Category Archives: Movies

Fast Five Review: Wonder Woman

wonderwomanbanner2017

Wonder Woman
Action | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Diana is the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. She grows up on a peaceful island of female warriors; a paradise hidden away from the rest of the world. With the arrival of an American pilot – the first man she’s ever seen – with the news of a terrible war, Diana decides she must act, and leaves her home for the first time, determined to bring peace to the world. Along the way, she discovers the truth about her identity, teams up with a group of unlikely heroes – and falls in love for the first time.

1) Did you like the film?

Confession: I usually avoid comic book movies. But after watching Wonder Woman, I decided to check out a few online reviews, and the general consensus is that, as far as comic book films go, this is one of the best around. However, as a viewer with not much to compare this film with, that seems like a really low bar. I liked this film, but I’d have loved it if its storytelling choices were anywhere near as bold and brave as its main character.

2) Why?

The best thing about this movie is Gal Gadot as Diana. In fact, she’s so compelling that she makes pretty much all the other characters in the film seem incidental. Yes, even Chris Pine (who co-stars as the spy who crashes on Diana’s island and later accompanies her on her quest to end the war) looks like a goofy caricature next to her sheer energy and charm.

wonderwoman2

Another thing I liked about Wonder Woman? There’s also a plot twist that is the film’s smartest, most interesting moment. But I’m not going to say a thing about that – you’ll need to watch the film yourself to find out more. Sorry, not sorry…

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re a fan of fast-paced action. The action sequences in Wonder Woman are many and frequent – and with the odd exception, not overly violent, which makes a nice change (yes you, Logan). They’re also very video-gamey, frequently slowing down to fully capture Diana’s gravity-defying flips and leaps. Personally, it’s a technique that drove me around the twist after the film’s first ten minutes, but if that’s your thing, you’re going to be in heaven watching this film.

4) This film made me think about…

Wonder Woman is the first blockbuster superhero film starring a woman since 2005. It’s also the first female-directed live action film to have a budget in excess of $100 million. While this particular movie mightn’t have been to my taste, it smashed records around the world. So can we all agree to make more female-led, female-directed and generally female-forward films? And not just action movies. Comedies, thrillers, animated films…anything goes. More women in film can only be a good thing.

5) Overall rating?

3.5-stars

Fast Five Review: Adult Life Skills

adultlifeskillsbannerAdult Life Skills
Comedy | 2016
Reviewed by Michelle

Whether she’s ready or not, Anna is about to turn thirty. She lives in her mum’s garden shed, works at a depressing adventure camp for kids and spends her free time making videos of her thumbs with faces drawn on them, providing the voices as they bicker about life, the universe and everything in a rocket ship hurtling through space. As her life spirals out of control, Anna’s mum issues her an ultimatum: she needs to get her act together and move out before her thirtieth birthday. Or else.

1) Did you like this film?

I most certainly did! I had no idea what to expect from Adult Life Skills and was pleasantly surprised. This British indie film completely won me over.

2) Why?

This is a delightfully warped film about grief that’s genuinely funny, and sad, and weird, and thought-provoking – and all at the same time. Jodie Whittaker is captivating in the lead role (it took me ages to work out why her name seemed vaguely familiar…) and the film’s soundtrack is just perfect. Sure, there are a few narrative loose threads, but as a whole, Adult Life Skills is a little film with a giant-sized heart.

vlcsnap-2017-03-05-13h27m39s034

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You don’t mind comedy that makes you laugh one moment and cry the next.

4) This film made me think about…

Last week, I reviewed (and loved!) a feminist film written and directed by a guy, and I had a bit of a rant about how we need more female film critics. But I think I got it wrong. It’s not that we need more female critics – there are heaps of them already out there, working away. What we do need is to place a greater value on the work of female critics, female producers, female writers…and female creators in general. Like Rachel Tunnard, the writer and director behind Adult Life Skills. I’m already looking forward to whatever she does next.

5) Overall rating?

Two thumbs up from me, as well as four stars.

