Movies of 2017 - August Recapped

After such a successful month in July abusing my Cineworld Unlimited card, I knew I had to get an early start in. I'm a bit scared this month that I'm going to have to deal with a lot of stroppy parents and kids. *deep soothing breath* I'm sure it will be fine. [Dear Readers, it was not fine.]


The Emoji Movie

I decided to ease into August with The Emoji Film. Now, I went on to Rotten Tomatoes after seeing some talk online about it getting a zero rating. Currently it stands at 6% with the critics... what a bunch of party poopers.

Gene lives in Alex's phone in Textopolis, a digital city where all the emojis live and work. When you've honed your emoji skill you can go and work in the cube, and be there for Alex every time he wants to send a message. Gene longs for that day, but there's one slight problem... Gene is a meh, and he's anything but meh. His parents are both experts at meh, and at his first day at work they're rather nervous... not that you could tell from their expressions.

On his first go in his cube he manages to pull the wrong face and sets off a chain of events that lead Smiler to conclude that he's a malfunction who needs to be dealt with. Gene and High Five embark on a journey to the Piracy App to meet someone who can reprogram him to be a better meh. But as they make their way there they cause a few issues on Alex's phone that makes him take the bold decision to take it back to the shop for a factory reset.

Can they reprogram Gene and have everything back to normal before that happens?...

So the critics panned it with a resounding thumbs down emoji, the general public were a little more generous, and left it at around the 50% mark.

Was the film entertaining? Yes. Will it win awards? No. But it does what you expect it to do, it makes you laugh and smile, and it got my toe tapping. I love the idea that my apps are all having a good time when I'm not using them, especially that poor little Stocks app... I mean does anyone ever use that?

There are a lot of recognisable voices in the mix. Patrick Stewart as the Poop emoji, possibly the most amusing of all.

Probably my only criticism of this is that it's not really a kid's film, and it's not really an adult's film. Which makes it a bit difficult to ever recommend to anyone. It's not worth a full price ticket at the cinema, especially as in all likelihood it'll be an adult and a child going together at the very least. I wouldn't even recommend buying it as a DVD when it comes out straight away. At some point though it will be £1 in Poundland, and then it will be worth buying. Or you can of course stream it from somewhere like Netflix or Sky before that point. [02/08]


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I had planned a double feature day with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets after The Emoji Movie... but due to some annoyance with the Cineworld App, the Cineworld staff, and then the break in between where I had planned to get some food. I had a "f*** it" moment and decided to go home. I had such strong feelings about this one when I finally got round to seeing it, that I've done a post about it, click on the film title above to read my waffle. [03/08]



Next up there was an Unlimited screening of Detroit.

On July 23, 1967, the Detroit police stage a raid on an unlicensed club during a celebration for returning black veterans. Unable to lead their suspects out quietly through the back, officers are forced to bring them out the front and line them up against the wall while they wait for transport. A mob quickly forms and the police leave the area as they are pelted with rocks. With anger rising, looting begins and fires are started, this is the beginning of the 12th Street Riot.

Full disclosure, I only saw half of this film. It wouldn't have been one that I'd have chosen to see. I'd much rather have read about the incident that watch someone's interpretation of it.

After I had to leave I did consider whether I'd go back and see the film another day. Ultimately though I didn't find the first half interesting enough. It feels wrong to say that about something that hasn't been brought about by something entirely fiction.

Having said that, I saw the second trailer after watching the first half of the film and was confronted with a different side of the film. It intrigued me enough to want to read up about it, but still didn't make me want to watch the rest of the film.

I can't really put my finger on the thing that put me off (I know it didn't help that I wasn't well), but I wasn't entirely convinced about all the acting, and I didn't really feel invested in the characters, which meant I wasn't fussed about finding out what happened to them. [08/08]


Atomic Blonde

Good old fashioned action from the Atomic Blonde.

In 1989, before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, MI6 agent James Gasciogne is shot and killed by KGB agent Yuri Bakhtin, who steals the List, a piece of microfilm concealed in a wristwatch that contains the names of every active field agent in the Soviet Union. Ten days later, Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, is brought in to be interrogated by MI6 executive Eric Gray and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld about her mission to Berlin.

