Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Trivia Round-Up: May 2016

Here's a fun bit of trivia. I got married 2 days ago! Argh! As you're reading this, I'm probably packing my suitcase for our Honeymoon in the USA and eating far too many pieces of leftover wedding cake. That's how I picture it, anyway. Because right now, as I type this, there's still 3 weeks to go. I'm just super organised and drafting up posts ready for while I'm away for a few weeks. If I close my eyes though, I really can taste that cake...

Anyway, as it usually goes here at Flick Chicks, this post is dedicated to all the fun trivia we found for the movies we reviewed this month, with links to the reviews themselves. Enjoy!

Will Ferrell was originally set to play the real father, with Ed Helms set to play the stepfather.
Ehhhhh...I don't know if that would have been better? Some better trivia, without spoiling it, would be that this has an amazing cameo at the end. Uh-may-zing.

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). 

This includes a spoiler but I don't know anyone who reads out blog that liked Nicholas Sparks movies anyway!
This is the first Nicholas Sparks adapted film where no character (whether they're main or supporting) dies by the end of the movie.

The film was originally pitched in August 2001 by Andrew Kevin Walker, with Wolfgang Petersen to direct and Akiva Goldsman to script. Goldman's script had Bruce Wayne's fiancée slain by the Joker, which sends him on a revenge rampage and brings him into conflict with Superman who tries to stop him. The film was shelved, but in Goldman's I Am Legend (2007), a teaser poster for the film (the Superman shield inside a bat) was seen in the opening scene.
THIS. Why couldn't we have had this instead?!

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
When the time travel ad is shown in the beginning, there are ads surrounding it for a Datsun and 1979 Hornet Wagon. Both of these cars are seen when the magazine trio is in Ocean View. Kenneth drives a first generation Datsun Z car and when Darius follows him to the "secure location" after he's done with work, they are spooked in the alley by a 1975-1977 Hornet Wagon, as AMC did not make a 1979 Hornet.
I love little details like this.

Testament of Youth (2014)
Although Vera Brittain married the political scientist George Catlin in 1925, they actually never met during or immediately after the war, as is depicted in movie. George Catlin did volunteer at the beginning of the war but was rejected; he did serve in Belguim as a soldier late in the war.
Really disappointed in the trivia for this one, thought there would be loads more!

The Fountain (2006)
Instead of using CGI, Darren Aronofsky chose to do the special effects for the film by using micro-photography of chemical reactions on tiny petri dishes. He has said that CGI would take away from the timelessness of the film and that he wants the film to stand the test of time.

Cars (2006)
Every third blink of the stoplight in Radiator Springs really is slower by half a second, confirming Fillmore's observation.
As expected, there are so many hidden details in this movie that the trivia is endless, but this little bit in particular made me smile.

Mulan (1998)
The only Disney animated film to use the phrase "cross-dresser". The film was almost rated PG because of the use of the phrase.
I was actually shocked that Disney allowed that phrase!

The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
When the pieces of the bridge fall into the river, the four letters of the word DAMN can be seen falling one by one among the individual planks.
I did NOT pick up on this, and I've been laughing about it for about 5 minutes now.

Brave (2012)
The misunderstood dialect that Young MacGuffin (voiced by Kevin McKidd) speaks is called Doric. It is spoken in northeastern Scotland including Kevin McKidd's hometown of Elgin.
Good Lord!

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The day before filming a fight scene with Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan sent him a video of himself doing intense bicep curls in front of the decapitated head of an Iron Man suit. He attached the message, 'Looking forward to our scene tomorrow Robert.'
I'm sorry, I'm doing such a dis-service to the amazing trivia around for this movie but this was just too darn funny to not include!

The Machinist (2004)
The producers of the film claim that Christian Bale dropped from about 173 pounds in weight down to about 110 pounds in weight to make this film. They also claim that Bale actually wanted to drop down to 100 pounds, but that they would not let him go below 120 out of fear that his health could be in too much danger if he did. His diet consisted of one can of tuna and an apple per day. His 63-pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. He regained the weight in time for his role in Batman Begins (2005).
If that isn't dedication at it's finest, I don't know what is...

