/ June film thread
starting the month by again “breaking my rule” and reviewing a film seen not at the cinema but on my laptop, on a work trip.
Young Adult, 2011’s offering from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, the team behind Juno and this year’s Tully (8.5/10 for the latter)
like Tully, this one stars Charlize Theron.
and like Tully, it is really good, except better
Incredibly bold in presenting us an unlikeable lead who never really learns or grows but who still engages us. Perfectly played by Theron. It’s a bit of a “nothing” story in terms of plot but it’s an amazing character study. It reminded me of About Schmidt which similarly suffered from a terrible misleading poster campaign.
Young Adult and About Schmidt are NOT comedies. They are painfully real downbeat dramas with some nice comic relief here and there.
Young Adult follows a “failing in life” woman in her late thirties. Divorced, alcoholic, friendless former high school queen bee returns to home town to perhaps try to wreck an ex’s domestic bliss. What a nasty character . And yet so compelling to watch...
New Jurassic Park film was so bad that my iPhone in collusion with UKC, refused to post my review! It’s disappeared!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Yes it really was that bad. For context, I enjoyed Jurassic World, I thought it did well in the difficult task of rebooting the franchise with all-new characters etc.
This new one pretty much throws all that away.
It is witless, charmless, thoughtless, toothless, and soul-less.
The two leads from the previous film are back, but the writers and by extension the actors, just sleep-walk through it all. We are given two new young techies who are then given almost nothing to do aside from having the young woman be bolder and more feisty than the young man. It's just lazy.
The action shots and set pieces are unimaginative and badly edited. And there are plot holes, continuity errors and bad science that are all unforgivable even within the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy one of these films (e.g. three people have a near-drowning experience as terrain explodes around them on a random side of the island, and are soon seen conveniently near a big ship, bone dry with good hair and looking unperturbed. There's no continuity of scenes, it's all disjointed, like "this happens, and it's finished now, and now we move on to the next bit"
Rafe Spall and Toby Jones perhaps enjoyed playing the cartoony plummy-accented bad guys. There is zero character development, they had potential with the back story of one new major character but they didn't explore it.
The special effects in scenes featuring larger groups of dinosaurs moving at speed, were awful. Woeful animation and I am sure there was one running scene that was recycled.
Better when they had just one or two dinosaurs.
I said "toothless" above because this one really holds back on the graphic violence, cutting away before we even see much blood - surprising after the infamy they got for the Zara scene in Jurassic World; I thought they would go for more of the same.
Don't waste your time on this, the weakest in the franchise (and that is really saying something as I didn't like The Lost World and its tacked-on 40 minute San Diego scene)
Went to see Hereditary.
An unusual experience, difficult to encapsulate in a pithy phrase. With about 10 minutes to go, as the horror has built up over the course of the last two hours, the director pulls the rug from under your feet and the phrase 'what the...' never quite completes in my head as I struggle to understand what has happened.
The difficulty I have is not plot related. I understand the story. Its the style, the near total descent into cliche and abandonment of terror, for what is frankly unintentionally comic, right at the point where you hope for the horror to overwhelm. Its like a wave you see offshore, building in power and strength only to hit the beach and break, sending minor waves over your toes as you stand there wondering what happened to the fury. What happened to the director? Endings take time to construct, sets are built and actors learn lines. Did no-one think, 'Really? This?, Come on, lets have a word with Ari'.
The part which delivers the greatest horror, takes place much earlier and had me captivated, is a scene involving a fast car. That placed me right into the movie, wondering how you get out of this. For that scene alone and what unfolded from it, was worth going to see, as was Toni Collette's acting. Its just a shame about the lame ending.
Score 9/10 for the first 110 minutes. Final scenes? They should be reshot.
Oh, yes, I loved the sound track. Suitably sparse and creepy. Bad trip, man!
Pretty much agree with everything there, thanks for saving me from having to write it all out
I am sticking with 9/10 overall, it was on for 9.5 and I knocked off a half point for them ending it actually very similarly to The VVitch.
I did like how the marketing campaign TOTALLY deliberately misled and wrong-footed us.
It's barely a horror film, it's a family drama centred on grief and guilt and the mental state of a woman who's been troubled since birth, and for that, it's brilliant (thanks to Toni Collette)
Yeah. Why?? Likewise The Witch. Ditch the clumsy hackneyed tropes.
My screening was quite admirably well attended, unfortunately this meant that audience members who were (reasonably and understandably) unable to stifle some giggles, made the bad parts of the film even worse.
Happened in mine too, from the point where Peter gets trapped in the attic. Doesn't help that alcohol is allowed in.
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