Thursday, 30 June 2016

Trivia Round-Up: June 2016

Welcome to Summer, folks! Time to put away those winter boots and dig out your wellies. That sounded like the start of an Inbetweeners joke...but I just mean we're having a lot of rain. Still, rainy nights means more time for movies! 

As we normally do on the last day of the month, we've dug up some fun and interesting trivia for all the movies we've talked about this month, with links to our original posts.

When Doris sends John a friend request, the date on her laptop reads 2014. In the fallowing scene, when John and his friends are discussing Doris, one of them brings up the federal legalization of gay marriage, which was not legalized until 2015.
There was no good trivia for this so I have cheated and included a continuity error!

High-Rise (2015) has been a stalled passion project for producer Jeremy Thomas for decades. It was once deemed "unfilmable."
It's definitely different to anything I've ever seen before.

Shia LaBeouf was originally cast, but had to drop out. Charlie Hunnam was then cast, but then was later replaced by Casey Affleck.
Christoph Waltz was cast in a role but dropped out.
Michael B. Jordan was originally cast but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. He was replaced by Anthony Mackie.
The list goes on longer than this, crickey!

For the film's theatrical poster, Robert De Niro lifted Zac Efron on his back without any help. Efron confirmed it while promoting the film on Instagram.
What a guy!

Emilia Clarke convinced Matthew Lewis to wax his legs for his role.
No matter what she does, I bloody love this woman!

In reality, the training and preparation time that Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards spent before the 1988 Winter Olympics was excruciatingly painful and difficult. Edwards has said: "I was sleeping in the car, in cow sheds, in a mental hospital. I was scraping food out of bins. And the whole time I'm thinking the next jump could very well by my last. I could kill myself. In some ways the movie doesn't show how bad it really was."
There is a lot of trivia for this but this made my heart break a little bit.

This is the second film in which Jake Gyllenhaal loses his wife in a tragic accident
10 points to the person who can tell me what the other film is, I can't work it out!
I can't think what it is which means I haven't seen I kind of don't want to know!

Although they take place in the same universe, the film has no apparent connections to Cloverfield (2008). However, producer J.J. Abrams has stated that the studio has a plan to tie the two films, as well as possible future films in the franchise, together.
This makes me a happy bunny!

Many of the murder scenes were shot in the locations where the real-life murders took place.
Reading this made my blood go cold...

Commenting on the film's connection to the first time he fell in love, director Wes Anderson has said, "Well, what I wanted to do was re-create the feeling of that memory. The movie is kind of like a fantasy that I think I would have had at that age. When you're 11 or 12 years old, you can get so swept up in a book that you start to believe that the fantasy is reality. I think when you have a giant crush when you're in fifth grade, it becomes your whole world. It's like being underwater; everything is different."

Dead 7 (2016)
The film's tagline, "Larger Than Life!", is a reference to the song of the same name by the Backstreet Boys, of which the film's star and writer, Nick Carter is a member.
Are we surprised that the only trivia is relating to boybands?!

The Hateful Eight (2015)
Unfortunately for the production of the film, during the scheduled shooting dates on location in Telluride, Colorado, there was a long streak of nice weather. Large fans and starch, and large overhead sunblocks were used in many of the outdoors blizzard shots to try to recreate a blizzard. A large amount of the much-needed snow melted away and production was placed on hiatus. As a fun attempt to try to get more snow, many of the cast and crew members including Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kurt Russell participated in a local "ski burn", making an offering to the "snow gods" to try to get it to snow. Coincidentally (or not...) a couple days later, a large storm came in and dropped a large amount of snow so filming could continue.
There's so much trivia for this movie, but how could I not include making offerings to the snow gods?!

Mr Right (2016)
Mr. Right's signature whistle is a homage to Hawkeye's (Donald Sutherland) trademark whistle in M*A*S*H, the movie.
I can't say I have seen the movie, although I have seen the series countless times - I can't imagine Hawkeye being played by anyone but Alan Alda.

Urge (2016)
There is no trivia for this AT to fill a gap.  I only watched this because I have recently binge watched all of That 70's Show and I was googling where they are now. Unfortunately, that also lead me to watching The Ranch...urgh!

No Stranger Than Love (2016)
Seriously, this one has no trivia either - I am scraping the barrel for films this month it seems.  

