Film reviews

The TMINE multiplex: Eternals (2021), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and The Matrix: Resurrections (2021)

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s so good to be back! Sorry I was so rubbish last year, but hopefully I can get my schedule back into shape this year – it’s not the only thing on a diet, thanks to Christmas – and treat you to some movie reviews. Yay!

I even have a new idea for a feature that I’m going to unveil tomorrow. I hope you all like it!

Anyway, I digress. How have you all been? Job okay? Did you get the Christmas Covid like me and all my family? Ugh. I’m so sorry. At least it was Omicron, hey? Hope you’re feeling better?

Let’s talk about some movies to cheer ourselves up then and take our minds off our coughs. This is going to be a slightly brief rundown of all the movies I’ve watched in the cinema in the past month. I’ve watched many more movies than that but let’s save something for next week, hey?

So coming up, we have:

  • Screen 1: Eternals (2021)
  • Screen 2: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  • Screen 3: The Matrix: Resurrections (2021)

Storming, hey?

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Film reviews

The TMINE multiplex: The Wrath of Man (2021) and Большой (Bolshoi) (2017)

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

I’m back! Yay! I finally managed to find time to write some movie reviews.

Silly, isn’t it? Rob takes me on because he’s too busy to write as much as he used to. “At least one of us will be writing something, even if the other can’t.” But rather than doubling the output, I’ve just doubled the number of people not writing anything. I suck.

I’m hoping that at least this week and next week, I’ll make up for that since although I’ve not been writing anything, I have been watching movies and plan on watching even more. Maybe my new year’s resolution should be try to write more before I forget how to.

I don’t think I’ve got much to add to what I wrote about The Harder They Fall (2021), Red Notice (2021), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) and Маша (Masha) (2021). But here are some trailers this time.

Screens 3-12: Classic movies

My regular weekly movie night has been continuing and I’ve now got such a backlog of old movies that I’ve rewatched to review, there’s no way I can do anything more than bulletpoint them and still go to this afternoon’s Christmas party.

Party comes first, obviously – I don’t want to live down to stereotypes, but there’ll be vodka, and not that scary Polish bison one made with grass that my sister bought me and gives me headaches, so I’ll be going, no matter what.

I’ve linked to the trailers for each one, BTW.

  1. Fight Club (1999)🌪: David Fincher at his finest, with an adaptation that’s better than the book and ultimately sends up silly ideas of revolution and anti-capitalism. I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching because every single scene plays two different ways, once you know what’s going on, and Helena Bonham-Carter’s character suddenly becomes completely sympathetic, once you realise she’s being dicked around by a guy.
  2. The Princess Bride (1987): Always delightful, even if it takes forever for the Dread Pirate Roberts to show up.
  3. The Sixth Sense (1999)🌪: Still M Night Shyamalan’s and Bruce Willis’ best work. Thoroughly engrossing and beautiful to watch. In common with Helena Bonham-Carter, Olivia Williams’ character does a complete U-turn by the end, which is fascinating to watch.
  4. Unbreakable (2000)🌪: M Night Shyamalan’s and Bruce Willis’ second best work in a movie about comic books that uses its calm, matter-of-factness to camouflage what it’s doing.
  5. The Game (1997)🌪: David Fincher on a roll after Se7en with a completely implausible but thoroughly entertaining roller-coaster where every theory you have about what’s going on is flipped by the next scene, with only the ending eventually showing what’s truly been going on. You can’t take it literally, of course, only metaphorically and as part of the experience, but it’s still fun trying to believe it could happen.
  6. Se7en (1995)🌪: Still hard-hitting, even if its depiction of New York is so mid-90s and Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey’s stars have dimmed since then. Plus tracking people through their use of the library and what books they borrow? So pre-internet! Whether it’s still the classic the BFI thinks it is, I’m not sure. It’s clearly pitched at people who think they’re intellectuals and are correspondingly cynical and misanthropic, so plays up to that in a slightly obvious way. It’s also a bit misogynistic, too. But David Fincher and Darius Khondji’s direction and cinematography are immaculate, even if streaming can’t really take advantage of Khondji’s silver nitrate retention process.
  7. Planet of the Apes (1968)🌪: As much poetry as science-fiction, this is still a wonderful musing on culture, society, racism, religion and politics. The Jerry Goldsmith music is wonderful discordant, the Gaudi-inspired set designs are amazing and Franklin J Schaffner’s direction manages to make the planet of the apes remarkably alien.
  8. The Mummy (1999): A smart bit of silliness that’s just so much fun to watch. I loved how, while not 100% authentic (perhaps not even 50% authentic), enough efforts had been made to have some real ancient Egyptian qualities to the movie that it feels part of the story, rather than just the background. Plus there’s Brendan Fraser and Oded Fehr.
  9. The Mummy Returns (2001): Almost unwatchably dull sequel to The Mummy. Such an annoying kid and Rachel Weisz isn’t much better.
  10. Field of Dreams (1989)🌪: It’s easy to be snooty about American earnestness and there’s no movie more lacking in cynicism than Field of Dreams. But it works. You’ve a hard heart if you’re not crying by the time Burt Lancaster turns up, and one made of stainless steel if you’re not crying by the end. Yet it’s all about possibly the dullest sport in the world after cricket – baseball! Just lovely and magical.

