The Short View – Vol. 1 (Feb 2017)

Alas! I must confess!

While I may try to present myself as the greatest human being since The Rock, I must suffer through the same trials and tribulations that plague my fellow man!

The need to put food on the table means I need to hold down a full time and part time job. And so, with a heavy heart, I must accept that it’s impossible for me to do a full review for every single film I see in any given month.

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Shocking, I know!

So, I thought it might be a good idea to do one single post which gives a short opinion on all the films that I couldn’t do a full review for. This is the first post, so let’s see how it goes!


Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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Imagine a four year old strung out on cocaine and you’d be about half way to the over-the-top experience that is Lego Batman. A ton of quick fire jokes with action sequences that rival some live action Batman movies. While it doesn’t quite reach the same level as The Lego Movie, whether you’re a Batman fanatic or a newcomer, there is a ton of fun to be had for both kids and adults.

Overall Score:

four-stars


Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

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I never quite realised that Bill and Ted travelling in a phone box is essentially the same as Doctor Who. Fortunately this baffling copyright infringement doesn’t undermine this fun filled sequel that explores almost every aspect of human spiritual beliefs in the most brainless, oddly fashion-less, and slightly homophobic way possible.

Overall Score:

three-stars


For the Love of Spock (2016)

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There are only two celebrity deaths that emotionally affected me and Leonard Nimoy was one of them. Presented by his son, Adam, the film presents an incredible life that goes from the doldrums of the acting world to the pinnacle of fame on the world stage. While I would have loved to see more exploration of his work outside of Star Trek, this doesn’t take away from what is otherwise an titanic accomplishment of passion and love.

Overall Score:

five-stars


Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

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Resident Evil’s 5th installment (Jesus Christ! How?) doesn’t deviate too far from the formula that apparently led its predecessors to box office success. Opening with an incredible “backwards” opening battle, it seems that Retribution might be a step up.

But alas it soon descends in cliches galore in a rudderless attempt to try and mimic superior films such as Aliens or The Thing; as well as throwing in almost everything single character from previous films (alive or dead!) in a half-arsed attempt to try and trick viewers into seeing this.

Overall Score:

2stars


Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie (2016)

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Less a film and more a 50 minute short, DTTAORDTM (as I have come to know it) is a glorious romp through the ideals and beliefs that Donald Trump might call “normal”, but everyone else would call “insane.” With cameos galore, if you have a spare hour in your day, this isn’t the worst way you could spend it.

Overall Score:

three-stars


Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

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And so the Resident Evil franchise ends, not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a soul crushing 106 minutes filled with the worst editing since the time that elderly woman decided to give Jesus Christ a face lift.

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Throw in a mix of subpar direction, mindless action and idiotic dialogue, and you have what is my official pick for worst film of 2017.

Overall Score:

hey-look-1-star


Cook Up A Storm (2017)

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Cook up a Storm presents itself as a battle between two worlds. On the one side is the decadent originality of high class cuisine. And on the other is the familiarity of a good home cooked meal.

And for most of the run time, we follow a chef from each of these worlds battle each other for the title of Top Chef. With cooking scenes shot like an action sequence, the film never lets up on its grip, keeping you intimately involved in the emotional arc of both leads.

At least until the 3rd act, where the main plot line recedes into the background, instead being replaced by a pointless father-son conflict. Talk about misleading your audience.

Overall Score:

 three-stars


Get On Up (2014)

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Cutting back and forth between the various eras of James Brown’s life, director Tate Taylor does an amazing job in unpacking the various eccentricities and demons that the Godfather of Soul had to suffer through. An excellent performance from Chadwick Boseman and a tight script makes Get On Up one of the best biopics I have ever seen.

Overall Score:

four-stars


50 Shades Darker (2017)

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Okay, it’s true Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t exactly the most Oscar worthy film released in 2015. However (amazingly!) Fifty Shades Darker is a reasonably passable film. Faint praise, I know. But Jamie Dornan’s portrayal of Christian Grey is a slight step up as he actually has a proper character arc! Dakota Johnson’s character is also still as likeable as she was in the first film, even if the plot of this sequel does leave you scratching your head at points.

Overall Score:

three-stars


John Wick: Chapter Two (2017)

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By building a body count that rivals the best of the Die Hard movies, Keanu Reeves is more or less the new John McClane. A guy who just wants a peaceful life, but constantly gets drawn into the most bat-shit crazy situations possible.

And thank god he doesn’t find peace. Otherwise we might not have got this fast paced action extravaganza that blows the first John Wick out of the water! Better action, interesting characters and a fascinating exploration of the assassin’s world and lifestyle.

Overall Score:

four-stars


Sing (2016)

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In a world in which Zootopia exists, portraying a city filled with human-like animals was always going to be an uphill struggle. While pushed along by upbeat tunes, Sing is nevertheless a lesser example of the genre compared to its Disney brother. With poor characterisation and a meandering plot, I would suggest you just watch Zootopia again.

Overall Score:

2stars


The Great Wall (2017)

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There are movies where you can’t help being distracted by all the logic holes in the plot. And then there are others where you just go with it. Matt Damon’s “ponytail” movie is definitely one of the latter.

With plenty of action and decent fight sequences, The Great Wall is still a decent night out at the cinemas, even if it does make you wonder if the Chinese have ever heard of the word “subtlety.”

Overall Score:

three-stars


The Unknown Known (2013)

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Being a massive fan of Errol Morris’ The Fog of War, I immediately (or you know, 4 years later) jumped at the chance to watch what I assumed would be another revealing insight into a man involved in major political events of the 20th (and later 21st) century.

Alas, while the film does reveal some interesting points, it doesn’t quite get into the same intimacy that Morris managed to do with McNamara. Instead Rumsfeld seems to almost run circles around his interviewer, resulting in a film that is less revelatory and more historical textbook.

Overall Score:

three-stars


The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

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Based on the book by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer is an engaging entry into the cinematic legal genre. While it doesn’t come anywhere close to rivalling Philadelphia or JFK, the performances of McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe are some of the most intense scenes in either actor’s career.

But the great work done early on ends in disaster, as the film’s ending denouncement is both baffling and barely set up.

Overall Score:

three-stars


Photo Credits: MovieWeb, Youtube, TrekMovie, Lemerg, Wikipedia, Legion of Leia, The Telegraph, Den of Geek, MovieNewz, Dave’s Trailer Page, Palace Cinemas, Movie Abyss, JoBlo, Legendary, Film Festival Flix, Impossible Things,

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