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review: 12 Angry Men (1957)

Sometimes, I have no many movies in my mind that I want to watch all at once that I can’t decide on just one. Time is so short! One particular night, I wanted to watch something I could guarantee would be good, and so that’s when I turn to IMDB’s Top 250 list. Within moments I spotted a movie that I had read about that very day on Darren’s blog, Movie Reviews 101, and so, deciding fate led me there, I sat and watched 12 Angry Men (1957).

12 Angry Man is a courtroom drama on a tiny scale. The movie begins with the 12 members of the jury leaving the courtroom to decide a young man’s fate, and from there, the whole movie is based on how these 12 men come to a unanimous decision. If found guilty, the man will be sentenced to death. At first vote, the jury stand 11-1 in favour of guilty, and so the man’s fate relies on Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) as he attempts to convince the rest of the group to change their minds.

I have to admit, I’m feeling like a bit of a sham of a movie blogger again. This marks my 3rd black and white movie ever, and despite reading the phrase ‘star-studded cast’ in descriptions about 12 Angry Men, the only name I recognise is Henry Fonda...sorry! Sign me up to some historical movie class, please, because I’m so out of my depth here. I didn’t let this affect my enjoyment of the movie, however. In fact, if anything I got to enjoy it without having any preconceptions about any of the actors!


I’ve had to sleep on my thoughts before writing a review, my head was so full of conflicting thoughts. This is so different to the types of movies I usually watch, and so it would be easy for me write this off. I don’t know what I was expecting in all honesty, and I initially felt disappointed that there wasn’t a more conclusive ending. But then I realised, that’s the whole point, and in fact, that’s what makes 12 Angry Men so interesting!

The performances by everyone were so great. Their heated debates were intimidating to watch, and the moment that Juror #8 and Juror #4 (was it 4? Sorry if that’s wrong) nearly fought over a fact before Juror #4 uttered that specific phrase was probably my favourite moment in the entire movie. 


It’s quite amazing how such a simple story can hook you in. As these 12 men debated the facts presented and started picking apart each detail, I found myself switching sides constantly. In fact, one of the things I found most interesting is that message boards online even now are still debating the case! 

I’d really love to know what everyone else thinks. Guilty or not guilty? I’m still on the fence, leaning towards not guilty.

Monday, 27 June 2016

J.J. Abrams Made Me a Space Nerd

We live in a golden age right now where being a geek, or a nerd, is not only acceptable, but actually kind of cool. If only 15 year old me knew just how great life was going to get! I’ve been a gaming nerd since I was old enough to hold a SNES controller, I burnt more hours than I care to admit playing World of Warcraft, and I’ve even played several sessions of Dungeons & Dragons, but I’ve always found myself in an almost defensive manner stating ‘yeah, but I don’t like space-y stuff’. 

Perhaps I saw that as the final threshold into full on nerd-ism that I was too scared to cross, but until 3 years ago I couldn’t tell the difference between Star Trek and Stargate, and my Star Wars knowledge was limited to the fact that Darth Vader was Luke’s Father. Er, spoiler alert. What made all of that change was the release of Star Trek Into Darkness. I had found my love of movies, and decided that I’d give any movie a chance, no matter how boring it sounded, and I guess at the time I’d thought that backfired, when my husband, then fiance, said he wanted to see the sequel.

I made the even bigger mistake of admitting I hadn’t seen the 2009 version, and so not only was I forced to watch it on that very night, but the next day we went to see Into Darkness. I never thought I’d find myself loving it quite so much! Someone had just made Star Trek fascinating to me, and I owed it all to J.J. Abrams. As I tend to do, I spent an hour on his IMDB profile checking the rest of his work, and realised he was also responsible for giving me an interest in the Mission: Impossible series. Ghost Protocol was the first I’d seen, and so I was super excited when Rogue Nation was announced!

Of course, in December 2015 J.J. Abrams did the impossible, and made me fall hard for Star Wars. So hard, our wedding cake topper, reception cocktails and even my wedding shoes were Star Wars themed. I don’t think my Dad’s ever been so proud of me! 

When the stealthy advertisements came out for 10 Cloverfield Lane, I sat and watched the original Cloverfield that same day, and when the release for the new movie came out, I dragged my family to the cinema like a kid on Christmas Day. Never before have I been excited for something because of a Director. Actor or actress, yes, but not Director. That’s partly thanks to the blog, too, for making me think more critically about what I watch, but still.