The Jungle Book (2016)
While the film is a live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book (1967), the filmmakers decided to include elements from the Rudyard Kipling novel to make the film more adventurous and dangerous. The story of the film is not independently taken from Kipling's works but also borrows cinematic inspirations from other films, including the child-mentor relationship in Shane (1953), the establishment of rules in a dangerous world from Goodfellas (1990) and the use of a shadowy jungle figure in Apocalypse Now (1979).

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

My upcoming trip to Disneyland has got me on such a Disney movie hype right now! I wasn’t too bothered about seeing this version of The Jungle Book, the fact that 2 live action remakes got announced at the same time confused me too much, but I’m never one to turn down a trip to the cinema, especially as I’ve gone so few times this year so far.  I have been actively avoiding this, I really wanted to see it initially but then I panicked that it would ruin the original Disney version for me! However, my dad really wanted to see it and how can I say no to an old man ;-)


This 2016 version is, simple, a live action remake of the original Disney movie of the same name, only this version stays a little truer to the novel by Rudyard Kipling. Maybe it’s the realness of it all, but this version definitely feels darker. I’d think twice before letting very little young ones see this.  I jumped out of my skin numerous times and hid behind my coat a few more.  Some of the fight scenes were terrifying, I know for a fact that my three year old niece wouldn't be scared of this (she puts donkeys and swans in headlocks for fun!) but I would not like to be the one with her when she does.  I thought she was going to cry in The Good Dinosaur but alas she didn't....I did!

What’s the criteria for a Disney Short? I was expecting one for this, and then it went from the certificate rating to bam! Right in the action. I would have guessed only the animated ones get shorts, but Cinderella got Frozen Fever...or was that just a one off? Either way, I wasn’t prepared!

I had to keep reminding myself that Mowgli, played by Neel Sethi, is the only real part of this movie. Literally everything else is CGI, which is normally a recipe for disaster, but it’s done so well in The Jungle Book! The scenery is gorgeous, and the facial expressions of the animals and the way they move their mouths is so accurate it’s quite scary. Which is weird, because animals don’t talk. So accurate is the wrong word...but I know what I mean!  This made me properly belly laugh!

The CGI work was truly amazing, normally in movies with CGI you can see where the real boy running becomes a computer generated version but there was nothing, it was perfect. In hindsight, I should have not gone to see this film, with my irrational fear of animals and all, I didn't expect them to be so real I was freakin' terrified!


Speaking of which, can we just stop for a moment to talk about the voice actors? Both this version and Warner Brothers’ upcoming version have really hit the nail on the head here. Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, spot on. Idris Elba as Shere Khan, terrifying. Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, beautiful. Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, mystifying. I’m starting to run out of adjectives here. Bill Murray as Baloo was simply an amazing choice, and I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that he absolutely stole the show. Move along Mowgli, we want more Baloo! Not much I can add to this other than BILL MURRAY is just the ultimate legend, the man can do no wrong EVER!

My only gripe is the character I was most looking forward to, King Louie voiced by Christopher Walken. Don’t we all just love trying to put on a Christopher Walken impression? I know I do! He just didn’t feel right though. In fact, the whole character felt off. This isn’t the King Louie I remember. He’s...scary, and when he sings ‘I wanna walk like you’ it doesn’t fit, seeings as this King Louie walks to little his fur has literally moulded to the floor he sits on. Ew. Even before the moulded soggy butt hair, I found Louie really nasty and horrid to look at but I have to admit for me the voice was perfect.  They made him seem like a bit of a mobster which is pretty appropriate considering his constantly pushing to get to the top.

This really did blow me away, the voices were so perfect for the characters, the CGI was stunning and I loved the story anyway but this took it to another level.  It was just so entertaining, there was no boring middle bits to get through.


