Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

fast-furious-hobbs-and-shaw-2019-poster-reviewDirector: David Leitch

Genre: Action

Runtime: 137 Minutes

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, Eiza González, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Lori Pelenise Tuisano, Rob Delaney, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Hart

Plot: I wanted to try and explain the plot in my own words as I usually do, but the plot on IMDB is just so darn perfect I couldn’t even try and do it better: ‘Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity’.

My Thoughts: Never did I ever think my most anticipated movie of the summer would be a Fast & Furious movie. Nothing against them, but I’ve only seen the first and fifth ones so far. I enjoyed both, but it feels like there are so many of them now it would take ages to catch up! That said, the trailers that got thrown at me for months never got old and I was SO excited to see Hobbs & Shaw on the weekend. If nothing else, it was worth it to see Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham bicker for over 2 hours.

The move just does exactly what it says on the tin. Okay – the first 10 minutes pretty much tell you exactly how the movie is going to end but you don’t go into movies like this expecting surprises (apart from one huge one I’ll come to shortly). My bestie and cinema date last night should be grateful I wasn’t driving home because there’s something about crazy car chase scenes in busy cities that make me want to drive away like I was driving something 10-times more powerful than my go-kart of a car!

Loads of movies can do action well but what seals the deal for Hobbs & Shaw is the cast. I’ve raved enough about Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham but Idris Elba rocks it as the bad guy (is there anything the man can’t do?!) and Vanessa Kirby? Yaaaaas! She can kick your ass, pour you the biggest drink you’ve ever seen and then insult you so quickly you won’t even know what happened. What a badass.

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Best Bit: You guys, I’ve been raving about this movie for months and NOONE mentioned Ryan Reynolds was in it?! How did I not even know myself? It was so blatantly clear he wasn’t even given a script and I couldn’t be happier. Who cares if he’s typecast when he does his thing so well? Our whole cinema was on the verge of tears from crying so much at his lines.
Also – please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t realise the joke until the airport security guy read out “Mike Oxmaul”??

Worst Bit: It’s my age-old complaint, it dragged towards the end. I’ve nothing against the runtime but that third act seemed to go on forever, and the weirdest part was it ended so abruptly, only to continue the actual story whilst the credits were rolling. What was up with that? We almost left the room just when Ryan Reynolds turned up to spoil the Game of Thrones ending for anyone who hasn’t faced watching that last episode yet!

Fun Trivia: Idris Elba refused to say a scripted line for his character, calling himself “the black James Bond”. He instead used the phrase “black Superman”. Elba has been rumoured to be in consideration for the role of James Bond, and would be the first black actor to portray Bond.
Good on him to be honest…it would be an odd line to say anyway considering he was playing a bad guy?!

My Rating: 4 best friends necklaces…I’ll give you half, Ryan!

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Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

pokemon-detective-pikachu-2019-movie-posterDirector: Rob Letterman

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Runtime: 104 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe

Plot: Tim’s father has passed away, and whilst going through his possessions at his apartment in Rhyme City, he discovers a talking Pikachu who claims to be a world class detective with amnesia. The two pair up to work out what happened to Pikachu.

My Thoughts: It finally happened! We got a good video game adaptation! Not only a good adaptation…a brilliant one! Who on earth would have thought it would be Detective Pikachu, when it was announced 2 years ago? Even as a huge Ryan Reynolds fan I scoffed at the idea. A real-life Pokemon movie is something the grown-up fans have been dreaming of for years, and it’s finally here.

I’ll admit, I think anyone watching this with little or no exposure to Pokemon beforehand will struggle to love it – but let’s face it, the movie isn’t for them. It’s for the kids who are playing it currently, and the adults who grew up with it. One of it’s greatest features is all the Pokemon included, in both bigger roles and brief cameos. In fact, half of the fun is spotting them all, especially in Rhyme City where Pokemon live as humans do. There’s a team of Squirtles helping our the fire department, a Jigglypuff singing someone to sleep in a bar, an anxious Psyduck prone to dangerous headaches…and so many more!

They’ve cleverly included Pokemon from all generations too, so there’s a Pokemon for everyone! There are loads of inside jokes that the fans will pick up instantly, and an awful lot of rather adult jokes that I hope fly over the kid’s heads!

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The mystery involved isn’t anything complex, and there’s no Shyamalan-style twist, but it’s not entirely predictable, either. It gets a little messy towards the end too but that’s just me being picky because honestly, I loved every minute. I’m not sure the ending was open to a sequel, but I hope the movie does well enough for the powers that be to consider another Pokemon-related movie! I’ll be first in the queue for tickets.

Best Bit: Part of it was in the trailers, but the scene with Mr. Mime was brilliant. Him miming out his invisible wall was funny enough, especially when Tim ‘opens the door’ to get inside, but when Mr. Mime still wouldn’t answer their questions? Things got dark. Things got very dark, very fast! Our whole screen was doing this ‘did that actually just happen?’ kind of laugh!

Worst Bit: I mentioned before, the ending just gets a little bit messy, but what’s really cool is that it’s linked quite closely to the original Pokemon movie from 20 years ago.

