I’ve really been neglecting doing film reviews, and quite frankly, find it a little hard work. Also I’ve hardly been to the cinema this year, which is a bit of a surprise.
However, the Blu-Ray or streaming of movies at home has been in full swing over the past couple of months. So I’ve decided instead to do a monthly based micro reviews series instead, and for the first one you get a double feature, both July and August’s watches all in one post! You lucky devils.
Their Finest (2016) – IMDb
It was ok, typical BBC type film, ok as background fodder, but wouldn’t go out my way to watch it.
Fast & Furious 8 (2017) – IMDb
Whilst these films are no brainers, I recently put myself through sitting through them all. I’m amazed I let myself get past the 3rd one, which was awful, but was totally different cast and location, so I gave 4 a chance. It’s not very often you find a film franchise that goes on for this many films, and the quality actually improves. Obviously helped by big budgets because these films clearly make a ton at the box office, and always kind of give you that uplifting there’s good left in humanity ending where enemies have a habit of becoming friends, that actually works well. This is as good as 7, which I thought had been the best so far. I’m not massive on action films, especially long drawn out fight or car chase scenes that generally add nothing to the films, and I’m normally just thinking, can someone just win already so we can progress the story. However the Manhattan chase scene in this, is quite possibly the best car chase scene I’ve ever seen. Clearly a lot of it has been done with CGI rather than real cars, but it looks ace! The plot is obviously far fetched as usual, but something about this bunch of characters that you now like and want them to succeed and genuinely worry if any are going to get killed off.
Selma (2014) – IMDb
Not a whole lot to say about this as it’s a biopic of Martin Luther King’s campaign to get black people the vote. Obviously telling a very historic story.
Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017) – IMDb
Not quite sure why this is getting such a bad rap, a decent cast, plenty of funny moments (that I found funny anyway) and who can’t relate to a man wanting to get his dog back! Probably could have come up with a better title!
Buster’s Mal Heart (2016) – IMDb
I think this just tried to hard to be something that David Lynch fans would enjoy and in the end just fell a bit flat on it’s face.
Invictus (2009) – IMDb
The story of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and how Nelson Mendela used it as an opportunity to break down the barriers between white/black folk of South Africa after becoming president.
Gifted (2017) – IMDb
Story of some smart arse 8 year old who is a genius (and superbly played) and a battle between her dead mothers brother and mother on who should look after her and the path she should take in life. Quite good.
Ghost in the Shell (2017) – IMDb
Really, really wanted to enjoy this, but I just didn’t. Never seen the anime version, and probably never will. Kind of felt a bit like a Blade Runner rip off. Probably mainly didn’t like it because I just really seem to be struggling with action films as of late. The special effects however are top notch if that makes a film for you.
The Hippopotamus (2017) – IMDb
Based on the novel by Stephen Fry, an out of work poet is sent on a mission by his god daughter to discover if miracles do happen at a particular manor house. It’s a typical British comedy, some of the jokes are obvious, plenty of swearing, but in general it’s good fun.
A Quiet Passion (2016) – IMDb
The Story of Emily Dickinson, it was ok.
Colossal (2016) – IMDb
Probably giving too much away with the below, so if you are waiting to watch this, you might not want to read on
Billed as an action/comedy film, and the trailer makes it out to look funny and with an interesting concept on how this woman who is going through a mental breakdown is somehow connected to this monster that keeps appearing in South Korea! However, the film takes a turn, in quiet an almost sickening way, maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s the mindset I’m in when I watched this, but this film turns blackmail and domestic violence into a fantasy battle and a bit of a joke. Anyone who has dealt with it (I’m not one, so I dread to think what someone who has would think of this, going into it not expecting this) would probably find this film quite insulting. There’s also one art of the plot that explains the origins of how the monster appears, and I’m sorry, but if you were connected to something that looked like a toy from your childhood, I think you’d remember it!
4/10 and I’m probably being generous. Quite surprised Anne Hathaway accepted this role.
Sleight (2016) – IMDb
Young magician looking after little sister after parents die gets caught up with a bunch of drug dealers. This could have been so much more perhaps with another studio behind it a better cast and a re write of the script. Haha. In the end not a lot happens.
Going in Style (2017) – IMDb
Some guys nearing retirement get screwed out of their jobs and pensions and begin struggling with the bills. After one gets caught up in a bank robbery, they decide to do the same themselves. Strong cast, should have been funnier, kinda film you’d watch with your Nan.
