2022 In Film: Day Four (The Alright)

“so, what was that film like?” “was alright”

I mean, I don’t know how else I can explain it. These are films I’m never going to own, but if they’re on Netflix I might have them on in the background while I do something else.

Broadcast Signal Instructions

Ups: Good at setting tone.

Very weird.

Will appeal to an audience that likes this kind of thing.

The intrusions themselves are superb.

Downs: VERY reminiscent of Censor. Not a direct remake, but enough tonal and narrative similarities that make you wonder. It’s like they took Censor, played Chinese Whispers with it a hundred times until it had changed, and then made the result.

Doesn’t answer the mystery.

Bit cliche at times.

Best Moment: There’s a moment where he gets fired and his boss does it by leaving him a six pack of beer. There’s something weirdly good about that. It’s completely unnecessary but it’s such a unique touch

Worst Moment: When you realise it has no intention of answering the central mystery.

Best Performer: Harry Shum Jr.

Opening: James is transferring tapes over at work, then goes home. Really well done actually. They don’t go with traditional horror music, they go with jazz, which gives it a strange ethereal quality. Some really creative shots too. It then goes into slightly more horror dream fare but the transition between reality and horror is handled well.

Closing: I think he kills a mentally challenged person. I mean, the guy seems to not fully comprehend what’s going on at times, asking when his dad is getting home and using simple language. And I’m assuming he dies because he’s forced to record a confession, and then James is seen with a hammer. Then James hits a robot (?) with his car. The robot locks eyes with him, screams, and coughs up blood.

Best line: [incoherent noise]. Weird I know, but the intrusions themselves are superb, and the way they twisted the audio dialogue is a big part of that.

Original review here

Joyride

Ups: Fun script.

Colman is a joy as always.

Downs: It’s weird to see Olivia Colman with an Irish accent.

Some odd dialogue options. Like when she’s on a plane and can’t get off. She expresses surprise and says she can still physrically get off because “the stairs are still there”. I don’t know, kind of feels like it should have had a “fuck” or “feck” there. It’s the end of a buildup of anger and it needed a swear as punctuation.

Don’t see enough of the dad being violent or abusive. His villainess is very PG. I’m not asking him to kill a child, but the film takes about him being someone who inspires fear, yet never really see it

Best/Worst Moment: Joy nearly drowning. I’m including it in both because while it is an emotional scene, more could have been done with it. A scene of that nature should not be as expendable as it is. It’s really only there so you can get a callback at the end.

Best Performer: Olivia Colman, obviously.

Opening: A funeral for a mother. At the funeral, her 13 year old son realises that his dad has stolen money from a collection jar set up for the hospice that looked after her. A lot of films would have taken time to build her up, this launches straight into it. Including the opening credits and logos, we see the mother, her funeral, the money getting stolen, then the kid stealing it back, all within 4 minutes. On the downside, possibly robs us of some emotion. Although, it’s a coming of age comedy, so it doesn’t need to be super depressing and bleak, not everything needs sadness. And it’s good to see a film launch so quickly.

Closing: Joy realises that she really does want the baby she tried to give away. Kind of obvious really.

Best Line: “you can’t get off, the doors are closed” “the door can open, that’s what doors do”

Original Review here

My Neighbour Adolph

Ups: It’s unique, you have to give it that.

Moments of genius.

Downs: Do we really need a cute folksy calm Hitler movie?

Best Moment: The fact the whole conflict is kicked off by “Hitler” taking part of a garden that doesn’t belong to him? Genius.

Worst Moment: The reveal is a little weak.

Best Performer: Udo Kier.

Opening: Flashback to Mr Polsky growing up. Does a good job of setting up his childhood and explaining why he is how he is.

Closing: They’re not quite friends. It’s hard to explain, because it’s strange.

Best Line: “What’s Soloman?” Out of context, means nothing. In context, hilarious.

Original review here

Operation Mincemeat

Ups: Fascinating story.

Good performances

Downs: Bit bland

The interpersonal relationships don’t work.

Best Moment: The bit where they’re discussing the specifics. Very fun, and almost like a spy movie.

Worst Moment: The strange interactions between Kelly Macdonalds and Colin Firth’s characters, bit of a strange almost romance that doesn’t go anywhere.

Best Performer: Matthew Macfadyen

Opening: Simple set-up of characters. Could be better, could be worse. Very ITV

Closing: Text explaining what happened to everybody. Weirdly that’s the most fascinating part of it.

Best Line: The introductory monologue. Sums it up quite well.

Original Review here

The Bad Guys

Ups: Some good animation.

Pretty solid heist moments.