So here’s to you, J.J. Abrams, Happy Birthday, and thanks for turning me into the space nerd my Dad and Husband have always wanted! I can’t wait for Star Trek Beyond.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Mini Reviews: A Honeymoon Travel Edition

I’m back, guys! Gosh, I’ve missed you all so much. It’s only been two weeks but I feel so out of the loop movie wise. My husband (that still feels weird to say) asked me what movies we’d missed and I panicked when I had to answer with ‘I don’t even know!!’ Anyway, on our travels to New York, California and back home again, we watched a few movies whilst travelling.

You know what it’s like on a plane, you’re bored stiff, most likely jet lagged, and in that state, the most boring movie in the world can seem half interesting, and a gripping drama could be the thing that sends you off to sleep. Therefore, I’m doing a Mini Reviews special, but my ratings are given in mini pretzels out of five. American Airline’s snack of choice, if you’re wondering.

I normally score movies based on my enjoyment of them, rather than looking at them critically, and that’s why we’re going with pretzels, rather than a serious score, because I know full well if I watched these movies normally my score would be different.


Joy (2016 - Just about with a UK release date of 1st Jan!)
Our first plane must have been dug out of an old hangar, as the seats didn’t have their own screens. Instead, we were forced to watch whatever the boxy screens in the aisle were playing! That was actually kind of exciting, but when a black and white movie started playing, I panicked. That’s until the narrator said something along the lines of ‘...the story of Joy’ and I nearly cried with relief. I love Jennifer Lawrence but never got round to watching Joy!
It’s an odd real life story to pick for a movie though, right? Lady creates mop, becomes super successful? No discredit or anything, but I’d have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that pitch meeting. Anyway, I actually really enjoyed this, and the moment Joy’s best friend calls in on QVC when she freezes up made me ‘whoop’ out loud! Sorry, stranger in 12C, I know you were trying to sleep.


The Karate Kid (2010)
Same flight, second movie. I was grateful for this, because we’d just been shown a lot of random TV episodes from shows I’d never heard of, and I was getting fidgety. I’d also consumed a lot of Coca-Cola, and 12C was not amused by the amount of toilet breaks I needed. This one was instantly recognisable as The Karate Kid, but what an odd choice of movie! 
Confession time, I’ve never seen the original Karate Kid, so I had no idea what to expect. This version was kind of predictable and over-sweet, the kind of movie I doubt I’d ever watch by choice, but with absolutely no alternative I actually had a bit of fun. Still not enough to make me want to see After Earth, though!


Jurassic Park (1993)
Oh, here goes nothing. I’ve never seen Jurassic Park the whole way through. I don’t know why! All I remember is the ‘objects in mirror are closer than they appear’ moment, and that’s only because my family find it the funniest thing in the world. On the plane to Los Angeles, we were back to what I was expecting, with screens in the backs of the seats. Knowing that a visit to Universal Studios was on the agenda, there was no way that I could pass on the opportunity to watch the original Jurassic Park!
So, now I can understand that Jurassic World is pretty much just a copy and paste job, but honestly, it’s so hard watching a movie like this on a tiny screen! I think I saw some dinosaurs...there was a dark shadow that resembled a T-Rex for sure. I’m glad I can finally say I’ve seen the movie, but honestly, I’m going to have to watch it again so I can actually tell what’s going on. All that aside, I got so engrossed I missed the staff walk past with mini pretzels...sad face.

Daddy’s Home (2015)
Oh...this was on the plane home, I was super sad, and we were back on the plane with screens in the aisle so had no choice about what we watched. Worse than that, the movie was Daddy’s Home, which I only watched a few weeks ago anyway, and didn’t find all that funny. In the end, it seemed like those were the perfect conditions, because I weirdly enjoyed it much more than the first time round!
All it takes are holiday blues, extreme tiredness and an on-set of hayfever, and suddenly the sight of a car knocking down some traffic cones outside a school is the funniest thing in the world. I was very glad to have an empty seat right next to me so I could laugh without upsetting anyone, and I could also drink all the free coke in the world and go to the loo whenever I liked.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Mini Reviews: Mr Right (2016), Urge (2016) and No Stranger than Love (2015)

I have spent the weekend watching the most random of films, mostly due to my new obsession with Justin Chatwin.  