Adult-Life-Skills-pic-2-600x330

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Colossal

colossalbannerColossal
Science Fiction | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Gloria is an unemployed, thirtysomething blogger living in New York and teetering on the verge of alcoholism. When her over-it boyfriend kicks her out of his apartment, Gloria moves back to her hometown and reconnects with Oscar, an old friend who now owns his parents’ bar. Also, in the meantime, a giant monster begins to appear in Seoul, South Korea at the same time every morning, laying waste to entire neighbourhoods. Eventually, Gloria becomes convinced that she and the monster are somehow connected…

1) Did you like it?

I have to admit, I’d never heard of Colossal, but the brief description I read intrigued me and I decided to give it a watch. I’m so glad I did, because I loved this film!

2) Why?

Giant monster movies have been done to death. And, let’s face it, so has the “odd but troubled woman moves back home to get her life together” genre. But this movie is something different. It mashes these two completely disparate stories together – and the result is totally unique. And just when you think you have an idea where Colossal is going, the plot kicks into overdrive and it goes somewhere else entirely. And in the best possible way.

colossalThat’s all I’m going to tell you about Colossal. It’s funny, terrifying, quirky – and probably a cult classic. Just watch it.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

Hmm. It’s difficult to say. If you’re expecting something along the lines of Godzilla/Pacific Rim/Cloverfield/Kong – you’re probably going to be disappointed.

4) This movie made me think about…

We need more female film critics. I looked up a few reviews before writing this, and pretty much every professional review I encountered was written by a man. I’m not saying that guys won’t, or don’t get this film – it was written and directed by a man: Spanish filmmaker, Nacho Vigalondo. But so many of the reviews of Colossal I read missed the point entirely, while the reviews I found by women saw this film for what it is. Female critics, represent.

5) Overall rating?

Yep, it’s that good…

5-stars

Fast Five Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

guardiansofthegalaxy2blogbannerGuardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2
Science Fiction | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

After saving the galaxy, the Guardians are in demand. But when a deal goes wrong and they’re pursued by an armada of deadly drones across the universe, the Guardians are rescued by a god-like being who holds the secrets to Peter Quill’s true parentage. As Peter comes to terms with his identity, the Guardians struggle to keep the team together.

1) Did you like it?

If you’ve ever read any of my Fast Five reviews before, you’ll know that I’m really suspicious of sequels and I’m not a fan of comic book movies. Uh oh.

The good news? One of the very (very) few comic book films I’ve seen and enjoyed was the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. The not-so-good news: Volume 2 is a good film, but it can’t quite capture the irreverent spirit of the original.

2) Why?

What I liked? Guardians Volume 2 has the same humour the first film, not to mention a cracking soundtrack that will have your toes tapping. Plus, it’s got the same group of (sometimes) lovable characters and introduces a few fun additions to the team.

gotg2

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Volume 2. However, what I loved most about the first film was its distinctive, snappy charm. The sequel has that charm too, except here, it’s been cranked up to eleven. There are no less than five scenes during the credits. Volume 2 is an enjoyable film, and a good sequel – but it’s overblown. Somewhat ironically, it has an Ego problem.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

If you’re into action films that will make you laugh. Seeing the first film will help you get these characters better though.

4) This movie made me think about…

There’s clearly going to be a third Guardians film. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the team next.

5) Overall rating?

Hmm. This is a tough one to rate…

3-stars

Fast Five Review: Get Out

getoutbanner

Get Out

Horror | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Chris is an African-American photographer; his girlfriend of five months, Rose, is white. And rich. When Rose invites him to spend the weekend at her family’s sprawling country estate, Chris is reluctant. What if they’re racist? Has Rose even told her family he’s black? But as the weekend drags on, Chris realises that he’s going to have much more to deal with than awkward conversations…

1) Did you like it?

Yep. I’m not even a horror fan and I loved Get Out.

2) Why?

Here’s the spoiler free version: Get Out is a film about racism in every form – from the well-intentioned racism of young, “woke” white people trying (and failing) to do the right thing, to awkward dinner party conversations, to racial violence and slavery. It’s smart and scary and it’ll make you think.

getoutimage3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re into films that have you on the edge of your seat…not only because they’re scary, but also because they make you aware of uncomfortable truths about yourself and your society.

4) This movie made me think about…

Lots. Get Out is a nailbiter of a film that will have you thinking about it long after your nails have grown back. Make sure you Google the film’s alternate endings, too. Yikes.

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars