The Nice Guys (2016)

the-nice-guys-2016-movie-review-poster(I’m on vacation right now celebrating my 30th Birthday! To fill the void whilst I’m away I’m posting some old movie reviews that I wrote for the blog I had before I started Often Off Topic. I’ll be back in early September.)

Have you ever seen a movie trailer for the first time and get the feeling that you know it’s going to be brilliant? Like, no fear of disappointment or anything because you know you’re going to love it? That’s what happened to me and my husband in January this year. We were at the cinema to see Spotlight, and after having a bit of a movie/blog hiatus over Christmas all of the trailers were a surprise to me. Cue a 70’s looking Ryan Gosling wrapping fabric around his knuckles, punching through a window, and then gripping his wrist, bleeding everywhere, followed by Russell Crowe accepting $30 to beat up a little girl’s friend, and I was practically dancing in my seat.

Of course, like every other movie I’ve been looking forward to this year, it got released in the cinemas during my wedding/honeymoon weeks, which meant I missed it.

There was a game I used to play on the Xbox 360 called L.A. Noire, it’s possibly still one of my favourites games of all time. You play as an LAPD Officer called Phelps, trailing Los Angeles for clues and interviewing witnesses to solve cases. That’s just what The Nice Guys is like, only it’s side-splittingly hilarious at the same time. In The Nice Guys, Holland March (Ryan Gosling) has been hired by a worried mother whose daughter, a porn star by the name of Misty Mountains, has been missing for days. She was last sighted 2 days ago by her mother herself. The only issue here? Misty died in a car accident 4 days ago…

Holland’s search puts him in the line of fire of Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), who has been paid to stop Holland from nosing around. And so our pair meet, which as you can probably tell from the movie poster, ends badly (and painfully) for Holland. If I had any doubts about the chemistry these guys might share on-screen, they were fizzled out by their performance at the Oscars earlier this year. They bounce off each other so well!

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I’ve been so used to watching Ryan Gosling play a tough guy (Drive, The Place Beyond The Pines, Only God Forgives) that this completely threw me off balance. I’m really not joking when I say he screams like a girl, and it didn’t matter how many times it happened, I laughed till I cried. He’s just a bit of a doofus, but a very good detective at the same time, which means when he does slip up and does something stupid, it comes without warning. His character Holland also has a young teenage daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice) who is constantly trying to help. Characters like Holly normally get in the way and get annoying, but in some cases, she actually saves the day, and she’s a delight to watch.

It was just so much fun to watch, and I’ll be watching it again and again over the years, I’m sure. If there were only one movie this year that deserves a sequel, it’s this, because I could watch Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe work together solving cases for hours on end. In fact, I don’t even know why I’m scoring this a 9/10, I can’t think of a fault to pick at, but I hate giving out full marks!

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The 10 Best Movies of 2016

It’s got to be one of the most fun parts of being a movie blogger, and a huge reason I set up my solo blog just before Christmas. I’m talking about compiling and sharing a Top 10 Movies of the year post. Once January rolls around I scour every blog I follow looking for these lists. comparing them with my own and adding new movies to my watch list. Of course, It’s only the start of 2017, and I haven’t seen nearly all of the 2016 releases yet, so this is more of a Top 10 Best Movies of 2016 ‘so far’ list.

It’s difficult living in the UK sometimes. No I don’t mean the need to constantly apologise (sorry) or being almost solely dependent on tea and biscuits, but we have to wait weeks, sometimes months for movie releases. That’s why you’ll find some huge hits like La La Land (12th Jan ’17 release here) missing from this list, and why you might be confused to see others like Room (15th Jan ’16 release) here.

Before I kick off, I’d like to join in the tradition of noting some honourable mentions, the movies I really enjoyed but weren’t quite good enough for my Top 10. They are: Doctor Strange, Ghostbusters (#hatersgonnahate), Captain American Civil War, Everybody Wants Some, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Midnight Special, Zootopia & Sing Street.

