Always Be My Maybe (2019)

always-be-my-maybe-2019-netflixDirector: Nahnatchka Khan

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Runtime: 101 Minutes

Main Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Keanu Reeves, Susan Park, Daniel Dae Kim, Karan Soni, Charlyne Yi

Plot: Sasha and Marcus have been the best of friends since they were kids, and their friendship soon blossomed into a relationship that ended badly. Years later, Sasha and Marcus meet again.

My Thoughts: Our little Keanu Reeves fan club on Twitter still haven’t recovered from John Wick: Chapter 3 and then BAM, Netflix goes and drops Always Be My Maybe and throws us completely off balance. We’ll come back to Keanu though, it wouldn’t be fair to make this post all about him. I have mixed feelings when I type this but, it’s so great that we’re getting more movies like this with a diverse cast. It really is wonderful, but at the same time, I wish it wasn’t so obvious that movies with a cast like this are so rare. It’s hard for me to put into words, really.

Anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot for romcoms and this one is no exception. There’s nothing new brought to the genre here and you can guess the entire story easily from the brief plot description, but when it’s done well it’s easy to forgive. Marcus is absolutely adorable, I loved his band – especially their song during the credits! Sasha is an incredibly powerful character, but probably a little too powerful for my liking, she was quite unlikeable in some scenes.

What is it about movies with chefs that make me so darn hungry? File this movie under ‘Don’t watch before dinner’ along with Chef (2014) and Burnt (2015). Always Be My Maybe isn’t going to be in many movie fan’s Top 10 at the end of the year but it’s on Netflix, easily available to most, and you can watch must worse on a Saturday night with a takeaway!

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Best Bit: KEANU REEVES. No honestly, hear me out. I know I’m biased right now. But his scene in the restaurant was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I had no idea he was actually playing himself, and I laughed till I cried. Can we have more Keanu roles where he wears thick glasses and acts like a complete douche bag? PLEASE, movie gods?!

But also – that song!
“Best believe I punched Keanu Reeves
And it was better than any scene
You could see in Speed
I hit John Wick
And now I’m feeling so appealing
Basically, I’m a god
You could call me Hercules”

Worst Bit: I liked the movie enough for the comedy but at times Sasha and Marcus’ relationship was hard to buy into. They’re both great in their own roles but the chemistry just isn’t there – I found myself not bothered whether they actually ended up together in the end or not.

Fun Trivia: Keanu Reeves filmed all his scenes in 4 days between shooting John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019). All of his scenes were filmed in San Francisco instead of Vancouver to accommodate his schedule.

My Rating: 3 pairs of thick-rimmed glasses, because Keanu Reeves, that’s why.

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Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in May

So, May was an odd month for me, movie-wise. I wasn’t watching much at all at the start of the month, and then I went to see John Wick: Chapter 3, fell in love with cinema again…and spiraled into a Keanu Reeves obsession. Whoops. I blame @lady_sati. She’s such a bad influence!

As always, I never find the time to do a full review of what I watched, although I do have a full review for Always Be My Maybe (2019) sat in my drafts that will be ready soon. In the meantime though, here are a few words on what else I watched in May…

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Zac Efron has come such a long way since High School Musical. This is the story of Ted Bundy, during the time of his conviction and imprisonment. I’m glad they didn’t go down the nasty route of showing his murders, it would have just felt glorified. What’s left isn’t the most exciting movie in the world, but it’s still worth a watch.

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Booksmart (2019)

I got to see this early thanks to ODEON and I can’t believe I’m only writing about it now. It’s Olivia Wilde’s directional debut and it’s fantastic. I think the hype out there has killed it a little, it’s not an ‘instant classic’ like a lot have hailed it. It’s a very, very good movie and it’s one I’ll watch again as soon as I can but it’s not groundbreaking. That bathroom scene was hilarious, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at a stuffed panda in the same way again.

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Replicas (2018)

I…I don’t even have the excuse of Keanu Reeves to explain why I watched this, because it was before I saw John Wick: Chapter 3! I thought it started out fairly decent, all things considered, but it descended into stupidity. Keanu plays a scientist who, when distraught with the death of his family, makes clones of them. It was entertaining, but ‘meh’ at best.

