Supernova (2020)

Quick Synopsis: Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci play a couple embarking on a road trip as one of them starts to suffer the effects of early onset dementia

I was going to avoid this. The title and the poster did nothing to draw me in. To be honest they both made it seem kind of dull. It gave no indication of what the film was about. It wasn’t until I saw The Father and I had a trailer for this that I had any idea what it was about. I was still uncertain, there was a chance it could still be bad, very melodramatic and kind of dull. That it would try so hard to be emotional that it would actually lack any as it would all be fake. There was also the risk that seeing two films about dementia in such a short space of time would mean I have nothing new to see. The Father was so good that was a risk that this would just seem, I dunno, “less than” in comparison, especially considering this hasn’t had anywhere near the awards hype that that got.

In the end those fears were unfounded. No, it’s not as good at putting you in the shoes of the character as the other film did, but it’s not supposed to. It’s not about confusion, it’s not about not knowing who you are, and having short moments of lucidity. It’s the opposite, it’s about a man who occasionally gets affected by it, but is lucid enough the rest of the time that he is aware that it’s happening, and it scares him. It’s telling a different story, but one that is just as heartbreaking.

That being said, there are some things with the script which don’t really work. One of which is linked to the title. The title refers to Stanley Tucci’s character having an interest in astronomy, and tries to teach Colin Firth’s character about navigation. It’s a nice touch, but it feels a bit too much. Especially when he starts talking to a young girl about stars dying in a blaze of glory, burning out and illuminating the sky, very unsubtle. The character is also an author, and it feels like that part of him was underdeveloped in favour of the title trait. Reminds me of Sometimes Always Never from a few years ago, where the character trait was scrabble, but the title was based on the correct button order for a suit. If they made it so his writing was astronomy based that would have meant it worked. But as it is, him being an author doesn’t seem to matter as much, which is strange and kind of hurts the film.

That’s nothing against the performances though, Tucci and Firth knock it out of the park here. It helps that they don’t play the characters stereotypically, they play them as fully developed people, which helps the believability. They actually make a really good couple. You can tell by the way they behave together that not only are they in love, but they have been for a long time. The interactions between them are adorable, you can tell it’s a relationship of mutual support, just lovely.

So in summary; I wouldn’t say you NEED to see it, but if you do, you probably won’t regret it. Its biggest flaw is that it is released in cinemas so soon after The Father, so comparisons between the two are inevitable, and when you do that, it does not favour this movie.

2019 In Film Day 2: The Meh

These are films I really didn’t like, but at least had the decency to contain one thing to admire about them.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

This is a good movie. It just wasn’t for me. I was kind of bored by the whole thing. That might have been me and my expectations. But it felt like it was hiding a much more interesting story than the one it actually told. It was basically Ted Bundy not killing people.

Original review here

+Efron is great.

-Not really necessary

Glass

I’m more excited about what comes next, but I’m not even sure if anything will come next. I felt the same about Unbreakable, I felt somewhat underwhelmed, but I was interested in what comes next. I didn’t dislike it enough to hate it, I found it hard to feel anything about.

Original review here

+Interesting idea

-A lot of the film is “do these people actually have superpowers?” when we know they do. So it’s a complete waste of time.

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

This is here purely for the scale. It’s massive, and it all looks real. Just a shame the rest of the film is so damn mediocre.

Original review here

+The look. It looks so damn superb. So many of the scenes look like oil paintings.

-How exactly is King Kong supposed to match him?

Ma

This film is a very slow build to the final moment. It’s an old-school horror approach that is risky to attempt to pull off in the modern age. It wasn’t helped by how the advertising all focused on the final third, so you thought that’s what the film was like. The main issue is that you know what it’s all building up to, but it keeps pulling back from reaching that point. This film could have naturally been about 20 to 30 minutes shorter.

Original review here

+The closing stretch is immensely satisfying.

-Drags too much in places.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

This is entirely personal taste. I was not a fan of this. I found it incredibly boring and I didn’t like the characters enough to spend time with them when the story was dragging. It looked great, and it felt completely authentic. A lot of people I know love this, and I do get it, it just wasn’t for me, at all.

Original review here

+The closing section is insanely brilliant.

-Did you know Tarantino likes feet? You will after this.

Sometimes Always Never

This just makes it into this blog and not the previous. Like so close. The only thing saving this? The general warmth of the whole thing. The way the characters interact with each other is incredibly sweet and warm. It’s lovely, so heartwarming that it brings the film up higher than the rest of it. The cast too. Its just a shame it’s a bit too twee at times, the cinematic equivalent of a government department making an anti-immigration campaign using a fucking ukulele.

Original review here

+Very twee

-Sometimes too much so

Yesterday

I think this film would be rated higher if it wasn’t for Blinded By The Light. By comparison, this film is incredibly hollow. Blinded By The Light (or BBTL as all the cool kids call it) was a genuine love letter to an artist, full of compassion and warmth and deep love, this was the work of someone who owns the greatest hits album of a band and nothing else. The kind of dick who only goes to gigs if they’re at stadiums, and considers Cher “rock and roll”. BBTL only really works as a Springsteen film, with Springsteen and the film working in equal harmony. With this the film came first, and The Beatles came second. Also, for a film about The Beatles, this spent a lot of time talking about how great Ed Sheeran was. It seemed to have no genuine love for the band it’s based on.

Original review here

+Cute concept and the main relationship works

-It makes a joke about Oasis not existing, but also says the guy won a talent show singing Wonderwall. No consistency

Sometimes Always Never (2018)

So, this is the first review since my big announcement, for those who missed it, it’s here. So with that in mind, what piece of horror media will I review to get in the mood for it? Oh, it’s a film about scrabble. It does feature death, maybe. It’s about a family struggling with someone running away years ago, and still suffering from not knowing what happened. The father copes by playing scrabble. Yeah, it’s strange, but within the context of the film, it works. This film is all about the script and the characters, and it completely nails both of those. The dialogue is razor-sharp and the characters are all well-defined to the point where you feel you have already met these characters.

The way they interact with each other is really sweet too, you understand the family dynamics easily and it’s incredibly heartwarming at times. So why have I not raved about great this movie is to everybody? From a technical standpoint, it looks a little cheap. I’m not sure if it was a stylistic choice or not but it didn’t really work for me. Also whilst the script is good, the story kind of meanders and doesn’t do enough. Characters are heavily focused on for one scene then never mentioned again. It aims for a slice-of-life dramedy but adds a bit too many plotlines which go unresolved to really seem satisfying. It seems at time that the story doesn’t know what it’s about so aims for as many themes as possible in the hopes of finally grasping onto one. The title comes from a discussion about buttons on suits (you sometimes do the top one up, always do the middle one up, and never do the bottom one), it seems a bit weird for a film where the themes are scrabble and words, to take the title from a rule about suit-buttons. It’s like they put that scene in just to explain the title.

The cast are pretty damn good in this though. Bill Nighy’s accent sometimes wavers but never too distractingly. Alice Lowe continues to be great, Louis Healy has a future in ITV dramas, and Sam Riley really shows off his range. The oddest highlight for me was Ella-Grace Gregoire. She’s not in it for long but has great screen presence and her natural charm lights up the scenes she’s in. This is helped by tremendous chemistry with the aforementioned Healy and Lowe. Interested to see what she does next and looking forward to it.

There is a really heartwarming and lovely film within this, it just tries a bit too hard to be a mix of Wes Anderson and quirky British drama, whilst never really approaching the heights needed for both.