Tuesday, 18 April 2017 • Daniel Espinosa, Jake Gyllenhaal, Life, Life 2017, Movies, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
Daniel Espinosa's Life has had a bit of a tough time.
With its alien-specimen-attacks-entire-space-crew premise, it was impossible for Life to not get compared to established franchises like Alien. In fact almost every review I read about Life prior to seeing it a few weeks ago and post-viewing have likened it to the Sigourney Weaver led blockbusters.
It probably didn't help that Life struggled to find a way at the box office. Initially slated for a Memorial Day release, Sony moved Life to March likely due to 20th Century's FOX's decision to move Alien: Covenant from August to May. It may have been a good move had March not been so packed with hits like Logan, Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island. Even with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds working their asses off on the press circuit creating hilarious, viral interviews every day wasn't enough to make the star-studded space flick soar to the top of the box office.
It's tragic partly because Life actually isn't that bad of a movie. Albeit a slight riff on Alien, Life was a really refreshing change from the endless book adaptations and franchise reboots that movie studios have been churning out these past few years. It's such a shame that despite its original storyline, a cast of talented and known actors and excellent cinematography, it got screwed over due to timing of the release.
The talking points in this review contain spoilers of Life's plot including its ending. Read at your discretion and don't say I didn't warn you!
- That Ending.
Life is undoubtedly full of alien movie cliches, but one thing it pulled off well was the shock ending.
One of the two remaining survivors left of the crew, Gyllenhaal's David manages to lure Calvin into his escape pod with the plan to pilot himself and Calvin into deep space where they will eventually die while Rebecca Ferguson's Miranda takes the other pod and hurtles back to Earth.
In a surprise twist that probably needed a tad more building and clarification, Miranda's pod hits debris and gets knocked off course. With Calvin climbing all over David and trying to skewer him with his many tentacles, David struggles to send his pod into deep space.
An earthbound pod performs a controlled re-entry and lands safely in water near a group of fishermen. As the curious fishermen approach the pod, it is revealed to be David's and he is now encased in a web-like substance. We cut to a chilling scene of a terrified Miranda screaming as her pod blasts her to a certain and lonely death in deep space due to a navigation system failure.
Back on Earth, miraculously alive David warns the fishermen not to attempt a rescue. Unfortunately for him and likely the human race, the fishermen ignore David's plea and open the pod door as more fishing boats arrive.
The screen fades to black and rather amusingly Norman Greenbaum's jolly 'Spirit In The Sky' plays as the end credits roll and we're left to contemplate what the heck just happened.
- Those Deaths
For a movie called Life, there's actually not a lot of life in it. There were gory and gruesome deaths aplenty.
With him promoting the movie in interviews and his face plastered on the posters, you'd be astonished to learn that Ryan Reynolds is Calvin's first casualty when he enters the Deadpool star's mouth and killing him from the inside.
Next to go was the station's Russian commander Ekaterina who Calvin effectively drowns to death in her own spacesuit by breaking her suit's coolant system during a space walk to fix the antenna.
The trailers may lead you to believe that Ariyon Bakare's Hugh is the first to go after getting his hand crushed by the alien in a particularly nail-biting scene. However, Calvin has a different plan for Hugh's demise and that involves quite literally sucking the life out of him.
Life's deaths are pretty harrowing and made me thank my lucky stars that I was never all that good at science, instead deciding to pursue writing and media over an astronomical career. You'll never get me, Calvin! Well, until you reach Earth that is.
- The Alien.
As the movie progresses, Calvin grows stronger, smarter and scarier. He may have resembled a walking wonton through the brief glimpse that we see of him in the trailer, but he rapidly evolves into this large octopus-venus fly trap hybrid. Tentacles - Not. My. Thing. I was on the edge of my seat, watching between my fingers every time one of his legs whipped into view.
|Calvin or a walking wonton?|
With non-stop action, terrific acting, eerie music and stunning cinematography, Life deserved so much more success. Yes, it had its share of predictability and convenient escapes for David and Miranda who just had to keep opening hatches to check, but it had all the right elements to have had a chance to do better. It's just a shame, but not a surprise that it drew so many Alien comparisons which many seized on to negatively criticise it and the hefty competition at the box office did not do Life any favours.
Release: 24th March 2017
Running time: 1hr 50mins
Dir: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds
Sunday, 16 April 2017 • Easter, Easter Bonnet, Family, Ramblings
|Easter Bonnet Queen circa 2002|
It's been awhile since I rocked an Easter bonnet, (see the photo of me on the right back in 2002 at my primary school's Easter Bonnet contest) so me and my mother thought that it would be fun to honour my father by taking it back fifteen years and making an Easter bonnet.
This blog isn't really a tutorial arts blog and I'll be honest, my mother did most of the handiwork compiling this beautiful bonnet herself while I watched, chose ribbon colours and modelled it rather shamelessly at the end. So, basically, if you want a step-by-step instruction on how to make an Easter bonnet, you're in the wrong place. However, I will say that every bunny, chick, carrot, egg basket and feather is hand sewn onto the bonnet. We purchased all the accessories and even the hat itself from Poundland - super fancy, I know. You could call it a Budget Bonnet, but I feel like that would diminish just how fucking cute it is.
