The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Review

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Directed by Julius Onah

Starring: Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, John Ortiz, David Oyelowo, Zhang Ziyi

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film follows an international group of astronauts aboard a space station who, after using a particle accelerator to try to solve Earth’s energy crisis, must find a way home after accidentally traveling to an alternate dimension.

My Opinion:

Well. This was pretty fucking terrible. I can’t be bothered to say much about this movie so this will be more of a short rant than a “review”. Seriously, though – it sucked! I’m so annoyed. This was one of my most anticipated movies of 2018. Ugh! Bad. Very bad. I knew something was up when it was suddenly on Netflix instead of going into cinemas. Now I’m worried about Mute & Annihilation going straight to Netflix. Two more films I was really excited about!

I loved the first Cloverfield. I’m one of the few who didn’t exactly love 10 Cloverfield Lane but I thought it was a decent enough addition to a series of films that promised to be the next Twilight Zone-type thing. I’m obsessed with the original Twilight Zone TV show and got really excited when it was revealed that was the direction these individual Cloverfield movies would be taking. Oh man – we’re off to a bad start. These are going to end up like the Lost TV show, not the brilliant The Twilight Zone. I should’ve known! Go away, J. J. Abrams! These are all going to be set in “alternate universes”, aren’t they? Fuck that shit. Lazy fucking writing. This is like the damn island moving. Argh!

Where do I start? Oh, I don’t care. First of all, why did this movie feel like a TV show? I felt like I was watching a long episode of Black Mirror. Black Mirror is good for what it is but I like the movie experience. You know – some sweeping cinematic epic! Okay – I suppose Cloverfield isn’t some Sergio Leone movie but, still. Did this have a low budget or something? If I want to watch a TV show, I’ll watch a TV show.

Second of all, these characters sucked. There was no set up. Straight into the story! I didn’t know a damn thing about these people, so why would I care if they survive? Our main character, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, was the only one who got some time spent on her but they must have done a shitty job since I didn’t even realize her kids had died. Is that a spoiler?! I don’t think so as I think you’re meant to know that from the start but I somehow managed to miss that. It really would’ve helped to know that. Shit. Maybe it’s not known from the start?! If so, why the fuck not?!?! Hopefully I didn’t spoil that. But, seriously, your experience will be spoiled anyway if you watch this. Because this movie sucked. (Did I mention that?).

I should point out that Gugu Mbatha-Raw actually starred in what’s so far my favorite Black Mirror episode (San Junipero– I’ve not seen Series 4 yet). Probably didn’t help that “This feels like a TV show” feeling I had! Anyway – just watch Black Mirror instead of this if you want interesting morality tales with a modern technology twist. Some episodes aren’t great but overall the show is much better than this movie. And much closer to being the next Twilight Zone (although nothing will ever touch that).

Hey! The Norwegian Steve Buscemi guy (Aksel Hennie) was in this! I’ve only ever seen him in Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters. That was a decent movie. Watch that instead of this as well. And Daniel Brühl was in Rush with Chris Hemsworth’s naked butt. Great film! Watch that instead of this too. Elizabeth Debicki was in Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 2. A million times better than this! Chris O’Dowd was in Bridesmaids. I dislike that film but it was still better than this one. John Ortiz was in lots of stuff, including A Dog’s Purpose , which I also liked waaaaaaay more than this. David Oyelowo was in Interstellar. I hate that overrated movie but I hated this one much more. Zhang Ziyi was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Guess what? That’s also WAY fucking better than this movie. What’s my point? Watch those movies instead! And watch Life (2017). Life sucked. I now like Life much more since seeing The Cloverfield Paradox, which is an even shittier version of Life. AND WATCH ARRIVAL!!! THAT is good sci-fi.

