What We Do In The Shadows
Film reviews

Orange Wednesday: Close (2019) and What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Every Wednesday, TMINE reviews two movies and infringes a former mobile phone company’s trademarked marketing gimmick

Yes, three weeks in a row. Can you believe it? What consistency! Fingers crossed, I won’t be replaced by a meerkat at this rate.

Anyway, time to review not one but two whole movies again. This week, we’ll look at one of Netflix’s latest efforts, Close, in which Noomi Rapace plays a bodyguard who has to protect a young heiress. And following on from last week’s look at Das Boot, I’ll be catching up with another movie that’s imminently going to air a TV sequel: What We Do In The Shadows (2014).

Both of those after the jump.

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Das Boot
Film reviews

Orange Wednesday: Split (2016) and Das Boot (1981) + Polar (2019)

Every Wednesday, TMINE reviews two movies and infringes a trademarked former mobile phone company’s marketing gimmick

Would that I had a slightly larger brain, I’d have smartly introduced last week’s inaugural edition of Orange Wednesday by saying that I’d review two movies every week on Wednesday. Yes, a 2-for-1 movie offer called Orange Wednesday! Rings a bell, doesn’t it?

But I’m not. I’m also time-poor and lazy, so the prospect of watching two movies a week seems a bit of a stretch. But I’m going to give it a go.

In fact, if you look at the title of this week’s Orange Wednesday, you’ll notice I made a brave stab at watching three movies. Unfortunately, Polar was terrible so I gave up on it after about 10 minutes – I’ll tell you all about it after the jump, but technically, it’s not a review, since I didn’t finish the movie. I do have some editorial standards, you know.

After the jump, however, I’ll be definitely be looking at two movies that I’ve watched all the way through this week: M Night Shyamalan’s 2016 Split, starring James McAvoy, and Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 theatrical cut of Das Boot. See you in a mo…

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Winnie The Bear
Film reviews

Orange Wednesday: London has Fallen (2016) and A Bear Named Winnie (2004)

Every Wednesday, TMINE reviews some movies and infringes a trademarked former mobile phone company’s marketing gimmick

So, given that Netflix makes movies now and Wednesday’s now free of WHYBW, I figured I’d make an earnest stab at watching a reviewing at least one movie a week from now on, in a feature I dabbled with calling “Hurt me, Gunther, make me bleed” but decided better of it.

First up are two very different movies, neither of which is especially new, but which will at least kick things off nicely.

London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen (2016) (available on iTunes)

Surprisingly not dreadful but still reasonably xenophobic and ludicrous sequel to Olympus Has Fallen that sees Gerard Butler once again having to protect US President Aaron Eckhart from a bunch of terrorists. This time, however, the action shifts to London and the terrorists are actually out to get every world leader – and they’ve got a few already.

Given Butler is Scottish and both a producer and financier of London Has Fallen, don’t be too surprised that he’s had enough clout over things to ensure that we don’t get a totally weird, US view of London and the UK, but something a bit closer to our reality. There are familiar landmarks and unfamiliar estates, and when the SAS turn up – which they would, of course – they’re sympathetically handled.

That said, there are niggles all over the place, including petty ones like Colin Salmon heading up Scotland Yard yet only being a Chief Inspector. Plus there’s a touch of the Fox News in the idea that there’s both a Deep State working behind the scenes in the UK government and that Islamist terrorists have infiltrated the police, et al in large numbers.

Importantly, though, while Olympus Has Fallen was ultimately ‘Die Hard in the White House’, London Has Fallen does switch up the formula considerably, making the whole thing more of a running, jumping bit of guerrilla warfare, interspersed with pitched battles, which lends itself to an entirely different form of action. Butler doesn’t have to handle everything by himself, with various others in the field with him to sort out the baddies in their own ways.

It’s nothing too remarkable, mind, but if you want a decent and unchallenging action pic on home soil, London Has Fallen‘s got the adrenalin shot you’ll need.

A Bear Named Winnie

A Bear Named Winnie (2004) (free on Amazon Prime)

A TV movie from CBC (Canada), starring a very young Michael Fassbender, as well as Stephen Fry and David Suchet, that tells the true story of Harry Colebourn, who served with the Canadian veterinary corps during the First World War. While heading off from Winnipeg for the front line in Europe, he buys a bear cub who ends up becoming the corps mascot and he thusly names Winnipeg – Winnie for short.

Of course, you can’t take a bear to the front line, so Colebourn ends up leaving the incredibly tame bear in the hands of zoo keeper Stephen Fry at the London Zoo, where she becomes very popular with the children who even get to play with her. So popular, in fact, that one Christopher Robin Milne decides to rename his own bear, Edward, Winnie…

Although for copyright reasons, that can’t be mentioned in the movie itself.

Given that there aren’t that many details to the story available, the movie is simply an extrapolation of what happened, but quite a timid one. As a result, action jumps around a lot, with the entire War passing in the space of a scene, for example. It also doesn’t quite know who its audience is and what it wants to do with what story it has, so one moment it’s all about immigration, the next it’s about gallant Canadian lads fighting under the command of drink-sodden, class-obsessed English generals (Suchet), then it’s about PTSD and then it’s a comedy about trying to keep ‘the beaks’ from knowing you have a bear in your suitcase. Or their suitcase.

But even though at times it feels a little like an extended episode of The Littlest Hobo but with a bear instead of a dog, it’s still a moving affair with some delightful bears. Fassbender’s accent is as variably Irish as normal – he goes for Irish-Canadian, which give Colebourn was from Birmingham in the UK originally, is an odd choice – but you’re probably used to that, and you can spot the likes of Aaron Ashmore and Gil Bellows in minor roles. There are some impressive period details and everyone has a lot of fun.

Worth a watch if you fancy some lovely family viewing.

Ant Man and the Wasp

Movie Thursday: The Incredibles 2; Mission: Impossible: Fallout; Ant-Man and the Wasp

Every so often and less than it would like, TMINE reviews some movies

With TV now winding down for the Christmas break, I’ve had the chance to watch some movies, all of which were out in the summer but I didn’t get a chance to watch. So after the jump, let’s talk about: The Incredibles 2, Mission: Impossible: Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp. See you in a mo…

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Christopher Robin
Film reviews

Movie Tuesday: Deadpool 2, Downsizing, Game Night, The Man Who Knew Infinity, Rampage, Solo, Christopher Robin, Oceans 8 and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Okay, so it’s been a while since TMINE last reviewed some movies (cough, cough, six months, cough, cough). Oh dear. As with all these things, it’s not because I’ve not put the prep work in, it’s just the difficulty of finding the time to do the actual writing. Still, this failing does make Weekly Wonder Woman look like an almost hourly occurrence by comparison. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s Movie Monday (on a Tuesday, which emphasises the problem yet again) to rectify that deficit. After the jump, in varying degrees of sketchiness, six months’ worth of movie reviews. See you in a mo…

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