Jurassic Park III (2001)

Jurassic Park lost it. First one: good, classic. Second one: exciting, good. Third one: uh oh. Steven Spielberg has gone and oh you can tell. I was a bit sceptical because of this, and I was proven right, it’s extremely difficult to create a sequel with a different director. Especially when the first is such a classic!

Jurassic Park 3

Things got a little bit silly, all a bit stupid. It was a lot of things not making sense, and the thriller element disappeared. Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) returned with his obsession of the raptors, something we know quite well, although things didn’t quite make sense. We’ve been told of these raptors of what they would do, the realism (if you can say that with the falsity of dinosaurs and humans living as one) was unbelievable. We return to Isla Sorna, a restricted area, where Alan Grant has been duped in going there without his knowledge. All because a young boy, a son, has been lost on the island, an island where dinosaurs roam free. Obviously the parents are hysterical and worried, understandably as they’re son is in danger.

Explanation of dinosaurs was given in the first two films, there was recognition of who they were, what they were. Film one explained Jurassic Park, film two explained site B, film three explained nothing, although Isla Sorna was site B, there still needed to be some sort of scientific element especially when they were adding in new dinosaurs. There were ridiculous dinosaurs popping out of nowhere, with no understanding of what they were, it all became a little random and stupid.

Jurassic Park 3.

In place of thrilling moments and actual concern for characters, was replaced by convenient deaths, a lot of soppy talking and bad graphics that couldn’t quite be overlooked. It became more of a drama. I have to admit, there was one scene that was more thrilling and exciting, but then the unreality of it all just seemed to overcloud the could-be thrilling moments. ‘Jurassic Park III’ was just a bit all over the place, with a lot of talking.

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The Nun (2018)

I’m not great at horrors, in particular jump scares, I scare easily. However, I think the trailer made me jump more than the actual film… Not to say there wasn’t any jump scares, because there were. This is what was supposed to create the horror. Some were done well with sudden movements. Others not so great, they seemed to tense up to not reveal a jumpy moment, although they still generated a creepy feel. For a film such as this one, it is important to nail the horror feel, although this film missed it a little. Like I’ve already explained about the jump scares, the horror illusion was also kind of ruined when the characters were ‘caught’, instead the Nun wasn’t that scary. She became slightly comical in ridiculously, screaming in people’s faces. Nevertheless, I was tense during the film, just wouldn’t be if I watched it a second time. There was a success of the silence and sound, which generated very effectively a tension throughout the film. Coming down to it, I was much more scared before the film, than I was during…

The Nun 3

The plot goes: it starts with two nuns wondering the halls of an abbey that doesn’t feel quite “holy” and instead is haunted by an evil presence. One of these nuns commits suicide so the spirit wouldn’t take hold of her soul. This leads to the Vatican sending a Father, Father Burke (Demián Bichir), and a Nun, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), to investigate what actually happened when someone finds the hanging body. It is actually quite an interesting discovery story, I did enjoy the mystery element. It is very religious and it follows the Bible’s sayings with exorcism, alike to many others horrors. I think this is obvious as the film follows a horror in a convent.

The Nun 2

I liked the actors. Taissa Farmiga, who I know best from ‘American Horror Story’, was great. She was an interesting character that seemed to grow throughout the film. It wasn’t a film of big stars but it was a nice change-up. Father Burke was also an interesting character; however, his horror elements weren’t ones I was that impressed by. They seemed to try too hard and it got a bit out-of-hand ridiculous. This film isn’t just one of a haunting ghostly Nun. Finally, Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) was a nice breath of fresh air. I wouldn’t say this character was adding much to the horror, instead he almost added a comical relief, which wasn’t bad at all.

The Nun 1

As a horror, ‘The Nun’ was a bit underwhelming. It held a lot of potential, but it fell short. The horror could have been executed more to a scarier jumpier potential, but unfortunately it didn’t. What I’ve learnt: Don’t go following some creepy figure through a graveyard, it never turns out well. Lastly, if you’ve seen ‘The Conjuring’, you’ll discover a connection to it in ‘The Nun’.

The Innocents (2018 – )

A new Netflix Original television show, and once again Netflix does know how to advertise and to advertise to the max. Through a recommendation made by them, I thought the trailer didn’t look too bad, so why not? Half a day later and I had watched all eight episodes, the whole of season one, oops. And so far, that’s all the episodes there are. It is an extremely addictive show, you’re just caught constantly wanting to know more.

