Movie Reviews

Enola Holmes (2020)

enola-holmes-movie-review-2020-posterDirector: Harry Bradbeer

Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Crime

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Main Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Burn Gorman, Adeel Akhtar, Frances de la Tour, Fiona Shaw

Plot: Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) is the young sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) Holmes. When their Mother (Helena Bonham Carter) goes missing, Enola follows in the footsteps of her family and starts to track her down, whilst Mycroft is set on enrolling her into an all-girls school to learn how to become a ‘proper’ lady.

My Thoughts: While the cinemas are getting barely any new movies at the moment (last night I watched a British romance about a pair of 60+ year olds who meet whilst walking their dogs), Netflix is treating us for sure. Never have I ever been so happy to part with £5.99 every month. I adored the BBC’s Sherlock show and Millie Bobby Brown is one of the best things about Stranger Things so I was so excited for Enola Holmes! On the whole I had a lot of fun watching it and I think it’ll be a great family movie for many.

We see the story through Enola’s eyes and it’s easy to follow with her character breaking the fourth wall constantly to keep us in the loop. Some might find it irritating but I’ve always enjoyed fourth wall breaks. You can just tell that Millie Bobby Brown is having the time of her life playing this character and rightfully so, with the elaborate costumes, energetic fight scenes and a fine sense of adventure. I love a good mystery and a shocking reveal but this was too simple for me and not anything like I got used to with BBC’s Sherlock. Which is, ultimately, unfair, because I don’t think the target audiences are the same.

The story is neatly tied up at the end and the whole thing feels very wholesome. I almost wish that the overall mystery hadn’t been solved because I’d quite like a sequel to be honest!

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Best Bit: Just the overall vibe of the movie is what makes it so great. It has this certain charm about it that just makes you smile, you know? This is the kind of movie we need in a year like this.

Worst Bit: Henry Cavill is NOT my Sherlock. I’m sorry Henry, I love you, I really do, and you won me over as Geralt in The Witcher, but your Sherlock pales in comparison in Benedict Cumberbatch’s. Cavill’s Sherlock has way too much heart about him and whilst it might keep in tone with the rest of the movie, it doesn’t sit well with me.

Fun Trivia: No reference to a younger sister was ever made in the original Doyle stories. Some readers have speculated that there could be another Holmes sibling, citing the fact that Sherlock never mentioned that he had a brother (Mycroft) until he showed up at Baker Street.

My Rating: 3 and a half newspapers in which I have hidden several riddles for you to solve…just kidding, I’m not that smart. Or am I?

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Movie Reviews

The Devil All the Time (2020)

the-devil-all-time-2020-netflix-movie-posterDirector: Antonio Campos

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 138 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Robert Pattinson, Haley Bennett, Harry Melling, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Douglas Hodge

Plot: Set in a town called Knockemstiff in Ohio,  the story revolves around Arvin (Tom Holland), orphaned at a young age and surrounded by violence and grief. Arvin tries his hardest to live a good, honest life, despite the sinister characters around him.

My Thoughts: You know how my mind works by now, I stumble into an actor or actress obsession and then I make it my goal to watch anything and everything they’ve ever starred in. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched many a terrible movie starring Robert Pattinson, and I have to say, I wasn’t even looking forward to The Devil All the Time. I watched the trailer a few times and it just didn’t seem like my kind of movie. And well, sometimes it’s when your expectations are rock bottom that you find yourself a movie you enjoy the most. I don’t think this one is perfect, it’s very bleak, quite depressing and at least 20 minutes too long, but it’s been playing on my mind for almost a week now since I watched it.

Tom Holland is phenomenal here. He might be known best as Spider-Man in a playful role, but he really shows off his talents here. I don’t have a clue when it comes to awards and I know this movie hasn’t had great reviews but surely Tom Holland deserves some kind of nomination for this? His accent is impeccable and the way he transforms from a quiet boy to the man seeking revenge is just…incredible! Also, I know the buzz is around how Robert Pattinson steals the show as the corrupted and deceitful Revered (he is excellent, I won’t argue), the show-stealer for me was Harry Melling, who we all know as Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter! I hope we get to see him in more movies.

There are so many characters in the movie it can be hard to keep track, and not all of their stories are really necessary, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The movie had a The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) kind of feel to me, I’m not sure what that niche little category would be called. It’s not a happy movie, it’s not a fun movie, but it tells an interesting story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

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Best Bit: The stand off between Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson towards the end was particularly good, I thought.  It was tense and uncomfortable for the right reasons, and the perfect example of how great both actors are.

