Leap Year (2010)

Personally, I love this film, it is a great romcom. Anna’s life revolves around schedules and times is completely thrown upside down when a ton of bad luck comes her way. Desperate to please her boyfriend while he’s away, she flies to him in Ireland to meet up, however on the way her flight is diverted to Wales due to a storm, and she sails in the rain to somewhere a little closer, then finally a car ride with a stranger all the way to Dublin, which is full of bumps and crashes. After disappointment when boyfriend of four years doesn’t propose to her, in a snap judgement Anna struggles to make her way to her boyfriend to propose to him instead, on the 29th February, an apparent tradition of Ireland. Unexpected journeys mean she, has to pretend she’s someone else’s wife, loses a car into a river, steps in cow poo, gate crashes a wedding, gets in a bar fight and walks miles in Ireland with Declan as a guide.

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Two people from completely different worlds, meet in odd circumstances. Anna, played by Amy Adams, brilliant as she is, lives life with complete planning, scheduling and precise notes, nothing will stop her without a little bit of preparation. Declan (Matthew Goode), is the completely opposite, pessimistic and stuck in his routes. Forced to experience something new and try for once, Declan journeys for pure reason of money, and when planning and scheduling no longer works and bad luck is around every corner, Anna is unable to take control. They both bicker and squabble, hilariously, for the whole journey as they discover they could care about one another. But Dublin isn’t too far away and Anna’s got proposing to do.

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The film is filled with cutesy romcom moments. The bad luck is repetitive throughout the film as it becomes comical that Anna would accidentally hit a bride in the face with her shoe and then pour red wine down the white wedding dress in apology. There are obviously many moments of cutesy romance, where these two forced together in squabbles and unfortunate circumstances. Anna’s determination and Declan’s pessimistic charm remain throughout the film as you fall in love with both characters. There is a lot of character building and you really become to know the characters on this journey of hail, rain and sun.

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‘Leap Year’ is an easy watch and a great romcom, a chickflick some may say. It’s funny and adorable. With characters to be appreciated and comical moments. It is enjoyable and I’ve seen it numerous times. If you’re looking for a romance comedy you’ve never seen before, I would recommend this one. It isn’t one of the classic romcoms, like ’10 Things I Hate About You’ or ‘John Tucker Must Die’ or even ‘When Harry Met Sally…’, but it’s still enjoyable and should be appreciated. How much bad luck do you think one girl can get anyway?

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Ocean’s Eight (2018)

For those who don’t know, this is sort of a film that could be considered a fourth of it’s collection. Although a change up in actors and characters, there are some small connections to the first three, ‘Ocean’s 11’, ‘12’ and ‘13’. For starters, our new main con-artist is Debbie Ocean, Danny Ocean’s sister. Also, there are a few recognisable actors from the previous films too, but I’m not going to ruin it and say who! So as you may tell, it might be helpful to watch the other Ocean films before this one, although not a necessity, would just make some conversations a bit more understandable if you have seen them, that’s all.

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Now for anyone that’s seen the trailer or any advertising, I’m sure you can tell a lot of money has been spent to create a fantastic, well-known cast. Alike to the first Ocean’s who had the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts; ‘Ocean’s 8’ presents a cast equally as well-known. With Sandra Bullock as the brains behind the whole heist as Debbie Ocean, her first go to and partner-in-crime is Cate Blanchett. Thirdly, throw in the celebrity mark of Anne Hathaway, and as the Irish fashion relic Helena Bonham Carter, I mean I think she was Irish, it was an accent that came and went throughout the film. Although I still love her. Then with a star that had a lot of screen-time, the hacker Nine Ball played by Rihanna. And finally ‘American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson. The other two I think are less well-known, Mindy Kaling, who I recognise off ‘The Mindy Project’ although I’ve never watched it; and Awkwafina as the slight-of-hand con-artist who I don’t recognise at all, however she was probably my favourite character. Then throughout the film they even threw in stars during the Met Gala in which they were to steal from. Such as Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and many others. Also, Dakota Fanning and James Corden made an appearance. As you can tell, there was a lot of money spent on a cast such as this. Clearly the sole reason for the film was the cast, therefore it wasn’t the most amazing plot going…

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I’m not going to say that this was the most amazing heist film I’ve ever seen, because it wasn’t. This film was revolved around stealing a neckless during the Met Gala, off the celebrity wearing it. As all Ocean films do, there is a revelation, which to be honest wasn’t that fantastical. Rather a let-down, expected in my opinion. Which is a shame. I guess the Ocean’s are a bit been-there-done-that, as ‘Ocean’s 8’ seemed extremely similar to the ‘Ocean’s 11’. They both started off with them both being released from prison and oh they’re back to being a con-artist and heisting as they were before. Scorned and hurt from prison, both Ocean siblings want to take revenge on those they think wronged them. I guess with this sort of plot where there isn’t actually much you can do with it, but there were a lot of similarities and I guess it was just a bit samey.

