Double Feature: The Fitzroy (2017) & Suicide Squad (2016)

The new structure for here onwards will be double features, my lovelies. If you want great full-length movie reviews, I can refer you to a ton of bloggers. At least it will be spoiler-free guaranteed as always. There may be some exceptions but for now, this will be the format for the most part.

This week’s double feature starts with one of the first projects that I backed on Kickstarter that finally made its premiere and as I am not in the UK, I received a 48 hours access to watch it digitally. Next up, we jump into a more action and comic variety of villains turned heroes in a way with Suicide Squad.

Lets get started! 🙂

The Fitzroy (2017)

the fitzroy

Director (and writer): Andrew Harmer

Cast: Cerith Flinn, Jan Anderson, Kenneth Collard, David Schaal, David Gant, Stuart McGugan

The Fitzroy is a live action black comedy set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950s. The world is covered in poisonous gas, and the last place for a traditional seaside holiday is The Fitzroy hotel, an abandoned submarine just off the coast of England. The film centers on Bernard, the hotel’s bellboy, cook, maintenance man and general dogsbody, as he faces a constant battle to keep the decaying hotel airtight and afloat. But when he falls in love with a murderous guest, he is thrown into a mad day of lies, backstabbing and chaos. As Bernard struggles to hide her murders from the other guests and suspicious authorities, his world literally begins to sink around him. – IMDB

One promise that I make is when this comes out officially and I actually receive my copy of it that I’ll write up a full review on this. The Fitzroy arrived on a pretty busy weekend and we managed to squeeze out some time late at night to watch it. The Fitzroy is a compelling movie to watch. Its a tad predictable but the characters are so fleshed out along with a well-written and entertaining script that it has a lot of laughs and fun characters to watch come alive on screen. There is no doubt that The Fitzroy is indie though. There is a lot of charm to the movie along with creativity for the world they have set. Plus, it really is almost all set in one enclosed area with a few exceptions. The danger is also in its environment. The movie is extremely quirky and I mean it in the best way.

Kickstarter projects are always a toss of luck and I don’t remember when this project launched why I backed it and I am sure over the years, my taste on movies have shifted however, I had a great time watching this one.

Suicide Squad (2016)

suicide squad

Director (and writer): David Ayer

Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Cara Delevingue, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Leto, Scott Eastwood

A secret government agency recruits some of the most dangerous incarcerated super-villains to form a defensive task force. Their first mission: save the world from the apocalypse. – IMDB

Once again, in case you are new here, I need to start with the fact that I have not read any comics so if this is based on any source material of that variety, for myself, this is a standalone. Also do know that I have not caught up with Man of Steel or Batman vs. Superman so while I feel like the mention some of those events, I don’t know if there is a link however, Suicide Squad feels and is standalone for myself.

The best way to describe Suicide Squad is with the word fun. There is a lot of fun. Humor and a ragtag team of villains and fighting and the likes. With the cast they got, its pretty entertaining. However, my husband described it the best the end as he called it very comic-like in the way its made. It isn’t criticism since many movies do a great job using that approach. It is why it keeps it rather light. Suicide Squad also works as an intro to these characters in case we don’t know them: their stories and what motivates them to stay alive. It works because for myself, it didn’t feel like we were invading someone’s story.

Perhaps the best part of Suicide Squad is its cast. Will Smith is fantastic as Deadshot, Margot Robbie was incredibly entertaining as Harley Quinn: other familiar villains like Killer Croc has a role. I love Viola Davis a ton so her role here fit so well with her. I think if I was to rant a little would be the underuse of The Joker because it was played up so much in the publicity about how he did a fantastic job when he was there for like 5 minutes (or what felt like that). At least not enough for me to think that he did a particularly good or bad job. There’s so much here that is much more than that and that has to go to finally not focusing around The Joker which is something that us over at Game Warp have appreciated in some of the Batman games because its gives space for other villains to grow as well.

Suicide Squad still has a rather predictable flow of events however, the script gives these characters a little more than fluff and while it is very comic-like, it is really just an entertaining time.

Have you seen Suicide Squad or heard of The Fitzroy?

