I rated Wind River (2017) 8/10 #IMDb

A powerful and mostly gently paced movie with some credible and realistic characters in the midst of a horrible situation in a harsh landscape.

I’d thought there were a few too many Ski-doo sequences-a bit like aerial shots in Lord of the Rings. But these extended and frequent transitory shots reinforce the isolation and challenge of the landscape.

Until a showdown, it looks like it’s going to be a long inconclusive tail of an ending.

With scenes of brutal and sexual violence this was tough to watch at times.

A real film. With realistic characters. Well worth seeing.

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I rated The Limehouse Golem (2016) 6/10 #IMDb

I was expecting something like a Hammer Horror film. There are elements of that. But this surprisingly grisly and stylish Victorian crime drama is decidedly not supernatural.

The worlds of the police and the theatre/music hall coincide in limehouse, london as a detective is introduced as a fall guy in a tough case.

The actors do a good job. The style of the movie beers around a bit. Is it melodrama? Is it grisly horror-crime? Is it a twisty-plot? All of those to differing extents.

The pursuit of the killer is done with a repeated technique: meet the suspect. Ask them to write some of the killer’s words. See the detective’s mind’s eye view of the suspect as the killer. From early on it is apparent who the killer is. Nonetheless, this was an unusual and entertaining crime story with some graphic scenes of poverty and violence.

Worth taking a chance as you might enjoy it.

I rated American Assassin (2017) 3/10 #IMDb

The worst kind of risible ‘heroic’ thriller imaginable. Tissue-thin plot, recurrent violence, tropes so worn you can see the threads. Sure, there are some good parts. It starts promisingly with the quite horrible beach massacre. Then the focused, death-wish, journey of the character. And then it all falls apart as it turns into not-quite mission impossible. But without the humour, the gadgets, or the credibility.

Awful.

I rated Patti Cake$ (2017) 8/10 #IMDb

Saw this at a Cineworld preview. It has a familiar rapper movie plot that doesn’t bear too much scrutiny or need any elaboration. I really liked the unsuccessful meet up between the protagonist and her hero. Brilliantly done.

The production values aren’t high. The dialog is OK. The characters are both stereotypical and yet convincing. What I really enjoyed was the lo-fi approach and the sheer enthusiasm, grim reality, and fantasy elements all jammed into an almost-too-long triumph.

Beats the pants off so many big-budget let downs I’ve endured this summer. Go see it if you can.

I rated American Made (2017) 8/10 #IMDb

Despite its morally questionable material this is a surprisingly enjoyable movie. The violence is often more threatened than seen and the action and excitement is forefront. Slickly-written, crisply directed, and acted with credibility. It is not a serious movie. More a caricature of a story based on a story of some true events.

One of the most entertaining movies of the summer.

I rated Detroit (2017) 4/10 #IMDb

It’s just a very long, drawn-out movie. In a way it is a few movies jammed together. No single movie could deal with the Detroit riots, the Algiers hotel, the trial, and the aftermath of events. It’s a tall order even for Kathryn Bigelow. And by trying to squeeze so much in it fails really to do much beyond open the door for the next movie. The end credits give some follow up on some characters. But not enough is made of these people and their stories. We’re presented with horrific events at length and yet because of the limited time we have to get to know these people we are marooned in the shocking events that unfold.

It’s worth seeing for its subject matter. Build up your stamina beforehand. It is disturbing. Despite its content, it seems oddly undramatized. Most of all though it seems very long.

I rated The Dark Tower (2017) 5/10 #IMDb

It’s a teen SF/fantasy type thriller with some horror and dystopian parallel world stuff.

If you liked things like the maze runner and similar then this may be just the thing for you.

For me it was entirely predictable, trope-ridden, and executed just like many teen and children’s movies. A long build up to an expected, action-packed anti-climax.

It leaves the door open for a sequel or TV series.

There are some good bits in it. Walter played by mcconaughey is suitably ruthless and evil. Though like many villains he needs to do some significant risk management. ‘Stop breathing’ in his calm (reverbed) voice is more chilling and effective than many bad guys’ ‘die!’

Elba does a fair job with a very limited character. The teen is OK if not sufficiently terrified at times.

Not great. Entertaining at times. Catch it on DVD or see it if you don’t have some cleaning to do.