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Deadpool

by pj 0 Comments
Deadpool
© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation − All right reserved.

Deadpool

Witness the beginning of a happy ending

20161 h 48 min
Overview

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Metadata
Director Tim Miller
Runtime 1 h 48 min
Release Date 9 February 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Excellent
Images

Morena Baccarin

Ahh Deadpool you had me at the opening credits.  As the list of characters we were about to encounter rolled across the screen…”British villain….moody teen…CGI character…the writers (the real superheroes!)” I knew this was going to be fun.  This is the first comedy film, since starting my movie journey in December, that I’ve laughed at all the way through.  I loved the comic styling of the anti hero and the frequent breaks in the fourth wall.  Of course this wouldn’t be a Marvel Comic film without tons of action and in this it is particularly gory albeit balletically choreagraphed.  Sexy, irreverent, sweary and hilariously funny, what’s not to love.

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Spotlight

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Spotlight
© 2015 Participant Media − All right reserved.

Spotlight

Break the story. Break the silence.

20152 h 08 min
Overview

The true story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Metadata
Director Tom McCarthy
Runtime 2 h 08 min
Release Date 6 November 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

To say I really wanted to like this film doesn’t sound quite right but an investigative journalism film that involves the Catholic Church and a cover up is of particular interest.  I couldn’t fault the acting, Mark Ruffalo was particularly excellent, and I’m sure the storyline was accurate as befits a piece of recent and shocking history.  I was also relieved it didn’t sensationalise the persistent clerical abuse of children.  In all those respects it ticked boxes but I felt it was too little, too late.   We know what happened, sadly and at the beginning of the film when the team at The Boston Globe believe that 13 priests are involved we know that the investigation would go on to reveal that this was just the tip of a Titanicesque iceberg.  I wasn’t surprised at the all pervading nature of the church, its ability to cover up and inveigle itself around the great and the good to gloss over its shortcomings.  I lived in rural Ireland during the 80’s and saw first hand how this can work.  Spotlight was a competent, well acted, respectful movie but, for me, there was something missing and it felt about half an hour too long.

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Dirty Grandpa

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Dirty Grandpa
© − All right reserved.

Dirty Grandpa

This is Jason. He's a little worried about his grandpa.

20161 h 42 min
Overview

Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.

Metadata
Director Dan Mazer
Runtime 1 h 42 min
Release Date 21 January 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

There were no surprises here.  A road movie with a not very unique storyline.  Straight up young guy whisked off by his recently widowed grandfather to have days and nights of debauchery in Florida. Of course this is all a rouse by clever Grandpa to encourage the young ‘un to follow his dream and not live his life to please others.  From The Graduate to The Hangover and many more in between we have seen it all before and the critics have absolutely panned this movie.  It’s rude, downright crude but that shouldn’t come as  a surprise if you’ve seen the trailers.  The humour at times is homophobic which never sits well.  I was a little confused after De Niro makes several inappropriate references and then when his ‘victim’ is attacked by bullies DeNiro defends him and makes the bully apologise with a little speech about how he’s from another time when this kind of humour was acceptable.  Writers back tracking or Grandpa being played ironically?  All that being said I did laugh out loud several times.  I suspect that some of the younger critics disgust with this movie might be about older people being horny…ewww.  We know, of course, that sex was invented by the young and to imagine that anyone over 40 indulges is pretty gross.  It was in my day too.  Ahh..the things we learn.   I wasn’t offended by the language or sexual references but what is it lately with vaginas?   It seems like every movie I see lately mentions vaginas..it’s like they’ve just discovered the word or maybe a censorship committee somewhere has just deemed it acceptable for mainstream films so directors feel obliged to pop one in, so to speak.    Dirty, dirty film, but a few laughs and I can forgive De Niro a lot.

 

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The Revenant

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The Revenant
© 2015 Appian Way − All right reserved.

The Revenant

(n. One who has returned, as if from the dead.)

20152 h 36 min
Overview

In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Metadata
Runtime 2 h 36 min
Release Date 25 December 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

I wasn’t enamoured by the trailer for ‘The Revenant’ and I left this film until it was the only one left at the cinema I hadn’t seen before I somewhat reluctantly booked my ticket.   The thought of almost 3 hours watching someone crawl across a snowy tundra left me cold.

