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.

February Blind Spot Review: Sixteen Candles (1984)

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“That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.”
– Jim Baker

SYNOPSIS: A girl’s “sweet” sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. – via IMDB

Alright, so we know that John Hughes is like super popular and all these things, and I have watched some but not all of his movies. I love The Breakfast Club while I completely loathe Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, so I was figured I should check out another one of his movies that I have heard so much about but never actually watched. Now I have. And, well… okay.

I wasn’t a fan of this. I didn’t hate it, and it had moments, and let me tell you, having your family forget your sixteenth seriously blows (true story, I actually know this feeling). Hughes captured the complete teenage-ness of Samantha and her life, and I think Molly Ringwald was totally the right choice to play sullen, sulky Samantha.

I have always heard a lot of bitching about a rapey angle of this between Jake and the Geek and Caroline, and let me tell you, now that I have watched it, I get it. That arc was so not cool. Basically like giving the girl away like she was a commodity, not caring what happened, all that. I don’t want to get into it too much, but just know that the whole situation was just not cool man. ICK.

John Cusack is adorable, as always, and I could totally have done with more of him. In fact, the most entertainment for me came from the interactions between Bryce, Cliff, and the Geek, even if at times they were a touch inappropriate. Then there was the silly but fun story line of Long Duk Dong. What an unexpectedly crazy character to make his way into this.

Anyway, I thought that Sixteen Candles to be an alright watch, maybe not the best of all time, but it wasn’t bad. There were aspects that I liked and aspects that I didn’t, and while it won’t be something I will be checking out again (probably), I don’t regret having ticked it off my watch list.

Review: Role Models (2008)

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“No, venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact, tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn’t mean large. It’s also the only one that’s Italian. Congratulations, you’re stupid in three languages.”
– Danny

SYNOPSIS: Wild behavior forces a pair of energy drink reps to enroll in a Big Brother program. – via IMDB

You know, I watched this movie when it came out and I have gone back to it a few times over the years and I still thoroughly enjoy it. No, it isn’t a perfect movie or anything like that, but it is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

First and foremost, Paul Rudd is absolutely fantastic in this. I adore the man, so will pretty much watch anything he’s in. I think he’s sweet and hilarious and so dry, which works for me. This is no exception, he is plenty entertaining, and works wonders with Stifler Seann William Scott. Scott provides just the type of role you would expect from him, but he does it well. McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse entertains endlessly as awkward Augie. Another hilariously awkward character is cocaine-crazy Sweeny, and Jane Lynch has a ball with the role. As you can tell, the movie hinged quite heavily on the actors having fun with the material, and it works. 

The humour made me laugh, too. It’s witty, dry, sarcastic and crude at times throughout, and it totally works. The movie also doesn’t drag out the run-time, so it plays it out and does its thing but doesn’t overstay its welcome, which is great. You just have fun, and then it is over, before it wastes away and tries too hard to be something it isn’t. The story, while not new, is handled deftly. There are a lot of crappy movies in this genre, but every now and then there is one that stands out, one that tries to and succeeds to be more. This is one of those. It has a lot of heart and a lot of humour, knows what it is and goes for it, without being apologetic.

I really enjoyed some of the situations the characters found themselves in and I liked how things were handled. There was even character growth to be found throughout here, which is more than I could have asked for. The soundtrack and score worked, not once taking over and becoming the focus, which is just fine.

So, all in all, if you haven’t checked out Role Models before and feel like a good, light comedy with plenty of heart, I can highly recommend this one, it is quite fun. I don’t really know what to say other than I like this one and I find myself returning to it time and time again and enjoying it without fail.

Blind Spot Series 2017 Rankings

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So, another year gone, another twelve movies crossed off of my Blind Spot list. For the most part, I had particularly good movies this year. For the most part…

Anyway, as always, I decided to rank them all here.

