Review: Song to Song (2017)

Remember how literally just a few days ago I said I was struggling to name 5 movies that I really didn’t enjoy this year so far? Remember how my list was half-hearted because I didn’t truly hate any of them, I was just disappointed by them? That I actually missed hate-writing about a movie? Turns out the movie gods were listening that day, because they delivered Song to Song.

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I’ve heard that Terrence Malick movies are often controversial, and a quick check on IMDB confirmed what I thought – until now I haven’t seen a single one of his movies. I gotta say, there were none that really shouted out to me either, but there was no way I could ignore Song to Song. Here’s what I knew:
– Music was a strong feature (I’ve been spoiled by John Carney movies)
– It was set in Austin, Texas (I got to go there for work once and had an amazing time)
– The cast was excellent (Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Ryan Gosling & Michael Fassbender)
– It was described as a modern day love story

What could possibly go wrong?

It all started out okay to be honest. It felt a bit qwirky, a bit weird. It was a little raunchy too, so ticks in all the boxes from me. My eyes struggled to adjust to the fact that no single shot seemed to last any longer than 5 seconds, but I thought I’d get used to it. I had over 2 hours of movie to get used to it!

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About 20 minutes in, it all just went to hell. I couldn’t work out what was going on anymore. I thought it was established that Rooney Mara’s character was together with Michael Fassbender’s, but then she fell for Ryan Gosling. It seemed like some weird love triangle, because Ryan Gosling seemed way more interested in bro’ing it up with Michael Fassbender, but then he got married to Natalie Portman and…are you still reading?

This entire movie hurt my head. None of the characters ever seemed to talk much, or even smile. I’m sorry but, how can you fall in love with someone if all you do is float around silently, looking at them with the face and flair of a catwalk model? It’s infuriating!

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I actually gave up at the mid way point and turned the movie off. I thought I could be satisfied with not knowing how the story ended, or wasting another hour of my life whilst risking permanent frown lines from the face I pulled the entire time watching. Alas, the next day the completionist in me couldn’t take it anymore and I watched the rest. Did it get any better? No. Was it worth it? I got to see Ryan Gosling make a turkey out of a napkin (actually one of my favourite party tricks) so there was that.

I’m really sorry to actual, legit movie critics who understood this movie and what it was about, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea at all. 1 and a half napkins from me…you can turn them into turkeys yourself, or ask Ryan Gosling to show you how!

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Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

alien-covenant-movie-review-2017Take this post with a pinch of salt and good humour. I’m not a Horror connoisseur, and I’ve watched approximately 2 and a half movies in the Alien franchise to date. They are the original Alien (actually kind of loved it), half of Aliens (it was on TV late at night, I’ll finish it someday) and Prometheus (saw it at the cinema, can’t remember anything). You’re probably wondering how I wound up at the cinema in the first place to see Alien: Covenant, right? It’s the husbands fault, despite being a wuss like me he loves the Alien series, and we’d both goaded each other into watching something scary together.

Here’s the plot, as I understand it. A ship bound for a faraway planet holds a small crew and a couple thousand frozen people ready to start a new colony (I’m not talking about Passengers I promise). Their ship is damaged and during repairs, one of the crew members’ helmet picks up a transmission from a much closer planet seemingly just as habitable as their original destination.

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. What ruins this movie is the fact that not one member of this crew seems to have watched a Horror movie before. This is 2 hours of dumb people doing dumb things. Here’s mistake numero uno: Months, if not years of research into this new planet must have taken place, and yet the crew change course on a whim, simply because none of them particularly want to go back into space sleep again.

Why not, do you ask? To tell you would ruin the surprise, but you know how much I can’t stand James Franco? I LOVE HIM in this movie. Best role he’s ever done, officially.

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While I’m at it, here’s some other stupid stuff that happens:
– Far too many people go off to investigate solo. Guys come on, you know that means you’re gonna die.
– Oh, you’ve managed to contain an alien in a locked room? Best open the door then!
– I dread to think how much all this tech cost, but apparently everyone’s shoes have the same grip as old Converse. Blood seems to be even more slippery than banana peel.
– What’s this creepy, squishy, giant alien egg here? Best stick my face in it!

I guess common sense isn’t a prerequisite for space travel, huh.

The movie’s highlight has to be Michael Fassbender, who just never puts in a bad performance. He’s in Covenant twice, because I completely forgot that he was also in Prometheus, and so we’re treated to double the Fassbender-robot action. Speaking of which…I simply can’t ignore the weirdly erotic flute playing scene where Fassbender-bot kisses himself…and talks about fingering…*cough*. It all got very awkward in that dark cinema room for a few minutes.

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Finally, movie makers, if I see your plot twist coming a mile off, you didn’t do a very good job. Although, thanks for making me feel smart, I had the most gleeful face when I got to call it before my husband did. He’s the kind of guy to call a plot twist during an opening sequence, and even though sometimes I think it’s luck and he’s just being an ass, I’m never 100% sure. He might have weird powers.

Who’s in for Prometheus 3 in a couple of years then? You can count me in, this piece of trash was hella fun! 2.5 out of 5 erotic bone flutes from me, that might be enough to share out with the remaining crew. You blow, and I’ll do the fingering. I can’t even type it without feeling the shame!

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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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