Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Watching this film I expected it to be the greatest animation of 2018. The critics seemed to be highly rating the film, expressing its excellence. But instead, I was left a bit underwhelmed – I wouldn’t say it was the film of the century.

I liked the concept: the idea did seem great. Although, what you watch in the trailer isn’t exactly what you watch in the film. Multiple Spider-Men all joining together. The new Spider-Man the one we follow for most of the film, he is a great little character. Then there’s the Amazing Spider-Man, Gwen, and then we detour into some stranger versions, a cartoon pig Peter Porker, a robot with an anime-styled character and finally a film noir Spider-Man – the last three seem confused in the understanding of what Spider-Man is. But apparently all the same as they were bitten by a radioactive spider. The background comic stories behind the characters was fun and made sure they weren’t repeating the same story which was good. But ultimately, the film doesn’t spend that much time as all of the Spider-Men together but rather exploring the life of Miles Morales getting used to his new spidey-lifestyle.

SpiderMan Into the SpiderVerse 1

You end up feeling great sympathy for the villain of the film, maybe this was too persistent, as we’re supposed to support Spider-Man through and through. Additionally, the Amazing Spider-Man had lost his excellence and excelled into self-pity over the years, leaving behind someone mad for pizza and lying around. His character was rather underwhelming, however I think he was supposed to be executed in that way. But ultimately, that life-changing moment he’s supposed to have by the whole experience never really occurred. Although, Jake Johnson voicing him is fine by me any day!

The animation is cool, it has this comic effect that completely changes animations we are familiar of. But after a while, it becomes mad with bizarre bright colours and explosions of nothingness. In some cases it worked, with the spider senses seen and the screaming of AAAHH when necessary. But by the end with the villain succeeding in his plans, the whole screen just becomes a mass of bright colours and the narration is lost in a mist of madness where it can’t exactly be followed with what is happening.

SpiderMan Into the SpiderVerse 2.jpg

I think what came down to it was that it felt a little too hyped up. There wasn’t a great revolutionary scene with all of the Spider-Men band together. Where this could of happened, you become more lost in the plot at this point and missed what could have been some great comic Spider-Man action. The style of animation was unique and clever, but overdone in other parts. All in all, the potential of both the plot and animation didn’t feel like they could interweave together in harmony but instead occasionally fought against each other for the centre stage.

Might be an unpopular opinion…

Hot Fuzz (2007)

One of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s iconic duo films. I remember watching this film when I was younger, however I couldn’t actually remember what it was about at all. And to be honest, it wasn’t as good as I remember, even though remembering was little. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ tops this one, by far.

‘Hot Fuzz’ follows a by-the-book police officer, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg). Everything is morally right or wrong and if wrong is done you’ll be arrested right off. He’s an officer who never turns off, he is an officer by name and by life – never relaxing, never not seeing wrong or right. Therefore, his excellence was putting the other MET officers to shame, so he was sent off to the quiet town of Sandford noted as one of the perfect towns where nothing bad happens. But, when a series of murders happens in this small town, officers claim them flukes and just “accidents” leaving only Nicholas believing differently.

Hot Fuzz 2

In one of these Edgar Wright films starring both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, what is loved most is the relationship between Pegg and Frost. But this seemed a bit lacking in ‘Hot Fuzz’. The iconic hilarity seemed to be missing in this film. I think that was due to the personality created by Simon Pegg, as in his character of Nicholas Angel. It wasn’t a welcoming protagonist that invites other characters to become friends as the newcomer. Nick Frost of Danny Butterman held his usual comical remarks and was definitely enjoyable to watch.

‘Hot Fuzz’ does have quite a slow beginning. As Nicholas Angel moves to Sandford, it takes a while to generate the setting and characters of this new town. A bit unnecessarily slow in my opinion. Although, when it finally kicks into the mystery of the film, the solving of the murders, or accidents as the others claim they are, the film becomes considerably better. Simultaneously, this is when the comedy and action arrive. When the plot finally kicks in, it is really good. Comical, in the usual satire or reminiscing of cinema we know well.

Hot Fuzz 1

As I said ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is better. The whole beginning of ‘Hot Fuzz’ did feel unnecessarily long and slow. Nicholas Angel as a character was very rigid and I felt there weren’t as much comical elements in his personality, however Danny Butterman did hold the comedy. When the mystery kicks off, the action does get wild and enjoyable to watch in its mad explosions and crazy gun fights. One of the classic Simon Pegg and Nick Frost films – not as great as it’s original, but still good to watch with a few faults.

