Category Archives: No Spoiler Reviews

IT (1990): Just As I Thought…

IT (1990), Tim Curry
IT (1990), Tim Curry

You may know that horror is not exactly my favourite genre. However, you may not know that I’ve been trying to be less scared and take small steps towards not avoiding scary movies all together.

My recent change of heart was inspired in part by the fact that the trailer for the upcoming IT movie remake did not scare me at all. In light of this fact which some believe to be surprising, I opted to watch the original IT TV movie which was released back in 1990. Now, I did watch it in broad daylight instead of late at night. Nevertheless, it’s no news to me that I wasn’t at all scared.

I’m certain that my lack of fear when it comes to scary looking clowns stems from the fact that, even when they have big, sharp yellow teeth, I just see them as people that make balloon animals to put smiles on little kids faces. Maybe if IT’s costume wasn’t so bright and colourful, I might be horrified. Or maybe I find there to be greater horrors in the world. Whatever the answer, I’ve come to the way of thinking that people who are scared of clowns are those who developed a fear of clowns at a young age. Whether it be from watching the original IT movie or simply just never liking clowns to begin with. It’s likely that had I watched IT when I was a relatively young child – one who saw those sharp clown teeth close-up, perhaps I’d have a reasonable fear of clowns too.

As for what I think about the movie, to begin with, I found the kid actors to be more convincing than most – if not all of the adults. Maybe it’s a style of the time but I certainly wasn’t a fan of the ‘extreme overacting’ several of the adults appeared to be guilty of. Second, this is likely also due to that period in time, but… my goodness did all that seemingly ceaseless panning of the camera become annoying. Third, the story seemed to move at quite a slow pace but then finally, the entering of the sewer happened and I was very much awake, though I confess, still definitely not scared.

As for the things that stood out in a good way, it was so great to see a handsome, young John Ritter. He’s the only person I immediately recognised. He therefore helped put me at ease in terms of me feeling as though this movie was worth sticking with. Overall, my favourite moment in the film is when a certain someone gets sucked into the tube of light, butt first. I enjoyed that moment and found the way it was executed to be somewhat hypnotic. Lastly, I really like what Stephen King’s IT has to say about fear and how it’s you who gives it power. As such, you can choose to not let it control you.

In summary, if seemingly ceaseless panning, some serious overacting, sharp yellow clown teeth and a relatively slow pace at the beginning don’t scare you off, tune in to IT. It is a classic after all.

Happy Film Loving

G

HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER(2017): The Thing I Liked…

How To Be A Latin Lover (2017), Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe
How To Be A Latin Lover (2017), Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe

Starring Salma Hayek  Eugenio Derbez and Rob Lowe, How To Be Latin Lover is a movie I watched because I adore Salma Hayek, I was curious about Eugenio Derbez and the trailer amused me.

How To Be A Latin Lover centres around Derbez’s character – Maximo; a man who’s forged a career out of seducing rich older women. Unfortunately for him, however, his 25 year marriage just ended and with nowhere else to go, he finds himself living with his estranged sister.

Quite early in the movie, I realised precisely how the story was going to go. A lot of what I realised could have been guessed during the trailer; only, I was far too busy being amused. I stayed with the movie until the end because of the reasons I already mentioned – but additionally, I happened to be in the mood for a film that didn’t require too much from me. The often silly humour was OK. Though, the ending did seem to come about quite abruptly – and in a way I wasn’t fully expecting. Overall, I can say I regret nothing because I knew what I’d signed up for. My love of Hayek remains and Derbez… He’s OK.

I can’t say that I picture myself telling people ‘you simply must see this,’ but I do see myself at some point in the future, referencing the scene in the trailer with the shoe dye and the pool. 

Happy Film Loving

G

CHiPs (2017): The Thing I Liked…

CHiPs (2017), Michael Peña, Dax Shepherd
CHiPs (2017), Michael Peña, Dax Shepherd

I tuned in to ChiPs because of the trailer. I also happened to be in the mood for laughs in a movie with actors I already like. Michael Peña I appreciate because of End of Watch (2012) and Dax Shepherd for his recent appearance in an Interview on Hot Ones, a very popular YouTube series I enjoy.

