As was the case withJurassic World (2015), I enjoyed Chris Pratt’s brand of charm in this J.A. Bayona directed sequel Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom. Yet surprisingly even more than that, I really liked the screen time dedicated to the dinosaurs. In particular the way Bayona’s movie not only told us about the intelligence of the dinosaurs, but we got to see a well executed display of said intelligence.
Another key highlight is the final and unfortunate scenes on ‘the island’ towards the end. Particularly the way it reminded me of how the movie Kong – Skull Island (2017)made me feel. By this I mean both films are fun and thrilling but they also made me sad because the creatures in both movies were either existing / resting peacefully until human interference.
Just like in Jurassic World, in Fallen Kingdom Pratt and Howard’s character’s romantic connection was a plot device that I found myself unenthused by. Particularly because it felt even more unnecessary this time round.
Definitely watch Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, especially if you liked the first movie. It’s still quite fun overall and even more so if you like dinosaurs.
Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Nappily Ever Afteris the story of an African American woman named Violet; particularly her journey to self love / acceptance through her relationship with the hair that naturally grows out of her head.
Starring Sanaa Lathan, Lynn Whitfield, Ricky Whittle and Lyriq Bent, I watched this one because I too have been on my own journey with my afro hair and wanted to see if Violet’s story reflected mine in any way. The similarities are in regards to my experience of some people’s perception of afro hair. Another similarity is my own fantasies and long term wish for my tightly curled hair to be easier to manage – but without first needing to chemically treat it or actually shave my head.
What I enjoyed most about Nappily Ever After is the self love and acceptance message. A message worth internalising for every human being, regardless of the hair on their head. In fact, it reminded me of one of my favourite quotes of all time by writer / feminist Audre Lorde… ‘If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.’
I think overall, the most memorable moment in the movie will always be the scene where Violet shaves her head and all that it meant for her journey.
I only wish that Nappily Ever After hadn’t been quite so predictable in parts. Nevertheless, I say watch it if you’re curious enough about this particular journey of self love and if you just don’t quite get what the big deal about afro hair may be. This movie doesn’t have all the answers, but it’s certainly a start.
My fears about the extent to which I’d enjoy Ocean’s Eight were kind of realised. Starring Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett – to name just two, director Gary Ross’s movie isn’t quite as exciting for me on the whole as the other Ocean’s movies I’ve seen. It didn’t help that the eight members in Ocean’s group barely interacted long enough for me to gage much about their group chemistry, but I feel as though ‘sizzling’ wouldn’t really be the right word.
Another key reason I didn’t have as much fun is that for a good portion of the first half of the film, even though I was happy to be introduced to the members of the final eight, I found myself a little bored. This is partly because the real reason for Ocean’s elaborate upcoming heist was yet to be revealed.
Once the motivation for the heist was mentioned, I became that little bit more invested. Prior to that it felt as though I was being asked to ‘cheer’ for a major career criminal without really knowing enough about her – except that her brother Danny Ocean was in the same field of work.
I will admit that I was impressed by all of Ocean’s cons immediately post release from prison. Yet, deep down I couldn’t help but judge her. I’d likely have to re-watch the other Oceans movies to find out precisely why I don’t recall judging Danny quite as harshly, if at all. My guess would be that part of the reason is I don’t really identify with Danny. Whereas I have at least one thing in common with his sister. Furthermore, I don’t remember seeing Danny conning the sweet looking lady at the cosmetics counter, though I could be wrong.
Overall, Ocean’s Eight really became most engrossing once the actual steal got under way. Even though Ross’s film didn’t thrill me as much as it’s predecessors, I did identify three things in the movie that I may not forget any time soon. Firstly, Anne Hathaway’s performance. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her behaving terribly. Especially because it seems so far removed from her true character or any other roles I remember her playing. Second, I liked the little moments of comic relief courtesy of Mindy Kaling; an example being the scene where she, erm, ‘speaks French’. There’s also James Cordon whose Britishness among all the Americans proved quite fun to watch.
Give it a chance if you’re so curious. Perhaps you’ll be wowed more than I.
Thanks to good writing and a very talented cast, What If is funny, kind of kooky, possesses an uncommon realness and features a well chosen musical score.
Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver, Zoe Kazan, Rafe Spall, Meghan Park and Mackenzie Davis are the stars of this Michael Dowse directed comedy / romance.
Kazan, an actress I’ve loved sincethe beautiful Ruby Sparks (2012) is as adorable as ever and the chemistry between her character and that played by Radcliffe is certainly convincing. What If is a movie you watch for the comedy, the relatable predicaments faced by the characters and the useful wisdom about life and love.
You’ve probably heard about the tragic stories of inhumane factory working conditions in the developing world. Conditions that have lead to far too may deaths that could have been avoided. You may also have heard about the continued use of such factories by numerous multinational retailers.
The True Cost is a documentary directed by Andrew Morgan and it covers the ills of the fashion industry, particularly the effects of the prioritisation of profit over people and the planet.
I’m glad that I made time for this documentary because it opened my eyes to a few truths that before, I only had a vague idea about. Morgan’s documentary does a good job of identifying and explaining the root cause(s) of the problems within the fashion industry. But even more than that, the viewer is presented with ideas for positive ways to move forward by some of the great people already working towards and advocating for change.
By the end, I understood that the issues presented in The True Cost aren’t the easiest to solve. Even though most people have the best intentions, they’re not always able to play their part. So thank goodness for everyone impassioned enough to do all that they can.
A random thought that went through my mind as I watched: ‘How great things would be if only the World’s empathy deficiency was something that could be fixed with a prompt inoculation.’
The Longest Ride is a drama / romance directed by George Tillman Jr and based on a book by Nicholas Sparks.
Starring Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson, the film follows two couples, one young and the other much older whose paths cross one night in North Carolina.
As I watched The Longest Ride, I found myself thinking, ‘enough of this older couple’s story, more of the other, please!’ but their story does get a little more interesting.
The film is quite long and there are some moments where the dialogue didn’t sound great but I do like what happened at the auction at the end.
Overall, I definitely prefer Dear John (2010) or The Notebook(2004) to this film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book.
As for any reasons to watch, you’ll learn a few things about bull riding and you may even find yourself taking note of some of the country music in the musical score. The main reason I tuned in is a curiosity about Scott Eastwood (son of Clint). The good news is, he’s definitely not terrible.