Movie Reviews

Cruella (2021)

cruella-movie-poster-review-2021Director: Craig Gillespie

Genre: Comedy, Crime

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Main Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Mark Strong, John McCrea, Emily Beecham, Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, Kayvan Novak

Plot: Set in London in the 1970’s. a young Estella is determined to make a name for herself in the world of fashion. Forced to live with two fellow thieves whilst they were all still children, Estella grows up surviving through petty crime until she finally gets herself a job working for the designer she admires most, The Baroness.

My Thoughts: I’m in that small camp of people who are all for these live-action Disney remakes. I’m yet to encounter one that butchers a precious childhood memory and most (I’ll admit, not all) have been fantastic, so no complaints from me here. However, I’m not a fan of 101 Dalmatians. I just didn’t really watch it as a kid, so I don’t have that nostalgic tie to it. I have a soft spot for villains though and I’m OBSESSED with Emma Stone, so I’ve been really looking forward to Cruella. Letting Emma Stone unleash her inner crazy side is always the right thing to do.

The movie has it’s issues. The pacing and the long runtime didn’t work at all towards the end. It felt like the movie had come to a satisfying conclusion with an opening to a sequel and then no, there’s still another 30 mins to go so put that popcorn back down! Also, am I meant to be rooting for Jasper and Horace so much? It’s fun because the henchmen are only ever background noise in most movies and yet they almost steal the limelight here.

Emma Thompson makes an excellent villain here. There’s no good vs evil in Cruella, just one evil vs a bigger evil and oh these girls are on fire. I just can’t. It’s taken over a week to make my thoughts coherent, I might actually love Emma Stone more than Adam Driver at this point. She’s the perfect choice for this clumsy girl just trying to make an impression, and somehow even better with the black and white hair and the outfits and the cane and the “darling” and oh, just simply breathtaking. Give the movie a chance, just for me? And stay for the mid-credits to see what’s coming over the horizon from Disney.

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Best Bit: I enjoyed this from the start, but the movie is at it’s best when Cruella finally takes over Estella and the battle between her and The Baroness truly begins. The outfits just keep getting better and better until that moment of ‘oh no, she didn’t, did she?’

Worst Bit: It’s definitely messed up when I find myself happily watching movies about terrorists or husbands avenging their murdered wives, but watching a movie about a woman who kills dogs for fun gives me pause. I won’t spoil how Disney handled that element to Cruella’s character but I was so tense about it!

Fun Trivia: A popular myth is that filming was delayed due to Emma Stone dislocating her shoulder at a Spice Girls concert in London, where she fell off her friend’s shoulders in June 2019. Stone later explained that the night before the Spice Girls concert she was running in boots on a wood floor, slipped, and broke her shoulder in two places. She went to the concert with her arm in a sling, and didn’t go in for an x-ray until the next day. Filming was delayed while Stone went to physical therapy.

My Rating: I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether this is a 4 or a 4.5, I need something in between those two. But for now, it’s a solid 4.5 circular slices of banana stuck to Estella’s face.

cruella-estella-banana-slice-face

Movie Reviews

Yesterday (2019)

yesterday-2019-movie-review-posterDirector: Danny Boyle

Genre: Comedy, Music, Romance

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Main Cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate McKinnon, Camille Chen, Maryana Spivak, Lamorne Morris, James Corden, Joel Fry, Alexander Arnold

Plot: Jack Malik is an aspiring singer/songwriter who can’t seem to catch his big break. He plays in local pubs without attracting attention, and even though his manager (and best friend) gets him a set at a small festival, his tent is virtually empty. One night, during a freak, worldwide blackout, Jack is hit by a bus. When he wakes up in hospital, he comes to discover that he seems to be the only person alive who remembers the hugely famous band, The Beatles.

My Thoughts: I would quite happily swap all these musical biopics for more movies like Yesterday. We get it, they started from nothing, got lucky, did a load of drugs, and became legends. Let’s have some more originality, Hollywood! I wouldn’t call myself a Beatles fan, but I was a huge McFly fan as a teen and they drew an awful lot of inspiration from the Beatles, even doing a lot of covers of their songs, so I knew most of the music in this movie, which always helps.

The start is a little bit clunky, I guess there’s no subtle way to go from ‘guy wakes up in hospital’ to ‘guy realises the Beatles don’t exist’ so it feels a bit of a forced connection, but the movie soon picks up from there. My fellow Brits might know Himesh Patel from Eastenders, but this is the first time I’ve seen him, and he is wonderful! He’s got a natural charm about him and delivers the dead-pan humour effortlessly. Lily James is of course as stunning as always, she lightens up every scene that she’s in.

I loved how the movie didn’t try to explain why there was a blackout and why The Beatles ceased to exist. We don’t need to know, and it would have become silly if it was elaborated on. The relationship between Jack and Ellie was frustrating at times, I honestly wanted to shake Ellie at one point and tell her to just move on, but it all ends well. I don’t think Yesterday is a movie for everyone, but if you like a bit of weird with your romance, then this might be the one for you.

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Best Bit: *MILD SPOILER* Okay, I know it was probably a joke that fell flat for most, but I loved the revelation that it wasn’t just The Beatles that had been wiped from existence. It was a running joke that I wish would have cropped up more, and the Harry Potter moment at the end was brilliant. I don’t want to live in that world!

Worst Bit: Ed Sheeran. Mate, look. You make some really great music, and as much as I’m all for you having cameos in British movies where you get snubbed, you can’t act. Keep the screen time to a minimum, please!

Fun Trivia: Though it wasn’t in the original script, director Danny Boyle was so taken with the discovery of a recording studio by a railway track that he had the text altered to incorporate the trains and utilise the location as Gavin’s studio.

My Rating: 4 cans of…Coke did you say? We don’t have Coke, will Pepsi be okay?

yesterday-2019-pepsi-can-coke