The Shape Of Water

water-3093206__340

This movie is part modern fairytale, part love story, part science -fiction and part classic monster movie genre. That’s quite a lot of parts to make work as a whole, so I would advise you to put away your cynical and questioning hat and just go with the storyline.

If you do that you will be transported into a magical tale. Otherwise you might find some holes in this tale and that might affect your enjoyment of this movie.

Elisa(Sally Hawkins) is mute and as a result lives in a world of her own, somewhat separated from those around her. She works at a top secret unnamed government lab. One day a large tank with something inside turns up. What is she wonders and sets about trying to find out. It’s a mysterious amphibious creature that inhabits this tank and she seeks to create a bond with it. But the government has other plans for this creature. She can’t let this happen and hatches a plan to free this creature from it’s imprisonment.

If you are a fan of all things fantastical and grew up with these types of tales in books, on television or on the silver screen then this movie will greatly appeal to you and it will feed into that sense of wonder that all of these tales share with each other.

As I had mentioned at the start of this review, if that is not the case with you then your enjoyment of this particular movie will be lessened somewhat.

Thanks to Guillermo del Toro, this movie has a fantastical and unique vision of magical things and if you decide to go there with this movie, it’s an enjoyable and delightful tale.

Advertisements

The Mercy

sailing-2542901__340

I have seen other reviews of this movie, some good, some not so good. Having now seen it I would sit somewhere in the middle. At times engaging, other times to use a sailing metaphor – all at sea. A shame I feel as this man deserves a slighty better made movie.

That said if you like the biographical style of movie it is still worth checking out. This is a man in need of a challenge and while he is fairly experienced when it comes to sailing, he is always more used to at least seeing the coast in the distance from one side of the boat. The Times in England decides to run a contest , the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Be the first person to sail around the world non-stop. There had of course already been people who had already sailed around the world, but never non-stop and also the fastest circumnavigation was also up for grabs.

Amateur sailor – Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) decided that he needed to get involved in this challenge along with more experienced sailors and set about preparing to set off.
From the very start he was already playing a game of catch-up, the other competitors were already well into their trips, so he was under pressure from sponsors and others asking “When will you start?”

Once he started he very quickly came to realise – this challenge is beyond me. But rather than admit defeat and return – he felt that would change his logs and records to show that he was further into the race than he was and in any radio communication let others to believe the same thing. He also knew that should he be first home too many questions would be asked, so he also resolved not to be the first home back to dry land. He also at some point decided to keep a truer log of his journey and this is what the movie also documents.

But this story continues to be a mystery – what happened next? To tell you more would tell you the ending. It’s a touching tale of a man out of his depth who feels the weight of all the expectations that have been placed on him, so much so that he feels that he must continue a lie rather than admit the truth to everyone.
It’s just at times it loses its way a little and as I said before, this man deserves a better telling of his tale.

Marvel-lous Universe?

comics-1239698__340

Whether you are a die-hard fan or not, it probably can’t of escaped your notice of late that there is trouble in the universe of Marvel and while we are at it the DC universe could do with a good seeing to as well. Now there are one or two exceptions to the rule of course as there always is, but most of the film output of both comic universes have been found wanting. One issue seems to be their running times, is it really necessary to have them so long. I would much prefer a shorter running time as I believe that generally, but not always that it might improve their quality.

In part I believe that the extra running time means that time has to be filled and more often than not it rarely leads anywhere and does not add anything to the storyline. I am not sure why but this issue does not seem to exist in the same way when it comes to the small screen and on the online streaming services. They seem to have cracked what makes their audience engaged, so why has this become elusive when the adaptation moves to a much bigger screen.

I am pretty sure that current crop of filmmakers and film writers can’t have seen at least one of these smaller screen adaptations, so why the difference when it comes to their quality overall. While I am sure certain parts of the audience will be happy enough to watch below – par big screen comic book adaptations, the true fan and the general audience may after multiple disappointments may just decide to turn away from this genre on the big screen. The western genre pretty much filled this gap at the cinema in years past and now they are very few in numbers. If this genre of movies does not improve its quality very soon it may go a similar way.

Okay, rant over!!

Downsizing

lego-611754__340.jpg

Have you ever seen a trailer for a movie, you go to see it but that is not the movie that you end up seeing. This movie seems to follow the trailers storyline to begin with but then becomes something else and could probably do with a bit of downsizing itself as the story could have been told equally with a much shorter running time.

There is an issue that needs solving with our world, the population is growing and the world’s resources are not keeping pace. Scandanavian scientists seem to have the answer to this problem, they have discovered  how to shrink humans to about 5 inches tall.
Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) are finding modern life stressful and decide to ditch that life and move to a new smaller colony where life is much sweeter they are told.

