WIBW is a semi-regular series where I post short spoiler-free reviews of the movies I’ve seen recently at the cinema, as well as share my expectations for upcoming viewings.
Live By Night
It’s a shame to start this instalment of “What I’ve Been Watching” with a negative review, but unfortunately I must.
I love Ben Affleck, I think he’s great and I think he’s a great director, too. But Live by Night just didn’t do it for me. It was really average and felt overly long. Y’know those sorts of films where it feels like any minute it’s going to end and you can go home, get your pjs on and instantly forget about what you’ve just seen? Well, this wasn’t one of those films. It kept going on, and on and I can’t forget (or forgive) that.
I wonder whether Ben Affleck really enjoyed the source material (it’s based on a book), so he felt like he had to cram in as much as he could? I’m not sure…all I do know is that whilst his and Elle Fanning’s performances were great, it doesn’t entirely overcome the ‘meh’-osity of this movie.
La La Land
I have been so excited to watch this movie, you guys. It’s the one both me and Liam have been anticipating the most. I’m pleased to report this movie is worth the hype (7 Golden Globe wins and 11 BAFTA noms!).
It’s an absolute rollercoaster of emotions – #cliche – at times I thought I was going to cry, but not necessarily with sadness. I became really invested in the story from early on, and loved/hated that it didn’t always go how you expected it to.
The songs were great, the direction was great and Emma Stone absolutely smashed it. Ryan Gosling was great, as well.
Go see this, ASAP.
Reality: 4/5 (we are going to rewatch it at the weekend, so this may even go up to a 4.5 on second viewing!)
Manchester by the Sea
I saw the trailer for this film a little while back, and was expecting a real tearjerker. It looked like it was going to be a heavy duty drama with amazing acting and a great story.
And it was. Except the tearjerker bit. On several occasions I felt like I was meant to feel upset, but the story didn’t quite hit as hard as I expected it to. Some really awful things happen in this film, but one of the worst seems to be over too quickly for you to really get invested in it.
Casey Affleck was fantastic as Lee, the titular character of the film. I also loved Kyle Chandler who although plays a minor part, steals every scene he is in. I don’t know what it is about him, he’s just brilliant.
My expected rating was pretty much on point – although I didn’t cry like I expected, the film was really well made and is worth your attention.
What’s up next?
Our next Cineworld Unlimited screening is for the film Hacksaw Ridge which stars Andrew Garfield. When we booked the tickets, I knew nothing about it but having now seen the trailer twice, I am intrigued. It’s not usually the sort of film I would choose to watch, but that’s kind of the beauty of having an Unlimited card – to try different films.
Hopefully I’ll find it to be good – it definitely has the potential to be.
After Moana being a surprise favourite of last year, I am looking forward to seeing if another animated movie can impress. I’ll be honest, I’m going to go in with low-ish expectations because I think most of the humour will be derived from which actors are voicing the parts, but we shall see!
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the first Trainspotting movie, so I’ll need to rewatch that before I really get hyped for this sequel. However, judging by the trailer I think it’s going to be great.