Unbelievable

It is rare that a show or movie leaves me speechless. I won’t lie to you. There were a number of times during the show that I was a bit uncomfortable. The subject matter is extremely shocking and it was tough to watch at times. Rape, especially the rape of women, is a common thing that we hear of almost every day. It fills me with a great sadness to hear of any incident of rape or sexual assault, whether it be from a person I know personally or a random person on the internet who is sharing their story. This show, despite me being hooked and enjoying the storytelling and the acting, made me sad. I can only be thankful that I am just sad at what has happened and what is happening and not suffering from it myself. The women depicted in this story, from Marie, Amber, Lily and Sarah to Detectives Duvall and Rasmussen, are all heroes. The women who live with what has happened everyday, all over the world, are heroes.

Unbelievable tells the story of Marie Adler, played by Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart). In 2008, Marie was raped at knifepoint, bound and blindfolded. The detectives who took her report didn’t believe her and Marie, after intense questioning and definite coercion, ended up saying she made the whole thing up. Living with the reputation of a false accuse, Marie’s life spirals out of control. Meanwhile, three years later, two detectives in Colorado, Duvall and Rasmussen, feel like they are both looking for the same rapist. Can they catch the monster, and is it all linked to Marie?

My lame attempt at making you want to see the show is unnecessary. If you want to watch a show that celebrates the power of the victims to hold onto their lives and the power of the female detectives who believed when so many men didn’t, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show based on a true story in which a violent monster is taken off the streets and his victims can live with at least a glimmer of hope for a better future, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show that is unafraid of exploring the brutality of rape and the aftermath of such a horrific act, then this is the show for you. If you can’t bring yourself to watch and see the toxic nature of a lot of male behaviour in the modern world, then this isn’t the show for you. But you should watch it anyways and learn.

I learned an awful lot from this show. Like any series based around the search, capture and imprisonment of a criminal, the intricacies of a police station is extremely intriguing. The different acronyms for scientific tests are interesting to hear about, as are the different hunches that detectives and their partners have. What struck me the most about this was the fact that rape victims have to relive and relay the information so many times. I know that it is important for police, detectives and doctors to have statements and to know what to look for, but I can’t begin to imagine how vulnerable the victim must feel in that moment.
I know that while I’m writing this it may come across as preachy and full of woe. A man, a big man at that, who has never felt at threat on his own walking down a dark road, or been in danger of being sexually assaulted is lamenting the plight of women and being a ‘white knight’. But it is sickening to think about and this show is important for people to watch.
As uncomfortable as it may be for some people to talk about it, the toxic traits associated with masculinity, mainly the perceived ownership of womens’ bodies or their perceived right to touch and feel women in a pub or club, need to be assessed and talked about in detail.

Rating: 5/5. Unbelievable show, pardon the pun. Go see for yourself.

Please read the Pulitzer Winning article of the true story that the show is based on.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/12/16/an-unbelievable-story-of-rape

Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary (2019)

It is always a pleasure to get Irish movies into the cinema. None will ever reach the heights of Young Offenders. Given that it is set in Cork city and showcases a lot of the suburbs and the city centre, it was always going to be hard beat. Unfortunately, other Irish movies never get the audiences they deserve, at least in our cinema.
I had seen the trailer for this flick a couple of months ago and had a feeling that I would like it. It takes place in an unnamed rural Irish village. Rose, played by Maeve Higgins, is a local driving instructor with a spooky past. She doesn’t use her talents anymore but used to converse with the dead and with spirits with her late father. Martin, played by Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall), is a local man plagued by the spirit of his unhelpfully helpful late wife. When his daughter Sarah is placed under an evil spell by unsuccessful musician Christian Winter (Will Forte), he contacts Rose and so begins their adventure to save Sarah and get Rose her groove back.

