Movies Of 2017 - November Recapped!

November, or as some have called it, the month of the Unlimited Screening. Five hot off the reel films to sink out teeth into, and plenty of others besides. One thing is for sure, I have probably met every single Unlimited Card holder this month, and they really are a varied bunch!


Bad Mom's Christmas ★★★★★

A whole festive light display, matching hair styles, and a request for money. When Amy, Kiki and Carla's mums (sorry moms) turn up out of the blue they quickly realise that this time they need to take back Christmas.

First Christmas film of the season... if we're not including the fact I watched Die Hard the other day. The first one was such fun that I had to go and see this one. This one is perfect girl's night viewing. I don't know what to say to this one, it's funny, and it's got a gorgeous stripping Santa... ladies, if that doesn't do it for you then I don't know what will. (Oh wait... Jason Momoa and Gal Gadot in Justice League.) [01/11]


Murder In The Orient Express ★★★☆☆

It is 1934, and our moustachioed detective has just solved a theft in Jerusalem. He looks forward to resting in Istanbul, but his break is interrupted with the news that he must return to London for a case. It seems like Poirot's luck is in, having just met his friend who is director of the Orient Express.

Once on board Poirot catches the attention of the businessman, Samuel Ratchett. Ratchett has received threatening letters, and wishes to hire the detective as his bodyguard during their journey, but the offer is politely declined.

That night an avalanche derails he train and the passengers are stranded. In the morning Ratchett is found dead, stabbed a dozen times. Poirot and Bouc, the train director, investigate the passengers as repairs begin. Poirot discovers a partially destroyed note connecting Ratchett to the kidnapping of Daisy Armstrong, a child who was abducted from her bedroom and held for ransom. After the ransom was paid, Daisy was found murdered. Ratchett is identified as John Cassetti, Daisy’s kidnapper and murderer.

First off, let me address the elephant in the room... that'll be Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. David Suchet will always be my Poirot, he's perfect. Branagh, for me, has an overacting issue. And that moustache, it's just ridiculous. That's not even taking into account the scene where Poirot is laying in bed and he doesn't have his night-time moustache cosy on. Crazy.

Agatha Christie's tale has definitely been given the Hollywood treatment. It's gone from the quite dark Suchet version, to something quite farcical in comparison. I can understand remaking some things, but when you have such a definitive portrayal of a character why would you recast them?

Having just rewatched the 2010 version I will say that the story line in the movie is probably easier to understand. It's also more suitable for a younger audience.

As a passing comment to everyone who was surprised to hear they were going to do Death On The Nile next... no shit, Poirot! It was dropped in at the end of the film. [06/11]


Suburbicon - Unlimited Screening ★★☆☆☆

Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns -- the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town's dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit and violence.

I saw this trailer so many times in the run up to the Unlimited Screening. It initially intrigued me, I'm not a particular fan of Matt Damon, but I do like Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac the more I see him. Both Moore and Isaac seemed at home in this 50s setting, but Damon didn't feel very convincing.

The story had a lot of potential. Lodge wants to kill his wife who has become bitter towards him since he caused an accident that left her in a wheelchair. The plan is to stage a home invasion that leads to her death. This will leave room for her twin sister to move in and take her sister's place in the family. But when a suspicious insurance investigator comes sniffing around the case things start to fall apart. In the background of this though there is a story about the new African-American neighbours that have moved into the property behind the Lodge's. I know that this is fitting for that era, and some sort of big "distraction" was needed for a lot of things to work, but it just felt very detached from everything.

This isn't one that I'd watch again, I feel like it's going to fade into obscurity in my mind and in about ten years someone is going to ask me if I've seen it and I won't be able to remember. [07/11]


Only The Brave ★★★★★

Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Only The Brave is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country.

My normal selection of films doesn't generally include "based on a true story" tales, but this year has really seen to that. I probably wouldn't have seen this one if it hadn't been for the fact it coincided with the next Unlimited Screening. So thank god for that.

I really wish I'd read up about the background story before I went... I was not ready for that ending. It was all I could do to not sob out loud in my seat. Heartbreaking. [16/11]


Daddy's Home 2 - Unlimited Screening ★★★☆☆

Following the events of the first film, Brad and Dusty have to deal with their intrusive fathers, Don and Kurt during their first Together Christmas, along with Dusty's conflict with his stepchild's biological father, Roger.

Mini moan first... I'm super annoyed that the meet and greet at the airport that I kept seeing in the trailer was not how it happened in the actual movie.

I like Mark Wahlberg doing comedy, and there are a lot of good actors in this film doing some really funny work. The whole improv thing with John Lithgow was a little painful to watch, I really wish they'd found a different way to do that part of the story.

Generally though there are some good laughs, this isn't going to be one I buy, but I definitely wouldn't change the channel if it was on the TV. [16/11]


Justice League ★★★★☆

A powerful force is hidden on Earth, three Mother Boxes, previously used by Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons in an attempt to conquer Earth. As the planet mourns the loss of Superman the power is ignited again and triggers Steppenwolf's return to Earth. When Themyscira is attacked and their Mother Box is stolen, Queen Hippolyta warns her daughter of what is to come.