Chernobyl (2019)

In this miniseries, we return to 1986 to when the worst man-made disaster struck Eastern Europe, when the no. 4 reactor exploded from Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant. As a close representation of true history, this show tries to reminisce in the truth of what actually happened back in 1986. Although, as a dramatized version, not everything reflects the truth such as a character representing numerous scientists within one. However, I believe the facts within this dramatized history programme to be pretty damn close to the realities of this tragedy which just makes the episodes that much more distressing and horrifying.

Chernobyl 2

‘Chernobyl’ is a masterpiece of a programme. The whole execution of this dramatized tragedy has been phenomenal to watch. The cinematography alone was outstanding. The actual look of the programme just brought this disaster to screen in the most horrific honest light. The show really did well to create these iconic shots, such as the horrifying scene that involved the Bridge of Death, or the eerie thrilling scene in which men sacrifice themselves to enter the nuclear plant, or finally the shots of people trying to rescue the land with masks sheltering their faces. Every aspect within lighting, sound and picture came together to add so much effect in one television programme.

Chernobyl 3

The emotion on screen was also outstanding. As an audience, you watch the first episode as the knowledge of the nuclear reactor explosion becomes to be known by officials. You watch as experts are called in and people higher up try to cover up what has happened. The understatement of this tragedy is astounding. Then you move through the episodes understanding this extreme risk of radiation with scientific excellence mostly executed from two characters on screen: Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) and Ulana Khomyuk (Emily Watson). The episodes are unfolded where these two and Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgard) try and cope with the effects and minimise more damage to the continent. The audience visualises the true heroes of the disaster and the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of people dedicated to saving the world from nuclear destruction. There is a lot of emotion portrayed on screen executed for every audience to experience the deadly cause of this nuclear explosion.

Chernobyl
Episode 2: Stellan Skarsgård, Jared Harris.
photo: Liam Daniel/HBO

If you haven’t watched ‘Chernobyl’, I would definitely recommend it. All of the actors on screen seem to be so excellently chosen to portray as close as a representation of this true event; the smallest aspects have been taken into consideration to add to the phenomenal effect of this miniseries. Some parts are so hard to watch, particularly as they reflect the truth of the matter – the fatality, the realism, the tragedy. ‘Chernobyl’ is a phenomenal, moving, heart-breaking piece of dramatized history on screen.

Modern Family (2009 – 2020)

A comedy television show, classic American sitcom. ‘Modern Family’ is unique in it’s camera work, it’s originality in interviews and classic in its comedy.

‘Modern Family’ follows three families, otherwise one large family. To begin with, we have Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill) at the top of the family, with his new younger wife, Gloria (Sofía Vergara) and her son Manny (Rico Rodriguez). Jay’s older two children have families of their own. There’s the Dunphy’s: Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) and their three children, Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould). Lastly, but most definitely not least, Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner Cam (Eric Stonestreet), with their newly adopted baby girl Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons).

Modern Family - all

We follow this large modern family around as a camera catches every moment and interviews them to grasp the insights of all the personalities on screen. The cast do constantly look at the camera and talk directly to the audience. The comedy is perfect in this show, it does make me laugh out loud. In either the comments that are clearly undermined by what you are seeing or just by the simple hilarity in this amazing family personalities.

To explore more into the characters, a quick summary of each. Jay the father, stepfather, grandfather, husband. Jay is one of my favourite characters along with his wife. Tough love Jay and his proud Columbian wife Gloria, who is constantly telling the stories of her lifestyle back home. Gloria is loved by the audience and should be as she is hilarious and brilliant in every aspect. Gloria is an overprotective mother of Manny. Extremely sensitive Manny, who writes poems and seems to have skipped childhood and jumped straight to an old-fashioned, old-schooled man.

Modern Family - Gloria and Jay

Within the Dunphy’s, we have the “cool dad” Phil. To be honest, Phil is the one who makes me laugh the most with his stupid actions and comments, whether it’s dancing to High School Musical to his children’s despair or trying to teach his son a lesson by stealing the wrong bike… The mother Claire is recognised by her family as the bossy control freak, she’s extremely competitive but proactive in the ‘bad cop, good cop’ parenting. Their children: popular Haley who could stand as the stereotypical teenager addicted to phones and social skills; book smart and witty Alex as the middle child; finally, hyper and easily distracted Luke who has the cutest relationship with his father.

