Movie Reviews

The Suicide Squad (2021)

the-suicide-squad-movie-review-poster-2021Director: James Gunn

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, David Dastmalchian, Peter Capaldi, Jai Courtney

Plot: A group of super villains are recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to destroy the evidence of Project Starfish. If any of them refuse or stray from their mission, the kill switch is hit and they’ll be terminated.

My Thoughts: So I guess Warner Bros are taking a page from Disney’s book and remaking all their movies, huh? Maybe if they just got things right in the first place we wouldn’t be here but in this instance I’m grateful, because this is the Suicide Squad movie we all wanted back in 2016. It’s loud, it’s dumb, it’s funny, it’s gory, and it has a surprising amount of heart that I absolutely wasn’t expecting. No introductions needed, this movie throws us straight into the action and we’re barely minutes into the runtime before the body count starts. Heck yeah!

Margot Robbie slays it as Harley Quinn as always. What does a girl have to do to get a Gotham City Sirens movie, y’all?! Idris Elba was an excellent addition to the squad and has some of the more heartfelt moments as well as the funniest. Plus, he’s delicious. Sorry. King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) was destined to be a fan favourite after his moments in the trailer and he doesn’t disappoint. One of the best cinematic moments ever is when he gloriously picks up a man and tears him in half. That felt epic just to type! The characters who surprised me most were Ratcatcher 2 and Polka-Dot Man. Who would have thought I’d be caring so much for a girl who controls rats and a guy who throws polka-dots?!

Basically, what I’m trying to say here is this cast rocks. Even John Cena delivers, and that’s saying something. It’s just such a shame that Warner Bros handle everything so badly, because it’s tainted the run-up to the movie for me. I can’t wait to watch it again, though. It has everything I want from a comic book movie, or any movie really.

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Best Bit: It’s basically impossible to pick just one moment. Bloodsport and Peacemaker slaughtering a village and making obscene gestures at each other. TDK and…that. Harley Quinn saving her own damn ass and not needing anyone’s help. Nom nom! Idris Elba just existing. The options are endless!

Worst Bit: I’m nitpicking now because I enjoyed the movie so much. But I adore Viola Davis and when all the other characters were so fleshed out, hers is one dimensional and I’d have loved to have seen what it is that drives her to be the cold-hearted agent that she is. Also, the end-credits scene was a bit meh, but that’s really all I can fault!

Fun Trivia: James Gunn wasn’t refused permission to use any character he wanted. However, he purposely chose to use mostly lesser known characters. In a tweet Gunn wrote, “I considered many more well-known heroes and outlaws but I wanted to stick with Ostrander’s original vision of mostly second-rate antagonists.”

My Rating: 4 and a half starfish which, you know, is slang for butthole…

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Movie Reviews

Hidden Gems: Margot Robbie

Goodness me, I think this is the first Hidden Gems post that I’m writing at the very last minute rather than scheduling well in advance! There’s just too much fun to be had – it’s a 3 day weekend here in the UK and the weather has been STUNNING, meaning very little time to hide indoors and write! But alas, the end of another month is here and so it’s time once again for a Hidden Gems post, a challenge created by the amazing Mettel Ray. Her pick this month is James McAvoy and I’m excited to see what she’s seen – I’m a huge fan but definitely haven’t watched many of his movies. My pick this month if you haven’t seen already is Margot Robbie!

Why Margot Robbie?

Margot has only flown onto my radar in recent years but she’s an actress who I’ve never found any big faults with, I’ve tended to enjoy the things I’ve seen her in. That was until I, Tonya and Bird of Prey where she simply blew me away with her talents! From what I’ve seen of her in interviews she seems like a genuinely lovely person in real life too so I definitely wanted to explore some of the movies she’s been in that I’ve overlooked or simply not heard of.

Statistics

Letterboxd has 30 projects listed under Margot Robbie, I took out 8 (shorts and unreleased movies), leaving 22. Of those 22 movies I’ve already seen 13, a lot more than I thought I had, to be perfectly honest. My favourites include I, Tonya, Birds of Prey and About Time.