That said though, this was much more fun to watch than I originally anticipated, and it’s definitely up there with Cinderella (2015) as one of the better remakes. I’m interested to see how Warner Brothers’ Jungle Book (currently slated for 2018) will compare! For me this blew Cinderella out of the water, by far the best remake of a Disney film yet!

Brilliant, can't wait to see it again when I can spend more time checking out the CGI scenery.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: The Internet

It's Thursday! Time for It's Thursday! Time for Movie Picks. If you're new to this, Thursday Movie Picks is a fantastic series hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, where each week she picks a theme and we all choose 3 movies that we feel fit. This week's theme is The Internet.

I’m currently struggling to keep a straight face whilst writing this post, as whenever I type out ‘The Internet’ I’m just reminded about the time in The IT Crowd when Roy and Moss convince Jen that their router (was it a router?) is in fact...The Internet. 

Anyway, jokes aside, the internet is a weird and wonderful place, so it’s no wonder really that there’s a whole bunch of movies about it. I’m going with a bit of a theme within the theme this week, as my 3 choices focus on the darker, more sinister part of the internet. Hey, it’s not all sweetness and light here at Flick Chicks!


Perhaps you’ve heard of Julian Assange. If you haven’t, you must have heard of the whistleblowing online platform he created with his colleague Daniel Berg, WikiLeaks. The Fifth Estate (2013) follows the events of these colleagues, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl as they find themselves at loggerheads when the platform really takes off. It’s not the most interesting thriller out there, but when I first watched it I knew very little about Julian Assange, so it was more of a fun, educational experience for me.


It was only a couple of weeks ago that I posted a review of Disconnect (2012) on here. It’s a fantastic movie, and tells multiple stories exploring the dangers of the internet, such as a bunch of school children ‘cat-fishing’ another student which goes terribly wrong, a young video chat-room stripper who lands into trouble when he agrees to tell his story to a reporter, and a grieving couple who have their identities stolen online. I’d have happily watched feature length movies of each of these stories. It’s a must-watch.


I want to say that the title of Ask Me Anything (2014) came from the infamous features on Reddit which go by the same name, or ‘AMAs’, but maybe that’s because I’ve been spending too much time there lately. Anyway, in this, Katie takes a year off before college to ‘find herself’, which leads to her creating a blog to detail her life, but mostly her sexual activities. Amongst all this, she finds herself involved with more than one man at a time. It’s an interesting watch, but takes a sharp turn at the end which leaves you confused.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Review: The Machinist (2004)

the-machinist-movie-review-2004Let me set the scene for you. It’s Friday afternoon in the office, we’re all eating far too many chocolate biscuits, whilst discussing diets, weight loss and squeezing into occasion dresses. Someone mentions Christian Bale and the extreme weight loss he went through for a movie, the movie that solidified his career, apparently. It’s called The Machinist. I’d never heard of it, and none of my colleagues could tell me anything about it. A quick Google search told me everything I needed to know that I had to watch this movie ASAP.

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is suffering badly from insomnia. He looks awful, he’s losing weight rapidly, and he hasn’t slept in a year. Well, I won’t complain about feeling tired anymore, that’s for sure. Trevor is, quite rightly, starting to question his sanity. Why? You’ll have to watch to find out…

The Machinist starts just as mysteriously as it means to go on. In the dead of night, a beaten-up Trevor attempts to dispose of what seems to be a dead body, wrapped up inside of a rug. Someone approaches him with a light, and asks, ‘who are you?’. From there, the movie moves at a relatively slow pace, but builds up a horrendously long list of questions that end up swimming around your brain.


I’m not familiar with the lineup of award nominees for that year, but they must have been amazing for Christian Bale not to have featured in them. His dedication to losing all that weight is worth noting alone, but this is the best I’ve ever seen him, and I’ve always enjoyed his performances. You can’t help bet feel desperately sorry for Trevor, but he gives off an unsettling feeling at the same time. How on earth he went from this state to bulking up for Batman I’ll never know!

I got right up to the point where my head wanted to burst open from all the unanswered questions, and then the movie started unravelling itself and everything fell into place, slowly at first, but the last twenty minutes or so were brilliant. It’s hard to say any more than that because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I think a second viewing would be really helpful to see just where all the clues were. Some were given so early on I was kicking myself for not picking up on them. Then again, that’s why I love this genre so much. I get so sucked into the story I never see the reveal or the twist coming.


I’ve mentioned this movie to a few people now, and it’s a shame that it seems to be known as ‘the one where Christian Bale is really skinny’. It’s so much more than that! It doesn’t top Memento for me as my favourite Mystery/Thriller, but it certainly comes close.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

The year is 2016. We are neck deep in Superhero Movie era at this point. I have neither the patience nor the will to count just how many bad guys have been taken down so far, but it’s obviously a lot, because our heroes have resorted to fighting each other. In this epic Marvel showdown, it’s safe to say that Jenna and I are #TeamCap, (agreed) so let’s get down to business, reporting live from:


What was the deal with those giant location titles, anyway? It felt like a music video, and all it really did was make me jealous of all the amazing travelling the cast and crew got to do. Although, they will be mighty useful when my Dad gets around to watching it, because my Mum spends too much time reading out the little location reminders to him during movies. This was probably the only thing I didn't like about this movie, I remember hating it but I had forgotten, so if my score is affected, Allie is to blame!

So, to set the scene, bad guy Crossbones (Frank Grillo) is up to no good in LAGOS. Sorry, it’s the giant titles making me want to shout the locations. Captain America (Chris Evans) and the gang manage to stop him, but Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) isn’t able to contain an explosion well enough using her abilities, which leads to the destruction of a nearby hotel, and the many deaths of innocent bystanders. This is the final straw that leads the powers that be to put into force legislation that controls the extent to which The Avengers may get involved in times of crisis, which in turn is what fuels the divide between Captain America and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr).

I need to throw in a little rant here...so I get that the movie concept is pulled from a comic not from thin air BUT surely the Avengers saved more innocent bystanders than they actually hurt.  Did no one think to say "fine we won't save the world anymore" wait for the next bad guy to attack, watch millions of innocent people die and then say "that would have only been 12 if we have been involved" surely that would have shut everyone up and they could have gone about with their business - Is this just me?!


With the inclusion of so many Marvel heroes, this could have easily turned into another Avengers movie, but rest assured this is most definitely still Captain America’s time to shine. His plot line with trying to save Bucky (Sebastian Stan) from the control of Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) still stands at the forefront. As well as some of our favourites returning (no Thor though, sob!) we also get introduced to 2 new heroes. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), a personal favourite of mine from the cartoons, and the newest Spider-Man (Tom Holland) who is most likely going to be the best yet! He’s also the youngest we’ve had, which is definitely a better fit from the comics.  I thought I was going to hate another new Spiderman after loving Andrew Garfield but he my be the best yet, I think he is going to continue to surprise us.

Which brings us swiftly on to the scene we were all waiting for, the ultimate battle at the airport in BERLIN (sorry). This scene is honestly so perfect I don’t even know what to say. It’s intense, made more so by the fact that these guys were once good friends, but it’s also one of the funniest Marvel movie scenes ever. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) just kills it here! The way he uses his abilities are just hilarious! ‘Sh*t! I thought that was a water truck. My bad!’. I’m honestly laughing just typing this.  This is going to be a very boring review because I basically agree with everything Allie is saying, it's much more fun when we heckle each other!  This scene was the best, I flipped back and forth from tense to laughing, I didn't know what to expect next and it kept me on the edge of my seat.


Of course, just like when we were all kids play fighting on the playground, someone takes it too far, and the mood does a full 180 instantly, bringing us back to reality. Obviously I won’t say any more about that here. 

