Deepwater Horizon (2016)

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Synopsis from IMDB:

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, igniting a massive fireball that kills several crew members. Chief electronics technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his colleagues find themselves fighting for survival as the heat and the flames become stifling and overwhelming. Banding together, the co-workers must use their wits to make it out alive amid all the chaos.

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I was expecting Deepwater Horizon to be an intense movie. The events happened not that long ago and I remember seeing the trailer in the movie theatre and turning to my friend and saying “it’s too soon”. Well, it was definitely intense! More so than I expected, that’s for sure.

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I don’t know if it’s ever been mentioned on this blog but I am a huge environmentalist. I studied it at University and got my undergraduate degree in that field. So when this tragedy happened most of my focus was on the pollution and the devastation to the ecological systems that were affected in the Gulf of Mexico and up the coast line of the United States.

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The movie didn’t actually touch upon this at all though. It starts with the crew arriving on Deepwater Horizon and takes place all on the same day. The plot of the movie takes you through the different key players who were on the scene and the things that failed. A large part of the movie was the surviving crew trying to stabilize the rig by cutting off the oil that was fuelling the fires, and then getting the hell off and into rescue boats.

As intense as I expected the movie to be, it was so much more so. I can’t stress enough how well portrayed the events were of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It is a high-action movie with a lot of big name stars, including Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, and Mark Wahlberg.

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Overboard (1987)

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From IMDB

Snobbish and wealthy Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) is living a life of leisure with her husband, Grant (Edward Herrmann), when she falls off their yacht and suffers amnesia. Grant takes the opportunity to rid himself of the demanding Joanna — but Dean (Kurt Russell), a widowed carpenter with four kids who once worked for Joanna, arrives and claims she’s his wife. Joanna can’t remember her past identity, but has trouble believing that she was ever meant to be a working-class mother of four.

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Overboard is a movie that stands the test of time. I watched it with my family as a child and recently watched it with a friend who had never seen it before. We were both laughing uproariously throughout the film, turning a lacklustre night into a great girl’s night. After all, who doesn’t want to see Edward Herrmann (who also played Richard Gilmore, of Gilmore Girls) shake it like it’s hot, with a couple of hot babes in each arm!

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Goldie Hawn portrays snobby Joanna so perfectly that we couldn’t stop imitating her and throwing popcorn at the tv. Add in a younger Kurt Russel flexing in his 1980s muscle shirt, and the movie should be pure cheese, except that it’s totally not!

There is good acting through the emotional scenes, and a real connection between all the characters on screen.

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This is the scene that Joanna walks into after leaving the hospital, learning that she is a mother to four wild boys and their equally wild father. She cannot believe that this is her life, as she morosely tells anyone who will listen. And while she is technically right, Joanna learns a few good lessons that stay with her longer than the amnesia.

One of the most remarkable things about watching this film modern-day, is how closely Kate Hudson resembles her mother (Goldie) back in the day.

There is a surprise little feminist twist at the end of the film that I didn’t remember and it was a great ending to the story. I have heard that they are remaking Overboard with a new cast in the next couple of years, but I highly doubt it will be able to match the entertainment value in the 1987 version.

Overboard is a fun family-friendly movie that would be great to watch for your next family movie night!

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a very late review

Guess who finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy II?! Yup, this girl. I’m sure there are a million and one reviews out there already breaking it down, but I want to talk about it so here is one more.

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Also, spoilers abound.

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Guardians II is FUNNY. Quite possibly even funnier than the first one which is saying something. Rocket and Baby Groot are hilarious and kinda steal the show in my opinion. There was one point where I seriously considered whether I would have to leave the theatre for a few minutes to calm down I was laughing so hard.

There are very few action movies that are also comedy but Guardians has that shit nailed down. It is also family-friendly and thoroughly entertaining for adults so its no wonder they rake in a billion + before the DVD is released.

Baby Groot is adorable and I loved that the animators took the opportunity to make him so much more expressive in personality and facial expressions. At times, this little guy almost broke my heart but he is the core of the film and my favourite character.

The only part of this movie that I didn’t like, was the part that I was looking most forward to. The big reveal of Peter’s lineage, aka The Celestial, Ego.

