Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018)

Another Nick Frost and Simon Pegg film to add to the mass: ‘Paul’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’. ‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ tells the story of Don (Finn Cole), a teen starting boarding school no matter how much he resists, he tries to fit in for his mother’s sake. This school is Slaughterhouse, with a headmaster called The Bat (Michael Sheen) and head boys that beat the young up, finally houses that categorise the students. The whole film is a bizarre micky take of everything, one inappropriate and violent, one odd yet different. A film not appropriate for younger ages!

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So I tried to appreciate this film, but I just couldn’t to the amount I wanted to. The trailer looks funny, but it seems to show all the comedy in the film, and I hate that. I just kept saying “it’s something different”, but in reality it was a bit all over the place. There were parts at the beginning which did make me chuckle and its supposed to be comical (obviously with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg). But then it all just got random and the plot was lost. There was nothing to the film, the characters could have been more interesting but it never got to the potential it could have. ‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ seemed more important in trying to take the mick out of a lot of different films that actually having a plot itself.

You mustn’t go into the woods, wonder where we’ve heard that before? The woods has a huge sink hole, yeah I don’t really understand it either, something to do with fracking and the “evils” of Terrafrack, then some monsters come out of the hole and rip the school to shreds. The sink hole is a “gateway to hell”… Which, I have to say, is what the trailer tells the story of, but it actually took a really long time for the sink hole to appear and this part of the story to get going. I was enjoying the film more before the sink hole to be honest.

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Ok it wasn’t terrible, it was just all over the place. It is nowhere near as good as ‘Shaun of the Dead’ which has a comical storyline and great action scenes. ‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ doesn’t actually have Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in it that much anyway as it more revolved around the children of the school. Additionally, I didn’t really like either of the characters they played anyway. Sadly, they weren’t in contact with each other either, so the Frost/Pegg classic relationship wasn’t present. I didn’t walk out of the cinema and I did want to watch it all, but I think the once was enough and this wouldn’t be one I would watch again.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

I love Disney films just as much as the next person. When this first trailer came out ages ago, it looked magical and intriguing. The more I saw in trailers, the less convinced I got. And the less convinced I was when I watched the whole film…

‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ tells the story of a young girl, Clara (Mackenzie Foy), who, coated in grief, goes on an adventure to find some connection to her recently late mother. Following a string around a house, she ends up in a completely different world, one of four realms. I loved this idea of following a string, it was beautifully done, and it brings a whole new dimension to a treasure hunt! Anyway, Clara falls into this new world of four realms, the lands of sweets, snowflakes, flowers and amusements. Clara is soon told that the lands are at war, and her mother used to be the Queen holding them all together. Now she must help the war between Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley) and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren).

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There are some big names in this film. Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and even Jack Whitehall. However, for some reason out of all the cast, the acting seemed forced and odd, it didn’t seem to flow. The best actor was obviously Morgan Freeman, but he was the one who was in it the least! I’m also a huge fan of Keira Knightley, who doesn’t love some ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’? But in this film, she was the most annoying character, Sugar Plum made this film difficult to watch, it might sound harsh, but it’s my truth. There was some comedy with the characters, Jack Whitehall did make me giggle.

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Sadly, the film didn’t feel harmonious. The characters were not very relatable. Falling into a world such as this one, just like to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ did, we need to feel the sense of confusion, of bewilderment. This isn’t a land we see every day, we are supposed to be amazed by the different lands, by the colours and the creativity. But Clara almost didn’t react, it didn’t feel believable, I couldn’t fall into these lands with her when her emotions were lost. Mia Wasikowska plays Alice in Tim Burton’s film, with all this confusion and oddities of this Wonderland, we explored the land with her. This was lost in ‘The Nutcracker’. We couldn’t explore, especially when Clara was there and in no time she was pretending to be Queen and ordering the soldiers in an “attention”. This was the thing that made the film fall short for me the most.

