A Simple Favor (2018)

a-simple-favor-movie-review-2018Director: Paul Feig

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery

Runtime: 117 Minutes

Main Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, Linda Cardellini, Eric Johnson, Sarah Baker, Ian Ho, Kelly McCormack, Glenda Braganza

Plot: Mommy vlogger Stephanie gets herself tangled up in a mystery when her newly found friend Emily goes missing one day.

My Thoughts: A Simple Favour is the movie I never knew I needed. When I heard Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively were teaming up I was absolutely giddy. I didn’t even know at that point what the movie was even about but it could have been the scariest horror of the century and I would have still seen it. When I found out it was a crime/mystery and also a comedy – I don’t even have the words. If you haven’t seen the marketing that Blake Lively did on her Instagram then you need to check it out!

It’s a shame that every single movie released after 2014 involving a missing woman will find itself compared to Gone Girl – it’s happening with this one and they are so very different! I won’t waste time trying to justify myself by listing the differences, just please take my word for it.

Let’s get back to the leading ladies. Anna Kendrick shines as this seemingly perfect Mum, you know the sort, she’s the Mum who brings in home-baked gluten-free cookies to the school bake sale. In my experience, she’s the Mum at your baby group who has a 3-month-old who sleeps through the night and never cries. Fellow Mums, don’t take notice of the Stephanie’s of the world, they’re bad for your health! Sorry, going off topic now…

Blake Lively steals the show, that’s all I can say. She. Is. Incredible. I’m confident in saying that she made every straight female in the audience question their sexuality – me included. Here I was thinking she was the lucky one when in fact It’s Ryan Reynolds!

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Best Bit: Blake Lively’s wardrobe. That’s a shallow thing to pick for best bit I know but if you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand. If I wore a pinstripe suit I would look like a strange young man on his way to an interview – how does Blake do it?!

Worst Bit: Putting my serious hat on, the ending is the only thing that lets the movie down. It was hella fun but absolutely all over the place and there will be people who won’t forgive it.

Fun Trivia: The gin used in the martinis shared by Anna and Blake’s characters is Aviation (American) Gin, a company owned by Blake Lively’s husband, Ryan Reynolds.

My Rating: 4 and a half very strong martinis, which are socially acceptable to drink anytime after 5pm. Unless you’re a Mum, in which case you’re probably going to need one by 10am.

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Blockers (2018)

blockers-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Kay Cannon

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 102 Minutes

Main Cast: Leslie Mann, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon, Graham Phillips, Miles Robbins, Jimmy Bellinger

Plot: Three parents try to stop their teenage daughters from having sex on prom night after making a pact to all lose their virginity.

My Thoughts: I remember seeing the first trailer for Blockers, and just shaking my head knowing that it would be another of 2018’s terrible comedies. I didn’t even give it a second thought after that until recently when everyone I know seems to have seen it and loved it! That was enough for me to give it a go and see what the fuss was about. Whilst it’s not going to be in my Top 10 of 2018 anytime soon, it was so much better than it had any right to be.

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, including one scene in particular which introduced me to an activity I’d never heard of before, ‘butt chugging’. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. I also got to feel like the old person I am discovering that all these emoji’s have hidden meanings. Who knew, eh!

On a serious note though, the story did drag a bit for me towards the end but it really is a decent comedy, and actually has a lot of heartfelt moments which tied in nicely, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. If you’re looking for something fun to watch this weekend, you could do a lot worse than giving this a go.

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Best Bit: John Cena and Ike Barinholtz sneaking their way into a house and accidentally taking part in a rather rude game involving blindfolds. I wanted to look away in horror but my eyes were glued to the screen!

Worst Bit: Realising that I have a daughter and that this movie may become reality for me in the future…

Fun Trivia: The backyard party scenes were filmed using the same set/location as Fences (2016), including the fence built by Denzel Washington’s character.
(I stopped reading any more trivia after spotting this because I just found it so hilarious!)

My Rating: 3 and a half out of 5 eggplant emojis which I hope I’ve never sent to anyone not realising what they really mean…

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

mamma-mia-here-we-go-again-movie-posterDirector: Ol Parker

Genre: Comedy, Musical

Runtime: 114 Minutes

Main Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Andy Garcia, Lily James, Alexa Davies, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Dominic Cooper, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski, Hugh Skinner, Pierce Brosnan, Josh Dylan, Jeremy Irvine, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Cher, Meryl Streep

Plot: Taking place 5 years after the original movie, Sophie is planning a grand opening party for the Bella Donna hotel. As her plans come crashing down, she learns more about her mother and how she met Sophie’s 3 fathers.

My Thoughts: I don’t even know how I found myself watching this at the cinema last night. I’m not an ABBA fan and would struggle to name 10 of their hits, but I watched the original movie about 2 years ago when it was picked for a family movie night, and despite finding it completely cheesy, it had a certain charm to it that made it hard to not like it.

Here We Go Again brings much of the same charm, if not more. If you can look beyond the cheese and the subpar acting (no one was really trying their best here) then there’s a lot of joy to be found. The cast is huge, there was no way I could cut it down for the post without doing someone a disservice, and if seeing Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård doing the Titanic pose doesn’t warm your heart and turn your frown upside down then nothing will!

