Wednesday, 26 July 2017

PARIS CAN WAIT

A woman at a crossroads traveling to Cannes along with her successful film producer husband, finds herself on a two-day road trip with his business associate. What follows is a carefree journey replete with diversions involving picturesque sites, fine food and wine, humour, wisdom and romance - reawakening Anne's senses and a new lust for life.

Billed as a comedy drama romance, it was neither funny, dramatic, or romantic. A man and a woman travelling together who stop and eat, sleep, drive, stop, eat, sleep, drive with just an occasional hint of what could have been possible if this movie had been made by a good director with a half-decent script. A bland, monotonous, soulless exercise that would have been interesting if it lived up to a small percentage of what the synopsis promised. About the only thing of any interest was the scenery.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

DUNKIRK

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

I had high expectations for this movie. The trailers looked great. It was disappointing. The music was loud, constant, and overbearing to the point you couldn’t hear the noises of the actual weapons. It was emotionally unengaging. There were some big set pieces but they seemed “staged” and the personal stories seemed disjointed and out of sync with the bigger story. Except for a few words at the beginning of the movie, there was almost no context for what was happening. It seemed as though the director was trying really hard to make this a blockbuster with heart but it didn’t work. Compared to movies like Hacksaw Ridge or Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk left me mostly bored. The best thread in the story was the fighter pilots and there were some good performances and a few moments of awe — none of which compensated for a noisy, disjointed, mildly entertaining screenplay. I guess you can tell I didn’t like it.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

THE BEGUILED

The unexpected arrival of a wounded Union soldier at a girls' school in Virginia during the American Civil War leads to jealousy and betrayal.
Beautifully filmed and very well acted. Nicole Kidman, Kristen Dunst, and Elle Fanning all do an excellent job of their respective roles. For me, Colin Farrell was the weakest character. While the movie was technically excellent, it didn't seem as intense as it should have been. Interesting but not emotionally engaging or substantial enough. Check out the 1971 version if you can find it.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT


Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

A very strange movie. Very eerie and unsettling. You never see what the IT of the title is and, like the characters in the story, we as viewers are kept in the dark about the larger context of what is going on. It's like we are isolated in the house with the family. Unfortunately, the movie feels a bit too smart for its own good - a bit too "arty" - which detracts from the tension and suspense. This movie will not be for everyone - especially if you like a straightforward narrative that resolves everything by the time it's finished.

Monday, 10 July 2017

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges.

If you are tired of superhero movies, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING might just be what you need. It’s great fun with a fresh storyline and doesn’t take itself too seriously — always a good sign in a movie like this. Tom Holland does a great job of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. It moves along at a great pace, there’s some good special effects, but, most of all, the story is actually interesting. This could be the best Spider-Man film so far — you actually care about the characters and it’s more than just a superhero movie. And the villain is refreshing (if one can say that of a villain). Great entertainment.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

BABY DRIVER

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Lots of fun, very fast paced, lots of action, car chases, funny, there’s romance, a great soundtrack, good acting, smart dialogue. Just about everything you need in a movie. Even with all that, I didn’t find it entirely satisfying and the ending is nowhere near as good as it starts out.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

MONSIEUR CHOCOLAT (Also known as, Chocolat. French with English subtitles)

The rise and fall of the famous clown Chocolat, the first black circus performer who revolutionised the stagnant circus acts and conquered Paris of the Belle Époque with his exuberance and originality.

A fascinating story of which I knew nothing. Well acted, good script, and a tragic story arc. There are moments when we, as an audience, are provoked to think about why we find certain things funny. Omar Sy, does an outstanding portrayal of the main character, Chocolat (his real name was Rafael Padilla). James Thiérrée (Charlie Chaplin’s grandson!) plays the other clown in the duo, George Footit.  It’s a good, solid, satisfying piece of storytelling.