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?

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FTF: Five Favorite Films about Weddings

Happy Friday! It’s been yonks since I fired up this bad boy. Five things Friday started way back (I think probably 2013), and I’ve done a few here and there. I’d like to do some more in the future – I love lists so much, and let’s face it, they are so easy to put together! Today’s feature is about the age old institutional – tying the knot. There are so many movies focusing on weddings that it should probably be an entire genre on its’ own. There are so many! I’ve seen a ton, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I am able to enjoy the most gory and the most fluffy films equally as much:)

Let me know about your favorite in the comments section!

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5: Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement

Number 5 on this list was hotly contested, let me tell you. I ended up choosing The Royal Engagement because I’m such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries. It deviated quite badly from the books, but it managed to be pretty good. Anne Hathaway, Chris Pine and Julie Andrews are a power team in TRE, and the message is a bit lame but also strong – don’t marry for the wrong reasons (something that wasn’t already obvious), and what might seem as the best choice for you probably isn’t what you really want.

Wedding Crashers

4: Wedding Crashers

Can this film make the list? It isn’t about weddings in the way the other films here are about weddings, but it definitely deals with them. This movie is the top point of silly and has some hilarious moments. It is one of the few films where combining Vince Vaughn and Isla Fischer works, and I wouldn’t have thought it possible to combine two such horribly annoying people and get a proper result. The film also stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Christopher Walken, and those three alone can probably carry any film without too much effort.

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3: 27 Dresses (2008)

I actually smashed this movie in the review here. I do enjoy it though, and am frequently worried that I first have to be a bridesmaid 27 times before I get to put on a white dress. Anway, remember that Tinder post I put up? Still getting feedback from it which is great! Back to why I chose this as a favourite – it is about a girl that loves weddings and finds that her partner isn’t what she always expected her spouse to end up as.

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2: Runaway Bride (1999)

EEK! I love this movie. The only movie about weddings that could possibly be even more favoured than Runaway Bride is the one listed below. Julia Roberts has always been my girl crush. She’s so beautiful and smiley and talented. I loved Maggie Carpenter’s spirit and love for family and independence. Her matching with Richard Gere always results in chemistry and us wondering why they never made babies together. This film is all about identity and finding yourself before you end up with a partner – quite ahead of its’ time!

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1: The Princess Bride (1987)

❤ Is there more to say? This film is everything – Buttercup and Westley and their escape and love story ❤

Honorable mentions:

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Mamma Mia (2008)

When asked whether Pierce Brosnan can sing I would immediately think that he’s placed shortly under Rebecca Black for artistic capabilities. However, that didn’t stop him or Colin Firth going at it. This movie is definitely not for everyone. It is firstly a musical. Some of Abba’s most iconic songs get somewhat butchered (okay, a lot), and I’m sure I saw this listed as one of the films that make most heterosexual males feel suicidal. However, if you are game for watching Meryl Streep clearly having the time of her life, pondering why exactly Pierce Brosnan has such piercing blue eyes (he) and just want to watch people dancing and singing about love, this film is definitely something you can watch.

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The Five-Year engagement (2012)

I do remember this – it is Emily Blunt and Jason Segel and they are engaged for ages and end up wondering if it is worth it. I actually think long engagements are silly – its’ that thing if the guy is committed you don’t need to worry and I assure you, most modern relationships have enough things going on without having to make it seem more official. This movie didn’t suck at all, and although I can barely remember it, I think I enjoyed it at the time.

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Bride Wars (2013)

Despite this film rather pissing me off every time I watch it, I always end up watching it quite often. It is the most stereotypical of the lot, and perpetuates the notion that women turn into Godzillas the moment they get engaged. Just as a fact: the majority of brides I’ve worked with have been friendly and accommodating and calm, so it is once again a case where a few psychos make the entire bunch seem awful. It is also quite below Anne Hathaway to be degraded into the boring girl role – she’s immensely talented and deserves more. But like I said, I end up watching at least once a year for some strange reason, so I obviously don’t hate it that much.

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Made of Honour (2008)

I‘d like to watch this again sometime, but I do remember Patrick Dempsey and surprisingly Michelle Monaghan – why did I think it was Selma Blair?? I see this film holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we all know the raters on there are really just haters. Made of Honor is so not Oscar material, but it was fun at the time!

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The Big Wedding (2013)

This cast is impressive AF – De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams are joined by a younger cast composed of Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Okay, Katherine Heigl too, and I suspect that reviewers rate her badly on purpose. This movie is not that bad, but it can be seen as a bit boring though.

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Father of the Bride (1991)

LOVEEEE. Need to watch again to properly remember and review.

Dishonorable mentions:

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Monster-in-law (2005)

One of J-Lo’s better attempts at comedy, though without a doubt still rather low on the list of funny things.

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The Wedding Planner (2001)

Read my review here. It is such a stupid film man. I see JLo is quite frequent on this part of the list.

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Bridesmaids (2011)

Hmmm. Everyone LOVES this, though I don’t. I need to watch again to make sure this hate is accurate. It is a vulgar film and humour at its worst – just eugh.

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Sex and the City – the Movie (2008)

I never saw the show and can tell you jack shit about it. It was before my generation, and the one episode I tested out never caught. I did see the movie though, and it raises a few eyebrows in my head – this couple clearly never heard anything the other said.

