What I’ve Been Watching #4 (The Bumper Edition)

Oh wow. It’s been a while since I did my last roundup of recent cinema viewings, and so this instalment is a bumper edition! I’m not even sure all of these movies are still showing at the cinema…sorry about that!

So we’ll start with what I’ve seen since the last post, then share a few of the films I’m looking forward to watching next!

Hacksaw Ridge

I saw the trailer for Hacksaw a lot. Each time I saw it I was pretty complacent about it to be honest – except when Vince Vaughn pops up and you’re like WHAT THE WHAT. But other than that, meh. War movies are not my thing so I went in expecting an average film that wouldn’t really interest me.

But y’know what? Girl was wrong. Andrew Garfield is fantastic in this film, the direction is good and it’s suitably brutal for the subject matter. It doesn’t shy away from the reality of war. At times it does verge on becoming a bit Michael Bay (ALL OF THE EXPLOSIONS), but it is well made.

The true story on which this film is based on is incredible too. If it’s still screening near you, go see this film! If not, it’s definitely one to buy/stream.

Expectation: 3
Reality: 4

Trainspotting 2

Ah, T2. A film I was intrigued about as a fan of the first Trainspotting movie. To be honest, there isn’t a huge amount to say about this film other than “it was good” and that it’s a suitable sequel especially considering the time that’s passed.

My only criticism would be that at times it tries a bit too hard to call-back to the original. For example, the “Choose life” speech gets a modern revamp (you’ve probably heard it in the trailer), but in the context of the film it feels like it was just thrown in. It definitely doesn’t have the same impact as the original.

The performances are all good, and it’s great to catch up with these characters again.

Expectation: 3.5
Reality: 3.5

The Lego Batman Movie

I’m not ashamed to say that I was really excited for this movie. Batman was the best character in The Lego Movie if you ask me, so a spin-off was pretty inevitable.

What I wasn’t expecting was a film that was devoid of funny jokes and was just a bit too geared towards kids. As we know from Pixar movies, it’s entirely possible to make a “kids” film that has more grown-up jokes, but Lego failed here. The funniest bit was the very beginning when Batman narrates over the logos before the film even starts! What follows that is 10 minutes of a messy action scene, and then the rest of the film is just…fine.

Expectation: 4
Reality: 3

A Cure For Wellness

Who else saw the bizarre trailer for this and thought it was going to be a good film? Yeah, me too. Turns out I was very wrong. This film committed the ultimate filmmaking sin – it bored me. I fidgeted a lot during A Cure For Wellness, and I’m fairly sure I almost fell asleep on multiple occasions.

The film was too long, and had one good scene in the whole thing – and even that scene was nothing truly special.

Expectation: 3
Reality: 1.5

Logan

Off the back of the success of Deadpool, Wolverine got an ‘R’ rated edition that we’ve all been waiting for with Logan – and I have so much time for this. Logan is deserving of the hype it’s been getting because it’s refreshingly different to your usual Marvel movies and is a really suitable goodbye to Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine.

There’s grit, violence and amazing performances from Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. I only wish Wolverine’s story had been given the grown-up treatment sooner.

Expectation: 4
Reality: 4

Moonlight

When Moonlight got a Cineworld Unlimited screening, I decided not to go as it wasn’t a film I had a particular interest in seeing. Then it won Best Film at the Oscars and as a huge fan of La La Land, I wanted to see whether I would also really like Moonlight.

To be honest, I feel like the film is telling a really important story but in a really average way. There’s nothing wrong with the film so much, it just could’ve been better. I really struggled with the fact that elements of the story were just brushed under the rug – a key character we get to know towards the beginning doesn’t get a suitable conclusion to their involvement in the main character’s life, for example.

The story is split into 3 parts as titular character Chiron grows up, dealing with his sexuality as a gay black man. The first two parts are much more engaging than the third, and a secondary character Kevin is a more interesting and likeable character than Chiron – it just left me wishing that we’d had more time with him!

Expectation: 4
Reality: 3.5

Kong: Skull Island

So, full disclosure, I’m not really a fan of these sorts of films (I’m not sure whether to categorise it as a Monster movie or a Creature Feature, but y’know…semantics). I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Kong, as the trailer made it look like way too much was going on with all these different creatures causing a threat to the characters.

But in all fairness, they did make it work. The plot didn’t feel messy like I was expecting. The cinematography was really impressive. The film was understandably CGI heavy but the CGI was fantastic so it wasn’t a distraction at all.

My only criticisms of the film are that some of the jokes fell a bit flat towards the beginning of the film, and Tom Hiddleston was a slightly odd choice for the male lead. His performance was fine, but his characterisation just didn’t seem to suit him. John C Reilly and Brie Larson were also great, and more believable as their roles.

Expectation: 3
Reality: 3.5

What’s up next?

Given that I’ve harped on about so many films that I’ve seen I thought I’d just pick one of the upcoming films I’m looking forward to the most…

Get Out

I have been excited for this film since I saw the trailer a little while ago – it looks really interesting for a modern horror film and I’ve heard good things about it (in fact, I haven’t seen or heard a singular negative thing about it). The trailer is really well edited, so I hope it isn’t an example of all the best bits being shown!

Expectation: 4

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