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Game Night was my favourite movie of what was a lean 2018, first rewatch since then and so glad it doesn’t disappoint. It’s Edgar Wright good. Love the editing, casting, script is superb. The bit outside the 7-11 especially is just incredible.

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56 minutes ago, linkster said:

Game Night was my favourite movie of what was a lean 2018, first rewatch since then and so glad it doesn’t disappoint. It’s Edgar Wright good. Love the editing, casting, script is superb. The bit outside the 7-11 especially is just incredible.

 

I loved game night

You haven't seen cold war have you?

 

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I found Game Night enjoyable, but it would be nowhere near my 2018 top ten. Didn't think the jokes were consistent enough. The performances however were fantastic. 

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I think I need a third watch to catch all the jokes TBH, there is a lot of really funny incidental dialogue when the camera isn’t even on the person saying it, I love all that 

 

It was a date movie with the missus and I was worried that had skewed my repeat view, but I did really still enjoy it, in fact noticed and appreciated the directing craft much more than the first time when it won over on charm

 

My Top 50 in cinemas for last year bears little resemblance to any other ive seen, so much hype and mediocrity around

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If Beale Street Could Talk

 

A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.

 

I think your reaction to Barry 'Moonlight' Jenkins' new film is going to (at least partly) depend on whether you've read the novel. I was one of those weirdos who hadn't read American Pastoral and enjoyed the film, feeling the critics' derision was pretty harsh. Railing at critics can make you look like a thicko, but in the case of AP I honestly think many of them were afraid to give praise in case it may them look stupid by association - the book is thought of as a towering masterpiece (not by me; I dislike Roth and much prefer his contemporary, John Updike) and woe betide anyone in the media who hints they are apathetic toward it or - gasp! - haven't read it.

 

I'm therefore guessing Jenkins' film is being batted between several schools of thought right now: those who champion him as great new voice for black people in cinema, those who have read the novel and are judging the movie as an adaptation, and those who don't have a dog in the fight and are taking it on merit. If you look at the RT score, critics have it at 94% and audiences at 69%.

 

I really enjoyed it, but I think the audience score is closer to reality than the critics' consensus. It has a mellow sensibility, is gentle and kind towards its protagonists and looks beautiful; a visual interpretation of the book's lyricism I'm guessing? The snatches of dialogue obviously imported verbatim from the book are sweet but powerful; unfortunately they don't translate into naturalism, so you have to be content with the film being caught somewhere between realism and fantasy... and not really nailing either. 

 

That's a fairly large issue, really. The film begins with some really good clashes - age against youth, family against family, pragmatism versus romanticism, but this falls off in the second act to concentrate on the lead pair's life together. Mrs. Treb put it succinctly when she moaned about the number of shots that are of them staring into each others' eyes. Yes it's sweet, but there's no dramatic tension there. The third act feels more like late-period, self-indulgent Malick: gorgeous but fairly hollow.

 

So why did I like it? Well, the performances are just amazing. You could watch Stephan James, Kiki Lane and Bryan Tyree Henry's faces change subtly through different emotions as the sun sets until time itself stops. The score is a gentle companion/counterpoint to the action, and the visuals are bathed in a warm orange glow like streetlights on a summer evening.

 

This is a film with such care and introspection embedded that it's impossible to not admire. Whether you love it or not will very much depend on whether you're happy watching and listening to lovely people face ordinary horrors in a methodical and contemplative way. To some that's (Days of) Heaven, but to others it's a recipe for slow-motion boredom; a failed attempt to turn the novel's inner monologue into an exciting narrative.

 

I'd highly recommend checking it out if the 'good bits' sound like your bag, though: if you haven't read the book; if you want to see more African-American stories told in a completely new way. Even then, like my superior half, you might just find it to be wispy and ephemeral nothingness, and get bored and fed up. Either way, people shouldn't be ashamed to say what they feel - it's meant to be entertainment, at the end of the day :)

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7 hours ago, linkster said:

No mate, that’s a bit of a jump! Any connection or just great?

 

Jus you saying it was a lean 2018. Cold War is one of the very greatest films I've ever seen in my life. 

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21 minutes ago, kerraig UK said:

 

Jus you saying it was a lean 2018. Cold War is one of the very greatest films I've ever seen in my life. 

It didn't play round my way I'm afraid, I knew it from a 5 star in Empire. Will watch for it on streaming

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11 minutes ago, linkster said:

It didn't play round my way I'm afraid, I knew it from a 5 star in Empire. Will watch for it on streaming

Switch your phone off and get a nice whisky in. It is cinema in its purest form. Its a masterpiece with a capital M and I don't even say that once a year.

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Belle

 

True story of mixed race heiress enduring 18th century London society 

 

This is a great story but a poor film, having heard so much praise for it. It’s hard to imagine a more by the numbers costume production, with Downton Abbey dialogue and the bewildering decision to cast Queenie from Blackadder alongside  Draco fucking Malfoy.

 

The daughter of a black slave mother and entitled white father, Belle is orphaned young while living with family, the head of the household just happening to be the lord Chief Justice of England.

 

Belle goes through all the social trauma of a negro in ‘society’ - can’t eat meals with family when there are guests, expected to find a suitor based only on her income, during which time she falls for the son of a vicar. Presented as it is, it belongs in the bestseller books section of Asda. There’s simply nothing to recommend the long stretches of the movie that cover this part of the story.

 

Far more interesting, almost impossible to believe the incongruity, but her benefactor may just be about to decide the future of slavery based on a shocking insurance fraud trial dealing with a ‘cargo’ of insured slaves being dumped at sea. It is I think the same tale that also made Tom Hardy’s Taboo such a riveting watch, so my recommendation would be to watch that and find a nice book about Belle without all the waffle and pantomime villainary.

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Dunkirk

 

Christopher Nolan gone done made a war movie. Contains spoilers.

 

Finally got so bored of browsing at 3am this morning (off sick with second office-borne virus in two months) I launched into first time watch of the movie that finally got me permabanned from the Empire Magazine Facebook page.

 

I haven't seen it because I don't see the point in enduring something you honestly don't think you're going to like, and I really hated Interstellar and Inception, having loved his work up until that point. Simple as that.

 

I didn't hate it, but I can't say I liked it either. I admire the structure, for the same reason I got a kick out of Flashdance - it doesn't bother following the standard narrative beats a movie is supposed to have. It's in parts suspenseful, action-packed, dramatic and melancholy, but curiously excels at none of them.

 

You have the dramatic, in which Mark Rylance plays Mark Rylance, captaining a small yacht while dressed for a game of bowls. Accompanying him are two youngsters - I'm never entirely clear what relation they are - and en route they encounter a shipwrecked Cillian Murphy. Tragedy strikes soon after when one of the youngsters takes a tumble and later dies. Much, much later this narrative strand concludes rather poignantly. The only problem is, everything leading up to it simply felt forced. I understand the point of the various narratives is to show the big and the small, but it just felt clumsy & contrived.

 

You have the action-packed, with ace air man Tom Hardy (were we supposed to know it was him ... ? Not entirely sure) stoic and unflappable in his Spitfire, over the curiously sunny & empty Channel eating Jerry fighters like Luke eats TIEs, in spite of having to draw his own dashboard gauges with chalk. As the sole surviving member of his squadron (Nolan's ambition to be 'real' at all costs arguably coming a cropper when you realise just how few of these buggers are still in the air) he ultimately saves the day for Kenneth Branagh's stranded knight by carrying on the assault even when he's out of fuel (begging the question just what was left in the plane to burn?) I love Tom Hardy to bits, but I'm not sure what we were supposed to be feeling here - I mean why not just have him carry on and take the whole invading force out with his jerry can? It'd be just as plausible and patriotic.

 

The latter is a recurring theme in the third strand and it might sound like stating the obvious, I really wasn't sure what tone the movie would take. War movies changed forever with Saving Private Ryan's opening act IMO, it's hard to imagine a grimmer vision of hell than that, and it poses a problem for movie makers who follow. Nolan certainly hasn't tried, and perhaps as a result of that at times it reinforces the sadness at the heart of the divide caused by Brexit - lines like "I'm not leaving - I'm waiting for the French!" underlining the point in the way that Nolan does, to questionable effect.

 

The sweeping shots of Dunkirk are remarkably effective - it's a town. You don't think of it as such, as we're used to see movie sets on nondescript beaches. And it's here the movie bets the farm in terms of scale lacking from the other strands with thousands of extras cramming the jetties to board the few vessels, until the miraculous arrival of the little ships. Part of this spectacle, worryingly, smacks of the Nolans asking each other "that bit from TDK on the boat - everyone loved that, right? Let's do it again!" It does pan out somewhat more successfully than that dire set piece, but any tension is wrecked by a complete lack of charisma from the cast.

 

I'm not sure what his intentions were in making it - patriotism, propaganda, a warning, a reminder of how good everyone can be, just to make a war movie, all of the above. The end result just left me feeling like watching the last Mission Impossible - enjoying the technical craft of someone who ought to deserve credit for doing things 'the hard way', but ultimately just feeling detached from the experience as a result.

