Dunkirk

It feels like we’ve been waiting for this one for about two years now, so I was very glad to get to see this film yesterday, now it has finally come out!

Dunkirk movie poster

I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan and his films – if I sat down and properly thought about it, I’m sure he’ definitely have a few in my top 15 (The Prestige is there for definite – amazing film). Now I wasn’t by all means disappointed with Dunkirk, however, in my opinion, this one is not quite as good as some of Nolan’s other efforts.

Nolan really is a master of telling a story, and with the subject matter of Dunkirk, he opts to focus more on what is happening as a whole, with characters used to help this along, rather than telling a story about characters on the backdrop of Dunkirk. The film follows three threads – The Mole,  The Air and The Sea, spanning across three different time timelines – a week, and hour and a day, respectively. Nolan always treats the audiences with respect and assumes we are following his story, which he again does with Dunkirk – although he does initially tell us what his plans before getting going.

Dunkirk looks epic, and it sounds epic. There is not much dialogue in this film, with the story very much being told visually, and there is no doubt that this a score crafted by the incredible Hans Zimmer. Running at slightly under two hours, it really did feel like Zimmer’s suspense building score was there throughout the whole film – which is definitely not a criticism. It bellows with the dropping of bombs and the crashing and waves, beautifully transitioning to a quieter pulse to build up even more tension. This isn’t the first time Nolan and Zimmer have worked together, and they continue to demonstrate they are an incredible duo.

This film is carried by the visual storytelling, and therefore there is not actually all that much dialogue in the film. Which is perhaps for the best, as I felt it was the films weak spot. Some of the dialogue felt clunky and didn’t quite flow – which could well be down to the fact that, despite a few big names, a number of the cast did seem to be relative unknowns. So the fact it was kept to a minimum was not necessarily a bad thing.

As this is based on true events, there is always the risk of a film like this not doing justice to the real events, however, I felt like Dunkirk did not do a bad job. It had its moments of making us feel despair, suspense, showing the cruelties and tough decisions that have to be made during a war as well as uplifting hope and triumphs. It should also be noted that nowhere is it stated this is supposed to be a historical biopic, but however, just based on the real events.

I was by no means disappointed by this film, however, in my opinion, it is not up there with Nolan’s very best. And I don’t think it necessarily helped that I have been building this film up for a very long time. That said, I did still really enjoy it – it is a very good film, and I would implore you to go and watch it. It is a very well crafted story and looks and sounds phenomenal. I didn’t see it in IMAX, but if you have the chance to I would probably recommend it, because I imagine it looks even better in that.

I’m thoroughly looking forward to what Christopher Nolan will bring us next!

7/10

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Spider-Man Homecoming

Oh boy – another Spider-Man reboot – maybe this time it will work? Okay, I actually didn’t think The Amazing Spider-Man was that bad to be fair. I did have relatively high hopes for this reboot though having seen a sneak peek of Spidey in the last Cap movie. As I always try and do – this review will be spoiler free.

To be brutally honest – I did have my doubts about this movie, and how invested I was going to stay in the Marvel Movie Universe. I really enjoyed the last Guardian’s movie, but on the Avengers side of thing, I was starting to get a bit weary. The last Cap movie wasn’t a bad movie – but I also didn’t think it was really a Cap movie, it was more of a mini-Avengers film. Which I didn’t want to see, I wanted a Captain America movie – I know the Universe is well and truly connected now, but it would’ve been nice to see Captain America out on his own, rather than what was effectively Cap vs Iron Man. So with this movie, when I started seeing a fair amount of Iron Man in the trailers, I was worried we were going to go down the same path, and this wouldn’t be a focused Spiderman movie.

Thankfully – that wasn’t the case. I thought this film did a really great job of giving Spidey a good movie. As I said, despite my thoughts on Civil War, I did enjoy Spiderman’s appearance and was looking forward to seeing him in his own movie. We’ve seen a few variations of the web slinger in recent history, and I do feel as though this has been the best effort for Peter Parker so far.

The movie ticks along nicely and covers all the right formula elements for a Marvel film. They have got comedy down. The villains are often nothing special, but Michael Keaton does a good job, in a different take on Birdman (get it?), without really pushing any boundaries. But the biggest thing this film has going for it is the how likeable the characters are. Granted, for the most part you are supposed to like the superheroes, but a lot of the time they walk the line of being almost too obnoxious, or too goody two shoes – but Tom Holland has a charm about him as Spidey which is just really darn likeable.

