Movie Reviews

Skyscraper (2018)

skyscraper-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Hannah Quinlivan, Roland Møller, Byron Mann, Chin Han

Plot: Will Sawyer once worked as part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, but quit after a traumatic incident. He started up a small security business and thanks to his connections, he has been given the opportunity to assess the security for the world’s tallest skyscraper before the residential floors are opened. When a fire breaks out in one of the middle floors trapping his wife and children, Will does whatever he can to save them.

My Thoughts: I’m not saying I went into this with low expectations, but I think we all know what kind of movie Skyscraper is going to be. It’s cheesy as hell, and if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the whole movie already, but I thought it was really entertaining!

I just can’t help but love Dwayne Johnson, he seems like such a genuinely nice guy, and although his movies aren’t going to Oscar nominees, he knows how to make an entertaining popcorn movie, and that’s just what I love to watch sometimes! It’s not too long, the pacing is good, and I was enjoying every minute, so I can’t complain really.

With my critical hat on, the twists are obvious, the bad guys are textbook and there are more than a few glaring plot holes, but if you started watching Skyscraper expecting an elaborate and shocking story then that’s on you!

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Best Bit: As ridiculous as it was, both scenes involving duct tape are brilliant. I want to see those moves used in the next Mission Impossible!

Worst Bit: The scene early on where Will’s wife needs him to fix her phone and he tells her to turn it off and on again. It was so odd that I just knew it was going to come back again at some point in the movie, and when it does it’s groan-worthy.

Fun Trivia: When Will Sawyer and Zhao first meet, Sawyer greets him with some Mandarin, and Zhao replies in the same language but there are no subtitles on the screen. He is asking in jest, “Your Mandarin is quite good; how is your English?”.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 rolls of duct tape. That should be enough to sort out a wound or you know, scale a skyscraper…

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Movie Reviews

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)

sicario-2-day-of-the-soldado-movie-reviewDirector: Stefano Sollima

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Main Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener

Plot: The war on the US – Mexico border continues to escalate as the cartels have now begun trafficking terrorists across the border. Matt Graver teams up once again with Alejandro with a plan to start the cartels warring against each other, involving kidnapping the youngest child of the head of the biggest and most powerful cartel.

My Thoughts: I was late to the game when Sicario (2015) came out, but it was well worth catching up with – it’s one of the darkest movies I’ve seen with so much tension. I was expecting more of the same with the sequel, even though I still don’t feel like it needs one. Thankfully as a sequel, it’s a great movie, but still fell a bit short of the mark for me.

Firstly, I didn’t think I would see a more grim opening to a movie than the original Sicario, and now I have. This one is definitely darker, and grittier than the first, mainly due to the subject matter. It doesn’t hold back at all. There’s also a side story running parallel to the main mission about a young boy being recruited by the cartels that’s desperately sad, because I guess even though it’s a fictional movie, this stuff happens in the real world, too.

The only thing that I can complain about is the scale of it all. For me, it felt like the movie started with a huge, wide-spreading story, and as the time went on it ended up becoming more and more about a very small segment of the wider picture.

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Best Bit: It’s a spoiler so I’ll type it really faintly and you can highlight if you want to read it! I was shocked when Alejandro was killed off but when you realise the bullet went straight through his cheeks…it was so gnarly but a really cool moment!

Worst Bit: That opening scene in the supermarket. The moment it dawned on me what I was about to watch. Each time made me jump out my seat and I genuinely felt sick for a while afterwards.

Fun Trivia: Emily Blunt was originally attached to reprise her role in Sicario as FBI Agent Kate Macer. However, director Stefano Sollima ultimately decided not to use Blunt or her character in the film, noting that Macer represented the moral compass in Sicario, whereas he did not want any character to serve as moral guidance in the sequel.

My Rating: 4 school buses out of 5, driving through the dead of night.

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Movie Reviews

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

oceans-eight-movie-poster-2018Director: Gary Ross

Main Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Plot: Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean, finishes a prison sentence and assembles an all-female crew to attempt the impossible – a diamond heist during the New York City annual Met Gala.

My Thoughts: I can’t even tell you how much fun this movie is. To all the ladies out there, grab your girlfriends, order some takeout, but don’t stick on that well-used copy of Bridesmaids, watch this instead. While you’re at it, don’t leave the boys out, because there’s plenty here for everyone to enjoy!

Honestly, all I really want to do is rave about how amazing the opening scenes are with Sandra Bullock. I came out of Need for Speed wanting to drive my Fiat 500 like a Lambourgini, I came out of Wonder Woman feeling like I could kick someone’s ass, and I came out of Ocean’s Eight with an incredible impulse to shoplift. I didn’t, of course, but she made it look so easy! I just love Sandra Bullock so much.

If you’ve seen a lot of heist movies (I haven’t) then there’s probably nothing new here, but the ride is fun enough regardless. Also, I normally hate when singers turn up in movies thinking they can act, but I really enjoyed Rihanna’s performance!

