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The rest of my mini-reviews for April 🙂

 

Alien: Covenant

I had originally been determined not to watch this because of how disappointed I expected to feel after Prometheus (I still can’t get over the allegedly experienced biologist who took his helmet off and all that followed), but it was on TV and I succumbed. It was pompous and over-explained everything. Despite a good cast I really didn’t feel there was anything new here so I should have gone with my first instinct. Mr Fassbender’s career choices have been a bit flaky recently…..

A Cure for Wellness

This was a weird one and almost certainly far too long but I kind of enjoyed it. Dane DeHaan is sent to bring his errant boss back from a sanitarium in Europe but after a car crash finds himself a patient in said asylum, and then it all kicks off. There are creepy villagers who fall silent when anyone walks into the pub. There is a weird floaty girl wandering about barefoot. There are dark corridors and lots of tanks filled with water used for nefarious purposes. There is the legend of an evil Baron. There is Jason Isaacs as the head doctor with a cool accent and a big sign above his head with the word baddie flashing on and off. Evil Jason is the best Jason IMHO. It’s beautifully Gothic and fairly intense but not at all scary.

Avengers: Infinity War

I’m not going to say too much about this because reams have been written already. I loved it. It was amazingly well-balanced considering the number of major superhero types involved; the best bits for me involved interactions between characters who are not normally in the same movies, especially Thor and Peter Quill, and Iron Man and Doctor Strange. Also worth noting that everything in it is huge, and that it works because Thanos is a properly rounded character; his plan may be evil, but it is logically evil (from a  certain point of view). Shout out to bits of Edinburgh actually playing themselves rather than pretending to be Moscow or whatever. Can’t wait for the sequel.

All caught up now, and hoping to have a more stable posting pattern soon.

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Cloverfield ParadoxWhat’s it all about?

Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

Why did I want to see it?

It has Cloverfield in the title so obviously I was going to watch it. It’s a whole Pavlov’s Dogs thing, there is nothing I can do.

What did I think of it?

Well. Paradox went straight onto Netflix which doesn’t necessarily mean anything (after all they do have amazing TV series) but nobody seemed to know it was coming, which is a bit more problematic I think. It’s possible to sneak things under the radar without a complete blackout, so that’s interesting in itself.

Anyway, because we do not yet have a smart TV (I know, I know), so I watched this on my laptop late at night in the dark which was actually good fun. And the movie was nowhere near as bad as many on the interwebs have been reporting.

Is it delivering anything new? Not really.

Can you spot all of the influences from other (better) movies? Well, of course you can.

Does the stuff that relates to Cloverfield feel poorly integrated? Mostly yes.

BUT

I actually enjoyed it. The cast was excellent and played it dead straight which is all that anyone can ask. However, the law of diminishing returns is definitely applicable here – original Cloverfield is one of my Top 10 Desert Island films, 10 Cloverfield Lane was really well done but was 80% one film and 20% a completely different film. And Paradox is nowhere near as good in comparison but passes the time perfectly pleasantly.

#damnedwithfaintpraise

Dazzling details: Directed by Julius Onah, this was released onto Netflix. It’s 102 minutes long, and rated 15 for strong threat & injury detail (some of which is entertainingly gross)

MV5BMjA1MjYyNDkxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTgxODAwOTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_What’s Morgan all about?

A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

A very bald statement there, IMDb – no subtlety at all.

Why did I want to see it?

I saw the trailer on a visit to the cinema to see something else ages ago and thought it looked interesting, then a friend and I talked about going to see it and that didn’t work put, and so I forgot all about it. Then my friend Silvery Dude watched it on a flight back from Dubai and said I had to see it, so I got a hold of the DVD and presto, one Sunday night the Book God and I sat down to watch.

What did I think of it?

I thought this was a very good example of the good old sci-fi thriller, just close enough to what’s possible now to not seem totally ridiculous but still far enough away from what we can do to be disturbing and unsettling. Morgan herself is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, and actress I’m becoming very interested in, having seen her in (the disappointing to me) Split; she is very compelling to watch.

There’s a really good ensemble cast here, with Toby Jones being all mad-scientisty, and Paul Giamatti being all shouty, and Kate Mara being cold and calculating and totally up to the job of dealing with everything that goes wrong with this assignment, because of course everything goes wrong. Rose Leslie is also excellent, though it’s going to take me a while to stop muttering “You know nothing, Jon Snow” whenever I see her in anything these days.

I was rooting for Morgan as much as I was for Kate Mara’s character; it seemed very clear to me that she wasn’t the problem, but the humans around her who had forgotten what she was and treated her like a child/young person they saw as a member of the family. Because as you won’t be surprised to learn, the military-industrial complex was behind her creation.

There’s a reveal at the end which was a bit Basil Exposition and I had guessed 90% of it about three-quarters of the way through the movie but it was nicely done and quite satisfying. I only have a couple of quibbles with the film – insufficient Brian Cox and why do people keep on saying it’s a horror film? But still enjoyable and I expect to watch it again.