Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

wonder-woman-movie-poster-2017Hell has finally frozen over huh? Don’t worry – I’m not about to rant about the British heatwave again, but that combined with the fact that DC have released a movie that’s not only taking the box office by storm, but getting rave reviews too? Anything could happen at this point! The promise of air con and ice cream (have I told you enough that my cinema does cinnamon buns ice cream?) was enough to break the curse, and the husband and I finally made it to see Wonder Woman on Monday night. Consider us members of the bandwagon!

After making a brief appearance in Batman V Superman last year, Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, for a solo movie of her own, exploring her origin story. As long as it’s not Batman or Spiderman, I kind of dig an origin story movie, and this one in particular, because I soon realised I knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman herself. I won’t explain the plot to you here, I’m sure at least 80% of the population has seen it by now anyway!

I think one of the biggest problems with DC movies of late is that they’ve been pretty cool to look at, but that’s about it, they’re shallow. Wonder Woman takes that and just adds so much more. With a duo of Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, I honestly don’t know who I have the biggest crush on! Mind you, the glow in the dark bath scene coupled with Chris Pine being tied up with the lasso of truth might just seal the deal for me. *cough* Sorry…

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#squadgoals

Honestly though? If you’ll allow me a serious moment here, something I really appreciated was the fact that despite the scenes with numerous tall, beautiful women sparring in tight armour, none of it felt sleazy at all. It was sexy as hell, but classy, and I really have to hand it to the team for that one.

Back to Gal Gadot though. Was anyone else expecting her to be so funny? The clothes shopping montage was hilarious, and her reaction to babies and ice cream just made my heart melt. Can we just scrap the Justice League movie and have a feature film of Wonder Woman and Etta having a girls day out? No! Actually, can we have a DC & Marvel crossover just containing Wonder Woman and Thor generally being confused with everyday objects and life? Please, movie gods!

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I guess the only thing I didn’t enjoy so much was the final battle. It was inevitable really, but just before that moment my mind erased all memory of the sub-par DC movies, but it kind of came back in that CGI-heavy battle. That amazing soundtrack made up for it a little though, I’ll admit.

If you couldn’t tell already, I kinda loved Wonder Woman. My expectations were low for so long, but I got caught into the hype in the last couple of weeks. 4 out of 5 sentimental watches from me. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

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P.S. I’d like you to appreciate the fact I spent 20 minutes looking for a picture of a watch actually from World War I. I’m nothing if not thorough!
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Review: Baywatch (2017)

baywatch-movie-review-2017Okay, so I still haven’t seen Wonder Woman (the world has decided I’m not meant to see it I swear) so I’m really sorry I’m presenting you with Baywatch rather than that. Hear me out though! I got an offer for a date night with my bestie, and it was going to involve Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns ice cream. I am a pregnant lady dammit, and I’m weak! Plus, I find Dwayne Johnson so irresistibly likeable, I felt like I owed him one.

In this remake of the original TV Show, Dwayne Johnson is the Lieutenant of Baywatch, or head of the Life Guards for a simpler term. Summer is here, and him and his team are holding tryouts for 3 new positions on the squad. Zac Efron is a twice Gold-winning Olympic swimmer who has been disgraced after throwing up in the pool, and so he’s been sent to the bay…I’m actually not sure why. It was some kind of plea deal?

See, the plot is kind of all over the place. It’s not enough to be a simple, summer comedy. It’s also a crime-solving movie, and Priyanka Chopra is our bad guy. She’s murdering people left right and centre, covering them up as accidents, so that she can…control some real estate? Again – I’m honestly not sure what exactly she was doing.

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All this would be forgivable in my eyes if the movie was funny, but it just isn’t. I chuckled a few times, I gagged at all 3 mentions of dead people smelling like dairy products (I’m feeling ill thinking about it) and I got bored very quickly of the penis jokes. Even this might be almost forgivable if I had some eye candy to admire, but as much as I love Zac Efron, he looks plain weird with his new, 5% body-fat self. Please refer to Ryan Reynolds in Blade Trinity for that one!

…Hold up, I lost about 10 minutes on Google image search there. What was I saying? I’m sorry Dwayne Johnson, I’m actually on your side in this Rotten Tomatoes battle you have going on, but this wasn’t the movie to use. A bit of stupidity is fun, look at San Andreas, but this was too much. There’s a moment when Zac walks past a sea urchin and Dwayne lectures him all about what they are and what they do – and then they simply walk off. “Oh” I think, “that’ll be important to the plot later then, us as the audience must be too dumb to know what a sea urchin is.” Low and behold! It turns up in the finale.

