Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Drop by and talk about anything you want. This is where all cheese-related discussions should go
Silverfish
Posts: 195
Joined: 22 Jan 2011, 17:14
First Video: The Gay Chicken

Re: Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Postby Silverfish » 08 Aug 2018, 13:30

24: Big Hero 6 (2014) - An animated superhero film directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams

Hiro Hamada is a robotics genius, who creates robots to fight in illegal robotic street fights. His brother convinces him to apply his talents to joining a robotics program, but a sequence of events leads to him taking on a man in a Kabuki mask who uses the power of one of Hiro's inventions, and teams up with Baymax (a robotic health-care companion), and an assorted team of science students.

I really liked this film for a number of reasons. If it was just a superhero adventure comedy, it would still be a very entertaining film. The action is thrilling and visually inventive, and the comedic moments are inspired, particularly those involving Baymax. However what makes it special is how it deals with some tough themes. The idea of dealing with grief, and depression and melancholy that can result, but also the possibility of it leading either to anger and revenge or of channeling it into something positive. The film also balances a mix of tones including comedy, adventure, horror, drama and melancholy and intense heartbreak. Baymax is a key to this, as he is initially a slapstick character, but his strange speech-patterns, his innocence, and likeability let the film let the film slip in some ideas and emotional moments via subtext that would be very on the nose if stated directly.

My main criticism is how the supporting characters aren't very developed, although they are a nice mix of characters. I think this is probably inevitable as the film is focused on Hiro's story.
Silverfish
Posts: 195
Joined: 22 Jan 2011, 17:14
First Video: The Gay Chicken

Re: Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Postby Silverfish » 08 Aug 2018, 14:43

25: Dunkirk (2017) - A war film directed by Christopher Nolan

Dunkirk portrays the evacuation of Dunkirk during WWII from three different overlapping perspectives: Over a week on the "mole", a pier the allies are using to evacuate the soldiers from Dunkirk; over a day following one of the "little ships" that crossed the English Chanel to help with the evacuation; and one hour of a Spitfire squadron sent to protect the evacuating ships from enemy aircraft.

I really like this film and I think the particular perspective is a key part of what makes it work. The fact that we see the film through a limited set of characters is important, as we see the horrors of war directly through their eyes, at a personal level. Some of the more powerful moments are presented almost like a horror movie. However, we see enough of the larger picture to give a sense of the stakes involved. I think the film strikes the right balance in avoiding sentimentality, showing the desperate situation, touching on the harsh realities of the situation and honoring the bravery of those involved.
Silverfish
Posts: 195
Joined: 22 Jan 2011, 17:14
First Video: The Gay Chicken

Re: Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Postby Silverfish » 26 Aug 2018, 17:03

26: Charade (1963) - A romantic comedy mystery directed by Stanley Donen.

After returning to her home in Paris after a skiing trip, Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) discovers that her husband has been killed on a train fleeing the city, and that he had a number of passports in different names. It soon becomes clear that three men are determined to collect the money that her husband had, the location of which is unknown. She teams up with Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) and tries to stay one step ahead of the trio, but Peter's motives are unclear.

This film didn't work for me. I think the key problem is that I found the humour too wacky and broad, and I just didn't find it funny. Also the fact that much of the film is played for laughs means it is hard to take the threat posed by the trio seriously. Also, I didn't feel that Grant and Hepburn had the necessary chemistry. I don't think this means this is a bad film, just one that didn't work for me.
Silverfish
Posts: 195
Joined: 22 Jan 2011, 17:14
First Video: The Gay Chicken

Re: Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Postby Silverfish » 02 Sep 2018, 13:33

27: Murder on the Orient Express (2017) - A mystery drama directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh

After a holiday, detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) returns to London on the Orient Express. During the journey, one of his fellow passengers is murdered. While the train crew work to dig the train out of a snowdrift preventing the train traveling on, Poirot works to uncover the murderer.

I already knew the solution to the mystery, so this probably loses something, and I can't really judge the mystery element fairly. However, I think the film still has quite a bit to enjoy, and it has a very interesting conclusion.

Bearing this in mind, I found the beginning a bit slow, perhaps because it was focused more on establishing characters and going through evidence. Things get more interesting as we get into the motives of the various characters, and as further events unfold. I think the key to the film is Poirot himself, and I think Branagh is very good at portraying the way that the case challenges his ideas of justice and morality. I think this makes the film very interesting and satisfying even if you know the solution to the mystery.
Silverfish
Posts: 195
Joined: 22 Jan 2011, 17:14
First Video: The Gay Chicken

Re: Year 3: 1 year 52 Movies challenge

Postby Silverfish » 02 Sep 2018, 14:08

28: Hail, Caesar! (2016) - A historical comedy directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

In 1951, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a "fixer" for Capitol Pictures, who deals with the many potential scandals and other events that beset the film company. His biggest task is to deal with the abduction and ransom of Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) the star of the company's prestige picture Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ.

This film is a strange one for me. There are some very impressive scenes, but overall I didn't find the film very satisfying. In particular, there are very well shot pastiches that are as compelling and funny as appropriate, but seemed to be more exercises in imitation, and don't really add anything to the film as a whole. There are a couple of other very funny scenes, but the film is a bit of a patchform, without anything to tie things together. They did try with Josh Brolin, but I didn't find him a compelling character, and he is the only common elements for the many plot strands. Alden Ehrenreich as Hobie Doyle seemed like he might be getting a more interesting role, and he does get more of a chance to show his range than some of the supporting actors, but I didn't feel that his character arc really goes anyway.

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