With additional cast that includes, Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph and Vincent D’Onofrio, CHiPs also has Shepherd occupying the director’s seat. The good news is that the thought, ‘that wasn’t a bad opener’ did cross my mind by the end of the first seven minutes of ChiPs. I enjoyed the shenanigans of the two Los Angeles Highway Patrol motorcycle officers played by Shepherd and Peña. I can therefore say that I found ChiPs adequately entertaining, story-wise. Another highlight with this movie is the beautiful imagery of Los Angeles plus Peña and Shepherd’s chemistry, however awkward at times. 

I see ChiPs as an answer to the question ‘what’s the name of Dax Shepherd and Michael Peña’s movie?’ It’s certainly that for me more than it’s an answer to the question ‘which buddy / cop movie do you highly recommend?’

With that said, watch ChiPs if you’re really curious. I was, so I did. Luckily for me, I regret nothing.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE MUMMY (2017): The Things I Liked…

The Mummy (2017), Sofia Boutella
The Mummy (2017), Sofia Boutella

Starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe and Annabelle Wallis, there are parts of director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, a story about an ancient Egyptian princess, awakened from her crypt and determined to wreak havoc, that I enjoyed. An example would be Russell Crowe’s ‘second character’ who proved a lot of fun to watch even though he appears but very briefly.

Another highlight is courtesy of Sofia Boutella, an actress who was introduced to many audiences as Gazelle in Matthew Vaughn’s rather good Kingsman – The Secret Service (2014). I adored Gazelle even though she was a ‘baddie’ and I therefore knew that Boutella would bring something special, especially physicality-wise to the character of The Mummy (Princess Ahmanet).

Princess Ahmanet stood out so much for me that all other performances and characters’s mostly paled in comparison. Perhaps her character was just the most interesting overall. What I know for sure is that I found myself genuinely scared of the idea that I might personally encounter the princess as I went about my day. Something to do with the costume design and special effects, as well as Boutella’s performance. There’s also the fact that a lot of the film is set in London, England my beloved city.

There are points during The Mummy when I thought, ‘this is interesting, I think I’m quite excited about the other movies coming from Universals ‘Dark Universe’. Unfortunately though, by the end of the film, I wasn’t so sure because I ended up feeling as though the movie was far more basic in terms of the story, writing and execution-wise, overall than what I’d been hoping for – especially for a Tom Cruise movie. 

On a positive note, I’m now even more curious about Egypt’s real history and I may just delve into that as a result. I may even…

Who am I kidding? I’m busy and far too in love with film to make time for more history books.

Happy Film Loving

G

GROUNDHOG DAY (1993): The Things I Liked…

Groundhog Day (1993), Bill Murray
Groundhog Day (1993), Bill Murray

As a seasoned film fanatic, one might be forgiven for thinking that I’d already watched the 90’s classic movie, Groundhog Day (1993). It’s really only recently that I can finally claim to know what people are referring to when they describe their lives as feeling very much like Groundhog Day

Starring Bill Murray, Andie McDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky, the Harold Ramis directed fantasy / comedy is about a weatherman who finds himself reliving the some day over and over again.

Murray’s character, Phil the weatherman becomes naturally frustrated with his predicament after several days – and similar to the main character in Before I Fall (2017),  a mystery I watched recently with a similar premise, he decides to make the most of the situation. Phil’s way of doing this turns him into quite the scoundrel – and so begins the entertaining mischief.

I want to say that my favourite character in this movie is the groundhog; it kind of is even though he/she only appears approximately once or twice. As entertaining and charming as Phil is, I also rather enjoyed Ned Ryerson, the enthusiastic old friend who happens to be lousy at reading social queues. Another highlight was recognising a young Michael Shannon among the cast.

