Tuesday, 2 June 2015

May 2015 in Review

Another month has passed. This time, Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Tina Turner and Melissa McCarthy have all embarked in driving whilst fuelled with rage. An unintended theme, but let's see what films I watched over the past month.

Drive Angry - 2/5 - What we could have gotten was an action/horror, Crank style piece of ridiculousness. Instead, we have Nicolas Cage headlining a typical Nic Cage flick, complete with a perplexing performance, a bad wig, awful dialogue and piss-weak writing. Worst of all though, it's playing this ridiculousness with a straight face, rather than straight up having fun with it. Thank goodness for William Fichtner, proving to be the films highlight as The Accountant. Amber Heard also deserves praise, managing to put personality into a character hampered by generic writing. Thanks to her, the "hard as nails girl who's lovable" cliché actually has a likeable persona.

Get Hard - 0.5/5 - It's clear that Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart are doing their best, but when it comes down to it, this talented duo can't elevate these poor proceedings. At first, it looks like Etan Cohen is going to take aim at the racial prejudices society gets stuck with, but then things devolve into a non-stop barrage of rape jokes, racial stereotypes and 90's style homophobia.

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) - 0/5 - A revolting, abhorrent film that you're better off not seeing. Ever.

Mad Max: Fury Road: Best film of the month, Best film
seen in cinemas and Best film watched for the first time.

Ted (rewatch) - 4/5 - Going back over Seth MacFarlane's directorial debut, the problems are more evident here. Patrick Warburton's subplot seems to exist for the purpose of a Ryan Reynolds cameo, and the ending

Maniac - 4/5 - A horror seen through the killers eyes, director Franck Khalfoun makes us all witnesses, uneasily viewing the gruesome actions. Elijah Wood had a hell of a performance to give, considering we don't even see his face outside of mirrors, and the rare occasion where the camera escapes his perspective. It's a tough job, but Wood manages to pull it off with one of the best performances recently witnessed within this genre, pulling off vulnerable and frightening in great measure.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - 4/5 - Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci bring their comedic creation to the big screen. Thankfully, laughs are brought with it and a fantastic execution.

Gone Girl: Best film rewatched

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - 2/5 - Never knowing whether it wants to commit to being a Mad Max flick or a cheesy kids flick by Steven Speilberg, George Miller's third entry into his franchise is certainly the weakest.

Gone Girl (rewatch) - 4.5/5 - Just as good as when I first saw it. Ben Affleck is underrated, but as everyone knows, it's Rosamund Pike who truly shines here. One of 2014's greatest performances.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderome: Biggest disappointment

Fish Tank - 4/5 - Andrea Arnold tells the heartbreaking tale of Mia, a 15 year old from Essex who has the typical teenage experience of wanting to escape her town, and believes the way to do so is through her passion. The story is brought to life by gritty realism, Arnolds direction that'll leave you moved, & flawless performances across the board.

Wasp - 2.5/5 - Andrea Arnold's short is astonishing, in how it drags in the 20 minutes it takes to build up towards some bad event obviously happening. Thankfully, Natalie Press' acting is worth praising.

Spy: Biggest Surprise

Mad Max: Fury Road - 5/5 -  Oh. My. God! How Masterful!

Tomorrowland - 3.5/5 - Brad Bird puts forth many great ideas, but the film feels lacking. The ideas could've been explored better, but instead are summed up in an overly-preachy speech near the end. Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy are the standouts, in this film which boasts great fun for the first 2/3rds, before delivering a weak final act.

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence):
Worst film of the month

The Warriors - 3.5/5 - Where Walter Hill succeeds here is how he takes a simple premise, and allows the audience to feel the tension as much as the characters do. It also helps that he includes some playful scenes of action, and a great deal of gangs that will remain memorable. Unfortunately, the characters we follow throughout remain an unmemorable bunch, with little work done to give many of them some kind of personality. Plus, it's rather uncomfortable how the only prominent female is portrayed as promiscuous, something which is constantly mentioned, and gets threatened with rape.

Dirty Pretty Things - 4.5/5  - Stephen Frears' tense direction sets up an enthralling tale, focusing on illegal immigrants Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Senay (Audrey Tautou). Taking place within an illicit hotel, the backdrop for many unlawful activities, run by an unscrupulous manager. The performances are utterly engaging, with Tautou and Ejiofor providing some standout work.

Spy (2015) - 4/5 - Paul Feig delivers one of his strongest films, crafting a funny send-up of spy films with the suave lead, such as Bond. Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham pull out strong work, showcasing their comedic talents really well.


Best film of the month: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best film seen in cinemas: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best film watched for the first time: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best film rewatched: Gone Girl
Biggest Disappointment: Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Biggest Surprise: Spy
Worst film of the month: The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

Number of films watched: 15

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