I’ve also seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Suicide Squad, The Big Short, Focus, Peter Rabbit, Peter Rabbit 2, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Goodbye Christopher Robin and Slaughterhouse Rulez.

My picks for the challenge were for a variety of reasons and ended up being Z for Zachariah (2015), Bombshell (2019) and Mary Queen of Scots (2018).

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Z for Zachariah (2015)

This movie was actually already in my watchlist so there’s a blogger out there who watched this years ago and wrote a review positive enough that it made it a desirable watch for me! It’s a bit post-apocalyptic, just hunkering down and getting by, lonely kind of movie that winds up focusing on a love triangle between Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine.

And there’s my problem, I guess. There’s no scenario where I wouldn’t pick Chris Pine and those ridiculously blue eyes every single time. On a serious note, it’s a good movie, just too quiet and slow for my liking. Loved the ending, though. That was tense!

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Bombshell (2019)

Obviously this is quite a recent pick that was a January 2020 release for me in the UK. If I’d known what was around the corner I’d have been at the cinema for it in a heartbeat but at the time there were other things to watch and although I loved the cast, the story didn’t seem compelling enough to get me to commit to a cinema trip for it. It’s based on the real-life story of how a group of women take down the head of Fox News for abusive behaviour.

Now, the tale is an infuriating watch and as always with movies like this, the screen of text at the telling explaining the aftermath made me angry as hell, but from the trailer I was expecting this to be told in a style similar to The Big Short or The Wolf of Wall Street, and it really fell short of the mark. An intriguing tale, but told in a dull way, which is a shame.

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Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

I don’t like period dramas, ok? I’ve tried to dance around the subject before but there’s just no point. A period drama featuring royals is, quite frankly, the worst – in my mind at least. But if anyone is going to get me to change my mind it’s going to be a dynamic duo in the form of Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan. It’s a fight for the throne and all I really knew about it was from memes mocking the way Margot Robbie’s character looked.

News flash – I still hate period dramas. The ending to this one was powerful, I’ve got to give it credit for that. The final 15 minutes were something fantastic to behold, it’s just a shame everything before that bored me to tears.

Final Thoughts

Needless to say. I did not find a gem this month. Not even close to finding one. But I can say I’ve seen over half of Margot Robbie’s movie work now and even after watching a few duds, I couldn’t say she put in a bad or a lazy performance. I’ve heard about all the work she’s putting in to push for Gotham City Sirens and I hope she succeeds, she’s certainly the perfect choice for Harley Quinn. Next month is Paul Rudd’s time to shine!

Movie Reviews

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)

peter-rabbit-2-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Will Gluck

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Comedy

Runtime: 93 Minutes

Main Cast: Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, James Corden, David Oyelowo, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Colin Moody, Hayley Atwell, Sam Neill

Plot:  Bea (Rose Byrne) and Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) are happily married, and together have published Bea’s Peter Rabbit book. The book’s success has drawn the attention of a big-deal publisher who wants to make drastic changes to the characters we all know and love. Meanwhile, Peter (James Corden) is struggling to prove he isn’t the tyrant that he’s seen to be.

My Thoughts: Well who would have thought yesterday would be the day. I remember so clearly February 2020, watching Peter Rabbit (2018) for the first time on Netflix, after seeing the trailer for the sequel, talking about Easter plans and what the Easter bunny might bring for my 2-year-old daughter. Then, of course, the world turned upside down and so it felt bittersweet being at the cinema at last! So much has changed in that time, but I’m not here to get all sentimental. I’m here to talk about the only movie that makes James Corden tolerable, Peter Rabbit 2!

It was everything I expected it to be. It’s obviously not on the level of Paddington but hand on heart, Peter Rabbit is in that higher level of animated family films that have lots of appeal for adults, too. There are jokes aplenty for the little ones to enjoy like the screaming rooster and Cottontail’s new love of sugar, but I’d argue that most of the jokes are geared for the adults. How our arguments can last for weeks, what parents pack in their kid’s lunchboxes, and how we act around people we feel inferior to. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously at all, it’s very self-aware and proves that in a few jokes that break the fourth wall.

