The Sting

Emmy says:
This was a fun film, and I was conned to the end. 7/10.

Jeff says:
A movie I have always loved, watching it after more than a few years (and a lot more awareness of films) some things stand out to me: the choice to emulate movies of the 1930’s (such as the lack of extras) to fit with the setting of the piece; the lack of background music/noise throughout much of the film despite the film being famous for the ragtime score. A classic in every way, and Redford and Newman are just excellent. 8/10.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Emmy says:
This film delivers way more than I expected. The comedy and action was great, and supported by a wonderfully deep story and appreciation for life. A brilliant piece of art with a soundtrack that lifts the scenes. 9/10.

Jeff says:
It seemed this was going to be a mostly by-the-numbers action comedy, but from the first it was clear this was going to take the story and action seriously. This is an action film where the comedy comes from the characters and not the events. Great sequences where everyone is actually good at their job (something I always appreciate), and the developing tale makes sense and is completely believable. The music is awesome and adds to the enjoyment. A great little film, I’m looking forward to the sequel. 9/10.

IMDb

IT Chapter Two

Emmy says:
A remarkable continuation of the story. The visual design elements to represent altered reality were effective. The changes to the backstory were still plausible and worked for the screen. Supporting characters were used well, and didn’t detract from the main story (as they sometimes did in the book). I feel like there was a lot I might have missed, so I probably want to see this again. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Stephen King is known for being unfilmable. There are some movies that somewhat prove this wrong, but they all have one thing in common: they don’t exactly stick to the written page precisely. The best adaptations of King’s work take the idea, atmosphere and intent of the written version and does something similar that works better for the visual medium. This is what happened here. Even know what happens in the books, I was tense and anxious for the characters throughout. I felt a pervasive dread in many of the set pieces. The parts where the story differs from the book were effective and still felt like they fit. My only complaint is that some things in the book were cut, which I understand, but it meant some of the related material that was left in didn’t make much sense as they weren’t properly resolved. Still, a great end to the tale. 9/10.

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Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Emmy says:
This film is a comfortable ride in movie making through a lens of nostalgia. The position of some camera shots allow the audience a sense of voyeurism and bring home the fact that we are watching normal life. Small details like having multiple songs play during car trips give the feeling of time passing and I really connected to the repetition of mundane tasks. The performances from the actors are brilliant. This really is a love letter to the end of the Golden Era, crafted with a subtle complexity. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Usually, we don’t want to give information away that will potentially spoil parts of the film. In this, Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 60’s Hollywood, however, you need to know a few things: Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski, was killed (with friends) by members of the Manson Family while Roman was out of the country. “The Family” lived at Spahn Ranch, which used to be a movie set for Westerns. This is important to know, especially for those who don’t remember, because this film is a flight of fancy – a “what if” that uses real people and events, but changes things. An amazing slice of life, that almost doesn’t feel like Tarantino (except for the revelling in the 60’s) until the end. An incredible film, well acted and well told. A must see, if you love movies.  10/10.

IMDb

Psycho (1960)

Emmy says:
The style of this film is so different to modern creations, the driving in front of backdrops and the internal monologues playing over a head-shot feels odd. The perspectives used distort the scenes and add to the sense of unease. I can see how this film had a huge impact on the film industry. Happy I’ve finally watched this. 8/10.

Jeff says:
This movie is, of course, a classic. Unfortunately, repeat viewing over the years and more interesting thrillers have dulled the edge on the scares. What would have been shocking in 1960 is now laughable. Having said that, the cinematography is clearly from the eye of a legend as the framing of scenes and the use of light and shadow are a master-class in film-making. 7/10.

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The Faculty

Emmy says:
These characters give the first impression of one note stereotypes, yet they are shown to be complex and nuanced throughout the movie. I really loved the use of the camera focusing on characters not involved in the conversation going on in the scene. The effects hold up after 20 years. Packed with some real gems 8/10.

Jeff says:
This is one of those movies I saw when it came out and am now showing Emmy. It’s not original, but it’s good fun. Like From Dusk Til Dawn (another Robert Rodriguez film) good characters, interesting angle on a classic formula, and good humour mixed with the gore makes for a great time. So many now well known actors in this movie, all looking so young! The main takeaway for me this time was how effective the music was at building dread and tension … the cover of Another Brick in the Wall at the start, in particular. Deservedly a cult classic. 9/10.

