The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

lego-movie-2-second-part-2019-movie-reviewDirector: Mike Mitchell

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Family

Runtime: 107 Minutes

Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Alison Brie, Maya Rudolph, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Richard Ayoade

Plot: The Lego Movie 2 picks up right where the last one left off – with the Duplo bricks taking over. It’s now 5 years later and things are getting worse. Emmett and his friends are now facing invaders from outer space, destroying anything that looks cute.

My Thoughts: It’s weird to think that this is the only sequel to the original Lego Movie thanks to the spin-offs we’ve had. I almost think its taken a bit of the excitement away but nonetheless, I was really looking forward to checking in with these beloved characters. I love animation, I love comedies and I love Lego, so I knew I would enjoy this.

There are some things I knew I could expect from the sequel. Witty one-liners, and the kind of jokes I’ve come to love from both Lego movies and games. Inventive names like the Sis-Star System, and Queen Whatevra Wa-Nabi. Will Arnett continues to be my favourite Batman yet (sorry Christian Bale) and inside jokes you’ll only understand if you watched the original. “Honey, where are my pants?”. So it’s safe to say the writers know what works and stick to their guns!

What I wasn’t expecting was to fall for was *MILD SPOILER* the Frozen-style plot twist halfway through. Why am I so gullible?! It felt like this installment was more geared towards children than the original, with its morals and family-orientated story, but that’s hardly a negative comment. To be honest, I’ve never really grown up, so you’ll find me in my car on the way to work playing Catchy Song and Gotham City Guys on repeat. The extra songs were a welcome addition!

lego-movie-2-rex-emmett-chris-pratt

All in all, though it might have lost the original magic that the very first movie had, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is still a solid movie!

Best Bit: Rex Dangervest, Galaxy defending archaeologist, cowboy, and raptor trainer. You may as well have just called him Chris Pratt, he’s covered all of those roles now! Thinking about it…that was probably the joke…wake up, Allie.
Plus Queen Whatevra Wa-Nabi’s song was funny enough to begin with, and even funnier once you’ve seen the whole movie.

Worst Bit: So many cool characters from the first movie ended up being pointless in the sequel, and it felt like they’d just been stuck in for the sake of it. I’m looking at you, MetalBeard, Benny, Surfer Dave…I’m sure I spotted Good Cop/Bad Cop at one point, too.

Fun Trivia: Actress Stephanie Beatriz (Sweet Mayhem) has a signature small scar on her right eyebrow which was caused by, ironically enough, tripping on a piece of LEGO when she was 10 years old.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Lego Duplo sets. I’m holding on to every day that goes by that my living room floor isn’t covered in these bricks. Thankfully, the Mega Bloks we have at the moment are far too big to be dangerous to my feet.

lego-movie-2-duplo-bricks-2019

Advertisements

Blind Spot Series: Rear Window (1954)

rear-window-movie-poster-1954-blind-spotDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Runtime: 112 Minutes

Main Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn

Plot: After an accident leaves him wheelchair-bound with a broken leg in the middle of summer, Jeff finds himself with nothing better to do than to sit by his rear window, watching his neighbors go about their lives. He becomes suspicious one night that one of them might actually be a murderer.

My Thoughts: Rear Window is shockingly only my second Hitchcock movie, it was common sense to include at least one Hitchcock flick in my Blind Spot list this year! I knew the basic plot and the fact that Disturbia (2007) was based on it, but that was about it. After watching it, I feel quite conflicted. There are so many details about this movie that I love – but the story wasn’t that thrilling to me.

My favourite thing about the movie was the 3 lead characters. Poor Jeff in his wheelchair, suffering. His maid/nurse from the insurance company, providing the best advice and witty one-liners. His gorgeous girlfriend, wanting nothing but Jeff’s happiness whilst he pushes her away. You could give me any kind of plot and I would have absolute blast just watching these 3 characters interact with each other!

