Wednesday, 19 June 2019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

A mission to rescue a crippled space shuttle goes horribly wrong when Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) becomes infected by a cosmic force and becomes the most powerful mutant on Earth. Meanwhile, an alien race lands on Earth looking to use Jean’s newly found power to conquer the planet.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Rocketman


If there’s one thing the movie industry is good at it is noticing a slight trend and then trying to capitalise on it. Even though an Elton John biopic has been in the works for years, the success of A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody made for promising signs of it being a hit. Bohemian Rhapsody, despite its success, certainly has its very vocal detractors who despised the director and hated how the film depicted Freddie’s sexuality by either straightwashing him or depicting it in a way people found grossly offensive. It seems unlikely similar criticism would be aimed at Rocketman because it is one of the very few mainstream Hollywood productions to feature gay sex. Rocketman’s higher rating allow it to be more explicit allowing it to provide at least some of the action that alluded the Queen biopic.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile


There’s a morbid and macabre aspect of humanity that enjoys true crime, particularly that of serial killers. You can probably name quite a few from John Dillinger to Harold Shipman, but almost everyone in America, and most parts of the Western world, can name Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy’s name has found itself back into the public consciousness following two highly publicised films/documentaries on Netflix about the notorious serial killer.

Friday, 3 May 2019

End Game (Spoilers)

 
SPOILERS

How do you review a film that is so dependent on one having seen (at least most of) the previous films of the MCU? How do you review a film that is so dependent upon you loving and caring for characters for you to get the most from it? All films are like this, but with Endgame, the most highly anticipated movie this century, this is so much more pronounced. There’s no point going into Endgame as a newbie. We have spent ten years (more for comic book fans) getting to know these characters and they mean a great deal to a lot of people. Stifled sobs were heard frequently throughout the screening, but none were coming from me. Despite seeing all but one of the MCU I still never felt love for the universe.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #251: True Crime


 
People love true crime, particularly women. Maybe it’s because they empathise with the victim (which are mostly women) or they prepare themselves for the worst (considering woman are most likely to be victims of serial killers). Maybe some women do empathise with the victim, but I still feel there is that element of excitement that draws women to the genre. Like so:

These types of films have been subjected to criticism for glorifying the killer and neglecting the victims. This leads me on to the next two films.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

The Shining

You can draw so many theories from The Shining that you can write a book about them. You can certainly make a documentary even if some the theories are so crackpot that even Alex Jones would be sceptical about them. The tiniest detail from the carpet patterns to the Apollo 11 jumper Danny wears is dissected to an inch of its life and provided as evidence for their own personal and overreaching theory.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Shazam


Between DC and Marvel the latter has always come out on top as DC’s darker more brooding tone was successful with a great filmmaker like Christopher Nolan behind the camera, but the other films like Suicide Squad, Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman were not successful in trading off humour for a more darker tone. It worked well with Wonder Woman because of Patty Jenkins deft touch but with Aquaman and Shazam there has been a much more apparent slide towards humour than a dark atmosphere and Shazam is DC’s most light-hearted film of recent times.

Friday, 5 April 2019

White Crow

 
Ralph Fiennes foray into direction started with a modernized adaption of a lesser known Shakespeare play, Coriolanus. In between this and his latest effort (White Crow) was a rather unextraordinary effort about Charles Dickens, but his latest effort is notable for Fiennes working in another language, albeit one he speaks fairly well. Still I can’t think of many British directors that make films in a different language.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Robin Hood

The film stars off by saying it doesn’t want to bore us with the history. This is a sure-fire guarantee way to piss me off as I quite like history so telling me the history of how English royalty and lordships abused the lower classes in 12-14th century England would be interesting to me. I think saying something like this gets the film off to a bad start because it shows that the filmmakers don’t have a passion for the history of the legend or the time it is set. It doesn’t feel like a project that isn’t backed by love.

Us

The Kane family arrive at their little holiday home which is within spitting distance of the beach where Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) experienced a traumatic event that would plague her for the rest of her life. The family do not know of this trauma and spend the day on the very same beach. Shortly after Jason, briefly, disappears the family return home only to experience a restless and traumatic night.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Everybody Knows

 
Sharing a name with a classic Leonard Cohen song, Asghar Farhadi’s film is about dark secrets that aren’t that much of secret. There’s always gossip in the local town as the locals know more than the family thinks they know and much like the Cohen song the uncomfortable truths like ‘Old Black Joe’s still picking cotton’ are ones that everybody knows. About to arrive in this den where everyone knows of the unspoken secret is Laura (Penélope Cruz) who arrives in Spain to attend a wedding with her son and daughter (the latter of whom is kidnapped).

