Odd Thomas (2013)

odd-thomas-movie-review-2013Director: Stephen Sommers

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Runtime: 97 Minutes

Main Cast: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nico Tortorella, Patton Oswalt, Melissa Ordway, Shuler Hensley

Plot: Odd has the ability to see dead people, a strange power he inherited from his Mother, a power he mostly keeps a secret with the exception of his girlfriend Stormy of the Chief of Police. He uses this gift to help the Chief solve murders – but one day brings a foreboding of something much bigger.

My Thoughts: What a strange, yet delightful little movie! I’m still making a dent in my ever-growing watch list, and I think Odd Thomas made the list thanks to one of my lovely Blogging buddies after the sad news of Anton Yelchin’s passing. This is definitely my favourite movie of his that I’ve seen so far. It feels low budget – but in a good way, and it’s a wild ride from start to finish.

Absolutely everything about it is quirky, I mean just look at that plot summary! Odd himself talks us through most of the story, explaining how he can see dead people, and what these strange, shadowy figures are that only a very select few can see (they’re called bodachs). If you’ve ever seen the TV show Pushing Daisies, it’s got the same kind of silly vibe, whilst maintaining a reasonably serious storyline. It’s such a hard thing to explain, but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen it.

Basically, these bodachs follow death – they feed upon it. So when Odd’s town becomes infested with them, it’s a sign that something awful is on the horizon, a mass murder. Teaming up with Stormy and the Chief, Odd works to solve the mystery of what’s about to unfold, and hopefully stop it before it can happen. It’s by no means a perfect movie but it’s so different and out there that I can’t help but love it!

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Best Bit: I love a good mystery, and whilst this one is satisfying, it was the ending that took me by surprise. Maybe I should have seen the warning signs, but I didn’t, and when it finally clicked what was happening, I was a big mess of emotions!

Worst Bit: The supernatural elements in this movie are so crazy that it requires Odd to narrate almost everything that happens, which I guess feels a little patronising at times. It isn’t a long movie though, so I can’t help but feel like a few extra opening scenes could have done some of that work instead.

Fun Trivia: Scenes that included Odd and Stormy’s origins were deleted from the film. One including young Stormy and her stepfather and another including young Odd and his mother. Odd’s mother put a gun to his head and is later taken away while cutting paper roses. DJ Shamus and most of Ozzy’s scenes were also deleted from the film.

My Rating: 3 and a half bowling shirts, an omen of terrible things to come…

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Aquaman (2018)

aquaman-movie-poster-review-2018Director: James Wan

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 143 Minutes

Main Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin

Plot: Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, discovers that his half-brother King Orm is assembling an army to wage war against the people of the land.

My Thoughts: So without a winter Star Wars release, our family Christmas movie gettogether had to improvise and find a different movie to watch. I highly doubted my chances of convincing the boys to see Mary Poppins so Aquaman seemed like a logical choice. I’d set my expectations at a reasonable height, but I was dead excited to see Jason Momoa play Arthur Curry – weren’t we all?!

I have to admit, I know very little about Aquaman from the DC comic books. It’s a running joke (especially in The Big Bang Theory) that he’s not the coolest superhero around so I’ve never really bothered. With that in mind, I think the movie did an excellent job of making Aquaman an absolute badass, but without changing who he really is. Bravo!

I find myself a bit short of words for my review though, mainly because what I really want to say is – it was a good movie. That kind of sums it up for me. It was a superhero origin story. We got introduced to our hero, he did some cool stuff, and he saved the world. That’s all there really is to it. I don’t mean it as a criticism because I enjoyed the whole movie, it’s just one of those things!

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Best Bit: **SPOILERS** Call me a helpless sap – but once we found out that Atlanna was still alive after all I knew the moment I was waiting for, and when I saw Tom waiting down at the end of that pier I couldn’t help but sob. Curse my weak, leaky eyes!

Worst Bit: It doesn’t matter how cool you make the costumes, how stern the actors look or how fantastic the CGI is – no one can storm off whilst swimming underwater and not look like a bit of a goof whilst doing it.

Also – my husband won’t shut up about how funny he found the moment that Aquaman lifted a fallen church wall off a guy who just stood right back up and walked away like nothing happened. He’s still laughing about it now and I’m not sure if he wants it mentioned as Best Bit or Worst Bit, to be honest.