12. Deliverance (1972)

Well. This. Fuck this movie. I will say it again, fuck this movie. Yep, totally hated it. I am sure you all remember the Shitfest-worthy meltdown I had about this. If you don’t, you are more than welcome to head on back to the review linked above to see how I raged. Ugh…

11. Once Upon A Time In America (1984)

Certainly not an underrated gem as I was led to believe, I was so amped to finally watch this gangster movie and was totally let down by it. What a waste of nearly four hours of my life!

10. Cronos (1993)

While I am always up for Guillermo Del Toro’s Spanish works, this one was not nearly as great as I was hoping it would be. It was not a bad movie by a long shot, but it does not stand equal to The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth.

9. The Road (2009)

Dark, depressing, apocalyptic, The Road definitely paints a super depressing, far more realistic apocalyptic future than these movies usually portray. Viggo Mortensen is exellent, and Kodi Smit-McPhee also holds his own in the bleak movie. Worth the watch!

8. Say Anything (1989)

So pleased to have seen this –  it is one of those movies that is referenced all over the show, and I have never really known how it all fit in. Man, Lloyd Dobler is absolutely adorable and the boombox over the head scene finally makes sense now. Say Anything is sweet, but not to soppy your stomach churns. Enjoyed this one!

7. The Help (2011)

Okay, so right off the bat, this is not unpredictable, but that doesn’t make it bad. The Help is rather formulaic, and shies away from some of the sick history it is steeped in, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t find other ways to run home the story. There are terribly sad moments, moments that will make you mad, and some great sections with some fantastic humour, and the movie has heart. The cast, too, definitely sold this one.

6. Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, but I really liked this one. I thought it was funny and shot really well and rather strange, but it all worked. I would like to rewatch it and see if it holds up as well. I must admit, this is where I finally understood Tom Hiddleston’s appeal to the world – before he was just a decent actor. After this? Impressed. Plus I liked the humour in this. So deadpan. Swinton and Hiddleston make this a treat.

5. The Orphanage (2007)

Another one of those cult classic type movies I have vowed for years to get to and just never did, 2017 was the year that changed. The Orphanage is haunting, sad, beautiful and creepy, and has a solid story as a strong psychological aspect to it, making it a movie that gets under your skin and lingers long after, not just a typical, generic horror movie at all.

4. JFK (1991)

Conspiracy theories galore! Naturally this was totally going to be my cup of tea, and it totally was. There were some solid performances and I was particularly interested in how Stone would set out his case for JFK’s assassination. While I feel that it was heavy handed in forcing his interpretation of events down the viewer’s throat, if you watch this as a theory and not as the gospel of the answers to JFK’s assassination, you are in for a good time. Great starting point for those not too familiar with the intricacies of the infamous case.

3. City of God (2002)

I can see why this movie is so popular – it is so not an easy watch, but it is engaging, gritty, violent, realistic, and truly gets you thinking. It tells a super solid story and it draws you in, getting you invested in some characters from this nasty slum. It is depressing and yet completely enthralling, something I can see myself revisiting.

2. Rear Window (1954)

James Stewart man, what an actor. The man is amazing, and with Grace Kelly at his side, the duo was bound to impress. Hitchcock, too, weaves a tense one-room story, which is carried and fleshed out completely by a talented cast. The tension is palpable, the story is smart and engaging, and the pacing is just right. Rear Window is a well-crafted movie and definitely worth the time.

1. Atonement (2007)

Ah, Atonement. Where do we even start? My goodness, what a watch. While it is not completely perfect or shocking, and it is predictable in places, it is handled so well and is shot brilliantly – truly, what beautiful shots. James McAvoy is absolutely perfect here, sweeping us all up so completely in Robbie. Keira Knightley, too,  managed to not work on my last nerve. The two work together well, and Atonement tells one hell of a story, a journey I both loved and resented in equal measure. I thought it was told so well, and some details were handled with such aplomb. What a movie, though certainly not a light, easy watch.