SARAH HYLAND, TY BURRELL, JULIE BOWEN, ARIEL WINTER, NOLAN GOULD

Then we’ve got Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker. Cam is 100% the best character, I may say all are one of my favourites, but Cam is the favourite. Cam holds a lot of the comedy in the show along with Phil. Whether it’s his love of dressing up as a clown or just his overdramatic take on everything. Cam is so much fun on screen. Then we have Mitch, uptight and a little more private in his emotions. Cam and Mitch are complete opposites; however, I love them as a couple on his show. Finally, we have the newcomer Lily, who brings the whole family together as she grows up during the programme and we get to understand her personality a little more.

Modern Family - Mitch and Cam

All the episodes are episodic, meaning they can be watched in any order, alike to ‘Friends’ and other sitcoms. I’ve been watching them in order as there is usually a story which arcs over the series, such as Haley’s boyfriends or Luke’s older friends, so you recognise who is who. Although, it doesn’t make much of a difference in how they are watched, each episode can be watched alone. What is truly lovely in this show is that every episode ends in a perfect moral message. Just like in ‘The Middle’, ‘Modern Family’ has a lovely summarising message, heart-warming and thought-provoking. This makes this family addictive to watch in comedy and love.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man so far! He tops Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in my opinion.

Tom Holland is who makes this film brilliant. His quirky, awkward teenager presence as Peter Parker is welcomed on screen. ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ finds Peter Parker desperate to keep a normal life. We watch as Spider-Man tries to cling onto his summer vacation with his friends at school. Travelling around Europe, Peter sets himself a plan to tell MJ (Zendaya) how he really feels – aww. But when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes an entrance by shooting Peter’s friend with a dart gun, Peter’s summer holiday becomes a save-the-world expedition once again.

Spider Man Far From Home 2

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ has the same awkward funny moments as ‘Homecoming’ did. The plot is also a brilliant one, interesting and intriguing. Leading on from the catastrophe of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the world is feeling the loss of beloved Avengers, where others have given up the game and many have died. Spider-Man still lives, although weight is off his shoulders when another different superhero comes on the screen – Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Elementals have taken over the world, destroying famous cities; fire, wind and water explode through Venice, London, Prague.

I did have a few reservations about this film. For starters, I wasn’t sure about Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio as it did seem like a weird choice. Furthermore, Marvel has had so many numerous films, can it continue to get better or it is just the same story over and over again? Especially after the mass hit of ‘Endgame’. However, I did not need to worry. Jake Gyllenhaal was a good addition to this Marvel film. His and Tom Holland’s bond on and off screen has to be loved by the audience. Plus, the plot was refreshingly different and interesting throughout.

SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ was an enjoyable film. It has the action and the comedy. Tom Holland and Zendaya are fabulous and brilliant characters on screen. As is Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon). Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan is ever more so present in this film and should be loved, his character is brilliant. Elements throughout the film get darker and twisted as the plot unravels and unravels. For some reason, I knew all the twists in this film, so if you know them, they don’t become such the great twists and turns throughout. Although, still worth the watch as it is a great film with brilliant Spider-Man skills developing further and Peter Parker’s presence as a teenager is also perfect.

PS. Don’t forget the two scenes at the end of the credits – they’re gooduns.

Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)

Yet another Fast and Furious film crashes onto our screens. Although, leaving the original franchise a new spin-off results in just Hobbs and Shaw in the centre. Hobbs and Shaw have already shown us the hatred between each other from ‘Fast and Furious 8’, but they are forced to reminisce and work together when the world is about to come to another end in this film.

Fast and Furious Hobbs and Shaw 2

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham return as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw and have to work together when a new threat has risen. Everything went wrong in a mission to collect a secret virus when they were interrupted by the “bad guy” aka Brixton (Idris Elba). Instead, in a panic, one of the agents injects herself with the virus to stop Brixton from getting his hands on it. Although, it’s too easy for Brixton to spin the story, claiming that she is the one who has killed her own team and she is the enemy. This sounds like a lot of potential in a storyline, but actually once Hobbs and Shaw are on team, it all seems extremely easy to track the agent down and ultimately know she is of course not the baddy of the film!

