Sunday, 26 July 2015

July Watch List

It has been an unsually slow month for films for me. I have admittedly been preoccupied with many a TV series. Finished re-watching Sense8, OITNB season 3, watching all 3 series of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, season 2 of Bojack Horseman and catching up with Humans on channel 4. I fear that I will be more distracted in August with Partners in Crime starting up on BBC this week, more Humans and getting distracted by Dragons: Race to the Edge (How to Train Your Dragon series, that is brilliant). Here are the few films I got to see, by the way there are some spoilers but the alerts are in RED so look out for these.

1. Amy
 I was honestly never a proper fan of Amy Winehouse, I like a few of her songs but for me she was better known for successful career and contantly being in the news. I think for that reason I found this documentary both revealing and distressing. We all know, she was a real human being, she was normal, she just happened to have a unique voice, talent, personality to match but she made bad choices. The film is well constructed, showing home and personal footage, with a soundtrack of her unheard work and songs we know too well. All the interviews especially for the film are voice only shown over news footage, media interviews and stills, it makes it more tragic hearing the distress in some of the friends' voices and dislike those who did nothing to help. If you were a great fan of her work, I would say listen to her music but if you're intrigued about the story behind what the newspapers sold, I would recommend this film.  4/5

2. Terminator: Genysis
Critics seem to dislike it, at least most did. I read a few reviews constructively praising and finding fault at the same time. I am more inclined to agree with the latter. There seems to be a trend going round at the moment (this seems to happen every few years) that a successful brand has films added to it or its just rehashed again. This film is both. The first two Terminator films were brilliant, the third film was a waste of time and a huge regret. The fourth film, on reflection, was an attempt to start the franchise up again at a different time and to be honest was a bit confusing, plot wise too. The reason why the 3rd and 4th films didn't quite work, I think, were to do with the focus. The first film is not about the hero, it's about the hero's mum and her protector. The second film featured the future hero, but he wasn't the prime focus, that's what set the good films apart from the not great ones. Genysis changes all that. The focus is back on the right people/machine, Sarah, Kyle and T-800. It adds in (SPOILER ALERT) Skynet in such a minor way, it irritated me, they could have used that more than (SPOILER ALERT) John Conner who is not prime focus but he is altered in a way that should have been lept secret and not blasted all over the trailer. (SPOILER OVER) This film pays homage to the first two films which should appease the fans and then resets everything else which should have enticed new fans, but I feel this film was for those die hard fans to enjoy. I thought the film is great but I can understand the snags. But I hope that another film will be on its way and just left hanging in mid air, then I would be annoyed. 3/5

3. Magic Mike XXL
I have to say, Magic Mike was one film I didn't see screaming out for a sequel. But here is it, thanks to Channing Tatum himself, as he is one of the producers. The story is simple, the Kings of Tampa have been left in learch by Dallas, the leader who disappeared with The Kid, excellent that neatly explains why they are not there and nothing to do with the fact one actor didnt want to do the film and the other was so terrible to work with he was not asked back. The other guys coax Mike out of stripper retirement and temporarily away from his blossoming business dream. They go on the road to a stripper convention because apparently those exist. The usual 'last time' speeches happen, new friends made, old ones revisited and yes they all dance and strip, as expected. It was a fun film, I'm going to lie. There were a few kinks but it was a less serious follow up from the first film. And that horse girl is not in it, which was a bonus. 3/5

4. Ant-Man
Having looked forward to Edgar Wright's version of Ant-Man, especially as the script was co-written with Joe Cornish, this film set to be film gold. Then, Marvel studios went and messed it up, resulting in Wright leaving the project he has worked 10 years on. In this respect, YOU'RE THE WORST MARVEL! Another less impressive director was brought and the actors who had no choice carried on. The ghost of what could have been, certainly in the script, the precence of Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish was there, not only in the credits. The film is fun and now an integral part of the Marvel universe. The film did feel like it was ticking boxes in a heist film rather than a traditional superhero film, which could be good or bad, depending on which movies you prefer. The main faults were to do with the direction of the 'villain' and his actual purpose. But the funny side characters sort of made up for this flaw. I always thought Paul Rudd was an odd choice for a superhero but he brings comedy as well as motivated father wanting to be with his daughter too. But after all this, I am still left wondering what would have Wright's film been like. 3/5 

5. Maggie
From the trailer and the little I read about the film, I thought this little indie type film was about a father looking for his daughter who is slowly turning into a zombie. What it actually is is a film about a mysterious disease that is explained through a series of radio interviews while Wade (an actually impressive Arnie Schwarzenegger) looks for his infected daughter Maggie (an equally impressive Abigail Breslin). This is a very human story about someone slowly turning into a zombie. It follows Maggie's last few weeks. We all know she's going to 'turn', its mapped out from the start. Over the course of the film we meet others who have been affected by this disease, that seemed to have originated in schools affecting and infecting mainly children. Maggie's injuries are by accident and attack. The bond between father and daughter is stronge and understated. It's a very slowly paced film and is probably too long but its an interesting view to take on the whole zombie thing. 3/5

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