Mini Reviews: Fist Fight (2017), Shimmer Lake (2017), & Before I Fall (2017)

The last couple of weeks have been so crazy that I haven’t been on this blog for what feels like forever! In my defence, it was purely because I had nothing to blog about – that kind of happens when you don’t actually get round to watching anything. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I’ve caught up over the weekend and watched a few fairly mediocre movies that were perfect for some mini reviews.

Ready to be underwhelmed?

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Why wasn’t this movie called Teacher Fight? That’s what’s said at least 100 times, and I honestly had to double check that wasn’t the real title. Starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day, this was a real ‘meh’ comedy that was as predictable as hell. I have a soft spot for Charlie Day’s comedic charm so I can forgive it slightly, and it had a few moments that made me chuckle, but you can lump it with 2017’s lame comedies.

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I’ll admit, I quite enjoyed Shimmer Lake. The problem is, if I had to explain it to anyone, I’d say it’s a cross between Fargo and Memento. That sounds like a combination made in heaven, but it’s nowhere near as good. It’s a crime/mystery/thriller told in that backwards, Memento style, and most of the main characters are quite quirky in that Fargo sense, but it’s just not as polished, plot and direction wise. Still, I quite enjoyed it and wasn’t expecting the ending at all!

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Speaking of movies that seem far too familiar, I also watched Before I Fall. It’s the teenage-angst version of Groundhog Day, basically. A good premise, and again an ending I didn’t see coming, but the problem with these kind of movies comes with the repetition. How many times do you want to watch the same girl’s school ritual? Let’s just put these kind of movies in the same lock box as all the Freaky Friday ones.

I feel like I’ve brought you a bit of a mediocre Monday, but I’m sure something great will come along soon. I’m seeing Wonder Woman tomorrow night, but because I’ve been away I don’t actually know what the general consensus is. Is it good, you guys?

Review: Colossal (2017)

colossal-movie-review-2017I am SO hyped up and excited to tell you all about Colossal, but equally bummed out because I can’t actually tell you that much without spoiling a truly weird and wonderful cinematic experience! I’m not sure Jenna believed me when I told her I wanted to see this for the crazy plot, mainly because Dan Stevens is in it and I’m developing a bit of an obsession, but honestly, I’ve been on the lookout for a movie that is both new and a bit unique, rather than a remake or sequel.

Here’s what I can tell you about the plot. Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is out of control and out of a job. Her party mentality forces her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) to kick her out and force her to move back to her hometown. Around that time, a giant monster is reported to have attacked the city of Seoul, and Gloria discovers that she is directly connected to this monster.

It takes a while for the movie to kick itself into gear, I’ll admit. The first 20 minutes are largely unnecessary (apart from that intriguing opening scene) and it begins to feel like a stereotypical romcom. If you can get past that though, the rest is a wild ride. This isn’t a romance movie, as much as you might be thinking, especially when Gloria’s childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) shows up. It’s also quite hilarious in moments, but it’s not a comedy. This is a drama that gets dark as hell towards the end. You’ve been warned!

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The whole main cast is wonderful. I haven’t seen much of Anne Hathaway but she’s a delight to watch in this, and not annoying in the slightest for playing such a destructive character. I love Jason Sudeikis’ comedies, but I’ve never seen him in a role like this, and whilst he’s not going to take home an Oscar for his performance, this dude can act! Dan Stevens is obviously wonderful (and British this time!) but his role is very minor.

What I really want to tell you though is to give this movie a chance. Watch the trailer, by all means, but know that the actual story is much bigger than you think it is. Don’t read up too much on it either, go in as blind as you can. It’s a miracle in 2017 to have a trailer actually give away very little about the story. I’m looking at you, Spider-Man: Homecoming!

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Colossal isn’t perfect. It’s messy at times, but it’s unique and I think it deserves so much credit for going out there and doing something different for a change. In a year full of sequels and remakes I have high hopes that Colossal will be in my Top 10 of 2017 by the end of the year! It gets 4 and a half out of 5 inflatable mattresses from me, an extra half point awarded for weirdness.

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My Movie Alphabet Vol 2 Blogathon

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It’s a super exciting month for one of my fellow bloggers, Mettel Ray, because her blog has just turned 7 years old! Back in 2012 she ran the Movie Alphabet Blogathon to celebrate her 400th post, and 5 years later she’s back with Vol 2! I wasn’t even a blogger back in 2012 and my movie knowledge was nothing short of awful, so I’m taking part for the first time, but who knows, maybe we’ll be doing this all over again in a few years time!

