Tag Archives: Movie Review

JURASSIC WORLD – FALLEN KINGDOM (2018): The Things I Liked…

Jurassic World - Fallen Kingdom (2018), Chris Pratt
Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom (2018), Chris Pratt

As was the case with Jurassic 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.

Happy Film Loving

G

A STAR IS BORN (2018): The Things I Liked…

A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper
A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper

A Star Is Born stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, an ageing, alcoholic musician in a downward spiral, whilst Lady Gaga plays the talented young singer he helps find fame.

I’ll start by saying that I definitely misread the film’s duration of ‘one hundred and thirty six minutes’ as ‘one hour thirty-six minutes.’ Luckily though, in the end the longer than average two hours 16 minutes total length barely proved punishing.

As for why this movie appealed, I had to watch it if just to see how well Cooper faired in the dual leading actor / director role. The good news is, A Star Is Born is a well executed story that’s heartbreaking, funny, layered, well captured and it features some rather memorable music. In fact, my favourite song on the soundtrack is called Shallow and I’ve played it many and I mean MANY times since.

There’s no denying that I absolutely bought Cooper’s tortured character’s emotional journey. I also believed him as a rock star because of the good music in the film and how his character presented physically – including the way he moved – both on and off the stage. I especially enjoyed the first time Shallow is performed on stage; a pretty glorious experience very well captured..

Besides Cooper’s well executed dual roles, other highlights include the deep bass in Cooper and co-star Sam Elliott’s voices. There’s also a memorable perfectly executed funny moment that involves one of the two / three times Frank Sinatra is mentioned.

My suspension of disbelief was briefly interrupted by the uncomfortable closeups near the beginning of the movie. Closeups that luckily either eased off as the film went on, or they somehow bothered me less. There were also one or two moments of dialogue that felt quite awkward during Cooper and Gaga’s early interactions. Thankfully though, that awkwardness also eased off as the film continued.

I say watch A Star Is Born because it’s layered, handles well themes linked to different kinds of relationships, familial, business, healthy, unhealthy, poisonous, etc. Lastly, if you’re not already in love, there’s a reasonable chance that A Star Is Born will make you want to be, and likely with a musician. So good luck!

Happy Film Loving

G

SKYSCRAPER (2018): A Good Dwayne Johnson Movie? (No Spoilers Commentary / Review)

Skyscraper Commentary / Review, TheMovieMyLife
Skyscraper Commentary / Review, TheMovieMyLife

I’m back at it guys! I’ve had a long break from making YouTube videos but I’m certainly glad to be back at it.

It worked out that Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper would be the movie to mark my return, especially since as per my original non-video Skyscraper review,  I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. I’ve  actually heard that the plot is super similar to Bruce Willis’s Die Hard. I haven’t watched Die Hard for so long that I barely recall the plot. Are people right? Here is the short video…

Happy Film Loving

G

NAPPILY EVER AFTER (2018): The Things I Liked…

Nappily Ever After (2018), Sanaa Lathan
Nappily Ever After (2018), Sanaa Lathan

Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Nappily Ever After is 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.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS (2018): The Things I Liked…

The Land of Steady Habits (2018), Ben Mendehlson
The Land of Steady Habits (2018), Ben Mendehlson

The Land Of Steady Habits is the story of Anders (Ben Mendelsohn), a man who retires from his finance job and leaves his wife in order to renew his lust for life.

Things don’t quite go as smoothly as hoped for poor Anders. Directed by Nicole Holofcener, this story feels very real and true. It features a fair number of lost and hurt / hurting people trying, as well as others who don’t appear to be trying especially hard. Outside of Anders, whose journey intrigued me, I wanted to know more about why each person was really behaving the way they were but we never get to know about what makes up the other lost and hurting people in Anders’s circle. Certainly not as much as my curious mind desired anyway.

The unexpectedness of the humour in Holfcener’s film, the good performances and the unpredictability of the very human story is why I liked it. In addition to confirming that Mendelsohn’s American accent isn’t bad, The Land Of Steady Habits reminds me of how invaluable good family and friendships are, especially when things don’t quite work out.

Give it a chance if the protagonist’s situation intrigues you. It’s a little bit of a slow burn – like life can be sometimes, but not slow enough that I wanted to stop before the end.

Happy Film Loving

G

JURASSIC WORLD (2015): The Things I Liked…

Jurassic World (2018), Chris Pratt
Jurassic World (2018), Chris Pratt

Besides reminding me to be grateful that humans no longer share planet earth with dinosaurs, Jurassic World has officially awakened me to Chris Pratt’s super charismatic magic. A magic when combined with a good script among other key elements, the result is a very entertaining movie.

I’ve never been especially into dinosaurs myself but director Colin Trevorrow’s movie really is a fun ride. One that features a good number of wow moments. Impressive moments courtesy of great special effects and a beautiful overall visual style.

Also starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Nick Robinson, Jurassic World is set on the original site of Jurassic Park where a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur has now been created. The films true action really begins when said dinosaur escapes and commences a very well-captured killing spree.

My overall favourite thing about this movie is pretty much every scene featuring Pratt. You know, on account of his charisma as well as good dialogue. There’s also all the scenes featuring talented and adorable young actor Ty Simpkins who plays Gray.

As for the things that spoilt this movie just a little for me, there’s the scene where Gray and his  brother Zack (Robinson) are able to light a match even though I could have sworn that matches are impossible to light when wet. Did I perhaps miss a part where it was revealed that the matches were contained in a waterproof case? The second thing I didn’t quite buy into is Pratt and Dallas Howard’s characters as a couple. On the other hand, there are many unexpected couples in real life too, so…

You’ve likely already seen this movie but if not, do so for the fun ride, shooting style, that Pratt magic and especially if you love / or once loved dinosaurs.

Happy Film Loving

G

OCEANS 8 (2018): The Things I Liked…

Ocean's 8 (2018), Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter
Ocean’s 8 (2018), Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter

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.

Ocean's 8 (2018), Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett
Ocean’s 8 (2018), Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett

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.

Happy Film Loving

G

RBG (2018): As Remarkable As They Said…

RBG (2018), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
RBG (2018), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I’m guessing that my non-Americanness is the reason I hadn’t properly heard of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until the RBG trailer was released. The shame!

Now that I’ve seen directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s documentary, it’s clear that Bader Ginsburg really is as impressive as the preview suggested. What West and Cohen deliver is a well structured film that tells the story of who she is and the truly vital role she’s played as a defender of women.

Learning about Bader Ginsburg’s earlier life – all the way through to her current position as Justice of the US Supreme Court, RBG shares details of the many Iconic cases Bader Ginsburg fought in court; all in the name of her mission to make life better for women. We hear from the lady herself as well as her friends colleagues and family.

As I continued to watch, this great story became even more impressive to me as I learned about Bader Ginsburg’s character and all that it took to get to where she is. If you didn’t already know, On The Basis Of Sex (2018), a brand new feature length biography of Bader Ginsburg, with Felicity Jones in the leading role is due for for release in a few months. Post RBG viewing, I’m now even more excited to experience it.

I can’t help but pause in appreciation when I think about Bader Ginsburg’s work, especially in the 1970s and how it really did change everything. Watch it because of all the reasons mentioned.

Happy Film Loving

G