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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.


Crimson PeakThere are no words to describe how much I loved this film.


*tries again*

What’s it all about?

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.

Oh, but it’s so much more than that. Of course it is. It’s Gothic.

Why did I want to see it?

Ever since I saw Cronos yonks and yonks ago I have been a fan of Guillermo del Toro, even Mimic which lots of people hate but I thought was interesting even though it was about giant cockroach people which ewww (and also NOT a spoiler because that movie is nearly 20 years old, guys).

So when I read he was making a Gothic story with *gasp* Tom Hiddleston and regular Bride girl-crush Jessica Chastain there was no way I was going to miss seeing it asap, and when I saw the release date I made sure our annual holiday was arranged to make sure we were back the weekend it was released. Sad, I know. But true.

What did I think of it?

Like I said, loved it, loved it, loved it. It’s impossible to talk about Crimson Peak without harking back to what others who have also loved it have said, but I don’t really care because they are totally correct.

It’s not a horror film in what we’ve come to expect horror films to be in recent years, though of course there are horror elements to it. It’s not really a love story, though it is a huge sweeping Gothic romance with darkness and passion and the love that drives people to do extreme things. It’s a throwback to The Masque of the Red Death and The Fall of the House of Usher and all those tales of crumbling houses and families with secrets that just barely stay hidden, and it’s about the clash of the new world and the old. It’s designed within an inch of its life but to enhance, not get in the way of, the story. It has proper meaty roles for women who have agency and don’t rely on men to save them. It has plot points that you can see a mile off but it doesn’t matter because they make sense and are part of the Gothic tradition and you can quietly go squee who you are proved right.

It’s wonderfully cast and beautifully acted and I swooned at the whole experience and cannot wait to see it again. I was so glad that I saw it on IMAX as the format gave it a wonderful sense of scale, but it has also gone straight on my DVD to buy list and I think will work just as well on a smaller screen. After all, that’s how I watched Corman and Hammer as I was growing up.

It’s not going to be for everyone but it worked so, so well for me!

IMG_0127This is my new favourite film, and that’s all you need to know.

Oh. OK…….

What’s it all about?

Only Lovers Left Alive is the new Jim Jarmusch film and tells the story of

A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance – which has already endured several centuries – is disrupted by the arrival of uncontrollable younger sister.

Of course this omits the single most important piece of information. They’re vampires.

But cool vampires, none of your Twilight nonsense here (although (full disclosure) I quite liked Twilight but probably not for the reasons the film makers intended).

Why did I want to see it?

Tilda Swinton. Tom Hiddleston. Vampires. That’s enough, surely?

What did I think of it?

I have been champing at the bit to see this film ever since I first heard about it. Two of my favourite actor types together in a film about vampires, so so excited. But as the time to see it came closer I got a tiny bit nervous that it couldn’t live up to my expectations, especially as some folk had said it was stylish and cool but nothing actually happens, but nope, it turned to to be just as fabulous as I had hoped.

It looks fantastic, flitting backwards and forwards between decaying Detroit and exotic Tangiers. The music is superb, so much so I bought the soundtrack as soon as I could. Tilda (Eve) and Tom (Adam) look great and their relationship is convincing, this great love experienced over time so that even though they live apart they are totally connected. I have admired Tilda since Orlando, and Tom is Loki so not much more to say there.

The supporting cast is equally good, Anton Yelchin as Tom’s fixer (with no idea that he’s dealing with anything other than a reclusive musician), Jeffrey Wright as a corrupt member of the medical profession (because where are you going to get blood if you aren’t in the habit of attacking people) and Mia Wasikowska playing another one of her odd and creepy young woman (see Stoker) as Eve’s younger sister, already known to be trouble (“but that was 87 years ago”) and it’s her actions that require a big change in their lifestyle.

But the real treat in the supporting cast is John Hurt as Christopher Marlowe. Yes, that Christopher Marlowe. Just lovely.

I didn’t expect it to be so funny, or to look so good. I coveted everything Tilda wore, I loved her poise and the whole style of the thing and the central idea that the only way to survive immortality is to have an insatiable curiosity about everything, which makes you so knowledgeable that you can come across as pompous and elitist without really meaning to. But of course reliance on human blood makes you vulnerable and fragile.

I’m gushing now, I can tell.

I adored this and it will be one of those films I will re-watch regularly. Please do give it a try.