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Overall, ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ just didn’t seem to do it for me. It seemed all a bit blocky and bizarre. I couldn’t follow the characters, when I couldn’t understand them. I wished there were more to the characters, and the story wasn’t so predictable when there was a clear twist. I didn’t even get to enjoy the costumes! The ballet was good and mesmerising, I really did enjoy this part and I’m not usually a fan of ballet. Maybe I was completely lost with the concept of this film, but I don’t think it’s going to be one to remember, nor one to be buying on DVD to watch again.

The Grinch (2018)

The first Christmas movie of 2018, a Christmassy animation celebrating Dr Seuss’ Grinch in a new twist. Benedict Cumberbatch brings this voice of the Grinch to life, making this grumpy character one loveable and understanding as we travel into his past and discover the reason he hates Christmas so much.

The Narrator (Pharrell Williams – yes) is very present in this film, as he describes the scene we are brought to, what the Grinch is feeling and why he is such a grumpy bah-humbug. All in rhyme reflecting Dr Seuss’ book, the film feels very close to the novel. But also feels broken into these sections. Sections where the narrator explains extra info for the audience, breaking the flow of the film, to then return to the story with the Grinch on his mischievous mission to ruin Christmas for all the Who’s in Who-Ville. I didn’t dislike these sections, although they did feel separate from the film and little broken from the rest of the film.

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‘The Grinch’ doesn’t follow the tales of Jim Carrey’s ‘The Grinch’ down to a T, happily there are some differences to not make it repetitive. Although, I am a huge fan of Jim Carrey’s Grinch, because personally nothing can beat that classic! And I’m not sure this one did, however, there were some fantastic additional characters in Benedict Cumberbatch’s version, which did get me laughing. To start with, this Grinch is able to catch a reindeer, who he names Fred. This reindeer was brilliant in silly comedy and was probably my favourite character of the film. Plus, I have to mention the random goat… There was a hilarious goat, who I wished would appear more, because he got me and my brother in stitches over. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the film already. I did think Cindy-Lou (Cameron Seely) would be more of an influential character in the Grinch’s life, although there wasn’t as much contact as the first film, but she was still a great character. Cindy-Lou’s home life was a family embraced and loved, as it celebrated the working single mum, which was a really beautiful touch to the film. Finally, we cannot forget Max the dog, because his loyalty and dedication to the Grinch is most adored.

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The animation is of course brilliant. The Grinch is very realistic to the books, in his bright green presence and the first scene of him getting ready was both creative and comical. I really enjoyed this version of ‘The Grinch’. It was fun and comical, there were definitely parts where I was laughing and parts that were just heart-warming and moralistic. The meaning of Christmas brought to its reality without gifts and decorations – as it is in the first film. It’s a lovely film, with silly childish giggles, and you can’t help but love Benedict Cumberbatch’s Grinch as he just wants others to feel what he does.

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There’s also a fun minions mini-movie before the film – as this seems a common trend at the minute, especially after the chaos of the dumpling story before ‘Incredibles 2’. Who doesn’t love a little bit of minions before they start the film?

Single Parents (2018 – )

To be honest, I was first drawn in with this new show because of Leighton Meester, the one and only Blair Waldorf from ‘Gossip Girl’! Then once I watched the trailer, it looked fun and easy-going. I started watching the first episode and I found out that one of the creators is Elizabeth Meriwether, which is the same creator as ‘New Girl’. I knew this would be a new show for me to enjoy!

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The cast is brilliant. The children are hilarious and all so different, same as the parents, they all bring something new and refreshing to the show. Firstly, there’s the new dad, Will Cooper (Taran Killam), the one who has fallen down the parent vortex as they say. He is a very hands-on, full-on dad, with whisper singing Moana and dancing to his daughter’s embarrassment. To say the least, he’s very emotional. He’s lost himself as a man and stands as a father to his daughter and that’s all. This is where the group of other single parents decide to jump in and help. However, once accepted into the group, all Will wants is to jump onto the “friendship train”!

