2019 Moovies

I’ve had an email from Cineworld letting me know what good value it is to pay them money each month and enjoy “unlimited” cinema. They dressed it up as “you did this last year” but basically they want me to keep paying and I am most likely to. I don’t think there’s been a year when I didn’t make my money back on my subscription. There have been odd months which have been barren but I’ve tried to make it up when the films are worth seeing.

2019 Moovies
2019 Moovies

Some things to note. I have seen more films than this because I definitely watched one in Boston at Feb and one in Bluewater when I was off work. I may have seen others but I can’t remember where or when. So this year was at least 46 films, which is about one a week. I’m happy with that. If you click on the menu above and then personal and film it’ll take you to all the movies I’ve reviewed.

Here’s to 2020 and the films I watch then.

Addendum: The eagle-eyed amongst you might notice that my favourite movie snack was hotdogs. This is because I am not a good vegetarian and if I want “dinner” at the cinema then hotdogs it is.

Once Upon A Time . . . . In Hollywood

I recently went to see the latest Tarantino film at the Cineworld cinema in Not-Rochester [it’s really in Strood, a bit like Sainsbury’s Larkfield is really in Aylesford]. Apparently this is the ninth film from Tarantino and I’m just going to have a look. I make it ten but only if you count Kill Bill as two films, I mean, they were released separately. Here’s the list of his films I’ve seen:

  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Pulp Fiction (I can’t really remember much about this one)
  • Kill Bills
  • Django Unchained
  • And now Once Upon A Time . . . In Hollywood

I’m not sure if I should go ahead and watch more of his films. I’m certainly not part of the “Tarantino’s great” movement. I like the films and see them for what they are.

As I drove along the riverside I checked to see what the tide was doing. Well, I mean it never really is doing much, it’s more slowly wandering around rather than having visible changes but I looked to see where the river was compared to the riverbank. The river was very low which means the tide was “out” or “low” depending on how you want to phrase that. There was a drone flying around over the marsh area and I’m curious about what it was doing. There was also a seal resting on the edge of the marsh area, possibly after having a big swim. Maybe the drone and the seal are connected? I don’t know.

After the movie and a little extra time to mul this film over in my head I rated the film on IMDB, as is custom. Then I tweet the thing. It looked a little something like this:

I have a feeling that a lot of this film was just showing off. It made the whole thing look amazing and Tarantino has created a faithful reproduction of Hollywood but there were some scenes where I just thought it was gratuitous money. Here I’m thinking of all the scenes with massive backgrounds and time-correct cars and posters. I mean, the effort is astounding but it is also very proud as a film of managing to look so real.

As is usual with a Tarantino film the music plays a very key part and his motif is obvious all the way through this film. Most scenes carry music over from one place to another. I found the reproduction of sound a little annoying as the soundtrack was loud and punchy when in a car the sound would have been terrible. If you go to all that effort to reproduce massive backgrounds and freeways full of period cars then maybe the sound of the car stereo should be exact?

I liked the idea of the faded actor still trying to make his mark in Hollywood. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in this movie. He managed to convince me fully. There has been some controversy about Margot Robbie’s role having so little to say and almost being a pin-up in the movie. I’m not sure I felt that. It is true she had little of a speaking role in the movie but the film was mostly about Rick and his fight in Hollywood.

As the climax of the film approached I was actually worried that it would glorify the Manson murders. I hadn’t read anything about the film, I’d only seen the trailers, and it wouldn’t have been right for any Tarantino violence glorification. Then, it ends the way it does. It was at that point I understood what Tarantino was doing. I had thought he was trying to write an historical document to give us the facts about the case but what he did was pure Hollywood. The film ended in classic Tarantino violence but at a level that worked perfectly in the film.

I possibly underrated this film slightly. Maybe it should have been an 8. I’m still thinking about it and that’s a good thing, it means the film affected me in some way. I did go down a bit of an internet rabbit hole after this looking through the Wikipedia articles on the Manson murders and the people involved. It was during this that I realised the band Kasabian named themselves after one of the Manson family. There are lots of bands, seemingly innocuous, who are named after awful things; Rammstein, Spandau Ballet and many more.

