John Wick: Chapter 2

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Keanu Reeves is back with a bang and kicking ass in this action sequal, where he plays a super assassin. It has more fight scenes, more explosions and more hit men than its predecessor where we saw John Wick take vengence on some thugs that murdered his dog.

This chapter follows on directly from the previous film as we see John Wick’s plan to retire cut short (again) when an Italian gangster shows up on his doorstep demanding he repay a debt to him.

My husband and I both loved the first film, it was definitely one of our favourite action movies to date and this follow up didn’t dissapoint. I’m also pretty sure than John Wick managed to kill hundreds of people in this chapter, pretty unrealistic but awesome none the less.

I personally think that the latest James Bond films should take a few notes from John Wick. Mr Wick rocks a black suit, he knows a range of different fighting styles and is unstoppable with a gun. It’s also nice that although he’s an assassin, he follows the code of the secret assassin society The Continental, which is why he must repay the debt he owes.

Whilst this film is a great and some what gorey action movie it still pulled at our heart strings. I just wish these guys would give John a break and let him retire and live the quiet life with his new dog like he so desperately wants. He lost the love of his life and now he’s having his house blown up and his life threatend by the worlds best assassins.

I was worried that this sequel wouldn’t live up to the first film, but in many ways it was even better. The only thing I didn’t entirely get was Ruby Rose’s character, we already had a bad guy in the form of an Italian gangster and she was sort of his body guard in some ways, I don’t think she really added anything to do the film except I suppose for some good girl power but still it seemed a bit random.

This is the perfect movie for every action fan and the ending leaves it open to a third film, which I hope will show John Wick working with other people rather than just on his own, maybe chucking in a new relationship so he can move on from the loss of his wife.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

P.s can I just add that Keanu Reeves is in his 50’s – how mad is that? He’s still got it!

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8/10.

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Fifty Shades Darker

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Based on the massively popular Fifty Shades books, the second film in this saga follows a wounded Christian Grey as he fights to get back the new woman in his life, Anastasia Steele.

As the two try to build back a relationship they face some bizarre trials, but they still manage to have a ton of sex.

I’ve never been much of a prude but some of these sex scenes, specifically one including some ‘silver balls’ were a little bit cringey. But there were some goofy laugh out loud moments and it stuck to the books storyline really well.

My main concern with this film is how it scathes over some of the troubling people they face from Christian’s past. They’re sort of like the villians of a movie, but instead of us getting to know one villian well and watching them battle the problem, they have three ‘villians’. Because there’s so much going on in this movie and so many past relationships to face it kind of brushes over them a bit too quick – basically this movie has some structural issues.

One thing I can’t complain about is a bit of topless Jamie Dornan, who does a great job at putting on an American accent and looking brilliant in a suit as well as out of one.

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It’s a bit cringey at times but it’s worth a watch, it exceeded its predecessor in some ways but in many ways could have been better.

Loved the film sets and fancy costumes/ face masks also, Dakota Johnson looked amazing in her long silver dress and face mask in the masquerade scene.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll round off this saga in the final movie.

6/10.

Coming soon….

Just wanted to give you all a heads up about what I have in the pipe line…..

Firstly, as I’m sure you’re all aware, 50 Shades Darker is currently out at the cinema so I will be watching that on Valentines Day (how stereotypical of me, I know) and reviewing it soon.

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Also, there are new Reign episodes on Netflix, I’ve just watched the first episode of season 4 and it’s great – so get on that.

I wanted to get started on a new series so I’m trying out the superhero series that is Flash, once I’m all caught up I’ll let you know my thoughts on that too.

So stay tuned and hope you all have a lovely Valentines Day – sending my love.

Sing

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An animated Koala who runs what was once a grand and bustling theater is faced with difficult times as it slowly comes to a crashing end. Ever the passionate business man (or Koala should I say?), Mr Moon creates a singing competition to gather the masses back to his theater.

Throughout this film it touches on many adult themes and problems that we face on a daily basis, including a mother who feels like she is unappreciated, a son who is forced into the family business and a young girl (or elephant in this case) who suffers with anxiety and stage freight.

This cute comedy follows the story of several animals who are working to conquer their fears whilst dreaming big and covering some hit songs. Although it often feels like a bit of pop music over load, it still made me want to get up and dance, and clearly I wasn’t the only one as a young boy was continuously trying to stand on his chair and dance along – much to his families displeasure.

Sing has a great star filled cast, with the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey and others making their presence known.