Maybe it’s because I still have the taste of Batman v Superman in my mouth, but I thought the ending to the conflict between Cap and Iron Man was done so well, better than I had imagined it would go. There’s no ‘Oh hey our Mum’s have the same name’ moment here, (damn spoiler alert haha! You have access to the internet, don't tell me you haven't seen 1,000,000 memes about this yet!) the issues are real, and they cut deep, and this isn’t something that can simply end by shaking on it.


That said, as much as I loved this, I do have just a couple of gripes. I know that it’s important for the movie, and it’s only because there are so many superhero movies out there now that this is even an issue, but all the political debates about collateral damage and vigilantes just makes me want to go ‘UGHHHHH’. We knowwww, we know! Oh, and I was so happy to see Martin Freeman pop up in this, but dude what was with that accent? The worst part is, we already know he can do an American accent, so what went wrong here? I’d have preferred him to go full on Fargo than whatever that was.  Argh I had forgotten about the accent, another point deducted thanks to Allie's photographic memory!

Considering I said earlier that the locations were the only thing I didn't like about this movie, I have yet another gripe!!  It was made very clear why the lead characters took the stand they did but the background heroes just seemed to pick a side at random - particularly Clint, I thought he retired to be with his family but now he's willing to fight outside the law and risk going to prison and leaving them?! 

No more issues, regardless of moans, I really did love this and can't wait to watch it again and again when it is out of DVD.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Preparing for Disneyland...Movie Style!

In case I haven’t told you too many times yet, I’m getting married at the end of May. Eek! Wedding planning has kind of come to the point where if I even see a wedding happen in a movie or TV show, I want to sob hysterically into my multiple planners, so I’ve been trying to focus on our honeymoon lately, which is proving to be a nice break! We’re going back to New York where we got engaged for four nights, and then on to the West Coast for another ten. Part of that trip is going to be Disneyland! I’ve only ever been to Disney World in Florida, sixteen years ago, so I can’t wait.

In preparation, and to avoid wedding related movies, my fiance and I have been catching up on some Disney movies that we’ve either never seen, or haven’t seen in years. Rather than spam this blog with Disney reviews I thought I’d put together a longer post with them all together.


Disney California Adventure Park is home to the newly-opened Cars Land. They’ve literally built Radiator Springs into the park! Look at how pretty it is! Anyway, I know I’ve seen Cars (2006) but I could barely remember it, and my fiance had never seen it, so this was first on our list to catch up with.

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hotshot rookie race car who finds himself in with a chance to win the Piston Cup. Whilst en-route to California for the tie-breaker, he finds himself lost in Radiator Springs, an old, seemingly deserted town just off Route 66. Whilst there, Lighting comes to acquaint himself with the residents, and learns the meaning of friendship.

I think it’s fair to say that this is one of Pixar’s weakest movies, but it’s still a great watch. Even though the plot is a little tired and predictable, it’s the characters and the little details that make this movie so much fun. It was only on this recent watch that I could work out what some of the cars actually are, and I loved that Luigi is an old-style Fiat 500! That said, I haven’t heard great things about Cars 2, so I think we’ll avoid that one for now.


Mulan (1998) is Disney’s retelling of an old Chinese legend, where a family is torn apart by war. One man from each family is summoned to deal with the Huns, but Mulan’s father is the only male left in their family, and is too frail for war. He accepts his fate, but in the night, Mulan steals his gear and impersonates a man to take his place in the army. 

For years I’ve sworn that I’ve never seen this, but I think I must have done once as a child, the songs sounded familiar! I really did enjoy this more than I thought I would, it’s very different to most Disney movies and doesn’t have that heartbreaking moment that most do. That probably came out worse than it should have done, but I hate how Disney movies make me cry! I managed to stay dry-eyed through this one, thankfully.

