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!

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.

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.

Shaft: Movie Review

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Let me just start this by saying that this is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. Each of the three shafts are hilarious in their own way, as well as Regina Hall as Samuel L. Jackson’s ex-wife. Leave your brain at the door for a couple of hours and enjoy the comedy as well as the impressive camera work during the action scenes.

Jess T. Usher is J.J. SHaft who enlists the help of his estranged father for a case on his presumed murdered friend. I am looking forward to seeing Usher in more movies, especially comic roles. His timing is perfect.

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Jackson is himself and plays it so well. Whether he is Shaft, Fury or Kincaid, he is a joy to watch on screen and generates the most laughs.
Rountree also proved that he can still cut it in the action world, breaking through highrise windows and stabbing bad guys for fun.
Regina Hall is fantastic as the protective mother and bitter ex. Her scene in the bathroom of the restaurant towards the end of the movie is comic gold.

I’d recommend this movie for a hangover or just a chill night with bae. If you don’t have a bae that’s cool too, watch it with your brother who has a better social life than you and who probably feels bad for you, like I did. Happy memories.

3.5/5.

Toy Story 4: Film Review

Woodie, Bo Peep and Giggles

*Minor spoilers ahead

The latest installment in the Toy Story series hit our screens last weekend and hit them hard. I’m back working in the cinema for the foreseeable future and by God didn’t we have 1250 people in to see it the Sunday. Exactly 1250 people. It was madness, but it made the day pass and bonded all of us as workers and comrades.

I finally saw the movie last night and it is brilliant. For personal preference I think it dragged on for the last twenty minutes but kids will definitely enjoy the whole thing. As it is rated G, it is a movie for kids first and foremost. However, it is enjoyable for all ages and all fans of the franchise.

Forky and Bonnie

The movie opens with Bo Peep and her sheep being donated from Molly to an unknown man. Woodie almost leaves with her but stays out of loyalty to Andy, leaving Bo off to go to a new child on her own.
It cuts to the present day and we are back with Bonnie, the little girl that Andy gave all of his toys to, except now Woodie is not the favourite and is being left in the closet more often than not.
On a roadtrip with the family to Grand Basin, Woodie and Forky, a new toy voiced by Tony Hale, Woodie stumbles into an adventure involving a scheming doll without a voicebox, two hilarious stuffed birds and his lost friend, Bo.

This movie is really about Woodie. While the movie as a whole deals more directly with the relationship between the toys and their children, even more so than the other movies, this one is all about the sheriff with a snake in his boot. Woodie has to deal with going from being Andy’s favourite to one of Bonnie’s least favourite toys. He takes it upon himself to make sure that Bonnie’s newest toy, Forky, is her new favourite and is by her at all times. As chaos ensues throughout the movie and the toys inevitably escape all animated contact with humans, Woodie’s crisis of confidence is prevalent throughout.
For a child’s movie it really delves deep into how people, or toys, can feel lost in the world. Being lost with no plan can be tough, but as Woodie finds out with the help of his friends, taking a brave new step into somewhere unfamiliar doesn’t have to mean you’re lost.

Buzz, Jessie and some old favourites

The familiar names of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woodie and Buzz are excellent as always. Buzz and Woodie are striking out on different paths, with Buzz being seen as a bit of a leader in the absence of the cowboy.
Key and Peele are hilarious as Ducky and Bunny, while Keanu Reeves is equally as funny as Duke Caboom, a crash-landing expert from the Great White North.
Christina Hendricks plays the villain of the piece, Gabby Gabby, intent on getting a voicebox of her own so she can finally have a child of her own. As always though, don’t judge too harshly in the Pixar world. Not everything is as it seems.

I would highly recommend this movie to every body who enjoyed and watched the other three. I actually can’t remember much of Toy Story 3 bar the main plot but this is brilliant on its own anyways. It might drag a bit for me but its still a fantastic feat of animation, comedy and heartwarming endeavour.

4/5.

Netflix Selection: After Life and Paddleton

Ricky Gervais has found himself, or put himself, in the news again talking about snowflakes and people getting easily offended. While I agree with him about people being a little too quick to jump the gun on what they think is offensive nowadays, he has been spouting the same stuff for well over a decade now. However, it is always good publicity when a new show comes out. Today I’ll be going over his new show After Life and the indie comedy Paddleton that he is not affiliated with.

After Life

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Gervais plays Tony, a miserable, suicidal man mourning the death of his wife. He has a penchant to say horrible things that pop into his head because, as he sees it, he’s going to be shaking off his mortal coil soon. He works at the local free paper and is nasty to his boss who happens to be his brother in law, and everyone else who crosses his path.

I liked the show. I enjoy Gervais, especially as David Brent and in his animated show from a few years ago with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. I appreciate that he is not everybody’s patronising cup of tea. He doesn’t do himself any favours with his constant harping on about offensive material, although i do agree, and the amount of fat jokes aren’t helping him with anyone.
All in all though, I’d recommend this show and would urge people to leave their sensitivity at the door. It is a tad bit predictable but that last episode is worth it.  It’s not for everyone, but the sweet moments are tearfully emotional and the jokes are  barbwire sharp.

Paddleton

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This indie buddy-comedy starring Ray Romano and Mark Duplass is another one that hits in the feels. Romano and Duplass are Andy and Michael, two socially awkward neighbours turned best friends. They hang out every night, watch Kung Fu movies, eat pizza and play a made up game derived from squash called Paddleton. Michael is diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer, sending the two on a roadtrip for a special kind of medication which lands the two in an emotional, funny and charming look into friendship and love.

As everybody knows I enjoy almost everything I watch. This was no different, although I wouldn’t say I was hooked. It is very slow and the hijinks the guys get up to on their trip are marred by their ineptitude at talking to women and people in general.
There are some poignant moments that are totes, dare I say, emosh, but I’d give it a skip. You won’t miss out if you miss this one.

I’ll be back Sunday with a Paddy’s Day post and/or Monday with more reviews/news and sports.