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I just thought Dunkirk was too fleeting to be engrossing, i want a war film to feel like I've endured it, that by its end to feel like weeks/months/years have passed.* Dunkirk felt like a 10 minute rollercoaster ride. I found it hollow. 

 

*the actual evacuation took a week but you know what i mean. It could have been comprehensive, gruelling, knackering, it could have been edited to feel longer, its duration considerably increased. I'd have preferred a more conventional war film. 

 

After the trailer i said I hope Nolan would try to capture the horror of war, and kerraig said; nah i hope it tells personal stories. I don't think it did either. 

 

Just watched Serenity. Kind of begins like Homer Simpson trying to catch a big fish that always eludes him then becomes more like a 90s second rate thriller then it

Spoiler

turns into fucking LOST ! Then it loses its mind completely. Matthew even writes and underlines 'LOST' on paper at one point. 

 

I recommend this film cos you will be equally compelled by it as your own curiosity to see what happens next and will laugh your head off reading reviews after you finish watching. 

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Watched Ideal Home today, bizarre comedy with Steve Coogan as a gay Patridge-esque TV chef in Santa Fe sharing a home with Paul Rudd, a couple of party loving big kids who acquire one of their own when Coogan’s grandson appears on their doorstep. It’s quite a funny script but aside from it feeling a bit odd for a 2018 movie to cast two well known straight actors in the main roles, I dunno if it’s just being so used to Partridge but Coogan’s acting is off the scale bad.

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On 20/02/2019 at 13:47, Treble said:

If Beale Street Could Talk

 

A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.

 

I think your reaction to Barry 'Moonlight' Jenkins' new film is going to (at least partly) depend on whether you've read the novel. I was one of those weirdos who hadn't read American Pastoral and enjoyed the film, feeling the critics' derision was pretty harsh. Railing at critics can make you look like a thicko, but in the case of AP I honestly think many of them were afraid to give praise in case it may them look stupid by association - the book is thought of as a towering masterpiece (not by me; I dislike Roth and much prefer his contemporary, John Updike) and woe betide anyone in the media who hints they are apathetic toward it or - gasp! - haven't read it.

 

I'm therefore guessing Jenkins' film is being batted between several schools of thought right now: those who champion him as great new voice for black people in cinema, those who have read the novel and are judging the movie as an adaptation, and those who don't have a dog in the fight and are taking it on merit. If you look at the RT score, critics have it at 94% and audiences at 69%.

 

I really enjoyed it, but I think the audience score is closer to reality than the critics' consensus. It has a mellow sensibility, is gentle and kind towards its protagonists and looks beautiful; a visual interpretation of the book's lyricism I'm guessing? The snatches of dialogue obviously imported verbatim from the book are sweet but powerful; unfortunately they don't translate into naturalism, so you have to be content with the film being caught somewhere between realism and fantasy... and not really nailing either. 

 

That's a fairly large issue, really. The film begins with some really good clashes - age against youth, family against family, pragmatism versus romanticism, but this falls off in the second act to concentrate on the lead pair's life together. Mrs. Treb put it succinctly when she moaned about the number of shots that are of them staring into each others' eyes. Yes it's sweet, but there's no dramatic tension there. The third act feels more like late-period, self-indulgent Malick: gorgeous but fairly hollow.

 

So why did I like it? Well, the performances are just amazing. You could watch Stephan James, Kiki Lane and Bryan Tyree Henry's faces change subtly through different emotions as the sun sets until time itself stops. The score is a gentle companion/counterpoint to the action, and the visuals are bathed in a warm orange glow like streetlights on a summer evening.

 

This is a film with such care and introspection embedded that it's impossible to not admire. Whether you love it or not will very much depend on whether you're happy watching and listening to lovely people face ordinary horrors in a methodical and contemplative way. To some that's (Days of) Heaven, but to others it's a recipe for slow-motion boredom; a failed attempt to turn the novel's inner monologue into an exciting narrative.

 

I'd highly recommend checking it out if the 'good bits' sound like your bag, though: if you haven't read the book; if you want to see more African-American stories told in a completely new way. Even then, like my superior half, you might just find it to be wispy and ephemeral nothingness, and get bored and fed up. Either way, people shouldn't be ashamed to say what they feel - it's meant to be entertainment, at the end of the day :)

I watched this yesterday and absolutely adored it, I was entranced by its beautiful cinematography from the first minute which carried on all the way to end.  Every performance was outstanding and even though he was only in one scene,  Bryan Tyree Henry almost managed to steal the show.

