Untouchable (2019)-MIFF Review

This documentary interviews several of the high-profile accusers of Harvey Weinstein as they tell their stories, and looks at the world he created that gave him the power to do really whatever he wanted. Allegedly.

It was never going to be an easy watch, and while I found at times, it was a little slow, that slowness gave respect to the victims and their stories. At the time of writing Weinstein is, only just being tried in New York and has had charges laid in LA. I can only hope that our culture is changing so that predators with this kind of power are not only stopped, but also brought to justice.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Film Review

Steven Zissou (Bill Murray) is a deep sea explorer who makes documentaries on his ridiculous ship with his intensely loyal crew. But when his partner is killed by a never-seen shark, plus his reputation is flagging, his next documentary is under high pressure to be a hit. Add into the mix a heavily pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett) a long-lost son (Owen Wilson) and Zissou’s need to succeed regardless of the danger it poses to himself or his crew.

I loved this. It’s so beautiful, Anderson has such a distinct style, and I particularly love the shots of Murray leading the cast through the streets of, perhaps, Naples. While his absurd humour doesn’t appeal to all, it really tickles me. Plus, what a cast. Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor… the list goes on.

The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – MIFF Review

Jim Jarmusch is back. Either I haven’t been paying attention (entirely plausible), or it’s been a while for a Jarmusch film. And he’s done a zombie film, how wonderful. A small town is being hit by zombies and it takes a while for them all to figure it out. And then… what to do?

I loved it. The cast is amazing, from the somewhat innocent police department (Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny and Adam Driver) to the mysterious hermit (Tom Waits) to the creepy new funeral director (Tilda Swinton). It’s dumb and funny and crazy and weird and I just dug it a lot.

The Day Shall Come (2019) MIFF Review

Moses (Marchant Davis) has a tiny religious commune in Miami who preaches about a black uprising, but has no power and no real hope of wielding any. However, when the FBI have a case go disastrously badly, they need a win, and when chatter shows that Moses could be a threat, they go after the win no matter what.

This is an extremely hilarious film until it isn’t, and then it really isn’t. It makes such a comment on the way things can go hugely badly when politics and law enforcement influence each other. I loved it, but geez, it was hard. It was funny and wonderful and fantastic.

Spider-Man – Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Film Review

A superhero film that’s animated? Awesome. I probably wouldn’t have bothered with this except that everyone was just so hugely raving about it. Friends who I know get superhero movies, so I felt safe trusting them. And it was totally and utterly awesome.

The basic story is that there’s someone who’s not Peter Parker who get super spider powers. And there are, like, parallel universes with different Spider-men who all come together to try to beat the bad guy.

And it’s so cool. Animation allows them to go nuts all over all the different spider-folk, exploring different styles of animation and just doing wild stuff. So much fun. I loved it heaps.

Ready Player One (2018) Film Review

Based on the book by Ernest Cline, this film is about a dystopian future world where everyone is obsessed with a computer challenge that has been running for years with a prize of huge wealth. The challenge is to know everything about the popular culture loved by the creator, mostly 80s stuff.

While in the book, I found the constant references to the 80s a bit much, it worked really well in the film. And being directed by Stephen Spielberg meant it was had a lot of the feel of the popular culture that it was referencing, It was pretty decent.

Parasite (2019) Film Review

There’s a family who are struggling – none of them have a job, they live in a tiny flat in the worst part of a poor neighbourhood. Then the son,  Ki-woo (Choi Woo Shik) gets a job tutoring a girl in a wealthy and, one-by-one, they all end up enmeshed with this family. But things are never quite as they seems, and things get… strange. So strange. So funny.

I loved this film so much. It was weird and strange and funny and unexpected and crazy and sad and funny and weird… Oh, I seem to be going around in circles.

Parasite was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Bong Joon Ho), Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Achievement in Production Design and Best Achievement in Film Editing. It won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language and was nominated for Best Director – Motion Picture and Best Screenplay- Motion Picture.

On Chesil Beach by vs On Chesil Beach (2017) – Book Review, Film Review

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

It’s the early sixties, Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting have just become engaged and headed to their Honeymoon at Chesil Beach. They are both virgins, and have had no sex education. So things are tense, each comes with their own baggage and things don’t go well.

I found this read long, slow and tedious. It had moments which almost seemed to get emotional but then it just dragged on. I saw that it was a film starring the wonderful Saorise Ronan and had to give it a try, to see how they could possibly have taken a story I found so dull and made it into a film.

On Chesil Beach (2017)

As it happens, the film was a pretty decent reflection of the book, which unfortunately meant it was slow and dull. Though apparently I might be a bit alone on that one… there were a lot of good reviews, though there are also a few clankers in there.

Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist (2008) Film Review

There are a group of young folks heading out on the town in New York, trying to see a surprise gig. Nick (Michael Cera) is trying to get over his ex-girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena) and hanging out with his bandmates. Then there’s Nora (Kat Dennings) who is hanging out with her mate Caroline (Ari Graynor) who gets really trashed and ends up getting a bit lost). Then the rest of the night is going from venue to venue, friendships and love and generally New York cool times.

I feel like I wanted to love this more. Maybe I’m too old, maybe I’m not cool enough, maybe I left it too late to see it. I enjoyed it, it was certainly way cool. It just wasn’t quite my thing.

Mr Jimmy (2019) MIFF Review

Akio Sakurai is a Jimmy Page impersonator, but he is obsessed and a real perfectionist. He has costumes made to exact measurements, guitars and amps tweaked and tampered with to try to get the real original sound, he watches the videos and listens to the recordings to hit every single note right. This documentary follows all of the details of his life, through his performing in Tokyo, then moving to the US and working his new band to the bone. Films about obsession can be hilarious, but also a bit difficult to watch, and this is no exception. Akio Sakurai is a fascinating character pursuing his love, but it must be very difficult to be anyone sharing his life.