Category Archives: Movies

2040

Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on journey to explore what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them into the mainstream.

Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary footage with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board for his daughter and the planet.

Stuff Review

Guardian Review

 

Jobs

Steve Jobs is a 2015 biographical drama film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from the 2011 book of the same name by Walter Isaacson as well as interviews conducted by Sorkin

The film is structured into three acts which cover 14 years (1984–1998) in the life of personal computing innovator and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, with each act taking place immediately prior to the launch of a key product – the Apple Macintosh, the NeXT Computer and the iMac.

Jobs is portrayed by Michael Fassbender, at first it wasn’t clear that was who he was playing as he does not look at all like Jobs. He does a very intense portrayal of Jobs. Having read Isaacson’s book, it does not feel like the real man, Jobs was many things but this feels like a one dimensional portrayal of him as an asshole.

Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak is one of the worst castings I have seen. It’s as if they just looked around for an actor with a beard !

Kate Winslet is (as usual) solid as Joanna Hoffman.

Joanna Hoffman
Joanna Hoffman
Kate Winslet (L)
Kate Winslet (L)

 

And Jeff Daniels as John Sculley

 

Hobbs Shaw


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (also known simply as Hobbs & Shaw) is a 2019 American action film directed by David Leitch and written by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.

It is the 9th installment and a spin-off of The Fast and the Furious franchise centered around Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham).

The film follows the pair who are forced to team up against the threat of a deadly virus.

Idris Elba is the bad guy, Helen Mirren does a days work and Cliff Curtis turns up, this time as a Samoan.


This is a very very B movie with a big budget ($200 million – none of it spent on the story) for lots of action, stunts and fight scenes.

Enjoyable while it lasted, but otherwise forgettable.

Here are some other people who agree  with me…

Stuff

Atlantic

 

Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 is a computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fourth installment in Pixar’s Toy Story series and the sequel to 2010’s Toy Story 3.

It was directed by Josh Cooley (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Andrew Stanton (who had co-written the first three films) and Stephany Folsom; the three also conceived the story alongside John Lasseter (director of the first two installments in the franchise)

The film stars the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, and Joan Cusack.

The film continues from Toy Story 3, where Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, among their other toy friends, have found new appreciation after being given by Andy to Bonnie. They are introduced to Forky, a spork that has been made into a toy, and embark on a road trip adventure.

Rotten Tomatoes

 

Mother

I am Mother

This is a science fiction thriller film directed by Grant Sputore, from a screenplay by Michael Lloyd Green. It stars Clara Rugaard (Daughter) , Rose Byrne (Mother) , and Hilary Swank as ‘Woman’.

Set after the human civilization has almost been eliminated. This is the story of Daughter, a young woman grown from an embryo and the start of the Human re-population of the earth.

The film takes on themes of Artificial Intelligence, genetics and philosophy.  Hilary  Swanks character enters half way through to upset the balance between the girl and her benevolent carer. It soon becomes clear things are not what they seem.

While the ending is somewhat ambiguous and not all plot threads are resolved (many questions left unanswered) it still is one of the best science fiction films I have seen for some time.

It’s notable for for Weta Workshop’s involvement in making and operating the robot. Adam Savage Interviews the robot.

 

 

 

Godzilla 2

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Directed by Michael Dougherty and written by Dougherty, Zach Shields, and Max Borenstein. A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and Zhang Ziyi.

It is dedicated to executive producer Yoshimitsu Banno and original Godzilla suit performer Haruo Nakajima, who both died in 2017.

In the film, humans must rely on Godzilla to defeat King Ghidorah, who has awakened other Titans to destroy the world.


What a mess !
The plot is incomprehensible. Character motivations are unknown, logic disappears  and it’s all done at night !

The only good thing is that while the CGI animation is dark, gloomy and filled with smoke there is a good sense of weight to the creatures movements.

Shazam

Shazam! is a superhero movie based on the DC Comics character of the same name.

Directed by David F. Sandberg from a screenplay by Henry Gayden, and a story by Gayden and Darren Lemke, the film stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi. Mark Strongs play the evil genius.


Widely touted as ‘Big’ combined with a superhero movie. This is light in tone and generally funny until the final act where a traditional good vs evil narrative takes over. Zackary Levi is perfectly cast as a 14 year old boy in an adult body. Mark Strong is just having fun going over the top as the villian.

 

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers.

Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with Geneva Robertson-Dworet also contributing to the screenplay.

Brie Larson stars as Danvers, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. Set in 1995, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien worlds.


When I heard the name Danvers I immediately thought of Supergirl. But why do two super-heroes have the same surname ?

But according to one account, Roy Thomas (who created this first version of Carol Danvers) admits he might have been unconsciously thinking of Supergirl’s name even though he was writing a very different kind of character. Interestingly enough, if we assume that the name “Danvers” did remind people of Supergirl back in the 60s and 70s, it might have actually propelled this US Air Force security chief into a narrative path that led to her getting powers like flight and super-strength — a destiny that just resonates with the name, perhaps?

As for the film, while I had all the right ingredients, it things didn’t really come together in a satisfying way. There was humour, action and plenty of CGI effects.

The story starts strong, then appears to go into a rather confusing flashback. Things don’t really get sorted out until the third act. It does have Jude Law, who appears to he having fun strutting around in a cool uniform.

Overall, just OK.. as Mark Kermode explains….

Alita


Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American cyberpunk action film based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series Gunnm, also known as Battle Angel Alita. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis.

Rosa Salazar stars as Alita, a cyborg, with supporting roles portrayed by Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson.


There are some amazing graphics in this film. Fortunately that’s not all as there is a good story. Sure, it’s taken a lot of tropes and cliches from other science fiction, but it is well done and there are plenty of unexpected turns. At one point near the end I though it was going to take a very schmaltzy ending. Fortunately that was avoided and end ending left scope for sequels.

 

Lego 2

Everything is (still) awesome

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

The sequel to The Lego Movie (2014), it is the fourth film in the franchise, following the release of two spin-offs, The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie (both 2017).

The film is directed by Mike Mitchell, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (writers and directors of the first film) returning as producers and writers.

Reprising their original roles are:
Chris Pratt (Emmett)
Elizabeth Banks (Lucy)
Will Arnett (Batman)
Nick Offerman (Metalbeard)

At the start Lucy and her gang are captured by an alien and taken off-world. Five years later, it comes back and prompts Emmett into action. He is going to get the girl and save the day. However as the plot progresses, it becomes apparent that it’s not about this at all. The story is about siblings competing. There are ideas thrown in from just about all Science Fiction franchises and movies like ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Inside Out’. The roles of the major protagonists change and soon the story changes from the predictable.

Then, near the end the the Judge enters:

Maya Rudolph as Mom

 

Maya Rudolph as Judge Hydrogen in ‘The Good Place’

 

Mark Kermode explains how awesome the movie is:

And ‘that’ song…

 

Plus a new one: