Movie Reviews

Promising Young Woman (2020)

promising-young-woman-poster-review-2020Director: Emerald Fennell

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Molly Shannon, Adam Brody, Max Greenfield, Chris Lowell

Plot: After suffering a tragedy in her past, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) takes her revenge on the predatory men she seeks out on a weekly basis at her local bar.

My Thoughts: A slight ramble from me before I begin. The pandemic has really thrown my creativity out of the window this year but something amazing still came from it. A little dream came true and I was accepted as a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics. One of the perks of memberships is sporadically receiving screener links to not-yet released movies and so finding myself watching Promising Young Woman at home, 2 months before it’s UK release with a screener copy that has a watermark with my name on? That’s made my year, for sure. But on with the review!

We get thrown straight into the thick of it when a group of guys in a bar are leering at Cassie, seemingly drunk and alone. One of the guys eventually comes over to offer to get Cassie home, but they end up at his house instead. When the guy starts pushing himself onto Cassie she snaps, completely sober, to teach him a lesson. YAS Cassie. Her quest for vengeance has taken a huge toll on her life, though. Her relationship with her parents is terrible and she threw away a chance at a highly successful medical career. To talk more about the plot would be doing a disservice because just with movies like Gone Girl (2014) – the less you know, the better.

But it’s more than just the story, there is so much more to marvel over. There are things I rarely pay attention to in most movies such as soundtrack and cinematography, but it’s impossible to ignore here. There’s a harrowing version of Britney Spears’ Toxic that gave me actual goosebumps, and every single shot looks like it was set up to be used for a poster. It’s just stunning. I didn’t know what to expect at all and I think that helped too.

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Best Bit: This would change on a daily basis, but the ending is the bit that sticks out the most to me. I know it’s been one of the few things that others have found fault in, but when my hopes were dashed and my jaw had been on the floor for many minutes, what happened at the wedding just blew me away.

Worst Bit: I’ll be as vague as I can but the bedroom scene at the bachelor party. I don’t remember feeling as awful as I did in that moment when watching any other movie.

Fun Trivia: The title is a reference to Brock Turner, a Stanford University student who was convicted of sexual assault in 2016. Despite his conviction, he was referred to by some as a “Promising Young Man.”

My Rating: 5 out of 5 notebooks, and don’t you ever do something that leads to your name being inside one of them.

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Movie Reviews

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

how-to-train-dragon-hidden-world-posterDirector: Dean DeBlois

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Family

Runtime: 104 Minutes

Main Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington

Plot: After rescuing countless dragons, Hiccup and the rest of the clan are rapidly outgrowing the Isle of Berk. They’re also becoming well-known to other, nefarious clans with sinister motives.

My Thoughts: There was no way that I would miss seeing a How to Train Your Dragon movie but truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of the second one. I was annoyed when what could have been a great plot twist was flaunted in every single trailer, and the whole thing just seemed messy. That said, I’m super happy to say that The Hidden World goes back to its simpler routes, and is a really satisfying finale to the series.

Toothless of course is the star of the show again, this time he’s found a female Night Fury (or Light Fury) and becomes rather lovesick – not helpful when you’re the alpha in the pack and your entire clan is on the run of course. The scenes where he’s trying to impress his love interest are nothing but adorable and quite hilarious!

What is it about animated family movies that make me cry so much? Scrap that – we all know that everything makes me cry now but still! As an almost 30-year-old woman, I should have seen where the story was going but I didn’t and my heart broke into tiny little pieces.

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Still, I love how it was all tied up in the end. It was the perfect ending and so magical for children, too. I wish every series would end on a high like this, instead of churning out sequel after sequel until no one cares anymore.

Best Bit: SAND. Sorry Anakin but you should see how pretty the sand is! It sounds silly I know but it just shows how amazing technology is these days. The visuals in the whole movie were amazing, and I loved the dragon scale armor that Hiccup and the gang wore too. Seriously cool!

Worst Bit: The whole ‘Berk is more than this island, WE are Berk’ speech sounded really familiar. Have you guys been watching Thor: Ragnarok lately?

Fun Trivia: DreamWorks Animation’s first trilogy in which each movie was distributed by a different film studio: Paramount distributed How to Train Your Dragon (2010), 20th Century Fox distributed How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and Universal will be distributing How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019).
(For such a fun movie, all the trivia I could find was really dull!)

My Rating: 3 and a half Viking sailboats, riding towards the misty waterfalls…

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