Again I was totally wrong (are we seeing a pattern here?) this was magnificent, although not so stunning if you’re in any way squeamish.  Blood and guts galore and a relentless storyline that left me breathless and no opportunity  at all to glance at my watch and start working out how may minutes before I can go home.

DiCaprio was amazing as Hugh Glass , the hunter/skinner left for dead after a bear attack who literally crawled out of the grave to find the man who left him for dead and extract revenge.   Even with my pre-judgement reluctance I was dragged into the story and felt at the end as though I’d hobbled every damn mile with Mr Glass.

Beautifully shot with stunning CGI, gripping storyline and fabulous acting..what’s not to love.  Even if you think it’s not your kind of thing, go see it anyway.

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Room

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Room
© 2015 Element Pictures − All right reserved.

Room

Love knows no boundaries

20151 h 57 min
Overview

Jack is a young boy of 5 years old who has lived all his life in one room. He believes everything within it are the only real things in the world. But what will happen when his Ma suddenly tells him that there are other things outside of Room?

Metadata
Director Lenny Abrahamson
Runtime 1 h 57 min
Release Date 16 October 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Masterpiece
Images
Jack aka Jacob Tremblay

Jack aka Jacob Tremblay

Wow!

I hadn’t read the novel and only had a vague idea of what Room was about.  Although I could see how the storyline would work well in a book I had my doubts about how it could translate to film.  I was so wrong!

The first half is a masterpiece of claustrophobia and tension.  Real and TV is five year old Jack’s demarkation of the world around him, confined with his mother in a tiny room from birth.  Reality is whatever is in Room and TV is everything else and we see through Jack his confusion as he tries to get to grips with the concept of reality outside Room and the possibility of escape.

The story deftly avoids trite and easy and the second half is an honest examination of suddenly having your hopes and dreams fulfilled, the fragility of adults and the resilience of kids.  I disagree with the criticism that the last half fell flat.  The overwhelming sense of relief more than carried me through some of the more difficult scenes of family dynamics and overall the film was an uplifting celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

Incredible performances by Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as Jack made this the film of year so far for me.  Take tissues.

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Creed

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Creed
© 2015 New Line Cinema − All right reserved.

Creed

Your legacy is more than a name

20152 h 12 min
Overview

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Metadata
Director Ryan Coogler
Runtime 2 h 12 min
Release Date 25 November 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images

I gave up on the Rocky franchise many years ago.  None, for me, were ever as good as the original.  However, this one I enjoyed in spite of my doubts.  Stallone has grown into and was made for this role as the ageing and reluctant trainer/mentor and Michael B. Jordan more than adequately portrayed the wannabe champion with a point to prove.

The boxing sequences were beautifully and realistically shot if that’s not a contradiction when depicting scenes of such visceral brutality.

The story itself was formulaic but that’s okay, we were expecting it.    Just like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, it took a familiar franchise and brought it right up to date,  a successful mix of fresh with original and a stand alone story that nods to old plotlines and characters.  If it was covertly targeted at the boomer generation it hit the right note.  For those of us who were adults when the original was released I’m sure more than a few could empathise and smile ruefully at Stallone’s scene on the iconic Philadelphia ‘Rocky steps’.

A special mention for the soundtrack.  Up to date music was spiced with tiny teasers of the original score which worked, Pavlovian dog style, to ramp up the nostalgia and excitement until when the climax erupted in a rousing few bars of that memorable music I almost cried and laughed at the same time. Nice job!

 

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The Danish Girl

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The Danish Girl
© − All right reserved.

The Danish Girl

Find the courage to be yourself.

20152 h 00 min
Overview

The story of Danish painter Einar Wegener, one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery.

Metadata
Director Tom Hooper
Runtime 2 h 00 min
Release Date 27 November 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Good
Images

lille_elbe

I was expecting to love this film, an examination of self discovery with Eddie Redmayne playing Einar Wegener, the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery, set in 1920s Denmark.   And there is a lot to like.  Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, who plays his wife, act their Oscar nomination worthy hearts out.   The cinematography, costumes, music,make up and ambience are sumptuously gorgeous.  But it was all a bit too glossy and perfect, I didn’t feel the struggle that it must have been for Wegener, both in society and within himself.  The film was more interested in showing us how the emerging Lilli Elbe learned to copy feminine gestures than in the despair that must have driven him to undergo such a dangerous and experimental surgical procedure.