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I forgot about this scene. This was quite funny!

I have to mention the CGI too. On the whole it wasn’t too bad, but in an early scene with a boat on fire, with fire surrounding it in the water, I thought I might have been watching Sharknado. It was seriously THAT BAD. How much of the budget did they blow just to have David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson turn up?

I realise I’ve spent this whole post slagging the movie off, but it was a fairly enjoyable experience on the whole, it just was nowhere near as good as I hoped. I never expected a masterpiece, but I usually enjoy these summer comedies a lot more! Apologies to my friend Steph if she’s reading this and actually kind of loved the movie – I still had a really fun night!

Ideally I would give Baywatch 2 out of 5 concealed boners, or dead guy penises (penis’s? peni?) but that would be gross, so 2 important-to-the-plot sea urchins it is!

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Review: The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Preparing for a house move is going as well as it can do right now. Our weekends have been spent doing big sort outs rather than relaxing, but it feels good to make a head start at least. There was a moment of sadness in the house on Saturday when my husband had to pack all of his DC, Marvel and Star Wars Lego away in plastic storage boxes, so the timing of a preview weekend for The Lego Batman Movie couldn’t have been more perfect!

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If you watched The Lego Movie back in 2014 (clearly The Academy didn’t because it was ROBBED of a nomination) you’ll already be aware of Lego Batman, voiced by Will Arnett. He’s back, with his own movie this time, and I’m willing to bet my hard earned cash that it’s the greatest DC movie that’ll come out this year.

It’s common knowledge that The Joker is Batman’s greatest villain. Sure, Gotham City has many great bad guys, but it always comes back to The Joker. That’s played on throughout the entire movie, in a humorous, anti-romcom kind of way, which never gets old. The Joker is voiced expertly by Zach Galifianakis, and plays a huge role in this movie, unlike that other recent DC movie where a green-haired Joker barely featured.

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Seriously guys…this movie even handled Batman’s tension with Superman well…and no one had to even mention Martha.

 

To attempt to list the number of characters that feature in this movie would take forever, but it has Justice League members from Superman to Martian Manhunter, and Villains from Bane to The Condiment King. There are also some err, other villains that I don’t think anyone was expecting to turn up. To tell you would be a spoiler, but one character in particular, voiced by Jemaine Clement was simply hilarious.

 

The plot is simple enough, and if you’ve seen the trailers you’ll know most of it already. Batman refuses to admit to the Joker that he needs him, so the Joker sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way, Batman accidentally adopts a young orphan by the name of Richard Grayson (Michael Cera) who you may know better as Robin! Robin just wants a family of his own, and Batman’s greatest fear (apart from snake clowns) is being part of a family again, so that causes issues along the way. It’s a plot that the kids can keep up with, but there’s so much else for the grown ups to enjoy.

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I’m not well versed in Batman lore, but I understood enough references to feel part of it all. There are references everywhere, for Batman fans of all ages, and I have a specific moment in my mind when I say that. The soundtrack is great, but the best tracks are the ones that Batman himself sings/beatboxes/raps. He even narrates the only boring part of movies, the opening title credits!

The Lego Batman movie will appeal to all ages, and just like it’s predecessor, it demands at least one rewatch to spot all the hidden jokes that the animators have hidden. It’s the perfect movie to unwind with in between all these dramatic Oscar movies! 4/5 Lego Bricks from me! Just be careful not to step on them…

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Review: Assassin’s Creed (2017)

assassins-creed-movie-review-2017It took me far too long to see Assassin’s Creed in the cinema, mainly because I was being a good human being for a change and staying at home rather than inflicting my stinky cold on the unsuspecting public. I was so excited to see it though, I’ve been a fan of the games for years. Deep down, I knew t wouldn’t be a ‘great’ movie, because video game moves never are (can the movie gods sort this out, please?) but as long as the action scenes were reminiscent of the game, I would be happy.

Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a criminal on death row, until he is saved(?) by the scientists at Abstergo and forced to relive the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar, in order to help the scientists, who are actually Templars, to locate the fabled Apple of Eden. Fans of the game know this story inside out, and for newcomers it’s all nicely explained, so I’ll leave it at that, but I guess all you need to know is the Assassins are the good guys!

Let me start with the positives. The action scenes truly are a sight to behold, and they stay so close to the game. Nothing is more satisfying than nailing a jump directly onto your target and taking them out with your hidden blade, and it translates perfectly onto the screen. We got to see the ‘leap of faith’, accompanied with the cry of an eagle which made me a little giddy, and the costumes are beautiful.

