Sunday, 31 August 2014

Trivia Round-Up: August

I can't believe another month has blown by already! It really is so much fun putting these posts together. Here's some trivia snippets from the films that we've reviewed in August.

The baby turning around to look at Mac and Kelly having sex in the first scene of the film was accidental. The scene was originally supposed to end after Seth Rogen turned her around, however the director noticed that the baby kept looking around to watch Rogen and Rose Byrne, so he instructed one of the camera men to film the baby. According to the director, if you listen closely, you can hear Rogen and Byrne laugh after the baby turns around to watch them.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Vin Diesel recorded all of his "I am Groot" lines in several different languages, including Russian, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, and French so that they could use his real voice in the film around the world.
Gravity (2013)
The off screen voice of Mission Control is Ed Harris who played the Mission Director Gene Kranz in Apollo 13.
Executive producer Steven Spielberg was binge watching Breaking Bad and decided along with the director that Aaron Paul shouldn't play the villain, but the lead instead.

The DVD includes an "Improbability Drive" item on every menu. Clicking this takes you to a random point in one of the bonus features. If you use it several times, you get to see a strange cartoon, which is apparently the same one Deep Thought watches in the movie.
The real Dean of Admissions from Princeton, Janet Lavin Rapelye, appears in a scene with Tina Fey.
Sorry - this bit of trivia is about as interesting as the film itself.

In the scene where Adrian presents a dog to his girlfriend Robin we can see Dexter Morgan's apartment building in the background from the series Dexter starring Michael C. Hall. I actually squealed out loud when I noticed this in the film! 

James Buckley took ill during the outback scenes in Marree claiming he had a heart attack but it was indigestion from chips and lager.
This actually sums up the whole outback scene perfectly!

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
There is a website for the New Founding Fathers of America, which has details about the purge, facts, figures, top tips and more. On one of the articles, there is a comment by "Leo" who says his son was killed by a drink driver and so this year he will be getting revenge. This fits with the plot of the film.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)
This is the second time that Christa B. Allen has played the younger version of a character played by Jennifer Garner. The first was in 13 Going on 30.

Snowpiercer (2013)
According to Director Joon-ho BongTilda Swinton played another role as well as Mason - she played the woman trying to snatch the wine bottle from Yona when she and her dad are collecting Kronole lumps from the clubbers.

Footloose (1984)
This film is loosely based on a small town in Oklahoma called Elmore City, where in 1978 dancing has been banned for 90 years before a group of teenagers challenged it.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

1984-a-thon: Footloose

What seems like forever ago, Jenna and I received our first non-automated email in our Flick Chicks inbox from Todd at Forgotten Films, inviting us to take part in his 1984-a-thon. We both jumped at the chance and Jenna quickly snagged up Footloose for us, which was a great choice.  

I have been meaning to watch Footloose properly for years and this meant we completed another Blogathon and covered a film on the Top 250 - win win!

I knew the film of course, and the song too, although I don't know many of the lyrics and tend to just sort of make them up. This was a great opportunity to watch a classic film for the first time, and also an excuse for Jenna & I to meet up as we haven't for ages!

For anyone who really doesn't know what Footloose is all about, a teenager raised in the city called Ren (Kevin Bacon) moves to the small town where popular music and dancing have been banned after a tragic incident years ago. Ren struggles to fit in at his new school, and also lands himself in a heap of trouble as he tries to shake up the rules.

As I suspected, Footloose was full of cheese. The group dance scenes in particular, where everyone in the group seems to know the same routine, and they're all in perfect synch. Those moments were great though, and you just can't help put smile and tap your feet along with the songs. My favourite scene is captured above, where Ren teaches his friend how to dance. He's just hopeless but it's a great comedy moment.  This was by far my favourite scene and probably the only point I really smiled in the film.

I think I may have enjoyed this more if I'd seen it back when it was new (difficult though being born in 1985), I just found it a little too cheesy and hard to watch it some places.  A point both me and Allie said at the time and have mentioned here is John Lithgow, I love him in everything I have seen him in, until now!  His long winded scenes put me to sleep, they were so boring, it was lucky this was a Flick Chicks movie night or I may have turned it off at one point.