I’ll tweet again if I decide to increase the score on this film. I’ll add that tweet below so keep an eye out. Remember to keep looking at this terribly boring website.

Missing Link

This morning I took a trip to the Cineworld cinema at Rochester. The tide was waning. It was mid-morning and so the perfect time to go see a film. The cinema was pretty busy as End Game is just out and people are trying to get their viewings in. When shall I go?

I rated Missing Link on IMDB as is customary, there’s a communication here which explains the scoring system.

My main thought while watching this film was:

The water looks amazing.

Every scene with animated water was just beautiful. The complex movements in the water was amazing and seriously well done.

Overall, this film was really good fun. There were plenty of points to laugh out loud, even for grown ups, and overall the message was lovely.

I enjoyed it. I wonder if I’ll write that about End Game?

The Lego Ninjago Movie

I went to Rochester Cineworld to see the latest Lego movie. I’ve seen a few of them before. I reviewed the Batman one in this communication. The tide was quite low and the mudflats were exposed. I wondered about dredging for a while and whether there is a natural deepwater channel in the centre of the Medway. I rated this film on IMDB and the discussion about the ratings system is in this communication although I may have to change the system.

I just didn’t really think this film was very good. It suffered with quite a bit of “too much in it” which I first noticed with the Transformers movie where the CGI is so fast and too much it’s hard to really see what’s happening on the screen. This problem could also be a side effect of me getting old, hence I loved Blade Runner because of its lingering shots.

The plot of this film was rudimentary and certainly wasn’t anything new. Largely it bored me. While I understand the Lego are on a massive expansion programme with loads of new sets being created and sales increasing I think that sometimes it’s OK for a company to say “You know what? We are doing OK. There’s no need for massive expansion, we can concentrate on doing what we do and do it well”.

Spectre

I took the plunge. I went to see Spectre at the cinema. The adverts had finally worked and I felt that it was something I ought to do. Before you read further you should ensure you have read this communication concerning my IMDB rating system. Here’s my tweet concerning my rating:

I will admit that this looks a low rating, especially when you see what else I have rated higher and I am sure that some people will be disappointed with my score. Let me explain.

I really liked Casino Royale with Daniel Craig, I thought they had put some energy into the Bond franchise. I wrote about it here on an old website although I haven’t re-read it to see what I thought about it. Quantum of Shit Solace was terrible, I hated it. I would have thought that I reviewed it within this website but a quick search proved fruitless, have a look and see if you can find it here. I just didn’t understand Quantum of Solace, it irritated me immensely and I was very close to letting go of bond, hence it’s taken me a long time to get around to seeing this one.

The opening in Mexico City was pretty good but also pointless. The endless running and shooting and fights. I think I’m just tired of the whole thing. There wasn’t anything that I hadn’t seen before. Except for the helicopter. The helicopter was awesome. The stunt flying was bloody fantastic. Very impressive. The fight in the helicopter was bollocks.

After this we had Bond being told to stand down. This happened before with Timothy Dalton as Bond, in Licence to Kill I think. It didn’t bother me. Why are MI6 people using mobile phones for communication when they know that the new service wants to monitor all information. Arrrrrrrrrgh. It’s annoying. I would also like to point you to a future post discussing why data mining is bollocks.

So, Bond then travelled somewhere after stealing a car and got from London to Rome, driving within 24 hours, which is fine I guess and then he attends a meeting where the head bloke psychically knows he is there. It was utter shite. The idea that criminals are manipulating politics and markets for their own gain is no more credulous than the illuminati doing it for their own purposes. Bullshit.

SO, the clue leads to some woman who Bond beds, obviously. She wanted him after knowing him for minutes. Then he heads of somewhere to find someone who left the group of badies. He kills himself after telling his arch enemy where his daughter is. Why should he do that. His daughter was safe before he told Bond. Off to somewhere in the states where people can pay a fortune to feel better about themselves and Q turns up with an MI6 laptop and is accessing all the data via a wireless network. Bullshit.

A fight on a train, in the dining cart, where everyone seems to have disappeared once the fight starts. A shoot out on a train (the best in Africa) and yet it continues on to its destination. Without stopping or arrests. Arrrrrrrrgh.

