The Shack

Sam Worthington plays the father of a missing girl who is suspected to have been murdered. 

He receives a letter which is an invitation from God, to come visit The Shack. 

Written as a contemplation about the writers feelings towards God, the book went on to sell millions. I’ve read it too and it’s a good adaptation. Sure it’s a little sappy but I also think it’s a profoundly thoughtful story. If the story speaks to you at all then I’d recommend it. 

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Mindhorn

Julian Barratt plays TV actor Richard Thorncroft, whose popular detective series MINDHORN was a staple of entertainment some years back. The man who had a bionic eye which could see the truth. 

Now there’s a real crime and the suspect will only talk to the fictional detective. So Mindhorn is back! 

The team behind this are known for some great work and I was surprised to hear poor reviews come in ahead of watching this. Since my expectations were lowered I think that may have contributed to my enjoyment. 

I enjoyed it all. Daft, funny and inventive. 

Steve Coogan features along with co writer Simon Farnaby, Russell Tovey and even Kenneth Branagh. 
In the same vein as Alan Partridge.  

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid :The Long Haul

Watching Wimpy Kid movies is probably an opportunity for adults to have a snooze whilst younger kids are watching the films, but I actually enjoyed this enough to pay attention throughout. 

This road trip movie plays like the Lampoons road disasters and it’s the usual Collection of individual scenes which are able to be cobbled together to make a feature length running time. Rodrick the annoying older brother is still one of the most entertainment factors. Alicia Silverstone as the mum who wants to go back to a time before smart phones pulls the family through this trip to grandmas which has many many things go wrong. 

Very basic entertainment but easy to watch.  

Alien Covenant

Alien Covenant is the great grandson of Alien (1977). It looks and sounds like the original and yet it’s stuck with that likeness due to fans yelling for it and also falls flat trying something on a more intellectual level which the director wants to do. I sat with a list being crossed off in my mind. She’s Ripley, he can’t be trusted, he’s a goner, she’s a goner, music from other movie, it’s behind you…and so on. It just seemed to have banter after banter at the start as if this was building towards the climax and yet the climax never really came. Well, it came but it was by the numbers and basically a retread. It all happened in front of my eyes and yet I was unmoved. 

I would recommend just watching the first two again and leaving it at that. 

The acting is all fait enough and it does look like the exact same world as the original, just without anything it care about. 

The alien itself is such a tired image now that even a young audience who hasn’t seen most of them would point and say “that bursts out if chests, that hugs faces and that has a mouth inside its mouth and is a man dressed up”. 

I’d say a 4 out of 10. 

The Belko Experiment 

Written by James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy), this social experiment is just one of a hundred films where society get to hunt each other or cower in fear. Lord Of The Flies up to The Hunger Games uses this excuse to make movies where the audience just want to escape to a fantasy set up and wonder how they’d fair if the had to fight to survive. 

With a cast of “I’ve seen her/him before, but can’t remember where” who get dispatched in an order which you may not guess from their level of fame, this brutal tale of a government office block which gets sealed up and given orders over a tannoy system is just fun. Grisly, blood red fun. 

The voice crackles over the tannoy ‘you have an hour to have 30 of you dead by any means necessary or we will kill 60 of you’. 

Factions are formed and we see who can take the pressure when push comes to shove or meat cleaver comes to face. There are some micro frames of gore which imprint on your eyes and are made all the more effective. 

It’s gruesome but so far fetched that you chuckle along willingly as more orders are given out. 

As unoriginal as it is, I always enjoy these movies and recommend this one in particular. 

Get Out 

Daniel Kaluuya (who so brilliantly played Tea Leaf in Psychoville) is Chris, an African American boyfriend to white girl Rose, played by Allison Williams. She is taking Chris home to finally meet the parents and Chris is worried that the whole black white thing may crop up. But on the surface it seems not at all. Except the two black home helps seem out of it somehow, weirdly docile and if anything, acting like upper class white folks. 
I routed for Chris all the way and when the families true intent is uncovered, the proverbial hit the fan. There’s a great tension building and it’s just a matter of when the cork is going to pop. It’s not horror as such but it’s dramatic tension may have you gripping the arm rest. I was really impressed with the conclusion which attempted something less straight forward and yet still simple. 

This is an effective little film which is a thrill ride with laughs. 

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

It was great to back in this pop culture filled world with this unlikely family of reprobates. This time around I felt the film had a much less of a pace to it as story went. There were many scenes which were just designed to enjoy characters messing about in order for laughs which I thought was brave and in a way cocky. The main story is merely Starlord meetings dad played by Kurt Russell. The new 80’s playlist is a nice extension of the last one and Yondu and Nebula get to return in a continued look at their links to the Guardians. 

I still think that the climax does exactly the cookie cut model which they also do and the villain is merely ‘Electro’ from Spider-man in design or many other terra reforming menaces. 

The fun is in the prattling around which fills most of the running time. I enjoyed it a lot but there seemed much less to actually put your heart and soul into. 

It felt like treading water but I think they were actually trying to try a new approach and we are just so used to the same sort of thing that we itch when it’s slightly different.