Mock and Roll (2017)

mock-and-roll-movie-poster-2017Director: Ben Bacharach-White

Genre: Comedy, Music

Runtime: 84 Minutes

Main Cast: Aditi Molly Bhanja, Chris Wolfe, Pakob Jarernpone, Andrew Yackel, William Scarborough, KateLynn E. Newberry, Melissa O’Brien, Brian Bowman, Michael Compton

Plot: Liberty Mean is a struggling Black Owls parody band. When one of the members’ brother chooses their story as a video project, we get a glimpse into their lives as they attempt to raise the money needed to get them to the SXSW (South by South West) festival in order to find fame.

My Thoughts: I have fond memories of the time I actually got to visit SXSW through work, and the fact that Mock and Roll has already won awards in the film festival circuit was enough to convince me to give it a watch. It’s also being compared to This Is Spinal Tap (which I’m yet to see) so it had to be good!

In the first 5 minutes, we find out that the band has gone to an extreme length to raise the funds they need, landing themselves in jail. I should have taken note of this scene as a sign of things to come but straight afterward we’re given a proper introduction to each of the band members, Robin, Rick, Tom and Bun. I think I could quite happily watch a TV Series about these 4 characters, I really warmed to them instantly. They’re the true definition of opposites attract in some ways.

Another highlight was the soundtrack. Admittedly I’ve never listened to Black Owls so I didn’t know the original lyrics to the songs being parodied, but there’s music aplenty in the movie and it’s performed really well. I’d definitely recommend Mock and Roll to both movie fans who like to watch something a little different and indie, and also to rock music fans.

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Best Bit: Bun has some great movie trivia to share with the group, which I think redeems him from the terrible decisions he makes to help the band raise money! It was in these moments that the movie surprised me with its twists and turns.

Worst Bit: I think the only thing is, I would struggle to sell this movie to friends and family who exclusively watch wide-release and blockbuster movies. It’s a low budget indie movie and it shows – but if you’re open minded there’s a lot to like.

My Rating: 3 and a half priceless pieces of art out of 5, which, if you’re ever asked to transport to a total stranger in exchange for a lot of money, you should consider asking why.

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Note: I was provided with a copy of this movie in exchange for an honest review.
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Thursday Movie Picks: The Cold

Thursday Movie Picks

Look at me, 2 weeks into the New Year and still keeping up with my resolutions! If only I could get rid of all the leftover Christmas food in the house so easily. This week’s theme for Wanderer’s Thursday Movie Picks couldn’t have been timed any better, because I am so fed up of the cold now! It always feels like Christmas brings the end of Winter when actually Spring is still so far away…

Still, it’s the perfect excuse to stick a pair of slippers on over fluffy socks, make a giant mug of tea and watch a few movies! Here are my picks this week.

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Wind River (2017)

Wind River is a fantastic murder mystery movie set in snowy Wyoming, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen who provide their best performances yet. It’s a dark story that left me feeling cold for a number of reasons, but also one of those movies that I had to mull over for a few days before deciding how I felt about it.

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

Speaking of good mystery stories, I really enjoyed The Hateful Eight. It’s been on my mind this week anyway because I’ve just seen Bad Times at the El Royale and they share similarities. Boring side note – we have a conservatory at home which is like a glass igloo in winter, any time anyone opens the door I’m reminded of the door in The Hateful Eight!

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The Grey (2011)

Okay so maybe not all of my picks this week are great movies, but The Grey features Liam Neeson trudging his way through snowy Alaska after surviving a plane crash…and ends with him having a fist fight with a rabid wolf. That’s just badass, if not a little silly. The toughest thing I ever did in the snow was fall on my arse and only cried for a few minutes.

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…

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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.

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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!

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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.

