Friday, December 21, 2018

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 53

These bulk hits are growing title-wise but the word count doth shrinketh.  You can decide if me posting now about some movies I saw in-cinema a year (+) ago is a neg or not.  Maybe I failed to spare you purchasing a ticket for something it turns out we agree wasn't worth it.  Sorry.   Or...maybe you'll get to enjoy these as back-catalogue titles that slipped through the cracks.  (It really has been a long time I've been saving these up.  So when you see how many are here, take pause before you panic I do little else, I haven't posted a hit since August of last year.  I'll break this up over two posts, one today, one tomorrow.)

Here we go...

Mortal Engines
Haki and I saw this in-cinema just this week, that's why I'm leading with it.  I read the book two years ago because Peter and Fran were attached to the adaptation project.   I enjoyed the film.  It's worth watching just to see the premise realised, if nothing else -- it's a fascinating idea and the film opens with a punch delivery of Reeve's vision.  There's some unfortunate preaching, heavy-handed imagery and glaring disappointments that undercut the overall power of the film (including a moment that is too Death Star to ignore), but I'm so glad I saw it!  Because: older protagonists, incredible effects and well-paced action improve on the original story for me!  I found the book revolved around Tom, who I found unlikable and unworthy of being the hero.  The film is Hester's story, and it's better for it.  Sadly one of the biggest disappointments is that Hester is robbed of something that should have been hers (and so is Anna Fang; let's discuss).  Shrike? Brilliant. Visually, I devoured it.  It really tickled my post-apoc-tastebuds.  Is it my film of the year?  No.

Candy Jar
You know how some high school movies are wittier and better than the bulk of them? (for they are what they are)  This is one of those.  (Wardrobe is also a bonus.)

My third-favourite Marvel movie, which is to say I liked it.

Ant-Man and Wasp
This on the other hand, I did not like as much.  I didn't dislike it, but it was just okay.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The effects are top notch.  Not a fave. 

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
A bit funny...though the trailers gave me most of it.  *curse you, trailers*  (And having re-watched the original with my elder two this year, I have to say, the reboot doesn't give the same chills; seeing other-world in our world trumps entering other-world.  But I get it, it's an update.)

Orbiter 9
Spanish sub-titles.  I know I lost some people already.  This is the kind of premise I can't resist.    It wasn't all I hoped it would be and the sensuality registered higher on the heat scale than would allow me to recommend it to more people, but if a lonely woman in space appeals to you and you have some patience, this is worth a look (watched on Netflix).

Miguel's voice!  This one's attention to detail and strong story make it a happy addition to the Disney-Pixar canon; it's quite the all-rounder.

Pitch Perfect 3
I returned for Rebel and laughed at Rebel.  Otherwise not great.

A Quiet Place
This is one of my favourites of this year.   It sits in my scary sweet spot.  Haki and I saw it in the theatre for a day date.  We went in knowing nothing but the cast and the tagline (my favourite thing to do) and felt so rewarded for it.  It went there with the children (something I usually can't tolerate) and one scene was a little too done for my liking (ask me), but so much was perfect; the suspense, the performances, the showing instead of telling -- just right.  I wish I could show my kids this like an education tool (if the going gets tough you MUST listen to me and ask. no. questions!).  The day will come they can see it, but it's a ways off.  P.S.  Yes, I cried.

Kong: Skull Island
Humans are the worst.  Didn't like Samuel L.'s...anything, really (do I ever?).  Also didn't like that the only person in a singlet was a woman and that Samuel L. was wearing gauze around his face to protect from bugs at the same time woman wore said singlet.  Disappointing overall, and I remember little beyond these notes a year later.

A Country Called Home
Found on Netflix.  For all the sad things in this story I found it surprisingly hopeful; I appreciate the messages about redemption and fresh starts. Oft-times understated, consistently well-written and well-acted, supported by a strong soundtrack and an interesting end. There are no sex scenes, but there's swearing, alcohol misuse and mighty servings of disappointing choices. This one's not a family movie, though a message about being intentional in making people our family spoke to me.  It's pretty tough on the South, but one character represents a break from archetypes.

Robot & Frank
Another one found on Netflix. This one's pretty cute and funny.  A bit sweary.

Mary and Martha
Ones like this get me every time.  This film was the inspiration for my last charity dinner (you can help defeat malaria here).  Available on Netflix.  (Speaking of charity events, my girls hosted this year's one, and they did the work.  It was a lovely arrangement.)

Sheep & Wolves

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
I want to like this.  For me: not funny.

Everybody Loves Somebody 
Spanish subtitles.  A bit rude.  Great script.  Enjoyed.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
A pretty good time.  Rogue One's still my fave.

Blade Runner 2049
Good.  Haki was disappointed.

The Greatest Showman
This is old news, I know, but in the sake of thoroughness, let it be documented, I thoroughly enjoyed this film when I saw it in-cinema (and the second time, with my kids).  Yes, it’s a flawed, inaccurate movie, but its radical oversimplification, gorgeous mise en scene and constant moving percussion have their own magic. As a work of fiction taken at face value, I consider it an utter delight.  I do think Barnum's actual life warrants a discussion, post-, and I'd really like to see more people from RL margins being cast in spotlight roles about marginalised people, but guys, this movie did something for me that movies don't often do.  It got me grinning and wishing it wouldn't end.  Even if it's been thrashed and over-alluded to since, I won't forget that.

Come back for another bulk hit -- 20 more reviews(!) in brief -- tomorrow.
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