The Bookshop

Emmy says:
I love that cardigan. And that jumper. That cape! I can’t stop staring at the metallic branches on the fabric, the gold outlined in brown on a taupe background … just stunning. The sounds of the water and the birds are so soothing. It’s like a holiday. Oh there’s a plot here too, one that doesn’t ruin itself by becoming a love story. The awkwardness of an introvert with determination is marvellously done. The halting conversation over a ineptly organised tea was perfect. The eyes not meeting the person being talked to. Did I mention that cape? I think I may have found a movie I will love watching over and over. If only the ending didn’t feel so abrupt compared to the rural life of the story beforehand. 9/10.

Jeff says:
A gorgeously shot film with excellent performances from all involved. Emily Mortimer carries the film well, with a quiet and understated performance of a woman who doesn’t quite understand why the rest of the world is being so rubbish. Bill Nighy is his usual self, but turned up to 11, in a perfect portrayal of a man who would rather not have to talk to people in person. The rest of the cast is just as good. The problem I had with the film was that it seems to stop so abruptly – and at the end of the second act. I feel like there’s a finale missing – but perhaps that was the source material, and ‘real life’ isn’t like that. Things do just ‘stop’. Still, it soured the film a little for me. 6/10.

IMDb

The Boy

Emmy says:
Great psychological thriller, that didn’t go where I expected. The small cast allows for good character development and the film isn’t cheapened by opportunistic jump scares. Very enjoyable. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I like to think I’m a fan of horror films, but there are some that just don’t “do it” for me. These are the so-called “torture porn” films, slasher films, or ones involving creepy dolls.  Having said that, this was very well made and had some surprising twists and turns that were unexpected. I’m not sure it rates high on character believe-ability (there are “people being stupid” issues), but if you buy the premise it’s not too far-fetched. Pacing is good, it’s more a psychological thriller than horror. I’m still not sure it’s really “my thing”, but as an example of the type it was quite good. 5/10.

IMDb

The Void

Emmy says:
The emptiness left behind after losing someone is raw and messy, exactly what is shown with this film. The script comes across a touch messy, but the repetition of phrases is something we all do when we think we haven’t been heard, or when we try to convince ourselves of something. Talking over the top of one another when there is a group of people who have no clear idea on what is actually going on is reminiscent of real life. The monster that is loss is wonderfully presented in all its bloody glory. A true work of love. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I heard about this from Good Bad Flicks in his Top 10 Best and Worst Films of 2017 video (ranked #7 on the Best list). Described as a Lovecraftian horror genre film, I was eager to see it. The film turns out to be a low budget independent film, and it shows, but the effects looked much better than the budget would have suggested. The story has that realism factor that I look for – no ‘people being stupid’ for story purposes. Some of the twists and turns are either well signposted or abrupt changes that give you whiplash. This gives the movie an uneven tone, but that’s strangely appropriate for the location and situation of the people involved. Sound design was mostly excellent (some of now cliched loud thrumming noise I could have done without). Acting was realistic and believable, so were the effects. Well worth watching.  6/10.

IMDb

Deadpool 2

Emmy says:
Breaking the fourth wall at its finest. Well paced story with constant references to other movies and real world people. Lots of violence and explosions with large amounts of vehicle carnage. Highly enjoyable film. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Everything was perfectly Deadpool. Cable’s introduction was respectful, if not faithful, to the source material. The new characters were all worth the time, and I would love to see them again. A small number of the jokes went a beat too long or fell a little flat, but that’s still perfectly Deadpool. I had deliberately avoided learning too much about the story, and I’m glad – the surprises were brilliant. 9/10.

IMDb

Westworld

Emmy says:
Interesting story. Fascinating to see how far movie making has come in 45 years. 6/10.

Jeff says:
A low budget early 70’s film written and directed by the author of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Rising Sun, etc. It shows. The story is interested, but the mystery is not solved. The “70’s future” aesthetic is in full force when it’s not trying to show off “history recreated”. As medieval re-creationist, I can say that was NOT 1300’s Europe in Medievalworld. The movie moves at quite a slow pace but packs a lot in. Cliched filming styles are used to great effect in set pieces that were meant to be clichés. Worth watching. 7/10.

IMDb

Ready Player One

Emmy says:
A nice leisurely stroll through nostalgia. Enjoyed the mix of retro and futuristic game play. Avatars were varied and interesting to look at. Some great references that made me squeal just a bit. Pretty movie with a lighthearted feel. 7/10.

