Tag Archives: year: 2017

Fast Five Review: Blade Runner 2049

bladerunnerblogbannerfinalBlade Runner 2049
Science Fiction | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle | Released January 24, 2018

Thirty years after the events of the first Blade Runner film, K is a new Blade Runner; a replicant tasked with tracking down and eliminating older model replicants. When he makes a shocking discovery that could cause widespread chaos between humans and replicants, K is determined to find out the truth – not only about replicants, but about his own life as well.

1) Did you like the film?

Yes, but with reservations. I’m a huge sci-fi buff, and obviously, a fan of the first movie. But the thing with Blade Runner is that it’s 35 years old, and feels awkwardly dated to rewatch. And while the new Blade Runner film is utterly lovely to look at, it’s still bogged down with the same problems as Ridley Scott’s film – issues that a film released in 2017 really should have tried harder to avoid.

2) Why?

Let’s start with the positive stuff first. Blade Runner 2049 is dazzling in so many ways. The world-building at work here is on an epic scale. The opening shots, combined with the nostalgia-heavy score is enough to make a fan of the first film weak at the knees. The word “iconic” is used for pretty much everything these days, but there are so many scenes in Blade Runner 2049 to which the word comes to mind easily. Overall, this is a fascinating, atmospheric film that’s almost-as-good-as-the-original good. Well, almost.

bladerunnerThe problems? What’s with the way this film treats women? No spoilers, but the number of female characters who wind up dead in Blade Runner 2049 is staggering. Women are revered in Blade Runner 2019 – they’re angels, miracles, supersized goddesses. But at the same time, they’re disposed of with an alarming, brutal efficiency.

And then, there’s that nearly three hour runtime. Spare a thought for those of us who saw this at the cinema. At least on DVD, there’s always the pause button…

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re a big, big fan of the first movie.

4) This film made me think about…

How can a film be so brilliant and so flawed at the same time? Like I said, this is a great film, but it’s 2017 – why can’t films about the future be…I don’t know, a little more futuristic in their outlook towards race and gender?

5) Overall rating?

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Baby Driver

babydriverblogbannerfinal

Baby Driver
Action | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle

Baby is a semi-charmed young getaway driver who uses music to drown out the constant ringing in his ears, a condition he’s suffered nearly all his life. Just when things are starting to look up for Baby – he’s met the love of his life and he’s finally earned enough money to walk away from crime for good – he’s dragged back behind the wheel for one final, doomed heist. There’s no song that can help Baby out of this one…

1) Did you like the film?

I was expecting this to be a big, dumb action movie along the lines of the Fast and the Furious franchise. What I got was something completely different…and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it!

2) Why?

For starters, Baby Driver probably has more personality in its first ten minutes than all the Fast and the Furious movies combined. From the dialogue to the characters to the soundtrack, this movie has so much going for it. It’s loaded with originality, and it doesn’t get too wrapped up in its own conceit (looking directly at you, Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) to be enjoyable. Twee? Maybe a little. But that’s okay. Baby Driver is proof that movies can be fun without having to switch your brain off for a couple of hours.

babydriver3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

If you’ve ever wished you could live in a video clip (I know I have!) you’ll love Baby Driver.

4) This film made me think about…

What would the soundtrack to my life sound like? Probably much dorkier…

5) Overall rating?

4.5-stars

Fast Five Review: My Cousin Rachel

mycousinrachelbannerfinalMy Cousin Rachel
Drama | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle

Philip is an orphan, raised by his slightly older cousin, Ambrose, who he came to regard as a father. But when Ambrose travels alone to Italy and falls in love with a woman named Rachel, Philip can’t help but feel neglected. Soon, word arrives that Ambrose and Rachel are married – and then, Ambrose’s letters home begin to take a worrying tone. Ambrose is sick, and blames Rachel for his illness. When Ambrose dies in Italy, Philip is furious, and is determined to confront Rachel, who he is convinced is directly responsible for Ambrose’s death. However, upon meeting Rachel – young, beautiful, mysterious Rachel – Philip is suddenly lost for words…

1) Did you like the film?

I really enjoyed My Cousin Rachel, and if literary adaptations, fancy costumes and repressed sexual tension are your jam, then I think you’ll love it too.

mycousinrachel2) Why?

What, fancy costumes and repressed sexual tension aren’t enough to convince you? Okay, fine – from the very first scene, My Cousin Rachel will grab you and won’t let go until its thrilling conclusion. If you’re looking for something romantic – say, along the lines of Pride and Prejudice, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. This isn’t a love story. My Cousin Rachel is dark and twisted and dripping with drama.

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

I’ll say it again – My Cousin Rachel is a literary adaptation (based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, the author of Rebecca), it has fancy costumes galore, the repressed sexual tension will fog up your television screen…and did I forgot to mention Game of Thrones’ Ser Jorah Mormont is in it?

mycousinrachel2

(…All the other actors are A+ too.)

4) This film made me think about…

I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read the book. I need to fix that…where’s the nearest library?

5) Overall rating?

4.5-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: Doctor Who, Season 10

doctorwhoseason10bannerDoctor Who: Season 10

Part One | Part Two
Science Fiction | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

It’s the tenth season of the rebooted Doctor Who, and from the outset, fans already knew that it’d be the last to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. With companions Bill and Nardole by his side, this season sees the Doctor face new challenges – and old enemies.

1) Did you like it?

I’ve been a bit meh about the past couple of series of Doctor Who, to be honest. It’s tricky – I love Peter Capaldi, but never really thought that his version of The Doctor was fully developed. Sunglasses and a guitar are props, not character development. After the last season left me cold, I wasn’t too enthused about this season.

So what made me change my mind? The announcement that, for the first time ever, the Doctor’s next regeneration would be a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker.

Oh, and yes, I liked this series, by the way.

2) Why?

Bill and Nardole are great, and together with the Doctor, they make a great team.  This season allows us to see a different side to Capaldi’s Doctor as well – but it all feels too late. We’re just starting to get to know him when the season is over. It’s a real shame…

What’s not so great about this season? There are a few flat episodes. The weakest point is The Lie of the Land, a 1984-esque episode that centres around Bill’s mum (who, despite being a vital part of the episode is never given an actual name). There are also a few plot points scattered throughout the series that viewers of New Who might find unfortunately familiar.

But overall, this season is tighter and more entertaining than it’s been for a while. For the most part, it’s more restrained and there’s more of a feel of camaraderie between the Doctor and his companions.

dalek3) You’ll enjoy this television series if…

Actually, if you’re new to Doctor Who, series ten would be a great place to jump on board!

4) This television series made me think about…

As much as I’m looking forward to a female Doctor, I’m going to miss Peter Capaldi. But here’s to new beginnings and new regenerations.

5) Overall rating?

3-stars