Kevin Bacon's Ren was exactly what I expected, great!  He has charisma, the moves and was the highlight of the film.  Shame as much can't be said for Ariel, the preachers daughter, played by Lori Singer.  Singer may be a good actress (I haven't seen her in anything else to judge) but the character was horrid, she was a spoilt brat who always gets what she wants and I didn't buy into her as the love interest at all.  I would be surprised if anyone liked her let alone fell in love with her.  Sarah Jessica Parker's Rusty would have made a better lead in my opinion! 

For me, the only real thing that let the film down was John Lithgow's character, Rev. Shaw Moore. His scenes had far too much dialogue and I lost interest in his scenes very quickly. All in all though, Footloose was enjoyable to watch and I'm glad that Jenna chose us for it.

It's definitely the classic that is expected and had I not been annoyed at the preacher and the preachers daughter in every scene they were in, I would have probably scored it higher!

Thanks to Todd at Forgotten Films for inviting us to take part in this huge blogging event, it's been brilliant to see all of the entries that have been flooding in this week and I hope we can take part in something similar again in the near future! Ditto ;-)

Friday, 29 August 2014

Review: Snowpiercer (2013)

Out of the blue, my Blogger feed started to fill up with reviews for Snowpiercer. I'd never heard of it before but everyone's reviews were great and when I researched the film a little, the story behind it's release fascinated me, so I knew I needed to see it. I'm writing this while Jenna's on holiday so you'll see this after the hype, but still!

To be fair, the hype appeared to still be alive and kicking when I got back.  I hadn't even heard of this until seeing it on various blogs (gotta love the power of the film blogging community!!).  Anywho, I got on my latest flight and as soon as I saw this and I didn't even bother looking through the other menus!

Snowpiercer is based on a French graphic novel called Le Transperceneige in 1982. The film itself starts in the present day, where an experiment planned to stop the Earth's global warming caused the whole planet to freeze, and wipe out all humans. The only survivors are on a high-tech train called Snowpiercer, and over the years a class system has formed where the wealthy live at the front of the train in luxury, and the poor are left to the slums.

It's been a while since I've been so gripped to a film just by it's plot summary. I knew when I read it that this film would be right up my street.  I knew nothing of what this film was about, honestly from the poster I thought it was a war film (I had avoided all reviews to limit spoilers) and to be honest I'm glad I did because I went into this with no expectations whatsoever.

No surprises here, but I really struggled with the first 20 minutes of Snowpiercer. It just seemed to throw everything at me and I couldn't work out who was who, what was going on or what had gone on in the past that they were talking about, and I had to really sit and concentrate to understand the situation. That seemed to be a running theme for me actually, but as the film went on, a lot of my questions were answered. 

I loved that it took no time at all to get into the story, within the first few minutes you could see this was going to approach to subject of social status.  The characters were amazing, Chris Evans was great in this particularly serious role and Tilda Swinton in (what probably shouldn't have been) a comedic role.  It took me most of the film to work out who she was because she looked so different!! 

At the time I didn't realise Snowpiercer was based on a graphic novel, but if I did I would have appreciated the eccentric characters a little more, as they left me baffled when I was watching it. Minister Mason and Teacher were absolutely fantastic, and I'm not sure if the audience are meant to find humour in their characters but I laughed out loud during some of their scenes!


It was also refreshing to see Chris Evans play a more serious role, and he absolutely smashed it. In one of the last scenes, during his speech outside the door to the engine room, I really wanted to cry for his character.  Oh that scene got me fighting back the tears but also feeling a bit queasy! 

The beginning of this film seemed like a typical action, 'fight against the man' type of film where you root for the lower class protagonist and instantly hate the 'leader'. But the more the film went on the more it started to become more political with more focus on the differences in social status and human nature in the world.  They have shrunk the worlds 'issues' down to one train in an effort to highlight these factors in much stronger ways, which in some parts became horrific (Curtis' final monologue) and other times extremely comical (Alison Pill's amazing singing teacher).  I actually found myself feeling a bit sad when the film had finished, it's much harder to ignore the social issues in our world when they are played out on such a small scale right in front of your eyes!

