Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb) In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.
Oh man. When did this come out? A few weeks ago? I already barely remember it so am not sure what to say. The main thing to say is this: This movie is for Pokémonfans and Pokémon fans ONLY. The movie will gain no new fans. It’s not a very good film. If you absolutely lovePokémon, you’ll probably get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing so many of the characters. If you know nothing whatsoever about Pokémon, watching this will be a complete waste of your time.
Let’s see… What do I know about Pokémon?! Not much. I’m old so it’s not from my era. However, I have a young kid who was the right sort of age when Pokémon Go became a thing so she was a fan for a brief amount of time. Okay, I admit that I got intoit a bit too. Okay, okay… I admit that I still have the app, although it doesn’t get opened all that often. Annnnnd…. okay, maaaaaaaybe I was the one who kind of pushed the kid into going to this film with me as she has sadly outgrown stuff like this. What can I say? I like Ryan Reynoldsbut I love Pikachu. Pikachu is adorable. Screw all those other weird-ass looking Pokémon! Pikachu is a great character. This is why there’s an entire damn annual festival dedicated to Pikachuin Japan. Not gonna lie – that looks adorably fun.
Um. This movie. Yeah. It’s a weird one. It’s sort of aimed at the original now twenty-something (or would they be 30?!) fans but is also very much a “kiddie” film. It’s too silly to be fully embraced by those who aren’t hardcore fans. I think my daughter was mostly bored. I could tell she was thinking “I’m too old for this shit!”.
I have almost no knowledge of Pokémon beyond playing the app sometimes so I know this movie isn’t aimed at casual or non-fans anyway. Pikachu talking is strange. The boy, Justice Smith, is perfectly fine but the love interest, Kathryn Newton, is annoying. Why am I still talking about this movie?! There’s nothing really wrong with it and I didn’t hate it (I enjoyed it more than my kid!). It was just a bit boring. Pikachu is still adorable, though. I guess it’s just a shame that the film couldn’t have been aimed at somehow attracting new fans while still keeping the original fans happy, but I’m sure that’s a hard balance to achieve.
Look at me, watching chick flicks! WHAT?! Well, it happens occasionally – I am a girl, after all. 😉 I just watched Chalet Girl a week ago but the other two were at least a year ago & I never got around to reviewing them so it made sense to do three “chick flick quickies” together. Chicky Flicky Quicky??
Anyway, regulars here will know that I’m not really a chick flick type of girl. My type of chick flick usually involves women kicking ass. Give me Ellen Ripley & Furiosa over romantic bullshit! (Okay, or Drew Barrymore – I watch all of her stuff). So what did I think of these three girly movies? Let’s see!
Chalet Girl (2011)
Directed by Phil Traill
Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Tamsin Egerton, Ken Duken, Sophia Bush, Bill Bailey, Brooke Shields, Bill Nighy
I LIKED THIS! There. I said it. Is it good? No. Is it cheesy & predictable? Oh god yes! I don’t care. Screw it. Sometimes it’s nice to just have fun with a movie and not be all judgmental & snobby. I enjoyed this one quite a bit for something that’s not normally very “me”.
I might as well start right away with saying that adorable Felicity Jones is 100% to thank for this movie working & being at all watchable. With another actress, it could have been a disaster. I know she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for The Theory Of Everything (which I have yet to see) and that she has a lead role in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (a Star Wars role! Lucky girl!) but this is the only film I’ve seen her in. It was a bit weird watching this knowing that she’s gone on to much bigger & better things but it’s easy to see why as she’s so damn likeable in this & has that special “thing” that only a handful of actors have (I’m so crap with words. The only other way I can think of to describe that “thing” is “the X Factor” but that makes me think of those stupid singing competitions with Simon Cowell. Puke!). Anyway, she definitely has that here and if I hadn’t liked her, I would have been bored with this movie.