Mr Right (2016)

Martha (Anna Kendrick) meets and falls for the 'perfect' guy, Francis (Sam Rockwell), only he has one fatal flaw...he's a hitman on the run from his previous employers who are trying to kill him.  

This is one of the most bizarre films I have ever seen, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.  Its been battered on Rotten Tomatoes but from reading some of the reviews, they seem to all be overthinking it.  I enjoyed the romance (I wanted them to get together)  and the action scenes were energetic and engaging (I wanted the good guys to not die).  It was weird and confusing but I have already recommended it to Allie (and not in the 'from the makers of Sharknado' kind of way).

Urge (2016)
What happened when you take a drug that takes away all your inhibitions and you play out any urges you so choose.  Apparently, you make an insane film called Urge!!  A group of friends, led by narcissist Neil (Danny Masterson) head for a weekend away on a remote island.  A mysterious nightclub owner (Pierce Brosnan) introduces them to a new drug, Urge with one rule, that you can only use it once.  No one listens of course and the party descends into chaos.

I spent 90% of this movie confused about what was going on, I felt more confused than that characters I think!!  I didn't want to turn it off because I wanted to know how it ended and then when it ended I wished I hadn't bothered!

No Stranger than Love (2015)
Lucy (Alison Brie) has her pick of men in the small town that she lives in but instead chooses to engage in an affair with married Clint (Colin Hanks).  Just one problem, Clint falls down a mysterious black hole that opens up in her living room and mysterious stranger Rydell (Justin Chatwin) turns up to confuse Lucy even more.  

It's difficult to review this, I don't even know what to call it, is it a rom-com, is it a drama, is it science fiction!?  I got more confused as it went on but I really enjoyed it.  I love Alison Brie and she really stole the show here and the whole thing reminded me of Pleasantville from way back when (the sci-fi crossed with rom-coms) and I loved that film.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Review: The Hateful Eight (2015)

Okay folks, lets for just a second imagine that time travel is a thing. Now you're probably wondering what on earth time travel has to do with The Hateful Eight, right? The answer is nothing! It's just that my review found itself buried in our drafts list for 6 months, and most of it won't make sense now. So, cast your minds back, your fridge is full of leftover Christmas turkey and you're either still hyping about The Force Awakens, or desperately avoiding it?


If you live in the UK, you’ll have no doubt heard about the drama Cineworld have created by taking the decision to not screen The Hateful Eight in any of their cinemas. The distributors chose the Odeon at London’s West End for their special 70mm premiere, and well, Cineworld threw a temper tantrum. They’ve spent too much time watching Kylo Ren, clearly!

Thankfully, my local isn’t a Cineworld, nor do I pay them monthly for their Unlimited card, so I’m safe, but poor Jenna does and last I heard she was boycotting this movie in protest! It’s started a great marketing campaign for the other cinema chains though. Showcase have offered their usual member discount prices for tickets to Unlimited card holders, and Vue just went out there and offered UNLIMITED popcorn to anyone watching The Hateful Eight!

Just to rub salt into the wounds, I wasn’t that fussed about watching The Hateful Eight, the runtime made me want to cry, but movies like this are best enjoyed on the big screen, so I stuck on my comfiest hoodie and fluffiest socks, and fought my way through the wonderful UK winter weather to Odeon.

The Hateful Eight is the story of 8 characters brought together in a haberdashery store to stay the night due to an awful snowstorm that has kicked up. Each character has their own reason for being there, and I’ll let them tell their own stories to you respectively when you watch it, because it’s all part of the charm of the movie. That first hour drags like a female dog, and I was grateful for being stuck in a cinema at the time because if I were at home I’d have spotted something shiny and stopped paying attention.


After the introductions though, a game of ‘who done it’ quickly surfaces, and that’s where The Hateful Eight really gets going. The whole cinema burst into hushed whispers to their movie-buds of who they thought was guilty at this point (Jenna you’d have hated it, I could picture you giving everyone your evil eyes!), and then the bloodshed started.

It would take forever to tell you about all the characters, but Samuel L Jackson’s character Major Marquis Warren was by far my favourite. I’m actually quite gutted he wasn’t nominated for an oscar this year, he fully deserves it for this. He goes from terrifyingly menacing to absolutely hilarious with a click of your fingers, it’s great. I don’t mean to be ‘that guy’ right now but is it just me or was Tim Roth channeling his inner Christoph Waltz in his role? Was Christoph Waltz offered the part and turned it down?


