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Ocean’s Eight (2018)

oceans-eight-movie-poster-2018Director: Gary Ross

Main Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime

Plot: Debbie Ocean, the sister of Danny Ocean, finishes a prison sentence and assembles an all-female crew to attempt the impossible – a diamond heist during the New York City annual Met Gala.

My Thoughts: I can’t even tell you how much fun this movie is. To all the ladies out there, grab your girlfriends, order some takeout, but don’t stick on that well-used copy of Bridesmaids, watch this instead. While you’re at it, don’t leave the boys out, because there’s plenty here for everyone to enjoy!

Honestly, all I really want to do is rave about how amazing the opening scenes are with Sandra Bullock. I came out of Need for Speed wanting to drive my Fiat 500 like a Lambourgini, I came out of Wonder Woman feeling like I could kick someone’s ass, and I came out of Ocean’s Eight with an incredible impulse to shoplift. I didn’t, of course, but she made it look so easy! I just love Sandra Bullock so much.

If you’ve seen a lot of heist movies (I haven’t) then there’s probably nothing new here, but the ride is fun enough regardless. Also, I normally hate when singers turn up in movies thinking they can act, but I really enjoyed Rihanna’s performance!

With my serious hat on, it was so great to have an all-female main cast where each character got roughly the same amount of limelight, and each of their roles in the heist was just as important as the others, making them all equal. These ladies kick ass!

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Best Bit: Watching Sandra Bullock manage to shoplift all those cosmetics with such ease and confidence. I couldn’t work out how her approach was going to work but when it clicked for me, it was so funny.

Worst Bit: So, we ended up picking the only showing of the day which had subtitles, which was annoying as hell because even though I didn’t need them I couldn’t stop myself from reading them!

Fun Trivia: In her 2011 book, Mindy Kaling expressed an interest in wanting to do a reboot of Ocean’s 11, called Ocean’s 5, that would feature an all-female cast.

My Rating: I was going to do diamonds, but that seemed too obvious, so I’m giving it 4 out of 5 nine-balls!

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Short Term 12 (2013)

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Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Main Cast: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr, Stephanie Beatriz, Rami Malek, Kevin Balmore, Lakeith Stanfield, Frantz Turner, Kaitlyn Dever

Genre: Drama

Plot: Grace works at a residential treatment facility with her boyfriend Mason. A lot of the children there are troubled, and as Grace helps each of them, a new arrival ends up bringing up painful memories for her, and her usually tough exterior begins to crumble, causing a rift between her and Mason.

My Thoughts: This is the first movie knocked off my watch list! And oh boy did I start with a good one. It’s a shame I know the rest of the list won’t be this good. I didn’t think I would find a movie that would tug on my heartstrings as much as The Florida Project (2017) did, but my heart really ached watching Short Term 12.

There are a few comedic moments, like when poor Rami Malek shows up for his first day at work to be confronted with a kid running and screaming to escape. Talk about first impressions! Other than that though, I think I cried no less than 3 times. It’s horrible to think that although this is a movie, what these kids go through actually happens out there in the real world.

It’s not like I didn’t know it before, but Brie Larson is an absolute superstar. She didn’t pick up enough awards for her performance here – she should have taken home an Oscar!

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Best Bit: The rap that Lakeith Standfield performs. It was so moving and powerful – if it was released as an actual record I’d buy it. And by buy it, I mean I would stream it on Spotify. Does anyone still buy records?

Worst Bit: Kaitlyn Dever reading her story about the octopus aloud. Not because it was a bad moment in the movie, but because my heart broke into a million pieces during it, and my sniffing almost woke up my napping baby.

Fun Trivia: To try and convince director Destin Daniel Cretton to cast her, Brie Larson told him that she had applied to volunteer with disadvantaged children after reading the script in order to research the role. Cretton was impressed and Larson did not reveal until later that she had been rejected by every organisation she had applied to.

My Rating: 4 and a half octopuses (octopi?) out of 5. Please don’t ask them to cut their arms off – I can’t take any more sorrow.

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Going Off Topic (#11) 5 Weeks Left…

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You might have noticed that I’ve been pretty active on this blog for the last 2 weeks, more so than I have been all year! I think I’ve finally got my blogging mojo back. Officially, my maternity leave is over in 2 weeks, but I’ve tagged on leftover annual leave so I actually have 5 full weeks till I’m back at work. I can’t believe it! The first 3 months felt like 3 years but the rest of the time has flown. I’m going to miss my little girl so much!

Blogging

If you’ve read one of my recent movie reviews you’ll see the format of them has changed. I’ve been struggling to write my usual free-flowing posts so moving to an actual structured format has really helped me to focus my thoughts on what to actually write. I think I’ll be sticking to this format for a while now, I’m finding posts much easier and more enjoyable to write.

Movies

I haven’t watched as many movies as I usually would recently but that’ll change now I’ve made the vow to complete my ‘watchlist’ before the end of the year. Plus, last night I took the plunge and signed up for Odeon’s Limitless card. If you haven’t heard of it, for £17.99 per month you get to see as many movies as you like.

