Saturday, 30 April 2016

Trivia Round-Up: April 2016

April has definitely been the month of movie reviews here at Flick Chicks! I guess that's kind of a given, since we're a movie blog and all that, but normally we fill in the gaps with silly posts and lists, and well, there has simply been too much to watch for that this month! So, here's a mammoth batch of trivia for all the movies we've reviewed in April, with links to the original reviews if you're interested.

This movie has much of the cast from Wet Hot American Summer including, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter (Writer) and David Wain (Writer).
I'm still so gutted an amazing cast created such a mediocre movie...

The production worked almost entirely with natural light and without make-up. Lighting was only used for some night scenes.

The worldwide distribution rights were bought by Netflix for around $12 million; it was released simultaneously in theaters and online through its subscription video on demand service. Considering it a violation of the traditional 90-day window of exclusivity to theatres, AMC Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark, and Regal Entertainment-four of the largest theatre chains in the United States, announced that they would boycott Beasts of No Nation-effectively downgrading it to a limited release at smaller and independent theatres.
2015 was definitely the year of cinemas throwing temper tantrums!

The original cast was to include John LithgowJudy GreerBill HaderNeil Patrick Harris, and Lucas Neff, but they were replaced following major story changes. The only original cast member to still be a part of the film is Frances McDormand.
This would have been soooooo much better!!

One of the Asteroids at the start of the film resembles the Pizza Planet truck.
Had to throw this in!!

Two of the close-ups in the film were shot using an iPhone 5. Director Catherine Hardwicke felt it allowed for more intimacy than the use of a regular movie camera.
I want to go back and try to spot these scenes but I can't put myself through the torture of watching it again!

Released in the USA on the same day as Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
It didn't have much chance of a good opening weekend did it!!

The movie differs greatly from the novel. In that, the story centers around Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year-old book publicist, who travels to several places around the world to see how different cultures deals with single civilization.
Someone already told me this, but I didn't realise until then that this was based on a novel! Would anyone recommend it?

Filmed in 2012, not released until 2016.
This literally tells you more than you need to know!

When Mike Dixon is looking through the Hull's pictures, there is a picture from Derek Hull's Marine days, which was clearly a photo of Alexander SkarsgÄrd with former marine Eric Kocher, while they were working on HBO's Generation Kill (2008). The photo after is also a picture of the cast of Generation Kill, and many of the actors from the show can be identified.
I've never seen Generation Kill, but I'd imagine fans of the show would find this interesting.

When Eli Roth and his crew approached villagers to be extras in the film, he soon realized that they had never seen a movie and had no concept of what one was. To demonstrate what a movie was, Eli brought a TV and a copy of Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and had a screening for everyone. The villagers loved it and gladly acted in the film.
This sounds like the plot to a possible sequel! Urgh!

The first movie to accept bitcoins for ticket purchases at over 900 theaters in the USA via, a nod to the film's own plot.
I've spent about an hour researching bitcoins after reading this. I still don't think I understand it.

According to the directors' commentary, when they shot the top-level nightclub fight sequence Keanu Reeves had the flu and was running a 104° Fahrenheit fever.
Now that's commitment!

The film takes place in 90s, a 'Cool Britannia' era where Britpop music has dominated the industry. Most of the songs in official soundtrack album feature real-life stars at the moment such as 'Oasis', Blur and Radiohead.

One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest (1975)
Louise Fletcher was so upset with the fact that the other actors could laugh and be happy while she had to be so cold and heartless that near the end of production she removed her dress and stood in only her panties to prove to the actors she was not "a cold-hearted monster".
There's so much amazing trivia for this movie that it warrants a post of it's own!

Midnight Special (2016)
According to director Jeff Nichols, Adam Driver's first day on set was the same day he got the news he would be in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
What makes this kinda cool is when Adam Driver's character is reading out Government-related code names, one of them is 'red sabre'!

