It’s a Boy Girl thing (Nick Hurran, 2006)

There are plenty of films where people switch bodies, we have Freaky Friday and Hot Chick, But apparently it was time for a new film. However, this is much more romantic compared to living in your mother or a 40 year old man.

When two feuding neighbours Nell Bedworth (Samaire Armstrong) and Woody Deane (Kevin Zegers) switch bodies because of a stereotypical hoodoo spell, they must experience each other’s very different lives. The girl happens to be a typical ‘nerd’ and the boy a typical ‘jock’ so of course when it comes to high school they struggle when the role reverses. This film basically teaches us not to fight with people you hate in front of old statues of magical gods.

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Before everything switches up, we get to see the difference in lives. Nell is expected to go to Yale and eats a very fancy breakfast at the cleanest house you have ever seen. Whereas Woody is expected to get a football scholarship and eat the greatest fry up I have ever seen. The boy then proceeds to cover the girl in water and essentially bully her for the first part of the film, this includes putting porn up on her computer so even though the girl is slightly stuck up I am definitely on her side.  And to add to the stereotypes Woody has a skinny blonde bitch girlfriend called Breanna Bailey (Brooke D’Orsay).

But the film wastes no time so the very next time they wake up as very different people. I wouldn’t really be sure what to do if I woke up with a penis and morning wood. Luckily the film lets us know that hitting it with a spoon is not the best thing to do. But the best thing about switching bodies with your enemy is messing with each other’s lives. You could do your report on Jay Lo or call your girlfriend a “filthy little slut” in front of the cafeteria or you could even play American football really badly to ruin their chance of a scholarship. However, my favourite is getting to dress the other person. With a nerdy girl dressed as a ‘high class hooker’ and the captain of the football team dressed like he’s about to go to Sunday service.  The revenge doesn’t stop there, when Nell breaks up with Breanna, Woody decides to loose Nell’s virginity but this doesn’t go to plan when he realises that he would be sleeping with a guy. She may look like a girl but she doesn’t think like one

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But this event causes them to become friends, when they beat up the guy spreading rumours and decide to sit down and talk. This long overdue conversation, which doesn’t take place until 46 minutes into the film results in them trying to finally solve the problem. Let’s face it if that was any of us, we would have tried to fix this problem as soon as it started!  Sadly, it’s not that easy to fix so in the meantime Woody teaches Nell to play football and Nell helps Woody study for her Yale interview. Cue the montage!

Another great few scenes, is when they get to experience a night out of the opposite sex. The boys get drunk and make out with women and apparently girls wax each other’s bikini lines.  So now that everyone understands each other’s lives and gets along the romance can begin. Woody asks Nell to homecoming and the cute flirting commences.  However, thanks to the mother Woody gets called ‘a looser that’s trouble’ and they get in ANOTHER argument.

So after many stereotypes on gender and popularity as well as a few fights between our two characters, Woody must attend Nell’s interview and Nell must play Woody’s game. Of course everything starts off bad. Woody starts to talk about how modern poetry ‘sucks’ and Nell messes up the first half of the game. Luckily, everything works out and they manage to get into their chosen universities. However the film wouldn’t be complete without one last argument. Woody gets caught kissing his ex and ends up going to the prom with Brianna. But when Nell shows up looking beautiful, he leaves are half naked Brianna for the girl we knew her would end up with from the beginning. If you want to find true love just switch bodies with someone you hate.

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So it may not be a realistic romance but it’s still a great chick flick to watch with the girls or with a nice glass of anything. Trust me it may seem PG but some of the references are defiantly 18.

 

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates. check out my review on

The Duff (Ari Sandel,2015)

https://howhaveyounotseenthis.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-duff-ari-sandel2015/

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Black Christmas (Glen Morgan, 2006)

Warning includes mature content.

Now that Christmas is THIS WEEK, I thought instead of looking at some of the traditional Christmas films you see every year, I would look at a cross over genre horror film. Now I know what you may be thinking ‘Krampus’ (Michael Dougherty, 2015) is exactly that, a new Christmas horror film BUT it is not the original.  In 1974 Bob Clark directed the original Black Christmas. However, instead of looking at the classic, I wanted to review the remake because let’s face it; the remakes are always easier to pick apart.

