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Showing posts from April 7, 2019

Review: Love, Simon

Based on the book by Becky Albertalli, this film tells of the attempts by Simon (played by Nick Robinson) to navigate the tricky waters of high school whilst harbouring a secret: He’s gay. Things get difficult for Simon when a jerky classmate (played by Logan Miller) uncovers his secret and hangs it over Simon in order to get Simon to do him a favour, one that sees Simon having to lie to and betray his friends. Meanwhile, Simon has been texting anonymously with someone nicknamed ‘Blue’ (the only person Simon has actually told about his sexuality), whom Simon has a crush on. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play Simon’s loving and well-meaning parents, Tony Hale is the jerk VP of the school.


I wanted to love Simon. I really did. Unfortunately, Simon’s kind of a dick, and this 2018 teen flick is yet another “Easy A” where the main character’s dilemma is made more difficult…by the main character being scripted to behave like an idiot. Directed by Greg Berlanti (“Life As We Know It”, TV’s…

Review: Black Panther

T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) AKA Black Panther, is to assume the throne of King of Wakanda, a land hidden from the rest of the world but with much high-tech advancement thanks to a vibranium meteorite. Unfortunately, T’Challa’s claim to the throne is challenged by the arrival of Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), who was raised in America but claims royal Wakandan blood. He’s also in cahoots with nasty Seth Effriken arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), and has plans to take Wakanda’s technologically advanced weaponry for his own demented revolutionary plans. Angela Bassett plays T’Challa’s mother, John Kani appears briefly as T’Chala’s ill-fated father, Forest Whitaker is a Wakandan elder, and Martin Freeman plays a suit, basically.


Of all the superhero films of the modern era (i.e. The era that began with “Batman Begins”), only two have piqued my interest from their trailer alone: “Man of Steel” (which I ended up really liking) and this 2018 Marvel film from writer-director Ryan…

Review: Brokeback Mountain

Starting in the early 1960s in Wyoming, open-faced Jack (Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal) and silent, tightly clenched Ennis (Oscar nominee Heath Ledger) are hired as sheep-herders by Joe Aguirre (a surprisingly sour Randy Quaid, showing his versatility) on the title mountain. One is supposed to camp at the foot of the mountain, whilst the other stays up in the hills with the flock. Then one night, the somewhat bolder Jack makes a move on Ennis whilst sharing a tent on a cold night. The next morning, Ennis, engaged to long-suffering Alma (Michelle Williams, also Oscar-nominated) calls the incident a ‘one time deal’ (he’s seems a little more aware of the consequences given the time and place and from his own experiences with a homophobic dad), but still the duo keep coming back to Brokeback Mountain, on secret ‘fishing trips’, unable to get the other person out of their head or heart. Anne Hathaway is good as the spunky Rodeo queen rich girl Jack ends up marrying. She shows an awful lot …

Review: The Shape of Water

Set in the 60s, Sally Hawkins plays a mute custodial worker at a secret Government research facility that has recently required a creature of unknown origin. Hawkins develops a connection with the creature, which is able to breathe in and out of water. On the opposite end of the scale is federal agent Michael Shannon who tortures the creature to uncover its secrets and is an all-round arsehole to everyone else. Richard Jenkins plays Hawkins’ lonely gay friend and neighbour, Michael Stuhlbarg is a government scientist harbouring a secret, Nick Searcy is a military man, and Octavia Spencer is one of Hawkins’ co-workers.


I absolutely loathe Sally Hawkins, so this 2017 awards season favourite from director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”, “Hellboy”, “Pacific Rim”) had me rather apprehensive going in. It turned out to be an interesting film with terrific elements that doesn’t overall come off as well as the film’s champions seem to think. For the most part I enjoyed it and …