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Furthermore, other than the character Constance, I didn’t think many characters were that interesting. I did like Nine Ball, Rihanna’s character, but the others didn’t seem to have much personality to them. Some seemed a bit deflated, they could have pushed personalities further or created some sort of character background, but it wasn’t quite there. Although saying this, I didn’t hate any of the characters! Far from it. They just weren’t the most investing. I did quite like Anne Hathaway’s character, Daphne Kluger and Sarah Paulson’s Tammy, however, although again could have gone further. Additionally, I have to mention the whole of James Corden’s part just dragged. I love James Corden, but his section of the movie just felt unnecessary when we knew what had happened anyway, for some reason they just dragged this bit out with no real purpose.

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Saying all this, maybe I’m being a bit too harsh. It wasn’t a bad film, and I did enjoy watching it. It was enjoyable and fun. I do not regret watching it at all, although can’t say I’d be rushing to see it again, because once watched, it’s done really. It wasn’t as good as hoped, but still thought it was worth a watch, even just for the cast.

Lucy (2014)

A film moving away from Hollywood, directed by the French director Luc Besson, this film stars two well-known loved American actors, Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. But also stars a collection of other actors to get to know. ‘Lucy’ tells the story of a young girl kidnapped by the vicious, brutal Mr Jang (Min-sik Choi). As Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is petrified, we struggle along with her at what is happening, when she wakes she discovers she’s been operated on with a pack of a new drug planted in her tummy. Attacked again, the pack breaks inside her and the drug enters her bloodstream. A drug which allows her to use the whole 100% capability of her brain, giving her superhuman mind powers, including telekinesis. So, yes, it does escalate quickly, but somehow this surreal sci-fi plot works, it seems to make sense. This is all due to the science explained behind it all by Morgan Freeman’s character, Professor Norman.

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This was a nice change from stereotypical Hollywood films. There were a variety of edits and camera angels which presented itself as different. Most predominantly, this was the use of jump cuts, the film did have many jumps to symbolism, especially at the beginning. Or jumps from Scarlett Johansson’s character in the thriller of her kidnapping to Morgan Freeman’s scientific explanation in a lecture hall. There are even flashes of percentages her brain is reaching to when she discovers new powers. This jumpy feel of the film does actually work, especially with her snap character change when the drugs start to affect her as that seems a jump from two different characters. ‘Lucy’ is also quite a quiet film, in regards to background music, there are some silent moments. The only thing with editing is that there are a few bad green screens, but maybe I can just notice them as I’ve studied film, it doesn’t ruin the film however!

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‘Lucy’ is extremely fast pace. There seems to be no character building as you’re thrown straight into the plot, however you are still able to build character recognition and favouritism with little background. Scarlett Johansson is obviously brilliant, and she plays the character extremely well. ‘Lucy’ has thrilling moments, a lot of action and is full of sci-fi. Lucy becomes a character that feels no emotion and has one goal, her own safety. There are many gun fighting scenes, and even a car race scene. Her new powers become interesting to find out what else she can do, as they reach high potentials, superhuman.

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There are no limits and things do get very surreal, although it becomes bewildering and spectacular. When it comes down to it, it is a very good film, interesting, I was hooked. Although it’s probably a film I’d watch once as once it’s watched it’s done really. But nevertheless, I didn’t regret watching it, in fact I enjoyed it.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

This is the second Jurassic World film, and it is a necessity to watch the first, a definite must, so if you haven’t seen the first, my review on the first ‘Jurassic World’ is here. Now, if you have seen the first, it does actually help with this one to watch the Jurassic Park’s, however it isn’t a necessity, it just helps with some character recognition, for example, Hammond in the first ever dinosaur park and Dr Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) actually makes a reappearance. So for some realisations of the plot and characters, the first Jurassic Park will help in this second Jurassic World, although it’s not the most important thing.

