Sunday, 31 July 2016

Trivia Round-Up: July 2016

Well, July sure has been a month of ups and downs in terms of movies! We've had a huge movie we were hoping would be good which turned out terrible, and a reboot we expected to be awful which we ended up loving - with all sorts of hits and stinkers in between. Here's our usual round up of reviews for this month and some fun trivia we found for them.

The word "Sicario" derives from the Latin word "Sicarius", meaning "dagger man". The term was used by Romans to describe Jewish Zealots who killed Roman citizens using a "sica" or small dagger hidden in their cloaks. It is possible that the second name of Judas Iscariot comes from the same root. 

Fans were surprised to hear about the return of Dr. Okun in this movie. Most viewers thought he died in the first film when the alien ensnares him with its tentacle to communicate to President Whitmore with telepathy. However, Major Mitchell offers no reaction when he checks Dr. Okun's pulse, leaving the character's fate ambiguous. In an interview with Brent Spiner, he revealed that Major Mitchell was supposed to say "He's dead," but the filmmakers removed that line to keep the possibility open of using Dr. Okun in a sequel. Spiner also joked that Major Mitchell was only a soldier and not qualified as a physician to determine if Dr. Okun was alive or not.
I remember you were questioning this one, Jenna!

In an interview included on the DVD, Ethan Coen said, "The cat was a nightmare. The trainer warned us and she was right, she said, uh, 'Dogs like to please you. The cat only likes to please itself.' A cat basically is impossible to train. We have a lot of footage of cats doing things we don't want them to do, if anyone's interested; I don't know if there's a market for that."
I would watch the hell out of that footage, just for the record.

Although Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara weren't required to be on the other end of the line whenever they talk on the phone, they offered to do so to help each other out. Thus whenever Carol and Therese talk to each other on the phone, Blanchett and Mara are really on the other end of the line.

All of the music performed by the band is played live by the actors on screen.

Seasons seem to change during the sequential days in the movie. On Tuesday, it appears to be late winter; all trees are bare and the oaks have brown leaves. While on Wednesday, on the paddle boat, it appears to be early Spring; the shrubs in the field wear fresh leaves. Similar to Thursday, where the fruit tree at the entrance of the factory is blooming. On Saturday, it appears to be winter again, the trees are bare and the oaks have brown leaves.
Ahh, I didn't notice this! That's beautiful.

Amanda Seyfried remarked that at age 28 when she filmed the role she actually found it a challenge to play Darby and that she related more to the older characters.
I'm 26 and I feel like an old person...ha!

For the famous scene of the 747 crashing through the large windows inside the terminal, producer Jon Davison mentions (in the DVD extras) that after the movie, he received numerous letters from various pilots telling him that they have come very close to re-enacting that very scene in real life, with some pilots admitting that they had come so close as to touch the glass with the noses of their airplanes.
I love this!

Kiefer Sutherland claimed in an interview that in one of the locations of the film, a Renaissance Fair was being held and the cast and crew attended and bought some cookies. Unfortunately, the cookies turned out to be pot cookies and two hours later, the crew found Jerry O'Connell crying and high on the cookies somewhere in the park.

Ghostbusters (2016)
In some of the posters featuring Holtzman (Kate McKinnon), on her proton pack is the number 2206. This is the same number as Dana Barrett's apartment in the original Ghostbusters.
Just one of many nods to the original, I recommend any fans check the rest out!

Anomalisa (2016)
BJ Novak was one of this film's Kickstarter backers.

The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
According to Carrie Fisher, Lucas gave her a copy of the special as a gift for recording the DVD commentary for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). She claims that she plays it at parties when she wants her guests to leave.
Just when I thought I couldn't love Carrie Fisher more...

Hail, Caesar! (2016)
George Clooney was actually slapped by Josh Brolin several times. His reaction shown in the film was genuine.
If ever there was a reason to rewatch this!

Warcraft (2016)
Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 AM to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013).