If you've never heard of Snowpiercer, check out the trailer below:

I'm so glad I gave this film a chance, and I want to watch it again sometime soon because I think I'll appreciate the creativity a lot more the second time round. I wouldn't recommend this film to the general audience just due to its complexity, but watching it was a truly unique experience.

I don't think I would want to watch this again, don't get me wrong I loved it but it left me with an uneasy feeling of how the world might end up, that I don't overly want to think about again.  Ignorance is bliss I say! 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


You'll know by now that although I have a few Marvel graphic novels knocking around, I'm more of a DC girl. Understandably then, when I first saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, I had no idea what was going on. I watched this film the other night mainly because I felt I had to; the trailer didn't excite me at all to be honest.  This is weird, because I don't have any graphic novels lying around and the trailer for this had me jumping up and down in my seat, so when I realised it came out while I was in the US on holiday, I had to find the nearest cinema (and lucky for me it was an IMAX!) - Happy Jenna!

So, if you've been living under a rock and don't already know what's going on here, Guardians of the Galaxy is about an odd bunch of outlaws who eventually form a team who try to save the world.
The team is formed of leading man Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket the racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and loveable tree, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel).
I want to just say right now before I continue that I really did enjoy this film, so anything that I whinge about is purely me being picky. I find it much easier to pick out flaws in films I enjoyed for some odd reason. 
The film opens to your usual comic-book scene, a heart-breaking family tragedy. Seriously Marvel, can you stop it? Five minutes into this film and I'm crying, I was sold an action packed space film with a bucket load of comedy! A few tissues later though and we're into the story that ties our 5 heroes together.  Ditto, I was in tears, as you all know I am a sucker for a sob story so it didn't take much!!

I loved the little introduction scenes, but Rocket and Groot just owned every scene they were in. Sorry Star Lord, but you really weren't the leading man here. Where did Groot come from though? We got a backstory for everyone but him. I guess we wouldn't have understood it anyway, as all Groot says is 'I am Groot!'. Which provides many laughs throughout the film actually.

My favourite was by far Rocket, his sarcastic humour and general presence stole every scene, maybe a first for Bradley Cooper?!  Still no entirely sure why they used a high profile (probably expensive) actor to voice Groot when he had a total of 2 lines?!  Any ideas?  And Peter Quill, Chris Pratt where have you been hiding all my life (I think it was under a layer of pudginess) this man is beautiful and funny - swoon!!!
We also get introduced to our film's main bad guy, King Thranduil Ronan the Accuser, who wants to destroy the galaxy. I'm not too sure why, to be completely honest, but let's face it, he needs to be stopped.  I hadn't even noticed this until you mentioned it, but there is no real back story as to why this guy wants to destroy the galaxy and himself, but hey ho, every superhero film needs a bad guy!

This film was simply beautiful to watch in terms of visuals, it really was. The action scenes in particular were amazing and I wish I had seen them in IMAX. The humour just never stopped either and I think it'll still be just as funny when re-watched, especially that prosthetic leg moment! Considering I had no expectations whatsoever, I was really pleased in the end. Only one moment made me groan, which was the *spoiler* 'I hope he doesn't realise I switched the real artefact with this completely identical fake one I somehow obtained!' part. But only that moment.  Actually, I had a bone to pick with the ending as well: Why did this artefact that can destroy entire galaxies not kill Star Lord, why is he so powerful?! Thoughts?

I found this film to be an experience, for a start it was a live action movie that I actually enjoyed in 3D (this is extremely rare with me and I've discussed 2 in the last week!) but also because I didn't go in with any expectations.  With the likes of Superman etc as I know the stories and the backgrounds, I expect them to be good.  I knew nothing about GOTG, therefore I had nothing to base an opinion on, I think because of that I enjoyed it so much more!  The 3D didn't make any of the action scenes difficult to watch (which is my usual peeve) and it made some of the flying scenes look incredible, especially in IMAX. 

The comedy was the best part by far, Rocket and Groot were hilarious but they also skipped out of any cheesy or awkward moments by throwing a joke in.  This is so different from the other comic book movies I've seen where they love their cheesy, love in moments.  In fact, the only real serious moment I could think of (Peter and his gift) finished with a comedy twist.