Man, have I even talked about this movie at all? I can’t be bothered. A bunch of twats go into space and fuck around with a particle accelerator and rip a hole in the space time continuum (I don’t know if they used that phrase – I’ve ripped that off from Star Trek). Weird shit happens but you won’t care if they all die anyway. Some gross shit happens but none of it is nearly as interesting as the gross shit in Life. I only liked one character. Well, no – I liked Gugu Mbatha-Raw okay but didn’t care too much as I couldn’t get into the movie. But Chris O’Dowd was somewhat enjoyable. His character was the only one who had a personality, at least. So. Yeah. I guess I’ll end this “review” on that one positive statement.

My Rating: 4.5/10

*It probably deserves an even lower rating but it’s still sci-fi and I’m a sucker for this genre. As annoyed as I am, I’ll probably still watch Cloverfield 4 since “supernatural Nazis” sounds bizarre enough to maybe work better than Paradox did…..

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The Martian (2015) Review

The Martian (2015)

Directed by Ridley Scott

Based on The Martian by Andy Weir

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

My Opinion:

I finally saw this! Can you believe I didn’t see this one until now? Especially as I absolutely loved the book (which I reviewed HERE). Hmm. Yeah, it’s good! It’s of course not as good as the book (not many films are). I never enjoy a film as much if I’ve read & really loved the book and the same is true with this one. But I still really liked seeing the book brought to life.

First of all, I should say that Matt Damon did a good job. I was at first annoyed when he was cast as he’s not at all how I pictured Mark Watney but I managed to accept him as the character. I’m disappointed, though, that the movie really didn’t capture Watney’s great sense of humor. It tried & there was a bit of that but I still didn’t connect with the character in the film the way I did in the book. The movie was much more a “drama” than the book was but I suppose that makes sense as to make it too much of a comedy could have been a flop.

All in all, the movie was quite faithful to the book until the end when things were changed a bit & added. I can’t really complain – I’m happy it stayed as faithful as it did. I hated Kristen Wiig – she was the only mistake as far as the casting went. The film looked great & I far preferred all the scenes on Mars (as to be expected). The movie got a little cheesy at the end but I can forgive that as, if this was a true story and a man was really left behind on Mars, it would be a very big story and I believe the whole world would rally around him in the same way.

I was surprised to look this up on IMDB and actually see a lot of negative reviews. Really?! I can’t say I understand that. I got the impression that those giving negative reviews were either “bored” because of all the science or were bitching that the science was “wrong”. It’s a fictional story, for crying out loud – it’s just meant to be entertaining. And for those who were bored, I hope they don’t read the book because there’s waaaaay more talk about growing potatoes and making water. How dare they stick some science into a science fiction movie! Whatever. People suck.

I’m sorry – I’m distracted. I don’t feel like writing reviews much lately. I’ve just gone & started The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and I have no idea why as it’s 1,183 minutes long. I’m 36 minutes in. Does it get better?! Because, so far, I’d have to say that Once Upon A Time In The West was way better by this point. Well, at least the score is awesome. Yeah, I’m done reviewing The Martian, I guess. Here’s a summary!

Summary:

The Martian, although of course not as good as the throughly entertaining book, still manages to stay pretty faithful and mostly captures the spirit of the book. It’s not quite as much fun as the book and takes itself too seriously at times but I can see why they made it a little more dramatic. Damon was good, as usual, but he’s one of those actors that I always just see as the real-life person. Not his fault, I suppose – it’s just that way with certain actors. So it was more “Matt Damon is stuck on Mars!” than “Mark Watney is stuck on Mars!” for me. Overall, it’s a sci-fi movie and I am rarely disappointed by sci-fi movies (except for Elysium, which I watched after The Martian! Ugh). I’d recommend this movie but, as you can probably guess, I’d most definitely recommend reading the book first.

