Going to the pictures (II)


A while ago I started documenting all the films I’d been to see courtesy of my Cineworld card. While life has got in the way a few times, there are a few more films I need to add to the list. Without further ado:

Get Out (23rd March 2017)

This could have gone a little harder, been a little harsher with the racist angle, as I felt it wasn’t as cutting as it could have been. There was an odd feeling to the film, as if some parts didn’t quite gel with the others. However, good ending and the cast were all excellent. Daniel Kaluuya was perfect - and a special shout-out should go to LilRel Howery for just being ace.

Verdict: 8/10; would recommend if you’re sick of mainstream ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’.

Life (30th March 2017)

The ISS, first contact with extra-terrestrial life, and a truly international team of astronauts trying to stop it from spreading to Earth below. What more could you want? Exciting, tense, and its own brand of That Moment When that had half the audience in either complete suspense or on the verge of choking on popcorn. Good ending - wait for the after credits scene!

Verdict: 9/10; would definitely recommend.

Going In Style (11th April 2017)

Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, and Morgan Freeman - and a host of brilliant supporting cast members, not least of all Matt Dillon (who looks more and more like a young Bruce Campbell the older he gets). Good fun and a witty, moving film all-round.

Verdict: 9/10; would definitely recommend.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (1st May 2017)

The big one we were all waiting for - and we weren’t disappointed. Well, mostly. Apart from not showing everything that they used in the myriad of trailers they put out, it was as expected; family, friends, pulling together, some mystery, some not-so-unexpected plot twists, and a lot of fun and then tears at bedtime after the fact. All in all, another excellent Marvel comedy-action romp. And the best part? It’s still a space opera. Is it better than the first one? No. It is any less fun? No.

Verdict: 9/10; would recommend.

Sleepless (2nd May 2017)

An ironic name for a film that threatened to test my ability to keep focused on the plodding-along of things. The only twist was who you believed and why - and that wasn’t much of a stretch, either. A pity really, as the cast were really trying. However, I think it was kind of sabotaged by the writer(s) / The Powers That Be making it a bit of an uncaring mess.

Verdict: 5/10; would recommend if insomnia strikes or logic is unimportant.

Their Finest (3rd May 2017)

A war film about people making a war film - that has to be ‘authentic and optimistic’. Gemma Arterton was excellent, Bill Nighy was sublime as always, and the film was a very clever use of time and place. Definitely not a mid-week action/adventure blockbuster, this is a subtle slow-burn that you think is just funny until you realise how far you’ve drifted out beyond your emotional depth.

Verdict: 9/10; would recommend as an ‘authentic, optimistic’ film.

Alien: Covenant (15th May 2017)

Depending on why you’re watching this, it’s a few things to a few people. It answers questions directly raised by both Alien (1979) and Prometheus (2012). Generally, I liked the idea and the film itself. However, the twist I was waiting for didn’t appear and I was a little disappointed that it ended in such a predictable way. I was also a little perturbed by the entire Ripley / predominantly female angle being stolen from me as an audience member. The fact that they’d shifted the focus of the film, and possibly the franchise itself, to a male character, only struck me the next day. I was not happy about this. But make of that what you will.

Verdict: 8.5/10 for the film itself, but 5/10 for what it stole from me.

Baywatch (25th May 2017)

Is it me, or should you have a limit on the number of ‘fuck’s used in a 15 certificate film? Once upon a time, it was one. This film had no onscreen blood or gore, but it did have a dude with his tackle out centre-screen for a 2-3 minute joke. It also racked up over 20 ‘fucks’. Seriously, that’s when I stopped counting.

Apart from that, it was a fun romp that admired its leading men as much as it admired its female leads. A few jokes were a little silly, but seeing as it kept the role of Mitch actually quite serious and intent on his job (but cracking jokes to make points about doing the job properly), this can be forgiven. Dwayne Johnson continues to impress with his timing as a straight man to the co-star’s buffoonery. I have to say, this is my first Zac Efron film, but he was solid as the scallywag with an eventual heart of gold. I was a little put out when the plot called for the highest-ranking female to be swept aside, but it was explained why this happened and in fact this ended up to be defamatory toward Efron’s character. Whether this makes it ok or not is still a debate.

Good fun, some excellent one-liners and some worthy comic moments. Action, ‘heart’, and a brilliant almost-Bond villain in Priyanka Chopra. We need more of her in films, please.

Verdict: 8/10; would recommend.

And that’s pretty much it. We’ve got the new Pirates film tomorrow, but then I’m off to Hong Kong at the end of this week (where I’ll finally get to see Wonder Woman and see if it lives up to the hype.

Soopy-twist, everyone.

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