Review: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

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“I don’t like to do what people expect.Why should I live up to other people’s expectations instead of my own?”
– Kat Stratford

SYNOPSIS: A pretty, popular teenager can’t go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does. – via IMDB

This is such a classic in my opinion. I have seen it plenty of times and I still love it. There is so much about it that just screams the nineties but it pulls it off. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this movie, and it is still a blast from start to finish. It has held up really well after all these years.

Everyone does a great job with their characters. Julia Stiles is a fantastic, bitter girl, Heath Ledger is fantastic as the outcast bad boy, Larisa Oleynik is a suitably spoiled brat, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is that sweet boy-next-door type. There are so many characters to talk about here so I will not really get into them all. It’s a sweet, fun story with plenty of humour in it. No matter how many times I have seen this, there are still things I laugh at. 10 Things I Hate About You is also super quotable, and will stay with you long after you have moved on.

The humour is great and the story keeps you hooked throughout. There are so many little things that come together in this to make it worth the watch, and I loved to see how certain characters interacted with others. The soundtrack also totally works with the movie. I thought the rumour mill surrounding Patrick was absolutely amazing, too. While this is not the most original and unpredictable movie ever, it is done so well and the cast work so well together that it still has a fresh feeling to it. Also, I absolutely love the chemistry between Stiles and Ledger.

So much has been said about this fantastic movie over the years, and there is not really much that I can contribute to the discussion. I will just say that 10 Things I Hate About You is quirky and sweet and has heart and gets me every time. It manages the fine balance between sweet but not sappy, and I appreciate that. It is the kind of movie that guys and girls alike can enjoy. The movie is bags of fun every time and I highly recommend it, and not just because of the nostalgia!

Also, could we just take a moment to admire Heath Ledger in this??

September Blind Spot Review: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

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“The only way to find out what story you’re in is to determine what stories you’re not in.”
– Professor Jules Hilbert

SYNOPSIS: An I.R.S. auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death. – via IMDB

I have always heard that Stranger Than Fiction is a solid movie and that Ferrell is excellent in it (this reason is always cited when I say I am not a huge Ferrell fan) and I have always said I will get to it at some stage and then I never do, which is how it ended up on y 2018 Blind Spot list. I needed to cross it off my list.

Right off, I didn’t know what to expect from this movie when I started it. Was it going to be one of Ferrell’s ridiculous movies, would it be different, what was going to come from it? Well, let me tell you, Ferrell rocked this one. Completely. It was a more contained performance than I am used to seeing from him, and the humour landed for me from him now more than ever. I feel he is sometimes just too OTT and not my cup of tea. I think the cast all worked well together in this to deliver a pretty good comedy drama, and I enjoyed it.

The pacing was good, and I was sold on seeing what, exactly, Harold’s life was all about, because it was super bland, doing the same thing day in and day out. Emma Thompson as writer and narrator fit the role perfectly, and it was entertaining to watch her whenever she was on screen. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s insistence on being a kind anarchist is sweet, too, and Ferrell’s lonely Harold is quite sad. Dustin Hoffman, too, as the weird and quirky writing expert is quite fun, and just to see how all the characters interact and pull together to change the initially drab story is a satisfying experience.

The humour is rather sharp and low key in this, not forceful or over the top or anything like that, and it just worked completely for the story being told. I liked how the story paced itself, never too slow to be boring, never too fast to be confusing. I found myself delighted with Stranger Than Fiction coming to life, as a reader and a moviegoer, there was plenty that worked so well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Stranger Than Fiction, and I might very well check it out again someday. Ferrell did not irritate, and it had enough quirk to keep it fun and sweet but not grating or excessively cheesy and with a cast that worked well together, and I can highly recommend it.

August Blind Spot Review: This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

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“We’re very lucky in the band in that we have two visionaries, David and Nigel, they’re like poets, like Shelley and Byron. They’re two distinct types of visionaries, it’s like fire and ice, basically. I feel my role in the band is to be somewhere in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.”
– Derek Smalls

SYNOPSIS: Spinal Tap, one of England’s loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour. – via IMDB

Yes, I know I am so far behind on this Blind Spot challenge and that is just awful. I know, but time has run off away from me lately and I owe all my fair bloggers an apology for a) not being consistent and b) not dropping by. I blame a large part of that on this godforsaken laptop. It gives me the heebie jeebies just to take it out and beg it to work. Ugh. I am going to do my best to rectify that sticky situation of being so inconsistent. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the review, even though it is extremely late to the party.