Barry Ward and Maeve Higgins

I enjoyed this film. Like every Irish production, the plot is thick and has many different threads. This one doesn’t get too muddled up and is relatively easy to follow. The ending is a bit mad, even for a movie about ghost-whisperers in modern rural Ireland. I won’t ruin anything but you will laugh out loud and wonder whether they will show what they show. They do…tastefully!
I think that a lot of people would be surprised at how much they would enjoy this movie. The twists and turns are delightful and the performances from the principle cast are outstanding. There are a few slapstick moments and a few well constructed jokes. There are a few intense moments followed by silly interactions. The movie has it all, really.
Extra Ordinary plays out like a long episode of The Savage Eye, or Father Ted even. The comedic possibilities of Irish countryside and the folk that inhabit it are endless. You see a bit of people you know from your own road and village in this movie.
Fans of the Channel 4 smash hit Derry Girls will enjoy the cameos of Sr. Michael (Siobhan McSweeney) and Ciaran (Jamie Beamish), who play a town gossip and a self-obsessed county councillor respectively.

Will Forte and Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins is extremely funny as the lonely, awkward yet charming Rose. Her bumbling delivery of her lines is perfect, as Rose is constantly thrust into situations she doesn’t ever want to be in again. Higgins is definitely the star of this production.
Will Forte is also hilarious as the evil yet highly incompetent Christian Winter, constantly failing as a musician and in his quest to get back on top.
Special mention must go to Barry Ward for his turn as the many different spirits that inhabited his body.

All in all, this film was extremely enjoyable. I laughed out loud a few times which is always a good sign. I think if more people gave it a chance they would really like it but unfortunately, IT: Chapter 2 and Downton Abbey are both new releases also and will rule the roost for the next few weeks.

Rating: 4/5. Loses a point for Claudia O’Doherty’s character. I really like O’Doherty in Netlfix’s Love, but the character is just too crass and vulgar for this dry, Irish movie.

Dumplin’

Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald in Dumplin' (2018)

Last night I watched Dumplin’. I was skimming through the lists on Netflix when this caught my eye. My girlfriend sent me a song from the soundtrack, which is provided by the great Dolly Parton, so I thought of her when I saw it and said I’d give it a watch. It was the best decision in an otherwise gloomy day.
Dumplin’ tells the story of Willowdean, played by Danielle MacDonald. She is the daughter of former beauty pageant queen Rosie Dixon (Jennifer Aniston), and there could not be more difference between the two in looks and personality. Will was much closer to her aunt Lucy who instilled in her a love of Dolly Parton. Will finds a chance to rebel against her mother and all of the skinny girls and bullies at her school by entering the same pageant her mother won all those years ago, while also honoring the memory of her late aunt.

I’m sure you can tell from my brief description above that Willowdean, Will for short, is a big girl. She acts like she doesn’t care, and for the most part she doesn’t, until it comes to her Mom and the boy she likes. She feels like he can’t possibly like her back because of her weight, despite his protests of his love. Constant fights and cold silences fill the space between her and her Mom, usually started by Will because of Rosie’s perceived problem with her daughter’s weight or her use of her childhood nickname, Dumplin’. Will fights with her best friend because of her insecurities about her weight. Elle (Odeya Rush), retorts, ‘I never thought of you as fat’.
While Dumplin’ is a celebration of Dolly Parton, her music and the inspiration she brings to people, it also conveys a message of acceptance…but not in a preachy way, thank God. We are shown that once you have a good group of friends you can gain that confidence to be accepting of yourself. Obviously, the real world is a little tougher than that. Sometimes it can be hard to even look at yourself in the mirror, no matter your size. Dumplin’ does a good job of showing the trials and tribulations it takes to get to your happy place. Even in your happy place there can be dark days. There can be very dark days. It is up to you to seek help and accept help when it is given to you. You are beautiful. I’m a ride. We’re all absolute stunners.

This movie is very emotional so from now on I am going to rate them twice. Once on what I thought of it and once more on whether you should watch it hungover.

Rating: 4.5/5. Loses a half point for not having Dolly make an appearance herself. The drag queens make up for it though.

Hangover: No. Don’t do it to yourself. Totes emosh in the last half an hour.

Hobbs and Shaw: Movie Review

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Despite dealing with shitheads daily and getting complaints about said shitheads from other paying customers hourly, the cinema has its fair share of perks. Free popcorn, free soft drinks (Oscar, mate, do you want a soft drink?) and free movies are pretty good, but my favourite has to be that we have the ability to put on movies the night before they are released to the public! Is that legal? Probably not. Should I be telling you this? Definitely not. Do I care? Not at all.
Now that I’ll be back covering the very odd supervisor shift I asked my manager, Gill, to show me how the projectors work. She showed me two years ago, she showed me again yesterday and begosh and begorrah with the way I make life choices she’ll be showing me in two years time. While we ran through Hobbs and Shaw, she skipped ahead and I decided that I must see this movie based on characters that they introduce throughout. Now, I won’t spoil who these actors are because they are hilarious and give the film some fresh faces. I will tell you what I thought of the movie and why you should definitely go see it.

