Gifted

I really didn’t know anything about this film going in, other than seeing the movie poster. But as it was an advance screening with my Cineworld card, I thought – why not, I’ll give it a go. And I’m glad I did.

gifted poster

 

So it turns out the story is about a young girl (Mckenna Grace)who is a math’s genius (like a serious genius) who is in the care of her Uncle (Chris Evans) who is trying to raise her to have a normal childhood. When her brilliance is picked up upon the absent grandmother enters to try and gain custody.

I was sceptical when the film first started, the jokes were cheesy and not that funny, and the chemistry between Grace and Evans seemed a bit off with the first 5-10 minutes feeling a little bit wooden. There was also a whiff of a precocious child and boring everyman Uncle to bore us for the next hour and forty minutes. However, after what was a slow first ten minutes, this film quickly turned itself into one of the best new releases I’ve seen this year.

This film provides us with a group of characters you can’t help but warm to. Despite the rocky start, Grace and Evans bounce off each other fantastically well and their rapport is about as charming as it comes. Throw in yet another fantastic performance from Octavia Spencer and delightful support from Jenny Slate, and this film was onto a winner. What this film also does well, is give us a villain you probably won’t completely despise. No, you won’t root for them in the slightest, but the complications of real and relatable family bonds and issues doesn’t make the journey of this film clear cut, at times dropping into grey areas.

The premise of this movie may flirt dangerously with the falling into cliches, however, it feels fresh and genuine throughout (first 10 minutes aside). No, it isn’t full of twists and turns, and there is nothing overly surprising in there, but no punches are helped, and prepare for sucker punches and tear jerking moments. This a brilliantly told story, and is assisted by a very well chosen soundtrack, knowing exactly what we need to hear to send our emotions over the edge. I found myself at times wanting to stand up and shout at the screen (not really acceptable in reasonable busy showing!), shed a small tear of joy, and also floods of tears in despair.

I take my hat off to everyone involved in this movie, from story, to production, to acting. It is an all round fantastic display, and one I would recommend going out and seeing when it comes out in a week or two. Gifted will both warm and break your heart a few times throughout its hour and forty run, so be sure to take some tissues with you. I’d be surprised if you last the distance with dry eyes.

8/10

 

 

ARQ (Netflix Original)

This film was recommended to me as “a slow burner, but worth a watch”. And I have to say, that is pretty much the perfect summary for this movie. This is a thriller, so I’m not going to go into detail about the movie so as not to include any spoilers – this is definitely a spoiler free zone. What you need to know is, there is some kind of war going on, there is a machine that could possibly end the war, oh and there is a time loop going on.

arq movie poster

This film runs at just about an hour and a half so to be fair, you don’t get too much more detail of back story other than that. This film focuses on the “this is happening right now” and doesn’t worry greatly about how we got here. Which, for me I actually quite enjoyed. The great thing about this film is the unravelling of the situation. For the purpose of this film, I don’t actually really care how we got to this situation – I’m just intrigued by this time loop and what the hell is going on.

As I said, this film does take a little while to get going. As I guess you might expect from a time-loop scenario. Things do start to seem to get a little bit repetitive for the first few loops, and I was left wondering – where are we going from here? If you do end up watching this film – stick with it. This film does know where it is going, you’ve just got to bear with it while you get there. As with most good thrillers, there are plenty of ooooooohhhhh!” moments, as things start to make sense.

Due to the short nature and lack of backstory, the characters are little bit drab and it is at times a little hard to understand some motives and actions that they do, based on the information we have been given. But as I say, it is the loop situation which is the most interesting thing about the film, so the fact the characters lack a  little bit of depth isn’t a deal breaker.

For the keener eyes, there are some potential holes in the plot, but with the nature of this film, and it’s length, being bullet proof just wasn’t going to happen. There may be fantastic explanations in the heads of the writers for the question marks you have, but there isn’t the time or the need to throw these into the movie. Once you have seen the film, there are actually some pretty interesting theories kicking around the interweb to explain some of the possible holes. Needless to say, make sure you have the seen the film first before you check these out or you will spoil it. If you know the reveals before you watch the film, it really isn’t then worth watching.

It seems like this film has got modest ratings, and that is probably fair. At around the hour and a half mark, you don’t need to set aside a lengthy amount of time to watch this, so it is definitely worth the watch. Although this is not a classic, and I’m not sure how much re-watch value this one has, give it a go, and stick with it – they payoff you get when all is revealed is worth it.