Fast and Furious Hobbs and Shaw 1

I did love this new addition of this agent, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby). She was a brilliant badass agent on screen, which was great to see against the “alpha males” constantly bickering. Something they definitely put a lot of effort into was these bickering squabbles between Hobbs and Shaw. There’s a clear hatred on screen straight away, although forced a little. The comedy seemed to play within these bitchy comments back and forth. I didn’t think it was hilarious, although some did make me giggle. Moreover, I loved the addition of two stars who grace the screen, which I’ll leave unnamed as they make a happy surprise.

Overall, I do think the plot was a bit weak, it felt a bit confused and all over the place. The main problem I found was that it tried to fit in a lot of backstory of both Hobbs and Shaw. This meant it spent a lot of time trying to explain all the pasts of these characters, which wasn’t so necessary and meant the film had a lot of confusing backstories.
Fast and Furious Hobbs and Shaw 3

‘Hobbs and Shaw’ is just what it is – an action movie. With that, it does have a lot of action. From car chases with motorbikes, fancy skids under moving lorries, to fight scenes, with fists or guns, and explosions. Explosions are obviously a must in an action film such as this one, right? With this action comes a lot of slow-motion mid-action shots. Perhaps too many, but I quite enjoyed the action it was explosive and packed. As an action film, it’s enjoyable. There’s not much wrong with the film, it was ok and the action is where it is supposed to be, present and fiery. Not the best, not the worst.

Good Girls (2018 – )

Anyone that reads my reviews will probably know that I watch a lot of television shows… After catching up with ‘Big Little Lies’, ‘The Blacklist’ and ‘iZombie’, I felt a new binge watch needed to be found – so I chose ‘Good Girls’ on Netflix. Starring Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman (from ‘The Duff’), it seemed like a strong female lead for a comical crime show and well it is!

‘Good Girls’ follows three suburban mothers, Beth, Annie and Ruby, all in desperate need for money but suffering with everyday family expenses. Beth discovers her husband has lost all the money, Annie gets told her ex wants to challenge her in a custody battle for their child and finally, Ruby’s daughter needs medical help that costs $10,000 per month. In their desperate situations, they turn to the only thing they can think of doing, robbing a grocery store. Although, this doesn’t turn out the way they think, stealing $30,000 and end of, nope instead they steal half a million dollars from a street gang – and this boss is not happy. Instead, an alliance forms, the ‘good girls’ do jobs and get their cut of the money. Simple right?

Good Girls 3

Let’s start with Beth (Christina Hendricks). Beth’s character seems to portray the perfect suburban mother, does everything for her children, a housewife etc etc etc. However as the episodes progress, Beth is the one who starts to thrill the most in these crime adventures. She seems to have a much darker side seeking for an excitement in her life. We soon discover her life isn’t as perfect as it seems when her husband is discovered cheating on her. Her husband, Dean, who by the way is played by Shaggy from ‘Scooby-Doo the Movie’ (Matthew Lillard), is a character to dislike. Watching Beth’s character change is exciting in the show as she keeps returning to her loyal friends with a “I did something…”

Good Girls 2

Secondly, Beth’s little sister, Annie (Mae Whitman). I think Annie is probably by favourite character. She’s hilarious in her blunt ways, but she has reason for her hate throughout the series. Annie seems to be the character who jumps to the crime solutions to their problems in her feisty ways. Her character is quickly loved by the audience as she is the one caught in the act and she becomes manipulated and used in the most horrible way. Her strength is phenomenal in this programme, you become attached to her character very quickly along with the hate of another. Moreover, her relationship with her daughter, Sadie, is brilliant, both are great characters.

Finally, Ruby (Retta). Ruby’s expressions are the comical genius that make this programme hilarious. If Beth starts a sentence with “I did something”, just watch for Ruby’s expressions, they are phenomenal. Ruby, I think, is probably the character most down to earth, with her heart-warming family of the most-loving father and her great children, one who needs medical help asap. Her story is definitely the one to feel most sympathetic for as Ruby would do anything to save her little girl’s life.

Good Girls 1

‘Good Girls’ is a great show and I really hope it goes on to more seasons. It’s got everything in these episodes; comedy, crime. Some moments you are shocked by what has happened, others you are laughing at the response or escalation this one grocery store robbery has come to. It’s extremely cleverly done with the boss of the gang weirdly loved by the audience. The three women’s relationship is adored. How far would you think these mothers could go for their families?