I think, when you go into a movie with low expectations, it’s much easier to fall in love, because I really enjoyed this, to the point where I can almost forgive how darn long it is! Sometimes it’s the littlest thing that gives you joy, but those moments where the whole cast is screaming about the door just cracked me up, and Samuel L Jackson has so many great one liners in the final chapter. I dare not type them out here however!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Review: Dead 7 (2016)

“From the makers of Sharknado”

A tagline that should make me and Allie jump for joy, not this time – just me!  Dead 7 is the next ‘so bad it’s good’ but this time with boybands!  One of my best friends sent me a text asking if I had heard of it and I hadn’t, how, I do not know!  Anyway, I got myself a cup of tea glass of wine and curled up on the sofa ready to see all my old boyband favourites in action.  Or not.  20 minutes in and I gave up, I really struggled to understand what the heck was going on and even the sight of Nick Carter couldn’t bring me back.

So what did I do you ask? Well I’ll tell you…I invited Allie to my house under the false pretense of a free dinner and then BAM! Its on the tele and there is nothing she can do about it.  My thought process was that we also tend to joke around and talk through movies so even if it is really bad we still enjoy it.  Admittedly, I realised pretty quickly that it was poor even with our running commentary, Sorry Allie!!

The fact that you were cooking for me should have set alarm bells off but no, and then the offer of a Gu dessert really know how to get me!

Anyway, on with the review.  Dead 7 is set in the future where the world has been ravaged by zombies led by Apocalypta (Debra Wilson) and had reverted back to a Wild West style way of living.  After a recent attack on a small home town it is decided that action needs to be taken against Apocalypta, cue our seven heroes ready to save the world (or not!).  Jack (Nick Carter of Backstreet boys fame), Whiskey Joe (Joey Fatone of NSync fame), The Vaquero (Howie Dorough also a Backstreet Boy), Billy (Jeff Timmons the one no one knew from 98 degrees), Komodo (Erik-Michael Estrada from OTown), Daisy (Carrie Keagan not from a boyband) and Sirene (Lauren Kitt-Carter, married to a Backstreet Boy!!!).

There isn’t much to be said about this, there was no obvious continuity errors which was a huge disappointment after Sharknado and the whole concept just seemed a little odd.  The outfits particularly made me laugh, it looked like they had all gone to the fancy dress shop and pulled out what they wanted to be when they grew up!!  We lost track of the storyline countless time and I’m still not sure of the story exactly.  One highlight was Johnny Vermillion (AJ Maclean, yet another member of the Backstreet Boys), Apocalypto’s henchman, he played the role really well and appeared to be the only boyband member who could actually act, so that was a welcome change from the rest of the cast.

I can totally buy the whole 'world has gone to pot, now we're back to the old way of living' thing but it really did make me laugh that all of a sudden everyone's wearing cowboy outfits! There's fun to be found in many terrible movies, as long as they're made just as badly, like Jenna said with the horrendous continuity errors in Sharknado, but it's like they really tried hard to make a good movie here which made it worse!

Honestly, I cannot explain enough how much I wanted to love this film but unfortunately I didn’t, it turned out to be so bad that it was just plain bad.  It only got this score because of AJ and I still might be pushing it!

Next time you offer me dinner and I suddenly come down'll know why!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

When I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel last year, I had to admit it was the first Wes Anderson movie I’d seen. I remember a good few of our blogging buddies recommending Moonrise Kingdom to me, and I’m just sorry it’s taken me quite this long to give it a go! After exposing myself to more action moves than I could handle, I was ready for something quieter, and this was the perfect choice.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is a beautiful story of young love. Sam (Jared Gilman) is a member of the Khaki Scouts, extremely skilled but liked by no one. He lost both of his parents and currently lives with foster parents, who he has difficulty with. Suzy (Cara Hayward) is a troubled young girl whose parents don’t know how to deal with her. Together, they decide to run away, which sparks a huge search party to look for them.

I now understand the skill that others have in spotting Wes Anderson’s work so quickly. The colourful characters, camera shots, fancy title opening, even the colour yellow, after watching just two of his movies these things are already standing out to me. It’s really quite fascinating. That said, I loved The Grand Budapest so much that I had really high hopes for Moonrise Kingdom, and I wasn’t let down.