Friday, 29 July 2016

Review: Warcraft (2016)

“Lok’tar ogar!” is what cinema staff everywhere should have responded with when asked for a ticket for Warcraft (2016). If the response to that was a blank, confused face, the customer should have been escorted back to the showings board, and told to pick something else. I don’t mean that to sound as condescending as it does, but this one was made for the fans, folks. If it makes you feel any better, I never played the original games, and the part of lore chosen for this movie goes a bit over my head, too.


So no, this isn’t a World of Warcraft movie. I pray to the Movie Gods that there will be one day, I’d love to see Arthas’ story on the big screen, but years before the MMORPG was released, existed Warcraft, a PC strategy game from the 90’s. The World of Warcraft we know now has more races than I have fingers (8 and 2 thumbs, if you’re wondering) but the original Warcraft focused solely on the Humans and the Orcs, or so Wikipedia tells me.

There is so much lore surrounding these games that I won’t try to go into detail about the plot in fear of the fanboys shooting down my inaccuracies. I honestly started playing WoW 9 years ago just so that I could understand what my friends were talking about, and created a Mage named Lunar because I was told they could turn people into sheep, and I thought that was cool. The moment in the movie when Khadgar used Polymorph on a guard gave me no end of happiness! My point anyway, is that I’m a casual fan. I tend to click away the lore given to me in game for favour of hunting down quest items and treasure.


For the fans, there’s plenty to enjoy in the movie. One of my favourite parts was seeing the lands I’ve come to know better than my home town brought to life, as well as my favourite raid location, Karazhan. In fact, I almost wanted to get on my high horse and complain about the greenery surrounding that beautiful, looming building, and then the events in the movie showed just how Deadwind Pass came to be, and that was honestly pretty awesome. There are plenty of nods to the game, plenty I probably didn’t spot myself (I saw the fishing lure at the end, though!) but that’s just all the more reason to rewatch it.

That said, I wish Blizzard had picked a different story. I know that this one is the foundation of it all, and really the hardcore fans would have complained if they didn’t start here, but World of Warcraft brings so much more to the table. I want to see Illidan, I want to see the Lich King, I want to see my beloved Paladins in their Tier 6 armour, heck I’d even love to see Deathwing destroy everything I love and hold dear.


I just hope that Warcraft made enough money to warrant more movies. They’re all going to be CGI fests, I accept that, but there are so many great stories to be told that could be loved by fans and newbs alike. Just...leave the Pandas out of it Blizz, okay? We can do without them for a while…

P.S. Travis Fimmel for everything please. I love that man.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Review: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Picking a movie as my ‘Looking Forward to this Month’ choice each month seems to put some kind of curse over it, meaning I don’t even get to see it at the cinema. How does this keep happening?! Hail, Caesar was my choice for March, and I think I had 3 different occasions planned to see it, all of which got cancelled on the day.


I’ve been excited for this since the trailer first came out last year. I think I was on a bit of a George Clooney hype, and the addition of Channing Tatum was too much for me to take. Then I watched (and loved) Inside Llewyn Davis and decided from that point I was a Coen Brothers fan. Still haven’t sat through the whole of Bridge of Spies, though…

So, the plot is fairly simple. This movie is about a guy who makes movies! Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) runs the joint, and spends every living moment of the day solving problems within the studio. Things go a little more pear shaped when his leading star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing. 

I think even if you didn’t enjoy the movie itself, you have to appreciate how beautiful it is to watch. If the film world in the 1950’s really is this colourful, then sign me up! It’s greatest strengths are ultimately its greatest weakness, sadly. A lot of the movie is filled with snippets behind the doors of different sets. We see Scarlett Johannson put on an incredible synchronised swimming act, and Channing Tatum dressed as a sailor, dancing on tables. I mean come on, what more could a girl want? The only problem is that most of these acts have nothing to do with the plot of the movie at all.


That sounds harsh, especially when I really enjoyed watching Hail, Caesar! It’s just that I hyped it up so much in my head, I was thinking of placing it next to Fargo on my hypothetical shelf. And it definitely doesn’t deserve a place up there. Although the twist is takes is unexpected, it takes a weird, political turn that kind of bored the pants off me. I don’t do politics. Or history. Sorry.