 

I can see why people would find it a little dull or even boring, and I am glad I didn't bother taking my partner to see it, as she would have hated it.  But as someone who is self-confessed soppy romantic, its probably the best film I have seen for quite a while.

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Quatermass 2

 

Epic 1957 sci fi that set the template for movies, TV and videogames for  years to come. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime 

 

Pop quiz - what was the first movie sequel ever to feature 2 in the title? Well to save you a google, not as Francis Ford Coppola would much, much later claim for The Godfather II. He was trumped by 17 years by the second adventure of Professor Quatermass.

 

For anyone who grew up worshipping Doctor Who, Hammer Productions was a constant source of ‘inspiration.’ Having first surfaced in 1955 with a remarkable practically one-set story involving the mysterious return of a manned rocket, it returned two years later with an absolutely classic tale of science fiction, paranoia and government conspiracy, all within a stone’s throw of London. It’s vintage Who-style socialist commentary on the exploitation and dehumanising of the working class in the massive soul less factories springing up around the country.

 

Chasing the American market, the professor has undergone an inexplicable change of birth from the very English boffin of the first, a mistake corrected years later in the peerless ‘Quatermass and the Pit.’ He’s grouchy, bossy, wooden and awkward, but it doesn’t matter as the story is a doozy.

 

With government manadarins stomping on his plans for a moon base, Quatermass is baffled and horrified to find his design built to scale very much on terra firma, in fact on what was to become Hemel Hempstead. He’s alerted to the fact via a chance encounter with a wounded youth, a meteorite, and strange artefacts on the radar scanner of his laboratory which speak of more - much more.

 

Approaching the base, he’s chased off by human ‘drones’, who bear more than a passing resemblance to the Robomen from the later Dalek serials. He asks questions and finds it is apparently a plant to build synthetic food, years before Soylent Green. Taking his concerns to Whitehall, he finds a sympathetic MP who believes it’s a financial scandal and arranges a pass for a tour - just as Sarah Jane Smith did to the Thinktank in ‘Robot’, Tom Baker’s debut as the Doctor.

 

Arriving at the sinister, brutalist plant will be familiar to any FPS fan - an unmistakable Half-Life esque series of klaxons and industrial noises providing an eerie welcome (later there are even uber creepy City 17 metallic voices issuing orders). There are even a few shots in FPS camera. In classic Who style, Quatermass and the MP soon give the official tour the slip and encounter only brainwashed scientists, rejoining the tour to be repeatedly fobbed off when demanding to know what part of “the process” involves the enormous metal towers and domes (“its the food. It’s ... maturing”).

 

Quatermass escapes from the tour just as the guide turns nasty, trying to find the MP who has disappeared. Wandering the deserted plant, he makes a shocking discovery as a screaming, smoke-billowing wretch appears and transpires to be the MP, near death and highly toxic and beyond doubt ending the ‘food’ sham once and for all. Quatermass must escape the base, klaxons blaring(there’s no music at all in the base scenes - very influential) as he’s hunted by machine gun wielding robo cops. Fortunately these dudes shoot about as well as Stormtroopers from A New Hope.

 

High footing it back to the local cops, we are introduced to Carry On legend Sid James as ‘Jimmy’, a sozzled news man (“drunk he’s great, sober he’s brilliant”) who sobers up rapid when he catches on to what Quatermass has found, which grows more sinister when he sees a newspaper headline claiming the dead MP was on a mission abroad - clear signs someone in power has far reaching tendrils...

 

From here the movie goes full on Body Snatchers, with more and more stuffy types in authority showing signs of having been converted. Hardly surprising - that hit only the previous year and doubtless had an enormous impact on science fiction. With Jimmy, they begin a beautifully naïve effort to break the story in the morning papers - but first they must convince the rumple faced hack. There’s no derisory “flying saucer” cliches here, we are way ahead of that, as well as the faith in the press to do the right thing. Jimmy plays the social side of the Doctor beautifully, charming and chatting up locals at a boozy knees up, but they quickly turn suspicious, and he dies an heroic death in a hail of bullets phoning in his story. No yukyukyuk for our poor Sid this time.

 

The end is gloriously batshit mental as it channels Whisky Galore (or an angrier I’m All Right Jack) with a mob of angry locals armed with sticks descending on the base and the gun-toting, gas mask wearing robomen for retribution.

 

Even if it lacks the primal terror of Quatermass and the Pit, this is still a joy to watch.

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