The movie’s biggest downfall is the plot. It’s all over the place! If you thought Rise of Skywalker ran at breakneck speed then just see how much story Peter Rabbit 2 crams into it’s 93 minute runtime. Starting a family, writing a new book, kidnap, stuck in a pet shop, meeting new friends, back on the farm, back to Gloucester, back to the farm again. That’s only half of the movie right there. I guess it’s better than being really slow but there are so many things that could have been cut down to slow the pace. But at the end of the day, it was a movie I’ve been waiting a long time for, and it didn’t disappoint.

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Best Bit: So many funny moments but what made me laugh the most was the repeated joke about how annoying Peter’s voice is. I feel like it was obviously a nod to how a lot of people find James Corden a bit…irritating? I couldn’t even explain why I dislike him so much, I think he just has an air of self-importance and sees himself better than everyone else?

Worst Bit: Why do I never see a twist coming? It wasn’t even a bold, crazy twist. I just got caught up in the story and didn’t judge anyone! And that was after I found myself almost crying over Thomas’ tomatoes…what have I become?!

Fun Trivia: In one scene, Peter steps in wet cement and emerges clunking slowly through the streets with his feet trapped inside the now-dried cement. A similar scene happened in the animated film Zootropolis (2016) with Judy Hopps, who is also a rabbit.

My Rating: 3 and a half uneaten celery sticks which I also put into my daughter’s lunchbox in a bid to not be judged!

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Movie Reviews

Peter Rabbit (2018)

peter-rabbit-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Will Gluck

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Main Cast: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Sam Neill, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Sia, Fayssal Bazzi, Colin Moody

Plot: Based on the beloved character Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Peter Rabbit and his friends are suddenly granted the freedom of Mr McGregor’s vegetable patch when he passes away, but their fun and games soon come to an end when McGregor’s nephew takes over the ownership of the estate.

My Thoughts: Oh how sweet, Allie is starting to watch movies with her kid! Nope, sorry. I’m deep in Star Wars withdrawal and so last night once the kiddo was in bed, I curled up on the sofa for a double dose of Domhnall Gleeson and Daisy Ridley. What can I say? I’m desperate – and it’s been a while since I went on a Domhnall Gleeson binge. Plus I have to admit, I saw the trailer for the sequel and it actually looked quite funny.

Bias be damned, Domhnall Gleeson was an absolute star in this. He really went and threw his all into this movie. He has such a flair for comedy and his rages are hilarious. If General Hux could have had an alternative ending, let it be this movie. Gleeson was literally channelling his inner Hux the entire time and I was 100% there for it. I love the idea of him trying his best to chill out, trying some bird watching as a hobby that he’s absolutely terrible at.

As for the movie itself, I totally get it if you don’t like it. I watch too much Peter Rabbit on a daily basis because of the animated show that’s on Cbeebies every day, and it’s a strange set-up. Like, I’m sorry, but these rabbits are absolute jerks. They’re thieves, and in the movie, they’re even worse. In some scenes, the movie plays out like some sort of reverse Home Alone where Kevin is actually the bad guy?!

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If you fell for the charms of Paddington (2014) then do me a favour and give this a go. It might not pack as much charm, but it’s essentially the best romcom of 2018.

Best Bit: How about Domhnall Gleeson beating the crap out of a Harrods bear? Or saying “I’m chill, man” whilst strangling Peter? Or basically any time Daisy Ridley’s CGI bunny was on screen? There were so many great moments. Lots of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ jokes too like the Bananagrams game.

Worst Bit: As much as I strangely loved this movie, I just can’t see (hear?) past James Corden’s voice as Peter Rabbit. He doesn’t even try. It’s just…his voice. James Corden went from being a beloved, little-known star in the UK to making it big worldwide, getting big-headed about it, and now he’s just kinda irritating.
Also – how dare you dye General Hux’s hair black. How very, very dare you.

Fun Trivia: In February 2018 – 24 hours after its release – Sony apologised to advocates from food allergy groups who said the scene with a farmer going into allergic shock isn’t funny and also encourages food bullying.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 ice cream trucks with flashing lights. I don’t know why but that joke really tickled me!

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