By far, the star here was Hobie Doyle, played by Alden Ehrenreich, as the young actor, famous for his Westerns, that is suddenly thrown into a highbrow drama, directed by the ever patient Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Would that it were so simple...It doesn’t matter how many times I watch that scene, it will be hilarious every single time! I heard Alden is in the running for playing a young Han Solo? Don’t let Jenna know but I think he would be great!

All in all, and despite sounding negative, I really did enjoy this. I was just my own worst enemy and hyped it up too much. It’s not the best Coen Brothers movie out there, but as a fan of quirky humour, this was definitely my cup of tea.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Christmas in July Blogathon: The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

The wonderful Drew at Drew's Movie Reviews is running his Christmas in July Blogathon right now. How has it been a whole year since Drew’s last Christmas in July Blogathon?! I honestly remember writing last year’s post as if it were yesterday. Anyway, I’m so glad it’s back, because I need the outlet - Christmas is my favourite time of the year but no one will let me talk about it until December. Last Christmas was an amazing time for me as a movie fan as I delved into the Star Wars movies before watching The Force Awakens, and shocked myself with how much I fell in love with it.

Imagine my surprise then when I discover that in 1978, a Star Wars Holiday Special was broadcast on TV! Okay, so general consensus seemed to be that it was the worst TV movie ever made, but I couldn’t help but feel that watching it was a rite of passage for Star Wars fans. Or maybe I just like to torture myself and watch terrible movies. Who knows! I read the reviews, I read the quotes from the cast saying they wish they could forget it was ever made, and all I could think was, surely it can’t be that bad? I mean, the entire main original cast is here. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, even James Earl Jones! 

Oh, I was so wrong…

So, the gist of the story is this. It’s Life Day, a holiday celebrated by Wookiees, and Han Solo is desperately trying to get Chewie home to his family in time for the celebrations. That’s right, Chewie has a family! Specifically, a father called Itchy, a wife called Malla and a son called...Lumpy. Who names their kid Lumpy? I sure hope that’s a nickname. Anyway, Malla is getting impatient and puts in a few video-calls to some friends to find out where her beloved Chewie is. One of those calls goes to Luke Skywalker himself, wearing more make-up than I do on a night out, but he knows nothing. A local trader and friend by the name of Saun Dann tries to ease Malla’s worries, and later turns up at the house (that was fast) with gifts for everyone.


At this point I should probably point out that over 50% of this movie’s dialogue is spoken in Wookiee, with no subtitles, so you kind of have to guess what’s going on. I was at least grateful for the lack of translation when Itchy was gifted with some bizarre adult-fantasy video…thing. That was disturbing. I need to try and forget that moment, erase it from my memory somehow.

I mean, on the surface of it, The Star Wars Holiday Special is like any other Christmas movie. The father of the family is late coming home, leaving a disappointed child. The family are being inappropriate and no help to anyone, and the cooking turns out to be a disaster. That part at least was actually funny, watching Malla try and follow a cooking program to cook a stew. Turns out, it’s really difficult to mix, whisk and beat a mixture when you only have 2 arms. Who’da thunk it?

Then come the Imperial Officers, flanked by 2 Stormtroopers, here to search the property. Doesn’t anyone get a day off work on Life Day? Poor Lumpy is told to watch his cartoons and stay out of the way. Somehow, Lumpy’s cartoon happens to explain what exactly is holding Han Solo and Chewie up. It’s all a rouse played out by Boba Fett and Darth Vader! Bah humbug, guys!


Honestly, at this point the rest is a blur. I made myself a drink during the first 10 minutes, knowing I was going to need it to watch anymore, and I got through a lot of drinks very quickly. A lot like Christmas I guess! All I know is that it was happily ever after, and there was a musical interlude by the Cantina band somewhere in the mix.

So, lesson learnt. This really was a monstrosity. But did you know this was Boba Fett’s very first introduction? Gotta give the movie a point for that. And another for Malla’s cooking attempts. That’s all I can face giving out, though.

