Movie Reviews

Antebellum (2020)

antebellum-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 105 Minutes

Main Cast: Janelle Monae, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson, Robert Aramayo, Lily Cowles

Plot: Eden (Janelle Monae) finds herself trapped on a plantation, working as a slave in the cotton fields and is biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape. Veronica (also Janelle Monae) is a hugely successful business woman and black rights activist but is finding herself being stalked by an unsettling woman with questionable motives. Eden and Veronica’s stories are entwined…but how?

My Thoughts: I’m the biggest sucker for marketing, and I know it, which makes it worse. I was so glad Antebellum got a VoD release rather than be pushed back in cinemas. Why? Because my dumb-ass read “The Producer of Get Out and US” and translated that as Antebellum being Jordan Peele’s latest horror. Antebellum WISHES is could be Jordan Peele’s latest horror. My biggest gripe is that the entire movie is already there in the trailer, plot twist and all. WHY?! Give me the software and I’ll edit you a trailer for it. It might not be good but it’ll at least not spoil the entire movie. Let’s say the trailer for Sixth Sense (1999) included a clip of Bruce Willis’s character being murdered, that’s how revealing it is.

Anyway, it’s not all bad and I’m not here solely to rant. Janelle Monae is incredible and brings so much energy into this movie. Jena Malone plays a very over the top character but she’s fun to watch, at least. The story itself is interesting and kept me engaged throughout, but I guess I was waiting for a twist that wouldn’t happen because without knowing, I already knew it. I realise I’m back to ranting again. I promise I enjoyed parts of this! The scenes at the plantation were the strongest and the opening to the movie was particularly strong and unsettling. See? I can be positive.

antebellum-2020-movie-janelle-monae-the-village

But it always brings me back to the ending. Sure, there’s a bit more to the twist that I didn’t see coming but it winds up feeling anti climatic because we’re never given a why. What was the point in it all? What was the antagonist’s motive? There’s a moment of clarity and then bam! Credits. Oh.

Best Bit:  The shot of Eden walking away with the torch held high was nothing short of awesome. Just like in Birds of Prey (2020) and Ready or Not (2019), I feel like every movie needs a scene wherein a bad ass woman walks away slowly from a burning building.

Worst Bit: Did we ever get an explanation for the creepy little girl following Veronica around in the hotel?!

Fun Trivia: Gerard Bush got the idea from a nightmare he once had. He initially thought it would be a good basis for a short story, but he later developed it with co-director Christopher Renz into a screenplay for a feature film.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 bold lipsticks that I definitely think I could pull off.

antebellum-2020-jena-malone-lipstick

Movie Reviews

Oscars Special: Lion (2017), Hacksaw Ridge (2017) & Hidden Figures (2017)

I’ve done it, guys. More than 2 weeks to go until Oscars night and I’ve seen all of the Best Picture nominees. Mostly thanks to advanced screenings at my local cinemas considering the fact some of these movies aren’t on a wide release yet. Help us out, Academy! The UK loves movies too. This is a super positive Oscars Special post today, because I absolutely adored all three of these movies.

oscar-movies-lion-hacksaw-ridge-hidden-figures

I’m still thinking that La La Land will take the win, but after watching each of these movies I’ve changed my mind on what my personal favourite is. My other Oscars Special featured Moonlight, Loving and Hell or High Water. I’m yet to write down my thoughts on Manchester by the Sea, because I still don’t know how I actually feel about it.

Also – this Sunday is the BAFTAs! The only award show I get to watch at a decent time of day. I’ll pop together a predictions/wishes post for that later this week, and I suppose I should watch I, Daniel Blake, after all the love it’s been given. Has anyone even watched it?

lion-movie-sunny-dev-patel-saroo

I wanted my last Best Picture movie to be something I was really looking forward to seeing so that it didn’t feel like a chore, but part of me wishes I’d seen Lion first now. It’s the story of a young boy named Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets separated from his brother and ends up on a train to Calcutta, thousands of miles away from his home. Saroo faces many devastating hardships before he is adopted by a loving Australian couple, and when he grows up, he uses his memories of home and Google Earth to find his family again.

Firstly, little Sunny Pawar is absolutely incredible, and could have handled this entire movie if needed. Equally, this was the best I’ve seen Dev Patel. The story of Saroo is heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, and the only negatives I can give are some pacing issues around the mid-way point, and the fact I didn’t like Rooney Mara’s character at all. It’s sometimes hard to imagine this is a true story, and when I finally learnt why the movie is called Lion, I ugly-cried everywhere.

hacksaw-ridge-andrew-garfield-doss-mel-gibson

One of the few Oscar movies I could convince my husband to see with me, and maybe the only one I wasn’t looking forward to much. Only because I just don’t do war movies. I can tolerate one for Andrew Garfield though, especially in our local cinema’s special screen with enhanced sound. Hacksaw Ridge is the story of WWII Army Medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who serves during the Battle of Okinawa without brandishing a weapon.

This is the movie to change my mind about the genre. It was amazing. Gripping from start to finish despite it’s lengthy run-time, and scared the absolute crap out of me in several parts. If you want to know why I don’t watch horror, it’s because I lost my sh*t during the nightmare sequence and the green flare. Our row was laughing at me. Speaking of laughter, how nice was it to see Vince Vaughn giving his funniest performance since the early 00’s? He killed that role!

hidden-figures-movie-2017-nasa-racism

It took far too long for me to see a trailer for Hidden Figures. I’d read reviews from other bloggers and that was enough to get me excited, but I didn’t realise it would be such an entertaining movie! Hidden Figures is another true story, this time about three incredibly talented African-American female mathematicians working for NASA during the race to put a man in space, and their struggles with racism. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe play the lead roles, and they are fantastic.

As I said, on the back of a serious and shocking story of racism in the workplace, Hidden Figures is a highly entertaining movie. From the opening scene, these three ladies are so likeable, you just want them succeed, no matter what. Watching the rest of the workforce’s attitudes change is a delight. Although the plot is entirely predictable, it’s forgiven for being so darn fun.