‘My head doesn’t work right. I thought maybe these people, could fix me. Sounds stupid.’ – Maniac, 2018

Hello everyone! How are we this lovely Monday? I hope well! I am exhausted, but not too exhausted to not bring you a good ol’ blog post! I just hope you forgive that my reviews are smaller and more concise for the time being!  I’ve been settling into working, so haven’t been watching or reading much – however, I had this to finish off, which means you’re getting a review of one of the greatest things I’ve seen on Netflix this year – Maniac. 

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Maniac poster, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill – Maniac, Netflix, 2018

Maniac follows Annie and Owen, two random people who put themselves up to participate in a pharmaceutical trial. Annie is pretty done with life, taking drugs, living in a hovel and stealing most of her father’s money. She’s more fixated on her broken relationship with everyone than trying to actually fix them. Owen, a younger son of a rich family (and probably the most normal, which is saying something) has struggled his whole life with schizophrenia. Neither is happy – they want to get better. So when Dr. James K. Mantleray claims, via his trail, that he can repair anything about the mind it draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial. Let’s just say it goes a bit crazy, and nothing goes as anyone would like. But what else were we expecting when it’s being run by an AI with emotional issues.

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Owen and Annie deal with their emotions, face to face – Maniac, Netflox, 2018

If you can’t already tell, I loved Maniac. I found it really realistic to the real 80’s (not that I was alive then). The use of the AI in the old style computers was amazing, and I loved the high colour palettes used. Even the stark whiteness of the lab contrasted so well to the dream sequences.
The writing was superb. I found myself falling in love with all of the characters, each of them were unique – the lab techs and the test subjects. Their conversations were candid, and sometimes funny, but the actors really got behind their characters. From what I’ve read, they did a lot of method acting. For instance – Justin Theroux only managed to get into the character of James by playing his awful wig as just that – an awful wig that James puts on every morning to cover his bad bald spot. They all played into their character’s small madnesses and insecurities – Owen worried about his mental stability, James worried about his mother etc.
I know this is a limited series which is what I’m both happy and sad about. Owen and Annie’s story is over, they have an ending. But not all the characters do; and I want to know what happens to them. What happens to the AI? What happens to the company? What happens to everything. Maybe even what happens to Annie and Owen, if they make it where they want to go.

You should see Maniac. It’s a good sci-fi show. It’s deep and alluring. I loved it. Go and watch!

[Header: Maniac, Netflix, 2018]

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‘Because dinosaurs can’t play tennis.’ – Battle of the Sexes, 2017

Yesterday (It was a week ago, I had an issue with my keyboard – RIP – and so this is now a week late!) I ventured to the cinema and watched a movie that finished at midnight. Yes, I was out way past my bedtime. But for good reason! I went to see Battle of the Sexes, a movie about the infamous 1973 exhibition tennis match between 29-year-old Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and 55-year-old Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell). It was refreshing to see him playing a more straightlaced role, which I will get onto further into my review!
Some of this review is courtesy of my friend Ben, who I saw this with! Hi, Ben!

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They were true likenesses! – Battle of the Sexes, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2017

Battle of the Sexes is one of the greatest LGBT+ movies I have seen in a long time. It talks about the growing acceptance of gays, specifically lesbians, and the unfortunate circumstance that a lot of them had – like a lot of lesbians in the ’70s, Billie Jean King was married (to a lovely man called Larry King – who was incredibly accepting of everything she did, he basically doted on her. More people need to be like Larry King. Make that your main goal – Be Larry 24/7) and had to hide her to true lesbian identity. She even had an affair with her secretary (hairdresser in the film).
Every line of dialogue and every action within the movie was incredibly telling of a) the action it actually wanted to profess and b) the deeper meaning behind the film (see LGBT+ rights above).

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After the “fight” – Battle of the Sexes, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2017

Watching this film literally felt like watching a film in the ’70s. Not only did they make the texture slightly grainy, but they used legit ’70s television programmes in the background. The clothing was ’70s, the food was ’70s… everything was ’70s! (I wonder how many more times I can say ’70s in this review…)
They went well into the story of Riggs vs King, it wasn’t just the final showdown. You got to see King overcome great odds, but Riggs was not a secondary character. I would say that this movie had two protagonists. We found out more about Riggs than I thought we would; he wasn’t just an arsehole looking to be the best, he was a gambler, trying to prove to his family that he wasn’t just a washed up nobody. The only way he could do this was by fighting against feminism – he had to make himself out to be a chauvinist. (I did some research after seeing the film, and apparently Riggs and King were friends until Riggs died. He even said he loved her.)

I couldn’t love this movie more than I did – I didn’t expect much going in, and was so surprised with how much I loved it that I just had to tell you guys! Ben even gave it an 8/10 on IMDB – and he rarely gives movies more than a 7 if he likes them! Catch the movie if you can, I really recommend it.

Catch the trailer below!

Have you seen Battle of the Sexes? Will you? Who do you wish won – Riggs or King? Do you just think Riggs was an arse or was he really just trying to prove himself? What about King – wished she didn’t cheat on her husband or are you proud of her for being herself? Leave a comment below! 

 [Header Image: Battle of the Sexes, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2017]