In true Christmas in July fashion, Drew is forming a star-studded Christmas party, and we’re all allowed to invite our favourite celebrity in the hopes we’ll catch them under the mistletoe. I feel like I should stick with the Star Wars theme, and as much as I’d like to catch Kylo Ren and warm up that icy heart of his, I worry he’ll throw one of those tempers and wreck the party. With that in mind, I certainly wouldn’t mind bumping into the best pilot in the galaxy, Poe Dameron, AKA Oscar Isaac! Swoon…


Sunday, 24 July 2016

Review: Anomalisa (2016)

It felt like a lifetime waiting for this movie to be released in the UK! I swear I would move country just to see movies like this earlier. Anyway. I’ve always been a fan of animated movies, and since my Media course in College, I’ve had a real appreciation for the work that goes into it. I produced a 30 second claymation in class that took 2 months, and boy, does it require a lot of patience. 

Anomalisa (2016) is a fantastically quirky movie that not only took 3 years to create, but it was brought to life thanks to the 5,770 crowdfunders on Kickstarter that collectively raised over $400,000. It follows roughly 24 hours of our main character (voiced by David Thewlis) living his mundane life. When he happens to meet Lisa (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh), his life looks as though it may change.

I’ve tried to stay away from too many detailed reviews of this movie until I’d seen it myself, but one of the comments that came up often were to do with the fact that it’s so easy to forget that this is an animated movie. Now, that’s a testament to the fantastic work of the animators to create characters and a world that seem so lifelike, but honestly, I would urge anyone to do the opposite, and constantly remind themselves that this is in fact animated. It makes those intricate details that much more fascinating.


Maybe I’m geeking too hard over it, but such simple details like a swinging ‘magic tree’ air freshener in the taxi, or the ice machine in the hotel just had me in awe. Those are things you wouldn’t even think about in a live action movie, but it took hours to film those brief moments. 

This is one I’ll be buying on DVD for sure once it’s released, I think a second viewing will be rewarding. I got really distracted after a while at the fact that every character other than Michael and Lisa were voiced by the same person (Tom Noonan). I tried to tell myself that it was probably down to budget constraints, but I couldn’t shake it from my mind. Of course, it all got explained eventually (and it was a beautifully painful moment) but I definitely missed some details along the way.


There’s one scene in particular that was incredibly difficult to watch, and I’ll try and explain without going into spoiler territory, because this isn’t a complaint in an obvious sense. It’s an intimate scene, and I felt awkward, but not because I’m typically British and things like this make me embarrassed anyway, but the scene was so well done it kind of felt that by watching, I was intruding. Does that make any sense? It’s hard to explain.

The bottom line is, I loved this movie, and would recommend it to others. It’s not for everyone, and you have to be in the right kind of mood. Above all else, don’t try to forget that it’s animated, and appreciate those little details!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

ghostbusters-movie-review-2016Oh boy. I don’t think I’ve been this nervous about writing a review since, well ever actually. Let’s start a few months ago, when the first bits of news came out that Ghostbusters was getting an all-female remake. I’ve never seen any of the original movies (gasp!) and even as a woman myself couldn’t see the need for an all-female team, and the trailers that eventually came out had me feeling pretty ‘meh’ about the whole thing. We’ve had a fair number of reboots over the last few years, and the lucky few have had mediocre reviews.  I am still horrified that you haven't seen the original Ghostbusters!!

Of course, a few days before the release, IMDB and Letterboxd users rated the movie as low as possible, before they could even have a chance to watch the movie, which honestly winds me up more than is rational. I try not to judge a book by it’s cover, but I use sites like those to get a rough idea, and on the UK release day Ghostbusters had an abysmal score of 3.7 on IMDB. With a rare Monday night free and cheaper tickets at my local cinema, I thought ‘screw it’ and went to see it on the opening night.  Now I had seen the opposite, I hadn't looked as early as Allie so the annoying pre-reviewers had been overpowered by an array of positive reviews.  This unfortunately led to countless people coming out of the woodwork to state that Sony clearly had brought their reviews!! argh - why are people so annoying?!

Out of the Ghostbuster ladies, I’m only really familiar with two of them, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, who were brilliant together in Bridesmaids (2011), so I had a little hope. I know Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are from Saturday Night Live, but we don’t get that show here in the UK, although something clicked half way through the movie when I recognised Leslie Jones as the technician who shouted at Kylo Ren in the Undercover Boss sketch, which led to me laughing out loud during a non-funny part of the movie.


Um, I gotta say as well, it certainly is something spectacular when Chris Hemsworth isn’t the hottest blonde in the room. Where has Kate McKinnon been my whole life? I had such a lady boner crush on her the whole time. She’s aloof, gorgeous, and fierce, and everything I want to be!  You may have to fight me for her, she was amazing!!

Anyway, I’m going off topic now. I think what I’m really trying to do is stall, because what I need to say is I really, really enjoyed watching Ghostbusters. Maybe it’s because I’ve never seen the original, maybe it’s because I was expecting something even worse than Independence Day: Resurgence, but it doesn’t matter because I had a blast. The jokes were funny, the special effects were hella-cool, and those ladies kicked ass. 

I have to disagree with Allie, it can't be because she hasn't seen the original because I have seen, and loved the original Ghostbusters and I still loved this.  It was a film of it's own, it wasn't a carbon copy of the originals but had enough easter eggs to keep me happy!  I feel like Allie needs to go and watch the originals and then watch the new one again and it will be like a whole new movie for her!

Chris Hemsworth playing a goofy receptionist was an absolute stroke of genius. He got guaranteed laughs every time he was on screen, but nothing was funnier than his interview for the job. I really don’t want to ruin the joke but I’m laughing just thinking about it. I wish I could get away with being as bad at my job as he is, though. Admittedly, I’ve pretended there’s a really bad line on the phone and hung up when someone on the other end is making absolutely no sense.   This was the first gag I mentioned to Allie when I had seen the film and spent Saturday evening (a bit tipsy) repeating it over and over while laughing hysterically.  I wish I could tell the joke because at this point this whole paragraph is a bit vague!


Look, I’m off topic again! I don’t know what else to say other than I hope people at least give this a chance. I’ll give the original Ghostbusters movies a watch at some point so I have some kind of comparison, and maybe that’ll change my mind, I definitely saw Jurassic World in a different light after finally watching Jurassic Park. And if you hate the cast, hate the new effects, maybe it’s worth watching for some pretty awesome cameos? I didn’t get them all of course, but I could make a pretty good guess when one showed up by everyone else’s reactions. Wait, what am I even talking about? Forget those guys, the best cameo (which isn’t even a cameo, it’s a small role) is DOPINDER. Dopinder, guys!!  This is where Allie lost me, the cameos throughout the whole film made me squeal and whack my Dad in the arm, I didn't even realise that Dopinder was Dopinder until Allie told me afterwards!!

I have to repeat that I loved this entirely as a movie of it's own.  The action was great and the comedy was really. At one point I laughed so much that I had tears in my eyes and missed about 3 other gags that followed.  Chris Hemsworth and Kate McKinnon were by far the highlights, I was a bit disappointed that they didn't utilise Melissa McCarthy's comedy genius more but she can't always be the centre of attention! Honestly I'm glad for that, she's driving me crazy lately and I was worried she'd be as annoying in this as she was in The Boss. She makes such a great supporting cast member, it's when she's the lead that it all goes wrong for me.

Oh, and stay till the end of the credits! Not just for the dancing, I promise, there’s actually a proper scene right at the end.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

5 Movie Themed Pokemon GO Games I Want to Play


Who knew Pokemon GO would take off the way it has? As an avid fan since the age of 12, I’ve been looking forward to the release for far too long, but I didn’t expect to find my local park filled with people playing it! It’s honestly quite bizarre, there are groups of children, teenagers, families, and grown adults like myself playing. On Monday night we lost track of the time and had to find out way out of the woods at 10pm in the dark. Whoops. Well, at least none of us have been hit by a car yet.

