Sunday, 30 April 2017

THE FILMS OF MARCH 2017 FILMS 29 - 33 - GET OUT. POWER RANGERS. LIFE. GHOST AND THE SHELL. GOING IN STYLE.

April has been a jolly busy month for me and I've found myself too busy drawing up my next Psycho Gran strip to have  time to update this blog and as a result I have reviews for 11 films to post. Since some of these have already been and gone I've decided to group them all together for the purposes of speed.

So, here we go.

#29: GET OUT

A brilliantly subversive little horror film that surprises, delights and horrorfies in equal measure right up till the reveal when it's let down by some genuinely stupid conceits and a hero who resorts to very brutal measures that seem, to me, a little out of character. But it's a minor quibble because this was a very satisfying and entertaining movie. Please don't spoil it with a sequel.

The film sees young black photographer, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) set off for the weekend break and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to meet her liberal parents for the first time at an annual big family and friends gathering. But Chris begins to realise there might be something rather sinister lurking beneath the surface of this family of well off, white, liberal, Obama-loving professionals who seem almost too good to be true.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams, Lil Rel Howery, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landrey Jones and Stephen Root. Budget $4.5 million. Box office to date a justly deserved $190 million!

Catch it on disc or catch up if you can.  8/10

#30: POWER RANGERS



A group of teenagers including a bully hating jock, a boy on the autism spectrum, a lesbian, a kung fu fighting Chinese student and a girl who posts revenge porn photos of her ex-boyfriends new girlfriend come together at detention club, stumble across a bunch of coloured crystals, find a buried spaceship become the Power Rangers and then have to learn how to love themselves and fight as a team in time to defeat the evil Rita with the help of some big robot animals.

Starring a group of look alikes, Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston. Written by John Gatins and directed by Dean Israelite. This is a 124 minutes, $100 million budgeted, rather boring, cinematic dirge and once over is utterly forgotten, guaranteed to not be remembered by anyone in 20 years time with any fondness or nostalgia. Filled with oddly jarring characters and desperate to be both relevant and meaningful but seemingly forgetting to come up with anything new. Go and see Kong in stead, it's much better than this powerless rubbish. 3/10

#31: LIFE
 Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare and Olga Dihovichanaya. Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and direted by Daniel Espinosa. Running time a merciful 103 minutes, budget $58 million.

A bunch of stupid scientists onboard the orbiting International Space Station lose all reason and professional training when they recover evidence of life from a returning Mars probe and proceed to let it loose in Zero Gee while they float around and act like a bunch of fucking idiots. Trust me, you'll root for the creature whom them name Calvin cos a school girl won a national competition to name it.

This starts out well, if you ignore Jake Gyllenhaal's fantastically annoying character, as the single cell Martian is brought back to life and experimented on, but once it becomes a Monster on the Loose movie it becomes staggeringly dreary and utterly generic, like one of those awful Sci Fi channel movies they keep showing.

Don't check out Life, it's lifeless. A very disappointing experience full of stupid characters floating about in zero G being stupid and featuring a monster that's completely unstoppable, unkillable and insanely intelligent. It starts well, the lengthy sequence you've already seen is the best, however once it gets loose it's game over man for everybody. It also plays cliche bingo with every trope every devised for a sci-fi horror film. This is Gravity crossed with Last Days on Mars, with some Alien spewed into the mix.

Only good thing, is the monster but then that evolves, or grows and develops a face which really ruins its uniqueness.  3/10

#32: GHOST IN THE SHELL


Starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Carmen Pitt, Pilou Asbaek, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche and Beat Takeshi. Written by Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger. Based on the movie Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow. Directed by Rupert Sanders. Running time 106 minutes. Budget $110 million.

An utterly unnecessary live action remake of a much loved, though god knows why, anime. This looks stunning and features my future wife, Scarlett Johansson in a skin-tight body suit kicking ass and the special effects look superb. However in this bizarre future Japan, there is a distinct lack of people living in the vast sprawling metropolis which is incredibly jarring.

The story set in the future (no shit, Sherlock) and sees Major (Johansson) wake up after a terrorist attack inside the body of a kick-ass cyborg and working for Sector 9 - an anti-terrorist task force ( where she dishes out some major bottom-whopping on a sinister terrorist cell run by a mysterious cyborg called Kuze who knows stuff about Major's origin that threatens to expose a terrible conspiracy and the truth about her past and the sinister Hanka robotics industry.

Cue action, lots of serious and earnest frowning and less laughs than a Krankies set. 4/10 (and two of those points are due to Scarlett's impressive attributes as an actresses.

#33: GOING IN STYLE


Starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Joewy King, Matt Dillon, Christopher Lloyd and Ann-Margaret. Written by Theodor Melfi. Directed by Zach Braff. Running time 96 minutes. Budget $25 million.

Three old friends, all well into retirement age discover that the company they've worked for the past 30 years have robbed them of their pensions and left them penniless. With nothing to lose the friends decide to rob the bank that owns the company for the money that was robbed off them and retire. Cue an entertaining wish-fulfillment movie as Freeman, Caine and Arkin find a new lease of life, love and romance and even a new kidney while Matt Dillon tries to catch them.

I love a good heist movie so this was a no brainer. Thoroughly silly but still very enjoyable and always great to see the superbly gifted cast, plus I loved Alan Arkin ever since I first saw him in Freebie and the Bean!

Not a classic but still a good night out or in, if you've missed it at the cinema. 7/10








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