With my serious hat on, it was so great to have an all-female main cast where each character got roughly the same amount of limelight, and each of their roles in the heist was just as important as the others, making them all equal. These ladies kick ass!

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Best Bit: Watching Sandra Bullock manage to shoplift all those cosmetics with such ease and confidence. I couldn’t work out how her approach was going to work but when it clicked for me, it was so funny.

Worst Bit: So, we ended up picking the only showing of the day which had subtitles, which was annoying as hell because even though I didn’t need them I couldn’t stop myself from reading them!

Fun Trivia: In her 2011 book, Mindy Kaling expressed an interest in wanting to do a reboot of Ocean’s 11, called Ocean’s 5, that would feature an all-female cast.

My Rating: I was going to do diamonds, but that seemed too obvious, so I’m giving it 4 out of 5 nine-balls!

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Movie Reviews

Review: American Psycho (2000)

american-psycho-movie-poster-2000Director: Mary Harron

Main Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Cara Seymour & Guinevere Turner

Genre: Crime, Drama

Plot: Christian Bale plays a hot-shot investment banker working in New York called Patrick Bateman. He does his best to fit in with his work colleagues whilst hiding his violent fantasies. We follow Bateman as he indulges further and further into madness. It starts with rude remarks made out of earshot, and becomes much, much worse.

My Thoughts: It’s taken me a whole week to try and put my thoughts into words. American Psycho has been on my watch list for so long now I don’t remember what conversation with who made me put it there to begin with, but I know it’s a well-received movie by many. I’m just not sure I really loved it to be honest.

Bateman is a complete psycho, there is no doubt. To begin with, I actually found the movie quite funny, but I’m not sure I was meant to? Once the paced picked up and Bateman actually committed murder my attention picked up again, and of course, if you’ve seen the movie yourself you’ll know how confusing the ending is. It didn’t sit well with me at all to begin with, but the more I thought about it (and looked it up on the web – not gonna lie) the more it made sense and I appreciated it.

It’s a movie I’m really glad I watched but I know I don’t need to see it again. One thing for sure though is that Cristian Bale put on a fantastic performance!

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Best Bit: Hands down the rivalry Bateman had with his colleagues about the quality of their business cards. It was just so absurd, and as someone with a total obsession with all things stationery related, I can completely relate.

Worst Bit: There’s no particular moment but I didn’t enjoy the first half hour much at all, I nearly gave up. It just took too long to get me interested in the story.

Fun Trivia: Christian Bale was warned by many that it would be career suicide for him to play the lead in a film like this. This only made him more eager to take the part. Fortunately for him, the opposite turned out to be true: Bale’s role in the movie was considered a breakthrough performance, and enabled him to shift his career from supporting roles to leading man status is the decades to come.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 very high-quality business cards, which are far fancier than yours will ever be.

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Movie Reviews

Review: Game Night (2018)

game-night-movie-review-2018Have I ever mentioned how much I love Jason Bateman comedies? Horrible Bosses and The Change Up are 2 of my favourite movies of all time, and I’m also a big fan of board games and game nights in general so you can imagine how gutted I was to miss the cinema release of Game Night! It was just one of those incidents where plans were made, the showtimes didn’t work, and then by the time the plans are made again, it’s not in the cinema anymore.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) met at a quiz night, fell in love, and hosted a weekly game night for their friends ever since. Things get tense when Max’s extremely successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes to visit, and suggests hosting the ultimate game night at his rented accommodation. It’s a murder mystery night where one of the group will be kidnapped, but things take a strange turn…

Sadly if you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know what that turn is, but although it gives away far too much of the story (in my opinion anyway) there’s still a lot of fun to be had, and plenty of surprises along the way. There’s always that fear with comedies that all the good jokes are in the trailer, leaving nothing left, but I found loads more to laugh at this time around.

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If you’re a fan of American sitcoms like I am then there’s also a lot of familiar faces to spot which I always find fun. Jason Bateman gives you exactly what you would expect, but the show-stealer this time round was without a doubt Max’s weird neighbour Gary (Jesse Plemons Am I the only one who had to do a double take to check he wasn’t actually Matt Damon?

Anyway, Gary used to be a part of Max’s weekly game nights but when he split from his wife the group started to avoid him (because he’s quite weird), leaving the gang having to creep into the house so as not to make Gary suspicious.

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Despite all of this though, there’s just something stopping Game Night from being up there with the ultimate comedies for me. Perhaps its a movie that will grow on me more and more, as I’ll definitely be rewatching it at some point, but maybe it’s just that I had to wait so long to see it. It’s still a great comedy by all counts of course!

I feel like the last 20 or so minutes is where most of the real enjoyment is, and if you’ve already seen Game Night you’ll know why. I wondered how many times the movie was going to turn the tables on us! It gets a solid 4 out of 5 squeaky dog toys from me.

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