Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Trivia Round-Up: June 2015


So, June is coming to an end already. I really haven't been around much on the blog this month, real life has kind of taken over, but thanks to our backlog of draft posts you probably haven't even noticed, ha! Anyway, here's some fun trivia from the films we've blogged about this month.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Actor Colin Firth did 80% of his own stunts according to stunt coordinator and second unit director Bradley James Allan.
There's all sorts of suit related trivia for this, most at essay length, but I think this is pretty impressive for a 50+ year old!

Director Alex Garland has described the future presented in the film as 'ten minutes from now'. Meaning that 'if somebody like Google or Apple announced tomorrow that they had made Ava, we would all be surprised, but we wouldn't be that surprised'.

When the humans are being placed in the new human land, the family from insideout is shown.
I did not spot this, I want to watch it again and keep an eye out!

Anna Kendrick improvised nearly half of her lines.
Not exactly surprising, but reading it reminded me of Beca's attempt at comebacks and it made me giggle a little.

Director Marjane Satrapi was initially going to hire voice actors for the animals' voices, however Ryan Reynolds convinced her that he should do them as they are voices that his character hears in his head, and therefore should be different variations of his voice. He convinced her by sending her recordings of his voice, tailored specifically for each of the animals.
Love, love, love this! Awesome!

Although they play classmates in the film, Mae Whitman is actually nine years older than her costar Bella Thorne in real life.

The audiotapes of the working sessions between the real P.L. Travers and Walt Disney's team amounted to 39 hours, all of which screenwriter Kelly Marcel and later Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson had access to. Emma Thompson has said she listened to all of them in preparation for her role, and that the experience was "like being poked in the ear with hot forks!".
This makes me even more in awe of Emma Thompson's performance, that's exactly how I felt watching her portray P.L. Travers.

Jennifer Aniston drew inspiration from her friend and colleague Stacy Courtney. Courtney worked as a stunt-woman until she was involved in a serious accident with her legs, which immediately put a hold on her career. She lived with chronic pain for years, and went on to receive 23 surgeries and became addicted to oxycontin. However, she didn't give up and later resurrected her career. She worked as a stunt coordinator on this film.
That started as a cool bit of trivia and ended as a truly inspiring story!

The show's staff from seasons 1-3 return to work for this movie, especially creator Stephen Hillenburg who has now returned to SpongeBob full time after leaving the show after the first movie (although he still reviewed episodes and gave suggestions).
That explains all the nods to the original running jokes, then :)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The jacket worn by Tom Hardy is the exact same one worn by Mel Gibson in the original trilogy, although heavily worn.
We all know that 80% of the special effects were real, practical effects and stunts, but this is new to me!

The Terminator (1984)
Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous debut line 'I'll be back' was originally scripted as 'I'll come back'.
There was a lot of trivia for this film, mostly about behind the scenes stuff but this tickled me!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Blind Spot: The Terminator (1984)

It’s been a strange and busy old month this month, what with Jenna’s new house and my family members seemingly dropping like flies, and I’m surprised we’ve managed to get together, but we did it! This might also be the second most fun I’ve ever had watching a movie with Jenna. I was about to say the absolute most fun, but then I remembered Sharknado.  Nothing will ever beat Sharknado but this did come pretty close, especially with the exceptional CGI work! I think we’re both a little embarrassed to have never seen our pick this month, but hey, better late than never! 


We were planning on watching Platoon for this month’s Blind Spot, but time and tiredness wouldn’t allow for it, and with Terminator Genisys out next month, it seemed like a suitable swap around.

If you didn’t know already, or had simply forgotten, The Terminator has been sent back in time to 1984 with one mission, to murder Sarah Connor, who, in the future, will give birth to John Connor, who in the future leads a war against machines and computers. Future John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah...and now my head hurts. Did I get that right? Yep I think that's right...ish!


A fly on the wall would have had a great time whilst we were watching this.
‘Oh, he’s naked!’
‘Umm...he’s very much naked, oh my’
‘Where’d that other naked guy come from?!’
We also had a funny discussion over the plot twist (spoiler alert, obviously) which we had worked out fairly early on, which went something like this…
Jenna: Oh, what if Reese is actually Connor’s Father? Wait, how would that even work…
Allie: No, no, what if he was actually John Connor’s Father!
Jenna: ...That’s what I just said.
Allie: I thought you meant Sarah Connor’s Father!
Jenna: How would that make sense?!
This conversation was too funny and also spanned about 40 minutes - i.e. it took Allie a further 30 or so minutes to come up with the same theory as me but without realising I had already stated the same theory 30 minutes earlier! 30 minutes!! It was 10!