The characters all seemed to get the right amount of airtime and enough back story to make you care about what happens to them, which is impressive with five lead characters (although one is a tree!).  I think I heard there will be a sequel, I hope there is but now I will have expectations so they will have to step it up a notch!
I don't know how to rate Guardians of the Galaxy. I'm under strict instruction not to give out half-points, in fact I had to argue out of having a 5 star rating system, but I'm sat between an 8 and a 9. It was better than 8 for sure, but I've seen better films that I gave a 9. Ugh...I'm going to stick with an 8, and maybe change my mind!  Sorry but I just think 1-10 is enough, half points just make it that much more complicated! And if you keep moaning we will go back to 5! ha!

This would have been a 10 except for my one annoying gripe (see above, spoiler in grey!) which knocked it down to a 9!

Review: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)

In my Best and Worst Emma Stone post I mentioned that I hadn't yet seen Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Well, I soon corrected that the other night!

I watched this years ago, when I was going through my 'I only watch rom-coms phase'.  This may have been the film that pulled me out of that phase...


Matthew McConaughey plays Connor Mead, a fashion photographer who thinks he's god's gift to women. Whilst at his brother's wedding, he is visited by the ghost of his Uncle who warns him that his current lifestyle will only end in misery. Throughout the evening he is visited by 3 ghosts - sound familiar?

I actually really liked the idea, a twist on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Maybe I should have watched this in December rather than on the hottest day of the year so far in the UK? Anyway, I knew the plot would be predictable but I can forgive that for most romcoms. I didn't enjoy this film as much as I should have done, and I'm sorry but Matthew McConaughey is mostly to blame.


Don't get me wrong here. I have absolutely no problem with cocky, womanising characters in romcoms. Chris Brander in Just Friends? Love him. But there's just something about Matthew McConaughey that makes my skin crawl. I just don't get him! Every girl in this film who fawned over him needed a slap, especially that bridesmaid.

I have to agree I hated Matthew McConaughey's character but most of all I hated the plot of this film.  The film dragged and dragged, I felt no sympathy for any of the characters (particularly the women who threw themselves at an obvious womanizer), honestly I didn't even like the characters (and usually I am a fan of Jennifer Garner's work, if we pretend Elektra didn't happen of course!).  Surprisingly, as someone who usually loves the romcom genre no matter how predictable, I was bored, uninspired and wasn't even rooting for the couple in the end which is part of the the awesomeness of romcoms!

If you'll allow me to ramble slightly, I absolutely loved Emma Stone's character, it's a shame she played such a minor role. I also had a total blast from the past when I saw Breckin Meyer's character as the last thing I saw him in was Garfield! Sorry, back on track...


As I mentioned, you can probably guess the whole plot to the film before you press play, but despite that, it's enjoyable and there are plenty of funny parts. Some are just a little too over the top and others entirely un-realistic. If you're just about holding up a huge wedding cake about to topple over, would you not just shout for help rather than try to catch a champagne bottle with your foot to hold it up with?!

The only positives to the film for me were Michael Douglas as Connor Mead's hero and mentor, Uncle Wayne and Emma Stone's girlfriend flashback!

If it's sat on your 'to watch' list then give it a go, but if not, feel free to give Ghosts of Girlfriends Past a miss.

Personally, I would suggest give it a miss (unless of course you are trying to watch everything Emma Stone has been in!)

Monday, 25 August 2014

Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Last year, me and my little brother went to see The Purge together. It was a strange trip, because we never go out just the two of us, and he'd just passed his driving test so he drove us there! An experience just as scary as the film actually (sorry if you're reading this Rich!). Anyway, we're a big fan of tradition in our family, so we went to see The Purge: Anarchy together. I drove. Safety first!!

The Purge: Anarchy is a sequel that isn't a sequel. You don't have to watch the first film to see this. It follows the same principals as the first but follows a completely different set of characters.  

I saw the first Purge film and was seriously disappointed, I was hoping for a U-turn on the generic horror genre that seems to be around at the minute but nope.  It turned out to have the same cheap thrills and disappointing tension building moments that amounted to nothing (paranormal activity-esque).  Therefore, I haven't seen Purge: Anarchy and I don't think I will see it so my opinion here is useless... Over to you Allie...

In the first Purge film, the story followed just one family, but Anarchy follows 5 main characters who end up sticking together to stay alive. I like this change as it means there's a lot more going on, and the film doesn't have to resort to silent suspense as often. The first few scenes introduce our main cast: Eva and Cali, two sisters who struggle to get by each day, Shane and Liz, a recently broken-up couple whose car breaks down at the most unfortunate time, and Sergeant. We get to know very little about Sergeant other than the fact that he is out to purge, but he doesn't seem like a bad fellow.

One of the things I loved about Anarchy was that it was much less of a horror, and more a thriller. I hate it when films are filled with suspense for no reason other than to make you jump, and there's much less of this in the sequel. In fact, the silent, tense moments tended to be nothing at all, and then something would happen straight after that would make me jump!

There was definitely a more sinister feel to The Purge: Anarchy. It's awful enough to think that people would go out and 'purge' on the night anyway, but there are several indicators of foul play by the Government here. If anything, it's a little like the Hunger Games, where the Gamemasters intervene if things aren't going their way. At the start of the film, Cali has been following video updates by a Purge activist called Carmelo, who has a bigger role as the film progresses. This leads me to believe that we can expect a third film in the series in the near future, all to do with the people rising up against the Government.

I thought the cast was great in this film, even though I had never heard of any of the actors before. I really wish they had cast Manu Bennett as Sergeant though, that would have been amazing. There wasn't a weak link in this group, not even the typical dumb character thrown in just to get killed off instantly. Every member has a role to play.

Although far from perfect, I really enjoyed this sequel and I'll definitely tune in for round 3 if my prediction is correct. The Purge: Anarchy is a huge improvement on the original and well worth a watch in my opinion.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Thursday's Thought: Independent Cinemas

I consider myself quite lucky when it comes to cinemas. I have an Odeon and a Showcase within a 15-minute drive of my house. Birmingham is just a 25-minute train journey away, and there I have the choice of a Cineworld with IMAX or The Giant Screen. Normally I stay loyal to Odeon, but the Showcase do excellent offers on Sunday nights, and they offer me advanced screenings every now and again too.

Anyway, me and my little brother went to see The Purge: Anarchy the other day (review coming soon) and none of the timings were really ideal for us. That's when we remembered a little independent cinema again, a 15-minute drive away that we never go to. The tickets were nearly half the price and there was a showing at 6pm that was perfect.

Here it is, in all its...okay, glory isn't the right word. No, it isn't very pretty to look at. There's also a load of construction work going on next door which doesn't help the aesthetics either. But we were going to see The Purge, there wasn't any need for a gigantic screen, IMAX quality picture or 200 seats. Inside, it's actually quite cool because they have all of the Odeon's old signage, so it's like a little piece of home.

We queued for less than 5 minutes on an Orange Wednesday, and we could buy snacks at the same time as our tickets which saved queuing twice, and the popcorn only cost an arm rather than a leg as well. There are only 4 screens at the Reel, and Screen 1 is their biggest which they save for the big films like Guardians of the Galaxy.

Upon entering the screen, we had no problems finding seats in a spot that wouldn't hurt our necks, and we didn't have to cram in with a bunch of strangers. The seats were surprisingly comfortable, much better than its fancier rivals. We had about 5 minutes of adverts compared to the half an hour we're used to, and although the screen wasn't very large, the picture and sound quality were fine.

All in all, we had a great experience, and I'll definitely be back again soon. For any of our UK readers, on a Tuesday and Thursday a standard 2D ticket costs £3.55 at any time of the day, which I'm sure you can appreciate is a fantastic price!

Has anyone else shunned their local big-chain cinema for an independent one?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Review: That Awkward Moment (2014)

I actually watched this on a plane, I can confirm for certain that it is NSFP!!!  As it was on the movie listings on the plane, I thought 'how bad could it be??' It was bad and it got worse, I was in a world of my own watching the film and all of a sudden this face appeared in front of me and it was a steward asking if I wanted a drink.  So I paused the film, only to realise it was the scene where Zac Efron lies across the toilet naked to go to the loo, then the guy next to me wanted to get out to go to the toilet so I couldn't play again.  I felt like everyone was staring at me and I must have been the colour of a beetroot.

