Murder Mystery (2019)

Nick and Audrey Spitz are expecting an ordinary honeymoon to finally celebrate their 15 years of marriage – instead they end up wrapped up in a rich murder mystery where they end up as the prime suspects.

Starring Adam Sandler as the husband Nick and Jennifer Aniston as wife Audrey, I did feel it was natural to have high hopes for this film. A comedy, murder mystery, with crime and classic Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, surely to make a film of success and brilliance? Maybe not. I’m not saying the film was terrible, it wasn’t at all. It was just a bit flat…

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First of all, I expected a lot more from the murder mystery side, especially as it is called ‘Murder Mystery’. It seemed to have a classic Poirot ending where all the suspects are brought together for a big reveal, which I thought was great. However, this film couldn’t really bring the elements David Suchet brings to his TV show. Instead, I was a bit underwhelmed by the reveal, I mean it was ok and I hadn’t pieced it all together, but it wasn’t as great as it could have been.

Secondly, the film is incredible fast pace. Which isn’t exactly a problem, it definitely keeps you watching throughout the whole film. Death after death after death. Maybe the reveal wasn’t as intriguing as I didn’t feel I was hooked into actually wanting to know because it was so fast pace. I didn’t really become intrigued or care… I’m more intrigued in a ‘Criminal Minds’ episode than I was in this film.

The film seemed very surreal from the beginning. Kicking off with this odd invitation to the new holiday journey for the couple, it seemed so fake and random. I thought there would be a little more build up to the understanding, but nope it is kept as random as inviting two strangers on a boat party with an upper-class family. The character the invitation was from, Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans), could have been explored so much more. Giving the audience a reason for this invitation, even if it was just simply to annoy the host of the party – that would have made more sense. Saying this, hardly any of the characters got an explanation. I don’t really understand any of them as a presence on screen.

Murder Mystery

Finally, I wasn’t a big fan of Adam Sandler’s character. I didn’t find his awkward comments that funny, but rather just that, awkward. It seemed to miss the mark compared to his other films. Jennifer Aniston however was fab; she was great in the film and I did like her character. Plus, she is amazing anyway!

‘Murder Mystery’ wasn’t a great film. I enjoyed it for what it was, but don’t think I’ll be racing to watch it again. It was just a bit underwhelming. Saying this, I did like the action elements and there were parts that put a smile on my face, although I wouldn’t class it as a ‘comedy’ as such. Last point, David Walliams in the film was not my cup of tea, but rather awkward… sorry.

New Amsterdam (2018 – )

‘New Amsterdam’ is a drama set in a hospital of the same name as the title. At New Amsterdam, there’s a new change from day one – there’s a new medical director in town. And he’s not one to make the small changes, but rather firing a whole department in the first meeting. This new medical director of New Amsterdam is ready to make the changes needed to break the system to put the patients first; money means nothing, the patients are always at the centre. But quickly you find out this medical director is also a patient of New Amsterdam.

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You quickly discover the key protagonists of the show. The new medical director, Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold). The man behind all of the changes, the disruptions of the hospital, reinventing the term understood as public health care. Head of oncology, Dr Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman). Who returns to the hospital after a long break away from treating cancer to advertising the hospital; she returns to her doctorate taking hold of the head of oncology once again. Head a neurology, Dr Vijay Kapoor (Anupam Kher). This man is the strong believer in understanding his patients through talk. Head of cardiology, Dr Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims). Reynolds is given the large task of no cardiology department and building his own after the others are fired. Head of psychiatry, Dr Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine). Iggy has to be my favourite character, his dedication to his patients shows no bounds. Head of the Emergency Department, Dr Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery). Bloom’s character takes a large journey through season one as she starts to lose the grips of her job taken over by addiction of a different sort. All of the protagonists are flawed and feel so realistic, believable. It really is what makes this show brilliant. They are all so different, all characters are quick to be loved by their audience.

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The show is constantly busy with new patients and emergencies left, right and centre. There are many plot lines to each episode, but they come easy to follow. I was hooked from the first episode. Not going to lie, I have probably cried in the majority of the episodes. The story lines feel very realistic, therefore they become very emotional. You feel for every character that crosses the screen. ‘New Amsterdam’ became a show I wanted to pay all my attention to and not be on my phone while watching, it took all my attention and I was hooked into the show. A brilliant drama that I can’t wait for season two of. There are twists and turns, drama to not be able to predict – anything can happen in a hospital.

Killing Eve (Season Two)

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are back for a second season of ‘Killing Eve’. One of the best shows I’ve seen of 2018, of course it had to come back in 2019! In just one day, season two had been watched – every ending just begs you to continue, so why resist? There will be some spoilers from season one as they carry one from each other, therefore read at your own risk – watch season one first: review here.

Villanelle (Jodie Comer), heartbroken yet impressed by Eve’s (Sandra Oh) recent stabbing, is trying to cope with the injury. However, what Eve doesn’t recognise is Villanelle’s even more deepened interest in the MI6 agent. Meanwhile, Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) recruits Eve back on another psychopath hunt. Eve is looking for Villanelle, Villanelle is hunting Eve. The obsessed chemistry only gets worse between these two, as the first contact between at the end of season one has only brought a need for more.

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Both actresses are phenomenal in this season just alike to the first. Jodie Comer as Villanelle is amazing in her acting talents, more of her accents are experienced in this series. Talents from Russian, to British, to French and American. Again, we travel across Europe visiting the beautiful shots and scenes, while Villanelle patrols doing what she does best: killing. However, we see so much more of this character, we learn more. The complexities are explored in this season. Although, keeping the sassiness and hilarity of her bluntness – the things that make her character so great.

Whereas, Eve in her new psychopath-centred life, forgets her husband and delves even deeper into a life of MI6 hunting of murderers. Eve’s character changes progressively throughout the season. She begins to think differently, influenced by Villanelle more than she’d want to admit. Finding Villanelle is her whole life.

Killing Eve S2 - Villanelle

The parallels between the two series is phenomenal, beautiful in its irony and reflection. I do think this is a great second season, I don’t think anything will ever live up to the brilliance of season one, however it doesn’t need to. This season brings everything that is needed from season one and draws even more out of the characters. ‘Killing Eve’ continues to be a fantastic show, so different from other shows. Something is always happening, there are shocks and laughter. Characters unpredictable yet addictive. If you loved the first season, don’t worry this one isn’t a let-down.

American Hustle (2013)

A film with amazing stars, phenomenal actors and actresses who are magnificent throughout the film. Stars such as Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. They all are brilliant in creating this crime-ridden world with secrecy and plotting along the way. Christian Bale has to be at the forefront of this phenomenal cast, his acting is excellent as always.

Christian Bale Bradley Cooper Amy Adams Jeremy Renner Jennifer Lawrence

Two con-artists; a man who’s secret work is one of America’s best and a seductive, cunning woman on his side, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams); are forced to work with a very ambitious FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). Sadly, the film sounds a lot better than it actually is. It could have explored this FBI takeover in a much more exciting way, but I was left just trying so hard to understand what was going on and it takes a lot of concentrate when it’s quite a long talky-talky film. I have to admit, the narration throughout the whole film, from the characters explaining what is happening, is essential to understanding everything, and I liked the addition. But overall, I just felt more could have happened, particularly with these amazing actors. It felt a bit empty, where I was waiting for something to happen. When the con occurred, I was pleased to finally welcome its arrival into the film, but I think I created way better cons in my mind guessing throughout the movie.

Saying this, I really liked the flawed characters. I think with these sort of actors you can’t not be invested in the characters on screen. I was constantly guessing who was playing a con, who could be trusted, who was going to be fooled. But it turned out, we already knew quite a lot in the film as it was going on. I really liked the addition of Jennifer Lawrence’s character, her cunning and bossy ways were intriguing to learn about in the film. The whole film does feel like if you add a bit of violence, it could have easily had Robert De Niro at the centre. But it didn’t quite hit the mark of one of his crime films.