We can all sympathise with Sam and Suzy. When you’re 12 years old, it’s easy to fall in love with someone, and feel like the whole world is against you. In fact, he won’t thank me for this, but when one of my brothers was younger than Sam, he proposed to his girlfriend on the school playground, and they vowed to get married when they were old enough. It didn’t happen, but they remained very good friends!

Moonrise Kingdom had a great mix of a being a heartwarming, relatable story, but with just enough exaggeration to make it exciting, like Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) leaping an impossible distance, and Sam surviving being struck by lightning. It’s like how we all tell our own stories, making certain moments more heroic or dramatic to make them more interesting.


The star studded cast just added another element to the movie. Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) is a compassionate man who just wants the best for Sam, despite barely knowing him. Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) provides most of the comedy as the bumbling leader who can’t control his scouts. Mr Bishop (Bill Murray) is the classic grumpy Dad who argues with authority. Mrs Bishop (Frances McDormand) is the perfect worrying, struggling mother, and last but not least, the Social Services lady (Tilda Swinton) is cold and heartless. Just a great cast all round!

I’m so glad I finally watched Moonrise Kingdom, and now I’m on the lookout for my next Wes Anderson movie. Can anyone recommend one for me?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Review: Black Mass (2015)

I’d put off watching Black Mass for a while, despite wanting to see Johnny Depp’s performance, only because gangster movies aren’t my usual go-to movie. I tend to get confused with who’s on what side, and who’s killing who - it’s a mess inside my head sometimes. Anyway, after enjoying Tom Hardy’s Legend, I thought it was about time I gave this a go, too.

Black Mass (2015) is the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp), the brother of State Senator Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) and leader of the Irish Mob. It covers three periods (1975, 1981 and 1985) with flash-forwards to the present day, where various members of Whitey’s gang recount the stories of his rise and eventual fall.

For the first time ever, I watched The Godfather a few months ago, and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it, I felt like I wasn’t quite switched on enough to understand everything that was going on. Since watched Legend, and now Black Mass, I realise that’s just the way gangster movies are. It also doesn’t help that I am completely ignorant to history and world affairs, and didn’t know anything about James Bulger until seeing this!


Despite that, I really did enjoy Black Mass. It was so nice to see Johnny Depp play a serious character without a full face of makeup and acting either drunk or high. There’s an amazing actor after all! It made me want to check out some more of Johnny Depp’s older work actually. It was also wonderful to see my Benedict Cumberbatch again, although I don’t think I listened to a single line of dialogue from him as I was too fascinated by his accent!

There are some great names in the cast list but my favourite character was without a doubt John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), the FBI Agent and close friend of James Bulger. I don’t even know what it was about him, but he had a real sense of power about him which turned to despair as the movie went on.


I haven’t seen enough movies similar to Black Mass to give an informed opinion, but one thing I will say is that it was brutal, without the need for glorified violence. It’s very heavy on character development and dialogue which might turn some viewers off, but it’s a fascinating story at the very least.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

I was so late to the Cloverfield party, I arrived after the footage was found. In fact, I only really arrived on the same day that the teaser trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane landed and took the internet by storm. That night, I tracked down the 2008 original and watched it there and then, without even reading a synopsis. It wasn’t a perfect movie by far, but watching it completely new to the story was rewarding, and so I decided I would do the same with 10 Cloverfield Lane. That said, if you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly encourage you to close this page. I’m not going to talk spoilers of course, but I do think this is one that’s better the less you know.   I would have watched this as I really enjoyed Cloverfield but Allie listed 'horror' in the tags for the review, so for that reason...nope!


So, it’s unclear where 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) fits in timewise with the original movie, although multiple cases have been made online. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that this could easily be a stand alone movie, entirely unrelated to the 2008 movie. It starts with our main character Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), leaving in her car hastily, arguing with her boyfriend on the phone. She’s involved in a car accident, and wakes up chained to the wall in a bunker belonging to Howard (John Goodman). After a day or two Michelle also meets Emmett (John Gallagher Jr), suffering with a broken arm.

What 10 Cloverfield Lane does best is make you feel uncomfortable straight from the get go. It’s pacing is incredibly slow, and the first half is perhaps too slow, but it gives you plenty of time to look at the facts and try to work out what’s actually going on here. The real question is, can Howard be trusted? Sure, he saved Michelle after her car crash, but she’s literally chained to the wall. Howard says they have to stay in the bunker for at least a year, maybe two, because the air outside will kill them, but how does he know?


