Double Feature: Silent Night Deadly Night 2 (1987) & Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

So…I lied in the last double feature (HERE) about being the last Christmas lineup because we decided to watch another Alternate Christmas horror film on Shudder on Christmas day. Oops…haha! Pairing with this 80s slasher is this year’s uber cute movie, Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Lets check it out!!

Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)

silent night deadly night 2

Director: Lee Harry

Cast: Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Jean Miller, Ken Weichert

The now-adult Ricky talks to a psychiatrist about how he became a murderer after his brother, Billy, died, which leads back to Mother Superior. – IMDB

I have never seen the first film so we could only hope that it would work out, seeing as Shudder only has Part 2 and not the first, it must work relatively well as a stand-alone. Starting from a sequel, no matter how much it doesn’t really need the first film’s knowledge and still is easy to follow is not too easy to accomplish but I wonder if some of the little questions of the character here would make more sense with knowledge of the first one.

Silent Night Deadly Night 2 is not too good. Maybe as a lets all sit around and make fun of it deal, it did have that entertainment purpose. The dialogue was pretty bad and then you pair it with the very exaggerated and trying really hard to be villainous acting of Eric Freeman with the furiously moving eyebrows and big eyes and that really did make it all the more ridiculous altogether. It didn’t matter that the movie went along to tell the story of how it began with the brother and that made more sense than how he had those triggers that made him vengeful because it wasn’t really about the brother more than it seemed like he also was triggered by certain elements that changed him. Some story elements didn’t make a ton of sense.

Overall, Silent Night Deadly Night 2 was pretty meh. I mean, it was pretty mockworthy fun as we sat around repeating the dialogue and the crazy eyebrows which sometimes were quite hard to do in general in its frequency. It did add a twist that we didn’t quite see at the end although how it was done is quite a mystery.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

pokemon detective pikachu

Director: Rob Letterman

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Chris Geere, Suki Waterhouse, Josette Simon, Rita Ora

In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. – IMDB

I am going to be straightforward that I am not as big of a Pokemon fan as others. I know the basics and pop back into Pokemon Go every once in a while but I don’t think qualifies me as a “fan”. Detective Pikachu did some great promotional efforts though, with Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu and the trailers being so much fun to watch that it sold it to me right away. Plus, Pokemon is cute, REALLY cute so here we are…

Pokemon is Pokemon, its not meant to be deep or have some mega unexpected moment. In fact, keeping it simple might be its best execution and that is what this movie does. It blows you away with its comedy and the little bits of mystery and witty dialogue and just the sheer ability of being able to implement a variety of Pokemon types so well is quite the accomplishment. Its a fun time from start to finish. The ending did manage to squeeze in a little twist (about the father) that makes sense why something wasn’t done during the movie. Its a clever detail.

I didn’t have particularly any expectations for this one except to have a cute and fun time and I had that in spades. It was all that I had wanted and a lot more. Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu is brilliant. The dialogue packs in a lot of memorable moments. Plus, its all very witty and awesome. Sure, the danger of the whole situation and whatnot was pretty easy where they were going with the villain twist and who is behind the whole deal but I’m sure no one expected this one to be some deep story. Its simple and straightforward mystery and it ticks all the boxes of what you’d want from a Pokemon story. In fact, it does it a lot better than most video game inspired stories.

And for fun, here’s one of my favorite parts:

That’s it for this double feature! 
Have you seen these two films?

Valentine’s Double Feature: Ibiza (2018) & Just Friends (2005)

Working out a lovely pacing this Valentine’s marathon as we land on the 5th double feature on this Netflix alphabet journey with I & J selection! Ibiza has been on my list a little bit but I have come to realize that late night comedies aren’t always my thing so I have put it off until now. Well, Just Friends is more of a random choice but it was on my list because of Ryan Reynolds so here we are!

Lets check it out!

Ibiza (2018)

ibiza

Director: Alex Richanbach

Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Phoebe Richardson, Vanessa Bayer, Richard Madden, Felix Gomez, Jordi Molla, Michaela Watkins

A young American woman and her two best friends seek out a hot DJ in Spain. – IMDB

Late night comedies are usually not my first choice in films. Plus, I haven’t seen the series Love yet so I also don’t have that connection for Gillian Jacobs. The start of Ibiza definitely doesn’t quite define how it gets. There are some fun messages here about going with your heart and throwing things to chance and finding your path. These three best friends are a little ridiculous sometimes and have their annoying moments but these are the usual path of late night comedies when it gets odd and it depends on how the viewer feels. Some bits were just not for me. But, there is this carefree feeling as we see the Gillian Jacobs character really let go. Especially in all her awkwardness along with Richard Madden’s character but they also have mad chemistry and passion which is so heart melting to watch.