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Wine Country (2019)

I’m so MAD at this movie for being so mediocre. The cast was so promising! I loved the idea! How did it turn out to be so boring? Maybe it was aimed at an older audience, and I’ll appreciate it more in 10-15 years…

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Knock Knock (2015)

Yeah, okay…I watched this trash for Keanu Reeves. It was a stupid home-invasion sort of story that wasn’t scary enough to be thrilling or dumb enough to be funny. It didn’t even have enough sexy moments to make it worthwhile watching! Sigh.

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Speed (1994)

Yaaaas. This is more like it! There’s a bus with a bunch of explosives attached to it, and they’ll detonate if the bus goes slower than 50mph. Sandra Bullock is in charge of driving and Keanu’s trying to save everyone. It has some amazingly cheesy one-liners and really, what more can you ask from a 90s action movie?

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Rocketman (2019)

This is the movie of the moment, isn’t it? I’ll be straight, I didn’t love it. I enjoyed it plenty, and Taron Egerton is an absolute legend, but the story was all over the place, and so repetitive. He’s performing…now he’s in a fantasy sequence…now it’s all getting out of hand…now he’s waking up hungover. Rinse and repeat for 2 hours. It was fun, but I don’t see how it’s different from other movies like it. #sorrynotsorry

In case you missed any, I did full reviews for these movies that I watched in May:
Long Shot (2019)
Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
Destination Wedding (2018)
Aladdin (2019)
It (2017)

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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If you’ve watched the Netflix series ‘You’ starring Penn Badgley and you’re desperate for more, this book is what you need! It’s the next book in the series and I assume what Season 2 of You will be all about. I almost didn’t read it so I could watch the next season without knowing anything, but I haven’t binged a show so quickly for a few years and I really did want to know what Joe did next.

If you have a quick look at reviews on Goodreads or Amazon it’s quite interesting to see a big mix of 1* and 5* reviews – it’s certainly a book that has divided the fans. I can’t comment on differences between Hidden Bodies and the first book because I haven’t read it, so I only had the show to use as a comparison.

It’s probably because of seeing the show, to be honest, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of how perfect a casting choice Penn Badgley was. I don’t think he’s well known outside of Gossip Girl and I hope this show lands him a few bigger roles. He plays a disturbed character almost scarily well!

Hidden Bodies introduces Joe’s new girlfriend, Amy, who on paper seems like a perfect match for him. She shares his love of books and hatred of social media. She doesn’t even use a normal smartphone – favouring burner phones that she regularly dumps. I guess it was a surprise to no one but Joe when Amy ran away with his most expensive books. Of course, Joe’s got some fantastic detective skills so he’s quickly able to work out that she’s running to Los Angeles, and so he starts his hunt.

I’m firmly in the group of 5* reviewers. I loved every single page of this book and only stopped reading each night when I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. It’ll be interesting to see how the show will differ, in particular with the ending. For me, the end of Hidden Bodies was a definite end to Joe’s story – but if the show has gathered a lot of attention I wonder if it’ll be left open for another season? I certainly wouldn’t put it past Netflix to do that – just look at 13 Reasons Why!

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in April

I’ve barely been on the blog for the last week. I was so desperate to avoid spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones that I had a bit of a technology shut down! As a result, I haven’t done as many full reviews as I normally would, so here’s a quick rundown of what I watched in April and what I thought:

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Unicorn Store (2017)

I’ve wanted to see Unicorn Store ever since another blogger wrote about it after it’s festival premiere 2 years ago, so I was giddy when I found out it dropped onto Netflix without any warning in April! It lived up to all my expectations, it was cute, it was weird, it was colourful, and Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson have the most amazing friendship! Definitely not a movie for everyone but I honestly feel like I was the target audience for it.

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Baby Mama (2008)

Straight after watching Unicorn Store I spotted the poster for Baby Mama on Netflix. A movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler about motherhood that I hadn’t seen yet or even heard of?! Sign me up! It wasn’t the greatest comedy out there by a long shot but you can always count on these leading ladies to make you laugh. I’m still kind of kicking myself for not seeing the obvious twists coming, though.

