I rated Sing (2016) 7/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3470600

Really enjoyable animated movie about a luckless koala desperate to save his theatre. His final grasp is with a talent show.

There are some well done cartoon capers mixed in with a tale of perseverance and doing things just for the fun of them.

Slickly animated, nicely told, and with some good voice parts. Even the singing bits are tolerable.

Feel pretty good animated fun.

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I rated Viceroy’s House (2017) 5/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4977530

A surprisingly gentle tale of the partition of India at the time of independence from the British empire.

The Viceroy (Mountbatten) and the lady Mountbatten are portrayed sympathetically.
The viceroy’s house plays out as a microcosm of the country with friendship, enmity, confusion, and change.
The various politicians are treated almost as caricatures.
Despite the terrible, predetermined, outcome we’re offered hope in some of the personal stories.

It’s a nicely constructed story, beautifully shot, and with some entertaining, fascinating, and disturbing moments. Despite the monumental history, the cast, and the direction it is not great. OK. Worth catching but don’t go out of your way.

I rated Logan (2017) 8/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3315342

Not your regular X-men movie. Jackman, Stewart, and keen create compelling characters who deal with their tough survivalist scenarios brilliantly. Merchant not so much. Caliban is possibly one of the weakest roles played weakly in any X-men movie yet.

The violence is both violent and bloody. And the story is more or less ‘get from here to there’. But that belies its complexity. There are a few tough questions in this movie. Especially if you’ve seen previous X-men movies.

Worth watching. Possibly worth watching even if you have not seen any previous X-men movie. Though just for the hell of it I would recommend X-2.

It is stirring stuff. And I challenge you to avoid feeling a little weepy at some points. Remember The Wolverine with the claw snipping? This is weepier.

I rated Hidden Figures (2016) 8/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340

Wow. From its opening scene its apparent this is a great mix of meaningful, challenging, and entertaining content.

The weirdness of segregation and sexism and their deleterious effects on Virginia society, productivity, personal development, and NASA is shocking. The personal battles of the characters and convincing portrayals are as compelling as they are disturbing.

The NASA story and the Cold War pressures create a great environment to explore the characters.

Another ‘based on a true story’ movie, this one you really have to see. Some great acting, jarring events, and a good story.

I rated The Founder (2016) 6/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4276820

Engaging tale of Ray Kroc’s ‘founding’ of McDonalds.

Michael Keaton does a fair job of trying to be a focused and somewhat ruthless Kroc. He gets across the variable success of Kroc’s earlier entrepreneurial efforts. And he does portray the evangelical enthusiasm for the McDonald’s concept. There’s an apparent maturing of Kroc’s business thinking and his introduction of talented folks who share his vision and have skills he does not.

The McDonalds brothers are successful in their own way but are very risk averse. As a result it’s hard to feel sympathy for them when Kroc’s McDonalds corporation machinery buys them out of their store. For apparently $1.35million each. Not bad for a small burger joint.

It’s an OK ‘based on a true story’ film that despite its quality lacks some of the drama and tension that this story might have been able to deal. Worth watching if you have the time.

I rated Patriots Day (2016) 7/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4572514

A bit like the British TV series Casualty crossed with a 24-like docudrama. The events are set up, you know what’s going to happen, and when they do everything kicks off.

An engaging account of the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

The characters work well. The enactment is believable. The intercutting of contemporary footage fits well though it is done without explanation or blending.

I was unaware of the shootout in water town. Pipe bombs, handguns, rifles, it looks like a scene from GTA: violent chaos.

A portrait of bravery and resolve from law enforcement, emergency services, and the people of Boston. The end scene footage of some of the real people portrayed in the movie is worth seeing on its own.

I rated A Cure for Wellness (2016) 4/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4731136

Though this is stylish there’s nothing new here. If it were a fraction of the running time, had fewer pretensions, and was entertaining I might claim it was in the style of a Hammer movie. It isn’t. It goes on and on. You can anticipate each revelation in the story until it finally gets to the big one that you will have spotted early on at the sanitarium. And then there’s a later bizarre scene of rebellion/insanity. Meh.

The sanitarium exploration is very much in the spirit of Scooby Doo or teen horror flicks: go weird places, find weird things, and then try and get away.

There are some jump shocks. Lots of persistent eeriness. And some scenes of typical fears: drowning, falling, teeth falling out, teeth being drilled, baths of eels, corpse defiling, menstruation, thugs, madness…

Overall though it is worth avoiding. Wait for it on DVD, play it at 1.5x or 2x and you will miss nothing and get to use the time you save more wisely.