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Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back as Owen Grady, the raptor whisperer, and Claire Dearing, who dramatically turned from logistics manager to understanding them as animals. Isla Nublar is under attack, by natural disaster. The volcano on the dinosaurs’ home is soon to erupt; in a desperate act, Claire agrees to help take the dinosaurs to a new home. Although, the trailer expresses too much and shows that she is actually betrayed and they are to be moved and sold in auction. This means the film is one of two steps, Isla Nublar and the auction. I wish they hadn’t actually shown this in the trailer as it would have left more mystery in the film and it would have created a twist unexpected as the dinosaurs were not safe once saved from the natural disaster of lava.

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I have to admit the first step to this film was exciting, thrilling and adventurous. Blue is back and Owen is determined to save her. The bond between human and dinosaur only becomes stronger in this one and it is loved, just alike to the first Jurassic World. The exciting, thrilling beginning of this film is reminiscing of the original, except the poor dinosaurs are petrified as well, they are stuck on an island with a volcano taking over, it has tragic, sad tales of animals trapped and fleeing, while humans trying to save them, but when the volcano begins to erupt everything becomes even more pressing and urgent. The second step of the film has a completely different tone, it more echoes the horrifying element of people buying these dinosaurs for weapons of war. This element meant it wasn’t thrilling all the way through unlike the first Jurassic World, which was non-stop until the end. Nevertheless, the film still has it’s thrilling moments, adventurous and comical ones too. Especially with the goat-like dinosaur, adorable and comical.

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There are also new characters to the films. I loved three of them in particular. Zia (Daniella Pineda), the baddass dinosaur vet, who just wants to save and help any dinosaur. Franklin (Justice Smith), the tech guy, petrified of any dinosaur but still eager to save them, he screams constantly and ends up in undercover roles just to hide, he is hilarious. And finally, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), the young determined girl who gets whirled up in the discovery of the auction. There is of course the villain, a villain driven by money and nothing else, the brains behind the whole auction as money in sight.

I really enjoyed this film, it has the action thrilling and comical moments like the first film. Although not as thrilling as the first, I would probably still say the first Jurassic World was better. But nevertheless, it remains a good sequel and who doesn’t love a bit of Chris Pratt anyway!

Downsizing (2017)

Matt Damon is great, he’s a great actor and his films usually persist with his great acting. ‘Downsizing’ claims to be a comedy-drama, different from the best Matt Damon action films, as Jason Bourne is brilliant. And he should have stayed with the action films, this one was not up to standard, well actually that’s too kind. Sadly, I thought this film was boring, flat, not funny whatsoever, it was just crap. Sorry.

A sci-fi comedy-drama of a new scientific discovery, the discovery of shrinking people in order to save the environment of overpopulation. However, what it seemed like in the trailer, in which some scenes weren’t actually in the film, it seemed this discovery was meant all for environmental needs, which made sense, it was a cool concept. But the film actually delved into the economics much more than I thought, which made me think the whole film was of a scam, but that didn’t really go anywhere either. It was odd.

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Where was the comedy? I honestly have no idea, I don’t understand what was funny. The main protagonist’s (Matt Damon) life was boring at the beginning, routine, and just stayed that way, when he turned small, his wife pulled out last minute which led to a divorce, again, I don’t get the comedy. He was given his large wedding ring after moving into his large (in small world) new house, where he was left alone, again funny? More drama, yet I didn’t really understand the characters, so I didn’t care about them. Matt Damon’s character was boring, very surprising, since it was Matt Damon. But so boring! I didn’t care about any of the characters, I couldn’t even tell you many of their names, only remember Matt Damon’s since they said it so many times: Paul. I didn’t invest in any characters. Well, there was one which I thought maybe bought some more depth to the film, Hong Chau’s character. She was very abrupt and honest, blunt and bossy, which was so random, although she was a character that just wanted to help people. She was probably the best character.

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There was also some random cameo actors in this film, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis (who actually wasn’t in it that much, even though seemed that way from the trailer), Kristen Wiig, James Van Der Beek, Margo Martindale, very random. It was fun to see these actors in the film, although they just didn’t add much to the plot or seemed it would go somewhere else and didn’t.

It was a two-hour film, two hours too long. It dragggedddd. The film travelled 15 years in this two hours. It was silly racing through these 15 years, just to give a routine effect in Paul’s life, and then a boring, flat storyline where nothing really happens. Then the ending? So abrupt! Suddenly at the end, happily because I couldn’t be bothered to watch it anymore, but it also just left everything standing still. It was abrupt and sudden, with nothing said, nothing happening.

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I was a bit sceptical of the film anyway, but I never expected it to be this flat. Not many great things actually happened in this small world sad to say. I just didn’t get it. At all.