We all know that I adored What We Do In The Shadows, so I was interested to hear that this was a mockumentary. This Is Spinal Tap is iconic and has been quoted everywhere, but I had no real concept of what it was, and when I started watching it, I knew that it was going to be entertaining. I love old school metal/rock. I mean we have The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, AC/DC (and this is just if you are naming the really popular ones) that dominated the era, and this mockumentary rolls with it, and does so well. Form the outfits to the performances, This Is Spinal Tap taps into it all (har har har).

The music is truly fantastic and truly captures the times, though the lyrical content surely leaves a lot to be desired. The movie is fun and hilarious, because so many of the stupid things that happen to the band are not that completely out there. At all. Then then there are the characters peppered throughout the film. Some you will like (such as Derek Smalls), and some will just irritate you for numerous reasons (I’m looking at you, Jeanine, even though I know you were deliberately written like that). There is also a ton of quotable content here, which has been demonstrated throughout the decades.

This Is Spinal Tap is filled with plenty awkward moments and some ridiculous but entertaining dialogue, and it is plain down fun. It is very aware of what it is, and plays up to all the crazy that it can. The movie has a ton of fans and I get it. I had a few good laughs, and think it came together really well. And as a mockumentary, Reiner did fantastic work. If you aren’t totally aware that it is a piece of fiction, you can understand why a lot of people were taken in thinking they were watching a real documentary. Well worth a watch.

Sporadic Scene: The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Haka

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Goodness, this scene! When it opened with Dwayne Johnson giving the lecture, I was like “oh, I am sure this is just gonna be some scene with some kids for the lols”,  but man, it was so much more than just that. Manis and pedis for everyone after, sure, but man, this scene is fantastic all round. Dwayne Johnson leads a girls soccer team in the haka and it is truly both hilarious to boot and at the same time rather inspiring, as you can see it means a lot to him and the girls take it seriously. It is more than just a choreographed skit, especially when you see how much respect was actually afforded the scene, that the haka was blessed by the elders, everything. That’s just great, in my mind.

Sporadic Scene: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Hit Me Baby One More Time

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Man, this sure was a movie that knew what it was about and how to embrace it. There was tons of silly stuff going on and giggles to be had, but a standout scene from this is hands down the Britney Spears/zombie sing out that happened. Oh man, really now. It seriously cracked me up as everything about the scene is insanely ridiculous, and yet it feels right at home in this movie.

May Blind Spot Review: Big (1988)

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“So you got a job, where you play with all these toys?”
– Billy

SYNOPSIS: After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. – via IMDB

You know what… this one was going so well until it wasn’t. And when it wasn’t going well, my stomach was churning. Maybe let me back up and get this going properly so we are all on the same page.

In the beginning, I was having a good time. The movie was sweet and silly and so totally eighties, and Tom Ha

nks was totally just owning it. Preposterous movie, but cute. But then it went icky – quickly. Despite the fact that this 12 year old is now in an adult body, it does not make him an adult, so for the writers to have to engage in a sexual relationship with a coworker was just too much for me. I just went ICK and the movie never recovered from that.

Besides that whole section of nasty, the second half did suffer from being too adult-y and all that. Yeah, I get why, and yeah, I get the message and all that, and it is necessary for the story arc to start somewhere, progress, and then complete, but after Josh started kicking it with Susan, everything fell apart. I got the whole concept of how much life changes when you have to grow up, how the simplicity is lost, I didn’t mind the message, but I was having severe difficulties with the relationship component – even with his body, he is still a child, and my skin crawled.

In the first half there were a lot of fun things – it was funny to see a child find himself in an adult body and try to pick up a life and make things work, all the while having a total ball with all that cash and freedom. Tom Hanks is also excellent here, to be sure, and I thought he handled the role really well. He came across and genuine and adorable.

Anyway, I can’t really say Big was much of a winner. It started out alright and then it just went super dodgy, and it ruined the experience for me. I will certainly not be rushing out to watch this again. Once was enough.

Review: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)

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“I’m here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
– Elle Woods

SYNOPSIS: Elle Woods heads to Washington D.C. to join the staff of a congresswoman in order to pass a bill to ban animal testing. – via IMDB

Really?! Really?! WHY?! That’s all I really have to say on this matter. Legally Blonde 2 is everything you expect from Hollywood and their bout of sequelitis (thanks again, Tom). This is such an unnecessary movie, one that goes out of its way to reuse to much that made the first one good, and instead of it carrying the same charm with it, it just falls flat. Luckily it is not as offensive as The Princess Diaries 2, because that was such an abomination.

