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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Director: Tim Miller
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein
Vomit Incidence: Minor but irritating
A wisecracking mercenary with terminal cancer undergoes torturous experimental treatment at the hands of a sadistic British villain and emerges as a disfigured superhuman on a revenge mission with a truckload of nob gags for good measure.
I saw this movie in the cinema for Valentine’s Day and I loved it. After the first godawful outing for Marvel’s ‘Merc with a Mouth’ (where they stitched up said mouth so he couldn’t speak – go figure) Ryan Reynolds finally got to bring his pet mutant to the masses and he did not disappoint. Despite being rated ‘R’ in the US and 15 in the UK, the film deservedly took the box office by storm and spawned the currently filming sequel.
The film’s budget might not have stretched to the full line-up of lycra-clad X-Men to assist Mr Pool, but they managed to pick two interesting mutants to add to the mix. Colossus (finally done right) the hulking metal man with delicate sensitivities (more on those in a moment) and the girl with the best superhero name ever: Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Brought along to rein in Deadpool’s antics (good luck with that) the two end up helping him in his quest to bring down the man who tortured him, Ajax aka Francis (the magnificent Ed Skrein).
Although the car attack sequence and the obligatory end battle bring some well-crafted action to the film, it’s the humour that lifts it consistently above your average superhero fare. Although not for everyone (lots of swearing, violence and a year-long sex scene apparently don’t appeal to all movie goers), I laughed out loud more times during the opening credits than I have during any film in the past ten years. Fourth wall breaks, Hugh Jackman gags and even jibes at the star, Deadpool has ’em all.
However, this film does come with a warning for emetophobes. For some reason it was decided that a good way to demonstrate Colossus’ soft side / get some more laughs was to SPOILER ALERT have him throw up after Deadpool shoots Francis in the head at the end of the final battle. Oh Pool, and we were so enjoying the movie up until that point, despite our OCD being triggered by you hiding a ring up your butt at the beginning. Gah. Needless to say I didn’t laugh at Colossus. I just crossed my arms and freaked out quietly in my seat.
Film Score: 9/10
NB OCD: 4/10 for unnecessary puking and hiding stuff up bottoms
A family live a secluded but safe existence while an unspecified threat terrorises the world, until a couple with a young son appear and ask for their help. Cue everything going to hell in a depressing apocalyptic hand-basket.
I hadn’t seen the trailer or read the blurb going in to this film so I was, rather optimistically, expecting an atmospheric horror movie with some nasty psycho-monster attacking people at night (clearly I was watching totally the wrong film with IT in the title). I was also encouraged by the presence of Joel Edgerton who was so impressive in 2015 movie ‘The Gift’. My hopes were dashed pretty much instantly however with the appearance of this chap:
Oh great, another world-ending virus movie then. Bugger. Because if there’s one thing we all know about world-ending viruses – it’s that they make people puke blood. Great.
In actual fact there isn’t a massive amount of blood-spewing present here which would be good news if it weren’t for the unfortunate fact that there isn’t much of a story here either. The ‘It’ mentioned in the title is never really explained (what is It, why does It come at night? Why am I watching It rather than IT?) and the story focuses on paranoia and mistrust instead. Not a bad idea but other movies have done it better. Edgerton does a decent job of making you feel for the main character but he doesn’t get a lot to do, apart from glower, wave firearms about and murder old people.
On the whole I wouldn’t recommend this movie either to horror fans or to emetophobes. Not enough horror for the former and too much upchucking for the latter. Also as a side note, not related to sick, let the above picture serve as a warning to animal lovers. There is a dog in this movie, and we all know how that ends. Probably best not to watch.
Film Score: 5/10
NB OCD: 5/10
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.
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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?
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.