Movies I haven’t seen yet:

Big Fat Greek Wedding

The Corpse’s Bride

My Best Friend’s wedding

The Wedding Singer

Well, there you have it. This post turned out way bigger than I thought, and I hoped you had as much fun as I did! Let me know what you thought in the comments below 🙂

Movie Review: This is Where I Leave You (2014)

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Plot: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

Rating: 6.5/10

This is Where I Leave You enters the family drama genre with very loose footing. I actually had some laughs and good fun but it is apparent that there are huge wholes un the story. There is a great cast on screen – Jason Bateman; Tina Fey and Rose Byrne provided good performances. I also enjoyed Adam Driver and Corey Stoll, and pretty much most of the cast. I thought adding Jane Fonda into the mix was unnecessary and icky – the woman does not look human with all that plastic surgery and desperate attempts to stay youthful.

The storyline had some desperate attempts at humour – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. The sex over the baby monitor, Hillary Atman (Jane Fonda) loudly sharing her husband’s sexual prowess and the family’s way too open policy about Paul and Annie trying to get pregnant all felt like designated movie tricks to just get attention. I come from a family that never hesitates to say something out loud, and believe me, they were a bit much.

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Jason Bateman is the best thing of this movie. His character has much more on his plate than his other siblings who are just dealing with one problem each. He finds his wife banging his boss, his dad dies, his cheating wife gets pregnant, a cute girl from years before, his insane mother. It obviously represents one of those moments in life where everything happens at one time. I’ve often felt like it, and although it is an over dramatization it is fairly humorous to see his life just going up in flames. I also liked him because he’s the middle kid and has such a set plan in life – I am not all that different! Jason Bateman is an extremely likeable character in here – he is the less screwed up of his family and doesn’t seem prone to lash out in anger.

I didn’t enjoy Jane Fonda’s presence. She seems plastically modified and her character is horrible – who documents her children’s lives in a published novel, embarrassing them with everything they’ve ever done? I also found her final story arc just too forced, like an attention seeking finale to gather support for the film.

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The story tried to deal with family dynamics and relationships but I felt there wasn’t enough detail to really satisfy me. Tina Fey’s character, Wendy Altman, obviously has some major issues that are unresolved with her high school boyfriend having brain damage and her feeling guilty about leaving him and the town. Her relationship with her husband is completely underdeveloped and he just seems like some bit character to gather more sympathy for Wendy. Adam Driver is the typical baby in the family – he doesn’t need to account for his troubles, he lives a free flowing life because everyone will always catch him when he falls, typical youngest behavior. It is very evident that his relationship with a much older woman is really just to shock his family and gain financial benefits from the woman, one who delivers quite some decent screen time for a bit character.

The movie has some very funny moments, and Rose Byrne is very charming as Judd’s love interest. I enjoyed the relationship between Judd and Wendy, they had their grown-up sibling relationship well done.

TIWILY was not badly done and I had a good time with it. It isn’t as good as the other family dramas that clog the genre, but it is worth your time if it is your type of movie 🙂

Marvelous Mondays AND Blindspot series 2015: X-Men: First Class (2011)

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Plot: In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start world war III.

Rating: 7.5/10

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Now this is what I call killing two birds with one stone! My Blindspot choice for March is incidentally a Marvel movie so I was really happy to watch it and get both done.

In typical Natasha Fashion, I watched Days of Future Past first and liked it so much I needed to see the movie that came before it.  I did, and although First Class was really good it has nothing on Days of Future past. I think Future Past carries such a punch because the world of the X-Men is falling apart and that they are down to their last hope.

I once again loved James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in their respective roles. They are both so good at what they need to portray – McAvoy is a brilliant scholar and Fassbender is a powerful man determined to get his revenge on those who hurt him. Fassbender was slightly lame when he finally killed Shaw – he was immediately into the “villain” mode, and I think he worked too hard on reflecting the now slightly dark side of his character.

I also really enjoyed Mystique in here – she is still young and fresh and not as angry as she is in Days of Future Past. Jennifer Lawrence did a really good job with her – Mystique’s youth is evident but she’s faced the world’s intolerance her whole life because of her condition. I really liked how she undergoes transformation – you can see her skin changing. I do think Mystique’s skin looked way cooler in here, I read that Jennifer Lawrence had make-up for this role but her reprisal of Mystique in Days of Future Past wore a suit because she was so allergic to the makeup.

I still think Nicholas Hoult is way too adorable for it to be legal, and his struggle with what he is as Beast was sad and authentic.  It was nice to see Rose Byrne where she’s not being and idiot in some comedy – she can obviously do better than that and I would love to see her in more movies where she has a role and character development.

Kevin Bacon was entertaining as Sebastian Shaw – he was cold and ruthless and cruel. I thought the fact that he was also a mutant was a nice little twist to the story.

My biggest problem with First Class was the length – it was exceptionally long and not strong enough to carry it. It didn’t carry the emotional punch that Days of Future Past carried, and McAvoy’s broken charm in DoFP was more compelling than the roguish ego he had in First Class.

Overall a great film, but I still think that Days of Future Past was better done.