Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 51

For me, Moorhouse's direction in The Dressmaker elicits similar satisfaction to a Baz Luhrmann film.   It's this portal into a fascinating, highly-stylised, different and memorable world.  And like Luhrmann, it's not for everyone.  There's mature content (including a no-consent scene), dark ideas and dubious morals.  There's also exquisite costumes and gorgeous tableau after gorgeous tableau.  I did not watch this one with Haki, who would have loathed it.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Guys, I love this franchise.  I can talk for a long time about how much.  I think it is way more consistent than many of the other greats; there's no installment that's a let-down (I'm looking at you Anakin episodes and Temple of Doom).  Being a war movie, it was hard to behold.  In the war of humans versus evolved apes, you best all know which side I'm on.  Apes.  Easy.  Hear me, Apes?  You can let me out of my bunker now, you'll know me by the sign "I only desire peace" hanging around my sorry neck.  Where were we?  There were a few moments that Haki and I thought were silly, but the movie's too good to air any proper gripes.  I think the Moses allegory was decent and the tie-ins to the 1968 film were beaut'.   What an amazing and terrifying ride. 
I can also gush about Moana.  I'm a Mo-fan-a for sure (my coinage; "you're welcome!").  Lin-Manuel Miranda's involvement in the project has plenty to do with that, but the execution of all that musical goodness plays a major part too.  The soundtrack is getting a lot of airtime around here, and you know, those drums call to my hips like nothing else.  Clement as a Decorator Crab being all Bowie-like?  Glorious!  Maui's inner voice represented as an alter-ego tattoo?  Genius!  Also genius: Rachel House.  Her performance (and corresponding animated character) blew me away, LOVE me some village crazy lady.  I'm also so happy about the continued Disney-shift away from shallow romance.   I was nervous about a return to the familial dynamic that irks me about The Little Mermaid (protective father is disobeyed by longing daughter, with little consideration of true risks).  And there is some of that -- an unpleasant in-between-the lines reading on offer.  But the gentle influence of the mother and grandmother characters alongside the concerned father (and an actual backstory that grounds those concerns) AND the island's changing needs mitigate that reading enough for me to feel comfortable.  Oh, I still add Mama-voice-over every time Moana pushes off into the open sea against her parent's wishes, don't you doubt it...but I love this movie.  I was moved by it.  We've spent a lot of time enjoying special features on YouTube together (sound booths, interviews, and animation specials -- so worth checking out with your little fans).
I love this film.  Love.  It is one of the best I've seen in a long time.  It has some mature content (sensuality and adult suggestions), but it is so powerfully performed and masterfully captured. 
Wonder Woman
I may have LOLed in-theatre at some things that weren't there for comedic value.  But that didn't stop me being entertained!  It's entertaining!  Side note: Gal Gadot is distractingly beautiful.  Haki thought it was lame, but I wouldn't go that far.  It's fun!  (and violent)
We saw this as a family for Ivy's birthday in April.  We all enjoyed it and have rented the DVD since.  I was surprised that Mia coped so well with the fight between the Beast and Gaston, but I think having seen the animated story first she knew a) it was coming and b) it ended the way she wanted.  

A Little HelpThis felt real, but also depressing.  Lots of mature content.  It left me feeling stink.  Do not recommend.
Director Paul Greengrass said in an interview that he saw the Somali pirates as criminals, not terrorists, and this depiction of their story -- as well as Captain Phillips' -- is fascinating for it.  The pirates' desperation is something you can almost smell and taste in some scenes, and provides a saddening commentary on the hopelessness of life in Somalia more than anything else.  Haki and I both enjoyed this one.
Watched on Netflix.  By myself *deadpan.*  Scary and so sad.  Has disturbing suggestions.
Yes, this is fictionalised, but I think it's an intelligent contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.  I hope seeing it will encourage others who have enjoyed a life of privilege to make a closer review of history and resolve to be better.  I read up on Eugene Allen after finishing the film, and think everyone should. 
As expected, this was weak.  There are some fun moments, some horrible ones, and a whole lot of weird and illogical ones.  The script isn't great.  Ah well.
I found this fairly average Woody Allen fare.
I watched this again for the first time in years.  Austen is amazing.  The girls enjoyed this too, especially Esky.
Hidden Figures
This was a great date-night movie for us.  It led to Haki watching The Help finally too. 
Anne of Green Gables (2016)
Like many, I feel THE TV series doesn't need fixing.  Buuut...I love Anne's character and Montgomery's story so much that, like an Austen novel, I'll watch every adaptation.  I find each one brings something new to the story that I appreciate, even if it fails to become my new favourite.  And this one?  Matthew and Marilla were great.  (The new TV series wasn't something I stuck with.  The pilot was enough for me.)
Noah's Ark (2015)
Available on Netflix.  I lower my standards considerably for my Sunday viewing.  It's true.  I can swallow B- or even C-grade movies if they are tasteful and Christian, come Sunday.  This was such a movie.  It isn't great, but I really liked some things about it (how Noah's family lived and reacted to his call to build, in particular).  My girls watched this too (Mia required some hugs of comfort). 
How to Be Single
About what you'd expect.  Just okay.  Lots of sexual references.  Why did I even watch it?  For Rebel Wilson, obvs, and they know it too, those casting con-people! *wagging finger*
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
Not bad.  But also not an animated movie I feel any need to own.  I mean, it's no Moana...
Sing
I was really engaged watching it, but I won''t buy this one either.
1 Night
Do NOT be lured in by the possibility of two romances.  This is bad.  The afterthought SF only soured things further.
Bokeh
Thought-provoking and...depressing.   I think the cover design post-apoc classification have led to a lot of moany reviews, but if you go in expecting something more understated, it's not as terrible as they're saying.
Ms. Matched
If you've seen that purple base banner there wearing a crowned logo and you're still reading the mini review for this one, well, try it!  One for the fellow suckas in the house!  You're my people.  I enjoy these now and then!  Not all, but some.  This was nice and really tasteful.
Here Alone
This has some ripper survivalist moments that are let down by a really sucky scripty.  Some violence (although this is more of a spotlight on the survivors than the...others) and lots of swearing.  The good bits made it a bit good.  If you're craving this variety, Z for Zachariah is probably a better idea.

Second bulk hit coming tomorrow! *gasp* 
Please bear in mind, these two posts are a recap of more than half a year's worth of movies...
Okay, it's still a lot.  Bahahaha.  (Just a bit over one a week.)
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