We all know the story of The Little Mermaid. Created by Hans Christian Andersen and animated by Disney in 1989, this beloved classic has finally gotten the live action remake treatment. Over the years, I have come to tread lightly when it comes to these because I’ve been let down so many times (except for Aladdin which was brilliant). So while I was interested in seeing where they’d take one of my top five Disney flicks, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised with the film. The visual effects were stunning – yes there was a lot of CGI, but I wasn’t bothered by it. The vibrant colours of life under the sea was beautiful. I was completely transported away into this world that I almost wanted to pack my bags and become a mermaid myself!
The best part of the film, was of course, Halle Bailey. This is her film. All the people who were skeptical can step aside because she was born to play Ariel. She made the role her own while also incorporating bits and pieces from her origin. The facial expressions, mannerisms and her VOICE. Her fucking voice was perfection! When she sang Part Of Your World I had chills engulf my whole body and I never wanted it to stop.
In addition to Bailey, we had Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric who was a total clone of his animated counterpart. I was one of those little girls who had a major crush on Eric and to see him come to life like this was a treat. I thought the rest of the casting choices fit as well: Javier Bardem as King Triton was powerful though underused, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder was cute and ever so diligent towards Ariel and Awkwafina was laugh out loud hilarious as Scuttle. Unfortunately I didn’t care much for Melissa McCarthy’s Ursula as I’m simply not a fan of the actress herself. The stand out for me, however, was David Diggs as Sebastian. Every single moment of his was pure gold.
While they tried to bring this story into the 21st century, I didn’t care for many of the updates. The only new song I really enjoyed was Scuttle’s (though I might be biased because it had Lin Manuel Miranda written all over it). The added scenes didn’t really do anything to enrich what we already knew and the run time was a little too long.
All that being said, The Little Mermaid was much better than I ever thought it was going to be. Seeing this story come to life was a major nostalgia trip for me in the best way possible. I do think this is a step in the right direction for Disney going forward and hope it sticks.
Owning a robot may be illegal, but that doens’t stop womanizer Charles (Jack Whitehall) and gold digger Elaine (Shailene Woodley) from using theirs to help them get by in life. Things get complicated when their counterparts fall in love, forcing Charles and Elaine to team up to put a stop to the shenanigans before people start to catch on that it isn’t actually them.
The most interesting aspect of this movie for me was the integration of robots into society. The fact that we are closer to a reality where we can exist with robots than not is a scary thought and I loved that it was explored here. Having the robots in work settings, doing housework and the like is going to be a reality before we know it and I very much enjoyed this futuristic take.
Whitehall was a great choice for the role of Charles. Slightly different than the usual comedian, it worked for him. Alternatively, this was something different for Woodley, who I’ve come to know for more dramatic parts. That’s not to say she wasn’t as enjoyable and I thought the two played off well against each other. The way in which they differentiated the leads to the robots was also impressive and definitely confused me at times!
The film may have had an interesting premise and good leads, but that is all it boasted. The slapstick comedy and raunchy jokes were a bit much at times. I think they would have benefitted by added some more heartwarming moments. This would have allowed them to reach
All that being said, Robots was perfectly fine for a casual night in after work. It served its purpose in providing enough entertainment, but could have been much better.
Eleven year old Margaret Simon (Abby Ryder Forston) feels like her whole life is turned upside down when her parents (Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie) move the family to New Jersey. Growing up in a household of mixed religion, Margaret never had the pressure to make a choice on her faith, though her paternal grandmother Sylvia (Kathy Bates) can’t agree. When Margaret chooses this topic for a school project, she turns to God to help her in endeavours.
Based on the beloved novel by Judy Blume, the adaption of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret has been anticipated for many, many years. While I cannot recall as to whether or not I read the book, it has become a staple for many women because of it’s sheer relatability.
All of the predicaments that Margaret found herself in were reminiscent of my preteen years that it was scary. Dreaming that my bust would grow at a faster rate, that the cute boy in class would notice me and that I’d get my period so that I could be just like my friends were times that I had deep buried long ago. Wanting to grow up and be treated as an adult seemed so important then whereas now I wish I didn’t have all these responsibilities.
The cast was so on point. Ryder Forston killed it as our protagonist, perfectly capturing those moments of awkwardness. She’s got a bright future ahead of her and I look forward to seeing where she goes next. Bates has always been one of those household names and I thought she was great as the hip grandmother. It was McAdams as Margaret’s mother Barbara whose performance was absolutely charming, however – she gave up a lot for her family and we see how she overcomes it. It made me realize as well that I missed having her on screen.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is the type of film I never knew I needed. Not only for my childhood self, but for the self I am now. It really was quite the experience and I am so glad that films like this exist.
Dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) thinks she’ll never love again. Struggling to move on, the children’s book author and illustrator isn’t inspired and the only person she confides in is her sister Susie (Sofia Barclay). Then she starts messaging ex’s number for comfort. Little does she know that Rob Burns, (Sam Heughan) music critic, has been assigned to it on his work phone. When he’s assigned to write a profile on Céline Dion, he enlists her help in how to meet Mira and win her heart in the process.