Groundhog Day is a good hour and a half of light entertainment – and one I recommend if the film’s premise intrigues you. The movie definitely brought me closer to understanding why it is that Bill Murray has such a sizeable following. I can also say that I much prefer Groundhog Day rather than Before I Fall (2017) because of the humour and uncomplicated way the story is told. It also probably helps that I relate to this story more than I can to the things that happen in Before I Fall.

Happy Film Loving

G

21 JUMP STREET (2012): For the Fun Action & Bromance…

21 Jump Street (2012), Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum
21 Jump Street (2012), Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum

My favourite thing about directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s action / comedy 21 Jump Street is… I want to say ‘everything’ because I really had a great time watching this movie. Nevertheless, if I had to choose one thing, its of course the beautiful bromance between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s characters. They play two under achieving cops who are sent back to high school to bring down a synthetic drug ring. It’s a good balance of comedy and action with a soft-ish centre of good old fashioned brotherly bonding.

In addition to co-stars Ice Cube and Johnny Depp, another highlight for me was recognising a younger Brie Larson among the cast. Watch 21 Jump Street for the fun bromance. Though it’s definitely not number one on my top ten bromance movies list (because Pineapple Express (2008) rules); it is a fun and funny ‘adults back in high school’ movie experience with a side of undercover cop action.

Happy Film Loving

G

KONG – SKULL ISLAND (2017): The Things I Liked…

Kong - Skull Island (2017), Tom Hiddleston.
Kong – Skull Island (2017), Tom Hiddleston

Telling the origin story of King Kong – the giant movie monster that looks like an ape, Kong -Skull Island follows a group of scientists who enter an uncharted island in the Pacific looking for monsters. They do not arrive with peaceful intentions and therefore end up having to fight to escape with their lives.

If you’ve seen at least one previous King Kong movie, then you know that at some point, Kong ends up in New York city against his will. None of that happens in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s fun adventure, at least not in this first instalment. What we do get to see resembles something an aggressor might expect to face when they force their way into a person’s home uninvited; a bloody good fight for survival.

I admit that a tear or two escaped my eyes a I watched the movie. Reason being, I’m a sensitive soul and Kong was peacefully minding his business before ‘the bad men came’. In the name of full disclosure, I may have also shed a few tears because of the knowledge that a certain handsome and well-voiced Mr. Tom Hiddleston may probably never, ever, personally escort me to safety through a treacherous jungle… let alone across a busy street.

Besides the good performances by Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly – to name just a few, the well choreographed human vs monster and monster vs monster showdowns, the story, special effects, musical score and cinematography all did a great job of keeping me engaged throughout.

Watch Kong – Skull Island because it’s good.

Happy Film Loving

G

I LOVE YOU BOTH (2016): It’s Not Terrible…

I Love You Both (2017) Doug Archibald, Lucas Neff, Kristin Archibald
I Love You Both (2017) Doug Archibald, Lucas Neff, Kristin Archibald

I Love You Both tells the story of brother and sister twins who end up dating the same guy. Starring Doug Archibald, Lucas Neff, Kristin Archibald, Artemis Pebdani and Angela Trimbur, I’d describe the movie as a generally relaxing viewing experience that has something to say about sibling bonds and relationships.

Concerning decisions and actions on the part of the siblings, particularly in regards to who would date whom and who would back off, I confess I was impatient for a resolution. Something to do with my generally mushy heart wanting to prevent pain and suffering for the vulnerable parties involved, perhaps. Or… maybe things were simply not moving along quickly enough. Other thoughts I had as the movie played include:

‘How lovely it would be to have a twin. Someone to look out for me always’.

‘At no point in all my years have I ever known or witnessed such non-chivalrous and ungentlemanly conduct.’

Watch I Love You Both if you’re curious enough about how the siblings navigate being attracted to the same person. It’s not exactly in my list of favourite movies of 2017, but it’s definitely a movie I don’t regret watching.

Happy Film Loving

G