Worst Bit: Imagine being a Pattinson fan, watching this and thinking yes, this man could actually tempt me into going to church, just to find out that like almost everyone else in this movie, he’s a massive twat. Sigh…

Fun Trivia: Robert Pattinson didn’t work with a dialect coach and crafted his high-pitched Southern drawl on his own. The actor hid his accent from everyone – including director Antonio Campos – until day one of filming. Other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on – but not Pattinson, preferring to rehearse by himself and getting self-conscious by being judged before actually standing in front of the camera.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 spiders that Harry Melling actually dumped on his head for that stand-out scene, ugh!

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Movie Reviews

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

thinking-ending-things-2020-review-netflixDirector: Charlie Kaufman

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 134 Minutes

Main Cast: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, David Thewlis, Guy Boyd

Plot: Jessie Buckley plays a young woman travelling through treacherous weather with her boyfriend to go and meet his parents for dinner at their farm house. She isn’t certain about how she feels about her relationship and when they arrive things get strange.

My Thoughts: What a happy movie title! Oh you guys, I don’t know where to start with this one. I started writing this post the second I finished watching the movie but it would have been a hate-filled rant, and I needed to let my thoughts settle. I never watch a movie expecting to hate it. I wouldn’t watch a movie if I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, and if anything I was SO looking forward to this one. I adored Anomalisa (2015), Charlie Kaufman’s last movie and everyone on Twitter and Letterboxd was raving about it. Then I saw it getting comparisons to Tenet (2020) and I got really confused. Yes, time is a prominent feature in I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and if you dare to try and tell me it makes more sense than Tenet I will fight you.

The 20 minute car journey at the start of the movie dragged a bit but I gave it the benefit of the doubt, mainly for Jessie Buckley who always plays interesting characters (we’ll forget about Dolittle, okay?). When the couple arrive at the farm house I was relieved, we were finally getting into the story, and then the weirdness kicked in. I mean, anyone who is about to meet their partner’s parents for the first time needs to watch this movie. You’ll instantly feel better about it because there’s no way it could be more awkward. Toni Collette has proven many a time that she plays crazy with ease, and David Thewlis kicks it up a notch too for the creepiest atmosphere ever.

I was hoping the strange events that take place would be explained. At some point, towards the end of the movie I thought that they might be. Perhaps they actually did, but it was completely lost on me. I’ll explain the plot of Tenet to a room of grannies and toddlers before I watch this movie again…I’m so disappointed!

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Best Bit: As much as I disliked the movie, getting to see Toni Collette makes it worthwhile. How she hasn’t won an Oscar yet is beyond me. For the ultimate creepy-mom-athon, watch this back to back with Hereditary (2018). I would genuinely be scared to meet her!

Worst Bit: Possible spoilers here so skip down if you want to avoid them. Like I said, I thought the ending was going to come with an explanation and then it just turned into…La La Land?! What the actual eff? Also, there’s a movie that keeps being discussed and I’ve never seen it. Is it essential watching to understand?!

Fun Trivia: The young woman is not named in the credits or closed captions, and is referred to by multiple names like Lucy, Lucia, and Louisa. These first names are also the only thing on the caller ID or on the texts she gets.
(BUT WHY.)

My Rating: 1 and a half copies of the Genus edition of Trivial Pursuit…and I was today years old when I realised it isn’t in fact the Genius edition. Doh.

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Movie Reviews

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

eurovision-song-contest-fire-saga-2020Director: David Dobkin

Genre: Music, Comedy

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Main Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Demi Lovato, Jamie Demetriou, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Graham Norton

Plot: Lifelong friends Lars and Sigrit have forever dreamed of performing at the Eurovision Song Contest and representing their home country, Iceland. When the team responsible pick their 12th entry at random, Fire Saga is chosen to take part and Lars and Sigrit are given the chance to make their dreams come true.

My Thoughts: I’m not ashamed to say I was really looking forward to the release of this movie. Will Ferrell is hit and miss for me, but mostly a hit, and whilst I wouldn’t call myself one of the biggest Eurovision fans, I love the cheese of it all and the catchy tunes, so that’s what I was hoping for.  This is a movie most will scoff at, but I found it a clever mix of pure comedy and feel good, follow your dreams and it paid off. It opens with a fantastically funny musical number and then takes a while to find it’s feet, but after the first half-hour I was sold.