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Ego started out great and I think Kurt Russell did a pretty great job of it, but the idea of Ego is somewhat existential and I didn’t feel like that came across very clearly. I also hate how he was supposed to be so powerful and yet was defeated relatively easily. Certainly more easily than Ronin in the previous movie!

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Additionally, I was disappointed that Peter finally finds his dad, who is a super cool being, just for Ego to immediately portray his complete lunacy and evil intentions, and then be killed off. It was too “easy” and would have loved to see Peter have a contentious struggle with his father all his life … which is apparently a very long time … and develop his super-power.

It finally looked like we had met a human supe without any (obvious) physical enhancements, “just” the ability to manipulate energy and energy balls. Most of the Marvel cast are superhuman in a physical way, from Thor, to the Hulk and Spiderman and Captain America. Now Peter is a run-of-the-mill human.

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I detest that Marvel made Ego so evil. It doesn’t fit with my idea of a Celestial and made the character so pathetically one-dimensional when he could have been the most interesting new development in the MCU. I would have preferred him to go forward mostly impartial to the plight of humans, and all our “petty” concerns, and have an ongoing relationship with Peter and his family. Ultimately, this plot line dropped a star from my review of an otherwise fantastic movie.

I did love the plot development that went into this movie. Everyone involved brought more into the universe from the intricacies of ravager society, and the gold people to information about the creation of the universe itself.

I saw this movie with my Mum who isn’t a marvel fan and doesn’t like superhero movies in general. She hadn’t even seen the first movie which I didn’t quite realize before we arrived, but she was a good sport to go with me for my birthday and even she admitted it was great. I’m glad she enjoyed it and even ventured that the trailer for Spider-man (2017) looked good so maybe I can return the favour and take her to that for her birthday!

Trailer for this movie

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Fifty Shades Darker

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Well I went to see the new Fifty Shades today! I went to the “Stars and Strollers” matinee edition with three friends and two sweet little babes … that will be some story to tell them when they are older, that their first movie was Fifty Shades Darker!

I was surprised and very happy to discover that the movie was SO much better than the first! All four of us adults agreed. It still isn’t something that the actors will win an Oscar for, but the acting and pacing of the film were both better. Jamie Dornan, was much sexier in this movie, without that goofy haircut from the first film, and the actors seemed more comfortable with each other and the inherent sexuality unfolding on-screen.

It helped that I went with the girls I did, and that we were expecting a light-hearted movie that wasn’t too deep. We were there to bond, snuggle babies, and share some laughs.

And that is exactly what we did.

The actress who played Leila, Bella Heathcote, did a fantastic job entering the series. And I have always loved Max Martini as Taylor. I seriously hope that his role is expanded in the final film.

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Fifty Shades is the type of movie that you can’t take too seriously. It isn’t about abuse or the subjugation of women. It isn’t a high-class movie, with witty commentary, high stakes car chases or deep meaning. It is what it is and I am happy to report that we all had a great afternoon out.

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If you liked the books, you will probably enjoy this movie. If you hated the books and all they “stood for” then you will hate the movie equally.

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Drop Dead Fred (film)

Drop Dead Fred is a HILARIOUS movie that was released in 1991 by Universal Studies. It stars Phoebe Cates and Rik Mayall.

I have been looking to watch this movie for so long now. I couldn’t find it on DVD or streaming service anywhere, other than for rent on Youtube. Thankfully, my local library just got a new streaming service that is free to members and this movie was on there. Libraries for the win!

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From IMDB: A young woman who’s attempting to find her place in the world battles with her controlling mother and a womanizing husband finds comfort and confusion with the appearance of her childhood friend. It is a zappy movie that emphasizes self-actualization.

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This movie is rated pg-13, but I watched it with my parents from a young age. Looking back, that is a little shocking because of the swearing in the movie, but I was never one for bad words so I guess my parents could tell that the language and occasional adult situation went over my head at the time.

Drop Dead Fred is a fantastic movie to watch as a family if your children are a little older. The rating is mostly for language, there aren’t any sexy scenes. Making out is about as heavy as it gets.

