Three Years Later

15 Apr

I read a few entries that I had posted in 2016. They were kinda funny. I wanted to be a movie critic ever since I stayed up late watching for Ebert and Roeper At The Movies to come on at 11:35pm. I was eleven, I think. I wanted it in the same way I want a lot of things; passionately and then half heartedly, then not at all, in turns.  This makes me feel bad for people who know me.

I guess around 2016 is when I stopped feeling strongly enough about movies to write about them anymore. I’m very glad that I did write what I did. It’s such an interesting little time capsule of what I was like then, what I thought about.

I often feel memories are hazy, unclear, difficult to pinpoint in both their chronology and content. I’m one of those people who mixes up dreams and reality sometimes. Writing down how I felt about movies during that time mixes me feel both joy and sadness. Bittersweet is the descriptor for experiencing both of those emotions simultaneously. It does make me feel something else though. Hopeful. I wasn’t always as I am now. Read; depressed as shit. Maybe one day I’ll write reviews again. I’ll feel the urge, the compelling push to put thoughts to keystroke. If you read this blog, thank you. I hope it entertained you, informed you.

Fell off the wagon…

14 Jan


And in this case it isn’t the sobriety wagon. It’s the blog writing wagon. I have been thinking of you, my blog, for the past couple months. But the truth is,  I haven’t seen a movie that got my excited enough to write. Until a few nights ago.  Ken and I saw The Big Short. This movie is about the events leading up to the 2008 housing market crash and following global economic recession. Specifically, it’s about the men who predicted it was going to happen in 2005 but could do nothing but except hedge their bets based on their knowledge, as everyone laughed them out of their office at the notion of the housing market being remotely unstable. Walking out of that movie, I felt really excited about what I had seen. The performances were tremendous, the writing was funny and clever, the directing style was fresh and new and the story was important enough that it demanded to be told. That is the kind of movie that gets me excited. I’ve seen a few movies since I last updated but you aren’t going to read a long summary and review of each movie since they’re all going into one blog post. So I’m making each entry as succinct as possible.

Star Wars, The Force Awakens (x2)

Star Wars! It’s back! I slept through every attempt at watching the original trilogy the week before this came out! While my husband glared at me from the couch! I’m not sure what it is about Star Wars, but I can’t get into it and just really prefer Star Trek. However, I’m not going to tell you this film isn’t terrific because it really was. I loved Rey and Finn and am looking forward to the next movie. BB-8 stole the show for me.


Hilarious film about two women who learn to grow from their faults by throwing a giant house party for their middle aged friends. Fey and Pohler are excellent together and this is a comedy worth recommending.

The Intern

You’re never too old to learn something new, make a friend, and start fresh. This movie wasn’t particularly memorable, but it was sweet and cute.

The Martian

Matt Damon in space! While this movie was interesting, it was also simultaneously kind of boring. Is that a paradox? I think the real fans are people who have some interest in space and the science behind putting a man on Mars. I really liked Jeff Daniels in this movie but I always like Jeff Daniels so that’s not saying too much. Damon is always charming but this movie didn’t leave much of an impression with me.

Bridge of Spies

Cold War thriller elevated by sophisticated performances from Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance.


I’m very disappointed that I really didn’t like the newest James Bond film. It was intolerably boring. Except for Ben Whishaw who is always adorable. Waltz just hammed it up and Craig called his performance in to take a personal day to think about how much he does not want to do another Bond movie.


One of the best films of the year, but it was so damn heart breaking I tried to forget about it after I saw it. Excellent performances from Mark Ruffalo and Micheal Keating. I didn’t think Rachel McAdams made much of an impression in the film, but apparently she did in on the Academy because she scored a Supporting Actress nod. Really important film that everyone should see.

The Night Before

Totally hilarious but much more of a stoner comedy than I thought it would be. Great take on the Charles Dickens’ classic. There was one scene where Seth Rogen is tripping balls and has an interaction with a baby that had me crying with laughter.


The suitably bleak conclusion to the Hunger Games series. I was really hoping that the film makers would deviate from the book because some of the deaths were very hard to take. But there was a point to be driven home about the senseless deaths in war and by god, was this movie going to make it. Lawrence is incredible in her last instalment as Katniss and Seymour Hoffman was wonderful as the man behind the rebellion.


Amy Schumer plays a past autobiographical version of herself in this funny and interesting look at a bad girl trying to go good. I love Bill Hader and he was terrific in this movie but LeBron James playing himself was….really off putting and stupid. From handling crappy work politics to dealing with an ageing parent, Train Wreck did a great job of showing the difficulties a thirty-something deals with.

