Ad Astra (2019)
This arrived with much praise from critics along the lines of Apocolypse now meets 2001. The trailer also promised much. Unfortunately, this was slightly misleading. While it flows a similar path to those movies, the quality does not match. The acting from Pitt is good and the film is spectacular. However, the script is poor and the story a real letdown (especially the ending). Having said that it is worth a visit to a big screen just for the visuals.
Rating – 7/10
Given the talent in this, I am amazed just how bad this is. I have never seen a film with this budget and talent turn out so terrible. The script makes no sense and at times you feel like a whole section has been cut out. Characters do things that make no sense to what is happening on screen. This is a mess. A pity as the idea was intriguing. A strong contender for worst film of the year.
Rating – 3/10
Only You (2019)
A very realistic film about relationships and the strain of infertility. I was very impressed by how natural the acting was and how honest the approach to the story is. However, I disliked the characters so much that it was hard to get involved with their journey. Still, it is a well-made film about a subject which is rarely tackled.
Rating – 7/10
More of the same. Seen this done so many times before and much better. There is no sense of realism and therefore threat. Just found it boring. You would be better off watching John Wick or Atomic Blonde.
Rating – 5/10
A stunning movie about a child that decides to sues his parents for having given birth to him. Sounds silly but this is a fantastic film about a kid’s struggle to survive on the streets of Lebanon. Using non-actors, this really makes you grateful for the life you live. Amazing performances by the whole cast in a movie that stays with you long after it has ended.
Rating – 8/10
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019)
A dark fairy tale about street kids in Mexico and their fight to survive against local drug lords. Using a mixture of realism and fantasy to tell this story in a unique and engaging way, this is an entertaining movie which is also quite scary in places. Another film successfully using non-actors in child roles.
Rating – 7/10
What a missed opportunity. I have not seen many films about Germany after the war and after watching this I feel I still haven’t. It largely ignores the “aftermath” of the war to tell a rather dull tale of an affair. You can see every twist coming and it is just boring. The only thing that kept my interest was Kira Knightley’s performance. She continues to impress with every film she does these days.
Rating – 6/10
Fast and Furious – Hobbs and Shaw (2019)
I really like some of the Fast & Furious films and both these lead actors. But this was so bad. Makes absolutely no sense. The action is so stupid that it’s like watching a video game with no sense of real danger. The best bits are when the Rock and Statham are bickering but this is not enough to keep you going through the running time. A big disappointment.
Vox Lux (2019)
An interesting take on a pop stars life and the media’s role. Its approach of linking it to a school shooting in the first half doesn’t really work but I have to hand it to them for trying something daring. The highlight is great performances from Natalie Portman and Jude Law. A near miss.
The Souvenir (2019)
A rather dull but well-acted film staring the daughter of Tilda Swinton. Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke are superb in this tale of a university student that falls for the wrong older man. It has received glowing reviews and there will be a sequel. I hung on in there mainly due to the acting but just couldn’t connect with the story or like anyone in it.
Rating – 6/10
After many films about growing up in the 80’s, comes one about the 90’s. From writer/director Johan Hill comes an impressive first movie. It feels genuine and features some great acting from its leads with a great soundtrack. Worth a watch.