Wednesday, 27 July 2016

July Watch List

Apart from The Secret Lives of Pets, this has been the month of women! All, apart from the mentioned has female leads. This is rare to see.

The Neon Demon
Director Nicolas Winding Refn has said that he made this film for the 16 year old girl inside him which I thought at first was a little over the top but after watching it, I can see that she was screaming to get out. Being a teenage girl scary, which is what Diablo Cody's Jennifer's Body was portraying and these depictions of horror actually do reflect internal conflict in a teens eyes. Well, we've all been there right? I walked out of the cinema wondering if I had seen a masterpiece or the strangest experiment on film. I decided it was the former as there was something about this story about 16 year old Jesse who arrives in LA and slowly makes her way up the ladder of the notorious fashion industry. On the fashion part, there's nothing new here to mention, we all know its bad and won't change but its how its done. A trio of women, two models and make up artist who appear from time to time, either to tear Jesse down or take care of her. It is beautifully filmed, every shot is deliciously put together, they will be future art cards on my wall no doubt. And the soundtrack is mesmerizing, setting every scene with an ominous tone throughout. There are couple of small scenes I wasn't keen on, only because they could be interpreted several way without conclusion, that was a bit much, but other than that, I was in awe. I hope NWF's inner 16 years old girl finds peace now. 4/5

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
I watched a few episodes of the sitcom and sort of knew what was happening but in away, I'm actually glad that I walked into this film not knowing much more than Eddie and Patsy are best friends and they are insane. Eddie tries to sign Kate Moss as a client for her PR firm while at one of Patsy's big fashion show parties but accidentally knocks her into the Thames. It is presumed that Kate Moss is dead and Eddie will soon be charged with murder so along with Patsy they go on the run. Amongst the on point comedy, there is still time to comment on how older women are treated in the media and in the south of France. Looking past all the crazy capers, this films is about two deluded friends who are trying escape. A highlight is after a car chase and Eddie and Patsy crash straight into a pool and are slowly sinking. While Eddie gives her version of a heartfelt apology farewell, Patsy is casually smoking a cigarette and chimes in a few times. Its the strangest scene but could not have been pulled off by any other duo. It might not be the best film ever but its funny and enjoyable, plus its a film to championed. A British film, written by women, directed by a woman and starring a cast of great women, that's a rare and brilliant thing. 4/5

What can I say about this film that hasn't already been covered or said by my fellow bloggers? I loved this film. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it felt like a Ghostbusters film. Not a reboot or 'the female version', it was true Ghostbusters film. The cast were beyond brilliant too and it was obvious from the these ladies had chemistry and that's what made them such an entertaining watch. All except Melissa McCarthy are SNL alumni showing off comedic talent, as well as McCarthy. Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon stealing the show, were fantastic. All defined characters, including Chris Hemsworth's handsome but very stupid Kevin. The cameos, some expected, some surprising were just the cherry on the ghost filled cake. While there were respectful nods to the previous films, the film and the cast got to address the internet trolls making fun of them, which I though was nice touch. With news that the action figured have sold better than expected, its an all round hit. If you haven't seen it, there is no need to summerise the story, just go see it and have fun. 4/5

The Secret Lives of Pets
When the first trailer were released I was really excited, I love dogs and the dogs in this film were adorable. In fact most of the pets were. Max, a Jack Russell terrier, lives a perfect life with his owner, Katie until she brings home a rescue dog, Duke, a Newfoundland. They don't get along to the point that Duke tries to get rid of Max but causes them to both get caught without collars and sent to the pound. Max's friends band together to find them while Max and Duke get caught up with Snowball, a tyrannical white rabbit who wants revenge on humans. All the animals are brilliant and few stand outs, Chloe, the very fat tabby cat who really doesn't care about much, the film is great fun but nothing amazing. I think the idea would have been a great premise for a TV series, as the animals could lots of crazy adventures and the big screen didn't let them run to far with it. 3/5

Finding Dory
I might be being mean here with my overall rating but for me Pixar were the great animators that didn't need to make sequels to successful films. Although I loved both 2 & 3 Toy Story films AND Monsters University, Finding Nemo, for me, didn't warrant a sequel. I don't mention Cars as its all a pile of crap. I'm not keen on the Incredibles sequel either, the first film stood out by itself and was brilliant. Back to Dory. She was a great character in Finding Nemo and I can she had her own story to tell but I was skeptical when the teaser trailer was released. The story about her finding her parents and meeting lots of great characters along the way sounds great but its something we've seen before. Having Marlon and Nemo along for the ride didn't seem necessary. Dory making new friends was great though. Her bond with the grumpy octopus, Hank, was an excellent paring and not to mention how superb it was to see an octopus with so many skills. The other small characters all made an impression and most if not all were happy and enthusiastic, having Hank there as the naysayer took the place of Marlon. The story did tug at the heart strings with Dory remembering her family and how patient they were with her memory issues. Overall I thought the film was beautiful, you can escape the epic-ness of Pixar films but the story, no matter how touching it was, felt like something we've seen before and it didn't help that 'finding Nemo' was referenced too. For the first time ever on the Watch List, a half rating goes to Finding Dory. 3.5/5

I had hoped to catch this film at the cinema but it was only for a week! Luckily I didn't have to wait too long for the DVD, Written and directed by Lucile Emina Hadzihalilovic, the film is set on a small remote island that only seems to be inhabited by young boys and alien looking women. The woman act as the boys' carers, parading as their mothers. They swim everyday and are given odd looking grey sludge as food and ink like medicine to drink. One boy who is unlike the others, likes to draw and as his curiosity grows, we are given a little more insight into this bubble like existence. Beautifully shot but disturbing to watch, the film slowly evolves into what is now known as body horror as the boy finds out what really happens at the clinic. By the end I was very uncomfortable but I still had lots of questions I wanted answered. I'll have to be left in suspense over this, even after reading all the reviews I could find. 3/5


  1. It's been a pretty great month for movies! Glad to see you loved Ghostbusters too :) I missed Absolutely Fabulous in the cinema but I'm looking forward to seeing it when I can! Great reviews.
    - Allie

    1. Thank you :)

      Loved Ghostbusters! Ab Fab was great fun - watching it on DVD will be fine, doesn't necessarily need the big screen. And yes! It has been great and I haven't even seen Star Trek yet hahaha.

  2. Nice reviews, especially for Absolutely Fabulous and Ghostbusters. I'm not a big fan of the show but it's sooo about time that they had their own movie. And, Ghostbusters was so much fun! You're so right - it didn't feel like a remake, it felt like it's own movie.

    1. Thanks! :) Exactly! I just hope they make another - I hear talk that there won't be one, some rubbish about box office sales.