This talking animal film is a great one for the family, even one that parents can enjoy without being driven too mad trying to keep their kids entertained. Although if you don’t like singing competitions and pop music perhaps this isn’t for you.

It’s energetic, it has a great message for kids and adults alike, and it had me laughing out loud at some moments.

So if you need something to do to keep your kids entertained one Saturday afternoon I would highly recommend this. Admittedly I went to see this with another adult and no children, it was pleasant and made me feel good but not one I’d be making an effort to see again unless my small nephew demanded we watch it.

7/10.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage

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In this third explosive film of the xXx franchise we experience the return of ‘bad boy’ government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel). Cage, along with his crew of misfits, race to find a weapon called Pandora’s Box.

Like the previous two films, this sequel is full of stunts, explosions and half naked women. The stunts, as predicted, were ridiculous, impossible and over the top. But it can be hard not to always enjoy a series like this, sort of like a guilty pleasure where you can laugh at the exaggerated stunts and awkward puns but still wish it was really possible to jump from a great height and land amongsts the trees on your ski’s.

This film reminded me of the Fast and Furious franchise but without the cars. I’m not sure Vin Diesel has ever been able to play a serious character, but I still can’t help but go and watch his movies at the cinema so he must be doing something right.

My first thought after watching Return of Xander Cage was that the producers had asked a 9 year old boy what he wanted in a movie and they made it come true.

This movie also manages to not so subtly objectify women, with the lead ladies in very tight fitting small outfits who need saving in the end by Vin Diesel and his bulging muscles…. he also randomly has a large orgy at one point (I think there was about 10 women throwing themselves at Xander at one time for no reason at all).

Anyway, despite this films many flaws, including it’s not so strong storyline and poor villain(s), it gave me some entertainment and a bit of a laugh, so if there’s nothing else on then perhaps go and give it a go.

3/10.

 

Split

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Split is based on a character called Kevin (played by James McAvoy) who has 23 personalities within his body. These personalities range from hilarious to disturbing, as one of his personalities wills him to abduct three teenage girls.

His psychiatrist is submerged in his mental state and continues to battle to understand his personalities and to raise awareness of his condition.

This movie starts on quite a dark basis as Kevin abducts the three young girls, but it does develop into some laugh out loud moments as he goes into the personality of a nine year old boy and sometimes that of a fashion designer, amongst others.

There are plenty of twists in this movie, touching on trauma and fate. This is one of James McAvoy’s best ever performances as he managed to portray each personality perfectly and jump in and out of each character very smoothly. I wonder whether he got 23 times his normal wage for playing so many characters…..

There are some hints at the supernatural playing a role in this movie, which provides a big finale.

Although I’m not usually a big fan of thrillers I did really enjoy this movie, however, it’s not for the faint hearted as it can get a little gruesome at some points. I’d like to add that I do enjoy a film that leaves me with questions at the end and one that makes me want to discuss it in detail with others, which this did for me.

I’d give it an 8/10.

 

Keep an eye out

In the next few weeks I have plans to see several movies at the cinema, these include the highly anticipated Split, the animated movie Sing and xXx Return of Xander Cage.

So be sure to keep an eye out for my reviews of each of these movies, which will be coming soon.

I’m very excited to see Split especially as I’m a big fan of James McAvoy, however this does look like it’s going into the region of horror film territory and I’m a massive wimp, but never the less the trailer looks really interesting and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to the hype.

Stay tuned….

Much love,

Emma

La La Land

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What a fantastically funny, utterly charming and romantic film this was. I was so worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype that it has had, but it was enchanting.

This movie tells the tale of a couples journey as they try to accomplish their dreams in LA. Emma Stone plays a wannabe actor and Ryan Gosling is a talented jazz musician who wants to keep jazz alive in Los Angeles.

I am always a bit skeptical about musicals, not on stage but in the movie format. There aren’t many film musicals that I have enjoyed, but I slightly fell in love with this one, I mean nothing beats the Moulin Rouge for me but this was high up there. What was also great was that my husband enjoyed it too as he wasn’t over joyed about going to see this film in the first place and has never been much of a fan of musicals, but he even liked it as well.

The effects and use of camera shots were fantastic and it managed to make you feel like you were watching something on the West End. I also liked that this movie wasn’t completely predictable, there was no cheesy love at first site story line and although there’s somewhat of a happy ending it’s not how you think it’ll be (I won’t give anymore away).

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At some moments I had a huge smile across my face and had to remind myself there were other people sat around me in the cinema.

Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone played their characters perfectly and have great chemistry, but that’s not surprising as they have stared in other films together, like Crazy Stupid Love for example. What I also thought was fantastic is that these two actors learnt all of the dance routines and songs and Gosling even learnt to play the piano, there was no stand in pianist – which you’ll think is even more impressive when you see the sections where he plays.

So anyway, in summary after watching this movie I’m ready to move to LA and become a stereotypical waitress trying to make it as an actor, whilst still managing to live a glamorous lifestyle on minimum wage.

This film is timeless and one I look forward to watching again in the future. I imagine all the family could enjoy watching this.

9/10

Why Him?

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It’s all parents nightmares, to meet the boyfriend of their daughter and to hate him. This movie goes through all of those emotions as a serious couple meet their daughter’s hipster and insanely rich boyfriend (played by James Franco) for the first time in this comedy.

Franco’s character got plenty of chuckles from the audience whilst I was watching this movie, including from me. To be honest whilst I was watching this film one ladies laugh throughout the whole thing took the attention away from the film itself. Her high toned ridiculously loud laugh had the rest of the audience looking and laughing at her instead of the film, at least we know whatever was going on was amusing for her.

Anyway, back to the movie. Whilst this movie really hit the nail on the head with father daughter relationships and how today’s tech wiz kids are dominating the rich and elite and pushing out the old, it sort of lacked a real story line and was pretty predictable.

Basically the premises for the film is – Dad’s business is struggling, meets daughters boyfriend doesn’t like him, Dad gets over it after some highly comical incidents and accepts future son-in-law, they do business and everyone lives happily ever after. This isn’t something I haven’t seen before – very similar to Meet the Fockers style story line.

But besides the obvious this was a fun film to watch and I did enjoy it. It’s not one I’d want to watch again but I’m glad I’ve seen it and got some laughs out of it.

James Franco really makes this movie for me and plays his character fantastically, so if you’ve got nothing to do one night this week why not go and check it out?

For me I’d give it a 5/10.

 

Assassin’s Creed

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Movie adaptions of video games usually do receive a bad reception, the Assassin’s Creed movie has been highly anticipated for many of us as we waited to see whether they could break the bad rep that video game adaptions usually get.

As I’m not much of a game player myself it is hard to say how well the movie portrayed the games original story line and whether fans received it well, but I’ll try my best to give you my unbiased opinion of the film. I for one am a big action film fan so I was keen to see this movie because of the fast paced and dramatic trailer that I caught a glimpse of before its release.

To give you a bit of background on the synopsis, Michael Fassbender plays the character Callum Lynch. The start of the film shows Callum in prison following his history of violence which probably stem from his ‘daddy issues’. After being given the lethal injection, expecting to obviously die, Callum wakes up in a strange new environment and quickly learns that the ‘scientists’ who spared his life want to plug into his brain to receive the memories of his ancestors from the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Following me so far?

The movie continuously switches from scenes of Michael Fassbender strapped up to a strange contraption to dramatic (and quite unbelievable) fight scenes from his ancestors memories. Although the action scenes are insane and unbelievable, in some ways that is what I want from a movie – something unrealistic because otherwise it’d probably be a bit dull and it’s always fun to imagine myself being able to do the things that these assassin’s can do.

The movie starts to get more complex as Fassbender’s character struggles with whether to help the scientists retrieve an artifact that could take away everyone in the world’s free will – basically to make them more compliant.

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Some of the effects in this film are great, with the scenes of Fassbender climbing up walls and seeing ghost like images of his ancestor. However, during the first fight scenes which is based in a desert, the sand is flying everywhere making it hard to see what is in fact going on – perhaps they didn’t have the budget to actually let us see all of the supposed action scenes.

Also I do have to question some of the characters back stories, we don’t get to learn how the Assassin’s Creed started and what fueled their passion to protect the free world – it’s also hard to see what motivates Callum’s character and others like his in the modern day to take on the cause of the assassins. I mean has his ancestor taken over his mind or is he still himself and just wants to be a bad ass? It’s not quite clear.

Anyway, whilst I’m not sure how this film compares to the video game, over all it wasn’t a bad movie to watch. I definitely think it’s worth giving a try even if you’re not a fan of the video game. I mean for one Michael Fassbender does a fantastic job in this movie and I really enjoyed seeing him portray a thug turned assassin, plus he doesn’t look too bad with his top off so there’s even something for the ladies.

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

6/10.