First off, this isn’t a programme everyone would love. It is one of certain taste. To begin with, it is supernatural, it is the whole basis of this show. However, it doesn’t shove the supernatural unknown in your face, it’s cleverly done as the teenagers don’t understand, we don’t understand. We learn what powers, a gift or a curse, this young woman has while she struggles through it too. She’s from our world, yet is different to normal humans, and that’s how the supernatural is embedded into our society and doesn’t become unrealistic (when it is). The graphics are brilliant too, it’s almost as the supernatural element seems to come natural into our world, almost believable. Secondly, it’s a programme heavily based on young romance and drama, the love between two teen first lovers. Although, somehow it doesn’t become soppy or cheesy, it’s just what it is, it’s sweet. Finally, there are a few inappropriate scenes, links to sex, drugs etc etc, so it is a 15 for a reason.

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When two sixteen-year olds run away, one of them discovers she might not be who she always believed to be, instead she inherited something genetically from her run-away mother. June (Sorcha Groundsell) finally snaps when the rules of her father become too intense and he persists her leaving her life behind and moving away. Harry (Percelle Ascott) wants to escape responsibilities, and he deeply loves June. They just want to live a different life, away, together. Along the way, a man hunts June down, claiming her mother has sent him. But instead this triggers something in June she never thought possible, she can “shift”.

Meanwhile, we jump from England to Norway. In a remote area, in the middle of a lake are a few houses, one man and three women. Called the Sanctum, Dr Halvorson (Guy Pierce) spends his life trying to treat “shifters”, trying to understand their triggers. Throughout the series, there are so many secrets, so much unknown. Along the crazy, unfortunate adventure for June and Harry they meet strangers and try come to grips with what is happening to June. Their love is tested and their trust is played with constantly. We think we know everything as we jump from Norway to England but we don’t.

The Innocents 3

This isn’t a show of big names or well-known stars, in fact I hadn’t heard of any of them. Well only one I recognised, Mr Tom Clarkson from the ‘Waterloo Road’ days. All the others, I didn’t know, but that is not to say it shouldn’t be watched! Far from it. They all become the characters so well, and they are brilliant. Having them actors I didn’t know probably made it more likable for me, it made it seem that much newer and refreshing.

‘The Innocents’ also does deal with other issues too, it’s clever and eye-opening, even if supernatural elements hold the basis. For example, a young man dealing with severe anxiety, afraid to step outside. Or a father who never fully recovered from a coma and is in need of constant care. There are so many elements to this television programme.

The Innocents 1

I thoroughly enjoyed this show, it is eventful, chaotic, busy and interesting. Mystery full, thrilling in some places of the unknown, and hopeful in the young love. Not to forget the brilliant soundtrack! I was so caught up in ‘The Innocents’ wanting to know more and uncover all the secrets, and it’s been left with even more uncertainty begging and pleading for a second series. It has to be a good’un if I could watch it that quickly, right?

The Meg (2018)

Another shark film, because they are always highlighted as one of the worst predators in the kingdom, so one after another more shark films come out expressing this danger they perceive. Well anyway, this one is bigger, much bigger than the shark films we’ve all seen in cinema before. A 65+ foot shark, one considerably bigger than any other, and this one has come up to surface for its first time.

The plot is pretty simple. A group of biologists and divers are determined in discovering more of the ocean. In a mission, they send down a submarine past known ocean trenches to determine whether it is deeper than anyone has ever believed. In a successful and life-changing realisation, they uncover a world beneath the once-believed ocean floor, but in doing so they uncover a life-threatening creature. A shark thought to be prehistoric and extinct, this submarine opens a gate for a megalodon to break to surface. This is where it begins exploring where it’s never been before. I’m making it sound so much more brilliant than the plot actually was: a huge shark is released from it’s temperature cage deep below. Then the people who released it, try to resolve their problem. In which just leads to a mass of “stop chasing the big angry shark with silly ideas”.

The Meg 1

‘The Meg’ is definitely built off jump scares. I wouldn’t say this was a thrilling horror, but there were parts that did make me tense, waiting for the jump scare because that’s all that could happen really, especially with the size of the shark. Most of the time, we could see the shark we knew where it was, we knew it was heading straight for the people. But some jump scares were effective. As odd as it sounds, a shark as big as that and threatened to be so much more dangerous, I thought it would have more catastrophic moments on screen. Regardless, things came a bit unbelievable with its abilities and strengths. To say the least, a giant squid was more able to break down a glider submarine than a shark was… Everything seemed a bit fortunate. Which isn’t always the best thing for a horror. Not saying, I wanted every character to die, no no not at all! Just a bit coincidental and created a slight uninterest to the threat. It wasn’t the most amazing shark film.

