Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

spider-man-far-from-home-2019-reviewDirector: Jon Watts

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 129 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii, Cobie Smulders

Plot: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker is struggling to come to terms with his new role, and the footprints he is expected to fill. All he wants right now is to enjoy his school trip to Europe and tell MJ how he feels about her. Of course, when elemental monsters show up trying to destroy the world, his plans must be changed.

My Thoughts: After the breathtaking, nailbiting and exhausting for all the right reasons movie that Endgame was, this was definitely the right way to go next. Far from Home brings a much lighter-hearted story, although it does still touch upon the sad events from earlier this year. I don’t know why you would anyway, but don’t go and see this before Endgame, because the first 10 seconds are full of spoilers!

As one of the few who loved Andrew Garfield’s Spidey, I’ve been on the fence about Tom Holland up until recently. Now, I’m 100% sold. He really is perfect for the role, and brings all the boyish innocence that the character should have. Watching his relationship grow with MJ was one of the highlights of the movie for me, I just love how awkward they are together. I’m also so glad that MJ is smart enough to point out how clearly obvious it is that Peter is actually Spider-Man!

It’s also so great that Samuel L. Jackson is having a more prominent role in the Marvel movies recently. I think he was my favourite part of Captain Marvel earlier this year and he brings some laughs in Far from Home, too. That said, there was something stopping me from really loving the movie, and I can’t put my finger on it. It could be down to the fact I was simply exhausted (thanks, teething toddler) but I’m not sure. The mid-credits scene has got me very much looking forward to the next installment, though!

spider-man-far-from-home-tom-holland-jake-gyllenhaal

Best Bit: It’s expected with Marvel movies now I guess, but the visuals as far as Mysterio’s powers are concerned were so, so cool. The bit that I laughed hardest at though was on the coach when Peter almost accidentally blew up himself and all his friends!

Worst Bit: I was so excited for Jake Gyllenhaal to be a part of the MCU, and his character has some really fun moments, but once it’s revealed just how his ‘powers’ work, the whole thing feels a bit anti-climatic. The fight scenes between him and Spider-Man seem to go on forever, too.

Fun Trivia: First MCU movie not to have a cameo by Stan Lee; he died shortly after filming wrapped for this movie, but never made it into this movie (most likely due to his declining health), which means that Avengers: Endgame (2019) was his final on-screen appearance. However, this movie does pay tribute to him and fellow Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 dahlias that you shouldn’t trust with the guy trying to sleep with your Aunt…

spider-man-black-dahlia-flower

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in April

I’ve barely been on the blog for the last week. I was so desperate to avoid spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones that I had a bit of a technology shut down! As a result, I haven’t done as many full reviews as I normally would, so here’s a quick rundown of what I watched in April and what I thought:

unicorn-store-netflix-movie-review-2019

Unicorn Store (2017)

I’ve wanted to see Unicorn Store ever since another blogger wrote about it after it’s festival premiere 2 years ago, so I was giddy when I found out it dropped onto Netflix without any warning in April! It lived up to all my expectations, it was cute, it was weird, it was colourful, and Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson have the most amazing friendship! Definitely not a movie for everyone but I honestly feel like I was the target audience for it.

baby-mama-2008-tina-fey-amy-poehler

Baby Mama (2008)

Straight after watching Unicorn Store I spotted the poster for Baby Mama on Netflix. A movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler about motherhood that I hadn’t seen yet or even heard of?! Sign me up! It wasn’t the greatest comedy out there by a long shot but you can always count on these leading ladies to make you laugh. I’m still kind of kicking myself for not seeing the obvious twists coming, though.

cam-movie-review-2018-black-mirror

Cam (2018)

You can put Cam straight onto a list of movies you should never watch on public transport! I’m so glad my husband was too engrossed in his game to pay much attention to what I was doing because he straight up would have thought I was watching porn. This movie was quite a surprise though. I wish there was a better explanation for it all at the end but if you’re a fan of Black Mirror this movie was made for you.

someone-great-2019-netflix-movie-review

Someone Great (2019)

This was one of those ‘Oh let’s see what’s new on Netflix, that looks like some trashy fun’ kind of movie picks. Jane the Virgin broke up with her boyfriend, she’s leaving town soon and her best buds get together for one last time. It was fun enough but everything about it screamed ‘Millennial’ and as one myself I couldn’t tell if it was trying to appeal to me or take the piss out of me.

step-brothers-2008-will-ferrell-john-c-reilly

Step Brothers (2008)

So last month I ignored everyone and watched Holmes & Watson, and it was just as terrible as you all said. It brought up memories of Step Brothers though, a movie I haven’t seen in 10 years, and I couldn’t remember any of it. It wasn’t the legendary comedy I thought it was back in its day but it was a lot of fun and reminded me that Will Ferrel doesn’t always do awful movies.

