The Neighbor - 6 out of 10 William Fichtner stars in this tame but still quite enjoyable thriller. It's definitely a film you will only watch once, its tone had the right amount of creep to keep you watching, but the downside is it was very predictable. I kind of wanted just something more "Rear Window" out of this, but it just failed to materialise and, though the ending is good, it also felt quite safe, which will ultimately leave this movie in the realms of the forgettable.
It does seem slightly farfetched for some of the key plot points too, certainly regarding Fichtner's character, Mike, and his relationship with his wife. It didn't feel like there was any development within this relationship and I felt things moved far too fast from one extreme to the other without reasonable cause, but what I did feel it got right was Mike's struggle to deal with feelings towards his young neighbor, this was developed well and this to be fair is what saves the movie. To summarise in neighbourly terms, this movie is the person you give a nod to walking down the street but you certainly won't be asking it to come in for a coffee.
Only The Brave - 8 out of 10
Inspired by a true story, this focuses on a group of firefighters called the Granite Mountain Hotshots and their extremely dangerous profession in tackling wildfires. It's incredibly well displayed and that is testament to Joseph Kosinski who really captures the landscape, the devastation and the intensity these fires would cause. You can nearly feel the heat on your face in some scenes and therefore I could feel how incredibly brave these men must have been staring it right in the face.
Josh Brolin is excellent as the leader of the crew and Miles Teller also puts in a great shift as one of the new recruits, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who recently had a kid and wants to turn his life around. This is why true stories are always superior, the characters are always easy to resonate with because you know they are real people doing real things. The end of this movie though will blow you away, I hadn't before watching this film, read up on the story and to say I was floored was an understatement, it is seriously heartbreaking and delivered in a very gripping but respectful way. We all like watching our superhero movies but this is a film about real life heroes and I would find it hard to believe you come out of this one without feeling a lot of emotion for these brave men, this is simply the must see for this week!
Goodbye Christopher Robin - 7 out of 10
I was never a massive fan of Winnie the Pooh as a kid, so I felt before going in that this could have passed me by, but this is a just a very well made and well scripted film. The story follows A.A. Milne in his creation of the much loved children's bear while playing with his son. There will be plenty for fans of Winnie to get excited about, the toys themselves being revealed and how the names were made for the characters but even for people like myself who would never consider himself to be a big fan, I was sucked right into it too.
I felt the tone was absolutely great, with bits of humour sprinkled through the drama and you really could feel the relationships between the characters. The cast was brilliant, particularly the young actor, Will Tilston, playing the title character. When I was aged 8 I was probably still banging dinosaurs heads together on my play mat but this lad just delivered a superb performance amongst some big names to shine the brightest. Margot Robbie and Kelly Macdonald were both excellent in their roles as Christopher's mother and nanny respectively but I also have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Domhnall Gleeson who was fantastic as writer A.A Milne, the scenes in which he portrays the stress of having served in the great war, particularly gave the character great development. Most of all though, this was as entertaining as it was informative, just a good fun movie with plenty of nods to the creation of one of the worlds most loved children's books and characters.
A Futile And Stupid Gesture - 7 out of 10
Funny biopic of the creation of National Lampoon and in particular the man behind it Doug Kenney. It is shot as a fitting tribute in silly lampoon style with so many jokes that will have the most avid punslingers laughing away. Will Forte is fantastic as the lead role and although I personally am too young to know too much about Doug, as a fan of comedy I understand that it is through National Lampoon that we get the genre of comedy as we know it today. Animal House was the blueprint which the American Pie's followed, a lot of what became SNL was indirectly related to the work on Lampoon's radio show. A great cast of comedy names littered this film playing equally big stars themselves such as Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and John Belushi, it really was a who's who of name dropping for comedy of the 70's and 80's! Another wonderful touch was the use of modern Doug played by Martin Mull, which gave comedic narrative to the movie throughout. It should have had a sad end to Doug's story truth be told but again in sheer Lampoon style, it's never far away from making you chuckle and that's an inspiring message to take out of it. This certainly was a stupid movie, but futile it was not and now it feels only right to go dig out my copy of Caddyshack and laugh along in Doug's honour.
Thor Ragnarok - 8 out of 10
Late to the nerdy party as ever with this one as I know the lads have already done their vlog on this but I thought I would put my two cents in, mainly because after watching their review upon finishing the movie I feel they made a massive omission of perhaps my most favourite MCU character of all time. Let's start by saying if Thor had been considered the duller of all Marvel films so far this one set out to atone. It's far more whacky and far more fun, it comes packed with the action you expect of a superhero film but what was most pleasing to me was the characteristic Marvel humour had been cranked up to an emphatic 11 and I laughed throughout. You had Jeff Goldblum in his usual mad cap deliveries, the scenes between Thor and Banner/Hulk were also great fun, when they were pounding each other in an epic battle it was fantastic to watch but just as enjoyable was their patter between the action, and as for Korg, let's just talk about Korg shall we?
I actually loved this character, the New Zealand accent had me hook line and sinker, it was like The Thing meets Rhys Darby, the man behind the voice was Taika Waititi and he has shot straight into my heart for this character, honestly I haven't enjoyed anyone as much in the Marvel cinematic universe.
The low points for the movie was another fairly poor villain, Hela just never made me believe she was as scary or powerful as what everyone kept making out, sadly just another in a long line of forgettable MCU villains, but even despite that, I thought on the whole, the film actually looked so boss, so colourful and vibrant when watching and that, along with the great action and hilarious moments, made this a very strong MCU film. I am now psyched and ready for Black Panther.