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

First of all, the film is grand. You’ll enjoy the outlandishness of the action and you’ll enjoy the comedic partnership of Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs) and Jason Statham (Shaw). You’ll cringe at the emotional bits that are shoehorned in, as well as some romantic storylines that are just, meh. You’ll laugh at some of the violence and you’ll groan at some of the dialogue. But, and this is important, you will enjoy yourself. The actors that I mentioned earlier that make special appearances will have you laughing out loud, or lolling as the kids say these days.
I, personally, had a great time. I left my brain at the door and enjoyed the two hours and fifteen minutes of carnage! Yes, it is that long. Buy a large soft drink and a small soft drink (Neen, would you like a soft drink, NEEN?!). I thought that Johnson and Statham were great together. Statham was almost as funny as he was in Spy, the hilarious comedy about desk-jockey Melissa McCarthy as she is forced to go out into the field to save the world. Watch that and watch this. The Rock has made his name as the biggest action star of the last decade, and this film is no different. He’s also hilarious, and as he says in the film, people like him. Vanessa Kirby, of The Crown fame, is great in her supporting role of Hattie Shaw. She kicks ass, literally, and is the only character with a catchphrase!

Jason Statham and Vanessa Kirby in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

The movie starts big and maintains the action and carnage all the way through. There are maybe three or four quiet scenes that aren’t interrupted by or immediately followed by a car chase, a fist fight or an all out war. It is a proper popcorn movie and one that will satisfy audiences. This means it’s loud as fuck too so that’s a blessing for me as it will mask the noise of teenagers laughing and joking in the back row. Youths!

My only problem with the movie was the fact that Idris Elba’s character, Brixton, the unstoppable half man, half machine, is barely in it. Now, I realise the movie is over two hours long and villains generally get a lot less screen time than our heroes, but I thought that this would be different due to his stature as an actor. Alas, I was wrong. I understand that the film is named Hobbs and Shaw and not Brixton, but I’m still a bit put out.

Actually, I have a much bigger problem with the finished product. Towards the end of the movie, Hobbs returns to Samoa, his homeland, where he meets all of his estranged brothers. They continually call each other ‘uso’, which is the Samoan word for ‘brother’. Now, the wrestling tag team partnership of Jey and Jimmy Uso are called the ‘Usos’. Their ring names are Jey and Jimmy Uso which means that the WWE are calling one of their most long serving pairs the ‘Brothers Brothers’, or Jey Brother and Jimmy Brother. Upon firther research, I have found, dear reader, that the Uso ‘brothers’, are strangers who were made a team for the WWE because they looked alike. Jesus H. Christ. For some reason, I feel like I have been duped. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I’ve been calling a pair of athletes the Brothers Brothers for a long long time. And that I still watch wrestling. And that I’m broke. I need to lie down.

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The Brothers Brothers

Go see Hobbs and Shaw!

Trailer Watch

I had a bit of a break in the lovely land of Italy last weekend, so apologies for the lack of posts. If anyone cares. Do I even care? Yeah, I suppose. Sorry, me. No problem, man. OK, cool. Will we get on with the post? Yeah, let’s rock it.

Cats

Oh. Dear. God. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I had no idea they were making a Cats movie. I’ve never seen the musical or any adaptations of it. I know it is world famous and allegedly a work of art. However, this trailer is so terrifying that I don’t think I’ll ever go see the stage production. Have a look for yourself and keep a bottle of whiskey near by. You’ll need it.

Maverick

Tom Cruise returns as Maverick in this sequel to the 80’s classic. Cruise is almost 60 and looks unreal. Jennifer Connolly is and always will be a stone cold fox. Jon Hamm is also in there with his chiselled jaw. I might skip this movie for my self-esteem.

