As it’s a new year, Slow to the Party would like to swiftly wish everyone a Happy 2020!
The weather is depressing, but I’ve bravely left the safety of my bed and gone to the cinema to catch up with the sorta-latest flicks!
Here are my smallish reviews. I’m not calling ’em mini reviews anymore.
After the negative press, I was surprised and disappointed NOT to feel bashed over the head with woke, man-hating propaganda courtesy of star/writer/director/terrible publicist for the movie, Elizabeth Banks.
It actually isn’t any worse than anything else I’ve seen. The plot is thin – a relief in these days of convoluted blockbusters… ⭐⭐⭐
The Rise of Skywalker
I’ve always been a big fan of the Skywalker story and the galaxy far, far away. But The Last Jedi undid a lot of the groundwork for the new Star Wars era laid by The Force Awakens. Despite J.J Abrams’ efforts, we end up light years from the classic trilogy.
Speaking of The Last Jedi…the Holdo ‘plot hole’ is flung from the future of the franchise, while Finn’s former love interest Rose wilts on the sidelines. Luke returns as a Force ghost, admitting it wasn’t really ‘Luke’ to exile himself on an island, milking sea cows.
As for Rey…I simply don’t care anymore.
Maybe its destiny was always to disappoint. That’s what happens when you have a strict schedule, and no clear story mapped out.
Expect further, more satisfying revelations in the comics. ⭐⭐⭐
In a toned-down version of her ear-splitting Me Before You performance, Emilia Clarke is Kate, a wannabe singer/actress slumming around twinkly London in a drunken fug, avoiding her overbearing mother (film co-writer Emma Thompson, inexplicably cast as a refugee from the former Yugoslavia).
A jukebox musical named for the 1984 festive hit by Wham!, one moment it’s a sub-par rom-com and then wham! (no pun) there’s this heinous twist. London’s homeless, played by a cast of twee thespians, provide the ‘heartwarming’ backdrop. ⭐⭐
Charlie (Adam Driver) is a self-made off-Broadway theatre director. His wife Nicole (Scar Jo) is a showbiz industry brat and former Hollywood It girl.
We begin with the couple mid-divorce and talking (or not) to mediators. It’s unclear how calculated Nicole is, uprooting their son Henry to LA and consulting multiple lawyers, but Charlie seems to have the bigger battle – including convincing a judge that they are a New York family.
Nicole is bitter, combative and sulky. Charlie rages that life with was her joyless. She feels overlooked next to his genius, yet she’s the one who pushed for marriage too young.
They remind me of La La Land’s two selfish creatives. The only real villains are the lawyers, the victim Henry. Ultimately, it’s a clever, yet accessible film with high re-watch and debate value. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
From the trailers I thought this looked insufferable. Why can’t they ever cast to the book ages? Why can’t the March girls look like sisters not college roommates?
There was a spot of a backlash when Greta Gerwig was snubbed for best director, followed by another backlash along the lines of: “Well I’m a woman and I didn’t like it!” hot takes.
Gerwig’s moves are to highlight the novel’s semi-autobiographical nature, and play with the chronology, switching between 1861 and 1868. She also makes Amy (Florence Pugh) a pragmatic misfit in an unconventional family – a much appreciated new dimension to the character. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Le Mans ’66 (Ford v Ferrari)
Le Mans ’66 is a familiar, knockabout bromance between real-life, legendary car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), and Ken Miles (Bale), a British driver with a temper.
There’s a film in this well-engineered, middle-of-the-road crowdpleaser that I want to see – involving Tracy Lett’s crass, insecure Henry Ford II, and his rivalry with snooty old world Enzo Ferrari. ⭐⭐⭐