Movie Review: Love, Rosie (2014)

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Plot: Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn’t possibly be right for one another…or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.

Rating: 5.5/10

I’m once again in danger of having no words to say, because while Love, Rosie is not a great film I didn’t really hate it. The film manages to be more awkward in its’ first twenty minutes of opening time than pretty much any other movie I’ve ever seen. I was cringing. Some writer really thought opening the movie with such a unique situation would lead the way for the rest of the film to be a success. I’m sad to report didn’t work out that well. The script isn’t that strong, it is drawn out at the end only the best type of British films can manage to be British, cute and funny all at the same time.

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The two lead characters worked hard to breathe life into their rather lackluster characters. Sam Claflin is quickly working his way up on my favorite British actors list. He is talented and although his role as Alex Stewart isn’t his strongest by far it is not due to a lack of trying. I also really enjoyed Lily Collins. It is the first time I’ve seen her in a film, and for all the mistakes this film made she was not one of it. She’s really gorgeous and her acting isn’t shabby and she did what she could to save the bad pacing of the film. The two have decent chemistry and a connection that makes their characters work well together.

Love Rosie is shot in washed out colors – I love that, and it also highlights the number of years that pass between two best friends. It also asks the old question of can a straight man and a straight woman be best friends without it becoming romantic?

I didn’t really understand why Suki Waterhouse had a character in this film, and why she and Rosie had such a little fight going. Was it merely a high-school fight that continued as a competition into adult hood? If it was, it sure wasn’t properly indicated in the film.

Rosie’s relationship with Greg (Christian Cooke) was from the start demented, and I’m sure everyone who watched this questioned her sanity when she was willing to give him a chance later on. Stockholm syndrome much?

What else can I say? The film didn’t take its’ sweet time, it was a shorty. I liked that, because I would have definitely rated it lower. I enjoyed the ending, placing each character exactly where they were supposed to be. It’s fluffy and romantic, and although it’s humor is misplaced and badly timed, Love Rosie isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen.

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Movie Review: Annie (2014)

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Plot: A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.

Rating: 6/10

The very low rating I gave might suggest that I disliked Annie. I really didn’t though. I certainly thought that it was really very, very optimistic and that literally no one had an ounce of rhythm except Jamie Foxx. Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne were the epitome of white girls dancing and I wanted to hide when they were subjected to singing and dancing and I was subjected to watching them do it. I thought Quvenzhane Wallis (what a name) was pretty cute as Annie. It seems quite deranged to make films about singing orphans, but the film (and probably theater production) manages to be upbeat and sweet and inspirational and one of those situations where the villains aren’t even villains at the end of the day. I watched Annie with my mom and she really liked it, and for her to really like a movie is almost impossible. There really isn’t much else to say about this – for a musical full of people who aren’t really musically gifted it didn’t go that bad. I wouldn’t claim that the film restored my faith in humanity because there is no way humanity is that good, but I did like it and thought it was sweet.

Have you seen Annie? What did you think?

Book Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

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Plot: Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block.

Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?

Rating: 6.5/10

It took me ages to read TWWSML. I read the first half really quickly, but it was super easy to get bored with the story. I did like that it ran in two different time zones – the present and the past events that lead up to the main character’s current situation. As usual the book contained truly Marian Keyes quirks, but for the most part it was a lot more normal than the previous book of Marian Keyes that I read. The Brightest Star in the Sky was odd to say the least, and this is a return to more moderate work from Keyes, which I enjoyed. It is more in the format of just a normal Irish tale, and I was fine with it.

Including a fascinating autoimmune disease was a great idea. GuillaineBarregot me reading up about the disease, and I patted myself on the back not only for understanding what went down but also learning a bit more about my field of work.

The book was really a big read, and the end was really rushed. It was a bit disconcerting to slosh through five hundred pages to have the ending run away like that. As for characters, I really hated her ex-husband. He was absolutely awful, and I’m not surprised that they ended up being divorced. I could in a way understand her child’s attitude – he’s young and his parents weren’t giving him a stable environment, but a grown ass man acting like that? Inexcusable.

TWWSML really wasn’t bad – it was just way too long. Have you read it? How did you feel about it?