The day after Gasciogne's death, Lorraine is dispatched to Berlin to recover the List and assassinate Satchel, a double agent who has sold intelligence to the Soviets for years and who betrayed Gasciogne. When she arrives in Berlin, she is immediately ambushed by KGB agents working for arms dealer and KGB associate Aleksander Bremovych. Lorraine then meets with her main contact, agent David Percival. After failing to find any immediate leads, Lorraine searches Gasciogne's apartment and discovers a picture of him and Percival, and is then ambushed by the Volkspolizei. She realizes only Percival knew she was going to the apartment, and begins to suspect him of being Satchel...

If I'm honest, I read the full plot description and went "oooooh, was that what was going on!?" Not in a "that was confusing sort of way, but I had just gone for some good old fashioned violence. [09/08]


The Hitman's Bodyguard

Michael Bryce is a triple A rated executive protection agent. Well... he was, up until he lost one of his high profile clients. Now he's living in the less than luxurious life, with less than A rated clients. What he needs is to get his reputation back, and when his ex appears asking for his help, he could get more than his reputation back.

It's just another job, until he see's who he's supposed to be protecting. Darius Kincaid. Master assassin.

Kincaid needs to get to The Hague to testify against Vladislav Dukhovich, merciless dictator of Belarus. With all the other witnesses dying he's Interpol's last hope. But with Kincaid and Bryce both thinking they know the best way to survive the trip, will they both get there in one piece?

Honestly, I love all the trailers for this film, but this one has the song in it. There's just something catchy about Samuel L. Jackson singing along with a bunch of nuns.

Anyway, to the film. Straight off the bat I'm going to say I loved it. Award winner? Nope. Dramatic master piece? Nope. Hilarious? Abso-motherf***ing-lutely. Reynolds and Jackson play really well off each other all the way through, but for me, the highlight was Salma Hayek. She really was an unexpected gem.

I read views of this online and it made me a little mad... some people just need to lighten up. Some films are just made to be entertaining, and this one had the bases covered... excessive mindless violence, car chases, romance, singing nuns... you couldn't really ask for more... apart from maybe more nudity of Ryan Reynolds. (Just me? Never mind then)

Probably the most entertaining Unlimited screening I've seen, and I think everyone else agreed. I haven't been in a cinema where that many people have been laughing out loud. I honestly think that is a great achievement in a film.

I'll be buying this one on DVD when it comes out, I think everyone should, it'll really brighten up your day and help you relieve some stress... if like me you enjoy seeing random things getting destroyed. (Only on screen, not in real-life, no need to panic!) Possibly not for those of you who don't like swearing though, as Samuel L. Jackson does get to use swearing like punctuation... and the writers were clearly fond of excessive commas. [15/08]


The Dark Tower

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter Padick, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Jack Chambers is labelled as a troubled child, the visions he sees are just his way of coping with his father's death. But when he's confronted with the monsters that he's drawn he knows he needs to find the truth. Even if that truth lands him in the middle of the battle.

Yet another book that I haven't read. I know, I know. I'll sort myself out at some point. But if I'm truly honest, I've never really enjoyed Stephen King stuff. I think I mentioned before when I listened to Under The Dome, everything I've come across feels like it ends rather abruptly, and fairly often with a "Boom! Aliens!"

Knowing this was a series of books I wanted to know exactly what this film entailed... I'm not sure I'm any closer to understanding. Evidently this films has elements of several novels in the series. According to Wikipedia it "also serves as a canonical sequel to the novel series..." Honestly, the only way I'm going to understand it is to read all eight books, but with roughly 100 books in my TBR pile that's a fairly remote happening. I'll just have to convince my mum to see it so she can explain it all to me.

For something that crosses into multiple genres I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy to follow. It was an enjoyable watch. And although there were no aliens thrown in at the end, the film did feel like it ended too abruptly.

I'm not sure what the buzz is about this at the moment, but for a while there were certainly talks of another film, and/or a TV series. I really with all my heart don't want a series. Not after Under The Dome. But another film wouldn't be objectionable. [21/08]


The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

Surly and the rest of the park gang are feeling right at home in the Nut Shop. But Andie worries that everyone is forgetting what it's like to be wild and forage for their own food. So when the Nut Shop explodes, she's the only one who is properly prepared for the food shortage.

Scrounging isn't Surly's style though, and he's determined to find them somewhere new while everyone else waits. But after a few attempts he realises it's too difficult and they might as well give up trying.

The park looks like their best option, but when the corrupt mayor starts his plan to make the park pay its way, they all need to band together to save the last home they have left.

The best thing about this film, by far, was Mr Feng... Jackie Chan as a weapon of mouse-destruction? Just what I'd been missing in my life. And that 1/16th inch punch... classic.

