Ready or Not

Emmy says:
A really fun movie, with some great and interesting visuals, unfortunately some of the colour shifts from scene to scene jarred. The ending does not sit right with me, however – it feels like a messy ending because they didn’t know how to wrap it up. 7/10.

Jeff says:
An interesting premise let down by a flawed final climax. The lead actress did an excellent job portraying someone in over their head just trying to survive. The family members were a little two cliched. Some fun moments, some gruesome moments, and some complete bat-shit crazy moments (but not in a good way). 7/10.

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Fallen

Emmy says:
A very interesting way to have the he story presented: having the audience know more than the characters as it’s narrated from the future. I really enjoyed the construction of this film and the performances of the actors. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I saw this film when it first came out, and it holds up over 20 years later. Not a flashy action flick, but a good, creepy, suspensful thriller. Depending on your understanding of film tropes this is either going to telegraph the ending from the start, give you tonal whiplash as the story changes halfway through, or even both. A product of this time worth revisiting. 9/10.

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Dreamcatcher

Emmy says:
This is a rather faithful adaptation of a King novel, and I knew exactly what each scene was, however the film seems to have left a large amount on the cutting room floor. It feels like it has been reduced to a clip show and I have doubts that the story would be coherent to someone not familiar with the novel. The cast was great, and brought the characters to life, yet they were not given the opportunity to show more than the shallowest overview of their full characteristics. A well shot movie with only a few technical issues I noticed while watching. 7/10.

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Jeff says:
How do you adapt a slow, meandering, introspective novel that really doesn’t do much? Well, this wasn’t a bad attempt. So much is lost because of the need to keep it movie length, but then the crucial elements are all there … the only problem is they are missing the connective tissue that makes it hang together. Without that it’s like a highlight reel for a story we haven’t seen. Good cast, competently made, not bad effects for 2003. Just … meh, unfortunately. 6/10.

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Emmy says:
A great mix of serious and light hearted moods. Really loved the use of the environment in each of the amazingly choreographed fight scenes. Wonderfully fantastic creatures and costumes. 9/10.

Jeff says.
This is Marvel, so some things shouldn’t be a surprise – but the action sequences in this were impressive. Very cool set pieces early on, in some very interesting locations, set the tone for the action with humour and pathos for the rest of the story. I felt like this was a cross between House of Flying Daggers and a really good Jackie Chan film (from the early Hong Kong days, before he went gimmicky). Something in this for everyone, and much better than my high expectations. 9/10.

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Nobody

Emmy says:
Wow. I really enjoyed this one. Phenomenal story line with tight dialogue, and brilliant staccato fight choreography. The music was so on point and really elevated the scenes. Would love a sequel. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Almost formulaic, but fun regardless. While we might have seen this sort of thing before (and it was produced by some of the same people as were involved in John Wick), that doesn’t stop it being an effective film. There are enough fresh angles here to make it worth your time – and the music is perfect. 10/10.

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Free Guy

Emmy says:
A really fun movie with so many great lines. The CGI for the game was wonderfully done. The soundtrack was very enjoyable, as was the character designs. Loved the depiction of streamers. 9/10.

Jeff says:
I honestly don’t know what to say about this film. IT IS SO GOOD. I don’t want to ruin surprises for people who haven’t seen all the trailers (which give too much away, as usual). Having said that, there is still so much in this film that I didn’t expect (in a good way). Ryan Reynolds was perfect in the lead role – and the rest of the cast were excellent. I know there’s a sequel planned, but I’m not sure how it can top this. 10/10.

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Speed Racer

Emmy says:
I love the hyper-colour style of this movie, it’s such a visual feast. The look and feel is just like a comic book. With so much packed into the screen I feel like I missed half the movie and wonder just how much better this was in cinemas. Absolutely stunning, will have to watch again. 10/10.

Jeff says:
As I said out loud after the credits finished: an over-the-top CGI fest based on a kids cartoon isn’t entitled to give this many feels! This movie is spectacular in every sense of the word. I personally have the nostalgia for the original that means every time the cartoon theme is hinted at, I’m transported. I had already seen this movie once before, and that didn’t make it any less compelling – it meant I got emotional sooner! That opening is a brilliant example of how to weave action and back-story. Definitely under-rated when released, as it is now better understood. Movies With Mikey covered it very well here. Something I can come back to repeatedly. 10/10. Go Speed Racer, Go!

IMDb

You Got Served

Emmy says:
It’s such a joy to watch artists move their bodies in spectacular ways and the choreography showed the actors/dancers skills amazingly. The plot was predictable and felt contrived, yet it held a story between the dances. Great light fun 8/10.

Jeff says:
You watch a movie like this for the dancing, which is just as well because the rest of the movie is disposable and cliched and trite. Plot points seem to exist purely because they’re expected, and some are not convincingly dealt with – like it was a write-in afterthought. Still, the dance moves were amazing. 6/10.

IMDb

Severance

Emmy says:
This was a delightful watch, full of great acting. The special effects are well crafted, the horror is realistic and the one or two jump scares are not at all telegraphed. No standard horror trope stupidity in this film which really adds to the enjoyment. Definitely worth a watch and there really isn’t much that can be said without spoilers. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Horror and comedy in one film is hard to pull off. This film manages admirably. I have to thank Ryan Hollinger for bringing this to our attention … and he’s right, you need to see this without having it spoiled for you. The action is worthy of a ‘bigger’ film and characters are well acted. Worth your time, definitely. 9/10.

IMDb

The LEGO Batman Movie

Emmy says:
This movie is filled with so many one liners that just made me laugh. Fun story jam packed with colourful characters. An uplifting watch. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I would say this movie had surprising heart, but since it’s from the same people who brought us the two regular LEGO Movies, it’s not surprising at all. Fantastic attention to detail with an incredible understanding of the deep law of Batman, DC and just ‘nerd’ pop culture in general. A fun ride, well crafted, and excellently acted by the voice talent. 9/10.

IMDb

In the Heights

Emmy says:
I love this movie. The music is amazing and the characters are so vibrant. Wonderful story full of heart. 10/10.

Jeff says:
A visually stunning film that takes full advantage of not being on stage. The dance numbers are incredible and the cast is fantastic. This was Lin Manuel-Miranda’s first musical, and it is amazing. Jon M. Chu’s direction is inspired and further elevates an already engaging story. I’m sure I’ll be watching this again soon. 10/10.

IMDb

Thank You for Smoking

Emmy says:
For a movie based in dialogue it just flew by, full of wit and philosophy. Great framing pushed the personal aspect and the characters were interesting. This was a lot of fun. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I never realised how much this movie could be useful in a philosophy lesson. Begging the question, straw man arguments, moving the goalposts … everything the lobbyists for the foulest corporations and political vested interests use to fool people into ignoring facts and science. Having said all that, this is a very entertaining film with surprising heart. While some critics objected to the lack of a redemption arc, I think this is more realistic and all the better for it. 9/10.

IMDb

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