Descendants (2015)
The exterior and some of the interior sets of Auradon Prep is the same ones used for Xavier's School in X-Men 2 (2003), the Luthor mansion in Smallville (2001) and the Queen mansion in Arrow (2012).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Review: Midnight Special (2016)

Date night! This might be the first movie Jenna and I actually watched together at the cinema THIS YEAR. Is that right? What did we actually watch together last?  Urm I think you might be right, I don't actually remember the last time we went!

Anyway, I do love our cinema trips. They almost always involve a cheeky Nandos, and I get a free ticket thanks to those delightful meerkats and Jenna’s Cineworld card. I did not approve of the life size, all too real Idris Elba cutout in the foyer that terrified me every time I looked it. So mesmerising at the same time, though… This feels like the ideal time to mentions Allie's joke about Idris' may have had to be there! Did you actually hear that? I can't help calling him Idris Elbow but I thought I only got halfway through that sentence before the cardboard version of him terrified me!


On to the movie! I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot of Midnight Special, because it’s one of those that’s better the less you know, but this is what I could tell from the trailer and the summary on IMDB. A young boy named Alton with mysterious, special powers (Jaeden Lieberher) is on the run from the government with his father (Michael Shannon). That really is all you need to know. That, and the fact that this is a Sci-Fi movie.

It’s got one of the greatest openings to a movie I’ve seen for a long time. The logos of the production companies are still being played, but you can hear a news report in the background giving an amber warning for a missing child, kidnapped by a man named Roy (Shannon). Quickly we realise we’re in the motel room occupied by Roy, Alton and a friend of Roy’s, Lucas (Joel Edgerton). In the middle of the night, the three leave their room and drive at speed through the night. 


Right from the outset, my mind had questions floating around. Who is Lucas? Why are they on the run? Where has Alton been kidnapped from? As the movie creeps along, most questions get answered, but more crop up constantly, and that’s one of the greatest things about Midnight Special. It leads you on at a relatively slow pace, but keeps you guessing throughout. Just when your mind has caught up, it picks up pace again and gives you a fresh batch of thoughts. It also made me jump pretty badly, twice! I’d actually only started trusting the movie again when it got me the second time.  

I am struggling to put together any kind of coherent review for this film.  One thing I will say is that I'm glad I completely forgot the trailer, going into this with an open mind is kind of the only way to watch it.  It's a slow burner that's for sure, refusing to give away anything but the bear minimum of information and building on that.  I think it was nearly 30 minutes before they confirmed that one of the men 'kidnapping' this boy, was actually his father. Had they have provided all the information as we went along I don't think I would have been as engrossed as I was, i was constantly waiting for the answer to a question which inevitably posed a new question!

The performances are great all round. I only really discovered Joel Edgerton last year in The Gift, and his role here was completely different. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his movies. Michael Shannon is an actor I’ve seen very little of also, and he was the star in this one, saying more with his expressions and body language than he did with actual words. I felt Kirsten Dunst was a bit wasted, personally, but maybe that’s because I wanted to know more about her past, and didn’t. Adam Driver was everything I wanted him to be, playing a more serious role than I’m used to seeing him in, but with the right amount of awkwardness for it to still be him.

I was really impressed with Shannon (i'd expect nothing less), Edgerton (no idea what to expect) and Driver (if I said I didn't like him Allie would cut me out of her wedding!). Lieberher did a really good job of playing someone smarter than all the adults around him but still providing a vulnerability that made you want to just hug him.  Don't get me started on Dunst, I don't like her, this had not made me like her anymore.  In fact, I think the whole film could have been just as good without that character entirely.


I want to keep this spoiler free, so I won’t discuss the ending, but afterwards, Jenna and I both agreed we needed to sleep on this one before we knew how to feel. I thought about it the whole drive home, stayed up far too late reading into it, and spent my break at work telling a colleague about it. I love movies that do this to me! When I started writing this, I’d told myself I was giving Midnight Special an 8, but actually putting my thoughts into words has made me realise I enjoyed this more than I thought I did.

