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.

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews -The Marvel Cinematic Universe So Far

MinfinitySo it’s very nearly here, Avengers Infinity War or ‘How To Kill Heroes and Upset People’ as it’s otherwise known opens on 27 April (or 26 April if you’re in the UK – haha).

As I’ve seen all the MCU movies in the cinema (except Ant-Man, sorry tiny dude) I thought I’d provide a run-through before the big purple guy massacres his way through Marvel’s finest next month. Although I will try and highlight any vomit scenes it has been a while since I’ve seen some of the films so apologies in advance if I miss a few.

I will also rank them best to worst in accordance with MY OWN GOD-DAMN OPINION. Ahem. So there you go. No moaning. Let’s just agree to disagree shall we? With some spoilers…..

Starting with the worst.

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The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Otherwise known as one of those movies where Ed Norton phones it in for contractual reasons (apparently he does still care about films, no evidence for this of late though), this was just another in the long list of Hulk misfires. Tim Roth as the bad guy was a nice choice but ultimately a forgettable film. So in fact I’ve forgotten if there’s any vomiting in it but, as someone gets a toxic dose of gamma radiation at some point, it’s highly likely.

Bad Guy Rating: Tim Roth – yay! CGI – boo!

OCD Rating: Minimal

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Sorry Cap, I love you but I didn’t love this film. A great bad guy in go-to movie villain Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, the film nonetheless dragged for quite a large amount of the second half. Also if you’re going to make Bucky Barnes a big part of the MCU it might have been a good idea to give him more of a decent part in this film. So that, say, when he returns as the Winter Soldier you don’t need to do a massive section where you remind the audience who he is and why we should give a shit. NO VOMITING THAT I RECALL. Also Chris Evans is gorgeous regardless of how stupidly you dress him. That is all.

Bad Guy Rating: Perfect!

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

Ooh this one was disappointing wasn’t it? After the excitement of the first Iron Man movie which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in style, this one fell a bit short of expectations. The bad guy isn’t particularly scary (Mickey Rourke with electric whips?) Rhodey is now Don Cheadle rather than Terrence Howard who successfully negotiated his way out of the Marvel Universe (doh) and Black Widow is introduced in horrendously sexist fashion. Even the comedy genius of Sam Rockwell as Stark’s incompetent nemesis Justin Hammer couldn’t quite make this film feel right. More of an Avengers intro than a movie, which might have been the problem.

Vomit-wise Tony does go through a brief alcoholic period and this quite often leads to vomiting scenes. You have been warned.

Bad Guy Rating: Whips are not the stuff of nightmares. Must try harder. 

OCD Rating: Alcohol is involved – be aware!

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Sigh. I love Thor, I really do. He’s my favourite Avenger by a long way but this movie was not an impressive outing for the walking, talking L’Oreal advert. Lacking the steady directorial hand of Kenneth Branagh from the first film, this feels a little disjointed. Partly because they reshot to add more Loki (I know, how could that possibly be a bad thing? *drools*) and partly because the plot was just, well, shite. The bad guy (Christopher Eccleston as evil dark elf Malekith) has the most ridiculous Macguffin and Eccleston also seems to be in competition with Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman over who hates being in the movie the most. It’s close, but Portman wins.

Bad Guy Rating: Awful, sorry Chris. 

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Ant-Man (2015)

Sorry little guy but I was unimpressed with the adverts for this film so I waited for the DVD. Despite the presence of some quality actors this film just doesn’t grab me like the others. OK, so he can go tiny and wreak havoc, so what? It’s not until the much better Captain America Civil War that we find out what else he can do (which makes him much more entertaining and raises my hopes for Ant-Man and The Wasp). The amusing Thomas the Tank Engine bit remains the highlight of an otherwise uninspiring Marvel outing.

Bad Guy Rating: Great actor (Corey Stoll), not bad.

