Tomboy (2017)

Source: IMDB

I was expecting this to be quite throwaway and was really only drawn in by Weaver and Rodriguez. But then, up pop Shalhoub, Lapaglia etc. ~ there are no bad performances in this film.

That being said it veers between B-movie with an A-movie cast and arthouse, Looper-esque weirdness. That’s not an insult as I love B-movies and arty indie films. The tone is unique; so much that it’s truly suspenseful. You really don’t know what’s going to happen, despite large parts being flashback. The gender identity themes are very now even though, apparently, this is a very old original script?

I loved the VERY Looper end, it was the perfect little Hammer Horror flourish.

Fight The Power

I just sent this to a mate:

I just watched a not-great action film starring Michael B. Jordan. It's called Without Remorse and it's a miitary US action film, very loosely (ie nothing to do with it) based on a Tom Clancy thriller.
Well, I went to IMDB and the scores looked a bit low. I was gonna give it a 6/10 - it was alirght, bit braindead but it's an action film sooo ¯\_(?)_/¯
But then I read the reviews and guess what - they were all complaining about 'blackwashing' of action films and how dare they have a FEMALE SEAL member (who's also black, btw and amazing).
Yup, it was all racists and sexists giving the film 1/10, that's why the score was so low.
SOOO I gave it 10/10 to drive the average up and wrote a review setting out how it actually is as a film, not eh mewlings of some enraged gammon flipping his wig cos BLACK PEOPLE ARE IN A FILM! ARGHHH!!!
seriously, look at these fuckers:

Here’s an example of the idiotic Tory raving on IMDB:

The picture has reviews criticising the film for having female and black actors in it

Pure racism, pure sexism, pure flagshaggin, Brexiteer, Trumpet bullshit. These are the idiots who complain about black people in fantasy films or books – dragons, no problem. BLACK PEOPLE – HOW DARE THEYYY?

Similarly, military action-type films like this are always full of gaffes and goofs. They are not documentaries, they are pure popcorn. Everything is fake from the sounds of the guns to the never-emptying magazines. And yet… Without Remorse comes in for a kicking for “accuracy.” Yeah, sure, like “ethics in games journalism.” Where were all those fuckheads when CDPR blatantly bribed their way into huge hype for Cyberpunk 2077 before delivering a less-than-half-baked lumpy potato of a game? About as visible as Pro-Lifers on antiwar marches.

So, this is the review I left:

Not brilliant but a good romp, a decent teatime film
3 May 2021
Ignore all the Tories/Trumpets who are sooo triggered at the idea of a female SEAL or the surprise that MBJ is black, this is an *okay* action adventure film. Is it brilliant? No. Is it dumb in places - very. But then, have you seen First Blood? Inaccuracies and goofs galore, that's what the genre is like so why single out this film, hmmm? Ulterior motives...

It's no Predator or Hard Boiled but it's definitely worth more than the politically-motivated voting on here would suggest. There are plenty of tense fight scenes and Jamie Bell in particular puts in a great performance, making you actually loathe his character.

I was gonna give the film a 6/10 but I thought I should at least try to even out all the bile from Tory scum so I gave it a 10 instead. 🙂

Fuck racists, fuck sexists, fuck Tories.

Home Again (2017)

If you want a feel good film that might make you shed a lil tear of awh but leaves you smiling, this should do the job!

There are romances, there are kisses, there are un-requited passions but there is only one really ridiculous sequence, the rest is very lifelike. The film delivers the hardest thing: make drama seem like everyday life while still being drama.

Excellent performances all round, a hugely refreshing absence of 1950s gender stereotypes and.. you know… some realness in the fantasy!

Above all, it’s an ensemble piece and great to watch a group of actors just having such great chemistry with each other, including the kids who are just too sweet!

The Lad Who Would Be King

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6811018/

A great romp, based on the Arthurian legends but set in a modern, believable Britain. Like Attack The Block, the film depicts kids without going all Disney and syrupy and shite.

Also, a really lovely, inventive score that has some of the best melding of orchestral and electronic sounds I’ve heard in years, by the Electric Wave Bureau, Albarn’s outfit.

AAAND another great directorial / writing outing for Joe Cornish. He’s just getting better and better… Some beautiful Spielbergian touches with the kids and also a fair amount of classic Brit ambience.

Everest (2015)

Everest is a 2015 biographicaladventure film directed and produced by Baltasar Kormákur and written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, adapted from Beck Weathers‘ memoir Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest(2000). It stars an ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, and focuses on the survival attempts of two expedition groups, one led by Rob Hall (Clarke) and the other by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal).

Source: Everest (2015)

Just watched this and spent most of the last half hour weeping. The scenes with Hall and his pregnant wife…. you’d have to be made of fucking stone not to tear up.

I never saw Everest when it was first released, I don’t know why. But this is a seriously moving film. It never strays into worthiness or hagiography, opting instead for an almost documentary feel. I deliberately didn’t look up the true story it’s based on beforehand because I didn’t want the ending spoiled. So, when it did come, I had no idea who would make it off the mountain or not. And I did keep hoping, ridiculously, that they would all make it.

When it comes… oh god.

