emilyjmalbon

IMDb member since September 2016
    Lifetime Total
    10+
    IMDb Member
    6 years

Reviews

Love Hard
(2021)

Cute movie but lacked chemistry
The premise of the movie and the way it unfolds was fine. I expected it, and wanted it, to be cheesy. Unfortunately the lack of chemistry between the two main characters spoils it. I know that Josh wasn't what Natalie expected looks-wise, but nothing seems to develop from that point on. It would have been nice to have had a moment where she sees him in a different light and where you feel that she is attracted to him, but instead you truly only get friend-zone vibes. I feel they made him a little too awkward and it would have played out better if there had been more moments where you felt a connection between the two of them (which should have been easy to do considering how well they got on over the phone). We needed a moment where they nearly kiss or something!

Just a shame as that would have made an okay movie great.

The Kissing Booth 3
(2021)

I enjoyed the first two but this is awful
I really enjoyed the first two movies as a bit of light hearted fluff. This final movie really spoiled the story though. The plot was really lacking. It is mostly everyone Elle knows being unreasonable, and then Elle herself being unreasonable. Marco returns for a bit and upsets Noah, but Elle can't seem to just stay away from him. Chloe comes back for a bit but that's a plot line that goes no where at all. Worst of all is Lee, who is completely insufferable and selfish for the whole movie. The way he treats Elle, and constantly punishes her for not choosing the same school as him, or not completing activities on a stupid juvenile list they made when they were kids, is pathetic.

Probably the most idiotic moment for me is when Lees Mum at the very last moment suddenly decides she's not going to sell the beach house, and literally walks away from millions of pounds, even though they indicate all the neighbouring properties will be torn down and turned into condos, just because she gets a little sentimental after seeing a photograph. Just completely unbelievable.

The final scene is also really odd. It's 6 years later and they all look exactly the same, except Elle has a short hair cut, and Lee and his girlfriend are inexplicably back together. For Elle and Noah it's like they were never apart. In 6 years did they not date other people? Really?!

Eurgh. Shame because I enjoyed the first two.

After Life
(2019)

Conflicted
I just watched this series and am torn about how I feel about it. I've given it a 6 because I did enjoy it and found it very heart warming in the end. However, there were a couple of points I REALLY struggled to get past, and almost turned off because of them. The first point is I felt the depiction of his therapist as somebody who was totally useless as a therapist and self-involved was potentially quite a bad message to send to anyone with mental health issues? I know this is a dark comedy but I felt that the fact his therapist did not help him even slightly was maybe a step too far. As someone with friends and family who have had serious mental health issues, I found that hard to watch because for many of them, therapy was a turning point and really helped them. Secondly, and this was the biggest problem for me: Ricky's character (Tony) meets a drug addict who also lost his partner (his girlfriend to a drug overdose) and ultimately ends up giving him a big wad of cash in complete knowledge that hes going to go and purposely spend it on drugs with the aim of overdosing and killing himself. The poor guy does indeed do just that, and Tony does not even seem to feel any remorse. The story immediately moves on and the audience are supposed to move on and just forget about that too I guess? He effectively killed him by giving him that money, and I really just can't get past that! It spoilt the whole series for me. Maybe I am missing something because hardly any other reviewers have mentioned it.

The Kissing Booth
(2018)

Cute on the surface but a bad message for young girls
I'm 28 and went into this movie knowing full well it's aimed at teenagers. I enjoy fluffy teen romance though so have no problem with cheesy storylines and characters, and this film is full of them! What I did have a problem with is the way relationships between women and men are portrayed in this film. It seems to start out ok: the leading teenage girl (Elle) has a male best friend (Lee) and their relationship is pretty cute and I thought it was quite progressive to show a girl and a boy who really are just friends without all the usual sexual tension you get in movies like this. Lee has an older brother (Noah) who is unremarkable except he is very good looking.

Things then start to go a bit wrong. It turns out Noah is pretty controlling of Elle, even telling all the other boys at school they can't date her or he'll hurt them. He frequently gets into fights with other boys when he sees them talking to her and beats people up. In one scene he's shouting at Elle to get in his car and even slams his fists down on the car bonnet aggressively whilst telling her, which made me feel really uncomfortable. There's even one scene where Elle has a minor accident and cuts her face, and Lee asks her if Noah hit her! That scene is then never followed up by any explanation - why would Lee immediately assume Noah beat up Elle?!

Meanwhile, Lee, who is portrayed as Elle's loveable and affable best friend controls her in his own way, by freaking out when he finds out she's dating Noah, asking her if she's having sex with him (none of his business?) and only accepting her back as a friend when she is no longer seeing Noah, despite her being obviously devastated about breaking up with him. In one scene he insists to her that breaking up with him was the right decision (he didn't really leave her any choice though did he).