The King’s Man

The third installment in the Kingsman chronicles seems to be a much darker and more serious affair than the first two films. I’ll let you decide for yourself but the backdrop of World War I is a lot bleaker than cellphones causing you to go mad or drugs paralysing you. However, the cast is impressive and with Ralph Fiennes as the head of this timeline’s Kingsman, we’re definitely in for a stunningly shot movie full of outstanding performances and action scenes.

Catch me Monday for another Trailer Watch if ye want. If not, it’s happening anyways so get bloody used to it ya clems. Peace and Love.

Swiped – Netlfix review

If I don’t like something I won’t review it. I won’t recommend it and I won’t watch the rest of it. But, unbeknownst to me I stumbled upon a cursed movie. A movie so bad that I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I must share it with you and implore you to watch it whenever you get the chance. You’ll laugh yourself sore.

Swiped, starring teen heartthrob Noah Centineo is the WORST movie I have ever watched. It narrowly pips The Dark is Rising (2007), a movie me and my 13-year old friends walked out of. Just to clarify, I was 13 at the time too, I just wanted to give some context. I messed up. I don’t hang out with 13 year olds.
The reason it pips that to the post of biggest piece of shit movie I’ve ever seen is because I watched the whole thing. We walked out of The Seeker and had no regrets. But this time, me and my brother couldn’t take our eyes off of this absolute trainwreck.

This teen rom-com-dram tells the story of James, a talented by socially awkward coder who starts his first year of college. His roommate is ladies man Lance who, with his two friends whose names I’ve forgotten, recruit James to create an app for them that will blow all other dating apps out of the water. The quartet become wildly successful but James doesn’t agree with the ethics so keeps his involvement quiet. He becomes even more disillusioned when he knows his Mom is using the app and deletes the data, trying to help women realise that they don’t need apps for love. They need to trust themselves.

Christian Hutcherson, Nathan Gamble, Noah Centineo, and Shelby Wulfert in Swiped (2018)
Hannah reading, which is unusual for her

I think I realised that this movie was going to be trash when James asks his love interest, Hannah, what she is reading. Now, this is just after she told him she wants him to leave her alone but he follows her down the hall, asking her about her book. Hannah finally responds and tells him that she’s reading Pride and Prejudice. “Oh, Jane Austen,” James replies with no emotion because he’s a terrible actor.
“Oh, my God, you know Jane Austen?”. He’s a fucking first year college student in North America, Hannah, yes he knows who Jane Austen is.
Now, James and Hannah are badly written characters (Hannah literally goes around reading all the time and even in scenes that she is participating in and conversing in, every time someone talks to her she rips her head out of the book with a look of vague surprise as if she wasn’t aware where she was), but the whole cast is just horrible. Noah Centineo didn’t seem bad in To All the Boys I loved Before, and I actually liked that movie but in this one, despite being the best actor, he’s still the worst somehow. Maybe its because I know he can do better. Maybe I’m just disappointed.
Also, the actor who plays James, the main character, looks exactly like an old friend from secondary school and I’d just laugh and laugh every time he came on screen. This movie didn’t stand a chance.

Kendall Ryan Sanders and Noah Centineo in Swiped (2018)

There were so many laughably bad scenes dotted throughout the movie. The extras and background actors were abysmal, but the main characters were always worse.
I’ve already mentioned Hannah’s need to read but one scene in particular had me howling. So, just after deleting all the data for the dating app, James seeks refuge in the girl’s sorority house (first mention in the entire movie that they are all in the same sorority by the way, and this is with about 20 minutes left). Hannah greets him at the door, lets him in, introduces him to all the girls and intently listens to the start of James’s speech about women empowerment. The camera pans to James for the rest of his speech, he sees the other girls nodding and then ask Hannah what she thinks. Hannah is now reading and pulls her head away from the book, as if she wasn’t aware James was talking. Its almost as if she wasn’t in the scene just before and stumbled in to the living room while being engrossed in the same Jane Austen novel from the start of the year.

Another scene that made no sense was the one in which James’ sister, who has been extremely horrible to him all movie long and most probably his entire life, says she’ll miss him a little bit when he goes back to college. She hugs him and looks lovingly at him. This is off the back of constantly telling him he has no friends and will be a loser forever. She even cuts short his mother’s goodbye to him at the start of the college year because she had a party to go to. I just don’t even know about this film.