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In conclusion, American Hustle isn’t a bad film but it isn’t great. It has an incredibly long build up, where you wait and wait for the ending and it’s not as revolutionary as I had hoped, although still good to be fair. American Hustle definitely had stardom over plot, style over substance. I don’t think I’ll be watching this one again, there was a bit of too much hope for something more.

Ma (2019)

Octavia Spencer stars in this new horror from Blumhouse Productions. I have to admit this one was very different from other horrors that I’ve seen. We all know that horrors love to create a quick background to delve into this setting and new characters (or old ones). ‘Ma’ definitely did this, although this part was the majority of the film, rather than the first ten minutes. What actually happens in the trailer doesn’t happen until the last twenty minutes of the film. What the whole film actually entails is a story of five teenagers and their sudden new friendship with Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) – a kind woman who has brought them alcohol. Or so they thought…

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Octavia Spencer sings as the best actor of the film. To be honest, the others aren’t great, but it doesn’t take much away from the film, you just have to ignore those awkward moments. Regardless, Sue Ann is such an interesting character. ‘Ma’ really explores in detail why she feels the urge to be the way she is, and in some ways you feel sorry for her, really feel pity towards her. It spends a lot of time building this character for the audience.

As a horror it definitely has jump scares, there were a few moments that got me jumping out my seat (although I’m an easier scare). The horror element is more creepy, as you don’t know what is going to happen. You’re just waiting for this character to explode as she stalks, tracks and follows the young teenagers. Additionally, the film does come to an abrupt ending. It’s all very sudden when everything starts to kick off and it is really exciting in a horror sense of a film. But then it’s over, where it could have told so much more afterwards.

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‘Ma’ was an enjoyable (as they can get for a horror) film. It was interesting to understand what had happened to this main protagonist and discover what she is going to do, what she is planning. The camera angles are intense throughout the whole film, with a lot of extreme close-ups. It is an intriguing film, different to other horrors. I might watch it again in the far future, but don’t think I’ll be jumping to this one time and time again.

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

A new Netflix film, and straight away, I was intrigued to watch. A film of childhood sweethearts who never could find the right time to actually be together, 16 years later and their paths finally cross once again. I do love a romcom and this one had all it needed for it to be a fun, heart-warming film to just watch and feel good.

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Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) has made a name for herself – she’s become the chef she always wanted to be. Flying all around of America to open restaurants, she has become a powerful career woman who’s worked hard to get where she is. She is a fabulous main character. I love everything that she stands for, and she worked great as the centre of the film. Funny, classy, cool. Would love to own her wardrobe, but that’s not going to happen… She really was a fab protagonist to love. Then there’s Marcus (Randall Park), who’s on a different career path to his long-lost friend’s. Marcus lives at home with his father, grounded in his routes in San Francisco. He has his own band – an element I did love as it was so different and fun! Just another part of the movie to be lost into.

The last encounter of these two childhood friends was at the age of 18 and was at least very awkward… Words were said then 16 years goes by, no word said between them since. Of course, they happen to meet again with Sasha’s new restaurant opening in her hometown. This is where we delve into a lot of awkward moments, some a bit too cringey for me to watch. ‘Always Be My Maybe’ somehow has this feel to it that feels real, it feels honest, truthful somehow. It’s a great little escapism for an hour and three-quarters.

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I really enjoyed this film; the whole movie has a feel of wholesomeness and freshness to it. I love all the inclusive elements and it feels so modern. It’s really enjoyable and got me giggling. I just feel so happy and fuzzy after the whole thing has ended, aren’t they the best kind of films? A stereotypical romance comedy? Maybe. But ‘Always Be My Maybe’ is different with a fresh twist and still entertaining to watch.