TARAN KILLAM, DEVIN TREY CAMPBELL

Ok, so the rest of the group…. Angie (Leighton Meester) is a single mother who claims “mush” is unnecessary, aka feelings. She has serious commitment issues, but one commitment to her son whose commitment to his mum is extremely strong. She is very protective of her son and would do anything for him. Poppy (Kimrie Lewis) owns her own wine business, she is a character who is very head-strong and gives out advice left, right and centre. Her son is brilliant and fun as he claims he has multiple costume changes at a sleepover. This dramatic over-the-top attitude is fab. They are a family strongly true to themselves. Miggy (Jake Choi), a newly young single father, who still hasn’t grasped what he is doing. He lives next door to Poppy as he forms into the group with the only one not having a child in the same class. Finally, Douglas (Brad Garrett), the older father of twin girls, who are found “shawshanking their way to the neighbours” and cleaning cars. He’s the one who tries to get out of all babysitting and all he wants to do is be the stereotypical older man, drinking whisky and eating steak with others like him. He’s not one to talk emotions or show weakness.

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The characters are fun, and the whole show feels fresh and modern. Very relatable as it covers all angles amongst the different characters. It is based around Hilltop Elementary School and babysitting priorities. But also tells the lives of the adults without their children. Each new episode is revolved around something different and ends in a conclusive circle as all sitcoms do. It makes me chuckle and is a great little escapism for 20 minutes. ‘Single Parents’ is probably one deemed as just another American sitcom, but it’s still great! It’s funny and such an easy watch! If you’re looking for a new show, why not try this one?

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

The original Lara Croft, Angelina Jolie. The baddass archaeologist, who just wants to fulfil her father’s wishes after he died. The story does play on the fantasy/sci-fi genre, just a pre-warning, as it is not a full-on believable action film (if there are any?). The plot: every 5,000 years the planets align. When this happens, the two halves of the triangle can be united to control time. So overall, this is a ‘save the world’ kind of film, since the clock to get the first half of the triangle has fallen into the wrong hands.

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What is with the accents in this film? Ok, so Angelina Jolie pretends to be British, which I wasn’t a huge fan of her accent, but I soon got over it and after the initial ‘ugh why’, I didn’t even notice it anymore. But that was because Daniel Craig came in, looking all a bit too rough, and with some sort of American accent! Whhhyyyy? This accent was not great… it was baaad. Every time he spoke it irritated me. Didn’t really understand why he had to be American, if that’s what the accent was supposed to be? Angelina Jolie being British was so much better than Daniel Craig’s accent. Happily, he didn’t talk much anyway.

‘Tomb Raider’ is full of action and explosive scenes. For a film that came out in the early 2000s, the graphics were not as bad as I thought they would be (since we’ve got used to the brilliant graphics now). I mean they weren’t amazing, but they definitely weren’t terrible and didn’t take anything away from the film in a distracting way! The action scenes are fun and enjoyable, who doesn’t love a good action scene from a well-known action star? And Angelina Jolie is definitely one! The scenes were good to get lost in and escape from real-life for a while.

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I enjoyed this film, it’s a good escapism film. I don’t believe there’s much wrong with it, other than some bad fake accents… It’s a fun, action-filled film. There are some small giggle moments, but mostly you’re lost in this adventure, two teams racing against each other. Did I mention the baddy is a young Mormont from ‘Game of Thrones’? It’s not life-changing, it is what it is. It’s a traditional fantasy action film with the fab Angelina Jolie, what’s not to like?

Hannah Montana the Movie (2009)

Don’t judge me, but this has to be one of my favourite nostalgia cheesy films. I am 21 and I will happily sit and sing to this film, all day long. No regrets. It’s full off nostalgia from the series which I loved as a child and the film which came out 9 years ago now, crazy. Iconic characters return, such as Oliver (Mitchel Musso) and Rico (Moises Arias) making a glimpse appearance. Even recognisable stars such as Tyra Banks and Taylor Swift make a visit.

