Category Archives: No Spoiler Reviews

THE BOSS BABY (2017): The Things I liked…

The Boss Baby (2017), Alec Baldwin
The Boss Baby (2017), Alec Baldwin

When I first realised that The Boss Baby was about a smart / adult-like briefcase carrying baby, I feared that as I watched the movie, I’d miss the only other smart / adult-like  baby I’d ever known and loved. I’m of course talking about the lovable Stewie Griffin of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. Luckily though, as I watched the Tom McGrath directed animated movie, not for a single second did the delightful Stewie G. pop into my mind. There was simply too much engaging fun, imagination and general cuteness going on in The Boss Baby.

There’s certainly no doubting that the person behind the story of The Boss Baby (Marla Frazee) is an individual with a great imagination – not unlike the film’s main character, Timmy (Miles Bakshi) – and many other children you may or may not know. Naturally, kids are going to have a good time with The Boss Baby but you absolutely don’t have to be a kid to like it.

There were some things that happened in this movie that really reminded me that I was watching an animation, meaning that the rules of what may or may not happen in an everyday situation simply have be discarded completely. Usually I’m fine with suspending my disbelief but with this movie for some reason, I was sometimes less able.

My personal favourite animated films are still Finding Nemo (2003) and Ratatouille (2007)This movie, though not as well executed in every way as the aforementioned, it’s still a fun adventure. Another personal highlight for me was knowing that the dad character was being voiced by my favourite American talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel; a seemingly nice man whose voice I happen to find rather comforting.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE DISCOVERY (2017): The Thing I Liked…

The Discovery (2017), Rooney Mara
The Discovery (2017), Rooney Mara

As you may have heard and read by now, the latest film from Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Rooney Mara, The Discovery has a rather memorable first five minutes – and it’s true.

Written and directed by Justin Lader and Charlie McDowell respectively; the team who brought us the rather good The One I Love (2014); The Discovery is a drama / mystery set two years after it’s scientifically proven that there is indeed an afterlife. 

In addition to the opening scene, I did enjoy some of the discussion about what happens in the afterlife – particularly the exploration of whether it’s actually real. There are also one or two more unexpected things that take place later on in the movie that had me surprised, in a good way. Nevertheless, I feel as though had it not been for the good opening scene, there would be much less to say about The Discovery. Reason being most of the film is more ‘OK-ish’ than great. Sure, tune in for the first five minutes and if you’re curious enough, continue on.

Happy Film Loving

G

MOONLIGHT (2016): The Things I Loved…

Moonlight (2016), Trevante Rhodes
Moonlight (2016), Trevante Rhodes

There are a number of reasons to like 2017 Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight; the beautiful cinematography, faultless performances and a timely telling of a very important story are just three of them.

Thanks to Barry Jenkins’ very personal movie, I now know of Mahershala Ali, a very skilled actor whose Moonlight character Juan isn’t even in the movie throughout but there’s no forgetting him; if only for all that Ali was able to expertly convey, especially through his eyes.

Moonlight is a coming of age story about the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighbourhood in Miami. It’s a film that reminded me of the very important and often pivotal role that the kindness of a stranger / strangers can have in our lives.

Watch it because it’s a story beautifully told and you too may find yourself remembering the perfect strangers that may have helped you become all that you’re grateful to be.

Happy Film Loving

G

CARRIE PILBY (2016): I Had Hoped For More…

Carrie Pilby (2016), Bel Powley
Carrie Pilby (2016), Bel Powley

‘So this is what uptight and highly strung looks like – up close.’

‘Why am I not warming to her?’ Ah yes, it’s because she’s annoying.’

‘I feel bad because I understand now why she irritates me. It’s not quite her fault, poor lass.’

‘This romantic element, I don’t care for it. It feels forced’

Just a selection of some of the thoughts that went through my head as I watched Carrie Pilby, a comedy / drama about a person of high intelligence who struggles to make sense of the world as it relates to morality, relationships, sex and leaving her apartment.

It’s  definitely telling that some days after watching Carrie Pilby, I remember how annoying the main character was but recall not a single moment that was particularly amusing. I suppose it doesn’t help that when I think of a comedy where a person of high intelligence is struggling to make sense of the world, the first character that pops into my head is the well imagined and very funny Sheldon Cooper of CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Tough act to follow indeed.