Lots of people have started to think about what kind of Augmented Reality (AR) mobile device games could come next, mostly Nintendo themed. Luigi’s Mansion was a favourite of mine, but the thought of Mario Kart GO turned my blood cold. I have enough nightmare’s about blue shells thanks to my college days, I don’t need to be driving away from one on my way to work!

What it really got me thinking though was what about if we had a movie themed version? My mind can’t function enough to watch a movie in this heatwave we’re having in the UK, so I sat myself down in our garden with a frozen cider and my notebook and thought of a few ideas.


Ghostbusters GO
Perhaps the most obvious choice, given the spot in the limelight Ghostbusters has right now, but you’ve got to admit, this would be pretty cool. Playing Pokemon GO in the dark doesn’t feel quite right, but teaming up with 3 friends and roaming the streets to hunt down ghosts? That’s cool. Just try not to get ran over by Slimer driving a car!


Fast & Furious GO
Less clever and more downright dangerous, it was Mario Kart that got me thinking in this direction. People have already set their phones up in their cars to play drive-by style, in fact someone was fined in our local area for it this week. Fast & Furious GO would never, ever come to reality, but it’s okay to dream, right?


Jurassic Park GO
Maybe it’s just early release teething problems, but my friends and I are having problems finding any Pokemon at all in our local parks and woods, and we honestly thought they would be abundant there. So, whilst we’re enjoying the nature, why not track down our favourite dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, instead? Replace the eggs with unidentified fossils? Now we’re talking.


28 Days Later GO
File this one under NOPE for me, but talking about the health benefits of Pokemon GO reminded me of that fitness app where you’re running away from zombies. So why not go one step further and create 28 Days Later GO? I think you’d be wanting to move away from the rustling grass rather than track it down, but imagine the fear when you see a zombie 1 footprint away from you.


Lego Movie GO
This is my favourite idea ever. Lego Movie GO, guys! Instead of hunting down Pokemon, we’re hunting down individual Lego bricks. Gyms are replaced with statues, monuments, buildings, anything large that communities have to work together to build using the bricks they’ve been collecting. I would play the hell out of this game!

What about you guys, where do you stand on Pokemon GO, love it or hate it? Can you think of any movie versions you’d love to see?

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A Timely Blogathon: Airplane! (1980) & Stand By Me (1986)

Originally posted on Movierob here.

I have such a short attention span, and so when I saw the announcement of ‘A Timely Blogathon’ hosted by Movierob and Film Grimoire I practically squealed with excitement. Never has there been a blogathon more perfect for me! Of course, there’s something ironic about being late for a blogathon about being short on time, so thank you both for still having me!

The theme of the blogathon is movies that have a runtime of 90 minutes or less, and after a quick Google search I came across a movie I’d been meaning to watch for years, and luckily for me, it’s runtime was 88 minutes. Phew, just about! That movie was Airplane! (1980)

My sense of humour has made a lot of people groan, I’m a huge fan of jokes that get labelled as ‘Dad jokes’, and so numerous people have recommended Airplane! to me over the years. The only reason I haven’t seen it yet is it’s age. I struggle with older movies and I wondered whether any of the humour would actually hold up 36 years later.

The plot to Airplane! is simple enough. On a plane flying from Los Angeles to Chicago, the pilots and many of the passengers become alarmingly ill, leaving one passenger, Ted Striker (Robert Hays) with the responsibility of landing the plane safely.

I can safely say that not only do the jokes hold up over time, they come so frequently that a second viewing is almost mandatory; I spent so long laughing till it hurt that I probably missed a load of jokes! There are references to certain names that went straight over my head, but honestly, this is hilarious from start to finish. Just a few of my favourites:

First time?
No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.

You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
A hospital?! What is it?
It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.

Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Surely you can’t be serious.
I am serious...and don’t call me Shirley.


I’m laughing my socks off just typing these out. I’ve got to say though, there is no way some of these jokes would make it into a movie made these days. There’s the ‘Jive Dudes’ that have subtitles whenever they’re speaking, the little girl who likes her coffee black, just like her men, and the pilot who asks the young boy in the cockpit all kinds of odd questions!