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Ultimate 90’s Blogathon Wrap-up: Wild Wild West (1999) by Drew’s Movie Reviews

We have arrived, ladies and gents! We are at the final day of the Ultimate 90’s Blogathon and both my fantastically awesome co-host Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews and I will be sharing our final wrap-up posts on each other’s sites. First to share is Drew with his review of 1999’s Wild Wild West. Will Smith, Kenneth Brannagh, humor and wild west…

Take it away, Drew!

Synopsis
Army Captain James West (Will Smith) is tasked by President Grant (Kevin Kline) to work together with US Marshal Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) to find the ex-Confederate scientist Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) before he can take over the United States government.

Review
Wild Wild West was a go-to movie for my friend and I back when we were growing up.  Between the two of us, we could (and still can!) quote the movie in its entirety.  Having watched this many times over the years, I acknowledge that the nostalgia factor might affect my enjoyment of the film, as I have found several flaws since watching it as a young lad. However, that doesn’t mean it still can’t be enjoyed on its own merits.

Right out the gate, this movie is goofy. Not funny, although it is that too, but goofy.  Artemis Gordon’s inventions feel a little too perfect for the situations they get Gordon and Jim West out of. Arliss Loveless’ beard rivals Crane’s beard from The Hunger Games for most intricate movie beard, acting as the proverbial “I’m the bad guy” sign.  Loveless’ invention to bring the “US government to its knees” is a giant, steam-punk tarantula.  Everything about this movie screams “Saturday morning cartoon.” Nevertheless, it has a sense of fun that many film miss, which is why it still works for even as I’ve grown older.  Wild Wild West never takes itself seriously, making it fun for both the actors and the audience.

The humor can be seen as a little juvenile, like the scene below, but that kind of humor is what I like.  Will Smith and John Kline are enjoyable to watch together.  This film came out relatively early in Smith’s film career. It is fun to see how he has brought the same energy and personality to his characters throughout all of his movies, whether they were in the 90s, when he started film acting, or today.  I’ll admit I haven’t seen many of Kline’s films to compare Artemis Gordon to his other roles but his comedy here is more subtle than Smith’s which works because having two boisterous comedians would be too much.

Besides the two leads, the other two big supporting actors, Salma Hayek and Kenneth Branagh are clearly having a good time too.  The often scantily clad Hayek is obviously there for the eye candy and to give West and Gordon someone to compete for, but it doesn’t appear to bother her and she gives a memorable performance.  Branagh gets fully into the maniacal villain role.  It’s cartoonish and over the top but he steals his every scene he’s in.

I thought Wild Wild West was GOOD 🙂 It isn’t afraid to be silly and have fun with itself, which might turn off other viewers but I really enjoyed that.  Everyone, from Will Smith and Kevin Kline to Salma Hayek and Kennith Branagh, feel like they are enjoying themselves.  I grew up watching this film regularly and although its imperfections have become more apparent over the years, it still is every bit the fun, adventurous romp I remember it to be.

Favorite Scene

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Barry Sonnenfeld – Director
Jim Thomas – Story
John Thomas – Story
SS Wilson – Screenplay
Brent Maddock – Screenplay
Jefferey Price – Screenplay
Peter S Seaman – Screenplay
Elmer Bernstein – Composer

Will Smith – James West
Kevin Kline – Artemis Gordon / President Ulysses S Grant
Kenneth Branagh – Dr. Arliss Loveless
Salma Hayek – Rita Escobar
M. Emmet Walsh – Coleman
Ted Levine – General “Bloodbath” McGrath
Frederique van der Wal – Amazonia
Musetta Vander – Munitia
Sofia Eng – Miss Lippenrieder
Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon – Belle
Bai Ling – Miss East

Remember to head over to Drew’s later today to see my wrap-up post!
Hint: Its also a triple feature (just like my kick-off)!

