Movie Reviews

Reminiscence (2021)

reminiscence-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Lisa Joy

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Main Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton, Daniel Wu, Cliff Curtis, Angela Sarafyan, Natalie Martinez, Marina de Tavira, Mojean Aria

Plot: Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) is a private investigator of the mind by helping his client retrieve lost memories. His life is forever changed when he takes on an alluring new client by the name of Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). He quickly becomes obsessed with her and is lost when she mysteriously vanishes one day.

My Thoughts: What happened? One week I was considering a rewatch because I’d seen everything my local cinema was showing, and the next there’s 6 movies that I haven’t seen yet! It’s impossible to decide what to choose, especially as I might end up missing 1 or 2 completely, so I left it up to Twitter to choose for me, and Reminiscence was the winner! I knew nothing about it other than it was mysterious and it starred Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson. The reviews out there aren’t great and I’m glad I didn’t look them up before watching the movie because I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The biggest issue for me is that it’s trying to do too much, instead of concentrating on doing one thing well. The part that fascinated me most was the fictional world that the story was set in. It’s the Miami that we all know but global warming has clearly taken it’s toll and it’s mostly underwater. Some parts of the city have been mostly saved by dams but the wealthy live in what’s known as the ‘drylands’. The whole setting has almost nothing to do with the actual plot itself, but it was stunning nonetheless. Then of course the mystery is compelling but there’s no big shock moment, which isn’t a deal-breaker but still a shame.

I sound like I’m really dragging this movie though but I really did enjoy it. I loved the scenery, I loved the chemistry between Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson, I adored Thandiwe Newton’s character and finding out more about her life. I was constantly wanting to know what the next 5 minutes held to unravel the mystery of Mae’s disappearance. It’s not the most original story out there, the memory-retrieval gimmick has been done a few times now but I was entertained and that’s all I need from movies.

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Best Bit: I’d gotten so used to Nick’s speech, “You’re going on a journey” that it was starting to sound peaceful and tranquil when he next said it. Then of course it came to that quite…rough…interrogation and the way Nick’s voice changed was actually really funny to me, until the moments that shortly followed after. Ouch.

Worst Bit: When Watts (Thandiwe Newton) went into the tank so Nick could view her memories, and Watts had clearly given up the secret of her feelings towards him, which went completely over his head. Oh, Nick! I wanted to shake him, I swear.

Fun Trivia: Director Lisa Joy is the sister-in-law of Christopher Nolan. Hugh Jackman starred in The Prestige (2006), directed by Nolan and co-written by his brother and husband of Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan.

My Rating: 3 and a half fish tanks that Watts may or may not have been aiming for.

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Movie Reviews

Men in Black: International (2019)

men-in-black-international-2019-movie-reviewDirector: F. Gary Gray

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Adventure

Runtime: 114 Minutes

Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Rafe Spall, Kumail Nanjiani, Jess Radomska, Kayvan Novak

Plot: After a childhood encounter with an alien changed her life, Molly has spent years trying to find the Men in Black in order to join their ranks. Once she succeeds, she is thrown right into the deep end as it is discovered there’s a mole within the organisation.

My Thoughts: I think I’ve only seen the original MiB movie but I liked it a lot. It was funny, the action scenes were cool and it had aliens! What more could younger me want? With all the reboots and remakes lately, I guess a new MiB movie was inevitable, and honestly I’ve felt like the only person around who was actually excited to see it! If nothing more, we get Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson team up again, which is bound to be fun.

Surprising no one, I set myself up for a fall. I enjoyed Men in Black: International, more than most by the sounds of it, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. It just took itself too seriously most of the time and the jokes weren’t coming fast enough. The plot is really messy, and the ending was just a bit…sad, really. Still, there were plenty of things to enjoy. I’ve decided that every movie needs an Emma Thompson cameo. After Bridget Jones’ Baby and now this, I just want her to turn up and be sassy and sarcastic in everything I watch!

There are a few appearances from some familiar non-human characters, but I kind of wish we got to see a little more of them. There’s also a brilliant, tiny new character who I’ll get into in a moment, but he’s a show-stealer. All in all, there are definitely worse ways to spend 2 hours, but if you’re going to watch a silly action movie in which cool people clad in suits shoot at aliens…you’re probably better sticking with the original.

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Best Bit: Pawny! Or Steve, as he called himself. He’s a little alien who was also a pawn on a chessboard protecting his queen, who sadly was murdered. Left feeling hopeless, Agent H convinced him to serve Molly, Agent M instead, and every time he popped up he made me laugh. I’m hoping Funko are putting in a rush order of figures of him so I can get one for my dashboard soon…

Worst Bit: Spoiler alert here! After watching the trailer, and scoffing at my excitement, my husband announced ‘It’s obvious – Liam Neeson is going to be a bad guy’. How it was obvious, I don’t know, but I spent the whole movie unable to get the thought out of my head and curse him, he was right. He’s so annoying. He did the same with Gossip Girl, he’s got a plot-twist radar!

Fun Trivia: The film was originally going to be a “Jump Street” – “Men in Black” crossover with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprising their roles from the franchise. However, plans fell apart, so it became a spin-off with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson.
[ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING.]

My Rating: 3 pairs of standard issue black glasses that you’ll need to wear so you don’t forget all about this movie. On second thought…you don’t want to wear them, do you?

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Movie Reviews

Review: Life (2017)

life-movie-poster-review-2017You know that saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’? Years I’ve been waiting for a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds together. Years! 2 of my ultimate favourite Hollywood hunks in 1 movie. I guess I imagined it would be some kind of romcom, preferably starring myself caught in a love triangle. Alas, it seems only half of my request was eventually heard, and although I got both stars together, it was for a Sci-Fi/Horror. Really, movie gods?!

What makes things even worse is that on paper, and in the trailer in fact, Life (2017) is nothing more than an Alien ripoff. You’ve got a spaceship, a solid crew, a mission to extract and protect a life form found on Mars. Hey presto, turns out the life form is dangerous and hostile! Now it’s a survival game. I sound bitter I know but here’s the shocker, Life is actually a pretty decent movie!

For a start, the crew are all extremely likeable, and they’re smart! Yes, you’ve got one who won’t stop harping on about protocols and rule-breaking, but when protocols are broken they’re for a logical reason, rather than a dumb reason for a jump scare. For a wuss like me, Life was a fairly scary movie, but that’s because this life-form (AKA Calvin) is so small and stealthy, and unpredictable. I’m glad I waited for a home release because some scenes are tense as hell.

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I’ll admit that at the halfway point my interest started to wane slightly. That might be because (highlight for spoiler) Ryan Reynolds got killed off in the first 30 minutes – perhaps I should have seen it coming, but it does drift into far too familiar territory after a while. Yes, Calvin is on the loose, no, we aren’t sure how the crew are going to survive, if they do at all, so just get on with the story so we can find out how it ends!

Life even had it’s emotional moments, mainly centered around a children’s book you may know quite well, Goodnight Moon. You can forget listening to Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories, try watching Jake Gyllenhaal read Goodnight Moon whilst stuck in the situation he’s in and not get misty eyes!

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Finally, and I’ll have to obscure this paragraph mostly for spoiler reasons, I can’t end this post without mentioning the ending. Should I have seen it coming? Maybe? I don’t know, but it caught me completely off guard! That moment when you realise who (and what) is in that capsule that landed in the sea straight up gave me the chills. I’d rather Life stay as a standalone movie but if it had a sequel, heck I’d probably go and see it.

For being surprisingly good as a totally unoriginal movie, Life gets 3 and a half copies of that darn children’s book I’m now never going to be able to buy for my own kiddo.

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