Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Mandy

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Where: Limited Release in Cinemas, also available On Demand
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough
Director: Panos Cosmatos
Vomit Incidence: Minor blood spewing, also cheddar

A couple living an idyllic life in an isolated woodland cabin run into a bunch of drug-addled cult members. Things do not end well. For anyone.

This film is bonkers, seriously bonkers but utterly mesmerising. There’s plenty of gore for horror fans (chainsaws all over the place), plenty of innovative and gorgeous cinematography choices for film fans and plenty of scenery chewing for Nicolas Cage fans. The plot might be a bit thin (it’s your standard revenge story with added artwank) but in the end that doesn’t really matter. Who wouldn’t watch a movie where Cage gets to forge his own death-axe? I mean c’mon.

Although the overall visual style of the movie is the real star, the cast do their best to weird you the fuck out with their seriously creepy characters. Special mention to Andrea Riseborough as Mandy. She might not make it to the end of the film but her haunting presence continues to be felt until the credits roll. Linus Roache also has a lot of fun as cult leader Jeremiah (clearly some sort of American Idol reject gone bad). I also let out a little cheer when Cage detours off to see Bill Duke (MAC!!!) to  get his crossbow back for reasons (yes, this makes no sense, but who cares, it’s Mac from Predator!).

The vomiting is relatively minor for this genre of film. There’s some blood-spewing when people are being stabbed/decapitated/gouged etc but the main offence comes from a TV advert. Yup, you read that right. After the titular character is offed in unpleasant fashion (NOT a spoiler – it’s a revenge movie) Cage wanders back into his house and on the TV there is THE MOST REVOLTING AD FOR CHEESE YOU WILL EVER SEE. You may never eat cheese again after this. Well I did, but that’s only because I would literally cease to exist without cheese, it’s my main food group.

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Say cheese!

Overall an entertainingly bloody revenge horror, clearly destined for cult status with a slightly more understated performance from Cage than we’re used to (last 30 minutes notwithstanding), this is deserving of a space on any horror or film fan’s watch list. Just not one for fans of macaroni cheese.

 

Film rating: 7/10 (points deducted for cheese-abuse and unnecessary horn).

NB OCD: 5/10 – HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO CHEESE!?

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Sharp Objects

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Available: HBO / Sky Atlantic
Starring: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen, Chris Messina
Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn
Vomit Incidence: Episodes 3, 7 and all over the bloody place in episode 8

An alcoholic reporter is sent back to her southern US hometown to write a story about a series of child disappearances. This means reuniting with her dysfunctional family and dealing with the fallout as she uncovers the town’s secrets.

I recently blasted through this series based on a recommendation from a co-worker. I hadn’t originally picked up on it as I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Gone Girl’, author Gillian Flynn’s other famous novel – the book wasn’t very subtle and the film cast Ben Affleck which, for me, is the cinematic equivalent of sticking pins in my eyes.  But I was intrigued by Sharp Objects and, with the promise that there was only vomiting in episode 8 (lies, all lies), I watched. And got hooked.

As a ‘whodunnit’ it’s relatively slow-paced but as a study of an abusive and sometimes downright evil family it’s fascinating. The run-down small southern town adds a sense of claustrophobia, the flashbacks to reporter Camille’s past add mystery (kudos for casting the young Beverley from ‘IT’as the young Camille – perfect) and, until the last two episodes you have no idea where the show is going, except that it’s nowhere happy. The cast are all superb, Amy Adams is on top form as Camille and Patricia Clarkson is just terrifying as her mother, Adora. I don’t think I’ve seen a higher quality production this year with the exception of Better Call Saul.

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Vomit Warning

OK, so, I can’t go too much into this without totally spoiling the plot but there’s one incidence in episode three which is telegraphed in advance and one in episode seven which is also easy to predict but, and it’s a BIG but, episode eight is pretty much wall to wall vomit for the first half hour. I can’t say why without ruining it for you, but can say that I  spent most of this time watching on mute with my elbow in front of my face. So if you’re an emetophobe be prepared to miss some vital dialogue at the end! Sorry guys.