This is where I think the movie changes tack and the result does not completely work, it starts out as a comedy drama but then morphs into a moral environmental tale, the message is perfectly valid but it somewhat gets lost in the telling. I liked the concept of this movie and it could certainly have been played for more comedic effect in the mould say of ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’ – there is comedy to be mined from the interaction between the smaller and the larger world but the movie never really goes there and that ultimately is why this movie falls somewhat flat by the end.

The Post

jefferson-memorial-1626580__340

Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) was the first female publisher for the large American newspaper — The Washington Post. She had inherited the mantle from those that came before her. Editor Ben Bradlee( Tom Hanks) and her find they are playing a game of catch-up with their rival and equally prestigious newspaper – The New York Times.
They got to a large breaking story first, but as it outlayed over the course of the movie this is not the full story.

But there is an issue if they decide to publish the story. It so happens that the paper is going to the stock market to raise some much needed capital to keep the papers head above water. Now comes the choice she is forced to make – do we break the story and the truth to the American public and set in train what comes from that including ending up in court for divulging state secrets or sit on the story and put stockholders and the paper first. She has those on both sides trying to influence her decision. What way will she go?

It so, happens that this movie though separated by many years might act a prequel to the mid – seventies ‘ All The President’s Men ‘, that movie sets to outline what came after this story ends at the very same paper, with some equally difficult choices to be faced by those characters. It might be a mistake to compare the two movies but it can’t be escaped that this movie is heavily influenced by that one. This movie while worthy, strong and well acted might not be quite in the same league as ‘All The President’s Men’ but despite that will appear in this years Oscar movie race none the less, I am sure.

If you are looking for a snapshot of American life during this time then you will like this.Will it be a classic in years to come – time will tell on that one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hostiles

desert-1806768__340

In modern cinema, the amount of Western related movies are few. Pretty much every one too also seeks to look at what happened at this time in America in a new light. The modern Western really doesn’t follow the template of times past.

I think I may have expressed this opinion before, the Western movie genre does not really make me want to rush out and go to the cinema. Well with Hostiles, if your feelings or thoughts are similar, put them to the back of your mind and go and see it.

It is 1892 and Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale ) who has a checkered past when it comes to Native Americans is given a task he really does not want accept. He has to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his extended family back to their ancestral lands.
But this journey will be anything but straightforward.

They have hardly started the long trek when they happen upon a young widow Rosamund Pike. She has been recently widowed by a hostile Native American tribe who have attacked the family homestead, so seeing who Captain Blocker is escorting only reinforces her grief – stricken state and provides one of the most arresting scenes of true grief I have seen on screen.

During the journey however as well as facing the long perilous trek across the Western wilderness they are also confronted by their preconceptions about the other people in their company and sets out  portray them in a different light than they may have happened in the Western genre of old.

 

All The Money In The World

dollar-499493__340

Ever heard of J.Paul.Getty? Well back in the day he was the richest man in the world. Even today though he is no longer with us, no one has yet managed to surpass his considerable fortune that he created while he was still alive.

While yes, this is partly his story it is not the whole story so to speak. This story actually concerns his grandson namely John Paul Getty III ( Charlie Plummer ), p.s no relation to the actor playing the part of the grandfather, veteran actor Christopher Plummer.

While strolling through Rome, John Paul Getty III is set upon by kidnappers and bundled into a van and sped away to an undisclosed area of the Italian countryside. His mother Gail (Michelle Williams) obviously wants her son back, but there is a catch – Gail does not have access to the large amount of funds that the kidnappers are asking for. Despite tensions in the family, Gail tries to convince the grandfather to pay the required amount.

John Paul Getty however is a strange and aloof man, who seems more consumed with amassing more things than being overly concerned about his grandson’s fate at the hands of his kidnappers, they will not find it as easy to secure the ransom from him as they first believe and so the tale unfolds to try and secure the grandson’s release.

I won’t elaborate about a certain other Hollywood actor who had first inhabited the part of John Paul Getty Sr. but much in the way I am not naming him, the director of this movie Ridley Scott has deftly removed him from this picture. In fact it matters not a jot as Christopher Plummer is more than up to the task, a mesmerising performance in fact.

This movie based on real events does not unfold as might have happened in the fictionalised, ‘Taken’. Those expecting a more action based movie like that might be a little disappointed, this movie is not that. If you like your story to unfold gradually and more slowly then this certainly worth checking out.

At its heart this movie, asks which is more important in having – LOVE or MONEY?