The Man from Uncle

Fantastically stylish movie from Guy Richie with two devastatingly handsome leading men and an absolutely silly and nonsensical plot. Worth watching for the great action scenes and fun dynamic between Hammer and Cavill.

American Ultra

For me, of the the most surprisingly enjoyable films of the year. I really like Eisenberg and Stewart breaking type cast and going after interesting roles. Topher Grace was a lot of fun as the villainous CIA agent. I loved Eisenberg’s character and really sympathized with him. While violent and gory, the love story between the leads was very sweet and grounded.

Ant Man

Another Marvel smash hit. Hilarious, fun, clever and engaging, this film really can do no wrong. Micheal Pena stole so many scenes.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

It’s Tom Cruise. It’s Simon Pegg. It’s fun. I couldn’t really remember the plot to save my life.

Black Mass

I think Johnny was totally snubbed this year for an Oscar nod for his performance as Whitey Bulger. Fascinating true story of a socio-pathetic killer Bulger and his reign in Boston starting in the 1980’s.


So, I have a crush on Margot Robbie. This movie aims for fun, but just falls into the silly category. Smith is charming but the last quarter of the movie leaves the viewer shaking their head and rolling their eyes.

Age of Adaline

Beautiful, romantic, timeless. One of my favourite films of 2015. I though Lively was captivating as Adaline, and although there was some holes in the plot, I didn’t have a problem exhaling them out of my mind while I watched Lively glide through different eras in stunning costumes.

Paper Towns

I’m a big fan of John Green so I was eager to see the adaptation of his popular novel. I enjoyed the film, but the casting was  a bit of a let down. Green’s book had a very interesting message about not buying into the “manic pixie dream girl” mentality that his protagonist had let overtake the reality of the girl next door. I think the movie communicated that theme subtly, but it wasn’t as much of a punch as the text had.

Straight Outta Compton

Interesting history of the rap group NWA even for people with no interest in the subject. Having Ice Cube’s son play him was especially brilliant and works very well for the movie. Most hilarious thing happened while we were sitting in the theatre though. Some guy actually lit up a joint and filled the theatre will dat dank smell. He put it out two minutes later but Ken and I were cracking up. I guess when you live the gangsta life, you gotta go the whole hog.

Steve Jobs

Definitely in my top five favourite films of the year. Facsinating concept and I’m thoroughly disappointed Danny Boyle didn’t get a best director nomination. Fassbender, Winslet, Rogen and Daniels are fantastic and the screenplay by the masterful Aaron Sorkin was as perfect as I expected it would be. What elevates this movie from the standard biopic is telling Jobbs’ story over the four major Apple launches, instead of pacing it out year by year. The launches have a frantic energy which propels the film forward and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

I will be reviewing all the best picture nominees in more depth, the only two I haven’t seen yet are Room the The Revenant.


Summer Hits

8 Jul

Jurassic Park

To be totally honest, I don’t ever recall having seen the original Jurassic Park movies as a kid. Or as an adult either. I didn’t want to see them, is what I’m trying to get at okay?! They were too scary for me as a kid….and as an adult as well I guess. Anyways, Jurassic Park is about a theme park filled with actual dinosaurs which people come and visit on an island in Costa Rica. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character is this type-A neurotic director of the park who has her nephews coming to visit for the weekend that….everything goes nuts! They’ve been developing a new dinosaur spliced together with super scary DNA and not surprisingly the results are…a smart killer T-Rex. Chris Pratt is there as well as the sexy, raptor handler. Honestly, this movie is so cheesy it’s funny. There was one scene where the raptors are tracking down the scary T-Rex and….man it was funny. You’ll have to see it.

The Avengers

For me, the Avengers isn’t just a movie. I care about the characters so much that the whole film could be the group playing pool and I’d love it. But, putting those subjective viewpoints aside, this movie is still quite excellent. The Avengers are faced with a new villian that Stark inadventantly creates from mutating Jarvis. His name is Ultron and he has daddy issues. We also meet two new super humans, Scarlett Witch and Pedro who is super fast. For me, this movie is as perfect as it could be. Funny, full of action, great suspense, good dialogue. The worst part was the horrible forced romance between Banner and Natasha who have absolutely no chemistry. Since the Hulk isn’t really human, there’s also a touch of beastiality. The whole thing is just super gross. But other than that, I loved it and saw it more than once.


Starring Melissa McCarthy as a desk jockey working for the CIA, she lives vicariously through her coworker in the field (and crush) Jude Law. When Law is killed during a mission, it’s the fire she needs to get out in the field and avenge her friend. McCarthy is very funny in this film, but Rose Byrne who the one who really killed me. I don’t quite know if this film was funny enough to merit the 90+ it got on rotten tomatoes, but certainly funny enough to recommend. My husband, however, did not care for this movie at all.