Realistically, this movie isn’t for everyone. It has a very unique sense of humour, and reminds me of Monty Python in that sense, you either love it or hate it. The plot is silly, the events completely unreal. If you’re looking for a serious, dramatic movie about a plane on the brink of crashing, this isn’t for you, but if you’re in the mood for something funny with a guarantee to make you laugh, you honestly need to give this a watch.


Since raving about this movie all week I’m now being told to watch The Naked Gun, does anyone else recommend it?  I can't stand the Naked Gun films but if you loved this you will love them!

I thought I would throw my 10 cents worth in after googling films that are 90 minutes long or less and not one but 2 of my favourite movies popped up.  Maybe subconsciously I prefer a shorter movie like Allie!

I can't believe that Stand by Me is only 89 minutes long, it feels so much longer when you're watching it.  The first time I watched this film when I was younger, I was on the edge of my seat, I was convinced one of the boys was going to be snatched or that something was going to jump out at them.  When I finally realised it wasn't a horror, I had to watch it again to actually enjoy the story for what it was.

The concept of the film and the story are so simple and yet told in a way that makes you laugh, cry and gasp.  For me, it's one of those movies where not much happens but you find yourself smiling to yourself as you watch it.  It stays with you long after you have finished watching and as an adult you find yourself with the urge to ring your childhood best friend and just say hello.

Allie reviewed this last year for a Blogathon and I didn't end up contributing so I'm glad I am getting the chance to show some love for this.  I can't say I have been a huge fan of Stephen King adaptations, Tim Curry's IT put me off for life - I have never been more terrified of an actor in a role.  However, Stand by me is one of my all time favourites and one I can watch over and over again much like Beauty and the Beast which was also in the list at 84 minutes of awesomeness and a great sing-along!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Review: While We're Young (2014)

while-were-young-movie-review-2014This is the part where I tell a fun little anecdote of what lead me to watch this movie, and more times than I care to admit, attempt to mask that the only reason I actually watched this movie was because of a particular actor or actress. I’m not even going to try that this time round. I watched this for Adam Driver. There. I feel so much better now. What I did learn though is that my husband has such a strong hatred for Ben Stiller that he refused to even be in the house when I watched this. That was new to me!

While We’re Young (2014) introduces us to Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts), a married couple in their 40’s with a deteriorating relationship. They aren’t able to have children and are drifting apart from their best friends who are new parents, and Josh is also struggling professionally with his latest documentary, which he has been working on for 8 years now. Whilst out for lunch one day, they bump into younger couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). Jamie is a huge fan of Josh’s work, and the four become good friends.

It all starts so well. There’s such chemistry between the couples, everything seems so effortless. Problems that are all too real are portrayed, like close friends growing older and taking separate life paths. Then there’s the humour, often  and subtle as we watch Josh and Cornelia get involved with the fun a carefree lifestyle that Jamie and Darby live. It’s around the midway point that I felt although this movie seemed predictable, it was still an extremely enjoyable watch.


Oh, that soon changed. The two couples go away on a spiritual cleansing break, which was weird enough, but then that ended in a far too long scene of everyone throwing up everywhere, which was just grim, not funny in the slightest. I’m pretty sure there was some kissing straight after too which is making me feel a bit ill just thinking about it. That’s where everything just takes a turn for the worst.

I don’t know what happened to the movie after that. The tone takes such a sharp turn it actually felt like I was watching another movie entirely. It becomes more and more about Josh’s documentary work, and it gets very dark, almost entering thriller territory. That’s all I can really say, because my attention soon started to wander.


