Tag Archives: Amanda Seyfried

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) Blu-ray Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Review

Director: Ol Parker
Writers: Ol Parker, Richard Curtis (story by) 
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, Andy Garcia, Dominic Cooper, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner, Josh Dylan, Omid Djalili, Cher, Meryl Streep.

Movies like Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again are sort of difficult to assess. On one hand, it’s a strong contender for one of the most unnecessary sequels of all time. On the other, it is hard to imagine big fans of the original – or ABBA’s music in general – not enjoying this one, as well. However, they might be surprised by the narrative’s somber underpinnings.

Speaking of narratives, while I enjoyed the first film, I couldn’t recall the actual plot shortly after seeing it. All that really stuck with me were the fun musical numbers, the fact Pierce Brosnan couldn’t sing and a reminder that Meryl Streep is invincible. This time, we’re getting a prequel, of sorts. Half the film takes place a few years after the first, with Donna’s daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), getting ready to re-open her mom’s hotel with the assistance of suave manager Fernando (Andy Garcia). Interspersed throughout are lengthy flashbacks of Donna (Lily James) in 1979, when she travels to Europe after graduation and meets Sam, Harry & Bill for the first time. She also falls in love with the island and ramshackle old house that she’d eventually turn into the hotel.

Along the way, there are plenty of musical numbers: a lot of tunes that only die-hard ABBA fans would be familiar with, as well as a few bonafide classics (including some featured in the first film). The numbers are sunny and fun, as is the choreography, which is a good thing since what little plot there is feels superfluous (and sort-of melancholy). Nearly all of the original cast returns, slipping comfortably back into their roles. But despite being prominently featured in the ad campaign, Meryl Streep is largely absent. She was the glue that held the original together and is sorely missed here. As for the ballyhooed addition of Cher…I guess if you’re a fan, her appearance won’t feel shoe-horned into the story, but her role is mostly a glorified cameo.

But we’re here for the music, right? As before, everyone does-right by the songs and those who can’t sing are mercifully regulated to being part of the chorus (sorry, Mr. Brosnan). Writer/director Ol Parker takes the reigns from Phyllida Lloyd and wisely stays the course, maintaining the first film’s aesthetic and pace (though one suspects he was forced to fashion a story that didn’t require heavy commitment from Streep). But bittersweet tone notwithstanding, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is an aptly-titled sequel if there ever was one and unlikely to disappoint anybody who regularly sings along with the original film.

Speaking of which, this disc is loaded with bonus material (listed below), including the prerequisite “sing-along” feature. Most of the featurettes are pretty short, but there’s a lot of them and they’re pretty entertaining.

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Anon (2018) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Anon Review

Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Clive Owen, Afiya Bennett, Morgan Allen, Amanda Seyfried

Plot:  In a world without anonymity or crime, a detective meets a woman who threatens their security.

Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

IMDB Score: 6.0

Why I Watched It: I like Owen, Seyfried and Niccol but I have to say they haven’t done much lately to get me excited but they were enough to get me to watch.

Random Thoughts: Andrew Niccol is living off Gattaga and it’s a good movie but he hasn’t been able to top it has a director and he’s tried in the past and he’s trying it again with Anon yet another movie with a Sc-Fi back drop.  I just want to point out that just having something set in the future and using advanced set doesn’t make it interesting or that Sci-Fi, here we have a murder mystery that happens to be set in the future.

This ended up as a Netflix exclusive, now that’s not good or bad, it doesn’t say anything about it’s quality but it does scream new content, so if you have Netflix and you see this with these actors hey click the play button.

What I Liked:  I love film noir, a good dark detective story and sadly we don’t get many anymore, film noir is about setting and tone and I will say Anon does a good job of setting up the world and it’s characters, the main characters do fit into a film noir world, they’re sad, broken and have major flaws.

The acting is fine, I think Seyfried is a good actress who just has broken through yet, she works and she’s been in some good films but she hasn’t broken out and here she plays off her looks more than anything else but she’s the best part of the film, she’s a smart and yet vulnerable character, she’s the only one with more than one shade in the film.

Owen is fine, he’s got a stock character to play and he does what is required but he’s better than this, he does do dark and brooding well though.

What I Didn’t Like:  This is a boring misfire and I know that sounds harsh but really this film doesn’t even try to do something different, this is your stock murder mystery, sure it fits into the sub genre of “is she the killer or not, oh and the detective falls for her” and yes that is a sub-genre, actually this film is Sea Of Love with a Sci-Fi twist.

Let’s talk about this Sci-Fi premise, they set up this tech and guess what they have someone who can break it,really it’s a gimmick or even a McGuffian, it really does nothing to enhance the story and to me the worst part of this film is the way it’s shot, it’s bland it doesn’t feel Sci-Fi at all, it looks and feels like Toronto present day.  There is no mood or atmosphere.

The biggest let down is the characters, just paint by number stock characters that we’ve seen a million times, there’s good actors here but really they’re going through the motions.  There’s no energy, the pacing is slow and like I said the film is boring for the most part.  The film never sucks you in and really you never end up caring.  It’s a middle of the road cliche riddled film that in a couple of months you will have forgotten you saw which is too bad.  Andrew Niccol has talent but right now he just feels like he’s fallen back on what he knows with this film and really not taking chances.

Final Thoughts:  Not a terrible film, if you like the actors give it a watch it just really did nothing for me and I had a hard time keeping myself interested in the film and story.

Rating: 4/10