Double Feature: 21 (2008) & Hancock (2008)

At the end of March, there was a whole bunch of movies expiring on Netflix.  It was ridiculous.  So, in an effort to minimize backlog, here’s a double feature.  Plus, I’ve been slacking off on reviews.  I’m a little late on today’s post as well since as my vlog earlier this week explained, moving weekend. I have only a little moving but there’s a whole lot of spring prep and organizing plus, finally some nice weather today.  13 degrees Celsius felt like summer after two months of -30 Celsius weather. That’s probably why EVERYONE was out! Anyways, no complaints!

Moving along…

The first two I saw my list to expire was 21 and Hancock.  I remember 21 only because one of my friends was madly in love with Jim Sturgess at the time this came out in theatres back in 2008 and she was so excited to go see this.  I didn’t go with her but somehow this movie stuck in my head, although there was a time I confused this with 21 Grams, which is a completely different story.  It had nothing to do with each other.

Either way, lets check out these two 2008 movies!

21 (2008)

21

Director: Robert Luketic

Cast: Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Josh Gad

“21” is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. – IMDB

I’m just going to write this.  I’ve written and rewritten how to begin this review for the fourth time now. Why? Its because after 2 weeks of seeing this, I’m still really in between on what I feel about this.  I disliked the length.  It just dragged on and on, trying to pile on drama and relationships and whatever else.  Seriously, it didn’t need that.  My guess it was to better understand each of the character’s and the role they play, especially with the main character, Ben, played by Jim Sturgess.  I hate it when I watch movies that are like that because I think they could condense it by like 30 minutes and build the intensity properly to get it moving along to where it all matters. But it didn’t do that and its a shame.

21

21 has a great cast.  Jim Sturgess is really good at Ben, math genius, aspiring doctor, financially struggling student, and then adding on the natural counting cards ability.  He grabs the role really well.  Then we have Laurence Fishburne in the supporting “villain” role because he’s just the guy who is trying to keep his job going because of his abilities to catch people trying to con the casino with whatever tricks.  Then behind this whole counting cards crew is their leader, professor and passé counting cards “master”, Prof Mickey Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey.  Let me tell you, Kevin Spacey is a kick-ass actor.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell many of you but I think of everything that he’s done (that I’ve seen), I don’t think there’s been one disappointing role.  On the flip side, I’m oddly a fan of Aaron Yoo.  He’s not in a lot of movies but somehow, he’s pretty whacky in what he does.  I like his vibe, I guess.  Nothing significant but just thought I’d mention it.

21

So, while the story was poorly executed, the length was ridiculous, the cast was great and the concept of this story (which is inspired by true events) is pretty fun.  This makes it sadly average.  I wish it was better. All it had to do was cut the drama.  That’s really strange coming from me, because usually I kind of like drama and romance but it just felt so pointless.

 Hancock (2008)

hancock

Director: Peter Berg

Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Eddie Marsan

Hancock is a superhero whose ill considered behavior regularly causes damage in the millions. He changes when one person he saves helps him improve his public image. – IMDB

I’ve gained a really incredible love for superheroes.  Not that I didn’t before but I only knew about Superman, Batman and Spiderman.  Its not what I grew up watching but now that’s all changed, which is a great thing.  Plus, I used to be pretty impressed with Will Smith. I’ve skipped pretty much everything since I am Legend.  Hancock was released around that time more or less, maybe a year difference.  I only remember this one because I remember my best friend seeing it and telling me it was decent.  Still, I wasn’t convinced for some weird reason.

Seeing it for myself the other night, the beginning sequence was a little iffy.  I’m going to be honest.  I almost wanted to shut it off after the first 10 minutes.  Hancock seemed REALLY over the top.  Like, they were trying too hard to make him an anti-hero because he’s just incredibly destructive and yet he doesn’t seem to think anything is wrong with it. That’s a little weird also.

hancock

But, it does turn around.  The turning point has to be Jason Bateman entering the scene as Ray, a guy that he saved and wanted to help him be seen as a hero while hopefully changing his image.  Of course, this is where there’s a tad bit of sarcasm and some destruction, a little difference in opinions and some action plus a little bit of laughs from all that mixed together. It changes the dynamics a little and that helps.  I found Jason Bateman’s character really enjoyable to watch.

