2021 In Film: Day Five (The “Once Is Enough”)

Films which I liked, but am in no hurry to see again. I liked them, there’s nothing really wrong with them, and I enjoyed them, but I’m not going to rush out and buy them. I MIGHT watch them on netflix, maybe.

In The Earth

I like Ben Wheatley, he doesn’t really have a singular style. Sightseers is very different from Free Fire, and both are different from this, but there is something unspokenly similar between them that is difficult to put your finger on. I think it’s a sense of Englishness that permeates his work. His work normally seems to have a sense of character intimacy which is essential for a film like this. This is folk horror, a genre that is wildly underrepresented. Narratively it’s a bit weak, and as horrific as it is, not much will stay with you once it’s finished.

+ What it does with such a minimalist cast is something to be admired.

-Won’t really stay with you. Doesn’t say as much about the pandemic as it should.

Best Moment: Foot amputation. Gross, and weirdly funny somehow.

Best Performer: Joel Fry. Mainly know him from comedy stuff so it’s strange to see him be this good at drama.

Original review here

No One Gets Out Alive

See if I had to guess, I’d have thought this one was directed by Ben Wheatley, and In The Earth was based on a book written by Adam Nevill. Despite being set in America, there’s something strangely British about this. Maybe it’s the tone, it’s reminiscent of The Power (which came out this year, but hasn’t been featured in these end of year blogs yet, which indicates how highly I rated it). This is a good film to watch, and is deeply relevant today. Sadly, films about undocumented immigrants being taken advantage of is something that has been a part of popular culture for years, and will continue to do so unless our society changes.

+ Some great directorial choices, some little details really add to it.

– Pacing is a little off.

Best Moment: Someone is being killed on the other side of a door, and a tooth flies under it. One of the aforementioned nice touches 

Best Performer: Cristina Rodlo

Original review here

Our Ladies

I should have liked this more than I did. It’s very funny, and it’s a frank and honest look at teenage female sexuality, something which is normally only ever viewed from a male perspective: teenage boys (or in 70s films, 30 year old men) lusting after teenage girls. This focuses on a group of teenage girls, which is a plus for it, and it’s set in the 90s so it has the nostalgia going for it. Sadly it isn’t as good as others that have explored similar group dynamics (Blockers). I feel this is mainly due to the characters, they’re just not that likeable sometimes. I know they’re teenagers and teenagers are sometimes dicks, but this goes beyond that. It also has some real issues with pacing.

+ The dynamic between the main characters is a sight to behold.

– The whole thing does feel like it’s from a male focus. We don’t feel one with the characters, we just feel like we’re watching them.

Worst moment: The ending, mainly because it seems to have a perfectly natural ending point, then it continues.

Original review here

People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan

I like the show, but in a “while watching” way. I laughed whilst watching, but I can’t really remember that much from it, and I can’t recall a specific episode to recommend to someone. However much I enjoyed it, nothing really stayed with me. That’s somewhat the case with the movie too. As funny as it is (and it is very funny in parts) it leaves zero impression on you once it’s over. The characters do seem to have taken a level in jerkass, and seemingly only for plot purposes. And some character motivations aren’t entirely clear.

+It’s so good to see these characters again.

-I swear they actually repeat jokes from the series.

Best Moment: The “fight” on the plane. So pathetic and funny.

Best Performer: Ken Yamamura. Delightfully sleazy.

Best Line: “Japan has a massive drug problem. You can’t buy drugs anywhere”

Original review here

The Green Knight

This is a strange watch. It’s utterly compelling while you’re watching it. This was fucked by the distributers who didn’t seem to give it a wide-scale cinema release in the UK. Eventually I got to watch it on Amazon Prime, but I would have much prefered to have seen it at the cinema. I mean, it is better to witness this at home, but the chance to have seen this on a big screen at least once would have been cool. More films like this should be released, unique and spectacular films. This was so close to being included higher up, but the fact I have no desire to ever really see it again means I has to put it here. It sucks, but that’s the rules. The rules that I made up, and which nobody would notice if I broke.

