TL;DR – To be honest this film feels like some fan fiction that came to life, good fan fiction, silly but in a fun kind of way.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a sort of mid-credit sequence
As a series I’ve really liked each of the Pitch Perfect films, they blend humour with fun characters, and great musical performances. So walking into the third and potentially final film, if its promotion can be believed, there was a bit of trepidation on my part. Cinema is full of movies that can’t stick the landing on the trilogy, and have instead gone out on a fizzle rather than a bang. Well, I am happy to say that Pitch Perfect 3 is not one of those films and hell you even get the bang in the first five minutes. So let’s dive in and look at our first film review of 2018.
TL;DR – They are clearly going for heart-warming, and they mostly succeed, however, the predictable story and character arcs leave a lot to be desired.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
So this one sort of snuck up on me at the end of the year. I didn’t really have much of an intention to go see it, but it was cheap Tuesday and I was there, so what the hell, and I am mostly glad I did … maybe. For one, this is a musical, a genre that you don’t see on the big screen that often anymore, so that’s refreshing. It also has a cast that is giving their all to this movie and it shows, but you can’t help having some issues with it as you walked out of the cinemas.
So That is quite a bold statement in the title, however, as the year has gone on there seems to have been a number of independent decisions in Hollywood that has led to five different films using John Denver as part of their soundtracks. However, these are not just songs on the soundtracks, each film has incorporated them into their plots in unique and interesting ways. So today we are going to look at the films and how they used their songs. Now because we are talking about films released this year there will be [SPOILERS] for Kingsman, Logan Lucky, Aliens: Covenant, Okja & Free Fire. Before we dive in let’s take a look at the man who you may not know, but you have more than likely heard in your lives.
TL;DR – It is a beautiful recreation of the original film with a great cast and music, but while it is good, it does not do enough to separate itself from its animated inspiration.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Beauty and the Beast was the crown jewel of the Disney Renaissance in the 1990s and were one of the few animated films to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As a film, it is as majestic today as it was when it was released, and that’s a testament to the original songs and animation. So for any movie that adapts the classic La Belle et la Bête is going to have the issue of being compared to one of the greatest films that have been made, so how do you compete with such a legacy, how do you set your work apart from that classic film … well, how about you do a mostly shot by shot remake of the original. So not only is this the 3rd remake we have had in the row (see Power Rangers & Ghost in the Shell), it is also the next in this long line of live-action remakes of classic Disney films (see The Jungle Book) which only Pete’s Dragon has really worked for me. So with all these remakes floating around how does Beauty and the Beast compare with its past as well as the current cinematic landscape, well that is the question that we will be exploring today. Now since this is a movie based off a 1991 movie based on a story written in 1740 there may be some spoilers here, but the movie has been out for quite a while.
TL;DR – La La Land has its issues, but it was such a joy to watch and I walked out of the cinema with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and I can’t remember the last movie to do that to me.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
La La Land is a rare movie for these days, not only is it a live-action musical in an age where musicals are mostly restricted to animated children’s movies (with the odd Les Misérables to change things up), but it is also is an unapologetic homage to the films of the classical era, your Singin’ in the Rain and such like. However on top of all this, La La Land is also a very modern movie set in modern times, so at its core is this juxtaposition of old and new. Now this is a very difficult tightrope to manage, if you go too old the film will feel dated rather than the homage it is, and indeed if you go too new, then all those call-backs start to feel gimmicky and forced. Luckily for La La Land, it turns out to be the goldilocks of filmmaking, and a case study in getting that balance right, look there is a reason it is an Oscar favourite for many. Continue reading →
TL;DR – Hail Caesar is an interesting film, with a lot going on, but that is much of the problem, its scattershot nature means the film lacks real substance, but it still has a lot of spectacle to make up for it.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
This is an interesting film, but it is also a very flawed film and that makes it quite difficult to review, or at least score. There are some really interesting ideas at play here, and there are also some amazingly wonderful set pieces throughout which are a joy to watch. However, it is trying to do so much, that it just can’t do any of the ideas justice, so it just feels like a scattershot of a film, which is a bit a disappointment. Continue reading →