That may, of course, be thanks to the character Dan Stevens plays. I haven’t been following movie news or watching trailers during these last couple of months so I kind of went in blind but when he showed up, I actually did a little scream. You can ask my husband. The spend the next 90 minutes rolling his eyes at me. This is Dan Stevens’ best role since The Guest (2014). I mean it. He’s arguably the best part of the whole movie.

If you enjoy the kind of comedy that comes with Will Ferrell, and if you like music-orientated movies like Pitch Perfect (2012), then you’re going to find a lot to love here. It was kind of ironic that we got this movie in a year when we didn’t get an actual Eurovision, but that’s just another thing to look forward to in 2021. Oh, and the UK still got 0 points. Cheers for that painful reminder!

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Best Bit: I know they were written to be a bit daft but…I just love the songs in this! They’re all on Spotify thankfully, I can’t wait to sing them badly and loudly in the car on the way to work when I finally go back. But the best moment could have possibly been when those 4 dancers tore Dan Stevens’ shirt off of his body mid-song. You guys…they got PAID to make Dan Stevens shirtless. I’m in the wrong job for sure…

Worst Bit: With ABBA songs playing and Pierce Brosnan on screen doing a terrible accent, I got Mama Mia flashbacks. And what’s worse? I remembered how much I enjoyed the Mama Mia sequel.

Fun Trivia: Will Ferrell’s interest in the Eurovision Song Contest began when his Swedish wife Viveca Paulin took him to her cousin’s house in May 1999 and the family turned the competition on. Since then, he kept following it. In 2014, Ferrell travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to watch the final.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stunning, well-endowed Greek statues which Dan Stevens’ character claims to have no idea that they look identical to him.

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Movie Reviews

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

da-5-bloods-2020-netflix-movie-posterDirector: Spike Lee

Genre: Adventure, Drama, War

Runtime: 154 Minutes

Main Cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Melanie Thierry, Johnny Tri Nguyen, Le Y Lan, Chadwick Boseman

Plot: Paul, Otis, Eddie and Melvin are all African American veterans returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen brother and reclaim some buried treasure. Along the way, the 4 men are troubled by their pasts and their mission becomes more and more deadly with every step.

My Thoughts: I saw a lot of hype over Da 5 Bloods on Twitter and so I was desperate to see it for myself. I had no idea it was a Netflix original until I went onto the app to binge more terrible TV, so I was delighted to have something better to watch! I’m shamefully not well versed in Spike Lee’s movies but I really enjoyed BlacKkKlansman (2018) so I had high hopes for this. I think it’s the kind of movie where every viewer will have a different experience but for me, this was a slow burner that lagged to begin with but more than paid off in the end.

Movies like this depend strongly on their leading characters. If we can’t connect with them, if we can’t feel strong feelings for them, the movie is doomed. I adored these guys though. They fought in a war that wasn’t theirs, and they wear the scars from their struggles. I wanted every one of them to succeed.

The moment the movie went from ‘alright, pretty good’ to ‘holy crap this is great’ for me was in the jungle, just after the treasure had been found. It was a wild ride from then on, with plenty of surprises along the way. The part with the landmines in particular – I would have LOVED to be in the cinema for that. Man, I miss the cinema…

da-5-bloods-netflix-delroy-lindo-2020

Best Bit: When Delroy Lindo’s character Paul went off on his own – those scenes were absolutely fantastic. If Delroy isn’t in the running for an Oscar for this then we riot!

Worst Bit: As much as I enjoyed and appreciated the flashback scenes, not using any kind of anti-ageing technology really took me out of the moment. I’m guessing it was all down to budget in the end, but when Scorsese gets given goodness even knows how many millions to make The Irishman (2019), it feels unfair. But then, I kind of hated The Irishman, so.

Fun Trivia: The reason why the characters appear old during the war flashbacks is because it isn’t a flashback but instead it is the characters remembering the past, therefore they remember the past with their current age. It also symbolizes that in their mind, they are still in Vietnam and will continue to be in Vietnam, never fully being able to move on from that war.
(Okay, I found this trivia after I’d written the rest of my post. I stand corrected, this makes a lot of sense.)

My Rating: 4 out of 5 ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.

da-5-bloods-make-america-great-again