+ Absolutely fascinating to watch unfold

– Won’t stay with you.

Best Moment: The ending, thematically perfect in its ambiguity.

Worst moment: A few moments which aren’t really bad, but unless you’re familiar with the tale the film is based on, may confuse you.

Best Performer: Dev Patel. Easily. Fast becoming one of the most dependable actors out there.

Best Line: “Well done, my brave knight. Now… off with your head.” Trust me, in context, it’s great.

Original review here

The Hitman’s Wife Bodyguard

Nowhere near as bad as everybody says it is. It’s very funny, at times it provides some of the biggest laughs of the year. But outside of that? It’s a little flat. The plotting is quite weak. It seems to spend so much time setting up future plot points, and then not bothering to go back to them. The first one was (in my opinion) needlessly sweary at many points. It’s a film that critics will hate (and they did), but it’s very entertaining to watch.

+ An improvement on the first one.

– So unfocused. I’ve never considered that a script would need Ritalin before.

Best Moment: The Morgan Freeman reveal. It won’t be as funny now I’ve spoiled it. But at the cinema it got audible responses.

Worst moment: The ending, just feels a bit stupid.

Best Performer: Morgan Freeman

Worst Performer: Richard E. Grant. Not really a bad performance, but not in there enough.

Original review here

The King’s Man

The last film I watched at the cinema in 2021, and it wasn’t the best way to end the year. I really enjoyed the first two films, the second one less than the first, and this continues the downward trajectory. The second one was too big, this one was too small. There’s no standout scene. I think they were aiming for the Rasputin one to be that, but there’s only so much you can do with 3 untrained humans with 1914-level weaponry. I wondered how a franchise made of futuristic technology would work when it was set in the past, and the answer is it doesn’t.

+ I love the random moments where it’s more historically accurate than it needs to be. Best example of this is the Franz Ferdinand assassination.

-What was the point? Unless they’re doing a sequel to this specific film, then it was pointless. It didn’t improve the legacy, or answer questions we needed answering.

Best Moment: An almost silent action scene set in No Mans Land. That’s the most creative this film gets, and it’s so good.

Worst moment: The villain reveal. Should have been done earlier.

Best Performer: Rhys Ifans as Rasputin. He’s disgusting and gross.

Worst Performer: Harris Dickinson. Doesn’t have the charisma needed.

Best Line: Throughout time, our people robbed, lied, and killed. Until one day, we found ourselves… noble men. But that nobility never came from chivalry. It came from being tough and ruthless.

Original review here

The Last Duel

This film has been tainted somewhat by Ridley Scott being a bit of a dick. This film failed at the box office, losing millions. He blamed it on millenials:

“I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these fucking cell phones. The millennian do not ever want to be taught anything unless you are told it on the cell phone”

Nothing to do with the plague then? People are wary of leaving the house, so every film is at risk at the moment. Also this wasn’t really advertised that well. He can say there was a lot of advertising, but I saw one trailer, once. Didn’t see a poster, didn’t see anything on TV, nothing suggested on youtube, nothing. Also, it is a divisive concept. A film depicting the same event from 3 different viewpoints is not exactly something that lights up the box office, it has a limited audience, even if you do front-load with a hollywood cast. It’s a shame that his opinions have tainted the movie, because it’s quite good. It’s intense, performed well, and still depressingly relevant. We talk about how society hates rape and sexual assault, but then rapists avoid jail time because “it will ruin their life”.

+ Looks great, you truly buy into the time.

-Very dull at parts. Drags on when it shouldn’t, but then at some points it cuts too quickly so you don’t get the emotional impact.

Best Moment: The actual fight itself, not standard flashy editing and quickness, it’s slow and brutal and real.

Worst moment: The ending, drags on too long.

Best Performer: Matt Damon, he’s gross.

Best Line: “Formally, this is not about her. Rape is not a crime against a woman; it is a property crime against her male guardian.” Says so much.

Original review here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s