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When William Edward (Robert Mann) was young he did not have your normal childhood, he suffered from liver disease, was locked in the attic, was raped by his mother (Karin Konoval), causing her to become pregnant and was classed as a murder after killing his family and eating his mother using cookie cutters. Yikes! As a result of his bad behaviour he is locked in a mental asylum, only to escape and return back to his childhood home and kill the current residents in some rather creative and horrific ways. Kind of like a more disturbing version of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ (1979). Nothing screams Christmas like someone screaming on Christmas.

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The film opens with your typical holiday setting, the tree is up, the fairy lights are on and people are wrapping Christmas presents. If I would have though any better I would have believed that I was watching Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003) but this was quickly ripped from my mind after someone shows up and sticks a fountain pen in some poor girl’s eye. Yes, I will warn you in advance, if you do not like horror related to eye balls, please don’t watch.

We then cut to a mental asylum, the most Christmassy location there is. This is where we get to see our terrifying cannibal escape the asylum, so yeah ‘Halloween’… uh I mean’ Black Christmas’ starts off well. But despite all the horror there is a bit of humour, Santa checks to see if Billy is naughty or nice and a patent who thinks he is Jesus gets a “happy birthday”.

There are also a lot of stars in this film. We have Katie Cassidy from Arrow and Supernatural, Michelle Trachtenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mary Elizabeth Winstead from Scott Pilgrim, Lacey Chabert from Mean Girls, Crystal Lowe from Sorority Row, Andrea Martin from New York minute and Oliver Hudson from Rules of Engagement and Scream Queens. Lots of people you will think ‘I know them from somewhere’.

After we have had your stereotypical introduction to our bitchy sorority girls who happen to live in Billy’s old house, we are given a delightful flash back of Billy’s life over the Christmas holidays. And with a life as bad as his you can’t really blame him for falling off the wagon. If I saw my mum kill my dad, it would have messed me up a bit to. But if you also add your mum trying to then kill you and then have sex with you to the equation, it calls for an interesting outcome.  If you are going to make a horror film you need the killer to have a back story and trust me ‘Black Christmas’ can deliver. However, the film doesn’t need to spend half of the movie telling it.  But to keep the audience at bay, they give us creepy Christmas presents, phone calls and boyfriend drama.

The film then spends the rest of its time by killing of the characters one by one, only for the other characters to stumble upon dead bodies and argue on what they should do about it. So your stereotypical ‘cabin in the woods’ type film.  And as this is a slasher we get the typical ‘I think you are the killer’, which of course calls for more drama. Now I know where ‘Sorority row’ (Stewart Hendler, 2009) gets its flair.

The film then ends on a delightful plot twist, with the killer in fact being killers, two of them… dad/ brother and daughter! At least the family made it home for Christmas.

Again, like all horror films the fun doesn’t stop there, the killer always come back for a good scare, so when the victims are brought to hospital , they all have a few final scares and access to some resuscitation paddles, very much like scream 4 (Wes Craven, 2011). It really is a shocking ending.

So Black Christmas may not be your typical Christmas movie but if you ever get sick of all the jolly feel good films, just put on this cross over horror. It will murder Santa and the whole idea of Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

If you liked this, check out my review on

Sorority Row (Stewart Hendler,2009)

https://howhaveyounotseenthis.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/sorority-row-stewart-hendler2009/

Sorority-Row

 

Lilo and Stitch (Chris Sanders Dean DeBlois,2002)

2002 may seem like a long time ago but for us adults it seems like only yesterday. It was a simpler time when all the good Disney movies came out. So to relive 13 years ago, I thought I would go back in time to my favourite animated movie; Lilo and Stitch. And trust me this is the film to watch if you want to see the cutest animated character ever… before they designed the baby aliens in Home (Tim Johnson, 2015).  I mean look at how cute they are.

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Lilo and Stitch is a heart-warming movie about two orphans who adopt a dead koala dog that was hit by a truck, which turns out to be an alien. This alien is also known as experiment 626 (Chris Sanders) or Stich as Lilo (Daveigh Chase) calls him. Stich was created for evil purposes and like all evil creations he manages to escape. Therefore, when his creator Dr. Jumba Jookiba (David Ogden Stiers) and Agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald)  try and hunt him down he must hide behind Lilo an her older sister Nani (Tia Carrere).

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The film opens in the Galactic federation headquarters (try saying that when you were 6) where Jumba is being sentenced to prison for creating a “monstrosity” with the only instinct to “kill everything it touches” and say disgusting language that causes the other characters to throw up.  As a result of Stitches foul language he is banished to an asteroid because if you say naughty words you are exiled, yikes! Luckily for us, Stitch is incredibly smart, strong and just plain adorable so he obviously gets away and lands on Earth, Hawaii or as the aliens pronounce it eeaarth.

“He is irresistibly drawn to cities, where he will back up sewers and steal everybody’s left shoe”

Leave it to Disney to create some of the most evil villains in film history.

Hawaii just happens to be the place where Lilo lives. Lilo is a lonely, Elvis loving, fat person admiring, little girl who feeds sandwiches to fish. So your average main character.  So even though you may love Lilo, her sister seems pretty fed up with her childish ways. Nothing screams sibling love when your sister nails the door shut, leaves all the food on the hob, puts spoon people in with the pickles and tells social workers that she beats you with bricks in a pillow case. Word of advice if you want to impress a social worker, don’t leave your child home long enough to plan anything!

Now that we have established that Lilo isn’t your typical child you will understand when she mistakes an alien falling from the sky as a falling star and a weird looking alien for a dog. Because as you know all dogs have 8 legs and can talk.

Nani: does it have to be this dog?

Stitch:* picks his nose with his tong and eats it *

Lilo: yep he’s good I can tell.

Lilo has now found her new BFF so Stitch does what friends do best, they steal bikes and create a montage of a fun day out, which of course includes the best activity there is, getting your sister fired and watching your friend set his face on fire.  You then end the night by creating a model of San Francisco and then pretending to be a monster that destroys the city. It really is a fantastic film about friendship instead of princesses. For me this is what sets Lilo and stitch and the usual Disney films apart. Disney is usually more money and products with love and beauty. Whereas, Lilo and Stitch tells a story with morals and more emotions than the adult viewers care to admit. You would not see Cinderella have an alien get emotional over the ugly duckling or have an alien that can play Elvis music through its mouth.

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Yes as you can tell by now, instead of having original musical numbers, we get lots of ‘The king’. This causes for one of the best scenes of Stitch rocking out to Elvis on the beach, only to be annoyed by the cameras and for him to get Nani fired… again. Wow this film really likes to piss on their characters, quiet a horrible god complex the writers have. And this is not the only example; they drown stitch, make Nina loose Lilo and force stitch to run away. STOP IT Disney!!

This film is basically about the importance of family and how everyone has a place, even monsters who are designed for evil can be loved… aww.

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind…. or forgotten.”

If that is not a quote to remember, I don’t know what is. And it is an important one to remember when Lilo is taken away from Nina by social services after aliens destroy the house. Seriously if you watch this film, you will feel sorrier for Nina than anyone else. You know you have gotten old when you agree with the adults of the film.

When Lilo is taken, it calls for the ultimate alien team up (not quite as cool as the suicide squad or the Avengers but still pretty great). Stitch, Nani, Jumba and Pleakley take down the Galactic army, the CIA and the social services. But it all ends up ok, with a happy musical number and everyone living happily together. Now that’s the Disney we came to expect, always need a good song for the soundtrack.

This fantastically funny and emotional classic Disney truly is the ultimate family movie. It has Elvis and aliens so you can’t really ask for much else.

 

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

 

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

If you liked this, check out my review on

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Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)

Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)

Pixar started off simple and then they started to mess with emotions. Pixar first though; what if toys had emotions? Then they though what if cars had emotions? But now they have pushed the limit and though; what if emotions had emotions? Thus, Inside out was made. And they did it well. I HAVE NEVER CRIED AT AN ANIMATED FILM UNITL NOW.

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When we get a look inside the head of an 11 year old girl known as Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), we are introduced to her key emotions. Joy (Amy Poehler), sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), anger (Lewis Black) and disgust (Mindy Kaling). These emotions control Riley and her core memories. However, when sadness knocks out Riley’s core memories and sends herself and joy into long term, Riley becomes emotionally unstable. We get to see what happens to a person without joy, sadness and any main memories.