The loveable Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy kind of stole the show for me. Is this how he got the role of Donkey in Shrek? He’s just perfect! I’m definitely going to have to hunt down a stuffed Mushu in Disneyland...despite what my fiance has warned me (I own too many stuffed toys for an adult, but then he owns too much lego so we’re even!).


I don’t know how I’ve gotten away with not watching The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) for so long, because it’s my fiance’s 2nd favourite Disney movie ever! I don’t know why it’s never held much appeal to me, but once I noticed the voice cast including David Spade, Patrick Warburton and the legendary John Goodman, I was more than happy to give it a go!

Emperor Kuzco is a grade A douchebag, wanting to demolish the home of a gentle llama herder just to build himself another pool. When he scorns his assistant Yzma, she seeks revenge and inadvertently turns him into a llama. Pacha, the llama herder, agrees to help Kuzco as long as he promises to leave his village alone. What follows is a hilarious journey as the pair travel and attempt to avoid Yzma and her right-hand man, Kronk.

Whilst I don’t hold it with the same esteem as my fiance, I really enjoyed this one. It felt different to Disney’s usual style, with more jokes for the bigger kids. Definitely glad I watched this, and at least now I know what my fiance is on about when he starts quoting half the movie on impulse!


At the time Brave (2012) came out, I was in a job that sent me to Aberdeen in Scotland too many times. There’s nothing wrong with Aberdeen, let me just say! It’s just that whenever I went, my plane home was always horrendously delayed, and the event I was there for always had drama. We got evacuated from the venue once because the wind was so dangerous. Needless to say, my plane home was delayed. By 4 hours. Sigh. I reckon that’s why I couldn’t face watching Brave. The Scottish accent alone gives me flashbacks of that airport.

Anyway! Brave has a very Disney-esque storyline. Merida, a princess, has become of the age when her parents are finding a suitor for her, and her mother is attempting to teach her how to be a real ‘princess’. Merida doesn’t like boys, doesn’t like being a princess, and would be much happier shooting arrows. Tension builds, which leads to Merida turning her mother into a llama. No, wait. Wrong movie. A bear!

This was an enjoyable watch too, but it was missing something. I’m not sure what, it made me laugh, made me cry, but something just felt off! Most definitely worth a watch, though.

One thing is for sure, watching any Disney movie just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Wedding stress was definitely forgotten whilst we watched these. In fact, we’ll be trying to remember those happy moments whilst riding Mickey’s Fun Wheel...which we’ve learnt is not-so secretly known as Mickey’s Wheel of Doom, thanks to it’s free-swinging carts...gulp.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Decades Blogathon: The Fountain (2006)

Originally posted on Three Rows Back and Digital Shortbread as part of the 2016 Decades Blogathon. To see the original announcement post, click here. To see this post in it's original form as part of the Blogathon, click here.


I was a spectator for last year’s Decades Blogathon, so I am absolutely delighted to make the cut to take part this year! As someone with a worryingly long ‘must watch’ list, this was the perfect chance to tick off a movie that I’ve been putting off for a while. The Fountain has been on my list for a while now, I can’t remember exactly what first brought my attention to it, but I was fascinated by the mixed opinions on it. Simply look at the chart on Letterboxd here to see what I mean. There aren’t many ratings charts that look like that.


The Fountain (2006) is an incredibly artistic and complex movie, but in it’s most simplest form, it is the story of a scientist named Tommy (Hugh Jackman), desperately trying to find a cancer cure for his dying wife, Izzi (Rachel Weisz).

It is, of course, much more than that. There are actually 3 separate stories here, all woven intricately within each other. For the first half of the movie, it’s incredibly easy to get confused with the stories, and the timeline itself. There are so many perplexing details that the movie focuses on, that it’s hard to switch off and simply enjoy the story for what it is. Rest assured, all those questions you build up get answered in a drip feed as the time goes by.


In fact, it’s incredibly rewarding to see such tiny details explained such a long time afterwards. It’s really one of those rare movies where nothing is shown or said without a purpose, and I like that. My one piece of advice actually would be to stick with this if you find it getting a bit too much. If it wasn’t for the fact I was watching this for the Decades Blogathon, I can’t confidently say I would have watched the whole thing.

