I actually wasn’t sure how engaging Adriftwould be considering that a good amount of it takes place at sea. I’m therefore very glad to report that a key highlight of the film for me at least is the smart way the story is told and edited.
The structure of director Baltasar Kormákur’s movie did a good job at ensuring I remained interested throughout. The performances by Sam Claflin and Shailene Woodley certainly helped with that. As did the film’s general premise – the true survival story of a young couple stranded at sea. Being the sucker for a touching love story that I am, I also appreciated the romance.
I’d love to say that I’ve retained a few nuggets of knowledge about surviving at sea after watching Adrift – but really all I’ve learned is that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to know how to sail. Watch it if the story and actors appeal. Who knows.
I must be too sensible for this kind of fun because as I watched director Jeff Tomsic’s male friendship comedy Tag, where former classmates play an elaborate game of tag across the country, I definitely thought it silly for grown / middle aged men to be playing a children’s game. Especially the way it’s played in the movie – often resulting in a notable amount of damage to the immediate surroundings.
My sensible ways aside though, it’s unfortunate that I wasn’t very amused throughout the film and that the only scenes that really had me most engaged were the ones featuring Jeremy Renner’s character Jerry. Particularly when he was playing the game. Renner’s stunt work, athleticism and general onscreen charisma helped make Tag that little bit more watchable.
Also starring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson and Jon Hamm, I probably would have had more fun watching Tag if I’d felt like I knew the characters more before the game commenced. What happened before we meet Renner’s character sadly felt more to me like un-amusing filler. Besides Jerry, my favourite thing about Tag is the way it ends and the music choice just before the credits.
Even though I’m not Tag’s biggest fan, I admit that knowing the film was based on a real life group of friends who played the game for 23 years warms my heart a little. It also has me wondering how the movie may be that little bit different from the whole truth.
Watch it if you’re so curious. Maybe you’ll find it funnier than I did.
I definitely enjoyed Skyscrapermuch more than I expected to and part of the reason is that I feel Dwayne Johnson acted well in his role as Will Ford; an assessor of the security of skyscrapers who finds himself framed when suddenly the safest building in the world (The Pearl) is ablaze.
Written / directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, I liked the story, the pace and the fact that I was engaged throughout. The action sequences were thrilling which meant I had so much fun overall that I maybe almost didn’t notice, the unbelievability of the number of near death scenarios that Ford and his family seemed to conveniently escape.
Another thing that stood out for me as Skyscraper played is how much the young actors playing Ford’s kids looked like they could actually be Johnson’s children. I also noticed how little they looked like Ford’s wife (Neve Campbell). Lastly, I was surprised to find myself less annoyed by the instances of product placement than I usually would be. In fact, I doubt that I can think of Skyscraper in the future without remembering the product in question.
In addition to thoroughly thrilling me, Skyscraper now has me wanting to visit Hong Kong even sooner than previously planned. Before you start worrying though, I promise I’m very much aware that The Pearl isn’t real.
Also starring Pablo Schreiber, Roland Møller and Chin Han; watch it for the thrills and so you can see how far Johnson has come as an Actor.
Maze Runner – The Death Cure, the final instalment in the young adult science fiction trilogy set in a post apocalyptic dystopian world is generally OK. Having already seen the first two Maze Runner films and also finding them mainly adequate, I wanted to watch The Death Cure to finish what I’d started. I was very happy to see that the films main actor Dylan O’Brien appeared to have recovered fully following the serious 2016 on-set accident that put production on hold for months.
Even though I’m not in love with this movie, I don’t regret having sat through it for reasons including, the acting isn’t terrible overall, I like the consistent pace and there are a couple of in-air stunts that had my attention. Beyond that though, I’d say that director Wes Ball’s film is an easy distraction that doesn’t ask too much of you. In which case, perhaps hit that play button – for a casual viewing. I say that whilst knowing that big fans of the books (I’ve never read them) probably wouldn’t sit down to this movie ‘casually.’ Nevertheless though, every movie has its place in everybody’s mind. From ‘this deserves my undivided attention’ to ‘I’m definitely skipping that.’
Knowing as I do that 2017’s Fifty Shades Darkerdid very little to improve on the original Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015)movie, I was ready for this third instalment, Fifty Shades Freed to be in no way a step up… and it isn’t, at all. I do however feel as though the trilogy shifted from ‘bad’ and ‘definitely still bad’ to something that resembles a much-less-tame romantic Hallmark film. To be clear, Hallmark movies are not great either, even though they’re not always as bad as ‘the worst.’
Starring Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Rita Ora and directed once again by James Foley; in Fifty Shades Freed, Anastasia and Christian get married, but their troubles with people from Christian’s past are far from over.
