A brilliant ex-hacker is coerced into a heist being orchestrated by a paramilitary group. Glossy but dumb-as-rocks tech thriller with the usual hacking visual cliches and an eye on spectacle (Bullet-time explosions! Nudity! A bus in midair!) over logic.
Month: December 2017
Blade Runner 2049 (2017, Dir. Denis Villeneuve)
Visually rich sequel; sparse but strong cast. At times brilliant, often flawed with dreary dialogue and a contrived plot. Enjoyable, but at least an hour too long and loses itself too often in its own quest for fan appeasement and thematic continuance. Link to review of original film here.
Cocktail (1988, Dir. Roger Donaldson)
Young Cruise as a ‘cocky’ barman at business school. Confusing 80s fodder. Good performance from Brown, everything else is nonsense. Kelly Lynch appears in string bikini. Watchable though for some reason. Just!
TopGun (1986, Dir. Tony Scott)
Blockbuster with an angst ridden Cruise struggling with sexuality at the ‘TopGun’ flight school. Ludicrous and yet enjoyable 80s deal. Exceptionally put together, and stylish photography. I like it, you might! Worth a (re)watch/listen!
A Christmas Horror Story (2015, dir. Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan)
Four linked horror stories take place on the same Christmas Eve. Reasonable anthology held together by William Shatner’s drunk radio jock. Plenty of contemporary horror tropes dealt with: changelings, zombies, Krampus, spooky dormitory found-footage.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, dir. Brian Henson)
A faithful adaptation of the Dickens novella, with the muppets cast plus Michael Caine as Scrooge. Good songs (by Paul Williams), Dickens – The Great Gonzo – acts as narrator, and an excellent Caine performance; he plays it admirably straight throughout, and delivers perhaps the finest single line-reading in cinema history.
Casino Royale (2006, dir. Martin Campbell)
Bond battles a private banker for terrorists. Casino Royale does a lot of things well: a series reboot, an introduction to the Daniel Craig era, and a film that connects to its source novel. It goes on too long, with perhaps one ending too many, but this one of the strongest series entries.
Bright (2017, dir. David Ayer)
A veteran LA cop partners with the first orc officer; they find themselves in the middle of an ancient magic war. While the procedural and mismatched partners stuff is great, Bright is saddled with too much backstory and a daft third act. Feels like a big-budget TV series pilot.
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996. dir. Renny Harlin)
Further proof of Black’s obsession with mismatched buddies and Christmas, this 90s actioner piles on the cliches and feels at times like a parody of what he started in Lethal Weapon. Fun nonetheless, Davis and Jackson clearly enjoyed every moment.
The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017, dirs: Charlie Bean, Bob Logan, Paul Fisher)
Whilst the weakest of the three big Lego movies, this is still well above average animated fare. Even with a wealth of jokes and smart visual gags throughout, this will entertain the kids but may leave an older audience wanting somewhat.