Review: The Babysitter (2017)

12

“Things get messy when you make a deal with the devil.”
– Bee

SYNOPSIS: The events of one evening take an unexpected turn for the worst for a young boy trying to spy on his babysitter. – via IMDB

Ah! This movie! This is so my cup of tea, and I enjoyed the hell out of this. Chop, I am so with you on this one, it’s great! Everything works.

The cast is really what makes this – they all seem to be having an absolute blast, and that comes through. I think that Judah Lewis was fantastic as Cole, and Samara Weaving was great as Bee. She totally nailed down that sort of girl next door thing but with an extremely healthy dose of crazy. The two of them play off one another really well, and I loved watching them together. She really was like the best babysitter, and you could understand how he saw her as probably his best friend, even if it meant she had to stay his babysitter.

I would like to thank McG and co from the bottom of my heart for a shirtless Robbie Amell for essentially the whole movie. Yes, for science, and your contribution is immensely appreciated. So. Much. He was hilarious to boot, too, but still. Science.

Okay, back to the movie, right? Sorry, can’t help it, he was distracting in the movie, too. I think the humour for The Babysitter was spot on, and definitely had me laugh quite a few times. This movie totally embraces how crazy it is, and it just works. I really loved the little cuts in the movie to show certain events (the pocket knife, Cole’s plans, etc). I also think that things were just pretty weird all round. The Babysitter is a load of fun, and just goes for it every step of the way.

Anyway, as you can tell I had a great time with The Babysitter. If you are into horror comedy, this should totally work for you. It’s a total blast and it has some fantastic moments and silly characters, with a solid score and it looks stylish, too. Absolutely worth the watch!

Review: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

6

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
– Andy Dufresne

SYNOPSIS: Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. – via IMDB

Seriously. Truly. Wow. I definitely know there are more eloquent reviews on this movie, and it has been discussed endlessly, and it is that great and all, but I am going to try and share my two cents about this movie. I decided to rewatch The Shawshank Redemption recently after watching Gone With The Wind. Not because they are remotely the same or anything like that, but because I was in the mood for serious(ly) fantastic movies.

Well, this certainly ticked those boxes.

The Shawshank Redemption has a great story to tell, sure, but it is the characters and the performances from the actors that played them that are really the stars here. Everyone lives their role, gets right into it, and because of that you are swept up into the narrative as delivered by Red. Red tells you Andy’s story, we see Andy’s story, and it is told with such spirit that you can laugh like crazy in some places and just love all that is going on, and then be driven to sadness and heavy contemplative silence within five minutes of one another. It’s an amazing thing when a film can so successfully balance the opposites like that.

Andy suffered some extreme situations while in Shawshank, but there were also some amazing things that he achieved, even while imprisoned. Naturally there are the men who went on to become Andy’s friends, headed up by Red. The band of men have great camaraderie between one another, and they really all respect each other and get along. They are quite tight-knit, and it is sweet. The Shawshank Redemption is a story told from within a prison, but there are large sections of time where you forget this fact when watching the men together, and then the point is run home when you realise that they have to barter to have a few beers while working, or that they have to report to someone the whole time.

The movie doesn’t really dwell on the crimes these men committed to land them in Shawshank. It focuses a lot more on Andy’s story, sure, but also how these men have adjusted to life, and how they have worked through the acts that landed them there. Some for the better, some not so much. It’s also something to say about the storytelling that the free, law-abiding men are all twisted and crooked, and the men on the inside, the convicted criminals, are often portrayed as the more trusty, honest lot. Interesting times.

The score for this is absolutely fantastic, and truly lends itself to the experience. The performances are all great, and the pacing for the story drags you in and makes you forget all about the clock, and I love it when a movie is able to do that. You feel genuine hope, happiness, anger and sadness when watching The Shawshank Redemption, and it is great when a movie can make you feel all these emotions, not just some of them. I would highly recommend The Shawshank Redemption, and if you have seen it, I think it is high time for a rewatch.

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

8

“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.

Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

9

“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
– Diana Prince

SYNOPSIS: When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. – via IMDB

So I am sure my husband and I were some of the few who did not see Wonder Woman in cinema. I didn’t expect much of it before it came, and I was really surprised when the rave reviews started pouring in, which piqued my interest. I then wanted to know if this was really as good as everyone was making it out to be. So finally we sat down to it and watched it, and I liked it (but didn’t love the crap out of it like most did).

This is probably one of the best DC films to come since Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. For reals. Warner Brothers churns out some fantastic trailers for these substandard films for sure, and it is a pity because DC has some super awesome stuff to bring to the table. Wonder Woman is certainly not perfect, but it definitely demonstrates a marked improvement on what we have so far.

Yes, yes, there is the strong feminist message here that has been discussed to death and debated back and forth, so I only want to touch on in long enough to say that it was really nice to see a female heroine, a woman to come in and own on screen, and Gadot did just that. She is impressive to watch here, and I certainly think she is a great casting choice. It is refreshing to see how a woman here can be strong while being feminine, optimistic, emotional and be allowed to cry and not be looked at as weak. The movie addressed how women have been dismissed for centuries, but it didn’t feel too preachy or anything, just showed that it is a bizarre concept, and that Diana was going to do her thing despite what society expected of her. I liked Gadot and Chris Pine together, I thought they shared some decent chemistry, though I really feel that their romance was a bit too brief and quick.

I feel that the CGI was a bit awkward and rather bad at the best of times, and I feel that the movie had an incredibly long run time that didn’t seem justified. It was really long, but didn’t feel like it actually used the time properly, if that makes sense? It was like not much happened, or was fleshed out properly. I guess we will just call that pacing issues. Also, the humour was quite cheesy at times, too.

I also felt a little cheated that Robin Wright was in and out so quickly – it made me think of how Bryan Cranston was used as a big selling point for Godzilla, and ultimately you are left feeling cheated. That being said, she was really good here. I thought that Hippolyta was quite annoying – she was overly possessive and came across as cowardly and not like a strong queen, which is a pity because I think that is because something here was rushed and not looked into quite properly.

Overall Wonder Woman is quite a decent watch. Not the perfect movie, and certainly not the first super strong woman we have seen on screen, but it is quite a fun watch. It didn’t feel too long, though there were some issues with what it felt like the movie contained afterwards, and had some good costume design. Gadot is particularly good here, and certainly has you interested in Wonder Woman – totally interested in seeing where she goes from here, and how she holds her own with the guys later on. I am looking forward to seeing what comes from future DC films, to see how Wonder Woman influences their marketing, writing, and implementation.