Hotel Mumbai (2019) – I Have Absolutely No Funny Pun Or Subtitle To Put Here

Released: 14th March
Seen: 26th March

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In 2008, between the 26th of November and the 29th of November, 10 armed gunmen took to multiple locations in South Mumbai, including a cinema, a railway station, a cafe and a pair of hotels including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Over four days these terrorists killed at least 166 people and wounded 300 before police were finally able to take them down, killing nine of them while one was captured and his information led to multiple other arrests before he was also executed by the state. It’s a horrific story that is referred to as 26/11 by many people and, here’s where things get weird, has been made into 5 movies in the years since then. Today we’re going to talk about the latest film about this terrifble event.

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Fighting with My Family (2019) – PURE ELECTRICITY!

Released: 21st March
Seen: 24th March

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Let’s get this out of the way right up the top; I’m not a fan of wrestling. I’ve never gotten into it, I grew up right when it was really starting to explode in popularity and can even remember kids in my class in primary school yelling “The Rock is pure electricity” and not having a single clue what they were talking about. It’s a worldwide phenomenon that a lot of people really love and I really just can’t get into. So, a film that follows a family that is madly in love with the sport is going to have to work a little harder to win me over. It can’t just rely on a lot of insider knowledge in order for me to be able to get into it, it needs to be a little more than that. It needs to somehow play a balancing act between giving the wrestling audience what it wants while also providing those of us outside that very specific fanbase with something to enjoy. Imagine my surprise when the movie starts and I not only end up enjoying it, I end up loving almost every single second.

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Serenity (2019) – How’s the serenity?

Released: 20th February
Seen: 23rd March

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In 2005, Joss Whedon was given the chance to adapt his cult hit series Firefly into a feature-length film. The film, Serenity, was an intense action sci-fi film where the crew of a spaceship tried to find out why one of them is being chased by an operative who is tasked with killing them. It’s a fascinating film that’s gloriously shot and wonderfully written with some really great action set pieces and its criminally underrated… so it really upsets me that now when you Google that film’s title, you’re  going to first have to come across the 2019 movie of the same name that’s so hilariously bad that it’s almost art.

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Greta (2019) – Great

Released: 28th February
Seen: 3rd March

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One of my favourite films of all time is Fatal Attraction. The tale of a woman obsessing over a man who she has an affair with created one of the tensest motion pictures that I’ve ever experienced. It’s the film that I believe Glenn Close deserved an Oscar for and it’s a story archetype that I’ve grown interested in. Tales of obsession slowly turning into something terrifying will always get my attention, so when I heard that there was a new thriller out there that tried to handle the idea of obsession I was intrigued and hopeful that I might find something to join Fatal Attraction in my list of great thrillers and while Greta might not be as great as Fatal Attraction, it’s pretty damn awesome.

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Paddleton (2019) – Sweet Enough

Released: 22th February
Seen: 23rd February

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Originally, I was planning to see a movie called Lords of Chaos, a thriller about a Norwegian Black Metal band. I didn’t know much about it, other than it was inspired by an actual band and involved suicide, murder, arson and other shocking concepts. I was going to go see that but since I don’t make money from this and don’t get critic screenings a cost factor kicked in and I decided it wasn’t worth it so instead I ended up watching a movie about a man slowly dying of cancer… which, shockingly, was way more enjoyable sounding than the movie about the Norwegian Black Metal band.

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Stan & Ollie (2019) – Well, here’s another nice movie you’ve gotten me into!

Released: 21st February
Seen: 21st February

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When you look back through the history of cinema there are only a few performers who can truly be considered icons. One of the biggest icons in the history of cinema is Laurel & Hardy, a comedy duo who made over 100 films together over the course of about two decades where they basically were the biggest names in comedy. Their partnership started almost by accident, the two of them were part of the old Hollywood system that signed people up to contracts that kept them working for years and turned them into one of the most iconic duos in history. It was almost inevitable that some portion of their lives was going to be turned into a biopic, as it seems Hollywood loves to tell stories about itself. Of all the stories that could’ve been told, the one they picked was absolutely perfect.

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If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) – Let Them Talk

Released: 7th February
Seen: 18th February

If Beale Street Could Talk Info

In America today, one of the major issues is the way people are shuttled through the prison system, specifically people of colour. Thanks to a large amount of systemic racism that poisoned the prison system, African Americans now make up over a third of the prison population while only making up roughly a tenth of the American population. For me to go further into the details of what this means would be a pointless aside, though if you want the full context you’re going to need for this film then I suggest watching the amazing (and should’ve been Academy Award winning) documentary 13th on Netflix. The story of the prison system and what it has done to black American’s is the backdrop for If Beale Street Could Talk and while you might not need that bit of knowledge, it will make the film a richer experience.

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On the Basis Of Sex (2019) – Notorious

Released: 7th February

Seen: 18th February

On The Basis Of Sex Info

When the history of the fight for women’s rights is written, a solid chunk of that book will inevitably revolve around Ruth Bader Ginsburg, current Justice of the Supreme Court and (hopefully) owner of the philosopher’s stone that will grant her immortality so that she may survive for another millennium. She is, unquestionably, one of the key figures in the women’s rights movement and it seemed inevitable that her rise from law student to Supreme Court Justice would be turned into a biopic at some point, and it got one in the form of On The Basis of Sex.

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Ben Is Back (2019) – Mmmkay

Released: 31st January
Seen: 13th February

Ben Is Back

Every day in the United States, 130 people die from an overdose of opioids. Brought on by the pharmaceutical companies pushing painkillers that turned out to be highly addictive, this crisis has raged on through several communities and destroyed countless lives. While the phrase “Gateway drug” is one usually associated with pot, it should probably be used for opioids exclusively since (According to this piece by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) 80% of heroin users started by misusing prescription opioids. This is an absolute crisis that was inevitably going to be touched on by some form of media other than a documentary. So, how did Ben is Back handle this topic? Pretty well, to be honest.

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Cold Pursuit (2019) – The Plow King

Released: 8th February
Seen: 8th February

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When I was picking what film to go see this week, I put a poll up on my twitter account to ask what to see out of the multiple options available at my local cinema. The movies available to choose from were On The Basis Of Sex, Cold Pursuit and Ben Is Back. By the end of the poll, it was a tie between Cold Pursuit and Ben Is Back. A randomiser then picked the winner, so it’s not my fault that I went to see Cold Pursuit, it was fate… horrible, horrible fate

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