Of course, I did still do a few full reviews in April, and if you missed any you can find them here:

Dumbo (2019)
Life Itself (2018)
Pet Sematary (2019)
Missing Link (2019)
Frank & Lola (2016)
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Heat (1995)
Escape Room (2019)

Life Itself (2018)

life-itself-movie-review-2018-posterDirector: Dan Fogelman

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 117 Minutes

Main Cast: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Antonio Banderas, Laia Costa, Alex Monner, Samuel L. Jackson

Plot: Will and Abby fall in love at college, get married and have a child. But after a cruel twist of nature, tragedy befalls them and the aftershocks affect more people around them throughout the years.

My Thoughts: I don’t know why, but this week I’ve been making an attempt to catch up on the movies I missed which have been hailed as being terrible – it’s an odd hobby but there’s a certain guilty pleasure about awful movies. I’ve seen Serenity (2019) but I can’t put my thoughts into words on that yet. Today I’m talking about Life Itself, but let me share an odd fact about myself first. When I was a kid I’d let my thoughts run away with me. I’d wake up in the night needing the toilet but I was afraid I would wake my parents, and my thoughts continued until I’d caused World War 3 just by having a wee at 2am.

It feels like that’s the kind of message this movie is going for. One small event can lead to much bigger consequences. Or maybe not. Who the hell knows, because this movie is all over the place. I didn’t hate it though, I actually almost loved it. During the opening scenes, I was baffled as to why the movie was so hated. I’d like Samuel L. Jackson to narrate my life, please. I also would have quite happily watched a drunken Oscar Isaac singing in a cafe for the entire movie because the biggest problem for me was the start of the movie was the best part.

If you’re looking for a sappy rom-com this certainly isn’t it, it’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever watched, but there is at least a beautiful message at the end of it all that brings some hope to the melancholy. From what I’ve read, the haters have called it ‘2018’s Collateral Beauty’ and I can’t argue with that. I guess the problem is I really enjoyed that movie!

life-itself-oscar-isaac-olivia-wilde-2018

Best Bit: Any of the scenes with Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde together. They’re so sickeningly cute, and their dog has the best name ever. Can we please have the rom-com we deserve?

Worst Bit: Once the story switched over to the Gonzales family, that’s where it started to lose me. They were introduced too late into the movie for me to invest in them and so to be brutally honest I just didn’t care that much for their drama.

Fun Trivia: During the writing of the film, Dan Fogelman listened to Bob Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind and in particular the song Love Sick, which opens the film. Written after the divorce of the singer of his second wife, this double album, dating from 1997, speaks of love and mourning with melancholy.

My Rating: 3 double espressos in large cups, that a drunken Oscar Isaac will want to pour 2 healthy measures of whiskey into before staggering about, trying to serenading you.

life-itself-oscar-isaac-coffee-espresso

Captain Marvel (2019)

captain-marvel-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 124 Minutes

Main Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Rune Temte, Lee Pace

Plot: When a mission goes wrong, Vers finds herself on Earth. Whilst trying to get back home, she struggles with the fact she remembers little of her past. When captured by Yon-Rogg, she sees glimpses of who she used to be, leading to more confusion.

My Thoughts: There hasn’t been a single movie in the MCU that I haven’t really enjoyed, so although I was fairly certain Captain Marvel would be great I was never really sold on the trailers so I was also a little hesitant. It was nothing to do with the character or Brie Larson herself, I was just unsure where the movie itself fitted in with the rest of the story. I certainly wasn’t one of the disgusting internet trolls who had a problem with a female lead or, ridiculously, the shape of Brie Larson’s butt. Human’s are so gross sometimes.

Anyway, I had such a good time watching Captain Marvel! Our cinema screen was absolutely packed and it was opening night in the UK so there was a great atmosphere in the room. Brie Larson was amazing – she kicked ass and she had a really dry, witty sense of humour that worked so well. This is probably my favourite Marvel movie for Samuel L. Jackson who provided most of the laughs this time around. He was so funny!

The special effects, of course, were stellar as expected. What blew me away though was the technology used to de-age Samuel L. Jackson. It was absolutely unreal – I wonder if it’ll garner any attention when awards season rocks up next year? I think what I enjoyed the most was the mystery element of Captain Marvel’s background. I knew nothing about her going in so everything was a surprise to me, and I loved putting the pieces together as the movie went on.

captain-marvel-brie-larson-samuel-l-jackson

Not long to go at all now until Avengers: End Game! I told my toddler to be on her best behaviour when my parents babysat her so we could see Captain Marvel. Hopefully, she put on her cutest face so they’ll babysit again soon!

Best Bit: Goose, the cat. He was straight up adorable from the moment he showed up, but I kept getting the feeling there was more than meets the eye. Then we find out that he’s a ‘Flurkin’ (sp?) rather than a cat…and then? Thanos better watch out.

Worst Bit: It took me a while to wrap my head around what was going on, to begin with. It was probably my Mum-brain not running at full capacity but I wanted a moment to pause the movie to ask the room to fill me in on what was going on.

Fun Trivia: When Talos confronts Carol and Nick in Louisiana, he sips from a fast food drink container. It is the exact same design as the cup that Jules (played by Samuel L. Jackson) sips in the scene in Pulp Fiction (1994) where they steal back the briefcase.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 retro lunchboxes, perfect for storing your most important possessions!

captain-marvel-retro-lunch-box-2019

Oldboy (2003) vs. Oldboy (2013)

oldboy-vs-oldboy-2003-2013-versus

I had so much fun writing my Point Break (1991) vs. Point Break (2015) post that I was dying to do something similar. My chance finally arose when I decided that Oldboy (2003) would be my first Blind Spot movie of the year. I’d heard terrible things about the 2013 remake and since I ended up enjoying the South Korean original so much, it was an easy decision!

You can read my full review of the original Oldboy here, but let me recap my thoughts for you quickly. It was brilliant, it was dark, twisted, uncomfortable at many times, and smart. So smart in fact that one of my very few criticisms would be that I struggled to follow the story at some points, but that’s largely down to my inexperience with foreign movies and having to rely on subtitles.

From what I can gather, Oldboy fans didn’t want a remake. Why mess with a classic? The same question is on many lips with all of the Disney remakes we’re getting this year and I can see where they’re coming from, but I do have a counterpoint. Wouldn’t it be beneficial for an Americanised remake to stir curiosity in moviegoers, enough to make them watch the original?

oldboy-2003-oh-dae-su

So let me cut to the chase. I watched the remake. I really enjoyed it! Was it as good as the original? No – but as a couple of my fellow bloggers told me – a lot of the hate is undeserved.

Spike Lee’s version is very much a reimagining of the original, it’s been adapted for a Western audience. One wouldn’t be wrong in saying it’s also been ‘dumbed down’, but I would say not to the point where the twist becomes less shocking.

There were two noticeable nods to the original that I spotted. The street vendor who sold Joe the rubber duck for his daughter is wearing a pair of angel wings, just like Oh Dae-su wore in the opening to the original. Marie has a tattoo of an octopus on her arm which is a reference to the octopus that Oh Dae-su ate in the original. I love spotting things like this and I wonder if there were more!

oldboy-2013-josh-brolin-remake

A few things that I want to complain about:
– The ending didn’t have the same impact. It was moving in the remake but horrifying in the original.
– The bad guy in the remake was almost funny in how over the top he was. The bad guy in the original was quiet and chilling.
– The fight scene in the corridor. You know the one I mean. It was just nowhere near as badass!

All in all, you just can’t beat the original. That said, I really don’t think the remake deserves the hate it got. If you’re intrigued by the premise of the movie but don’t have the patience to read your movie, I don’t think you’d be doing a terrible thing by giving the 2013 version a go.

