Reviews

Recent films and Netflix reviews

The Big Short

A true story about a banker who shorted mortgage bonds in the US before the financial crisis. Christian Bale is always a favourite and he’s supported by a star filled cast. Ryan Gosling narrates and the characters address the camera with pertinent information using the break down of the fourth wall to bring you into the story. It’s hard to follow as I don’t know a thing about banking, but this method does actually help. They’re basically buying insurance on people not paying their mortgages, so they get money as people loose their homes. The housing market had created a bubble by banks lending money to loads and loads of people who just couldn’t make the repayments once the initial rate ends so they were never going to be able to pay their mortgages after a period of time. These guys spotted this bubble and bought up insurance bonds against the banks, from the banks. Mental!

There are 3 groups of characters looking into what’s going on and buying up the bonds to short them and we follow them on their personal journey’s through this crisis. I really enjoyed this even though I haven’t got a clue about the subject matter, but it was gripping and intriguing! Highly recommended but only for good days when the brain is working!

Orange is the new Black

I’m onto the most recent series and am loving it! This is the story of Piper who ends up in a low security prison after being caught smuggling drugs. We follow her as she self surrenders at prison with her fiancé and meet the characters who are in with her and how her family and friends outside deal with her incarceration. Each episode delves into the past of one of the inmates and we see their history, their lives outside and how they ended up in prison. The series’s follow on introducing new character and plot twists as the inmates and guards attempt to live in Litchfield prison camp.

Piper’s partner in crime and girlfriend Voss also ends up in the prison and their relationship is central to the plot with the other characters, Red, Nikki, Tastee and Washington being some of my favourites, circling around them. Add in the guards and the flashbacks and you’ve got an engaging blend of storylines and interesting characters that keep you wanting to see more. #lovingit I’ve just watched the finale of the most recent series and I’m devastated!!! Can’t wait for the next one!

Hell or High Water

This wasn’t on my list of films I really wanted to see, but it was on at the right time one day so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m really not a fan of Chris Pine, love him as Captain Kirk, but not really anything else so wasn’t expecting much, but Ben Foster is always good and I love Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham so you never know.

The story is about two brothers who are robbing banks and the marshalls who are trying to catch them. It’s set in West Texas and the film is so atmospheric it blew me away. The towns that the characters go through are stark in their emptiness and the colours and soundtrack are emotive of a depressed state with severe financial problems. The actors are fab and I loved the visual feel of the film, with limited conversations the tone and characters are conveyed brilliantly. I was drawn in really quickly and empathised with the brothers as they try to save their families ranch and develop themselves along the way. Following the Marshalls has a similar tone and silence and you want to see them as much as the brothers. I was captivated by this film and left feeling calm, peaceful and sad. Sad that people go to extremes to try and make sure their families are safe, and sad that people are in these financial situations. Depressing but amazing!

The Magnificent Seven

Again this wasn’t top of my list of films to see, but needed the cinema to chill out and get out of my head for a bit so went to see if Denzel made a good choice. I’ve never seen the original, but really want to watch it now. This is the story of the people of a small town in frontier America who are being driven from their homes by an unscrupulous miner who wants the land, and The Magnificent Seven are a band of random bounty hunters and criminals who join together under Washington’s character’s leadership to fight for them. It’s a great western with loads of cool one liners from Chris Pratt and amazing fight scenes with Byung-Hun Lee. The shoot outs are the usual bad guys never hit anything and the good guys are brilliant but the general mood and atmosphere of the film just makes it a fun watch. Totally worth a trip to the cinema as it’s pure Hollywood escapism.

Bridget Jones’s Baby

I’m a big fan of the first 2 books and films, couldn’t get into the third book so didn’t finish it, but this film doesn’t follow the book so didn’t have a clue what would happen but I knew that it would be lots of laughs and Bridget fun. I went to see this with a friend which was a good start as I mainly go to the cinema by myself. The film follows Bridget as she falls pregnant and has to deal with the fact that it could be Mark Darcy’s, or could be from her festival one night stand Jack played by Patrick Dempsey. This film hit a nerve with me as she’s only a couple of years older than me and accidentally has a baby, but once I got past my own issues I got back into the film and was laughing along all the way through. It’s a proper laugh out loud film and Bridget is just so funny and some of the set pieces with Mark and Jack are hilarious! Go watch it if you love Bridget and just want a laugh.

