Solo Stories

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Well not a movie for review this week, so I am putting on my sci -fi fan hat for just this week, no guesses what I will be talking about!! The above picture might give you a clue.

The new trailer for the soon to be released Solo: A Star Wars Story came onto the internet this week and it made me come to a realization, of the recent new Star Wars movie releases I think am more a fan of the stand alone stories than the current trilogy.

I think this may be me showing my age here but as they are more closely based around the story line of the original trilogy and they appeal more to me and what I liked about them in the beginning all those years ago.

Now don’t get me wrong I do want to see how the current trilogy plays out after Star Wars: The Last Jedi but if I am being honest here, it has not engaged me in the way that the storyline of Rogue One did and that am I hoping that Solo will as well.

Is this because this new trilogy while it does have some older familiar faces in it, is asking me to invest in the story of a new set of heroes and villians or is it just a rerun with some changes of what came before – the same tale just told slightly differently with a new set of faces.

Maybe I just prefer something more familiar, something that talks more to that young child rather than the grown up I now am. Is it that as we all grow up that childlike sense of wonder dissipates somewhat, am I being too critical of the currently trilogy? Will today’s child get misty eyed all those years hence about this current crop of three movies?Discuss.

Sorry if you are not as a big sci-fi fan as I know I am, I will be back to normal next week.

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A Quiet Place

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Have you ever tried to walk around your house without making a sound? It’s harder than you think. Now imagine trying to live your whole life like that!! Make a sound louder than leaves rustling and there is something out there that will get you.
Such is the premise for A Quiet Place.

I have to admit something that I may have divulged before – scary or horror movies tend to leave me cold, when everyone else is peeking through their fingers I sit there and think to myself, I have seen scarier things on the underside of my shoes – so it is a good filmmaker that can scare me. I will admit to you here reader I was scared just a little.

So what sent chills down my spine, well if you have seen the trailer you will have probably have seen all the dialogue spoken. This movie is all about being quiet, so even when it comes to dialogue most of it is never spoken but signed and subtitled. Why?
Well when something arrived from somewhere else, it had little sight, but when it comes to sound it can hear you make even the smallest one.

John Krasinki and his real life wife actress Emily Blunt play the part of parents trying to lead to their children to safety, in fact just anywhere safe rather that a mythical safer place that seems to exist in most of these movies. Tension is built and nerves will be shred.

This movie in fact is not strictly all just a scary movie, it’s also a survival tale and a bit of science fiction mixed together, so even if like me you are not the biggest fan of scary movies, check this one out.

P.s I am now rather scared of nails, it makes sense when you see this movie!!

 

Ready Player One

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This movie could actually do with a game controller pause button, there are so many references – cultural, film and others that whizz past your eyes at lightning speed that you might miss quite a few on the first viewing. I think also Mr Spielberg is probably one of the few directors that could secure that many rights to all those references without a no and that’s not even counting the ones that he has directed himself!!

It is interesting that this movie should work at all with all of those references mixed together like some sort of visual cultural soup, but weirdly it does. What I find interesting also is that many a movie based around a game have generally been fairly weak affairs. This movie is actually based on a bestseller book written by Ernest Cline.

The year is 2045 and life is close to collapse, people seek to escape to this unending gloom by plugging in and zoning out in the OASIS virtual world. You can be pretty much whatever you want to be there and people prefer this life to their real one. The creator of this virtual world, James Halliday (Mark Rylance) has passed, but not without leaving a set of clues within the OASIS for every player to solve. Those that crack them are in with the chance to inherit the keys to the ownership of this virtual universe.

Sounding like a character straight out of the pages of a comic book, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) becomes the hero of hope in this story and finds himself thrust headlong into this super speedy hunt for the ultimate prize.

Are you looking for a movie with a deep plot, then look elsewhere. This is pure sit back in your chair, let it visually wash over you, popcorn fun. This type of movie normally appears much later in the summer as a summer blockbuster but Mr Spielberg is giving us an Easter gift instead. Thanks Steven.

Easter Treats?

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While none of the movies I am looking at are particularly Easter related, the movies studios have brought out a number of movies over the past few weeks to tempt us away from our Easter treats.

A Wrinkle In Time

Meg Murry (Storm Reid) has not seen her father for 5 years after he disappeared while seeking a new planet in the universe. She goes on a quest to seek him out with some pals.
She is sent on this quest by three magical beings. This movie is based on the children’s book by Ava DeVerney. Disney’s latest magical tale.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

A follow up of sorts to the Guillermo Del Toro movie from a number of years ago and pretty much as before it’s Robots v Monsters. This movie has quite a number of influences but the strongest is probably the Japanese monster movies of old. It’s a case of sit back and watch yet more world cities being trashed again!! Good if you like that sort of thing. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) has to try and live up to his late fathers legacy and
inspire others along the way to fight this current monster rampage.

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), has to go on a quest to discover where her missing adventurer father has disappeared to and there is a lot of running, jumping and leaping along the way. This is not the first time that the video game that this is based on has been brought to the big screen. Whether you enjoy this movie will probably depend on whether you look deeply into the storyline of this movie or not. If not, enjoyable.

Ready Player One

This movie will be up for review next week.

P.s I have just realised that the three movies I have looked at all involves missing fathers, either quests to find them or trying to live up to a father’s legacy. Weird that!!

What’s Your Favourite Movie?

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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!!

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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

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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.