Rushmore (1998)

rushmore-1998-movie-poster-reviewDirector: Wes Anderson

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Main Cast: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Seymour Cassel, Brian Cox, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka, Stephen McCole, Connie Nielsen, Luke Wilson

Plot: Max Fischer dedicates his entire existence to the private school he attends, called Rushmore. He runs just about every extracurricular activity you can imagine, and even directs his own plays, but he’s doing terribly in his classes. He falls in love with Miss Cross, an elementary school teacher but finds himself stuck in a rivalry when his friend (and parent of 2 boys at the school) Herman Blume also falls for Miss Cross.

My Thoughts: Rushmore ended up on my watch list after I fell in love with The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom, and I asked for suggestions of which Wes Anderson movie I should see next. I went in blind, not looking up a plot or trailer or anything before seeing it, and I’m glad I did because it was one of the funniest openings to a movie I’ve ever seen!

If I’m totally honest, I didn’t love this as much as the other Wes Anderson movies I’ve seen. I really enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but it didn’t have the same qwirkyness that the others had. You can definitely tell it’s a Wes Anderson movie though, and I think it’ll be the kind of movie that will grow on me the more times I watch it, and it’s definitely a movie I’ll happily see again.

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Best Bit: Max and Herman at war with each other. Watching the feud start with a swarm of bees in a hotel room and then escalating into something leading to an arrest was hilarious.

Worst Bit: I wouldn’t say there was a particular moment that I didn’t enjoy in Rushmore, it just lacked the wow factor for me!

Fun Trivia: So I’m not looking up IMDB for this one, I have some trivia of my own. The line that Max says, “Tell that stupid Mick he just made my list of things to do today” is the name of a Fall Out Boy song – and Rushmore is the reason they named it that! I was a bit of a die-hard FoB fan back in the day…

My Rating: 3 and a half aquariums out of 5, which Max may or may not have got permission to build for a certain someone.

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Hereditary (2018)

hereditary-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Ari Aster

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Main Cast: Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd

Plot: The Grandmother of the Graham family passes away, and the family she has left behind are left to not only grieve but uncover the mysteries and secrets behind their ancestry.

My Thoughts: So, not only did I pluck up the courage to even see Hereditary in the first place, I made it my movie of choice for my first ever solo cinema trip! Dive right in at the deep end, eh? To be honest I was probably better off alone so I could quake in fear without anyone next to me poking fun at me. What I love about seeing a horror at the cinema is the atmosphere, and the nervous laughter people do when they’re scared. It relieves some of the tension!

On to the actual movie though – it was pretty darn good, to say the least. The story itself left me pretty confused, I understood the gist of it but I have a lot of unanswered questions, and trying to explain it all to someone else would give me a headache. It’s one you have to think about and replay in your head for it to all come together if that makes sense.

Oh, boy was it scary though. Scary in the best possible way. I absolutely hate jump scares, but there’s only 1 here. The rest is down to shock tactics and subtlety. It’s so cleverly filmed, or edited I guess, and there are some really scary moments where you question if you’re actually seeing things because nothing else in the movie is telling you that something is going on. I really hope this is the way forward for all horrors because I could really get into the genre.

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Best Bit: The car scene. It was so unexpected, and I never thought it would turn out as badly as it did. Also, the part straight after, because the way this character reacted is honestly the same as I think I would.

Worst Bit: Tongue clicking. Is that what it’s called? Anyone who makes that noise anywhere near me in the foreseeable future is getting punched, and I’m not even sorry.

Fun Trivia: In an interview, Alex Wolff explains that he wanted to actually break his own nose for the scene where his character slams his head into a desk. Director Ari Aster respectfully declined that offer and told Wolff they’d give him a soft, cushioned desk for the scene. When it was time for the scene to be shot, Wolff slams his head into the desk only to discover that it was not soft nor made out of foam, that resulted into Wolff’s actual blood gushing down to his knees.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 chocolate cakes. They may or may not contain nuts…

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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.