Movie Reviews

The Prom (2020)

the-prom-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Ryan Murphy

Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 130 Minutes

Main Cast: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Jo Ellen Pellman, Ariana DeBose, Mary Kay Place, Tracey Ullman

Plot: 4 self-obsessed Broadway stars travel to a small conservative town in Indiana to help out a young girl whose school has cancelled their prom because she wants to take her girlfriend. By getting the prom back on, the stars hope that the publicity will boost their careers.

My Thoughts: Can I first acknowledge the crime that is the fact I had to watch this at home on Netflix with the background noise of my husband playing the PS5 instead of being at the cinema, dancing in my seat? Can you imagine if The Greatest Showman was released this year? Anyway – The Prom might not be my favourite musical ever but there was still so much I loved about it. Firstly, can I get a ‘hell yeah’ for Jo Ellen Pellman, starring in her first feature movie, acting alongside Hollywood legends such as Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman and doing a damn fine job of it? Get it, girl!

You know me, I’m not a theatre person (I’ve seen 1 show in a theatre my whole life) so I had no idea this movie was based on a show, so I can’t comment on how it holds up as an adaptation. I was slightly put off by it’s runtime but honestly, the time whizzed by, I enjoyed every second. I maybe didn’t care so much for the Broadways stars because of their motives, but the rest of the characters? I was there for them. Keegan-Michael Key really surprised me. He elevates every movie he’s in but in this one he showed a side to him I’ve never seen before. His musical number ‘We Look To You’ hit me particularly hard, especially in a year like this.

Forgive me for comparing but when I think about the lesbian couple in The Prom, I can’t help but think about the lesbian couple in Happiest Season (2020). If you read my review you’ll know I loved it, but struggled to get behind the couple. That wasn’t the problem here – I was behind these girls all the way.

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Best Bit: Although I really enjoyed the songs, they weren’t ones that stuck in my memory very well, although I’ll certainly be playing them in my car this week. One song in particular made me laugh and if I’d been in a cinema I might have been clapping along too. It was Andrew Rannells performing ‘Love Thy Neighbor’. It’s not a cheesy musical without a flashy number to rally an entire town!

Worst Bit: You might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned James Corden yet. I can’t quite put my finger on why but he just irritates me as a person. I think he’s got that aura of arrogance, and he often winds me up. I have to say, I didn’t mind him in this, but he was woefully miscast. I don’t have a problem at all with a straight man playing a gay man but was Titus Burgess every in the running for the role? He would have been PERFECT.

Fun Trivia: Nicole Kidman portrays Angie Dickinson, a life long chorus girl who just quit her job of 20 years in the musical Chicago after the producers never let her go on for the role of Roxie Hart. In real life, Kidman turned down the part of Roxie Hart in Chicago (2002).

My Rating: 4 out of 5 glitzy dresses…give it some zazz!

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Movie Reviews

Aquaman (2018)

aquaman-movie-poster-review-2018Director: James Wan

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 143 Minutes

Main Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin

Plot: Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, discovers that his half-brother King Orm is assembling an army to wage war against the people of the land.

My Thoughts: So without a winter Star Wars release, our family Christmas movie gettogether had to improvise and find a different movie to watch. I highly doubted my chances of convincing the boys to see Mary Poppins so Aquaman seemed like a logical choice. I’d set my expectations at a reasonable height, but I was dead excited to see Jason Momoa play Arthur Curry – weren’t we all?!

I have to admit, I know very little about Aquaman from the DC comic books. It’s a running joke (especially in The Big Bang Theory) that he’s not the coolest superhero around so I’ve never really bothered. With that in mind, I think the movie did an excellent job of making Aquaman an absolute badass, but without changing who he really is. Bravo!

I find myself a bit short of words for my review though, mainly because what I really want to say is – it was a good movie. That kind of sums it up for me. It was a superhero origin story. We got introduced to our hero, he did some cool stuff, and he saved the world. That’s all there really is to it. I don’t mean it as a criticism because I enjoyed the whole movie, it’s just one of those things!

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Best Bit: **SPOILERS** Call me a helpless sap – but once we found out that Atlanna was still alive after all I knew the moment I was waiting for, and when I saw Tom waiting down at the end of that pier I couldn’t help but sob. Curse my weak, leaky eyes!

