LOVE AND MONSTERS (2020): The Things I Liked…

Love And Monsters (2020), Dylan O’brien
Love And Monsters (2020), Dylan O’brien

Love and Monsters is a fun/funny comedy/adventure about a young man named Joel and his hero journey; a journey where he learns how to survive a monster apocalypse to get to his girlfriend who’s eighty miles away.

Starring Dylan O’Brien, Michael Rooker and Jessica Henwick; it’s the monster special effects that grabbed my attention in the trailer. And let me say, they did not let me down. The images of giant snails and other oversized creepy crawlies had me watching some of the action through my t-shirt. Yet, I still found those scenes oddly thrilling and fun. Of course, ideally, I’d have liked to be less of a wuss. But I guess I now have a slightly better understanding of the kind of thrills some people get when watching scary movies. Particularly since there’s no denying that giant bugs are often gross and undeniably scary.

The humour in the introductory voice-over in the first third of the movie is one of the key highlights. The other highlights include any encounters with oversized creatures which are both well-choreographed and scary; the latter especially if you’re not into bugs of any size. The only part I didn’t love so much is around the middle of the film, once Joel finds himself alone once more. It may be my impatience acting up here but the pacing seemed to slow down a tad. And the way the editing milked a very key moment for our hero just really annoyed me.

Still, I’d watch part two if it were coming. I mean, yeah, I don’t love bugs but for the first time in my life, being scared was actually fun. I honestly didn’t think that was possible for me.

Watch Love and Monsters because it’s fun. It’s a good hero’s journey/ coming of age story with exciting monsters and heroics.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 (2020): New Trailer From Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Julian Dennison, Tyrese Gibson…

The Christmas Chronicles (2020), Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Netflix
The Christmas Chronicles (2020), Goldie Hawn, Darby Camp, Netflix

Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn are back for The Christmas Chronicles 2.

Directed/co-written by  Chris Columbus and also starring Julian Dennison plus Tyrese Gibson; this time Kate Pierce is now a cynical teenager. One who finds herself unexpectedly reunited with Santa Clause when a mysterious troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas forever.

Russell’s beautiful beard and gorgeous Santa coat are two things that stood out in a good way in the first The Christmas Chronicles movie.

I also recall a big brother character who seemed too old to be as ‘into Santa’ as he was. He doesn’t appear to be n this movie, and it’s great to see that Santa’s beard and coat haven’t changed one bit.

As for how much fun I’m likely to have with this sequel, let’s just say that based on this trailer, I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Judah Lewis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Patrick Gallagher, Darby Camp, Michel Issa Rubio, Teya Wild, Amanda Cleghorn, Christy St. John, Jahzir Bruno, Megan Serena Trainer and Romy Sanchez also star.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 Release Dates: November 25th, 2020 (US), Netflix…

Happy Film Loving

G

MINARI (2020): New Trailer From Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-Jung Youn…

Minari (2020), Steven Yeun, A24
Minari (2020), Steven Yeun, A24

Starring Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim and Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari is a new drama about a Korean family who move to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.

From writer/director Lee Isaac Chung; additional key cast includes Will Patton, Scott Haze, Eric Starkey and Esther Moon.

I’m excited for Minara to be the next impressive Korean story I get to enjoy, following 2019’s four-time Oscar winning Parasite.

I know that I’m already a fan of the young son character played by Alan S. Kim. I’m also looking forward to more from him and this universal story of family.

Noel Cho, Darryl Cox, Ben Hall, Jacob M Wade, James Carroll, Jenny Phagan and Tina Parker also star.

Minari Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

FATMAN (2020): New Trailer Starring Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste…

Fatman (2020), Mel Gibson
Fatman (2020), Mel Gibson

Fatman is a new comedy/thriller about what can happen to you when you’re Santa Claus and you disappoint the wrong child at Christmas. Said disappointed child can quite easily hire a hitman to end you.

Directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms; additional key cast includes Shaun Benson, Chance Hurstfield, Jordan Blais and Deborah Grover.

I often like to watch trailers before I read the synopsis, and this one certainly didn’t go where I thought it would.

I’m looking forward to the humour and what looks like a great performance by Goggins and young Chance Hurstfield who plays the aforementioned very, VERY disappointed child.

Paulino Nunes, Michelle Lang, Bill Turnbull, Robert Bockstael, Bill Lake, Michael Dickson, Joyce Rivera and Sean Tucker also star.

