugly, and in the scuffle some College kids leave a mobile phone behind. Will takes the phone home but is horrified by what he finds on there.

My Thoughts: It took me longer to write that plot description than it did to write the rest of this post because quite frankly, I have no idea what Wounds is even about. This is what happens when I take a break from blogging – I fall out of the loop on what movies I should be avoiding like the plague, and I end up watching crap. It sounded promising though, and I kind of enjoyed the start of the movie. Armie Hammer is always fun to watch, and I liked the banter between his character and Zazie Beetz’s.

This is just one of those movies where so many details and plot points just seem to be meaningless. As fun as she was, Zazie’s character served no purpose. Dakota Johnson was seriously underused, too. When I got towards the end of the movie, I paused to see how long was left and saw it was less than 10 minutes. You know what these mystery movies are like, sometimes nothing makes sense until those last few minutes and then bam! Clarity. Nope, just weird grossness.

Netflix movies are always a bit hit and miss, and normally even with movies I didn’t enjoy I would still recommend that you give them a go and form your own opinion, but I couldn’t do that to you this time. Steer clear from Wounds, folks!

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Best Bit: I actually can’t think of a single great moment, but the only time I really jumped and felt creeped out was when Will was driving, and picked up that phone just to look down and see his arm covered in bugs. It’s making me a little bit itchy just thinking about it.

Worst Bit: That ending was…ugh. I mean, it’s an ending I won’t forget in a long time, and is it better to be remembered as bad than it is to just be forgotten? I’m not sure…

Fun Trivia: Based upon the horror novella, The Visible Filth, by Nathan Ballingrud.

My Rating: 1 out of 5 cockroaches, and if you’re seeing them regularly at work and at home, maybe you should tell someone, yeah?

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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

nocturnal-animals-2016-movie-poster(I’m on vacation right now celebrating my 30th Birthday! To fill the void whilst I’m away I’m posting some old movie reviews that I wrote for the blog I had before I started Often Off Topic. I’ll be back in early September.)

I don’t remember ever going into the cinema as blind as I did last week for Nocturnal Animals. I’d heard a lot of buzz surrounding the name, I’d watched the trailer (once) which didn’t give much away at all, and I knew Jake Gyllenhaal was in it. That was enough for me, and I somehow convinced my husband to come along too. I don’t know how I did it, but I have a feeling it may have been something to do with the ever beautiful Amy Adams.

Before I go into an actual review, I have to share a funny moment with you. Tuesday and Wednesday showings have a silly amount of adverts before the movie, because of the wildly popular ‘Meerkat Movies’ 2-4-1 deal. This poor couple in front of us were already there when we arrived, sat through the whole slog of ads, the 5 trailers (although we were shown the Arrival trailer twice in a row, odd) and when the BBFC rating screen came on with ‘Nocturnal Animals’ emblazoned on the left-hand side, they realised they were in the wrong screen. I hope they didn’t miss too much of Doctor Strange, because that opening scene was awesome.

Anyway! Nocturnal Animals is a dark movie split into two narratives. First, we have Susan (Amy Adams), an art gallery owner living a seemingly-perfect life in her mansion of a house adorned with staff, and a husband who sadly, is hardly ever at home. One morning she receives a parcel from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), a manuscript for a book he’s written that he wants her thoughts on. The book turns out to be dedicated to Susan, but is a dark and twisted story, which haunts her.

Whenever Susan starts reading the book, we get to see it played out, by Jake Gyllenhaal himself and his book-wife (Isla Fisher). Their story isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a cruel and violent tale. Some scenes are particularly difficult to watch, and I get the feeling they were deliberately made as long as possible to make the audience uncomfortable. If that is the case, it definitely worked on me. I kept thinking to myself ‘Oh that won’t actually happen though, they wouldn’t show us that’ and then they did! I’m getting the shivers just thinking about it.

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So, whilst we see Edward’s story played out in snippets, we also go back to Susan often to learn more about her, and more importantly, what happened all those years ago between her and Edward. There’s a theme of revenge here for sure, and we know that Susan left him, but not why, or under what circumstances. It’s really well edited in these sections, the way something happens in the book that then takes us back to real life, and editing isn’t something that I normally take notice of.

Of course, I won’t give anything away, but I love an ambiguous ending. One that’s satisfying enough when taken at face value, but when you start to analyse every little detail, you begin to come up with different theories about certain elements.

I really loved this movie, but I will NOT forgive that jump scare. You can witness it for yourself, I’m not going to warn you, but it scared the crap out of the entire screen. Then I had to watch the next ten minutes from the corner of my eye in case something else happens. My poor nervous wreck of a husband now labels Nocturnal Animals as ‘that piece of sh*t movie that scared me’. He liked it of course, but he’s a bigger scaredy-cat than me!

So yes, a big seal of approval from me. Just…skip the opening credits if you can…trust me.

