October 17th, 2018

I note that 22 July which was reviewed by me at TIFF (see TIFF Edition Sept 17th) is now available on Netflix.  None of this out to DVD and Pay-per-view stuff first, it is being shared and streamed almost straight away from theatrical release.   Netflix has done this before (and likely that is the point) with movies like First They Killed My Father, which Alison at last moment pulled out of seeing at TIFF, which its impending free showing.   So if you are looking for a Netflix stay in night, perhaps have a look.   Or if you are looking for something a little more “out there” check out Annihilation with Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac.   It too is available on Netflix recently.

At the theatre for First Man Saturday they previewed the latest (and endless) superhero movie to come to theatres shortly.   This time it is Captain Marvel.   I confess that I am NOT a superhero movie fan.   Certainly Alison knows this well.   It is an exception rather than the rule if I actually like a superhero movie.   For me the pinnacle was the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy with Christian Bale.   He IS Batman for me.  They were dark, they were brooding and they had a real life human dealing with human issues.   But back to the trailer, we have Brie Larson, who I really liked in Room and for which she won an Oscar, playing the lead role.   Not being a comic book guy, I am not sure whether Captain Marvel was a female.   But I’ll go with it.   Brie since Room only filled out a tank top nicely in Kong Skull Island, and I have not seen any of the other smaller films that she has done.   Now she is becoming Captain Marvel.   I don’t need to see this – nor any of the Avenger films and they won’t get any of my money.    Here is the trailer for those who haven’t seen it already.   What did Hollywood do for movies BEFORE superheroes?   Hard to remember really….!

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February 26th, 2018

With the end of the Olympics, then there comes a time to get back to some movie viewing.

I will be sending out the officepools.com Academy Awards selections for this year as well for those who are interested.   Quite honestly I don’t think that there will be much drama at all at this years Oscars.   At every major award so far (Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG) the same names keep popping up.

Anyway, this weekend I saw Annihilation.  This is a not very well publicized movie starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac.   It bombed at the box office but as the attached article will attest, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad movie or not worthy of your dollars.  In fact, I would argue that it is a good movie, and EXACTLY the type of movie that if you love film should go and see.   Why?   Because it’s different.   Because it has a premise that pushes the viewer to bring their own life experiences to the forefront to have it impact them personally.   It won’t impact all people the same way.

The director here is Alex Garland, who directed Ex Machina and 28 Days Later, and shares a futuristic world, set in some reality.  In this story, the future world is impacted by a meteor that hits a lighthouse that looks like it’s from Maine.   There a multicoloured wall emanates and grows larger and keeps growing out.   Efforts to understand the wall and what happens inside it, are fruitless.   A team of all women choose to go behind the wall and investigate, and then things happen and the story unfolds.    And unfolding and layering is what happens here.   The viewer is thrust into the middle of something and then is provided with pieces along the way to have it make more sense.    There are strong visuals, and some good scary bits.   One scene in particular is just plain shocking.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/02/26/annihilations-grim-box-office-fate-was-an-inevitable-tragedy/#798dc1c04ed9

One of the challenges for this movie is the direct-to-Netflix (International) decision of Paramount.   Obviously the international box office will suffer as a result.   But it’s sad that a unique and original film takes a back seat to any number of super heroes and reboots of other tales.   There are parallels to other films from before, and I will happily discuss these once Alison has seen the film.   No spoilers.   But in the end, I decided to see this without much review or fanfare.   I didn’t look at trailers and decided to avoid the Ebert review except to see the 3 ½ star overview.

I have thought about it some more since I saw on Thursday, although I am still on the fence about whether I would need to re-see this or watch again like an Arrival to get more out of it.   Likely I would as one focuses on different things than just plot when seeing a second time.   Further discussion to be made on this one.

On tap are a few library films: The Accountant and The Huntsman Winter’s War.  I also picked up Elizabeth once again to see how badly Cate Blanchett was robbed of an Oscar for that performance by Gwyneth (ugh).   So many supporting cast members is that film from 20 years ago (like Daniel Craig, Emily Mortimer, Lily Allen etc) have gone on to amazing careers.  1998 – feeling old yet?!