Movies reviews

  • Cold Pursuit

    Watched on

    6

    A grieving snowplow driver seeks out revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. Based on the 2014 Norwegian film 'In Order of Disappearance'.

    Review

    This is a strange film.

    It has a quite delicate pace for what I assumed was another Liam Neeson action film. Punctuated by title cards throughout, it felt more like a Coen brothers script or a dark comedy in a similar vein to those by Martin McDonagh.

    It was funny in places, has a few unexpected twists but the story line felt a little muddled with a few too many parties getting involved.

    Other reviewers have succinctly summed up my thoughts; a Tarantino copy from the 90s or John Wick and Fargo had been placed in a foster home with Taken. If you’re looking for a snow-based thriller, I would highly recommend Wind River. If it must star Liam Neeson, then The Grey is a better watch.

  • Atomic Blonde

    Watched on

    6

    An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.

    Atomic Blonde

    Review

    The trailer made the film out to be stylish and action packed. It was as advertised, however after 20 minutes it all became a little tedious. The story sounded simple, but came across complex, with a lot of small characters not adding anything to the journey. The double-agent storyline isn't suspenseful because there are only two main characters and the conclusion of it is just empty calories.

    Disappointing.

  • Be Kind Rewind

    Watched on

    5

    A man whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store. In order to satisfy the store's most loyal renter, an aging woman with signs of dementia, the two men set out to remake the lost films, which include Ghost Busters, The Lion King, and Robocop.

    Be Kind Rewind

    Review

    Be Kind Rewind is the new movie by Michel Gondry in a story which follows two friends who 'faithfully' recreate famous movies when one of them unintentionally destroys every tape in a video store because he's magnetized. Their movies are only ten minutes long and visualised with a non-existant budget, but have a certain love-affair by the people who watch them.

    Michel Gondry has unique and interesting ways of creating films and although the Be Kind Rewind attempts this, it misses the mark by a long shot. The consequence is this means a very poor film by any standard – let alone the mantle I have placed Gondry upon.

    I really wanted to enjoy Be Kind Rewind. I couldn't. Gondry also directed the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and I cannot recommend this movie enough.

    If you're looking for a masterpiece by Gondry look no further than Eternal Sunshine, however if you're looking for a 'movie with heart' (as Be Kind Rewind's remake ethos is) and you don't mind foreign films, check out the dreamworld of cardboard and cellophane in the French speaking Science of Sleep.

    I am sad to say I can not recommend this movie.

  • Gone Baby Gone

    Watched on

    10

    Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel.

    Gone Baby Gone

    Review

    Gone Baby Gone is the theatrical directorial debut by well-known actor Ben Affleck, and what a start in the new vocation it is. I found very little fault with Ben Affleck's direction – the only issue I had was the open-endedness of the night-time shoot-out scene at the quarry lake. But it was the strength of the script and Ben Affleck's younger brother, Casey, whose performance which shined in this movie.

    The movie progressed at a reasonable pace, with the introduction of a range of well written and unique characters. This type of characterisation can really make a story more believable, and elevate movies from good to brilliant — something I felt this movie was.

    There were a few twists and turns throughout, none of which I expected. Minor conversations and seemingly irrelevant pieces of information are referenced later, for climatic scenes. All the information is given to you, but like the private detective within the story, you have to make sense of them to solve the puzzle.

    The amazing thing about this movie was the amount of complex but detailed themes and conflicts presented thoughout. There were many moral and legal issues put forth by both numerous characters and the overall story. And these are just the ideas I noticed during my first viewing — a testament to a good director and script.

    Not since Requiem for a Dream (another masterpiece I highly recommend) have I watched the last fifteen minutes of a movie with my hand over my mouth, starring wide-eyed in awe of what has just happened and in anticipation of the decisions and resolution to come.

    After leaving the cinema my mind started racing. I was trying to think how I would have handled the situations the lead character was faced with, and whether I would have made the same final decision. This movie is emotional, engaging and enthralling — I can't recommend it enough.

  • The Joneses

    Watched on

    7

    A seemingly perfect family moves into a suburban neighborhood, but when it comes to the truth as to why they're living there, they don't exactly come clean with their neighbors.

    The Joneses

    Review

    I thought The Joneses was a good movie and, although the message was rather blunt, it was something that many people in the modern, Western world, should be able to relate to.

    Each of the four family members showed their ability to sell products as well as their more sensitive and vulnerable sides. But it was the parents who were given the most screen time. Demi Moore played her ruthless character very well, but it was David Duchcovny, in the role of the husband, who shone in his character. I was a fan of The X-Files, but it was more recently in the brilliant Californication that I have started to appreciate Duchcovny's talents, and he definitely plays the cool, laid back guy who enthuses charisma very well.

    Amber Heard was given the most to work with out of the two 'children' and I felt that her brother was under utilised.

    Overall, the movie was well cast, well acted, looked good and had a decent story & message, albeit a little in your face - much like a lot of the advertising you're subjected to daily.