6.5/10

Bay-Watch something else…

Oh man, did this film suck. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go into it expecting for it to be a good movie – but there is a difference between a bad movie and a movie that sucks. A bad movie is usually pretty enjoyable because it is so dumb and lets you have fun, a movie that sucks is just well, terrible all round.

baywatch movie poster

This film even made out in the trailers and posters that it was just plain crazy – giving the impression it wasn’t going to take itself seriously and embrace what it was. Unfortunately, that didn’t really come across. It felt like it was either being too serious or trying too hard to be funny. It seemed like for big chunks of the film it was trying to be a comedy, but the jokes just weren’t landing. The theme of the jokes became repetitive, and despite 3 or 4 chuckles, it really didn’t work for me. A particular High School Musical reference was just too cringey to have thought it was a good idea to include it.

I think the lack of humour was a combination of just poor jokes, and also to the fact the chemistry between the leads just wasn’t there. I’m usually a massive fan of The Rock (even though he’s in Hollywood now, he’ll always be The Rock to me!), he just didn’t seem to click with Efron, who I am not really a fan of anyway. I enjoyed the scenes with The Rock when these two weren’t together, but when they were, it just felt forced and stale.

There are quite a few characters in this, but there a few who are presented as key characters that always seem to fall into the background, and one in particular, the supposed second in command of Baywatch, whose name I can’t even remember. At times the film tries to add some depth to a few of the characters, but it felt like an afterthought, didn’t add much, and is all in all pretty forgettable. I did enjoy Hannibal Burress’s small amount of screen time, as he was funny every time he was on, and showed it was possible to nail comic timing in this film.

When the film was meant to be at what I would say it’s craziest – it did have all the ingredients, but it still didn’t seem to work. Diving into a fire in the middle of the ocean seems like you’d be going – “WOAH, what the hell was that” – but for some reason, it just felt flat. I’ve seen The Rock do stuff like in other films, (see my Fast and Furious post) and it was awesome, but this just did not hit the spot. Also, how many movies am I going to have to watch that include a fight scene with The Rock before they give me a Rockbottom or a People’s Elbow? Come on Rocky, I thought you were the people’s champion, give the people what they want!

As you’d expect, one thing this film is not short of delivering on is a stunning cast. Sure the acting wasn’t on point, but to look at – first class. One thing I did learn from this movie is that although not seemingly massively practical,  zippers on swimsuits seem to be a winner. Unfortunately, a beautiful cast does not do enough to save this movie or even come close to making this one you should go and see.

I haven’t seen Baywatch the TV show, so I don’t know if old fans of the show will get more out of this, but anyhow I don’t really have too much else to say on this one. It was just a sucky movie. Which is disappointing because I thought I was going to have a lot of fun watching it. And I don’t like giving The Rock a bad review, because, come on, it’s The Rock – he’s awesome.

I wouldn’t recommend you go see this one, do yourself a favour and go (Bay)watch something else.

2/10

Wonder Woman (spoiler free)

It feels like this film was announced a long time ago and then all of sudden it was here without much fuss being made. Which is a bit odd, becuase it seems like the post-Nolan/Bale DC film universe had a lot riding on this. I remember everybody going crazy for Man of Steel when it came out (yes I know Nolan was attached to this), but it seems like it hasn’t been remembered as an absolute classic, and Batman versus Superman was a complete letdown. So if Wonder Woman were to flop, any hype there might be for the Justice League movie would be seriously damaged. However, I am glad to say after leaving the screen yesterday, on opening day in the UK – I was not disappointed!

wonder woman movie poster

Wonder Woman is very much its own film and does not need to, and chooses not to lean on the other films so far in the new DC movie universe. However, with the build up to Justice League now happening, there was no way we were going to be let to forget (as if we would!) that the films exist together with pretty much the first thing we see is a Wayne Enterprise car and note from Bruce Wayne! Told as a flashback, Wonder Woman to me was kind of an origin story, kicking off introducing us to the character as a child, Diana, and wanting to train as a warrior – unaware of the power she has been truly been granted. In hindsight, it doesn’t feel like we spent too much time with this part of the film, but during the viewing, it felt a little slow, and it took a while for the film to really get going.

When Chris Pine’s special agent character is introduced, crash landing on the Amazons secret island of  Themyscira, a secret island inhabited only by warriors – who are all women, and all seemingly beautiful, does the film start to get going. Learning of what is happening out in mankind (WW1), Diana feels she can’t stand by and do nothing, and heads out into the world with Pine. There is a lot more to the backstory that I’m not going to go into, but you can go watch the movie for that!

