Fak wai nai gai thoe (3/10)
A Thai teen horror movie… Why would you watch that…? Indeed…
It’s not actually that much of a horror movie, more a drama pretending to be a horror movie and it has a clear if simple concept at the heart of it. Maybe there is also a language issue for me as I found it very difficult to feel any kind of connection with any of the characters so you remain a distant observer and you never get into the story or the characters.
Celda 211 (7/10)
A solid Spanish prison drama. The storyline may not be exceptionally original, but it delivers the premise needed for the actors to do their work: the acting is good and keeps you engaged all the way through.
There are some caricature prisoners (many of the extras were actual convicts rather than actors) but that doesn’t spoil the story or the overall experience.
A true story about a strong independent Australian woman on a mission. Except, she isn’t really on a mission. Actually, there is no significance to her journey at all. And along the way, pretty much nothing happens either.
Shots of camels, grumpy girl, more camels, more grumpy girl, desert, more grumpy girl, more camels, more desert…
The Kings of Summer (7/10)
A quirky and sweet coming of age tale. It starts off a bit slowly, and there aren’t really any surprises or twists, but it is in the end simply a fun flick. Enjoy it for the overall experience, not for the details of the storyline. The three leads are doing a great job and especially Moises Arias is cast well as the weirdo – I felt he came across much better here than for instance in Ender’s Game; not easy as his role is completely over the top yet he makes it feel natural. Nick Offerman also is on good form here. Watch it to relive every teenage boy’s dream of escaping from their parents. And why most actually never do.
Hmmm. I should like this movie more than I do. But I don’t.
A movie received with much critical acclaim, winning a raft of awards, and e.g. a rotten tomatoes score of 99%, sounds very promising indeed.
But those are all against a background of this movie being from Saudi Arabia, and then the recognition is probably fair enough: it is a place where women have very restricted rights and cinemas are banned altogether, so for a female Saudi director to make the first ever feature length movie completely in Saudi Arabia, and about women’s lives in Saudi Arabia, is not a minor feat.
Pain & Gain (7/10)
Michael Bay + Marky Mark + The Rock…? That doesn’t bode well…
So I started watching it with some trepidation. Guess what: it is surprisingly entertaining. No spoilers so I won’t go into the story, but these guys have lost the plot. And this is supposedly not even just based on a true story, it effectively is a (Bay-ified) docudrama of the actual events. The acting is surprisingly good – The Rock is funny in his reborn stupidity; Tony Shalboub is on form as asshole/victim, and Mark Wahlberg is believable as the man-with-a-plan.
Europa Report (8/10)
An engaging thriller with its own documentary-like style that isn’t afraid to put some science in sci-fi. The acting is strong, the feel is realistic, the story flows well. If you like anything sci-fi like you should watch this. It’s much more engaging than e.g. Gravity in my opinion.