What I thought was so clever though was how well the ‘young’ actors and actresses did. I mean Lily James is just stunning no matter what she does, and the boys had the characteristics down to a T! It was Jessica Keenan Wynn who stole the show for me though as a younger Christine Baranski. It was almost scary how similar she was.

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Best Bit: The Greek Passport Control guy was hilarious when he judged everyone’s photos. The bit never got old, in fact, it got funnier every single time.

Worst Bit: Not being an ABBA fan I only knew a handful of the songs, so I felt pretty left out when the people either side of me in the cinema were bopping along and hoping no one noticed them singing.

Fun Trivia: Meryl Streep and Lily James, the two actresses portraying Donna, are distant relatives – ninth cousins, three times removed to be precise.

My Rating: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was a 3.5 out of 5 up until now, when writing this post made me realise I enjoyed it more than I thought. A solid 4 out of 5 crazy outfits it is!

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Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

antman-and-the-wasp-movie-poster-2018Director: Peyton Reed

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comedy

Runtime: 118 Minutes

Main Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Hannah John-Kamen, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas

Plot: Scott Lang has been placed on house arrest after the events of Civil War. During this time, Hope and Hank think they have found a way to locate and rescue Hope’s mother, the original Wasp.

My Thoughts: On Monday night I went to a secret screening at my local Odeon, the first of it’s kind that I’d ever been to. I immediately felt at home as you could only book onto the screening if you were a Limitless card holder, so there were quite a few other people on solo trips like me. The whole room cheered once we realised we were getting to see Ant-Man and the Wasp a few days early! I realise practically the whole world has seen it by now, but us tea-loving folk have to wait for ages sometimes.

I don’t know if the excitement did it, but I absolutely loved every minute of this movie. Paul Rudd is just utterly adorable. Evangeline Lilly kicked ass every time she was on screen. Michael Peña is just a delight. Thanks to the ‘powers’ that Ant-Man and Wasp use, the action scenes are just so different to every other movie out there, and the gimmick doesn’t get old, for me at least.

There were turns in the plot that I didn’t see coming, there were heartwarming moments, I laughed out loud several times. What more can you ask for from a movie? I’ve seen reviews mentioning a wafer-thin plot and a bit of a pointless villain but it didn’t taint the movie for me. You can stick Ant-Man right next to Doctor Strange at the top of my favourite Marvel heroes list!

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Best Bit: The moment I was waiting for – Luis telling a story in his own special way. It only happened once but oh it was so worth it. I laughed so loud I missed half of what was said!

Worst Bit: There weren’t any bad moments, but I ended up watching no less than 3 different trailers for the movie over the last few months so there were so many moments that didn’t have much of an impact for me because I’d already watched them 20 times.

Fun Trivia: Contrary to initial appearances, the Pym’s laboratory building is not an actual building that can be shrunk to the size of a suitcase. On the contrary, that small size is the original size of the object. It has been built of brick construction pieces and miniature models of equipment such as AA batteries for a power source etc., and has been enlarged to a full-size building when the owners wish to enter it without changing their own size.

My Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 playing cards, which will come in handy when I find the time to learn close-up magic tricks!

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Tag (2018)

tag-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Jeff Tomsic

Genre: Comedy

Main Cast: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress, Jeremy Renner, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb

Plot: Every year during the month of May, Hoagie and his friends take part in an epic game of tag. They go to huge lengths to tag each other, including getting a job at the company one of them works for. In this particular year, Jerry has said it’s last year taking part, and as he has never been tagged, the rest of the gang are determined to get him.

My Thoughts: I feel so conflicted about this movie. On one hand, I love that Tag is a different comedy story to most that we see these days. Based on a true story too! I also love this cast, and they gel so well together. I’ve never seen Jeremy Renner in a comedy before and he actually did really well.

On the other hand, whilst Tag started strong, it lagged in the middle, and then in the final 20 minutes or so the tone changed completely, which threw me off balance. Also, although I found it quite funny in places, 24 hours after seeing it I’m struggling to remember any specific jokes, apart from one which went too far. Ultimately, it was fun while it lasted but was kind of forgettable to me.

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Best Bit: Whenever the gang try to tag Jerry – played by Jeremy Renner, he goes into an ultra slo-mo analysis of every move, and it never got old! It’s such a shame that Jerry couldn’t be an Avenger instead of Hawkeye!

Worst Bit: I love inappropriate jokes as much as the next terrible person but repeatedly making jokes about miscarriage was too cringy for me, and soured my mood a little. Do it once and you’ll get a shocked “should I laugh at this” reaction but 10 more times and I just cringe.

Fun Trivia: The film was based on the true events of the lives of former high school classmates (Bill Akers, Patrick Schultheis, Sean Raftis and Mike Konesky). As teenagers during the 1980’s, they would entertain themselves by playing the schoolyard game during breaks at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington.

My Rating: 2 and a half watches out 5. Synchronise them if you can, unless you don’t know how, don’t have a watch, or don’t believe that time itself is a construct!

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