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Ford Vs Ferrari

 

I really liked this. Well shot, brilliantly acted, a great story, heroes you can get behind, villains you can hate, nerdy car bits, exciting action sequences, a few laughs and done emotional bits, the occasional wandering accent. Great all round.

 

5/5

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

 

More than lives up to the hype. Immaculately shot, scripted and performed - it's a period drama that feels thrillingly contemporary and achingly relevant, and its central romance is just captivating. You'll believe a two-digit number can make you cry.  

 

5/5

 

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Saw Parasite last week and it was kind of exactly what I was expecting from a dark Korean movie. The weirdest thing was that it won the Oscar for best movie, not because it wasn’t really good, but because it really is your typical atypical, great, off the wall Korean thriller.

 

I can imagine that if this was the first experience I’d had of Asian thrillers or horror movies this may well be up there as my favourite movie, but that award long ago went to Ju-On and Suicide Circle, with Old Boy, I Saw the Devil and The Wailing all creeping me out and blowing me away with their originality way more.

 

If I’d just seen it without the hype I’d simply add it to my long list of excellent Asian movies that no one really watches over here. The fact it’s best movie at the Oscars is just frickin bizarre. I think it needs a second watch so I can really soak it all in again.
 

Anyway, 4/5

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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

 

If you liked Welcome to the Jungle then you'll like this. It's effectivly the same plot but with The Rock and Kevin Hart challening old men, but that doesn't matter because it's really good fun and there's plenty of laughs. 

 

4/5

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1 hour ago, Horribleman said:

John Wick 3 

 

Turned it off after an hour. I've watched the others and thought they were decent but this was literally just go somewhere, have a fight, go somewhere, have a fight for a bit longer.....

 

2/5

 

 

And all that... over a DOG?

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I finally watched Uncut Gems on the weekend - very, very good, 4/5 for me. This then prompted me to go back and finish Good Time, which I did tonight and it was also, on balance, very very good, 4/5. Uncut Gems is the better of the 2 though and I’ll tell you why. 
 

What both of these films do is take a central character who is a really nasty piece of work and have them do a bunch of reprehensible shit, all while a pounding, overbearing soundtrack assaults your ears and 5 or 6 people try to talk over each other in the most obnoxious way possible. It’s a recipe for winding the audience up and stressing them out - but the brilliance lies in the fact that by the end of the movie you don’t hate the main character. In Good Time I should have been rooting for the cops to come and take him away but actually I felt really sorry for him. He’s a devious twat who fucks over everyone who walks into his life but the movie establishes very clearly that he’s a product of his surroundings - too dumb to ever make it out, too proud to ever have the humility to ask for help and blindly motivated by his love for his brother - even though all he does is make his brothers life too hard. To the police, he’s just a cockroach that needs squashing, like the woman we see getting rugby tackled in a programme in the background. It’s completely, hopelessly tragic. 
 

Uncut Gems is more successful - by the end I didn’t just feel sorry for Sandler, I was rooting for him. And again, it’s a tragic story - a man so addicted to gambling he does the riskiest stuff you’ve ever seen. And he’s not stupid - he knows what he’s doing but does it anyway, he’s so in the thrall of addiction. By the end I didn’t know whether to look away or stop blinking. Brilliant stuff. 

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John Wick 3

 

I'm a pretty big fan of the previous 2 and this was  definitely not a disappointment.  all three movies are a little flat when not in the action so to speak  so that's always been an issue but  this one has the added improvement of a worthy end boss fight, Some of the action , especially  using animals and motorcycles, was hilariously and cartoonishly brutal.

 

I can understand how people would get bored with it as it can be something of a overload of violence with periods of guff in between   but for me it was the best of the 3 movies  so far. 4/5

 

 

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Kong: Skull Island (2017)

 

I'd heard that this was quite good fun for a popcorn monster movie, and while some of the imagery was quite striking, it was clunky as old boots and went downhill sharpish from the halfway point onwards. The editing was all over the place, too. Mostly, it served as a reminder of how good (and, IMO, underrated) Peter Jackson's Kong is.

 

2/5

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Color Out Of Space

 

Nicholas Cage is riding high here off the back of the wonderful Mandy, this horror sci-fi is great when pulling from The Thing, but the tone is all over the place. Loads of laughs in the cinema, but I’m not sure all were intentional.

 

3 and a half mutated alpacas out of 5

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Well.

 

Color Out of Space (2019)

 

Spoiler

Someone finally made a no-holds barred Lovecraft adaptation. That person, for better or for worse, was Richard Stanley.

 

I found the script a bit clunky, with plenty of unsubtle exposition. There are a few jump scares, which are a cardinal sin of any cinema but especially so anywhere near Lovecraft. Nicolas Cage was Nicolas Cage, again. There's some gruesome body horror, which felt like it was definitely pushing the inexplicably lenient 15 certificate.

