Movie Reviews

True Lies (1994) – Film & Wine Club

So, you probably know already that it’snot just me in my family that enjoys movies – my parents and brothers do too! Whilst on holiday last month me and my parents got talking about some of our favourite movies, movies that we would call classics. Not classics by the standard definition, just movies that we enjoyed so much we wished everyone would watch them! I haven’t watched many movies at all pre-2000, and my Mum & Dad can reel off loads of older movies that they love that I haven’t seen yet. Then on the other hand, I’ve seen some amazing modern movies that wouldn’t necessarily be their ‘type’, but I’m certain they would enjoy.

So our film club was born! We each wrote down 3 movies and put them in a hat, with the aim of meeting regularly to pick a movie from the hat and watch it together. As a bonus, whoever’s movie choice was picked is in charge of picking a nice bottle of red wine to share. I won’t share my 3 picks with you because I know they read here from time to time, so it’ll have to be a surprise for you, too.

The first pick was True Lies (1994), one of my Mum’s favourite action movies!

true-lies-movie-review-1994-posterDirector: James Cameron

Genre: Acton, Comedy, Thriller

Runtime: 141 Minutes

Main Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrare, Art Malik, Eliza Dushku, Grant Heslov, Marshall Manesh, Charlton Heston

Plot: Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a spy for a secret government organisation. For years he’s hidden his real job from his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis), who thinks he’s a salesman. Harry and Helen are happily married, but Harry’s real job comes with a lot of unexpected, sudden overtime, and as a result he doesn’t spend a lot of time at home. When he turns up at Helen’s work one day to surprise her, he suspects she may be having an affair.

My Thoughts:  True Lies is absurd in every single way. It’s based on a generic, terrorist/spy plot and showcases some of the most farcical action sequences I’ve ever seen. BUT. It’s fantastic. There, I said it. I pretty much loved every minute of it. We all agreed that if it were remade today (although mostly impossible, as a lot of the content wouldn’t be acceptable these days) that Dwayne Johnson would be playing the lead. It’s that kind of movie, silly, but you know what to expect and it delivers.

I haven’t seen much of Schwarzenegger outside of the Terminator franchise but I really enjoyed him in this role. It’s similar in a lot of ways to his character in Jingle All the Way. He’s clearly believable in the action hero role but he’s got a clear talent for comedy too. The ‘death stare’ that he does was a joke that was never going to get old for me! Jamie Lee Curtis, though. Phew! It’s an actual crime how few movies of hers that I’ve seen but I can only imagine that the hotel room scene in True Lies was hugely popular at the time? She’s incredible. I wish we could all chuck some vase water over our heads and somehow look that great.

I’m starting to realise that the 90’s was the decade of great action movies. I’m sure my Mum has a few other suggestions up her sleeve but I’d love to know what your favourite 90’s action movie is? I’m a convert for sure. After the movie finished we video-called my husband so he could pick the next movie out of the hat for us, and it was one of my choices! It was Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and I can’t WAIT to see it again.


Best Bit: So many great moments to choose from, but it has to be the motorbike/horse chase scene. It was just so ludicrous. I mean, the chase on the streets was crazy enough but then they went into the hotel and we all laughed. Then they got into the lifts and we laughed even harder. THEN the scene on the roof? My sides actually hurt a little bit. That must have been such a great experience at the cinema!

Worst Bit: I’m going to have to turn to something my Mum mentioned for this section. We were chatting about the movie afterwards and she said how hilariously unlike Schwarzenegger his stunt double was. Hand on heart, I didn’t notice but she said it was glaringly obvious!

Fun Trivia: The appearance and traits of Spencer Trilby (Charlton Heston) is based on Nick Fury, a Marvel Comics character. Like Fury, Trilby has an eyepatch, and the same mannerisms; as well as heading a peacekeeping organization. At one point, Cameron wanted to be a comic book penciller, and does a lot of his own concept art. He even designed the entire T-800 endoskeleton.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 helicopters – are you even shooting a ridiculous action scene without one?


Movie Reviews

Knives Out (2019)

knives-out-movie-review-2019-posterDirector: Rian Johnson

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 130 Minutes

Main Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford

Plot: In the morning following his birthday, Harlan Thrombey is found dead. The police have ruled the case as suicide but private detective Benoit Blanc has been annonymous hired by someone who suspects foul play. The entire family is called together before Harlan’s will is released for more questioning.

My Thoughts: My husband claims he reads all of my posts, I can guarantee he won’t read this one – he’s sick of me talking about Knives Out! I’ve been waiting for this movie for months. If you know me, you know I love a murder mystery, and I feel like Rian Johnson knew that and directed it just for me. I’ve only ever read one Agatha Christie novel (it was tough) but if you’re a fan this is definitely the movie for you.

One family, all together on one night. Several arguments happen during the party. But one was much worse than the others. One caused a family member to murder another…but who? And why? Daniel Craig is going to find out, and oh boy I hope he carries on taking these funny roles. I don’t give a monkeys about James Bond – this is the kind of role he should be taking on! I worried early on that the movie had played it’s hand far too soon, to be honest it’s still my only concern, but there are still many twists along the way.

And whilst I know my husband isn’t reading I can tell you this. He’s always annoyingly spot on when guessing secret murderers but he was wrong this time! Turns out he’s only human, after all. Mum if you’re reading, you were right! Kind of. You’ll know what I mean when you watch it yourself, but I bet you’ve already forgotten who you picked when I showed you poster, right?


Best Bit: I have many favourite parts I can’t talk about for spoiler reasons, but the MVP of the family has to be Greatnana Wanetta. She only has like, 3 lines, but they’re glorious. She’s amazing (and terrifying) even when she doesn’t speak.
Also, I need to share some appreciation for Chris Evans in chunky knitwear ❤

Worst Bit: I panicked for a full 10 minutes when Marta threw up in that cup and then put it back in the cup holder before Benoit Blanc got into the passengers seat. I was expecting something seriously gross to happen and whilst I’m so glad it didn’t, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DO THAT TO ME?!

Fun Trivia: The police detective heard on the television series Marta’s sister is watching is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Billed in the film’s Credits as Detective Hardrock) Gordon-Levitt has appeared in all five of the films Rian Johnson has directed.

My Rating: 4 and a half buckets of fried chicken, because ever since Benoit Blanc was referred to as CSI KFC, I’ve been craving one.