Definitely, Maybe

2008 | 111 Minutes | Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz, Elizabeth Banks, Abigail Breslin

This is one of my favourite movies.
Yes, it’s a Rom-Com and I have no shame in admitting I may have shed some tears over this movie (I’ve watched it a lot).
The main characters are played by Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin (who plays his daughter). He is in the middle of divorcing her mother and he tells her a story about his past relationships to see if she can figure out who her mum is.
So lets get the obvious stuff out of the way. Everyone is beautiful and everyone talks easily with each other with the kind of witty banter I would kill to be able do for just one day. Yes it’s cliched and kind of obvious but that just makes me love it even more because it all works.
Ryan Reynolds is great here. He’s a great actor anyway but I get a bit put off by his over the top wise ass wisecracks that he pulls in most of his movies. In this he is a bit more nuanced and just a nice guy. Okay, an incredibly handsome and charismatic one but a nice guy none the less.
Abigail Breslin is just fantastic as his daughter. She’s amazingly talented and smart but also cute enough to tug on your heartstrings.
Banks, Weisz and Fisher play his girlfriends (and wife, no I’m not telling who). They are all great in their roles. Weisz as a reporter and lover, Banks as the girl next door type (I don’t think I’ve seen her look better than in this film, she reminds me of someone I knew long ago …) and Fisher who weaves in and out of his life as friend and object of his affection and is totally perfect for her role.
So go watch it. It’s a smart, funny feel good movie which is also strangely comforting like a nice warm hug.
I’m not crying, you’re crying 🙂

An Interview With God

2018 | 97 Minutes | Starring Brenton Thwaites and David Strathairn

Spoilers obv.

I liked this movie.
Let me start by saying I’m not religious. Spiritual maybe.
But I find religion and faith interesting none the less even though I don’t practice anything personally so I went into this movie with an open mind and found it engaging and enjoyable.
I came across it because I’m a fan of Brenton Thwaites, having watched him in ‘Titans’ as Dick Grayson (Yes, Robin as in Batman).
So the film is about a guy who has a literal interview (actually 3) with God himself. Why he is called to interview God and what the purpose of the interviews is becomes clear as the film goes on.
Big spoiler. The ending is telegraphed pretty clearly when God mentions the unforgivable sin. As I said, I’m not religious but even I know what that means (watching Constantine may also have helped). Yes, our intrepid reporter is planning to commit suicide and God is holding a personal intervention to stop it from happening.

(Sidenote – if you are the asshole rolling their eyes right now thinking, ‘Suicide! What a waste! Only selfish idiots do shit like that.’ Well Fuck You. Just be glad you’ve never had to deal with anything so emotionally or mentally overwhelming that it seems like the only way out. Rant over.)

Both leads are great. Thwaites carries the role of the reporter dealing with a number of issues such as PTSD from a tour of Afghanistan and his wife’s infidelity really well and Strathairn plays the Almighty with a good mix of humour and earnestness. The script is intellectually stimulating and I didn’t feel it was preaching which is a difficult thing to accomplish when discussing religion. Even though Thwaites reporter was defined as a practising Christian from the start of the movie, I was able to identify with his character despite the fact I don’t share those beliefs. The interaction between the characters is always interesting and also serves to highlight some of the ideas that can cause confusion in different religious scriptures.

The only bit that soured it a little for me was the ending. Thwaites character goes from someone planning to kill themselves to someone who is happy and smiley like all is right with the world. Now I suppose if I personally met my Deity and had my whole belief system affirmed by them then I might act the same way but it seemed a bit of a stretch. But hey its only a movie and other than that its a good one. I recommend it.

Jungle Cruise 2021

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this film when I sat down to watch it. I knew nothing about it other than the actors starring in it. So let’s talk about them first.

I like Dwayne Johnson and I’ve watched a ton of his movies and if you don’t like him you’re probably not going to like the movie anyway but this role fits him well and even though he is the big draw it’s also a more nuanced part for him.

