The Last Summer (2019) – Luke Warm For The Summer

Released: 3rd May
Seen: 5th May

The Last Summer

 

No one really expects much from a teen rom-com. Not really, they’re so formulaic at this point that the second I say a teen romcom there’s only a certain amount of things that are going to happen. It’s going to involve either seniors or people between high school and college, all of whom are played by TV actors in their twenties. Every plotline revolves around this couple who were a cute pair of friends as children but now they have hormones so, therefore, they’re into each other, they go on several dates that they never actually call dates and talk on the phone until eventually, the conflict happens that’s brought on by one of them withholding an arbitrary bit of information that leads to a temporary break up that’s undone 7 minutes later with some massive gesture of affection that warms the broken heart just enough for it to mend itself and bring them back together. If you go through any of these teenage romcoms, that’s just a series of events that will happen and films stand out when they put a twist on that plot or add interesting characters with a lot of well-written jokes… or you could just not bother, that works too.

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Long Shot (2019) – Exactly What It Says On The Tin

Released: 2nd May
Seen: 23rd April (Preview screening)

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Just scroll back up a little and look at the poster again, I’ll wait. Do you notice that it’s basically the exact poster you expect it to be for almost any rom-com? Seriously, picture the standard rom-com about an awkward guy who’s a little rough around the edges (or even just completely made of edges) who falls for a woman who is so far out of his league that it’s almost funny. Sitcoms thrive on this, King of Queens, The Simpsons and Married with Children just to name a few. It’s also a big trend in movies, Adam Sandler basically made a career out of it until Seth Rogen came out and played the everyman stoner who falls for the insanely attractive woman and they fall for each other. Do you enjoy those kinds of movies? Great, then you’ll like this one and no longer need to hear my lengthy diatribe on why I also enjoy this movie… but please keep reading anyway, page views give me validation.

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The Upside (2019) – There Is No Upside

Released: 19th April
Seen: 21st April

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In 2011, the film The Intouchables was released. A French film based upon real events, it told the story of a wealthy quadriplegic and a poor black man who come together and change each other for the better. The movie was a box office smash, netting 400 million worldwide and gaining enough critical acclaim and love from the audience that, at the time of writing, it ranks 39 on the IMDB list of top rated films of all time. It is a film that has resonated with its audience… but it’s in a language other than English so by the laws of Hollywood, they have to remake the film for audiences who don’t want to bother reading subtitles and in the process make a film that… exists?

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Little (2019) – Not So Big

Released: 11th April
Seen: 15th April

Little Info.png

In comedy, there is a storyline you see pop up again and again that could be described as ‘The Body Swap Film’ where one person is thrown into the body of someone completely different in order to learn a valuable lesson about who they are as people. They can also suddenly wake up in a body that’s of a very different age to what they were previously. This has given us such films as 1976’s Freaky Friday, Big, 1995’s Freaky Friday, The Hot Chick, 2005’s Freaky Friday, 17 Again and 2018’s Freaky Friday (which was also a musical, why the hell have we allowed four remakes of Freaky Friday to exist in this timeline?). It’s a very simple and standard story to tell. The main character is a bad person, someone magically turns them into someone different, they have serious emotional growth, they turn back into the person they were before only now they’re nicer. It’s sweet, it’s simple, it’s a framework that usually allows actors a chance to show off their comedic skills and Little is no different than others like it, in that it relies heavily on the lead performers to get through because it’s sure not going to be relying on the script.

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Missing Link (2019) – Proof Of Happiness

Released: 11th April
Seen: 13th April

Missing Link

Stop Motion animation is probably the most difficult kind of animation there is. Building scale models and animating them in the physical world, moving just a tiny portion of the models for every single frame and slowly creating movement by hand, something where a small accident could ruin days of work. If a model dries up then that could destroy a film. For the longest time the big name in the field of stop motion animation was Aardman Animation, the people who made Chicken Run (which I just found out is getting a sequel, which is awesome), and now the new people claiming the throne of stop motion animation is Laika who has been fairly consistent in releasing great films, and their latest film is no exception.

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SHAZAM! (2019) – Hot Damn!

Released: 4th April
Seen: 4th April

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I’ve previously talked on this blog about how nervous I get walking into DC films. After their attempt at an expanded universe netted exactly one good film (Wonder Woman, for the record) and got them a resounding box office failure with their massive team-up film… let’s just say that I get nervous when I walk into these things. Then Aquaman happened and it was above any expectation. I dare say that I should’ve probably given it an even 4 out of 5 now that I look back on it because it was a genuinely fun playful movie that understood that the material was not meant to be dark and so it didn’t bother being pointlessly grim. With the advertisements for Shazam! I was admittedly a little more excited, there was a brighter tone that excited me and made me hopeful that they were going to get this right… oh my god, oh my god you guys!

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Wonder Park (2019) – Wonder Meh

Released: 4th April
Seen: 31st March (Advance Screening)

Wonder Park Info

So, I’m not exactly a theme park enthusiast. I’ve tried to go to them before and never really enjoyed them. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the weight restrictions that basically tether my feet to the ground that I don’t want to walk on for four hours for three rides, I’ve just never been big on them. However, films about theme park rides? I… don’t care for those either, but only because they’ve never actually been good. With the notable exception of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, a film based on a theme park never seems to work and only seems to irritate the audience that goes to see it. When a film was announced to be about a girl who builds a magical theme park, I was ready to be annoyed and irritated by it. I was prepared for it to be Emoji Movie level trash. I was ready to sit down and write almost 2000 words about why it was an abhorrent piece of cinematic sludge that will poison your children’s minds and render them mute with its awfulness… but that implies that what I saw had something in it that was interesting enough to elicit that reaction from me and the only reaction I really have is “Oh, that exists”.

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