 

There's some levity in Cage ranting about alpacas and playing the befuddled dad, which is very much needed when you spend the latter half of the film watching the family being helplessly torn apart. (And, in one case, quite the opposite.) It was also a bit special to see proper, legitimate references to things like Arkham that actually belong to that world, instead of being a tangential nod. I very much doubt that the Necronomicon would be published in paperback, though!

 

It's deeply flawed. Some of the audience hated it but I didn't. But I didn't love it either. It doesn't pull back at all from the cosmic elements of Lovecraft's body of work but there was always going to be some shortfall in translating the unimaginable to screen. Stanley doesn't quite succeed, but I'm glad that he tried.

 

Overall, a hearty ?/5.

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Creepy (2016)

 

The first (Kiyoshi) Kurosawa film I ever watch and it had to be the shit one.

 

The first hour is an effective slow burn, before the second hour collapses under the weight of characters doing dumb shit and too many patently unrealistic things left unexplained. That said, the two main stars were excellent and despite the story bring awful, the direction was good and I'm willing to give Kurosawa another chance. 

 

2/5

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The Philadelphia Story (1940)

 

If I'm being honest, this disappointed me, which is a real shame because its rated very highly (100% on RT) and features some amazing talent. You've got (imo) one of the greatest actors of all time in James Stewart alongside other hollywood heavyweights Katherine Hepburn & Cary Grant and yet something just didn't click with me. The script is tight and it's extremely well acted but I just found myself not really caring about the characters or their troubles. They all came off as a little self important, impulsive and lost (I think that's probably the point tbh) but it didn't endear me to them at all, it made me not really want to watch them. A massive shame because not being able to enjoy Jimmy Stewart is very sad indeed.

 

3/5

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The Invisible Man - Decent interpretation of the classic tale with some really good ideas. A couple of plot holes, but willing to overlook as the film done so much right. Not too sure if I loved the ending but still a solid film. 

 

3 Skulls (plus an invisible one) out of 5

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The Dark Knight Rises

 

The production is great, just like the others, and I like the characters. The first act setup is great, and Selina was good, and the whole thing about the prison escape and the subsequent street brawl was alright. However, I think that the previous two films had more interesting villains and the main baddie here just seemed like an angry power dick.

 

Over the past few weeks I watched each film in the trilogy for the first time and expected them to be cringe levels of edgy grimdark, but the wacky gadgets and OTT villainy give all of them a little charm. They're all decent, but TDK's Joker was an ace villain, and I loved the establishing character-building in Begins, so...

 

3/5

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Raiders Of Atlantis (1983)

Pure bonkers Italian action fare that dispenses with crap like coherent plot and character development in favour of infinite-ammo gunfights, biker guys from Atlantis, and helicopters, lots of helicopters, because 80s action isn't 80s action without some choppers. Yeah there's something to do with a Russian sub with nukes on, and a mystery stone tablet, but don't let all that get in the way of the ACTION. Great fun, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Thoroughly entertaining.

 

3.5/5

 

 

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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

It's an odd one: it's essentially more of the same sexy/zany primary-coloured action as the first, and yet it's amazing how hard the law of diminishing returns hit. There was a point in this about two-thirds of the way in I was numb to it all, like being repeatedly kicked in the face with a pink PVC thigh boot for an hour straight with The Prodigy playing loudly in the background. Mind you I am a sucker for innuendo so John Cleese getting more and more shocked by Lucy Liu's action reports did make me chuckle. It's entertaining enough, and maybe if you leave it a few months between watching this and the first it'll feel better, but I was sort of glad they didn't grind out any more after this.

 

2.5/5

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Dark Waters
Courtroom/big pharma true story featuring the always good Mark Ruffalo as a lawyer going up against DuPont and the decades long poisoning of the land and people. shocking revelations of what has happened and you’ll probably be wanting to throw all your Teflon pans out after watching it.

Anne Hathaway felt miscast but it told it’s dour tale compellingly. Pretty shocking stuff really how corporate greed led to whole towns and family’s ruined.

 

3/5

 

 

 

 

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Anna (2019).

 

Luc Besson tries (and fails) to capture some of the magic that made Leon: The Professional and La Femme Nikita so amazing.

The whole thing is slow, boring and unsexy.

Welsh Luke Evans doing a Russian accent but ends up sounding Irish. Irish actor Cillian Murphy doing an American accent and looking bored through the whole thing. Russian model Sasha Luss trying her best to act but coming across like an actual mannequin with no charisma.

Yeah, a big dud and not a patch on Atomic Blondie.

 

1.5 dispatched henchmen / 5.

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