Sometimes I worry for us...but we do have fun when we watch movies together! Onto something more constructive though, I really did  enjoy watching The Terminator. I kind of wish I had done so years ago when I could appreciate the special effects, because watching them know was laughable. Some of the stop motion effects were really dodgy, but that’s just down to the time this was made. I’m sure we’ll all be poking fun at our recent special effects in years to come.  We shouldn't have found it funny because as Allie said it would have been great when it was realised THIRTY years ago, but it was a great giggle comparing the work to an episode of Thunderbirds and watching the scenes quite obviously change from prosthetic faces to real faces, real filming to stop motion!!

In fairness, looking past the graphics and CGI (or lack of it) this is a great Sci-fi movie, the concept is bloody brilliant (if you don't get tied up in time travel paradoxes as I did a couple of times while watching).  Its terrifying to think that in the future machines could take over the world.  Did anyone else think that the writers of Avengers: Age of Ultron may have taken some influence from Terminator?!  There seemed to be a lot of similarities in both the storylines and the robots.


This is a really hard one to score. If I put on a professional blogger hat and analysed the effects, cheesy dialogue, etc, then this would have a lower score, but we’ve always scored films on our enjoyment more than anything else!  As much as I took the piss out of the dialogue and the graphics I do have to account for when the film was released and the awesomeness of the story...





 
 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Supernatural: 10 Seasons, 220 Episodes, 7 Months

Now might seem like a weird time to be blogging about Supernatural, weeks after the Season 10 finale, but bear with me, there’s a point here.

Last year, at the end of November, I embarked on a Supernatural journey. I’d recently started a new job, so close to home I had an extra hour’s time at home in the morning before leaving, which gave me a chance to catch up on some TV Shows. I’d already burnt through The IT Crowd, and I was looking for something new to start. Friends both old and current had recommended Supernatural, and as a Tumblr user, I only understood 50% of my home feed, despite not following any Supernatural-related blogs.


Any Tumblr will understand that the place seems to be run by the ‘SuperWhoLock’ fandom! I’d also received a Supernatural themed tee in Qwertee’s ‘Insanitee sale', and really, I don’t know what other push I needed. I’d worked out that if I watched 1 episode each morning before work, it would take me just under a year to catch up. Spoilers ahead for all 10 Seasons!

I expected to get some sort of Supernatural-fatigue halfway through and give up, but honestly, I fell in love. There were seasons that I loved and will want to re-watch at some point (I’m looking at you, Season 5) and others that I just couldn’t stand (screw you, Season 6). What I didn’t expect was to have finished the entire lot in 7 months. I burnt through Season 6 as I hated the ‘Soul-less Sam’ storyline, and watched it more as background noise than anything else. Season 5 took me no time at all as I fell in love, and Season 7 took the longest as the leviathans bored the pants off me, and I couldn’t bring myself to carry on.


Throughout the last 7 months I really don’t feel like I’ve spoiled too much for myself. I truly didn’t know how each season would end (9 being the exception here) but it still wasn’t the same as watching it ‘live’. 

Now I feel like I understand Tumblr a whole lot better, and I’ve earnt the right to fill blog posts with Supernatural reaction memes! Apologies if this happens all the time now, but hey, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I'll also be found singing Carry on my Wayward Son a lot, #sorrynotsorry with that one.


So, am I looking forward to Season 11? I am! I don’t know how everyone else feels, but although Dean irritated the hell out of me, I loved Season 10, and I’m excited to see how the brothers deal with ‘the darkness’. What’s going to happen to Castiel? Anyone else Rowena has mind controlled that way hasn’t lived to tell the story. I’m sure he’ll find a way though. 



Now that there’s a Supernatural shaped hole in my mornings, I’ve started to catch up on Sleepy Hollow Season 2. I thought the first Season last year was full of promise, and I got to meet Tom Mison this year so I feel like I owe it to him. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

My main friends group who I still see after we all finished college is full of guys. To begin with, there was only 1 other girl in our group but we do have a couple more now the lads have found them! What it means is I get a lot of invites to ‘lads’ film nights that I tend to turn down. There were some last minute plans to see Mad Max on the opening night, and so I said yes and just went with it!