Movie Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

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Plot: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

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Rating: 6.5/10

My younger sister nagged me to watch The Maze Runner, so recently on a day off I sat down with her and watched it. I didn’t really love it, but it was okay. The most lacking thing is definitely the storyline – I get that things are supposed to be a puzzle and mysterious, but come on, at least reveal things that would make your movie make sense. Dylan O’Brien is the main character. He’s totally adorable, and I liked him as this main although can we please just all get to a point where a 25 year old male is not cast as a teenage boy? I also liked Ki Hong Lee – his role wasn’t all that clear and I didn’t understand why he was running in the Maze, but I liked him. I really don’t get why Will Poulter is popping up everywhere. I have hated this actor since We’re the Millers, which everyone knows was the worst movie of 2013.Eugh. He was obviously destined to be a pain in the ass in The Maze Runner, and he achieved it quite well because he was a pain in the ass. There were also a lot of male leads and only one female. They are probably doing this for #PLOTREASONS but it was kinda stupid. Also, like I mentioned, the plot is shrouded in mystery. I’m guessing if you read the book it would make more sense, but it seems to be a movie about a maze and some Dystopian drama and feelings. It also felt rather Divergent-ish, but it seems to be the norm that Dystopian authors “borrow” ideas here and there.  So in the spirit of not moaning too much about this, I really enjoyed O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. When they finally let us know why these kiddos were in a Maze, it was quite interesting. I liked the images of the desert stricken earth – it was so dystopic dystopian. I am planning to watch the second film, and then the third as soon as cutie pie recovers from his on-set injury. Definitely not as good as The Hunger Games, but luckily not as awful as the Divergent films.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: Laggies (2014)

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Plot: In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Megan panics when her boyfriend proposes, then, taking an opportunity to escape for a week, hides out in the home of her new friend, 16-year-old Annika, who lives with her world-weary single dad.

Rating: 5.5/10

Somewhere in Hollywood a producer thought people would genuinely want to see a movie about a woman who has everything in life – caring parents, a good education and a man desperate to marry her, decide she wants to live like a teenager for a week, allow said character to move in with a teenager, teenager’s father be okay with it, and in the end this woman would end up happy.

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Who had the most personality?

Obviously, I didn’t really get the point of this whole film. There are a minuscule amount of roles that I truly enjoy Keira Knightley, but this was not one of them. Her character was awful. Sure, her friends are atrocious and I’d likely stab them in the neck if I ever met them. The fact that she was friends with such awful people probably just proved the point that she’s awful – like seeking like and all that.

I thought that Mark Webber was quite sweet as the fiancé. I wouldn’t make it with such a sweet man, but he obviously loved Megan and was quite desperate that his life should go exactly as he planned it. Awful Megan really had no thought when she of her fiancé when she banged Craig, and I think at that point I just ended up completely hating her – it was a steady loathing before.

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What else? Chloë Moretz is appearing in so many thing lately, because she’s finally at an age where she can be cast as a teenager and actually look it. I’ve completely loved her since Kick-Ass, (I mean who hasn’t), and although she was just the generic teenager in this she did a decent job as become her norm.

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Then there is the amazing Sam Rockwell, who manages to stay insanely cool despite having the emptiest role in here. Craig is always working, in sharp contrast with Megan refusing to adult, and except having a few expected lines being angry at being dumped, he was a pretty empty character.

I honestly wish I enjoyed this more. The story was just too annoying to be any worth to me – sure, we all refuse to adult from time to time but that does not mean we get to squat in Sam Rockwell’s kitchen, now does it?

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: Play it Cool (2014)

Plot:

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Plot: Unrequited love motivates a guy to write about his experiences.

Rating: 4/10

Sometimes I am so inspired when I write reviews. I feel like I’ve been completely present in the film, that the acting was good and that the storyline had a point. It is not only during serious stuff like The Godfather or Inglorious Basterds, it happens with romantic movies like Age of Adaline too. Then I get to movies like Play it Cool, and afterwards I don’t even want to talk about it more because it is too terrible to talk about. What can I possible say about this rom-com that is the worst example in its genre? I could possibly mention two leads who are relatively decent actors anywhere else yet somehow got roped in to do this mind numbingly boring movie? Did they have too many bills to pay that month? I can’t imagine Chris Evans not getting enough cash from being the Cap to cover his bills, but maybe he does things we don’t know of. It is possible anyway. I could mention that the film’s writers thought that the storyline: I’m-in-a-relationship-with-a-good-man-but-now-want-to-bang-random-hottie-because-I-have-issues had not yet been fully told and needed to be written again, but this time with a satirical angle, because let’s face it, that has also NEVER been done before. I could mention that if Michelle Monaghan’s smile could save a movie or Chris Evans’ all American looks could make a film redeemable, it still wouldn’t have saved the film. But I won’t, because this film isn’t worth it.