It took me four days to work out how I felt about this and how to put that into words.  It's slow paced, providing enough tension to keep me on the edge of my seat without having to resort to excess CGI and huge set pieces. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Blind Spot Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


I’m back! I missed last month’s Blind Spot due to a wedding-related meltdown, but then the beauty of sharing this blog means that Jenna reviewed Terminator 2 still. I did watch about half an hour of it, but certainly not enough to comment! We’re back as a pair this month to review a movie we both loved, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).  I had this downloaded on my iPad and spent an evening watching it while on holiday abroad, I should have been out partying but I got so into it, I had to stay in and finish it!

Despite it being one of my choices for the year, I actually had no idea what it was about, I’d just heard the title so many times, it sort of stuck with me. In fact I was on the verge of dragging my heels about watching it, until Jenna told me what it was all about and I literally watched it the very next day. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) pleads insanity after getting into trouble with the law to avoid prison, and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Whilst there, McMurphy meets a variety of patients, each with their own stories, and rallies them together to stand up and rebel against Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher).

I think the reason I loved this movie so much was the characters. There are so many of them, and yet the movie explores each one perfectly. We find out what their story is, what their quirks are, we witness their highs and their lows, and we just can’t help but root for them. Chief (Will Sampson) in particular was one of my favourites, I thought the basketball scene was brilliant.  There wasn't a single character I didn't love (Nurse Ratched excluded) even the scary guy from Ghost was loveable.  Mostly though it was all bout McMurphy, what a character, he couldn't have been played better by anyone, Jack Nicholson was so perfect. Nurse Ratched was eerily creepy all the way through and bloody terrifying at the end.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is such a feel-good movie. It’s also hilarious for all the right reasons. I think when mental illnesses are portrayed in movies, it’s too easy to fall into the ‘depressing’ category or ‘mocking’ in its humour, and this isn’t like that at all. My favourite scene is early on when the gang are playing cards and betting with cigarettes, and Martini (Danny DeVito) tries breaking cigarettes in half to ‘bet a dime’. It doesn’t sound funny in written words, but I was crying whilst watching it!  I laughed out loud countless times and I found myself smiling all the way through, up until the end of course.  The same as Allie the basketball scene was the one of the bestscenes but for me it was all about the ending with McMurphy and Chief, my heart absolutely broke and it stuck with me for days afterwards.

It’s so easy to see Nurse Ratched as a simple villain, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her at the same time. I mean, she was looking after that peaceful ward for goodness knows how long, and literally the moment McMurphy shows up, it all goes to hell. I actually felt a bit sorry for her until the last 20 minutes or so, when she showed her true colours. Ugh, just thinking about the ending leaves me feeling cold.


With a runtime of over 2 hours, this was just a bit too long for my poor attention span, but it felt too short at the same time. Poor movie, right? Just can’t win with me! What I think I mean though is that I’d love for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to be a TV Show, similar to Orange is the New Black, just to spend more time with each of those characters. That would be awesome, right?! I would only want a TV show if it was the same actors, if they tried to reboot it I would just be pissed!!  This felt to me like the shortest movie in the world, I just wanted it to go on and on and learn more about the characters and what happened to them after the movie ended.

I’m so glad I watched this. I’ll happily see it again.  Loved loved loved, it have already watched it again and it will have a permanent place on my re-watch list!!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Mini Reviews: Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) and Mannequin (1987)

A few weeks back, I went a bit 80's movie mad on Netflix and watched all my old favourites, except Say Anything and Can't buy me love because they weren't available but these three were.  Nothing beats a Sunday afternoon of back to back 80's movies.

I watched this a few times with my Mom when I was a kid and I remembered really enjoying it but couldn't remember much of the story.  Andie (Molly Ringwald) is the poor girl being pursued by her best friend Ducky (Jon Cryer) and the local rich kid, Blane (Andrew McCarthy) who doesn't like the ways of his fellow rich kids.

