Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Knifes Out

Oh, a Rian Johnson movie? I'm in!

So, this is a whodunnit type mystery, so how much of the plot do I give away? The head of the family dies, and the rest of the family gathers around to pick over the corpse. Something suspicious seems to be happening, so we really start with the detective investigation and go from there. What is going on? What do you think is going on? What is actually going on?

Some parts I guessed, some parts I didn't. The story is a fun ride, but there were some points I was like "really? get on with it! this is just spinning out the story for the sake of... spinning out the story?" The ultimate answer was obscure enough that I didn't get there, but not so opaque that it doesn't come out of nowhere.

Good performances all around, although Daniel Craig's accent never fails to not stick out. Chris Evans should be in it more, but we have Jamie Lee Curis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and of course Christopher Plummer.

Worth seeing, if only because you can then join in on the conversations with others about this.

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Wednesday, 4 December 2019

The I Rishman

Martin Scorsese making a movie about mafia peoples? How original!

This one is based on an actual book (which I haven't read, nor know how true to life it is), and is about a henchman that rises high under the rule of Jimmy Hoffa. Yep, that Jimmy Hoffa. There are a lot of killings and family matters and... this really does feel like many of his other mafia movies. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we now have another one.

And at three and a half hours, it definitely takes its time being one. I watched this on Netflix, and to honour Scorsese I watched it at double speed. (Yeah, I know Netflix doesn't inherently have that ability, but it's an HTML5 player, and that can be any speed!)

Isn't technology wonderful? Certainly Scorsese isn't that against it, because it enabled him to do de/up-aging of various actors to tell the story he wants to tell, even if he derides other movies for using that same technology for creating big block busters that fill up the cinemas so they don't show his movies.

Anyway, another Scorsese mafia flick. If you liked his other ones, you'll probably like this one. And, as it happens, I do want to go back and his other ones now anyway, so yay?

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Not Ready

Horror? Comedy? Why not both? And then comes the torture porn.

A new bride, a rich family, what could possibly go wrong? But of course there's the ancient tradition of needing to play a game, but this game takes a deadly turn (well, it doesn't turn deadly, it just straight up starts deadly). Fortunately, the bride turns out to be an expert survivalist... no wait, the family just sucks, but that works to. But deals with power never goes smoothly.

So this is largely stupid fun. If you've seen the trailer, you know mostly what you are in for... but then there's what happens to Samara Weaving's character later on. Spoilers? She gets hand trauma... then more hand trauma... then back trauma in which the camera rather lovingly close up shows happening. Really? Even the deaths of the servants (which we see in the trailer) are done with a more comic tone, but this is just straight up "look at this gore!". Bah.

Fortunately, most of the movie is stupid fun, so if you can get around that, you are going to do fine. No-one is going to win acting awards here, but they are clearly enjoying themselves. Much is made of "rich people" to excuse what happens, but it's a paper thin excuse, up there with "oh, the cellphone just so happens to be in a dead zone." We aren't talking hugely complicated in depth story construction and acting brillance here, basically.

So enjoyable, but disposable. It'll do.

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Bother to Sorry You

I missed this when it came out, but lots of people talked it up.. and I only now remembered to check it out.

I can see why people are being careful about the plot. It starts with Cassius Green getting a telemarketing job, and doing very well, and goes from there. I certainly didn't see where it was going, and, to be honest, I did wonder for quite a while what was so different about this movie. Most likely there is incredibly vicious social commentary that I didn't get, but even I could get what was going on once it started getting on.

Which does make the film rather unbalanced, the start is slow and the latter half really ramps up. If people left around midway (although I'm not sure why people would), they would get the sense that this was just some attack on telemarket corporations. Which makes the second half really come out of nowhere. I've seen more than one movie where there is a swerve, but this is a big one I didn't expect. People are going to remember the second half more and pass over the slower first half. I'm not trying to say 'no, judge harshly because of the first half', just that I would prefer a more balanced flow.

Lots of good performances, I'm not going to single out people. Certainly some cameos and voices I wasn't expecting, but a lot of actors are willing to give things a go, and I can see why they would get in on this.

Basically, this indeed has good press, and if you are going to watch it (if you haven't already), I would say 'stay with it'.

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Wednesday, 30 October 2019

HoHo Rabbit

So I asked the man at the store for one of them JoJos the kids are all talking about, and he said this was the one I wanted.

We are following Jojo, a young kid nazi, who has an imaginary friend in Adolf Hitler (that should do interesting things to my google rankings). At camp, he learns about the evils of the Jews, but then learns one is in his house. How can he live with this creature?

First up, this is entirely satirical to the max. Almost every moment is spent mocking nazis or showing how human the people resistance are. And there is a particularly realistic moment at the end. But we also have Taiki Waititi as over the top Hitler, so there is a lot here taking the piss.

The kid as played by Roman Griffin Davis is... all right. Not too terrible, but clearly young in his acting. Thomasin McKenzie doesn't get that much to do, but she's decent as well. We also have Scarlett Johansson doing her think, and a brilliant turn by Sam Rockwell.

Admittedly, outside of the war context, this is a rather familiar story, but the chance to get another dig in at the nazis makes it worth the effort.

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Monday, 28 October 2019

Dial M For M U R D E R

I can see how this easily was a stageplay. Everything basically plays out in one room, which makes like easier. This is the movie adaptation of Dial M For Murder.

Tony decides that his wife needs a killing, and sets up his old school chum to do the deed. Unfortunately, plans are thwarted when the chum gets killed instead. Tony tries to make hay out of this, but, shockingly, the police aren't as stupid as most movies would have you believe.

This is quite a good movie in that after the rather cliched opening of the husband and wife in "love", we get rather good character interactions and motivations playing out. The movie is a bit too aware of itself with how it suggests people get away with murders, but it's pleasing to see the police actually be competent in this sort of thing rather than be minor background characters.

At that ends the run of Hitchcock at the cinema. So that is all the big ones, and I clearly haven't missed anything.

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019

No so Super

Weird things happening in an apartment building? Sure, I'm in.

A man and his family moves into a big apartment building, where the man is one of three people looking after maintenance. However, people are slowly disappearing from the building, and suspicion falls on the creepy old janitor. Unfortunately, the police don't hold him, so he's still around when more weird things happen. The worst part is... we now know who is doing the weird things.

Okay, I'm going to spoiler this. Because it is not good. And the twist comes out of nowhere and I wasn't 'hey, that's cool!', I was 'that's just bad'. So, okay, the big reveal... the man moves in with two daughters, but the younger one is actually a ghost that only he (and others when they are about to die) can see. Somehow the ghost kid enables him to pop around the building and kill people, so... how? ...okay, sure. And any time her twin sister gets someone she likes, the ghost kid arranges for the man to turn up and kill them. Now where the hell did that decision come from?

One going thing, Val Kilmer is in this. He's recovering from cancer, but it enables him to come across as really creepy and that works well. Note, the is not the man. That is by... someone else. Oh and Paul Ben-Victor is also in this, so that's another good thing.

But other than them, this is just full of "wha??", and just pass it over.

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