Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

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Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Bradley Cooper, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan and (sort of) Vin Diesel
Vomit incidence: Minor but unnecessary

The Guardians, on the run after Rocket nicks a few batteries from an uppity gold-painted race of narcissists, are thrown a curveball with the appearance of Quill’s father, who just happens to be a living planet. Because of course he is.

Not quite as universally adored as the first Guardians movie, this outing still proved highly entertaining with a surprising emotional punch. Newcomers to the franchise, Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha) and Kurt Russell (Ego, who else?) more than hold their own against the returning cast but for me the stand out performance comes from the ever-fabulous Michael Rooker as Yondu, Quill’s de facto dad. He also gets the best action sequence – that fin/arrow combo is nifty!

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Grumpy blue asshat vs grumpy furry asshat

One of the elements not quite hitting the mark was the soundtrack, a big part of the first film’s success, the awesome mix on volume 2 falls a bit flat. With the exception of ELO’s fabulous Mr Blue Sky over the film’s opening sequence, the other songs didn’t really stand out. I’m a big 80s music fan and I think the selection here let the movie down a little.

Much was made in the lead up to the release (and in the merchandising) of Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). He is cute as a little wooden button, but a tad overused. One of his scenes in particular seems to go on forever. OK guys, we get it, he’s cute with a temper and some sort of mental impairment. Move on.

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Yes, he’s adorable, we get it.

It also happens to be the aforementioned tree toddler who provides the movie’s main vomit moment. Apparently warping too much makes him airsick. Great. An honourable mention should also go to the long running (and arguably unnecessary/vaguely sexist) Drax joke about how ugly Mantis is. He doesn’t puke but he does gag a lot.

I might sound a bit negative in this review but I really did enjoy the movie, even more so second time around. The casting was impeccable, the emotional element worked well but the first film was so refreshing and fun that the sequel really needed to up the ante a bit more and take a few risks. Kurt Russell turning up in a giant egg just wasn’t enough.

I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!

 

Film Score: 7/10

NB OCD: 3/10 – even Baby Groot’s vomit is almost cute 

 

 

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – 28 Days Later (2002)

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Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston
Vomit Incidence: Multiple, zombie-related

Jim awakes from a coma to discover that well-meaning animal activists have unleashed a rage virus which has zombified the majority of the UK. Things do not get better for Jim from there.

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Life in post-Brexit Britain was going well…

Zombie films had died a bit of an undeath before the release of this cracking UK film from Danny Boyle. Rather than the shambling, brain chompers of old, this lot are strong, fast and very cross indeed (they are British zombies after all). The speed and strength add an extra level of terror for poor old Jim as he attempts to locate fellow survivors in the post-apocalyptic UK.

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Must be the UK, it’s raining.

If the rage-filled undead weren’t enough to contend with, not all of the survivors Jim meets are entirely friendly and/or sane. Particular mention in this regard goes to Christopher Eccleston’s mildly unhinged army Major. With a captive zombie and a desire to ‘repopulate’ the UK, he’s even more dangerous than the blood-spewing corpses wandering around.

Yup, blood spewing again. It seems gone are the good old days when zombies would chomp on someone to infect them, now they have to projectile-vomit blood all over them. Thanks guys, just what we needed. So if you’re an emetophobe like me you probably want to close your eyes/ears every time a zombie hoves into view. Which is a lot, so you may miss the majority of the film. Don’t blame me, blame Alex Garland, he wrote the damn thing.

Film Score: 9/10 (point docked for not using the post-apocalyptic scenes shot in my previous hometown of Croydon)

NB OCD: 7/10 for blood-spewing and also that scene with Christopher Eccleston and the rotten egg. Put me off eggs for years.

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Alien (1979)

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Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Ian Holm
Vomit Incidence: Robotic goo and Alien-induced blood spatter

A deep space mining vessel receives an unidentified signal. Assuming it to be a distress call they land on a desolate planet only to find they aren’t the first life forms to do so. Hilarity ensues. Just kidding, it really doesn’t.

I have to admit, this isn’t so much of as review as it is an unadulterated fangirling. Alien is my favourite movie of all time, although I have to be the only person in history to have been relieved when John Hurt had an alien explode from his insides as I had been worrying he was about to throw up.

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Worst case of indigestion. EVER.

Very few films have truly earned the title ‘genre-defining’ in the way that Alien has. Since 1979 every single sci-fi or horror film has borrowed from it somehow and yet no one has quite managed to replicate the tension or the atmosphere. A few dodgy practical effects aside (the alien definitely looks like a tall bloke in a hat a couple of times) this film is utter perfection and I have to watch it at least once a year.

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Ripley’s germ phobia was getting the better of her again.