There’s so much to moan about in terms of plot and things I want to stop. It was nice to see Blofeld. It’s a shame they didn’t kill him but at least he can escape prison and then become part of future movies.

This whole film was a plot mess and terrible. I will admit that I will go back and watch another Bond movie from the 70s to see if they are just as bad. I disliked this film a lot. I just hope that when I finally get around to seeing the new Star Wars film that I won’t be feeling this bad.

Rio 2

This was a special film because it was #1’s first cinema trip. However, as a film, it was bad. There wasn’t really a decent story, or rather there was and it was just handled poorly. There were random songs all over the place. There was a football section (yawn). All in all it was pretty poor. The animation was pretty good but that isn’t enough to save a film, there needs to be a story. Even #1 got bored and he’ll watch any kind of rubbish.

I rated this film a 4 on IMDB. This score when standardised is really a 2 but IMDB don’t allow zero stars. See this communication here for more guidance on my IMDB ratings.

One amusing observation was that the cinema was full of grandparents looking after their grandchildren because it was half term and, I guess, parents were at work. One old dear in front of me was eating her sandwiches, which is better than all the crap they serve in the foyer. As my grandma used to say (she was an avid cinema goer, but didn’t like it when they swore):

You pay to watch a film, not eat your lunch.

She was a wise old lass.

Godzilla

I try not to watch the trailers for movies I really want to see. Yes, I probably see the first trailer and then after that I don’t want to know any more information about the film. After seeing the first trailer for Godzilla I was curious but not too worried about it as there were aspects to the trailer that didn’t seem to make sense to me. The second trailer I saw (without realising it was for Godzilla) made me really want to see the film. I try to ignore all information about films before seeing them. Therefore I was really annoyed with BBC News for having a full picture of Godzilla on the front page of their entertainment section the day I am going to see the film. My tweet:

I went to see this film in 3D IMAX at Bluewater. Normally I don’t watch 3D, I don’t think it adds to the film and I can’t be bothered to pay the extra. However, IMAX 3D is pretty awesome. I was really impressed with how much I felt the 3D added. The shots were gorgeous. It was a beautiful film, the natural scenery was outstanding and some of the cinematography was just wonderful. I think the director had a thing for “dramatic smoke” and he/she used it creatively to give menace. The detail in the smoke was impressive [coming from someone who understands fluid dynamics that’s praise indeed].

I found that the 3D special shots, you know, those shots where you think “that was an odd perspective” and then you realise it was put in to make use of the 3D effect, pretty well planned and they didn’t distract from the film. A lot of the time I find that CGI is made to work fast and blurry which I don’t like, this film didn’t really have that. The pace of the CGI worked well for me, you could actually watch it without feeling that you couldn’t see it all.

Without giving anything away for this film [it would be unfair] I really enjoyed it. I though the entire thing was gorgeous. The story was pretty good and interesting. There were a couple of flaws in the plot but I can overlook those. I was even reasonably willing to accept giant fauna as real by the end of the film but I always come back to the energy requirements of such large biological creatures and it distresses me slightly. I liked the idea that one of the main storylines was pretty much incidental to the overall story.

I gave this film a 10 on IMDB because I can see myself buying it in the future and watching it in 3D on my TV. It is a film I will watch with my sons, when I feel they are old enough. I’d probably have to turn the sub-woofer down by quite a bit though, the sound at the cinema was pretty body-shaking.

I understand that the quality of this review is a little less than some previously, if I have a quality-rating. However, I really don’t want to give anything away. The final observation is that if you like comic/monster movies then you should this one as it’s damn good [try and avoid any information about it in advance including reading this! [ha ha]].

On the way home from Bluewater I got to drive a MX-5 and I will admit that it was rather good fun. If I could I’d probably get one just for messing around in. Mind you, I do have the offer of borrowing this particular MX-5 so I might have to take that up.

Spider-Man 2

I had a bit of a Spider-Man marathon recently. On Friday evening I watched The Amazing Spider-Man on 3D Blu-Ray and I enjoyed it. I found the new actor far better than Tobey Maguire who just annoyed me. I rated this film an 8 on the understanding that I will probably watch it again (mainly with my sons). See this communication for an explanation of my rating system.