Every once in awhile, a film comes around at exactly the right moment and leaves such an impression on you, lifting you up in ways you never thought possible. That is what happened with Love Again. It was so incredibly charming and feel good, I’m still smiling about it hours later.
Though slightly on the predictable side, the plot is enjoyable enough to become invested in. You root for Mira and Rob both separately and together. The turmoils they’ve been through and how they wanted to move forward was relatable. Thanks to the chemistry of Chopra Jonas and Heughan, the scenes they shared together on screen were always filled with magic.
Alongside our two leads are the incredible supporting cast who, without them, this movie would not have been the same. Barclay smashed it as Susie, Mira’s forever cheerleader. Rob’s colleagues Billy (Russell Tovey) and Lisa (Lydia West) were a fab team that provided some big laughs. But the most genius part of all was casting Céline Dion. Playing a heightened version of herself worked so perfectly and the incorporation of her greatest hits made it even better.
If you are in the mood for a feel good romcom, look no further! Love Again is genuinely funny with a great cast and a whole lotta heart. Just don’t be surprised if you get some popular songs stuck in your heard…
For six years, Emma Blair (Phillipa Soo) and Jesse Learner (Luke Bracey) were the perfect couple, traveling the world together and falling deeper in love with every passing day. But when Jesse goes away on the trip of a lifetime and his helicopter goes down, Emma believes that he’s dead. Moving on seems impossible, but with the help of her family, she manages to get back on her feet. She even gets a second shot at love with childhood friend Sam (Simu Liu). As life gets back on track, Emma receives a call that changes everything – Jesse is alive after all. Suddenly she is faced with making an impossible choice for her future.
I have literally been trying to watch this movie for a month so you could imagine how happy I was when it finally hit Prime this weekend. Considering the fact that I was a big fan of the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, I was curious to see how the adaption would hold up. There were some good parts, but there were, unfortunately, some not so good ones as well and overall it could have been much better.
Let me start with the good. I thought the casting choices were spot on. Soo as Emma was excellent. She first stole our hearts as Eliza Hamilton in the stage production of Hamilton and I am so glad that she’s breaking out into more projects now. Her performance was genuine and filled with earnest. I also loved Liu as the leading man here! Give this man more romance roles because he absolutely smashed this. Bracey was fine as Jesse, exactly as I imagined he’d be and it was hard to choose who I wanted Emma to be with.
Where I think this film suffered was in its marketing. Produced by Buzzfeed Studios, not a lot of people knew about it and it shows. With a bigger budget, I think it could have made for a decent enough. And as for the changes that were made, while I understand this is normal, I felt like the constant flashbacks came off as confusing and the way in which the scenes were cut together seemed choppy and uneven.
Am I still happy that I finally had the chance to check out One True Loves? Of course I am! It made for some easy Friday night viewing after a hectic work week. While this film may have missed the mark, it wasn’t all bad.
Our favorite underdog heroes are back in their final adventure as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Picking up where we left off, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still reeling from the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), but not for long. When the life of one of their own is threatened, Quill assembles the usual suspects in Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) for one last time.
Wow! What a send off. From the very beginning, this film felt like a finale of sorts. Everything was put on the line and the trials and tribulations that were faced by the characters felt more hardcode than ever before. It didn’t let up for one second with some very cool special effects moments jumping from planet to planet and a few very cool and well done action sequences.
I think where it excelled the most was in its nostalgia factor. Not only were there several throwbacks to the first couple installments, but I loved how the focus was mainly on Rocket this time around. He’s always been one of my favorites of the bunch and learning about his origin story was so rewarding. I felt for him, but it was great seeing how he became the raccoon he is today.
Other standouts in the cast for me were Mantis and Nebula. The former grew on me a lot and I found myself falling for how utterly adorable she is, while the latter has come so far since the first movie and that was such a treat to see. Also, while he usually gets on my nerves, I have to say that Chris Pratt didn’t bother me as much.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this. The first movie was such a pleasant surprise, but then I barely remember what happened in the second. This one blew them both out of the water. As it progressed, I became more invested and by the end I was sold. This clan of misfits will be missed. Definitely one of the better Marvels we’ve had in awhile.
The 1953 animated version of Peter Pan is in my top five favorite Disney films of all time. I’m pretty sure the story is one of the reasons why I wanted to move to London in the first place. Over the years, there have been various retellings of the beloved tale. I didn’t have high hopes for this one simply because I didn’t feel like it had the right marketing – I was only made aware of it very recently! That being said, while it started off promisingly enough, it slowly but surely escalated.
Let me start with the positives. I thought the cinematography was well done. One of the most exciting sequences for me was when Peter (Alexander Moloney) whisked Wendy (Ever Anderson) and her brothers John (Joshua Pickering) and Michael (Jacobi Jupe) away to Neverland. Flying through Big Ben and seeing time literally stop was done in such a cool way.
Another aspect that I loved was the updated casting choices. Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell was a great choice and Alyssa Wapanatâhk as Tiger Lily were great choices. Both characters were finally given proper representation and more to do. Having a mix of boys and girls in the Lost Boys was also smart and reflected on the changes in society.