Despite weird moments, running after the thing you want and having someone chase after you is the whole end game of Ibiza. Its somewhat a self-discovery for our main character that she finds on her Ibiza trip when she finds her value. Ibiza has a more multi-layer story where on the surface its finding this one time encounter that just took her breath away but the choices she makes after that changes the course of her character arc. It seems like my thinking is far-fetched but there’s something more here and it explains the abstract ending which just works for me.

Plus, Ibiza also gets points for having some great music especially seeing as its set with Richard Madden playing a DJ called Leo and EDM is my jam and I really liked the music aspect of it throughout, even outside of the club scenes.

Just Friends (2005)

Just friends

Director: Roger Kumble

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette, Fred Ewanuick, Amy Matysio, Julie Hagerty

While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with — a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer. – IMDB

No idea Just Friends is a Christmas movie, well, set during Christmas at least. Just Friends comes about halfway for me. On one hand, there are some funny moments and its to be expected. At the same time, it falls somewhere in the romantic comedy area where its predictable, really weird and at times also incredibly awkward. There are bits that run overly long and then there’s the romance thing which I guess worked but I’ve also seen it done better. To be honest, its not anything special but it has a few laughs as well.

These sort of movies are also the hardest to talk about because technically, nothing really is that bad but nothing is too good either. What hinges on Just Friends enjoyment is how much you enjoy the humor here. Anna Faris has always been an actress that I’ve rarely enjoyed watching because her humor is very odd and awkward and in this one, she plays a singer that is incredibly weird. At the same time, there’s this awkwardness between the main leads throughout most of the film, driving a lack of chemistry and potential desire so when the end game happens, it feels like a fairly rushed sort of ending but its a Hollywood romantic comedy which usually means a happy ending.

That’s it for this double feature!
I and J is now done and we’ll be moving onto the next pairing very soon!
Have you seen these films? What did you think of them?

Netflix A-Z: The Voices (2014)

We’re nearing the end of our second round of Netflix A-Z! We can start our countdown from 5 on the letter V and for this one, it was a debate between Vampire Academy and The Voices.  Since my husband was the one choosing, I didn’t think he’d want to go through the misery of watching the first choice so we landed on the second.  Honestly, I’ve been intrigued by The Voices. It has a pretty decent cast and it looks funny and weird all at the same time.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

The Voices (2014)

the voices

Director: Marjane Satrapi

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver

A likable guy pursues his office crush with the help of his evil talking pets, but things turn sinister when she stands him up for a date.-IMDB

The Voices is a lot of things.  Its funny, awkward, quirky, a little disturbing and most of surprisingly fun to watch. I like the cast.  Ryan Reynolds hasn’t disappointed me other than the time when he was in Green Lantern and even then I don’t think it was his fault. Gemma Arterton has proved, especially in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter that she has the chops to play horror comedy sort of movies.  And well, I’m just a huge fan of Anna Kendrick who is incredibly funny in her little awkward way. The Voices pieces together a nice little horror comedy.  It definitely builds into a look into the mind of our main character, Jerry who is kind of sweet but lives in a rather deep fantasy.  His reality isn’t all that great.

The Voices

In a way, its hard to dislike Jerry even if he is a murderer.  He’s lonely and mentally unstable.  Its partially his fault because reality makes him lonely so he doesn’t take the medication he needs which his psychiatrist, played by Jacki Weaver, urges him over and over to do in order to continue on these treatments. That is besides the point.  To a certain extent, Jerry is extremely clueless.  He is influenced by his mind and I’m guessing this is some statement about mental health in here, not in the violent way but just how it really affects you.  The Voices are essentially just his companions.  I mean not in the way that his voices which are in his head but like his pets, Mr. Whiskers and Bosco. And these pets are like the angel and devil sitting on his shoulder and they are absolutely  hilarious.  They might actually be my favorite part of the movie.  The surprising part (apparently my husband didn’t find it at all surprising) was that Ryan Reynolds voiced the pets. He does a fine job at it.