OCD Rating: Have only seen this once so cannot guarantee safe! Changing sizes may make one nauseous!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

So you thought Iron Man 2 was disappointing? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet! Joss Whedon’s much hyped follow up to the original Avengers movie only drags itself up a few places in my countdown due to some excellently creepy voice-acting by James Spader as Ultron, THAT Hulkbuster scene and the introduction of Paul Bettany’s Vision. The rest of it was just a bit messy and don’t get me started on Hawkeye retiring to be a farmer with his (never-before mentioned) lame ass family. Really? You have an Oscar nominated actor in Jeremy Renner and this is what you do with him? I’m almost hoping that Thanos’ first act of destruction in Avengers Infinity War is to obliterate Hawkeye’s farm and his entire extended family. Gah.

Bad Guy Rating: Excellent. James Spader is all the evil.

OCD Rating: Seen this a few times including at the cinema and I believe there is one vomit incidence during the final Sokovia scenes – it involves a scared person in a car. But that might be Jurassic Park, I’m so confused by Age of Ultron’s plot.

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Iron Man 3 (2013)

Shane Black of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame is co-writing and directing Iron Man 3 that’s awesome, we all said. And we were mostly right. The third outing for Iron Man is a great improvement on the second and whether you think this deserves to be higher or lower on my list probably depends on your opinion on the ‘Mandarin twist’. When I first saw this in the cinema I wasn’t too impressed but after several post-cinema viewings I’ve come to love the movie like a little bastard step-child. It’s not amazing, but it’s a more realistic film than some and Tony Stark’s frequent panic attacks certainly resonated with me. The dialogue is snappy and there are multiple laugh out loud moments, which are always appreciated. Superhero movies should be fun (DC, take note). Also Guy Pearce makes an excellent villain, with or without glowy fire-breathing skills.

Bad Guy Rating: Fire-breating awesomeness from Guy Pearce aka that bloke off Neighbours what done good.

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 (2017)

The second outing for the weird and wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy comes in lower than I would have wanted and I’m not sure why. There was just something missing from this film that made the first so gloriously bonkers. The same elements are all there, the cast is as superb as ever and the relationship between Peter and his adoptive dad Yondu adds a surprising emotional wallop towards the end. For some reason (probably money) Baby Groot is massively over-used, and several sequences with the tiny tree drag on wayyyy too long. I also remain unconvinced by Ego and his stupid over-complicated evil plan. Yet another Marvel movie which ends with a giant CGI bad guy. Yawn.

Bad Guy Rating: Argh. Giant CGI Baddies are no fun!

OCD Rating: Baby Groot eating M&Ms – you have been warned.

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Doctor Strange (2016)

I’m sure it wasn’t just me who got a tad overexcited when they finally cast Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme. Then for some reason they made him do a truly awful American accent (I’m guessing he would have been too Sherlock-y with a British one). The visuals in this movie are stunning and, despite yet another iffy bad guy (sorry Mads, love you as Hannibal though) this was a brave and entertaining introduction to the magic part of the Marvel universe. Oh, and Tilda Swinton is epic. In everything.

Bad Guy Rating: Nice eye makeup, silly motivation. Also devolves into large CGI baddie. 

OCD Warning: Safe! Even if you feel a little nauseous as the scenery twists and turns, the characters all seem fine.

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Thor (2011)

I have to admit it, I have never been a fan of Kenneth Branagh (due mainly to his horrendous butchering of various Shakespeare plays) so when I heard he was directing the first Thor movie I was more than a little sceptical. Little did I know that having Branagh at the helm would not only attract Anthony Hopkins to the role of Odin (Thor’s grumpy dad) but he would also introduce us to a little known actor named Tom Hiddleston (a generation of women salute you Mr Branagh). Chris Hemsworth as Thor is genius casting, as is Hiddleston’s as Loki, the two play off each other perfectly and this, along with the fish out of water comedy as Thor gets banished to earth, made this a nearly perfect Marvel movie.

Bad Guy Rating: Apart from Loki (drool) we have The Destroyer. Large – check. CGI – check. Scary -….actually hell yeah. Bring it on.

OCD Rating: Safe! 