Fun Trivia: The day before the film’s theatrical release, the entire movie was “leaked” onto YouTube. In reality, clicking this video will play a minute of the film, before cutting to a loop of Pikachu dancing for an hour and forty-five minutes.

My Rating: 4 and a half cups of freshly brewed coffee which Detective Pikachu is completely addicted to. He can stop at any time, though.

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Thursday Movie Picks: Starring Real Life Couples

Thursday Movie Picks

Happy Thursday, everyone! Here in the UK we’re finally starting to see glimpses of Spring arriving. After we had our best summer ever last year, this winter is feeling particularly long, so I can’t wait until the day that I can think about not blasting the heating wherever I am. Anyway, Thursday brings a new topic for Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, and this week we’re talking about movies starring real life couples.

This is a particularly tough week for me as I generally don’t know a lot about the lives of most actors and actresses, but there are definitely some standout choices here. Let’s do this!

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Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively, Green Lantern (2011) 

My blog went a whole 2 years before I mentioned Green Lantern. That was a pretty good run, I think. I’m in the handful of people who enjoyed that movie for what it was, although once I got invested in the comics afterward I could see what a disaster it was. Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively weren’t together during the creation of this movie – but it’s how they met and if the Green Lantern movie is responsible for creating this beautiful couple, it can’t be all bad – can it?

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Emily Blunt & John Krasinski, A Quiet Place (2018)

Never will I ever forget the day I learned my sweet Jim Halpert was married (sorry, oh wonderful husband of mine). I don’t follow celebrity gossip much but these guys just seem so sweet and genuine, and I’m such a huge fan of both of their works. A Quiet Place, in particular, is one of my favorites, and it’s largely responsible for me finally getting into the horror genre.

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Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone, EVERY MOVIE EVER.

Okay but seriously, how amazing is it that Melissa McCarthy’s husband appears in practically every movie she’s in? I honestly find as much joy in spotting him as I did in spotting Stan Lee in the Marvel movies. I almost choked when I saw him in Can You Ever Forgive Me? but it was fascinating to then learn that he was cast well before she even was! I can see 2 movies in development for Melissa on IMDB at the moment, I wonder if he’ll be in those…

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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Mt. Rushmore of Movies Blogathon

I really need a break from watching that clip of Jimmy Kimmel getting the orchestra to play Matt Damon off the stage from the Oscars last Sunday, it’s becoming unhealthy, and I have a headache from laughing too much. Thankfully, the ever hilarious M.Brown at Two Dollar Cinema is running a fantastic blogathon to distract me!

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If you’re not following Two Dollar Cinema already then you really ought to be. His movie reviews are so much fun to read, and I guarantee you his ‘Yays’ and ‘Boos’ will have you laughing out loud!

Anyway, onto this Blogathon! To celebrate Presidents Day, M.Brown has invited us all to create our own Mt Rushmore of movies. It’s entirely in our hands what we pick! This Blogathon last took place 3 years ago (before I was even blogging) so I had a read through all the previous entries and oh boy, I’ve got my work cut out for me. You guys are so creative! But I’m going to give this a try. If you’d like to take part too, you’ve got until this Friday, so check out the original post here.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Mt Rushmore of Movie Cameos! Not just any old cameos, I’ll have you know, but the kind that make you jump in your seat with glee because you had no idea they were going to show up.

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Bill Murray – Zombieland (2009)

When you’re on the run from a zombie apocalypse in the middle of Hollywood, how are you going to find a good place to hide? Use a map of the star’s homes and find where Bill Murray used to live, of course. The only issue with that is it turned out that Bill Murray was still very much alive, disguising himself as a zombie in order to ‘blend in’, and allowing himself to be able to freely wander the city. What you shouldn’t do during a zombie apocalypse? Try to scare your gun-wielding friend. RIP, Bill Murray.

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John Cena – Daddy’s Home (2015)

I’ll be the first to admit that Daddy’s Home was a terrible movie. It was terrible the first time I watched it, and when I was forced to watch it a second time on a plane (one of those older ones with the shared TV in the aisle) I could have cried. What made it worse was all the R-Rated jokes were cut out of the plane version! However, I am an absolute sucker for those John Cena videos doing the rounds a couple of years ago, and so when he turned up at the end of Daddy’s Home, all was almost forgiven!

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Tom Cruise – Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Who can forget the opening credits to Goldmember, which looked like something straight out of Mission: Impossible? Wait…dammit. Then I guess I should have seen it coming when it turned out that Austin Powers was being played by Tom Cruise! The weirdest part was that he looked the part completely! Of course, there were plenty of cameos in this movie, but we can only fit 4 heads onto Mt Rushmore!

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Ryan Reynolds – A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

This is a personal guilty pleasure of mine. After showing up in a previous Seth MacFarlane movie, I was hoping Ryan Reynolds might show up, but I didn’t expect him to. When, in a Western bar, he did make an appearance, I literally squealed (in a cinema of all places) and then made some odd, disappointed sound which I can’t describe with a keyboard when he was instantly killed by Liam Neeson. Sigh.

Honourable mentions go to nearly everyone in This Is the End (2013), because I could have made this entire post about that movie and still struggled to pick just 4!