Emetotophobes beware though. There is some associated blood upchucking when the alien emerges from John Hurt but not enough to worry me. What did freak me out however, and what you may wish to skip through, is when Ash (Ian Holm) goes homicidal. The resulting robotic goo-spew was unpleasant and (as ever) pretty unnecessary. Yes, we get it, robots are filled with white shit. We didn’t need it demonstrated in this fashion thank you.

I’d like to finish this sick sense review by warning you never to watch Prometheus or Alien: Covenant. Not because of vomiting, because they’re shit.

 

Film Score: 10/10

NB OCD: 3/10

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Minority Report (2002)

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Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow
Vomit incidence: Multiple

In the near future a special police unit is able to arrest people before they commit crimes. It all goes horribly wrong when the lead detective is accused of a so-called future crime and has to go on the run while solving the murder he’s sure he isn’t going to commit. Or something like that.

Yes, I know it’s another one of those futuristic films based on a story by Philip K Dick (if my last name was Dick, I’d be adding a middle initial sharpish too) but, like Bladerunner way before it, it’s actually a great watch. Tom Cruise is at his best despite having to contend with a scene-stealing Colin Farrell in a breakout role and Spielberg manages to contain the schmaltz (at least until the last 5 minutes, which are god-awful – do what I do and switch off before the glowy shit starts).

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Tom’s audition for Dancing with the Stars was not going as planned

There’s a lot of great ideas on show, not least because they did their research and included plausible future inventions (no laser guns or teleportation devices here, although we do sort of get the flying cars) and it’s one of these inventions that provides the majority of the ‘v’ word incidences.

If I was a police person in the future and I wanted to apprehend a felon, the last thing that I’d personally want to help me would be something called a ‘sick stick’. Who wants to make the person they’re chasing puke all over them? Weirdos, that’s who. And the police in Minority Report. So emetophobes out there be warned, when the coppers get their sticks out they’re not just going in for a traditional ‘beat the fucker senseless’. Also you probably don’t want to watch the bit where a recently eye-transplanted Cruise gropes his way to the fridge and tries to drink lumpy milk.

Sick-sticks notwithstanding, this is one of my favourite underrated Spielberg films and marks the start of Colin Farrell’s Hollywood career (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not…). The action sequences are superb and there’s even some feels thrown in to boot (it is a Spielberg movie after all). Just remember – turn off before they switch the futuristic blue filter for the happy glowy yellow filter – or you won’t be needing sick-sticks to make you nauseous.

 

Film rating: 8/10

NB OCD: 5/10

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Robocop (1987)

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Director: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Kurtwood Smith
Vomit Incidence: Zero

In crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop is used as an experiment by an evil corporation and returns as a part human, part cyborg badass with some disturbing memories and a penchant for shooting men in the groin (I may have embellished that last part a little).

I picked the original (and the far superior) Robocop for my first Sick Sense review for a few reasons but mainly because I just had the chance to see it in the cinema for the first time courtesy of my husband’s 40th birthday celebrations.

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Come quietly, or there will be trouble

I think even the most ardent fan of this eighties classic would have to admit that some aspects of the film haven’t aged terribly well. The effects are a bit iffy (Dick Jones’ stretchy arms, anyone?) as are the hairstyles (unless dystopian Detroit had a sudden eighties revival) and in the cinema there were more than a few giggles at some of the dialogue and I’m not even going to mention the badly judged uber-camp henchman. Just, no.

Underneath all the eightiesness though, the film remains surprisingly relevant (big corporations manipulating the population through fear ring any bells?), Peter Weller and Nancy Allen’s performances hold up well and Clarence Boddicker is a delightfully hissable villain from the time before all movie bad guys had to have a sympathetic side. Don’t go looking for Clarence’s, he really doesn’t have one. It’s a massively entertaining blood-spattered sci-fi action film with a great story. What more could you ask?

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That’s what we do to people who don’t wash their hands, smirked Murphy

NB OCD: There may be no actual vomiting in this movie (hurrah!) but, for those of you with germ-centred OCD you may want to look away when Dick Jones comes out of the toilet cubicle (presumably after producing a smaller browner version of himself) and proceeds to rub his hands all over Bob Morton’s face WITHOUT WASHING THEM FIRST! OK, so grosser things happen in this movie (the splatting of the melting henchman springs to mind), but this freaked me the fuck out and if you are of a similar mind then be warned.

 

Film Score: 9/10

OCD Rating: 3/10 (watchable but be advised)

 

Just a note to say that I will shortly start posting random film reviews on the site with an OCD slant.

As a life-long emetophobe (puke-o-phobe) it winds me up no end that filmmakers think that having vomit scenes enhances their movie somehow or, even worse, that it’s funny.

It’s not funny, it’s not clever and I’ll be reviewing films with an appropriate warning to sick-sensitive folk such as myself when the ‘v’ word is used as a plot-point/joke/gross-out moment.

As I like a good pun as much as the next person, these reviews will appear under the header ‘Sick Sense Reviews’. Because I SEE SICK PEOPLE.

 

ZB