Monday, 29 June 2020

Butt Boy (2020) - Movie Review

I cherish films like this that make their way to my radar. The kind that, were I not someone who actively looked for out-of-the-box releases, I likely never would’ve come across otherwise. And no, this isn’t me reviewing porn again; it’s actually a crime thriller closer to something like Michael Mann or Denis Villeneuve’s pre-sci-fi days. Believe this, it’s only going to get weirder from here, so strap in.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2020) - Movie Review

The discourse surrounding films tends to isolate documentaries from basically every other kind of production. Sure, there are mockumentary hybrids that blur that line, but overall, people expect a degree of facticity from documentaries that isn’t normally expected (or at least expected as much) of fiction or even fictionalised versions of real events. Considering how the nature of filmmaking involves a certain element of constructing reality in its very process, that facticity isn’t always guaranteed or even aimed for. But every so often, a documentary takes this idea on-board and basically turns into its own statement on what makes a documentary qualify as such.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Astronaut (2020) - Movie Review

“Keep up the good fight, ‘cause what’s the alternative?”

This is one of the first lines in the film, spoken to Richard Dreyfuss’ Angus during a medical check-up. It’s one of those early bits of dialogue in a film that ends up explaining the bulk of what is to follow, as we see Angus’ attempts to win a lottery for a ticket on the first commercial flight into space.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Sweetheart (2020) - Movie Review

Female-led survival horror flicks have been steadily making the rounds over the last handful of years. The Shallows, Crawl, both entries in the Metres Down series; I guess the recent resurgence in ‘prestige’ horror cinema combined with the attempts to bring more female lead characters to the screen have resulted in this intersection. But up until this point, these films have thrived (or floundered) based on being short but sweet genre exercises, not rising too far above the benchmark for man vs. nature yarns. And then this film came along, yet another from the industrious (industrial?) Blumhouse production line, which… basically recontextualises this entire trend.

Friday, 19 June 2020

The Hunt (2020) - Movie Review

Well, this film isn’t exactly shifting its place on my radar, and it’s not like there will ever be a good time to discuss it, so what the hell, let’s do a political meme movie. The kind of movie that gets tremendous word-of-mouth on the basis of it being a political statement, only that aspect is taken at face value, resulting in a lot of discussion about it from people who more than likely haven’t even seen it. As we’ll get into, that itself is weirdly in-sync with the film’s contents, but as we’ll also get into, that might be damning with faint praise on my part.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

The Day Shall Come (2020) - Movie Review

Chris Morris. Pizza-faced satirist. One of the leading voices in British absurdism since Dr. Chapman joined the choir invisible. Collaborator of fellow politically-minded comedian Armando Iannucci. And as of this particular film, a sophomore feature-length director. And man oh man, did he come out as reliably all guns blazing as usual.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Blue Story (2020) - Movie Review

In terms of hip-hop aesthetic on film, this might be one of the most direct examples I’ve covered on here. The feature-length directorial debut of Andrew Onwubolu, also known as Rapman (which somehow bests Director X for most generic music video director name I’ve ever heard), this South London crime drama shows Rapman himself serving as Greek chorus, jumping in at certain key moments to provide rapped narration. As part of the bigger presentation, with the story of two teenaged friends pushed to opposite ends of a gang war by cruel coincidence, it’s a decent enough idea in theory. But in practice, it ends up dragging down what is otherwise a quite efficient slice of dramatic grit.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

H Is For Happiness (2020) - Movie Review

Well, this sounds familiar: A precocious red-headed girl with unrelenting optimism and a ‘unique’ perspective on the world sets out to basically fix everything around her. Even as someone with a higher-than-usual tolerance for this brand of family-friendly content (chalk that up to growing up with Mara Wilson as Matilda, I guess), there’s something inherently strained about sitting through a story where children have a greater vocabulary and emotional range than the adults. It’s the kind of thing that normally smacks of wish fulfillment for adults more than anything else, letting the older writer(s) live out their own fantasy of how they wish children acted in the real world. But then there are films like this, which undeniably fit into this niche but also feel wholly singular to themselves.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

I Still Believe (2020) - Movie Review

Yes, this is a film about music. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with The Lost Boys and/or Tim Capello. Yes, this is a Christian film. No, it isn’t of the same variety that I have spent quite a bit of time on here railing against. Yes, this stars the same couple from A Dog’s Purpose, making me think that the Erwin Brothers just wanted to salvage what they could from that feature, given Dennis Quaid’s casting in their last film. And no, with all of that in mind, this isn’t that bad. If anything, it’s alarmingly good.