If you want to have a bit of fun with this movie, have a look out for Hannah reading in every scene she’s in. It’s almost Waldoesque. Pause the movie and if there’s a character studying or with a book, that’s our stereotypical studious love-interest who the main character doesn’t really have a hope with but will end up with anyways.

Another gem of a scene is when Lance reveals to the world that James is the actual creator of the dating app in an attempt to do something. They never actually say what their intention is. It is very odd. I assume it is to stop him getting friendly with the girls which the guys feel they have ownership over. That must be it.
Anyways, the whole world knows that James is the master coder who created Jungle (sorry, I never mentioned the name of the app. The awfulness of this movie consumes me). James’ Computer Science teacher, upon hearing the news, whips her glasses off her face, staring into the distance, perplexed by the news. It’s phenomenal acting, akin to the scene where Chaz Palminteri drops his coffee cup as Keyser Soze limps off into the distance.

Kendall Ryan Sanders and Kristen Johnston in Swiped
Keyser Soze and Dave Kujan


Also, Lance is the biggest piece of shit in the movie but is given a redemption arc. He outs James as the creator of Jungle to destroy him and tries to force him to work for him when he doesn’t want to anymore. After trying to destroy James and never apologising for it, he decides he wants to treat one of the girls better and asks her on a date. She agrees and he immediately makes a joke about their marriage. Like, run sis, he’s gonna use and abuse you. He’s in love with Lara Jean and everyone knows it!

One thing I do feel bad about in this movie is that as the directors name came up on the screen at the very end I flipped the bird on each hand and yelled ‘F**k you Director Fishman’, and me and my brother laughed and laughed. Just then, an in memorian sign to her parents popped up on the screen and I just deflated. As shit as the movie was and as shit as the production value was, it is still someone’s work that is up on Netlfix and I should respect that.

0/10.

Stranger Things 3: Tokyo Drift

Image result for stranger things

Please forgive my title. Whenever I see a sequel or a spinoff I always try and give it the ‘Electric Boogaloo’ treatment or assign it a title from one of the many Fast & Furious Movies. It’s a disease that I will not be seeking help for because it makes me laugh every time.
Anyways, I’m here to tell you about the majesty of Stranger Things 3. I won’t lie, I wasn’t that hopeful going into this season. I mean, how many times can the demigorgon or the mind-flayer terrorise the town of Hawkins without the townsfolk or the people of America taking notice. Every year there was a new story explaining away the deaths of a significant number of members of the community. I think, then, that you’ll forgive me for not waiting with baited breath for Eleven and her comrades. I think, then, that I should hold my hand up and apologise because it was the best season yet.

This season expanded its horizons. The younger kids are growing up and pairing off while the older kids are trying to figure out what to do with their life. The danger has moved away from Hawkins lab and migrated to the Starcourt mall while it is no longer just corrupt Americans that Hopper and the gang have to fight. The Russians have found their own source to the Upside-Down and are trying to break in. It’s what will break out as a result that will be the problem.
I really enjoyed the fact that they explored the kids development and showed them as they tried to navigate relationships and girls. I didn’t care for all the smooching they showed between Mike and Eleven but that’s just me. There are several hilarious scenes between Mike and Lucas in which the latter tries to explain how girls behave when he has no clue himself. He just has a girlfriend for a few months longer than Mike.
This season delved deeper into Hopper and Joyce’s will they/won’t they charade, with comical results in the form of Murray Bauman, the eccentric man who sheltered Nancy and Jonathan in Season 2.
This season also packed some serious emotional punches. While the last two seasons seemed formulaic almost, in the fact that I knew there was no credible danger to the main cast members, this year they differed from type and really let loose with the deaths. I’ll go into detail later.
Overall, a fantastic season and one that will live long in the memories of fans. Unless, of course, you binge watched it and have forgotten most details as it all turns into one massive blur of character, plot and theatre.

Breakout

D’Acre Montgomery, known for his portrayal of Jason in Power Rangers (2017) gave a powerful performance as the tortured Billy. In Season 2 we just saw an angry young man intent on fighting with the local guys and making out with the local girls. He was a colossal douche to his little sister, Max, and was generally unlikable. He was never involved in any of the dealings with the monsters and to the best of my recollection was just used as a device to get the kids to stand up for themselves.
He arrives in season 3 as the hunky lifeguard at the pool. He is the eye candy for every single female in there, especially Mike and Nancy’s mom. He has the town of Hawkins and every female in it at his feet. Unfortunately, he is infected by the mind-flayer and used to do the monster’s dark bidding around the town. His turn as the demented destroyer that Billy evolves into is mesmerising and there seems to be no way out for Eleven and the gang. His final scene in the final episode is beautiful, yet devastating to watch. Montgomery already has plenty of credits under his acting belt but he really showed his acting chops throughout these eight episodes.

Dacre Montgomery in Stranger Things (2016)
Dacre Montgomery as Billy

Millie-Bobby Brown turned in another electric performance as Eleven, or Elle. I didn’t see her in Godzilla because I had no interest in the movie, but I heard nobody really came out of that movie looking great. However, if she goes on to other shows and features while putting in the types of performances she has while playing the pre-teen superhero, she will be one of the best actresses of her generation.
In the penultimate episode she is almost struck down and must rely on her friends to save her. Her depiction of unbearable pain and despair was so real that I almost forgot it was a t.v. show for a moment. The agony was etched onto her face and just showed that as well as being the best character in the show, bar Hopper, she is the best performer.

Sadie Sink and Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things (2016)
Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink as Eleven and Max

Final Goodbye?

I told ye that I would go into detail about the emotional punches that are landed on your heart and soul throughout this season. It was tough guys. It was like Game of Thrones Season 3 when most of the Starks die. Except a bit more lighthearted throughout the rest of the show and not all doom and gloom.
In the final episode, as the final battle with the shadow monster rages on elsewhere, Joyce and Hopper have a chance to end it once and for all. Due to Russians and other unforeseen circumstances, Hopper gets caught on the wrong side of an explosion that will close the gap between worlds forever. Our Dad-bod hero is gone and it seems like there is no way back for David Harbour in the show. It wasn’t his death that got me, although that was devastating; it was his final look at Joyce and into the camera and the emotion that he showed. As his eyes welled up a chill went up my spine and I realised that Hopper had no way out. He would finally give his all to save Eleven, Hawkins and Joyce.
Now, there is a cut scene at the end which shows a prisoner being sacrificed to one of the demidogs from season 2. The scene is set in Russia in a military compound and as the guards approach a certain cell that is blocked from view, they say, “No, not the American.” Certain speculation has gone up online in which the ‘American’ could be Hopper who was somehow rescued from the blast or miraculously survived.
If the Police Chief is to return in the next season, he would have to be changed somehow by the blast and would not be himself. It could be a totally different American but for the moment we have to believe that Harbour will return for another outing as chain smoking legend Jim Hopper.

Winona Ryder and David Harbour in Stranger Things (2016)
Winona Ryder and David Harbour as Joyce and Hopper

What Next?

Will, Jonathan and Joyce are moving away from Hawkins and Elle is going with them. The rest of the gang are staying put. How will the story be played out next time? We know there is a creature in Russia used to eat prisoners and that that creature will most likely facilitate the spread of the monsters again.
Despite the explosion and the inference that the portal to the Upside Down is gone forever, we get no verbal confirmation that this has happened.
Where did the Russians get the demidog?
Will Elle get her powers back? Does she even want them back? She has a chance at a proper normal life now. Well, as normal as being psychologically tortured up until her teens, not getting a chance to know her mother and losing the only caring father she ever knew can be.
Will Mike grow out of being a shithead teenager? Pressing questions indeed.

Verdict

A solid 8/10 for this season. Loses a few marks for all the smooching I was subjected to and that we didn’t get to see more of Wheeler’s mom in a swimsuit. I am but a man.

Trailer Watch – Disney Edition

The world of the cinema is awash with remakes and sequels, and this week’s Trailer Watch is no different. Disney, long the proprietor of heartwarming, animated tales, has now become a relentless machine intent on remaking every single one into a live-action blockbuster. So, naturally, here is three trailers recently released by the corporation.