The Voices

If I were to criticize just one little part was that the ending felt like it lost a little bit of steam portraying him unravelling.  Still, it was a lot of fun to watch.  I like dark comedies a lot and its rare nowadays to even find comedies that I actually think work.  This was an unexpected surprise.  I didn’t have much expectation of how this would go but I’m happy that it was as enjoyable as it was.

Overall, a fun little black comedy with some great performances.  Its probably one of my favorite roles of Ryan Reynolds, especially with his voice work as Mr. Whiskers.  It winds down a disturbing path as the story unfolds and we see his character Jerry unravel and break apart mentally in a way.  Its a worth a watch if dark comedies are your thing.

Have you seen The Voices? What do you think about it?

Opinion Battles Round 3 – Favourite Ryan Reynolds Role

Check out Round 3 of Opinion Battles over at Movie Reviews 101! With the arrival of Deadpool right around the corner, we’re looking at our Favorite Ryan Reynolds role! Mine was hands down easy choice: his role in Buried. Its awesome in the rare occasion that two other people also had the same opinion as I did! 🙂
Head on over and drop a vote on the choices and see who you agree with the most! 🙂

Movie Reviews 101

opinion battles

Favourite Ryan Reynolds Role

Deadpool has hits the cinema this week and it is now time to look at the leading actor Ryan Reynolds, he has been in some of the biggest box office bombs most critically slammed films but has also been in a large number low budget films. Deadpool has had everyone talking about it finally being his time for big box office film and only time will tell on that. We have just under 60 performances to pick from so what will be the winner?

If you would like to join in next round of Opinion Battles we are going to be picking our Least Favourite Oscar Winner Best Picture. Email your choice to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 21st February 2016.

Movie Reviews 101

Jerry and Voices of Mr Whiskers and Bosco – The Voicesvoices

Jerry is one of my favourite characters in comedy of recent years, he…

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The Croods (2013)

I’m going to try to get through 2013 flicks at least one per week.  Last week, I decided that its been too long that I haven’t watched animated movies.  I think the last one I watched wasn’t even a full review.  Actually, its kind of crazy.  I’m way ahead of movie watching but just so behind writing up all the reviews.  Thats actually never happened before but its comforting to know that I now have time at night to study or explore other stuff than just watching Netflix all the time. Last week, I decided that I wanted to watch The Croods.  I’ve read mostly positive reviews for this and with the bad reputation of Nicolas Cage picking up a lot of not so great movies because of his debts and still getting good reviews, I was pretty intrigued.  Lets check it out!

the croods posterDirector: Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders

Voice Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders

The Croods is a family of cavemen who live under the patriarch of the family, Grug (Nicolas Cage), who has proven through his many survivor stories to “never not be afraid”. Although everyone agrees and lives by this, his daughter Eep (Emma Stone) craves to be in more light and exploring the world.  One time, when they were sheltering in their cave, Eep sees a strange light that moves and she follows it to find a boy, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) in disguise with something called fire that protects and scares away creatures.  He warns her that he’s running away to faraway mountains to be safe from the world’s end.  When she heads back and her parents don’t believe her while the signs of what Guy says starts occurring, eventually causing their home to be destroyed, The Croods pick up the whole family and have to try and find themselves another home.  Eventually, meeting Guy again, they travel together to find safety.  While Guy learns about The Croods and their barbaric ways, The Croods also slowly learn the way to survive with something called ideas instead of brute force.

croods eep

If you’re new to the site, I’ve been pretty impressed with the last two years of animated flicks.  Dreamworks has been kicking some serious butt.  They are the brains behind the neverending Madagascar and Ice Age series, which I will cringe if they make another of because I refuse to watch it.  Still, Dreamworks has proven if not by earlier animations but with How To Train a Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and the more recent Rise of the Guardians, that they are a force to be reckoned.  I’m happy to say that The Croods is in the same ballpark.  Its entertaining for all ages and its hilarious.  The colors and scenes are beautiful especially after the move onto the jungle portion and the creatures are adorable and pretty. Just look at this little guy:

the croods tiger

Okay okay, I’m a tiger addict so this feline totally stole my heart away.

