Steve Carrell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne star in a comedy drama that follows Larry "Doc" Sheppard (Carrell) as he visits some old Vietnam war buddies with the sole purpose of getting them to come to his son's funeral, who also died in the military service.
It's sprinkled with good comedy around the drama and this film is made by the great chemistry between all 3 lead actors. You see the affection grow and blossom between these men as they eventually end up on a road trip trying to get the son back home. I especially loved the ongoing friction between converted pastor Mueller (Fishburne), who was apparently a bad boy when in the army, and Sal (Cranston) who tries to get him to loosen up again. Carrell is also excellent as the grieving father but it was a very well balanced film between the funny and the emotional making it a very pleasant watch albeit with certain moments where the pace drops a bit, but overall push through those bits and you're rewarded with a decent movie, though probably not the most memorable.
I, Tonya - 7 out of 10
Biographical film which tells the story of ex Olympic figure skater, Tonya Harding. Now I am certainly not a figure skating fan and if I'm being honest, though I had heard the name before, I wasn't all that sure of what trials and tribulations might be on show in this woman's story. I can tell you now, I was surprised with what I watched. This is shot really well, between little interview moments with Tonya (played by Margot Robbie) and certain others characters whom affected her life.
Along with the actual moments of her life being played out, especially the unbelievable account of what happened to unravel her figure skating career, it also shows the struggle she had just breaking into the sport due to her background and appearance despite her obvious talents. Margot Robbie is absolutely fantastic in the role and Allison Janney is perfect in the role of her hard-ass mother. It was definitely an interesting watch and I'm sure if you do, like myself, you'll be reaching for wikipedia to learn a bit more.
Coco - 8 out of 10
The hype certainly was high for this one, "the best Pixar movie to come since Toy Story" people were reporting. Could it possibly live up to the hype? Spoiler alert.... It definitely does.
This is a beautiful story with really beautiful music to guide you through and I can see kids and adults alike falling head over heels for this amazing movie. The songs are great, the humour is wonderful and you will be as happy as anyone to sit through this with the whole family, no matter your age, all laughing together. The story is fantastic too with plenty of emotion and it really is heartfelt toward the end with some beautiful messages that all kids should be privy to as they will eventually learn about life, death and the importance of family.
Perhaps it doesn't have quite the same impact and array of characters that Toy Story did, but this is still a brilliant watch that might just get your tears falling too.
The Voyeur - 6 out of 10
This documentary tells the rather odd story of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who made his hotel into his own voyeuristic paradise, building a platform above all the rooms and fitting carefully placed openings so that he could spy on his guests. Gerald proceeded to invite a famous writer called Gay Talese in on his little private world as he invaded everyone else's and sent him reports and letters documenting his life as a voyeur. Talese would then go on to write this in a book called "The Voyeurs Motel" which shows how Gerald had apparently witnessed all sorts of carry on, detailing the intimate moments between people and even at one point highlight how he viewed a murder.
Very interesting albeit rather creepy and very entertaining to watch how Gerald rationalised his actions. I thought it was especially interesting when we meet Gerald in later life as his personality really comes to the forefront as the documentary team are established in his home with his wife before the release of the book, and after too. It's entertaining for sure but you can't help but feel a bit cheated after watching this, as many of the incidents can't be validated as some people state he didn't even own the motel in some of the years he had documented. This even led Talese to disavow his own book, so although this is an entertaining watch, it leaves you to wonder how much of this was actually true ? Was this a documentary purely made to make something out of a failed book? Possibly, but its an intriguing watch nevertheless!
The Shape Of Water - 9 out of 10
Mesmerising and picturesque, this dark fairytale simply blew me away.
Del Toro has always delivered on the look of a picture and this is no different. The gorgeous design of the set is something to behold and it really makes this one an easy watch. Though the story is nothing too clever, you can forgive its simplicity. Yes, this is nothing new but it's delivered in such a fantastic way. You can feel the romance surround you as if the amphibian beast has your body in its big strong arms and that is down to the outstanding performance of Sally Hawkins, who plays mute cleaner, Elisa.
Only able to communicate via sign language she befriends an amphibian being held in the research facility she works in. She simply lit up the screen every time she appeared on it which is an enormous achievement given the character can't even speak. Michael Shannon is the man in charge of research on the "asset" and he certainly plays his part, delivering a fearful and villainous character to bring balance to the story, but it was love that was the strongest message throughout, and a simply beautiful poem read at the end of the movie whose words have really struck with me. Perhaps it was me who was humbled most by this movie as its presence definitely filled my eyes with love. This is one of the most dark and different romantic films you'll feast your eyes on!
The Disaster Artist - 7 out of 10
Funny interpretation of the making of cult classic, worst-movie-ever-made, 'THE ROOM'.
James Franco nails his portrayal as the mysterious and bizarre Tommy Wiseau who directed and starred in everyone's favourite bad movie. The original has become a late night roar of laughter for many due to the frankly absurd over acting and lunatic sub plots which went nowhere but this film will have many fans in its own right as it cleverly tells the story with good humour of its own. Many of the scenes were given a fantastic tribute and were shot so close to the original you could be forgiven for wanting to see the whole movie played out again, but it's the scenes behind the original that showcase how utterly bizarre Tommy was as he created, attempted to 'direct' and star in the film whilst falling out with everyone around him.
For fans of the original this will be a must see that will have you laughing out loud, and if you have never seen 'THE ROOM', this will almost certainly get you scrambling to see what all the fuss was about with the original. I rated the original a 2 out of 10, which is one of my lowest ever scores, but it's utterly a strange sensation that despite how bad it was, you can't help but want to watch it again. Because it really is the movie that's so bad, it's genius!
Call Me By Your Name - 8 out of 10
Set in stunning Northern Italy, I nearly had my bags packed and fucked off half way through this movie but thankfully I managed to hesitate and stick around for a gorgeous story of a first love and special friendship between 17 year old Elio and 24 year old Oliver.
Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer are excellent as the lead pair who aren't quite sure what to do with their feelings as they grow and bond, and I thought Chalamet was particularly great in his role as the innocent teenager dealing with the awakening desire inside him. Showing love in its truest form and also that you can't help who you fall in love with, this film really tugs at the heartstrings. Perhaps my only negative is this did feel like a long movie, but an emotional moment toward the end of the film more than deserves your patience, as Elio's father expresses his feelings towards the pairs relationship. The music plays its part too and the balance between some classical music and 80's songs such as "Love My Way" by 'The Psychedelic Furs' really work majestically in putting you in 1983 when it was set. Luca Guadagnino offers a sensual, gorgeous and inspired piece based on the story by Andre Aciman and it was both beautiful inside and out. This movie is set in a truly picturesque place but the story too was one of unquestionable beauty.