Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Published by:

Poster for the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

20162 h 13 min
Overview

In 1926, Newt Scamander arrives at the Magical Congress of the United States of America with a magically expanded briefcase, which houses a number of dangerous creatures and their habitats. When the creatures escape from the briefcase, it sends the American wizarding authorities after Newt, and threatens to strain even further the state of magical and non-magical relations.

Metadata
Director David Yates
Runtime 2 h 13 min
Release Date 16 November 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

The CGI stuff was expertly executed, but we wouldn’t expect anything less given this film’s pedigree.  The beasts were ingenious and the small details in almost every scene were clever and smile inducing.  A couple of times I was reminded of Mary Poppins, think carpet bag and the tidying up scene.  However, the storyline was thin with too many tails and by the end it felt like an overlong trailer for the four sequels to come.   Although there was little character development maybe  this will be a slow release over the duration of the franchise if they continue with the same cast.  Overall it was average, hopefully the next one will be meatier.  Special mention for Alison Sudol for a luminous, almost Monroe-esque performance.

A Street Cat Named Bob

Published by:

Poster for the movie ""

A Street Cat Named Bob

20161 h 40 min
Overview

Based on the international best selling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.

Metadata
Runtime 1 h 40 min
Release Date 4 November 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

This film falls down the crack between hard hitting social drama and family friendly lighthearted romp.  It’s based on a book, the true story of James Bowen, a homeless recovering drug addict and the cat who became his salvation.  I haven’t read the book but I understand it changed many people’s perception of the homeless and apparently improved James’ life to the extent that he was able to buy his own home.  All wonderfully positive, but for me, the film missed out by not exploring the issues in greater depth.  It was a strange mixture.  There were many, many cat close ups and when we started seeing shots from the cat’s POV I was dreading some anthropomorphic voiceover (my pet hate..sorry!) but thankfully the director spared us from hearing Bob’s inner thoughts.

The actors were great, Bob played himself which is amazing in itself.  Luke Treadaway was both endearing and convincing as the abandoned son of a wealthy father who had turned to drugs.  Special mention to the lovely Joanne Froggatt (Downton, Dark Angel) as the social worker who exuded both warmth and stability.

All in all it was a ‘pleasant’, feel-good film, but not enough depth for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl on the Train

Published by:

Poster for the movie "The Girl on the Train"

The Girl on the Train

What you see can hurt you.

20161 h 52 min
Overview

Rachel Watson, an alcoholic who divorced her husband Tom after she caught him cheating on her, takes the train to work daily. She fantasises about the relationship of her neighbours, Scott and Megan Hipwell, during her commute. That all changes when she witnesses something from the train window and Megan is missing, presumed dead.

Metadata
Director Tate Taylor
Runtime 1 h 52 min
Release Date 6 October 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images

I had listened to the audio book several months before going to see this at the cinema and was anticipating it in that way you do when you have really enjoyed a book and are wondering how many ways the film can butcher it.  In this case there was also the concern that the British location of the original had been transferred to the USA.

Of course, in a film there is never the luxury of time that a book can give to a story as it meanders through the inner lives of characters, so it’s unfair to judge like for like.  However in this case I was happily surprised, although some parts seemed skimmed (Megan’s backstory, for example) for the most part this was an excellent interpretation.  Emily Blunt did a great job as the alcoholic Rachel and even though the ending wasn’t a surprise this was a much more positive experience than I had anticipated.

 

Sausage Party

Published by:

Poster for the movie ""

Sausage Party

Adventure is on the menu

20161 h 23 min
Overview

Sausage Party, the first R-rated CG animated movie, is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.

Metadata
Director Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Runtime 1 h 23 min
Release Date 11 July 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

Where do I start with Sausage Party?  Racial stereotypes and just about every religion insulted in the first 30 minutes – at least this film is an equal opportunities offender.

If you don’t like sweary films and the depiction of sex acts by animated food then this probably isn’t for you (okay, I take your point WHO does like that last one?)  The film is  weird and clever in unequal parts, one minute I was laughing at a cutting one liner and the next I was cringing at “holes” and “meat” gags.  Maybe because we’re so used to mainstream animation being cute and cuddly that an adult rated film seems cruder and ruder than if  the same lines were uttered by a live action character.  The saving grace for me was the overall concept of the movie, the analogy between the Great Beyond promised when food became the ‘chosen ones’ and were taken from the supermarket and the futility of religion.

I might have blushed watching the last ten minutes when it went into food-sex frenzy overdrive and I was grateful that I was alone at this daytime showing, I wouldn’t have wanted to catch anyone’s eye over the popcorn!

 

Bridget Jones’ Baby

Published by:

Poster for the movie ""

Bridget Jones's Baby

20161 h 37 min
Overview

Breaking up with Mark Darcy leaves Bridget Jones over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets a dashing and handsome American named Jack. Things couldn't be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mom-to-be must figure out if the proud papa is Mark or Jack.

Metadata
Director Sharon Maguire
Runtime 1 h 37 min
Release Date 15 September 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

Leaving the cinema, weeping, at lunchtime…it’s many years since I’ve done that and it’s all Bridget’s fault!  This was the kind of film that manipulates emotions more deftly than an X-factor audition, lays on the corn with a trowel and requires a suspension of disbelief way above and beyond… but all that said, I loved it.  There’s something about the vulnerable, awkward nature of Bridget, mixed with a little kookiness that is just so appealing, you can’t help rooting for her.  There were some genuinely funny lines, a little visual humour, good support from the repressed Darcy, what’s not to love?   And who turned out to be the father of Bridget’s baby? I couldn’t possibly say.

Edit – almost forgot, the soundtrack is great too (awkward little cameo from Ed Sheeran) and includes one of my all time favourites, F*ck You by the lovely Lily Allen.