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MV5BMjA3MjAzOTQxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTc5OTY1OTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_What’s it all about?

European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defence of the Great Wall of China against a horde go monstrous creatures.

Why did I want to see it?

Monsters. In China. Say no more.

What did I think of it?

I really, really liked The Great Wall, much more than I anticipated. For all sorts of reasons this was absolutely the right film at the right time. Less focussed on the western characters than the marketing would have you believe. Tian Jing is my new girl crush as the Chinese commander, very cool and will pop up again in another context soon. It’s also a beautiful film in the way that only the Chinese can manage, with choreographed set pieces, gloriously coloured costumes and the obligatory break for some music. And the monsters are very very cool.

I learned several things:

  • Matt Damon (bless him) cannot sustain an Irish accent for more than 2 minutes at a time
  • do not trust Willem Defoe under any circumstances
  • bungee jumping in exotic blue armour while holding a spear is the only way to fight.

I will re-watch this at the first opportunity. Loved it.


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Another bunch of films where it’s been so long since I have seen them that full reviews may be difficult to write but I wanted to make a note about what I thought of them. There will be proper reviews of more recent films over the next week or so.

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – Finally got around to watching this, without the benefit of having seen Man of Steel, but honestly I don’t think that was a problem. Superman caused the death of loads of people and Batman is extremely cross and decides to take him on, but something more significant comes along so they have to join forces, and then Wonder Woman turns up. Luthor is silly and annoying, no-one cracks a smile at any point, it’s too long & loud and dark, there isn’t nearly enough WW but it isn’t the total disaster lots of folk said it was. Supports my firm view that DC is better on TV than movie screens.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War – the sequel that nobody really wanted, but it was pretty good fun and had three of my favourite actresses (Ms Theron super-evil, Ms Blunt misguidedly evil, Ms Chastain being badass) and of course the Greater Hemsworth. The frocks are gorgeous, the effects are pretty cool but they should be arrested for the awfulness of their Scottish accents. Ends exactly as you think it’s going to.

Split – M Night Shyamalan’s latest is a multiple personality horror thriller thing with an amazing performance by James McAvoy but which in the end is pointless and confusing. I couldn’t work out where it was headed and became quite impatient. The much lauded cameo at the end was a real blink or your miss it event. Annoyingly disappointing.

A Monster Calls – I read the book on which this is based about a week before I saw the movie so I knew that it would be a two box of tissues movie. It’s so beautifully done, excellent performances all round and so, so sad. The monster is astonishing. I saw it with friends and we all cried buckets. Just excellent, and if you haven’t seen it please seek it out, it’s so, so good.