Film trilogies are very precarious things to manage because you have to keep each film working in its own right, but also place it in the context of a greater series. This can lead to all sorts of issues, like power creep when you have to keep upping the last film into ridiculousness, or different creators can come in and you have to balance their views with what is already established, there are studio and contract pressures. All of this can lead to the very common third film fail where things just fall apart, like the X-Men films for example. So given how strong the Planet of the Apes films have been, especially given that they are reboots, I was concerned that they would not be able to stick the landing with the third film. But I was wrong, and I am so happy that I was. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Beautiful and haunting, spectacular yet emotional, a must see film.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Wow, just wow, I had high expectations walking in to see Dunkirk because I have always enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s films, to this day I think Inception would fit squarely in my Top 10 films of all time. Indeed, even when I don’t like a particular Nolan film like Interstellar, they are still technically brilliant. But nothing prepared me for Dunkirk, and now I know I am writing this after just seeing it, and that in time things might change, but as I sit here, I can’t help but feel that this is Nolan’s best film to date. Continue reading →
Wow, just wow, for a long time Netflix has been moving into the movie distribution industry, but so far they really have not put out anything truly remarkable, focusing more on Adam Sandler type movies, when they actually get around to promoting them. So when some friends in the industry mentioned that Okja was the real thing, I was surprised, then I found out that it was made by Bong Joon-ho, whose Snowpiercer was a fascinating film, even if I did have a couple of issues with it. So I loaded up Netflix, put out my lunch, and wondered what we were going to see, and I can honestly say I was not prepared for the feels, in any way shape and form.
TL;DR – It starts really formulaic but then it hits you right in the feels
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a post credit scene
Cars have always been the odd one out of the Pixar films, some found the cartoon cars charming, others heralded it the beginning of the end of Pixar, for me I just found them to be ok, nothing more, and nothing less, the Thor’s of the Pixar catalogue. So it has been six years since Cars 2 a movie didn’t end up seeing because, to be honest, it didn’t sound all that good. This led to a bit of apprehension before seeing Cars 3, was it a chance for Pixar to show that they had learned from their mistakes, or was this just simply another toy cash grab, because Cars merchandise has been a real boon for Disney. Well, can it be both?
TL;DR – Chef’s Table is at the pinnacle food documentaries, indeed it is one of the best documentary series I have ever watched and season 3 is no different.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
For those of you who read my review on the last season of Chef’s Table, their mini-season in France, then you should know that I really love Chef’s Table (for those who didn’t, just to catch you up, I really love Chef’s Table). From a filmmaking perspective, to the featured guests, to the spectacular food, it is a joy to watch. However, that means that I come to the next season with very high expectations, so bon appétit, 맛있게 드세요, прия́тного аппети́та, and mahlzeit, and welcome to Chef’s Table season 3.
TL;DR – Manchester by the Sea is a film about mess, our lives are messy, death is messy, life is messy, but in many respects this film is messy
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
To be honest straight out of the gate Manchester by the Sea is one of the more difficult films I have ever reviewed because there are some truly amazing moments and performances but it also is quite problematic in other regards, so even though I have given it a score I have gone back and forth on just where it sits. Now as well as this when putting together this review I found out I saw a cut-down version of the movie, so maybe some of the criticism that I have were explained away in the cut footage, I don’t know, but it the end I can only review what is in front of me. Before we delve into the review proper, because of the structure of the film and the nature of it being a snapshot of a family’s life, it is difficult to talk about the story without hitting [SPOILERS], so just a warning moving forward that we will be talking about the story in its entirety.
TL;DR – A beautiful story of loss, exploitation, grief, and trying to find out what home means, in the absence of any real information of where it could be.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
It might be one of those universal experiences, you’re walking through a shopping centre, theme park, city street, etc. with your parents and then you look up and realise you don’t know where they are. That feeling of being lost as a real and palpable fear and thankfully for most of us it short lived. However, this is not the case for Saroo, indeed for Saroo it was not a momentary fear, for him it was a life changing event. Lion tells the story of Saroo Brierley (Sunny Pawar & Dev Patel) who one day after working in rural India with his brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), joins him on a train ride to a nearby settlement so Guddu can find some night work for them to help their mother Kamla (Priyanka Bose) who works as a labourer to make ends meet. Then Saroo ends up getting stuck on a train which is not going to the next station, but instead travelling 1500km to Calcutta, a place where no one speaks the same language, and as you are five years old as far as you know your mum’s name is ‘mum’. This is a heartbreaking tale of loss, exploitation, and the struggle to find what home means. Now due to the nature of the film, its structure and the very nature that it is based off a true story it becomes quite hard to talk about aspects of the film without discussing the second half of the film. So for this reason from here on into the end, a SPOILER warning is now in place.