I really love this film, it really shows how insecure teenagers can be (even the rich and popular ones). I completely forgot how awesome Ducky was, he wasn't the best looking but he was the most loyal friend Andie could have asked for.  I spent the whole film switching between which one I thought she should go for him or Blane.  This is one I could watch over and over again.

This was my Mom's favourite film when I was a kid but I wasn't allowed to watch it until I was older. Keith (Eric Stoltz) is obsessed with going on a date with Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) who agrees to go out with him after breaking up with her boyfriend.  His best friend Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) is on hand to help him get the girl.

I spent most of the film screaming at Keith to forget about Amanda, I didn't like her at all, she was completely self centred and mean!  I also got mad at Keith for spending all his money on one date, what a moron, how was he planning to keep it up?! Amidst all the shouting however, I loved it, the music was great and the appearance of Elias Koteas literally made my day, love that guy!!

One of my favourite films as a kid, having watched it as a grown up though I realised a lot of the film was over my head.  I thought Hollywood (Meshach Taylor) had a room mate called Albert ;-)  Jonathan (Andrew Mccarthy) creates the most perfect mannequin and ends up landing a job in the store where she is in the window.  The mannequin, Emmy (Kim Cattrell), is a cursed Princess from Egyptian times and comes to life in front of Jonathan.

This film has my most favourite montage scene EVER, I still have the song in my car and dance along to it on the way to work.  It has the most hilariously awkward scenes when someone else comes into the room and Emmy turns back into a mannequin.  Movie critics hate this and even rotten tomatoes only gave it 55% so I guess this one of my guilty pleasures.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

TV Review: Girls Season 5

Last weekend brought the Season 5 finale of HBO’s Girls, in a double whammy that I wasn’t expecting, nor mentally prepared for. Now, I love the fact that Girls doesn’t stretch their Seasons out across an entire year like too many shows, but ten half an hour long episodes just isn’t enough for me! I was already mourning the fact that next week would be it for a year, but then both episodes came out at once and whilst one part of me thought I could save Episode 10 for next week, I also needed to consume both episodes as quickly as possible.


I only actually got into Girls last November, when I was on the hunt for a new show and heard it mentioned in too many places to ignore it. On the face of it, Girls should never have been a show I could enjoy as much as I do. It follows the lives of four girls (funnily enough) living in New York, struggling to find their places in the world. A world I’m very much not a part of. Maybe escapism is what I get from it. Either way, the second I saw Lena Dunham’s character Hannah eating a huge piece of cake whilst in the bath, I was hooked. I can relate to this girl in at least one way!

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching it ‘real time’, but Season 5 has definitely been one of the best. I haven’t been happy with every storyline, but when an episode can focus entirely on my least favourite character (looking at you, Marnie) and be the most memorable, then something’s being done right for sure! I hated the way Hannah and Adam’s relationship was left at the end of Season 4, so I was dying to find out what would happen. Here’s what - it got torn out of my chest and ripped to shreds. 


I’ve got to start with the rollercoaster of emotions that is Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Adam’s (Adam Driver) relationship. I’ve always been flying the flag for Hannah and Adam so I was absolutely not cool with this development, until their date at the fair, which was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever watched. Big thumbs down at the way Jessa treated Hannah over it all though. Not cool! Also not cool? Jessa and Adam’s fight in the final episode. I didn’t know whether to laugh or be absolutely terrified. Anyone questioning the casting choice of Kylo Ren need look no further, here! This has got to be the beginning of the end for them, surely?

Poor Shosh (Zosia Mamet)! It’s such a shame things didn’t work out for her in Japan, she seemed right at home there. Now that she’s back, I was half hoping she would turn Ray’s (Alex Karpovsky) coffee shop into a cat cafe, but she’s turning the place round, regardless. I’ve had my fingers crossed for a Shosh and Ray reunion for a while, and then Ray went and followed Marnie (Allison Williams) on tour. Ray! What are you doing, man?!


