Category Archives: Drama

MIDSOMMAR (2019): The Things I Liked

Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24
Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24

I wanted to watch Midsommar because it came recommended by many. I needed to watch Midsommar because the murals in the very intriguing trailer looked great. I had to watch Midsommar because of its young, talented cast, mainly Florence Pugh and Will Poulter.

Now that I’ve finally seen Midsommar, what I really wouldn’t have done is watch Midsommar; had I remembered that it is, in fact, a horror film.

For those who might be thinking ’How could you not have known?’ Well, in my defence, the trailer I initially saw didn’t scream ‘scary movie,’ and neither did the synopsis, at first.

The original synopsis said something along the lines of ‘Things start to go awry on a summer trip after a young woman reluctantly caves in and goes along with her boyfriend’. Now, doesn’t this sound more like ‘relationship woes’ than ‘increasingly violent and bizarre competition involving a Pagan cult?’

The things that impressed me most about director Ari Aster’s film, in addition to the performances include the story and tension. There’s also the sense of dread and the general unease that never seems to leave, but instead expertly builds and builds until the very dark and scary end. There’s also the memorable vulnerability and intensity in the way the opening scenes are captured.

The main thing I wish wasn’t quite so is how long it took for things to unfold at specific points. For example, approximately fifty minutes in, there’s a ceremony that went on for eternity, before a scary revelation happened. I also found it irksome to watch several of the characters make some extremely poor decisions; the kind that went against every single one of my survival instincts.

For everyone who isn’t a horror fan, including the version of me before watching this movie, ‘Stop right there!’ For the rest of you, enjoy!

Happy Film Loving

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TENET (2020): New Trailer From Christopher Nolan, Starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Himesh Pattel…

TENET (2020), Himesh Patel, Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Warner Bros. Pictures
TENET (2020), Himesh Patel, Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Warner Bros. Pictures

Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi/action/drama Tenet has a brand new trailer, and of course it’s good!

Starring Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Himesh Patel and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the subject is international espionage, time travel/ inversion, and evolution.

As I’ve come to expect with Christopher Nolan trailers, this too is well edited and builds up in a great way.

There’s almost no watching this trailer without 2010’s Inception coming to mind. I just hope that I can keep up with all the ‘time travel science’ because, let’s just say that it took me several listens before I understood what Hulk was saying in Avengers – Endgame (2019) when he explained how time travel actually works:

Changing the past doesn’t change the future. If you travel to the past, that past becomes your future and your former present becomes your past, which can’t now be changed by your new future.

In all honesty, I may have misspoken about actually finally understanding the above explanation. But I do plan to make sense of it soon, with regular attempts.

Kenneth Branagh, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, Clémence Poésy, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Himesh Patel, Martin Donovan, Carina Velva, Dimple Kapadia and Andrew Howard also star.

Tenet Release Dates: July 17th, 2020 (US &UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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EMMA (2020): The Things I Liked

Emma (2019), Anya Taylor Joy, Mia Goth, Focus Features
Emma (2019), Anya Taylor Joy, Mia Goth, Focus Features

Emma, Emma, Emma’.

The most fitting phrase I can think of to best describe how I feel about the remake of Jane Austen’s classic comedy/drama Emma is ‘Well, it’s not terrible’. Because it really isn’t, but I also didn’t find it to be great either.

Starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the well-meaning ‘handsome, clever, and rich’ Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who likes to meddle in others’ love lives; I must confess that it wasn’t long before I grew tired of Emma’s manipulations.

In all fairness, Austen did predict that Emma wouldn’t be a character many people would like, except Austen herself. A shame for me since there isn’t really much else that goes on in the story to divert from the meddling.

Also starring Bill Nighy, Miranda Hart and Josh O’Connor, the highlights that had me sticking with director Autumn de Wilde’s film till the end include my favourite funny moment. The one that involves the pronunciation of the word ‘innocence’ as InNOsense,’ and specifically Bill Nighy’s character’s reaction to the mispronunciation. Another highlight is Mia Goth’s turn as Harriett, the ‘smiling idiot.’ I’m not sure how Austen describes Harriett in her book, but ‘smiling idiot/simpleton’ is what I got from Goth’s delivery.

Then there are the costumes. The costumes are definitely my favourite thing about Emma overall. Particularly the clothes on Austen’s heroine. Said attire proved absolutely key in keeping me watching all the way through.

Last but not least, we have the confession of romantic feelings under the tree towards the end, I really enjoyed how the moment was captured.

Make time for Emma if you’re curious, and certainly for the costumes.

Happy Film Loving

G

DA 5 BLOODS (2020): New Trailer From Spike Lee, Starring Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, Delroy Lindo, Jean Reno…

Da 5 Bloods (2020), Chadwick Boseman, Netflix
Da 5 Bloods (2020), Chadwick Boseman, Netflix

Today is the day for something new from Oscar winning director Spike Lee.

Starring Chadwick Boseman, Jean Reno, Delroy Lindo and Paul Walter Hauser; Da 5 Bloods is the story of four African American veterans battling the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam. The men are there on a mission to find remains of their fallen Squad Leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.