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The film opens at the very beginning, Riley’s birth. If you want backstory and character development, why not start at the very beginning of that characters life?  We get to see more emotions appear, her first laugh, her first cry, her first time playing hockey, her first time scared and even her first time eating vegetables.  Even though she technically isn’t the main character, you get attached to her and her family, which makes the film just that more emotional.

Riley really does have a great life but when everything is good, something comes along and spoils your fun. For example, Christmas in in two weeks but I have assignments to hand in and have no money for presents because I have to pay rent. But in Riley’s case, she moves house. This calls for new friends, new neighbourhood and new school. Pretty much the worst thing about moving away so when you add a mental breakdown because her emotions have left to the equation, you can only imagine the issues she faces.  But luckily for her, she has the help of her mum, dad and of course fear, anger and disgust, the only things you need for a good life.

So by now you can probably tell that Pixar is attempting to explain some pretty complex ideas to children through the use of metaphor. We have the train of thought, dream production, islands of personality, imagination land, the sub conscious and a machine that allows her to think through abstract concepts. But with physical representations comes plot holes and disaster. When the islands of personality sink, you lose apart of yourself. However, what happens when the train of thought de-rails, is she unable to think?  The film even confuses us adults by using language such a “non-figurative” and “non-objective fragmentation”. Yeah I don’t know either?

Even though we get to see inside Riley, we also get odd occasions where you can see inside the mind of the other characters. The mum thinks mostly about a hot helicopter pilot and the dad thinks about football games. Stereotypical men and women thoughts. But to be fair, if the film was honest, you would see images of sex, money and work, which is defiantly not suitable for children.

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Apart from meeting emotions and mine workers who have an obsession with the theme song from a gum commercial, you get to meet Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley’s imaginary friend. He’s part elephant, cat, cotton candy and dolphin. Your stereotypical character.  But as Riley gets older she forgets Bing Bong and replaces him with an imaginary boyfriend, who would “die for Riley”. This causes Bing Bong to completely diaper, along with my belief that this is a happy film. STOP KILLING PEOPLE OFF PIXAR! But this is the sad and true reality of growing up… This film is far too real for my liking.

 

After all this messing with her head, anger gives her the idea to run away back to her home town. This causes for a complete emotional disaster. Therefore, it is up to Joy and sadness to get back to headquarters and stop her. This causes for a heart to heart with the family and a lot of crying from both the characters and me. This is of course the end resolution. So much like all family movies we get the _ months later. Riley is happy, with more personality islands and a few more buttons on her control panel. And with one brand new dangerous red button; Puberty, ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

The film also gives us the treat of seeing inside the head of all the other characters, we have seen throughout the film. The cool girl with eye shadow, an angry bus driver and even a few cats and dogs. It always great to end with a bit of humour.  And for all you ‘Parks and Recreation’ lovers out there, the ‘cool girl’ is voiced by our very own Ann/Rashida jones and of course Joy is voiced by Leslie Knope herself.

So this one giant metaphor of a movie is basically an emotional roller-coaster… literally. So expect to film tones of joy and sadness when watching this not so children’s children movie. The only thing I would say is; where are the other emotions? We are missing love and jealousy and a few other fun emotions.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.

Follow me on twitter @apriely31 and Instagram deathbyapril for more updates.

 

If you liked this check out my review on

The Lorax (Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda,2012)

Lorax

https://howhaveyounotseenthis.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/the-lorax-chris-renaud-kyle-balda2012/

The hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)

Happy hunger games and may the odds be ever on your favour.

Now that the final Hunger Games is in cinema. I thought it was time to go back to 2012, when everyone though the world was going to end and review the first Hunger Games movie. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the new Hunger Games yet so don’t blame me for bringing up the past without knowledge of the future.

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The capitol AKA. The government in charge puts on an event every year, where two tributes from each district must go into an arena and fight to the death. Yes, I may have just described the plot of Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku, 2000). But there is a lot more love involved in the Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute for her little sister; she pretends to fall in love with Peter Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), in an attempt to win the hearts of the viewers and save herself.