You’ve got until the end of May to take part so if you’d like to find out more, check out Mettel Ray’s original post here. There are a few rules, the most important of which are as follows:

1. List your favourite actors, actresses, movies or directors from # to z

2. I allow a little wiggle room: you may list two under one letter* because it is vol 2 after all!

*in that case, the choices have to be from different categories – actor/director, actress/movie, etc.*

3. If you participated last time, don’t look at your first movie alphabet before vol 2 is ready

4. Comparisons in between your new alphabet and the previous one are highly encouraged

5. Post your Movie Alphabet Vol 2 by the 31st of May, link back to this post and let me know here in the comments or over at twitter @MettelRay (and use the hashtag mettelrayse7en)

Before I start, I’m really sorry, I broke rule #2 several times. I tried not to, but it just happened. I also seem to be talking about Fight Club a lot recently too, so it’s just something I can’t help right now.

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(#) How many movies I’ve seen so far (Runner Up: 500 Days of Summer)

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(A) Adam Driver (Runner Up: Anna Kendrick)

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(B) BAFTAs Night (Runner Up: Birdman)

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(C) The Cornetto Trilogy (Runner Up: Crazy, Stupid, Love)

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(D) Disney (Runner Up: Denis Villenueve)

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(E) Emma Stone (Runner Up: Early Access Previews)

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(F) Fargo (Runner Up: Feast)

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(G) Guardians of the Galaxy (Runner Up: Gone Girl)

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(H) Harry Potter (Runner Up: Hunt for the Wilderpeople)

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(I) Inside Out (Runner Up: It Follows)

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(J) John Boyega (Runner Up: Jake Gyllenhaal)

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(K) Kubo and the Two Strings (Runner Up: Kingsman Secret Service)

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(L) Letterboxd (Runner Up: La La Land)

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(M) M. Night Shyamalan (Runner Up: Memento)

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(N) Napoleon Dynamite (Runner Up: Netflix)

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(O) Ohana (Runner Up: Once)

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(P) Pitch Perfect (Runner Up: Plot Twists)

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(Q) Quotes (Runner Up: Quentin Tarantino)

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(R) Ryan Reynolds (Runner Up: Ryan Gosling)

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(S) Star Wars (Runner Up: Sandra Bullock)

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(T) Taika Waititi (Runner Up: Trailers)

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(U) The Usual Suspects (Runner Up: Unbreakable)

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(V) National Lampoon’s Vacation (Runner Up: Vin Diesel)

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(W) Whiplash (Runner Up: What We Do in the Shadows)

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(X) ‘X’ Marks the Spot – Treasure Hunting Movies (Runner Up: X-Men)

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(Y) Yoda (Runner Up: Yes Man)

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(Z) Zootopia/Zootropolis (Runner Up: Zombieland)

Movie Confessions Blogathon

Two weeks ago I asked all you lovely bloggers to send me your movie related confessions. You delivered, big time, and boy oh boy did you shock me along the way! Let’s get straight to it, shall we?

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Firstly, there’s a heck of a lot of ‘must see’ movies that you haven’t seen. In fact, I hold you all personally responsible for making me sit through The Godfather a couple of years ago, because I thought I’d be a blogging fraud if I couldn’t hold a conversation about it.

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Studio Ghibli film.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“As of this blogathon, I have not seen any Terminator movie outside of short clips.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I’ve never watched any of the Godfather films. I know they exist and that they are excellent, but they just keep passing me by. One day I’ll manage.
And neither have I watched Forrest Gump. To be honest, unless it just happens to be showing on TV, I doubt I’ll actively seek it out. It has just never appealed enough to get me to watch it. Despite hearing all the wonderful reviews. And, if I watch it I’ll probably wonder why it took me so long.
…Or Shawshank Redemption. Or Silence of the Lambs.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I have not actually yet seen Citizen Kane, nor The Godfather films for that matter.” – This Is Madness!

Shocking, guys. Shocking. You also had a lot of love to share, some guilty pleasures, and some movies that just deserve more love all round!

“I love Dirty Dancing so so much, as well as Grease, Mean Girls, Napoleon Dynamite, Wayne’s World 1 and 2, the Bridget Jones trilogy and Miss Congeniality. If any of these movies are on TV and I happen to be flicking the channels, I just have to watch them.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“My friend and I became obsessed with Suite Francaise and we saw it three times at the cinema. I thought it we saw it enough times, the ending would have been happier.” – She Likes Movies

“In my opinion, the X-Men franchise beats the MCU any day of the week. Any. Day.” – The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

“I prefer George Lucas’ Star Wars (prequels included) over Disney’s Star Wars.” – This Is Madness!

“When Garfield the movie came out, I made my aunt take me to see it. There was only 4 other people there. I absolutely loved the film, mostly because of Bill Murray but I know it’s a most hated film. My aunt has never forgiven me for making her go.” – She Likes Movies

Realweegiemidget has so many guilty pleasures that they sent me a whole list! Read it here.

I’m getting a warm, fuzzy feeling from all this love right now. Oh wait, I just left my fan heater on behind my desk. My bad! Hold on tight, things are about to get rough now as we head into the things you find completely overrated.