Of course, this means I’ll be making a lot of solo cinema trips, which doesn’t seem like a big deal to me anymore but a few years ago I would have looked at you in horror if you suggested I go alone. Does anyone else take solo trips? Also, do you think I should put on my big girl pants and go see Hereditary? I’m so tempted!

Books

I took the mention of books out of my blog banner a while ago because I haven’t read any for months. I’ve decided though to give myself half an hour each night in bed to do some reading and to stick to one-off novels rather than trilogies and other series’ just to keep myself motivated. I’ve started reading The Outsider by Stephen King, and I’m really getting into it so far. It’s a murder mystery story where the case seems like it’s solved before it’s even begun, but I know that won’t be how it goes.

Life

Right now, life is good. My little girl is 8 months old today (I can’t believe it) and she’s such a bundle of joy to be around, most of the time. She’s an early riser (yawn) but she’s so playful and cute that I can’t be mad at her for it. We have a proper weekly routine now including soft play, swimming, sensory, the library and singing time, so we’re always busy! I’ll genuinely miss it all when I go back to work.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell! I’m really looking forward to being more active here again, I just hope I can keep it up and not keep disappearing for a few weeks! Hope you’re all having a good June so far.

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My Current ‘Must Watch’ List

Every movie fan has a list of movies somewhere that they need to watch, whether it’s kept on their phone, scribbled on a piece of paper or simply stored in their memory. As a bit of a nerd for organisation, I’ve been loving using Letterboxd for the past couple of years as an information source and a diary of what I’ve seen. It also has a Watchlist feature which I’ve been adding to for a long time now!

It’s gotten to the point now where there are so many movies in this list, that when I have the free time to watch something, I can’t decide between them, and so some of them have been on this list for over 2 years!

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Some of them are classics I’ve been meaning to see for too long, some are movies I know will be terrible but I like the cast, and many are ones that have grabbed my interest from reviews I’ve read by other bloggers. There are also some that haven’t been released yet in the UK, but I don’t want to forget about them.

So to resolve my issue of an ever-growing list, I’ve vowed to watch all these movies by the end of the year. Of course, my list will have more added to it, but I’ll watch the current list in full by New Year’s! In fact, I think I’ll turn this post into a blog page and hyperlink my posts as I complete them!

Here’s the list in full…

Short Term 12 (2013)

Rushmore (1998)

The Neon Demon (2016)

Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Moonlight Mile (2002)

The Shallows (2016)

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

Café Society (2016)

Frank & Lola (2016)

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Demolition (2015)

Away We Go (2009)

Odd Thomas (2013)

It Comes at Night (2017)

As You Are (2016)

Your Name. (2016)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Secret Window (2004)

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

The Salesman (2016)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Drop (2014)

Unicorn Store (2017)

Detroit (2017)

Stronger (2017)

Certain Women (2016)

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Office Christmas Party (2017)

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Upgrade (2018)

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Hotel Artemis (2018)

Traitor (2008)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

The Matrix (1999)

Mommy (2014)

If you’re still reading at this point – what do you recommend I should see first?

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom-poster-2018Director: J.A. Bayona

Main Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, Danielle Pineda, Ted Levine, James Cronwell, BD Wong, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Justice Smith, Isabella Sermon

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Plot: The park on Isla Nubar has been closed now for 4 years, but the once-dormant volcano there is now about to erupt at any moment. The debate has started, should these dinosaurs be saved or should we let nature run its cause and allow the volcano to kill them all?

My Thoughts: I feel so torn on this one. Personally, I loved Jurassic World, even if it did feel like a 2-hour long example of product placement. It’s nice to have a movie where you can suspend your belief and just have some good fun, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for with the sequel. The first half of the movie delivers that perfectly, but the second half…was just kind of silly!

Seeing Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard again on screen was a joy, and I loved the 2 new additions to their team, although they provided most of the laughs also. There was a good mix of fast action, humour and thrills. Once the dinosaurs had been taken away from Isla Nubar however, it all just unravelled into a bit of a mess.

Also, have I turned into an overprotective parent already or am I not alone in thinking that there’s NO WAY young children should see this? I thought the Jurassic Park movies were family-friendly but this is kind of gory in places!

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Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun watching Fallen Kingdom, and I’ll probably watch it again with my family, I just didn’t like the second half as much, and I have no idea what to say about the ending…I mean just think how much all your insurance premiums are going to go up by!

Best Bit: I have two! Either the scene with Chris and Dallas trying to take the blood from the T-Rex, or the clips of Blue and the other raptors when they were tiny. I want a Blue of my very own!

Worst Bit: The Indoraptor sneaking his way into the little girl’s room. It’s just stupid on so many levels. Why would a dinosaur that was a hyperactive killing machine suddenly turn into stealth mode, and why would that girl, who had been set up as such a smart character, decide to hide not even under her bed, but just under the covers. Ugh.

Fun Trivia: The ending of Fallen Kingdom will apparently leave audiences wanting more. Trevorrow says: “At the end of this movie, it’s not a cliffhanger, but it’s designed for people to want to know what’s going to happen next, whereas the earlier Jurassic Park movies had pretty clear definitive endings.”

My Rating: 3 out of 5 laser guns…and please, don’t aim them at Chris Pratt. That’s a silly thing to do.

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