Tragedy Girls

Emmy says:
What did I just watch? And who do I tell to watch it? I started this movie with no knowledge of it, and was taken nowhere I expected. Interesting story line, great scenery and amazing use of social media. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Well, that was different. A slasher film for the social media generation, this movie is less about the slaughter and more about the likes. As an attempt to eviscerate the trending-obsessed it cut deep. Some of the cinematography was excellent, and much better than a movie like this really deserves. The main characters were rather irritating, but I think that was part of the point. Kevin Durand was perfect. I loved how the girls had no reason for their ways given – they had loving families and were not social outcasts. A different approach that mostly pays off. 8/10.

IMDb

The Domestics

Emmy says:
I found that I had put down my knitting repeatedly throughout this movie, that’s not a normal occurrence. I was impressed with the individual qualities of the various people in this story. Tyler has wonderful facial expressions that convey his internal monologue succinctly. Hooked to the end. 9/10.

Jeff says:
A gritty survival ‘horror’ film, this movie has an interesting meta-narrative about the psychological reactions to world-changing events. When society breaks down, seeming for good, what do you do? No punches are pulled with the violence, which is realistic but not gratuitous, this movie is an amazing feat. Some balance issues due to skipping from one set-up to the next (with apparently nothing happening in between?) and some characterisations lack explanation. Still, when you feel deeply for a character who has literally two words in the film, you know something is done right. 8/10.

IMDb

Central Intelligence

Emmy says:
Good story, great lines, lots of fun and totally not supportive of bullies. 9/10.

Jeff says:
I have always had a problem with comedies that rely on laughing at people, rather than at what happens. This movie relied on it a little too much for my taste. Other than that, it was a fun and entertaining ride, although somewhat predictable. Good popcorn film, but not much more than that. 7/10.

(Guest Reaction) Marion says:
It was a good movie, I liked it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I like any movie with Dwayne Johnson in it. 8/10.

IMDb

The Babysitter

Emmy says:
Started strong and nerdy but fell in the last act. 7/10.

Jeff says:
I had heard good things about this movie, and had been suggesting we watch it for a while. An interesting setup, filled with feel-good moments in Act 1 which led to a spectacular turnaround in Act 2. Unfortunately, trying to fit a TV episode-length idea into a feature film runtime led to padding and pacing issues that let down Act 3. I did appreciate the surprising depth of complex feelings shown by characters that could have just as easily been flat and lifeless. Worth checking, but ultimately a little disappointing. 7/10.

IMDb

Smokey and the Bandit

Emmy says:
There’s fun, laughter, and equality in spades in this! 9/10.

Jeff says:
In memory of the passing of Burt Reynolds (I presume that’s why, anyway), Netflix had Smokey and the Bandit available. I remembered loving this movie, but it had been years since I watched it – how does it hold up in a much more PC world? For a film released in 1977, it’s very modern. Still lots of fun, relatable characters, great dynamic between Reynolds and Sally Field. It’s great to know that some movies are still awesome 40 years later. 9/10.

(Guest Reaction) Marion says:
A very enjoyable film with lots of cars getting wrecked. 9/10.

(Guest Reaction) Bruce the Loquacious says:
It was really good. 7/10.

IMDb

Cargo

Emmy says:
This movie tears the emotions straight from your chest, no holding back with the horrors of the story. Beautiful acting, more physical than vocal, exquisite scenery, real dialogue. Stunning. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Based on a Tropfest finalist written and directed by the same people, this movie is an exceptionally well-told and well made movie. Don’t let it being a “Netflix Original” let you think it’s anything less than cinema quality. A tightly focused story centring around one man doing what he has to to save his baby daughter. I really don’t want to say more, because it’s best not knowing going in. The cast is amazing; the scenery and locations are incredible; the story is tense, tight and believable. The violence was brutal, but on point: nothing showy, just the reality of the situation. I’m excited for what these filmmakers do next. 10/10.

IMDb

The Mist (2007 Film)

Emmy says:
People really react differently to fear, this movie displays a variety of emotional responses. An extremely well adapted version of the novella, which left out a plot point, to its own benefit and with a different end to the story which feels like a punch to the guts. 9/10.