Having spent her whole life on Themyscira, there is a nice balance to the Wonder Woman character. With a mix of complete level-headedness and power, combined with an innocent naivety of the real-world which Diana has just entered into the character is incredibly charming and where it can take some time to warm to Superman and (Affleck’s) Batman, Wonder Woman is instantly likeable. In fact, there is no snide to any of the heroes of this film – centered (obviously) mainly around Wonder Woman and Pine with also their supporting team of an Indian Chief, a Scottish sharpshooter and a fellow secret agent, you can’t do anything but like all of them. In terms of “bad-guys”, there isn’t anything too unexpected and Wonder Woman doesn’t stray too far away from the classic superhero movie villian formula.

This isn’t an all out action packed superhero movie as a lot of the film relies on the chemistry between the characters, and a lot of the great moments come from the dialogue. This is also where all the humour comes from as well. Unlike the Marvel universe where one-liners are thrown into battles, Wonder Woman keeps these humour and the action separate. That said, I personally didn’t find the movie that funny, whereas I have seen quite a few people have praised it for its humour. But for me this wasn’t an issue as I didn’t head in looking for a comedy. I’ve read some comments mentioning that Gal Gadot at times didn’t quite match her co-stars acting chops, but I personally didn’t notice, and thought she was a great lead.

Although the dialogue and chemistry between characters is great in this film, for me this film really shined when we got to see Wonder Woman actually in action. The first battlefield scene is just fantastic, and as the film goes on we are treated to a couple of great action sequences. Whereas Man of Steel was criticised for the length and frequency of the fight scenes, with Patty Jenkins at the helm directing, the balance seems to be just right, with the scenes nicely spread out and not turning into long drawn out affairs. The twang of the Wonder Woman music also put a smile on my face whenever the film kicked into action!

With a lot to carry on its shoulders this film certainly delivered. And I for one am now much more excited for the Justice League movie. Hopefully the tone of this movie will now set the pace for the upcoming DC efforts. I really would like to see DC kick on as although Marvel do make awesome films (and I’m a massive fan) –  DC is the home of my absolute favourite superhero creations, Batman and Watchmen.

I’d definitely recommend you go and check this one out  – 7.5/10

p.s do yourself a favour and don’t bother staying until the end of the credits – once they start to roll, that is it – there are no post-credit scenes.

 

Sandy Wexler

I’m back in the UK now, although a busy week has meant I still haven’t had time to get to the cinema. So instead, decided to watch the new Adam Sandler movie on Netflix, Sandy Wexler.

sandy wexler movie poster

Growing up, I was a huge Adam Sandler fan – he is the hero of some of my favourite comedy movies, that I still laugh all the way through even now. However, in recent years, it seems the Sand Man’s career has gone off the rails, and has just released a number of medicore (at best) movies. It saddens me really to see someone who used to be so funny, so incredibly average now.

Unfortunately, Sandy Wexler is no different and is yet another bad Adam Sandler movie. It follows the story of hapless manager, Sandy Wexler, who has a stable of pretty talentless talent until he discovers a singer, Courtney, who is bound for stardom. The gist of the movie is it follows Sandy trying his best to help out this rising star despite being completely out of his depth, but never actually really realising it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some funny bits in there, but running at over two hours (far far too long!), a handful of laughs is a terrible effort for a “comedy”.  I thought Sandler played his character pretty well, and Jeniffer Hudson was also pretty good – if the performances had been as bad as the movie I’m not sure I could’ve got through it. And, as always with a Happy Madison production, all of Sandler’s usual cronies are on hand to make an appearance (many of which you only ever tend to see in Sandler flicks) and having grown up on Sandler movies, they are always a welcome sight that brings a smile to my face – even if some of them only get one or two lines.

This film felt like it was actually a pretty good interpretation of where Adam Sandler’s career really is – a man who thinks he is the greatest thing in Hollywood, and that everyone loves him and are laughing with him – but really, everyone is either laughing at him or just feel sorry for him. I really didn’t find the film very funny at all, with most of the attempted jokes being directed at the Sandy characters expense – a lot of the time it didn’t feel funny, it felt cruel. Also finding out after watching the movie that it is a roast of Sandler’s actual real life manager made it feel a bit worse. Finding that out and reading the back story, there clearly isn’t any malice in the content, I think the mark is just greatly missed, or perhaps you need to be a true insider to really appreciate the movie. Hey, after all, the man the film is based on appeared in it, so he can’t have been that offended.

