I have a slight backlog of reviews to catch up on so here goes with some quick summary reviews:
Green Book (2019)- Dir Peter Farrelly
Staring Vigo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) comes a road story of a surprising friendship. This has attracted a lot of awards attention (including a Bafta for Ali). However, it has also faced some backlash for its approach towards race and maybe Oscar-baiting (I can see why but think that is a bit harsh). This is an old fashioned tale of friendship which survives the criticism due to the script and outstanding performances of its lead actors.
Rating – 8/10
Battle Angel Alita (2019) – Dir Robert Rodriguez
James Cameroon had been planning to direct this Manga story for a long time. Finally, it comes to the screen via director Robert Rodriguez (although Cameroon did co-write the screenplay). Starring Rose Salazar (Mazerunner series), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Mahershala Ali (Green Book) and Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind). Unfortunately, Cameroon waited too long as this is just another post-apocalyptic cyberpunk story that has been done better before.
Yes, the effects are good, the acting is mostly ok, but it’s a mess. The script is poor and, apart from a couple of set-piece action sequences, I was bored. Also, the “love interest” looked like it was his first job post-Disney Club. It was amazing how quickly people get deeply attached to each other in this world. Clearly, this is the first in a planned series (aren’t they always) and so there is an awful lot of explaining going on!
Rating – 6/10
Climax (2018) – Dir Gasper Noe
Finally caught up on this from last year. I am a fan of Gasper Noe. He is a shock merchant but I like the fact you never know what he will do next. So hopes were high.
Its the story of a French dance group partying in the middle of nowhere at the end of their tour. Someone spikes the punch and then things really go downhill. This has the usual floating cameras and no holds barred approach to sex, drugs and violence. However, the particular highlight of the movie is the incredible dance sequences. The language is harsh and once the drugs kick in I think only horror fans will enjoy the way events pan out. I was a bit bored from this point. Also, you never really feel for any of the characters which lessen the impact of their demise.
So no amendment needed for my top ten of last year. A pity because I always look forward to Noe’s films. Just need to catch up on Suspiria now!
Lastly, I also saw Mary Queen of Scots and agree with Adams review. 6/10