All posts by Giadreams (themoviemylife.com)

I love movies and writing about them, spoiler-free. :-)

THE MENU (2022): The Things I Liked…

There are many good things about director Mark Mylod’s comedy/horror/thriller, The Menu

The cast is fantastic, the performances faultless, and one can hardly go wrong with John Leguizamo, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Feinnes, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer and Nicholas Hoult on the same call sheet. Especially considering the delightfully rhythmic dialogue, plus the unexpected twists and turns.

Mylod’s story about a young couple who travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant, but end up faced with shocking surprises is fun and will leave you with plenty to talk about afterwards.

The topics I had to discuss immediately once the end credits rolled included Anya Taylor-Joy’s Margot character being my favourite. I enjoyed Margot’s disposition and every word that came out of her mouth. Hong Chau’s Elsa is also fun for similar reasons to Margot, but undoubtedly in part because of her memorable outfit.

The Menu (2022), Anya Taylor-Joy, Searchlight Pictures
The Menu (2022), Anya Taylor-Joy, Searchlight Pictures

The Menu does well at keeping the audience far from comfortable from the beginning because of the mystery surrounding what the evening has in store for both the audience and the characters. Yet, the part-horror characterisation is not nightmare-inducing. What it is, is a memorable movie experience.

I’m convinced that The Menu might have benefited from being a mini-series rather than a feature film. Specifically, because some moments felt inadequately fleshed out, resulting in my inability to buy into a handful of the decisions made by some characters.

Admittedly, I also eventually tired of Feinnes’s Chef Slowik character, distinctly how his pretentious and subsequently unlikable qualities manifest when he demands the attention of his guests.

Watch The Menu because it’s fun. Lastly, the things it gets right will probably leave you feeling glad that the movie exists. 

Happy Film Loving

G

MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE (2022): New Trailer Starring Salma Hayek, Channing Tatum, Caitlin Gerard…

It’s been nearly eight years since the second Magic Mike movie, Magic Mike XXL (2015) and 11 years since Magic Mike (2012). This time the original director Steven Soderbergh is back with Channing Tatum for Magic Mike’s Last Dance.

Also starring Salma Hayek and Caitlin Gerard; we catch up with Mike following a business deal that went bust. Mike heads to London with a wealthy socialite (Hayek) who lures him with an offer he can’t refuse.

I’m not quite sure how worthwhile I’ll feel this third instalment of the Magic Mike films is by the end. But I do love Salma Hayek, impressive dance moves, the London setting, and how fun this all looks. Plus, what a great way to promote Magic Mike Live, which has existed in London for some years now.

So, fans of Tatum, Hayek, Soderbergh, dance and London; are you intrigued?

Gavin Spokes, Christie-Leigh Emby, Nas Ganev, Ayub Khan-Din, Christie-Leigh Emby, Barbara Ryan and Daniel Llaca also star.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance Release Dates: February 10th, 2023 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

AVATAR – THE WAY OF WATER (2022): New Trailer From James Cameron, Starring Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi…

Director James Cameron is properly back with the finished sequel to Avatar (2009).

Avatar – The Way of Water is set more than ten years after the events of the first film. Planet Pandora is under attack once more. And Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), plus his new-found family must do everything possible to keep each other safe.

Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Giovanni Ribisi are among the key cast.

To watch or not to watch Avatar – The Way of Water? Doesn’t that sound like the silliest question to ask a movie enthusiast? The answer is both yes and no. The former is true because all James Cameron movies are an event. A truth that arguably applies to him more than most.

Even though I may not be in the mood to watch a film about a family fighting for survival by the time this is released, I would be doing myself a disservice as a dedicated movie enthusiast by not watching it. Especially considering how impressive I found Avatar to be.

The reason the above question is not the silliest is this: No one thing is ever really loved by all, and that is the way of the human.

I’m curious, how highly anticipated is Avatar – The Way of Water for you? I haven’t been as excited as I ought to be because of all the release delays over the years. Yet, something tells me that will all change once the opening credits begin.

Jemaine Clement, Bailey Bass, Edie Falco, Joel David Moore, Chloe Coleman, Jack Champion, Cliff Curtis, Jamie Flatters, CCH Pounder, Britain Dalton, Matt Gerald and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss also star.

Avatar – The Way of Water Release Dates: December 16th, 2022 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving,

G

CHRISTMAS WITH YOU (2022): The Things I Liked…

’Tis the season for Christmas movies, isn’t it? Even though I’ve been known to watch a Christmas film in March, July, or August, there is just something extra special about seeing one at this time of year, when the Christmas lights are up.

Christmas With You is the first Christmas film I’ve seen of the 2022 season, and I’m not mad at it. Today the mood was right. Plus, I hadn’t seen Freddie Prinze Jr. in a movie for quite some time. I reasoned that if the star of She’s All That (1999) – a fun film I enjoyed as a teenager is involved, there has to be something a little extra special about this story. Not always a fail-safe plan, of course. But luckily for me, I was right about director Gabriela Tagliavini’s story about a pop star who escapes to a small town to find inspiration after experiencing burnout in the city.

Christmas With You may not be my favourite seasonal movie of the year once the season ends. However, the acting is decent, the Christmasy atmosphere is ever-present, and, perhaps equally importantly, I enjoyed the Christmas song composed and performed towards the end of the story. 

