The Mask

Emmy says:
Revisiting a movie from my childhood I am pleased to see it entertaining as an adult. The spectacle, costumes, music and premise hold up well. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I can still quote more than 50% of this movie, which says a lot. It’s still fun watching a young Jim Carrey when the schtick was funny and not worn-out. The soundtrack has always been the draw for me, and it still is. Interesting fact: when this came out it was the second highest grossing film based on a comic ever … after the 1978 Superman film. Not hard to see why. 9/10.

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Tenet

Emmy says:
A glorious mess of insanity. Many cool bits and convoluted choreography that was very entertaining to watch. Nolan certainly had fun. 9/10.

Jeff says:
This movie is an example of spectacle over substance. There’s also a little more than a whiff of Nolan’s pride at his own cleverness that isn’t really deserved. Full disclosure: I missed around 20 minutes near the start because our ‘little intern’ was being a bit loud, but I don’t think I missed anything of substance and it didn’t mean any of the plot elements were lost on me. The hook of this film is interesting, and executed faithfully in parts, but there are so many obvious flaws or pitfalls that were just ignored or hand-waved over. The set pieces were excellent, and one particular event that features both early and late in the piece was actually a delight even when clearly telegraphed. Acting was good, casting was top shelf, no expense spared on the visuals … but I was left underwhelmed by the narrative being told (or not told). 8/10.

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Enola Holmes

Emmys says:
The fantastic settings are shot to wonderful effect in this whirlwind of a story. Absolutely love the costumes and characters, and enjoyed discovering the facts with them. Great fun with the breaking of the fourth wall. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Not surprised this is based on the first book in a series … too much setup for there not to be (possible) sequels. I am completely there for them though! Well written and very well acted. There is some surprising darkness and even forthright violence which is more that I would have expected from something that might be considered a “kids” film. Well worth watching. 9/10.

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Star Trek: Nemesis

Just after Star Trek Day we wrap up the movie franchise with the last outing for the Next Generation crew …

Emmy says:
So many parts of this movie are great but the cohesion is missing. Wonderful exploration of Picard and Shinzon, yet the Data and B-4 dynamic was woefully lacking. Amazing design and implementation of the Scimitar, and bizarre showing off of the new vehicles added to The Enterprise. I’m not sure how I feel about this movie, though I am wondering about the status of the Romulans after the governmental meeting. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I enjoy all the movies, and wasn’t ever as “against” this one as some fans were. There were a lot of strong elements … and you could see even then that Tom Hardy had greatness in his future. Sadly, this film didn’t serve the characters as well as they deserved. Having watched an “all the deleted scenes” video, I wonder what the thought process was … all the character work was left on the cutting room floor! Unusually, this is a movie that could have done with being longer. 6/10.

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Identity

Emmy says:
Amazing actors portraying a melange of characters that have a rich interaction with each other. Tidbits of information are sprinkled throughout the narrative that allude to the oddness cultivated by the ten strangers. I found this very enjoyable although slightly jarring at the end. 8/10.

Jeff says:
Definitely worth a watch, mostly for the incredible talent on screen doing a brilliant job. So many “I know that one!” faces in the cast. Unfortunately, a fairly formulaic thriller for the most part – fake-outs and deaths at the predictable beats. The central conceit of the film is telegraphed early for the observant so while the ending didn’t jar for me, it only barely covered the implausibility. 7/10 mostly for the acting.

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Star Trek: Insurrection

We’re getting there … in the last season of ST:DS9 and keeping up with Voyager. When we get to the next (and last) of the Prime-timeline movies, the seasons will have run out …

Emmy says:
The scale of the dilemma might have only been planet-wide, but the depth of the characters and narrative was astronomical. It was very good to have a Star Trek movie with a small local problem that focused on character development. The spectacle was still there, with the Briar Patch and the cute alien pet. Definitely a favourite. 9/10.

Jeff says:
This is probably my favourite ST:TNG movie. I prefer story over special effects, and this one is told well. There’s still enough Treknobable and space battles for those that need them – including some surprising features of the Enterprise-E. Watching this in line with the TV shows was fascinating to see story points from the shows worked in. Marvel, that’s how you integrate TV and movies! Eminently re-watchable. 9/10.

