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The Incredibles (2004)

the-incredibles-movie-poster-2004Director: Brad Bird

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Main Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Dominique Louis, Teddy Newton, Jean Sincere, Wallace Shawn, Spencer Fox, Lou Romano, Sarah Vowell

Plot: The superheroes have been forced to live normal suburban lives after a series of lawsuits, and that’s exactly what Mr Incredible, Elastigirl and their 3 children have been doing until Mr Incredible is offered an opportunity he can’t refuse which doesn’t turn out the way he thought.

My Thoughts: The start of this movie is hilarious in the worst kind of way. It starts it 1 person suing because his life was saved when he didn’t want it to be and escalates. It sounds bizarre but that’s exactly what would happen if superheroes existed. This is why we can’t have nice things!

It’s been so long since The Incredibles was released that I wasn’t even sure if I’d ever watched it, and it all seemed pretty new to me apart from the final battle so that must be the only bit that I missed! It’s hard to imagine that this movie came out before Marvel and DC had really made their mark on the big screen. It must have been a really fresh movie when it first came out, so I wish I’d seen it then.

I did enjoy it though. I mainly saw it because I’m seeing Incredibles 2 tomorrow night and wanted to know what I was getting myself in to! The family moments are my favourite, just those moments that are so relatable.

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Best Bit: Edna Mode. Just everything Edna Mode, dahling. When she was showing off how fireproof and bulletproof baby Jack Jack’s super suit was, I was almost crying with laughter. The horror!

Worst Bit: It was probably so good at the time, but the animation hasn’t aged well at all. Some parts are just fine but there are certain scenes where the quality really isn’t great. I don’t think I would have noticed as much if it was a childhood favourite of mine though.

Fun Trivia: After Bomb Voyage blows up the safe, Buddy can already be seen as his future alter-ego Syndrome, as a distorted reflection in the safe door, actually commenting about his future.

My Rating: I was going to use capes, but I was told NO CAPES, so it gets 4 out of 5 superhero masks from me!

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Adrift (2018)

adrift-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure

Main Cast: Sam Claflin, Shailene Woodley, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Hawthorne

Plot: The true story of how Richard Sharp and Tami Oldham met by chance, fell in love and sailed thousands of miles to San Diego, where on the way they faced one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

My Thoughts: It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie like this, and as with most movies based on true stories, I had no idea what actually happened to Richard and Tami, so I was really looking forward to seeing Adrift. My excitement dwindled slightly when my cinema buddy Steph was told the air-con in our screen was broken and the temperature in the room was currently 26 degrees. Ugh. For my overseas readers – the UK is going through one it’s longest heatwaves ever, and we don’t cope well in the heat!

On to the movie itself though! I think it’s hard for stories like this to have a good pace going, when you’ve got a couple stranded at sea there’s a risk of it lagging but it’s edited in a really nice way. The movie opens with the aftermath of the storm, and flicks back and forth between past and present so just when it’s at risk of getting dull, it switches again.

I am really starting to warm to Shailene Woodley. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen her in but she just has a certain down-to-earthness about her that I really like. Plus, I’m never going to complain about getting to see Sam Claflin on the big screen, although he spent a lot of time just laying about. The only thing that kept bugging me was it was made clear that Claflin’s character was much older than Woodley’s, but they looked the same age as each other to me! IMDB research has told me there’s a 5-year difference at least…

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Best Bit: The worst proposal in the world scene. It caught me off guard and I did one of those embarrassingly loud ‘HAH’ laughs that was completely involuntary.

Worst Bit: I can’t say for spoiler reasons, but if you’ve seen it (or know the actual true story) you’ll know exactly what I mean. I genuinely felt glum for the rest of the night!

Fun Trivia: According to Shailene Woodley, there were times on the open sea when, except for the director and cinematographer, everybody was throwing up overboard due to severe seasickness.

My Rating: 3 and a half jars of peanut butter out of 5. Use a spoon though, for crying out loud!

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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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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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Review: Ready Player One (2018)

ready-player-one-review-2018-movieI can’t believe I finally got to see Ready Player One, a movie I’ve been waiting for for 2 years last week, and I’m only just writing about it now. In my defence, I’ve been kept busy in the evenings playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and y’no, I have a baby. A baby who is currently napping waving her blanket in the air and babbling, so this may take a while. Mornings like these make me really want to slip on a VR headset and enter the OASIS!

The movie is set in the not-too-far-away future where we’re all addicted to virtual reality. The creator of this VR called the OASIS has passed away and left behind a competition for everyone in the form of an easter egg hunt. Whoever can find all 3 keys which lead to the egg will win full ownership of the OASIS. It’s a lot to take in, but a good chunk of the opening of the movie explains it all in a fair amount of detail. I’ve read the book so I knew the story anyway, but I do question how much a fresh viewer would take in.

Our focus is on Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), better known by his avatar’s name, Parzival. Wade lives in ‘the Stacks’, a run-down area formed of caravans stacked on top of each other. Wade and his best friend Aech (Lena Waithe) along with fellow ‘Gunters’ (egg hunters) Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Daito (Win Morisaki) and Sho (Philip Zhao) form an alliance to find the egg before corporate douchebag Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) and his army beat them to it.

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My favourite thing about this movie adaptation is the casting – it couldn’t be more perfect. It’s so hard when a beloved book comes on to the big screen and your visions of the characters are shattered by odd casting choices. I couldn’t have chosen a better cast myself in this case. Mark Rylance as the awkward creator of the OASIS is spot on, and I had the goofiest grin on my face every time Ben Mendelsohn showed up. I’m just so gutted that Simon Pegg’s character Ogden wasn’t around very much because he was a much bigger character in the book.

Of course, a lot of the movie is set within the OASIS, so rather than seeing these actors we actually see their avatars, so as you can imagine, it’s CGI-heavy. Rather than it being an attack on the senses though it’s absolutely stunning. I was SO glad I got to see it in the cinema for that reason!

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As you’ve no doubt heard, Ready Player One is packed to the brim of 80’s and gaming references. It’s done so tastefully though that even if you recognise none of them, the movie won’t be spoiled for you. Rather than being thrown at your face all the time, it’s just constantly there in the background, making rewatches a lot of fun I imagine as you’ll spot things you may have missed the first time around.

I loved it if you can’t tell, and my only gripes are from changes from the book, which I know can never be helped. 4 and a half easter eggs from me, which reminds me that I think I still have some left-over chocolate in the cupboard…

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Nevermind – my baby just woke up from her nap.