Life of the Party

Just when you thought your senior year at college couldn’t get any more stressful, your mum shows up.

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After dedicating her whole life to parenthood and marriage, Deanna has an unpleasant shock when her husband decides to dump her after 30 years of commitment. But rather than turning her heartbreak into vengeful hatred, Deanna decides its time to put herself first for a change and returns to college to complete her archaeology degree. The only slight snag in her plan is that her daughter attends the same college.

As a lighthearted comedy, this film excels in filling cinemas with laughter from start to finish, as it draws on the inappropriateness of a mother-daughter college relationship, which results in a utterly flawless comedic goldmine.

With Melissa McCarthy as the go-getter mum, and Molly Gordon as the equally fierce daughter, this duo are able to delight audiences with their authentic on-screen relationship, which is only made better by the countless supporting actresses who also showcase their talents with effortless grace.

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I Feel Pretty

Not content with her looks or her career, Renee (Amy Schumer) finds herself awaiting a miracle.

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Armed with the destruction of insecurity, this film manages to delve into societies inner most frailties by encompassing the medias persistent need for the acquisition of perfection amongst both men and women.

Instead of succumbing to the pressure of perfection, this film manages to shy away from what has now become the norm, and highlights the importance of self-love regardless of ones waist-size, race or sexual orientation.

Though Schumer retains her usual over-confidence, there is something very refreshing about seeing a woman take on a role such as this with such astounding bravery, especially when considering the onslaught of criticism this film has already received.

Whilst this may not be the funniest or the most original film of the year, it is certainly worth a watch for boldness of its intentions, even if the executions leaves a lot to be desired.

Love, Simon

Falling in love is never easy, especially when you’re hiding your sexuality.

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Being gay is the biggest secret Simon has ever kept from his family and friends, but no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t seem to find the right words, that is until he meets Blue; a fellow high schooler hiding the same secret.

The young actors in this film take on an intimidating role in accomplishing the task of bringing Becky Albertalli’s novel (Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda)  to life on the big screen. Heading up this exceptional cast is Nick Robinson who takes on the role of Simon Spier with such delicate sensitivity that it’s hard to believe the story is not his own. Though Robinson is in the driving seat, his fellow cast members also deliver exceptional performances which broadcast this incredible story with the ferocity it deserves.

Director, Greg Berlanti, also does a magnificent job of converting this millennial page turner into an action packed romance by creating a truly unique atmosphere that not only effortlessly normalizes homosexuality, but also inspires a young generation in their ability to express themselves regardless of their sexual orientation or individuality.

Ready Player One

When reality gets you down, there’s only one thing to do; enter into virtual reality.

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In a world tarnished by technological advancement and chaotic gains, Wade Wilson finds himself the unlikely hero as he enters into a virtual reality adventure at the heart of the OASIS to save civilization and put a stop to the vast inequalities at play.

The artistic vision for this film is wonderfully striking, with video game artistry at the core of this production, creating both nostalgia and wonder for all those watching. In addition to the magnitude of colourful awe, director, Stephen Spielberg, has ensured that the CGI throughout the film, of which there is a lot, complements, rather than takes away from the story.

With many of the young actors starring in this Spielberg spectacular unbeknown to the audience, the actors are able to achieve a level of charismatic talent that is refreshingly new, with the added bonus of having little to compare it to but their presence on screen, due to their unfamiliarity.

Despite the acting and cinematography excelling throughout, it is the story that lets the vibrancy of this film down, with much of plot getting lost in translation due to the overlong running time, that leaves the audience feeling more exhausted than entranced.

Blockers

If there’s one thing you can always depend on, it’s that your parents will suck the fun out of everything and anything.

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Three teenage girls are on a mission to lose their virginity, and there’s only one thing stopping them; their parents. After organizing a sex pact together, the girls head out for a prom night to remember, but unbeknown to them, their parents have full access to their group chat, and what ensues is understandably embarrassing.

There’s usually not much expectation surrounding coming of age comedies, mainly because Hollywood has already bled most possibilities dry, but this film truly does take ‘stereotypical’ to a new level, coupling lack-luster comedy with sketchy acting to recreate everyone’s worst cinematic nightmare.

Despite the overall feel of the film being painfully predictable, there are some aspects that provide a brief flash of light at the end of this very long tunnel, with the sheer ludicrousy of the film providing an unexpected comedic effect, which was probably not the intention of the creators, but creates much needed comic relief nonetheless.

Watch the trailer here.

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Tomb Raider

Explosive action meets rock hard abs as Lara Croft delves into yet another danger ridden quest.

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A game that has spanned a generation of players has once again committed itself to the big screen as it embarks on a new cinematic adventure.

Though this film starts off in a confused haze of lapse time scales, the befuddlement is soon left behind as an exhilaration of whirlwind  emotions ensues in a display of epic action that leaves little to the imagination.

Alicia Yikander takes on the role of Lara Croft ensuring that the wisdom and strength of this infamous character remains, whilst still managing to add a unique humility and sense of humor to the mix.

Tomb Raider is a perfect film by any means; the story lacks precision and the employment of CGI is unimaginably awful. And yet, the playfully strong characters and the fast-moving plot make this film desperately watchable.

I, Tonya

A terrific triumph of willpower in a doomed town of malice and spite.

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Raised by a competition addict, Tonya had no choice but to sidle into the limelight as her love for figure skating became an all-consuming and career defining movement that resulted in sizable disappointment from a young age.

Despite the underlying inevitability of ruined success, this film has a hopeful plot that allows the audience to feel optimistic for a character who has to overcome the odds to achieve her goals in spite of the world’s onlooking perceptions.

Director, Craig Gillespie, stirs away from the usual film formula, choosing instead to present this story in an interview format, which combines the stories of past and present to the give the audience a well-rounded explanation of this truly unique plot, that is, after all, based upon a true story.

Due to its unusual format, the film can feel a little lackluster at times, with the chopping of character dialogue often adding nothing but confusion to the mix.

Though these momentary lapses can act as dissuasive stints, luckily the cast, fronted by Margot Robbie, manages to steal back the attention by giving performances which are intriguingly robust throughout.