You’ll notice that all the movies with a 🌪 had a twist at the end, something that wasn’t deliberate on my part but which my friend had no idea about. So it was really fun both trying to hide the fact there was a twist and then seeing his reaction when the twist was revealed! Even Planet of the Apes! It’s actually really gratifying to see not only that they still worked and that classic cinema still has real power, but that memes and popular culture haven’t ruined those classic movies for those who haven’t yet seen them.

This week’s movies, the BFI Player and the Russian Film Festival

After the jump, though, I’ll be talking about one new movie – Guy Ritchie’s The Wrath of Man (2021) – and one of the movies from the BFI Player’s recent Russian film festival, Большой (Bolshoi) (2017). I’d have watched more from that festival already, BTW, if the BFI Player weren’t the worst streaming player yet devised. It’s just awful! It doesn’t even remember your playback position and if you’re watching on an iPad, you have to buy the movie in your web browser (not Safari – it has to be Chrome, too) then it launches a separate player app. Oh, and the BFI Player is separate from the BFI Player channel you can get in Amazon Prime and on your Apple TV, so has different movies and doesn’t share your subscription. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Incidentally, if you want a bit more detail about the BFI’s Russian film festival, the Girls on Film podcast recently did a great rundown on both Маша (Masha) (2021) and Доктор Лиза (Doctor Lisa) (2020) (the latter of which I’m currently watching, BTW). Hopefully, I’ll be back to talk about that next week!

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Film reviews

The TMINE multiplex: The French Dispatch (2021) and all the Ghostbusters movies

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

OMG you won’t believe the fortnight I’ve had! I saw my best friend from uni who I haven’t seen in a decade and she gave me a cold – which I haven’t had in a decade either. Ugh! I’m so wretched right now! But I saw my sister, I joined a gym and I finally got really good at yoga.

Unfortunately, all my big ambitions to write about the movies I’ve seen have been thwarted. I’ve seen Dune (2021) three times now. I’ve been to see The French Dispatch (2021) with my sister, who I watch every new Wes Anderson movie with. I’ll talk about that in a minute.

My weekly film night has continued, and we’ve watched Fight Club (1999), The Princess Bride (1987) and The Sixth Sense (1999).

In preparation for Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), I’ve rewatched Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989) and Ghostbusters (2016).

I’ve also rewatched Battleship Potemkin (1925) for my Russian movie strand in the TMINE Multiplex.

I’ve just not written about any of them! I’m so sorry!

I’m going to try my best to do as many of those today. Let’s see if I manage it.

UPDATE: I’m giving you The French Dispatch and a Ghostbusters triple-bill. Work sucks. Boo!

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Film reviews

Review: Venom – Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Director: Andy Serkis
Writers: Kelly Marcel (screenplay by), Tom Hardy (story by), Todd McFarlane(Marvel’s Venom character created by)

On general release

Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.

Nat says: ‘Can someone translate this into girl for me?’

Venom: Let There Be Carnage follows on almost immediately from the end credits scene of Venom (2018), which was a movie I was surprised to find I really liked. I was expecting a sort of superhero Real Housewives bitch fight.

But what I got was something that while a bit silly – and, yes, a bit Real Housewives – was also funny. I also do enjoy Tom Hardy in most things and he really seemed to be enjoying himself, too. The man jumped into a tank in a restaurant and ate a live lobster! It was hard not to love it as a result. Honest!

