I rated Charlie Says 7/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt1759744

Saw this at the Venice film festival. Packed performance. And deservedly so. We get into the story without much exposition. And what a story. The ethical dilemma of the prison workers, especially the educator. The shifting awareness of the 3 prisoners. And the disturbing replaying of Manson family life.

Each actor does a great job with their character. This is a dramatisation that does what a documentary could not: give us some of the inner life, experiences, and emotion of what it might have been like.

It’s a bit long at times but this gives the movie space to extend the drama and make the characters fuller than they could have been in a more edited movie.

Well worth seeing.

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I rated the sisters brothers 6/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt4971344

A surprisingly good western that could have been even better with some cuts here and there to keep its pace.

The sisters brothers are merciless killers, an odd couple, and have a strong fraternal relationship in their work for ‘the commodore’.

On the trail of a man who is being tracked by a detective working for the commodore the sisters brothers have a few mishaps. Killers, spiders, horse troubles are just a few.

When they find him things work out more differently than I could have predicted.

This movie kept a good sense of humour in its harshness and contrasting warmth and humanity. If westerns are the next big thing after superheroes I hope we get more like this.

I rated Peterloo 4/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt4614612

Saw this at the Venice film festival.

It shares some common threads with many of Mike Leigh’s other films. Earnest working class folks. Grim conditions. Oppressive politics. And some moments of light relief. This one goes on and on and on though.

The opening scene is pretty brutal with a young soldier caught on a battlefield with cannon fire and cavalry.

Then to Manchester. The soldier’s home and the eventual scene of the massacre at St Peter’s Field. It’s a long time until the movie gets to that. Once it does, and we get to see the drawn out preparation and carnage things are wrapped up in a few moments.

There’s quite a bit of tedious didacticism with folks explaining corn laws, suffrage, and so forth to family around the hearth.

In most every scene it is like the characters are orating to each other rather than conversing. Especially the magistrates. They identify themselves as ‘moral superiors’ of the regular folk as they plot the crushing of perceived insurrection. About the only characters who avoid this orating and shouting at each other are the Home Secretary, prime minister, and prince regent. Though they’re mildly lampooned.

It’s an overly earnest film that could have been more effective with some dialogue, radical editing, and something a bit more than ‘we’ll be sure to report this in our newspapers’ to end the massacre with.

I rated The Meg 6/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt4779682

slightly more ridiculous than scary, this is a fun disaster spectacular that combines some deep, deep sea claustrophobia with a land that time forgot underwater. Jason Statham plays it with a pretty straight smirk. All the cast play stereotypical roles familiar from most global movies.

Despite the ridiculousness there are some tense moments such as the smart little girl in the deep water research station being attacked by the meg. And the opening scene rescue.

The eccentric billionaire finder eager to deal with the meg using his private navy is destined for the events we see. And they are karmically comic.

Worth watching if you have tired of films where you need to think. You’ll still need to concentrate as this rarely lets up its pace.

Summer fun movie.

I rated the equaliser 2 7/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt3766354

more extravagant in locations and effects than the equaliser. Though the film has a number of events, the basic plot is typical and predictable. Nonetheless, this is an effective movie of its type and has some progression for the character.

Some of the smaller equaliser stories the movie alights on are well done and the elision of extensive plot details for them gives some indication of how busy McCall is with helping people out.

Violent, tense at times, and a slickly-put-together action flick.

I rated ant-man and the wasp 7/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt5095030

Possibly more amusing than the first ant-man movie. Well worth watching after the rather darker avengers: infinity war #1.

Scott is under house arrest after helping captain America in Germany. Hope and Hank Pym are outlaws.

This is a really enjoyable superhero movie with some very amusing big/small antics courtesy of the impossible size-changing suits. There are a few threads that run though it: Hope’s missing mother; bad guys after Pym’s technology; Ghost after the technology and Hope’s mother; FBI after Scott and the Pyms. It’s a long list that somehow manages here where in other marvel movies the complications just end up getting tangled.

Michael Peña is very very good in this.

All in all, this is a great summer fun movie that has only 1 dark note towards the end. Well worth watching even if superheroes are boring you by now.

[2018-09-24 corrected the title to ‘ant-man’ from ‘any-man’ 🙄 fat fingers or auto-correct]

I rated mission: impossible fallout 7/10 on IMDB

www.imdb.com/title/tt4912910

A good mission impossible movie. It has all the regular features you’d expect but with some of the action disks turned up to 11.

At times it feels a bit like a mashup of many different action movie parts. There’s James Bond’s remote-control full size car. There’s a HALO jump. Car/motorbike chases. Toilet fights. … The fight scene on the mountain side is surprisingly dizzying and tense. The London rooftop chase, ending on the south bank is very engaging.

Simon Pegg’s character doesn’t get quite as much of a range as I’d expect. But Tom Cruise is on spectacular form.

The story? Mission goes wrong. Ethan and the team try to recover stuff. Double agents. Old romance. World in danger.

Go see it if you like a formula movie turned way up.