Archive for February 4th, 2023

Those of you who have been reading from when I started this blog back in 2009 will know I always start the month with a recap of the movies I watched at the cinema the previous month and by picking my favourite.  Through various lockdowns when cinemas closed for prolonged periods I stopped this thread, and largely stopped blogging.  As things opened up again I never got back into the habit, maybe now is the time to restart the movie of the month, here goes:

M3GAN: A recently orphaned child goes to live with her toy developer aunt who gives her the prototype of a new robot doll.  All goes well until things get staby.  A slight but well-made and entertaining horror with just enough humour and gore. Pretty much what we have come to expect from a Blumhouse Production.  The inevitable sequel has already been greenlit. 

Tár: Cate Blanchett gives what is possibly her best ever performance (no mean feat as she is one of the best actors working today) as Lydia Tár; a superstar conductor at the pinnacle of her career, but on the brink of personal and professional freefall thanks to her self-destructive personality.  Blanchett and director Todd Field makes us root for Tár at the same time understanding she is a terrible person. 

Babylon: Damien Chazelle explores Hollywood’s favourite subject, Hollywood. Set in the early part of the Golden Age of Hollywood as the industry movies out of the silent era.  Told from multiple points of view, but manly a young man looking to break into the industry.  The spectacle and opulence on display puts Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby in the shade.  Although the debauchery depicted was probably more representative of the early 20s than when the film was set, but the transition to sound is integral to the plot.  Critical and audience reception seems hugely polarised, I loved it. 

The Fabelmans: Semi-autobiographical story of Steven Spielberg’s early years and how he became a filmmaker.  While the film does explore his parents’ separation, a theme in the background of many of his movies, it avoids the usual bio-pic trap of explaining all the everything and filling a story with Easter eggs.  Michelle Williams is the standout in an excellent cast.  The casting of a cameo at the end is pure genius. 

Plane:  A plane is forced to make an emergency landing on a hostile island.  The captain and a prisoner they are transporting must team up to save the passengers from local bandits.  There is no doubt this is a dumb action movie, but it’s a dumb action movie done well.  It doesn’t overextend the plot, the characters act within their established character without making too many stupid decisions.  Forgettable but fun!

An interesting month.  I enjoyed all the movies I saw, but don’t think I will rush to see any of them again. Tár has the best performance, The Fabelmans is an absolute joy to watch, but my movie of the month is Babylon.  It isn’t perfect and I can see why some people hate it, but I loved its boldness and audacity.


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