X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

x-men-dark-phoenix-2019-movie-reviewDirector: Simon Kinberg

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Tye Sheridan, Jessica Chastain, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Plot: During a mission to save some of NASA’s astronauts, Jean Gray obtains unimaginable powers that she can’t control, and they corrupt her. The remaining X-Men are left to decide whether she can be saved before she becomes too much of a threat to humanity.

My Thoughts: It’s not that I’ve been actively avoiding the X-Men movies, I’ve just never had that much of an interest in them. I’ve missed a few, and I know nothing about the timeline or most of the mutants powers, so when I watch one of the movies I feel like an elderly person who’s just been handed an iPad. Lost! That said, when the internet hails a movie as being awful, my morbid curiosity kicks in, so I had to find out for myself if Dark Phoenix is as bad as the critics say.

I’ll cut straight to the chase – it isn’t. It’s not a great movie, it has a lot of flaws, but it’s far from being a disaster. I mean, I was entertained the whole time and that’s all you can ask for sometimes. The trailer was quite misleading, I thought most of the movie would be filled with action scenes of the different mutants trying to take down Jean Gray while she kicked their asses, but those kind of scenes were far and few between.

What stood out the most to me was the dialogue. Who wrote it?! It felt like it had either been dumbed down for the audience or just lazily done…by a 10-year old. Regardless, I still enjoyed the movie, and I liked the ending. It felt like it wrapped up the story for these characters but set up an opportunity for some new movies. Hopefully, those ones will be received better!

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Best Bit: The best scene without a doubt was the fight outside Jean Gray’s family home. The slo-mo bits are just too cool. I really fell in love with Nightcrawler though – he’s adorable! Poor guy was nothing more than a mutant Uber during half the movie but he got his chance to kick some ass towards the end.

Worst Bit: Never did I ever think my complaints would include Michael Fassbender but…he pulled the subway train up out of the ground…and used it to make a fancy entrance into that house?! Is that honestly all he wanted to do with it?!

Fun Trivia: At the end of the movie, Professor Xavier and Magneto meet for a chess game at a Parisian cafe named “Les Vieux Copains” meaning “Old buddies”, apparently located on the “Rue de la Paix” literally the “street of Peace”.

My Rating: 3 ripe, juicy tomatoes, grown lovingly on Magneto’s farm.

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Mini Reviews: Red Sparrow (2018), Black Panther (2018) & Annihilation (2018)

Aww, I just realised I should have watched another movie with a colour in the title to make this a perfect Mini Reviews post! Anyway, I’ve been able to watch a few movies over the past few evenings but haven’t had much time to properly blog about them, so I thought it was about time I did another one of these posts to keep the flow going.

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Red Sparrow (2018)

I’ve found Jennifer Lawrence’s movies to be a bit hit and miss lately, and I’m not sure where I would place Red Sparrow. Jennifer Lawrence plays Dominika, a prima-ballerina forced to work for the Russian Government as a Sparrow after suffering an injury. It’s a dark and grim movie in more ways than one – including a knife fight scene which was fascinating to me from a technical point of view.

It didn’t help that I watched this in 3 chunks because the plot moves at a crazy pace. Does anyone remember that episode of Friends where they find out Monica and Chandler are together? The moment¬†with Joey, Rachel and Phoebe, “They don’t know we know they know we know!” This is the spy movie equivalent of that to me.

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Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther I think is the first Marvel movie I didn’t catch at the cinema – a crime, I know! Especially as it seems I’m the only person in the world who didn’t see it. It follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he fights his claim to the throne as King of Wakanda. It’s an amazing introduction to how the people of Wakanda live, with their impressive technology.

At first I think the hype oversold the movie to me and I was a little disappointed, and it also wasn’t as funny as most of the other Marvel movies, but when you take it as a standalone movie it’s brilliant, and it has claim to one of the best bad guys I’ve seen.

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Annihilation (2018)

I remember seeing the trailer for Annihilation last year and being really impressed. There seemed to be a real buzz around it but then when I took a bit of a blogging break I arrived back to see it had been and gone and it wasn’t really being talked about. Then I realised it was actually a Netflix movie which explained a lot! In this movie, a team of biologists enter ‘The Shimmer’ to investigate a phenomenon that only 1 other people¬†has ever survived.

It’s a good movie and well worth a watch but I didn’t love it. The scene with the bear (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it) was terrifying in all sorts of ways and will stick with me for a long time, but the ending left me scratching my head a bit.

Review: Passengers (2016)

Somehow, I managed to put the left over turkey down long enough to make it to the cinema yesterday! Whilst holding off the temptation to see Rogue One again, I made myself see Passengers. Don’t get me started on the trailer that gives away the whole movie, but I was excited to see Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in space. I mean, that’s a winning combo for sure, right?

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I’m going to warn you right now of possible spoilers in this review. Normally I keep my posts safe, but I’m not sure how with this one, so if you’re really looking forward to seeing Passengers, just go ahead and bookmark this page for later!

So, you’ve seen the trailer, you know the plot. Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) are passengers on this huge ship headed for a new planet. The journey will take 120 years, so them and the rest of the passengers are held in suspense pods to keep them preserved. But something happens, and they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Then here’s the movie’s tagline, “There’s a reason they woke up”. Hoo boy, what could the reason be? Sabotage? Were they chosen for something? By someone?

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No. Sadly, there literally isn’t a reason they woke up. Well, we learn how they woke up, but there’s nothing that special about it. Passengers could possibly be the most wrongly advertised movie I’ve ever seen because of that. The plot is kind of lame, and pretty predictable. And yet, it’s still fun to watch. Jim is the first to awake, and I think I’d have been happy with the whole movie being about him exploring the ship. The scene in the cafeteria where he learns that everything but a plain, large coffee is reserved for ‘gold’ members only is kinda hilarious, and there’s plenty more dry humour scattered about.

It’s also super pretty to watch on the big screen. No expenses were spared in the visual department, and the ship itself and the space in which it’s travelling is beautiful, if not a little empty. Plus, with two of the hottest stars in the movie industry as our leading couple, this is going to please both parties on a cinema date, let’s face it! It’s much funnier than I thought it would be, Martin Sheen’s robotic barman was full of character and never fails to provide a few laughs here and there.

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Now I’m really going into spoiler territory, so I’m changing the font colour to help you skip. I wasn’t expecting Laurence Fishburne to turn up, angry bout the fact someone plated a tree on his ship. Sadly, it was kind of obvious that his only purpose was to open the locked door of the command bridge and then die 5 minutes later, after giving Jim and Aurora his security pass. Sigh.

So all in all, Passengers isn’t 2016’s greatest Sci-Fi by a long shot, but there are certainly much worse ways to spend 2 hours of your life. This movie gets 3/5 large coffees from me!

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