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

I think, and I know lots will disagree with me, that this movie was a little disappointing. It’s still a great watch, hence it featuring quite high up in my list, but it feels more of an Avengers 3 than a Captain America 3 and we all know Cap deserves better than that (yes, I’m Team Cap, ok?).

The action sequences are impressively handled and *spoiler* giant Ant-Man is great fun when he appears. Frank Grillo’s Crossbones is dealt a bit of a crap hand though, as is Hawkeye (again) but we do get to see Spider-Man back in the MCU (yay!) and the first appearance for Black Panther (double yay!). So overall better than Cap’s first outing but not as good as his second (see below) and one of the films I will be rewatching before Infinity War.

Bad Guy Rating: Love Daniel Bruhl but the character needs a bit of work to be more menacing. Kudos for not being CGI though.

OCD Rating: Despite the presence of a size-changing Ant-Man I do not recall any vomiting in this movie. Safe!

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Black Panther (2018)

So the most recent and massively successful Marvel movie makes it’s entrance. And what an entrance. Proving once and for all that movies with majority non-white casts can blow the box office away and be enjoyed over and over again by people of all colours all over the world, Black Panther started 2018 with a roar (sorry). The whole cast is exceptional and along with some killer action and a strong message they managed to take superhero movies to a whole other level. Also, in terms of kick-ass women this film was easily the best in Marvel history. I cannot wait for the Blu-Ray.

Bad Guy Rating: Sublime and realistic. One of my favourites. Bravo.

OCD Rating: I believe there to be some sand-vomiting at one point, but I may be mistaken. Be aware.

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Iron Man (2008)

Now I’ll admit that I thought that this was the first MCU film. Apparently I was wrong. What it is though, is the first one to get it right. Robert Downey Jr couldn’t be better as Tony Stark, Jeff Bridges menaces convincingly as his nefarious father-figure and even Gwyneth Paltrow manages not to irritate the hell out of me for once as Stark’s love interest – Pepper Potts. The plot is simple but effective – genius billionaire playboy weapons dealer gets blown up by his own weapons, escapes by making a flying suit which can shoot fire then refines said suit then abandons weapons dealing in favour of saving people (mainly from his own weapons but there you go). It’s all so relatable. Love it.

Bad Guy Rating: Jeff Bridges playing someone named Obadiah Stane. Need I say more. Ok there’s a bit of giant CGI shite going on, but we’ll forgive you.

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man’s return to the MCU was much anticipated by fans and this second appearance (after his impressive Civil War début) firmly cemented the web-slinging teen’s place in the Marvel Universe if not in the Avengers (yet). Tom Holland makes for an adorable Peter Parker and I defy anyone not to root for him as he Ferris Buellers his way round New York trying to catch The Vulture (an excellent Michael Keaton continuing his career-long theme of playing flying creatures).

This movie also delivered one of the few cinema-wide jaw drops I’ve witnessed in many many years of film viewing. So MJ might be a tad (a lot) annoying and Robert Downey Jr might have shoehorned his way in a little too much but apart from that this was a fun Spidey movie and thoroughly deserves its high ranking.

Bad Guy Rating: Spot on! The Vulture isn’t a giant CGI monster and he doesn’t want to destroy the city/world/universe, he just wants to steal enough shit to put his kid through college. Who hasn’t been there?

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1

If you were going to bet on a group of Marvel characters to create a massive hit movie it probably wouldn’t have been this lot of misfit weirdos, but a hit is what this film became, thanks to a banging soundtrack, some great casting and a confident visionary director.

As the group are thrown together in an attempt to stop blue-meanie bad guy Ronan getting his hands on an infinity stone (ooh, one of them) the laughs come thick and fast, as do the groovy eighties tunes. As a child of the eighties (nearly) I heartily approve.

I can’t really find fault with this first outing for the Guardians, it even has Glenn Close calling someone a prick near the start. How many movies can say that?

Bad Guy Rating: Nasty blue bastard. Liked him alot. 

OCD Rating: No vomiting that I recall. Huzzah!