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Star Trek: First Contact

Having voyaged deep into ST:DS9 and ST:VOY we come back to the Next Generation crew to find out what’s been happening …

Emmy says:
I like Star Trek so I feel very let down with this film. With Deep Space Nine and Voyager mid-season at the time of release there was no way the mission failed. The stakes were just not there; the beats were formulaic and predictable; and the characters were flat and running on a one-track emotional arc. Pretty scene on the underside of the Enterprise. 4/10.

Jeff says:
Not one of the better outings, but still pretty to watch. “Blow up the Enterprise” really needs to stop being a solution to everything. I think the creators of Star Trek blundered with the Borg … it’s really hard to find a way to make them lose without looking like a cheat. This film had some interested ideas of exploring how the trek through space got started (First Contact), but to get there required a horrid MacGuffin (Borg and the ever-disappointing time travel) which overtook the more interesting storyline. 6/10.

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The Old Guard

Emmy says:
An outstanding piece of art with strong characters all round. The combat is wonderfully choreographed and shot, without revelling in violence. I’m left wanting the continuation of the story. 10/10.

Jeff says:
What looks like it should be a by-the-numbers action shoot-’em-up is, instead, a somewhat thoughtful exploration of what it means to be these people. There is great action, and it’s as efficient, effective, and brutal as the skills of the protagonists themselves. Once again, I really appreciate when film-makers don’t have to resort to smart people becoming inexplicably dumb in order to hit a plot point. I also appreciate the light touch with flash-backs and exposition. A great movie, I’m keen to see these characters again. 10/10.

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Hamilton

Emmy says:
So happy to finally see this show after falling in love with the soundtrack years ago. The choreography, staging and costumes really add to the production and the filming brings the audience directly onto the stage. 10/10.

Jeff says:
While a filming of a stage production, this is a movie where you also get the close-ups and tracking that you can’t get from sitting in a theatre seat. The best of both worlds, done very well. It’s sad that we weren’t able to see this on the big screen, but we’re even keener to see the live stage show when it finally comes to Australia next year. 10/10.

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Star Trek: Generations

Now that we’ve finished Star Trek: The Next Generation, we can watch the first of the next batch of movies … it’s still going to take some time to get through the entire Trek …

Emmy says:
An outstanding exploration of the human condition. Wonderful screenplay and iconic sets let the characters of Picard and Data flourish, with great emotional impact for the audience. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Fan service for days, but a fitting passing of the torch from TOS to TNG cast in the film franchise. Good call-backs to many things from the series without detracting from the film for those who haven’t watched every episode over the last number of weeks. Some of the model work still lets down the impact of some scenes though. 8/10.

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21 Bridges

Emmy says:
The combat and chase sequences in this movie are well choreographed and executed. The audience knowing the ‘twist’ before the protagonist was not handled as well as it could have been. Not quite what I expected from the trailer but still enjoyable. 7/10.

Jeff says:
From something that looked implausible from the trailer – closing off Manhattan – this turned into a rather interesting (if predictable) action/mystery. Anyone who’s watched cop shows could see what was coming if they thought about it, but the acting was good and even the ‘bad guys’ were relatable and sympathetic. 7/10.

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Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Second star to the right and straight on till morning … the final outing for the Original Series crew.

Emmy says:
It feels like there was much more packed into this movie: dialogue, character development, action all ramped up. Visually holds up, although the Klingon blood looks terrible even for then. Wonderful illustration of prejudice in action, and over-coming it. Very enjoyable. 9/10.

Jeff says:
A fitting end to the original series movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation was already airing when this movie was made, so it made sense to bring peace between the Federation and Klingons. It’s unfortunate that the movie had to be so replete with racism metaphors for a show that had eschewed racism as it’s calling card. Still, a well told story with another great villain … but for some reason the Shakespeare quoting bothered me this time (too on the nose perhaps?) Now, on to ST:TNG, so there’ll be a pause before the next movie. 8/10.

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