My Rating: 7.5/10

**I’ve now seen all the Best Picture Nominees other than Brooklyn & Bridge Of Spies. Sadly, they both become available on DVD just after the Oscars so I won’t be seeing them beforehand. Still, I’ve done well this year! Here are My Best Picture Nominee Reviews & Ratings (from favorite to least favorite):

Room – 9/10
Mad Max: Fury Road – 9/10
The Martian – 7.5/10
The Revenant – 7.5/10
Spotlight – 7/10
The Big Short – 5.5/10

Headhunters (2011) Review Chat With Laura Of Filmnerdblog

I watched Norwegian film Headhunters on Filmnerdblog Laura’s recommendation & we decided to have a little chat about it. You can read our chat below (we did try to avoid any major plot spoilers).

Thanks for doing this with me Laura – it was lots of fun! And it was a great recommendation, too. 🙂

Headhunters (2011)

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Based on Hodejegerne by Jo Nesbø

Starring: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eivind Sander, Julie Ølgaard

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
A successful but insecure corporate recruiter lives a double life as an art thief to fund his lavish lifestyle. He finds out that one of his job prospects is in possession of a valuable painting and sets out to steal it.

Our Chat: (I’m “M”, Laura is “L”… Obviously!)

M: Hi! 🙂

L: Mutant!

M: I have Headhunters on in the background to refresh my memory but forgot that I can’t understand a damn word so it’s kind of pointless to have it on while typing… Lol

L: Ha! When did you watch it? I watched it on Tuesday, but had seen it before.

M: I watched it about a month ago. I remember it well anyway. I really liked it!

L: It’s good isn’t it? I wanted to see it because it’s based on a Jo Nesbo book and I’ve read most of the Harry Hole books, which I really liked. Plus… ding dong!

M: Hello Jaime Lannister! When did he get so hot?! I can’t believe I never noticed how hot he was on Game Of Thrones. The sister screwing distracted me!

L: And the sister raping was the final nail in that coffin for me, but in a suit? And with that moody look on his face? Simply, yes.

M: Hell yes! And he was also super hot in Mama, which almost made that movie not suck. Almost…

L: Oh yeah, I forgot he was in that. And as twins, too!

M: But I do love how the other guy in Headhunters is like the Norwegian Steve Buscemi!

L: You’re so right! He was really good, but I did find his peculiar face a bit distracting. It was just right for the character, though.

M: Oh, right – I forgot Jaime Lannister dude was twins in Mama! I’ve tried to put that shitty movie out of my mind. Hmm – two of him… We could share! I think maybe I liked this movie so much partly because of the main guy’s weird face. I have a weird sort of crush on Buscemi.

M: I also love Norwegians, so that helps. But Troll Hunter is still my favorite!

L: Wow, that IS a weird crush! Mama was SO SHIT everyone should probably put it out of their minds. I liked Troll Hunter too. Rare Exports was good as well. Was that Norwegian? Or Danish? I don’t remember. But anyway, Headhunters

M: I don’t know that one – I’ll have to IMDB that later! Oh – I like those earrings Buscemi guy buys his way-too-sexy-for-him wife. I have similar from my Norwegian ancestors. The concave mirror bits apparently “ward off evil spirits”.

M: Can’t find the exact earrings from the movie. Plus I don’t think mine are anywhere near as expensive as hers!!

L: Ah, pretty…

L: She reminded me of Heidi Klum. She was way out of his league. Not so much because he looks like he fell out of the ugly tree but because he was such a monumental douche.

M: Ha! Oh – Gollum is so cute in that picture. Actually, he looks kind of like the dude in this movie (Aksel Hennie – I suppose I should stop calling him Norwegian Steve Buscemi).

M: Yeah – I think she’s even prettier than Klum. Definitely out of his league, especially when he’s being such a douche at first!

M: Boob-grabbing douche!

L: I was really annoyed at how he gives her absolutely no credit throughout the entire film. He’s so insecure.

L: I mean, he thinks she’s a gold-digger, right?

M: I know! If he thought that, why did he marry her? Because she’s pretty, of course! Plus, what a DICK he was to be banging away at that other woman while he has such a lovely wife at home who treats him so well! (not really a spoiler as he’s shown cheating at the very start)

M: Shirtless Jaime Lannister on right now!!! (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is his real name. I was too lazy to type that out during the chat) 😉

L: The character was called Roger(!) so we could call him Roger?