Marnie has been the character I’ve loved to hate. She’s so self absorbed she can’t see what’s happening around her, and yet some of the things she comes out with are absolutely hilarious, like her surprise that people still get mugged. When she walked away from Charlie mid-season, I had such high hopes for her. She was going to leave Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), and realised she can’t spend her life trying to fix broken men. Of course, she ruined all those good feelings I had in the very next episode. Oh, Marnie…

And then there was Hannah. Hannah is controversial at the best of times, but she’s been really pushing the mark this Season. From showing her lady parts to her boss to forcing herself on Ray, it’s been hard to defend her. Yet in the final two episodes, she grew so much. She’s quit the job she neither enjoyed or was very good at, and re-discovered her passion for writing, which she is bloody amazing at! Her changed attitude towards Jessa and Adam was so grown up of her, but my heart breaks when I think about what she must have heard Adam shout about her. I honestly don’t think there’s a chance for them, now. I’ll still hold onto the hope they can become good friends by the end of the last Season though, they bounced off each other so well.


That finale was just so perfect that it felt like the actual final finale to the whole show. I’d have almost been okay with that, but I still have so many unanswered questions. Last year brings the final Season, though. Sadface!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Mini Reviews: Dope (2015), John Wick (2014) & Kill Your Friends (2015)


It feels like the whole of the UK has fallen ill this month. My house didn't escape sadly, but it did lead to many evenings curled up on the sofa too tired to do anything than watch a movie! I've seen too many this last week to review them all so here are some Mini Reviews of Dope, John Wick and Kill Your Friends.


I have this blogging community to thank for putting Dope (2015) on my radar. Last summer my feed was full of positive reviews for it, so I saw it as soon as I got the chance. It’s a colourful ‘coming of age’ movie that seemed so familiar, and yet completely different to anything I’d watched before. Shameik Moore plays Malcolm, a geeky kid living in a rough neighbourhood with dreams of attending Harvard. One night at an underground party lands Malcolm and his friends into more than they bargained for, and the movie rapidly changes moods as the situation gets more dangerous.
It’s a really entertaining watch, and it’s worth giving it a chance for the amazing costumes and soundtrack alone!


It’s rare that I let my fiance pick a movie for us to watch, as I can guarantee it’ll be something like this. It’s a genre I can deal with, but it’s not my favourite. John Wick (2014) definitely stood out a little for me, though. There’s always a reason for the revenge killing, and this one in particular really upset me. It doesn’t help that it was Theon Greyjoy himself that carried out the murder, the horrible little rat! The action scenes and stunts were really well done, and I cringed quite a few times. You know when you see something and you think ‘oooh, I felt that’? That happened a lot!
Still not my favourite kind of movie, but this was an entertaining watch, and I’ll definitely see the sequel when it’s out.


When the trailers came out for Kill Your Friends (2015) I was so excited, and then it just completely fell off my radar. I haven’t seen Nicholas Hoult play this kind of character since Skins, and even though he comes across as such a sweetheart, he plays the bad guy surprisingly well. This one is an eccentric comedy/thriller/crime following the British music industry in the 90’s. It’s an entertaining watch, with a shocking start and a satisfying ending, but the rest is just a bit dull.
Regardless, there’s one proper laugh out loud scene that I’ll never forget, and it was worth watching for Nicholas Hoult alone. The guy does such a good job!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Review: The Green Inferno (2016)

They say curiosity killed the cat. Well, I have two very adventurous cats and it hasn’t killed them yet. One of them did go missing for 4 weeks last year though and that nearly did him in. Anyway. Yes, that title is correct! Despite being made in 2013, The Green Inferno didn’t get a wide UK release until February 2016! I have never seen an Eli Roth movie before, nor do I enjoy horror movies, but as part of my quest this year to leave my movie comfort zone, my curiosity got the better of me.  Here is where we differ,  Allie is braver than me.  I don't like horror movies at all, particularly anything that makes me jump.  I don't mind blood and guts and gore but if someone is in the wardrobe, I'm out!  However, I went through a phase of watching trailers on YouTube a few months back and this popped up, here's little ol' me thinking 'ooooh a new superhero movie' and then the trailer  played...nope nope nope nope nope.  So needless to say, I haven't watched the film!

