Saturday, 25 June 2016

A bunch of films I have watched recently

Here I am doing a bunch of very short reviews of films which I have seen this year. This is far from all the films I have seen and am not doing longer reviews for but it is the films that I can remember most vividly (as such it is probably some of the better or more noteworthy films I have seen recently).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This film has been on my radar for years but I only got around to watching it today. An absolute treat of a film. Particularly strong are the performances by both Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey and the screenplay by charlie Kaufman.

This is an optimistic yet slightly melancholic look at modern day relationships, with depth and heart to spare. While being very moving it can also be very comedic at (albeit in a heartfelt way) with strange, witty characters that are hard not to fall in love with. A real gem that comes thoroughly recommended. 4.5/5

The Jungle-book (2016)
One of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. For a film that is entirely filmed in a studio the jungle looks very real and absolutely gorgeous.The character animations are extremely impressive and the voice actors are impeccably well cast. Of particular note is Bill Murry who may well be perfectly cast in a comic relief role as Baloo. A beautiful score gives the whole adventure a magical feel, which is topped by several well timed musical numbers from the 1967 animated feature.

Neel Sethi is a fantastic discovery as Mogli. My one criticism is that Neel does occasionally appear unsure what he is acting to. This is, however, forgivable considering his inexperience and way the film was shot. Overall this is a thoroughly recommended film. 4.5/5

Batman vs Superman (2016)
I don't have much to say about this one beyond that while trying to emulate the gritty, meaningful, interesting nature of the dark knight trilogy Zach Snyder has simply made a dreary, tepid, uninterested mess of a film. This is not helped by an uneven screenplay where characters often find themselves explaining the plot (although its generous even calling it that) to us directly.

I get it, the dark knight trilogy is great and a deeper, darker look at the characters is an interesting idea... In theory. However in order to pull off what Christopher Nolan did, one actually needs to have something to say. Unfortunately Zach Snyder does not and instead the film ends up looking and feeling scattered with too many badly staged clusters of CGI. Ben Affleck's casting, however, is a saving grace of the film and I am interested in what he can do with the character when he develops his own script. I also believe Henry Cavill could make a great superman with the right director/ screenplay.   2/5

Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Civil War is a lot of fun. It contains excellent choreography, cinematography and effects in the main battle sequences. This is in true Russo Brothers style, where anyone who enjoyed the winter soldier will more or less know what to expect from the film. The characters you have come to love are still the same great as always, with excellent castings/ performances of/by Tom Holland as Spiderman and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.

It is exactly what you expect it to be, that is a fun, not too serious, witty, interesting movie that will leave you with a smile on your face. What you may not expect is a much deeper look into the emotions of these characters in the third act. This helps to make the fun, which is had in the second act, to feel much more earned. My only complaint in the film is that some parts of the script are a little contrived, especially when building to the main confrontation in the second act. 4/5

Deadpool (2016)
Okay I have written about a lot of superheroes in quick succession. This is the last of them. Daredevil is a near perfect version of exactly what it wants to be: a fun, silly, energetic, over the top, R rated superhero movie.

Deadpool is intentionally light on story but is as consistently funny as anything you'll see this year. The action is very good looking and Ryan Reynolds is basically the most perfect casting in the part. A thoroughly recommendable R-rated comedy. 4/5

Eddie the Eagle (2016)
I had a large struggle to determine my feelings on this film. On one hand it, at least on the surface, is the sort of cliched, predictable,"based on a true story" film that normally comes out in December pretending to be important to try to get Oscar buzz and flops. On the other hand I kind of enjoyed it. For a start Taron Egerton, who plays the title character, is shaping up to be a very fine young actor and both he and Hugh Jackman commit head-first to the cliche riddled script.

What also stands it apart from other films of a similar nature is it is filmed in a non-invasive fashion, without any failed attempts to be overly creative. This, in a sense, could be a criticism because it adds to the unremarkable nature of the film, however this is the exact reason why it doesn't fail hard like so many similar films before it. It knows its not remarkable. The filmmakers have been happy to make a fun little distraction of a film that is never going to change your life but is always gong to be watchable. 3/5