Fast and Furious

This movie is utterly ridiculous in all the ways you might expect. People in cars dropped out of airplanes, who speed up a mountain as soon as they hit the ground. Cars flying through skyscrapers. I mean…..just what the hell. But I, along with everyone else in the theater, cried at the suitably touching tribute to Paul Walker. And then they played that song on the radio for the next few months so I could cry every time I heard it….until the 300th time when I was dead inside from the previous 299 times.

Inside Out

Hmmmm. Hmnmm hmm. Inside Out is a tricky movie for me to reflect on. I went in with incredibly high expections due to the high critical praise. The comparasons to Up were prevalent and Up is, quite frankly a masterpiece. It’s hysterically funny and yanks on the heart strings in all the right places every time. Inside Out was not particularly funny, which I think was it’s biggest downfall. The story features Riley, a hockey loving eleven year old who is moved from Minasoda to California and finds herself missing friends, struggling with her parents and not enjoying the activites she is used to. I think the biggest problem with this movie is we never actually get to know Riley. We only get to know the voices in her head. Of course the voices in our head make up our personalites, but we never really get to see the sum of these parts. Or, at least I never felt like we did. I can see that Pixar is trying to simplfy it for kids to understand, but for that reason it didn’t resonate with me.

Magic Mike XXL

I was pretty dissapointed with this movie. The first movie had the right mix of plot, sexy guys dancing and Channing Tatum being the hero. I think they were trying to go for a “bros go on a roadtrip” feel for this movie, but I’ll tell ya whut, that’s not what puts the butts in the seats.  Also, another crappy female lead. Cody Horn who played the female love interest practically destroyed every scene she was in the first movie with her stupid, expressionless face and while the new female lead wasn’t THAT bad, she wasn’t much good either. Frankly there wasn’t enough guys dressed up in outfits for me. Mike’s routine at the end of the movie really stole the show, but I didn’t enjoy sitting through the other 90 minutes to get there.

Mad Max

This may be my favorite orginal movie of the summer. I’m using the word original quite losely here, based on the fact of the sequels but this movie is quite exceptional. It’s visually stunning, heart poundingly exciting, great performances, simple but effective storyline and great feminist themes. Max is captured by the War Boys and brought to their HQ to be used as a blood bag for the white painted fellows who are in poor health. When Max’s War Boy volunteers to go on a misson to capture Furiosa who has betrayed their leader and kidnapped his wives, Max is along for the ride. After a spectacular crash, Max teams up with Furiosa to get the wives away from their monstrous leader. The movie may be called Mad Max, but Furiosa is the star of the show. Tom Hardy does a great job with making us like Max in very few words, but the journey is really Furiosa’s. She is a bad-ass hero seaching for redemption along with Max. No romance is forced between them and this allows a camraderie to form. Love love love this movie!

Pitch Perfect 2

I don’t think I liked the original film as much as some people did, but the second one was quite enjoyable. There are some what the hell is going on here moments, and the strength of this film is defnitely in the music.

I’m not sure what to expect for the rest of the summer. I’m looking forward to Train Wreck hugely, and I’m nervous but kind of excited for Ant Man as well. I’ll probably see Minions, though I’m not terribly excited for it. I’m a big fan of John Green’s writing so I’m looking forward to Paper Towns, though it’ll be interesting to see if it really translates to the screen. SouthPaw could be good, but we’ve seen similar stories before. The Fantastic Four looks totally meh and The Man from Uncle is going to be typical Guy Richie, which is to say quite good and very stylish. American Ultra will probably only be the only thing worth seeing to finish off the summer. I remember about this time last year when I saw Edge of Tomorrow and was totally blown away by it. I’m not expecting that by end of summer but we’ll see!

Cinderella is a beautiful fairy tale…and a good movie too

1 Apr


Oh my stars. I just loved this movie. For someone who was never able to squash those day dream fantasies and live in the real world, this movie is right up my alley. I have always been a huge Disney nerd but Cinderella was never my favorite (until now). I always thought Ever After was the definitive Cinderella story. That scene where Drew comes out to the costume ball wearing those wings, AMIRIGHT.

Lily James stars as Ella, who has grown up in a beautiful and loving home with wonderful parents. She suffers the loss of her mother graciously, but is devastated to lose her father as well. As we all know, she is left with her cruel step mother and malicious step sisters. Everything changes when she meets a handsome and kindly stranger in the forest one day, and I think you know the rest of the story.