Not all the casting choices were great, however. Jude Law is fabulous in everything he does so I did not doubt that he’d be a brilliant Captain Hook. The big letdown for me was Moloney in the role of Peter Pan. His performance was wooden and he did not have chemistry with anybody; Pan is supposed to be cheeky and mischievous, and this was anything but. Had they put the film’s focus more on Wendy, I would have enjoyed it much more as I thought Anderson did a decent job in the role.
When the film opened, I thought it wouldn’t end up being too bad after all. Unfortunately I was sorely mistaken. It lost all pacing and I found it incredibly boring and difficult to get through. A pity considering Disney has been really struggling with these live action remakes. Sometimes I wish they’d just give it a rest.
Based upon the novel by Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of Harold (Jim Broadbent), an ordinary man, who lives in South Devon with his wife Maureen (Penelope Wilton). One day he receives a letter in the post. From former colleague and friend Queenie Hennessy (Linda Bassett), she is writing to tell him that she’s dying of cancer. Harold comes up with a reply and sets out to mail it. But instead of slipping the letter through the slot, he keeps walking. The further he goes, he decides that as long as he keeps walking, Queenie must wait for him, for he will save her.
Having only recently been made aware of this story, I jumped at the chance to read the book before the film released in cinemas. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into and I truly believe it’s one of the best books I’ve read so far this year (and I’ve read a lot). Suffice to say the adaption had a lot to live up to, but luckily I was left satisfied.
If you are looking for something that is constantly moving and has many twists along the way, this won’t be for you. That is precisely one of the reasons why I love it so much. On the surface, it appears to be about one thing, but as the story goes on, you learn so much more about Harold and his life. The themes that come along with it are a mixed bag that kept me invested all the way through.
Broadbent does a wonderful job as our main character. His mannerisms and the way his eyes go big to convey the smallest look are absolutely perfect. It was everything that I envisioned while reading about him. Wilton, alternatively, may not seem so supporting at the beginning, but she still delivers a standout performance as Harold’s wife.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry punched me in the gut from the get go. The emotions I felt while watching were heightened because everything I felt while reading the book was well executed on screen. Not only does it capture those fleeting moments and it really does make you want to be a better person.
The ever popular Ana De Armas and Chris Evans are back on our screens, teaming up to star in action adventure romantic comedy Ghosted. When Cole (Evans) meets Sadie (De Armas), he’s sure he’s found the one. They spend an unforgettable day and night together and then she vanishes into thin air. When he eventually tracks her down, he discovers her deep dark secret: she’s a secret agent! Suddenly Cole is swept up until Sadie’s lifestyle as they embark on a mission to save the world.
Not going to lie, I was really looking forward to this one. The two leads alone boasted what I thought would be a home run for Apple TV +. And while I had an overall fine time with the film, there wasn’t much to write home about.
De Armas and Evans are in top form here. This is now the third time that they have worked together and you can tell that their chemistry is completely and totally organic as a result. It’s just not their fault that the script wasn’t tighter and that not all the jokes managed to land. There were some good one liners and the meet cute between Cole and Sadie that took place in the first part of the movie balanced it out though.
I wasn’t entirely invested in the action part of the story, there were still some hardcore fight sequences and chase scenes that kept the movie entertaining. Having Adrien Brody as the villain was a fun choice. I enjoyed the soundtrack choices (Are You Gonna Be My Girl? and Uptown Funk were some great fits), but I had the best time spotting all those cameos.
Although Ghosted wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped it would be, there were some positive things about it. The two leads were definitely up there and I would happily watch a million more titles with them as the stars. All in all, not too bad for a Friday night in.
Ever since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with Dracula. I even used to tell people that he was my father and I had a pretty convincing argument as to why – having been adopted from Romania and not knowing who my biological father actually was, it could totally be true! So when I heard about this new take on the infamous vampire and his familiar, I knew I had to check it out.
Renfield (Nicholas Holt), the titular character in our story, is tired of doing Dracula’s (Nicolas Cage) bidding after countless years. Wanting to make it on his own, he finds a new apartment, changes his look and even strikes up an unlikely friendship with cop Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina). But Renfield’s dreams of starting over won’t be easy, not only thanks to his blood-thirsty boss, but also because of a mix up with drug lord Teddy Lobo (Ben Schwartz) and his family.
What worked really well here was the over the top gore. While some elicited some ews from me, it fit with the tone of the movie and made for a really fun time. I have to give props to the make up team because they absolutely aced it. Going hand in hand were the fight sequences which were just as out there, especially when Renfield would possess his master’s powers and acquire some crazy killer moves.
I’ve seen Holt in a variety of roles over the years and think he’s a fine actor. He carried this film on his back and delivered a solid performance. Cage, on the other hand, was the scene stealer. He’s such an enigmatic actor and you could tell that he gave his all to this performance. I wish we’d seen more of him.
Although at times it seemed as if the film didn’t really know what genre it was trying to be, I thought it was still an overall fun time. The camp and bloodshed were highlights though I think it could have been even darker and it still would have worked just as well. That being said, I had a good time and would not be opposed to seeing more of these characters adventures in the future.