One of my favourite characters and a stand out was Jacob Batalon’s, Ned, Peter’s best friend – he was very funny and in a universe where none of the Avengers are really normal people, he did help really hit home how average a guy Peter Parker really is. I was nervous how much Iron Man we were going to see, and thankfully the balance was just right – there was enough of him to make it worthwhile, but no so much so that it overshadowed Spidey. We get to see more of John Favreau’s, Happy, who I think is just a great character in this Universe, who again brought some great humorous bits to this film.

What I did enjoy about this film is that it didn’t feel crazy CGI’d. Obviously, there is some, and in one scene it did get a little too much for my liking, but by comparison to the recent Avengers movies, this felt a lot lighter on the in your face CGI – which was very welcome.

The film is a little over two hours, which pushed it a little bit, but it never felt all that slow – any longer and it would’ve been. Overall, this is a good Spidey film with a few little reveals to please fans and gave us a nice introduction to the character, of who we are going to see more of in the coming years.

Just a note on one thing that really annoyed me – Gwenth Paltrow appeared fourth in the main credit list of characters, despite only having about 30 seconds of screen time which added almost nothing to the movie. I thought that was very disrespectful to all the actors who appeared throughout the film and gave great performances – I don’t care if she is a bigger name, it felt a slight on some of the cast and it was something that rubbed me up the wrong way.

As always, there are post credits scenes – unlike the recent Guardian’s (5, really?!) there are only two this time, with the second being right at the end of the credits – so if you want to see them, make sure to stick around.

And with that, Marvel, I am back in.

8/10

The House

I actually saw this film a couple of weeks ago, and experiment with recording an audio review on my drive home. Unfortunately, the sound was terrible and just wasn’t publishable so it has never seen the light of day. It’s something I may try again sometime in the future, but for now it’s back to good ole written reviews.

 

I don’t think it is a secret to anyone who knows me that I am a HUGE Wil Ferrell fan. I know there seems to be a bit of a split of opinion on him, as he is a bit of an acquired taste – but personally, I don’t think there is a funnier comedy actor out there than him. So inevitably, I am always super excited when I see that a new Ferrell film is coming out. Unfortunately, Will Ferrell isn’t in as high demand as he used to be and his films aren’t as main stream over here in the UK, which meant it wasn’t picked up my small local Cineworld, so had to pay extra  to see this at one of the larger multiplexes.

As you’d expect from a Will Ferrell film, it isn’t hugely plot driven, there is just enough story there to allow for an hour and a half of ridiculous, and in my opinion, hilarious jokes. The premise is basically Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler’s daughter has got into college, but her scholarship from the town has been withdrawn, so they need a way to earn a lot of money to afford for her to go. Enter Jason Mantzoukas’s Frank, their down on his luck friend who comes up the idea to open an underground casino to raise funds. Cue hilarity.

You know what to expect from a film of this nature, and from Will Ferrell. He plays a very similar role in the majority of his films with slight twists – we’ve seen him play this kind of role as a news man, an ice skater, a basketball team owner, a soccer coach, a cop, to name a few – and it is always funny. What I love about this brand of humour, is it not only really silly and childish, but there is also a lot of physical humour away from the jokes. You need to watch the facial expressions and what is going on in the background because there is a lot more that has been put in there to give even more laughs.

The comedy cast line up is brilliant in this film, alongside Ferrell we have Amy Poehler who has proven she is a very funny actress and works well with Ferrell as we have seen in Blades of Glory, Jason Mantzoukas who I loved in the show The League brings his usual crazy brand of humor which doesn’t fail to land every time. Nick Kroll who also was great in The League has a minor role and is really funny every time he is on the screen, he plays a comedy villain very very well, as well as Rob Huebel who pops up a few times, as he tends to do in comedies like this. We’re also treated to a cameo from Jeremy Renner which sets up one of the funniest scenes in the films – a classic formula of selling a gag, and then re-selling it couple more times.

A lot of the humour comes from the characters becoming unhinged and going off the rails – which throughout the three main stars careers we have seen them do very well, and once again they don’t disappoint. If I were to have one criticism of the film it would be that Poehler could’ve been used more. She is incredibly funny and I think she deserved more screen time than she got.

This film doesn’t do anything new – you know what you’re going to get – it’s 90 minutes of joke after joke after joke which doesn’t really slow down. If you’re a fan of this kind of humour like me, you’ll enjoy it – if you’re not a Ferrell fan, just don’t go see it, because you probably won’t.  I loved it, and I can’t wait to see another Ferrell new release. (I did see a week or so ago that there is a sequel to Daddy’s Home on the horizon which I am very excited for!)

8/10 – I appreciate I am biased due to the fact I am a Will Ferrell fanboy.

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