That Awkward Moment follows three best friends who, after Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) finds out his wife has been having an affair, choose to make a pact to stay single.  Things start to get more complicated when Jason (Zac Efron), the serial singleton, meets the girl of his dreams.

This is a typical American comedy with stacks of sex and toilet humour (sometimes both, see above!) and gross out gags galore.  However, it still made me laugh, there is a scene around the middle with Jason and Daniel (Miles Teller) in a sex shop that literally had me howling with laughter (which is pretty impressive on a plane when you consistently fight the urge to laugh/cry/shout at the screen at all costs).
That scene was brilliant, I also loved the 'dress up' party scene - 'Rock out with your c*ck out!'. I have to say that after this and Bad Neighbours, Zac Efron has done well to shake that High School Musical image away from my mind.
I absolutely fell in love with Jason and Ellie (Imogen Poots). Both me and Jenna are suckers for a good love story and theirs was just adorable. One of the final scenes with them at the book reading was my absolute favourite, I was smiling from ear to ear!

There are some awkward moments in the film (should have expected it really) that make you cringe so badly that you desperately want to turn the film off but no you don't because all of a sudden that awkward situation becomes quite funny.  The film plays the rom-com cards from the male perspective, which although has been done before, is quite refreshing.
I would say that although there are plenty of funny (and awkward!) parts in That Awkward Moment, it most definitely leans more towards the romantic side of the romcom, which I actually enjoyed. The plot isn't completely predictable either, as I boldly claimed 20 minutes in I knew how it would end, and I wasn't completley right.

The rom-com that both men and women will enjoy, bit too much toilet humour for my liking but would definitely watch it again.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

I have been meaning to watch this for a while as I thought the trailer looks quite funny and I noticed Rebel Wilson so I thought, this must be good! 

This is actually the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Walhberg), a bodybuilder who decides he wants to be a 'doer' and to do this he decides to kidnap a rich client of his to get him to sign over all his assets.  He ropes in Christian teetotaller Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson) and steroid junkie Adrian (Anthony Mackie) to help him on his mission to 'get what he deserves'

This has been on my list for a while so once I saw Jenna had watched and reviewed it, that was my kick up the bum to get on with it!

This film is really funny, in an odd way, you can't think too much about what your watching and if you try to remember its a true story it actually becomes quite hilarious to think that three guys actually got themselves into this situation! The dialogue is cheesy and the story seems far fetched but that adds to the entertainment. Rebel Wilson was completely wasted, her limited screentime left you wanted to see more of her and disappointed that you didn't!! The voice overs throughout the film although comical become a little annoying towards the end and drag on a little but the freeze frame scenes and general tackiness add to the disbelief that this is a true story (but it is!).

Gah, I really struggle to say what I think about Pain & Gain. The first half was pretty good actually, sure it was a little farfetched, but it was still interesting and a little silly. But after a major turning point which I won't mention, it just went a bit too far for me, and all I could think about were plot holes which my mind normally happily forgets about. It also dragged like crazy! I paused to go to the loo at what I thought was about 20 minutes before the end, and realised there was still an hour to go. Ouch!

I would recommend this to someone looking for a cheesy film to watch when they have nothing else to do.

Dwayne Johnson was the highlight for me, and well, take that however way you want to. Pain & Gain isn't a film I'll watch again in a hurry, but if you've got an interest in it anyway, don't let us put you off and give it a go.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: Admission (2013)

We had a little Flick Chicks meet-up the other night. Other than a good old catch-up, we also wanted to watch Footloose together, as that's the film we've chosen for a 1984 Blogathon we're taking part in. Unfortunately, Jenna opened up the case and the disc was nowhere to be found. Not to worry though, as we stuck on Sky Movies and picked out Admission to watch. Had we have known what we were about to experience, we may have worried!!

Let me try and sum this plot up sensibly. Tina Fey plays an Admissions Officer at Princeton. She leads a fairly dull life which seems to revolve around her career. On a recruitment visit to an alternative school, she meets Paul Rudd's character, who runs the school and wants to introduce her to a student who just so happens to be the son that Tina Fey put up for adoption years ago.