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Marvel does comedy! Well when it hired kooky genius director Taika Waititi to direct Thor’s third outing we suspected this might be the case, but would the gamble pay off? Of course it did, providing us with the best Thor movie by far, loads of belly-laughs, Hulk speaking and the director himself scene-stealing fit to bust as Thor’s new mate Korg. There are so many great moments in this film it seems churlish of me to focus on the one negative, but if you cast an actress with the ability of Cate Blanchett and then give her panto villain lines then I’m going to have to say something. Sorry.

Badly written baddie aside, this was an exceptionally funny and enjoyable film and it’s probably about as close to a solo Hulk movie as this MCU is ever going to get. Thor and Loki get some great scenes together and Jeff Goldblum is, well, I’ve never quite worked out whether he’s genius or just batshit mental. Either way it’s another necessary rewatch before Infinity War kills Loki off once and for all (I’m assuming). Sob. Also bonus points accrued for not having Natalie Portman in this movie and also letting Anthony Hopkins tit around and have some fun for once.

Bad Guy Rating: Bit of a pantomime performance this time, sorry Cate.

OCD Rating: Safe!

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

So the first Cap film was next to bottom in my list and the second one is next to top. What changed? Well they gave it a great plot – HYDRA has infiltrated and taken over SHIELD, brought back Bucky (who?) as The Winter Soldier – a brainwashed assassin and drafted in Robert Redford as a bad guy. Add to that some cracking action sequences (the attack on Fury’s car being my personal favourite) and some real stakes for Cap (he loves Bucky, Bucky his friend who died in the first one, remember him) and this very nearly grabbed the top spot in my countdown. Also Black Widow and Cap make a surprisingly effective team – who knew?

Bad Guy Rating: Who’s Bucky again? Just kidding, superb, could do with a touch less eye-liner though.

OCD Rating: Safe!

 

And finishing with the best –

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Avengers Assemble (2012)

You need someone to write and direct a movie which brings together Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man and introduces the Hulk. Who you gonna call? Joss Whedon, obviously. I loved this film when I saw it in the cinema with my husband, I loved it when I went to see it again in the cinema with my Mother, she loved it, my son loves it. OK, you get the message, this is a popular movie in my household.

He might have fallen foul of late (Tom Hiddleston JUST a British character actor my arse) but Whedon’s one liners in Avengers are so plentiful its hard to pick out just one. But if I had to ‘he’s adopted’ probably got the biggest laugh. Also bonus points to Whedon for managing to sneak some filthy old-english smut past the censors. Well played sir.

With a city destroying finale (yes, I’m sorry it’s one of those again) and some brilliant Loki action, there was no way this was appearing anywhere but the top of my Marvel count down. Avengers Assemble!

Bad Guy Rating: It’s Loki (plus a load of CGI aliens/worm things) – WE LOVE LOKI! We love him so much we’ll forgive him doing the whole clichéd wanting to take over the world bollocks. 

OCD Rating: Safe!

 

 

Overal MCU OCD Rating: Safe! Thank you Marvel for your surprising lack of vomit-centric scenes over the past 10 years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Jessica Jones Season 2 (with Spoilers)

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Where: Netflix

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, Eka Darville, JR Ramirez, Carrie-Anne Moss, Janet McTeer, Callum Keith Rennie, Rebecca De Mornay (yes, that one), John Ventimiglia, Terry Chen and Hal Ozsan

Vomit Incidence: Episodes 5 & 6, people, avoid episodes 5 & 6!!!

The super-powered anti-social alcoholic private investigator returns in this second season of Jessica Jones delivered in 13 binge-worthy episodes, but it is any good? Does the (spoiler alert) demise of her nemesis Kilgrave (David Tennant) at the end of season one mean that Marvel’s sulkiest superhero has lost her mojo? I’ve watched all thirteen episodes over the course of two weeks and I’m sadly going to have to go with – yeah, kinda.

