Review: Life (2017)

life-movie-poster-review-2017You know that saying, ‘be careful what you wish for’? Years I’ve been waiting for a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds together. Years! 2 of my ultimate favourite Hollywood hunks in 1 movie. I guess I imagined it would be some kind of romcom, preferably starring myself caught in a love triangle. Alas, it seems only half of my request was eventually heard, and although I got both stars together, it was for a Sci-Fi/Horror. Really, movie gods?!

What makes things even worse is that on paper, and in the trailer in fact, Life (2017) is nothing more than an Alien ripoff. You’ve got a spaceship, a solid crew, a mission to extract and protect a life form found on Mars. Hey presto, turns out the life form is dangerous and hostile! Now it’s a survival game. I sound bitter I know but here’s the shocker, Life is actually a pretty decent movie!

For a start, the crew are all extremely likeable, and they’re smart! Yes, you’ve got one who won’t stop harping on about protocols and rule-breaking, but when protocols are broken they’re for a logical reason, rather than a dumb reason for a jump scare. For a wuss like me, Life was a fairly scary movie, but that’s because this life-form (AKA Calvin) is so small and stealthy, and unpredictable. I’m glad I waited for a home release because some scenes are tense as hell.

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I’ll admit that at the halfway point my interest started to wane slightly. That might be because (highlight for spoiler) Ryan Reynolds got killed off in the first 30 minutes – perhaps I should have seen it coming, but it does drift into far too familiar territory after a while. Yes, Calvin is on the loose, no, we aren’t sure how the crew are going to survive, if they do at all, so just get on with the story so we can find out how it ends!

Life even had it’s emotional moments, mainly centered around a children’s book you may know quite well, Goodnight Moon. You can forget listening to Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories, try watching Jake Gyllenhaal read Goodnight Moon whilst stuck in the situation he’s in and not get misty eyes!

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Finally, and I’ll have to obscure this paragraph mostly for spoiler reasons, I can’t end this post without mentioning the ending. Should I have seen it coming? Maybe? I don’t know, but it caught me completely off guard! That moment when you realise who (and what) is in that capsule that landed in the sea straight up gave me the chills. I’d rather Life stay as a standalone movie but if it had a sequel, heck I’d probably go and see it.

For being surprisingly good as a totally unoriginal movie, Life gets 3 and a half copies of that darn children’s book I’m now never going to be able to buy for my own kiddo.

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Mt. Rushmore of Movies Blogathon

I really need a break from watching that clip of Jimmy Kimmel getting the orchestra to play Matt Damon off the stage from the Oscars last Sunday, it’s becoming unhealthy, and I have a headache from laughing too much. Thankfully, the ever hilarious M.Brown at Two Dollar Cinema is running a fantastic blogathon to distract me!

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If you’re not following Two Dollar Cinema already then you really ought to be. His movie reviews are so much fun to read, and I guarantee you his ‘Yays’ and ‘Boos’ will have you laughing out loud!

Anyway, onto this Blogathon! To celebrate Presidents Day, M.Brown has invited us all to create our own Mt Rushmore of movies. It’s entirely in our hands what we pick! This Blogathon last took place 3 years ago (before I was even blogging) so I had a read through all the previous entries and oh boy, I’ve got my work cut out for me. You guys are so creative! But I’m going to give this a try. If you’d like to take part too, you’ve got until this Friday, so check out the original post here.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Mt Rushmore of Movie Cameos! Not just any old cameos, I’ll have you know, but the kind that make you jump in your seat with glee because you had no idea they were going to show up.

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Bill Murray – Zombieland (2009)

When you’re on the run from a zombie apocalypse in the middle of Hollywood, how are you going to find a good place to hide? Use a map of the star’s homes and find where Bill Murray used to live, of course. The only issue with that is it turned out that Bill Murray was still very much alive, disguising himself as a zombie in order to ‘blend in’, and allowing himself to be able to freely wander the city. What you shouldn’t do during a zombie apocalypse? Try to scare your gun-wielding friend. RIP, Bill Murray.

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John Cena – Daddy’s Home (2015)

I’ll be the first to admit that Daddy’s Home was a terrible movie. It was terrible the first time I watched it, and when I was forced to watch it a second time on a plane (one of those older ones with the shared TV in the aisle) I could have cried. What made it worse was all the R-Rated jokes were cut out of the plane version! However, I am an absolute sucker for those John Cena videos doing the rounds a couple of years ago, and so when he turned up at the end of Daddy’s Home, all was almost forgiven!

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Tom Cruise – Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Who can forget the opening credits to Goldmember, which looked like something straight out of Mission: Impossible? Wait…dammit. Then I guess I should have seen it coming when it turned out that Austin Powers was being played by Tom Cruise! The weirdest part was that he looked the part completely! Of course, there were plenty of cameos in this movie, but we can only fit 4 heads onto Mt Rushmore!

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Ryan Reynolds – A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

This is a personal guilty pleasure of mine. After showing up in a previous Seth MacFarlane movie, I was hoping Ryan Reynolds might show up, but I didn’t expect him to. When, in a Western bar, he did make an appearance, I literally squealed (in a cinema of all places) and then made some odd, disappointed sound which I can’t describe with a keyboard when he was instantly killed by Liam Neeson. Sigh.

Honourable mentions go to nearly everyone in This Is the End (2013), because I could have made this entire post about that movie and still struggled to pick just 4!