Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Bloody Good

Released: 12th June
Seen: 27th June

Da 5 Bloods Info

Throughout the year, I keep a document listing every film I see. I do this mostly as a refresher for when I make my end of year lists and the Oscar predictions, since some films may have been amazing but because my memory is so iffy sometimes I may not think about it right off the bat. I also keep a second list, a ‘potential best and worst’ list so if something stands out as particularly good or particularly bad then I won’t forget it when the time comes to make those lists. By June of last year, I had a top 10 best list I could’ve posted and still had to make some really painful cuts. This year? I barely have a top 5 I feel that confident about, that’s how empty this year has felt. You can undoubtedly blame most of this on the current plague we’re experiencing that has pushed so many films back over a year and only left us with streaming films. Add to that the general rule that the prestige films tend to wait until around the time the Oscar nominations are being sorted out and it’s been a slow year and someone needed to throw something out to fill the void… enter Spike Lee.

Continue reading “Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Bloody Good”

Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road

Released: 30th January
Seen: 14th February

So… the guy who directed Independence Day and that really bad American remake of Godzilla wants us to take him seriously. Roland Emmerich, a director who only has 2 films that got above average reviews from critics, would really like it if you could look at his film Midway and say “Why, Roland, you are an artist who is right up there with all the other great war filmmakers”. I would love to say that, I genuinely would. I would love to have a fun subversive twist by ending this slightly sarcastic paragraph with the shocking reveal that this film is actually great… but I’m not a liar and “it’s average” is not enough, especially when the average Roland Emmerich film is so awful.

Continue reading “Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road”

1917 (2020) – One Hell Of A War Film

Released: 16th January
Seen: 26th January

The very first Best Picture Oscar winner was the War film Wings, way back in 1928. Since then a grand total of 16 War movies have taken home the little gold statue for Best Picture. Considering only 91 of those statues have been handed out, for 16 of them to go to films about war is pretty big. War films can be epic or personal but they are usually very Oscar Baity, full of big dramatic performances that are fantastic to put on a reel while names are announced for big awards. This year’s big war film is 1917, currently, the most likely Best Picture winner (though I’ll have full thoughts on that in a few weeks) which recently took home the Best Film at the Golden Globes. My big worry, when I walked in, was that this was a film with a lot of style that would end up treading the same waters we’ve seen in dozens of other war movies, so imagine my surprise when this epic war drama turned out to live up to its impressive hype. That never happens.

Continue reading “1917 (2020) – One Hell Of A War Film”

Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Springtime

Released: 26th December
Seen: 30th December

So… the Nazis are back. Do you remember them? God, you probably shouldn’t because we all agreed back around 1945 that Nazi’s sucked and anyone who does anything even remotely Nazi-like was a worthless piece of excrement that we didn’t have to listen to… then the world went freaking insane and now we have Nazis again and they’re out in the open like that’s in any way acceptable. I mean, it’s good that they’re open about it so we can punch them in the face but yeah, Nazis suck and no one should ever want to be one. There’s a controversial political statement, it’s bad that Nazis are still a thing. Maybe the problem was that we weren’t making enough fun of Nazi’s, there’s only so much Mel Brooks could do after all so it’s about time someone else made a movie that not only made fun of how stupid and ugly every single Nazi actually is… but damn it Taika, did you also have to make me cry like a child while you were doing it?

Continue reading “Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Springtime”

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) – Don’t Judge A Film By It’s Title

Released: 8th February
Seen: 12th August

Sometimes a film title tells you everything that you need to know about a movie before you even walk into the cinema. A title like Scream, short and pithy as it is, tells you the exact reaction the filmmakers hope to get out of you. A title like Sharknado tells you that you’re in for something gloriously silly and over the top. So how do you think I reacted when I saw that there was a film with the title The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot? That’s right; I was elated because that is one of the most glorious titles that I have ever read in my life. It’s a title that drips with promise and potential, the suggestion of some glorious insanity that will be the kind of film that you watch drunk with friends. It sounded so fun and so camp… and then the film started and delivered a very different film that I’m still unsure about.

Continue reading “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) – Don’t Judge A Film By It’s Title”

Tolkien (2019) – Everybody’s Tolkien At Me

Released: 13th June (Advance Screening)
Seen:7th June

To say that the 1937 book The Hobbit was a game changer would be an understatement. When it comes to the fantasy genre, one could say that The Hobbit and its follow up novels are the reason the fantasy genre still continues to have a life. It’s a work that inspired countless authors and, of course, eventually, lead to three of the most beloved movies of the last 20 years with the iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy. They also made movies based on The Hobbit but we don’t talk about those. Those films were huge though, truly massive moments that are landmarks of cinema and when they ran out of Hobbit movies, someone had to find something to fill the void and since the rights for the stories are with Amazon for that upcoming prequel series, the only way to fill the void would be to do a story about the author himself. You can almost hear the executive squealing with delight when they came up with that idea, even more joyful when they realised that Tolkien was in the First World War so they could do a huge battle scene. Basically, this was a way to get another Lord of the Rings movie out on a smaller budget and it would’ve worked so wonderfully… if, ya know, it was engaging.

Continue reading “Tolkien (2019) – Everybody’s Tolkien At Me”

The Aftermath (2019) – Bland

Released: 23rd April
Seen: 3rd May

The Aftermath Info.png

So, this one is going to be exceptionally hard to write about. In general, when a movie gives me a lot to work with it’s fairly easy to sit here and explain why it does or doesn’t work. A particularly good or bad film can almost create its own review through sheer excitement or revulsion. What’s a lot more difficult to write about are movies where I feel absolutely nothing, not a shred of emotion either for or against the film. A generic boring slog will always be the hardest thing to write about because while describing why the movie is a generic boring slog, I have to attempt to ensure that this review isn’t a generic boring slog… though it does help when the boring film shouldn’t actually be boring based upon its subject matter.

Continue reading “The Aftermath (2019) – Bland”

Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!

Released: 6th December
Seen: 3rd December (Advanced Screening)

One of the great joys of doing this is getting to really see some intense hard-hitting films. As I slowly start to finish out 2018 I look back and think about the hard intense thrillers, the powerful dramas, the deep explorations of the human psyche that I have sat through for the last 12 months and after all that it’s about time that I got to have a nice simple movie that I could switch my brain off during and just enjoy for its visceral delight in being over the top… and Overlord provided me exactly that.

Continue reading “Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!”

Dunkirk

Seen 20th July

Dunkirk.jpg

Christopher Nolan has one of the best track records in film. The man knows how to put together a movie better than most. When he does blockbusters they bust every block around, when he want’s to go cerebral and produce a weird dream movie then he makes the most elegant dream movie ever. He’s a fantastic film maker… usually.

Continue reading “Dunkirk”

Wonder Woman

Seen June 15th

mv5bndfmzjgymtetytk5mc00nmy0lwjhzjktowy2mzi5yjkzodnlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymda4nzmyoa-_v1_uy1200_cr9006301200_al_

For as long as I can remember, there have been talks about a Wonder Woman movie. There were talks of TV series pilots, including the infamous NBC pilot that basically turned Wonder Woman into a sociopath who didn’t care about anyone or anything other than the size of the tits on her action figure (And god do I wish I was kidding about that). At one point Joss Whedon was going to handle the movie but that didn’t pan out. Basically for pretty much my entire life there was only one live action Wonder Woman who went by the name of Lynda Carter, as far as I’m aware she is the only person to play the part on film… until Gal Gadot came around, and thank Zeus that she turned up when she did.

Continue reading “Wonder Woman”