Movies Of 2018 - February Recapped!

February was definitely an up and down month film-wise. But no spoilers, you only have to scroll a little bit to find out what I thought of the offering. I suffered a lot from a lack of new films to see, and also encountered my first film I couldn't see at my Cineworld... I'm not entirely convinced I would have enjoyed Phantom Thread, but it would have been nice to get the chance to be disappointed/entertained by it.

Anyway... to the movies!


Den Of Thieves ★★★☆☆

Nick O'Brien is the hard-drinking leader of the Regulators, an elite unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Ray Merrimen is the recently paroled leader of the Outlaws, a gang of ex-military men who use their expertise and tactical skills to evade the law. O'Brien, Merrimen and their crews soon find themselves on a direct collision course as the criminals hatch an elaborate plan for a seemingly impossible heist -- the city's Federal Reserve Bank.

Some good mindless violence for my Friday afternoon. I did enjoy this one, but it's definitely nothing groundbreakingly new. It collects together classic heist moments with good action pieces. It actually remind me of the Leverage formula.

I don't think that this will be one I buy on DVD, but you certainly wouldn't be wasting your time if you managed to catch it on the TV. [02/02]


Tad The Lost Explorer And The Secret Of The King Midas ★★★☆☆

Tad Jones, the most awkward explorer, must rescue his beloved Sara from a millionaire who is looking for King Midas' necklace.

Amusing in parts, as always the added extras were more entertaining than the main "cast"... i.e. the animals and the mummy stole the show.

What I didn't realise before seeing this is that it's the second film in the series. In 2012 there was Tadeo Jones... or Tad: The Explorer for the non-Spanish audience. The film on it's own makes sense, but you're left with a little confusion at the beginning when you realise everyone knows everyone else.

The animation isn't particularly my sort of thing. It has the look of something you'd expect from a TV show, but generally most average animation is still good animation.

All in all it was a fun story, with some interesting characters in. [04/02]


I, Tonya - Unlimited Screening ★★★★☆

Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

I was very excited to see this one as an Unlimited Screening... you know how I love rubbing it in people's faces when I see things before them! I was looking forward to it even more as I'm a fan of sporty films. [Which always strikes me as odd considering I don't do sports.]

As a story [regardless of it's accuracy] I enjoyed it. I don't think I've seen a film done in this way before. Part film, part documentary, but more than that. The odd occasion where the two we're entwined really made it something different.

Both Margot Robbie and Allison Janney made this film for me. The pair together made the perfect duo bouncing off each other. There was a wonderful presence from them in all their scenes, and I was taken aback by how well they both seamlessly acted their way through the years with what felt like amazing accuracy. I had also been looking forward to seeing Sebastian Stan playing Tonya's husband, but with such strong performances from the actresses around him his character was lost. Obviously you're not going to end up loving him as a character, but usually you can still enjoy the horrible characters if they're acted well.

It's probably not going to be everyone's cup of tea but honestly I really enjoyed the whole thing. Margot Robbie's performance at the very end actually had me gasp for breath through tears, it was so convincing, and so devastating. [06/02]


Winchester ★★☆☆☆

Ensconced in her sprawling California mansion, eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.

I find this house really interesting, it's on my list of things to do on a road trip of America. It's bizarre, and I love bizarre. Throw in Helen Mirren and I was going to be all over this film.

I did discover one thing from going to see this though... I really can't watch horror films in the cinema. I generally don't find them to be very good films, but that being said I do easily jump at things even if I know they're coming.

I love the idea behind it, and I thought the story was a good way of doing it, but the end result felt a little lacking to me. It does get some kudos for not being as predictable as some horror movies though. [07/02]


Status Update ★★★★☆

Ross Lynch stars as Kyle Moore, a teenager who after being uprooted by his parents' separation and unable to fit into his new hometown, stumbles upon a magical app that causes his social media updates to come true.

My mum asked me what I'd seen this month and so we went through the list with a brief description of the ones she hadn't heard of. When I got to this one... "It's so much fun, you'd hate it, dad would love it." Mum will watch a lot of things, but daft humour isn't really one of them. Dad and I are all over them though.

I would totally abuse an app that made my status updates come true... of course I'd want to check that it didn't apply things retroactively, and that I could dial my sarcasm back a lot to protect myself from worse self afflicted issues than happen in the film.