The plot is simple enough. A group of students travel to the Amazon to save the rainforest from being bulldozed, things don’t really go to plan, and they find themselves captured by a tribe of cannibals, armed with tranquilizer darts. Is it wrong to have felt like the intro was taking too long? ‘Just get on the plane!’ I wanted to shout, before feeling like a terrible human being. If I found myself going into this movie blind, there’s enough not-so-subtle hints about what’s about to unfurl. I had my legs firmly crossed at the video shown in class of genital mutilation. Ew.

Maybe my love of Game of Thrones and Vikings has desensitised me a little, but this wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Okay, let me put that into perspective. What I was expecting was for the gore to be so bad, my dinner would come back to say hi and I’d have to switch the movie off. So yeah, it’s not that bad. It’s still pretty grim though, I’m thinking eyeballs specifically. It was quite well done too, it didn’t look fake in the slightest.


What half bugged and half amused me though, was how dorky this movie was in places. Minor spoilers in the rest of this paragraph, sorry. One of the characters acquired a bag of free weed earlier in the movie, and decided the best plan to escape once captured was to stuff this bag of weed down the body of one of their dead companions. Once the cannibals started cooking the body, the whole tribe would be so high that the rest of the group could escape, no problems. That was funny enough, but what was even funnier was when they high wore off, and the cannibals got the munchies. Worst. Idea. Ever. But hilarious.

So, what I learnt was that Horror is alright, and that it’s only jump scares that put me off the genre. I’m not saying I’m a converted gore fan, but I’m certainly open to watching more movies like this. I’d just like a better plot, and for the movie to not follow the typical death order that this one does. You could guess who would die in what order within the first 10 minutes if you wanted.  I still don't think I can bring myself to watch it, even if it is just gore rather than jumps...these faces terrify me!


Is there going to be a Green Inferno 2? What was with that ending, anyway? The dream sequence? I was sat all smug having not been scared once, and then that moment quite literally made me throw my cup of tea all over myself!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Review: Disconnect (2012)

One of my favourite things about co-running a movie blog is that family and friends tend to talk to me more about movies they’ve seen or ask me for recommendations. You’ll see quite a few movies I’ve reviewed that have been suggestions from my Grampy, but this one comes, funnily enough, from my boss! He’s not a movie buff at all but watches whatever movie Channel 5 or Film4 put on each Sunday night, and tells me about them on Monday morning in the office.


The latest one he recommended to me was Disconnect (2012). I’d never heard of it before but it starred one of my favourite actors, Jason Bateman, and with a topic so close to my heart I knew I was going to have to hunt this movie down as quickly as possible.

Disconnect weaves 3 separate stories all with one connecting theme. The internet is a dangerous place. Kyle (Max Thieriot) is a chat-room stripper who winds up in a heap of trouble when Nina (Andrea Riseborough), a reporter, pays to chat with him as part of a story and the FBI get involved. Two school boys, Jason (Colin Ford) and Frye (Aviad Bernstein) play a prank on another boy in their school, Ben (Jonah Bobo) by creating a fake Facebook account under the name Jessica. Their prank goes too far and Ben’s father Rich (Jason Bateman) investigates. Then we have Cindy (Paula Patton) and Derek (Alexander Skarsgard), a couple with marriage issues after the loss of their child, who become victims of identity theft.


