Summer Viewing List – Films

It’s films, so not really a “reading list” like my other posts. I did watch some films over the summer, none of which are recent cinema releases.

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Rim of the World (2019)

This film was absolute trash.

The story itself was just bland. I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters, and – as is tradition in this genre of film – that the characters got the mystery plot item of importance as far as they did is nothing short of unbelievable.

The pitch was clearly trying to play off the back of the success of Stranger Things – visible in the group-of-kids team up, and the attempts at nostalgia (Don’t you remember going to camp?), and visual effects on the monsters. The production team were having a lot of fun recreating some scenes from the original Jurassic Park. Oh, and the colour filters over everything just came across as obnoxious.

Would not recommend.

I Am Mother (2019)

This was a great Sci-Fi film.

The story of a robot raising a child to be a good human makes me really care for both the growing child and the robot. The hints about the outside world and the chaos going down add a sense of unease to everything, but fundamentally everything is nice and generally happy. Then it all goes downhill when the kid breaks the rules and opens the front door. The ensuing descent into madness is great, right up to the films end.

The only thing that really nags me is that while watching this I was really hoping I was going to get a film where the powerful AI-fuelled robot doesn’t want to try and destroy everything just so it can maximise its goal. Alas, I did not get that. Despite this, I would still recommend the film for any Sci-Fi fans.

See You Yesterday (2019)

I’m not really sure what I make of this one.

The film had an interesting premise – what happens when you start messing with time. I feel it was kind of let down on some fronts though: Picking a consistent model of time travel, and the ending.

Time travel stories can very easily end up being a mess if you don’t plan and lay out the logic for time travel in that particular universe. This film seemed to take all of the time travel mechanics available and mashed them together. It made things confusing and difficult to follow. Worse is that when you do this, by all rights anything should be possible, so everything should end up OK.

Except it didn’t, and the ending we’re left with – the main character wandering into the time travel aether – just comes across as a bit of a cop-out. I can understand why you might want to leave it “open to interpretation”, but the ending just wasn’t satisfying.

One thing the film did well was its social commentary, such as on race & policing issues. But in my mind that wasn’t enough to fully redeem it.

The Perfect Date (2019)

This was a fun ridiculous film. A boy makes an app basically pimping himself out for fake dates. The story was predictable, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less, and that’s the best kind of outcome for this kind of film. If you promise not to take it too seriously, I can recommend it.

 

From Paris with Love (2010)

A by the books security guard meets an off the rails secret agent. Chaos ensues. This is at its core a generic action film, yet in spite of that it’s not boring. If you like spy action thrillers, and don’t know what to watch one evening, I would recommend this.

 

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

This is another spy film, this time thrusting two unsuspecting ordinary folk into the job of delivering a plot device and keeping it safe from the hands of the enemy. It’s a comedy, so the plotline isn’t especially important. And it is funny, so its done well. Good viewing if you want to see some Americans bumble around Europe doing Spy Stuff™.

 

Suicide Squad (2016)

In a market dominated by superhero movies, here we have the anti-hero film. I never watched it when it came out at the cinema but decided being cooped up on a plane for several hours was the time to watch it.

Going in with no expectations, and without any knowledge of the DC hero universe (whatever it’s called), I enjoyed the film. The main reason I decided to watch it was I saw Will Smith listed as an actor (the only name I immediately recognised), and he plays the role of the hitman Deadshot well. The Joker and Harley Quinn are both off the rails insane, and that works really well for an anti-hero. The other characters are kind of forgettable really.

But it was a superhero, err… supervillian, film so there was action and chaos and a story that was… certainly there. Good viewing when stuck with nothing else to watch.

North by Northwest (1959)

A very old “classic” film which I watched in colour, apparently it had been restored. It’s a very good film and has aged well. It’s a great story of mistaken identity and what happens when everything just starts going wrong and out of control.

It’s also very funny which is a great contrast against all of the pretty horrible things that Thornhill has gotten himself embroiled in.

Definitely recommended viewing.

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