Glass (2019)

glass-2019-movie-poster-reviewDirector: M. Night Shyamalan

Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Runtime: 129 Minutes

Main Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlyane Woodard, Luke Kirby, Adam David Thompson

Plot: David Dunn, the security guard we all remember from Unbreakable (2000) is using his powers, with the help of his Son, to track down Kevin Wendell Crumb, as well as the rest of ‘The Horde’.

My Thoughts: So I really didn’t know much about Glass before heading out to see it. I’ve obviously seen Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) so I knew all about the characters, but I knew nothing about what Glass would actually be about. One thing for sure is, boy have I missed Bruce Willis on the big screen! I haven’t seen anything from him in a long time, and he’s always fun to watch.

I have to be careful how much I say about the plot because there are a few twists and turns that I don’t want to ruin. So keeping it brief, the introduction of Sarah Paulson’s character really shakes things up in terms of what we’re lead to believe…but there’s such strong evidence it’s really hard to fully get on board with this theory.

What was really neat thought was to find out more about our three main characters, especially David and Mr Glass, who we haven’t learned about in almost 20 years (20 years!!). The story of when Mr Glass was a child was particularly hard to watch, as heartbreaking as it was.

glass-2019-david-dunn-kevin-elijah

Best Bit: James McAvoy just absolutely shines in this role, or should that be in these roles. I thought the same thing when I watched Split, but I don’t think anyone else could play it/them anywhere near as well. The fact that you can tell which personality has ‘come to the light’ by McAvoy’s facial expressions alone is just fantastic.

Worst Bit: What an anti-climatic ending. The screen I was in was quite busy and everyone seemed to have the same ‘oh’ reaction. I’m not saying I could have written a better ending myself of course but still. Couldn’t we have just had Mark Wahlberg show up, tie the movies into the ‘The Happening’ events? Shyamalan Cinematic Universe anyone? After the amazing moment in the credits of finding out Split’s connections, I was really hoping for something else…

Fun Trivia: James McAvoy based one of his 23 multiple personalities on a young Saoirse Ronan. The pair had worked together on “Atonement”.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 clovers, reminding me of another funny opportunity. Was anyone else hoping Glass would suddenly reveal a connection to the Cloverfield Universe? Clearly, all I wanted from this movie was a dumb tie-in…

glass-movie-2019-clover-tattoo

Incredibles 2 (2018)

incredibles-2-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Brad Bird

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Brad Bird, Phil LaMarr, Jonathan Banks

Plot: Elastigirl teams up with entrepreneur and superhero advocate Winston Deavor on a mission to make all ‘Supers’ legal again, whilst Mr Incredible stays at home with a mission of his own – looking after their three children.

My Thoughts: Boy am I glad that I caught up on the original Incredibles movie before seeing the sequel, because it literally picks up exactly where the original left off 14 years ago. It’s absolutely amazing comparing the same scene in both movies because you can see just how far animation technology has come in those years.

I’ll get straight to the point – I really loved it. Maybe it’s the soppy parent in me, but I enjoyed every second! Sure, you can smell the twist coming a mile away (it’s kind of the same as the original anyway) but I think we need to remember that kids are the main audience for this movie, and it’ll shock and surprise most of them.

I imagine I’m easily pleased but as great as all the superhero action was, it was the family moments that I enjoyed the most. It’s just those stereotypical moments that are absurd yet so true. I remember struggling with my homework and my Mum wasn’t any help at all because she couldn’t understand it herself! I remember those mornings as a teenager where I would decide that I hated everything and every one. Now, as a parent myself, I understand those moments where simply trying to keep a very mobile baby alive is exhausting!

incredibles-2-jack-jack-bed-time

Best Bit: Jack Jack’s powers. In fact, any time Jack Jack was even on screen. He absolutely stole the scene throughout the entire movie!

Worst Bit: For the movie itself, it was probably just a tad too long. Also – how bizarre was the short beforehand, Bao? The moment where the Mum ate her dumpling child had our whole screen laugh in shocked confusion. Now I’ve looked it up I understand it, but it was one of the most confusing things I’ve seen!

Fun Trivia: A typo on the movie theatre marquis where Tony is dropped off towards the end of the movie reads “A113”, one of the most famous recurring Easter Eggs. Several Pixar producers and animators studied at California Institute of the Arts in classroom A113 and this number appears in every Pixar film.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 cookie num nums, which you’ll need to keep handy…

incredibles-2-review-cookie-num-nums