Doctor Strange (2016)

Title: Doctor Strangedoctor_strange_poster
Year: 2016
Director: Scott Derickkson
Genre: Action
Date Watched: May 20, 2017
Category: #37 A movie with a Rotten Tomato score above 90%

I spent the first half of this movie convinced that Doctor Strange was one of the biggest assholes I’d ever seen. First he has an accident that is caused entirely by his own recklessness then spends ages complaining about the things he can’t do because of it and spending money he doesn’t have to fix himself when it’s likely not going to work anyway.

Honestly though, that just makes his transformation from Doctor Strange MD to Doctor Strange superhero that much more amazing.

The whole movie is a little unbelievable and a little on the trippy side with bending reality and what not but at the same time it’s great because isn’t that what we all want? To be able to bend time and pull a weapon out of nowhere.

Mostly I’m just excited to see what happens when Doctor Strange meets Tony Stark. I don’t know if there’s a room big enough to fit both of their ego’s.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Title: Thor: The Dark World521ade67c416e
Year: 2013
Director: Alan Taylor
Genre: Action
Date Watched: May 10, 2017
Category: #9 A superhero movie

Okay so my fiancee doesn’t love the Thor aspect of the Marvel franchise which is why we never got around to watching this movie I suppose. Finally though she decided to give it a shot and actually enjoyed it.

Having a Thor movie set predominantly in Asgard rather than on Earth was great it was like we finally got a chance to see what Asgard could be, what Thor could be, and that was something pretty cool.

Thor was more like an origin story, whilst not quite like the origin stories we’re used to it does show Thor before he became a king and a ruler of Asgard. Thor 2 shows a Thor who has learned from past mistakes and is becoming who he was born to be (leader of Asgard).

Honestly, despite there being less laughs in this one than the previous one I liked this one much more than the previous one.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Passengers (2016)

Title: Passengersmv5bmtk4mju3mdizof5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjm2mzy2mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_
Year: 2016
Director: Morten Tyldum
Genre: Action/Drama/Science-Fiction
Date Watched: May 10, 2017
Category: #25 A film about travel

This is a great premise for a movie, and absolutely topical. Space travel, cryogenics, AI and so on. Of course a ship malfunction has one passenger wake up early and even with som much to explore he gets lonely so he wakes up someone to be his friend. A girl.

What follows is a weird combination of love story and mystery as they try to solve the problem of what’s wrong with the ship and come to terms with living the rest of their lives on board the ship. The idea that they might spend their whole lives trapped in this one place with only one other person for company is horrifying. While it sounds like it could be fun to begin with I think it would get boring quickly, even in such an amazing place as a space ship.

This is a great movie though, almost like Castaway for a new generation, with less focus on survival and more on the emotional aspects of isolation.

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Girl on the Train (2016)

Title: The Girl on the Traingirl_on_the_train_ver3_xlg
Year: 2016
Director: Erin Cressida Wilson
Genre: Drama/Mystery
Date Watched: May 6, 2017
Category: #14 A drama

I was a little bit apprehensive when I heard that Emily Blunt had been cast as the main character in this movie, not because I don’t love her as an actress but more that I imagined her as being slightly older (until I was reminded that Emily Blunt is no longer a 20 something). As it turns out Emily Blunt was the perfect choice, but not just that so was Haley Bennett as the girl who went missing and Laura Prepon as the roommate.

If you’ve read the book then you’ll notice that the movie does stick to to the plot of the book quite well. Right down to the surprise ending.

Honestly, this book and the movie were slightly uncomfortable to read and watch for me because there is not a single likable character in the whole thing for most of the movie, maybe because I spent the whole thing hating each character for a different reason from the ex-husband who didn’t help his wife with a tough time to the missing girl who seemed to hate the baby she was sitting for and was sleeping with someone who wasn’t her husband. At the same time is really is a great movie (and a great book).

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

Title: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2my_big_fat_greek_wedding_2_poster
Year: 2016
Director: Kirk Jones
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Date Watched: May 6 2017
Category: #17 The last film in a series

There is nothing more true about this movie than the tagline – People change. Greeks don’t. It’s the perfect summation of the movie, aside from the age of the characters very little has changed since the original movie.

I loved the original movie, it had jokes and transformation and the merging of families, so I expected to like this movie too. Except, what I find is more of the same stuff from the original movie, nothing has changed. This time it’s their daughter who is feeling embarrassed by her family rather than Toula and for some completely unknown reason John Stamos appears sporadically but otherwise it’s just a rehash of the same jokes and the same tensions and it’s just not funny the second time around.

It’s rare for me to watch a movie and think it’s awful, I even liked Grease 2 but this movie is truly forgettable, I don’t really have anything nice to say about it except that it’s nice to see the cousin coming out with his family being happy for him.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Title: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2mv5bmtg2mzi1mtg3of5bml5banbnxkftztgwntu3nda2mti-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_
Year: 2017
Director: James Gunn
Genre: Science Fiction/Action
Date Watched: May 9, 2017
Category: #28 A science fiction film

I’ve been excited for this for a while even though the first film had become completely fuzzy in my mind, but after a quick rewatch off we went to the cinema to see the new one.

I might be in the minority here but I actually like vol. 2 better than vol. 1. Vol. 1 for me had the novelty factor in that it was new characters, new location, new technology etc but vol. 2 made me really care about the characters and relationships. Even better it changed my opinion of several characters throughout the movie from Yondu to Peter. But also… Baby Groot made this movie hilarious.

One of my favourite scenes has to be Baby Groot being told which button not to press but also the first scene in the movie with Baby Groot dancing while everyone else is fighting.