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PS: I will naturally ONLY forgive Chris Evans if he kisses me like that. DUH

Movie Review: Vampire Academy (2014)

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Plot: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human-half vampire, a guardian of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discreetly within our world. Her calling is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi.

Original Rating: 5.5/10

New Rating: 6.5/10

Hmm. Never thought I would rate this one higher than what I originally did, but that first rating was pretty harsh. I actually really enjoyed VA when I watched it the other night again. There is nothing quite as fun as large amounts of cheese.

VA is nowhere what I wanted it to be. The cast works fine, but I really feel that Lucy Fry was a complete and utter failure as VasalisaDragomir. Dominic Sherwood, who is bad boy Christian Ozera, follows close on her heels. I have never seen such bad acting and I’ve seen some bad acting.

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I would love it if Zoey Deutch got her big break now. She’s really very pretty and quite a talented actress, and she did wonderful work with her source material as Rose Hathaway – she was the smartass we wanted Rose to be.

Danila Kozlovsky is an actual Russian and plays Russian Dimitri quite well. But for such a bad ass culture and nation I find their accents so ludicrous and them quite funny – hehe. He’s so hot though.

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The biggest failure of this film is the satirical angle. Why take a YA book, twist its already twisted logic, and make it satire? It didn’t work, and every scene with the vastly changed Kirova and Natalie Dashkov was a disaster. And let’s just say that Mark Waters should have been fired the second he suggested another Mean Girls, but with Vampires.

I really wish they could find a way to produce Frostbite, the next book in the series. It is a lot of nonsense but I really liked the books and it would have been amazing if this franchise had run at full speed.

Movie Review: John Wick (2014)

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Plot: An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him

Rating: 8/10

I’ve been on such a Keanu Reeves roll lately (Zoë and I were having way too much cheesy fun on my visit to her! :D) He’s not a bad actor but unfortunately he has things like 47 Ronin under his belt, which might just be the worst movie I have ever had the misfortune to meet (a lofty praise). John Wick is in the attributes column for Reeves. It is way too much fun and never stops with the cheese. That is a good thing, because the cast is rolling with it and never tries to pass it off as a serious mob movie. I was so furious when that incredibly cute dog was killed by Theon fucking Greyjoy, reminding me why I don’t even feel sympathy for Reek. I wanted to climb through the screen and get my revenge for Robb Stark and for tiny little Daisy – I mean, let’s face it: The only rule in movies that should never be crossed is the one where you DON’T KILL THE DOG. EVER. I was not even surprised that he reacted the way he did – the only thing that made the loss of his life more bearable was that puppy and when he lost it too, he lost his shit – unfortunately for the punks who committed the heinous crime, John Wick was versed in the art of kicking ass and didn’t need just angrily yell into space like the rest of us would have to do. John Wick had such a reputation and I thoroughly enjoyed the respect everyone threw his way and the way they deferred to him and refused to get into a fight. The action scenes were wonderfully choreographed and looked well – big ups to the constant reloading of guns – it drives me insane in other action bullets where they get eighteen shots out of a 6 bullet gun. The movie also looks really good – the way they implement colour into scenes and the beautiful camera work – sheesh, it looked great. I also have to reiterate my point that if men in this world had any inclination how women reacted to good suits they would wear them all the time. (thanks, Keanu). John Wick is such a great amount of fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously because storywise it isn’t as intricate as people would want. However, it looks really good and if you are the type of person who appreciates the fact that a man went on a mission to avenge his dog, you are going to love this.

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Movie Review: What We Do in The Shadows (2014)

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Plot: Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane – like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Rating: 8.5/10

Things I do in watching comedies: sarcastically snort, fondly smile or gallantly chuckle. I never LOL in them (I doubt people laugh out loud as often as the use that abbreviation, but that is another post for another day). My point is: comedies have become too formulaic with humor that they are rarely truly hilarious anymore.

