Movie Reviews

Black Widow (2021)

black-widow-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Cate Shortland

Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Main Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Ray Winstone, O.T. Fagbenle, William Hurt, Simona Zivkovska, Yolanda Lynes

Plot: Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) finds herself reunited with her long-lost sister, Yelena (Florence Pugh). Begrudgingly, they both work together to take down the force that ruined their childhoods and turned them into trained killers.

My Thoughts: Can we talk about how great it is to witness the Marvel opening title on the big screen again? Actual chills. Black Widow and No Time to Die are going to be the most surreal cinema experiences for me because of all the delays. Black Widow has never been one of my favourite Avengers, but I was so excited to see Florence Pugh in the MCU, and she didn’t disappoint. She’s easily the best thing about this movie – no offence to Scarlett or anyone else but Florence just dominated.

Black Widow has a dark, upsetting opening act that surprised me. It’s no secret that Natasha had a rough upbringing of course but having it all spelled out on screen is something different entirely. I worried that would be the tone of the whole movie, but it quickly lightened up once the sisters met. Ddavid Harbour creates a lot of laughs and Rachel Weisz is also great in her role, but the aging is a little odd. Marvel has so much technology behind them so the decision to not try and age Rachel Weisz at all for the scenes in the present was weird.

I had a great time though, and I wish this movie came out before Endgame. It would have given Black Widow so much more character and made her death have a bigger impact. Of course, it would mean the end-credits scene couldn’t exist, and this was a good one. Suddenly, a character from Falcon and the Winter Soldier makes much more sense! I’m really excited to see where that leads.

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Best Bit: Basically, any time Florence Pugh did anything at all, my face was like a child on Christmas day. I don’t know what was better, her love for the vest that she bought with all the pockets (I want one) or the way she mocked Natasha posing all the time and her disgust when she tried it for herself.

Worst Bit: *MINOR SPOILERS* So, I guess the controversial topic will be the character Taskmaster. I didn’t read enough of the comics to really know the character or form an opinion but clearly the character was a man in the comics. I don’t have a problem with Taskmaster being a woman in the movies, it actually fits in really well with the narrative, but I just feel like Marvel already pulled this reveal stunt in Ant-Man and the Wasp and Ghost. You know, the whole ‘this costume looks like it was made for a man but HEY, there’s a woman inside!’

Fun Trivia: Black Widow’s wrist-mounted tasers are colored yellow. This is an homage to Natasha Romanova’s classic Black Widow costume, which was an all-black suit with yellow bracelets.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 shots of vodka that I wish I was drinking instead of the travel mug of tea I took to the cinema with me.

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Movie Reviews

Extraction (2020)

extraction-2020-movie-review-posterDirector: Sam Hargrave

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, David Harbour, Bryon Lerum, Ryder Lerum

Plot: Chris Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake (yes, you read that right), a fearless mercenary offering his services on the black market. He’s hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an infamous drug lord, and although the mission seems straightforward enough, things soon take a turn for the worse.

My Thoughts: I don’t even know what day of lockdown we’re on now. I lost myself along the way but I’m trying to crawl my way back. Now I’ve gotten back into movies I’ve taken the opportunity to start ticking movies off my watchlist, but today I’m here to talk about Netflix’s latest hit, Extraction (2020). Was I in it for the plot? Let’s not kid ourselves. I was in for Chris Hemsworth, covered in sweat and dirt, kicking ass. #sorrynotsorry

Maybe it’s because we don’t have many new offerings right now, but I really, really enjoyed it! It doesn’t bring anything new to the action movie scene, it’s terribly predictable at times, and David Harbour was massively underused, but everything else was just pretty spot on. I didn’t find myself drifting towards my phone at any point and I found myself pretty invested in the story, plus the action scenes ranged from pretty good to downright epic.

In fact, it can’t be that bad of a movie because I hear a sequel has been confirmed. Yikes, though. Do we really need a sequel? I get that the ending could be taken 2 ways depending on how you feel about that final scene, but the way I imagined it, a sequel isn’t really possible.

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Best Bit: I know it’s all anyone can talk about when it comes to this movie but that 11-minute or however long one-take action shot was hella cool. I’ve never felt so part of an action movie before, what a shame none of us will be able to experience that scene in a cinema!

Worst Bit: When the movie started, with the scene of a battered Chris Hemsworth seeking cover behind a car on a busy bridge, I called how the movie would end. I kind of meant it as a joke, but…I’ve never been so disappointed to be right before.

Fun Trivia: The movie was shot in a city in India, Ahmedabad, and the public went berserk to see Chris Hemsworth. Many fans stayed at the set for as long as 15 hours to get a glimpse of him.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 rakes, which believe it or not, are used in one scene where Tyler Rake does, in fact, kill a man…with a rake.

extraction-2020-review-rake

TV Shows

Stranger Things: Season 3

I’m so late to this party that not only has everyone left, but the place has been cleaned, tidied, and prepared for the next party! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to watch Season 3 of Stranger Things but after watching episode 7 last night, I had to put the finale on straight after. I have so many feelings! Major spoilers ahead…

Although I liked Season 1, I wasn’t raving about it. Season 2, however, hooked me from the very first episode, I just loved seeing the cast grow up! Steve went from being my most hated character to favourite, and there were so many iconic scenes. I liked the start of Season 3 for the lighter moments like Daddy Hopper, and Max and El going shopping at the mall. It just felt like it took too long for the monster story to kick in, and I guess that’s why I didn’t race my way through the episodes.

Iconic is the best word I can think of to describe this season. From the Scoops Ahoy uniform, to Alexei and his Slurpee, Hopper’s beloved car, Joyce and her magnets, Erica just…being Erica, to the John Wick style shootout at the fair, there were just so many great moments to remember.

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And oh boy, what a whirlwind of a finale. The joy we all felt when Alexei won that Woody Woodpecker only to be distraught when he got shot down moments later. Wondering whether Joyce and Hopper might actually get together only to have him ripped away from us. And then, just when everything feels like doom and gloom…Dusty Bun & Suzie Poo save us all with their rendition of The Neverending Story. I’m going to go out there and say it – that scene was the greatest bit of TV I’ve ever seen.

Also, I know how it seems like a silly and small thing to focus on, but I loved how Steve & Robyn’s story ended with them becoming just good friends, after the revelation that Robyn reveals. It was such a surprise, and as much as I was hoping they would be a couple at the end, the reality was actually more satisfying!

Some characters I felt got pushed aside slightly this time. I loved Nancy and Jonathan in Season 2 but they felt completely wasted this time around. I’m not sure how much longer this show can continue without getting a little tired and repetitive, but I’m definitely in for Season 4!