My mind’s already trying to race with ideas of how the story is likely to end. I’m in for what will likely be another creatively noteworthy film by from Lee.

I’m also watching for Boseman’s performance and images of vietnam.

Jasper Pääkkönen, Clarke Peters, Mélanie Thierry, Van Veronica Ngo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Jonathan Majors, Norm Lewis, Rick Shuster and Mav Kang also star.

Da 5 Bloods Release Dates: June 12th, 2020 (US) / Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

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DOWNHILL (2020): The Thing I Liked

Downhill (2020), Will Ferrell, Julia Louis Dreyfus, FoxSearchlight.
Downhill (2020), Will Ferrell, Julia Louis Dreyfus, FoxSearchlight

I liked Force Majeure; I mean Downhill, which is a remake of Force Majeure (2014); a French film I’ve never seen. As such, there’ll be no comparisons here today. And there’s also a chance that if you’ve seen Force Majeure, you won’t quite agree with the one or two of the positive things I have to say about Downhill, which is of course fine.

Set in the Swiss Alps during a family skiing holiday, and in the aftermath of an unexpected avalanche, directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s Downhill isn’t quite the comedy I expected.

I see Faxon and Rash’s movie as the story of a couple’s marriage falling apart, which kind of sounds like a lot, but Downhill is not as emotionally taxing as Marriage Story (2019), for example. Whereas what happens in Marriage Story made audiences sad, Downhill made me feel awkward and uncomfortable; like a concerned friend realising for the first time, just how unhealthy a couple’s relationship is.

I found Downhill amusing in parts. It’s kind of hard for it not to be with comedy greats like Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell involved. I enjoyed both their performances. Yet, overall the movie is not as hilarious as I thought it might be. The dramatic/awkward moments stood out more than the comedy.

I see Downhill more as a cautionary tale that’s there to remind us to stay alert; just in case we’re ever in danger of getting involved with a complete coward.

Watch it if you’re curious. Or, you can always watch Force Majeure instead. I’ve heard that it’s better.

Happy Film Loving

G

SNOWPIERCER (2020): New Trailer Starring Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner…

Snowpiercer (2020), Jennifer Connelly, Netflix
Snowpiercer (2020), Jennifer Connelly, Netflix

New action / drama / sci-fi Snowpiercer is a new Netflix series set over seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland. And the remnants of humanity, occupy a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe.

Created by Graeme Manson; Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs and Mickey Sumner are among the key cast.

The premise is interesting, and now also a tad closer to reality than it may have been about six months ago. I’ll be watching for all the madness, and for the Diggs / Connelly dynamic.

Having not yet watched the 2013 movie of the same name starring Chris Evans, it’s probably best I do that before seeing this. Especially since it was directed by Bong Joon Ho of Parasite (2019).

Sheila Vand, Lena Hall, Alison Wright, Iddo Goldberg, Aaron Glenane, Karin Konoval, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto and Emma Oliver also star.

Snowpiercer Release Dates: May 17th, 2020 (US); / Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

LUCKY GRANDMA (2019): New Trailer Starring Tsai Chin, Hsiao-Yuan Ha, Michael Tow…

Lucky Grandma (2019), Tsai Chin
Lucky Grandma (2019), Tsai Chin

In new comedy / drama Lucky Grandma, after going all in at a casino, an ornery, grandmother finds herself on the wrong side of luck in New York City’s Chinatown.

Directed by Sasie Sealy; key cast includes Tsai Chin, Hsiao-Yuan Ha and Michael Tow.

Looks like a promising comedy about a bunch of people who underestimated the wrong grandmother. Also, I was supposed to be in New York this spring. Right now I’m open to seeing any NYC-set movies that look good so I can picture myself there.

Lastly, I must say, you’ve got to be close to deaf not to hear the creaking locker door at the end. I’d have jumped immediately. Especially if I were in a towel and thought myself alone.

Woody Fu, Yan Xi, Wai Ching Ho, Clem Cheung, Eddie Yu, Mason Yam, Lyman Chen, Arden Wolfe, Zilong Zee, Kristen Hung, Emma Hong and Wayne Chang also star.

Lucky Grandma Release Dates: May 22nd, 2020 (US) / Internet

Happy Film Loving

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SHIRLEY (2020): New Trailer From Elisabeth Moss, Logan Lerman, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young…

Shirley (2020), Elisabeth Moss, Neon
Shirley (2020), Elisabeth Moss, Neon

Shirley is a new biography / thriller about renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson.

Starring Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg and Logan Lerman, the story centres around the source of inspiration for Jackson’s next book; a young couple that Jackson and her husband invite into their home.

Directed by Josephine Decker; additional key cast includes Odessa Young and Steve Vinovich.

I’m watching because it’s Moss, Lerman, plus it’s a biography so I’m definitely expecting the truth to be stranger than fiction.

Ryan Spahn, Molly Fahey, Adelind Horan, Emily Decker, Ava Langford, Edward O’Blenis and Thomas Racek also star.

Shirley Release Dates: June 5th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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