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Emmy says:
I’m really warming to the smart home of the future and the portrayal shown in this movie. Eron was a great reclusive young man and the acting showed this more than the script. Grey stole the show for me, the emotional facial expressions drew me in, but the physical acting was amazing. The creative use of moving camera shots really added to the feel of the story. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Something for the technophiles AND the technophobes in this one. The world this story inhabits is much more interesting than the story itself, sadly. Recognising that this is from Blumhouse and one of the people behind the Saw franchise starts making sense about half-way through – this isn’t deep, but it’s well made (for the standard small Blumhouse budget) and the cinematography and fight co-ordination were incredible. The acting was also ‘realistic’ (for the idea of a quadriplegic embedded with a computer processor moving for him). 8/10.

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Skyscraper

Emmy says:
The pure architectural genius used as the backbone of this film makes me hope that buildings as sophisticated as The Pearl aren’t too far off. A real adrenaline rush compelling the viewer to watch the action unfold. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Die Hard for the 21st Century, which is what many reviews are saying, isn’t too far off – everything is just more updated: the technology; the building; the reasons; and the resolution. There wasn’t just one (male) hero in this film – the whole family is part of the action, and that’s just grand. The film is less sophisticated than the building, and some of the MacGuffins are a little over the top, but this was a fun ride with a contemporary feel that added something new to a tried and true formula. 9/10.

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Friday the 13th (1980)

Emmy says:
Gorgeously green locations give an idyllic setting for a disturbing series of events. The measured pace of the action still leaves room to shock and surprise you. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Where so many horror tropes started! Neither of us had actually seen this before and yet I could count down to the “jump” almost every time (except for that last one – it got me). Dated film style places this film so obviously in the late 70s/early 80s but it was still a good ride – and for its time it was brilliant. Sadly, the sound mixing was ear-splittingly painful as the ‘background’ music was way too loud. We now need to do Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street … somehow we missed the classics. 8/10.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Emmy says:
I prefer to go into movies with no idea of what is coming. I avoid trailers where possible. This is one I didn’t manage to miss, and I must say I think using film from the cutting room floor is brilliant. We are given a taste of what’s to come, yet don’t have anything spoiled. As for the movie itself: the story was cohesive with a bit too much going on at once, but engaging enough to make you not care. I was taken on a journey of quantum entanglement with my various reactions. 8/10.

Jeff says:
There really isn’t much in the way of stakes in this movie – it feels as if the writers had three or four ideas that wouldn’t sustain a whole movie so thought “what if we put them all together in the same movie?” Ultimately, it worked but it felt artificial. The characters are still fun to spend time with, and while back story was rushed and more tell-not-show,  it hints at some interesting questions. It wasn’t trying to be deep though – the riotous end credits reflected the campy 80’s feel this movie was going for and on that the whole film delivered … right up until it kicked you in the guts. 9/10.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Emmy says:
I brought my inner 4 year old out to watch this movie, particularly to see if it was child -friendly. The volcano erupted, dinosaurs ate people, threw people around, headbutted things and did lots of posturing roars. All things to love, for a child (if they are a dinosaur fan). I found myself laughing in moments that would have an adult on edge – look those people are trying to get away from a dinosaur! Any scariness that could be seen was just funny to me. I was sad at a few points: the lava flow caused a sad, as did a moment with a caged dinosaur in the last act. I did like the ending of this movie and am curious if there will be more to this franchise. 🦖🦕🦖🦕🦖🦕🦖🦕🦖/10.

Jeff says:
I confess to having an issue with these films – the Velociraptors are now pets like Yoshi in Super Mario Bros (the much maligned Bob Hoskins movie). Similar to turning the T-800 into the good guy, except there programming changes make it reasonable. Having that off my chest, the movie is a fun ride that’s actually more interesting than the trailer lets on, and has much more story than Jurassic World. The CG is, as always, amazing. The music is understated and not overly mawkish. For so much killing, there’s not a lot of blood. The Tylocephale in Act II steals the show for me. The best of these since the original Jurassic Park. 9/10.

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Ocean’s 8

Emmy says:
As somebody who’s enjoyment of a film is directly related to my emotional involvement, I wasn’t as receptive to this style of story. It is possible the trailer made me expect more than was delivered, especially with my soft-spot for fashion given the event featured. A plot with too many mechanisms operating behind the curtain. 5/10.

Jeff says:
The Oceans films are fun hi-jinks – that’s really it. It’s about the characters and the riffing between them – the heist itself is almost secondary. This follows the same formula, just with a new cast. The cast are fun and likeable, the caper was realistic in terms of the current technological state of the world. It might, however, be telling when you can spot a continuity error easily. Entertaining popcorn film, but not much depth. 7/10.

(Guest Reaction) Bruce says:
Entertaining, finished strongly. 5/10.

IMDb

Hereditary

Emmy says:
How to review this one without spoilers? I was blindsided a few times with this, I enjoyed the tension carried throughout, and the ending left me wanting more. 7/10.

Jeff says:
What the hell did I just watch? There was a palpable, unsettling, tension throughout most of the film, using many excellent techniques to ratchet up the suspense without resorting to cheap jump scares. Sound is used amazingly well. Scenes focusing on close-ups on the characters’ face leaves you wondering what’s coming. Generally the cinematography was excellent. Unfortunately, I feel that the ending let the film down for me. I can’t say more without spoiling the film and you should see this without any advance information. I can say that I’m pleased the trailer didn’t give anything away – I was not prepared for what happened. Given this was from a first-time writer-director, it is an impressive effort. 7/10.

(Guest Reaction) Marion says:
The effects were quite good, but it seemed to take a while to get going. 7/10.

(Guest Reaction) Bruce says:
Slow to start, it improved and was an interesting ending. 6/10.

IMDb

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Emmy says:
I watch movies expecting to be taken on a ride, Solo lived up to its name by not letting me get on. There was a handful of laughs the script got out of me, but nothing to be invested in. How do you do high stakes with a character that cocky? They never think anything will happen to themselves and therefore never convey a sense of urgency or peril to the audience. The lighting during the first two scenes is hazy and smoky and I may have missed something there. 5/10.

Jeff says:
Lots of fan service in this one … whether that helped or harmed is debatable. The problem with prequels is knowing in advance how it all turns out. This dramatically reduces the tension and emotional investment in any particular moment. It doesn’t help when the people we’re following also act like there’s no real consequences to anything, because they’re all cocky space pirates. It would be like watching Oceans 11 if you’ve already seen Oceans 13. The set pieces were good, the things I wanted to see going in were all there, but the moments where they tried to directly tie it into the larger story just confused me (I had to work it out later). Fun, but not greater than the sum of it’s parts. 7/10.

IMDb

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

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

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

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.

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