It's a fun diversion, a feel good film that has clearly been trying to tick all the boxes on what makes people go to the cinema... bit of wacky mystery, some singing and dancing, a bitchy gay... it's got all the things we love. [09/02]


The Mercy ★★☆☆☆

The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.

I'm sad to say that this film was seen mainly because it was a new and I was running desperately low on things to see. It looked like it might be interesting. But being as I'm terrible with motion sickness, the prospect of watching a film where a significant proportion was going to be bobbing up and down didn't leave my stomach with much enthusiasm.

I wasn't left with much to say about this one. Again, it seems wrong to say I didn't like a story that's based on true life events, but I came away with very little to rave about. It's an interesting insight into how competitive pressure from sponsors and the team change the way events can go, but the film itself wasn't overly memorable. [10/02]


The 15:17 To Paris ★★★☆☆

Three Americans discover a terrorist plot aboard a train while in France.

This was an interesting movie. I liked the fact that the actual people involved played their parts, it made it feel a little rough but also made it seem a lot more real. I can't really pick it apart too much, I enjoyed the progression and you engage well with the main players... but I do have one point to raise that ruined the end of the film for me, and lost it a star...

The last thing we see is the reenactment of the Legion Of Honour ceremony where they were presented with medals by French president François Hollande. They spliced in original file footage of the event with the film, which had it just been added at the end would have made a lovely ending. What they did was mix it with "re-shot" footage so that they could get the actor family reaction shots in, which meant a different quality of film and a very dodgy stand in for Hollande. [10/02]


Black Panther ★★★★☆

T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Rightly, this one has sailed over everything else that's out there at the moment. Yes it's a Marvel film, but honestly, it's also not. It still has it's funny moments (and I will always snigger at that sneakers joke) and you still get the Stan Lee cameo, but the rest of it really takes a diversion from what has become a very in your face franchise.

With a completely different pace it has shown us a wonderful possibility of how the MCU can diversify.

A few familiar faces pop up by way of our villain, Klaue, CIA Agent Ross and obviously Black Panther. We're also given a whole new array of strong and formidable characters.

I have to say that my favourite is definitely Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. What is not to love about this young woman who is taking technological Wakanda to the next level? While she clearly loves the fast paced life outside tradition, she still ultimately believes in the Wakandan way. She's fierce, she's brainy, and she's hilarious (Sneakers... still chuckling), she's everything you'd want in a role model. Just. Yes.

Hopefully we'll see more of these characters sneaking into other movies. There's definitely potential to have more Shuri as Wakanda opens it's doors to the oblivious world outside its valley, and she could certainly drag some others along with her.

#WakandaForever [14/02 and 15/02]


Father Figures ★★☆☆☆

Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.

An average film for me. It's a road trip, there are antics, it's kind of exactly what you'd expect. It also has a particularly strong Lost ending... the feeling that you just sat there and wasted some time for only a vague amount of entertainment. [17/02]


Jumanji (Yes! Again!)


Finding Your Feet ★★★★☆

On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgemental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.

This is a wonderful combination of some super talent. A really nice quality film, simply story and really enjoyable. I don't know what else to say about this one. Pleasing, with a some laughs and a little bit of heartbreak. [24/02]


Game Night - Unlimited Screening ★★★★☆

A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery.

As Unlimited Screenings go this is a good one. It's always refreshing when a comedy is more than just the laughs in its trailer. Everyone was laughing, it was a real crowd pleaser.

Both Bateman and McAdams are winners in films of theirs that I've seen, and they make the perfect couple that you love, but at the same time hate just a little bit because they're soooooo perfect.

A solid film to round the month off with, I don't think anyone could go to this and not laugh at something. [26/02]


The grand total this month is eleven new films, but thirteen trips to the cinema. I think I'm going to start an overall viewing figure as I do each post... mainly because counting them up last time was a bit of a pain!

It keeps going through my mind that while I'm abusing my Cineworld Unlimited Card... at the same time, I'm really not. I will watch most things, but even the ones I like I'm not overly worried about seeing again (unless I've got some housework I'm specifically trying to avoid). I've just started to do the maths in my head about what I could see in a month figuring in all the social events I need to make space for... I can usually get two films in after work, so that's already 10 a week... even if I take Sunday off as a day of rest you can probably add 3 more for the Saturday. That means I could quadruple my watching...

... I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Happy watching everyone.

Views in 2018: 25/27


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