Now, I haven’t seen any of the other Mad Max films, but from what I gather, Max used to be in the police force until his family were murdered. I should probably go back now and watch the others for some backstory, but I was told I wouldn’t need to see the others before watching Fury Road to appreciate it.

Mad Max: Fury Road is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the desert where humanity barely exists. Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) rules a small town known as The Citadel with his  ‘War Boys’, farming women for their breast milk, and keep several wives to provide him with heirs. Joe’s most trusted Lieutenant, Furiosa (Charlize Theron) betrays him and makes a run for freedom with his wives, and whilst on the road, Max (Tom Hardy) joins them.


I’d heard beforehand that this would be one of the year’s biggest action films, but I wasn’t expecting what I saw. The film opens on what must have been a 10 minute-long action scene, and it never slowed down for a minute. You know when you’re watching an action film and you get an actual action scene every now and again? In Fury Road, you get a scene every now and again without it. Even when there isn’t any action, it doesn’t last for long!

Multiple viewings are definitely needed just to fully appreciate the visuals in this, from the colourful desert setting to the fine details in each of the vehicles. It’s just crazy, that’s my main way of summing this film up. I mean, there’s a huge vehicle in Joe’s army with 3 great big drums, a drummer at each, and at the front, a guy on an electric guitar hanging in suspense with elastic. How is that not crazy?!


I don’t mean this to sound like a criticism, but although this is Max’s film, I thought Furiosa was the leading character. She was everything a female character needed to be, and she rocked it! Even the wives weren’t silly, pathetic girls who needed looking after every two minutes. One thing that only really sprung to mind when I was trying to sleep that night was that this film didn't include any bad language or sex scenes. It's just pure action, and how could that not be awesome?

This has ruined any other action film for me right now, because I don’t think anything could live up to it. If you get the chance to see it in the cinema I urge you to do it, because the experience alone makes this a 10 for me. At home, it might be a 9, but ask me again when the DVD is out.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015)

I am a twenty five year old adult with a grown up job...I am a twenty five year old adult with...oh to hell with it. Cartoons have always been something I’ve loved, from Saturday morning action cartoons when I was a child to the high-as-hell Adventure Time when I was, well...yesterday! SpongeBob is a personal favourite of mine, a cartoon loved by my whole family, who quote it on a near daily basis. Cue dolphin noises instead of swears, explanations on how to blow a bubble correctly to talking (ppthhhhh) like those (ppthhhh) fish when SpongeBob (ppthhhh) was waiting (ppthhhh) for that bus (ppthhh) after being at Glove World.  I thought I was a SpongeBob Squarepants fan but after reading this I am clearly lacking in SpongeBob related knowledge - I bow down to you oh master of SpongeBobness.....

For anyone now wanting to Google ‘ppthhh’, that was my attempt at typing a raspberry sound. Try it! It’s harder than it looks. Thhhuuuurrrrr ?!


spongebob-movie-sponge-out-of-water

Anyway, back onto some kind of track. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water goes back to it’s roots and uses a plot the fans are all familiar with. Yep, Plankton is after the Krabby Patty secret formula once again. Despite it’s title, our beloved main characters only spend about 20 minutes of screen time out of the water! This was the biggest disappointment for me to be fair!

Sponge out of Water caters to the fans. Although little can make sense in a regular SpongeBob episode, there are so many nods and references to the show in this movie that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone new to the franchise slated the movie for being a random acid trip. That’s kind of how it goes though! There’s plenty for the fans to enjoy, and I couldn’t contain my glee when the famous ‘my leg!’ line was said, or yelped even.  So this explains a lot, I was disappointed with the movie because it was just plain bizarre, half the jokes didn't make sense and it was (I can imagine) what an acid trip would be like.... I need to go back watch back to back SpongeBob episodes and then try this again I think!


It’s the style of jokes that make this movie so funny. Think of Plankton, that tiny green little bad guy, creeping across a room. The music changes to the high pitched notes of a key instrument, just two notes played again and again. A few seconds later, we realise that SpongeBob is actually playing a tiny piano placed in his hand! (this bit was hilarious!) On the other hand, we’re provided terrible puns, which just happens to be one of my favourite things. 
“Hey, it’s raining pickles. Now it’s raining...TANKS!”
“You’re welcome.” - I don't get it?! Oh my God! Tanks...sounds like thanks!!

