Movie(s) of the Week: Bad Times at the El Royale, First Man, a Simple Favor

The hubs and I needed an escape from our busy lives, so off we went to the movies! We couldn’t decide on just one, so we saw two. Then, my best friend called, asking for a girls’ day at the movies! I couldn’t pass that up either, so here we are for a review of three popular films currently in theaters!

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I’m never quite sure how to write my Movie of the Week posts (for all of them, click up in the right hand of the screen!). Do I write a review, as if readers have seen the movie? Do I write a promotion, in which I leave out spoilers and more so convince readers to go or not go? I decided today I’ll walk the fine line between both and you can skip over or read whatever you choose (although I’d prefer you read everything, as well as like and subscribe –> enter email in top right!)

Bad Times at the El Royale

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A bunch a strangers meet up one weekend at the famous El Royale hotel, yet nothing is quite what it seems. I. loved. everything. about. this. movie!! EV-ERY-THING! Let’s start with the opening scene where a man buries a bag in the floorboards of a hotel room, only to not make it out alive. Flash forward to either the 1960s or 1970s (let’s call it an even 1965), where guests are starting to arrive back at the hotel. Okay you think, I know where this is going … obviously all the guests are there to get the money. Which, could not be further from the truth.

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Each character has a unique story and is featured during different sections of the movie, where the audience learns their background and motivation. And, if you think you’ve figured out what will happen next, you’re wrong … I mean, unless you’re correct, but I find that very unlikely because the plot twists here are not normal. When I read or watch a movie, I just want a really, well-told story, and El Royale provides that. In closing, while the film has many Quentin Taratino vibes (“imitation is the highest form of flattery”), I would completely give it a 10/10, encourage you to see it, and give HUGE PROPS to Cynthia Erivo; she stole the show!

First Man

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Ryan Gosling portrays Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. Claire Foy, who LOVE from The Crown, plays Gosling’s wife. I enjoy a good biopic and have always enjoyed films about space: Armageddon, Apollo 13, Hidden Figures, however, I could not have been more displeased with this film. In fact, my husband and I did something I’m not sure we’ve ever done before: we walked out.

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I am very disappointed in us for leaving, but the movie was soooooooooo slow and sooooooooo boring … and fairly confusing. Basically, early on in the film Armstrong’s daughter dies, then all of a sudden he’s going on a space mission (which I thought was to the moon and found out was just a trial run), all while he’s having probs with his wife?? Maybe seeing two movies in one day was a bad idea for the hubs and I … or possibly so much went on in El Royale,  I couldn’t track this one? Or maybe it was the two glasses of wine I had at dinner before? #whoops. I’m sure when First Man is released to DVD, we’ll try watching it again. Gosling, Foy, and the American people deserve that much from us.

A Simple Favor

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Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively star as best friends with dark secrets in this film based off the novel by Darcey Bell (which I obviously read and so should you!). My favorite thing about this movie is you never fully know who to trust or who you should be rooting for. Is Kendrick the evil one or is Lively? Or, in the end, is it ultimately the husband who commits all the crimes & sins, and keeps all the secrets?

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This movie is twisted for including topics like incest, sibling murder, fake deaths, and all around insane characters. I feel like Blake Lively has Serena wan der Woodson vibes with her classy outfits and sassy attitude, all the while oozing sexuality. I can’t pinpoint who Anna Kendrick channels, probably that of a mouse. Henry Golding (from Crazy Rich Asians) is another added bonus to the film. I don’t think this film is a 10/10, but if you’re a Lifetime Movie fan or appreciate a crazy ass plot, then I definitely recommend A Simple Favor for you!

Next up:

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and MHH’s 100th post!

Movie of the Week: Crazy Rich Asians

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Unless you’ve been living under a large rock, chances are you’ve seen a preview for, or have heard someone talking about Crazy Rich Asians, the new film based off the novel by Kevin Kwan, starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding. The premise is simply: he’s rich, she’s not, they’re dating, how will this work out?

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Like any rom com, it doesn’t work out at first , things get messy, but they all live happily ever after in the end. It’s a great film for mothers and daughters to see, to fall in love with love, or to help you realize, that at the end of the day, you are enough … don’t change for anyone. However, the movie wasn’t anything life altering for me as promised by the reviews. The film is a cute story, rather predictable, with humorous moments. The glamour, music, and actors, though, was what I enjoyed most!