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Mulan (teaser)

The latest in Disney’s attempts to keep their finger in the pie is the remake of the 1998 animated hit, Mulan. The trailer dropped Sunday to millions of views and a clear indication of how well the film will do when it is released.
However, die-hard Disneyites (new knickname I’m trying out for all you Disneyites out there) would do well to read the description for the video on Youtube. This movie is based on the 6th century poem, the Ballad of Mulan. While the animated version is dear to many of us, this one will take a different direction; one more true to the original ballad and more sensitive to Chinese culture and history. I, for one, cannot wait for Spring 2020 and can’t wait to see Yifei Liu as Mulan kick ass.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

I was pleasantly surprised when Maleficent (2014) turned out to be a rather good movie. I wasn’t convinced that a villain’s origin story would be appealing as a Disney movie but it was dark, hopeful and filled with enough emotion that I thought it worked very well.
The trailer for the sequel dropped yesterday and it looks fantastic. More family drama looks in store for Maleficent and Aurora when the young princess is sought out for marriage. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a definite villain judging by her glances to the distance as a plan forms behind those wonderful eyes.
There is a twist in the tale as the trailer gives away pretty much the whole story. But I won’t. So have a look.

Frozen II

2 Frozen 2 Feckin’ Cold will be released towards the end of this year. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff will reprise their roles in the sequel to the 2013 smash hit which drove parents crazy. This time around Anna, Else, Kristoff and Sven head off to save Arendelle and the world while discovering the origins of Elsa’s powers. Stay strong, Moms and Dads. Stay strong.



Yesterday: Movie Review

When you hear the plot of the movie Yesterday, you may be forgiven for thinking that it would be better off as a question left for a bunch of stoned people to mull over whilst enjoying a bong hit or two. After seeing the trailer a few months ago I couldn’t help but feel excited for the film. However, I didn’t have the highest hopes for the film going in. I knew that I would like it but I didn’t know what other reviewers or the general public would think. I also realised that despite knowing a lot about the Beatles and their history and their songs, I have never really listened to them. I have never purchased an album or searched them out online. While there are some problems with the movie, the least it has done is give me a few more favourite songs.

Yesterday tells the story of struggling musician Jack (Himesh Patel), as he plays gig after gig with no prospect of success. After a particularly bad show he tells his lifeling friend and manger Ellie (Lily James) that he’s finally giving up. As he makes his way home from her car there is a worldwide blackout. This conveniently happens as he comes to an intersection and is knocked down by a bus. After waking up in hospital and meeting his friends, Jack comes to the horrible realization that nobody remembers, or much worse, nobody knows, who the Beatles are or what their music sounded like. Wrestling with this new knowledge, Jack goes on to find super stardom as he releases their music as his own. However, his relationships and mental health suffer with his new found fame.

I think we can all agree that the plot is formulaic and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is going to happen. Obviously there is an unspoken romantic connection between Jack and Ellie that will either be resolved or not towards the end of the movie. Jack will wrestle with his conscience about stealing the songs and also about leaving his old life behind. Will it be a dream sequence? Will he wake up in the hospital bed and declare his love for Ellie and make sure the Beatles are back in our CD collections?
Himesh Patel has a great voice. He does well as Jack, playing him in a lowkey manner, as if the whole world is against him. He shares great chemistry with Lily James, who is in a supporting role here but does steal the show whenever she is on screen.
Joel Fry is great as deadbeat friend Rocky who accompanies Jack on his worldwide tour when he becomes famous. He provides great comic relief in an already witty movie.
Ed Sheeran has a few scenes as himself and I really enjoyed them. He plays himself as a bit of a jealous friend to Jack who gives him his first break.
Kate McKinnon of SNL fame plays an oily, soul sucking L.A agent who only views Jack as a product rather than a person who writes songs. She treats him as such and is hilarious in any scene she’s in.

Danny Boyle directs this indie-comedy. It is nowhere near as hard hitting or as dark as some of his previous work but it is the mark of a great director that he does work that he loves. His camera shots are universally known and are no different here.
Richard Curtis wrote the screenplay alonside Jack Barth who wrote the story. Curtis’ credits are impressive. He wrote on Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. That dry, British humour is evident here in the quips and jokes made by characters.

