Tuesday, 21 February 2017

January/February Watch List

Yes I did forget to do my watch list for January. So this will be a mega packed post with shorter thoughts and views on the films seen. I think I'm missing a few too...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 
Based on the real life account of Kim Baker's time in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a war correspondant. Described as a biographical war comedy-drama, something I wouldn't watch usually but Tina Fey was in it so I was suckered in. Fey was perfect as the bored American, in dull relationship, needing something interesting character or as another lady says 'most American white lady story'. Predictable, which was odd considering the location, a bit of a mess but Fey was great but deserved better. 3/5

There is so much to say about this film that a few sentences will not convey. A brutal and horrific story where everything seems impossible. But a view from both sides is seen and both have a fair point to make. Brilliantly filmed and even though the subject matter is dark, there is some beauty. Two jesuit priests travel to dangerous Japan in search of their mentor after there are rumours that he denounced the faith. Their presence is known by the 'inquisitor' and are hunted. The priests split up and the story falls on Father Rodrigues and his journey. The silence is in reference to Rodrigues not being able to hear God. There is far I can say but it might turn into a rant. 4/5

 This documentary felt like it had more to offer than what happened. It starts off in jest with New Zealand journalist David Farrier finding a story about 'competitive endurance tickling' and wanting to do a piece on it for a morning TV show but it gets darker. As the response is a vile homophobic retort, Farrier delves deeper into a conspiracy that stretches across the US with many more 'tickling leagues' all connected to one person. It's disturbing but there isn't really a resolution just an open ending. 3/5

La La Land 
I admit I was looking forward to this for months. I lapped up all the trailers and photos and was happy to sit down in a big screen to lap it up evem more. The story about a struggling actress and a down on his luck jazz pianist seemed simple enough but add in the music and its a tecnicolour dreamscape. I liked it not loved but this is only because the ending straigh up sucks. It doesn't work in terms of story nor does it work with the time line, to be honest. I think it should have ended on a mystery but no, terrible ending in place. There are other qualms but I'll settle for saying that most of the songs are great except that one she sings in the audition, that was dull. 3/5

A perfect title which happens to the couple's name. Richard and Mildred Loving are historical characters but you wouldn't believe it. A simple love story that became reason for the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision which invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. They don't want fuss, they just want to live their lives in peace and happily married. The film is delicate and quiet, no huge speeches, no large crowds, just two people who changed history. 4/5

20th Century Women 
Does it take a man to raise a man? No, it doesn't. That what this film is about, and isn't about. On the surface its about Dorothea who wants to make sure she is raising her son, Jamie, right. She asks his friend Julie and her lodger Abbie to help. The film is really about these women, their past, their present and what their future holds. Using one of my favourite devices in film, voice over with predictions of what is to come. Mike Mills makes a movie about the women who influence a young man's life, seeing things from different angles and by women of different times. The film's story is actually quite short taking place in the summer of 1979 but the film spans a lifetime. I have so much admiration for this film and love how each woman is uniquely portrayed and not steretyped. 5/5

Kubo and the Two Strings 
One of the most beuatiful animated films and its no surprise its Laika. The story is perfectly portrayed in stop motion, about a young boy who can create stories through origami and music. But the stories he tells are not fiction, they tell of his father a brave warrior and his mother who fell in love but as she was from the Moon (stay with me) their love was forbidden. Its a little more complicated as Kubo has to gone on a journey and find some armour. He has help from a snow monkey and beetle man who might not be what they seem and then he must defeat the Moon King, his grandfather himself. The story is actually quite sad as Kubo is essentially an orphan near the start of the film and the end is satidfying but will have you in tears. Everything is fantastic about this film, a bit too complicated but apart from that its a beauty to behold. The fact that it is set in Japan make sit feel like a fairytale with deeper meaning as the two strings could be representations of his parents. Just a thought. 4/5

Intrigued by the cast and thinking it was futuristic (it isn't) I watched this Brit movie that premieres on Netflix. Straight forward, teenager is shot while trying to call for help after his friend/crush is raped. He ends up with superpowers and becomes a vigilante. It's slightly better than it sounds. It was just great to see that Netflix is working with the UK film industry (not just TV) and was a little more grittier than a period drama. 3/5

Money Monster 
Directed with ease and tension galore by Jodie Foster, with George Clooney as the big mouthed show off presenter of a financial show with Julia Roberts as the run down deserves better so gad damn good at her job produer. But after a gun man seeking revenge after an investment went wrong holds the crew and Clooney hostage, it turns into a money conspiracy and its not too bad. You feel sorry for gunman Kyle and you want justice for those who lost their money and the tension is kept up throughout BUT it is a tad long and slightly unbelieveable to the point where I kept rolling my eyes. 3/5
Toni Erdmann 
 I think this epic story of a father who likes to play jokes and pranks on people visits his uptight corportate daughter for a weekend needs its own post. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 
Finally got to see this peculiar film. I almost read the books but couldn't determine if they were YA or younger. The film is pretty darn good and a perfect Tim Burton vehicle. All the children with their peculiarities were fantastic and Eva Green was marvelous, BUT I really do not like Asa Butterfield. He's so wooden. And with an American accent too? It was jarring, the whole way through. 3/5

The Magnificent Seven 
After the mediocre reviews I feared the worst and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. Westerns aren't my favourite but every now and then, theres one that catches my eye and my eye was caught by 6 out of the 7 riders. A remake of a remake that actually wasn't too bad. After a poor town of farmers are bullied (some murdered) by a wealthy robber baron who wants to mine the town, they seeks help in the form of seven riders all with their own stories and skills. They defend the town and teach the people how to fight and it all goes down in a massive fight/shoot out. I was surprised by the end but I won't spoil it. 4/5


  1. Looks like you had an amazing viewing month for the new year so far! Definitely going to check out The Magnificent Seven, 20th Century Women, and Loving. I'd be curious to know what your rant for Silence is. ;D

    One of my biggest struggles with La La Land was the audition scene. I didn't think that song/performance was good enough to land her the role, and the ending just throws in a lot of Classic Hollywood elements that aren't in the first 2/3 of the movie. It was nice to see Emma Stone win Best Actress though, but Moonlight sweep Best Picture.

    1. Yes! Same here - I really didn't like the audition scene and I thought that was the worst song!