I enjoyed the first season, I really did. I even (this causes me actual physical pain) loved David Tennant as Jessica’s nemesis – the mind-controlling Kilgrave. The noir style was well done, the characters were engaging and Krysten Ritter was spot-on as Jessica, in short, everything worked really well together. Season two however is the complete opposite. The first six episodes are painfully average and the content could have been covered in one maybe two episodes max. The remaining seven episodes are redeemed only by the relationship between Jessica and Alisa (the superb Janet McTeer) and Krysten Ritter’s performance.

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It’s almost as if they took a look at what made the first season so good then went ‘fuck it, let’s do the complete opposite!’. We don’t need an antagonist for the hero to beat (yeah you do), we can ditch the noir night shoots for most of the episodes (wtf?), we don’t need to have Jessica investigate any actual cases (still do), also everyone wants to see stuck up self-absorbed Trish relapse into drug addiction then get super-powers like she does in the comics (no, we don’t). Gah.

Even the addition of Janet McTeer as Jessica’s re-animated she-hulk mother didn’t provide the much needed spark. Despite a promising start as Alisa jumps about murdering people to protect the creepy-ass doctor who created her (think the Frankenstein plot but not as clever) she’s relegated to the odd comedy aside and a clunky redemption (really, they happened across a replica of the car crash that nearly killed them both, did they? How convenient). There were some really nice moments between mother and daughter, especially towards the end, but it should have been a side plot, alongside some sort of bad guy to defeat.

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Speaking of bad guys, much was made of Kilgrave’s return in this season. In fact he’s only in one episode, and he’s not alive,  just a David Tennant-shaped vision taunting Jessica when she’s under pressure. And it’s not even creepy little shit Kilgrave, which we know Tennant can do well, we get comedy ‘end seasons of Doctor Who’ Kilgrave instead. Some subtlety would have been nice.

I’m aware this has been a bit of a negative rant, but that’s only because Jessica Jones was one of my favourite new Marvel characters when season one came out. She’s like my spirit animal (apart from the drinking – doesn’t go well with vomit-phobia, drinking) and I feel a bit let down after watching these latest 13 episodes. Ritter is still fantastic but she really isn’t given anything exciting to do. If they get a third season (not sure about that myself) here’s hoping they either dredge up a decent bad guy for her to fight or (never thought I’d hear myself say this) bring back David Tennant. The show needs him.

 

Show rating: 4/10 – disppointing lack of coherence and bad guys

NB OCD: 5/10 Trish’s drug habit giving rise to several unpleasant interludes in episodes 5 and 6 and one even commits the heinous act of cutting straight to vomiting WITH NO WARNINGS. Dammit, people. That is NOT ON.

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Annihilation (2018)

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Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Oscar Isaac
Vomit Incidence: Two – bloody and noisy

After her soldier husband returns from a secret mission near to death a biologist signs up for a dangerous foray into an unstable environmental anomaly hoping to find answers which could save him.

OK, first things first, A LOT has been said about this film only getting a Netflix release in the UK, rather than a cinema one as in the US. So bloody what? Some of us much prefer the comfort of our own sofas and relish the lack of human contact we normally would have to endure on a trip to the cinema. Yay for Netflix I say!

But is it any good? Actually it really is. Not that I was too worried, Alex Garland has a pretty decent track record and Natalie Portman is usually a good indicator of quality material (Thor 2 notwithstanding). The film is part sci-fi, part horror and features all female leads which is fantastic to see, even if one of them seems to have overdosed on mood-stabilisers for some reason.

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Gritty female Ghostbusters reboot gets the go-ahead.

I can’t divulge too many plot details for fear of spoiling it for you but if you’re of a nervous disposition then you may want to hide behind a cushion when the bear turns up (another benefit of Netflix film releases – can’t really hide behind cushions in the cinema). You also might want to have the headache tablets ready for the end of the film, it is truly beautiful but utterly mind-boggling.

Emetophobes be warned, the vomiting occurs within the first 30 minutes of the film. Watch out for Oscar Isaac after he has a drink of water and the Natalie Portman waking up from her sedation. You have been warned. Also if you’re not a big fan of wiggly viscera and people with half a face, this may not be the ideal movie for you.