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First up, the glam: the colors, the parties, and that moment when Araminta Lee, played by Sonoya Mizuno, walked down the aisle with the water and the grass and those cute little lighty things the guests held up! M – A – G – I – C – A – L !!!! All the colors reminded me of La La Land, but what I loved more was the film was set outside of America. We got to witness the color, splendor, and glam of Singapore (and honestly Singapore better dish some cash for the free travel promotions!). Story aside, the film was just magnificent to look at.

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Boosting up the visual beauty of the film was the music; honestly, it was just as important to the storytelling as was the backdrop. The wedding scene wouldn’t have been as beautiful as I mentioned if not for Kina Grannis singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in her angelic voice. The glitz and glam and fun outfits wouldn’t have fully popped if not for songs like “Material Girl” & “Money (That’s What I Want)” … and sung in Chinese! The music helped fuse the setting with the storytelling, while also making the film more lively.

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So yes, we have an enjoyable rom com plot, but the setting and soundtrack enhance the film. However, something more needs to go into the mixture to be complete and that something is the cast. Let’s just go down the list shall we? Constance Wu is not only one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen, she also played her character beyoooond! Like, pleeeease Rachel Chu will you be my new bestie?! Henry Golding, with his British accent and nonchalant attitude towards his family’s wealth? Hubba hubba. No words can even describe how much Awkwafina’s character adds to the film, and finally … Gemma Chan. If Rachel Chu is my new bestie, then can Astrid Leong-Teo, ohh I don’t know, BE MY WIFE?! Her character is kind, poised, beautiful as hell, and all around my favorite character from the film.

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Overall, an enjoyable film to see on a Sunday afternoon with both my mom and mother-in-law (who loves me by the way; nothing like in the film LOL!). While I wasn’t on the floor from it’s greatness (ie … To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), the setting, soundtrack, and cast made it a fun experience!

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When Harry Met a Rebel Without a Princess Bride – Movie(s) of the Week

On Saturday I celebrated my birthday, along with Meghan Markle, President Obama, and the Sprouse twins. Same day, not same party (much to my despair). It was my 30th though, so the night went a bit like …

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however the day after was more like …

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Thankfully, no one broke any bones; maybe just their dignity. To recover on the day after my dirty thirty celebration, I watched three movies known for their romantic healing. What made it even more fun was it was my first time seeing all three!

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of you life to start as soon as possible …”

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The only thing I knew about When Harry Met Sally was the famous diner, big O scene. It is SO much more than that scene, and while I went into it thinking the film would be totes overrated, it’s not and is now one of my new favorites.

I love how the movie jumps ahead 5 years every so often, I love how gorgina Meg Ryan is throughout, I love how honest Billy Crystal is, and I love their friendship. I especially like when they are talking on the phone late at night, but it’s a voice over for different scenes of the two of them, like Meg Ryan attempting to order at a restaurant. As their stories and friendship unfold, I like that it’s them in their 30s (& not because I just turned 30); it’s more of a real story this way; it’s not them trying to “find themselves.”  Billy Crystal’s character has already gone through a marriage and divorce. Even though it’s so 80’s, it’s so real and relevant!

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“You’re tearing me apart!”

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The only thing I knew about Rebel Without a Cause was it starred Natalie Wood. If you’re not familiar with my Natalie Wood obsession, click here! If you’re not aware of Natalie Wood’s story, there is a great podcast you can download to learn (“Fatal Voyage”). Now, to unpack everything with this movie, because honestly there is so much.

This is basically the 1955 version of Footloose, minus the dancing. The premise being troubled kid comes to town, gets mixed up in the wrong crowd, plays “chicken” with stolen cars instead of tractors, thus falling in love with the “big shot’s” girl. However, I had no idea the big shot dies! #spoiler!!

I know I said Harry and Sally’s story is relevant, but so is Jim and Judy’s. From parents just not understanding, to mental health (shooting puppies, imagining two random teenagers are your parents, pulling a gun on a cop), the writers and directors at the time were definitely in tune with what was necessary and what kids go through. However, what they were not in tune with is Natalie Wood’s character falling in love with James Dean’s character THE SAME NIGHT HER BOYFRIEND DIES! Or maybe it was the next day, I’m not sure. Regardless, unnecessary. I would have preferred them falling in love in a different way. Last, (& I may get flack for this) I can’t decide if James Dean is as handsome as historians would like us to believe. In some scenes I thought he was so dashing, yet in others I simply thought, “Meh.” I definitely prefer Natalie Wood with Tony.

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Def dashing here though!


“Inconceivable!”

