27 September 2016

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 2016 - ★★★★

One of my most anticipated films of the year so my expectations were high and I really wish they had been met but it didn't all quite come together. That's not to say the film isn't a complete joy because it wonderfully manages lots of big laughs and at it's heart has an emotional story that really works. In a different mood (or if the most of the punchlines hadn't been in the trailer) perhaps I would have been laughing as much as the rest of the cinema at the earlier broader humour.

I'm not sure what the problems are and why it felt like it didn't work as well as it should. It definitely feels longer than the fairly brief running time and there are definitely far too many helicopter/drone shots of the bush. Overall it just feels like it's lacking something to make it truly majestical.

September 27, 2016 at 11:03PM

25 September 2016

Zootopia, 2016 - ★★★½

After hearing so many good things about this it was slightly disappointing to discover it was only good rather than great. It is one of the smartest films of the year, dealing with prejudice in a way that should work for all ages. The attention to detail is also incredible and the sloths provide one of the funniest scenes of the year.

September 25, 2016 at 10:02PM

23 September 2016

Hell or High Water, 2016 - ★★★½

When people kept saying they don't make films like this anymore I should've remembered that I'm not always that keen on 70s thrillers. It's good to see something original and relatively smart even if some of the finer details of the plot were lost in heavy Texan drawl. For me it was only really the final third including a really satisfying ending that stood out as anything special.

September 23, 2016 at 06:38PM

18 September 2016

Captain Fantastic, 2016 - ★★★½

A film I liked enough to forgive its flaws but was flawed enough to prevent me from loving it. Earlyish there's a scene featuring Noam Chomsky's which didn't make much sense. It may have just been bad editing but it stood out and could just be labelled a mistake without doing any damage. Towards the end of the film there's another scene that could also be badly edited but it may also be deliberately trying to set up some ambiguity, however because of the earlier mistake it ends up just being a distraction; was it deliberate or just poor film making. On reflection I don't think there was supposed to be any ambiguity to the ending but I can't help feeling the film would have been stronger if that had been the case.

The whole film looks great, all the performances are engaging and there a quite a few great musical moment including one of the best scenes of the year when a cop comes on the bus. I also really like the final scene which is odd because it's the type of thing I usually have a big problem with.

September 17, 2016 at 11:34PM

08 September 2016

Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach, 2016 - ★★★½

A nicely put together documentary giving a great (but far from comprehensive) overview of Loach's work.

September 08, 2016 at 10:10PM

02 September 2016

Tickled, 2016 - ★★★★

Another one of those accidental documentaries that start as one thing and become something much more fascinating than anyone could have expected. Often unbelievable (in the good way), frequently very funny and thrilling throughout. It's only let down by spending too much time leading up to a midpoint 'reveal' which was really obvious (to me, anyway) from the start of the film. The ending also lacks a satisfying conclusion to the story but that's can't be helped if that's how things actually happened.

September 02, 2016 at 04:46PM