Vomiting and migraines aside, this is an imaginative and thoughtful sci-fi movie and the visuals are absolutely stunning. The ending might be a little confusing and leave us with more questions than answers but then sometimes that can be a good thing. More films from Mr Garland please – whatever format they are released in they are first class.

 

Film rating: 8/10 (loses a point for a slow first 20 minutes)

NB OCD: 5/10 – Vomiting is bad enough but bloody vomit – that’s just plain unnecessary. 

 

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – Veronica (2017)

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Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Sandra Escacena, Bruna Gonzalez, Claudia Placer, Ivan Chavero
Vomit incidence: One, minor

A teenage girl already charged with looking after her three younger siblings makes life infinitely worse for herself when she attempts to contact her dead father via Ouija board. During a solar eclipse. Duh.

You can probably tell from the above précis that I have seen A LOT of films where someone (usually a teenage girl) thinks that contacting dead people using a glass and some cardboard is a great idea. It honestly never is.

This Spanish horror film, despite the marketing campaign suggesting that people have been so terrified they have had to switch off, really isn’t scary at all. The cast is uniformly excellent (especially the young siblings) and the ideas are solid but there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before. OK, there’s the solar eclipse angle but, apart from providing some initial spookiness, this is never really explored. Even ‘Sister Death’ the obligatory blind psychic nun (every movie should have one) doesn’t really have much input.

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Malevolent spirits can be picky eaters 

The very minor vomit incidence occurs when the malevolent spirit decides that Veronica shouldn’t be eating meatballs. Sadly this is one of the better scenes so you will either have to steel yourself or miss out. Sorry guys but I survived it, you will too.

I know I’ve been a bit churlish about Veronica in this review but it’s not a bad movie. The spirit is suitably menacing and the actors do a great job of making you care; you really do feel for Veronica by the end. But if you’re looking for a scary movie you’re probably best off watching The Ritual instead. Sorry Vero.

 

Film rating: 7/10 – lose one point for allowing a four year old with the attention span of a lettuce to draw the all-important protection symbols on the walls.

NB OCD: 2/10 – Unpleasant but endurable tomato sauce regurgitation

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – No One Lives

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Director: Ryuhei Kitamura
Starring: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens
Vomit Incidence: One, relatively unpleasant

After a chance encounter  in a diner, a gang of criminals kidnap a wealthy couple looking to rob/murder/whatever them. Things do not go as planned.

I love this Luke Evans film. I don’t care that it has a crappy Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB score, it’s great. Unashamedly grisly (woodchipper alert!) with a psycho you can really root for, what more could any horror fan want?

The first time I watched this I was expecting your usual revenge flick – man’s girlfriend is killed by baddies, man righteously kills baddies in ingenious ways. WRONG. The twist here is unexpected and turns it into much more of an interesting proposition. If it weren’t for the vomiting (see below) and the need for a few more bad guys to off, this would be in my top 20 easy. It even bucks the trend and has a good ending – in a horror film?! A rare thing indeed.

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Do NOT upset Welsh people.

Sooo for those of you who need to fast-forward pukey bits, there’s only one here but it’s one of those annoying ones with not much warning – just have your fingers on the FF/Mute button when two bad guys go to see what happened to their hostages and find the dead girl with her hair/scarf (can’t tell, too much blood) casually draped over her neck. You have been warned.

Puking aside, this is a great little horror film with a fab central performance from Luke Evans which really should have spawned some sort of franchise which I, personally, would have watched the shit out of.

 

Film Rating: 8/10 – gore galore

NB OCD: 5/10 not completely necessary and definitely unpleasant upchucking

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – The Ritual (2017)

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Director:David Bruckner
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, a weird-ass CGI monster

Vomit Incidence: Implied rather than on screen

After the death of a close friend a group of British blokes go on a bonding trip camping in deepest, darkest Sweden. When an injury forces them to detour through a scary forest (dumbasses) the friends begin to suspect that they are being hunted. Hilarity and high-jinks (gruesome deaths) ensue.

