The setting of director Todd Field’s latest film is the international world of classical music.
Central to the story is Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) who happens to be widely considered one of the greatest living composers/conductors, and the very first ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra.
Mark Strong, Noémie Merlant and Nina Hoss are among the key cast.
Sometimes a trailer is unique and it features a great actor or two. Yet, because of how seemingly moody it appears to be, I’m not moved to watch it. But then I learn about the compelling subject matter, and as a fan of the possibilities of film, suddenly, I have to see Tár.
Are you also moved to watch this one, or is it too… something?
Noémie Merlant, Nina Hoss, Sophie Kauer, Mark Strong and Sydney Lemmon also star.
Cruella, the movie about the rebellious earlier years of one of Disney’s favourite and most stylish villains, Cruella De Vil is quite far from the movie I’d hoped for.
I enjoyed some well-executed set pieces, visually stunning cinematic moments, and director Craig Gillespie’s film gets a tad better towards the end. Yet, my overall feeling through to the end was one of disappointment.
For me, Cruella has a disappointing air of silliness to it. A quality that I imagine isn’t helped by Emma Stone and Paul Walter Hauser’s over-the-top British accents. And they’re not the only accent offenders; Estella/Cruella’s boss at Liberty of London also did his part to bring home my realisation that so many of the people in the film play like caricatures.
Given that the ‘this is so disappointing’ reality of the movie hit me soon after the film started, I couldn’t wait for Emma Thompson’s The Baroness character to show up and help proceedings. Thompson did a superb job, as she always does. Still, my growing distaste for Gillespie’s movie remained.
The story edit felt rushed throughout. The early camera work inside Liberty of London proved unnecessarily dizzying. The way the movie deals with mental illness leaves plenty to be desired. And, what nonsense to expect the audience to believe that for a very long time, thanks to different clothes and makeup, none of the characters could see that Cruella is clearly Estella. I know, I know… a very similar thing happens in the Superman/Clark Kent movies. But those movies are actually good.
I’m sure it’s crystal clear by now, but I did not enjoy Cruella. My disappointment led to the very whiny thought: ‘But when will another Disney movie delight and move me the way Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella did? WHEN?!’
I wanted Cruella to be more grounded than it is. And a big part of the issues with Gillespie’s Cruella arise because the film never decided whether it was going to be for kids or adults. It went for both in a way that resulted in a movie that I feel failed more than it succeeded.
Have you seen Cruella? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
Set in 1970s London, England, amidst the punk rock revolution; Cruella is the latest Disney animated film to become a live-action movie.
Starring Emma Stone, Paul Walter Hauser, Emma Thompson and Mark Strong; director Craig Gillespie’s comedy/crime story focuses on the rebellious early days of the notoriously fashionable villain, Cruella de Vil.
I’ve missed seeing Stone in a leading role, and based on this impressive trailer, Cruella looks like a great way to make her presence felt.
Glenn Close is the Cruella that comes to mind when I think of de Vil, thanks to 101 Dalmatians (1996). Now, I can’t wait for this new version of the story to take us back to the earlier years of the devilish de Vil.
Emily Beecham, Joel Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jamie Demetriou, Gianni Calchetti, Michelle Greenidge, John McCrea, Tony McCarthy, Chloé Booyens, Haruka Abe and Niamh Lynch also star.
With a single magic word (Shazam!), a boy is given the ability to become an adult superhero in times of need.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel Jack Dylan Grazer…
This may just be the next hit superhero movie from DC Comics (after Wonder Woman (2017). I’m in for this reason, the humour and to possibly see a version of my own superhero fantasies played out. I’m already liking the on-screen chemistry between Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer.
Adam Brody, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Borth, Marta Milans and Ross Butler also star.
The Catcher Was A Spy is the story of a man in the midst of a double life; working both as a major league baseball player and a spy…
Directed by Ben Lewin; Paul Rudd, Connie Nielsen, Mark Strong and Sienna Miller star…
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t yet encountered a serious, non-comedic Paul Rudd movie that has me excited enough to see it; so deep is my appreciation of his comedic work. Unlike Steve Carell and a few other actors known first for comedy, I’m just finding it hard to make the shift from a funny Rudd to a serious Rudd. I think it’s going to take a film I simply can’t ignore for me to transition. Will The Catcher Was A Spy be that movie? I’m not quite sure yet but I wish.
Guy Pearce, Connie Nielsen, Jeff Daniels, Hiroyuki Sanada and Shea Whigham also star
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.
In Kingsman – The Golden Circle, the Kingsman headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage. Upon discovering an allied spy organization in the US. The two elite secret organisations must work together to defeat a common enemy…
Before the First Kingsman movie, Kingsman – The Secret Service, I mostly knew the film’s director Matthew Vaughn as an excellent producer to one of my favourite British directors, Guy Ritchie.Look at him now! I can’t wait to see what looks yet another very welcome and thrilling festival of style, action and adventure.
I don’t actually recall how things were left with Sofia Boutella’s very cool ‘Gazelle’ character in the first movie, but my hope is that this new instalment will be so good that I barely miss her, if at all.