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Films watched in 2021


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Eddie The Eagle.  That was a lovely film.  I have a vague memory if that olympics but obviously didn't appreciate what he had done at the time.  I know the film is essentially a fictionalised version of what really happened but it's a good reminder of how courageous he was to stick with it in the face of everything and to fulfil his dream.  He knew he wasn't going to win, but that didn't matter.  Taron did very well in the role and really embodied Eddie's mannerisms.  

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#ALIVE (2020)

4/5 (No spoilers)

Now showing on Netflix is this Korean zombie-thriller which can only be described as 'CASTAWAY (2000) with zombies'. It tells the story of Oh-Joon (Yoo Ah-In), a young man trapped alone at home while hordes of undead surround his apartment complex. With telephone lines down and no internet, isolation starts to kick in along with lonliness and hunger making this film especially relevant in Covid times. 

With its intelligent themes this is not your basic zombie action movie like TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016). Although there IS a lot of action in #ALIVE its more than that and includes an exploration of one's mental state. While watching the film you may feel that "Alone" would have been a better title but that was actually the name given to the American version of the film (also from 2020) which had the same writer, Tom Naylor. This Korean version #ALIVE, originated from the same screenplay as the American version but was further developed and adapted (and improved upon) by the Korean film's director, Cho Il-hyung. 

This film is thankfully devoid of the usual cliche of emotional sub-plots seen all too often in survival horror films; Oh-Joon isn't 'coincidentally' suffering from some personal past trauma or an old argument with his family or some other unnecessary nonsense in a bid to flesh-out the character. He's just a dude trying to survive zombies, nothing more.

If TRAIN TO BUSAN: PENINSULA (2020) disappointed you then #ALIVE may restore your faith in K-zombies. Its fun, exciting and taut with enough action and scares to keep genre fans happy topped-off with a spark of originality in an over-saturated arena. #ALIVE is the best horror film of 2020. As ever, with these foreign language films the English dubbing is awful so watch it with English subs.

Edited by nicky
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WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020)

2.5 (No spoilers)

WW84 was 2020's last hope for a big Hollywood hit but being the only big 'summer' event movie we'd get Warner Bros basically kicked us in the balls and told us to suck it up . It's a joke of film with a shoddy, dumb, goofy script that takes it audience for IDIOTS! 

Firstly, it's too damn long. Why does it take 2.5 hrs to tell such a simple story? Even the first two AVENGERS films were shorter. The pacing here is really off with some unnecessarily-long sequences and redundant scenes including the pointless prologue followed by an action scene in a mall staged very 'self-aware' much like a musical. From there things go a bit quiet as WW's alter-ego Diana (Gal Gadot) turns detective as she trots around the globe in her civvies with her old boyfriend who's sudden ability to return in the sequel could make a whole other movie on its own. 

There wasn't much to make this a story unique to Wonder Woman either, it almost could've been ANY generic superhero in her place apart from the lasso. Her action scenes were also very lackluster as she spends too much time in the air swinging around on said lasoo - the VERY obvious wire-work here makes her look like she's floating. That gold suit she wears does NOTHING but remind you of Brian Blessed in FLASH GORDON (1980) and now she can do things she never did before in BvS (2016) and THE JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) despite WW84 being set before those films.

An important ingredient that made the first film enjoyable was the strong-female/anti-violence theme...but that message the first film carried seems to be forgotten here and instead replaced with a crappy adventure story with a gajillion unanswered questions. There is however one feminist scene which seemed to play out every man-hater's fantasy which made me feel quite uncomfortable.  

A lot of the film doesn't make sense and you will be asked to suspend your disbelief like never before - that's a big ask and unforgivable of 'professional' screenwriters (these are the clowns amateur writers are up against?!). Its hard to see how director Patty Jenkins claims to have made a "masterpiece" or even how anyone could like this film. Maybe they're in denial and desperate to like it after how s***e 2020 has been. The cameo at the end was dumb too.

Edited by nicky
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13 hours ago, nicky said:

reminded me too much of Brian Blessed in FLASH GORDON (1980).

I hope she shouted "Steve's Alive!!!" when Chris Pine turned up.

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Finally got round to watching Knives Out at the weekend. Really enjoyed it! I wasn't sure about Daniel Craig at first, but he grew on me throughout the film. I thought the twist ending worked really well too. Overall, a really strong film! Bring on the sequel!

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Bad Boys For Life.  An OK film, about what you would expect from this franchise really.

All I can say about the opening is that if the LAPD can spare that amount of resources just to escort an officer on a non police related matter, their excess budget should be given to a needier station ;)  Also anyone who's a fan of a certain cannibal could see what was coming a mile off with that opening prison scene.

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