A smart-tech doll is reprogrammed to malfunction; it develops homicidal tendencies. Generally solid update/reboot of the series with a sense of the daftness of the premise. Works better in the moment than in retrospect, but nasty fun nevertheless, plus a couple of satirical touches.
Month: January 2020
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019 Dir. Tim Miller)
Jump sequel to T2. Similar story but Terminators from a new future now trying to kill someone else of future importance. Welcome return to form with this. Mind blowing VFX coupled with a good script and actors enjoying themselves. Enjoyable!
The Wildest Dream (2010, dir. Anthony Geffen)
Two mountaineers attempt a re-creation of the 1924 Mallory/Irvine Everest expedition. Generally-effective documentary (with perhaps-recreated scenes as well as some dramatisation) that tells the story of the original attempt while also covering the 1999 emulation; the experiment indicates Mallory and Irvine could have completed the ascent.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019, dir. Kevin Smith)
Jay and Silent Bob take another road trip to Hollywood to stop a remake of a movie about their lives being completed. Sequel/reprise of 2001’s … Strike Back, with more cameos, callouts to other Askewniverse movies, and to fan culture more generally. Fans only, inevitably, but there’s some heart and a couple of decent jokes and neat obscurities among the references.
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot (2018, dir. Robert D. Krzykowski)
The man who killed Hitler is called upon in old age to track down Bigfoot. Defiantly quirky comedy-drama with horror elements, held together by Sam Elliott’s deadpan central performance and by a sense of confidence throughout. Inevitably not for all, but if you go with it there’s plenty to enjoy.
How Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018, dir. Marielle Heller)
A desperate writer turns to forging literary letters. Excellent melancholic comedy-drama, anchored by two great central performances and by sensitive writing and direction. Lots to appreciate, though the tone might be too downbeat for some.
1917 (2019, dir. Sam Mendes)
Two soldiers are given orders to deliver an urgent message to prevent a massacre. Works better as a race-against-time action movie than as an anti-war flick, but sustains itself impeccably and looks great throughout. The single-shot/more-or-less real-time aesthetic just about justifies itself, though can be distracting in quieter moments.
The Dead Don’t Die (2019, dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Zombies take over a small US town. Deadpan comedy-horror with a few meta touches. Not all of it works, and the approach is wry rather than outright funny, but there are some good ideas and images, and everyone involved seems to be having fun.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011, dir. David Yates)
Matters converge: a final stand at Hogwarts against Voldemort. The last part of the eight-film cycle delivers in terms of epic action sequences, resolutions for characters followed over multiple movies, and a decent coda; no real surprises, and nothing for outsiders, which is perhaps as it should be.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010, dir. David Yates)
Harry and friends, now on the run, must destroy the magical items sustaining Voldemort. The first half of the final novel – more or less – is a decent chase adventure, with a darker tone than before; the splitting of the source material allows for pacing to be improved, through the structure necessitates a forced cliffhanger bridge to Part 2.