Review: The Florida Project (2017)

the-florida-project-movie-review-2017After being away from the game for far too long, and realising the only movies I’d been watching of late were average blockbusters, I decided to go back to what made me love blogging in the first place – little-known movies that I discovered through other blogs that are well loved. That’s what led me to watch The Florida Project (2017) the other night and re-kindled my love of movies in general.

Set not far away from the most magical place in the world, 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) lives with her Mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) at the Magic Castle Motel. It’s the summer holiday, and the movie revolves around the antics that Moonee and her friends get up to, as well as the struggles and hardships of Halley and the other adults living at the Motel.

I didn’t warm to this movie, to begin with. I took it at face value, and Moonee and her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera) really wound me up at first. My school had quite a few rough kids and it brought back a few memories. However, once I got a look into their lives and what they had to deal with every day, I fell in love with them. In fact, I feel like I could really relate to the manager of the Motel, Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who has to put up with the nonsense every single day, but still has a soft spot for them.

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After Halley and her friend downstairs Ashley (Mela Murder) fell out big time, it was reasonably clear to me what direction the movie was going to go in, but it didn’t ease the heartbreak that I felt watching Moonee run. What an amazing little actress Brooklynn Prince is! I hope to see her again in more movies to come.

In fact, I was gutted when the movie ended for 2 reasons. The first obviously being because it was so emotional, but secondly, because I could spend all day at the Magic Castle Motel just watching these characters live their lives. I haven’t felt such a strong connection to a character for a long time.

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This is the first movie by Sean Baker that I’ve seen, but I’ve been meaning to watch Tangerine (2015) for a while now and this might just be the push I needed. If you’re looking to watch something a little different than your average movie, I can’t recommend The Florida Project highly enough, it’s one of my favourites of 2017 for sure. Also – it really makes me want to go back to Florida! I haven’t been since I was a kid. 4.5 Magic Bands out of 5 from me – which Halley may or may not have stolen…

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Review: Suburbicon (2017)

suburbicon-movie-review-2017I’ve actually managed to watch a couple of new movies this week, hurray! Ideally, I’d like to blog about all of them, but let’s take baby steps for now and talk about the one I watched most recently, which was Suburbicon. I’m an absolute sucker for a script by the Coen Brothers, but this latest one is actually directed by none other than George Clooney, so I wasn’t as sure. I’ve kept away from reviews where I could, but I did know Suburbicon wasn’t widely loved.

So what’s it about? Suburbicon is a once-peaceful community in the 1950’s where everything seems rosy and everyone gets along until a black family move in and a terrible crime is committed in the house behind them. In that house at the time was Gardner (Matt Damon), his Son Nicky (Noah Jupe), his Wife Rose (Julianne Moore) and his Sister in Law Margaret (also Julianne Moore). Tragically, Rose is killed as a result of the crime, and from there, things just keep getting worse for Gardner.

That’s all I really want to say about the plot because this is one of those movies that takes several twists and turns along the way, and that’s where most of the fun in watching it comes from. It’s not the best Coen movie out there, but I enjoyed it more than I think most did. You could probably argue that the tone was a bit all over the place, but that added to the quirkiness of it all for me.

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The best moment without a doubt is when Oscar Isaac turns up in a role I won’t say for spoiler purposes, but it’s the best 10 minutes of the entire movie. I promise I’m not just saying that because it’s him! Someone in Hollywood please give Oscar some bigger roles – he SO deserves them!

Whilst all this is going on, the upset caused by the black family moving in just keeps escalating until it reaches riot proportions, and this is the only thing I didn’t like as much about Suburbicon. What was the point in it all? I’m sure it connects somehow but it just felt a bit disjointed to me – the movie wouldn’t be lost without those scenes as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps someone can fill me in on what I’m clearly missing?

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Ultimately though, I was quite pleasantly surprised after not setting my hopes up too high. It’s certainly not up there with the likes of Fargo and The Big Lebowski, but I enjoyed it more than Hail Caesar! for sure. 4 out of 5 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from me – you probably shouldn’t eat them though.

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