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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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The Incredibles (2004)

the-incredibles-movie-poster-2004Director: Brad Bird

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Main Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Dominique Louis, Teddy Newton, Jean Sincere, Wallace Shawn, Spencer Fox, Lou Romano, Sarah Vowell

Plot: The superheroes have been forced to live normal suburban lives after a series of lawsuits, and that’s exactly what Mr Incredible, Elastigirl and their 3 children have been doing until Mr Incredible is offered an opportunity he can’t refuse which doesn’t turn out the way he thought.

My Thoughts: The start of this movie is hilarious in the worst kind of way. It starts it 1 person suing because his life was saved when he didn’t want it to be and escalates. It sounds bizarre but that’s exactly what would happen if superheroes existed. This is why we can’t have nice things!

It’s been so long since The Incredibles was released that I wasn’t even sure if I’d ever watched it, and it all seemed pretty new to me apart from the final battle so that must be the only bit that I missed! It’s hard to imagine that this movie came out before Marvel and DC had really made their mark on the big screen. It must have been a really fresh movie when it first came out, so I wish I’d seen it then.

I did enjoy it though. I mainly saw it because I’m seeing Incredibles 2 tomorrow night and wanted to know what I was getting myself in to! The family moments are my favourite, just those moments that are so relatable.

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Best Bit: Edna Mode. Just everything Edna Mode, dahling. When she was showing off how fireproof and bulletproof baby Jack Jack’s super suit was, I was almost crying with laughter. The horror!

Worst Bit: It was probably so good at the time, but the animation hasn’t aged well at all. Some parts are just fine but there are certain scenes where the quality really isn’t great. I don’t think I would have noticed as much if it was a childhood favourite of mine though.

Fun Trivia: After Bomb Voyage blows up the safe, Buddy can already be seen as his future alter-ego Syndrome, as a distorted reflection in the safe door, actually commenting about his future.

My Rating: I was going to use capes, but I was told NO CAPES, so it gets 4 out of 5 superhero masks from me!

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The Outsider, Stephen King

It’s only taken me over half of 2018, but I actually started and finished a book! Huzzah! Just 5 more to go to reach the goal I set myself in January, the goal I thought would be fairly achievable. Oops. I told myself to pick a standalone book rather than one in part of a series, just until I get back into the flow of reading more. After enjoying the Mr. Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King so much last year, I knew I couldn’t do wrong by picking his latest novel, The Outsider.

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So the gist of the story is this. A young boy named Frank Peterson has been found dead after being brutally raped and murdered. The case is an awful but simple one, as there are multiple eye-witnesses, fingerprints, blood, and DNA samples that point to one man, Terry Maitland. What’s shocking is that Terry is such a well-loved man in the community.

After Terry is arrested publically by Detective Ralph Anderson and his colleagues, more evidence is uncovered that completely contradicts what has been found already. It turns out Terry wasn’t even in the City when the murder was committed – but how?

I absolutely love a mystery story, so I was hooked on this instantly. Once I get myself into a good book I just can’t stop myself so I’ve had a few late nights recently! I obviously don’t want to go into the specifics of the story because it’s something you should read without knowing much at all, but if you’re a fan of the genre I’m sure you’ll love this.

Here’s the best part though. I was so gutted when I finished the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. I’d become so invested in the main characters and I simply wasn’t ready to let them go. However! In the midst of all the chaos involved in the investigation in The Outsider, Holly Gibney gets involved! My poor husband seemed so confused when I excitedly tried to tell him very early one morning!

Dear Stephen King – can we please have more Holly? She might just be my favourite fictional character ever!

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Tag (2018)

tag-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Jeff Tomsic

Genre: Comedy

Main Cast: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress, Jeremy Renner, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb

Plot: Every year during the month of May, Hoagie and his friends take part in an epic game of tag. They go to huge lengths to tag each other, including getting a job at the company one of them works for. In this particular year, Jerry has said it’s last year taking part, and as he has never been tagged, the rest of the gang are determined to get him.

My Thoughts: I feel so conflicted about this movie. On one hand, I love that Tag is a different comedy story to most that we see these days. Based on a true story too! I also love this cast, and they gel so well together. I’ve never seen Jeremy Renner in a comedy before and he actually did really well.

On the other hand, whilst Tag started strong, it lagged in the middle, and then in the final 20 minutes or so the tone changed completely, which threw me off balance. Also, although I found it quite funny in places, 24 hours after seeing it I’m struggling to remember any specific jokes, apart from one which went too far. Ultimately, it was fun while it lasted but was kind of forgettable to me.

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Best Bit: Whenever the gang try to tag Jerry – played by Jeremy Renner, he goes into an ultra slo-mo analysis of every move, and it never got old! It’s such a shame that Jerry couldn’t be an Avenger instead of Hawkeye!

Worst Bit: I love inappropriate jokes as much as the next terrible person but repeatedly making jokes about miscarriage was too cringy for me, and soured my mood a little. Do it once and you’ll get a shocked “should I laugh at this” reaction but 10 more times and I just cringe.

Fun Trivia: The film was based on the true events of the lives of former high school classmates (Bill Akers, Patrick Schultheis, Sean Raftis and Mike Konesky). As teenagers during the 1980’s, they would entertain themselves by playing the schoolyard game during breaks at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington.

My Rating: 2 and a half watches out 5. Synchronise them if you can, unless you don’t know how, don’t have a watch, or don’t believe that time itself is a construct!

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Adrift (2018)

adrift-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure

Main Cast: Sam Claflin, Shailene Woodley, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne

Plot: The true story of how Richard Sharp and Tami Oldham met by chance, fell in love and sailed thousands of miles to San Diego, where on the way they faced one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

My Thoughts: It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie like this, and as with most movies based on true stories, I had no idea what actually happened to Richard and Tami, so I was really looking forward to seeing Adrift. My excitement dwindled slightly when my cinema buddy Steph was told the air-con in our screen was broken and the temperature in the room was currently 26 degrees. Ugh. For my overseas readers – the UK is going through one it’s longest heatwaves ever, and we don’t cope well in the heat!

On to the movie itself though! I think it’s hard for stories like this to have a good pace going, when you’ve got a couple stranded at sea there’s a risk of it lagging but it’s edited in a really nice way. The movie opens with the aftermath of the storm, and flicks back and forth between past and present so just when it’s at risk of getting dull, it switches again.

I am really starting to warm to Shailene Woodley. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen her in but she just has a certain down-to-earthness about her that I really like. Plus, I’m never going to complain about getting to see Sam Claflin on the big screen, although he spent a lot of time just laying about. The only thing that kept bugging me was it was made clear that Claflin’s character was much older than Woodley’s, but they looked the same age as each other to me! IMDB research has told me there’s a 5-year difference at least…

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Best Bit: The worst proposal in the world scene. It caught me off guard and I did one of those embarrassingly loud ‘HAH’ laughs that was completely involuntary.

Worst Bit: I can’t say for spoiler reasons, but if you’ve seen it (or know the actual true story) you’ll know exactly what I mean. I genuinely felt glum for the rest of the night!

Fun Trivia: According to Shailene Woodley, there were times on the open sea when, except for the director and cinematographer, everybody was throwing up overboard due to severe seasickness.

My Rating: 3 and a half jars of peanut butter out of 5. Use a spoon though, for crying out loud!

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