I’m slightly biased when it comes to Emily Blunt as I’ve had a major crush on her ever since The Devil Wears Prada. So objectively she is great in this, it’s a nice strong part for her and it’s a role with lots of variety.

Jessie Plemons hams it up as the baddie and does a good job.

So the movie itself is hard to describe. It feels a little like an old 1950s/60s adventure film crossed with Indiana Jones with a little Pirates of the Caribbean thrown in. It flows well with plenty of action and comedy. There is an extended section near the start which is just full of puns, it’s dad joke heaven!

Not so good is some of the CGI and character design is not great. I’m guessing it was to make things less scary for younger audiences but the Conquestedors didn’t quite work and pulled me out of the movie a little and the pet Leopard looked a little bit too cutesy but again I can understand why that was done. Overall they are tiny flaws which didn’t affect the movie too much.

So in conclusion, I really liked this movie. It was a nice couple of hours spent with some engaging characters and an interesting story. Go see it!

The Irregulars

Netflix. 8 x 49-58 Minute episodes

Main series cast
Thaddea Graham as Bea
McKell David as Spike
Jojo Macari as Billy
Darci Shaw as Jessie
Harrison Osterfield as Leopold
Royce Pierreson as John Watson
Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Sherlock Holmes
Clarke Peters as The Linen Man
Eileen O’Higgins as Alice

Warning! Spoilers!

If you haven’t seen it but are fully intending to then quit reading and go watch it already, then you can come back and be like, “This guy’s a dick! He hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about!” etc etc

I could try and write a review that doesn’t contain any spoilers but well, honestly I can’t be assed. Bite me.
Having almost but not quite binge watched the whole series, rather than touch on any particular episode I’ll try to give an overview of the whole thing.

First thoughts.
It constantly surprises. Even though you can guess some of what’s coming, there is enough intrigue to keep you watching.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of some episodes, they really drew me in.
A very talented multicultural core cast who work together well and some very talented actors in bit parts.
Some light gore and a smattering of swearwords (a scene between Jessie and Holmes plays this for laughs).
No real nudity but the Prince does get his shirt off!
Big spoiler. Watson is gay and in love with Holmes. I kinda guessed it early on but it’s an interesting take on the character and drives the story.

The first episode is understandably a little rushed. It takes time to introduce us to its world which is great but when Jessie properly discovers her powers and then saves the day, it seemed to happen too quickly for me.

The following episodes are good, with a mix of the present and the past which serve to introduce and expand the overall story arc and the characters connections to it.

The ‘Irregulars’ are all good actors and make a convincing bunch. I think Jessie, Spike and Leo stand out for me but they all do a good job and don’t really put a foot wrong.

The actor who played Watson was very good and I understand he was supposed to be this reserved character but I wish they had allowed him to open out a little as he seemed to be straining at the leash constantly. It would have been nice to see his acting chops (perhaps he could have been taken over by something and allowed to act completely differently).
Holmes was in some ways closer to the original characterisation where he was a genius but also very street smart. Mostly we see a destroyed man wracked by the ravages of years of opium addiction and the loss of his love.
Lestrade is portrayed as a religious zealot, compulsively counting his rosary beads as he seeks to rid the world of those with powers who he sees as aligned with the devil. He is a throwaway character here.
Holmes brother Mycroft, despite obviously being a man in a powerful position seems a little clueless here, not the genius that even Holmes aspires to be in the books.

I liked the Linen Man character and had an inkling he might be up to no good but I thought things got a bit muddled at the end.

Unfortunately the last episode was a bit of a let down. After lots of action and building up to the big ending, it was drawn out just a bit too much which sucked out some of the wow factor. The whole scene with the Rift and the return of Alice (Bea and Jessies mother and Holmes partner) and the ensuing dilemma of what needed to be done was just a bit meh. I just didn’t really get a lot from it when it should have been one of the most important scenes in the series. Maybe I need to rewatch it but I was more concerned by what was happening to Leo, Spike and Billy.
The very end left our heroes much as they were at the start of the series.
I guess the lesson is that sometimes there are no easy answers, no resolutions and you just have to take life as it comes.

Overall I liked it 🙂

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