Movies Of 2018 - April Recapped!

This month I was struggling to work out how I'd see anywhere near as many new films as I did last month. I'm still not sure it's going to live up to they hype of March, even with the amount of pre-booked tickets I have.

I'm going to start this one with a re-evaluation of the scoring system as I've been asked how I decide on what they are.

☆ - So far nothing has suffered so much that it has got no stars... I'm not even sure what a film would have to do to sink this low.

★ - One stars are saved for those films that out of all possible categories (acting, scenery, plot, effects, etc) only actually ended up ticking one (maybe two) of the boxes.

★★ - Two stars go to those films that might not have struck a cord with me but I can appreciate what it was, how it was done, and how it would appeal to other viewers.

★★★ - Sitting right in the middle, the three star films are ones I liked, but would have liked better had they had something tweaked. If they were on the TV when I was flicking channels, I'd probably stop and watch them.

★★★★ - Four star films are entertaining, to the point where I'd go out of my way to watch them again. In all likelihood I'd buy these on DVD if they were on offer and I know that if I recommended them to people that they'd probably like them too.

★★★★★ - Pre-order me that DVD. These ones tick basically every box going. Honestly, if you don't like it I might have to wonder what was wrong with you. (That bit is in jest of course... well, mostly.)

A Quiet Place ★★★☆☆

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

When the trailer for this one was running I honestly thought I was going to be scared witless. It made me so uneasy that I was seriously contemplating not going to see it. I don't mind watching horror films, but I feel a lot more comfortable about it when I'm at home in a brightly lit room.

I sucked it up though and went anyway figuring that having a double bill with something I knew would definitely entertain me would be an easy way to calm my nerves.

We start the film 89 (was is 89? I've got a brain like a sieve) days into the events of A Quiet Place. The monsters are here, and those that are left are doing their best to stay quiet and survive. I've already reached a point where I am a little grumbly. When it announced where it was in the story I was hoping for some kind of jumping timeline showing you a before and after style tale... because surely they're not just going to gloss over the whole "how" of the aliens coming to Earth... Oh.

I can't really fault the bit in the middle of the film. I found it quite enjoyable. There are lots of questions that you wonder about, that I always wonder about in apocalyptic movies. But that's where you have to give them leeway for artistic license I guess.

The part of the story that this film tells is good, and you can follow the journey of the family understanding everything even with the limited dialogue. There's some superb acting at work from everyone involved and I've been recommending it to anyone that asks about it.

With quite a few of us in the cinema it was amusing to see everyone's reaction throughout the movie. Every time someone crinkled a packet or opened a fizzy drink there were noticeable pauses as if we'd all just thought "Oh my god that was too loud" before realising that it's just a movie we're watching.

The main reason this one gets a three star rating and not a four is not only for the lack of origin story but for what I consider to be a cheesy ending suitable for a comedy action film and not what I had been to see. The locked and loaded ending was the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a Guardians Of The Galaxy movie where the end credit are punctuated by shots of our heroes going into battle. A perplexing end. [06/04]

Death Wish ★★★☆☆

Dr. Paul Kersey is an experienced trauma surgeon, a man who has spent his life saving lives. After an attack on his family, Paul embarks on his own mission for justice.

Was it ridiculous? Yes. Was it amazingly entertaining? Also, yes. It does what it says on the tin basically. Bruce Willis doing what we love him doing... shooting people... a lot. There's honestly not much more to say about it. Good action movie, that will leave you having second thoughts about ever using your onboard sat-nav again. [06/04]

Ghost Stories ★☆☆☆☆

Arch skeptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable 'hauntings'.

Well... when it says the brain sees what it wants to see that really is true. My brain saw a film with some potential in it, but ultimately for me, disappointing.

Like A Quiet Place I hadn't been convinced I wanted to see it. But out of the two this one had looked less worrying from the trailers, and I like supernatural things so I double billed again to see this one.

The audience was about 50/50... those who were screaming and those that were laughing. I was surprisingly in the latter category. There were several amusing bits, and I particularly enjoyed the Sooty and Sweep moment and the car scene, Alex Lawther got some very good parts.

I'm left wondering why film makers like to use pieces designed to make people physically jump. There were plenty of things in the film that would have a more chilling effect, but Ghost Stories seemed littered with a lot of the jumpy moments, most of which were obvious in their appearances.