Jeff says:
This film is rightly considered one of the great Stephen King adaptations. Darabont’s direction is once again on-point (he also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile). Darabont knows how to make Stephen King’s material work for the screen – and he does it not by insisting on faithful translation but rather by using what works best on film in the time allowed to tell the same story in a slightly different way. The changed ending is brilliant (and King-approved), and the other changes simplify and clarify in a way that King’s over rambling tales struggle with. Unfortunately, some of the excised material makes motivations seem less realistic because we don’t understand the place they’re coming from. This leads to some decisions that I question being made. However, as Emmy said, people react differently to fear – and this was well demonstrated. 9/10.

IMDb

Power Rangers

Emmy says:
Fun and adventure without leaving town. Distinct characters that were interesting to watch, though had plenty of scope for development. Some great camera work. 8/10.

Jeff says:
So I watched Film Joy Media’s Deep Dive on this film, and it made me want to watch it. Like us, they seem to want to enjoy movies – even if they’ve been given a bad name. I remember thinking the trailer for this looked cool in a cheesy way – but then, that’s what the Power Rangers were: cheesy. Created to sell toys, like GI Joe or Transformers, what should we expect? This film had surprising heart, and an excellent moral of being there for each other regardless of differences. The conversations were realistic, the behaviours believable. The fight scene at the end was pure old-school Power Rangers with a shiny new coat. This is not Shakespeare, but it was pretty darn good. 8/10.

IMDb

Pet Sematary

Emmy says:
I didn’t find this film scary or suspenseful, and I don’t think that was because I already knew the story. Stephen King pruned his book into a screenplay that kept all the relevant information but I feel that it needed more time or fewer elements. This would allow time for the audience to stew on what might be coming instead of constantly being feed the next sequence. 6/10.

Jeff says:
Once again, a problematic transition from story to screen. All the elements are there (although there’s one strange change that conflated two characters in a way that didn’t do either justice), but it’s like a clip show – the connection between them isn’t there. With no time (it’s 103 minutes long) to build the suspense, the payoff is underwhelming. There’s a remake in the works, set to be released in 2019. It will be interesting to see if that version manages to avoid the pitfalls (given audiences are more willing to accept longer runtimes these days). The effects are dated, but serviceable. 5/10.

IMDb

Deep Blue Sea

Emmy says:
The special effects are fake enough to take you out of the story. The characters are one-note except for LL Cool J’s, and he has the most memorable scene. Entertaining enough, but nothing special. 6/10.

Jeff says:
I loved this movie when it came out, but watching it now I’m wondering why. It’s not just that the ‘scares’ were known in advance … it’s just that they weren’t scary. What was novel in 1999 is predicable here. To be fair, this might have been where the tropes developed from. The special effects have definitely not aged well, and the iconic scene (for me) looks worse on screen than my mind remembers it. Still, the characters were acting intelligently instead of taking stupid risks (once the action started) and that should be commended. 7/10.

IMDb

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Emmy says:
The evolution of assistance gadgets is great in this film. The elaborate plot may be a bit on the nose. Still delivers solid entertainment. 7/10.

Jeff says:
Watching all previous films back to back in order to be ready for the new one, it’s interesting to see the evolution of the series. This film had almost a non-action ending (although it was action-packed getting there). This story was almost philosophical … perhaps a little meta … asking if the IMF (representing the movie series) has a place in the world anymore? Mostly mindless fun that tried to be deep, but just kept reminding me how old Tom Cruise is now. I always like films with scenes in Morocco though. 6/10.

IMDb

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Emmy says:
While the high tech gadget game is now pushing the limits of absurdity and the film edges over into comedy I feel like the original outlook for Mission Impossible was missed. Still very enjoyable 7/10.

Jeff says:
Strangely, while this film had all the elements that we’ve come to expect from an MI film, I found myself too often thinking about other things – like there’s a woman problem in the series (so far, no actress has lasted more than one film and a cameo). The ‘bosses’ don’t rate much better, but there are usually reasons for that – the women just don’t come back. I think the larger problem I had with the film was that it started calling out its own tropes making it a little too meta for a serious film. Still enjoyable with some innovative set pieces. 6/10.

IMDb

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