Don’t worry if all that information was hard to follow, the film goes into great detail, through text at the very start of the movie. Nothing is better than reading when you come to WATCH something. This is followed by our hero telling her little sister that she will not get picked for the Hunger Games. So of course she will be the first one picked. You have to love foreshadowing, even if it is as lazy as this. However, we could always blame this on the book.

Luckily from our little sister Prim (Willow Shields), her big sister is already an expert hunter and survivalist that has the ability to shoot anyone and anything with a bow and arrow.  So don’t worry when Katniss goes into the games, she is already bad ass. And to send her off, the entire district does the … scout solute.

Despite bad use of omens, the film does offer some fantastic political and economic issues, such as the rich taking advantage of the poor for their own gain or in this case entertainment. We also see the rich just flaunting the wealth they have. But when the rich dresses like 2009 Lady Gaga, I don’t think I want to live in the capitol. Mind you the houses and food look pretty good (Lots of mahogany).

'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Capitol Costume Competition

Members of the public turn up at London’s Marylebone Station dressed as Effie Trinket as part of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Capitol Costume Competition in which the winner gets to attend the ‘Mokingjay: Part 1’ premiere Featuring: Effie Trinkets Where: London, United Kingdom When: 16 Mar 2014 Credit: Euan Cherry/WENN.com

For our tributes to go in with a head start each district is given a mentor and luckily for both us and our tributes from district 12, their mentor Hamish (Woody Harrelson) is a drunk, who is convinced that they are going to die. So it’s good to know that the film wants to give everyone no hope towards the fate of our characters. But luckily for Katniss she has Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) a fashion designer, who obviously knows all about survival.

The tributes also get to practise in a training centre beforehand. This training includes, rope climbing, painting and button pressing. All the things you need to learn before hunting other people in the woods.  However, as some of the much more cleaver district members have trained all their lives, they have a strong advantage over the others. To be fair, if I was in any of the districts I would train all the time just in case I get picked and the reaping.

Even though I have picked the film apart, the best scene by far is when she shoots an arrow at the judges for not paying attention to her ‘audition’. It is a sure fire way to get their attention and get some extra marks on your CV. This theory proves its merit when Katniss is given a score 11/ 12, the best of all the tributes.

In addition, like previously mentioned the film brings up some controversial issues. Our tributes must please an audience so they can get sponsors, in order to survive. Yes, the event that causes 23 innocent people to be murdered is turned into a beauty pageant to be used as entertainment for the capital. The games even have a presenter played by the highly charismatic Stanley Tucci. Luckily, Katniss does this well by setting two of her dresses on fire.

I don’t want to be star crossed lovers.

It’s a television show.

Like all films the conventions would be incomplete with a love interest. In the beginning one sort of hates the other and in the end they fall in love… until the next film, where they repeat the process.

About 45 minutes into the film the tributes finally entre the arena, where all the action kicks off. The characters are all given a cool jacket and a pushed onto some pedestals. They then fight to the death for the rest of the film or just fight for 10 seconds over a sleeping bag. But I do have to give credit to the film; the use of sound or lack of is incredible. With only music and no Foley, dialogue or sound effects, it adds to the drama and creates tension.

If other people within the arena trying to kill Katniss is bad enough then it doesn’t help when the games makers are trying to burn her with fire balls. This gives a whole new meaning to ‘the girl on fire’. However, when she survives this, she is instantly forced up a tree by a group of blood thirty teenagers. Who luckily get their comeuppance when she drops a wasp’s/ Tracker Jacker nest on their heads.

The saddest part by far is Rue (Amandla Stenberg), even though you don’t see much of her, you will get attached. She is pretty much the only character Katniss forms an alliance with but the film states only one will win. So expect tears. Who knew a film about the death of children could be so sad?

After this devastating scene, the film is kind enough to give us a bit of hope and allows two tributes to win if they are from the same district. This means that Katniss and Peter are given the chance to live and have lots of babies. Yay! But like most governments, the capital goes back on their word …again, there can only be one winner. But with a hand full of poison berries and a can do attitude, Katniss and Peter are fine. Well until the next film of course.

I would give this film five stars, only because I love all of the films and the book. What did you think of the film?

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely.

For more updates follow me on twitter @aprilely31 and Instagram deathbyapril

duff

If you liked this check out my review on

The Duff (Ari Sandel,2015)