Notes on films I’ve recently watched.

28 Days Later

See here

Contagion

A medical drama with clear roots in The War Game, Threads and The day After. Well filmed and well cast, it seems to loose confidence in the story it’s trying to tell when it diverges into a Chinese kidnap plot that neither explores the desperation that a village in China might feel or ratchets up the overall tension.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Rubbish! A mish-mash of ideas and themes and - quite possibly - scripts makes this a terrible sequel. The first - though a little wooden in places - understood the concept of the slow reveal and that, while human drama was a traditional element of a Godzilla movie, the drama was always wrapped around the actions of the monsters rather than the other way around.

Oddly enough, I think there was actually the hint of a good idea hidden under the layers of mess. The eco-terrorism angle had potential legs and could have led to a very nice Night Moves-with-giant-monsters concept. Perhaps that’s an idea who’s time has yet to come?

I Am Mother

A nice little film with elements of Moon, Silent Running and the Terminator. Female led - and better for it - it’s probably the best of the Netflix’s Originals that I’ve seen. Certainly better than any of the post-Channel 4 episodes of Black Mirror.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Fun. Achieves what it sets out to be. Better than the second though not as good as the first one. At times seriously at risk of disappearing up its own mythology - which doesn’t bode well for the inevitable chapter four.

Nightcrawler

A rewatch. Jake Gyllenhaal remains infinitely creepy and the Los Angeles news industry doesn’t come out much better. Probably not one for when you’re looking to have your faith in humanity restored.

Rocketman

Far better than last autumn’s written-by-committee Bohemian Rhapsody. Enjoyable - even with the musical elements - and interesting, it holds back far less than you would expect for a film with such strong links to the Elton establishment. Also proof that Taron Egerton is wasted in the Kingsman franchise.

The Social Network

A rewatch. Wonderfully scripted and beautifully filmed, I’ve seen this several times but, after each, I find myself increasingly convinced that it pulls it’s punches when it comes to dealing with both Zuckerberg and Facebook.

Toy Story

A rewatch of a classic in the run-up to seeing Toy Story 4. There’s not much more to be said about that.