I might have been able to let that go if it hadn't been for one thing... the ending. I don't think I've been that annoyed with an ending since Lost. Even the cheesiness of A Quiet Place's ending was forgotten. Some many things in the film were right there to be explored in more depth but were ignored for what I was hoping to be a startling ending to make up for incomplete stories... there was no satisfying ending here for me. A twisted set of tales that were cut short. In an effort to add more suspense and expectation? Who knows. [07/04]

Thoroughbreds ★☆☆☆☆

Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.

The beginning of this one seemed promising and I was looking forward to where the duo were going, but the film swerved off into some fairly boring territory quickly. I was left fidgeting and querying (after my many years of watching crime dramas and reading forensic science books) how any of them managed to convince the police of their guilt/innocence. [07/04]

Rampage ★★★★★

When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.

Lots of eyebrow action from The Rock, but even that couldn't save him from being upstaged by George the gorilla.

I've got no knowledge of the video game this is based off... but really, who needs it. Yet another film that does what you want it to. It's a solid action adventure with hints of comedy.

The parental advisory at the beginning saying there were crude gestures had me confused. After all I feel like we see that quite a lot in movies but it's never listed on the rating card at the beginning. It all makes sense once you see a giant gorilla flipping off The Rock.

A great monster movie that won't leave you disappointed. I'm almost certain that I'll be seeing this one again. My initial viewing was in 3D, there were no particularly bad parts to it in this but I certainly didn't feel like anything benefited from it.

Classic enjoyable Rock action, love Jumanji, and looking forward to Skyscraper. He's definitely on a roll. [12/04]

Rampage [14/04]

Ready Player One [14/04]

Beast - Unlimited Screening ★☆☆☆☆

A troubled woman living in an isolated community finds herself pulled between the control of her oppressive family and the allure of a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders.

Much like Unsane, this one left me with a strong desire to pick up my bag and leave. I truly believe that the only reason I didn't leave is because I knew I have a hatred of people who moan about a film without seeing the whole thing. Had I left I was fully prepared to go and see it when it came out, and hopefully I'd be more in the mood for it.

While the first half started out dull, the second half... also started out dull. I found very little of this "psychological thriller" I was promised. Possibly the genre has been over done and I've just seen better examples. But very little of it left me intrigued. There seemed to be some story lines that weren't really needed and led to scenes that didn't feel like they fit in.

The sound in the film went from peaceful to deafening, and I'm sure most of this was in an effort to give dramatic effect, but honestly left me wincing from the shock. (This could be partly due to the volume in the screen itself too.)

Even taking into account the rage issues of the main characters and the alluded to backgrounds I found some of the behaviour a little unreal. And as for the "beast" itself, I can see what they were going for by calling it that. But ultimately I think it promised more than the film was able to deliver. [16/04]

Grease 40th Anniversary ★★★★★

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

If anyone asks me then I would always say that I've seen Grease... and I have. I can sing you all the songs, name you all the characters and relive some of the iconic clothing and scenery. But, as it turns out... I actually haven't. Not all the way through at least.

I sat there as the film started rolling and realised that, specifically, I've not seen the first half. I've seen the scenes with the songs in, probably on YouTube or the like, and I've definitely seen the end. I would imagine because I was flicking channels and seen it was on so I've watched it. I've never seen the cartoon opening, Danny and Sandy on the beach, or Sandy's appearance at Rydale High. Not from the original at least. I saw Grease Live, which while not quite the same was still enjoyable.

It would be almost impossible to sit through this one and not sing along, tap your toes, or have a smile creep onto your face. The screen was packed out, mainly with women, but it was nice to see quite a few guys along for the ride, some of their own accord and not dragged along by anyone. I could hear lots of low level singing, and out of the corner of my eye, some Grease Lightning arm dancing. Everyone truly enjoyed themselves.

One gentleman, who I know from Unlimited showings, told me how his mum brought him to see it when he was six and he's loved it ever since. It was such a lovely story. And I'm sure that many other people there had their own tales about seeing it when they were growing up.

I'm just always overjoyed by the dancing. But then you know me and a musical! [19/04]

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society ★★☆☆☆

A writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island in the aftermath of World War II, when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war.

This one was a nice harmless kind of movie. Not one I'd feel compelled to see again, but enjoyable.

Before I went off to see this one I was read some comments on it from the Times. The assessment from their point of view was that this one won the award for “absolutely no screen chemistry whatsoever”. This is why I don't read reviews before I go. There was some awkwardness between the main characters, but had I not had that in my mind before going then I wouldn't have noticed. That awkwardness was entirely appropriate for the position that the pair were in.