It’s a shame, because this could have been a great movie. I can’t fault any of the actors involved, I thought they all did a great job, but something went wrong somewhere along the line.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Review: 45 Years (2015)

I made a real effort to watch all of the Oscars Best Picture nominated movies this year, and I did much better than last year, working my way through all of them but Bridge of Spies. Embarrassingly though, at the time of writing this, I’m not even halfway through watching all of the Best Actress nominated movies. That’s something I’m trying to change! Why I started with 45 Years though, I’ll never understand. I like moving out of my comfort zone…


In 45 Years (2015), Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay play married couple Kate and Geoff, married for almost 45 years, funnily enough. Their 45th anniversary, and a huge party is looming, but when Geoff receives a letter on Monday morning with some difficult news to take, their relationship becomes terribly strained.

Kate and Geoff live a seemingly wonderful life. Retired, living in a huge detached house seemingly in the middle of nowhere in the UK, with their dog Max. Now, we all enjoy movies when we can relate to at least one of the characters, don’t we? So why I, a not yet married woman in her twenties thought I would enjoy this movie, I don’t know. But the weirdest thing was...I really did!


If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay were married in real life. They just bounce off each other so well and it’s so effortless. Although only Charlotte Rampling got an Oscar nomination, I thought Tom Courtenay was just as fantastic, especially during his speech at the party.

45 Years is such a small, quiet movie I think it’s better to watch it not knowing anything about the plot. Indeed, if someone told me they found it completely boring, I’d have a hard time trying to convince them otherwise, but my fascination was with Kate and Geoff themselves, and how they were going to work through the problems that this letter has brought. It’s a desperately sad story where there are no bad guys, no one in the wrong.


Just as Saturday rolled along, my heart swelled at the visible change in Geoff. His speech actually made me cry at the end, which I wasn’t expecting, and I thought it was so sweet that they danced to their wedding song from 45 years ago. But then Kate’s face changed, and the credits rolled, and I found myself completely confused. And then I looked up the lyrics to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Utter heartbreak. That’s what I felt.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Review: Frank (2014)

I was given a rare opportunity over the weekend recently. My husband said he wanted to watch a movie with me and order take-out, and I could pick any movie I wanted. Normally I can only coerce him with an Action/Crime/Thriller, but I was given free reign. Straight away I brought up my watch list and picked a movie I’d been wanting to see for a while, Frank (2014). Pizza was ordered, the movie was set up, and my husband asked me what the movie was about. Erm. I explained it to him in the terms that came to my head straight away. It went something like this:

So, Magneto wears a giant head on his head and calls himself Frank. He makes weird music with a band whose name I can’t pronounce. They need a new band member so General Hux joins them but he’s kind of terrible.

Safe to say, if it weren’t for the fact that the movie was already set up, I was going to have to put Taken on just to make up for this. Thankfully, all it took was Domhnall Gleeson tweeting about an epic cheese and ham toastie to bring my fiance back round again. Man, I could kill for a cheese and ham toastie right now… #nomnomnomnom.


The movie follows the band as they record their new album, and eventually find fame online thanks to Jon (Gleeson) tweeting updates, filming progress and uploading it to YouTube. They eventually get invited to play at SXSW, a huge creative event which excited me as I’ve actually been there! That excitement died a little when I realised they didn’t actually film at the festival, but it was still a cool moment.

It’s the band’s arrival at SXSW where the movie takes a sharp turn and we learn more about Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his struggle with mental illness. The second half is much darker, but it was quite a jarring turn around.


Frank is one of those movies where I’ve had to take a few days to even put my thoughts down in writing. It is, without a doubt, one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen, but I really enjoyed the dark humour aspect of it all. Frank’s ‘Most Likeable Song Ever’ and Jon’s moment with Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) in the hot tub were some of the funniest movie moments ever, and I doubt I’ll forget about them. Actually, any moment where Frank voiced his facial expression was equally hilarious!

I appreciated the ending, and noticed that it almost ended the way it began with a certain scene that I’d have normally missed, but I don’t know how satisfied I am with the closing scene. It made me a little sad. That was short lived though, as the song ‘I Love You All’ was beautiful, and I’m playing it right now whilst I type this.

On reflection, I think I was mad at Frank for making me feel some feelings I wasn’t comfortable with, but now I’ve pondered it for a while, I can appreciate it for what it is. A quirky yet beautiful movie.