Film Review: A Simple Favour (2018)

I’ve had a bit of a soft spot for Blake Lively since I watched The Age of Adaline. What? I liked it and I’m not embarrassed to admit it!

A simple favour follows a somewhat tightly-wound single-mom blogger called Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), and a wild, haute couture, live-life-to-the-full Emily (Blake Lively).

They are extremes, but become bound together when Emily disappears, literally leaving Stephanie holding the baby (well… small child).

This is a great mix of thriller, psychological thriller, mystery and comedy, and it’s not clear at any point which one the writers and director were really aiming at.

However, that doesn’t matter, because the result of all of that is a great, light-hearted film that thunders along to deliver a nicely wrapped up, madcap and funny ending.

I really enjoyed this film.

I give it an easy 7.5/10.

Film Review: Mile 22 (2018)

If you’ve been following these reviews you’ll see quite a few movies that I’ve been negative about.

I’m always looking for great films to watch, and I’m clear that not all great films make money. Take Solo: A Star Wars story for example.

But a Mark Wahlberg film is usually a strong contender on both counts. I’ve enjoyed a lot of his movies.

This one, though, is a cheap, low budget, B-movie turd filled with tired cliches, weak writing, and unending explosions and gun fire designed to distract the viewer from the appalling script.

I couldn’t shake the feeling I was watching a bad episode of the 1980’s A-Team.

I give this movie 3.0/10.

Film Review: The Predator (2018)

GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!!!!!

The first Predator movie was awesome nonsense. Much like Commando, Arnie was a tour-de-force of muscle and great one-liners. The movie never took itself too seriously, but it delivered a great cinema experience.

The sequels were successively poor, besmirching the brand and squandering what could have been a very strong series.

So, this time around would things be different, would the team pull a phoenix from the ashes of films gone past?

No.

Confused, muddled, poorly cast and poorly written. The one saving grace was the Predators themselves: they showed more of their personalities, more of their backstory in this movie, and that was great. The rest though, was cheaply done.

I give this movie 4.0/10.

Film Review: BlacKkKlansman (2018)

I wanted to love this film. The trailers looked really interesting, and the subject matter fascinating.

The messages in this film, the truths in this film, are unavoidable and unquestionable. The parallels with the USA and the wider world are there to see.

Is it a good movie though? Does it stand up on its own, messages to one side, as a good or great example of the cinematic art?

I don’t think so.

It feels long, a bit flabby in places. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was seeing the same joke / message / vehicle over and over again. Where I wanted depth and exposition I got repetition and flab.

Overall, I’m glad I watched it, but it’s not a great movie.

I give this film 7.0/10.

Film Review: Equalizer 2 (2018)

As we all know, sequels are hard. Especially when you have to follow something as amazing as the first Equalizer movie.

This outing did not rise to the challenge.

Now, I love a Denzel movie. I’ve pretty much loved everything he’s been in. In fact I struggle to think of any of his past films that I didn’t like a lot.

However, I didn’t realise he’d never done a sequel to one of his movies before this one. Imagine that.

He should have maintained that winning streak, because this movie is a dull mixture of tired writing, cliche, moribund performances, bad special effects (appallingly, laughably bad in one case), and unnecessary violence.

Unnecessary violence in an Equaliser movie?? We expected this movie to be violent, it was part of the attraction of the first one. But this movie uses violence as a filler to mask over the cracks of an otherwise poor film.

The tension, the drama, the care the viewer has for the characters in the first film are all absent here.

I give this film a disappointing 5.5 / 10.

Film Review: The Meg (2018)

I should have known this was going to be bad when I bought my ice cream and got stiffed on the portion size…

Seriously, it was half what they normally serve, and my mate ordered the smaller one and got almost as much as me, it’s just not fair!

Little did I know that would be the highlight of the evening.

This film is appalling. Rubbish cinema at its worst.

It has no redeeming qualities. Even the actors seemed bored and embarrassed at times.

Two hours of my life I will never get back.

And did I mention the ice cream? Nightmare.

I give this movie 1.0/10.

Film Review: Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)

DUM…DUM…DUM.DUM…DUM…DUM…DUM…DUM…

Everyone knows that intro, it’s unmistakeable. It’s Mission Impossible!

The first Mission Impossible was 1996. I KNOW! How did that happen, it seems like yesterday…

There have been six MI films since then. We’ve all seen what happens to film franchises as the sequels rack up right? I’ve written reviews on here lamenting the state of Jurassic Park, the Ocean’s franchise etc., and for the love of God no one bring up Highlander… There were no sequels to Highlander, okay!

So, life has taught us that MI films should have been awful for over a decade.

But they’re not.

Every single MI film is knocked out of the park. One of the greatest movie franchises of a generation, if not all time.

And this is no exception. In fact, it knocks it out of the park and over into the next country.

Tightly paced, well written, very well acted, self-effacing, funny, frightening, tender, explosive.

Loved every minute of it.

I give this movie 9.5/10.

Film Review: Vertigo (1958 – watched 2018)

This is one of those films that I’ve always meant to watch, but never have.

When I saw it was being released at the cinema for it’s 60th anniversary, I jumped at it.

What a great film!

The cast (James Stewart, Kim Novak, and the excellent Barbara Bel Geddes) shine throughout the movie.

It is very much of its time, and something made like this almost certainly wouldn’t work as a movie these days, but there is something magical about the setting, the pacing, and the film technology used back then.

A wonderful movie, and experience.

I give this movie 9.0/10.

Film Review: Ocean’s 8 (2018)

The original Ocean’s film (Ocean’s 11) was a great movie.

At the time (2001) it was something a bit different, a big names, big budget blockbuster with a great cast and great timing.

As with many great films it seems, the studio milked it across several sequels, producing weaker and weaker offerings each time, so by the end of it the entire trilogy was lessened some how.

So, a new Ocean’s film for the new millennium? An all female cast, and an awesome all female cast at that?! This should be great…

Was it? It was okay.

Well written, paced pretty well, with some good individual moments.

What’s lacking though is the spark between the characters. You never really feel that they like each other, or even that they are bonded together for a common goal. There always seems to be a tension between them, an unspoken animosity that stops the Ocean’s team from really being a team.

Was that due to bad acting? I don’t think so.

Bad casting? Possibly.

All individually strong, they don’t work together well, and I wonder if that is down to the relationship between the actors off-screen. At times I struggled to imagine them having an enjoyable dinner together, let alone pulling off a heist.

I give this movie 7.0/10.