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Does watching a movie in the middle of the ocean vastly alter the cinematic experience? A cruise review wrap up (Skyscraper, The Meg, Game Night, Blockers, The Incredibles 2)

The cinema. I love it! It's the one time I'll risk eating popcorn and the subsequent agony I'll most likely endure. I love getting comfy in an oversized seat that countless children have undoubtedly wet themselves in while the lights go down around me; hearing the music swell from all angles and being swallowed up by the big screen. I'm no cinema snob, though. I've had some of good movie experiences on big screens in the park (Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the very first time) with bats overhead, or at makeshift drive-ins on old race courses (a Grease singalong). I'll even have a good movie watch with a streaming service, watching Ghost Ship for the twenty third time on the living room television or falling asleep the the fourteenth season of CSI on my phone so that I dream about Ted Danson. 

For a long time, I thought that the worst way to watch a movie was on a plane. Small screen, strange edits to sanitise content, and you're almost always uncomfortabl…

Was Book Club (2018) the perfect bad movie and why can't I stop talking about Book Club (2018)?

The beauty of art lies in its ability to make an audience feel things. Great art can make you laugh, can make you cry, can set you alight with passion to share or to argue. Book Club has yet to make me shed a tear, but we're two from three. Is this movie about four older ladies reading 50 Shades of Grey secretly the best movie of 2018???????????

No.

But it very well might be the best bad movie of 2018. It might actually be the movie I have the most to say about of 2018. Unlike so many other movies of its kind, Book Club takes no shame in what it is. The director, Bill Holdermann, and his wife who wrote it with him, knew exactly what demographic they were aiming for in crafting this movie. Every single element of the plot, from the perfectly pitched racy for the over-sixty set jokes to the movie's complete ignorance of how the dating app bumble. works is done with a wink and a nudge to the audience both of target demographic and beyond it, rolling their eyes. Every single element…

A review of The Seagull by a person who is kind of "eh" on Chekhov

When I watched the trailer for the new adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, directed by Michael Mayer, I felt a deep sense of sinking dread. Not every movie is made with every person in mind, and that is absolutely fine! But The Seagull was most certainly not made for me. The trailer reminded me of a trailer from the early 00s, where rather than cutting together moments, an entire scene played out. An entire scene, full of uncompressed Chekhov dialogue and overzealous musical cues. I turned to my mother, with whom I was about to sit slack-jawed through Book Club, and said "That looks...long."

Almost every review I've read of The Seagull, a problem with movie reviews in general, is written by a man in his forties. Occasionally a woman, always white. This movie is oppressively white. This movie is stuffy. It is presented for an audience who are familiar Chekhov, who want to rub their university educations on their friends when they tell them "The new Chekhov adapta…

A Simple Review: A Simple Favour (2018)

A lot of people have loved, and will continue to love,  Paul Feig's adaptation of the Darcey Bell suburban thriller novel A Simple Favour. It's been marketed aggressively - Blake Lively will simply not stop wearing suits - and it's aiming to capitalise off the success of pulpy book-to-screen conversions like the exemplary Gone Girl (largely thanks to David Fincher's eye for detail) or the legion of close copies it inspired. With slick, female led advertising and polarising early reviews, I wanted to enjoy this movie. I wanted it to be over the top and dramatic and twisty and lack too much self-seriousness. I wanted beautiful women, hopefully fluid in their sexuality, embroiled in mysteries. I wanted to look at Henry Golding some more. While I got one of those wishes, with a lot of my desires I was left...wanting.

We're asked to follow Stephanie, played by Anna Kendrick, as she tries to get to the bottom of the disappearance of her new friend Emily (Blake Lively). Is…

Reigniting the Rom-Com: Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Historically, I do not enjoy romantic comedies. I am a horror buff, I love thrillers, I enjoy action comedies and cars exploding, I can tell you every detail of every Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen travel movie, but as soon as romance gets in there on a serious level I tend to stop enjoying things. I'm a bitter weirdo who hates love! You have to throw in something campy for me to get on board, or at least make it queer. All that considered, I don't think anyone would be surprised that I deeply enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians. Like Get Outand Girls Trip and Moonlight and a whole host of other movies, it didn't matter at all whether or not I loved Crazy Rich Asians, because it is not about me. Not every movie needs to be about me. There were a lot of things in this movie that were not for me, and I loved that.

The movie is based on Kevin Kwan's book of the same name, and it follows the story of an economics professor named Rachel (Constance Wu, who is outstanding) whose boyfriend (…

Hereditary (2018) - What's Scary in 2018?

When a movie is fairly universally regarded as terrifying, I become fixated on it. My fascination with horror as a genre has really hardened me to the notion of "scary", but Hereditary was getting rave reviews and being called scary by all the people whose opinions result in critically acclaimed horror. I had to put on my cynical boots - a lot of these people also loved The VVitch, which I found very hit and miss, and the movie comes from the same producers. Still, my yearning to get to the bottom of what people consider to be a properly scary movie in the current day found an acceptable target. 

With Hereditary, it's easy to see why people were so enraptured. It's a thrilling experience. For a relatively new filmmaker on the mainstream scene, Ari Aster has created a very tightly directed and composed movie. It follows a family after the death of Toni Collette's character's mother, through varying places of grief and understanding of the complexities that run …

Ghostbusters (2016) - On the All-Female Reboot: Starting the Discussion

I'm still wary to write about the Ghostbusters reboot. I wrote this post originally in 2017, and in 2018 I still feel like it's a sticky subject. Attitudes towards this movie are so often vitriolic and rooted in personal issues. I believe that the personal is the political, and my review is definitely one deeply informed by my own feminism married with my preferences in regards to film, but I think it's important to address greater issues in filmmaking and how they reflect the world around us. Everyone's opinions deserve respect but when they are purely a result of a misunderstanding of power balances in the world, it's really upsetting, and that was a lot of my problem with the first wave of reviews for the movie. Let's focus on discussing the cheap jokes and lazy plotting; let's not look at all at ideas about women in comedy. I'll make more points about female reboots when I get to writing about Ocean's 8, which I saw recently and loved. Here is …