I personally liked the movie a lot. I am a fan of musicals and rom-coms. I am a fan of most genres in fairness. I thought this was a solid movie. I wasn’t a fan of the John Lennon part. There was nothing wrong with the idea or the way the character was brought in, but I just didn’t like his face. The make up on the character made him look like he should be working as a teller in Gringotts.
I also don’t think that the Beatles’ music would fare as well as the writer thinks it would in this modern age. However, that is not a plot fall really as it is his movie and not mine.
All in all, a solid movie.

3.5/5.

Spiderman: Far From Home

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

The 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe dropped onto our screens on Tuesday. The third reboot of the Spiderman movies had its first sequel and many critics and fans alike were interested to see whether it would suffer the same curse as the Maguire and Garfield offerings. It was fitting then, that the final movie of the third phase of the MCU was an awesome show.

In Far From Home, Peter Parker is going on a school trip to Europe. Instead of getting to relax in Venice and Paris like he wanted, he is inevitably drawn into a fight with otherworldly monsters. He is aided by Nick Fury, Maria Hill and a new ally, Quentin Beck. Beck hails from Earth but in a different universe. Thanos’ snaps caused a ‘blip’, allowing travel between worlds and timelines. Peter and Quentin, now known as Mysterio, go head to head with these horrible monsters in an attempt to save Spiderman’s world, as well as keep his friends out of harms way.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio

Mysterio is a categorical villain in Spiderman lore. In every comic and game he has appeared in he has been hell bent on Spiderman’s destruction, as well as bringing the world to his feet. We are introduced to him here as an ally of Spiderman. While that won’t mean a thing to the majority of fans going to see it, for the diehards it means they know at least a fraction of the story to come.
In saying that, Beck is a great character. It helps that he is played by Gyllenhaal who gives him the charm and wit necessary to bring that character to life.
Peter Parker is at his wits end in this film. Just off the back of saving the world and losing his friend and mentor, Tony Stark, he is thrust once again into a fight to save humanity. That’s a lot to take for a sixteen year old kid who was snapped away and back again and was none the wiser. Tom Holland plays him effortlessly; capturing a little bit of all of our awkward stages as a teen in his bumbling and stuttering performance. Like I said at the start, this movie defeats the curse of the sequel for the Spiderman movies. This is obviously thanks to the genius of the MCU and all its contributors and directors, but we shouldn’t forget how likeable this Spiderman is compared to his predecessors. Nothing against Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield but Tom Holland just IS Peter Parker.

Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

With New York City, Venice, Prague and London as the major backdrops of this movie it was always going to be visually impressive. I was interested to see what damage they could do to which universally known structures. However, the most striking scene, not to mention mind-bending, is one where Spiderman is caught in an illusion and can’t seem to fight his way out. I won’t say much more here because I don’t want to spoil anything properly but that scene is marvelous. It goes on for so long that you’ll be looking around wondering whether the cinema you are in is real and whether you’re just a figment of some mad man’s imagination. Just a normal Tuesday.

With all of my talk about the previous Spiderman franchises, I neglected to mention how this film fared against the first movie, Homecoming (2017). In short, it is better. In my opinion, of course, but I’m sure most people would agree that this just has more bite to it and now that we have met the ensemble characters we can get more out of them. Jacob, Peter’s friend, is hilarious in this movie. Mary-Jane, played by Zendaya, is also delightfully awkward but badass when she needs to be. Hopefully we see more of her in the next movie, whenever that may be, and that she has more of a role than ‘love-interest’.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Numan Acar, and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Numan Acar, Tom Holland and Jake Gylenhaal

I can’t spoil any credit scenes for you guys because I didn’t get to see them. There was a mix-up in the cinema where I work and the film was put on late. As the credits started to roll two young fellas came in to the theatre. I told them that it would be a few minutes as the boss had to shut off this film and start it again for them. They just looked at me and sat down, oblivious to my power in the Reel Picture. Only as I was leaving did I realise that I wasn’t wearing my uniform as it was my day off. These two young fellas were just told to leave by a weird man watching Spiderman on his own at 1 in the afternoon!
Personally I would say that this is my second favourite MCU film behind Ragnarok. That says a good bit about me I suppose. However, I think it is the third best movie behind Civil War. I loved Infinity War and Endgame but that’s the tea and as always, don’t @ me.

4.5/5.