The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

the-man-who-killed-don-quixote-2018Director: Terry Gilliam

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard, Jordi Molla, Joana Ribeiro, Oscar Jaenada, Olga Kurylenko

Plot: Toby, once a starry-eyed film director is now an advertising director. Whilst shooting on location he realises how close he is to the town where he shot his first movie. When he visits, he comes across the man he hired to play the character Don Quixote…only the man believes that he really is Don Quixote.

My Thoughts: What a strange, odd movie! The Man Who Killed Don Quixote started production in the year 2000, and finally finished in 2017. There’s even a documentary about the problems and challenges the crew faced to actually bring this movie to our screens. Then in May 2018, it was released at the Cannes Film Festival. It got shown at several other festivals that year, and then got a 1-day theatrical release in the USA almost an entire year later. Finally, this month it got released on DVD & Blu-Ray! Phew…what a journey.

The movie is insane, that much is established within the first few minutes. When Toby meets his old cast member, he fully believes himself to be the great Don Quixote of La Mancha, and thinks Toby is his squire, Sancho. Hilarity ensues, but Toby starts to question what is actually real…and so did I! I completely lost the plot at about the halfway point, but it was so damn entertaining that I kind of didn’t care. I signed up for 2 hours of Adam Driver shouting the f-word in the way only he can, and I was in for the long haul.

I wonder if this is the kind of movie you actually need to be drunk for in order for it to make sense? Regardless, it’s a shame it wasn’t a masterpiece after taking so long to make, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. I found myself asking, but who is the man who killed Don Quixote? He isn’t even dead? And I guess my question got answered…in a very amusing way!

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Best Bit: Towards the end, when the crazy got turned up to 11 and Toby gave into Don’s disillusions, that’s where it got fun. Plus, that black outfit with boots Adam Driver was wearing? Yes, please. Can that be Kylo Ren’s new get up? Anyway – that’s when Don Quixote meets his end. It’s hilarious!

Worst Bit: I think it was the moment that the gold in Toby’s hand turned out to be rocks or dirt or goodness knows what – and Stellan Skarsgard showed up again. That was when I realised I had no idea what was going on, and it was useless to try to work it all out.

Fun Trivia: The film is dedicated to the memory of John Hurt and Jean Rochefort. Terry Gilliam had chosen both to play Don Quixote in past incarnations of this project, and both died before the film was completed.

My Rating: 4 murderous GIANTS that I, Don Quixote of La Mancha shall…oh no wait, they’re just windmills.

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

mamma-mia-here-we-go-again-movie-posterDirector: Ol Parker

Genre: Comedy, Musical

Runtime: 114 Minutes

Main Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Andy Garcia, Lily James, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Hugh Skinner, Pierce Brosnan, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Cher, Meryl Streep

Plot: Taking place 5 years after the original movie, Sophie is planning a grand opening party for the Bella Donna hotel. As her plans come crashing down, she learns more about her mother and how she met Sophie’s 3 fathers.

My Thoughts: I don’t even know how I found myself watching this at the cinema last night. I’m not an ABBA fan and would struggle to name 10 of their hits, but I watched the original movie about 2 years ago when it was picked for a family movie night, and despite finding it completely cheesy, it had a certain charm to it that made it hard to not like it.

Here We Go Again brings much of the same charm, if not more. If you can look beyond the cheese and the subpar acting (no one was really trying their best here) then there’s a lot of joy to be found. The cast is huge, there was no way I could cut it down for the post without doing someone a disservice, and if seeing Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård doing the Titanic pose doesn’t warm your heart and turn your frown upside down then nothing will!

What I thought was so clever though was how well the ‘young’ actors and actresses did. I mean Lily James is just stunning no matter what she does, and the boys had the characteristics down to a T! It was Jessica Keenan Wynn who stole the show for me though as a younger Christine Baranski. It was almost scary how similar she was.

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Best Bit: The Greek Passport Control guy was hilarious when he judged everyone’s photos. The bit never got old, in fact, it got funnier every single time.

Worst Bit: Not being an ABBA fan I only knew a handful of the songs, so I felt pretty left out when the people either side of me in the cinema were bopping along and hoping no one noticed them singing.

Fun Trivia: Meryl Streep and Lily James, the two actresses portraying Donna, are distant relatives – ninth cousins, three times removed to be precise.

My Rating: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was a 3.5 out of 5 up until now, when writing this post made me realise I enjoyed it more than I thought. A solid 4 out of 5 crazy outfits it is!

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