The story is a little all over the place though.  It starts at this weird vibe for Hancock as a character that really doesn’t seem like a hero and then gives him some dude that convinces and tries to create a new image and then they add in a twist that really was out of nowhere.  Which worked well as a surprise thing.  It felt out of place but it did give his character of Hancock some substance and origin story and that works.

While it could have been better, I did get a few laughs from it.  I’m not so sure about Hancock as a superhero but I totally think Jason Bateman was great and there’s also supporting role by Charlize Theron and we all know there’s nothing to criticize about her. And that second half (or maybe third) was pretty good. 🙂

OVERALL…these 2008 films were rather average.  Both are watchable but both were flawed in their own way. It makes me think, what else was released in 2008? I’ll have to research that a little 😉

Have you seen 21 or Hancock? Did you like either one of these? 

Hope everyone has enjoyed Good Friday! 🙂

P.S. Movie reviews slacking ends now! This long weekend, other than moving, Fast and Furious marathon and first Disney theme: everything Snow White! 😉

Oscars 2014!

Wow! Two years in a row I watch this! Sometimes, I wonder why I do it since I saw 3 movies that was nominated through all the categories.  Shameful as I’m building a blog that getting more and more focused in that area.  I’m going to try harder this year, thats all I can promise!

Back to the biggest night of Hollywood! My boyfriend was finishing up a movie so I lost a bit of the red carpet action, still, I caught most of the outfits as I did watch the whole Oscars and even used commercial breaks to check out tweets! I have to say that I’m a huge fan of Ellen so I loved her quite a bit! I mean, she crashed Twitter with that crazily retweeted selfie? Did that actually happen? AND she ordered pizza, which was super hilarious! 🙂

Moving along…I did it last year and I’ll do it again!

My favorite dresses at the Oscars last night! (Top 5 because I couldn’t pick 3 *ahem*)

Cate Blanchette

Cate Blanchette

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Cate Blanchett oozes elegance, at least to me, she’s the symbol of it.  No one quite does it like her! And I’m totally loving the blue shades on Lupita Nyong’o and Sandra Bullock along with the design, simple but so pretty 🙂 Charlize Theron was just stunning (especially when she was presenting next to Chris Hemsworth). And Emma Watson knows how to choose her clothes.  I’d love to mention Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Kendrick’s dresses. They were super beautiful too!!

Last year I didn’t do the men but they were so handsome!

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

chris hemsworth oscars

Chris Hemsworth

Will Smith

Will Smith

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Matthew McConaughey was totally charming in his suit. Chris Hemsworth was hot in his burgundy.  Will Smith was looking pretty good and Bradley Cooper surprisingly took my breath away in his suit 🙂

The best speeches of the night goes out to these two awesome people!

matthew mcconaughey speech

Matthew McConaughey’s speech was really meaningful and encouraging. He thanked his belief and faith, his family and his future self.  That blew my mind! This man was already awesome in my book and think he just went even higher!

lupita nyong'o speech

Before Matthew McConaughey got his award, her award seemed like the absolute best.  It was completely heartfelt and so meaningful.  I mean reminding children from everywhere that their dreams are valid (paraphrasing her words, of course), is just beautiful!

Aside from actual on-spot live speeches, I feel the Governor Awards is worth a mention because I was totally happy about Angela Lansbury getting it.

angela lansbury

Bedknobs and Broomsticks was so fun! She’s awesome! I was very happy to see this!

angelina jolie humanitarian award

Aside from her, we have Angelina Jolie that I have to give a mention because I was never a huge fan of hers but her speech was very touching and she’s done some pretty awesome work.  Impressive, right?

Last thing I’m going to talk about is for the songs.  They were all pretty good performances, no? Frozen totally deserved it and Idina Menzel blew me away as always.  She has a monster voice! BUT, the show was hit off on a very positive note with Pharrell Williams performing Happy and dancing with some of the ladies. This right here:

amy-adams-dance

My girl crush on Amy Adams just grew a little (okay okay, maybe a lot)! 🙂

I’ve held you all up too much now so I’ll stop here!

Did you watch the Oscars? Who was the best dressed? Which speech stole the night? Were there any surprise wins?