I believe this was the third of his eight movie deal with Netflix (I haven’t seen the other two, but may give them a go), so there is clearly some demand for him, and I am hopeful he can turn it around…

To be honest, I am just getting tired of seeing bad Adam Sandler movies. I’m getting tired of laughing at him for being so terrible, I just want to laugh with him again. Back to the glory days of Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, when he truly was on top form as one of comedy’s powerhouses, when you knew seeing Sandler on a movie meant certain laughs.

Please Adam Sandler, just make one more hilarious movie before you are done to show us you still have it. Please!

Not advisable – 4/10

A quick over-eview of recent releases

I’m currently still away so still haven’t watched any new films, but to keep the ball rolling, I’m just going to give a real quick overview of my opinions of a few films I saw on the big screen in the last few months before I started writing again.

Lego Batman

For those of you who were following this blog back in 2014, you may remember I pitted The Lego Movie as a candidate for the best movie of the year. Although I wasn’t writing by the end of the year, it was a view I stood by. With the second movie in the franchise (however, not a sequel), I am again making this claim for Lego Batman in 2017. I was super excited for this one, and thankfully not disappointed. Much like in 2014 I actually got to an advanced screening of this and loved every minute. It was incredibly funny but also had some sombre moments and, despite a kids film, a decent exploration into the psyche of the main three characters, Batman, Joker and Robin. This was not only a great Lego Movie, it also was a pretty good Batman film. Most likely to be enjoyed best by “big kids” – e.g. people like me!

I really loved this movie and could say an awful lot more so I may revisit this for a full review later on in the year.

lego-batman-movie-poster

Free Fire

I had the chance to see this once again at an advanced screening (perks of the Cineworld unlimited card!). An interesting premise where the whole film is set in one location. Basically, what should be a routine gun deal goes wrong, and unfolds into what is essentially 80 minutes of back and fire gun fire. It seemed like it should be a lot of fun, and it was for a short while, but even at only 90 minutes, this film felt too long. I quickly grew tired of the monotonous back and forth fire which forced the jokes to become really stale. I think the filmmakers were trying to be too clever for their own good. A few big names were in the cast such as Armie Hammer and Brie Larson, but for me Sharlto Copley’s, Vernon, stole the show as a very enjoyable character to watch.

Not one I would recommend spending money on seeing – wait for a Netflix release.

Free-Fire-movie-2017

Power Rangers

When I saw the trailer for this, I became quite excited. I wasn’t expecting a great film but was one I wanted to see for nostalgia sake, having watched the Mighty Morphers as a kid. As predicted, this wasn’t great, but enjoyable nonetheless. Filled up with pretty unimaginative cliches and a predictable story arc this film plods along at a reasonable pace without really throwing anything out of the ordinary at us. That said, there were a few moments that happened which genuinely had me smiling ear to ear – when “Go go power rangers” started playing at the perfect time – it was, I’m not ashamed to admit, a great moment.

If you watched the shows growing up, worth giving it a go even just for a few of those moments that will take you back to childhood and give you a huge grin on your face.

power-rangers-movie-poster.png

Beauty and the Beast

This was one I probably wouldn’t have seen if I didn’t have my unlimited card, but I am actually glad I saw it. I’d never seen the animated version but was pretty sure I knew the main plot points of the story. I have to say, when the first musical number started, I did have a brief look at myself and question what I was doing sitting watching this. However, when the second number started, and I suddenly found myself tapping my foot and smiling away to myself and realised – “dear god, I’m enjoying it”. Yes, I did go see this on my own, and I am once again – not ashamed.  This film has an awful lot going for it – it looked stunning, the musical numbers were catchy and well placed moving the story along nicely – oh, and Emma Watson. So much win for Emma Watson.

My one gripe, although not with the film itself, was that people clapped at the end. I don’t like when people do that – it makes no sense, who are you clapping for?! (sorry, it’s a pet hate!)