It's not exactly high brow, but it's amusing. I won't be bothered about ever seeing it again, but it certainly passed sometime. [23/08]


American Made

Barry Seal is officially a pilot for TWA. Unofficially he also smuggles a few cigars around. Until the CIA catch him in the act. Now he's unofficially smuggling more than cigars, and not just for the CIA.

The adverts for this made it look like quite a good film, and I honestly couldn't believe that this actually happened. Well, I sort of can, but still.

I'm not a massive fan of Tom Cruise, I think possibly because all of his films I've seen don't give him much variation from who he is, but this one was different. It kind of made me feel he was the Del Boy of America. Always looking for a quick buck and a little bit bumbling. Even if it was on a much bigger scale. I don't quite think that Del Boy would have done well with cartels.

As is the way in Hollywood the story has been tweaked to suit the cinematic needs. Since writing the paragraph above I have read a bit more about Barry Seal and it seems the films as made him a bit more shiny for the purposes of marketing. And by that I mean that it sounds as if he wasn't quite as innocent at the beginning as the film makes it appear. But, that just from reading a few articles, I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

An enjoyable films though, that kind of made you root for the "bad guy". [25/08]


Everything, Everything

Eighteen-year-old Maddy's world is small. It's the size of a house.

Maddy has a rare form of SCID, an immuno-deficiency disease that means she can't leave the house because a chance encounter could kill her. The only people she sees are her mother, her nurse Carla, Carla's daughter Rosa and members of an online support group.

When as family move in next door, Maddy is bewitched by the son. He's friendly, he's funny, and he's handsome. Communicating through their bedroom windows, they exchange numbers and start texting. Carla notices the difference in Maddy, and is persuaded to let Olly in the house, but only under her condition that they stay on opposite sides of the room.

Maddy wants to see the ocean more than anything else in the world. She has to see what's out there to truly know she's alive, even if it kills her. But when she buys two plane tickets to Hawaii for herself and Olly, she doesn't realise how much it will change her life.

This one is based on the YA novel Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon... you guessed it, haven't read this one either. I didn't know anything about it when I went to see it, mainly picked this one up because of the fact it was book related.

This was a beautiful film. (Yes, of course I cried) There's friendship, love, heartache. One of the problems was that there were really only two ways this film was going, and writers/movie makers aren't quite a cynical about things as I am when it comes to endings, so there wasn't really much chance that she was going to die for love.

Amandla Stenberg in the lead also wasn't quite my cup of tea. She played the naive side of the character well, but at the beginning when she was narrating... I just didn't find her a very good orator.

The subject matter was very different, and I really think the diversity in YA books has taken a massive step in that respect. It's touching on topics that very rarely see mainstream attention and that's a great thing. It also does one of my favourite things, which is enticing people to pick up books, so this one is a winner all round for me. [25/08]


Rough Night

You only get the trailer for this one, I'm really going to waste my time with a synopsis.

I was looking forward to this one... it was not worth the wait. So many actors that I enjoy watching, and all of them were not good. Not a single person in the cinema laughed once...

If you want to see a film about girls on the town having fun getting into trouble then see Girl's Night. It's that simple. [25/08]


Logan Lucky

Jimmy Logan is down on his lucky, his busted knee from college football has just lost him another job. His brother wants you to believe it's the Logan's curse plaguing their family again. That nonsense isn't going to stop Jimmy, getting something out of his life. He's got a plan.

There's going to be a robbery.

It doesn't matter how often I see the title, my brain always recalls it as Lucky Logan, it sounds so much better that way round.

I enjoyed this one, I'm glad I saw it, but I don't think I'll need to see it again. At 119 minutes long it was a little painful to watch, not because it was bad, but because it felt like every minute of that time. I actually checked the clock because I thought it must have been ending soon and it had only been on for an hour.

Despite that, all the stars worked really well on screen together. It was a little off to see Craig in that role, but he played it with a nice amusing spin. I just went on a fun little Kevin Bacon loop as well, as I didn't realise there was a Gleeson in it... "wait, he's not the one I know" after a few click I realised that this one's brother was in American Made... small world!

It's a fun story line, and you do get a bit of an Ocean's feel about the whole thing. It is pretty much Ocean's Eleven with hillbillies. The ending did amuse me. I'm not sure why they left it like that, but it does leave you wondering... [26/08]


I'm already having withdrawal symptoms, there is nothing left to see. I can feel the cold sweat coming on now. I'm just going to have to get by with buying Guardians 2 on Monday.

Happy watching everyone.


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