I laughed out loud watching What We do In the Shadows. It is politically incorrect: Vampire Nazis, Vlad the Poker and Viego’s love for Katherine are some of the funniest things I experienced in here. It mocks the hell out of Twilight and I’m pretty sure True Blood with the vampires floating in the air. The New-Zealand accents exacerbate and the fact that we are dealing with vampires, in New Zealand, makes it just funnier. Everyone’s love for Stu but bare tolerance for Nick, swearwolves everywhere and the whole perfection of Vladislav, Viago and Deacon kept me entertained for the hour and a half it ran for. I loved the whole mockumentary style of the movie and how well that told the story.

Some favorite scenes:

Vlad, my favorite vampire of all time:

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Probably my second favorite scene and one of the greatest laughs in the movie:wearwolves not swearwolves

This one is for Zoë:

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And then this: The funnest and craziest phrasing I’ve ever come across… LOL!!sandwich

What We Do In The Shadows is unique, hilarious and worth a try. You will hopefully shake with laughter. Definitely recommended!

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Blindspot 2015: Interstellar (2014)

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Plot: In the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen its lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

Rating: 8.5/10

Dr. Brand sets the somber tone for Interstellar with his rendition of Dylan Thomas’ famous words: “Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”The devastating wasteland that earth has become has had a profound effect of the human race – Earth has finally revolted against the never ending abuse it received and is slowly getting revenge – the human race is dying out.  NASA, nearly defunct, searches desperately for a planet that can sustain human life; as well as a way to get there alive.

Left to right: Mackenzie Foy and Matthew McConaughey in INTERSTELLAR, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Entertainment.

That is how Cooper, a retired astronaut, gets to go into space again. His daughter Murph never forgives him, even as time passes in its strange pattern and she grows older.

I expected to hate Interstellar. I actually hoped I would – nothing is more annoying than the hype big movies generate. Sure, it is great for their budget, but it is so conformist. I thought it would be fussily intellectual – which I hate – but it wasn’t. There were some big concepts but it didn’t go overhead. The concepts weren’t constantly being discussed on screen either, which helped move the story in understandable lines. Interstellar managed to march towards three hours without killing the storyline. It was needed to properly illustrate the story.

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The graphics were amazing. Christopher Nolan and his team did a phenomenal job. The vast emptiness of space was beautiful and in stark contrast with the destructive zone Earth has become – there is a feeling that at least the human race didn’t destroy space yet. The wormhole – can I just say WOW? That doesn’t sum it up accurately but it was the only feeling I felt, awe. The water planet and then crazy Matt Damon’s planet, and I will get to him in a moment, was absolutely beautiful to behold.

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The cast did a wonderful job. Matthew McConaughey as Cooper – his apathy with being on earth, his decision to leave, his role as an astronaut – it was wonderful.  I love his slow Texan drawl so much. It makes him sound lazy and hurried at the same time, and it worked for the character. I wasn’t jumping around when I saw Anne Hathaway, but it is a testament to the excellence of Interstellar that she didn’t annoy the living hell out of me. Both McKenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain as the young and older Murphy did great – the two meshed their actions well enough that they ended up looking as the same person. Murphy’s story was really sad; losing her mother and her father and then having to watch the years pass knowing he was out there and never getting to see him. I also enjoyed Timothee Chalamet and Casey Affleck as young and older Tom Cooper, although the character took a backseat compared to Murph’s story.

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Now, let’s just focus for a few seconds on the MAD Matt Damon. I think he did a really good job in here, that his role was well done and that he was great in his part here – not a big one but an important one, showing the perils of being alone too long as well as being crazy. Why anyone would let him back into space (i.e. The Martian), I don’t know, but I’m worried.

Now, it has to be mentioned why I haven’t rated this movie at least a 9/10 – the quality certainly justifies it. I cannot for the life of me understand why LOVE had to be brought into a movie that is pure, wonderful science, and by one of the only TWO women in the movie. Anne Hathaway’s amazing Brand was totally killing it, and there she went, her choices being influenced by her silly little love story. It didn’t gel and deducted awesome points from the character and the storyline. It is a movie about SCIENCE. Done.Love is a human emotion and thus not quantifiable, idiots. If it was Anger, Jealousy and Hate would also be quantifiable.

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Apart from that one slight, Interstellar was a jaw dropping, humbling experience. I will gladly watch it again – it seems like the type of movie where you will always notice something new. The great concepts, the wonderful score by Hans Zimmer, the graphics and the acting makes for a masterful movie that can now live with the greats.

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PS: I will post two Blindspots in October, as I had no time to review one in September 🙂