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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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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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Unsane (2018)

unsane-movie-review-2018-posterDirector: Steven Soderbergh

Main Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Zach Cherry, Polly McKie, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Plot: Sawyer is struggling to cope with being the victim of stalking, and visits a mental health centre to see a counsellor. She ends up being forced to stay there against her will, and what’s worse is her stalker is there too.

My Thoughts: I was gutted to have to wait for a home release for this one because I was so excited after seeing the trailer. This is my kind of movie! I love having a mystery to solve, and I was looking forward to finding out whether Sawyer was actually crazy or not, and whether her stalker was really there with her or if she was imagining it all.

There wasn’t as much mystery as I’d hoped as I found the answers out to the questions around the half-way point, but that didn’t matter so much because that’s when the movie turned into more of a thriller. I haven’t seen Claire Foy in anything else other than Wreckers (2011) but she looks so familiar – can anyone think of who I might be confusing her with? Anyway, I thought she was incredible, and I’ll be hunting down some of her other movies very soon.

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Best Bit: The padded room scene. That was all kinds of tense, and a bit gruesome too. I really liked the ending as well though in the diner…

Worst Bit: Finding out why exactly Sawyer was being held against her will. It’s logical (and corrupt) but just a tad boring. I was hoping there would be a different reason.

Fun Trivia: (This will be a few bits of trivia all mashed together because they’re related.) Unsane was shot entirely with an iPhone 7 Plus camera in 4K using the app FiLMiC Pro. It was shot in just 10 days and the budget was a mere $1.2 million, according to The Times.

My Rating: 3 and a half shivs handmade by that creepy girl in the bed next to yours.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

solo-star-wars-movie-review-2018Director: Ron  Howard

Main Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Plot: This is essentially the story of how Han Solo gets his surname, becomes best friends with Chewie, and forms a lifelong rivalry with Lando Calrissian years before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy takes place.

My Thoughts: I just don’t see why this couldn’t have been released at Christmas, just like the other recent Star Wars movies. There would have been so much hype around it, and I think it would have helped it perform better at the box office too because I already see this being labelled a ‘flop’ when it really wasn’t a bad movie at all.

Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but I thought Alden Ehrenreich did a pretty good job as Han Solo. It can’t be easy trying to imitate another actor’s performance, especially when it’s such a widely-loved character. Can we take a moment though to appreciate the absolute legend that is Donald Glover as Lando? Hollywood, please cast this guy in everything, because he’s amazing!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Emilia Clarke’s character, although maybe I’m just not a fan of Emilia Clarke. She’s great in Game of Thrones but she seems a bit out of place here – and I feel like she did in the latest Terminator movie too.

Solo was a movie I really enjoyed watching, but it missed that spark that the others have, the whole ‘saving the galaxy’ vibe. The storytelling was great but I feel like it’s a movie that I just don’t need to ever see again if that makes sense?

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Best Bit: Any bit that included Lando. But on a serious note, the scene when L3 starts a rebellion of her own. What is it about the Star Wars droids? They’re all hilarious!

Worst Bit: The opening. Why didn’t we have the scrolling introduction? Rogue One had it so why didn’t Solo? I’m confused!

Fun Trivia: While posing as slave traders, Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) wears the same helmet and uniform that Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) wore while posing as a bodyguard for Jabba the Hutt in Stars Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).

My Rating: 3 and a half pairs of arms that Chewbacca tore off…ouch!

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