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Cam (2018)

You can put Cam straight onto a list of movies you should never watch on public transport! I’m so glad my husband was too engrossed in his game to pay much attention to what I was doing because he straight up would have thought I was watching porn. This movie was quite a surprise though. I wish there was a better explanation for it all at the end but if you’re a fan of Black Mirror this movie was made for you.

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Someone Great (2019)

This was one of those ‘Oh let’s see what’s new on Netflix, that looks like some trashy fun’ kind of movie picks. Jane the Virgin broke up with her boyfriend, she’s leaving town soon and her best buds get together for one last time. It was fun enough but everything about it screamed ‘Millennial’ and as one myself I couldn’t tell if it was trying to appeal to me or take the piss out of me.

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Step Brothers (2008)

So last month I ignored everyone and watched Holmes & Watson, and it was just as terrible as you all said. It brought up memories of Step Brothers though, a movie I haven’t seen in 10 years, and I couldn’t remember any of it. It wasn’t the legendary comedy I thought it was back in its day but it was a lot of fun and reminded me that Will Ferrel doesn’t always do awful movies.

Of course, I did still do a few full reviews in April, and if you missed any you can find them here:

Dumbo (2019)
Life Itself (2018)
Pet Sematary (2019)
Missing Link (2019)
Frank & Lola (2016)
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Heat (1995)
Escape Room (2019)

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in March

March has been one of my best movie watching months for a long time now! My home life in general is looking up again, I’ve been able to make it to the cinema a whopping 7 times and when I’ve stayed home I’ve felt awake enough to actually sit through a whole movie. That all sounds very normal I know, but I’ve had a rocky start to the year so it’s so nice to be feeling normal again!

Anyway, as per usual it’s too time-consuming to write a full review for everything that I watch, so here is a collection of mini reviews for the movies I watched in March but haven’t mentioned on the blog yet.

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Isn’t It Romantic (2019)

Will we ever get bored with the ‘head injury causes weird and magical things to happen’ genre? I don’t think I will, because this entry by Rebel Wilson was surprisingly good! It’s a rom-com that makes fun of rom-coms and although it starts to lose its charm towards the end it’s still a decent comedy. I’ll never be able to hear the word ‘beguiling’ without laughing though now.

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Holmes & Watson (2018)

I’m pretty sure everyone who watched this movie said it was the worst movie of 2018. So why did I watch it? I kind of love Will Ferrell, and comedy can be really subjective so I thought there was a chance I might enjoy it. No – you were all right, it was terrible. The worst part is that my husband actually kind of loved it and keeps quoting vulgar lines from it around the house.

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Happy Death Day (2017)

I avoided it for so long because I assumed it would be one of those fairly terrible horrors riddled with pointless jump scares. Thankfully, the bloggerverse correctly informed me it’s more of a comedy, and the sequel is kind of awesome, so I listened to you all and gave it a go. It started off a little scary but other than that it’s not bad at all. I actually liked the sequel even more!

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What Men Want (2019)

Taraji P. Henson is an absolute queen, but not even she could save this mess. It takes way too long before her character is able to hear the thoughts of all the men around her, and although it gets funnier from that point, it was a bit of a case of too little, too late. Tracy Morgan is basically playing Tracy Jordan and all I took home was the feeling that I wanted to rewatch 30 Rock.

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Fisherman’s Friends (2019)

Yes, I willingly went to the cinema to watch a bunch of old guys living in Cornwall sing sea shanties. It was a slow week for new releases, and I’ve spent a lot of time in Cornwall over the years on holiday so I gave it a chance. I was the youngest audience member by at least 30 years but do you know what? It wasn’t half bad. Your typical, charming little British movie.

In case you missed any, these are the movies I watched in March that actually got proper reviews:

Cold Pursuit (2019)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Triple Frontier (2019)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
Us (2019)

Triple Frontier (2019)

triple-frontier-movie-review-netflix-2019Director: J.C. Chandor

Genre: Crime, Action, Adventure

Runtime: 125 Minutes

Main Cast: Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, Adria Arjona, Louis Jeovanny, Juan Camilo Castillo, Reynaldo Gallegos

Plot: Pope, a former special ops soldier reassembles his team for a high-stakes heist mission to steal $75 million from a South American drug lord. They each have their own personal reasons for wanting to take part and they work fantastically well as a team – until things start to go wrong.

