Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Ten More 2017 Movies Summarised in Ten Words Each

So apparently the last one of these that I wrote did rather well. Go figure – people like quick summaries of things.

Thanks to some brutal old-fashioned competition between the cinemas in my area and the general enthusiasm of my friends, I have already seen 20 of the movies released this year, either in cinemas or via on-demand video services. That puts me well within range of doubling the paltry thirteen I managed last year and puts me in good stead for a nice, meaty top ten list at the end of the year. But it also means I can do that thing again. You know, the one where I unfairly reduce ten movies I’ve seen this year to just ten words each.

Mild spoilers may follow. Read my earlier oversimplified 2017 list here.
.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

.
.

Wonder Woman

That’s two good 2017 DC movies. Gal Gadot is incredible.”

.
.

Colossal

Part kaiju movie, part uncomfortable human drama. Insanely wellacted.”

Continue reading

Ten 2017 Movies Summarised in Ten Words Each

There are a few things I don’t like when it comes to properly discussing movies – or any piece of entertainment media, really – but two of my biggest pet peeves are

  1. Overly simplistic analysis;
  2. Relying heavily on comparison to other pieces of media.

Yet here we are in the middle of the year and I have written virtually nothing on this site about movies, mostly due to heavy time investment elsewhere in life. What’s more, I have somehow already seen ten films in cinemas this year (Throughout the entirety of 2016 I saw just thirteen). These two facts have combined with my itchy keyboard fingers and a couple of spare hours to create what you see now: Ten movie releases from 2017 so far, each conveniently (and poorly) summarised in ten words. That means lots of those two things I hate to fall back on. Desperate times, people.

Fun times though. I suppose mild spoilers may follow.
.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

.
.

The Great Wall

Fire Emblem with even more colourcoding, exposition and death.”

.
.

Logan

The Last of UsMutant EditionAvoid if feeling down.”

Continue reading

Best of 2016: Top 10 Movies

15354137_10155796102034848_920506471_o

I’m not sure if 2016 was a better year for going to the movies than 2015, but it was definitely a much better year for my motivation to go to the movies, and that mostly came about due to the comparatively high volume of “event movies” – or films a large number of people were talking about – that hit cinemas throughout the year. And as it turns out, even though a handful of those event movies were pretty average (spoilers: you won’t see Independence Day: Resurgence on this list), more than enough of them were good to make up what I think is a fairly decent top ten. So let’s finish this.

.
-◊-◊-◊-◊-
VR BEST OF 2016 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s strange. Fun, but strange. Respectful disagreement is very welcome.
-◊-◊-◊-◊-

.

10. Doctor Strange

While it’s easy to look at the plot of Marvel Studios’ adaptation of Stephen Strange and point out its rather generic “origin story” flow, leaving the assessment of the movie at that would be dramatically underselling it. Doctor Strange‘s place in the catalogue of MCU movies is as much about its unique look as its plot, characters and corresponding performances (which are great, by the way). The action that unfolds on screen is visually creative in ways matched by no other superhero movie – and the sequences only escalate in creativity and impact throughout the movie right up until Strange’s memorable final confrontation. Another good one, then.

Continue reading

Best of 2016: Top 10 Movie Scenes

15354137_10155796102034848_920506471_o

Movie scenes! Much like gaming moments, they bring delicious morsels of potential discussion to us and our friends – but they are much more static, and thus even easier to appreciate on a wide scale. Though this might have been a bad sign for originality or standout movie moments of any kind in eras gone by, 2016 brought plenty of animated hits and big-budget action blockbusters, and in recent years that has actually meant a pretty consistent well of memorable scenes worth talking about. This year continued the trend. Spoilers coming, obviously. Lots of them.

.
-◊-◊-◊-◊-
VR BEST OF 2016 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s strange. Fun, but strange. Respectful disagreement is very welcome.

Big movie spoilers follow!
-◊-◊-◊-◊-

.

10. Sweet Dreams – X-Men Apocalypse

sweet-dreams-made-of-these-quicksilver

My feelings on this scene are pretty mixed, because it’s very appeal is based on an all-too-similar scene that topped my list two years ago, starring the exact same character. Quicksilver, the breakout mutant of X-Men: Days of Future Past, has a lot more screen time in Apocalypse, and he kicks it off this time around with another slow-motion action scene set to a period-appropriate tune. The scene is, of course, amazing anyway, as the silver-haired troublemaker arrives at the X-Mansion just in time to save a bunch of its inhabitants from an explosion that happens to be unfolding far slower than the guy can move. The ways he saves them are as amusing as you’d expect, and the Eurythmics backing track fits everything so well.

Continue reading

Best of 2016: Top 10 Movie Characters

15354137_10155796102034848_920506471_o

Time to talk movies.

Characters remain the heart and soul of any decent film, and there were plenty of magnetic ones on the big screen in 2016, even if we’re just talking big blockbusters (which unsurprisingly made up most of what I saw this year). A few new takes on big-name characters make it on to my list this year, but as usual it’s dominated by the surprises – major and supporting characters that add laughs, narrative depth and/or reasons to get excited about every new scene in which they appear. Also, not a single villain on the list this year. Yep, it’s true.

.
-◊-◊-◊-◊-
VR BEST OF 2016 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s strange. Fun, but strange. Respectful disagreement is very welcome.

Some movie spoilers follow.
-◊-◊-◊-◊-

.

10. Wonder Woman – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Ben Affleck’s brutal take on Batman was one of the only positive aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that people seem to agree on, but he’s a character we’ve seen on screen a million times, so I’m putting Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman on this list instead. Slinking around the fringes of the action for most of the movie, Gadot nails the supreme self-assurance of Diana Prince, and she remains an intriguing figure you want to see more of – even if one of her major narrative functions is to be an audience surrogate for an incredibly forced Justice League introduction sequence. When Prince returns in the final act as Wonder Woman, she lights up the final battle, bringing with her one of the most immediately memorable musical motifs of the year.

Continue reading

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

Look at me, writing about things.

-◊-◊-◊-◊-
Starring:
Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto
Director:
David Ayer (Street Kings, Fury)
Rating: M

-◊-◊-◊-◊-

Well OK then.

As the first DC Comics movie of a post Batman v Superman world, Suicide Squad had a bit of heavy lifting to do. It had to prove that this dark and morbid (well, compared to Marvel’s) Warner Bros shared universe is capable of having some fun. It had to introduce a handful of characters that will no doubt be important later. And in a superhero-drenched blockbuster movie climate, it had to justify its existence by doing something different. Its success in these efforts is… limited. Which side of the “character vs plot” scale you tend to lean towards will probably be hugely influential in how much you enjoy the chaotic movie.

Continue reading

Movie Review: X-Men Apocalypse

Had to sit on this review for a while to give it some thought, and that ended up making it a long one.

-◊-◊-◊-◊-
Starring:
James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac
Director:
Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men)
Rating: M
-◊-◊-◊-◊-


.

Well, it turns out that couldn’t last.

The X-Men movies continue to exist, for better or worse, as the only discernible remnant of the superhero movie scene pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe. The way they have always done things sits somewhere between DC Comics’ macabre big screen blockbusters and the MCU’s lighter escapades, boasting an embarrassment of riches in the character department to mine for both humour and drama. When the movies are good, they feel like giant middle fingers to the critics who think there are too many superhero movies kicking around these days. When they’re bad, they tend to become the easiest targets for said critics, as at their core they tend to feel extraneous and disposable.

X-Men Apocalypse isn’t a bad movie, but it is the worst X-Men film since X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and as an X-Men fan first and foremost within the superhero movie realm, that stings a little.

Continue reading