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As Aguilar runs through the streets you can hear guards shouting ‘Assassino!’ which will put that twinge of anxiety into any game players, as you thought you’d escaped the last of them. What would have been better? Some kind of inside joke for us – perhaps not missing faces like the buggy game in the series we won’t mention, but some failed parkour would have been brilliant.

Sadly, the strengths are also the movie’s weaknesses. I might be alone in this, but I was never a fan of the parts in the game outside the animus, I was much happier back in time being an assassin. The movie spends WAY too much time outside, and that’s a shame. Also, there is such a strong cast (Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Charlotte Rampling to name a few) that just feel pretty wasted here.

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One more point from me, and I guess it could be a positive or a negative depending on how you feel. There’s a point in the movie where Michael Fassbender literally tears his shirt off for no reason, it wasn’t stained or damaged from what I could tell, and doesn’t find himself a new one. I certainly wasn’t complaining, but I did hear my husband sigh quite loudly. Maybe it was a swoon?

I enjoyed Assassin’s Creed, for the same reason I enjoyed Warcraft last year, but I can understand the negative reviews it’s been getting. 3 and a half Apples of Eden from me!

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Review: Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2 (2003 & 2004)

I’ve been putting this review off for a while, because I’m a little scared of what you might all think. Let me introduce this in my usual way to put my nerves at ease first however.

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My New Year’s Eve was extremely tame, I spent it at home with my ill husband. It was still a good night though, we had take out pizza, played a few board games, and we decided to watch a movie too. There was nothing on Netflix that took our fancy and rather than bringing in the New Year flicking through every movies going ‘no…no…no…’ we grabbed a DVD off the bookcase which we’ve been putting off watching for ages. Kill Bill: Volume 1!

I’m not well versed in Quentin Tarantino movies. I watched The Hateful Eight and Django, and really enjoyed both. Other than that, I’ve only seen Pulp Fiction, and that was alright too. More than anything, it was nice to see where all the references I’ve heard over the years came from. In fact, I’m not even sure why we owned Kill Bill, but I’m guessing that we’ve been told so many times what a classic it is we thought we should see what the fuss is about.

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Perhaps it should have been obvious, but we didn’t realise that Kill Bill is literally a 4 hour movie split into two halves, so we ended up watching Volume 2 the very next day, because we knew if we didn’t, we’d probably never see it.

For those who haven’t seen it, Kill Bill is essentially the story of ‘The Bride’ (Uma Thurman) working her way through a kill list. Her assassin colleagues and boss tried to murder her on her wedding day, but they’re clearly not the A-Grade assassins they make themselves out to be because they failed, and she’s out for revenge.

Let me start with Volume 1. This was a whole barrel of fun. Knowing nothing about the story, the non-linear story really pulled me in, and it’s always enjoyable to watch some bad-ass fighting! In particular I loved the origin story of O-Ren (Lucy Liu) when the movie turned into an anime style animation. The over exaggeration of the bloodiness reminded me of an anime I used to watch called Bleach!

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It felt like everything was leading up to The Bride’s fight with the Crazy 88, which there weren’t 88 of, which is funny in that ironic kind of way. The fight itself was incredible to watch, and the violence doesn’t hold back in the slightest. We ended up watching and going ‘ooh, ouch’ along with it, as if we could feel those blows ourselves! All in all, it was something I normally wouldn’t watch, and although some parts were quite slow, I enjoyed it.

Which brings us to Volume 2…

First of all, I really liked the opening sequence, where we learn what happened at the chapel those 4 or so years ago. That brought me the closure I needed. What stuck out like a sore thumb though, and perhaps I just didn’t notice it in the previous volume, these camera shots in black and white, for reasons I can’t work out. In the buried alive scene, the screen is much smaller and that makes complete sense, but the other shots seemed so random.

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What else felt random? The Bride is buried alive, and she’s about to punch her way out of the box. How is she able to do that? Training montage! It just wasn’t very…subtle. If that scene was much sooner in the movie it would have been a ‘eureka’ moment, but instead it just felt lazy. I fully except at this point that I’m the minority here whinging about a universally accepted great movie!

Even the finale with Bill felt a bit lacklustre. With such a huge build up in Volume 1 to the fight with O-Ren, I was expecting something even bigger for Bill, but it was literally *SPOILER* a punch to the chest that killed him. *SPOILER OVER* I was expecting something a little more…showy?

I still enjoyed both movies, but they just felt overrated to me. Volume 1 was far more enjoyable, but paired together as they should be, Kill Bill gets 3 out of 5 pussy wagons.

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