This movie is the epitome of all that is pure, sweet, optimistic and magical. Ella suffers tragic loss, and finds true love, and through it all remains kind and honest. She is the kind of person I aspire to be, even though there’s a reason movies like this are called fairy tales. Although the story is well worn, the right performances, pacing and set pieces (not to mention the gorgeous costumes) can breathe life back into this tale. I love how Disney takes stories that are universally relatable and retells them. Themes like persevering through suffering, trying to adapt to difficult changes in your life, and ultimately getting a happy ending by finding love are never tired, when told articulately through an interesting story with the right actors.

I was totally enamored with the costumes and sets in this movie. I loved how the wicked step mother’s dresses were colourful, rich and elaborate while still hinting at a modern touch. Hardly any of the costumes could be pegged into a particular time period or geography, which makes them all the more other wordly and magical. Ella’s simple blue dress is a timeless piece, but her perfectly tousled curls identifies her as a natural beauty. On a side note, I always feel bad for the girls who get cast as the ugly step sisters because what actress wants to be put in that category? I suppose the pay cheque makes up for it but still.

Lastly, the final key to this successful story is Richard Madden as the Prince. Those sparkling blue eyes and softly curled hair could make any girl sigh, but his kind and sweet disposition make him a perfect match for Ella.

There are some who might film this film saccharine or boring, but if you can still get in touch with that inner kid, this movie will warm your heart.

Shooting Into Spring

10 Mar

The Kingsman Secret Service

If you’re a fan of the old James Bond movies, you’re going to find this film tremendously amusing. If you’re not, you still will but there will be a sense you are missing out on some inside jokes (because you are.) Secret Service stars a host of excellent British actors notably Colin Firth as Galahad, who tries to take young trouble maker Eggsy under his wing. Eggsy signs up for the most dangerous job interview ever and undertakes the mission to become a member of this elite secret agency, while obviously saving the world from a nefarious plot. It’s fast paced, hilarious, fun to watch and gloriously violent. The second half might feel a little strange for some, and granted it is pretty kooky, but just enjoy the ride.

50 Shades of Grey

I did mean to write about this one soon after I saw it on opening night, which was (brilliantly) on Feb 14th. However, I got so tired of explaining why all morons who had formed an opinion, without reading the books or watching the film, didn’t deserve to be talking about this I got a little burned out on the issue. To be clear, I did read all the books and I was interested to see what a female screen writer and female director was going to do with a best selling novel written by a female.

The answer is: make a stylish, fun, sexy and funny film about one damaged man and the girl who naively longs for his love. Are some of Christian Grey’s behaviours problematic? Yes. Should you run away from a guy who does those things in real life? Of course. Is this relationship a good representative of the BDSM community? Very much no. Maybe it’s because I hang out on tumblr a lot, but I was starting to get scared no one was going to see this movie because every fuckwit with an opinion and no information declared they were boycotting it. It has since broken box office records and I’ll swallow my lesson to not take tumblr so seriously. I’m not sure when people lost sight of the fact that this is a movie and not a how-to dating manual. If these characters had a normal love life, nobody would be going to see that boring ass movie.

Anyways, the sex scenes are super hot and I’m excited for the sequel.


Margot Robbie and Will Smith star as two sexy con men/thieves/ pick pockets who have “strong” feelings for each other but obviously can’t trust each other. This movie did pretty well on rotten tomatoes and I can’t fucking figure out why. There’s no chemistry between Smith and Robbie and the second half of the movie was train wreck. There was however, considerable chemistry between myself and Margot Robbi. I have a massive crush on her. I am walking the line between I want to be her and I want to be ON her. Oh man. She is flawless. Anyway, don’t see this movie because it isn’t very good. At best it’s forgettable.

Winter flicks

10 Feb

A Most Violent Year

violent year

This slow burn drama follows the Abel, the owner of a growing oil business during the 1980’s. His delivery drivers are getting hijacked and thousands of dollars of fuel are being stolen. Abel wants to try to resolve the matter peacefully and logically, but pressure from his wife and mounting legal troubles force him into a tight corner. You have to have patience with this film, and it really serves as more of a character study, but Oscar Issac’s performance is truly great. There was early buzz about an Oscar nomination and I’m sad to see that didn’t come through for him.

American Sniper

american sniper

This film follows the life of Chris Kyle, a NAVY Seal who served four tours of duty in the Middle East. I thought it was a great film with plenty of suspense and drama but many have taken the message as “Americans are good and killing evil muslims is justified”. I thought the narrative that the movie was trying to explore was what happens to a man who signs up for the military for love of his country and but takes on this savior role; he feels as though he is personally responsible for every man he couldn’t save. Because of this guilt and revenge tunnel vision, he signs up for three more tours; essentially abandoning his family. And the end is this most tragic part he never really gets to see his family grow up because he could never mentally leave the battlefield. This movie is the personal journey of one man, and the effects war had on him. Honestly I think people are just trying to stir up controversy by reading into a racism narrative. Bradley Cooper’s performance was terrific and its extraordinary how he physically changed to look like Kyle. Frankly, the worst thing about the movie was that fake baby.