Jeff says:
This movie is well-executed and demands repeat viewings to catch all the references. Either that, or someone like Good Bad Flicks doing an “Every reference in Ready Player One” like he did for Cabin in the Woods. The story was the basic hero’s journey (“the one”), which might have been deliberate (as another game reference), but meant there wasn’t much emotional connection (unless I’m just jaded). An enjoyable movie that owes more to nostalgia and good CGI than story. 8/10.

IMDb

Kong: Skull Island

Emmy says:
To use a quote from the movie – it really does show that you can always find monsters if you go looking for them. A good story with great visuals. The fight sequences were very well done. 8/10.

Jeff says:
It’s a cliché in many monster movies that the worst monster is man. This movie serves us that homily in spades. The characters (even the bad ones) are well-realised and very believable, the creatures are amazingly details and show intelligence (even if just animal instinct). I made the point to Emmy that the fights between giant monsters in this movie were more believable than the ones between humanoids in Justice League (she agreed). This is a worthy prequel to Godzilla and I’m curious to see how the “Monsterverse” develops from here. 8/10.

IMDb

CHIPS

Emmy says:
Fun ride with over the top characters and stupid conversations. Much explosions 6/10.

Jeff says:
Uneven tone throughout – buddy cop comedy based on a 70’s TV show with some very graphic violence and gratuitous nudity. The ‘buddy’ angle worked, but their characters didn’t. Felt like a wish list of “cool things” that didn’t work cohesively. The main villain wasn’t believable in terms of behaviour vs. background. I might be asking too much of a silly comedy-action film, but I used to love the TV show … it’s a shame it was ‘re-imaged’ as this. 5/10.

IMDb

The Thin Man

Emmy says:
Brilliant script, delightful characters, absolutely adorable interaction. Such a fun movie 10/10.

Jeff says:
Thanks to MovieBob‘s review of this movie for his Good Enough Movies (GEMS) series, we sat down to watch this 1934 classic. Based on a Dashiell Hammett novie, but played with more comedy focusing on the Joie de vivre of the main characters (the ex-gumshoe and his society heiress wife), this is a fun film that shows a happily in love couple being silly and supportive. The murder mystery is almost overlooked, but still wrapped up well enough for that sort of crime drama. Thoroughly watchable and hard to finish without a smile on your face (although people who’ve had to deal with alcoholism might not see it the same way). 9/10.

IMDb

Justice League

Emmy says:
Oooh Shiny! Look at that cool special effect! Just check out the Pec & Panty cam and you won’t notice that the characters are all one note and the plot very thin. 4/10.

Jeff says:
Not as bad as I feared. Not as good as it could have been. The interaction between the characters was engaging and ultimately I bought the camaraderie. Jokes (I’m guessing Joss Whedon’s work) mostly landed. The action was a CGI-fest that didn’t feel like there were any real stakes (isn’t everyone an unbreakable superhuman?) The villain was a zero who was merely a macguffin for forming the team and the antagonist needs to be more than that. While I don’t want my two hours back, I would have been disappointed  at the waste of money if I had seen this in cinemas. What’s really noticeable (as Emmy alludes to) is the difference filming Wonder Woman between directors. We actually had to check if her skirt had shortened because of all the voyeuristic shots. We were surprised to find it hadn’t. I prefer Patty Jenkins’ vision to Zac Snyder’s any day. 6/10.

IMDb

Godzilla

Emmy says:
Gorgeous kaiju. Emotional investment build early through social-norm shortcuts let the action start sooner without feeling rushed or detached from the people being followed. Some surprises, like changing direction on who seems to be an important character, leaves you off-balance in a good way wondering what else might happen. A good ride, well done. 8/10.

Jeff says:
Visually superb film with excellently-realised kaiju. Sound and light used remarkably well to build tension and create atmosphere. Unfortunately (or perhaps unsurprisingly) it was the human military aspects that were unbelievable (a bomb that was supposed to so massive that it would kill three kaiju explodes and there’s NO consequences for the  nearby city? yeah, right). People making sensible decisions is delightful to see in a disaster movie, and this had many of them. A worthy entry in the Godzilla franchise. 8/10.

IMDb

Avengers: Infinity War

Emmy says:
Aweful. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This is going to be the movie everyone is talking about without saying anything about it. If you spoil this for anyone, well I don’t condone violence but I would understand it. There are now two time periods: before you saw this movie, and afterwards. To try and give this a meaningful reaction: I can say the story is multi-stranded without being confusing; it elicited emotional responses from laugh out loud to cry real tears several times over; the actors are all at their best. I think this has instantly become the best Marvel film ever, and beats A Quiet Place for visceral reaction. We’ve lived with these characters for 10 years … how can it not? I sat through the credits in stunned silence. I still don’t know how to process it properly. 10/10.

IMDb

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