Random Posts

Going Off Topic (#25) Crazy, Stupid, Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Whether you’re on a fancy getaway this weekend or having a microwave meal in front of the TV, I hope you have a fab time. I feel like my last few Off Topic posts have been a bit dull and depressing, so I’m going to try and lighten the mood today. Tonight, once the kiddo is in bed, me and my husband will be cooking up a storm with the fancy meal deal we picked up from Marks & Spencers and polishing off a bottle of red wine, whilst watching our annual traditional Valentine’s movie of Crazy, Stupid, Love!

Speaking of the kiddo, when she isn’t robbing me of sleep or causing me endless anxiety, she’s absolutely hilarious lately. She always has been, but she’s starting to speak in full sentences and she’s so crafty and clever. The other day I offered her a dinner of pasta or chicken and her response was “Ermm…chocolate coins”. Yesterday she spent most of the day telling me she wanted to go and see Santa. I work from home on Wednesdays so we spend the day together and usually try to sneak in a trip to the library or soft play. Here she is – eating a cake in her own special way and just generally looking cooler than I ever wish I could!

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February has been a very mixed month for movies, so far. I’m keeping up my momentum of watching as many movies as I can which has been great, but I’ve seen very few great movies this month. The huge exception is Birds of Prey, or Harley Quin: Birds of Prey, or whatever WB decide to call it in an attempt to stick a plaster/bandaid on the hurt they’ve caused by not bothering to tell anyone their own movie exists.

I’ve finished Season 2 of Sex Education finally, and I’m fully on board with the hype now. My brother was telling me that his college’s bathrooms are plastered with posters of Eric and his famous line “Wash your hands, you detty pig!” I’m so, so angry with Isaac though! I hated his character at first but really warmed to him, and I’d have been happy for him to get together with Maeve, but what he did in the last episode was unforgivable.

I also started to watch The Outsider which is looking really promising so far. Out of the very few books I’ve actually read – this is one of them so I’m excited to see how closely the story follows the book! In amongst all of this I’ve been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix which is a terrible guilty pleasure of mine.

So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – have a fantabulous weekend!

Movie Reviews

Uncut Gems (2019)

uncut-gems-2019-netflix-movie-reviewDirector: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield, Adele Dazeem Idina Menzel, Kevin Garnett, Judd Hirsch, John Amos, Trinidad James

Plot: Howard is a charismatic gems dealer who is up to his eyeballs in debt. When he gets his hands on an extremely rare Ethiopian uncut rock of gems, he makes a series of high-stake bets which don’t go to plan.

My Thoughts: I’m having a scroll through my Twitter feed and can see everyone talking about a new Adam Sandler movie, called Uncut Gems. I’m confused, for two reasons. One, from the poster I thought it was a documentary. Two, everyone was saying how amazing it was, and that Sandler should have been nominated for an Oscar. Am I in the Bad Place? I didn’t know Adam Sandler could act! Colour me intrigued.

I’ve watched movies that have made me happy, movies that have made me sad, scared, sometimes even sick, but I don’t think I’ve watched anything that’s made me feel so stressed before! My husband walked in at around the halfway point and asked what was going on, and at that point I was like, I don’t know what to tell you! This Howard guy makes terrible choices and everyone is just shouting all the time!

I liked it though. It’s kind of impossible to not get sucked into Howard’s life, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to see him win or fail. He’s a bit of a jerk but his bets were so crazy I knew there would be a sense of wonder if he did actually pull it off in the end. As for Adam Sandler himself, I don’t know if I would call his performance Oscar-worthy, but it’s definitely the best performance I’ve seen of his.

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Best Bit: So many of the loud, shouty scenes merged into one in my mind but there’s this moment where Howard’s on the phone to at least 2 different people, Lakeith Stanfield is also shouting at him, everyone is rushing around and then the poor fish are almost murdered. That’s definitely the stand-out scene for sure.

Worst Bit: The door to Howard’s shop is definitely up there with the door to the cabin in The Hateful Eight in the list of ass***e doors. One won’t open, the other won’t shut!

Fun Trivia: Uncut Gems features the 4th most f-words in film history, exactly 408 times.

My Rating: 3 and a half fake Rolex’s…you’ll have to shout louder than everyone else in this movie to complain about them, though!

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Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#23) Who, What, Where, When, Why?

I’m doing a grand old job at posting all my Top 10 lists for the decade, aren’t I? I’m just stuck in that time between Christmas and New Year when I don’t know what day of the week it is, what time of day it is or what a decent meal looks like. Chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and wine…wine whenever! So whilst I’m in no shape to be ranking movies or attempting to review anything I’ve seen, enjoy some word vomit from yours truly.