Joke-telling aside, the only thing that really disappointed me was the lack of songs. There are many memorable SpongeBob songs from the episodes that could have been remastered, but all we got was a new one. I’m grateful, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t better than the Krusty Krab Pizza.  It turns out a friend that I went with, Shmistine (names have been changed to protect identities) learnt all the words to the theme song in preparation for seeing this and refused to leave the cinema until she had sang the whole thing - full volume, I nearly left her there!!


spongebob-movie-mad-max
Did these scenes remind anyone else of Mad Max?!
All in all, this was a fun-filled nostalgia trip for me, and I’ll be watching it again with my brother if we happen to have a movie night sometime.  I really to try this again and re-review it!  You and me are going to have a SpongeBob-a-thon sometime soon, haha!







 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Mini Reviews: Saving Mr Banks (2013), Cake (2014) & Ex Machina (2015)

saving-mr-banks-2013-review

I can’t quite believe Saving Mr Banks is 2 years old now, it feels like I’ve been putting off watching it for a couple of months, not years! I remember little of the Mary Poppins story, in fact I can only recall a couple of the songs, and maybe that’s why I put this film off for so long. I’m glad I gave it a shot though, as this was a beautiful story.
Emma Thompson does a fantastic job at portraying this frustrating character who you struggle to warm to at first, but by the credits roll I had tears in my eyes. The whole cast made this a wonderful film to watch, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.





cake-movie-2014-review

I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Aniston and films that tackle depression have always interested me, which I realise sounds quite morbid! Therefore, I thought Cake would be a film I would really enjoy. Cake is a dark story of a woman who becomes obsessed with the suicide of a friend in her support group for chronic pain, who also tries to deals with her own severe issues.
Maybe watching this in chunks throughout my lunch breaks didn’t help, but I found the story so hard to understand, I had to read half on an IMDB synopsis to work out what was going on. Once I worked it out it was more enjoyable, but still fell flat for me.





ex-machina-2015-review

When the posters and trailers came out for Ex Machina came out, I wasn’t bothered in the slightest. I didn’t even notice it come and go from my local cinema. However, anyone I knew who went to see it or watched the DVD said how brilliant it was, and the got my curiosity. It’s hard to even explain the plot of Ex Machina without ruining the experience, but I would recommend it to anyone.
It starts of as a family friendly, futuristic film and out of nowhere, takes a very dark turn, and rapidly turns into adult-only territory. I haven’t seen anything like it, and although I don’t think a re-watch will give the same impact, it was a brilliant experience first-time.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Being Home

This week I moved into my very own house, I have lived with my Dad for near on my whole life so far and so it was a huge step for me to buy my own house and move in.  I have only been in for two days but I have had hoards of friends and family come to visit to make sure I'm not lonely (and get a nosey at the house) and its been great.  Now will be the time where I have to make a house a home, the decorating is all done but I  have to spend the next few weeks find a place for everything I own and getting into a routine (as I have been stuck in a 30 year rut at my previous home!).  Its all very exciting and in honour of this big event, I thought I would list my favourite movies that involve a house or a home quite prominently in the storyline.


I LOVE Goldie Hawn films, particularly the ones from the 80's/90's and this was one of my favourites.  Architect Newton Davies (Steve Martin) designs and builds his fiancĂ©e a house in his home town (anyone who has seen this movie will remember the gorgeous white house with the giant red bow).  She freaks out and he gets drunk and spends the night with Gwen (Goldie Hawn) who proceeds to move herself into this house and inform the locals that she is Newton's new love.  You can imagine how the rest of the film goes but its just a great movie with lots of laughs a great cast.  The house is stunning and becomes the centre point of the whole film.







Has anyone even heard of this film?  Two kids are so annoyed with the warring parents that they lock them in the basement of their house until they can sort out their differences!  Other kids in their school hear about this genius idea and bring their parents along to join the basement 'party'  Chaos ensues as the kids try to take care of themselves as well as provide their parents with enough food and water to survive.  Its been a long time since I watched this film I had it on VHS as a kid and I think I wore it out I watched it that much.  Great cast and unique story, definitely worth watching with your kids if you can get hold of a copy!  The 'grown ups' in the basement make the most of a bad situation while the kids realise its not easy being a grown up!







