She Who Watches #1 – Focus (2015) and Trainwreck (2015)

New Year…new movies. Or in my case catching up on movies I never got round to watching last year in the cinema that are finally out on DVD!

First movies of the year were Focus (2015) and Trainwreck (2015). My family and I set out at the weekend to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens but every screening was booked out at our two closest cinemas – lesson kids, book in advance to avoid disappointment! – When that didn’t pan (ooh film technique pun!) out our next stop was the video store. After much deliberation (you have no idea how hard it is to find films my whole family will watch) we settled on Trainwreck as a comedy and Focus as a more action packed number.

First up… Trainwreck:

Directed by Judd Apatow written by Amy Schumer.

I remember seeing the trailers and posters for this and thinking ‘ooh Judd Apatow this should be funny. Amy Schumer is great we need more refreshingly honest female comediennes making movies’ but it was the biggest disappointment ever!  We actually turned it off halfway through and I think the last time we did that with a film we hired it was Magic Mike (2012) Both films share a number of similarities actually; both had heaps of buzz and critical acclaim surrounding their release, both had a great cast and interesting premise however, both of them fell flat for me. I mean cast wise Trainwreck should have = brilliant. I mean; Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton. SO many talented people there.  What ruined it for me was the awful writing, the pace felt off as did the humor. It just missed the mark majorly for me. The only highlight for me was Brie Larson, i’ll watch anything she is in, she is fab. I’m just holding out some hope for whatever project Amy Schumer is writing with Jennifer Lawrence… don’t fail me J-Law lets hope their comedic wits translate a bit better than in this attempt by Amy.

Overall Trainwreck was, well a bit of a trainwreck! – * one star

I think i’m gonna rate films out of five stars/asterix’s btw we’ll see how it goes.

Next up…Focus:

Directed and written by Glen Ficcara and John Requa.

After turning off Trainwreck halfway through we were crossing our fingers that Focus was going to deliver. It definitely did. I really wanted to see this film in the cinema last year but never quite made it. I adore Will Smith and Margot Robbie as actors and I always enjoy heist/hustle/crime-centered movies as they are often fast paced, aesthetically interesting and most have room for a little humor. Now for some reason so many people critics and cinema-goers alike seemed to absolutely hate this film. I don’t quite fully get why. Don’t get me wrong its no award winner but it’s an interesting story with witty fast paced dialogue, high stakes action, romance, plot twists you don’t see coming and unique characters which even though you know they’re criminals and you really shouldn’t root for them you do anyway!

Margot Robbie continues to prove she is on the rise big-time! She completely held her own against the great Will Smith. Biggest bone I had to pick with this film, however, was the age gap between Nicky and Jess with Will Smith being 47 and Margot Robbie only 25  – it just isn’t quite right. It’s something that Hollywood does regularly and its disgusting. In saying that though they made it work and had great chemistry. It’s a film I would definitely watch again as there was a huge amount of attention to detail in this film that I would love to admire a little more. One super cool thing I discovered in researching this film (I always google a film and love reading trivia almost as soon as the end credits are rolling! Anyone else?) is that the film was edited as it was shot and that the whole thing was edited on an Apple Mac on Final Cut Pro X. Making it the first big Hollywood feature film to be edited on that software! The film was cut together fantastically so perhaps more productions will use Apple software in the future.

Overall Focus was a solidly entertaining film: **** four stars.

If any of you have seen these films let me know what you thought about them in the comments below.

Also how’d I do?.. I think I need to figure out a better template or structure rather than just writing stream-of-consciousness style. Time to do some reading up of film reviewing me thinks.

Until next time – C.


6 thoughts on “She Who Watches #1 – Focus (2015) and Trainwreck (2015)

  1. I chuckled when you wrote about researching (I call it stalking) a film and/or actors as soon as the credits are rolling, because I totally do the same! My knowledge for completely nonsensical trivia on actors is ridiculous! Great reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Court,
    I loved ‘Trainwreck’ as a stupid “I just need to destress” kind of film! Amy is the queen of female comedians right now and in my opinion I do not think (as far as a film is concerned) any other comedians have released any other better films recently. At least 3 stars not one…
    As for ‘Focus’ I strongly dislike Will Smith on several levels so I would watch this film with that cloud of judgment, however I do like Margot so that might help. I too appreciate the fact it was edited using final cut, proving that the general public has access to materials executive companies do. It gives hope to aspiring film directors, producers etc. would I watch the film for this reason, yes, any other, no…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey friend! I can totally appreciate that people enjoyed Trainwreck it would be an easy watch for many! Amy is fantastic I love her! You’re right on the fact that not many other comedians have released any great films recently! I love that Amy is creating films I just didn’t love this one! Margot is soo great! It’s always hard if you dislike an actor it can ruin any enjoyment of their films! I agree it’s a great encouragement for young and amateur film makers! Thanks for checking out my blog xxx


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