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.

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I rated John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) 6/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4425200

It’s more of the same John Wick that you saw in the first movie. Simple stuff. More violence. More violent violence. More mayhem. More ridiculous underworld rules and clubs. It follows on from the first film and leads directly into a potential third.

I rated Gold (2016) 7/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1800302

MM plays Kenny Wells a mining company guy with gold fever. His well-publicised weight gain would be more impressive were it not for his hyper-lordotic spine in any scene the belly is needed. I envy his good looks in this film too.

Nitpicking aside, this is a surprisingly low-key movie that tells the tale of avarice, hubris, and nemesis. Sort of.

There are some great down-at-heel scenes and some great tropical suffering.

Oddly it’s a film where almost no one seems to really win. And I liked that.

In the end you’re left wondering who was in on it.

MM could do a Hunter S Thompson to rival Johnny Depp’s based on his performance here.

I rated The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) 9/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4116284

If you liked the Lego Movie this is a must-see.

Lego + Batman is a great combination. In this movie Batman is a solipsistic narcissist. Highly self-reliant, he ignores all the cues to enjoy friends, family, and team work. He learns his lesson during this fun-filled film.

There’s a strange reverent yet irreverent tone to the movie that has Batman turning up at Superman’s fortress of solitude to find he was not invited to the Justice League party and later has Voldemort and Sauron fighting on the side of The Joker.

Inspired movie making.

I rated Denial (2016) 7/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4645330

Well-played, somewhat understated, courtroom drama that deals with Irving V penguin and Lipstadt.

I remembered this case. But in my mind it was much older than the turn of the 20th century. Disturbing to be shown it was so recent.

The roles are well played. Particularly those of Irving, Lipstadt, Julius, and Rampton. The contrasts between this English courtroom drama and American courtroom dramas are clear from the start. Though the professionalism, skill, and commitment of the legal team is not apparent until later in the movie. Weisz seems to show how alien Lipstadt must have found the experience.

A well done film on a compelling case that is worth going to see.

I rated Hacksaw Ridge (2016) 6/10 #IMDb

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2119532

It’s the tale of a brave, patriotic man who wouldn’t carry a weapon in WWII on Okinawa.

Directed by Mel Gibson seemingly for the low-end true story dramatisations found on cable TV and streaming services.

It does show some of the terrible aftermath of war in private doss’s home life: alcoholic, violent, remorseful father who is a veteran of WWI.

It shows Doss’s difficulties with his army colleagues: accusations of being a coward, attempts to force him out, courts martial.

And it shows some of the horror of the battle for the ridge: violent slaughter, flamethrowers, grenades…

But despite Doss’s conviction and his faith and perseverance the film makes more of heroism generally and essentially ends with ‘we won’.

There’s some good credits footage of the survivors that indicates the acting is not so much a dramatisation but a recreation.

It’s slow going most of the time. It’s repetitious-reasonably so to show Doss’s belief and commitment. But overall it’s just not that good a film. If it’s on and you have the time, give it a go.