Bruce Wayne (Batman, shhhh don't tell anyone) enlists Diana Prince to help him gather other metahumans in an effort to stop the impending destruction of the Earth. It's time to meet the new recruits: Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman, Barry Allen AKA The Flash, and Victor Stone AKA Cyborg.

My worry here was that they couldn't come close to how well they did with Wonder Woman. Thankfully, while not everything was quite right, I really enjoyed this film and I barely felt any pain at watching this... all the pain happened when I rewatched Batman Vs Superman before going to see Justice League.

Let me get the gripes out of the way. The CGI, which seems to be a quibble from a lot of people. I'm not really sure how you manage to successfully do so much of it, and yet the villain... quite a major part of the film... looked terrible. In all honesty he kind of looked like they'd tried to recreate Liam Neeson in some shots so why not just get Liam Neeson in and wack some makeup on him. I'd totally have watched that. As for CGIing off Henry Cavill's moustache, admittedly some of the shots looked a little bit off, but I'm not convinced that if we hadn't known about it that most of us would have been able to tell, because who is going to be staring at that unless you have a fetish for his upper lip?

They also tried to make Batman/Bruce Wayne funny, which felt a little odd, and slightly forced at times. You can understand it to some degree, when you're bringing in Flash who is generally regarded as the comedian of the bunch then you're going to have to add some humour in so that he doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.

Obviously we know that I love Wonder Woman, so there isn't a lot I need to say there, she still rocked. I enjoyed Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and yes, a significant portion of that was looking at his half naked body. But I thought he played the part really well, and I loved him getting caught out by Diana's lasso. With the other two I was worried that me knowing them from other things would make it difficult getting to grips with these new incarnations. Thankfully it wasn't too bad though. As it happens I'm not a fan of either Grant Gustin or Ezra Miller in the role of Flash. This film version is probably more how I picture his character, but neither actor really brings it across to me quite how I'd hope. Finally, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, mock me if you must, but I've only seen the character in action as part of Teen Titans Go! In that he's a somewhat happy go lucky chap who loves his food, and this one is a bit more angsty as his creation is quite fresh. I enjoyed him as a character though, it was interesting to see how he developed as his powers did.

I'm not really sure how I felt about the Superman regeneration part of the story, I suppose at least he did a David Tennant and regenerated into himself.

Not a bad offering after Wonder Woman, and I'm looking forward to the follow up films that'll be coming out over the next few years. [17/11]


Battle Of The Sexes - Unlimited Screening ★★★★★

The dramatised events leading up to the 1973 match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and their personal lives.

I laughed. I cried. And this is another film that makes me want to watch more like it. For some reason I've always been a fan of sports films, and this one is right up the top of that list now. It's interesting and beautifully portrayed by all the actors. Well worth a watch. [20/11]


Thor Ragnarok ★★★★★

Yep, went and saw it again! Still genius! [24/11]


The Disaster Artist - Unlimited Screening ★★☆☆☆

Aspiring actor Greg Sestero meets a mysterious man named Tommy Wiseau in his acting classes with Jean Shelton. Hoping to achieve Hollywood stardom, Sestero moves to Los Angeles and signs on to appear in his buddy's project. Financed with his own money, Wiseau writes, directs and stars in "The Room," a critically maligned movie that becomes a cult classic.

There isn't a lot to say about this one. I mainly only went to see it because some people were raving about it. This for me is skirting the fine line of "based on a true story" and reality TV. I cannot watch reality TV, I find it physically distressing watching anything that awkward. That being said, I don't feel like I was missing out on much in this film, and no one else in the cinema seemed to be enjoying it either. [27/11]


Molly's Game - Secret Unlimited Screening ★★★★☆

Based on the memoir Molly's Game: From Hollywood's Elite to Wall Street's Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker by Molly Bloom. The film follows Bloom, who becomes the target of an FBI investigation of her underground poker empire for Hollywood celebrities, athletes, business tycoons, and the Russian mob.

I guess I can take this off the list of films to see next year now thanks to this Secret Screening. It wasn't the film I thought they were going to put on, and a much later night than planned thanks to Cineworld listing it as an hour and a half long.

I enjoyed it, and it was a good watch, but I'd find it very difficult to rave about this one. Mainly it caught my interest because I love poker. The story flows well when it switches between the present and the past, and the narration worked well for me too. I'm not sure I'd have felt like I got my monies worth on a full priced ticket, but still an interesting film. [29/11]


The Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

The Infinity War trailer dropped as well this month... not a trip to the cinema I know, but I just had to stop and say OMG somewhere... and... why does Chris Pratt have what appears to be a Mario porn-stache? [29/11]


Nine new movies this month and one old one. Definitely some goodies there that'd I'd recommend you go and see. December is already off to a flying start with one films down and lots more booked... and lots of potential time for binge watching during the Christmas break too!

Happy watching everyone.


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