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From Dusk Till Dawn

Watching this cult classic again, thanks to being reminded by Ryan Hollinger.

Emmy says:
Complex characters with stunning visuals. Love how the plot gets hijacked and everything goes crazy. There’s a lot of depth to this movie, as well as a lot of blood and body parts. Definitely a great watch. 9/10.

Jeff says:
I loved this movie when it first came out, I love this movie now. Interestingly, there are still things I notice now that I missed previously. There is a lot to unpack for a simple grindhouse film, if you’re in the mood to, but it’s also delightful on a straight-forward visceral level. It’s been years since I last watched this, but I still remember most of the dialogue. The music is sensational, and the effects even stand up to today’s lower budget grindhouse effects. Just great fun, in every way. 10/10.

IMDb

Die Hard with a Vengeance

Emmy says:
A visual spectacle, using bullets and blood to great effect. I think the script writers had a wonderful time with all the riddles and banter. A lot of fun. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I love this movie so much. It is far and away my favourite Die Hard film. It is a perfect mix of cop procedural, action adventure, and suspense. Each step makes sense (in the end) and the characters feel realistic. Entertaining side characters (hi Jerry!) that don’t feel forced even when they are convenient. Jeremy Irons is brilliant and Bruce Willis continues to live the role of McClane. 10/10.

IMDb

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Emmy says:
This movie is ridiculous and leans into it full-tilt. The opening sequence is beautiful with the POV character. The banter is rapid fire and pointed, and left me laughing. The music was awesome. Great story with physics from another universe. So much fun with vehicles and weapons while still including heart. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This is dumb fun. The franchise has turned into a parody of itself at this point. Strangely though, it works. The action is spectacular, and wholly unbelievable: literally, I do not believe that half of what I saw is actually possible. Some of the tech choices baffle me, as an opponent could be just as formidable without what we were actually shown as “guidance”. If you want an augmented human, watch Upgrade, this was a let down on that front. Once again for this franchise the villain is where this movie is let down most, but once again it doesn’t really matter. This was a riot from start to finish and had some truly epic sequences regardless of issues with reality. 9/10.

IMDb

Fate of the Furious

Film 8 in preparation for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Emmy says:
This went right to the ridiculous. Turning rogue really doesn’t work with Toretto and keeping the reason from the audience makes it worse. Dodging around God’s Eye becomes interesting, but how was that meeting ever set up? Too much tech and hacking. Cool cars are a huge casualty and become a one-liner. I’m not even going to mention that sub. 5/10.

Jeff says:
Over the top, bad physics, high-tech hand-waving away plot contrivances … this had it all (and not in a good way). I understand having to raise the stakes, but at this point the only thing left is racing in low earth orbit. Please tell me that’s not coming next. A let-down for the series, story-wise, but still entertaining despite the problems. Baby Toretto is a star though. 7/10.

IMDb

Furious Seven

Film 7 in preparation for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Emmy says:
Insanity. Just pure insanity. A rollercoaster of a ride with crazy heights. Hilarious fun with an amazing tribute at the end. 8/10.

Jeff says:
The films continue to top themselves, but are self-aware enough to point out the insanity. Some of the parts are starting to wear (what exactly is the point of Roman?) and other components are due for a rotation before they fall off, but it’s still fun and the new characters are interesting additions. A fitting final ride for Paul Walker. 8/10.

IMDb

Furious 6

Film 6 in preparation for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Emmy says:
Gripping story with some fast banter. Cars are still amazing. Scratch that. Vehicles are incredible! Sympathetic characters really drew me in. 9/10.

Jeff says:
High-powered excitement that hasn’t yet run out of ways to make driving fast, and pretty cars, a thing. At this point, we’re here for the hi-jinks and the characters – and by now the characters are our family too. Loses hurt more, and gains feel all the sweeter. Still, the villains are under-developed and almost irrelevant apart from getting us to the next spectacle (which is, of course, awesome). 8/10.

IMDb

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