Every few minutes a new clue is unveiled, and you change your mind, and just when you start to think ‘okay, but where is this going?’ Something game changing happens and you’re left guessing all over again. The suspense is unbearable at times, and my poor Mum who was in the cinema with me at the time was terrified (she’s worse with scary movies than I am, which is saying something!). Nope!

The performances by the 3 main actors were brilliant and really made this movie great, but a whole heap of praise has to go to John Goodman here. He’s been a supporting character in everything I’ve seen him in, and I still don’t have the right words to explain how good he was in this. Is there any hope of his performance being memorable still by the time awards season rolls round again? I sure hope so!


This next part is going to push the spoiler boundary, so take care. I just really want to talk about the ending with someone. What’s Houston all about do you think? Are we getting a third Cloverfield movie at some point? Was the footage that forms the original movie found by the team of survivors/fighters based in Houston? I need all the answers!  Does this film actually have anything to do with Cloverfield?!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Review: Demolition (2016)

After completely getting the release date wrong for this as well as double booking the same night for a work event, I was not doing too well in the planning of seeing this film (I think as I plan for a living, I apparently don’t like to do it well outside of work!).  Anyway, when it finally was released and I managed to plan a date night with Lou without double booking it, off we went armed with enough Nachos to feed a small army to see it.

This movie starts as with the trailer with Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) writing a letter to the vending machine company to complain about the fact he lost a dollar in one of their machines and that he was upset because at that point his wife had just died.  The rest of the film is how Davis deals with losing his wife including destroying everything he owns to find out what the problem with it might be.

That might be the worst summary I have ever written for any film ever.  I have tried but I don’t want to give anything away that isn’t I the trailer because it is definitely one you need to see for yourself.  I am still trying to work out how to review this because I can’t decide if I even liked it, loved it or hated it.  That’s probably a bit extreme, I certainly didn’t hate it!  I was not bored at any point during the film, I was content for the whole thing however I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be a comedy or a drama, I suppose they were going for this modern dramedy genre, making uncomfortable situations bearable with comedy.  I do like this idea because as Allie and any of my friends will tell you, I love to make a joke in a sad situation, I also laugh about things I probably shouldn’t.

In fact, as I have been typing about how I don’t know if I like this film, I have actually decided that I like it because it’s real.  Admittedly, not many people demolish everything they own (including their house) but people do respond to things like death in different ways.  Not everyone cries, people laugh, people go a little but crazy and people behave in the complete opposite way to how everyone would expect.  I love that.  I love that this has considered the idea that not everyone who losing someone is distraught and just because someone dies, you don’t need to put them on a pedestal. 

Also, there are some great supporting cast, Sam Shepherd as the grieving father and Naomi Watts as the pot head love interest trying to help Davis.  A massive shout out has to go to Judah Lewis, playing Karens’s troubled son, he absolutely stole the show in every scene he was in.  I’m looking forward to seeing him in more in the future.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Review: Eddie the Eagle (2016)

I am unashamedly obsessed with Taron Egerton, he has not made enough films to keep my obsession at bay and I've watched all the interviews I could on YouTube so Eddie the Eagle came out just in time!

Eddie the Eagle is based on the true story of Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton), the British downhill skier who became the much loved underdog in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Accompanied by his trainer Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), Eddie fights to compete as the first ever British ski jumper at the Olympics.

I can safely say I have never smiled so much watching a movie, my face was aching from grinning.  It is the ultimate feel good movie, if you ever need a pick me up, this is the way to go.  I went in fully expecting the laughs to be at Eddie's expense, but brilliantly they showcase him as a hero that you desperately want to succeed because of his determination to achieve his childhood dreams.  Comedic relief is provided through his relationship with Bronson, training montages and his supportive Mom (Jo Hartley) and not so supportive Dad (Keith Allen).

Egerton was absolutely brilliant as determined Eddie, he just makes him so lovable and even though you know he's not going to get he gold you are willing him to succeed.  I was jumping up and down in my seat, I gripped the seat for dear life whenever he did a jump and more than once I very nearly jumped up and fist pumped.  Jackman, although fictional, is great as the near opposite of Eddie, having his pessimistic nature slowly chipped away by kind hearted and ever-optimist Edwards.

Love, love, love this movie, I cannot wait until its out on DVD so I can watch it again and again.