Movie Review – Dark Waters

TL;DR – A film that comes at you like the rising tide, slow at first and then before you know it you have become overwhelmed     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Dark Waters. Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Review


Having grown up in the era of Erin Brockovich, I am hard-wired to like a good biopic, especially one where someone takes down a major corporation that should have known better. Well, today we get to see a film that does pretty much all of that and does it very well indeed.

So to set the scene, we open back in the 1970s as a bunch of kids go skinny dipping in a lake in Parkersburg, West Virginia only to get shoed away from the site by men from the DuPont Corporation in a boat firing foam at a residue building up on the surface. Sometime later, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) has just been made a partner in the Taft Stettinius & Hollister law firm when he is interrupted in a meeting by Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) an old friend of Robert’s grandmother. He has a problem with his farm, ever since DuPont built a rubbish tip next door to his property all of his cattle have been dying of odd diseases. Robert is reluctant to intercede but he makes a trip out to Parkersburg and finds things are not what they seem.

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Movie Review – Yeh Ballet

TL;DR – a fun film about finding your place in the world through a talent you never knew you had   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Yeh Ballet. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We continue our look at Indian cinema this week with an interesting film that has recently arrived on Netflix. It is a film that charts the highs and lows of two kids finding a new outcome for their lives. Also, it is kind of cool that it is all based on a true story.  

So to set the scene, we open in on the Mumbai slums as Asif (Achintya Bose) competes in a festival of people stacking on top of each other to get the prize hanging above. Elsewhere Nishu (Manish Chauhan) has made it onto the TV and while his raw talent is impressive, his lack of skill lets him down. Both of the boys have a trajectory of where their lives are headed and neither of them is happy with where it is going. All of this changes when a local talent scout and dance studio owner (Jim Sarbh) brings over the cantankerous Saul Aaron (Julian Sands) to coach his students in ballet and he sees something brilliant in the two boys from the slums.       

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Movie Review – Guns Akimbo

TL;DR – There is a kernel of a good idea here, and there are parts of it where you can see how it could have made a really good film, just maybe not the one we got    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Guns Akimbo. Image Credit: Madman

Review

When you here that the premise of a film is that someone has bolted guns to Daniel Radcliffe’s hands and let him loose in the world. Well, that congers up a lot of images and expectations, indeed Daniel has been bouncing from one delightfully odd film to the next since his time in/as Harry Potter. At the very least, it is the kind of set up when you know before walking in that it is either going to be amazing or a dumpster fire but not in-between. Well trust me, I am just as surprised as you that I got it very wrong.   

So to set the scene, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is your usual loner who lives a less than great life as a code monkey for a soul-sucking corporation. But at night, he finally comes alive as he trolls, well other trolls. One night, however, things take a turn as he discovers ‘Skizm’, which is kind of like Twitch but with murder, indeed we are introduced to the program with Nix (Samara Weaving) annihilating another contestant because two people start and only one comes out alive. Well, Miles starts trolling the chat and eventually gets noticed by the admin Riktor (Ned Dennehy) who smashes down his door, knocks him out, and performs a little surgery. Miles wakes up with a splitting headache … oh and two guns bolted to his hands.

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Movie Review – Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Extra Careful of Marriage)

TL;DR – A fascinating if a little blunt film about love in India  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Extra Careful of Marriage). Image Credit: T-Series.

Review

In my endeavour to watch more non-English language films, I had been spending a lot of time with those coming out of Europe, but this week I want to shift things by focusing on India. With that in mind, today we look at the first of two Indian films out this week that really intrigued me and this is a film is all about finding love even in the face of your family.

So to set the scene, we open in on two guys making a last-minute rush to get to a train that is about to depart as we hear about just how much weddings cost in India. We then go back a bit in time to meet Kartik (Ayushmann Khurrana) and his partner Aman (Jitendra Kumar) who hide who they are from their families by living away in Delhi. One day as they are helping a good friend elope they get caught by her family and need to get out of town for a bit. Well, that’s good timing because Aman’s cousin Goggle (Maanvi Gagroo) is about to be married back in Ahmedabad. The only problem is that Aman’s family does not know he is gay and it goes about as well as you imagine it does.

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Movie Review – The Invisible Man (2020 film)

TL;DR – A film filled with amazing acting, and technical brilliance, however it was one of the most difficult films I have reviewed due to the issues of abuse that it explores.

Score – I am honestly not sure what to score to give this film

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene that I saw

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

The Invisible Man (2020 film). Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Upgrade and thus discovered the wonderful work of Leigh Whannell. Since then, I have been waiting to catch his next film, so I was really excited to get the invite to see The Invisible Man. This was also a film that was going to reframe an old classic monster film and bring it into the modern age, which also intrigued me because that is my jam. However, while watching the film, I found myself feeling very conflicted with the subject material. All of this left me very unsettled in a way that I have spent the past two weeks wondering if the film approached it in an appropriate way or not.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a mansion on the top of a cliff, waves crash against the rocks on a cold winters night as we zoom in on the isolated house. In the house, there is a couple asleep in a bed, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) and Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), but only one of them is actually asleep. We watch as Cecilia slowly slips out of the bed, at first you think it is just that she does not want to disturb Adrian, but soon you discover there is something more to it than that. In fact, she is leaving him in the middle of the night, the only time she could, which means that when every sound could be her undoing. The moment she grabs her hidden go bag you immediately understand why she is leaving. As she escapes over the high walls of the house everything starts to get better, that is until things start moving in rooms that should be empty.

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Awards – The Films from 2019 That Put Some Fun Into Our Lives

In a world full of dower grittiness, it is nice sometimes to sit back, crack a cold one, and just enjoy some fun, and God knows in 2019we needed it. So today, I take a moment to champion those films that brought the fun, whether through upbeat action, one laugh after another, or that silliness that brings a smile to your face.

So without further ado, these are films that brought the fun in 2019. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the banners for the full review.

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Awards – The Films of 2019 That Emotionally Wrecked Us

As I have gotten older I am not afraid of having a good old fashioned ugly cry in the cinemas when the time calls for it, and hell I probably got emotional just writing this list (Spoiler: I did). Sometimes they are tears of grief, sometimes they are tears of joy, and even still sometimes they are tears of anger. 

Emotion is a core part of the cinema experience, and if you can’t get us to emotionally respond to your characters and/or the situation, well then I am sorry you have failed in making a good film.

So without further ado, these are the films of 2019 that emotionally wrecked us. Be warned that there will be some big spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the banners to go to the full review.

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