Movies reviews

  • Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure

    Watched on

    8

    A coming-of-age story set in the suburbs of Houston, Texas in the summer of 1969, centered around the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.

    Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure

    Review

    An ode to a simpler time; movies, tv shows and the space race, as seen from the perspective of a kid living the American dream in the suburbs. Oddly captivating in its descriptive narration and minutia.

    Touching on “adult problems” of the time, such as the Cold War and the Vietnam War, the focus is on the boundless enthusiasm and promise of a brighter future the space race was promoting.

    It captures being an American kid during school holidays, through the lens of nostalgia. The animation technique pairs beautifully with the story and characters.

    The movie feels like a summer memory. The theme of the movie alludes to that exact feeling; memories might not reflect the situation entirely. This is summed up nicely in the closing scene.

  • The Batman

    Watched on

    8

    When the Riddler, a sadistic serial killer, begins murdering key political figures in Gotham, Batman is forced to investigate the city's hidden corruption and question his family's involvement.

    The Batman

    Review

    Batman returns to the big screen, this time starring Robert Pattinson as the titular character. Directed by Matt Reeves, who is well known for his talents from the two concluding movies in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, brings a gritty crime film noir more akin to Seven or Zodiac than a superhero movie you're used to.

    Robert Pattinson gives both a menacing performance as Batman and a down-trodden weary portrayal of Bruce Wayne. Although we don't see much of his actual performance until towards the end, Paul Dano plays an intense version of The Riddler. Colin Farrell is unrecognisable as Oswald Cobblepot (aka The Penguin), hidden behind some impressive prosthetics. Zoë Kravitz as Batwoman was OK, but probably the weakest character in the movie, although she does have a few kickass set-pieces. The movie is filled with great actors, including Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Andy Serkis and Peter Sarsgaard.

    Thankfully, the movie doesn't recreate the well-worn story of Bruce's parents and the whole setup of becoming Batman. I enjoyed the threat of the symbol of Batman being enough to scare criminals and collective terrorism was reminiscent of the end of Joker. The themes of corruption are pertinent and the personal arcs for both Batman and Catwoman are well written.

    Fear is a tool. When that light hits the sky, it's not just a call. It's a warning.

    The entire movie is grim, with rain or darkness filling most of the screen time. The soundtrack is grunge with "Something In The Way" by Nirvana working incredibly well.

    Highlights include the Batmobile car chase; from the crazy sound at the start to the rocketing through the explosions conclusion and an upside perspective of Batman silhouetted by the flames. There was a superbly shot gunfight, although it was over in a flash – it reminded me a lot of the gun-flash scene at the start of Equilibrium, ironically starring a previous incarnation of Batman. There were also moments of silliness, such as funny one-liners (thumb drive) and a waddling Oz.

    It isn't without its faults; it's far too long and suffers from multiple ending syndrome. Probably the darkest take on a superhero movie yet, it doesn't quite reach the same level as Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, but I'm interested to see how this progresses with the sequels.

  • Deep Water

    Watched on

    6

    A well-to-do husband who allows his wife to have affairs in order to avoid a divorce becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of her lovers.

    Deep Water

    Review

    Much has been made of director Adrian Lyne's first movie since Unfaithful twenty years ago. Probably best known for Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal, his filmography could be described as somewhat erotic with a focus on affairs, infidelity and murder.

    Deep Water is no different. You're thrown into the middle of an unconventional marriage. Sleeping separately, the woman seems free to enjoy other men, while her husband looks on. There is a contrast between her carefree attitude and his looming hatred of the situation.

    Early on, there is ambiguity about whether the husband has murdered an ex-lover. He admits as much to a new lover, but is he joking? The second half of the movie plays up this situation. There is schizophrenic energy contrasting against a bland colour palette. There are awkward relationships and characters abound.

    Ben Affleck is morose, recreating his Gone Girl vibe. Ana de Armas is seductive as ever but injects it with a dark undertone.

    The movie concludes in an equally ambiguous situation, mirroring the beginning but now we know much more about the characters, their relationship and their deeds. The ending seems a little abrupt but fits with how we've given been given the whole story throughout.

  • What's Your Number?

    Watched on

    4

    A woman looks back at the past nineteen men she's had relationships with in her life and wonders if one of them might be her one true love.

    What's Your Number?

    Review

    Pretty trash, even with my low expectations. Anna Faris is clumsily energetic and Chris Evans is endearing, but the rest is pretty much throwaway.

    If you want to see Chris Evans in a rom-com, then watch Playing It Cool instead.

    MCU alumni represent; Chris Pratt looked frumpy, Anthony Mackie looked young, but Chris Evans is still jacked.

    That puppet scene! Nine-Nine!

  • The White Helmets Short

    Watched on

    8

    As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.

    The White Helmets

    Review

    We’re introduced to a couple of guys who are part of “The White Helmets”, a group of Syrian first responders who dig through the rubble left from airstrikes. They’re looking for survivors, but often they’re removing bodies – it’s perilous and sickening work. Interspersed with interviews and close footage, it’s raw and tragic. Part of the story follows them at a training camp in Turkey; although they’re safe, there are intimate personal connections to the horrors faced by their colleagues still helping in the war zone.