Matthew’s Movie Mentions – Week 1 9th January

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These will not be full reviews.

These will not be full reviews.

These will not be full reviews.

I need to keep repeating that to remember it. The aim of this is to record some notes on the films I watch during 2018, and to recommend anything I think deserves it.

With that said (also these will not be full reviews)…

Cars 2

I watched this when friends were staying and it entranced their son. The problem is I can’t help but compare it to the first Cars, and now Cars 3. This sequel has way too little racing in it, and tries to be more of an adventure. The problem is it’s the racing in the other films that makes them quality. Clearly good fun for a child though.

Kong: Skull Island

Really enjoyable action romp, reminiscent of Deep Blue Sea in how it doesn’t take itself seriously. A little heavy handed how they’re using it to create another movie universe (everyone wants their mega-franchise), but I’m here for the follow ups.

John Wick: Chapter 2

Well, they basically made the first with more of a look at the world they created. Which is nice because it was the world that made the first so interesting, but it was the action and unique visual style that made it great. That felt lost in this, often repeating some of the set pieces and moments but losing something in the process. I’ll watch the third, but the first is still all you need.

Jobs

I really enjoyed the Fassbender/Sorkin Steve Jobs movie, but felt like I wanted more of his story, so this would be the perfect film. But this is lesser – he is not as smart, driven, or likeable in this. Ashton Kutcher does some good stuff, but it feels more of an impression than a character. I’m still feeling like it’s missing some of the later years developing the i-products, so maybe I need to find a book to really get the full story.

Table 19

Wow Anna Kendrick is busy. She’s always watchable, but this really seemed to be a first screenplay with not a huge amount of nuance or depth. There were some good moments and some really good performances, but all in all it was pretty forgettable.

Don’t Think Twice

Quite often there are comedies that are aimed at comedy writers. This felt like one of those – people who do improv and live the NY comedy life might really enjoy this. The problem is the comedy was not funny enough, which might have been the point that the improv group were only okay.

Mascots

Wow this was not funny. Slightly sentimental, but in all it was largely either obvious or poor.

Wet Hot American Summer

I knew of this because of its cult status, but nothing else. The best description I can give this is that it’s a Monty Python-esque take on the camp experience. Some really interesting elements showing the evolution of humour from things like Animal House, alongside some great examples of surreal takes on personality and situation. I’m not sure it’s good enough to be recommended, but I’m glad I finally saw it.

Charlie’s Angels

This film is exactly what I’ve always wanted the Mission Impossible films to be – lots of capers, interesting set ups where they have to do crazy shenanigans. An all star cast (seriously!), plus some fun. It overdoes the sexy sexy stuff too much, lots of gratuitous bending over, outfits, and situations. But the cinematography is surprisingly solid (the dolly zoom on the race cars? The single take at the turn?) and it boasts great performances.

After Porn Ends 2

The first film was surprisingly interesting with some ordinary examples of people moving on after their careers in the adult film industry, some remaining in the industry in some capacity, and some hard stories. This sequel seemed to have more people who continued in the industry, made career come-backs, or had greater success somewhere. Still interesting though.

Snippets (films I watched parts of)

Spider-Man 2 – Really does not hold up. Poor dialogue, average action, and I still don’t like Kirsten Dunst as MJ.

GOTG2 – This would be really good without the Drax stuff, it’s annoying and fully detracts from the rest of the film. Oh and if anything that happened mattered in the universe they’ve created.

Recommendation of the week

It’s got to be Kong: Skull Island. Overall it was pretty enjoyable, if not wonderful, and there is a good chance elements from this will be brought into future films – although I’m certain they won’t make it a necessity to have seen this film!

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