Fatman Release Dates: November 17th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MONSTER HUNTER (2020): New Trailer Starring Milla Jovovich, T.I. and Meagan Good, Tony Jaa…

Monster Hunter (2020), Milla Jovovich, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Monster Hunter (2020), Milla Jovovich, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed and co-written by Paul W.S. Anderson; Monster Hunter is the latest action adventure starring Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, T.I. and Meagan Good.

Based on the video game by Capcom, the story follows Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) and her loyal soldiers as they fight for survival in a new world. One where they engage in a desperate battle against enormous enemies with incredible powers.

I’m not expecting anything particularly unique and new with this one. However, something tells me that I’ll enjoy the CGI monsters and seeing very believable action woman Jovovich do her thing.

Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Ron Perlman, Jannik Schümann, Hirona Yamazaki, Nic Rasenti, Nanda Costa, Aaron Beelner, Schelaine Bennett and Adrián Muñoz also star.

Monster Hunter Release Dates: December 4th, 2020 (UK); December 30th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

HILLBILLY ELEGY (2020): New Trailer Starring Haley Bennett, Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso…

Hillbilly Elegy (2020), Amy Adams, Haley Bennett, Netflix

Based on the book of the same name by J.D. Vance; Hillbilly Elegy is a new drama starring Amy Adams, Haley Bennett, Gabriel Basso and Glenn Close.

Directed by Ron Howard; it’s the story of a Yale law student (Brasso) who’s drawn back to his hometown where he grapples with family history, Appalachian values and the American dream.

Glenn Close and Amy Adams, that’s really all I needed to know before saying yes to watching this. And maybe Adams will finally win an Academy Award, because this here looks like a truly brilliant performance.

Freida Pinto, Sunny Mabrey, Bo Hopkins, Dylan Gage, David Atkinson, Marcella Lentz-Pope, Stephen Kunken, Chase Anderson, William Mark McCullough, Jason Davis and Tierney Smith also star.

Hillbilly Elegy Release Dates: November 24th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SAVE YOURSELVES! (2020): The Things I Liked…

Save Yourselves! (2020), Sunita Mani, John Reynolds, Bleecker Street
Save Yourselves! (2020), Sunita Mani, John Reynolds, Bleecker Street

Save Yourselves! is a comedy/sci/fi film about a young couple who end up having to fend for themselves while the planet falls under attack. An alien attack that starts just as they leave Brooklyn, New York for a week at an upstate cabin where they plan to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. 

From writers/directors Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson, I had to watch Save Yourselves! because the trailer was filled with precisely the kind of kookiness I enjoy from time to time.

Once the movie started, I found the young couple’s eccentricities quite refreshing and amusing. And the film’s two leads Sunita Mani and John Reynolds have great chemistry and perform well. It’s just unfortunate that I soon became bored with their characters. Even more so once the fluffy alien Pouffe got to their cabin and we see the way the brown fluffy Pouffe escapes out the door.

After the exciting escape scene, I wanted to spend more and more time watching the fluffy Pouffe in action. But of course, the focus was more on the couple and how they were dealing with being under alien attack. That’s not to we don’t see the more poof after this scene because we do and it’s great when they show up. 

Nevertheless, I’d hoped to enjoy Save Yourselves! more. However, for me, the film fits into that category of movie that doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its trailer. Even though I enjoyed the scenes with the Pouffe and liked the moments of humour at the expense of the millennial couple, for a good part of the film I wasn’t fully engaged. 

Give Fischer and Wilson’s movie a chance if you’re curious, you may find more to like than I did; especially since the trailer is quite fun.

Happy Film Loving 

G

NINE DAYS (2020): New Trailer Starring Winston Duke, Bill Skarsgård, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong…

Nine Days (2020), Bill Skarsgård, Sony Pictures Classics
Nine Days (2020), Bill Skarsgård, Sony Pictures Classics

Nine Days is a new drama/fantasy film about a reclusive man as he conducts a series of interviews with human souls, to determine which one can be born on earth.

From writer/director Edson Oda; Nine Days stars Bill Skarsgård, Zazie Beetz, Winston Duke and Benedict Wong.

I’m so curious to see how the topic of ‘pre-life’ will be covered because I have so many questions. For example, what is pre-life really like and why is life on earth so very appealing? To what extent can a soul know the type of life experience they’re likely to have once on earth? How much joy versus suffering? What kind of human being are they likely to become? And so on.

In part because of the premise, this trailer and the one for Sound of Metal are in my top five of 2020’s best indie trailers.

Tony Hale, Geraldine Hughes, David Rysdahl, Arianna Ortiz, John Forker, Perry Smith, Dave Bresnahan, Logan Smith, Rachelle Hardy, Lisa Starrett and Sammie Edgington also star.

Nine Days Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

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