Category Archives: No Spoiler Reviews

INCREDIBLES 2 (2018) The Things I LOVED…

The Incredibles 2 (2018), Jack Jack
The Incredibles 2 (2018), Jack Jack

For most of Incredibles 2 it is Elastigirl who is out doing all the superhero work and dealing with new villain Screenslaver, while Mr. Incredible is at home taking care of the Incredible children.

As far as the superhero action sequences go, I definitely enjoyed Elastigirl’s rather thrilling second solo pursuit of Screenslaver. Overall though, my favourite scenes in Incredibles 2 are not the moments when members of the Incredible family are in their trademark superhero attire facing off with villains.

The biggest highlights for me are the scenes with all or most of the Incredible family together at home. I particularly enjoyed the humour and universal family dynamic during these moments. I also especially adored every scene that featured baby Jack Jack, ‘the most adorable symbol of animated cuteness’ since the Minions (2015) first became a big deal. I can sense that you agree.

Watch Incredibles 2 because it’s good. Enjoy all the undeniable cuteness and cleverness of the creation that is Jack Jack. Definitely make time for the fun that the scenes with Jack Jack at Edna Mode’s residence will deliver. 

Incredibles 2 is written / directed by  Brad Bird and stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Catherine Keener, Samuel L. Jackson…

Happy Film Loving 

G

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (2018): Good Documentary…

Three Identical Strangers (2018), David Kellman, Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland
Three Identical Strangers (2018), David Kellman, Robert Shafran, Eddy Galland

Three Identical Strangers is the extraordinary story of three complete strangers who discover by chance that they are identical triplets who were  separated at birth. 

It all starts from the day the first triplet is mistaken for someone else. A ‘someone else’ whom he soon finds out is his identical twin brother. The next hour or so of the film goes on to reveal plenty, including the circumstances that led to the separation of  brothers David Kellman, Robert Shafran and Eddy Galland.

Three Identical Strangers features photographs, reenactments, video footage, interviews with the brothers as well as  with those who know / knew them best. The end result is a well structured Tim Wardle directed documentary with  a fair amount of detail about what actually happened after the brothers were born.

I really haven’t watched nearly enough documentaries in 2018 but I’d definitely recommend Three Identical Strangers as one not to miss. It’s an unfortunate story that’s as engaging, astonishing and  heartbreaking as one might imagine – and more. Bringing to mind the age old debate of nature versus nurture among other complex issues.

My hope by the end of this film is that  such cruel separations are far less likely to occur today than they were decades earlier. With that said, when you’re next in the mood for a good documentary, watch Three Identical Strangers because it’s good. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

ATOMIC BLONDE (2017) : The ThingS I Liked…

Atomic Blonde (2017), Charlize Theron
Atomic Blonde (2017), Charlize Theron

Atomic Blonde, an action / thriller about an undercover MI6 agent on a mission to investigate the murder of a fellow agent, and recover a missing list of double agents is arguably an adequately thrilling experience.

Starring Charlize Theron, and James McAvoy, what stood out most for me about director David Leitch’s film is the style – and by ‘style’ I mean the general look and feel, the colours, clothing, the exciting fight sequences, the way specific moments are shot at a particular angle, making for a more satisfying visual experience. One such example would be the way Leitch captures the scene near the start when McAvoy’s character walks up to the car that just crashed with his colleague (Theron) inside.

Watching a very capable, well-dressed female character in charge of herself and her surroundings was fun. It was an inspiring vision that quickly brought to mind another fictional character with impressive abilities and great style. Namely Sylvia Hoeks’s highly memorable work as Luv in Blade Runner 2049 (2017).

Atomic Blonde is a movie you watch for the thrilling action and mystery. It may not have you megaphone in hand – post viewing and trying to gather everyone to watch it immediately. Nevertheless, by the end you may, like myself find yourself thinking, ‘yeah, that wasn’t terrible. Nor was it exceptionally memorable either but I have no regrets.’

Lastly, when it comes to the question of Theron’s British accent, I don’t think that she did terribly but my ‘expert ear’ did notice a few inconsistencies. Nothing too laughable, mind you.

Watch it for the colours, fights and style. It’s even possibly, quite fun.

Happy Film loving 

G

THE EQUALIZER 2 (2018): The Things I Liked…

The Equalizer 2 (2018), Denzel Washington
The Equalizer 2 (2018), Denzel Washington

In The Equaliser 2, Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall is, as aways more than ready to serve up an unflinching justice in the name of the exploited and oppressed. Since in director Antoine Fuqua’s sequel, one of the oppressed happens to be someone McCall loves dearly, he wastes no time in setting up a series of smart manoeuvres that prove arguably as thrilling and unexpected as in the first movie, The Equalizer (2014).

With a well-chosen supporting cast that includes Ashton Sanders (Moonlight 2016), Pedro Pascal and Melissa Leo, I particularly enjoyed the dynamic and chemistry between Denzel and Pascal’s characters. My favourite of the most thrilling moments involves the ‘panic room’ scene. A scene that was almost too intense and suspenseful for my little thriller loving heart to bear.

What unfortunately ensures that The Equaliser 2 is not quite as memorable as the first movie includes the fact that it’s a sequel and therefore has the element of familiarity strongly fighting against it. The other reason for me personally is how the beginning portion of the film felt a little disconnected from the rest of it. 

Overall, I say there’s still enough good stuff going on to make The Equaliser 2 a worthy movie. You will certainly be thrilled, moved and possibly find yourself feeling lucky and grateful, especially for all the good, helpful people you’re knowingly and unknowingly connected to.