Give Christmas With You a chance if you’re curious. That mood for an easy-viewing Christmas film may hit you in the coming days and weeks. That’s if it hasn’t already.

Happy Film Loving

G

A MAN CALLED OTTO (2022): New Trailer From Tom Hanks, Kailey Hyman, Rachel Keller, Alessandra Perez, Christiana Montoya…

Directed by Marc Forster; Tom Hanks, Alessandra Perez, Christiana Montoya, Kailey Hyman and Rachel Keller are the stars of A Man Called Otto. A comedy/drama about a grumpy widower who finally meets his match when he gets new neighbours.

Isn’t this just the type of Tom Hanks movie we’ve been waiting for?

I’m certainly ready for all the inevitable heartwarming goodness coming our way, especially during the festive season.

Grumpy Otto is clearly due to learn some important lessons, and I’m more than happy to watch him thaw as he does so.

Now, only if the thawing of all grumpy neighbours was as guaranteed as that of Otto. We can all dream, can’t we?

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Cameron Britton, Mike Birbiglia, Mariana Treviño, Lavel Schley, Elle Chapman, Kelly Lamor Wilson, Josefine Lindegaard, Juanita Jennings, on Donahue, Kirk Kelly, Phil Nardozzi, and Spenser Granese also star.

A Man Callo Otto Release Dates: January 6th 2023 (UK); January 13th, 2023 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

BABYLON (2022): New Trailer Starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Samara Weaving, Tobey Mcquire, Olivia Wilde…

Lal La land (2016) and Whiplash (2014) director Damien Chazelle’s latest film is set in early Hollywood and stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Samara Weaving, Tobey Mcquire and Olivia Wilde.

Babylon is a historical comedy/drama that follows the rise and fall of multiple characters, as a result of outsized ambition and outrageous excess.

Even though this trailer was released back in September 2022, I hadn’t featured it sooner because it reminded me a little too much of Hail, Caesar!, a 2015 movie also set during the earlier Hollywood years. And as excited as I was for the film, it turned out to be quite a major disappointment.

Babylon‘s filmmaking team is what has me most interested; more so than the themes. And now that September is long gone, I’ve gotten over the Hail, Caesar! issue a little more, which means I’ll probably give Babylon a fair chance.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this trailer? Are you also curious about how Pitt’s character compares to his turn as the undeniably cool Cliff Booth in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

Jean Smart, Eric Roberts, Lukas Haas, Jeff Garlin, Spike Jonze, Phoebe Tonkin, Katherine Waterston, Max Minghella, Todd Giebenhain, Chloe Fineman, Jennifer Grant, Rhian Rees and Flea also star.

Babylon Release Dates: December 23rd, 2022 (US); January 20th, 2022 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

BLACK PANTHER – WAKANDA FOREVER (2022): The Things I Liked…

Black Panther - Wakanda Forever (2022), Letitia Wright, Marvel Entertainment
Black Panther – Wakanda Forever (2022), Letitia Wright, Marvel Entertainment

I knew I would cry while watching the latest Black Panther movie. And flow those tears certainly did. Not too much, mind you. I couldn’t have my vision obstructed while a stunning visual spectacle was happening before me.

Director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther – Wakanda Forever is a very engaging story with memorable performances. My favourite is delivered unsurprisingly, by Angela Basset (Queen Ramonda). Especially during the confrontation with Dana Gurira’s Okoye. I loved the framing, costume and camera work in those moments! So much so that I will be replaying that scene repeatedly once the movie is available on Disney+.

I love how the Black Panther films have been a welcome reminder of what is possible when all the elements that make a movie very entertaining come together beautifully. The dialogue, costume, music and cinematography combined for a truly memorable experience.

I admit that there was a point in the film where I became aware it was still playing, meaning the movie could have benefited from slightly tighter editing towards the end. Nevertheless, in addition to Coogler’s film being highly engaging and as epic as hoped, Black Panther – Wakanda Forever is simultaneously a perfect additional opportunity for fans to bid farewell to the man who so impressively represented when he donned the suit for Black Panther (2018). The images of Chadwick Boseman shining in the role are some of the most moving moments for me, especially towards the end. 

If you’re yet to do so, watch Black Panther – Wakanda Forever. You’ll most likely be glad you did.

Happy Film Loving

G

ELEMENTAL (2023): New Teaser Trailer Starring Mamoudou Athie, Leah Lewis…

Elemental (2023), Mamoudou Athie, Pixar
Elemental (2023), Mamoudou Athie, Pixar

The latest animation/adventure/comedy from Pixar stars Mamoudou Athie and Leah Lewis as Ember and Wade.

Directed by PeterSohn of The Good Dinosaur (2015); Ember and Wade are two elements in a city where fire-, water, land and air live together.

Looking like a love story between fire and water, I’m hoping there’ll be a lot more to it to keep us all engaged. I mean, I already love the name Ember, so that’s certainly a good place to start.

What are your thoughts at this point? How intriguing do you find this story compared to some of your favourite Pixar films?

Elemental Release Dates: June 6th, 2023 (UK); June 16th, 2023 (US)…

Happy film Loving

G