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Flight flicks: my journey to New York

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New York. The Big Apple 🍎. The Capital of the World (supposedly).

This year the whole family travelled to New York. As an avid film-viewer, I walked around the city referencing most of the iconic spots seen in the movies. From where Macaulay Culkin stood next to the Rockefeller Christmas tree in Home Alone to where Robin Williams and Matt Damon sat on a bench to have a chat in Good Will Hunting.

But enough about my week away, one of the most essential parts of any holiday is to check whether the in-flight entertainment is up to standard. And our flights definitely didn’t disappoint.

I started with Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals

Before the flight, I’d seen many reviews online about the film, regarding it as ‘deliciously toxic’ and I’d even seen from our very own Shannon Watson, her in-depth analysis on Amy Adams and her acting prowess. So I knew from the off, it had promise.

Admittedly, I was shocked at the beginning. I never saw the introduction coming at me from that angle but, I soon understood the meaning behind the nakedness. Amy Adams plays Susan Morrow, haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale. The narrative cleverly interchanges between fiction and nonfiction parts of the story. It’s a plot you can’t take your eyes away from, changing settings from the skyscrapers of New York to rough outback deserts of Texas.

With Adams owning an impressive four Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and two Golden Globes, you’d expect her to perform and she sure raised her game. I praise Tom Ford and Austin Wright for coming together to share this narrative in such a visually interesting way, creating a difference within film. Not to forget, the performance from Jake Gyllenhaal in supporting Amy Adams in the role. Every scene was perfectly placed and well-structured, making it pleasurable to the eye. It was an unexpected end to an emotional journey, but makes you think: who’s really the bad guy in this relationship?

What an amazing, tantalising film to begin a long-haul flight with. Only six hours to go now… what to watch next after such a thriller? For some reason, I decided on… 

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Are you missing the magic from the Harry Potter days? Does Fantastic Beasts promise something just as magical?

With J.K. Rowling’s writing abilities still implemented as well as the directing capabilities from David Yates (director of previous Potter adventures: Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows 1&2), you’d expect nothing less.

The premise follows writer Newt Scamander on his travels through New York and the secret community of witches and wizards, but he soon makes errors in judgement, accidentally letting some of his beasts free into the real world, letting no-mags get suspicious.

Eddie Redmayne sets off the magic as Newt with his briefcase of fantastic beasts. You feel nostalgic tingles running through your veins of memories from your childhood – the magic is coming.

I’ll admit, I struggled at times to follow the structure of the film. It felt very displaced and some of the dialogue was somewhat clunky. Is Rowling’s spell on us wearing off? There’s something I thought I would never say.

There were some obvious plot errors, for example, the potion that was released into the storm. It didn’t touch those that were in their homes, yet, they still get wiped of their memories? It might sound very picky of me but it extended further when Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Fogler) is a no-mag. He should have also been wiped too. He was undercover, like the people in their homes, but doesn’t get wiped until he was out in the rain? This might be the fact that I was sat on a plane for eight hours and my concentration was at an all-time high, but it’s those type of plot holes that can be avoided.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the magical spectacular. It brought back those memories of magic. Redmayne leads with poise and acuteness. The fantastic beasts were unique and almighty as ever. It was like a whole new generation had come to play. The imagination and thought that went into the creatures was clear and definitely made a statement to the franchise.

At this point, I had around 4 hours left on the journey into America. I needed something light and comedic to relieve me of the pain that I was suffering as the person in front of me was a heavy recliner. Luckily, I downloaded the first season of Big Mouth.

Big Mouth

Netflix’s smart, witty, sex-ed cartoon but for adults, filled with inappropriate penis jokes that you can’t help but laugh out loud at.

Creators Nick Croll, Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg and Mark Levin morphed their minds together and gave birth to the most sexually explosive imagination possible and somehow, it works. Teenage friends find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty as their hormone monsters come out to play.

It’s the most ridiculous cartoon I’ve ever seen. Even the passenger behind me was having a giggle at the visuals. It’s so stupidly inappropriate but you can’t help but want to watch more and more.

Word of warning though: don’t watch this with your dad sitting next to you.

My dad was baffled by what I was watching and it’s pretty awkward to explain to your parent that you’re watching a cartoon about sex and puberty. Anyways, the first series was mightily entertaining. And you can’t help but continuously reference each and every line, from “Hello, my precious little ravioli” to “I only take bubble-baths” –  both of which from Constance the Hormone Monstress, voiced by Maya Rudolph.

Kroll and Mulaney successfully unleash our dirty minds and they most probably love every moment.

From an intense thriller to marvellous magic to puberty jokes, my entertainment on my journey to New York was top notch. So what are your opinions?

Do you think J.K. Rowling’s writing abilities were lost in Fantastic Beasts? Is Amy Adams the best leading lady of our time? And will the third season of Big Mouth be a hit? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter @directedbyed.

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