Watch it if you’re so curious.

Happy Film Loving 

G

FINDING YOUR FEET (2018): The Things I Liked…

Finding Your Feet (2018) Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton

Finding Your Feet; the comedy / drama about a judgmental, middle class snob, who’s forced to live with her sister in an impoverished inner-city council estate is a pleasant serving of quintessential Britishness.

Starring Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall and Joanna Lumley, director Richard Loncraine’s movie isn’t necessarily the most memorable and the story isn’t especially unpredictable. Nevertheless Finding Your Feet is a nice ‘easy viewing’ reminder of the gift of siblinghood, the ones you’re born into and the ones you choose. 

I enjoyed the very British dialogue and its often rather well-timed delivery. One particular line that stood out would be the words: It’s not a panic attack, I’m not that sort of person. I just had a bit of a turn.’ 

Another highlight was seeing beautiful shots of places in London, England that I recognise.

For the Britishness, humour and siblinghood, etc., watch Finding Your Feet  if you’re so curious it does have a certain charm.

Happy Film loving 

G

MOTHER! (2017): The Thing I Liked…

Mother! (2017), Jennifer Lawrence
Mother! (2017), Jennifer Lawrence

Mother!, the Darren Aronofsky directed mystery / horror film about uninvited guests who disrupt a couple’s tranquil existence is a weird movie. 

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, the acting is great of course but what I enjoyed most about the film has nothing to do with acting. As controversial as this is, the beautiful single braid on Lawrence’s head… so effortless and gorgeous. That’s my favourite thing about Mother! 

Part of my issue with Aronofsky’s movie is that I can’t say I fully get it. I found myself getting mad at the close-up shots and about an hour into the film, I was thinking: ‘Resolve this mystery already!’ 

What’s also quite unfortunate about me not really understanding Mother! is that I’m definitely not interested enough to watch it again on the off chance that I may finally get it.

The way Lawrence and Bardem’s characters were so obviously grossly mismatched as a couple rather annoyed me. Bardem’s character’s lack of consideration towards his wife really made me mad and because I didn’t understand why he was being that way, it simply made matters worse.

If you’re an Aronofsky fan, I say give this movie a chance because you may like it. Just remember that Mother! is definitely more mystery than horror, so don’t let the word ‘horror’ dissuade you or get you too excited.

If you think I totally missed the point of this movie, you’re very welcome to enlighten me in the comments below. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

JURASSIC WORLD – FALLEN KINGDOM (2018): The Things I Liked…

Jurassic World - Fallen Kingdom (2018), Chris Pratt
Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom (2018), Chris Pratt

As was the case with Jurassic World (2015), I enjoyed Chris Pratt’s brand of charm in this  J.A. Bayona directed sequel Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom. Yet surprisingly even more than that, I really liked the screen time dedicated to the dinosaurs. In particular the way Bayona’s movie not only told us about the intelligence of the dinosaurs, but we got to see a well executed display of said intelligence.

Another key highlight is the final and unfortunate scenes on ‘the island’ towards the end. Particularly the way it reminded me of how the movie Kong – Skull Island (2017) made me feel. By this I mean both films are fun and thrilling but they also made me sad because the creatures in both movies were either existing / resting peacefully until human interference.

Just like in Jurassic World, in Fallen Kingdom Pratt and Howard’s character’s romantic connection was a plot device that I found myself unenthused by.  Particularly because it felt even more unnecessary this time round.

Definitely watch Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, especially if you liked the first movie. It’s still quite fun overall and even more so if you like dinosaurs.

Happy Film Loving

G

A STAR IS BORN (2018): The Things I Liked…

A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper
A Star Is Born (2018), Bradley Cooper

A Star Is Born stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, an ageing, alcoholic musician in a downward spiral, whilst Lady Gaga plays the talented young singer he helps find fame.

I’ll start by saying that I definitely misread the film’s duration of ‘one hundred and thirty six minutes’ as ‘one hour thirty-six minutes.’ Luckily though, in the end the longer than average two hours 16 minutes total length barely proved punishing.

As for why this movie appealed, I had to watch it if just to see how well Cooper faired in the dual leading actor / director role. The good news is, A Star Is Born is a well executed story that’s heartbreaking, funny, layered, well captured and it features some rather memorable music. In fact, my favourite song on the soundtrack is called Shallow and I’ve played it many and I mean MANY times since.

There’s no denying that I absolutely bought Cooper’s tortured character’s emotional journey. I also believed him as a rock star because of the good music in the film and how his character presented physically – including the way he moved – both on and off the stage. I especially enjoyed the first time Shallow is performed on stage; a pretty glorious experience very well captured..

Besides Cooper’s well executed dual roles, other highlights include the deep bass in Cooper and co-star Sam Elliott’s voices. There’s also a memorable perfectly executed funny moment that involves one of the two / three times Frank Sinatra is mentioned.

My suspension of disbelief was briefly interrupted by the uncomfortable closeups near the beginning of the movie. Closeups that luckily either eased off as the film went on, or they somehow bothered me less. There were also one or two moments of dialogue that felt quite awkward during Cooper and Gaga’s early interactions. Thankfully though, that awkwardness also eased off as the film continued.

I say watch A Star Is Born because it’s layered, handles well themes linked to different kinds of relationships, familial, business, healthy, unhealthy, poisonous, etc. Lastly, if you’re not already in love, there’s a reasonable chance that A Star Is Born will make you want to be, and likely with a musician. So good luck!

Happy Film Loving

G