Beauty-Beast-2017-Movie-Posters

Ghost in the Shell

So, I saw the trailer for this countless times and even saw a 20-minute preview before the film came out. And I still had no idea what this was going to be about. Regardless, it had me intrigued, so I was quite looking forward to it. But, to say I was disappointed was an understatement. I found this film to be very slow moving and everything happened far too conveniently and seemed to wrap up to a conclusion before it even seemed like the problems for the main characters really got going. I’m usually a big Scar-Jo fan, but I didn’t really rate her performance in this. I haven’t been privy to the original incarnations of this story, so can’t say if it did it justice or not – my gut feel is it probably didn’t – unless the original also sucked.

Wouldn’t recommend this one – drab, boring and felt very slow despite not having a particularly long running time.

gits_trailer

Going in Style

I’m a massive Zach Braff fan, despite not seeing him much other than in Scrubs (possibly the greatest show of all time!). This looked like it could be a bit of light relief fun, a story of three old men deciding to rob a bank after being screwed over by their old company who revoke their pensions. This film isn’t a classic –  full of cliches, is quite predictable, and makes a lot of easy “old man” jokes. But despite all that, it made me feel good, put a smile on my face and as expected, was a lot of fun. Not a great deal of thinking required and is a good one for switching off for an hour and a half and just having a good time. nice to still see the likes of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin still on our screens, and Braff did a nice job in the director’s chair. Shoutout to Kenan Thompson who stole the show in the brief onscreen time he got, with some very funny scenes (always a soft spot in my heart for the hours spent as a kid watching Kenan and Kel!)

Not one to rush out and see but I would recommend it if you get a chance.

Going-in-Style-movie-poster

I’ll leave it there…

I have seen a lot more films this year, that I haven’t reviewed, but I will leave it there for now. I may come back and do another over-eview in the not too distant if I don’t have any full reviews to write. If you saw any of these films and want to let me know what you thought about any of them, feel free to leave a comment.

Peace out for now.

 

 

 

 

A cure for wellness… or disappointment

As I’m currently away on holiday, I haven’t watched a new film in the last week but didn’t want to stop the ball rolling when I’m just getting back into writing again. So with this review, I actually watched the film when it came out in the UK back in February, and wanted to write a quick few thoughts on this one as it has stuck in my memory – but not for the right reasons, instead as one of the most disappointing films I’ve seen so far this year.

A cure for wellness poster

I ummed and ahhed about whether to see this one at first, as it seemed like the trailer was potentially pitching this as a bit of horror – and as will be noted looking through the archives of this blog – Ben don’t do horror. I’m sorry but I’m a big wuss, and just won’t watch them – “A film so scary you won’t feel safe in your own home” and taglines to similar effect, sorry but I actually like to feel safe at home, count me out. Anyway – I digress. I ultimately (obviously as you’re reading this, hopefully!) decided I was going to give it a go as the storyline looked like it could edge slightly more into a psychological thriller, which is definitely up my street. After all, it looked a very similar premise to Shutter Island, which I really loved when it came out, so much so I saw it twice in cinemas. However, I’m sad to say the quality of A Cure for Wellness does not even come close by comparison.

The premise is a young employee on Wall Street is sent to retrieve a board member of his company from a wellness centre in the Swiss Alps, but when he arrives everything seems a bit odd and by an unfortunate and bizarre incident becomes a patient at the centre himself and is seemingly unable to leave, beginning to question his sanity. (See what I mean about Shutter Island similarities?).

The plot starts off seeming like it has some legs, but it never quite picked up the pace to fully get me on board. There were moments in there which got me on the hook but then didn’t deliver the punch to give me that “wow that was clever” moment you are dying for in a thriller. In fact, calling this a thriller is a bit of a stretch as it was in fact, far from thrilling. The story seemed clunky in places, with a lack of explanation on some points, simple giveaways that spoil the satisfaction of a “twist” and when it became obvious where the story was going (don’t worry – I’m not in the business of spoilers – keep reading…), I was left thinking “oh, that’s where we’re going, really?”.

The film wasn’t all bad. I thought Mia Goth played her role very well, and Jason Isaacs as the eerie Dr Volmer had his moments of walking the line between being trusted or not. I wasn’t keen on Dane DeHaan’s character of Lockhart, as although the lead in the movie I never warmed to him, and struggled to get behind him. I’m still not actually sure if that is intentional by the filmmakers or not? If you saw the movie let me know what your thoughts on the character were.

In fairness, the movie actually looked great – the production did a great job, the visual effects (for the most part) were very good, and some great locations were used to capture scenes in and around the wellness centre. By contrast, I seem to remember being not overly impressed with the use of music/sound in the film, which is a pretty important component in a psychological thriller. I may be doing it a disservice and misremembering, but as I don’t remember it being good, it probably wasn’t.