There are also a couple of weird scenes where Elle strips off to the delight of crowds of boys, once when she was so drunk she had no idea what she was doing and everyone just stood there and allowed her to take her dress off. Another time in the boys locker room. Both scenes were odd and again, made me feel uncomfortable.

Other strange elements of the film are Noah being portrayed as a bad boy who gets into fights all the time, yet the reasons for this are not even explored one tiny bit. And even weirder, despite him being a bad boy who is presumably troubled, it's revealed that he's really randomly got a place at Harvard. This was weird because at no point during the film was it suggested that he was academic or even remotely ambitious, yet you don't get into Harvard without trying! There's also a summer montage of Elle and Noah together which is basically them having sex anywhere and everywhere. It felt a little yucky because she's a high school teenager and I thought it was an irresponsible message to send teenage girls out there.

A really funny part is when the kissing booth is immortalised at their prom as a memory that touched everybody's lives and Elle's all emotional because she was "part of something". REALLY? A kissing booth?!

Then, after sitting through all of this, Noah goes off to Harvard at the end of the movie and you're very much left with the impression that's the end of their romance. So I didn't even get the feel-good happy ending I was after.

So basically, this movie is really awful and if you have a daughter, I'd actually advise extreme caution allowing young girls to watch this movie because it really does send out the wrong messages about relationships and sex.

The Shape of Water
(2017)

Weird and boring!
I heard this film was strange, but very good, so I was excited to watch it. I love films with romance in, and even if one of the leads was a fish man, I was willing to be open minded and go with the flow.

What a waste of time.

There were so many flaws and strange scenes in this movie that I couldn't enjoy it. For a start, I never really felt the connection between the leading lady and the fish man. She gave him some boiled eggs and seemed to kind of like that he couldn't speak either, and then the next moment we are meant to believe they are deeply in love. I didn't see or feel any real tenderness - just a silly girl who had a school girl style crush.

I found the scenes where she was naked in the bath in the beginning completely unnecessary to the story line and awkward. Was that just to gratify male viewers? I didn't understand what the scenes where she was masturbating were meant to add to the plot either - so she's a woman and likes to masturbate....so what? It just wasn't relevant. She came across as vapid and I didn't see her show any gratitude towards her best friend at work, who repeatedly lied and risked her lift for her!

Like I said, I went into this with an open mind because the story requires you to do so. But there were loads of unbelievable moments which again were just not necessary and could have been made more realistic: pulling a grown man along the ground by a bullet hole in his cheek, filling an entire bathroom with water like a swimming pool just by putting a towel on the floor by the door...and not worrying that her fish man would be found out caught by authorities when water starts pouring into the theatre below, remaining standing in the bathroom when the door is opened and the water rushes out, not releasing the fish man into the sea immediately but waiting for the rain to fill the canal up first - why? The sea was right there! Also her friends have literally no problem with her having sex with the fish man at all. Everyone finds it really normal. And that musical scene...there are no words.

I could go on. For me this movie just fell flat. I thought that at the very least it would be more shocking than it was, but you never actually see anything happen between the lead and the fish man. So if you were going to watch it for the shock and ewww factor, just don't even bother because there's none of that either.

Moneyball
(2011)

The most boring film I've seen in ages
I decided to watch this film because it had good reviews. I admit that I don't know anything about or have any interest in baseball, however I have watched and enjoyed other similar films with a sports theme before so I wasn't too put off. Unfortunately I think watching nearly ANYTHING else would have been better than sitting through this film. I can only describe the whole thing as bland. Bland characters, bland visuals, bland dialogue, bland music. In fact there was virtually no music accompanying the film, which I think is one of the big reasons it feels so flat. In fact, large (and I mean huge) swaths of the movie are carried out in complete silence. Everybody talks slowly and in a monotone. The sets are dull and grey. I felt nothing for the characters and was drifting off to sleep less than half way through the film. Maybe if you are an avid baseball fan you will enjoy this movie? Otherwise I honestly can't see why anyone would sit through it. Avoid!

Kate & Leopold
(2001)

A movie saved by its dashing male lead
I fancied watching a fluffy romance and that's exactly what this movie is. A dashing Duke is transported into the future and meets a modern day marketing executive.

