A good month for movie watching for me. Quite a diverse range as well, covering 4 separate decades and a few countries as well.
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
A novel idea and some good points to be made about modern society, but overall it does end up feeling a little cheap and hastily put together. Melanie Lynskey is always great but the Elijah Wood character is a little too odd to fit in with the rest of the story.
A bit of a dour slog for the majority of the run time, but scattered amongst it are moments of high impact that kept me going. Not as powerful overall as the sum of its part, but the ending will stick with me for a while.
Body of Lies (2008)
Body of Lies must’ve suffered from expectations of Ridley, DiCaprio and Crowe working together back in 2008, because it really is quite a good film. These three big names all do good work and the film is a fairly briskly paced and enjoyable look into American intelligence in the Middle East.
Wind River (2017)
Following his writing of two of my favourite films of the last few years, Sicario and Hell or High Water, I had high expectations for Taylor Sheridan’s second feature film. Sheridan uses the cold, isolated setting of Wyoming to establish an unforgiving world that remains distant and unique from what we consider normal America. It also features Jeremy Renner’s best performance since The Hurt Locker.
Full review likely to follow.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
It is what it is, and what it is is pretty fun. Big, loud and action filled, but also cleverly written and knowingly played by stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. I’ll probably forget I’ve ever seen it in a few years but there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
One of the many screwball comedies of the 40’s that has not aged well at all. Joel Macrae barely registers and Rudy Vallee feels out of place, but the women, Claudette Colbert and Mary Astor, have a great time and salvage something from the film. I’m now 5 or 6 films into Preston Sturges filmography and so far only Sullivan’s Travels has done much for me.
The film that thrust John Ford into Hollywood’s elite and launched John Wayne’s remarkable 40 year career, Stagecoach remains a really solid story really well told. Wayne is typically average, but there are some nice supporting turns, notably from Thomas Mitchell, and it is beautifully filmed. Some of the action scenes and stunt work are incredible for something made 80 years ago.
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Whilst I am a fan of both Howard Hawks and Cary Grant’s work, I haven’t had much to do with Jean Arthur, besides Shane at the tail end of her career. Known as a screwball comedy actress, this is a mostly quite serious and somber affair where she doesn’t get much chance to let loose. Grant doesn’t quite work for me as the surly head pilot of the mail carrying company, but I quite enjoyed this insight to a world I had never even considered. Thomas Mitchell is again excellent in a supporting role.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Great fun, right up there with Guardians of the Galaxy as Marvel’s funniest and most enjoyable film. Taika Waititi takes the film in a different direction and the majority of it works perfectly.
Full review to come
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
One of those enlightening, left-wing films I am a sucker for, The Motorcycle Diaries is also a beautifully made film with excellent performances from the two stars. The Latin American forests and deserts make for a stunning backdrop for what is the beginning of one of the more incredible lives that was Che Guevera.