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MV5BMTUwMzI5ODEwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjAzNjI2MDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_What’s it all about?

A team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unites to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong. As their mission becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Why did I want to see it?

Hiddles meets giant ape. Duh.

What did I think about it?

I had a good time watching Kong: Skull Island, which is exactly what you would expect from a giant ape vs humans film set at the end of the Vietnam War and starring at least two very good-looking human beings. As you can see from the poster above, there is a definite Apocalypse Now vibe to the setting and marketing, and when Samuel L Jackson goes off the rails seeking vengeance it is very much like a war film, albeit one with, you know, giant ape, assorted enormous beasties and the underground weird skull-headed nasties. And of course the stranded WW2 veteran who provides the necessary exposition to establish that Kong is not the bad guy here, people.

So the body count is high, Kong is enormous, the photography is great, the effects are very cool, the story is moderately silly but the characters are pretty sketchy and the script doesn’t give the great cast (Hiddles, Brie Larson, John Goodman, SJL) that much to deal with, other than John C Reilly who looks like he’s having a whale of a time.

But it is good fun and although I wouldn’t deliberately seek it out to watch again, I can very easily see myself being sucked in if I was watching it on TV. I’ll be very interesting to see how this fits into the wider giant monster world that will include Godzilla.

 

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549ea7a5f2cfd00d0c49aaca086995a7Still catching up on my film reviews, based on my increasingly faulty memory and therefore probably shorter than usual, so bear with me!

Watched: 15 June 2016

What’s it all about?

A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

Why did I want to see it?

I had quite enjoyed the trailer whenever I’d seen it in support of other movies, and the Book God had made a plea that we see a film with real people in it rather than superheroes or folk bashing each other with swords or scaring the living daylights out of each other. So we did.

What did I think of it?

This actually turned out to be a really good choice. I was born in the early 1960s so the whole 70s vibe really clicked with me – the colour scheme, the clothes, the music – and along with the fact that it was really very funny (I laughed continually throughout) made it a very satisfying watch. I’ve liked Ryan Gosling in everything I’ve seen him in, and although I can take or (mostly) leave Russell Crowe, I thought he was the most likeable I have ever found him. Gosling’s talent for slapstick was particularly impressive, and there was just the right amount of violence and swearing for me. Which now I come to think of it  is rather a lot; must be my Paisley upbringing. Anyway, this was great fun, and the first Shane Black movie I have seen so I guess (as everyone is saying the others are even better than this one) I really should remedy that fact.

 

MV5BMTI4MDA5NjIwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTA2MjY0Mg@@._V1_SX214_AL_What’s it all about?

A small wooden box arrives on the doorstep of a married couple, who know that opening it will grant them a million dollars and kill someone they don’t know.

Well it doesn’t so much arrive as get mysteriously delivered, and they don’t know what’s going to happen until Frank Langella tells them so not entirely accurate synopsis IMDb guys.

Why did I want to see it?

Well, I remember thinking it looked like my kind of thing at the time it came out but just never got around to it I guess. But here we are now.

What did I think of it?

I really quite enjoyed The Box. I remember aeons ago reading the Richard Mattheson (of Incredible Shrinking Man and I Am Legend fame) story on which this is based so obvs knew what the dilemma was going to be but was interested in seeing how it would all work out in this version.

So the film is set in 1976 (when I was 14 years old, fact fans) so a great deal of pleasure was to be had in hideously patterned wallpaper, impressive maxi coats, feathered hairstyles, lots of cigarettes and a remarkable selection of manly sheepskin jackets. Cameron Diaz and James Marsden make a very handsome couple, she a teacher without tenure and a slight disability, him a rocket scientist who wants to be an astronaut, and things are not going well when Dracula *ahem* Frank Langella turns up with the box, the deal and with his really creepy part-of-my-face-is-missing-through-an-unfortunate-lightning-strike disfigurement. let’s just say he does not inspire confidence.

So what are they going to do when faced with the ultimate moral dilemma? And if they succumb, what will happen?

Originally a bit of a horror story this turns into a high-tech thriller and a nice sense of atmosphere. OK there’s quite  bit of exposition and a lot of gubbins which isn’t fully explained but I thought it was a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I was really keen to see how it would all turn out. Creepy library scene and Pink Floyd on the soundtrack were major bonuses.

And did I mention that Frank Langella was in it? I like him.

So here’s the thing. I am a woman of a certain age, as has been mentioned here and also on Bride of the Book God, and I love things that hark back to when I was absorbing most of the popular culture stuff that has stayed with me. By this of course I mean anything to do with the 1970s. Three of my favourite movies are The Towering Inferno, All The President’s Men and Silent Running. Not a bad list at all, but you can see very quickly that they have something in common. Yup, that 70s thing.

So when I saw that Moon was being released, and that it was being directed by someone who also picked up a lot of their pop culture in the great decade, I had a funny feeling that this was going to be absolutely terrific. And I was not wrong.

So Sam Rockwell is working on the Moon in a mining facility, accompanied only by a helpful computer/robot called Gerty, when he has an accident which calls into question everything that he believes to be true. No more about the plot, though you do find out what’s going on pretty quickly; it’s how our hero reacts to it that’s important.

Things loved = I really, really like Sam Rockwell, always have, certainly doesn’t disappoint here; Kevin Spacey is brilliant as Gerty; the moonbase looks suitably battered and grungy; the plot is touching and thought-provoking; I like melancholy, what can I say? Duncan Jones is a director to watch.

Things disliked = nothing; nada; tis almost perfect

Rating stuff = 15 (for strong language)

Tissue count = definitely a couple of times when I sniffled a bit; even the Book God was heard to mutter “oh, bless!” while watching

I adored this film, it was the one I chose to watch on my birthday and I am so glad I did, it was a real gem.

I have managed to review this without saying anything hugely meaningful; for a more articulate review (as always) please visit Carl here.