There's nothing too objectionable about the Guernsey movie, apart from the long and unwieldy title it has inherited from the book. I just can't find anything more to say about it. [20/04]

Leisure Seekers ★☆☆☆☆

A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker.

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in a movie together... I wanted to love this one. I'm sad to say that I really didn't.

Having not seen a trailer I was completely blindsided by the actual subject matter. From the things I've seen, and the IMDb description above along with "Adventure, Comedy, Drama" under it's entry I was expecting something entirely different. Something funny, and more like a teen road movie, but with older people. But the tale of last chance before ill health wins, is bleak to say the least.

It's a strong and important message about life with, and after, illness. The two are essentially on the run from their ill health, Ella is terminal and John is nearly completely lost to his memories. You get the fleeting highs and lows that the couple do throughout, but they don't make up for the slow and "every day" nature of the movie.

This one was another on the "I'd have left but then I wouldn't have been able to bitch about it" list. [20/04]

Wildling ★★★☆☆

A child who has been protected from the Wildlings by her Daddy finds out that her life isn't what she thought it was.

Not quite as horror as I was expecting, the fantasy nature of this one made it much more enjoyable.

A good story with a nice progression to it. It was nice to see Liv Tyler in something after what seems like such a long time. I was also pleased to see Brad Dourif, he's the face you always see in things, and he's always just a little creepy.

The audio effects were good in this one, the extra little grumbles and noises as she's becoming less human, and the enhanced hearing. Each bit comes together to add something to the scenes. I didn't feel like the visual effects quite met up to their standards though.

Still though, this was an enjoyable watch, and although there were some predictable bits everything was genuinely entertaining. [21/04]

Rampage [21/04]

Yes, again.

Every Day ★★★☆☆

A shy teenager falls for someone who transforms into another person every day.

David Levithan knows how to write around good subject matter. Consistently pleasing novels that make excellent movies. And this one was no exception to that.

The feel good factor about this one is high. And while I love a good romance I find it difficult to believe that even a hormonal teenager would choose to believe such a wild story.

"I wake up every morning in someone else's body." A plot point with lots of potential story lines. But lots that I think I would have enjoyed more than this. That fact doesn't take away that I enjoyed this a lot.

A film with no end and no beginning though... why are you guys doing this to me? Where was the origin story? Where was some resolution? [22/04]

Avengers: Infinity War ★★★★★

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Honestly I think I'm still recovering from the midnight screening, but it was well worth going to. Lots of fans showed up. A real mix across the board, had a lot of banter with them. Slightly disappointed with some that left before the end of the credits... seriously... you should know by now.

I don't want to really give spoilers so this is going to be brief.

  • I was basically in shock from about minute three of the film right through to the end.
  • One bit really made me cry, and that annoyed me.
  • I laughed a lot.
  • Everyone loves a pirate angel baby.
The atmosphere in the cinema was incredible and it really upped the enjoyment of the film for me. Yes, that is fairly tricky to do as it was already right up there, but there's no denying that it was way better with all those reactions. I was buzzing when I left the cinema at 3am, as was everyone else.

The only thing I would say is that I'm not really sure why people were coming out and acting so shocked... they know what films are in the pipeline and who is signed up for more films... and there's still part two to come... yes, I died a little bit inside by the end of the movie, but you know the outcome for some of the characters. Take a breath and enjoy everything.

Minor off topic (sort of) annoyance... another film with a trailer full of things that you don't see, or don't see quite the same, in the film. [25/04 sort of]

Avengers: Infinity War 3D [26/04]

I've become increasingly annoyed with cinema listings this month having gone through the Cineworld app and made a note of all the new films that were coming out. Last month they advertised The Batchelors that swiftly disappeared from their coming soon section. Ones (evidently) not to see this month were Action Point, I Kill Giants, Maya The Bee, Michael Inside, Wonderstruck, Funny Cow, and The Cured... Although having looked last night I noticed that Funny Cow is showing in other cinemas. It's not like there's room to show everything in the 14 screen complex that we have... not one bit of space... only 14 screens... no room. At. All.

So that means that this month there were only 12 different mainstream films to see, although one of those was Grease. It's just as well I loved Rampage so much that I wanted to see it again. And again.

Happy watching everyone.

Views in 2018: 56/62


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