I particularly resented the whole animal cruelty, save Bruiser’s mom thing. Yes, I know how cold that sounds, but it was such a stupid, shallow plot to base this whole movie on. Yes, the first is fluffy, but Elle going to Harvard, learning to be herself and doing well for herself, was one thing. This? I just don’t even know what this was even remotely about, except annoying. There were things I liked, like seeing silly Elle again, Paulette being that inapproprialtely weird friend, and her courier still being around. Also, Bruiser’s outfits still reigned supreme. Aside from that, I hated the shallow rehashing of things, the silly “coincidences”, the ridiculously unbelievable way that the characters interacted, and have I mentioned the excessively stupid main story of the animal right’s bill just to get Bruiser’s mother invited to Elle’s wedding?! I am not even joking. What a useless plot device.

This movie was definitely quite a painful watch. It had moments where it tried to break through and be its predecessor, to bring the goods to the table, and there were times it succeeded. Mostly, however, it was just messy and overly ridiculous. Overall, Legally Blonde 2 is a pretty meh experience that has some heart at times, but is totally annoying at other times. Typically unnecessary sequel that we could have done without.

Sporadic Scene: The Boondock Saints (1999) – Name One Thing You Would Need A Rope For

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Wow, yeah, I haven’t done one of these in a while, and stumbled on this scene the other day and it cracked me up, as it always does. The McManus brothers and their banter is something that one cannot help but enjoy immensely. Naturally this scene of the brothers shopping for some mission gear is hilarious, as it really comes across as boys who watch a lot of movies being let loose in a weapon store and being told to pick anything their heart’s desire. Excellent scene.

March Blind Spot Review: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

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“There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news.”
– Bill Lawson

SYNOPSIS: Ron Burgundy is San Diego’s top-rated newsman in the male-dominated broadcasting of the 1970s, but that’s all about to change for Ron and his cronies when an ambitious woman is hired as a new anchor. – via IMDB

Alrighty, putting it out there right now, ripping the band-aid off super fast: NO. Just NO. I did not like this :/

Okay, now that it has been said and I can be called a heathen, I can move on. Since this damn movie came out I have heard how I have to watch it, how it is super hilarious and quotable as all hell, and I have never really had the desire to watch it. Not even the beloved Paul Rudd could tempt me. But it has always been in the corner of my mind, that I should check it out despite not liking the majority of the cast, if for nothing more than to see what the cult status is about.

Well, I don’t get it. Anchorman is painfully stupid. My husband sat through this with me and is usually way more forgiving about movies than I am, and he said this was soul crushing. I have to agree with him. There were like two gems in this movie (Baxter? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee) and:

Other than that, this movie is not quotable. It is painful to sit through, and has some completely braindead humour. No, it is not funny if you think about it, and no, it is not funny even if you check your brain at the door (which I consciously bloody well did).

That’s it. Done.

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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“We have to stop her here and now, and prevent Ragnarok, the end of everything! So I’m putting together a team.”
– Thor

SYNOPSIS: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. – via IMDB

Well, it’s no real secret that I haven’t enjoyed a single Thor movie so far. They aren’t terrible (who am I kidding, what was that Dark World kak?!), they are just… wasted potential. Seriously, all that lore and everything to work with and we got the two movies we did? Oh well. However, then Taika Waitit directed Team Thor, and I had a renewed interest. The man’s brand of humour appeals to me, and the short made me laugh. We all know I love his other work, so how would it go when he took over the reigns of a massive Marvel production?

In a word? Great. Really. Waititi breathed life into an Avenger that really needed it. Two, actually, because one cannot forget the Hulk in this one. Hemsworth is way more comfortable than ever before in his return as the Son of Odin, and he works so well with Mark Ruffalo, so easy and comfortable. Jeff Goldblum has an absolute ball as  Grandmaster, and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, supremely entertaining as Loki. Hemsworth and Hiddleston play together well, too, and continue to impress us with their hilariously dysfunctional relationship.

The humour is, as I was hoping, top notch. It’s hilarious, and there were a few scenes my husband and I laughed so hard at we went back to rewatch them a few times (Thor’s explanation of the dirty snake trick Loki played on him when they were eight and Loki and Thor with their “get help” skit are prime examples). It truly had me laughing. I have to admit, Korg (Waititi) had me in stitches a few times, what a character!

Thor: Ragnarok is more than just silly entertainment and solid humour though, and it must be noted that the movie looks great and has some solid effects, which I enjoyed a lot. The colours I truly loved, as it just fit the whole vibe of the movie. The soundtrack, too, works all the way through. This is not to say that the movie is without flaws. I, for once, could have done without the whole Doctor Strange bit, as I seriously felt it did not advance the narrative in any way, and was just there to fill time. I was also not a particular fan of Tessa Thompson in this, though eventually you warm up to her a little more.

All in all, I found Thor: Ragnarok to be a highly entertaining, funny film that just goes ahead and does what it wants, and it works so well. It doesn’t matter what you do/do not know about the MCU, you can still enjoy this regardless of.