Drop Dead Fred is a hilarious coming-of-age story about a mousy young women taking control of her life that was previously run by her husband and mother. She overcomes the emotional abuse that was inflicted upon her as a child, with the help of her childhood imaginary friend, the rambunctious and heart-warming troublemaker, Fred. You will be in stitches over the situations that Lizzie and Fred find themselves in, both as children and as adults, and if you’re a neat-freak like me, you might just be cringing a little bit too.

The young child, Ashley Peldon, who plays Young Elizabeth in the flashback scenes does an amazing job. She is sweet and convincing in her role. It is more than a little heartbreaking to see how the mother treats her and all I wanted to do was hold her tight and love on her.

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I highly recommend this hilarious comedy for some hearty laughs on a cold and snowy winter’s night.

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The Grand Seduction film review

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The Grand Seduction is a 2013 Canadian film set in the small harbour of Tickle Head, Newfoundland. Like many communities on the East Coast, Tickle Head’s economy collapsed with the fish stocks their livelihoods were based on, and now the once proud town is disintegrating. Buildings have fallen into disrepair, long-time residents increasingly leave for cities and those few who stubbornly remain in the harbour scrape by on welfare and the feelings of shame that it comes with.

Enter Murray French. He is one of these welfare-dependent Tickle Heads who was born and raised in the Harbour; he misses his fed-up wife who left for a job in the City. An oil company is considering building a petro-chemical recycling plant that will provide enough jobs for everyone, if the town can meet a set of conditions, including procuring a full-time doctor. So Murray spearheads a campaign to seduce a visiting doctor (Paul Lewis) over the course of a month, convincing him that Tickle Head is the perfect place to settle down and sign a long-term contract.

Enter the comedy.

From pretending that the entire community is in love with cricket to pre-catching fish and planting them on the good doctor’s hook, the entire town is in on the charade to charm Dr. Lewis.

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I love the charm and character of this film. It is very Canadian and many things in the film seemed familiar to me. It was filmed in New Foundland and the music and scenery are absolutely beautiful. I’ve thought about moving out that way for a long time and this film just increases that longing in me.

download The Grand Seduction isn’t a film that relies on flashy special effects or scantily-clad, movie-perfect Hollywood youth. The majority of actors are middle-aged or older. And while the scenery is gorgeous, it is the writing that keeps pushing the plot along, and charming the audience. No crudeness required.

Gordon Pinsent, then age 83, won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where Monica Bartyzel of The Week wrote of the film: “The Grand Seduction is a super-sweet community tale sparked by the inclusion of McKellar’s wry humor [sic]. It’s a film overflowing with charm from end to end.”The-Grand-Seduction-Movie

NFL is the only eastern province that I have yet to visit and this film has me cruising the travel websites and packing a bag!

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Please Kill Mr Know It All

Please kill Mr Know It All is a 90 minute comedy that I borrowed from our local library this week. I think it is an indie film. It was unrated but I would probably place it about pg-13; it was not nearly as graphic or violent as I anticipated, and much funnier.

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The story begins with popular (and anonymous) advice columnist Sally aka “Mr. Know it All” going viral and becoming nationally syndicated. Due to the convoluted web of lies told by her business partner, she has to make up an image of the purportedly male author behind the column. She finds a face that she feels would match the column at a local movie theatre and she sketches him, and releases this to the industry, and then to the public. Unfortunately her muse (Albert) is an assassin for the mob, and not too keen on being recognized everywhere he goes. So Albert takes it into his head to kill Mr. Know It All and end the column so that he can fade back into obscurity. Albert doesn’t count on his target being the cute, awkward, bubbly redhead that he is falling in love with.

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Albert, played by Jefferson Brown, looks like a young Pierce Brosnan to me. He is so cute! I loved how he and Lara Jean Chorostecki represented their characters. Indie films like this can be very hit or miss and I think that this one is definitely a hit. Her nerdy awkwardness perfectly fits the character’s habit of writing about life instead of experiencing it, and I think that Brown struck the right balance between the aloof, emotional killer and a bewildered guy falling for this girl who keeps appearing in his life.

The only thing I would have changed would be for Sally to struggle a little bit more with the knowledge that her “Mr. Right” intended to kill her. I mean, dude, talk about an emotional betrayal!

I highly recommend you check out this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and consider it the perfect length to watch one evening through the week, and still get into bed at a decent time to get up the next morning.

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