I hope you all had a grand Christmas, by the way! Mine’s been fab. I’ve spent the days with family and friends and it’s genuinely been lovely. Speaking of friends, my bestie Steph is going to get an ODEON Limitless card in the New Year so I’m going to have a cinema buddy for 2020! Hurrah! I mention her often here but she’s actually been my best friend since we were about 14. We lost touch after school but reunited around 6 years ago and now we live literally seconds away from each other! She’s as nuts as me, and she was grateful I didn’t mention how she broke down in tears in my car after watching Rise of Skywalker. Whoops.

Movies wise, I think I’ve only seen 2 new ones since I wrote anything here.I’ve rewatched Rise of Skywalker twice now but I also watched Parasite on Boxing Day (bloody brilliant) and I saw Little Women last night which was good, if not my usual cup of tea, and ever so slightly confusing with the time jumps. Oh! And I did see Jumanji: The Next Level as well which was surprisingly good, just like the first.

Over to TV…I didn’t catch up with Mr. Robot in time to watch the finale as it happened. I haven’t seen any spoilers yet though, so I’ll get there eventually. I did finish The Mandalorian which was glorious, and I’m interested to see where Season 2 takes us. Me and my husband have started watching The Witcher together which is actually really good so far, even though we’re only 2 episodes in. Can we all agree that Toss a Coin to Your Witcher is the greatest song of 2019? And finally – I’ve started Season 2 of You which is everything I wanted it to be. Life is good, guys.

So, once I’m back into the swing of things I’ll be posting regularly again, and I desperately need to catch up on the blogs I follow too (sorry, guys!). I’ll be finishing my Top 100 Movies of the Decade posts, announcing my 2020 Blind Spot list, and probably making a few New Year’s Resolutions too.

For now – I hope you’re enjoying the break, if you’ve got one, and I’m super excited to be sharing the movies of 2020 with you all next year!

Movie Reviews

6 Underground (2019)

6-underground-2019-netflix-movieDirector: Michael Bay

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Dave Franco

Plot: 6 underground agents work together on the world’s most dangerous, top-secret missions. All of them have buried their pasts behind them and are completely off the grid. Essentially, this is Michael Bay’s Suicide Squad.

My Thoughts: I’m avoiding writing anything about Rise of Skywalker at the moment for fear of creating something 1,000 words long and completely incoherent, so let me tell you about this piece of trash movie I watched earlier this week instead. If you have a Netflix account then it’s impossible to not know anything about it. I’ve seen it, and Netflix is still shoving it in my face. It’s the second most expensive Netflix movie out there, second to The Irishman.

Is it any good? That depends entirely on what you want from the movie. If you want a decent plot, character development, and a logical story that doesn’t overstay its welcome, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you want to watch Ryan Reynolds play himself, car chases, explosions, fight scenes and corny jokes in spades, then you’re going to love it. For me, it was half an hour too long to pass as a good movie. I just wasn’t interested enough, but it still had a lot of memorable moments.

I should probably tell you to avoid the movie but…there’s still something about it that’s fun. In amongst all the nausea-inducing shaky-cam moments and attempts at invoking emotion, there are jokes that land and action scenes that are actually stunning. It’s a mess, but it’s a beautiful mess.

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Best Bit: The movie opens with a car chase scene and honestly? It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe I haven’t seen enough action movies but this monstrous scene shows the realities behind a car chase this wild, pedestrians being flung around like crisp packets!

Worst Bit: Where do I even begin? There are plenty of cringy moments, but the one that made me laugh loudest was when a rooftop swimming pool was smashed open which caused more flooding than Sharknado!

Fun Trivia: A year prior to the release Ryan Reynolds posted a video of himself talking about how quiet Michael Bay’s movies are, while in the background a car explodes. This scene is in the movie and you can actually see Ryan Reynolds in the background filming the crash.

My Rating: 2 and a half bottles of Aviation Gin, only the tip of the iceberg that is shameless product placement in this movie.

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Movie Reviews

Marriage Story (2019)

marriage-story-movie-review-2019-netflixDirector: Noah Baumbach

Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy

Runtime: 136 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Alan Alda, Julie Hagerty, Merritt Wever, Azhy Robertson, Wallace Shawn, Martha Kelly

Plot: Charlie and Nicole had a seemingly happy marriage, working together for Charlie’s theatre company. But things changed, their feelings changed, and now they’re navigating a difficult divorce and battling over custody of their son.

My Thoughts: It’s Saturday night, the kiddo is fast asleep, the bestie is coming over, takeout has been ordered, what shall we watch? A devastatingly upsetting movie about divorce. Hurrah! Wasn’t that a great idea? I need to watch this again, alone, because I held back my tears when really this movie demands you sob aloud. Lots. We’re reaching the peak of Adam Driver season and if he doesn’t take home an Oscar for this one I will RIOT. How an actor can express that much emotion is beyond me, some scenes were honestly difficult to watch because of it. It felt like I was intruding on something private.

It’s raw emotion throughout. We don’t get to see how Charlie and Nicole got together, see how in love they once were, only hear about it whilst they talk to therapists and lawyers. But you can tell. You can tell the feelings are still there. And whilst it’s powerful throughout, there are 2 key scenes for me that actually made me stop breathing. If ever I need a good cry to let things out, this is where I’ll turn.

But then, Marriage Story is so funny at the same time, in those little moments. I know if ever the worst happened with my own marriage my mum would be just like Nicole’s. She already takes his side in any argument ever. Could you imagine a scene where a husband is handed divorce papers that he isn’t expecting to be hilarious? Because it is in this movie! Not forgetting the knife scene of course, we’ll come to that in a short moment. Honestly, I’m still a little lost for words about it all. I think that’s how you’re meant to feel!

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Best Bit: *SPOILER-Y WARNING* When Charlie started playing with the flick knife early in the movie I knew the shot was too long to be a one-off moment. The scene where he was being monitored and assessed with his son and ended up accidentally slicing his arm open without realising was probably the funniest and most shocking thing I’ve seen all year! And the kitchen roll! Oh boy, I need to see it again…is there a gif yet of Adam Driver being terrible at getting kitchen roll?!

Worst Bit: I mean the worst bits to watch in Marriage Story are actually the best bits performance wise so it’s unfair to mention how the sight of Adam Driver, broken and on his knees completely destroyed me. So DAMN. The way the legal system works in divorce cases is just so unfair, isn’t it?!

Fun Trivia: Adam Driver’s performance of Sondheim’s Being Alive from the musical Company, was recorded live and done in 1 take.
(Hollywood please let Adam Driver star in happier movies. And sing more.)

My Rating: 4 and a half pies used to conceal divorce papers, which apparently makes the whole thing worse.

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Movie Reviews

Eli (2019)

eli-2019-netflix-movie-poster-review (1)Director: Ciarán Foy

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 98 Minutes

Main Cast: Charlie Shotwell, Lili Taylor, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, Sadie Sink, Deneen Tyler, Katia Gomez

Plot: Eli is a young boy so sick that even the air could kill him, forcing him to live inside a bubble. His parents have tracked down a doctor who claims to be able to cure him so they travel across the country to get Eli the treatment he needs.

My Thoughts: I wasn’t fussed about seeing Eli, but quite a few bloggers have mentioned it recently and although they didn’t love it, they had very mixed thoughts about the ending and that was enough for me to give it a go. Maybe my expectations were really low, but I thought it was pretty good! Far better than another of Netflix’s 2019 horror movies I watched, Wounds (2019).

The best way I can describe Eli is it’s like the lovechild of Bubble Boy and A Cure for Wellness. It’s obvious as soon as the family arrive at Dr. Horn’s huge mansion that something isn’t right. The horror element kicks in at night when Eli is woken up. He sees the ghosts of other children who were supposedly cured at the same place, and it’s basically an opportunity for jump scares. I watched most of those scenes through a blanket because I hate them!

And then we come to the ending. I already knew it was a bit of a love it or hate it ending, and I’m leaning more into the love it camp. It was unexpected, and yet there were more than a few clues along the way so it’s not like it fell off the rails or anything. All in all, I was surprised for the better, and whilst it isn’t an amazing, 5-star movie, you can find many worse ways to spend 98 minutes with Netflix at the moment.

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Best Bit: Sadie Sink! You know her best as Max from Stranger Things, and he’s one of the best parts of this movie. I can’t tell you too much about her, of course…

Worst Bit: I don’t know what’s worse, the awful excuses for human beings making fun of Eli at the start of the movie in his makeshift hazmat outfit, or Eli’s parents for doing next to nothing about defending him.

Fun Trivia: *BIG SPOILERS* After leaving the Motel, they drive pass a rural crossroads in the middle of four fields. Legend has it that Robert Johnson made a deal with the Devil at a crossroads. This alludes to the fact that they are, in some way, dealing with the Devil.

My Rating: 3 and a half mirrors, in which you can see…well I’m not sure, because I stopped watching after 3 jump scares!

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