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Happiest Season | Review

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It’s that time of year again, and even though its only November, Christmas movies are starting to be released as everyone puts up their tree and starts counting down the days. Now I’m not normally a fan of Christmas films nor am I really fan of rom-coms either, so, as you can imagine, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good Happiest Season is and by how much heart this film has.

Happiest Season follows Abby (Kristen Stewart) who plans to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) on Christmas at her parents’ annual holiday party but things don’t quite go to plan when Abby learns that Harper hasn’t come out yet to her parents. Abby and Harper have to pretend to just be friends to Harper’s family which creates problems for the couple.

The whole film is full of charm and joy but it also contains a lot of substance, which is very refreshing for a Christmas rom-com. At the film’s heart is Abby and Harper’s relationship, perfectly captured by the performances from Stewart and Davis. Stewart shows the frustration she feels about keeping Harper’s secret so well and she manages to shine in both the comedic scenes but also in the dramatic and sensitive scenes as well. Davis is very good too, but it does feel much more like Abby’s film than Harper’s. Whilst the film is anchored by Stewart and Davis, the supporting cast is filled with great actors; Alison Brie is so much fun as Harper’s older sister Sloane and Schitt’s Creek’s Daniel Levy is on great form as Abby’s best friend John. Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen and Victor Garber also shine and provide lots more heart and laughter to the film.

As well as the impressive cast, the writing from Clea DuVall (who also directed) is really good too, with the film providing so many great quotable moments and many moments that made me laugh out loud. But the film also feels really tender and human as well and DuVall manages to juggle the comedic and sensitive scenes of the film really well and she handles the lesbian relationship at the film’s centre very well. Happiest Season can definitely join the list of fun, worthy Christmas rom-coms.

It’s just a lovely film and you can’t help but smile and laugh along with which is just what you’d expect from a nice straightforward Christmas film but Happiest Season has much more to offer than that as it grapples with ideas about sexuality and acceptance and family, thus creating a film with a lot of meaning and a lot of heart. For the first half of the film, it did feel a little bit generic and there was nothing too special about it as it shifts between some rather OTT comedy and trying to set up some really emotional and sincere moments but it was in the final act where the film really hit the mark and it really went somewhere and achieved something really strong and powerful.

Overall, Happiest Season is a nice, fun Christmas film with heartfelt performances and a great message that leaves you with that warm, bubbly feeling that you expect from a Christmas film.

3.5/5

Happiest Season is available on Hulu or available to rent or buy in many other countries now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58HkQV1gHY

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Action

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die Review – Smith and Lawrence Deliver Explosive Entertainment.

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Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

Hollywood has been struggling as of late and a lot is riding on the success of the fourth installment of this beloved franchise. The directors Adil and Bilall have had a tough time after their last feature Batgirl was shelved, Sony is looking to move on from the Madame Web debacle and Smith is gearing up for his big comeback after the slap. Hollywood history also tells us that there aren’t a lot of franchises that are able to deliver blockbuster business in their fourth installments.

 

I went into this movie cautiously optimistic with Adil and Bilall returning to direct. They also directed the last entry, which turned out not only the highest-grossing movie in this franchise but also the highest-grossing movie of 2020, which are quite the achievements. This franchise is almost 30 years old now, but these two directors found a way to give it a modern touch while staying loyal to the legacy of these characters. In this entry, they take it up a notch and give us some of the most creative camera work and they never seem to run out of ideas throughout this movie.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

The main attraction of these movies has always been the chemistry between Smith and Lawrence. Smith brings the style, and Lawrence brings the charm. As always, they are unreal together on screen and the movie is at its strongest when it is focusing on both of them. I was curious to see if the slap would affect Smith’s screen presence or his comic timing, but he seemed cool for the most part. Although, I did sense a hint of nervousness a couple of times. On the other hand, Martin Lawrence was having a blast.

 

Eric Dane is menacing as our main villain here, which is also thanks to the directors’ presentation of his character. Jacob Scipio is awesome in action sequences, while Alexander Ludwig and Vanessa Hudgens are great together. Rhea Seehorn and Ioan Gruffudd are our other new additions to this entry, but both of them seemed nowhere near their best. It was mostly due to the fact that they were portraying unlikeable, cliche, and predictable characters. But the real MVP here is Reggie. He gets his moment and it is awesome. There are also quite a few cameos which are all well-handled.