The Circle (2017) – IMDb
The Circle, AKA facebook, and how a tech company end up wanting to control the world. A bit out there, unrealistic and the main character (Played by Emma Watson) is just so unlikable and an idiot that you just hate her. Tom Hanks also stars as a Mark Zuckerberg/Steve Jobs hybrid but again comes across as a bit of a prick. Film doesn’t go where I’d have liked it to go, and seemingly just ends abruptly.
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) – IMDb
Yep, I’d never seen this, and it is delightfully funny and British with the best possible outcome you could hope for!
The Lovers (2017) – IMDb
This started off really well, and the bloke, kinda reminded me of me, especially in scenes where his wife is crying and as a bloke, you stand there for a bit, try to console, they move away, you hang your head etc…, and then there’s the crazy woman he’s having an affair with who just seems a fucking nightmare, and reminded me of another ex. Anyway, married couple, both having affairs, the woman, is having an affair with Littlefinger from GoT so that’s a little weird, and both are planning when to tell the other, before they eventually end up back in bed with each other to make it even more complex. Despite the good start, this seemed to drag in the end for a film that only goes on for 1h40m.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016) – IMDb
Richard Gere stars as Norman who is a fixer, mainly dealing with American-Isreali business and politics. It’s not very exciting, but there’s some good bits.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) – IMDb
Different spin on a very old tale, that was better than I was expecting.
Wakefield (2016) – IMDb
Bryan Cranston stars as a bloke going through a mental breakdown and becoming bitter about his home life. Decides to pretend to go missing and lives in the adjacent (but part of their property so a bit far fetched) attic so he can still keep an eye on them. Months pass, we see flashbacks to why he does this and how he got together with his wife. I really, really, liked this film. I think the dark side of me would actually enjoy doing something like this and going off the grid and seeing how people cope. It’s a bit weird I know. I also sort of related to a few things. Make of that what you will. Obviously a point comes when you then have to decide to go missing forever or just turn back up, which was also good.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – IMDb
Yeah I know, 20+ years old, and I had never seen this. Starts off as pretty much any Tarantino film, and then goes all crazy with the vampires. Sure pretty much everyone has seen this. Enjoyable. I’m not a fan of feet but oh my, I would loved to have had a beer/wine whatever it was poured down Selma Hayek’s leg and drink it from off her feet. Yummy.
The Dark Crystal (1982) – IMDb
Had never seen this, and my sister loves it, to the point she has tattoos of it. So thought I better give it a spin. What surprised me was how dark this was for a Henson production and something aimed at kids. If I’d watched this when I was 6 I would have been terrified, and quite possibly would never have watched Labrinyth. But thankfully that never happened, and now I’m 37 and can appreciate this!
Dead Space: Downfall (Video 2008) – IMDb
The video game is one of my favourites of all time, so thought I’d give this animation film a go. It basically tells the story of what happens before the first game. Although they kinda did this also with a Wii game, but this seemed a completely different story.
Dead Space: Aftermath (Video 2011) – IMDb
Couldn’t quite work out where this one was set in terms of the games, seemed more of a follow up of the above film. Loads of nods here to Alien, which is kinda what the franchise is based on anyway, a character called Ripley, and a ship called the O’Bannon. Pretty sure they use the sound of the proton packs booting up from Ghostbusters too. Enjoyed this one more.
Chuck (2016) – IMDb
Enjoyable biography type pic of the life of heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, the inspiration behind Rocky Balbao and his rise & fall, and happy ending.
How to Be a Latin Lover (2017) – IMDb
A pretty poor quality comedy that has few laughs and is only saved by the calibre of some of the stars.
The Infiltrator (2016) – IMDb
Seem to be having a Bryan Cranston love in at the moment. Nicely paced and gritty true story drama of a customs officer going undercover in a bid to bring down a number of the drug lords in Pablo Escobar’s drug network. No doubt would never have been made if Narcos was not such a hit on Netflix, but this film is really quite good, and anyone that enjoys said series will no doubt really enjoy this.
Snowpiercer (2013) – IMDb
Set in a future where climate change has changed the world so much that what is left of the human race is living on a train that goes around the globe, the train is sectioned into various levels of classes as per a normal train. After some kids are taken away from the grubs, they make it their mission to get them back and fight the system.