What lies beneath these intricate tales is one of the most heartbreaking yet beautiful love stories I’ve ever seen. It’s a real testament to both Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz for their amazing acting skills and natural chemistry together. Izzi’s battle with cancer is all too familiar any Tommy’s refusal to accept the reality in front of him was so difficult to watch. The name of the movie comes from the book that Izzi has been writing as she documents her journey, and the scene in which she asks Tommy to complete final chapter for her, because he ‘knows how it ends’ is a very memorable one. 


My only real complaint is that the spiritual elements of the movie just get too complicated for me to understand.  Second viewing might aid this, as I literally went in blind, whereas knowing even just the blurb on IMDB would have probably helped me greatly. That said, anyone who is naturally interested in spirituality will have an amazing experience with this. It’s so well done, and considering the fact that it’s 10 years old now, it hasn’t aged at all. If it weren’t for the famous faces in the lead roles, this could easily be mistaken for a current release.

With a runtime of a little over an hour and a half, this movie whizzes by, and the ending comes all too soon. That said, I think if this was any longer some might give up before the end, when all their questions are finally answered. I highly recommend The Fountain, but I accept that it isn’t one for everyday viewing.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Review: Testament of Youth (2014)

It's taken me a really long time to write this post, it turns out I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this movie on my own on a Sunday night.  I had no idea this was a true story until is started watching it and it really struck a cord with me, so I've had to wait a while to write the review so i didn't sob all over my computer!!


Based on the book of the same name by Vera Brittain, Alicia Vikander plays a young Vera during some of the brightest and darkest parts of her life through World War 1.  Vera a strong willed woman determined to do everything people tell her she can't from going to Oxford, to becoming a Nurse and a writer.

This film was truly heartbreaking and the thought that its a true story just chokes me up even more.  Vera was an unbelievably strong woman for what she went through at such a young and just continues to push forward.  It almost made me feel ashamed for worrying over petty issues and not trying to do more than what people expect of you.


I loved Vikander in Ex-Machina and she didn't disappoint, she was amazing at Brittain and made every emotion so raw I was a sobbing snotty mess in the first half an hour.  Another star in the making is Taron Egerton playing Vera's much loved brother Edward, who for me steals every scene he was in (we all knew it was possible after still standing out next to Colin Firth in Kingsman).  I was a little disappointed with Kit Harrington as love interest Roland but I haven't seen him shine in anything outside of Game of Thrones so its not a surprise.

I am fully aware that I haven't really reviewed the film but if I think too much about the plot I'm going to be a blubbering wreck again!


Jenna I want you to know that I really, really tried to watch and enjoy this for you. There are only 2 types of movies I struggle with, War and Period Dramas, and this was just too much for me! I appreciated the performances by the cast, but I just couldn't deal with the story...I think I started to tidy and clean the living room for something more interesting to do...

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Top 5 Domhnall Gleeson Roles

As if I needed an excuse to gush about my favourite people in the movie world, today is Domhnall Gleeson’s birthday! Pronounced ‘Doh-nuhl’ (in my accent anyway) which took me far too long to work out. I’d been calling him ‘Dom-un-all’ for ages, and then had a moment of crisis in our review of The Revenant. You can always trust the internet to help you, though!


He was only on my radar because of his ties to the Harry Potter series until last year, when he managed to land himself a role in 4 Oscar-Nominated movies in just 2015. What a star! I can’t wait to see more from him in the coming years, I find it fascinating how well he plays a hopeless romantic and a sneering douchebag, and comes across perfect in each!

Whilst I wait though, I thought I’d track down and watch the rest of his filmography like a crazy person make a little list of my top 5 favourite roles of his. Bill Weasley gets an honourable mention here, only because he’s my least favourite Weasley brother, and damnnnn 2015 was a brilliant year!