This British horror movie was released in the UK last year and is now out here on DVD whereas everywhere else gets it for free on Netflix – bah! Netflix gripes aside though, this is a decent British horror movie (we do occasionally make them) and despite the initial setup being similar to another great Brit horror – The Descent, it soon makes its own mark and by the end of the movie has gone commendably bonkers.

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Rafe was relieved when he realised he wasn’t just making the bloke version of The Descent

There are more than a few genuine scares to be had and the director makes the most of the eerie forest setting (in the process probably putting people off visiting Sweden for life) and the cast freak out convincingly with only a few of the more annoying British script issues in evidence (thankfully I don’t recall this word ‘wanker’ making its unwelcome way into this film). I know some people took issue with the CGI monster but it’s used sparingly and when finally revealed is convincingly batshit insane. I for one do not want to meet the frankly damaged designer who came up with that one.

Said CGI creature has a habit of impaling people on spiky trees and it’s this habit which engenders the only semi-vomit incidence in the film as the characters wander across one of their mates with his insides on the outside. If you need to mute/switch off then best do so just after the first friend has been dragged off into the forest. You have been warned.

There are many, many awful horror films out there on Netflix and DVD, thankfully this isn’t one of them. It’s amusing in places, hellishly bonkers in others and the tension is ratcheted up nicely throughout. A solid watch for a Friday evening.

 

Film Rating: 7/10 – extra point for imaginative (and bonkers) monster design

NB OCD: 2/10 for implied multiple vomiters

 

Sick Sense Reviews

Sick Sense Reviews – The Open House (2018)

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Directors: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote
Starring: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton
Vomit Incidence: Minor but unnecessary and unpleasant

After his father is killed in a car accident Logan and his mother hit financial difficulties and a relative offers them her holiday home to stay in while she tries to sell it. The catch is that they have to make themselves scarce once a week when there’s an open house. Hence the title of the movie, clever, huh?

Well no, not really, clever is one thing this truly awful movie is not. The premise isn’t bad – someone gets in during an ‘open house’ and doesn’t leave, but the story makes no sense, there is zero tension and even after the end credits roll (if you lasted that long, sadly I did) you will not have any of your questions answered. Who gets in? Why do they stay? Why are the estate agents so shifty? Why do we even care etc etc…

The vomiting (when Logan goes for a run, for those of you who need to mute the sound/fast-forward/stab yourself in the eyes with forks) does nothing for the movie, except for allowing Logan to bump into the weirdo old lady who supposedly lives next door (does she? Who knows?).

All in all this really is one of the worst movies I have seen on Netflix (and that is quite some feat considering I watched ‘Nails’ the other day). Avoid at all costs.

 

Film Rating: 1/10 (for a decent premise)

NB OCD: 3/10 mild, unnecessary vomiting

 

Sick Sense Reviews

5 Reasons You Should Be Watching Gotham

Gotham

Billed as the story of Jim Gordon before Batman, the Gotham TV show has seemingly struggled to gain the buzz of the other DC TV outings such as The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl. As a massive fan of the show I’m going to give you 5 reasons why I consider Gotham to be better than every other DC show around. By the end of this hopefully you’ll all want to p-p-p-p-pick up a Penguin too…

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1 – The Casting

I watch a lot of TV shows, I mean A LOT, and I can’t think of one with better casting than Gotham. Cockney kickass Sean Pertwee as Alfred? Perfect. Adorable yet amazingly self-assured David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne/Baby Batman, spot on. The villains too, a major part of the Batman universe and relatively easy to mess up (yes, I’m looking at you Batman Forever) have been note perfect to date.

Of course I can’t conclude this section without mentioning another key section of characters so often effed up in superhero shows but knocking it out of the park in Gotham – the strong female characters. Yes, finally we have some! From Bruce’s catty sweetheart Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) through the S & M stylings of Tabitha Galavan (Jessica Lucas) to Jim Gordon’s psychotic ex Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and not forgetting the unkillable (nearly) Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), the girls of Gotham are NOT to be messed with. Well, not unless you like having your body parts removed one by one that is. Bravo ladies.

