Parasite

Emmy says:
I was completely absorbed in where this story was heading, and none of the characters were really likeable. The situations shown were really hard hitting and provided more emotional response than the actors within. Not to diminish the acting here, each character has so much depth on display. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This movie deserves all the awards. Brilliantly shot, excellently acted, amazing story. I still don’t quite know what to say without spoiling. This movie makes some interesting commentary about how one opportunity can be the difference between success and penury. My only qualm is after the set up and before the climax it dragged a little … but it’s a small quibble that might well be just me. Well worth seeing, especially if you can avoid spoilers. 9/10.

IMDb

Sonic the Hedgehog

Emmy says:
Light-hearted fun with many silly parts. Jim Carrey was a good Robotnik, yet even still it seems I do not enjoy watching him. Ending was nice, with the expected cliffhanger for another movie. 6/10.

Jeff says:
It’s harsh to say it, but as someone who was a Sonic player instead of a Mario player … I’d rather watch Super Mario Bros again than watch this. Predictable, except where it the decisions were incomprehensible, although entertaining enough if you realise it’s for kids. The problem I had is that this movie is relying on nostalgia that the ages it’s aimed at won’t have. Some of the ‘jokes’ that didn’t land are also way too adult – and quite frankly disturbing (since when is encouraging a sister to end her happy marriage funny?) The CG rework was worth it, but the story needed work too. 5/10.

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Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Emmy says:
The disjointed story telling was perfect for this film and no effort was wasted in trying to make the characters sympathetic. Absolutely enjoyed the Fun Gun and completely blown away by the fight choreography in the third act, and that’s without the spectacular use of the sets. An insanely fantastic film with an epic soundtrack. 10/10.

Jeff says:
In honour of this movie, and Valentine’s Day, I can only say: what she said. 10/10.

IMDb

Jojo Rabbit

Emmy says:
I never expected to laugh so much at Hitler. Amazing cast and beautiful direction. Surprisingly appropriate soundtrack. Loved the illustration of humanity. 9/10.

Jeff says:
I am amazed at how well Taika Waititi manages to blend the ‘funny’ of this film’s hook, with the genuine human drama (albeit from a 10 year old’s view, so it’s a little safer) of Germany at the end of WW2, with the cutting satire that those in power at that time deserved. The cast is incredible, with impressive work all around. This film went to dark places I didn’t think it would, and found humour in places I wasn’t expecting. There is so much going on, and so much to discover. I feel like this should be shown in high schools, but the swearing might make that an issue … although it’s appropriate too. 10/10.

IMDb

Bombshell

Emmy says:
This movie was unfortunately very familiar and uncomfortable. Margot Robbie showed the emotional turmoil of being in that situation perfectly while in Roger’s office and later on the phone to a friend. The director did a magnificent job of showing what happened without the film resorting to voyeurism. Very well executed. 9/10.

Jeff says:
There is undoubted veracity to this film. It is a testament to their attention to accuracy that the only quibble (I understand) from the women portrayed is that one conversation (with a composite character) didn’t actually happen … and yet needed to be there to make the point it did. Very well acted, and amazing casting all around to get close to the famous faces represented. Even for those who followed the stories at the time, this is a compelling drama … and hopefully it can contribute to helping eradicate this sort of behaviour. 9/10.

IMDb

Brightburn

Emmy says:
Well this movie is committed. The effects are not the best and the plot points are obvious before they turn up. Definitely indulges in the gore and a few jump scares. Fun with the wrong song for the credits (might seduce your dad type?). 6/10.

Jeff says:
This is a nasty film with an interesting premise. Having said that, horror but with super-powers isn’t especially new. The characters aren’t likeable; bad decisions abound; and ‘born this way’ is a cheap cop out. The effects are C-grade at best. On the other hand, moments that I thought were definitely leading to a jump ‘scare’ didn’t … and I give them credit for the restraint. Could have been a lot better, though. 5/10.

IMDb

Hidden Figures

Emmy says:
A powerful movie showing the drive and dedication of these wonderful women. Emotionally charged and beautifully acted. 10/10.

Jeff says:
A compelling tale of three incredible women during the birth of the space race and the death throws of overt segregation in America. A seamless blend of maths, science, action, drama and social politics. Deftly and sensitively told, this movie is a delight as well as thought provoking. You know the movie is doing well when we know what happens but still feel tension at the moments of risk. 10/10.

IMDb

Little Women (2019)

Emmy says:
A delightful and charming film, gorgeous costumes and sets. An emotional roller coaster with real heart. Loved it. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This is an excellent movie, told brilliantly. The slight change to the narrative structure from the book makes the most of the parallels between ‘then’ and ‘now’. The acting, staging, costuming, and details were all exquisite. There isn’t much more to say because the movie was just that well made, well told, and thoroughly enjoyable. Go see it. 10/10.

IMDb

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Emmy says:
A pretty fantasy that’s fairly predictable. Fun to watch. 6/10.

Jeff says:
Snow White and the Huntsman was part of a Hollywood fever dream in the early 2010’s that involved remaking classic fairy tales into something else (a couple of years later Maleficent would do a much better job of it). Somehow, a sequel – that became a spin-off that wrapped around the first movie – got made. It went through various creative types and took a while to make up its mind what it was. I’m not sure it ever really sorted itself out. This was a by-the-numbers, wholly predictable, uninspired spin-off to a movie that wasn’t that spectacular to begin with. 4/10.

IMDb

Jumanji

Emmy says:
Although the CG has dated the story holds strong. A wonderful disaster of a game with spectacular consequences. Very enjoyable 7/10.

Jeff says:
Sometimes a movie calls for a remake – not because it was bad, but because it deserved better. This movie deserved better than the CGI used to create the animals. Even for the mid-90s the effects were bad. Sadly, any remake would mean losing Robin Williams, and that isn’t worth it. There’s a reason why this movie took so long to get a sequel … and was considered such a risk when it did, this movie is a gem. 9/10.

IMDb

Jumanji: The Next Level

Emmy says:
A great sequel that shows the talent of these actors. A lot of fun but I feel it fell just short of Welcome to the Jungle. 8/10.

Jeff says:
Wow, the acting just gets better. Sure the NPCs aren’t as well developed, but that’s often the case in simple linear games. Once again our avatars do an incredible job of portraying their players … and it’s clear as day when it’s someone else. Great work all around, still enjoying the people and the central conceit … but it’s the law of diminishing returns – rewatching Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still brings a level of joy that this one doesn’t quite have. Don’t get me wrong: I had a blast, and can’t wait for the next instalment that is clearly planned. 8/10.

IMDb

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Emmy says:
Surprisingly entertaining for someone who has never watched the cartoon. Great casting, wonderful settings, fun humour. 7/10.

Jeff says:
What on earth was that? I am too old to have seen the cartoon, but I am aware of it and it’s place in the cultural zeitgeist of youngsters. This … both leveraged off that and went in a new direction at the same time. Entertaining and outright funny in places, other parts were cringe-worthy as I struggled with the reality-breaking call-backs. Still, an engaging film with a lot to offer. 7/10.

IMDb

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