Directed by David Ayer (End Of Watch (2012) and starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace and Edgar Ramirez, Brightis a buddy / cop movie set in a world where humans live alongside fantasy creatures. It’s also a film that isn’t quite all I wished it to be.
The issues I have with Bright start with the story. Perhaps the fact of fantasy and sci-fi not being my go-to genres has something to do with it but I just didn’t fully buy into the world the story occupies. I’m not even sure that the truth of how Orcs, elves, fairies and humans came to co-exist in LA let alone planet Earth was properly explained. Then there’s the fact that due to pacing and one or two other unfortunate factors, the movie did’t really get particularly interesting for me until ‘the cop shooting’ that happens approximately forty minutes in. Even then, I still found myself thinking about how much more I enjoyed End Of Watch, especiallythe story and co-star chemistry.
I’m certainly not saying that I think Bright is all bad – because if it were, I’d have stopped watching long before the end, the way I recently did with A Bad Mom’s Christmas (2017). The things I did enjoy about Ayer’s movie start with the vibrant graffiti in the opening sequence, followed by the impressive Orc prosthetics. Then there’s Noomi Rapace’s villain character, particularly the way she fought and dressed. Last but in no way least, I rather liked how well Edgar Ramirez wore his elf / vampire look. It was very much a greater highlight than expected.
A thought that entered my mind soon after I hit ‘play’ on Bright was, ‘I bet Will Smith is super happy about not having to wear any Orc prosthetics or makeup. I know I would be. Who said that acting isn’t hard work?’
Give Bright a chance if you’re curious enough. Or you can always watch / re-watch End Of Watch, if not some other good buddy / cop movie.
House Of Z, the Sandy Chronopoulos directed documentary about the life and career of fashion designer Zac Posen is an interesting watch. Especially for those curious about the nature and challenges of working in the fashion industry as a designer.
Featuring video footage of a young Posen’s early life and interviews with his collaborators, family and friends, House Of Z does an adequate job of painting a clear picture that shows us more than just the creations that speak of Posen’s undeniable talent. We learn about just how instrumental the support of his family was in his early success. We also learn about what went wrong, Posen’s eventual fall from grace followed by an update of what the designer is doing now.
If you’ve seen one or more fashion films or documentaries, you can probably guess that the classic battle between art and commerce is covered in this film. The general rule being that bad things happen when that relationship isn’t managed well.
House of Z is not a perfect documentary – in part because some of the editing early on in the film felt quite awkward. But should you be curious enough, watch it for Posen’s artistry – the magnificent dresses and the cautionary tale about the relationship between art plus commerce and finding success at a young age.
The part of House Of Z that I enjoyed most is of course when I got to look at Posen’s truly breathtaking early designs, just as the fashion world was beginning to pay attention. I also liked the beautiful words of Joseph Campbell at the end about ‘following your bliss’.
This isprobably unsurprising since Kingsman – The Golden Circleis a sequel but I did not enjoy this movie as much as the original. In director Matthew Vaughn’s sequel, the Kingsman head offices are blown up and the kingsmen must team up with an allied spy organisation in the US.
Not that Kingsman – The Secret Service (2014)was super realistic, but something about this follow-up felt quite ridiculous. Starting with the opening scene; somehow it just didn’t feel as thrilling as I’d ordinarily expect. Part of the problem is that I found myself immediately disappointed with the story’s choice of villain, the one we meet in the first few minutes. There’s also the fact that everything happened so suddenly in the first few minutes, whereas I somehow wanted or perhaps expected to be eased into the action, as odd as that may sound.
This movie has one or two fight sequences that harked back to the first film. These scenes played a little too ‘the same’, for my liking. In this way they reminded me of part of the reason why Quantum Of Solace (2008) was such a terrible follow-up to the brilliant Casino Royale (2006). It tried too hard to almost repeat so much of what worked so very well in the first movie.
As for the matter of the main villain of vaughn’s movie, let’s just say that I have officially found a Julianne Moore performance I do not like. In the role of the villain, I did not fully buy into her evil. Is her face simply far too angelic for the kind of evil required? Maybe. What I know for sure is that I didn’t see it in her eyes or feel it through her words and I needed to.
Luckily, there is some good news here; namely the beautifully executed ‘singing scene’ towards the end. I was moved. Overall though, my favourite scene in this film has to be the ‘infiltration’ of Poppy’s compound. That’s the moment I saw a fight scene that truly felt as though it belonged to Kingsman – The Golden Circle. Rather than something borrowed from Kingsman – The Secret Service and as a result, felt quite tedious.
Directed, written by and starring Tristan Barr plus Michael Gosden, Watch The Sunset is the story of a man whose past comes back to haunt him resulting in his estranged family becoming tangled in its web…
Watch The Sunset is a movie based on real events and shot in one take. The latter and this promising trailer is my reason for watching. My fingers are crossed it’s great.
Chelsea Zeller, Annabelle Williamson and Catherine Dawson also star.
Directed and co-written by Khurram H. Alavi andAyman Jamal, Bilal – A New Breed Of Hero is inspired by true events and set a thousand years ago, when a boy named Bilal is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home.
Finding himself in a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal must muster the courage to raise his voice, make a change and earn his remembrance in time and history. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane and China Anne McClain star…
I’m intrigued because this is an animated movie that seems to have nothing to do with Disney, Illumination or DreamWorks. The visual style is certainly different and I’m curious about how similar the story will be.
Game Over, Man is a new action / comedy about three friends on the verge of getting their video game financed, but then their benefactor has been taken hostage by terrorists. As you probably guessed, they have to help.
Directed by Kyle Newacheck, Game Over, Man stars Adam DeVine, Anders Holm (also the writer), Blake Anderson and Shaggy…
I’m curious about this one because who wouldn’t want something fun like the first The Hangovermovie? I’m still very hopeful even though that ‘breaking news’ bit that ends with the three guys singing Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me‘ felt quite awkward and long.
Immediately I failed to warm to Norman (Richard Gere). Not that I was supposed to warm to him exactly, but the fact that writer / director Joseph Cedar’s Norman Oppenheimer is quite the massive nuisance made continuing to watch this movie quite the challenge.
I did however find the strength to continue because I wanted to learn about how the life of a small time operator, a.k.a. New York fixer, a.k.a. total ‘bull**** artist’ would dramatically change. I had to see how his life would change for better and worse after he befriends a young politician at a low point in his life.
In my clearly desperate quest to be there when Norman finally got his comeuppance, I encountered a scene I liked a lot. Namely the wonderfully satisfying moment when Norman gets caught out in one of his many, many lies and he’s outsmarted by a target. That beautifully acted moment at the ‘private dinner’ really helped me come to terms with my decision to continue watching this movie.
As is the case in House of Cards, a political drama where those who are constant nuisances to very powerful people tend to ‘expire’ quite quickly, I imagined that at some point Norman might suffer the same fate. In Cedar’s story, Norman doesn’t quite end up ceasing to exist, but as the synopsis promises, his life does become both better and worse.
A great cast that includes Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Josh Charles didn’t do badly in their roles. I guess I just generally have little patience for Norman-like nuisances and this movie is all about a massive nuisance called Norman.
Watch it if you like or are curious about small time operators, New York fixer types, total ‘bull**** artists’ and that sort of thing.