Archive for November 1st, 2016

Another busy month with thirteen movies, but which is the movie of the month? Here are the contenders: 

Swiss Army Man: Marketed as the farting corpse movie, it is actually a very intimate movie about mental illness.  It is a film that has really divided critical opinion receiving both one and five star reviews.  I can appreciate what the film makers were trying to do and through both Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe were excellent but I didn’t enjoy the film.swiss-army-man

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Eva Green was the only good thing about Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (2012), it is therefore good to see he has found a much better vehicle for her.  With a plot reminiscent of so many of his previous movies you would be forgiven for thinking this was a Burton original idea, it is actually based on the book of the same name by Ransom Riggs.  A fun and charming film with a nicely dark side, what Burton does best and hasn’t done often enough in the past decade and a half.miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children

Blood Farther:  I love trashy B movies and genre films and found this Mel Gibson vehicle a real treat.  Playing a character who has issues and past transgressions that mirror the actor, Gibson is perfect for the part.  Don’t expect anything original or new but take it for what it is and you may just like it, I loved it.blood-farther

The Girl on the Train: It was never going to be possible to do justice to an adaptation of a book that consisted of mainly in inner monologue of an unreliable witness, however The Girl on the Train is as good as it could be.  The change of setting from London to New York has no impact and Emily Blunt excellent.the-girl-on-the-train

War on Everyone:  John Michael McDonagh has set the bar very high for himself with The Gard and Calvary.  War on Everyone doesn’t reach those heights but is still an absolute hoot.  The ever reliable Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña are on top form and their deadpan delivery is often devastatingly funny.war-on-everyone

American Honey: Andrea Arnold has been one of Britain’s most interesting directors in recent years.  For her first American movie she has taken on the most American of genres, the road movie.  A cast of mainly none actors work well alongside Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough who are both on career best form.  The real star of the film is Sasha Lane who is just as impressive as Katie Jarvis was in Arnold’s Fish Tank.  The 2h 43min runtime flies by.american-honey

Deepwater Horizon: The true story of the oil rig disaster in 2010, manages to work as a 70’s style disaster movie while still showing a certain respect and dignity to people who lost their lives just six years ago.deepwater-horizon

Inferno: Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are back bringing us a third instalment of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon.  As with the first two films, the plot consists of equal quantities of running and exposition and is as bad if not worse than the other two instalments.  Further hampered by a plot twist a blind man would see coming, the only novel thing about the film is that it kills the main villain in the prologue, sorry if that is a spoiler, but it is in the trailer.inferno

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back: Tom Cruise’s second outing as Lee Child’s phenomenally successful book series.  A bigger and more cinematic, but not as interesting story as the first film.  Cobie Smulders plays well opposite cruise having a much better character than Rosamund Pike did in the first film.  Like the books, fun and enjoyable without offering anything particularly original.jack-reacher-never-go-back

The Accountant: Ben Affleck plays an accountant with a difference.  An interesting and enjoyable thriller that is well structured with flashbacks drip-feeding the characters back story.  There are a few of nice twists and turns in the plot, some more obvious than others.  The always brilliant Anna Kendrick is largely wasted.The Accountant

Train to Busan: How do you do anything original with a zombie movie, it’s all been done, hasn’t it?  The setting on a train offers some really interesting scenarios, but there are a few new characteristics to the zombies that also work to great effect.  To top all this of it is a genuinely good story  with compelling characters.train-to-busan

I, Daniel Blake: Ken Loach explores the inequities and bureaucracy of the welfare system from the point of view of a single mother and working man who has recently suffered a heart attack.  A powerful story with all the gusto of Loach’s best work if not it subtlety.i-daniel-blake

Doctor Strange: Marvel have done it again, introducing a ridiculous character and scenario that takes the MCU even further away from reality, but it works.  Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly cast as both the cocky surgeon at the start of the movie, and the hero he becomes.  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton are all as good as you would expect but Rachel McAdams is totally wasted.null

I don’t award a Razzie of month, if I did, Inferno would be a clear winner.  But what is the movie of the month?  I loved Blood Farther as perfect example of the genre, and Train to Busan for its originality, but the movie of the month is: American Honeyamerican-honey-poster

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