Movie Reviews

Locked Down (2021)

locked-down-movie-poster-review-2021Director: Doug Liman

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Lucy Boynton, Mark Gatiss, Ben Stiller, Claes Bang, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon

Plot: Set in London during the COVID-19 pandemic, Linda (Anne Hathaway) and Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) put aside their differences after splitting up but being forced to still live together for the meantime, and attempt a high-risk jewellery heist at the UK’s most exclusive department store, Harrods.

My Thoughts: Why do I do this to myself? I had the worst week last week for multiple reasons, all of them directly related to the pandemic, and as a result only watched one movie the whole week. What kind of a movie? A movie all to do with the pandemic. I’m an idiot, aren’t I? At least Songbird (2020) knew it wanted to be a disaster movie, this one was just bad. Mostly because it just still feels too soon to think about Lockdown 1.0 with fondness whilst desperately struggling under Lockdown 3.0, but it had plenty of other issues too.

Firstly, how are we meant to root for two characters who are simply so unlikeable? I really sympathised with Paxton to begin with, his depression tinged with anger and loathing felt horribly similar to how I’m feeling, but crickey I hope I’m not half as annoying about it. The movie has a surprisingly stacked cast considering how indie it feels. I can only assume these people had so little to do in Spring/Summer 2020 that they jumped at the first chance they were given to make a movie!

It’s not all bad though. It honestly got better as it went on and I warmed ever so slightly to Linda and Paxton. The running joke about Paxton’s false identity of Edgar Allen Poe was quite funny and in a few years time the thought of queuing up outside your local corner shop for toilet roll will be mildly amusing at the least. The heist itself was probably the most interesting part but don’t go expecting scenes straight out of an Ocean’s movie…it’s much tamer than that!

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Best Bit: Anyone watching this who isn’t from the UK is going to be really confused at the nighttime scenes of everyone out on the street clapping and banging pans. Yes, during Lockdown 1.0, at 8pm every Thursday night we stood on our doorsteps and clapped for our incredible NHS. For the first few weeks it was incredibly heart warming. Then, in true British fashion, we took things too far and started banging pots and pans…which eventually turned into full on fireworks displays. Incredibly annoying when you’re trying to get a toddler to sleep! I’ve rambled, haven’t I? Anyway – it’s a funny scene and hand on heart, not exaggerated in the slightest.

Worst Bit: If queuing outside a shop wasn’t bad enough, most of the time you’d eventually get inside just to find everyone had already cleared the shelves anyway! Even now I eye up anyone buying more than 9 toilet rolls at a time. Paxton had the right reaction to that guy walking out with armfuls, “How many arses have you got?!”

Fun Trivia: Extras could not be cast due to COVID-19 and are played by real civilians and Harrods employees.

My Rating: 2 hedgehogs that are high as a kite in your back garden!

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Movie Reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

bohemian-rhapsody-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Bryan Singer

Genre: Biography, Music, Drama

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Main Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aiden Gillan, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, Aaron McCusker, Meneka Das, Ace Bhatti

Plot: The real-life story of how the legendary rock band Queen came to be, starting with how they got together and ending with their epic performance at Live Aid in 1985.

My Thoughts: Sometimes I’m the worst English lass in history. I don’t drink tea (only herbal), I’ve never watched Downton Abbey or Doctor Who, and I’m not a Queen fan. I do eat biscuits and complain about the weather though, that’s the only thing keeping me on this odd little island I guess.

Anyway I digress, but I wanted to make the point that I’m coming at this movie knowing nothing about Queen apart from the lyrics to no less than 5 of their songs. I can’t speak for how well Rami played Freddie Mercury, because I’ve never watched a performance of his – but in a way, I think that’s why I was so set on watching Bohemian Rhapsody, I wanted to know Queen’s story.

Due to me mixing up screen times, my old blogging bestie Jenna and I ended up having to watch the movie in IMAX – and oh boy am I glad we did. (My husband will be laughing to himself reading this because I rarely shut up about how much I love IMAX. It’s amazing, ok?!) If the room was emptier we would have been up on our feet stomping and clapping for We Will Rock You, it was a brilliant experience.

I really enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody anyway, and I drove home playing the album on the loudest volume my car could take before it started vibrating. I dig what Queen stand (stood?) for, and it’s amazing what the band achieved. I can’t help but feel some of the story along the way has been dramatised (maybe it hasn’t – who am I to judge?) and I felt the focus of the story lost its way around the half-way mark, but those are my only real complaints.

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Best Bit: The Live Aid concert for sure. By that point, I’d been converted into a fan and with the IMAX surround sound, it really gave me quite a thrill!

Worst Bit: Paul. Everything about him. Was his part in the Queen story exaggerated for the movie? I don’t know – but he was a venomous snake. May his phone be forever on low battery.

Fun Trivia: Sacha Baron Cohen was the original choice to play Freddie Mercury. He left the project due to creative differences with the band’s guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. The deal with Baron Cohen fell apart after May voiced upset after finding that the project would only be a biopic of Freddie Mercury and not the rest of Queen. May felt that it should focus on the other members and the aftermath of Mercury’s death. He also voiced his negative opinion of the casting choice of Baron Cohen, whom he felt was too much of a comedic actor who wouldn’t do Mercury justice in drama.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 of Freddie Mercury’s cats. Did he have 4, or 5? I can only remember that tabby one that gave the best dirty looks.

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