Into The Woods

into the woods

This was hands down the worst movie I have seen since Maze Runner. It looked so interesting from the trailer; a movie that subverts fairy tales, maybe cleverly makes fun of them a little bit with some good musical numbers. And a great cast! Oh my god, it was absolute garbage. The plot was completely nonsensical, the characters poorly drawn and behaving in a way which was totally absurd, and frankly the music was forgettable at best. Don’t bother ever seeing this poor excuse for a musical. I was tempted to walk out at least four times and it’s only because I respect you, my reader, so very much I was convinced to see it to the bitter (and stupid) end.



What an absolutely heart warming, charming and hilarious movie! An explorer travels to Peru and finds a new, intelligent species of bear. After befriending them he heads home, telling them polite and well mannered bears will be welcome in London any time. Years later a young bear decides to take him up on that offer and travels to London to find a family. He ends up with Henry and Mary Brown, and their two kids Jonathan and Judy. Henry is eager to move Paddington along as quickly as possibly, but his wife and children think Paddington is sweet and funny. Although the destruction he produces is astronomical, he is very charming and brings out the best in people. The CGI here is incredible the film could not work without it (obviously.) Nicole Kidman is stylish and fun as the villain, though her role is mainly to add a little more diabolical interest to the plot. This film has something like 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and its well deserved. I would encourage kids, parents, grandparents and everyone in between to see it.

On a side note, 2015 should be a great year for films and it’s off to a good start with films like Kingsmen: Secret Service already piquing my interest in what is usually a dull February. Obviously I will see 50 Shades of Grey, not matter how much flack it catches. I’m trying to see all the Best Picture Nominees and just have Selma, Whiplash and Boyhood left to see. I’m especially looking forward to Whiplash, although it looks like either Birdman or Boyhood may be a favourite to win, instead of my beloved Imitation Game.

Rounding up Fall and Winter

17 Dec


I was hugely disappointed by this film. I really hate Matthew Mcconaughey and Anne Hathaway, the two leads in this film. There’s very few stars I actively don’t like and I can’t believe these two got cast together in a Nolan movie. The film was engaging right up until they landed on the planet with a surprise star who wasn’t mentioned in the billing. You’ll obviously know when you see him (and it was really quite funny to see him in this movie) and yeah after the events that occur with that character everything goes downhill and stays down. I challenge anyone to explain the nonsense that is the last quarter of this movie. I am so disappointed in you Nolan.

Big Hero 6

Here is a movie that I have very mixed opinions on. As I walked out of the theater my initial reaction was I didn’t care for the story much, though the jokes and animation were pretty great. But that was a few weeks ago and I find that I am still laughing to myself about the jokes without reflecting badly on the film. Not really sure what to say about this one. I would recommend it but you really have to expect Disney to do better on the story next time.

Penguins of Madagascar

Light, fluffy and silly. There’s very little substance to this movie but it was weird and wacky enough that I liked it.


Another excellent installment to the Hunger Games series with incredible performances from the entire cast. Yeah this film did not have a lot of action, but I knew that having read the books. I’m also not a terribly big fan of loads of scenes of blowing stuff up. This film will definitely be the calm before the storm and I’m very excited and interested to see how the next film will handle the book to screen adaption.

Dumber and Dumber To

Just so flipping dumb. I won’t say I didn’t laugh occasionally, and the twist in the plot at the end did manage to surprise me a little but there was no where near the amount of thought put into the jokes that made the first movie a classic.


A fascinating study in the technical aspects of film making and performances that are truly fantastic, but the story of this movie is utterly ridiculous. Perhaps people who live and work in the entertainment industry might connect with the story but it’s so absurdly out of touch it’s hard to care what happens to any of the narcissistic and vapid characters.


One of the better films of the fall with great performances from Brad Pitt and Logan Lermann but a truly astonishing performance from Shia Lebeouf. I swear I could not look away any time he was on screen. Edge of your seat suspense and action scenes with the tanks that will knock your socks off. The ending is a bit of a let down but overall do not miss this one.

Gone Girl

Hands down my favourite book and film of the year. I had all the faith in David Fincher’s direction and it absolutely paid off. Wow to Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck and every other actor who made this movie the best of 2014.