As for this movie, I don’t know how to talk about it without making it sound bad. I mean, it’s not a good movie but I really liked it so don’t want to trash it. It’s very odd in that it’s a British film that couldn’t be more “American”. I moaned the other day in my review of A Long Way Down that too many British movies are bland dramedies so now I’ll be praising a British film that doesn’t feel at all British. I feel bad about that! I have to say, though, if it had actually been American, they’d probably have cast some horrible actress in the lead role so it wouldn’t have worked. So…. Um, hooray for British people! 😉
I think what worked for me, being a girl who likes strong female movie characters, was the fact that Felicity Jones’ Kim fit the bill. She’s young & she’s a bit unsure of herself after the tragic death of her mother but she’s determined to help her father to pay the bills (which is why she takes a job as a chalet girl in the Alps) and, best of all, she’s a former skateboarding champion. That’s cool! (Not that you ever see her riding a skateboard…). But, inevitably, she takes up snowboarding while in the Alps and it turns out that she has a natural talent for it thanks to her skateboarding years. Shocker, huh?! Oh, and there’s of course a big snowboarding competition coming up with a big cash prize! HUH. What are the odds of that?!?!?! lol
Shit. I’m sounding snobby. Hey, what can I say? This movie is cliché every step of the way. We have the snobby, slutty chalet girl who is pissed off at having to work with “poor girl” Kim, we have the rich boy and a forbidden romance with “poor girl” Kim as well as that boy’s rich-bitch mother who doesn’t approve and, finally, we have the tragic past and a fear that must be overcome in order for Kim to get her life back on track. But, hell – it works. There are just enough laughs and annoyingly “feel good” moments that I found it very hard to not like this movie. I didn’t like the rich boyfriend (soooo not my type but I’m sure some girls will like him). However, some really likeable lesser characters, such as the guy who teaches Kim to snowboard as well as my favorite comedian, Bill Bailey, as her father make up for some of the movie’s mistakes (such as Brooke Shields as the disapproving mother of the rich boy – her character is so damn annoying). The movie has lots of fun moments but doesn’t ever get too silly (although these young kids do know how to party & enjoy a bit of naked hot tub fun…).
Most of all, though, Felicity Jones is just seriously loveable as Kim and you’ll want to see her succeed in every clichéd way possible. Unless you have no soul.
My Rating: 7/10
Would A Manly Man Like This?: Possibly. I think it’s definitely the one that men would find the most bearable of these three.
Directed by Jerusha Hess
Based on Austenland by Shannon Hale
Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Jane Seymour, Georgia King
This movie is weird & utterly ridiculous. Keri Russell plays a lonely American woman obsessed with Jane Austen novels. She saves up her money for “the trip of a lifetime” – a bizarre English retreat run by Jane Seymour where women dress up & partake in Jane Austen-y role play with attractive male actors. Seriously – this movie is bonkers. But, like Chalet Girl, I LIKED THIS ONE TOO!
This has to be the girliest girly movie I’ve watched in years. I should point out that I’ve never read a Jane Austen novel as they just don’t really appeal to me. So, this will have been missing that little extra element of enjoyment for me that I’m sure Austen lovers probably got out of it. I know enough, though, and have watched some period dramas (I actually love the movie Sense & Sensibility) so I was able to enjoy this just fine – I don’t think it’s totally necessary to be an Austen novel reader to like this.
I find Keri Russell to be a pretty likeable actress in what I’ve actually seen her in (she was in one of my absolute favorites of recent years, Waitress, which I plan to praise to high heaven when I do my planned Adrienne Shelly Week at some point). So, I have no complaints there. But, more importantly, my girl Jennifer Coolidge was in this! LOVE her. Yes, she’s once again playing a loveable idiot. Who cares?! It’s funny! I’ll happily watch her play that same idiotic character over & over again. In this, she plays one of the guests at the retreat and, unlike Russell, appears to not have read a Jane Austen novel in her life. She’s just horny & wants some sexy role play with the men. It’s hilarious to see her attempting an English accent and being treated to all the best things at the retreat as she’s paid for the full experience while Russell could only afford the most basic package. A lot of the laughs come from this as Jane Seymour is an evil bitch to poor girl Russell while Coolidge is completely oblivious but totally sweet in her idiocy.
There’s not a lot more that I can really say about this one. It’s the true definition of “chick flick”. I liked that it was quite quirky in its own way, though – the overall concept isn’t really one that we’ve seen in a romcom before. As for the romance, it’s of course there and it’s predictable yet not quite as predictable as some. The movie was a pleasant surprise in that it had more humor than I was expecting and an interesting setup that took some balls to make into a film as this story could have ended up a disaster onscreen (it’s apparently a book but I know nothing about the book). Yes, I said this chick flick has some balls to it! But people with balls would be unlikely to watch this one.
My Rating: 6.5/10
Would A Manly Man Like This?: Oh HELL no! lol. But it’s at least a lot more fun than an actual Jane Austen period drama.
Endless Love (2014)
Directed by Shana Feste
Based on Endless Love by Scott Spencer
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick
I love how Chalet Girl is linked to my two other movies today. A girl in a small role in Chalet Girl was also in Austenland. And… Brooke Shields was in Chalet Girl as well as the superior 1981 adaptation of the Endless Love novel. Oh dear – I just said “superior adaptation” and everyone knows that the 1981 Endless Love is complete & utter shit! Well, so is the 2014 version. But I liked it! Just not an ALL CAPS “I LIKED IT” as with the other two movies I reviewed. Just a lowercase “i liked it” with no formatting.
