Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Ciné File: May 2017

I feel like I haven't seen many films this month - including an entire week when I didn't see any at all - so the list of reviews isn't particularly long. However, I have managed to see most of the major new releases so it's not too bad!


CINEMAS

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING - 2*

Despite having a stellar cast and intriguing plot, The Sense of an Ending never quite manages to ramp up the tension enough to merit much of an emotional investment in the characters. As such the ending falls rather flat, and the 'big reveal' doesn't have the impact it so clearly wanted. Perhaps the Man Booker Prize winning novel on which this is based is better (as the original texts always are...)?


THE PROMISE - 1*

Credit must be given for drawing attention to the Armenian Massacre as it is usually given a woeful lack of attention, but even so it's used as a historical background for a flimsy love triangle. The accents are appalling and it's more melodramatic than a made-for-television film which makes for an unbelievably boring film.


MAD MAX FURY ROAD: CHROME EDITION - 5*

Oh what a day, what a lovely day! I thought Fury Road couldn't get any better, and then it was rereleased in black and white... Furiosa looks even cooler, the road race action sequences are even more impressive and the wasteland of the post-apocalyptic landscape is even more foreboding and sinister when devoid of colour. It's a truly remarkable film that's given even greater depth and nuance when viewed in black and white.


HOT FUZZ - 5*

As far as I'm concerned, Hot Fuzz is the perfect film and I won't hear a bad word against it. Finally seeing it in the cinema for a 10th anniversary screening was an absolute dream come true, and every joke hit the mark with more precision than I thought possible when surrounded by fans in Londin. Hell, yarp. Catch it on ITV2 soon...


HEAL THE LIVING - 3*

Director Katell Quillévéré's poignant call to arms for organ donation is emotive, measured and extremely powerful, inter-weaving three narratives to create a story that highlights the fragility of human life, the sorrow in death and the hope in survival.


MISS SLOANE - 3*

Jessica Chastain shines as a DC lobbyist taking on a gun control bill, single-handedly holding together a film that's pretty far fetched to say the least, but nonetheless successfully gripping and enjoyable enough to overlook the overhyping and dramatisation of political lobbying. It's feels like Scandal shot through an Ocean's Eleven lens, and while it's borderline ridiculous Miss Sloane is exciting, stylish and full of fiery monologues.


THE LEVELLING - 3*

It's hard to believe that The Levelling is the debut feature film from writer-director Hope Dickson Leach as it's so slickly made. At 83 minutes it's succinct but manages to beautifully convey the complexities of guilt, honesty and blame surrounding suicide, all of which are intertwined with the frustrating struggles of a repressed British family unwilling to discuss their feelings or even the events of what happened. It's borderline enraging to watch (in a good way) and stays with you long after you've left the cinema.


SNATCHED - 1*

Oh god, Snatched is awful: it's unfunny, dull and rather offensive. Avoid at all costs.


COLOSSAL - 4*

Kaiju films not containing Godzilla or other monsters in some form seem to be thin on the ground, and as such Colossal stands out for all the right reasons. It's such a ridiculously fun and original concept that it's impossible not to be swept along for the ride. Admirably, none of the characters are particularly likeable (hooray for a three-dimensional female lead) but even so the climax still comes to a satisfying conclusion having neatly twisted the plot into a direction you didn't remotely expect.


KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD - 2*

By this stage, footage of David Beckham's cameo has been widely shared - and ridiculed - and it's just embarrassing that he's not the worst aspect of the film. Fundamentally it seems to have had an identity crisis and can't decide on a genre so attempts to cover a couple and does none of them well; the script is shockingly bad; the accents are all over the place; the costumes make no sense historically; and the plot is laughably bad. I so wanted to enjoy this in a 'so bad it's good' way, but instead I almost walked out half an hour in and had to persuade myself to stay. My internal battle was much more exciting than anything happening on screen.


AMAZON PRIME

BAD MOMS - 3*

Bad Moms isn't going to win any awards but it's pure profanity-laden fun, full of outrageous partying, PTA dictatorships and mothers refusing to conform to society's ideals. I love it: Kathryn Hahn's hilarious and it basically features the Mean Girls all grown up.


NETFLIX

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 - 3*

I can't say I saw much point in splitting the last Hunger Games book into two films - mainly because Part 1 was so dull - but at least it picks up with this last instalment, finally upping the action and bringing the franchise to a neat conclusion. It works well enough, but I definitely preferred the book as I think the ending falls a little flat here.


TV

THE WORLD'S END - 4*

Yet another absolute corker from Edgar Wright, this time tracking the journey taken by five childhood friends as they embark on a legendary pub crawl that defeated them twenty years previously. The regular players are on top form here, the laughs are non-stop and it has an air of nostalgia and maturity hitherto unseen in the Cornetto trilogy. What a triumph!



Here's to next month, when I'll most likely be reporting having seen Wonder Woman at least 3 times...

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