“I find many best picture Oscar nominated movies to be overrated.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I think Meryl Streep is overrated. She’s not a terrible actress, but a bulk of her greatest performances were at the beginning of her career. Her roles since Out of Africa or Sophie’s Choice are just okay. She doesn’t wow me like everyone else seems to be…” – Anonymous

“All the ‘hype’ around La La Land has actually put me off the movie. The Trailer didn’t help catch my attention either.” – Thoughts All Sorts

“I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t enjoy Moonlight and was saddened when it won Best Picture this year.” – Movie Rob

Ouch! It’s not getting any better from here, folks. Here’s what you absolutely hated. Fans of Birdman, beware…

“I really didn’t enjoy Terence Malick films. I value a very strong plot/screenplay in a film, and I feel that he focuses too much on the cinematography and visuals for my taste.! – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews 

“I really hated Birdman.” – Life of This City Girl

“I strongly disliked Birdman. I just couldn’t connect with it. I really enjoyed what is considered to be one of the worst Best Picture winners of all-time, The Greatest Show on Earth. Who would want to miss seeing Jimmy Stewart in a clown costume?.” – Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews

“I absolutely hate the James Bond series. And in fact, it is the only series of films that I refuse to watch, no matter how good everyone says certain entries are.” – This Is Madness!

Can someone go check to see if Michael Keaton is okay, please? These next few don’t fit into any particular category, but they’re still great. My apologies go out to Katie at She Likes Movies because I’m still laughing at her Back to the Future confession, even though that movie is probably ruined forever for her.

“I was really disturbed by Inland Empire so when I had an argument with a close friend of mine, about films, when we sorta made up, I said she could have my copy, thinking it was a punishment as I was still angry with her.” – She Likes Movies

“My blogging friends know more about my movie ‘addiction’ than my friends and family in the real world do.” – Movie Rob

“I feel like I have overactive tear ducts, so if there is any kind of emotional scene in a movie, I will at the very least get watery eyes.” – Drew’s Movie Reviews

“I once had an awkward encounter while Back  to the Future was on in the background. Things ended so badly with the guy that I couldn’t watch the film until years after. And I love Back to the Future.” – She Likes Movies

Last, but by no means least, one of my all time favourite bloggers, known as Lady Sati over at Cinematic Corner had so much to confess (seriously girl, how did you have anything left?) that she needed her own section. Are you ready for this?

“1. Big Little Lies is overhyped as hell. Spoilers – the idea in this day and age Jane didn’t know what her friend’s husband looks like and that he would lose his cool so bad and just started beating those women up buried the show. And Vallee music video filmmaking style is fine in 2h movie but it was a nightmare to get through when I saw the 7 episodes in one sitting.”

“2. I judge people who tell me they like Chris Pratt. All you need to do is google the chihuahua him and his wife abandoned or the cat he gave up on twitter because he knocked his wife up. I wish these two never worked in Hollywood or anywhere else again.”

“3. I think Amy Adams is the most overrated actress on the planet and if she wasn’t there every single Oscar season doing tons of interviews and round tables no one would nominate her on merit of her performance. Gary Oldman is 100x better than her but he doesn’t do award circuit promo thing. He has one nomination, she has 5 and everyone cries that she didn’t get a 6th one this year. It’s ridiculous.”

“4. I think people who doubt how Jennifer Lawrence went from doing indie films to doing big profile movies over night even after they saw her casting couch photos are naive.”

“5. I never saw Citizen Kane and I don’t think I will. The idea you need to sit through some old, boring movie – from all accounts I heard – just because you are a movie fan is stupid.”

“6. I have The Heat in my top 100 and Logan in my top 25 and yes they are both higher than Psycho. Because when I come home and want to see something to entertain me – the film that does a better job at that is gonna be higher on my favorite movies list than a better/more acclaimed film.”

“7. Seeing how Hugh Jackman on his own makes Les Miserables watchable makes the fact the Academy chose to give overrated DDL his third Oscar for mediocre performance in Lincoln even more ridiculous.”

“8. And finally I have little respect for people who 1. take the money 2. lose weight/do crazy things/put their health at risk 3. ramble on during talk shows how much they suffered when not only did they not do those things for free, out of their own free will but usually they get awards for it which leads to more roles and more money. If you ate a carrot a day, it’s because you chose to. No one forced you. Now please, shut up about it.”

“Oh and one more! 9. Meryl Streep gave a standing ovation to a rapist Roman Polanski. Praising her for her ‘anti-Trump speech’ during Globes was so cringe-worthy. She stood up and clapped for a rapist. She has no moral authority over anyone.”

Everyone, I can’t thank you enough for taking part and spreading the word! I thought I would have to pad this post out with my own confessions but you’ve outdone all of my expectations! I’m thinking we’re going to have to make this a yearly tradition.