So I guess that leads me to the story itself. A day after watching, I can appreciate it’s simplicity – I think some modern movies have so much plot crammed into 2 hours that it’s a mess, but I was just left wanting more. It took almost a third of the runtime before anything really happened, and for me at least, there was never any question about what had transpired. The final act was thrilling though, I’ll definitely admit that.

rear-window-1954-james-stewart-grace-kelly

Best Bit: The moment that Lisa suddenly changes her mind from ‘Jeff, you’re being crazy’ to ‘Oh my God Jeff your neighbour is a murderer’ was so funny – that’s exactly how fast I can change my mind sometimes. Either that bit or right at the end where we see Jeff sat back at his window again…poor guy!

Worst Bit: There’s so specific moment but that detective was a right nasty piece of work. I honestly thought at one point that he was being deliberately unhelpful because he was in on the murder!

Fun Trivia: According to Georgine Darcy, the scene in which the man and woman on the fire escape struggle in their attempt to get in out of the rain can be attributed to a prank by Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Each actor and actress in the apartment complex facing Jeff’s rear window wore an earpiece through which they could receive Hitchcock’s directions. Hitchcock told the man to pull the mattress in one direction and told the woman to pull in the opposite direction. Unaware that they had received conflicting directions, the couple began to fight and struggle to get the mattress inside once the crew began filming the scene. The resulting mayhem in which one of them is tossed inside the window with the mattress provided humor and a sense of authenticity to the scene which Hitchcock liked. He was so pleased with the result, that he did not order another take.

My Rating: 3 and a half baskets, which can be used to transport your cute little dog up to your third-floor apartment. And give others a heart attack worrying about whether the dog is going to jump/fall out!

rear-window-dog-in-basket-1954

blind-spot-series-2019-bannerThe Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.

Roma (2018)

roma-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Nancy García García, Verónica García, Jorge Antonio Guerrero

Plot: Roma is the story of a young maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

My Thoughts: Until the night of the BAFTAs I’d kind of ignored Roma completely. I didn’t know anything about it other than it was black and white, on Netflix, not in the English language and had a lot of award nominations. Naively I had no idea it stood a chance of taking home Best Picture that night, and yet now I know that it’ll most likely be taking the Oscar as well. I always try and watch at least all Best Picture nominees anyway, so I finally relented and gave Roma a go.

I didn’t expect to like it, but I feel very conflicted about it now. On one hand, it felt about 3 hours long and was dull. On the other, it had some stand out emotionally charged moments that will stay with me for years. It’s a difficult one to judge! Although the movie’s focus is on the maid, Cleo, there’s also a lot of limelight for the woman of the household and the struggles that she goes through.

My biggest problem is that I’m a bit of a child sometimes. The first half of Roma is quite boring, and so I started focusing on things that probably shouldn’t matter. Like I’m sorry – you’re great and all Cleo, but clean up that dog poo! Crickey – you can’t have that much work to do, there are 2 maids for this household. On that thought – why does this family even have a dog? I don’t think he’s ever let inside. I also wanted to know more about that kid who seems to remember his past life – can we have a movie about him instead?

roma-movie-review-best-picture-nominee-2018

It got better though, and although it’s a movie I doubt I’ll ever feel inclined to watch again – I did enjoy it. I still don’t think it’s Best Picture material, but I’ve definitely watched worse movies in that category before.

Best Bit: I’d seen snippets of it already during the BAFTAs, but the beach scene is by far the best. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was ugly crying during Cleo’s admission. The hospital scene was really difficult to watch.

Worst Bit: Fermin’s…military…dance…thing. I did not sign up for any of this. Fermin – you’re gross in every sense of the word!

Fun Trivia: As of 2018, the real Cleo, Liboria Rodríguez (Libo), is still alive and still part of Alfonso Cuarón’s family, or Alfonso Cuarón’s family is still part of Libo’s life. She has made cameos or brief appearances in several of his previous films, including Y Tu Mamá También (2001) in a scene where she brings Diego Luna a sandwich.

