Posts Tagged ‘Film’

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.
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Wonder Woman

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

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Colossal

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

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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.
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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The Great Wall

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

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Logan

The Last of UsMutant EditionAvoid if feeling down.”

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Movie Review: Suicide Squad

Look at me, writing about things.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Movie Review: Captain America – Civil War

Oh look, another movie pitting superheroes against one another. I wonder how this one will go…

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Starring:
Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Sebastian Stan
Director:
Anthony & Joe Russo (Welcome to Collinwood, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Rating: M
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The only “complete” Marvel comic book story (if such a thing exists) that I have read to this day is Civil War, a seven-part 2006/07 series that was given to me as a gift a couple of years ago. A positively gigantic event, the series divided literally hundreds of Marvel characters down an explosive ideological line – one side led by Tony Stark/Iron Man, in favour of regulating superhero activity to safeguard against massive collateral damage – the other by Steve Rogers/Captain America, unable to reconcile his desire to do good with the politics he feels would impede true justice. When Kevin Feige announced that Marvel Studios would be doing an adaptation of sorts a couple of years ago, I was skeptical of the project, and I wasn’t alone. How could they possibly do justice to the expansive, universe-shattering story with so few established characters in their stable?

As it turns out, the film version of Civil War, appropriately prefixed as Captain America: Civil War, is such a loose adaptation of that comic that the argument is moot. Sure, there are nods to the structure of the original, but what the movie actually turns out to be is primarily a story about Captain America (the still-amazing Chris Evans) and the closest relationships in his life, and on that front, it succeeds spectacularly. It also has some pretty cool supporting characters, and almost all of them add to the sheer fun of the spectacle. Though Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a more focused film, returning directors Joe and Anthony Russo have now proved that they can handle much bigger casts with aplomb, resulting in a sequel that is almost as good as its predecessor, and noticeably fresher than Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Movie Review: Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice

Wow. There are an awful lot of different opinions circling around this movie at the moment.

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Starring:
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jessie Eisenberg
Director:
Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, Watchmen)
Rating: M
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a whole lot of things, but to me, what’s most surprising about the Warner Bros/DC Comics take on “shared universe” filmmaking is that it isn’t primarily a prequel to the upcoming Justice League movies, or primarily a sequel to Man of Steel, or even primarily a new take on Batman. What it is, more than anything else, is a Zach Snyder movie. If that makes a chill run up your spine then I understand your trepidation. If that makes you intrigued, read on. Continue reading

Movie Review: Zootopia

Can’t believe this is my first movie review of the year. What a crazy three months it’s been.

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Starring:
Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
Director:s
Byron Howard (Tangled), Rich Moore, Jared Bush (Wreck-It Ralph)
Rating: PG
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Well Disney, that’s five in a row.

The so-called “third golden age” of films from Disney’s main animated studio is still going – at least for another year or so – because Zootopia is pretty fantastic. A cocktail of painstakingly realised world-building packed with culturally relevant sight gags, Zootopia sells a vision of an idealised world with an all-too-familiar undercurrent of ugliness bubbling underneath. It’s one of the sharpest allegories for real-world social issues I’ve seen in an animated movie, and while occasionally a little overzealous in its desire to ensure its message gets across, Zootopia never halts its refreshingly-paced plot or sacrifices the believability of its colourful characters to do so, making it a quality movie for all kinds of audiences. Thanks to co-directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush alongside a suite of animators at the top of their game, the House of Mouse has extended its hot streak.

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