Just as was the case with the previous two movies, ridiculous and not well written or well acted things happen in Fifty Shades Freed. Yet though not in a movie theatre, I still sat and watched anyway because firstly, I felt like I needed to see the whole trilogy through to the end. Second, I really wanted a glimpse at the wedding. Third, I wanted one more look at a depiction of the ever intriguing lifestyles of the super rich and last but certainly not least, Rita Ora’s gorgeous face, acting.
The Fifty Shades movies always had little chance of being good because of the not so great source material. Even still, that was never going to be enough to stop many of the millions of fans of the book, fans of Dakota Johnson, fans of Jamie Dornan or fans of Rita Ora (me) from watching the films. It also won’t stop some romantics (like myself) who need a very far from taxing romance film to play semi in the background as they sit still whilst doing other equally non-taxing things.
Whatever your reason to watch or not, your decision is probably right, for you. Also, if you start and promptly abort, you also cannot be blamed.
I Feel Pretty, the latest movie starring Amy Schumer, Emily Ratajkowski and Michelle Williams is a comedy about a woman who suddenly finds plenty of self confidence following a head injury.
Written / directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, there are only really two things right about this film. Firstly, tits intention to inspire women, young women especially to stop letting society tell them what is beautiful, so they can find the confidence to go after what they really want. The second positive is the casting of Michelle Williams. In this movie Williams is as elevating a talent as the best of them, but even this task was to great.
The truth is, I definitely laughed a little once or twice, mainly because of the humorous moment(s) where a line reminded me of what made Schumer’s Comedy Central TV so good once upon a time. Unfortunately though, I just happened to cringe far more than I laughed overall. There was a scene at the beginning that I felt already made it’s point yet it stretched on and on. There are moments where my eyes rolled in disappointment – in one particular instance due to the use of a story telling device that seemed rushed / ad hoc, as well as executed lazily.
Even with all the cringing and eye-rolling, a point did actually arrive around the first half whereI thought the terribleness had ceased and now everything will be less bad. But then something cringeworthy happens again! Cringeworthy because of the badly executed story. Cringeworthy because of what felt like over-acting by Schumer on a number of occasions and cringeworthy because someone decided that this final draft of I Feel pretty really was worthy of being the final draft.
I kept watching tI Feel pretty when I could have stopped because this movie and Schumer’s previous film Snatched (2017) aside, I usually enjoy her work. I now feel as though my last hope is the idea that the Schumer and Jennifer Lawrencecomedy that’s supposed to be in the works won’t have me saying ‘No, Amy! But I had such high hopes…!’ some thing I said more than twice during I Feel pretty.
Maybe watch Schumer’s Comedy Central TV show instead(?)
Starring Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black and Karen Gillan, I found Jumanji – Welcome To The jungle to be OK. It’s just the kind of silly fun that kids will likely love most. It’s well modernised and there were some amusing moments, especially courtesy of Jack Black’s portrayal of a teenage girl and Kevin Hart’s one-liners.
The reason that Jumanji is OK and not great is because by the end, I felt as though something was missing from the movie. Perhaps it’s substance, heart, character development or a mixture and then some, but for me, the amusing and clever moments aside, something is definitely missing at the very core. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t wholly convinced of Nick Jonas’s acting skills.
As I watched the film, the jungle setting did have me reminiscing about how much fun I had while watching Kong Skull Island (2017). Overall, I say watch Jumanji –Welcome To The Jungle if you’re curious enough. It may just be the kind of silly fun you need.
The Mountain Between Us, a story about two strangers whose plane crashes into a remote snow covered mountain is a movie I tuned into to find out if and how the strangers survive. I also just had see Idris Elba and Kate Winslet on screen together.
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, The Mountain Between Us did enough to keep my attention, especially during the first four fifths of the film. I specify four fifths because the last fifth leading up to the final conclusion moved slower than my impatient self would have liked.
As for the onscreen chemistry between Elba and Winslet, any sparks that flew certainly weren’t bright enough to blind me for a second. As such, I’d say that the chemistry was adequate at best. Perhaps I know too much about the actors to buy their characters fully as a couple. It could also have been the semi- awkward love scene. On the other hand, perhaps the story somehow just didn’t give me all that I needed to believe in the central relationship. Whatever the answer, something was a little off for me.
If I were to watch The Mountain Between Us again, it’d probably be just a little chunk or two to remind me of Elba and Winslet’s chemistry. A second reason might be the beautiful shots of the snow covered mountain and surrounding landscape. Additionally, I may not have loved the song choice for when the credits started to role (ZAYN – Dusk Till Dawn ft. Sia), but I’ll alwayshave time for another glimpse of the way Elba’s surgeon character is dressed when we first meet him. Two thumbs up to that look, ALWAYS!
Applause to the film’s costume department aside, the moment that impressed me the most in The Mountain Between Us is actually the inevitable plane crash scene. It just felt so believable to me. More so than most, I think.
Overall, I see Abu-Assad’s movie as an OK film that’s worth seeing if something about it appeals enough. It’s also a movie that forced me to contemplate the benefits of having a dog… someday, probably.