Movie Reviews

The Devil All the Time (2020)

the-devil-all-time-2020-netflix-movie-posterDirector: Antonio Campos

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 138 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Robert Pattinson, Haley Bennett, Harry Melling, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Douglas Hodge

Plot: Set in a town called Knockemstiff in Ohio,  the story revolves around Arvin (Tom Holland), orphaned at a young age and surrounded by violence and grief. Arvin tries his hardest to live a good, honest life, despite the sinister characters around him.

My Thoughts: You know how my mind works by now, I stumble into an actor or actress obsession and then I make it my goal to watch anything and everything they’ve ever starred in. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched many a terrible movie starring Robert Pattinson, and I have to say, I wasn’t even looking forward to The Devil All the Time. I watched the trailer a few times and it just didn’t seem like my kind of movie. And well, sometimes it’s when your expectations are rock bottom that you find yourself a movie you enjoy the most. I don’t think this one is perfect, it’s very bleak, quite depressing and at least 20 minutes too long, but it’s been playing on my mind for almost a week now since I watched it.

Tom Holland is phenomenal here. He might be known best as Spider-Man in a playful role, but he really shows off his talents here. I don’t have a clue when it comes to awards and I know this movie hasn’t had great reviews but surely Tom Holland deserves some kind of nomination for this? His accent is impeccable and the way he transforms from a quiet boy to the man seeking revenge is just…incredible! Also, I know the buzz is around how Robert Pattinson steals the show as the corrupted and deceitful Revered (he is excellent, I won’t argue), the show-stealer for me was Harry Melling, who we all know as Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter! I hope we get to see him in more movies.

There are so many characters in the movie it can be hard to keep track, and not all of their stories are really necessary, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The movie had a The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) kind of feel to me, I’m not sure what that niche little category would be called. It’s not a happy movie, it’s not a fun movie, but it tells an interesting story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

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Best Bit: The stand off between Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson towards the end was particularly good, I thought.  It was tense and uncomfortable for the right reasons, and the perfect example of how great both actors are.

Worst Bit: Imagine being a Pattinson fan, watching this and thinking yes, this man could actually tempt me into going to church, just to find out that like almost everyone else in this movie, he’s a massive twat. Sigh…

Fun Trivia: Robert Pattinson didn’t work with a dialect coach and crafted his high-pitched Southern drawl on his own. The actor hid his accent from everyone – including director Antonio Campos – until day one of filming. Other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on – but not Pattinson, preferring to rehearse by himself and getting self-conscious by being judged before actually standing in front of the camera.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 spiders that Harry Melling actually dumped on his head for that stand-out scene, ugh!

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Movie Reviews

It Chapter Two (2019)

it-chapter-two-2019-movie-reviewDirector: Andy Muschietti

Genre: Horror, Drama, Fantasy

Runtime: 169 Minutes

Main Cast: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, James Ransone, Jay Ryan, Isaiah Mustafa, Andy Bean, Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer

Plot: Set twenty-seven years after 2017’s It, the Losers Club have all grown up and moved out of Derry, except Mike, who has spent those years researching Pennywise and how he can be stopped for good. When Mike realises that ‘it’ is back, he brings the Losers Club back together to stop that evil clown for good.

My Thoughts: My toddler has finally gotten over her jetlag and realised that night time is, in fact, the time for sleeping, so I took the opportunity to go and scare myself selfless at the cinema. I did put a call out on my Instagram in case any family or friends wanted to keep me company and/or laugh at me panicking, but I had no takers so I made sure I sat in a corner where nothing could hurt me. I’m pathetic, aren’t I? Thankfully, Chapter Two isn’t as scary as the first, only because most of the scares kind of came with a bit of warning this time.

Can we talk for a moment about how amazing the casting choices have been for both movies? Chapter One was practically a coming of age movie that just so happened to be a horror, and the strongest part of Chapter Two was again the characters and how they’ve grown over the years. They’re all still losers in their own ways, and it was so easy to tell which of the kids they were playing the grown-up versions of.