The two lovers in this 2014 version are so very pretty. So pretty and BORING AS FUCK. Now, I’m of the age where I should love the original Endless Love. However, I was too young for it at first & then didn’t see it until I was well into my twenties so I don’t have the nostalgia thing going on for it. Goddamn it’s bad. It’s seriously shit. But I kind of liked it. I think it’s the law for a girl my age to like the 1981 film. What that film has, at the very least, is passion. The story is a bit pathetic and Shields & whoever the hell the guy was couldn’t act for shit plus the mother of Shields lovingly watches her daughter having sex with the guy (which was beyond weird & creepy) but at least the guy in 1981 had a believable, obsessive passion. The 2014 film has none of that. What’s the point? I don’t know the book so can only compare this to the 1981 film but that film was about an obsession. Alex Pettyfer’s poor boy loving rich girl Gabriella Wilde in 2014 is all well & good but we’ve seen that story a million times. Take out the dangerous obsession & you just end up with two really pretty people who probably have really pretty but really boring sex.
Alex Pettyfer’s poor “bad boy” isn’t a “bad boy” at all. In fact, he’s a sweetheart. He’s in love but not obsessed – he’s not going to go set things on fire or some crazy shit like that. And I praised Gabriella Wilde in that pointless remake of Carrie but, man oh man, her character in this is so DULL. Talk about zero personality! It’s not necessarily her fault – it’s more likely the script. They’re both so sweet & so cute together, though, which makes for a good enough love story. You can’t exactly hate them as they’re SO FUCKING NICE. Too nice. Just…. Ugh! I don’t know. It’s just pointless to call it Endless Love when it’s a completely different film from the other one (other than a tiny bit of tension from “girl’s dad not approving of boy who isn’t good enough for his daughter”). Give me the crazy 1981 obsession, please! Their acting was worse but at least you know they probably had much better sex!
But I still liked this 2014 film in its own right for some reason I seriously can’t explain. Maybe I just like watching really pretty but really dull people making out.
My Rating: 6/10
Would A Manly Man Like This?: Unlikely. But they may find Gabriella Wilde very pretty in a safe & boring kind of way.
Now here’s that sappy piece of shit Lionel Richie & Diana Ross song from the original movie. Complete with clips full of shitty acting from the original movie! God, I really do like that shitty movie…
Running time: 123 minutes
Plot Synopsis: When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) turns 21 his dad (Bill Nighy) shares a family secret with him: the men in their family are able to time travel & change things in their past. Tim decides to use this to get a girlfriend.
I’m not the biggest fan of Richard Curtis films. While I enjoy watching them, there’s always a character or two that annoy me and then when I think about the movies more later on, I always end up liking them even less. Didn’t like Notting Hill that much – Julia Roberts was annoying. The lesser characters in that film were the best. Four Weddings And A Funeral wasn’t as good as the hype and, again, the female lead was annoying. Then there was Love Actually, which I saw in the cinema and kind of enjoyed but, on reflection, man there are some hateful characters in that one! At least with that film, there were SO MANY characters that you could focus more on the stories & people you liked. I guess. Oh, and I’m not the biggest fan of Hugh Grant, either. And although Curtis just co-wrote the screenplay, not the book, can I just say that Bridget Jones gets on my nerves? It wasn’t at all shocking that she had trouble getting a boyfriend! Obnoxious cow.
Wow – I sound really bitchy. Lol! I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: About Time is, overall, better than all the above films. It has its flaws and its couple of slightly “quirky” characters like in all Curtis films. But it feels less contrived than previous films and gets its point across really well without having to shove its message down our throats. It’s not trying too hard to please every single moviegoer with lots of different stories and characters like in Love Actually – it keeps things very simple which I think makes it a much better film. We get to really know and care about the main characters in this film. And they’re likeable and realistic in this one! (Aside from the sister being made the quirky one but she’s not TOO annoyingly quirky). Oh! And the American female lead is also, for once, totally likeable as well! Yay!
FYI BOYS: Margot Robbie is in this
I really wanted to see this one as I read several very positive reviews (especially from male bloggers!) here on WordPress. The main one I remember was from Tom at Digital Shortbread (his review is HERE). I was curious as to why so many guys liked what appeared to be a romantic comedy, especially as I’m not the type of girly girl who normally likes those types of movies (sometimes – it depends on my mood!). I can tell you now, staying spoiler free, that it IS romantic but it’s not a comedy. It’s also not JUST about romance, like it at first seems it’s going to be. There’s a big focus on the relationship between the main character (Domhnall Gleeson) and his father (Bill Nighy). I loved this! His relationship with Rachel McAdams was great & totally believable (they seem like real people in a real relationship – no sickly sweet stuff) but the father/son relationship is what ended up really making the film for me.
So don’t run away from this one, guys – there’s something here for both male and female viewers. The film starts out a little slow and it did take me a while to get into it but, once it finished, I thought it was pretty damn good overall and I loved the direction it decided to take at the end. As for the time travel?? Ignore that – this movie is NOT about that. I think it probably breaks every possible rule about time travel and some of it made no sense. It was simply used as the device to get across the (very simple yet very good) message of the film. Not too bad, Richard Curtis!