Fun Trivia: Wan was initially unsure about putting Topo in the film, but was inspired to do so after watching Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), saying, “If that film could have a guy playing a flaming guitar, I’m going to have an octopus drummer in mine.”

My Rating: 3 and a half bottles of red wine, just a fraction of the amount that were wastefully destroyed in the making of this movie.

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Review: American Psycho (2000)

american-psycho-movie-poster-2000Director: Mary Harron

Main Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage, Chloe Sevigny, Reese Witherspoon, Samantha Mathis, Matt Ross, Jared Leto, Willem Dafoe, Cara Seymour & Guinevere Turner

Genre: Crime, Drama

Plot: Christian Bale plays a hot-shot investment banker working in New York called Patrick Bateman. He does his best to fit in with his work colleagues whilst hiding his violent fantasies. We follow Bateman as he indulges further and further into madness. It starts with rude remarks made out of earshot, and becomes much, much worse.

My Thoughts: It’s taken me a whole week to try and put my thoughts into words. American Psycho has been on my watch list for so long now I don’t remember what conversation with who made me put it there to begin with, but I know it’s a well-received movie by many. I’m just not sure I really loved it to be honest.

Bateman is a complete psycho, there is no doubt. To begin with, I actually found the movie quite funny, but I’m not sure I was meant to? Once the paced picked up and Bateman actually committed murder my attention picked up again, and of course, if you’ve seen the movie yourself you’ll know how confusing the ending is. It didn’t sit well with me at all to begin with, but the more I thought about it (and looked it up on the web – not gonna lie) the more it made sense and I appreciated it.

It’s a movie I’m really glad I watched but I know I don’t need to see it again. One thing for sure though is that Cristian Bale put on a fantastic performance!

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Best Bit: Hands down the rivalry Bateman had with his colleagues about the quality of their business cards. It was just so absurd, and as someone with a total obsession with all things stationery related, I can completely relate.

Worst Bit: There’s no particular moment but I didn’t enjoy the first half hour much at all, I nearly gave up. It just took too long to get me interested in the story.

Fun Trivia: Christian Bale was warned by many that it would be career suicide for him to play the lead in a film like this. This only made him more eager to take the part. Fortunately for him, the opposite turned out to be true: Bale’s role in the movie was considered a breakthrough performance, and enabled him to shift his career from supporting roles to leading man status is the decades to come.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 very high-quality business cards, which are far fancier than yours will ever be.

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Review: The Florida Project (2017)

the-florida-project-movie-review-2017After being away from the game for far too long, and realising the only movies I’d been watching of late were average blockbusters, I decided to go back to what made me love blogging in the first place – little-known movies that I discovered through other blogs that are well loved. That’s what led me to watch The Florida Project (2017) the other night and re-kindled my love of movies in general.

Set not far away from the most magical place in the world, 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) lives with her Mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) at the Magic Castle Motel. It’s the summer holiday, and the movie revolves around the antics that Moonee and her friends get up to, as well as the struggles and hardships of Halley and the other adults living at the Motel.

I didn’t warm to this movie, to begin with. I took it at face value, and Moonee and her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera) really wound me up at first. My school had quite a few rough kids and it brought back a few memories. However, once I got a look into their lives and what they had to deal with every day, I fell in love with them. In fact, I feel like I could really relate to the manager of the Motel, Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who has to put up with the nonsense every single day, but still has a soft spot for them.

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After Halley and her friend downstairs Ashley (Mela Murder) fell out big time, it was reasonably clear to me what direction the movie was going to go in, but it didn’t ease the heartbreak that I felt watching Moonee run. What an amazing little actress Brooklynn Prince is! I hope to see her again in more movies to come.

In fact, I was gutted when the movie ended for 2 reasons. The first obviously being because it was so emotional, but secondly, because I could spend all day at the Magic Castle Motel just watching these characters live their lives. I haven’t felt such a strong connection to a character for a long time.

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This is the first movie by Sean Baker that I’ve seen, but I’ve been meaning to watch Tangerine (2015) for a while now and this might just be the push I needed. If you’re looking to watch something a little different than your average movie, I can’t recommend The Florida Project highly enough, it’s one of my favourites of 2017 for sure. Also – it really makes me want to go back to Florida! I haven’t been since I was a kid. 4.5 Magic Bands out of 5 from me – which Halley may or may not have stolen…

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