Where The Crawdads Sing – Movie Review

As a movie geek, I love any excuse to pop along to my local Showcase cinema and take in a good film. Having bought the book, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ a while ago I still have it on my TBR but have read wonderful things about it. Nevertheless, the movie came out and I just couldn’t wait, especially after seeing such a great trailer and knowing that Reese Witherspoon produced it.

The Lowdown

A girl is left by her family as they run away (one-by-one) from her abusive father. Living in the marshlands of North Carolina, Kya is treated as an outcast when she attends school, hoping for a good school meal. ‘The Marsh Girl’ – they called her.

Set in the 1960s, the story follows a mysterious death, where a guy is found at the bottom of a fire tower. Was he pushed or did he jump? One thing they know is that he used to spend a lot of time with Kya.

A court case starts the movie off and we then go into extensive flashbacks of her upbringing and romantic past. Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) is endearing as the Marsh girl and held my attention well throughout this two hours and five minutes picture.

My Thoughts

The rotten tomatoes critics’ score is low but the audience score is 96% and I agree with the viewers. This is a stunning film with talented actors and a believable timeline. Whether or not it is true to the book, I will have to tell you later, when I finally get round to reading it. In this case the critics were being too pompous.

I was totally engrossed in this narrative and felt that it was carefully written and well paced. The fact that ‘Hello Sunshine’ produced it gave it added credibility and Reese Witherspoon is well known for making great films out of best selling books. She did a brilliant job this time, for sure.

I was very happy with this beautiful movie and would totally recommend going to see it. Thank you for reading my film review. If you enjoyed it please consider following my little blog. Also drop a comment if you have read the book or seen the movie. I’d love to know what you thought. For another great movie, check out my recent write up of the Elvis Movie.

Reviewing the Elvis Movie

After seeing the trailer for the new ‘Elvis’ movie, I was really intrigued, despite knowing next to nothing about the unfortunate crooner. From that trailer alone, I could tell that the actor who played the man himself was a close match and that Tom Hanks’ character, Colonel Parker, was very interesting, especially as it was implied that he manipulated Elvis. Then, seeing Baz Luhrmann’s name appear as writer/director, I had every reason to believe this would be a film well worth seeing.

In a nutshell

Baz Luhrmann is legendary in my eyes because of his epic Romeo and Juliet movie and Moulin Rouge feature. I had been wondering what he’d been up to lately and was relieved to see that he had put together a biopic about Elvis’s career. During the pandemic I remember Tom Hanks catching Covid in Australia whilst filming an Elvis film and finally we now get to relish the finished product.

Although I hadn’t heard of Colonel Tom Parker before, Tom Hanks played this character fully, even wearing a fat suit and changing his face to match. The Colonel was the person who discovered and managed Elvis right to the end, even after the singer had tried to relinquish his controlling powers.

This script focuses on how their working relationship began happily and then became fairly sour. I won’t give away any spoilers but let’s say it was a very manipulative situation and I really felt sorry for Elvis and began to revere Hanks’ character.

Thoughts On The Movie

The thing that really stood out for me was the incredible, fast-paced editing by Luhrmann. As an avid moviegoer, I am fairly analytical and usually notice the way a film is edited. In this case, you would struggle to not acknowledge the incredible editing skills of this cinematic genius.

In one scene he cut back and forth between scenes in the past and present while the camera seemed to be bouncing along to the rhythm. It was almost as if the camera was dancing at one point when Elvis was perfecting his hip thrusts and gyration.

Overall

Not being an Elvis fan, I learned so much about this very talented performer. Austin Butler played the legend very well. His singing, movement and acting were all outstanding as was Tom Hanks. The 2 hours and 39 minutes absolutely flew by and I was totally immersed in this story. You MUST find time to go and see this epic blockbuster. It took my breath away.

Maverick: A Top Gun Review

The fighter jet scenes were really stunning.

When I was younger, the Top Gun VHS video took pride of place in the TV cabinet as my mum was a massive fan. I had seen it several times during the eighties and the song, ‘Take my breath away’ was an enormous hit in the charts. So going to see the new Maverick film, I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. After all, this film was likely to be full of nostalgia and sequels for older movies don’t always work well.

The Danger Zone

I knew there was a lot of hype related to this movie but could it still provide a thrill? Tom Cruise (Maverick Pete) had launched his career with the 1986 blockbuster which also lifted the careers of Meg Ryan, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. How was this production, 36 years later, going to keep us on the edge of our seats? Somehow, despite the odds being stacked against it, it eclipsed expectations.

Emotional Narrative

Well the first few minutes proved that Tom still has what it takes. Without giving too much away, he had a challenge to fly incredibly fast and the cameras really made us feel part of that ground-breaking flight, holding our collective breath as he swerved and dodged. From that moment on, I knew that I was in for something really good.

The thing that surprised me was just how emotional the storyline was. Goose (Anthony Edwards of ER renown) had famously died in the first outing but this time his son, Brewster (Miles Teller), was drawn into the story, leaving Maverick feeling uncomfortable as he didn’t want life to repeat itself. Being tasked with teaching a new generation of potential Tops Guns, Maverick was given a mission deadline which was seemingly impossible to meet.

Similarly, Val Kilmer returned briefly as a poorly Iceman (with no voice due to a real life cancer operation) and Ed Harris was there as a grumpy admiral. A new edition was the wonderful Jennifer Connelly as an old flame and very likable supporter.

Summary

Without providing spoilers, all I can say is that 2 hours and 10 minutes went quickly due to the packed storyline and rollercoaster ride of thrills and emotions. I would totally recommend popping along to your local cinema and checking out Top Gun: Maverick even if you have never seen the original. It is epic!

For another of my recent movie articles check out this Coda film review as I also totally adored that film. Please drop a comment below about your own experience of Top Gun or Maverick. Also, if you enjoyed my article, perhaps consider following my blog for future similar content.