If you don't know the story of Home Alone then you probably shouldn't be reading a movie blog but I will summarise briefly just in case.  Kevin McAllister (MacCaulay Culkin) gets left at home when his family go on vacation for Christmas.  He thinks its the best thing ever until the 'Wet Bandits' try to rob the house thinking it's empty.  Kevin sets up countless traps around the house to thwart the burglars.  Did you know the house used for this film is still around but its been changed so much on the inside that it looks nothing like the 90's wonderland that we all remember.  I don't even need to justify this pick, it is centred around a home but it also throughs in the sentimental notes that a house is not home without family.






*pause for inevitable groans of disappointment* I know everyone hated this film when it came out but that doesn't stop me from loving it!  Kate (Sandra Bullock) buys a lake house, which once belonged to Alex (Keanu Reeves), somehow (I can't remember how) they end up communicating via the mail box outside the house - across time!  They build a relationship via letter and try to work out how they can meet in person.  Its a bizarre set up but ultimately it is a romantic drama and a bit of a weepy and we all know I'm a sucker for those. 










Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) refuse to sell their house even after encouragement from their local realtor.  Unfortunately, on their way home they swerve their car and die, leaving them haunting the house.  Unable to cope with new owners moving in Adam and Barbaa enlist the help of Beetlejuice to scare off the new tenants with hilarious and disastrous consequences.  This film is weird, every time I watch it I find it more weird and spot more strange people/items in the background of the scenes but I love it.  It's my go to Halloween film (because I don't like real horror movies).  Michael Keaton is at his best at Beetlejuice!  Did I hear rumours of a sequel to this recently?! Anyone else heard anything?  I don't know if I want that to happen or not....







Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) is a post clothing designer in New York with a gorgeous man, Andrew (Patrick Dempsey) who rents out the whole of Tiffany's to propose to her, there's only one problem:  She never quite got divorced from her first husband Jake (Josh Lucas).  Melanie has to head back to her home town in Alabama to get him to sign the papers before anyone realises that she has lied about her past.  Typical rom-com about the importance of home and where you come from but the amazing cast from Witherspoon, Dempsey and Lucas to Candice Bergen, Mary Kay Place and Fred Ward give it the edge over other rom-coms.









How many times will I find an excuse to write about this film?!  In fact I nearly tried to throw the Goonies in there because their whole jaunt was to save their homes!! Anyway, back to it!  You all know the story by now Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams) meet as teenagers and fall in love but are torn apart by her fancy shmancy parents.  They reconnect years later only to discover nothing has really changed.  Noah builds Allie the house she dreams of living in, he builds it even though he believes he will never live there with her.  It turns out the house brings them back together when the work he has done features in a newspaper and Allie sees it.  Its such a lovely sentiment and still my favourite romantic movie ever.




One of my favourite Christmas movies - how it didn't feature in the 12 days of Christmas, I don't know! Iris (Kate Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) decide to swap houses over the Christmas holidays after both suffer relationship disasters.  Over the opposite sides of the Atlantic, Iris and  Kate forge a friendship and find love in the most unexpected places.  (I should write movie blurbs for a living!!)  An opposing tale about how the grass is sometimes a little bit greener on the other side!  I would love to live in both the houses featured in this but the US house was just amazing - I need those blinds in my life!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Review: The DUFF (2015)

Does anyone else miss the days of teen rom-coms overrunning the local theatres – before the days of superhero mania and reboot hysteria the cinemas were filled with She’s all That’s, the 10 things I hate about you’s and other generic geek girl/boy takes off glasses to reveal all the hotness underneath and happens to get the cool/hot/popular guy/girl to fall in love with them.  Well these were the days when I first started loving cinema, on Friday afternoons after school we would get the number 4 bus (approximately 90 minutes apart!!) to the local theatre and watch one of these gems!  This is why I was so excited about The DUFF because it reminded me so much of those visits to the big screen.