M: Sounds good! Oh, main guy was Roger. Lannister was Clas. Thank you, IMDB!

L: I only watched it 2 days ago and had already forgotten.

L: Anyway, Roger was an arse. His wife was gorgeous, loving, and kind. And he thought the worst of her, and treated her so badly.

M: Asswipe! I could say he maybe changes his ways at the end. Is that a spoiler? I won’t get into any major plot spoilers I suppose as one thing I really liked about this movie is that it actually keeps you guessing. For once I didn’t have it all figured out from the start! I loved that. It was twisty & turny and I thought the climactic moment toward the end was quite brilliant. The “plan”…

L: Yeah he did get a grip by the end but, look what it took to get there?! None of that is acceptable behaviour in a relationship, and he didn’t deserve her loyalty. I feel very strongly about this!

M: Hehe. I noticed! You can tell we’re women. 😉

M: I wish Roger had been more likeable but another thing I did like about this movie was that it wasn’t exactly the movie I was expecting. It starts out this high class “art heisting” movie, which is cool. But then it REALLY goes to shit for Roger (literally).

M: I liked how there was a sort of a dark humor to the whole thing.

L: Yeah, it was really clever, and good at subverting your expectations because, as you say, it isn’t a straight art heist movie. Is that a spoiler?! I really liked that it kept switching on me, when I thought it was one thing and then it was something else.

L: Urgh! Imagine the smell!!!

M: Lol. I know!!! That outhouse scene was nasty. I almost couldn’t watch it. But it was kind of awesome as well. Yuck! Disgust indeed. 😉

L: This looks good – Max Manus: Man Of War

L: Sorry, I digress…

M: Oh look – Norwegian Buscemi again. That does look kind of good! I really should explore more foreign films instead of just the famous ones I hear about…

M: Ha! I’m a terrible digresser. Always digressing!

L: I love foreign films but it’s hard to fit them in because it means I can’t simultaneously prat around on the internet.

M: Hahaha! EXACTLY! I love to second-screen (except in an actual cinema, of course. That would be super rude). But at home I’m almost always writing a review while watching a movie. Or tweeting!

M: No wonder I have such a terrible memory when it comes to movies I watch lately…

L: Yep, it’s hard not to. I’m currently watching Trollied.

M: Oh! It’s the outhouse scene right now! EW.

L: Yuk!

M: What the hell is that? I’ll look it up on my iPad. I’m actually three-screening right now. 😉

L: You’re taking it to another level, now.

M: Ohh – English TV show?

L: Yeah, it’s quite cute.

M: I’m one bad, multi-tasking fucker! Hmm – I really should try watching English TV shows since I’ve been here over a decade now. Lol

L: Definitely.

M: I did like Never Mind The Buzzcocks when it was good. Are we digressing again???

L: We’re digressing again, should we wrap up this Headhunters business so I can go and look up more pics of Jaime Lannister…?

M: You’ve already been doing that this whole time, haven’t you? I know I have a bit. 😉 Right! Let’s wrap up this Headhunters conversation. Um… I recommend it! It’s good! You get to see the Norwegian Steve Buscemi covered in shit! And Jaime Lannister looking super hot! I give it 7.5/10

M: And I’ll possibly read some Jo Nesbo now. 🙂

L: I concur. Part of me wishes that Roger was a likeable protagonist I could cheer for, but I do like that it wasn’t a run of the mill, paint by numbers, lovable rogue heist movie. Maybe I’ll cheer for the wife. Yay, Diana!

M: Hooray for Diana! I liked that she was not only sexy but also smart. Poop on Roger! Cheating bastard.

L: Screw Roger!

L: I recommend it too. Smart, original and intriguing. Jaime Lannister is a hottie, obvs and I really like the main female character, Diana. Norwegian Steve was good, too. 7/10

L: Also, knitwear

jaime knit