My Thoughts: I’m not going to pretend I watched Triple Frontier because I’m a fan of heist movies or because I watch a lot of Netflix. No, I watched Triple Frontier because of the serious eye candy on offer…#sorrynotsorry. Unfortunately, Thankfully, my husband loves movies like this so I had some company on the sofa, although I had to cut down on my comments about how tight Oscar Isaac’s jeans were.

It was only after watching the movie that I learned it’s been stuck in development hell for almost 10 years! There has been a whole slew of A-list actors who signed on and then dropped out over the years, such as Tom Hardy, Channing Tatum, Mahershala Ali and Tom Hanks. Apparently, for some of them, it was to do with a script rewrite. I wonder what part was actually rewritten, because as much as I enjoyed the movie I found the second half really quite dull, whereas the start of the movie was excellent and exciting!

I suppose it comes down to expectations. I think I was hoping for a high-adrenaline action movie leading up to and ending with a huge heist mission, and Triple Frontier isn’t that kind of movie. It delves more into the emotional aspect of it and into the characters’ heads. Still, I thought the cast had great chemistry together and I genuinely cared for them and worried about what would happen to them. It’s not the most amazing action movie out there but there are definitely worse ways to spend 2 hours!

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Best Bit: The actual heist was by far my favourite part of the movie. It was so tense I found myself holding my breath and trying to tear my eyes away when someone was creeping around a doorway. Honestly, if I was in that situation I would have accidentally shot all of my team about 5 minutes in.

Worst Bit: Weirdly my least favourite part of the movie was also the heist, or rather the ending of the heist. I wanted it to go on much longer and it felt a bit anti-climatic when they found the guy they were looking for.

Fun Trivia: The title refers to either the geographic location where the Colombian border meets Venezuela and Brazil or Peru and Brazil. The movie never specifies which.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 pairs of tight jeans that Oscar Isaac squeezed his…I won’t finish that sentence in case my husband reads this!

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Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in February

A week or so ago I made a post with some mini-reviews of the movies that I’d watched in January but hadn’t got round to mentioning or reviewing on my blog. You can find that post here. It was mainly because I’ve started putting my reviews into my film diary on Letterboxd and I wanted to have a little something written for everything I’d seen! It was fun to do so I might keep it going.

Anyway, there were four movies I watched in February that I haven’t told you about, two of them being Netflix documentaries that I had no idea how to actually review properly. Here’s what they were…

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Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

When I crawled out of the rock I’d been living under and finally heard about Velvet Buzzsaw, I was so hyped. Then I found out it was getting a Netflix release that weekend! I watched it as soon as I could. Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing in this role, he plays weird so well. He’s one of those actors I would blindly watch anything for. The movie was a lot of fun but it wasn’t that memorable in all honesty. I was expecting more.

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Fyre (2019)

Oh my God. With every new disaster that happened during the planning of Fyre Festival I just wanted a note to come up on the screen to tell me it was all a joke and it didn’t happen. What a bunch of idiots. The fact that some of them haven’t even learned from the mess is baffling! My favourite moment was when they said something about the ridiculous amount of money spent on influencer marketing over social media, and then all it took was a photo of a cheese sandwich to bring it crashing down.

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Wild Rose (2018)

I got to see Wild Rose really early thanks to a secret screening at my local Odeon. It was the first time I didn’t look at any of the clues either so I went in completely blind which was great. It’s the story of a young Mum from Glasgow who dreams of being a Country singer. Thing is, I found the main character to be so damn unlikeable that I really struggled to watch the movie, and it dragged like hell. I think I’m alone in that assessment though, it has really positive reviews overall.

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Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

For a few weeks now I’ve seen people talking about Abducted in Plain Sight on Facebook, so the FOMO was strong and I put it on during dinner one night. Excuse the blasphemy but Christ almighty this documentary made me angry! As a parent myself, I don’t know how that woman’s parents can live with themselves. They were stupid enough in their actions before the first abduction, but to allow it to happen again?! I don’t want to live on this planet anymore…