But Yondu’s arrow is a close second in entertainment value for me. I want one.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Jumanji (1995)

Title: Jumanji2960
Year: 1995
Director: Joe Johnston
Genre: Family
Date Watched: May 6th 2017
Category: #19 A film made before 2000

Okay, so yes, I’m super late to the party here since I was 5 when this movie was released. Honestly, lots of this movie doesn’t make sense from a logical standpoint but as a comedy it’s a great watch.

There’s a part of my mind that thinks I would have loved this as a kid, but even as an adult and 20+ years after it was released it actually does hold up pretty well.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years the basic plot of the movie is that a young boy finds a boardgame and starts playing it but it’s a boardgame that actually has an impact on the real world and the boy disappears. Years later the boardgame surfaces again and the boy returns as an adult. Then they have to finish the game and of course chaos ensues.

As a boardgame loving geek this is right up my alley (honestly, I can’t tell you why I haven’t seen it before now). But even if you’re not then you should give this a shot.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Victor/Victoria

Title: Victor/Victoriadvdcover_7435
Year: 1982
Director: Blake Edwards
Genre: Musical
Date Watched: April 28, 2017
Category: #24 A musical

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Julie Andrews from my seven year old obsession with The Sound of Music which I insisted on watching at least once a week for several months (maybe even a year). Of course, Mary Poppins was also a favourite of mine growing up. And then as a teenager it was the Princess Diaries and Princess Diaries 2. Somehow, this one slipped past my radar, I’d heard of it at different times but never actually looked it up. It doesn’t hurt that Julie Andrews reminds me a little of my grandma.

At any rate, I finally found this movie and was pleasantly surprised. Right from the start it was funny and of course the music was fantastic. In so many ways this movie was way ahead of its time, treating the gay character of Toddy as just another character in the movie rather than a novelty. Of course, I do have a few issues with how it was treated throughout the movie as well. For example, throughout the movie King Marchand expresses his displeasure at being perceived as gay given his relationship with Victoria who has been presenting herself as a man. The fact that Marchand is displeased with this is understandable to me, even now, as he is being perceived as something he is not, and given the stigma associated with being gay in the early 80’s this is even less surprising. What I do find frustrating is that Victoria who during her professional career has met and associated with many gay people, including her best friend Toddy, does not find issue with Marchand’s behaviour. She does not discuss his opinions with him, nor does it seem to impact her own feelings towards him in any way.. This could have been a great opportunity for the writer/director to call out the behaviour as unacceptable though they chose not to. Honestly, I don’t really hold it against them because ultimately the film really is far ahead of its time in depicting a largely positive gay character as well as a gay relationship and many other ways. However, if the film was made today, I would hope that it would address some of these issues.

Perhaps my favourite part of the film is the running gag involving the waiter from early in the film who then appears several times, each more confused than the first.

Honestly, if you haven’t seen this film then it is well worth a watch even though it’s not quite old.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Jurassic World

Title: Jurassic Worldmv5bmtq5mte0mtk3nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjczmzk2nte-_v1_uy1200_cr6406301200_al_
Year: 2015
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Genre: Action/Science-Fiction
Date Watched: March 2, 2017
Category: A movie that’s been on your to watch list at least 12 months

Okay, so not sure what happened with this, I watched this at least a few weeks ago but for some reason never posted about it.

At this point it seems incredibly unlikely that you’ve never heard of, seen, or read Jurassic Park. I’m actually a huge fan of Michael Crichton books and will hopefully get to read at least one this year maybe even Jurassic Park since I haven’t read it yet. At any rate, if you’ve never heard of Jurassic Park the short version is, that someone decided to make a theme park full of dinosaurs recreated using DNA from fossils (and I think added with frog DNA?), naturally this all went horribly, horribly wrong with the Tyrannosaurus Rex getting loose and then other dinosaurs. In Jurassic World however, the park becomes a huge success with a large number of different dinosaurs to be seen, except, just seeing dinosaurs has become boring, nobody is awed or scared by that anymore so some scientists in their infinite wisdom create a new dinosaur. Indominous Rex.

From there the movie plays out very much like the original movie which is somewhat disappointing as it almost felt like I was watching Jurassic Park but with better special effects. Which isn’t to say that the special effects weren’t great or that the acting was bad, but it just didn’t feel new.

Honestly, I enjoyed the movie in the moment and it was visually exciting but the story just wasn’t great.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

The Book Thief (2013)

Title: The Book Thieflarge_xwun4gftft3eha1culkrbuodrjq
Year: 2013
Director: Brian Percival
Genre: History/Drama
Date Watched: March 5th 2017
Category: #51. A historical film

Let me preface this by saying that if you haven’t already dne so, you should definitely check out the book version of this. While I loved the film there is a lot missing from it and a lot to be gained from reading the book version that it’s based on.

Set in Nazi Germany this book tells the story of Liesl Meminger and the town of Molching. The film starts out in the same way the book does and for the most part does follow the plot as it appears in the book, albeit some of Liesl’s books have different titles and there is now a full dictionary in her basement rather than just parts of it.

There were only two changes in the movie that really bugged me though – rather than taking a little time to warm up to Max and become comfortable, she immediately gets along with him. And secondly, she doesn’t have the chance to feed bread to the walking Jews with Rudy. But as I said, it does stick to the story fairly well despite these and a few other omissions.

If you liked the book then I would definitely see the film version, the acting is good, the sets are good, it’s just a well made film. If you haven’t read the book, I would pick it up and give it a shot, it’s worth the extra effort for what it will add to your watching of this film.

Rating: 4/5 stars