Movie Reviews

The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021)

the-mitchells-vs-machines-movie-reviewDirector: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Animation

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Michael Rianda, Eric André, Olivia Colman, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend

Plot: Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) can’t wait to start college. Movies are her life but her parents, especially her Dad, just don’t understand her passion. In a last-ditch attempt to re-connect with his daughter, Rick Mitchell (Danny McBride) decides to cancel Katie’s flight and instead embark an a family road-trip – right in the middle of a robot apocalypse.

My Thoughts: How long has it been since the trailer for this was first released? It must be what, 2 years ago now? Back then it was called Connected, and I’ll try my hardest not to rant too much about the name change. When Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are in charge of production, you know you’re in for a fantastic animated movie, and The Mitchells vs. the Machines certainly isn’t breaking that trend. It’s a wonderful comedy all about family relationships in this modern, technology-filled world. The greatest family movies have something for all ages to enjoy, and this fits the bill perfectly.

Family road-trip comedies aren’t rare. Neither are movies about technology becoming too smart and taking over. On paper, this movie shouldn’t be so good. But then, neither should Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and that’s now arguably the world’s favourite Spider-Man movie! The Mitchells vs. the Machines doesn’t try to reinvent anything, it just takes a simple plot and injects just the right amount of heart, laughs and action. I can’t even explain it, I’ve been trying to write this review on and off all day!

It probably helps that the main character, Katie, is a huge film buff so as movie fans it’s so easy for us to relate to her. We’ve all been through that phase where we thought our parents didn’t understand us too, right? I can sympathise with that. But now that I’m a parent? I can see things from a whole new perspective! It was quite endearing to watch the horror on my husband’s face as he realised there might be a day where our little girl doesn’t idolise him anymore.

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Best Bit: I can’t pick between two moments. The first being the most obvious, it was the joke in the original trailer that’s repeated several times in the movie itself. That dog! Dog, pig, dog, pig, dog, pig, LOAF OF BREAD! It makes me laugh just thinking about it. The second was the Furby scene. Oh, to have been in the cinema for that gigantic Furby and the subtitle, “LET THE DARK HARVEST BEGIN”. It was the funniest, most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen!

Worst Bit: Okay, I’m sorry but I’m going to rant. Apparently, the original title was always The Mitchell’s vs. the Machines. But Sony chose Connected – and that’s the perfect title! It makes me think of technology, and how we’re glued to it. But it also makes me think of family connecting. It’s short and snappy and so easy to remember. I can’t for the life of me remember the final title! Half the time I can’t remember the family name and even if I do, my brain instantly goes ‘The Mitchells Against the Machines’ and I just get irrationally annoyed by these things, okay?

Fun Trivia: Katie has a “Mt. Rushmore of Director Heroes” including Greta Gerwig, Céline Sciamma, Lynne Ramsay and Hal Ashby.

My Rating: A full 5 out of 5 creepy Furbys (Furbies? What’s plural for Furby?!) that I hope don’t make a come back, because my daughter will want one and I don’t know how to say no to her.

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Movie Reviews

The Favourite (2018)

the-favourite-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, Jenny Rainsford, James Smith, Tim Ingall, LillyRose Stevens, Liam Fleming

Plot: Set in 18th Century England, Queen Anne’s palace is thrown into chaos by the arrival of Abigail, the cousin of the Queen’s closest friend. A rivalry breaks out between the two as they fight to be the favourite.

My Thoughts: It’s been a whole week and I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. Really I should have known better because this is my 3rd Lanthimos movie (I’ve also seen The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and I’m not sure how I feel about those movies either. Pun not intended however – The Favourite is definitely my favourite out of the three.

I usually can’t stand Period Dramas but I’ll literally watch Emma Stone in any movie she does, and the amazingly positive praise I’ve read so far in reviews actually got me quite hyped up to see this in the end. I was joined in my screen by a pair of little old ladies…and that was it…so clearly this isn’t getting great marketing in the UK. That or everyone was still nursing a New Year’s hangover, who knows.

Anyway – I think I kind of loved this movie. Yes, it’s too period-y for my liking but absolutely everything else about the movie is stunning. The script is witty as hell, the cinematography is stunning, and the performances all round were top notch. Everyone was giving their A-Game.

I think it’s one of those movies you need to see twice, especially if you have mixed feelings on a first watch. I came home feeling quite confused but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since, and I fall in love a little more every day.

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Best Bit: Despite my undying love for Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult was the star in my eyes. He was hilarious any time he was on the screen, and it was in the scene that he threw a strop and dropped the C-word that I realised what kind of ride I signed myself up to. Dude rocks make-up better than me, though…

Worst Bit: I’m sure this was something I picked up on in Lanthimos’ other movies but the music was really off-putting at some points. It could have been the cinema’s fault but there was one scene where I could barely hear what anyone was saying because it was so loud. One of those artistic things that flew right over my head most likely.

Fun Trivia: Rachel Weisz’s character, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was actually born in the Spencer-Churchill family’s Blenheim Palace, which is mentioned as being still unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill’s father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill’s husband, the first Duke of Marlborough (Mark Gatiss).
That wasn’t really very fun trivia at all now, was it? It’s all like this if you look it up. Did I mention I hate History?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 exquisite cups of the finest tea, which you should never, ever, accept from Emma Stone.

the-favourite-2018-poisoned-cup-of-tea