 

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2 – The Tone

The tone of shows and films set in Gotham over the years has varied somewhat drastically (understatement of the decade). You have the wonderfully camp sixties Batman, the gothic gloom of Burton’s films and the more realistic (Chicago-looking) tone of Nolan’s film versions and the….well… Lego tone of Lego Batman. Our Gotham has sensibly toned down the gothic a little (Arkham Asylum notwithstanding) but kept some of the glorious lunacy of the sixties. It’s difficult not to when you have villains with names like The Riddler, Dr Strange (no, not THAT one) and The Scarecrow running around murdering people.

On the whole though I’d say that the show gets the balance between the darkness and light just about right. There’s a lot of humour which keeps the show from going all Snyder on us. Phew.

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3 – The Deaths

There are A LOT of deaths in Gotham. The mortality rate must be through the roof. We’ve had shootings, stabbings, disembowellings, defenestration (look it up), poisoning and, my personal favourite courtesy of Penguin, death by rocket launcher. Of course this is Gotham though, so death isn’t always permanent. It seems to be mainly the villains who get reanimated, much to everyone’s relief in Season 2 when ‘the guy everyone assumed was going to turn into The Joker’, Jerome (Cameron Monaghan) was unduly offed by one of my favourite characters – Theo Galavan. “No!” We all shouted (or I did anyway) until we realised that Hugo Strange was keeping the best villains on ice for later use. Hoorah!

Anyways, it goes without saying that Gotham is not always for the faint-hearted. There’s blood, creeps and good old fashioned murder in pretty much every episode. I love it.

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4 – The Penguin

I had to pick my favourite villain for this bit and, although given a close run by Edward Nygma aka The Riddler (the absolutely spectacular Cory Michael Smith), there was only ever one baddie that was going to get a whole section to himself. It had to be the one and only Oswald Cobblepot otherwise known as The Penguin and played to perfection by Robin Lord Taylor. If this show wasn’t called Gotham and it wasn’t about baby Batman and Jim Gordon, it could easily have been called ‘The Rise and Fall, and Rise Again and Another Fall of Oswald Cobblepot”. OK, so it’s not as snappy a title but it’s pretty accurate.

Penguin has been in the show since the beginning and, despite the numerous murders and atrocious acts Batman’s future nemesis has committed he’s still managed to remain a sympathetic character. It’s a testament to Robin Lord Taylor’s performance that this version of Penguin has become my favourite. It’s no mean feat to out-penguin Danny Devito. An honourable mention should also go to Gotham’s hairstylist. Is it just me or does Penguin’s hair reinvent itself every time he does? Loving the season 4 spikes by the way.

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5 – The Batman

OK, so I can’t rave on about a show about the evolution of Batman without talking about the (not quite) caped crusader. It’s taken a while (3 whole seasons) and a lot of ‘on the job’ learning (including clones, beatings, broken hearts and batcave discoveries) but our little Bruce Wayne is finally ready to take his first steps into crime fighting at the start of Season 4.

OK, so his mask is a little off (by which I mean crap) and his cape wafting technique needs a little work but he has the ninja skills, the refusal to kill people (Snyder take notes here) and the glowery pouting of The Batman down pat. He’s also gathered that an important part of fighting crime is standing on the edge of tall buildings looking pensive. So what’s missing? Well it’s the Bruce Wayne persona that needs a little work. He’s too bloody nice to people. Bless him. I suspect that will come in time and I, for one, look forward to seeing this in Season 5 (hint hint FOX).

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New hair, don’t care

 

So there you have it, five reasons you should be watching this underrated show. So what are you still doing here? UK people, Season 3 is finally available on Netflix so get watching.*

 

*  I wanted to include a ‘same bat-time’ reference here, but I ran out of brain.

 

Zoe Butcher

@thezoverlord