Beautiful but ultimately lacking, it was all a little too superficial for me and I didn’t feel emotionally connected to any of the characters by the end of the film.

 

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Joy

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Joy
© 2015 Fox 2000 Pictures − All right reserved.

Joy

20152 h 04 min
Overview

A story based on the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs.

Metadata
Director David O. Russell
Runtime 2 h 04 min
Release Date 25 December 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images

I know I sound like an ageing X-Factor judge but did you know that Jennifer Lawrence is only 25 years old? I had to Google that last night to double check her age after the mature and assured performance I had just witnessed in Joy, the latest and much anticipated offering from David O.Russell.  Lawrence triumphs as the girl who has lost her dream as she struggles with chaos and mundanity and finds it again when she invents, of all things, a mop.  To be more accurate she find it again when she symbolically cuts her hair, puts on shades and goes baddass.

I admit it is quirky, the camera never stops and Lawrence’s bizarre and dysfunctional family are all over the place, occasionally mixed in with a TV soap opera.  It doesn’t do stereotypes for sure and we should be applauding that.    The chemistry between Lawrence and co-star Bradley Cooper wasn’t as electric as Silver Linings Playbook but given the very different roles that was to be expected.   Dascha Polanco (Orange Is The New Black) caught my eye as Joy’s childhood friend, Jackie.  More please!

 

 

joy_lawrence

 

 

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Daddy’s Home

by pj 0 Comments
Daddy’s Home
© 2015 Paramount Pictures − All right reserved.

Daddy's Home

20151 h 36 min
Overview

The story of a mild-mannered radio executive (Ferrell) who strives to become the best stepdad ever to his wife's two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling, freeloading real father arrives, forcing stepdad to compete for the affection of the kids.

Metadata
Director Sean Anders, John Morris
Runtime 1 h 36 min
Release Date 25 December 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
Images

I like comedy, it’s probably my favourite genre on TV. One off stand-ups, comedic panel shows like Mock The Week, and comedy series from the IT Crowd and Father Ted to Nurse Jackie and even the US version of The Office. I love them all, but when it comes to comedy films I’m either missing something or there’s an emperor’s new clothes thing going on. What is it with these comedy/family movies? Often they are same sex double handers (think Sisters) with a one joke storyline interspersed with a couple of physical stunts/CGI set pieces, everyone makes up in the end and we all live happily ever after. Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age but they smack of someone milking the ‘what can we do with the kids now that Christmas is over? I know – a ‘family’ movie night’. Oh and lets look at the demographic here, maybe a comedy about a ‘blended family’.

Daddy’s Home was that sort of movie, inoffensive but ploddingly predictable. Dependable, upstanding Will Ferrell as step-dad, desperate to be a good parent to his new step-kids when ‘real’ Dad returns in the shape of the much cooler and all-round rapscallion Mark Wahlberg. The tussle between the Dads to retain the affection of the kids is the main story interspersed with a few clever stunts and the easy joke of having small children issuing expletives, funny but cheap (and nothing beats this one).

The actors were all competent, the stunts were nicely done and in an almost full screening (looking good Cineworld Hinckley) there were quite a few chuckles but I wouldn’t watch it again, not even on TV.

markwahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

 

 

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Star Wars

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Star Wars
© 2015 Lucasfilm − All right reserved.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Every generation has a story.

20152 h 16 min
Overview

Thirty years after defeating the Galactic Empire, Han Solo and his allies face a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and his army of Stormtroopers.

Metadata
Director J.J. Abrams
Runtime 2 h 16 min
Release Date 15 December 2015
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Excellent
Images

rey_starwars

My film viewing has been mediocre at best for the last few outings but that all changed today.  I am surprised to report that I absolutely loved Star Wars!  I’m not even a Star Wars fan but this was a very fine piece of entertainment.  Balletic action sequences, bright young cast with the return of a few old faces, a self-contained story which occasionally nods to the past.  Special mention for Daisy Ridley as Rey, a fabulous, feisty hero.  No plot giveaways here, suffice to say there were moments when I’m not sure if I actually clapped but if not I wanted to.  Warm, witty and non-stop.  Highly recommended.

 

 

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