How amazing was Brooklyn? I only watched it because of its nominations, a romance movie like this is not something I’d normally enjoy, but I fell in love with it instantly. I think mainly due to the characters, who we just so loveable. Obviously I know how perfect Eilis and Tony were for each other, but when Eilis met Jim back in her hometown, he was so sweet and such a gentleman that a big part of me definitely wouldn’t have been mad if they ended up together.


I actually had no idea Domhnall Gleeson played General Hux until after I’d watched the movie for the first time, he’s just such a different character! Gone is gentle, kindhearted boy, he’s replaced with a slimy, sneering General thrust into an important military position at far too young of an age. We don’t actually get to see much of Hux in The Force Awakens, but I’m hoping for some more scenes of his with Kylo Ren in Episode VIII, as the two battle for Supreme Leader Snoke’s approval.


You can’t call him evil, but Jon is a bit of an annoying douchebag in Frank. I can forgive that though, because he shares my undying love for ham and cheese toasties, and shouts my favourite bad word at the top of his voice in the middle of a hot tub. Jon’s character transition from the bumbling guy in the background to the power behind the whole band (I can’t remember what it’s called now...it was so weird) is interesting to watch, as the whole thing comes round in a full circle. 


Ugh, I love this movie so much. It’s another romance I didn’t expect to love so much, but this one has much more comedy than Brooklyn. It also has my favourite wedding scene ever in it. If it’s going to rain on my wedding day this month, let it be like this! I don’t do anything by halves. It’s such a delight watching Tim grow as this goofy guy looking for love, into the fully fledged, doting husband he becomes. Swoon!


There’s definitely a running theme here, because I was practically forced to watch Ex Machina last year. The trailer didn’t sell it to me at all, but it became one of my favourites of the entire year. There’s something about Caleb’s character that just oozes nerves, excitement and terror at the same time. The movie itself takes a turn into dark territory and Caleb is forced right into the centre of it all. 

What do you think? Are there any roles you would have included in your top 5 that aren't listed here? I'd love to know if there's a great movie I haven't seen yet.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Review: Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

What would you do if you read this ad in your local paper? “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid when we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.” I like to think I’d get in touch, for sure.


Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) is a ‘Dramedy’ based on this classified advert that a man named Kenneth (Mark Duplass) has written. At a magazine publishing company, Jeff (Jake Johnson) proposes to investigate the author of the advert to chase an amusing article for the magazine. One of the interns, Darius (Aubrey Plaza) volunteers to join him, and a second intern, Arnau (Karan Soni) gets dragged along too. The three of them set out on a road trip to a coastal town to research the story.

It is very quickly evident that Jeff actually has a more important reason for taking the job on. It just so happens that his old high school crush Liz (Jenica Bergere) lives in this coastal town, and so he leaves both Darius and Arnau to do the work whilst he gets in contact with Liz to try and rekindle their romance. When that plan fails, Jeff takes Arnau out to make sure he doesn’t waste his youth. I enjoyed their side of the story, but it is secondary compared to that of Darius and Kenneth.


Darius succeeds where Jeff failed in gaining Kenneth’s trust thanks to her aloof yet tenacious attitude. Aubrey Plaza gets to play the sarcastic character she does so well but with a much more serious overtone this time around, which she nailed. She is one talented and awesome lady! I wasn’t expecting the story to take the romantic turn that it did, but it was fascinating to watch Darius and Jeff’s relationship grow.

What I loved most was the question you find yourself asking throughout the entire movie. Can Kenneth really travel back in time? There are no clues (that I noticed) that give any indication either way, but you are definitely left questioning Kenneth’s sanity more than once.


I won’t spoil anything for you, but the ending of Safety Not Guaranteed really got me thinking! At first I was a little disappointed, but the more I questioned it, the more I realised there just wasn’t a better ending. It was actually brilliant!

Highly recommended if you enjoy quirky little movies!