Worst Bit: It doesn’t matter how cool you make the costumes, how stern the actors look or how fantastic the CGI is – no one can storm off whilst swimming underwater and not look like a bit of a goof whilst doing it.

Also – my husband won’t shut up about how funny he found the moment that Aquaman lifted a fallen church wall off a guy who just stood right back up and walked away like nothing happened. He’s still laughing about it now and I’m not sure if he wants it mentioned as Best Bit or Worst Bit, to be honest.

Fun Trivia: Wan was initially unsure about putting Topo in the film, but was inspired to do so after watching Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), saying, “If that film could have a guy playing a flaming guitar, I’m going to have an octopus drummer in mine.”

My Rating: 3 and a half bottles of red wine, just a fraction of the amount that were wastefully destroyed in the making of this movie.

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TV Shows

TV Rambles: Big Little Lies, Legion & Girls

Is it just me or are having a really slow few weeks for movie releases? I’ve been struggling to find something to watch lately, which has led me to watch a fair bit of TV, which I guess is never a bad thing!

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Big Little Lies (2017)

Big Little Lies seems to be on everyone’s minds (and screens) lately. Based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty, and not to be confused with the similar sounding Pretty Little Liars, this is a 1 season, dramatic story with a murder mystery lying underneath. It also hosts one of the most incredible casts I’ve ever seen on TV, with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley & Alexander Skarsgard to name a few.

I’ve only read 1 novel by Liane Moriarty so far and I kind of hated it (Truly Madly Guilty) so I was worried about starting Big Little Lies, but the hype dragged me in and I couldn’t help myself. I needn’t have, this show caught me instantly and I binge watched the hell out of it in the end. I actually got so absorbed into these characters’ lives that I forgot about the mystery it was building up to.

That’s my advice if you want to give the show a go, just relax and enjoy every episode for what it is, rather than try and play detective. The final episode absolutely blew me away, but if I tried to over analyse everything I saw it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. It definitely lives up to the hype!

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Legion (2017 – )

I hadn’t seen much advertising at all for Legion, but it was recommended by my husband’s friends who had got hooked so we decided to give it a try. Guys – this is the weirdest TV show I have ever had the joy of witnessing. It’s produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television, set in the X-Men Universe. Dan Stevens plays the main character, David Haller, a man with incredible abilities that he’s unaware of, thanks to the fact he’s been in a psychiatric hospital for years to treat his apparent schizophrenia.

Seriously, I’m not messing around when I say how weird it all is. Prepare yourself to be shocked by mysterious characters not being who you thought they were, and for a giant, fat scary man to show up out of the blue. There’s also a children’s book called ‘The World’s Angriest Boy in the World’ so you know…there’s that. Honestly? I would have quite happily given up after the first episode, but it gets so much better. It’s one of those shows where every episode seems to end on a ‘WTF’ moment.

The only thing that really bugged me by the end of the season was David’s love interest, Syd. She had her uses in the first few episodes but after that she just came across as whiny and needy. She has powers too of course, but doesn’t even want to use them, and yet she somehow holds enough merit to be part of the main squad? It doesn’t sit with me, sister.

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Girls (2012 – 2017)

Okay, I realise I’m the only person in the world who likes Girls (or so it seems) but it seemed to make sense to make this post a triple whammy, and the final season has just finished! I started watching this show just before Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out so I could get to know Adam Driver better, and ended up falling in love with the show and spiraling into an Adam Driver obsession. Sigh. Why do I do this to myself?

This final season has been so full of highs and lows. I was all in for Hannah (Lena Dunham) to finally grow up and raise a child, I could have cried for joy when Adam (Adam Driver) and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) to realise they’re the worst couple ever, and right now I’m just about ready to campaign for Elijah (Andrew Rannells) to have his own show.

I guess at the back of my mind though I always saw Hannah and Adam as end game. I’m hopeless I know, they were terrible for each other sometimes, but I felt like Adam was the only one to ever call Hannah out on her crap, and Hannah made Adam seem like a normal human being. As normal as Adam could ever be at least. I’ll hand it to Lena, it all ended realistically, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. I can always rewatch the first few seasons I guess.

So, that’s left me with a huge TV-shaped hole in my life! Are there any new shows out there that I have to try? Fargo starts tonight doesn’t it? Yaaaaaaas!