The Meg 3

As the characters go, we don’t actually know much about them. Jason Statham plays the main protagonist worried over events of unsuccessful dives. His character is quite serious, but that’s usually the characters he plays. Everything seems very natural with the characters, we know more about them as we watch. Some characters did come across stronger than others, for example it was great to have a character that also brought some comedy, aka DJ (Page Kennedy). However, I did feel like there was some moments of awkward acting, but that may have just been me.

Not unlike to ‘Jaws’, the spectacle of the huge, prehistoric shark was the centre of the film. Particularly the ending was a huge spectacle, slightly unrealistic, but a spectacle nonetheless. It wasn’t a terrible film, it built jump scares well. It didn’t have a complicated plot but that was because it was about a shark and nothing else. I wouldn’t watch it over and over again, but I definitely didn’t regret watching it. It’s another shark film, among the mass of all others.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

Ten years later, can you believe that, ten years?? Well anyway, ten years later and the screen graces us with a second Mamma Mia. This whole film is reminiscing of the first ‘Mamma Mia’ with our favourite three dads, our hilarious best friends and the classic ABBA songs. I can’t imagine anything going wrong, and happily I wasn’t disappointed. It was a brilliant, emotional, heart-felt, fun, colourful film.

If you haven’t seen the trailers (which would really surprise me as they are EVERYWHERE), then here’s a quick plot. It is quite a simple one, and not one we wouldn’t expect as it tells the story of Donna’s past. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) falls pregnant, along the way of grand parties, storms and unexpected rejections; we are transported to the past to see what Donna got up to in travelling and falling pregnant herself with Sophie. I do have to admit, the film does start quite slow and emotional, it’s not like the first which starts high and fluctuates in the middle, this one actually more echoes a beautiful slow emotional build-up, but with fun songs along the way of course!

Film Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The past inevitably brings in new actors and actresses and I have to admit they are all brilliant! Lily James as young Donna has to be one of the highlights of the film, she is phenomenal in her portrayal and she stays true to the Donna we know and love from the first film. Then there’s her two closest friends, Tanya and Rosie, played by Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn retrospectively. Unlike Lily James, I haven’t heard of these two actresses before, but again they echoed are beloved aunties of Sophie down to a T. With Tanya’s strong front always seeking for a husband and Rosie’s loving honesty, they are both great characters. The past is the story of Donna falling pregnant which means we obviously need to meet the young potential fathers. Firstly, young Harry (High Skinner) a slightly awkward young adult, but during a song he becomes hilarious and lovable. Secondly, young Bill (Josh Dylan), such a pretty man, who we learn is actually quite a player as some might say. And finally, young Sam (Jeremy Irvine), the one to break poor Donna’s heart and flee back to his fiancé on the mainland. Just a quick side note: there were a few things told in the past that didn’t quite add up from the first film, in particular looks, but the actors and actresses are so perfectly matched up it doesn’t really matter anyway!

Mamma Mia 2 - Mamma Mia

Just alike to the first film, ‘Mamma Mia 2’ is scattered with oh so many ABBA songs, it is definitely a musical at heart. Song-full, we enjoy many other ABBA songs that weren’t present in the first film – considering that using all the same songs would become quite boring, although there are some classics brought back from the first, but they just add a nostalgia quality the film. Once again, all the songs make so much sense to what we are watching, they all fit in perfectly into the narrative. Songs such as: ‘When I Kissed the Teacher’ at graduation, ‘Angel Eyes’ with the classic comedy between Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters), ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ over a break-up, ‘Waterloo’ with young Harry, ‘The Name of the Game’ in one of young Donna’s songs, and so many more. There were a few I didn’t know, but they were all so enjoyable and worked so well, it didn’t matter much.

Mamma Mia 2 - Dancing Queen

If you’re a fan of the first ‘Mamma Mia’ I would definitely recommend this one, if you haven’t seen it already as I know I’m a bit slow to this one. It’s fun and vibrant, but also heart-felt, I did have a little cry. The transition from past to present works so well, from moving into a room as Sophie to moving into a room as young Donna, or something similar, it works so fluently in the film and doesn’t feel clunky at all! As you may have seen from the trailers too, Cher does make an appearance, personally I wasn’t the biggest fan of her in the film as she felt like she stole a bit of the spotlight, but nevertheless she can sing and ‘Fernando’ is a great song. Like the first, ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’ is an enjoyable feel-good film, so why wouldn’t this be one to love?