What makes it worse is that I watched the iTunes Extras which features interviews with the bereaved relatives including a daughter who never got to meet her father. Again, I dare you to watch that without dehydrating yourself through crying.

The heart of this film and the respect it pays to the real human lives it portrays is very rare. Add that to the wonderful acting, script and visual effects and you have one hell of a film, one that I know I’ll be coming back to in the future.

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

Just watched PM&TWW with my bff and I feel really emotionally wrung out. It’s perhaps the most positive, honest film depiction of polyamory I’ve seen so far.

As someone who’s been in both mono and poly relationships (though I’d never go mono again), this film finally gets past the prurience and into the meat of the emotions. Situations can get so emotionally superhyperovercharged and the level of understanding and communication you all need is… well… it can be a shock at first. But in a world where 95% of relationships are lies told to cover temporary lusts, honesty can seem like a slap in the face.

I felt so moved at the end of the film, it made me miss different exes so much in so many ways. But the way I look at it is probably similar to how Marston did; I’m blessed to have had those women in my life whether it’s for 14 weeks or 14 years.

In 2018, I wish that people still didn’t equate jealousy with love, with abuse as some kind of sign of caring. Owning someone like property, making them a slave, is not a virtue.

Freedom.

Grand Budapest Hotel Made Me Cry Again

Gustave: I suppose this is to be expected back in… Where do you come from again?

Zero: Aq Salim al-Jabat.

Gustave: Precisely. I suppose this is to be expected back in Aq Salim al-Jabat where one’s prized possessions are a stack of filthy carpets and a starving goat, and one sleeps behind a tent flap and survives on wild dates and scarabs. But it’s not how I trained you. What on God’s earth possessed you to leave the homeland where you obviously belong and travel unspeakable distances to become a penniless immigrant in a refined, highly-cultivated society that, quite frankly, could’ve gotten along very well without you?

Zero: The war.

Gustave: Say again?

Zero: Well, you see, my father was murdered and the rest of my family were executed by firing squad. Our village was burned to the ground and those who managed to survive were forced to flee. I left because of the war.

Gustave: I see. So you’re, actually, really more of a refugee, in that sense? Truly. Well, I suppose I’d better take back everything I just said. What a bloody idiot I am. Pathetic fool. Goddamn, selfish bastard. This is disgraceful, and it’s beneath the standards of the Grand Budapest. I apologize on behalf of the hotel.

Zero: It’s not your fault. You were just upset I forgot the perfume.

Gustave: Don’t make excuses for me. I owe you my life. You are my dear friend and protege and I’m very proud of you. You must know that. I’m so sorry, Zero.

Zero: We’re brothers.

Every time. I cannot pass this scene without it just killing me. Maybe it’s the perfectly deadpan way Zero explains his past, the horrors having become normalised. Maybe it’s Gustave’s sudden flip from casual racism to abject apology.

Whatever it is, I wish there were more kind hearts in the world now, I wish people were as quick to help others as to condemn.

Channing Tatum

(This is from a Tumblr thread where people were defending Tatum. Well, I had to add something, didn’t I?)

He IS brilliant in Hail Caesar, not least because he’s also having sly fun with popular notions about him as an actor. Takes a brave actor to do that and keep on point.

May I also add:

Channing in Step Up

Channing in Haywire

Channing in The Eagle.

You see, I, too, used to be a Channing-hater. Not, like, hugely or anything. But I’d go along with mates when they’d make fun of him or snort if I read film reviews slagging him off.

This was until I actually engaged my own critical faculties honestly. 

I started realising… ‘oh wow, that bloke in Step Up… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

‘That bloke in Haywire… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

etcetera…

And then I realised that what we have in Mr. Tatum is a young actor who can dance, do romantic smouldering, light comedy, horrible secret agent villains and brooding soldiers haunted by loss of honour.

Tatum is a superbly flexible, adventurous and fearless actor. Where other actors find the ONE NOTE and then grind on that fucker for decades, hoping an Oscar will pop out, Tatum will have covered a myriad worlds, creating characters that have zero in common apart from his obviously gorgeous physicality.

I mean, he could just coast by on his looks, couldn’t he? He doesn’t really need to take risks but look at the man’s IMDB: he consistently does.

At the minute, Tatum is PRIME BEEF. He is beautiful and that will limit the roles he gets offered, as it does beautiful actresses (though to a lesser extent, of course, since Hollywood hates women). But Tatum’s work ethic and career arc reminds me of someone…

Here’s young Michael Caine. Pretty, isn’t he? He could have coasted on those looks but if you look at his IMDB, you’ll see an actor who got stuck in. He just acted and acted and acted, which is why we still know and love him now, decades after his equally-attractive comrades are forgotten. Yeah, Caine also did a lot of dodgy films but that’s my point ~ you HAVE TO. You don’t get to be in the Hail Caesars unless you’re also in the Jupiter Ascendings (and that’s no disrespect to JA, I love that slab of dog-gene, royalist bee crazy but I’m in the minority, I know).

We have yet to see the best from Tatum. Think of how great he’ll be when he’s a wrinkly, gnarly, hairy-eared old geezer! Think of the decades of experience of playing a huge gamut of characters he’ll be able to draw from. He’ll be too old for the 20-something romcom lead or the action hero, he will get characters with more layers, more complexity…