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!

eurovision-song-contest-will-ferrell-rachel-mcadams

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.

eurovision-dan-stevens-greek-statue

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

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!

going-off-topic-25

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.

uncut-gems-2019-adam-sandler

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!

uncut-gems-fake-rolex-2019