Hello, everyone! First off apologies for the long absence. It was due to a combination of having a Masters Thesis to complete and getting more hours at work than I could manage. But now I’m back and I’ll be posting a new review this Thursday. However, I have decided to make a few changes to the format of this blog. From here on out, this blog will only be doing Special Interest Reviews, which will now be released on Thursdays. This Thursday’s article will be a belated tribute to the late, great Gene Wilder where I take a trip down memory lane and discuss the film I first saw him in, See No Evil, Hear No Evil. On Monday I’ll release the first in a series of opinion articles where I may talk about any random film-related news or issues that pop into my head. As for new releases… they will be getting a special new home in the weeks to come but as a last hurrah for their time spent on this blog, I’d like to take the opportunity to, in 100 words or less, give my thoughts on some recent releases that I missed in my absence. So let’s start with…
2016 has been a mixed bag for superhero movies hasn’t it? We started off with the witch’s brew of vulgarity, violence and fourth-wall breaking that was Deadpool. Hurray! Then we had Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice which was, to put it bluntly, a flaming shit-show of self-importance. Boo. Then we had Captain America: Civil War, where Marvel once again taught a class in how to pull off a shared cinematic universe. Hurray! Then X-Men: Apocalypse came out and the world sighed with indifference, muttering that the Quicksilver scene was kind of cool. Boo. So with a pattern of “Hurray, Boo, Hurray, Boo” what does Suicide Squad get? Anger. Such anger that I hadn’t felt in so long. And it’s only when you stop to think about the film that you attain this level of anger. It’s worse than just being badly made, but it certainly is that. What really separates it out is its lack of respect for the audience. We’ll get to that later. For the moment, warnings for there will be spoilers for Suicide Squad throughout the review and some colourful language. Oh and a spoiler warning for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice which is relevant almost immediately because…
Finding Dory is a perfect example of a film that is greater than the some of its parts. Please don’t misunderstand, none of it is bad but none of the individual parts are gold standard either. But the way they interact with one another is what raises this film up. It really is a question of how they position everything for it to have maximum impact. Watching this movie was like watching a chess master play a novice. For most of the game, the chess master doesn’t seem to be doing anything special. That is until he reveals that he was just after spending the whole game arranging his pieces, luring the novice into a false sense of security before absolutely decimating him and making cry like a baby. I didn’t cry though. I swear. I was too busy lifting weights and chopping trees with my face. Seriously I was. Shut up. Also, spoiler warning.
The BFG is like an incontinent labradoodle. It keeps pissing itself but it’s so cute I can’t stay mad. This isn’t Spielberg’s best effort but by God he is still the master of whimsy. I just couldn’t stop smiling. The BFG is a wonderfully retro, silly jaunt and a pretty poorly made movie at the same time. This somewhat undermines the position of the critic, so out of spite, I’m going to give you a detailed analysis of why this good movie isn’t a great one. What I’m saying is, kids will love it and if your heart hasn’t been turned to stone by the ravages of age you will enjoy it. If it has turned to stone, then sit back and enjoy me tearing it apart for the rest of this article.
Have to say at the beginning of this, that I am not the biggest Star Trek fan. I’ve never seen a full episode of any series but I have seen several of the original run of films. Combine this with a few random pieces of trivia, the impression I’ve gotten from photos and the film Galaxy Quest and you get a rough idea of my pool of knowledge. Needless to say, I am not an expert. That being said, I feel confident in saying that Star Trek Beyond is the best film in the current series by some distance. And it’s because it has finally moved on from being obsessed with the original series and its details without forgetting its roots entirely. A tough balancing act to say the least but director Justin Lin does it with style.
So soon into the life of this blog, I must go outside its brief. Instead of doing a new cinema release, this week I’m going to do a spoiler free review of the first season of the new Netflix series Stranger Things. Why you ask? Because the only films in my local cinema that I haven’t seen are Ice Age: Collision Course and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and with all due respect, fuck that. You don’t need me to tell you those movies are bad and that you shouldn’t go see them. I’ve said week in and week out that I don’t want to be constantly giving negative reviews so I have made the conscious decision to talk about something that deserves to be talked about. So with that bring on season one of Stranger Things, a love letter to the 80s genre movie.
The Fundamentals of Caring is a Netflix original movie and is also the third movie discussing the relationship between a carer and a disabled person that I’ve reviewed since I started this blog. To recap, Me Before You had the carer as a crusader, trying to save the disabled person, then muddied the water with a romantic relationship between them. The Intouchables was a film that placed the carer and the disabled person on fairly level pegging in a platonic relationship. The Fundamentals of Caring then has the characters be truly equal, savagely ripping into each others’ vulnerabilities and weaknesses. A wonderful, hilarious film that manages to be incredibly sweet without it feeling contrived.