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Captain Marvel

Right up to its release Captain Marvel garnered lots of media attention. Some of it focused on the negative anticipation as trolls flooded the Rotten Tomatoes site with defamatory comments about Brie Larsen’s statements on the lack of diversity in film journalism. This of course blew up in the media which, whilst denouncing it, just had the inevitable effect of drawing even more attention to it. Captain Marvel isn’t of course the first superhero movie of the recent superhero movie craze that features a woman as the main protagonist (which was Wonder Woman) but it is the first Marvel movie. This, of course, will be a cause of celebration for some.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #243: Cold War



There's more to the Cold War than one would have imagined. There's plenty of different narratives, other than the political, from espionage (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) to ideological battles (any Red Scare films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers) from the space race (First Man) to sports (Rocky IV). But none is more prevalent than the threat of nuclear warfare as two powerful nations, with an arsenal strong enough to destroy the world hundreds of times over, square off with the World at stake. Perhaps this is why the Cold War makes fascinating cinema, tension comes from incredibly high stakes and in these films the stakes have never been higher.

The inventor of this weekly theme meme is - http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Best Picture: 2019 Nominees Rundown

It’s Oscar night and just before the night kicks off I thought I'd provide a run time of the eight films in the running for the biggest award in the industry.

Note that just because a film is higher in the list doesn’t mean I think it’s a better film, I just preferred it. Anyway – here’s the list.

Monday, 18 February 2019

If Beale Street Could Talk


Every black American is born in Beale Street. It’s the birth place of Louis Armstrong and jazz. If Beale Street could talk it would have some remarkable tales to tell. There would be tales of success, but the tales of love, racial prejudice and injustice would be the narratives that would be the most profound. The many examples of innocent black men incarnated for their crimes is numerous and forms the back bone of Barry Jenkins’ remarkable second feature. Based on James Baldwin’s novel, If Beale Street Could Talk is about Tish and her husband’s family desperate attempts to secure the release of her husband (and father of her child) from prison for a crime he did not commit.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Alita

Set in the dystopian future, Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds the remains of a cyborg. He uses the remains to revive the cyborg, giving it the name Alita (Rosa Sazalar). However, Alita is not ordinary cyborg as she’s programmed with a fighting style long since assumed dead. Learning this, Alita goes on a quest to find her true identity. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #239: Revenge



The topic of revenge has been in the news this week thanks to Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson was dogged in some controversy in the most sanctimonious place in the world, Twitter. Anyway, they were angry about some comments that were made where he stated he wanted to kill a black person following the rape of a friend. These are clearly feelings of a guy was a racist, but the words of regret are words of man who knew he was wrong. This doesn’t mean we should sweep it under the carpet as these are issues the black people still face today. The main issue with Neeson’s comments his he didn’t acknowledge that.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Vice

Over the last 10 years 7 of the 10 male winners for Best Actor were playing real people (only two for women). It’s clear that the Academy love a big performance of a big character, however this begs the question whether this type of performance is acting or is it merely an impersonation? The answer is acting, but there’s just different levels. At one end of the scale we have Gary Oldman playing Churchill whose just Gary Oldman playing Churchill and at the other end of the scale we have Natalie Portman who plays Jackie Kennedy but gives a performance of such depth and skill she is able to making us believe we are watching Jackie Kennedy.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Blindspot 2019: The Battle of Algiers

Revolutions are rarely bloodless, in fact when they are it’s a notable occasion (think the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and German Revolution of 1989) but throughout history from the American Revolution to The Arab Spring violence has always been a major part of a civilian uprising. The reason for this is that violence is sometimes, seemingly, the only way to get governments to listen and even if there are instances where blood was not shed, these are special cases.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Beautiful Boy

 
A lot has been said about the subjects of Beautiful Boy and how it’s a perfect example of white privilege. While I understand the point these critics are trying to make, it is possible to comment on this without coming off an insensitive arsehole who decides empathy is only worthy for people without hefty wallets. A quote from a critic in The Guardian (shocker) does make the point that the wealthy have access to expensive treatments, but it’s just lacking in empathy.

Thursday Movie Picks #237: Movies You Walked Out On

This week’s theme comes from the mind of Brittani Burham from Rambling Film which, contrary to the name of her blog, is full of concise film reviews (among other stuff) that is certainly worth checking out. 

This week’s theme is movies you have walked out of. As I’ve only ever walked out of one movie (I’m getting my bloody money’s worth) I will populate this list with movies I didn’t finish (and never will).

Also make sure to check out http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.com/ as without him/her we'd never even have this blogging meme.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #236: 2018 Movies

At the time of writing I have seen 112 movies from 2018, but because of the way movie releasing works I am still yet to be given the opportunity to see some of the year’s most highly regarded films such as Burning and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Still here are three picks that are worthy of more attention. Also don't forget to visit - http://wanderingthroughtheshelves.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Favourite


The Favourite has been a favourite amongst the critics but the disparity between the masses and critics is pretty telling (one person on google pretty much admitted to being closed minded and simple by saying they shouldn’t force arty stuff on the masses). They were disappointed at not getting exactly what they wanted, but anyone with any knowledge of the films of Yorgos Lanthimos will expect absurdist humour rather.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

One Cut of the Dead

 
One Cut of the Dead was the most lauded film of Frightfest 2018. Everyone was raving about it almost as though a virus has been passed from person to person that meant they were deeply in love with the film. For about thirty minutes I was completed stumped as to why people regarded this in any positive light. The acting was stilled and awkward, the dialogue awful and the makeup effects lame and cheap looking. The one cut technique was brave, but it seemed too much for an inexperienced crew.