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

Ocean’s Eight (2018)

oceans-eight-movie-poster-2018Director: Gary Ross

Main Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Plot: Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean, finishes a prison sentence and assembles an all-female crew to attempt the impossible – a diamond heist during the New York City annual Met Gala.

My Thoughts: I can’t even tell you how much fun this movie is. To all the ladies out there, grab your girlfriends, order some takeout, but don’t stick on that well-used copy of Bridesmaids, watch this instead. While you’re at it, don’t leave the boys out, because there’s plenty here for everyone to enjoy!

Honestly, all I really want to do is rave about how amazing the opening scenes are with Sandra Bullock. I came out of Need for Speed wanting to drive my Fiat 500 like a Lambourgini, I came out of Wonder Woman feeling like I could kick someone’s ass, and I came out of Ocean’s Eight with an incredible impulse to shoplift. I didn’t, of course, but she made it look so easy! I just love Sandra Bullock so much.

If you’ve seen a lot of heist movies (I haven’t) then there’s probably nothing new here, but the ride is fun enough regardless. Also, I normally hate when singers turn up in movies thinking they can act, but I really enjoyed Rihanna’s performance!

With my serious hat on, it was so great to have an all-female main cast where each character got roughly the same amount of limelight, and each of their roles in the heist was just as important as the others, making them all equal. These ladies kick ass!

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Best Bit: Watching Sandra Bullock manage to shoplift all those cosmetics with such ease and confidence. I couldn’t work out how her approach was going to work but when it clicked for me, it was so funny.

Worst Bit: So, we ended up picking the only showing of the day which had subtitles, which was annoying as hell because even though I didn’t need them I couldn’t stop myself from reading them!

Fun Trivia: In her 2011 book, Mindy Kaling expressed an interest in wanting to do a reboot of Ocean’s 11, called Ocean’s 5, that would feature an all-female cast.

My Rating: I was going to do diamonds, but that seemed too obvious, so I’m giving it 4 out of 5 nine-balls!

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