It’s actually one of the scariest movies I’ve seen, but not for the generic reasons. There are no jump scares or murderers here, this is a drama, not a horror. But the fact is, this is real life. There’s no need for a warning of “these events are based on a real life story” because this happens every day in the real world.

I can’t confess to knowing anything about chat-room strippers, but we all know there’s a dark part of the internet out there. Again, I’ve thankfully never been a victim of identity theft, but my fiance had his Playstation account hacked and funds withdrawn from his bank account. That was scary enough! On a much smaller scale, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I fell victim to the cruel school prank. Some kids wrote me a love letter from a boy I fancied and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Social Media wasn’t a thing back then so it ended fairly quickly, but in this day and age, cyberbullying is a huge issue.  Aww what horrid kids! Give me their names, I'll sort them out! It's okay, I'm over it, I swear...*sob*


My only complaint about Disconnect would be that I was so fascinated by each of the three stories, I’d like them to be movies of their own. There’s just not enough time to connect with the characters enough in this format.

I think Disconnect is a must watch for anyone who uses the internet on a daily basis, especially parents who didn’t grow up in such a connected world.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Review: Get a Job (2016)

There’s a song played frequently on the radio at the moment which I’m in love with. It’s called ‘Stressed Out’ by Twenty One Pilots, and at first it just had a catchy tune, but now I really feel like I can relate to the lyrics. Bear with me, this is going somewhere, I promise.

The opening to Get a Job (2016) is perfect. It reminds us that when we were kids, everything was given to us, and we were praised for every tiny thing we did. Then, one day, at the end of our mandatory education, we’re thrown into the real world where no one cares about our small achievements, and we have to actually work for a living. That’s how I feel about life right now, or at least did a few years ago. I’ve found my feet now, thankfully.  I've just about found my feet and now I'm counting down to retirement!

Back to that song, Stressed Out. There’s a particular line that give me same feeling as the opening to that movie: Used to dream of outer space but now they're laughing at our face,
Saying, "Wake up, you need to make money."

So, with a relevant and relatable plot, and a huge cast of some of my favourite actors and actresses, (Anna Kendrick, Alison Brie, Bryan Cranston, Miles Teller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse) I knew I couldn’t go wrong by giving this movie some of my time. Yeah. About that.  How could it be anything other than awesome with this cast, no seriously how?!


Everything starts out perfectly fine. Will (Teller) and his girlfriend Jillian (Kendrick) are celebrating Jillian’s new job, which stirs up trouble in their relationship when Will is told he needs to step up. His father is fed up of financing him, and he needs to put his creative dreams aside and enter the corporate world. With an unusually short runtime of 1hr 23mins, this plot is plenty, especially when Jillian winds up losing her job and the roles get reversed, but so many sub plots are thrown into the mix that I couldn’t work out what was actually going on anymore.  Ditto, completely lost!

It’s a shame, because each plot in itself is absolutely fine. Will’s father loses his job, and has huge difficulty finding a new one because of his loyalty to his previous employer and his age. That’s a huge problem for the older generation right now, and could have tied in perfectly with Will’s story, given a longer runtime. But that’s not all. Each of Will’s friends has their own storyline of taking their first step on the career ladder, and that’s where it gets too messy. Whilst trying to desperately tie up the loose threads in the plot, it seems those responsible forgot to add in any jokes. The only comedic relief came from Alison Brie’s character who seemed to serve no purpose other than making sexual innuendos. She was funny, at least.

I have to completely agree, they really jam packed a lot of plot points into a particularly short running time.  In honestly, I kind of gave up about half way through, I didn't give a monkey's if any of them got a job, lost a job or sold their mother for a job and with the title being what it is, I'm guessing you are supposed to care about that stuff.  It starts off really logical and believable and rapidly becomes ridiculous, becoming a vice president of something or other after 6 months in a company or rugby tackling various security staff so your Dad can get an 'interview' in an elevator.  All bloody ridiculous!


