2022 In Film: Day 3 (The Meh)

Films I don’t hate, but I don’t like. Ones which I’m likely to forget about quite quickly.

Black Medusa

Ups: Stunningly brave and creative,

Downs: I feel it could show a little bit more.

There are moments where things happen and we don’t really see them on camera, or we just see the set up but not the payoff. It works a lot of the time, but there are one or two moments where it would have helped to see.

Best Moment: The scene in the woods. not saying it’s “good”, but it’s artfully shot and harrowing without feeling exploitative.

Worst Moment: There’s a scene which is like a minute of a guy masturbating outside. That’s it, it had a point but that point was made much sooner than the film thinks it was.

Best Performer: Nour Hajri

Opening: Shows people dancing etc, but then has narration over a black screen. A weird choice. But then the story starts and the main character rapes a drunk guy with a broomstick.

Closing: The relationship she’s been building up with ends, so beautifully done. Then the 9th night happens and it’s clear she’s probably going to continue doing what she does

Best Line: The story about the man in the hole, wondered why it was there but then it pulls it in at the end.

Original Review here

Fisherman’s Friends: One And All

Ups: Very feel-good

Good music.

Downs: Predictable.

Kind of dull at times.

Instantly forgettable. I’m going to have to break from the format here and not put a “closing, opening, best line” etc, because I genuinely can’t remember anything from this film. There are things I might remember, but they could be from the first one. I have nothing.

A bit too boomer.

Best Performer: James Purefoy.

Original Review here

Munich – The Edge Of War

Ups: A fresh take on WW2 movies.

Downs: Could do more with the flashbacks.

Should have been a mini series.

Best Moment: Everybody shouting abuse at a Jewish couple. Really demonstrates how normalised the hate was.

Worst Moment: Paul’s whole character arc.

Best Performer: George MacKay

Opening: A party. A unique way to start a world war 2 film, they normally start with horror, the idea of starting with celebration is great, it shows exactly what people have to lose. The party is a graduation party for 3 students in 1932, one of whom is German. It’s good to show the friendship between the two countries. It also shows how Germany had hope at that time, they were excited about a “New Germany”. Spoilers, 1930s Germany did not end up a good place.

Closing: War is postponed. I mean, it still happens, but later, and once Britain is better prepared. That’s the point a lot of people miss when they criticise Chamberlain. Britain was not ready for war with Germany at the time, and the peace deal was a way to buy time. As soon as he got back to Britain, Chamberlain started preparing for war. Without it, we’d have lost.

Best Line: We don’t choose the times we live in. The only choice we have is how we respond.

Original Review here

Studio 666

Ups: Endearing

Really good deaths

Good music

Very rewarding for fans of the genre

Downs: Not funny enough to be comedic, not scary enough to be a horror.

Best Moment: The opening.

Worst Moment: It tries to have “But then it turns out Dave Grohl is the killer” as a reveal. But we already would have guessed that.

Best Performer: John Carpenter. He obviously doesn’t give the best performance, but how am I not going to give Carpenter an award?

Opening: A woman tries to crawl away from someone trying to kill her, she fails and dies in a much more brutal way than I expected. Good way of setting up the brutality, and the music is amazing. Then goes into a very unique opening credits sequence.

Closing: Dave Grohl has survived but is possessed. Reminded me too much of the ending of Leprechaun In The Hood

Best Line: “get your own song! nerd” not great, but the circumstances are hilarious.

Original Review here

The Gray Man

Ups: Passes the time.

The moment of him refusing to assassinate someone because there’s a kid standing near him does a great job of telling us who he is, and the “do it anyway” shows what kind of people his bosses are.

Downs: Despite being released recently, still feels incredibly dated.

Has some really clunky ways of introducing certain characters.

Best Moment: Gosling has a fun blink and you’ll miss it moment where he screws in a light bulb mid-conversation whilst walking through the street. Just a fun little piece of character work.

Worst Moment: Most of the action scenes, just because they’re a bit dull.

Best Performer: Chris Evans.

Opening: Gosling in prison. He gets offered a job as an assassin by the CIA, based on the fact he killed his abusive dad 8 years previously. It feels like they would have a more extensive recruitment process. Sets up the central premise well enough, and gives us a title drop. But overall it feels like a “this could have been referenced rather than shown” moment.

Closing: A slightly understated rampage of revenge. Sets up a sense of hope that the previous scenes didn’t have. Leaves it open for a sequel, but a sequel isn’t needed, as there’s enough narrative closure that the story does have an ending.

Best Line: You wanna make an omelette, you gotta kill some people

Original Review here

The Night Doctor

Ups: Interesting story.

Some tense moments.

Downs: Needed a gimmick.

Has no idea how to treat the main character.

Loses steam a bit in the middle.

Best Moment: When he goes to visit Ossip, the drug dealer to whom his brother owns money. It’s a great subversion on what you’d expect, and changes how you feel about the characters.

Worst Moment: There’s a moment when his cousin turns up at his flat. The camera movement isn’t quite as smooth as could be and it’s a bit weird to watch

Best Performer: Vincent Macaigne

Opening: Him giving prescription medication to someone, in his car. A discussion follows about a mutual acquaintance who recently died, which leads to a discussion about the futility of existence and mortality. Not the most “wow” opening. But it sets up who the character is, and that this is going to be a very serious film that goes to dark places.

Closing: He ends things with his mistress and tries to get back with his wife by performing an anguished declaration of love. Nice, but feels a bit hollow. And then he gets stabbed by someone he punched earlier. Kind of feels like the writer had no idea how to end it so just killed him (like in the original Clerks ending)

Best Line: “helping people nobody cares about is always political. As is what you’re doing, making insinuations about my ethics because I help addicts, that’s political”

Original Review here

The Outfit

Ups: Very strong directorial debut.

Rylance is damn good.

Downs: Not as good as similar films.

World building is a little weak.

Best Moment: The reveal at the end is done well.

Worst Moment: The opening drags.

Best Performer: Mark Rylance

Opening: Mark Rylance talking about the love and care that goes into making a suit. It’s weirdly interesting, but did nothing to make me wonder if this was essentially going to be Kingsman. It’s not. That’s backed up by the fact that it goes on for about 5 minutes, getting less interesting as it goes on.

Closing: He sets the shop and fire it’s revealed he’s actually been a badass this whole time. Obvious but it was set up beautifully. One thing I especially liked is they showed someone standing up behind him slowly, but didn’t draw attention to it.

Best Line: When talking about Big Ben: “they have clocks in Chicago, they look startingly similar in London”

Original Review here


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