Happy Film Loving

G

CAROL (2015): The Thing I Liked…

Carol (2015), Cate Blanchett
Carol (2015), Cate Blanchett

Set in 1950s New York, Carol is a story of the romantic love between an aspiring photographer and an older woman. Directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett (‘Queen Blanchett’, in my heart) and Rooney Mara, I enjoyed the film most for the beautiful musical score, the make-up, costume and the general look and feel  of New York in the 50s.

Carol has some well-executed tense moments, especially considering the forbidden and often unspoken nature of the love between Blanchett and Mara’s characters. I did also find myself feeling a little detached from the story; something I blame on the film taking too long to reveal the true cause / nature of the tensions between Carol and her husband. I did eventually become less detached, particularly as the feminist theme became more and more apparent – by which point I felt terribly sorry for Carol and Therese, given their circumstances and society at the time.

Watch Carol for the story, because it’s beautiful and you never know, you may be inspired to try harder with your style after looking at the costumes in this movie. I was certainly inspired. That is until the next morning when I awoke and considered my priorities.

Happy Film Loving

G

GET OUT (2017): A Scary, Suspenseful & Clever Mystery…

Get Out (2017), Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams
Get Out (2017), Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams

Meeting a girlfriend’s parents for the first time is scary for any young man but when you’re a young African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) visiting his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate for the first time, there’s another level of scary that comes into play. And it’s writer / director Jordan Peele’s exploration of this fear combined with his smart social and cultural observations that make Get Out a thing to see.

As a self-confessed wuss, especially where scary movies are concerned, as soon as Get Out started, I was more than ready for the film to end. Not because I was having a bad time, as such. I simply knew that something bad was going to happen and I was looking forward to the point when it was over.  

In spite of my ‘wussy’ ways, I did make it to the very end of Get Out, a well constructed mystery where the immediate scares come in the suspenseful moments when you don’t quite know how the impending horror is going to take shape. 

Watch this movie because it’s worthy and you probably won’t have nightmares afterwards. At least not on the night you watch the movie. I didn’t; though I did have plenty of other thoughts going on… so that’s probably why. Or, maybe tonight is when the scares will come. Tonight…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE JUNGLE BOOK (2016): So Much To Love…

The Jungle Book (2016)
The Jungle Book (2016)

Many people probably love Jon Favreau because of what he’s done with Iron Man. But my appreciation of the actor/ writer/ director/ producer, etc. first began when he played Monica’s billionaire Ultimate Fighting Champion boyfriend in Friends. Then I saw him as an a**hole husband in one of my favourite comedies, I Love You, Man (2009). As great as his work was in both those roles, I didn’t  really ‘fall deeply in love’ with Favreau’s talents until a ‘little’ foodie movie that he wrote, produced, directed and starred in called Chef (2014).

As you may be aware, I’ve reached a reasonable level of fatigue where superhero movies are concerned. Therefore I haven’t really been keeping up with Favreau’s work in the genre, though I did watch the first Ironman movie and maybe the second. Nevertheless, Favreau was a big part of the reason I was excited to watch the live-action version of The Jungle Book (2016)If you’ve seen it, you know how well the movie turned out. There’s just so much to love. For example, Idris Elba’s excellent voice work in his role as Shere Khan, how generally well thought out the movie is, the beautiful special effects and the fact that before this movie, I hadn’t ever thought about how animals perceive fire.

Whether you’re familiar with The Jungle Book story, a fan of Favreau’s other work or not, watch this movie because it’s good. It’s good, I tell you!

Happy Film Loving

G

BOKEH (2016): The Thing I Liked… ?

Bokeh (2016), Maika Monroe
Bokeh (2016), Maika Monroe

I sat down to watch Bokeh and within 30 minutes, I was moved to pause proceedings so I could decide whether moving forward with the movie would be worth it. I simply had to do this because I was failing to find the two main characters played by Maika monroe and Matt O’Leary particularly interesting; at least not interesting enough for me to want to spend more time with them.

Written and directed by Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan, I’d hoped that the story would be just a little more gripping. You know, something akin to the likes of Z For Zachariah (2015)a movie with a vaguely similar plot. Since that wasn’t the case and what was happening was proving disappointing along with a moment or two when my disbelief could not be completely suspended; at approximately 24 minutes in, I aborted.

Did I quit too early? Have you watched or tried to watch Bokeh? Share your experience in the comments below.

Lastly, in terms of what I actually liked about the one third of Bokeh that I saw… I love the name Maika and I want to visit Iceland in the future.. That’s about it.

Until next time…

Happy Film Loving

G