Going Off Topic #12 – Snap Back to Reality

It’s been a weird week. I went back to work on Monday after being on Maternity Leave for 9 months, and on the same day I dropped my little girl off for her first day of Nursery. She’s going to be there 3 and a half days a week so I can carry on working full time and it’s so hard to come to terms with. On one hand, she’s having an amazing time there and has developed so much in just a week, so I know it’s going to be a great place for her to be. On the other hand, I wish I could spend more time with her, and not have to pay the extortionate amount per month so I actually had some spare cash!

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Anyway, Monday morning was horrific and after dropping Daisy off, I tried to drive to work but had to stop at a car park to have a cry, and then I realised I was going to be late so I cried on the way to work! To be fair, once I got into the swing of it all I was far too busy to carry on worrying, and dropping her off since hasn’t been anywhere near as bad.

What’s really killed me is the fact that I struggled to get all of my life admin sorted when I wasn’t at work 40 hours a week, so now that I am everything seems a bit impossible. I tried to carry on as normal and ended up just tiring myself out beyond manageable. Not wanting to be defeated I went to see Mission: Impossible – Fallout on opening night and fell asleep!

I have never, ever fallen asleep in the cinema before. I’ve spent years mocking those who do, because how can you fall asleep in such a public place with a huge bright screen in front of you blasting out sound and music for 2 hours? But I was that exhausted I just dropped, so I can’t do a decent review for it until I’ve seen it again. What I did see was great though!

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I had a super early night last night and feel much better. Now I know to just take things a bit slower while I find a new normal, and to take a sugary drink with me the next time I go to the cinema!

Onto something more positive, I don’t have any other movies to talk about because I’ve been blogging about them straight away – huzzah! TV Shows have just fallen by the wayside for now. However I’ve just finished reading The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, and it was great! I had a hunch of what would happen early on which turned out to be right, but so many things were thrown in that made me change my mind and that made it a really satisfying read from start to finish.

Does anyone have a recommendation of what I could read next? I love a good mystery!

I’m a little behind on reading all the blogs I follow so I need to catch up, but here are some of the posts I’ve loved reading in the last week…

Brittani at Rambling Film reviews Sorry to Bother You and now I can’t wait to see it!

Sati at Cinematic Corner breaks down the Aquaman trailer for us all.

Jay at Assholes Watching Movies reviews Father of the Year and saves us all from having to sit through it.

Natasha at Life of this City Girl reviews one of my favourites, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as part of the Blindspot Series.

And last but of course not least, Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews wraps up his 5th Christmas in July Blogathon, so be sure to check out everyone’s posts!

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Christmas in July Blogathon – Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Originally posted on Drew’s blog here as part of his Christmas in July Blogathon – be sure to check out the other posts!

Opening my laptop this morning, trying to decide what to write about for Drew’s annual Christmas in July blogathon (which I am once again fashionably late for) I was horrified to read the news title “Bruce Willis CONFIRMS Die Hard is not a Christmas movie”. Aca-scuse me?!

The terrible statement was made during his appearance on his very own Comedy Central Roast. Come on, Bruce! This is something us movie fans have been arguing about for years, in fact, YouGov even ran a poll on it, in which over 50% of people also claimed Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie.

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If you haven’t guessed, I am firmly in the Yes camp. In fact, I only watched Die Hard for the first time fairly recently, because I’d been told it was a Christmas movie and so it felt wrong to watch it in any month other than December. In my eyes, any movie that takes place during Christmas counts. That’s why you’ll find me rewatching Love Actually, Just Friends, and Bridget Jones’s Diary every single year.

I’d really love to settle the debate once and for all so please let me (and Drew!) know – is Die Hard a Christmas movie?

Now, the best part of Drew’s Christmas in July blogathon is the after-party. We’re allowed to bring 1 guest of our choice. My previous guests have been Dan Stevens, Oscar Isaac, and Chris Pratt. I would bring Bruce Willis this year but there’s no chance now he’s trying to ruin my festive spirit so his invite is in the bin. As I still have another year and a half to wait to see him again in Star Wars, I’ll bring Adam Driver with me this year! Drew can you make sure the heating is on, please? He’s decided to come shirtless!

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Incredibles 2 (2018)

incredibles-2-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Brad Bird

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Brad Bird, Phil LaMarr, Jonathan Banks

Plot: Elastigirl teams up with entrepreneur and superhero advocate Winston Deavor on a mission to make all ‘Supers’ legal again, whilst Mr Incredible stays at home with a mission of his own – looking after their three children.

My Thoughts: Boy am I glad that I caught up on the original Incredibles movie before seeing the sequel, because it literally picks up exactly where the original left off 14 years ago. It’s absolutely amazing comparing the same scene in both movies because you can see just how far animation technology has come in those years.

I’ll get straight to the point – I really loved it. Maybe it’s the soppy parent in me, but I enjoyed every second! Sure, you can smell the twist coming a mile away (it’s kind of the same as the original anyway) but I think we need to remember that kids are the main audience for this movie, and it’ll shock and surprise most of them.