 Do I really need to explain the sorry?! Geek chic (we’ve improved from plain old geek back in the 90’s) Bianca (Mae Whitman) has known her neighbour and resident popular guy Wes (Robbie Amell) her whole life and he is the one who happens to inform her that she is a DUFF – designated ugly fat friend (how considerate I know!).  This is the friend that guys can approach to ask about their hot friends because they are ugly and fat (although the definition used in the movie implies that the person isn’t necessarily ugly or fat but just less hot that their friends!!).  You can pretty much guess the rest, Bianca proceeds to realise the truth and argue with her friends and try to eliminate her DUFF status with various approaches (one involving humping a store mannequin) only to find that her true love was right under her nose.


Now, you may have noticed a bit of sarcasm in my synopsis (if I didn’t make it obvious enough!) but I actually really enjoyed this movie.  Whitman is a fantastic actress and works well with the limited script offered to her and manages to steal every scene that she was in.  The film did have its ridiculous moments, the mall montage being the worst offender and I almost turned it off at that point because I was actually getting annoyed.  However, I stuck it out and enjoyed the rest of it enough, maybe not enough to ever watch it again but it was comical in places (the fake porn scene had me crying with laughter) and kept my attention.

 
The supporting cast were pretty rubbish and Bianca's mom (Allison Janney) was MASSIVELY under-utilised, her talents are endless and her lines weren’t even funny from her – which is saying something.  The friends only seemed to be included to make the story viable (a DUFF can’t be a DUFF if she has no friends!) but you can’t understand why she would ever be friends with these girls who she has nothing in common with but I may be overthinking the concept a bit too much.  Amell however surprised me, I have always found him irritating not the best actor but he seems to have improved since his last outing in The Flash and managed to hold a lead role well – and he wasn’t too bad to look at!


It was exactly what I expected, therefore I wasn’t disappointed – which I would say is a win


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review: The Voices (2015)

Considering how much I love Ryan Reynolds, I can’t believe I had to wait for the DVD release before watching The Voices. It was one of those films that came out in only one cinema by me, for about a day, and then disappeared completely! I don’t need to be sold anything with Ryan Reynolds in, but a film featuring a crazy guy who talks to his cat and dog? I’m in, regardless!


Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a cheerful warehouse worker at a bathtub factory, who’s only recently moved to town. He has a severe mental issue which his psychiatrist tries to help him through, not helped by the fact that Jerry hates taking his medication. He also has a crush on work colleague Fiona (Gemma Arterton) which is complicated as she doesn’t really like him back, although Lisa (Anna Kendrick) does…
Oh, did I mention his cat, Mr Whiskers, and dog, Bosco (both voiced by Reynolds) talk to him?

The Voices is like no other film I’ve ever watched before. I don’t even know how to categorise it. It’s a Horror, but not to the extreme (I hate Horrors). It’s a Drama for sure, but it’s also funny to the point I cried at something Mr Whiskers said. I certainly can’t repeat it on here! Maybe that’s why the film got such mixed reviews, I think for some, the lack of a real genre can just be too off putting. 


We learn fairly early on that by watching this story from Jerry’s point of view, not everything is exactly as it seems. His old-fashioned, cosy-but-comfy apartment? Not quite so. It’s filled with rubbish and err, other things. It made me wonder what else we were only seeing from Jerry’s eyes. Especially his work place, with bright pink overalls and cheery music.

Anyone who has ever had a pet will find so much amusement from Jerry’s cat and dog. I hold my hands up in confession that I talk constantly to my two cats, Loki and Sherlock. I might not be able to hear them talk back to me, but a facial expression speaks a hundred words! Mr Whiskers is a typical cat, sarcastic and cruel, whereas Bosco likes to check Jerry is okay and find out if he wants to go for a walk.


The Gods must have heard my plea for a film starring both Ryan Reynolds and Anna Kendrick, but perhaps I wasn’t specific enough. Rom com please! Regardless, I loved them both in this, they were perfectly cast.

A film that’s certainly not for everyone, but a film I loved and will never forget!


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Hey there, pitches! Gosh, it feels like I’ve been waiting for Pitch Perfect 2 for a long time. Not longer than most mind, I only watched the original last year, and it was the first ever film we reviewed on our blog. You can check that out here


Pitch Perfect 2 starts off with our beloved Barden Bellas making fools out of themselves in front of the US President, mainly thanks to Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson). Now they need to work from the bottom to regain their respect and fame, and try to win the World Championship which no American team has ever been able to do. Beca (Anna Kendrick) is trying to juggle her duties as a Bella and an internship at a recording studio, and we’re also introduced to a new Bella, a ‘Legacy’ by the name of Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) who has a natural talent for songwriting.  Did anyone else find the story oddly familiar, like it was the original but with a new Beca?!