Dexter

I’ve been watching the 8 seasons of Dexter on and off for a few months and finally finished it. This follows a serial killer who has a code that his dad taught him to enable him to kill, but within boundaries. He can only kill killers, can’t get caught and luckily he’s a blood spatter analyst with the Miami homicide department. Over the seasons we follow Dexter and his kills, as well as his development as a human being as he falls in love, has a family and supports his sister Deb who is also a police officer. I love all the characters in this series and watching Dexter develop is really interesting, it does get a bit depressing watching the different ways people kill and how murderers get away with things so don’t watch all in one go, but definitely a good one to watch a few episodes every so often.

I’ve also been watching loads of films on Netflix’s so here’s a few of my opinions:

Transformers: Age of Exctinction – Love these films and adding in Mark Walberg makes me love them more, but it is a bit long and the Dino robots aren’t in very much.

Welcome to the Punch – British action cop film with James McAvoy and Mark Strong. I found this a bit difficult to follow and didn’t really engage with the characters, bit dissapppointing.

The Mechanic – Jason Statham kicking butt, pretty good action film with lots of action and not much else. Perfect for brain dead watching 

Broken city – Mark Walberg fighting against a corrupt city council and Mayor Russell Crowe as he tries to redeem himself after a bad choice. Lots of twists and turns and really kept me engaged.

Tallulah– Odd, quirky film about a girl who steals a baby and tries to get help from the baby’s fake grandmother. It’s a really peculiar story, but I fell in love with the characters and wanted them to have a happy ending, totally worth a watch.

Waffle street -Another odd film following a guy who goes to work in a restaurant after leaving his career in banking. The main character is fab with financials and bad ŵith people and we watch him blossom as he tries to work in all areas of the restaurant and get enough hours to be able to buy a franchise. This is the true story of Jimmy Adams who not from riches to rags during the financial crisis and ended up working as a waiter in a waffle store.Danny Glover is great as the mysterious cook who deals out wisdom with waffles. I really enjoyed this!

The rewrite – Marisa Tomei and Hugh Grant in a highly predictable and generic romantic comedy. Not very funny and characters that aren’t really enagaging but a few good one liners and good brain dead watch.

Convenience – Peculiar comedy set in a convenience store as 2 hapless wannabe criminals try to rob the store to pay off a gambling debt. We watch them engage with the customers and staff overnight as they wait for the safe to open. I really enjoyed this and it was funny and weird which I really liked.

Meet the Patels – This is a docudrama following Ravi Patel as he searches for a wife with his family through an arranged marriage after a bad breakup. I didn’t realise it wasn’t a fiction film so was a bit jarring to start with, then I got into the characters and it was a funny look at the frustrations, challenges and issues of modern dating. Much better than the other rom coms I’ve been watching lately.

Step brothers – I really don’t like slapstick comedies and wasn’t expecting much from this, it came up on recommendations from Netflix and wanted something easy going to watch in bed. It’s Will Ferrell and John C Reilly coming to terms with having to do some adulting when their parents get together and decide they need to be independent, in their 40’s! It was as bad as I expected, not my kind of humour at all, wish I hadn’t bothered.

Stand up 

I love watching stand up and have found a couple of gems on Netflix, have a watch of Jim Gaffigan, Mike Birbiglia, Kevin Hart, Bo Burnham and Dwayne Perkins. Bo Burnham blew me away with his mix of standup and songs and Dwayne Perkins is just hysterical as he talks about women and relationships. Jim Gaffigan and Mike Birbiglia talk about life in general and men struggling with adulting which is really funny and Kevin Hart has me in hysterics! Just what you need on a down day to make you laugh out loud and feel great!

What have you enjoyed lately?

 I’m struggling to fit in the cinema this week so my list of want to sees is getting huge! Deep water Horizon looks fab! A true story and Mark Walberg rocking the action, Free State of Jones with Matthew McConaughey looks brill but sad, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children looks right up my street celebrating differences, The Infiltrator looks good and I’m looking forward to The girl on the Train as well! Plus I’ve got a packed Netflix list to keep me entertained! I’ve started watching the new Marvel series Luke Cage but not loving it, and wanting to watch Daredevil as well…the list just goes on and on!

Have fun resting and relaxing

Vic xx

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