I imagine I’m easily pleased but as great as all the superhero action was, it was the family moments that I enjoyed the most. It’s just those stereotypical moments that are absurd yet so true. I remember struggling with my homework and my Mum wasn’t any help at all because she couldn’t understand it herself! I remember those mornings as a teenager where I would decide that I hated everything and every one. Now, as a parent myself, I understand those moments where simply trying to keep a very mobile baby alive is exhausting!

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Best Bit: Jack Jack’s powers. In fact, any time Jack Jack was even on screen. He absolutely stole the scene throughout the entire movie!

Worst Bit: For the movie itself, it was probably just a tad too long. Also – how bizarre was the short beforehand, Bao? The moment where the Mum ate her dumpling child had our whole screen laugh in shocked confusion. Now I’ve looked it up I understand it, but it was one of the most confusing things I’ve seen!

Fun Trivia: A typo on the movie theatre marquis where Tony is dropped off towards the end of the movie reads “A113”, one of the most famous recurring Easter Eggs. Several Pixar producers and animators studied at California Institute of the Arts in classroom A113 and this number appears in every Pixar film.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 cookie num nums, which you’ll need to keep handy…

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The Neon Demon (2016)

the-neon-demon-2016-movie-posterDirector: Nicolas Winding Refn

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Charles Baker

Plot: Jesse, a young girl who has just turned 16, moves to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a model. Her youth and natural beauty generate jealousy to an extreme extent within the fashion industry, putting Jesse in grave danger.

My Thoughts: Second movie from my watch list crossed off! The Neon Demon was on the list for one reason alone – the polarizing reviews it has. Everyone either loves it or hates it and I was dying to know why, and which camp I was going to fall into.

For quite a while, I was absolutely digging the movie. Sure, I didn’t really understand all the arty farty parts but they were pretty to watch at least. I really felt for Jesse, I wanted her to succeed and I wanted to protect her. Then there was the whole scene with the leopard/panther/whatever it was inside her motel room. I thought ok, maybe that’s just a metaphor for something that I haven’t worked out yet, I’m still enjoying this movie.

From there it just went into major WTF mode. Just…I don’t even know. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it so I won’t go into details, and to be honest I’m not sure how I would describe the rest of the movie anyway. I get that it’s definitely a dig at how awful the fashion model industry is, but it goes so much further than that. It was odd, it was creepy, and I wasn’t a fan at all by the end of it.

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Best Bit: Jesse’s response to one of the girls saying how her surgeon calls her ‘The Bionic Woman’ after all the work she’s had done. “Is that a compliment?”. I actually laughed out loud at that!

Worst Bit: If I say…Jena Malone. In the morgue. With a corpse. Not doing any makeup…but still having a good time. Do you know which bit I mean, if you’ve seen the movie? One of the creepiest things I’ve ever watched.

Fun Trivia: The film was shot in chronological order, and the ending was created and improvised on-set, according to Elle Fanning.

My Rating: 1 and a half eyeballs out of 5. Ugh…

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Skyscraper (2018)

skyscraper-movie-poster-2018-reviewDirector: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, McKenna Roberts, Hannah Quinlivan, Roland Møller, Byron Mann, Chin Han

Plot: Will Sawyer once worked as part of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, but quit after a traumatic incident. He started up a small security business and thanks to his connections, he has been given the opportunity to assess the security for the world’s tallest skyscraper before the residential floors are opened. When a fire breaks out in one of the middle floors trapping his wife and children, Will does whatever he can to save them.

My Thoughts: I’m not saying I went into this with low expectations, but I think we all know what kind of movie Skyscraper is going to be. It’s cheesy as hell, and if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen the whole movie already, but I thought it was really entertaining!

I just can’t help but love Dwayne Johnson, he seems like such a genuinely nice guy, and although his movies aren’t going to Oscar nominees, he knows how to make an entertaining popcorn movie, and that’s just what I love to watch sometimes! It’s not too long, the pacing is good, and I was enjoying every minute, so I can’t complain really.

With my critical hat on, the twists are obvious, the bad guys are textbook and there are more than a few glaring plot holes, but if you started watching Skyscraper expecting an elaborate and shocking story then that’s on you!

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Best Bit: As ridiculous as it was, both scenes involving duct tape are brilliant. I want to see those moves used in the next Mission Impossible!

Worst Bit: The scene early on where Will’s wife needs him to fix her phone and he tells her to turn it off and on again. It was so odd that I just knew it was going to come back again at some point in the movie, and when it does it’s groan-worthy.

Fun Trivia: When Will Sawyer and Zhao first meet, Sawyer greets him with some Mandarin, and Zhao replies in the same language but there are no subtitles on the screen. He is asking in jest, “Your Mandarin is quite good; how is your English?”.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 rolls of duct tape. That should be enough to sort out a wound or you know, scale a skyscraper…

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