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#10 Nocturnal Animals

It’s been nearly 2 months since I watched Nocturnal Animals, and I still haven’t decided what I think that ending means. It’s the kind of movie I could have easily hated and waved off as being cold and empty, but I found it fascinating. There are a few scenes that are difficult to watch, and an extremely unwanted and unexpected jump scare, but it’s certainly worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

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#9 Room

You know, it makes me sound like a right weirdo, telling you all how much I enjoyed a movie about a mother and son who were kidnapped and help captive in a tiny room for years, but it’s the performances that make Room such a lovable movie. Watch out world, because Jacob Tremblay is going to take the world by storm one day! If you’re planning on watching Room, grab some tissues beforehand, unless you’re a cold-hearted monster.

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#8 Tallulah

Sometimes it’s those quiet, less heard of movies that take you by surprise, and this was the case with Tallulah. A Netflix Original about a good person doing a bad thing, this movie tore my heart out, stomped on it a few times, and then stuck it back in my chest the wrong way. I don’t remember the last time I genuinely tried to reason with a movie character whilst watching a movie.

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#7 Bridget Jones’s Baby

Okay, who thought we’d get the return of Bridget Jones in 2016? Who actually had high hopes for it after the rather dull Edge of Reason, that I spent an hour researching to try to remember whether I’d ever even watched it? Maybe it was the fabulous company I had at the cinema, but I don’t remember the last time I laughed at a movie that it hurt!

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#6 Rogue One

Despite my initial confusion and slight disappointment at the amount of trailer footage that didn’t end up in the final copy, this was the movie that the hard core Star Wars fans deserved. I for one never expected Disney to get so dark. This movie earns it’s spot for ‘that corridor scene’ alone. *heavy breathing* No no, don’t panic, that’s just me, I forgot to breathe during the scene!

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#5 Deadpool

Let’s face it, after such an amazing marketing campaign (which doesn’t seem to ever end) Deadpool could have been a mediocre movie and we’d have been happy enough. After the character was butchered completely in X-Men Origins it could have been terrible, and yet instead we all got the movie we’d been waiting years for. Action packed and full to the brim of jokes you’d never want to explain to your Mum. I just hope the sequel will be just as good!

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#4 The Nice Guys

This time last year when I saw the trailer for The Nice Guys, I knew I would love it, and it didn’t disappoint at all. It’s perhaps the most criminally under-watched movie of 2016! Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have so much chemistry on screen, it’s worth a watch for them alone, but there’s so much going on I think it’s one of those where every time you rewatch it, you spot something new.

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#3 Spotlight

The biggest ‘I told you so’ moment of my life was during the Academy Awards in 2016. Despite knowing next to nothing about the Oscars and the criteria for nominees and winners, I felt such a strong connection to Spotlight and not only was I rooting for it to win Best Picture, I genuinely thought it stood a good chance, and I was laughed away when I said it was so much better than The Revenant. Despite having the win ruined for me by the radio before I could watch the ceremony, I was still ecstatic!

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#2 Arrival

My top two spots have shifted around so much, if I wrote this post again in an hour it might have changed again! Arrival is such a beautiful movie. The time flew by as I got engrossed in watching Amy Adams’ character learn the language of the aliens who have landed on Earth, but the final twenty minutes when everything clicks into place is absolutely mind blowing, and it’s one of those moments I wish I could experience again for the first time.

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#1 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Some movies make us laugh. Others make us cry. Some have visuals that leave us in awe. Others make us think about how we view others and the world we live in. Some have characters that we relate to, or aspire to be. Hunt for the Wilderpeople was all of things and more, and it came out of absolutely nowhere for me. I find it impossible to explain to others why I loved it so much, and yet all I want is to sit people down and force them to watch it! If it wasn’t for the blogging community I wouldn’t even know this movie existed, and that’s a scary thought!

In a couple of days I’m planning to post my Worst 10 Movies of 2016, and whilst I’m in a list making mood, I might make a few others too. I hope I have enough coloured pens, and sticky tabs. Who am I kidding, I have enough stationery to supply an entire school! For now though, I’d love to know – what was your favourite movie of 2016?