The Favourite (2018)

the-favourite-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, Jenny Rainsford, James Smith, Tim Ingall, LillyRose Stevens, Liam Fleming

Plot: Set in 18th Century England, Queen Anne’s palace is thrown into chaos by the arrival of Abigail, the cousin of the Queen’s closest friend. A rivalry breaks out between the two as they fight to be the favourite.

My Thoughts: It’s been a whole week and I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. Really I should have known better because this is my 3rd Lanthimos movie (I’ve also seen The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and I’m not sure how I feel about those movies either. Pun not intended however – The Favourite is definitely my favourite out of the three.

I usually can’t stand Period Dramas but I’ll literally watch Emma Stone in any movie she does, and the amazingly positive praise I’ve read so far in reviews actually got me quite hyped up to see this in the end. I was joined in my screen by a pair of little old ladies…and that was it…so clearly this isn’t getting great marketing in the UK. That or everyone was still nursing a New Year’s hangover, who knows.

Anyway – I think I kind of loved this movie. Yes, it’s too period-y for my liking but absolutely everything else about the movie is stunning. The script is witty as hell, the cinematography is stunning, and the performances all round were top notch. Everyone was giving their A-Game.

I think it’s one of those movies you need to see twice, especially if you have mixed feelings on a first watch. I came home feeling quite confused but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since, and I fall in love a little more every day.

the-favourite-2018-queen-anne-olivia-colman

Best Bit: Despite my undying love for Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult was the star in my eyes. He was hilarious any time he was on the screen, and it was in the scene that he threw a strop and dropped the C-word that I realised what kind of ride I signed myself up to. Dude rocks make-up better than me, though…

Worst Bit: I’m sure this was something I picked up on in Lanthimos’ other movies but the music was really off-putting at some points. It could have been the cinema’s fault but there was one scene where I could barely hear what anyone was saying because it was so loud. One of those artistic things that flew right over my head most likely.

Fun Trivia: Rachel Weisz’s character, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was actually born in the Spencer-Churchill family’s Blenheim Palace, which is mentioned as being still unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill’s father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill’s husband, the first Duke of Marlborough (Mark Gatiss).
That wasn’t really very fun trivia at all now, was it? It’s all like this if you look it up. Did I mention I hate History?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 exquisite cups of the finest tea, which you should never, ever, accept from Emma Stone.

the-favourite-2018-poisoned-cup-of-tea

Advertisements

Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018

It’s that time of the year already, just before the awards season really kicks in when bloggers everywhere are posting their Top 10s for the year. I’ve always gone by UK release dates for my lists as we often have to wait weeks for a lot of releases, but honestly, it’s so hard to keep track of so this year I’ll be using the general release date. What I’d like to do then is revisit my list later in the year when I’ve caught up on more movies.

Let’s save the best for last and kick off with this year’s stinkers. I think I’ve done quite well to avoid a lot of the bad movies this year but I still managed to put a list of 10 together without any troubles.

Some of these are simply terrible, others are disappointments, and a couple just weren’t for me.

worst-movies-2018-house-with-clock-walls

#10 The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Cate Blanchett was the only real saving grace of this movie. I’m also still plagued by nightmares of Jack Black’s head on a baby’s body.

worst-movies-2018-jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom

#9 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

I had decent expectations for this sequel, but the second half was so ridiculous I found myself laughing for all the wrong reasons.

worst-movies-2018-red-sparrow

#8 Red Sparrow

You know – I can’t even remember anything about this movie. It was slutty and it had spies…and that’s the best I can do.

worst-movies-2018-the-commuter

#7 The Commuter

I love all of Liam Neeson’s action movies, even if they are all kind of the same. This one, however, was just boring!

worst-movies-2018-old-man-and-the-gun

#6 The Old Man & the Gun

I’m sorry – I know lots of people loved this movie. It’s just…for a heist movie it was quiet, slow and dull.

worst-movies-2018-crimes-of-grindelwald

#5 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

JK Rowling needs to step up her game. I hope the backlash this movie got makes her look really hard about how this series moves forward. Perhaps she could start by reading her own books again.

worst-movies-2018-life-of-the-party

#4 Life of the Party

Another year, another Melissa McCarthy comedy that I’m either going to love or hate. You can all guess where this one fell.

worst-movies-2018-fifty-shades-freed

#3 Fifty Shades Freed

Confession – the Fifty Shades series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. However, I didn’t really love the third book and the movie was even worse.

worst-movies-2018-how-it-ends

#2 How It Ends

Hey Netflix, if you’re going to make a post-apocalyptic movie without a real ending, how about you don’t call it How It Ends?!

worst-movies-2018-happytime-murders

#1 The Happytime Murders

Melissa McCarthy, you messed up twice in one year. I’m so, so mad about The Happytime Murders because it could have been brilliant, and witty. Instead, it was just vulgar and unfunny.

I’ll be back early next week with my Top 10 Best Movies of 2018!

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

black-mirror-bandersnatch-movie-review-posterDirector: David Slade

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery, Drama

Runtime: Varies – Roughly 90 Minutes

Main Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe, Will Poulter, Asim Chaudhry, Tallulah Haddon, Alan Asaad, Catriona Knox

Plot: Set in the 80s and played out like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, Bandersnatch is the story of a young gaming programmer who is adapting a dark fantasy novel with a morbid background into a video game.