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The story goes: Miley (Cyrus – obviously) has lost herself, she is wrapped up in the Hannah world and instead hurts those around her, without realising. Her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) thinks the best thing to do is take her back to her roots. From the glitz and glam of Malibu, Miley is forced to return to Crowley Corners, her home in Tennessee. Visiting her grandma (Margo Martindale), Miley turns from the spoilt, obsessed Hannah who is quite hard to like at the beginning, to her old ways remembering what is important in life. Miley’s goes on a journey of chickens and horses, meeting an old family friend Travis (Lucas Till) and leaving the Hannah life behind for two weeks, on what her dad calls a “Hannah Detox”. We cannot forget her brother Jackson (Jason Earles) who of course is always there for the journey too, making his comical brilliance in all scenes he’s in. Additionally, the reliable best friend, Lilly (Emily Osment), is there is save the day.

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Personally, I love all the songs in this film. We are introduced to the first song as ‘The Best of Both Worlds’, foreshadowing the struggles of the best of both worlds. Then there’s the iconic scene of the barn dance in ‘Hoedown Throwdown’, which is great! They are classically Hannah Montana, again full of nostalgia from television. Finally, this is the film ‘The Climb’ came from, also a brilliant song. Plus, I cannot forget the emotionful ‘Butterfly Fly Away’ of father and daughter.

Hannah Montana the Movie - Miley and Travis

In a family of secrets and lies, the film of course is extremely moralistic. It’s a film full of family love and being true to yourself. It is a teen film! Nevertheless, it’s a heart-warming, comical film. It’s a cheesy, funny, loveable film and I definitely love watching it. It has romance, drama, comedy and of course music. This is understandably a film of particular taste, but it’s just one of those feel-good chick-flicks. If you loved the series, watch as Miley has to choose between Miley and Hannah.

Scary Movie (2000)

This is a movie you cannot take seriously, you have to accept it for what it is. Its humour is one of a kind, one I stress is for certain comical tastes, this is not a film for all. For starters, it’s an 18 and for very good reason. Plus, the humour is quite offensive… Well outrageous and will stretch to any limits. It’s definitely a darker humour. But for this reason, it creates laughs in the crazy potentials and the spoof of horrors.

‘Scary Movie’ is one of the horror comedy spoofs of the 2000s, which was followed by many other Scary Movies’ years later. There must have been a demand with so many sequels following after. The humour is rude, sexual and shocking. Yet ridiculous and hilarious in its own way. Ok, there are parts I do not find funny at all, because they’re a bit too much for me, but some parts I did have a giggle, in its outrageousness, it does gain laughs. ‘Scary Movie’ laughs in the face of horrors, spoofs stereotypes and mocks itself as a film.

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‘Scary Movie’ follows teens exactly one year after they accidentally kill someone and cover it up. On Halloween, a Scream-copycat figure goes around haunting and killing the group. But instead of the horror, he is seen hiding behind the couch, he gets hit by a piano rolling down the stairs and he’d rather rap and do drugs instead of kill. Also, a girl in a state of irony, breaks her own leg to have her head chopped off; in a dramatic scene the audience misunderstands a murder; and there is the famous scene of wassssaaaappppp on the phone. When I watched this when I was younger, I think the concept quite scared me, but it is definitely more comedy and I think I was confused by the whole concept.

The actors and actresses in this film are actually ones you’d probably recognise. To begin with, the main protagonist is played by the excellent Anna Faris, whom I’ve seen in many films, such as ‘The House Bunny’ and ‘What’s Your Number?’. Secondly, the film is written by the Wayans brothers, Shawn and Marlon, who both star in the film too. And even a young Hal Cooper from ‘Riverdale’ makes an appearance in the group.

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So to recap: a film of particular humour taste, of light-heartedness and not-to-be-taken-seriously. The film echoes a spoof of Scream, with comedy embedded and stupid ridiculously. Please remember it did come out in the 2000, it is just a spoof of everything. Take it as it is, or watch because it’s difficult to figure out who is actually behind the mask…