Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Buddy Games (2021) - Movie Review

Time to do a bit of recalibrating for this one because, if I judged this film solely on the basis of good taste and common sense, we’re not going to get anywhere with this thing. This kind of uber-macho, “let’s do dumb shit to prove our MAYUN-liness” reeks of critic-trapping, like it actively wants to be judged by politically-correct standards just so the chuckleheads who made it can point and laugh at people taking this ‘too seriously’. And in all honesty… yeah, there’s a place for this kind of meathead comedy in the world: The Jackass films more than proved that point long before this, and for as much love as it didn’t get, I still think the movie Tag is a fun and inventive take on the action-thriller formula. So, rather than act all shocked at how tasteless this all is, let’s instead judge it by its own standards as a bro comedy… and how it still fails from that perspective.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Why I'm Not Reviewing Music (2021)

Yep. We’re doing this again. And I’ll be honest, the decision to make this into my second official boycott is a fairly recent one. Even with all the controversy this film has garnered over the past couple months, I was still willing to at least let the film stand on its own terms and not just the marketing or the… interesting takes of the writer/director on social media. I mean, I went to bat for Cuties last year on the basis of its own garbage marketing; for all I know, this could be another example of a good film cast under a poor light.

But the more I thought about it, and the more I really took in everything that was leading up to this release… I just couldn’t do it. Even if I went for the cheapest theatrical session I could find, I still don’t feel right gambling my money on the prospect of this being decent. And since I made a big point of reviewing more films than ever in 2020, I figure it’d be worth getting into those signs so I can try and make a decent case for why this is going to be a major exception to my usual ‘watch anything I can get my hands on’ methodology.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Summerland (2021) - Movie Review

There’s too much going on here. While I find it somewhat fascinating that a story this simple can touch on so many different topics, that fascination turns into gawking rather quickly at how, by some bizarre anti-miracle, none of it ends up fitting together in a satisfying way.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Dreambuilders (2021) - Movie Review

Well, this was unexpected. A Danish animated family film that takes all manner of cues from Pixar (although, let’s be fair, just about every animated movie borrows somewhat from that studio, especially these days), and yet it being as derivative as it is is barely even an issue. Partly because the scavenged material at least makes sense as to why someone else would want to use it (unlike, say, the number of films I’ve covered of late who basically took the finale of Toy Story 3 wholesale), but partly because in the process of taking those ideas… this film manages to go even darker with them.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Ammonite (2021) - Movie Review

For all the good things I’m about to put down on paper about this film, I have to admit that I can easily see this film rubbing some people the wrong way. This is an incredibly cold and detached film by design, depicting the budding relationship between palaeontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), a young woman who was basically thrust into Mary’s care without much say from either party. The sterile colour palette (if it can even be described as having one from the offset), the dreary seaside setting, the distance held between the characters and the cinematic perspective; it can be a bit much to get into right away.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Monster Hunter (2021) - Movie Review

Oh goodie, Paul W. S. Anderson has found another video game franchise he can milk dry. Yeah, suffice it to say, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one largely because of his attachment to it (although, as I’ll get into, his isn’t the only name that spells trouble for this whole thing). Having sat through his last film with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, easily one of the messiest and incoherent action films of the 2010s, if not ever, I went into this expecting the same level of aggrandising clutter. And yet, while that is certainly what I got out of this, this is the first film I’ve seen from Anderson in a long time where I find myself debating if this film is still entertaining in spite of his… eccentricities, let’s say.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb (2021) - Movie Review

For a franchise that has been kicking around for over a century, the only truly remarkable thing about Maya The Bee is… well, just how safe the creatives backing it get with these cinematic iterations. This is the third time I’ve found myself reviewing one of these things, and I find myself struggling to really say much of anything that I haven’t already gotten into in the past. Other than this being slightly better than what I’m used to seeing from this series.

Friday, 8 January 2021

Dragon Rider (2021) - Movie Review

You know you’ve seen too many bad talking animal movies when you start to cherish the ones that are merely passable. Nothing all that special, not all that particularly entertaining, but at least it isn’t a total trainwreck to sit through. That itself is quite surprising, coming from a film that the marketing is desperately trying to convince is on par with How To Train Your Dragon, made by a director whose only past credits are with sideways-glancing nature mockumentaries, and a writer who helped unleash The Queen’s Corgi on an unsuspecting public. And yet, all three of those preconceptions do add up to why this film turns out as purely average as it is.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The Dry (2021) - Movie Review

Sometimes, a well-delivered idea means more than an original one. Coming across the same kinds of stories, told through the same kinds of perspectives, is bound to happen by sheer probability once you’ve sat through enough movies. And sure, seeing something that breaks away from the norm can be a good thing… but as I learnt last year with The Empty Man, raw ingenuity doesn’t always win against refined craftsmanship. And with this Aussie effort, we have a quite familiar story, but it’s told in such gripping fashion that the déjà vu fails to become an issue.