Mamma Mia 2 - Cher

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

Action comedy with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, why not? Looks good, looks funny, looks full of action, what else do you need for an enjoyable film? And after seeing, ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ definitely ticked all those boxes. It’s not a film that will change history in film culture, but it was a comical, entertaining film.

As the title suggests, it’s quite a self-explanatory plot-line. Audrey (Mila Kunis) is dumped abruptly by her one-year boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux – aka Drew Barrymore’s revengeful ex in ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’). However, what she doesn’t know is that her now-ex is in fact a spy in the CIA. People are in search for him and they are led to Audrey and her best friend, Morgan (Kate McKinnon). Following, are alleged spies Sebastian (Sam Heughan) and Duffer (Hasan Minhaj), and an unknown terrorist group who brings in an assassin. Suddenly Audrey and Morgan are wrapped into a first-time adventure to Europe that becomes comically explosive.

The Spy Who Dumped Me 1

There are quite a few elements of genre in ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’. Obviously the comedy is at the forefront of the whole film, there are many hilarious or giggle-worthy moments. There is definitely one star who should get most of the praise for this comedy component: Kate McKinnon. Her ballsy persona and honesty to her parents is hilarious. She is definitely a great comedy actress, not to say she was the only comedy element, because Mila Kunis was also brilliant, as she always is.

The Spy Who Dumped Me 2

Now the action element. More brutal than I thought it would be, there are a lot of murders. Some good bad-ass action scenes, not forgetting the character Sebastian’s action scenes, which were magnificent. We also watch as Audrey and Morgan become more of action figures throughout the film which is great! Due to the plot-line, the action actually brings in a mystery configuration. Which I do have to admit was executed well. There is a constant feel of ‘who can you trust’ throughout the film, which did get me double-guessing every character all the way to the end. I quite liked this element, just brought that little more to an action comedy. Finally, this is a 15 for a reason, there is a lot of swearing, nudity, and murders.

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Honestly, I couldn’t say I had any issues with this film, it was easy-watching, fun and exciting. We travel all around Europe from Paris to Amsterdam, to so many more places. All travelling round with these two best friends, one who “never finishes anything” and another who is a “little much”. We learn more and more about this comical duo as they have no idea what’s going on. 

Ice Age (2002)

The beginning of an epic unusual herd. And of course, one of the best squirrels to hit the screen. A squirrel who has the biggest love and obsession for an acorn. He appears throughout the film and hilariously explains global climate changes. Then there’s the main new herd: a pessimistic mammoth Manfred aka Manny (Ray Romano), a clumsy, hilarious sloth, Sid (John Leguizamo), and finally a saber-tooth tiger, Diego (Denis Leary), whose loyalties are mislaid. On a journey they never imagined, the individuals come together when they accidentally find a human baby.

Ice Age - squirrel

We are welcomed to the Ice Age on screen. And it’s enjoyable, adventurous and hilarious. Manny is a complicated character, wrapped up in his past, therefore stuck in a lone state. Although, he adapts a new follower, one he dislikes but one that nevertheless stays on his tail. This is the recreation of a similar relationship between Shrek and Donkey a year before. Sid the Sloth is hilarious, clumsy, proud of his uniqueness no matter how many tell him he should be ashamed. He is definitely the best character, in his hilarity and confidence. Then there’s the final animal to the herd, the one who we know is misleading the others. A saber-tooth tiger who is a character that builds among the film.

Ice Age - Manny and Diego

Many may know ‘Send Me on My Way’ from Matilda cooking pancakes, although I believe it should be a song remembered in this one too. A journey with adventures and many climate-related jokes. Comedy that reflects many years before. An adventure: one where the baby is hungry and they must find food, where Dodo’s start a fight over watermelons, one where they are constantly followed by other saber-tooth tigers, plus they have a fall down some ice, and so much more! It’s an enjoyable and hilarious film, comforting and makes you giggle throughout. I do believe it’s a bit underrated and it truly shouldn’t be, it should be remembered and loved as one of the great 2000 animations.

Ice Age - Sid

And we can always rely on returning to the squirrel and his silent or desperate screams of him never being able to bury his acorn. A squirrel that will make you giggle but also plead he gets all he wants. Then we throwback to our “weirdest herd ever”.