Running at just under 2 and half hours, this film more than outstayed it’s welcome. That said, making it 45 minutes shorter wouldn’t have improved it, but it would have meant I could’ve left earlier. Maintaining a sluggish pace for its entirety, it felt like a long 2 and half hours.

I had relatively high hopes going into this one, but instead of a cure for wellness, I was left needing a cure for disappointment.

3/10

Sleepless

Tonight I had the chance to go and see an ‘Unlimited’ screening of Jamie Foxx’s new movie, Sleepless. I say new, it seems as though this was actually released in the US back in January. I thought the fact Cineworld were showing this as an ‘Unlimited’ movie that is was an early screening, but now I’m not actually too sure?

I was really looking forward to this film – I hadn’t really seen a full trailer, but from what I had seen it looked like it was going to be a fun one to watch, plus I do usually like Jamie Foxx films. However, my spirits were dampened a bit when I accidentally saw headline reviews, and they were pretty terrible (I usually actually try and stay away from reviews all together before seeing a film so nothing is spoiled and I go in with a clean mind about the film). Nevertheless, at the end of the day reviews are only someone’s opinion, so I still went in with hopes I would disagree.

But, this film was only okay. It wasn’t terrible, but then it wasn’t all that great. Sleepless doesn’t really do anything that we haven’t seen before in a dirty cop film. All the ingredients are there – a drug deal gone bad, angry drug dealer, kid taken as a hostage, doubt over who can be trusted.

Although there a number of twist and turns, everything is all very predictable, and at times the film does give us a couple of too obvious clues as to what is going on. I found it quite difficult to real root for any of the characters, as the film seemed a bit confused about this itself. But, the film chugs along at a reasonable and very angry pace. Everything in this film is angry, all the characters seem angry the whole time, the soundtrack is angry, even the way the film is lit makes it look angry. While I’m mentioning the soundtrack, I actually thought this area was pretty weak. The film was trying hard to build suspense, but never quite hit

As is often the problem with mediocre films, everything just seems a bit too convenient. The character of Jamie Foxx’s ex seems to have been cast as a nurse just so she can show up at the right time when shots have been fired. And also happens to know how to effectively neutralise drug lords henchman? There are a few occasions as well where the film seems to have forgotten they have included things. For example, at time Jamie Foxx’s character can hardly move because of a stabbing, but later he seems absolutely fine, only for it to kick back into pain a few scenes later. And a hand that must be shattered by a fire extinguisher, also seems to be forgotten about, almost immediately.

Sleepless has a couple of big stars in there, in Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan, it is just a shame we don’t get to see the best of them, as in previous outings I’ve really enjoyed them. I was also quite pleased to see David Harbour, as I thought he was great in The Newsroom series, despite only being a supporting role. Unfortunately, Sleepless doesn’t really get the best out of any of its stars, and this won’t be going down as one of their highlights.

One thing I will say for the film, is that I think it actually ends pretty well. Not that it is an amazing finale, but where a lot of films tie things up with a nice bow and everything has worked out for the best, Sleepless makes us think it is doing this, but then as the curtain closes, it tells us that although the story has finished for us, this isn’t the end for these characters who still have consequences to deal with. A nice touch you don’t see too often   – unless it is setting up for a sequel, which I really hope isn’t the case!

If this does have a wider UK release in cinemas, it probably isn’t worth your time. A shame, as i do usually like Jamie Foxx.

An average 5/10

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2

I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time, but amongst my excitement, has also been a little bit of worry. You tend to find with these kinds of films, when there is a lot of hype, there is always a chance you will be disappointed. There is also the possibility that there will be some exaggeration of how good the film really is – because of what it is. I have to admit, I fell into that a bit when Man of Steel came out, letting on that I thought it was much better than it really was – cos it was a Superman film AND Nolan was involved.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Vol-2-poster-feature

But back to Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Movie Universe, and I am very pleased to say this certainly lived up the hype. (Yes, I really mean it!). I was reassured immediately, as the opening credit sequence is a beauty to behold itself. I don’t want to go too deep into the movie, because I really would recommend to just go see it, and enjoy yourself. So instead I’ll just pull out a few things as to why I enjoyed it so much. If anyone actually reads this, and does want to talk more detail about the film, just leave me a comment or shoot me a tweet – @benjoy93

  1. This film is really funny. Marvel seems to have progressively been bringing more and more humour into their films (with the odd exception), and I seem to remember when the original Guardians film came out, it was their funniest to date. Again this one didn’t disappoint and was very funny throughout the film.
  2. At over 2 hours the film doesn’t seem to lose pace. Sometimes you can watch a film and think it would’ve been better to have been a bit shorter. Although Guardians runs at two and a quarter hours, it doesn’t seem to hit a lull. That doesn’t mean it is action packed for the full 2.25 hours, but it remains interesting for the full length.
  3. Which leads on nicely to the next point, whereby I think this film does the characters justice. The sequel delves a bit deeper into some of the characters and we find out a bit more about their backstories, and who they really are. I mean some of it, we already knew without it being explicitly spelt out for us but it is nice to spend some time looking at the characters. We also meet a few new characters and we are set up nicely for the Marvel Movie Universe to continue to keep rolling.
  4. The soundtrack is absolutely on point. I think sometimes this element of films is often (wrongly so) overlooked, but actually plays a vital role. I thought Guardians got it absolutely spot on, pulling in old classics really well to move help move the story along, bring in some humour and also hit us in the feels. The original Guardians film had a great soundtrack, and Guardians 2 followed up with one just as good.
  5. Post credits. By now everyone knows you’re in for a little bit more once the credits start to roll in a Marvel film (with the exception of Logan, which omitted this for all the right reasons). We are treated to a whopping 5 – yes, you read that right – FIVE post credit scenes. Not all are that important, a couple are just humorous, but we get a glimpse of where Marvel could be heading for a couple of the future films. Make sure to stick around right until the very end of the credits to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film, and Marvel can take yet another one to the bank. You are pretty much assured to be in for a great movie experience when Marvel are involved. Definitely, go check this one out.

8/10

Boss Baby – Can I fire this movie please?

I’d been going back and forwards on whether to see this or not for a couple of weeks. On the one hand the trailers didn’t look great, but on the other I like to get value from my unlimited card, and although no Pixar, Dreamworks have produced some great films.

Having literally just walked out of the cinema, with that being said, this was not one of Dreamworks hits. I found this to be bitterly disappointing. You might be thinking, “well duh, your in your 20s, what did you expect?”. But, usually kids film she are actually pretty great, especially when you’re older. You can enjoy the silly kid it’s, while appreciating the jokes aimed at the parents. However, Boss Baby seemed to swing and miss for both of these. This film just seemed confused about how it was suppose to cater for both audiences.

The premise itself is a bit of a strange one to get your head around. I know this isn’t a “thinker” film, it’s about a baby who can talk and works for a company posing as a real baby on a secret mission for crying out loud. When I say premise, what I really mean is the ideas it explores (maybe I’m overthinking this, but I do think kids films also explore real life scenarios and  ideas to some extent).

Your initially confused if your supposed to dislike this baby for disrupting this kids life and taking his parents attention, but then you kinda think the (older) kid is being a brat and is out of line. But then you’re rooting for them both and hoping it works out (of course it does – its a kids film). Maybe I’m not sympathetic to the plight of an older sibling as I was the youngest of two?

I was expecting this to be pretty funny, but unfortunately the childish humour missed the mark (there actually seemed to be very little) despite a few little chuckles. The film felt littered more with jokes for the parents, which just weren’t funny and in no way a child would get – a joke about severance packages was made three times, of which it wasn’t funny, three times. As well as not being funny, it didn’t even really hit me that hard in the feels (despite it trying a little bit), which you can normally count on with a kids film.

Another gripe I had, and I’m sure I probably only picked up on this because I wasn’t enjoying it anyway – but there was some very lazy continuity moments in there from Dreamworks, such as an over spilled glass of milk being a-ok when you see it again 2 seconds later, and a pair of eye brows ripped off a character which reappear instantly. I think I’m being hyper-hyper critical now, especially as this is a kids film. I mean, does that really matter? No, it doesn’t. But the laziness still ticked me off a little. Just because it’s a kids film it doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

All in all I would say give this one a miss. I’ve seen a couple of kids films already this year, and this one is definitely the worst so far.

This has been really negative, and I appreciate I’ve probably activities this way too much for what it is! Anyway, I’m going to leave this there now as I’m about to go back into the cinema and watch the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which I am SUPER excited for!

Boss Baby – a measly 3/10

(PS this blog was actually written using my phone – the first time I’ve ever actually done that!)