The best thing about it was that it was a nice bonding project for me and my mother. We've never really done much to celebrate Easter as a family except for a few trips to church when I was a child and like I said, I'm not a strict/devout Christian - nor am I actually a huge fan of chocolate! Yet, it was nice to do something to commemorate Easter and to indulge my mother's creative side a little as she so rarely has the time for it any more.
There's no big Easter revelation or moral to the tale. In truth, this post is more for me than it is for any of my readers. It's a lovely little memory that I wanted to jot down and share so I can look back at it and remember just how much fun we had doing something other than scoffing Easter eggs to mark the holiday.
I'm aware that chocolate eggs are cool, but it's not as cool as sitting down and having quality time with your family. Bonus points if you use that time to make creative and cute as heck Easter bonnet!
Before I go, here's a quick list of non-rambling content you can expect here on the blog soon:
- One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline review
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier review + Fancast Friday!
- Spandex and The City Blog Tour
- The Other Hoffman Sister by Ben Fergusson review
- A terribly overdue Life review
- Going in Style review
- Hulu's 11.22.63 review
And finally, regardless of whether you choose to spend it celebrating Jesus or surrounded by Cadbury Creme Eggs, Happy Easter to you and yours!
Until next time,
SKIRT: Mother's old skirt bought for her by my father years ago.
BLOUSE: Vero Moda
SHOES: Debenhams, but no longer sold.
BONNET: Everything is literally from Poundland.
|*Careless Whisper sax plays in the background*|
I spent my birthday at home with my mother scoffing down some takeaway pizza and carrot cake before I got mildly intoxicated on red wine and cried over Jake Gyllenhaal because how else should a girl spend a birthday?
I think I'll take this moment to confess that I'm not really a party-person, if it wasn't plainly obvious already. I found myself reading Dickens and chowing down on a bag of Werther's Original butterscotch candies the other day and I instantly felt like I'd aged a decade. That, paired with my sadly serious and sardonic persona, made me think that I'd be absolutely fine about turning nineteen. Alas, I wasn't. I was actually very scared of it.
Don't roll your eyes at me! I know what you're thinking 'Oh, god, she's going to dedicate 800 odd words to complaining about turning nineteen. We all age!' So, I'll keep the whining brief.
I was scared about turning nineteen because I'm still not sure how to properly adult. I'm still relying on the basis of pretending like I've got this whole life thing down and I know what I'm doing in order to get by. Also, I'm one of those people who is constantly anxious with many an innate fear. The list of things I'm scared of is ridiculous and ever-growing - more so as I get older. One of my main irrational fears is getting old and dying without leaving a mark on the world. You know, today it's nineteen and birthday cookies, but soon enough it'll be eighty and a zimmer frame.
|Kudos to my awesome mother for going all out with the decor!|
I owe a lot of my accomplishments to this blog, to all the people who have ever clicked on it and read it. I established this blog shortly after turning sixteen. I was naive, I didn't really know what blogging entailed. Yet, I knew I liked books and cinema and I wanted a space to freely rant and rave about them where I wouldn't be judged.
Three years on and I'm still in awe of how far this little blog has come. I started off reviewing books I had personally gone to the shop, or rather Amazon, and had bought myself and writing about films I had trekked down to the nearest Odeon to purchase a ticket to see. Today, I am not only lucky enough to be sent books by so many publishers across the globe, but I have enjoyed getting to know and communicate with some amazing authors. While I still venture to the local Odeon, I am extremely fortunate to have been invited and gone to screenings and premieres of some stellar movies. As well as this, I've had chance to interview some of my favourite famous faces and write for some of my favourite online publications. I also got my dream work experience doing publicity at Penguin Random House. None of that, I feel, would have been possible without this blog.
Thinking about all of that pulled me out of my blues about Article 50 being triggered on my birthday and made me more excited about this new chapter of my life. I'm aware this is slowly drifting into cheesy territory, but if you can't get a little overwhelmingly emotional in your birthday post, then when can you?
I don't have a specific set of goals going into my nineteenth year on Earth and it has been a pretty uneventful first month so far. Actually knuckling down and finishing one of my many book drafts I have saved would be nice. Marrying Jake Gyllenhaal or Dev Patel would also be nice, but I'll be fine if the universe would like to delay that for a few more years haha. I'll happily settle for another year of going on fun blogging adventures, being an avid bookworm and remaining a Colin Firth enthusiast. (I swear I came out of the womb with an inherent love for Colin Firth!) Oh, and passing exams would be lovely!
Now comes the time for an obligatory, but very meaningful and sappy 'thank you' to everyone who has kept up with me over the last year and sent me such sweet messages on Twitter, Tumblr and GoodReads. You've made this old lady blush!
Here's to being nineteen and all the opportunities that it'll hopefully bring!
Until next time,
DRESS: CLUB L at ASOS
COOKIES: Allison at CustomCookieCo
COOKIES: Allison at CustomCookieCo