My Thoughts: I love Black Mirror. I love video games. I love fantasy novels. Although it’s been well over a decade since I read one, I bloody love the Choose Your Own Adventure books. If ever there were a Netflix movie made with me in mind, Bandersnatch is the one. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to settle my toddler off to bed so I could eat cold pizza and watch it.

The ‘choose your own adventure’ concept obviously isn’t new, but this is the first time it’s been released in TV format, and I really hope it isn’t the only time either. I never thought I would find myself so stressed out about picking a cereal that I wasn’t even going to be eating!

So I made the mistake very early on of telling Satpal that I would work with him which clearly I wasn’t meant to do, I feel like most people would have made the same mistake which I thought was clever because we’re then introduced to the ‘game over’ feature quite early on. I suppose the downfall of Bandersnatch is that if you take the movie at face value without the gimmick, it’s not that strong of a story, as much as I enjoyed it.

black-mirror-netflix-choose-your-own-adventure

Best Bit: Spoilers ahead, because the best bit for me was the ending that I got. Our Bandersnatch game got rated 5/5, but we ended up in prison for murdering Dad. Years later, Colin’s daughter Pearl falls down the same rabbit hole as we did, as she adapts the video game Bandersnatch into a choose your own adventure movie for Netflix. I’ve since looked into the other possible endings and still feel like mine was the best.

Worst Bit: I really didn’t want to kill Dad…I wanted an option to question him further about everything he had done! I also slightly regret the choice to chop him up…that was a bit grim.

Fun Trivia: Some of the Black Mirror Easter eggs in the movie are Black Mirror episode titles, misspelled. The game titles METL HEDD and Nohzdyve, refer to Metalhead and Nosedive respectively.

My Rating: 4 and a half boxes of Frosties, which are superior in every way to Sugar Puffs. Seriously, who picked Sugar Puffs?!

black-mirror-bandersnatch-frosties

Thursday Movie Picks: Place in Title

Thursday Movie Picks

It’s the first Thursday of the year and I’m starting as I mean to go on. Since Wandering Through the Shelves started this series a few years ago I’ve dabbled but never really committed. 2019 will be my year!

This week’s topic is Place in Title. I sat with my pen hovering over my little blogging notebook for ages trying to think of a single movie, and then all three came to me at once! Here are my picks…

thursday-movie-in-bruges-place-title

In Bruges (2008)

I love this movie so much, and yet I only watched it for the first time quite recently. So many people had suggested it to me but I never saw the appeal. In Bruges is dark humour at its finest – and a must watch! At the very least you should check out the bell tower scene.

thursday-movie-what-happens-in-vegas-place-title

What Happens in Vegas (2008)

How weird – another 2008 movie. I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched What Happens in Vegas, but they were all from 10 years ago with my High School bestie. We were obsessed with it for ages (it sparked a bit of an Ashton Kutcher obsession for me) and if you ever mention the word ashtray around us we can quote you the entire scene!

thursday-movie-the-florida-project-place-in-title

The Florida Project (2017)

When I watched The Florida Project last year I was completely besotted, I never wanted little Moonee’s adventures at the Magic Castle Motel to end. If you’ve ever been to Disney World it’s hard to imagine that there are children living such tough lives right around the corner. One of the best movies of 2017 for certain.

Aquaman (2018)

aquaman-movie-poster-review-2018Director: James Wan

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 143 Minutes

Main Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin

Plot: Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, discovers that his half-brother King Orm is assembling an army to wage war against the people of the land.

My Thoughts: So without a winter Star Wars release, our family Christmas movie gettogether had to improvise and find a different movie to watch. I highly doubted my chances of convincing the boys to see Mary Poppins so Aquaman seemed like a logical choice. I’d set my expectations at a reasonable height, but I was dead excited to see Jason Momoa play Arthur Curry – weren’t we all?!

I have to admit, I know very little about Aquaman from the DC comic books. It’s a running joke (especially in The Big Bang Theory) that he’s not the coolest superhero around so I’ve never really bothered. With that in mind, I think the movie did an excellent job of making Aquaman an absolute badass, but without changing who he really is. Bravo!

I find myself a bit short of words for my review though, mainly because what I really want to say is – it was a good movie. That kind of sums it up for me. It was a superhero origin story. We got introduced to our hero, he did some cool stuff, and he saved the world. That’s all there really is to it. I don’t mean it as a criticism because I enjoyed the whole movie, it’s just one of those things!

aquaman-2018-jason-momoa-amber-heard

Best Bit: **SPOILERS** Call me a helpless sap – but once we found out that Atlanna was still alive after all I knew the moment I was waiting for, and when I saw Tom waiting down at the end of that pier I couldn’t help but sob. Curse my weak, leaky eyes!

Worst Bit: It doesn’t matter how cool you make the costumes, how stern the actors look or how fantastic the CGI is – no one can storm off whilst swimming underwater and not look like a bit of a goof whilst doing it.

Also – my husband won’t shut up about how funny he found the moment that Aquaman lifted a fallen church wall off a guy who just stood right back up and walked away like nothing happened. He’s still laughing about it now and I’m not sure if he wants it mentioned as Best Bit or Worst Bit, to be honest.

Fun Trivia: Wan was initially unsure about putting Topo in the film, but was inspired to do so after watching Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), saying, “If that film could have a guy playing a flaming guitar, I’m going to have an octopus drummer in mine.”

My Rating: 3 and a half bottles of red wine, just a fraction of the amount that were wastefully destroyed in the making of this movie.

aquaman-movie-red-wine-bottles