Downs: Wears its influences too obviously so it feels like it lacks originality.

How do you not use the song?

Best Moment: Snake giving up the push pop. Very sweet.

Worst Moment: The music section just after the opening title card. Seems a little too “We’re relevant and cool”

Best Performer: Sam Rockwell.

Opening: Two characters discussing an upcoming birthday. They’re sitting in a cafe where everybody is scared of them. Quite Pulp Fiction, which is a weird choice for a kids film. They then rob a bank and drive away. The opening at the cafe wasn’t needed at all, if the film started with them coming out of the bank it would have livened it up, and wouldn’t have given me the “wait, is this going to be terrible?” worries.

Closing: The truth is revealed to the city. It’s good, but I feel the con by snake was over a little too quickly, if he turned earlier in the film then the fact he was double crossing the guinea pig would have been a bigger shock rather than the “well obviously, he was only friends with him for about 3 minutes”.

Best Line: I’M HAVING A BABY! IS THERE A DOCTOR? OR PERHAPS, SEVERAL SECURITY GUARDS, THAT CAN LEAVE THEIR POST AND HELP ME?

Original Review here

The Duke

Ups: Very likeable characters.

Funny dialogue.

Actually has a good twist.

Downs: Never gets better than “good”

Best Moment: The twist. Enough time has passed since release where I feel safe talking about this. It turns out he didn’t steal the painting, his son did. Genuinely didn’t expect that.

Worst Moment: Some of the court scenes go on a bit.

Best Performer: Jim Broadbent.

Opening: The court case. Makes sense to start there as that’s what everybody is here for.

Closing: He watches a Bond film at the cinema, spotting a reference to the stolen painting. Later, his son admits the truth, but doesn’t get prosecuted. Interesting historically, and good to know.

Best Line: “I’d just finished reading Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness and I felt a need to explore Sunderland.”

Original Review here

The Lost King

Ups: Fascinating story.

Enjoyable while you watch it.

Downs: It plays out like we don’t know what happened. It was big news in the UK, we’re all aware of it.

Disposable.

The liberties it takes with the truth.

Best Moment: The crowd-funding scene. Heartwarming, especially when it reveals her husband donated.

Worst Moment: When she gets clues from a ghost. They changed a lot about the character, but I don’t think it’s particularly a big secret that she had more to go on than “a ghost told me”.

Best Performer: Sally Hawkins

Opening: Philippa Langley loses a job opportunity. Sets up the character well, albeit quite unsubtly.

Closing: Ghost Richard appears to thank Philippa. Then text tells us he is now officially recognised as the rightful King of England for the period he was King. Nice to know.

Best Line: “are you sure you want to join this group? you look normal”

Original Review here

The Northman

Ups: Deliciously brutal.

Intense.

Looks incredible.

Downs: A lot of wasted time.

Mean spirited.

Best Moment: The volcano fight. Because of how amazing it looks. Although Queen Gudrún’s revelation about the truth of her relationship with Amlath’s father (he was a vicious rapey dickhead who she never loved) is up there too.

Worst Moment: The opening, because of how much of a slog it is to get through.

Best Performer: Alexander Skarsgård

Opening: The death of the king. It takes FOREVER to get through.

Closing: Everybody dies. Really the only way this film could end. This isn’t going to get a “happy ever after”

Best Line: This is the last tear you will shed in weakness. It will be given back when most you need it.

Original Review here

The Phantom Of The Open

Ups: Charming.

Funny.

Downs: Forgettable.

Wastes some actors.

Best Moment: When he gets invited to go to America.

Worst Moment: Dream sequence. Just kind of dumb.

Best Performer: Mark Rylance.

Best Line: Pick all the flowers you can, while you’re still young.

Original Review here

Uncharted

Ups: Gives you enough backstory so it makes sense even if you haven’t played the video games.

Fun action scenes.

Even the most ludicrous action scenes don’t look overly CGI’d.

Downs: Full of “well that’s convenient/they shouldn’t have survived that” moments.

Plot is very pedestrian.

Best Moment: The falling cars. Yes it’s dumb, yes it’s impossible, but it’s a lot of fun.

Worst Moment: The cameo of the voice actor from the video games. Incredibly unsubtle. It’s shot in a “this is a cameo” way so you know it’s somebody.

Best Performer: Tom Holland.

Opening: Starts mid-action scene. Taking all tension away from scenes set before that that occur later on in the film.

Closing: An action scene on boats, in the air. There is a “are they actually friends” moment, where a character spends so long debating a choice, he wastes the chance to not need to make a choice.

Best Line: Rescued? Don’t you mean looted?

Original Review here

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