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Searching (2018)

searching-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Aneesh Chaganty

Genre: Mystery, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 101 Minutes

Main Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Michelle La, Sara Sohn, Thomas Barbusca

Plot: David’s sixteen-year-old daughter doesn’t come home after study group one night, and also doesn’t show up to school the next day. After doing some searching himself, he files a missing persons report with the police and continues the search with them using his daughter’s laptop and social media. The more he hunts the more he realises – he didn’t even really know his daughter well.

My Thoughts: I was so HYPED to see this movie. If I could describe the kind of movie I would happily watch for the rest of my life, it’s this. A mystery with a gripping story, plenty of twists and turns along the way, and a genuinely surprising ending. I love when movies like this are done well, because I become so engaged with the story and the characters that I don’t find myself playing detective and trying to work it out myself.

The other fascinating element of Searching is the way that it’s shot. The entire movie is seen through a screen – what I mean is that the only time you see any of the characters is through FaceTime, CCTV footage, and webcams. It’s so well done, and really helps with the mystery of it all because we only know what David knows. I’m not certain I’d like to see many more movies shot this way because it could turn into a gimmick very quickly, but it works so well for this.

I’m just gutted that as a movie it doesn’t seem to have had a very wide reach. Most people I’ve spoken to (in real life) have no idea this movie exists, and even though I went to see it within days of it’s UK release, I was 1 of only 3 people in the whole room. Please, please see this movie if it sounds like something you would enjoy!

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Best Bit: That moment towards the end where all of the confusing elements suddenly made sense. If I was watching at home and not out in public I would have had a noticeably more audible reaction.

Worst Bit: I wasn’t expecting the opening 5 minutes to hit me so hard in the feels! That needs to be a warning in the BBFC ratings screen, man!

Fun Trivia: The film took just thirteen days to shoot. However, it took two years to make due to the prep, editing and animating.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Macbooks. I did have a witty joke as per usual but I wanted to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible!

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American Animals (2018)

american-animals-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Bart Layton

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 116 Minutes

Main Cast: Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd

Plot: This is the true story of 4 young men who, after watching many heist movies including Reservoir Dogs, plan a heist of their own to steal millions of dollars worth of art from their University’s library.

My Thoughts: I went into this movie completely blind. It was my local Odeon’s “Screen Unseen” screening, a special event where they show a secret movie not yet released in the UK. I didn’t have any kind of inkling what the movie might be, and I hadn’t even heard of American Animals until the BBFC rating screen appeared!

So with that in mind, maybe the excitement of it all, combined with a complete lack of expectation will skew my thoughts, but I had a brilliant time watching this. It’s told in partly a documentary format with the men of the story making an appearance to give their own accounts of what happened back in 2003. Personally I had no idea so the outcome was always going to be a surprise, but seeing how old the 4 men are now and knowing how much time has passed since the heist, it was easy to deduce that nothing too serious went down for them to be walking free in the present day.

That said, it was a wild ride! You could quite easily split the movie into 2 distinct halves, before the heist and after the heist. The before half was interesting and quite humorous in the way it was filmed, think I, Tonya but not quite as outrageous.

However, it was the second half that makes American Animals so memorable for me. If you’ve ever watched a heist movie and thought “pshht, I could do that” then this is a much watch. It turns serious, fast, and I was honestly frozen in place with my heart thumping in my chest through some moments.

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Best Bit: The conflicting accounts from the 4 men, and how the movie changes with it. It amused me!
“The guy was wearing a blue tie” – Guy in question on screen has a blue tie.
“He had a dark coat and red tie” – Guy in question on screen’s tie has suddenly changed colour.

Worst Bit: I say worst only because it made me feel so uneasy (as intended really) but the moment when the guys ‘take care of the librarian’.

Fun Trivia: During filming the actors were not allowed to meet their real life counterparts because the director feared they would sympathise and/or play them in a certain light.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 red ties. Blue ties. Oh, I don’t even know anymore! Did he have a beard?!

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The Dog Day Blogathon

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Happy National Dog Day, everyone! I’m a little early I know, or perhaps not depending on when you’re reading this, but I wanted to be first in there filling up the blogging world with our favourite good boys (and girls!). National Dog Day was started to celebrate all dogs, whether they be our family members, service dogs, guide dogs, all dogs! It’s also a day to highlight the number of dogs that need adopting. With 2 cats, a baby and a full-time job I’m not able to adopt yet (I would love to in the future!) so I thought this Blogathon would be a good alternative way to celebrate.

It’s not too late to take part if you’d like to, you can find all the details in my announcement post here!

For my post, I wanted to share my Top 5 movie dogs. I couldn’t settle on just one, and you all know how much I love my lists! Here they are, n no particular order…

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Feast (2004) – Winston

It’s a fact, all Pixar shorts make me cry, (Bao was an exception because it confused the hell out of me) and none made me cry more than Feast. If you thought your friends felt left out when you met your significant other, just imagine how your poor dog feels to be left out. Worse than that, forced to eat healthy!

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Marley and Me (2008) – Marley

Marley and Me is one of the very few movies I refuse flat out to ever watch again. I watched it in the cinema during a time when actually I wasn’t a huge fan of dogs (they scared me!) and it still made me sob. I realise this list is rapidly turning into a ‘Movies that made me cry’ list – but I mean happy tears! Adding a furry family member really does change your life.

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Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) – Prison Dog

A little bit of a random choice I know but I like to think outside the box, and honestly when I started to think about dogs and this post, the dog carrying the prison key in the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney ride was one of the first that came to my mind! I even picked up the Tsum Tsum version when I was in Disneyland Resort a couple of years ago.