I need to point out here that neither me nor Jenna knew anything about the plot before we watched Admission. It still doesn't excuse our shock and confusion at the reveal of the adopted son though. It literally came out of the blue, no build up, no hints, or anything. It just didn't seem to make sense and we actually laughed! 
As did her response, which was neither shock, elation, sadness or confusion (just in case she hadn't given a kid up for adoption) it was just 'oh ok fair enough' like he had just told her they had run out of hot wings at KFC (it sucks but you'll move on....quickly! Excuse me but I would have a total freak out if KFC ran out of wings).  I've never quite seen a plotline vary so much is what it was trying to portray, one minute it was bored admissions working maybe looking for something more fun, then it was mother daughter bonding drama/comedy, then a pitiful romcom, a long lost son/mother reunion, a comedy and a drama with a bit of slapstick (cow birthing) thrown in - what a mess!! (literally in a few cases!)

There was just so much that annoyed me about this film. The whole birth certificate thing just has to be a massive plot hole. Where did it even come from? Why were there no details at all of the mother on it? I'm no expert but it has to mention something, surely? Why was there no real reaction to her finding out that this kid is her son? So infuriating! See above!!

Let's get on to a couple of other characters though. The horrible boyfriend. Why did he never seem to get what was coming to him? He was just a massive douche in every scene, and as the audience I expect some kind of karma to kick in. And what about poor little Nelson, Paul Rudd's adopted son? He just seemed to be forgotten about at every single moment. Someone adopt that poor kid, quick!!

As this film went on I sunk lower and lower into my chair just willing it to end, in fact at one point I thought it was nearly over and there was another 40 minutes left!  No idea what they were trying to achieve with this one and Paul Rudd could really do with playing a different character once in a while (if he can!).  I haven't seen Tina Fey in much but what I have seen, I could say the same - she appears to play the same awkward character in everything.

This is honestly all that I can say about Admission while being constructive; it was just a really bad film. A cast of unlikeable characters and a plot that was all over the place.

Painful and slow to watch, take my word for it, don't bother!!  If you want to know how it ends, just ask us it will save you a lot of time and effort!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thursday's Thought: Dexter Finale

Okay so I might be cheating a little here, as my last Thursday's Thought was about TV Show finale's in general. However, I recently finished all 8 Seasons of Dexter and I feel the need to vent a little. There are spoilers ahead so if you haven't finished Season 8, please stay away!

Before I spiral away from any points I actually want to make, I want to say that I have truly loved watching Dexter. Me and my other half started watching it in March earlier this year and it's always been something to look forward to, coming home from work and eating dinner with an episode of Dexter. We don't know how to fill this serial killer-shaped hole in our lives now!
Everyone has their favourite Season of course, and mine was Season 4 with Trinity. Plus if I remember rightly, it's also got the episode with the alternative opening scene, which was brilliant. I also enjoyed Season 6 with Doomsday, and the cliff hanger at the end was possibly the best in the entire Season.
However, for me, Season 7 is where it all went downhill. The story arc with Debra knowing who Dexter really is, and having LaGuerta looking into Dexter could have made this Season the best of all, but everything was just dragged out too far. In the end, we found ourselves watching each episode more out of habit than anything.


Let's talk about Hannah McKay. I couldn't stand her to begin with, but there were pretty obvious signs that she and Dexter were going to hook up. I warmed to her pretty quickly though, as a 'bad guy you love to hate' to begin with. I never thought I would get over Lumen, but Hannah and Dexter are pretty darn cute together. Plus, that winter wonderland scene was hot!
In the end, it was their romance story that kept me going through the final season. I was keeping everything crossed that they would make it to Argentina together, although in my mind I knew it wouldn't end well.
I'm sorry if this is controversial, but I didn't care for the Evelyn Vogel story line. I know Dexter saw her as a motherly figure but I didn't warm to her at all. It annoyed me how she kept telling Dexter that his feelings of love weren't real, and I couldn't understand why she was doing that in the first place. I'm glad she managed to help Debra though, although that didn't end well either. I think Deb's story is what saddened me the most.
When we were on about Season 2, I was happily reading some Dexter trivia on IMDB and accidently read something along the lines of 'Originally the producers were going to kill Dexter off at the end, but then they changed their minds'. Oh great. I'm so bad at accidently seeing spoilers!