So finally, after looking the movie up online to find out whether I was just being a miserable sod, I found out that Get a Job was made in 2012, and has sat on the shelf for the last 4 years, with Anna Kendrick herself confident that the movie would never get a release date. That says more than I ever could.  I think she was probably secretly hoping as well to be fair!


Monday, 11 April 2016

Review: How to Be Single (2016)

There’s something a little ironic about going to see How to Be Single when you’re getting married in 3 months time, accompanied by one of your bridesmaids who is getting married herself in 6 months time, and her other bridesmaid who also isn’t single. In our defence, we actually wanted to see Fifty Shades of Black, but found out the release date got pushed back, and well, we’d already seen Deadpool!  We had a similar situation where we just rocked up at the cinema and this was all that was on, I did want to see it though so it's not all bad!


How to Be Single (2016) is set in New York City and follows the lives of 6 singles living there, looking for love. Alice (Dakota Johnson) has never been single so tells her boyfriend she wants a break so she can find herself. Robin (Rebel Wilson) is single and loving it, so takes Alice under her wing to show her the ropes. Meg (Leslie Mann), Alice’s sister works too many hours as a nurse to be in a relationship, but wants to have a baby. Tom (Anders Holm) runs a bar and has tinkered with his apartment to make it the perfect bachelor’s pad. Lucy (Alison Brie) spends all her time online using the Wifi in Tom’s bar seeking her ideal partner. Finally, David (Damon Wayans Jr.) is a struggling single parent who finds it difficult opening up.

Phew, that was exhausting. I think I’ve nailed one of the problems with this movie. Too many main characters! The posters make it look like a movie about 4 single girls coming together to either help each other find love, or to simply support each other. Instead, the main story arc revolves around Alice, her sister Meg and her new friend Robin, none of whom ever actually meet Lucy in the movie, which just seemed odd. It’s like her character was just thrown in for the sake of it. On the plus side, with such a great cast, there’s bound to be a reason here for anyone to give the movie a chance!  I think they may have been going for a Love Actually/Valentines Day type thing, an ensemble cast where everyone is connected in weird ways!  However, they kind of missed the mark with forgetting to include Lucy in anything and then having characters thrown in for the hell of it....I'm talking about you Damon Wayans Jr!


This movie has been heavily marketed in the UK, and I can safely say that I’ve seen the ‘tit punch’ scene enough times to just not find it funny anymore (I laughed, a lot!). I loved the ‘dicksand’ joke but Rebel Wilson already explained it all on the Graham Norton show! Thankfully, there were still plenty of surprise funny moments, largely thanks to Rebel Wilson herself who is on top form here. Leslie Mann was also hilarious, and the scene with her talking to the baby early on was equally sweet and silly.  I thought (and I said this countless times throughout) that Wilson actually saved this movie, I'm not sure I could have say through it if i wasn't waiting for her next clanger, she was on top form.  Unfortunately, I can't say the same for anyone else or the film in general.

I think the main problem with How to Be Single is it doesn’t know what it wants to be. There weren’t enough funny moments for me to really rate it in my favourite comedies, but there were also lots of serious and heart warming moments that were wonderful, but just a bit out of place. One scene with Damon Wayans Jr. in particular had me sobbing quietly into my jumper sleeve!  The heartwarming stuff was painful to watch, completely random and I don't think added any value whatsoever, I'm feeling a bit ranty about this, can you tell?!


I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it. The ending was good, I won’t spoil it but I started to worry it would end with everyone finding the loves of their lives, which would ruin the whole point, and it didn’t. I just think there are going to be more rom coms out this year that will be a lot better.

I think it was utterly predictable all the way through, somewhere around the half way mark they indicated that they weren't going to be predictable therefore letting the audience know they were going to do the exact opposite of what you initially expected.  predictable!! Thank god for Rebel Wilson is all I can say!