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

sorry-to-bother-you-movie-review-2018Director: Boots Riley

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Comedy

Runtime: 105 Minutes

Main Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Mahari Crown, Lily James

Plot: Set in an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green learns the secret to success, using his “white voice”, which propels him into…madness! That’s the best job I can do in summing up this crazy movie.

My Thoughts: I got to see Sorry to Bother You over a week before it’s UK release thanks to ODEON Screen Unseen! The clues are usually ridiculously cryptic but I was pretty certain it was going to be this, although I was just as certain last time and that didn’t end very well. There were quite a few cheers when the secret movie was revealed so I guess it wasn’t only me who was really looking forward to it!

I thought I had seen the weirdest movie ever when I watched The Lobster. Then I thought the same when I watched Swiss Army Man. Oh boy, Sorry to Bother You is going to hold that award for a long time yet! I was ready for weird, I already knew about the “white voice”, but I was so not ready for what I witnessed. I’ve let it sink in for 48 hours now and I’m still not sure what I really think.

What I am certain about however is that I need to see it again. There are so many tiny details crammed in that I know it’ll be a great rewatch. One thing I didn’t miss however were Tessa Thompson’s dildo earrings! Again, not even close to being the craziest thing about this movie!

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Best Bit: I absolutely loved the scene where Cassius is taken into the golden elevator. I thought that sequence code was going to go on forever, and it made me and the rest of the screen really laugh. Oh, oh, I just remembered…have a cola and smile, bitch! Do you think my husband would be mad at me if I threw a can of Pepsi at him and shouted that?

Worst Bit: There isn’t a specific part that I didn’t enjoy, but I did nod off slightly when it came to Detroit’s art show. I’m not an arty person myself so it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Fun Trivia: During the bar scene, when Danny Glover’s character is asked why he isn’t dancing, he responds with the, “I’m too old for this shit” line made famous from his role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon movie franchise.

My Rating: This rating is bound to change because I feel like it’s the kind of movie that will grow on me with time, but for now it gets 3 and a half out of 5 jade doors…not olive doors, jade doors!

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Mini Reviews: The Snowman (2017), Lady Bird (2017) & Call Me by Your Name (2017)

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Not that I want to jinx it or anything, but I’ve been doing better than I thought at watching movies these last couple of weeks! Mainly thanks to it being awards season and wanting to at least have a clue about what’s what of course. The BAFTAs are in a week’s time and I still have a few nominated movies I’d like to catch (Phantom Thread, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool & I, Tonya) but I’m closer than I’ve ever been I think.

I do like to write a little something about each movie I’ve seen but some of the award movies are so hard to write about, so I thought it would be a good time for a Mini Reviews post! Every now and again though I need something a little lighter to watch in between these powerful movies, and that’s how The Snowman has found it’s way here.

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The Snowman (2017) is one of those movies I saw the trailer for ages ago, got super excited for it, and then forgot all about it. That is, until it started cropping up onto everyone’s ‘Worst of 2017’ posts. Torn between taking everyone’s advice and punishing myself, I decided to give it a go anyway. It couldn’t be that bad, right? Read this next bit in a Janice voice. Oh. My. God.

It should have been something I loved. A crime/mystery where Michael Fassbender is trying to solve a series of murders where a snowman is left behind at the scene of the crime. You know, one of those whodunit movies. Only The Snowman just didn’t make any sense. The start was so weird I questioned whether I was even watching the right movie! Plus, there’s throwing in some red herrings and there’s making half the plot completely pointless. Ugh!

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I didn’t know anything at all about Lady Bird (2017) until Saoirse Ronan was on the Ellen Show promoting it, and then I knew I had to see it. I also spent the next hour trying to work out how to even pronounce Saoirse (it’s sur-shah if you were wondering). Gosh, it’s like Domnhall Gleeson all over again! Bless you lovely Irish people.

Anyway! Lady Bird is a beautiful coming of age movie in which Saoirse plays a seventeen year old girl wanting to escape her small home town and live out her dreams at college in New York. I loved every single minute of this. I usually feel luke-warm about these kind of movies but I saw so much of myself in Lady Bird. It’s one of my favourites of the year for sure and I so hope Saoirse wins the Oscar!

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So, Darkest Hour was the one I was least excited about seeing, but after that it was Call Me by Your Name (2017). I know everyone loves it, but I need my romance to have a splash of comedy, and it didn’t look like this was going to give it to me. Set in beautiful northern Italy, a young lad named Elio falls in love with his Father’s research assistant Oliver.

It’s such a slow burn, and I really struggled to stay alert through the whole two hours plus of it all. I can appreciate the beauty in it, and if anything it really makes me want to visit Italy myself, but this just wasn’t the movie for me. Plus I can never, ever eat a peach again without thinking about that scene. Shudder.