Importantly, I also could follow what was going on. It wasn’t hard. Aliens from outer space are brought to Earth. To survive, they need to achieve a symbiosis with a human host. Most humans don’t make good hosts, but Tom Hardy’s failed journalist Eddie Brock proves to be a great host for one alien called Venom.

At first, Venom seems to be evil and wanting purely to eat humans. However, over time, it becomes clear that Venom may give Hardy superstrength, speed, indestructibility and a really, really bad make-over, but he’s actually a bit of a loser on his own world and a terrible coward when faced by the alphas of his own kind.

That seemed quite fresh to me, after countless sci-fi movies with indestructible, motiveless nasty aliens that like to kill everyone with their sharp, pointy bits. Yuck.

By the end, Hardy and Venom have their own physical and emotional “odd couple” symbiosis, with Venom wanting to roam the city stopping bad guys – principally by eating their heads – and Hardy doing his best to keep Venom in check.

Unfortunately, Venom: Let There Be Carnage would have needed translating into girl for me to like it more than I did. I’ll explain what I mean in a moment…

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Film reviews

The TMINE multiplex: Footsteps On The Wind and Green Lantern

In which Nat talks briefly about the movies she’s been watching this week for no particular reason and that probably don’t warrant proper reviews, but hey? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all chatted about them anyway?

Just like at any other multiplex, the screens of the TMINE multiplex are themed. The first is usually the main attraction, a big new film that you can see in the cinema or on a streaming service. The second is likely to be a smaller film, perhaps one with fewer explosions or more dialogue.

Meanwhile, the other screens are going to be something more niche: something arthouse, something classic, something there just for the joy of it.

Guess what? Next week, I’m hoping to start a Russian cinema strand – for obvious reasons. See! Where else are you going to get that from?

Russia. The answer’s Russia, isn’t it? But you’ll probably need to have had Putin’s Sputnik to go back there – Боже мой! – and the visa process is a nightmare anyway, so the chances are you’re not going to get to return for a while. Soz!

So here is where it’s at!

At least, as the manageress of this cinema, that’s my plan. The TMINE Multiplex – and TMINE itself, as far as I can see – is really a non-profit operation, though, so as long as you’re all happy and you’re all entertained, that’s all I could ever hope and plan for, anyway.

That was the plan. However, this week, I was a little bit sabotaged. Oopsy. Scatty Natty.

You’ve already seen the main attraction this week, Dune (2021), so I can’t talk about it again here.

Another screen is out of order: Movie Night with my friend didn’t happen – life! Why are you so cruel?!

Another screen was probably a bit too warm and dark after a particularly carb-tastic tea: I was going to watch Green Lantern (2011) with my husband, but we both fell asleep while we were watching it. At the same point. Like a minute apart. I saw his eyes close and then felt mine go, too. It was so spooky!

Plus it turns out Rob reviewed it when it came out (if you can call that a review 🤣).

Pfft.

This has basically robbed me of a chance to talk about and post pictures of Ryan Reynolds in his underwear.

Pfft again.

(For what it’s worth, for the life of me, based on those scenes of Ryan Reynolds in his underwear, I have no idea why my identical twin sister chose to divorce Ryan Reynolds at this time. I don’t think even Green Lantern can be blamed for that.)

Maybe it’s for the best. It’s a really mean-spirited superhero movie, as well as very stupid. It’s so bad, Ryan Reynolds regularly disowns it, even in other movies.

He and Taika Waititi both try to disown it in fact.

But it does have one of the best ever scenes in a superhero movie, so it’s not totally awful, even if it can send two people to sleep simultaneously.

So this week, I’m only doing one movie and it’s showing in screen eight, which is that really small door down by the gents that you only ever see used by the ghost who runs the projection equipment – and only when the rest of his Legion are marching down the old Roman road.

It doesn’t really count as a movie, since it’s only seven minutes long. You also might never get to see it. It’s been shown at various film festivals and you can currently see it at the Free Speech Film Festival, but the movie’s PR people say it’s “too soon to say” if it’ll be available to view online.

But let’s talk about Footsteps on the Wind (2021) and Sting after the jump. I’ll get the wine from the bar. Do you think we can drink a whole bottle in seven minutes? I know I can, but how about you?

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