With that in mind, I thought right, well this can only end one of two ways then. Dexter is either going to escape with Harrison and Hannah, or he's going to get caught. I found my peace with either of those endings. Then, 5 minutes before the end of the episode, there Dexter is on his boat in the middle of a storm, waiting for death! But I thought I read - oh wait, here's a closing scene. This will explain everything. Wait, what! No. No, no, no, no, no. I will never accept that lousy ending!
Is there anyone out there who did?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

"Make your life spectacular, I know I did" - Jack (Robin Williams 1951-2014)

I woke up Monday morning to a wave of social media and news reports informing me that a true legend had passed, someone who I grew up watching and loved in pretty much everything he did.  My heart broke a little and I cried for someone I had never met.  I cried not because I felt I had lost someone but because of the circumstances surrounding this tragic loss of life.  Robin Williams (apparently, I have to say this as nothing has been confirmed in the media yet) committed suicide after suffering for years with crippling depression.  My heart broke at the thought that someone with such talent, presence and impact on the world of film and further afield felt he had no other choice than to take his own life.  It makes it very clear that fame, money and success, do not a happy man make. 

As someone who has suffered with depression, I feel that this is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues that most people are afraid to talk about.  Many are afraid to admit it, even to themselves.  Robin Williams, sought treatment for his issues but still couldn't beat his own demons and that is soul destroying, to know that this disease can push people to such drastic choices.  A friend of mine posted this article from The Guardian which I think is worth reading and sharing as it makes some extremely valid points -

I have spent my lifetime watching Robin Williams in films and on TV and I am truly devastated that we will see no more work from this great actor and comedy legend. 

So, today I am posting my top 5 favourite Robin Williams films:

Some of the children on the ward in this film were actual cancer patients and Williams and the crew worked closely with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to grant wishes to children undergoing treatment.  I loved this film, I know it was slammed by critics and rotten tomatoes has got a total of 23% but I thought it was very heartfelt (and as my regular readers may know, I love a good weepy!!)


This is such a different film, although I have only recently been informed that it is adapted from a book which I may now read.  I still fiercely dislike Kirsten Dunst's character in it, as I have since the first time I watched it but I still love it regardless.  I remember seeing it at the cinema and being terrified of the lion (still true today!) but this has serious childhood nostalgia for me, might have to watch it again soon in honour.

Who didn't think the Genie was the best character in Aladdin?  In fact, he pretty much stole the show!!  I am a great lover of Disney films, but this is actually one of my least favourites, if it wasn't for the Genie and Apu, I probably would have never watched it more than once!


"Ooooh I don't like boys, I used to be one" - One of my favourite lines from this film.  You laughed, you cried, you sang along and you know all the best lines off by heart.  Mrs Doubtfire, I'm not sure anyone could say they didn't like this film (although only got 71% on Rotten Tomatoes!).  If you haven't seen it, see it.  If you have seen it, see it again.

This is the story of Jack, a 10 year old boy who has an aging disorder so appears to age 4 times faster, therefore has the look of a 40 year old man.  After years of home schooling, Jack chooses to go to public school and learns the joys of making friends and the heartbreak of the real world.  Williams plays a 10 year old perfectly and although starts out as a comedy becomes quite a serious and emotional drama that I found stuck with me for a long time.  Yes it's predictable and the jokes are obvious but I love it.

I haven't seen many of Robin Williams serious films, hence why my top five is full of comedies and kids films but I will be digging through the archives and make a point of watching his more serious work.

ARGH!! I have just finished this post and I was literally about to click 'publish' and I realised not only had I missed a film out but I missed a film out that is by far my all time favourite Robin Williams movie (and a childhood great!) so this one is getting a special mention!!

Hook - what a film, full of childhood nostalgia for me a really great film.  The acting is great (if you discount the children and the lost boys whose acting is questionable!) and the story is so clever.  Peter Pan was one of my moms favourite films and to have a sort of sequel was amazing as a kid (back when you wanted every film you loved to have a sequel even if there was no story to carry it, you just wanted to see the lovebirds get married and live happily ever after!).  Dustin Hoffman was terrifying as Hook and Robin Williams reminded you how much you loved Peter Pan.  I love that they moved forward with Tinkerbell's character, giving her dialogue and a likeable personality of her own.  Would watch this over and over again and never get bored.