A week of films

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond

This was a fun film, playing with the power of optimism and futurist visions, past and present.

Teen prodigy Casey wants to solve all the world’s problems, when no-one else seems to care. Given a mysterious pin badge that gives her visions of an incredible alternate world, she sets out to track it down. Along the way, she teams up with kid robot Athena and former child genius turned recluse Frank. I won’t give away the reasons Athena wants to recruit Casey, or why Frank- somewhat reluctantly- helps her. The journey is a big part of the joy of the film.

Highlights include a crazy fight in a memorabilia store, a character who calls himself Hugo Gernsback and some lovely retro-futurist production design. I don’t think this film did as well as it ought to in the cinema, so I recommend it if you’re looking for something that’s light and fun, but still with substance.

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

You’ve gotta love a Ray Harryhausen movie. This retrospective takes you from his first garage made dinosaur films all the way through his career. With anecdotes about each movie mixed with interviews, it’s a fun trip. Nice to find I’ve seen most of his films as well.

Straight Outta Compton

The classic star story, with ioncredible talents breaking big and not coping with everything fame brings. The film focusses on Ice Cube, Easy E and Dr Dre more than the other members of NWA, framing the band’s story as being all about the trajectory of their friendships. Powerful stuff, with one hell of a soundtrack.

The Do-Over

A bit meh, if I’m honest. Sandler’s last Netflix original Ridiculous 6 wasn’t hilarious, but had some fun bits, but this one misfired for most of its length.

Sandler’s Max fakes his, and childhood friend Charlie’s, death, takes on another man’s identity and runs in loose circles until the plot gets dizzy and asks to be let off. There were a few little bits that could have been funny, and we’re not really let into Sandler’s character until far too late in the tale.

The Fog

Another John Carpenter classic, though it suffers in comparison to The Thing. Antonio Bay is celebrating its centenary, but a grim secret from its past is about to drift ashore with the fog.

This is a classic ghostly revenge story, with a little bit more gore. Unfortunately, stating early on just how many must die undercuts the tension. The events feel disconnected as well, taking place in so many different locations it sacrifices tension.


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