What’s Your Favourite Movie?


After a break for a family event last week I had planned to return to normal with a review of what was out at the cinema this week. But for various reasons while I did get to see a movie, it ended being a movie as part of a movie season, which got me to thinking – what is your favourite movie?

There is probably a good chance that there are multiple choices, but why are our favourite movies rarely what is currently out at the cinema. That is not to say that the current fair at the cinema is not worthy of checking out, but as there is such a quick turnover of films in your local multiplex it is unlikely to be anyone of those.

More often than not your favourite movie is the one that keeps being revisited again and again, genre is not always important either. Your favourite movie tends to be like a warm blanket, it comforts you, it is familiar and you know what you are going to get.

That last one ultimately might be the most important one when it comes to examining what your favourite movie ends up being. No need to check out a review or wonder if it is going to be any good, you just know that it will be. I could give you a long list of my favourite ones, but we would probably disagree – my favourite is unlikely to be yours!!

Will you be watching it again today?


I’m Not At The Oscars!!


I would like to be writing this sipping a cocktail by a pool in sunny downtown Los Angeles, but not only does my personal budget not stretch that far, but chilly weather conditions where I live would have prevented me getting there anyway!!

In fact I have been unable to get to any cinema this week!!

Now I am sure that the Oscars will throw up some suprises, but more often than not what we expect to win will garner at least one or two Oscars for itself. While I can see merit in some of the choices, others baffle me and I wonder how they even got past the nomination stage.Many movies every year never even get so much as a mention.

This happens for many reasons – coming out way before the awards ceremony even starts being planned, so they are practically forgotten by the time the judging takes place, the promotional budget has no hope of matching the contenders and sometimes even when they have a large movie star attached to them, well their performance outshines the movie around them.

Awards shows more often than not do always match what becomes most popular with the cinema going audience anyway!! I am sure like me you will go or have gone to a lot of the Oscar nominated movies, but I am fairly sure that my choices or the ones that you might pick as the ones that stood this year don’t match the eventual winners.

Well weather permitting we will be back to normal next week and the Oscars will have passed for yet another year. But before we know it the whole merry-go-round will start again and we will talking about a brand new set of choices.


I, Tonya


Had it not been for ‘That Incident’ at best the name Tonya Harding might not occupy more than a line or two in a book of Olympic history.
But that was not how it turned out to be. Tonya didn’t fit the image that you would imagine for a figure skater.

From the very beginning she was at a disadvantage through no fault of her own, thanks to her upbringing and background. But despite this she was a natural talent at a very young age and as she grew up she did routines that others had not even attempted up to that point, which makes what she eventually got involved in all the more bizarre.

The tale is told in part as the people portrayed via the actors speaking directly to the audience and telling their side of the tale, but right from the opening frame we know that this may not be the whole truth or even the correct one.

Tonya Harding life was troubled by more than one person in her life.
Her mother (Allison Janney) is a mother that I am sure no-one would wish to have and also who would become her ex-husband wasn’t much better. He conspires to injure fellow US teammate Nancy Kerrigan to remove her as competition to Tonya. In the process Tonya’s skating career went from ‘Hero to Zero’ in a heartbeat forever and it became one of the most infamous scandals in sport.

It is a difficult watch at times due to the violence but it is also equally darkly comic also. This is not an easy trick to pull off, but it works and you find yourself being deeply engaged with this troubled tale. Margot Robbie is on top form in her portrayal of Tonya
Harding.  Allison Janney as her mother, scary is being kind.
By the end of the movie your sympathies go out to the person that you would least expect considering the storyline.

If you have the time check out Lady Bird too, featuring Saoirse Ronan who is equally on top form, it makes for a very interesting double bill of the unique relationship that can exist between mothers and daughters.

The Shape Of Water


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.

The Mercy


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?


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!!



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.