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I Am Legend (2007) – Sam

Again with the movies that made me cry! I’m beginning to see a bit of a pattern here. Sam is the ultimate embodiment of the loyalty that dogs have for their owner, and I honestly think that’s all I can say before I start to think about ‘that scene’ and start sobbing all over my keyboard.

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Up (2009) – Dug

Let’s end on a happy note, shall we? If I Am Legend shows the brave, loyal nature of dogs, then Up shows the funny and lovable side to them with Dug. If only you really could buy collars that allowed you to know what it was your dog was saying!

national-dog-day-harvey-cockapooFinally, I want to share with you my dog. He’s our family dog, although in reality he’s my Mum’s dog. His name is Harvey, and he’s a nine year old Cockapoo! He’s a huge baby – on his first walk in the woods as a puppy he cried the whole way there, and he lets other dogs know he wants to play with them by crying at them. He’s also massively confused by my little 10 month old daughter, which is hilarious. Last time we went to visit my daughter was crawling, and you could see the bewilderment in Harvey’s face!

That’s all from me – I can’t wait to see everyone else’s posts! Also, on Monday 27th August I’ll post a recap with links to your blog post. Thanks for reading!

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The Meg (2018)

the-meg-movie-poster-review-2018 (1)Director: Jon Turteltaub

Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Shuya Sophia Cai, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Jessica McNamee, Masi Oka

Plot: 5 years ago, expert diver Jonas Taylor encountered an unknown danger in the Mariana Trench. He was forced to abort his mission and abandon his crew, costing him his career, his marriage, and his honour. Now the danger is back, and he is the only person who can save the day. (I can taste the cheese just by typing this)

My Thoughts: I’m so late writing this review, I watched it just over a week ago! It’s given me a good amount of time to think on my feelings about it though, and I honestly really enjoyed it. I haven’t seen many Statham movies at all (can anyone recommend one?) but I knew exactly what to expect going in, and that’s exactly what I got.

The trailer sold it perfectly I think. This is Jason Statham versus a giant, ancient shark. There’s action all over the place, the pace barely slows down, and the story is so, so cheesy. But it works! I guiltily enjoy the Sharknado movies because they’re so terrible you can’t help but love them a bit, but they are stupid as hell. The Meg isn’t like that. It his it’s similarities for sure but it’s more plausible, it’s 1,000 times better made, and I would quite happily watch it again.

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Best Bit: The little girl, Meiying, was a total bad-ass. Not only was her fashion on point (I wish I could rock a hoodie with wings) she was smart as hell and an absolute sass queen. Jason Statham pretending to be Dory (just keep swimming, just keep swimming) was definitely a highlight for me too.

Worst Bit: Ruby Rose. Ugh. I quite liked her in OitNB, but what was the point in her being here? Why was her hair just wet all the time? Seriously, at one point she fell into the water and came out looking exactly the same. Plus my 10 month old can fake cry better than she can. Boooooooring.

Fun Trivia: Eli Roth was attached as director before being replaced by Jon Turteltaub. Roth left due to creative differences with the studio, namely that he wanted the film to maintain both its R-rating and a $150 million budget. It was also rumored that Roth, on top of writing and directing, also wanted to play the lead role of Jonas, but the studio believed he did not have the star power.

My Rating: 3 and a half rubber rings! I’ll be using mine in the pool though, where it’s safe…

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How It Ends (2018)

how-it-ends-movie-review-2018Director: David M. Rosenthal

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Theo James, Kat Graham, Grace Dove, Nancy Sorel, Nicole Ari Parker, Forest Whitaker, Aaron Hughes, Lanie McAuley, Josh Cruddas, Aidan Ritchie

Plot: Will and Samantha are having a baby. They’re also getting married, but Samantha’s Dad doesn’t know. When Will flies out to ask his disapproving future Father-in-Law for his blessing, an unknown apocalyptic event takes place in Seattle. Will and Samantha’s Dad end up on a road trip across the States to rescue her.

My Thoughts: This movie is hilariously bad. Most ‘end of the world’ movies are, but at the very least they’re entertaining to watch. I don’t know how this one managed to be so darn boring, but I was dying to know how it ended, so that I could move on and get on with my life, mourning my lost 2 hours. Too bad How It Ends has the most ironic title ever…

At first glance it’s hard to tell that it’s a terrible movie. It starts out fine, sets the scene perfectly, introduces it’s main characters well. The acting, whilst non award-worthy, is absolutely fine and the cinematography is pretty good too. The problem is that nothing at all makes sense! 2 days into having no internet connection and the population have turned into characters from Mad Max. Absolutely everyone out on the road is out for blood. Why?

Not to mention all the unexplained moments. Where did Samantha’s Mum go? Ricki, the duo’s car fixer upper, what happened to her? What even is this apocalyptic event? I’m all for a movie that leaves you with questions, but this is ridiculous. You know when you were a kid and you would write stories but get bored after a while and end it with ‘and then they woke up and realised it was all a dream’? That would have been a better ending. Heck, it would have been an ENDING.

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Best Bit: Ricki. That chick is a badass. I don’t know about anyone else but I know for sure she’ll survive somehow.

Worst Bit: “Oh no, my car has run out of fuel. I KNOW. I’ll get this full jerry can of fuel out the boot, pour it all over the car, set it on fire and walk the rest of the way.”

Fun Trivia: The Arlington Bridge in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada, shown in some of the scenes, is 105 years old. It was open on February 5th 1912.

My Rating: One and a half out of five jerry cans. If nothing else, having to Google ‘what is the container you store spare fuel in called’ for this post has at least added to my vocabulary!

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