I mainly watched the first (new) film because I went to see the second film at the cinema. I, again, rated this new film an 8. I enjoyed it and this film goes to show how you make a good super-hero film.

I won’t give too much away except to say that I found it rather curious that every product within the film was made by Sony. Some people might be thinking that because Sony paid for this film it allows them to place products [it does].

I won’t go into the organ-destroying acceleration experienced by the people that Spider-Man saves by swinging and catching them, also the conservation of momentum law seems to have been forgotten. Mind you, the film is about a man who can walk up walls.

 

The Monuments Men

A Nice Little Film

These are the words I text Smith just after seeing this film. I really enjoyed it. If this film had a purpose then it showed man’s duty to protect culture and the importance that should be placed on it. It also showed camaraderie and dedication to a cause that is “just”.

You quickly forge the cast and the “big” scenes seem to just fit but I can see that they took a lot of work. The film had scenes from the Normandy Landings to Paris, the Battle Of The Bulge, St. Lo, etc. To get the “look” of the film right was a huge amount of work and probably un-noticed by most.

There were no overblown heroics and I had expected some time spent on “basic” training with the laughs thrown in but this was avoided too. As I said earlier:

A Nice Little Film

I now have some more places in Europe to visit. I have been to Bruges but I didn’t know that the statue of the Madonna and Child was there. Time to return I think. I will say one thing and I have to blame the culture of the 1980s: I was half expecting some of the cast to find or say they were searching for the “Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies”. Such was the influence of ‘Allo ‘Allo on my childhood. Damn!

I did watch a trailer for this and I’m pretty sure that there were a few lines in the trailer that weren’t in the main film. That’s good. I hate seeing all the “big” bits of a film in a trailer and then the actual film fails to overcome my expectations. Comedies struggle with this, they put the funny lines in the trailer and then there’s nothing left for the main film. An exception to this was The Heat with Sandra Bullock. I didn’t see this at the cinema because it looked as though they had put all the funny bits in the trailer. I was wrong. This film had me laughing out loud ALL the way through. It was far better than the trailer.

Rant:

I really should try and avoid films the first few days that they are released. People in the cinema with loud sweet packets are REALLY ANNOYING. I nearly turned around and told these people to “fuck off”. Any food taken in to the cinema should be something that is quiet to eat or access. There is no need to take noisy packets of food into a cinema. It just shows what anti-social pricks you are. If you want to eat food while watching a film do it at home. You are probably too fat anyway and so shouldn’t be eating more food anyway.

End of rant.

Man of Steel

Went to see Man of Steel on a 2nd Chance Thursday. To be honest I wasn’t even aware that 2nd Chance Thursday existed but there you go.
This was a really good film, apart from one minor thing more of which later. I really enjoyed the “names” in the film the cast was excellent and there was someone new at every scene change. Having said that the story made the film not the actors so that was good.
It was nice to see intelligent use of emotion throughout the film and the story played out in flashback. This was much better than, say, Wolverine or any other cheap basic superhero movie. Much like Avengers this film had a good script and good direction.
I’m not sure I understand or agree with the reasoning why Clark was so strong and I’m not sure how being able to jump far means that you can fly and change direction but I’ll overlook those bits.
It’s curious that it’s ok to destroy Manhattan again, or rather Metropolis. After 12 years we can finally have falling skyscrapers and aircraft exploding after hitting buildings.
I did not like the final fight scene. Two brilliantly strong men fighting to destroy each other and the final move comes down to “breaking the neck”. Why didn’t that happen in the first place?
This was well worth seeing. I really enjoyed it.

PS: There was one part of the movie that freaked me out and I haven’t searched the interwebs yet for information so I am probably wrong. When Superman is under the machine in the Indian Ocean it looks for a brief time that his face changes to look like Christopher Reeve’s superman. If this was deliberate then it is awesome. If it’s just me then I think I need to turn down the pareidolia section of my brain.
PPS: I laughed out loud at the church scene. It was hilarious. Clark could have got that same advice from anyone though, you don’t need a book and “gods” to guide you.