Bad Boys: Ride or Die [credit: Sony Pictures Releasing]

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

The story is easily the weakest part here with not a lot of character development, especially for the supporting cast. The plot is thin and doesn’t have too many layers to it and even the twists mostly fail to surprise. But that doesn’t mean that the adventure that our characters are on isn’t fun. One can clearly see that the focus in the structuring of this movie was to make it as fun as possible. There are also some questionable editing choices, but the pacing of the narrative is really good.

 

Bad Boys: Ride Or Die delivers an explosively entertaining ride in one of the franchise’s best entries. It embraces its outrageousness and gives some wild action sequences. Smith and Lawrence’s chemistry is unreal, while Adil and Bilall bring their A-game. Audiences will eat up this hilarious ride that will surely be one of the best movie-going experiences of the year. A treat for fans of the franchise. Hopefully, we get more of these.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRFY_Fesa9Q&pp=ygUSYmFkIGJveXMgNCB0cmFpbGVy

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Adventure

‘SEIZE THEM!’ Review | A Rollicking British Comedy Adventure

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This review was made possible by watching an early preview thanks to Escapes supported by the BFI and the National Lottery for organising free nationwide screenings designed to encourage everyone to rediscover the joys of independent cinema

Seize Them!” is a riotous British comedy that marries the best traits of Monty Python, Horrible Histories, Blackadder, and Carry On into a rollicking adventure with a valuable message at its core about finding your song. Director Curtis Vowell delivers a clever, fast-paced film that doesn’t hold back on sword fights, crude humour, and unexpected friendships. The Dark Ages provides us with a British comedy classic. 

The film is a comedy road movie set in the Dark Ages that follows the story of the clueless Queen Dagan (Aimee Lou Wood), an egotistical ruler who is unexpectedly overthrown and toppled from her throne by the charismatic and ruthless Humble Joan (Nicola Coughlan). As Queen Dagan embarks on a quest to reclaim her kingdom, she is joined by unlikely companions, including Shulmay, a former servant with a lot of secrets (Lolly Adefope), and Bobik, a shit-shoveler who ultimately wants more out of life (Nick Frost). Both companions add depth, warmth, and hilarity to her journey as Dagan begins her quest for justice and ultimately faces every conceivable hardship and danger as she embarks on this voyage to win back her throne. She also has to face up to the very worst parts of herself and ultimately answer if she can ever become queen again, can she become a better person while she does it? And what if she has to choose?

© Entertainment Film Distributors

At the heart of this adventure is Queen Dagan, a master of all she surveys, with an ego to match, played outstandingly with delightful arrogance by Aimee Lou Wood. who finds herself headfirst with the revolution-led Humble Joan, portrayed by the charming Nicola Coughlan. The Queen, however, becomes a fugitive in her kingdom, alongside a hefty bounty that’s been put on her head. The dynamic between these two leading ladies is electric, setting the stage for a quest filled with laughter, heart, and a surprising dose of self-discovery.

© Entertainment Film Distributors

The ensemble cast, including the hilarious Lolly Adefope and the ever-charismatic Nick Frost, adds depth and nuance to the story, creating a compelling tapestry of characters that you can’t help but root for. The chemistry between the actors is infectious, making their journey from foes to friends a joy. We also get appearances from some of the U.K. and Ireland’s best comic talent, such as Jessica Hynes as Leofwine, Paul Kaye and John MacMillan as Kings Ivarr and Guthrum, Jason Barnett as Thane Tostig, alongside James Acaster as Felix the Ironmonger. 

Visually, “Seize Them!” shines with its detailed production design and cinematography, which immersed me and the audience at my screening into the mediaeval world of the film. The practical effects and action sequences are seamlessly integrated, adding an extra layer of excitement to the already engaging plot. 

But what truly sets this film apart is its sharp, witty dialogue that harkens back to the comedic genius of its predecessors. Written by Andy Riley, the clever banter and quick wit keep the pace brisk and the laughs coming, making “Seize Them!” a thoroughly entertaining ride from start to finish. 

© Entertainment Film Distributors

Overall, “Seize Them!” is a delightful blend of humour, heart, and adventure that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Whether you’re a fan of British comedy or simply looking for a feel-good movie with a meaningful message, this film is sure to delight you. So, seize the opportunity to watch this comedic gem and prepare to be swept away on a whimsical and hilarious journey across the Dark Ages. I applaud and give this film a high fünf! just make sure to be in a circle of safety when Big Liam arrives.

Seize them! will be in UK Cinemas from April 5th.

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Action

Bad Boys: Ride or Die | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Miami’s finest end up on the run.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Cast:

Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens

Plot Summary:

Miami’s finest end up on the run

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