All my stars go to Hugh Jackman for his frankly stunning performance of the Duke, Leopold. He gives a character that could have been very stiff and boring so much charm and charisma that he practically pops out of the screen. It is disappointing therefore, that Meg Ryan's character "Kate" is so bland. She has a boring job, but she seems to like it and is climbing the career ladder, so unfortunately a lot of the movie seems to be spent on the ins and outs of her very dull working day as opposed to exploring all the things Leopold must be seeing for the first time in his new world. Kate is very unlikeable for the first half of the movie as she's so mean to Leopold, then SUDDENLY she's in love with him after he makes her a nice dinner and we're expected to buy into the fact they're meant for one another. I spent half my time hoping he would find someone much nicer and more interesting but it didn't happen. Kate and Leopold just had absolutely no chemistry and this spoilt an otherwise pretty good romcom for me. I don't know whether it's that Meg Ryan was a bad casting decision or her character was just wrong, though I'm leaning towards the latter because I loved her in "you've got mail".

Overall this film does what it says on the tin and Hugh Jackman does enough to enable you to get past Kate's lousy character, so you won't be too disappointed if you like this sort of thing.

Be Somebody
(2016)

Nearly a good movie but doesn't go anywhere
I chose this movie because I wanted to watch a romance that didn't require too much attention...so I knew what I was letting myself in for. The plot is basic but still caught my interest: a pop star meets a normal girl in a small town and they start to have feelings for each other. The trouble is....that literally is it. To me, it never gets going. They do some fun stuff around town together and they keep in touch afterwards, the end. I really wanted the romance to get going but they don't even kiss and they really had no chemistry at all. I think a big part of the problem was the boy who plays the pop star. He is so one dimensional and, in my opinion, simply not good looking enough to play the part of mega star teen heart throb. He looks like someone's little brother - zero sex appeal. BUT I am a 26 year old woman so I don't think this film was aimed at someone like me anyway!! It's a nice enough, innocent film, If you're 13, you will like it.

My Scientology Movie
(2015)

A big Louis fan and I'm disappointed
I've watched all of Louis Theroux's documentaries with great interest. What I like about him is the way he interviews his subjects with an open mind and seemingly without bias. He's interviewed some rotten people but he lets them have their say whilst still challenging them. I expected the same from this movie but it just wasn't there, largely because of the lack of access Louis had to the church. This meant that the whole movie pretty much relied on testimony and input from former church henchman, Mark. The trouble with Mark was he is an unreliable witness. He was willing to speak about the brutality the church inflicted against him, but shut Louis down every time he tried to probe him about the brutality Mark might have inflicted against others. Mark did come across as deeply unlikeable and "embittered", as the church described him, so it was difficult to know whether what he was saying was true, even if it was wholly believable. At one point another person Louis interviewed claimed that "Mark knows where all the bodies are". That was the last we heard about that though. I wanted to know if it was true. Louis seemed afraid to ask Mark direct questions.

In my opinion the movie didn't really go anywhere or raise any new questions. For a large part of the film we're forced to watch Louis and Mark recruit actors to play the head of the church and Tom Cruise. They then barely even used these actors to recreate scenes for us, and when they did, it was like watching a bad play. I just didn't see the point of it, especially as the script was written by Mark, so it was all entirely his depiction of events.

Overall I was disappointed in this film. I think its downfall was it's over-reliance on Mark and lack of access to the church. They just didn't have enough content for an entire film.

10 Cloverfield Lane
(2016)

Cannot understand the rave reviews
Review contains spoilers. I was excited about watching this film after reading the first few rave reviews on this website. I was expecting a thriller with a subtle nod to its predecessor, Cloverfield. I was left disappointed however, as nothing about 10 Cloverfield Lane is subtle. The film begins by introducing us to Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who seems upset and has had a fight with her boyfriend. That is as much insight into her character as we get. The same can be said about Howard (the nutcase who owns the bunker) and Emmett (a seemingly pointless character who's only purpose was to die towards the end). I started to enjoy the film when it was revealed Howard had seemingly been responsible for the kidnap of a local girl and I was looking forward to finding out more about his dark nature. His character is good and Goodmans acting is spot on. You can't tell if he's right about the outside being poisonous or just crazy. Either way he's creepy and unlikeable, but in a way that's good for the film. The film just didn't really go anywhere though and I felt like his character never got the chance to unravel. Howard was a bad man but we don't find out why or what he did exactly. We don't find out what it is he wants with Michelle. He just presumably dies during Michelle's escape when the bunker explodes and all of a sudden we're abruptly shoved into the middle of an alien horror movie. This is where I lost it. There was no serious suggestion during the previous 1 hour 20 minutes of the film that the earth has been attacked by aliens. It was not even suggested that is what had happened in the original Cloverfield film. However, it turns out that is what has happened and the audience is supposed to just accept it. Michelle single-handly takes on a giant alien space craft with a single Molotov cocktail and wins. Then she drives off to help others and the film ends. The abrupt tradition from psychological thriller to alien horror in the last 15 minutes of the film was just not for me at all. it was a film that forced me to make my own assumptions all the way through because it never really went anywhere or presented any facts, which left me feeling cheated at the end.

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