Less trashy and obvious than Gone Girl and not an Affleck in sight, vomiting notwithstanding, I would definitely recommend this show to fans of drama, murder mysteries and anyone with a weird family. Trust me, this lot will make you thankful for your lot!

 

TV Show Score: 9/10

NB OCD: 8/10 – Eight, for episode eight. Watch it but remember I warned you!

 

 

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Deadpool 2

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Director: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz
Vomit Incidence: One major acid-related, multiple near misses

OK, I’m going to start with two warnings. Firstly, this review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. Secondly, I didn’t love it anywhere near as much as the first film. Sorry Pool fans. Reasons for this lie below the plot blurb.

Plot Blurb

After taking out the majority of the world’s organised criminals, Deadpool’s girlfriend is murdered sending him into a fit of despair and explosions. After being rescued by the only X-Men they can afford, The Merc with a Mouth sees an opportunity for redemption when he comes across a child mutant with seriously explosive anger issues. The kid needs saving from Cable (angry man from the future – looks a bit like Thanos), his creepy orphanage headmaster (Eddie Marsan on top child-molesting form) and, most importantly, himself. Is Deadpool up for the job?

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I’ll start with the good bits, because there were many. I loved the Bond intro sequence and Celine Dion’s soaring vocals. The supporting cast were excellent, with particular kudos going to Domino (Zazie Beetz) and the lovely Dopinder (Karan Soni). The latter providing my one laugh out loud moment of the movie (yes, only one – I think there might be something wrong with me). The action sequences were a step up from the first film, thanks to John Wick director David Leitch and presumably, a bigger budget. I even (shock horror) liked The Juggernaut. Much more, well, Juggernauty than Vinnie Jones shouting and looking constipated. The end credit scene was also superb but sadly I’d accidentally seen spoilers for this online beforehand, otherwise it might have doubled my laugh out loud moments.

But….

It wasn’t funny. This is a DEADPOOL film and it wasn’t funny? I laughed my arse off at the first film and I don’t think I’ve had some sort of sense of humour bypass in the intervening years, so what gives? Maybe it was killing Vanessa at the start, sending our antihero into suicidal depression (never a bundle of laughs) that did it. I admit I wholeheartedly wanted to get shot of Deadpool’s girlfriend from the film, superheroes’ love-interests always bore me rigid, but couldn’t they have just despatched her with a one-liner at the beginning? She left him for someone who didn’t look like a bullfrog’s testicle etc? Job done, on with the funnies. Also – EPIC SPOILER ALERT – they went and fucking brought her back to life at the end. Goddamnit!

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Wakanda Forever

X-Force fell a bit flat, literally in some cases. Apart from Domino, the new mutants got wiped out as soon as they were introduced, which is a waste of some great talent (except Brad Pitt). At least give them something amusing to do before they get bumped off. Even Negasonic Teenage Warhead (best name ever) didn’t get much to do in this movie apart from having a girlfriend. I mean it’s great having a same sex couple in a superhero film but at least give them something else to do apart from hold hands and look good!

And Finally

The first Deadpool film, despite being gruesome and gross-out, did not feature any vomiting at all. * This one, however, had Bill Skarsgard’s Zeitgeist puking acid all over Peter (watch out when his character is about to die) and Deadpool’s baby legs causing Dopinder to heave repeatedly. Not cool, Pool, not cool.

*ok it had one, bad Colossus

If I had to boil it down to one problem I had with the movie it’s probably this: all the best bits were in the trailer and the marketing material. In fact I’d probably go so far as saying the marketing was funnier than the actual film. That’s not great. So the Josh Brolin film I’ll be re-watching repeatedly will be that other one, the one where half the universe got wiped out and it still made me laugh more. Yeah, that one.

I know everyone else loved it. I know they’re doing a third film, I know I’ll go and see it regardless, but I’m not happy. Not happy at all.

 

 

Film Rating: 6 out of 10

NB OCD: 4 out of 10. Bill Skarsgard’s acid vomit much scarier than IT, in my opinion.