I was unsure about the new addition to the Barden Bellas, especially as she stole so much screen time from Beca, but I grew to love her in the end. The story was predictable without ruining any enjoyment, and didn’t feel like a ‘copy & paste’ job to me. The jokes we loved in the original were taken one step further this time, especially John Michael Higgins, sexist remarks. There were huge gasps of horror followed by laughter to most of his one-liners at the cinema I was at.  I was a bit disappointed to be honest, I had read a review beforehand which said it was as good as the first but I didn't think so.  Although, it was still really funny, the story wasn't as good for me (a little bit too far fetched!) and it felt like that had to make up story so they could bring in past characters who would have graduated since the first movie.  Don't get me wrong, it was still brilliantly likeable and I will love having Pitch Perfect marathons with the girls and a bottle of wine but the first one is still a winner for me.


The songs and the mash-ups were just as good this time round, although I thought we could have done with some more recent hits. My favourite performances were put on by the German group, Das Sound Machine, I want the soundtrack just for them! They scared the crap out of me, they were just so aggressive and reminded me of Ben Stiller's dodgeball team! Beca’s attempts at comebacks when the two groups were confronted were just hilarious, and I’m sure I read somewhere that Anna Kendrick improvised most, if not all of those.  She was hilarious with her comebacks - another reason to lurve her...

As much as I loved Pitch Perfect 2, I haven’t made my mind up yet whether it’s better than the original. The sequel feels bigger, everything that worked well in the first has been improved on, but it just doesn’t have the magic of the original, but I guess that’s the problem with all sequels. I think they’re on a par for me.


What I will say (without ruining it) though is that the ending scene was awesome, and actually gave me goosebumps. Oh, and that mid-credits scene was amazing! So glad I stayed for that.  The ending made it for me, if it hadn't been as good as it was I may have been seriously disappointed but I came out smiling and happier for watching it so that can't be a bad thing!






 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Review: Home (2014)

I saw the trailer for this while I was watching Big Hero 6 and after that being so amazing, I couldn't wait to see this.  Huge fan of Big Bang Theory so using Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) voice for Oh was a stroke of genius.  Plus they had a whole host of A-listers voicing the supporting characters so it must be great, yes?!



Oh is a Boov, Boovs are a race of aliens whose greatest skill is running and hiding.  If ever they are in trouble, they find a planet, re-home the current inhabitants and take the planet for themselves.  In text this sounds like a horror movie but the Boov's look like this...


This time they are coming for Earth, they take all the humans, extract them and move in themselves.  However, Oh unwittingly sends a 'housewarming' invitation to the whole galaxy pin pointing their location to all the bad guys.  Oh must stop the message from getting out with the help of Gratuity Tucci, known as Tip, the only human left on the planet.


The trailer for this was really funny, however it seemed to me that all the really funny bits were in the trailer, leaving mildly amusing scenes to fill the gaps.  I was desperate to love the whole thing, but honestly I spent the whole film waiting for the next scene from the trailer to happen because I knew it would make me laugh.  There was some laugh out loud moments when you discover what the Boov's decide is unrequired on Earth and so send away (numerous items including but not limited to toilets, umbrellas and bikes!)


I don't think my niece Brogan thought as much of it as Big Hero 6 either.  She bared moved through that film, kept her 3D glasses on all the way through and was a complete angel.  She got bored in this one and had a little bit of a tantrum meaning her Mum missed the funniest  bit! Kids ay!


Anyway, back to the movie.  The animation was ok but after the high quality visuals of How to Train your Dragon and Toy Story to follow, it is lacking.  The story doesn't quite pull through for me either, I found 'Tip' to be honestly, boring.  Moreso being opposite a character who is the opposite, obviously she was required for Oh to interact with but I didn't really care if she found her Mom.  The obvious cast self promotion (at least 2 tracks throughout by members of the cast) was annoying and poorly timed, these pop songs came up when a musical score would have suited much better.


Overall an enjoyable experience but lacking across the board for me.  The worst thing is I REALLY wanted to love it but I just didn't.