Not just looking at creatures, the characters were really fun to watch.  The whole cavemen learning about newer things and learning to use their brain to form ideas and solve problems.  The whole concept of breaking out of tradition.  The voice work was just so good.  Despite how everyone thinks Nicolas Cage really sucks in the recent years, I  haven’t seen too much of his newer stuff but even the movies like Sorcerer’s Apprentice was fun in my book.  But then, my scale and expectations shift depending on the movie genre and the target audience I feel they are aiming for.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything with Nicolas Cage doing voice work but man, he was hilarious.  Add in the very enthusiastic and sarcastic Emma Stone doing Eep and this movie already won my heart over.  As for Ryan Reynolds, I don’t have a huge opoinion on him.  He has done movies I love, hate and am indifferent to but I realized that I never recognize his voice, ever.  Its really weird but somehow in this one, his character of Guy and how he portrayed his voice worked well.  I liked it 🙂

the croods guy and thunk

I’m just praising the movie non-stop, right? Is it so weird though? Co-director in this is Chris Sanders, who also does the voice of Belt, the little purple fluff up in that picture that looks like a sloth.  Chris Sanders has directed movies that I love including Lilo & Stitch and How to Train a Dragon.  I didn’t know that part until I researched a bit for this.  He is awesome and I hope he keeps making these things because it totally works for me.  It reminds me of how much I just love animation and could watch ALL THE TIME!

the croods family

To be fair, its rare to find a perfect movie.  I was very pleased with this.  In a more objective mind, the story was not as developed or maybe not even that original because its just cavemen learning to be more sophisticated, adding in the family aspect and whatnot but thats okay because animations don’t have to be that detailed.  They are for kids and as long as the main point is carried out and everyone has a good time. Thats really what matters 🙂 There were some touching moments here between Grug and Eep in the end and I just bonded with the characters so much, I kind of cheered them on in their escape to evade the world’s end.

I really have nothing more to say about this. OVERALL, it was fun, entertaining, hilarious. The puns worked great and the characters are awesome.  The voice work was great and you know what, the creatures and background was just adorable and beautiful respectively. I had a great time with it and I think it’ll be great for seeing for both kids and adults.

Have you seen The Croods? What is your favorite Dreamworks animation? 

Valentine Marathon: The Proposal (2009)

I took it everyone enjoyed my marathon intermission yesterday.  However, time is flying by and I had to get back on with the marathon with a romantic comedy, The Proposal.

The_ProposalDirector: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Betty White, Denis O’Hare

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is the editor in chief of Colden Books, who is a Canadian waiting for her visa application.  When she left the country without the appropriate paperwork, her visa was denied and she has to be deported.  In a fluster of the moment, she decides to make her long time assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) marry her.  However, her immigration officer (Denis O’Hare) doesn’t believe them and schedules them for an interview to test them on their knowledge of each other right after they come back from their trip to visit Andrew’s family in Alaska to celebrate his grandma Annie’s (Betty White) birthday.

This is a hilarious flick.  I love Sandra Bullock.  I really do.  She’s an amazing actress and I’ve loved her movies since forever.  I believe I had talked about this back in December when I did the Christmas marathon and reviewed While You Were Sleeping.  I was watching this one and I thought it was slightly similar in the fact that it focuses on regaining the lost feeling of being part of a family.  Sandra Bullock may play a much more stuck-up role as Margaret but she just has this crazy funny moments that just made me laugh out loud.

Aside from that, we have Betty White.  She’s always the adorable and humorous grandma.  Don’t you want your grandmother to be like her? She’s just pure awesomeness.  Okay, I know I know…we also need to talk about Ryan Reynolds.  As much as he was crap as Green Lantern, he does play a wonderful rom-com actor.  And he is quite the handsome and charming man (especially on a physical level, he goes shirtless a few times).

This flick is quite the old and normal type of story line and it can get predictable but the characters really is the plus and leads it to higher ground.  It helps us appreciate the funny moments a bit more.  Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds have amazing chemistry to make this all the more believable.  This isn’t any new but its definitely a fun and comedic story that makes you feel good in the end.  That’s all I really ask for in a chick flick.  As much it sounds like I’m not very appreciative of this one, I do love it quite a bit because of its frequent moments to just pop out some random scene that make me roll over laughing.

What do you think about Sandra Bullock? Whats your favorite Sandra Bullock movie?