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I lied in the beginning, I have seen The Princess Bride before, so going into it I already knew a few things. But I had also forgotten a few things. I forgot how incredibly handsome Cary Elwes is as Westley,  I forgot how funny the movie is, (“mawwaige”) and I forgot that Billy Crystal was in it. Rob Reiner directed the movie too (also known for directing When Harry Met Sally). 

I didn’t think so the first time around, but the film is very romantic and sweet. Plus it’s just a classic telling and showing of what an adventure/princess/hero/love story should be. What is also the best? The beginning with Fred Savage and his grandfather, and their interjections throughout the story; endearing! “As you wish” is forever the true “I love you”

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There you have it. These movies, plus maybe some carbonated water, greasy food, and aspirin will help you get over any birthday celebration!

To hear my additional thoughts all on things celebs, pop culture, and current events follow me on Twitter @myhollywoodh. To get into arguments with fans of D-list celebs from the Bachelor franchise or Bravo, follow me on Instagram @myhollywoodhangover. For all other premium Hollywood content, follow The Morning Toast on FB, Twitter, IG, & YouTube (which I’m not a part of but am wildly obsessed, & just know you will be too!)

Until next time …

… which will probably be very soon as tonight is the Bach Finale !! 

 

 

 

Movie of the Week: Netflix’s Set It Up

Netflix has been slaying the game lately with original content! There are the obvious choices like The Crown, Stranger Things & Unbreakable! Kimmy Schmidt. There there are the thrilling true-crime documentaries such as Making a Murderer, Evil Genius, & The Staircase. But, even their original movies have been successful, especially the spring and summer releases such as The Kissing Booth, Ibiza, Set It Up (which we’ll be discussing today).

If you didn’t catch our “Movie of the Week” post from The Kissing Booth, no worries! You can click right there —>  Movie of the Week: Netflix’s The Kissing Booth … I’m only bringing it up because a) it’s both a great movie & a great read and b) this post will be written in a similar fashion  Image result for smile emoji gif  Enjoy!!

40 Thoughts I had during the movie Set It Up:

  1. I could NOT be more excited for Glen Powell! I LOVED him in Scream Queens and Hidden Figures.
  2. I could NOT be more excited for Zoey Deutch! I LOVED her in Why Him?
  3. I could NOT be more excited for Taye Diggs. I LOVE him in everything, mainly Empire of recent.
  4. Meh, minimal excitement for Lucy Liu.
  5.   Warning … Spoilers ahead!

  6. I always love a good montage opening!
  7. Am I going to like this? I kind of feel it’s just the second coming of The Devil Wears Prada.

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  8. Ohhhh Glen Powell has a girlfriend? Isn’t he going to date Zoey Deutch by the end of the movie?
  9. “But we’re not old enough to get married …” hahaha I kind of felt the same way when I got engaged.
  10. Oh snap did I know Pete Davidson was in this? And he’s gay in the movie? He’s super trendy right now #pariana

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  11. Was Pete Davidson’s hookup Cody from Big Brother??? Someone @ me … I’m too lazy to rewind.
  12. TITUS ANDROMEDON!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Omg the elevator scene hahaha!
  14. The Kiss Cam wouldn’t go that long … but I’ll buy it for the movie.
  15. Glen’s girlfriend … Suess? Whatever her name is, I don’t like this story line … get with Zoey already!
  16. Lucy Liu just screamed, “THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT!” and my dogs started barking bahaha    Image result for giggle emoji gif

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  17. I never had a salamander …
  18. Drunk Taye Diggs is great!
  19. Pete Davidson and Zoey Deutch as friends are great!
  20. Okay. Engagement party. The start of the Glenn & Zoey falling in love!

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  21. I don’t know if he’s supposed to be joking with his dancing … but Glen Powell out on the dance floor is doing all of my exact moves!
  22. The bosses are getting engaged! Zoey gets to write! Glen gets a promotion! All is well!
  23. Oh noooo … Lucy Liu is actually a good person and Taye Diggs sucks; he’s going to break her heart!
  24. Every single rom com moment where everything gets ruined … and now it’s happened! Let’s see how it magically gets fixed in the end.
  25. “You’re not hard to get; you’re hard to earn.” awww all is right in the rom com world again!

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    Overall, I’d give it a 3/5 … maybe even a 3.5. I would have liked to see Lucy Liu end up with someone in the end, but I can appreciate the whole “She’s a strong woman who doesn’t need a man” idea, but it’s like, she’s already established and successful in her career, why can’t she have a good dude by her side too? Anyway, worth a watch with a girlfriend, some pizza, and a bottle of Rosé!

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Until next time friends!