My Rating: 3 and a half wing mirrors – I think that family could do with keeping a few spare!

roma-movie-review-car-wing-mirror

Fractured (2018)

fractured-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Jamie Patterson

Genre: Thriller

Runtime: 80 Minutes

Main Cast: April Pearson, Karl Davies, Louisa Lytton, Jordan Metcalfe, Calvin A. Dean

Plot: Young couple Rebecca and Michael embark on a weekend getaway out in the countryside. After a troubled and unsettling journey, they arrive safely at their cottage, with the feeling that they aren’t alone.

My Thoughts: The first half an hour or so of this movie was difficult for me to watch. It was so creepy! The camera work and the music had me on edge every second, waiting for something that was going to scare me. It was really well done, to the point where I wondered if I could actually sit through it all!

Fractured is a brilliant little Indie Thriller, and I highly recommend it. It’s one of those movies you can’t really say too much about without giving things away so I’ll keep this review spoiler free. There’s a point in the movie where everything takes a very sharp turn in a great ‘Hey what?!’ moment, and that’s the point where I stopped hiding behind my cushion. That moment I think is the movie’s greatest but also weakest point.

Still, clocking in at a fairly short 80 minutes on the dot, you can squeeze this movie into your evening and still have time to binge a few more episodes of whatever your current Netflix obsession is!

fractured-movie-review-april-pearson-karl-davies

Best Bit: That moment where the cloud of confusion dissipates and you realise what’s actually going on. There’s nothing better than a twist being a complete surprise!

Worst Bit: Sadly, as great as that moment was, what followed just didn’t have the same impact. Yes, it was great seeing the explanation of it all and seeing everything from a different way, but the suspense and tension go completely.

Fun Trivia: April Pearson has appeared in 5 of the last 7 projects by director Jamie Patterson. She’s also set to star in two future Jamie Patterson directed movies – “Tracks” and “Dealer”.

My Rating: 3 and a half flowery Doc Martens. They really were nice shoes…

fractured-2018-floral-doc-martens

Note: I was provided with a copy of this movie in exchange for an honest review.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

how-to-train-dragon-hidden-world-posterDirector: Dean DeBlois

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Family

Runtime: 104 Minutes

Main Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington

Plot: After rescuing countless dragons, Hiccup and the rest of the clan are rapidly outgrowing the Isle of Berk. They’re also becoming well-known to other, nefarious clans with sinister motives.

My Thoughts: There was no way that I would miss seeing a How to Train Your Dragon movie but truth be told, I wasn’t a fan of the second one. I was annoyed when what could have been a great plot twist was flaunted in every single trailer, and the whole thing just seemed messy. That said, I’m super happy to say that The Hidden World goes back to its simpler routes, and is a really satisfying finale to the series.

Toothless of course is the star of the show again, this time he’s found a female Night Fury (or Light Fury) and becomes rather lovesick – not helpful when you’re the alpha in the pack and your entire clan is on the run of course. The scenes where he’s trying to impress his love interest are nothing but adorable and quite hilarious!

What is it about animated family movies that make me cry so much? Scrap that – we all know that everything makes me cry now but still! As an almost 30-year-old woman, I should have seen where the story was going but I didn’t and my heart broke into tiny little pieces.

how-to-train-dragon-hidden-world-hiccup-astryd

Still, I love how it was all tied up in the end. It was the perfect ending and so magical for children, too. I wish every series would end on a high like this, instead of churning out sequel after sequel until no one cares anymore.

Best Bit: SAND. Sorry Anakin but you should see how pretty the sand is! It sounds silly I know but it just shows how amazing technology is these days. The visuals in the whole movie were amazing, and I loved the dragon scale armor that Hiccup and the gang wore too. Seriously cool!

Worst Bit: The whole ‘Berk is more than this island, WE are Berk’ speech sounded really familiar. Have you guys been watching Thor: Ragnarok lately?

Fun Trivia: DreamWorks Animation’s first trilogy in which each movie was distributed by a different film studio: Paramount distributed How to Train Your Dragon (2010), 20th Century Fox distributed How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and Universal will be distributing How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019).
(For such a fun movie, all the trivia I could find was really dull!)

My Rating: 3 and a half Viking sailboats, riding towards the misty waterfalls…

how-train-dragon-hidden-world-viking-boat