One thing I worried about was the length. Chapter Two is just under 3 hours long, and you all know I’m the first to complain about length (that sounds a bit rude, come to think of it). I just don’t have the attention span for long movies, and my bladder is useless after having a baby. You know what, though? It didn’t feel anywhere near as long as it is – that’s how invested I felt in the story. If you’d told me it was half the claimed runtime I wouldn’t argue with you.

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The only thing I picked fault with in Chapter One was that by the time it came to the final showdown, I didn’t feel that scared of Pennywise anymore. This time, it was the opposite. I was coping just fine until they went into the creepy house. For that final hour, I had to keep reminding myself to breathe!

Best Bit: Oh man, that cute little dog behind the ‘Not Scary At All’ door was Goose’s brother from another mother, wasn’t it? I kept looking away, expecting a scare, and just when I thought it was safe again and looked back at the screen, BAM.

Worst Bit: That mirrored room scene can GO TO HELL. Not only because it freaked me out and upset me, but the only man who should be running around a mirrored room and look damn fine whilst doing so is John Wick.

Fun Trivia: Bill Hader was unaware that Bill Skarsgård can actually move his eyes in two different directions. Hader asked Skarsgård what kind of editing was done to achieve the effect in the first movie. Skarsgård, in full costume and makeup, responded by saying “Oh, you mean this?” and doing it, causing Hader to freak out.
I’ve seen the photos of this and they’re glorious!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 red balloons, none of which you’ll find at my daughter’s birthday party I’m currently planning, because the mere sight of them now freaks me out!

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Movie Reviews

It (2017)

it-2017-movie-review-red-balloonDirector: Andy Muschietti

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard, Nicholas Hamilton, Jake Sim

Plot: Set in the Summer of 1989, a group of kids known as the Losers Club team up to destroy a shape-shifting monster that plagues their town of Derry every 27 years.

My Thoughts: I imagine most married couples on their 3rd Wedding Anniversary go out for a candlelit meal and reminisce about their big day and tell each other how much they love each other. They probably buy each other sweet gifts, too. Not us! I got him a deposit paid and an appointment booked for a tattoo, and he bought me my own domain name for the blog – I’m officially http://oftenofftopic.co.uk! Also – we stayed in, put the little one to bed and watched the scariest movie we’ve ever seen, whilst making fun of each other’s faces. Who says love is dead?

I’m sure you guys can list off several movies scarier than 2017’s It, but we’re wimps and we scare easily. To be honest, we both wanted to see It mainly because we’d heard that it’s actually a really decent movie – and it is! I loved the ‘Stand By Me’ vibe the movie had, the group of kids had such a real friendship and they all shone in their own ways. I guess it’s impossible to not mention it’s similarities to Stranger Things – that show sure took a lot of inspiration from this.

I’ve come to admit recently that I’m starting to become a fan of horror movies, but the one thing I can’t stand are jump scares for the sake of them. There aren’t any here. There are loads of moments that terrified me, but I got caught off guard and the scares were integral parts of the story. This is how I want to be scared! It and Hereditary are definitely my top horror picks so far.

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Best Bit: The scene where the kids are together and the old film reel starts playing all by itself. Each time it flicks you can see Pennywise the clown get closer and then…bam! We both literally jumped out of our seats and then started laughing at ourselves.

Worst Bit: I don’t think there was a weak moment in all honesty, but the final showdown between the kids and Pennywise dragged on for a little too long. It kind of felt at that point there were no scares left and the movie was just going through the motions towards its conclusion.

Fun Trivia: Some lines of dialogue were improvised by the actors. Much of the Richie / Eddie banter was improv. Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie) actually wrote a lot of Finn Wolfhard’s (Richie) jokes.

My Rating: 4 and a half arm casts out of 5, which you shouldn’t let someone sign for you if you’re a member of the Losers Club…

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