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. 

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. 

Power Rangers (12a)

Bryan Cranston, Charlize Theron and Bill Hader are highly skilled actors which bring a huge weight of talent to something you probably think of as throw away fluff. 

Don’t think of Power Rangers as some cheap plastic toy of a movie- that’s the TV series.
Here is a Transformers soaked telling which starts off with a n** gag surprisingly and even had a close up of said manhood. 

There’s even swearing ! This is strictly a 12a movie and even I was left a little red faced with my 8 year old. 

‘Have you ever Morphed?’

‘Only in the shower!’ 
It’s a high budgeted take of five tough late teens who all come together to discover they are the new chosen galaxy protectors whether the feel it or not. 

Evil queen Rita Repulsa has risen again to destroy the world and our new heroes have to hand together quickly if the Earth is to be saved. 

The effects are top notch to be fair although it does take ages for them to get in their Zords. 

The huge boss Goldar is beautifully created in its molten gold form and I had a blast watching it stomp around the city. 
It’s just a great version of what is obviously a great idea but sadly done in many a tacky way for tv. 
But I say again- this isn’t really suitable for young kids unless it goes over their heads. 
Just remember it’s 12a which kinda means 12 unless your kid is desensitised. 

Beauty And The Beast 

A curse is out on the self important prince who has to win the heart of a lover before the final petal or a rose falls or the inhabitants of the castle will stay in their cursed form. You know the score. All your favourite songs and characters are lifted straight from the cartoon classic and given a real life makeover. Emma Watson shines as the beautiful rose Belle, filmed in such a degree of HD I could see a pimple on her chin. She has a great singing voice too. 

Dan Stevens plays the beast in the castle and I had a touch of a problem with the CGI of the beast’s face. I thought it looked less photo real and more cartoon animated in parts. 

I’m not a huge fan of the cartoon to be fair but I can see that this is a great conversion to live action. It felt to me that there were new songs added but I could be mistaken. I always enjoy Be My Guest, maybe because it reminds me of The Simpsons parody See My Vest.  

Plenty of singing and good actors giving their all in a good reworking that may have you shed a tear even though you know the outcome. Some wonderful animation and voice work of the animated ornaments which carry much of the movie and help out with some amusing comments. Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou are good fun as the bromantic couple who aim to get Belle’s attention. Didn’t rock my world but was perfectly executed for those who will hope to love it. 

A Cure For Wellness

As I watched this movie with its young male lead entering a creepy institution up on a hillside, I thought of Shutter Island. Dane Dehaan is a b list leonardo de caprio in many ways and this film is a b rate Shutter Island from start to finish. But I adore Shutter Island so the fact that I merely loved this is still high praise. 

Jason Isaacs is the main runner of the institution and he has Celia Imrie and Mia Goth among his customers who are dosed up on the water which comes down from the Alps themselves, cleansing the body and mind. 

Dehaan has an accident which is filmed in a glorious way by Gore Verbinski and that’s when our lead finds himself holed up at the institution and drinking this mysterious elixer. As the film title suggests, maybe the water is one thing to be avoided. Cue drug like hallucinations (or are they real?) scenes where our hero searches behind the scenes in order to seek out the truth. 

It’s a long film and I was on board right up until late in the running time when a white hooded coven scene began and I thought all was lost but I was wrong. I’ve seen a handful of films which don’t know how to wrap things up and always seem to go to the crowd of people in robes holding candles. It could be accused of going a bit far in its closing moments but I just about held on enough to stay with it. 

Not wholly original then but something to seek out if you did enjoy Shutter Island. And I certainly did enjoy both. 

The Girl With All The Gifts

The movie centres around a group of children in a soldier run medical centre where the kids are strapped down and seem like they are a threat. That’s because these are zombies but the fungus which made them the undead gives them the appearance of ‘normal’.

Gemma Arterton, Glen Close and Paddy Considine star as the humans who hope to get the cure out of these new species of undead. 

It’s a good discussion starter but is sprinkled with moments and details which take you out of the movie and at times you can easily spot actors acting. A good idea on paper but just another Walking Dead runaround spin off too. Sennia Nanua plays the most intelligent child/zombie who tries to get the confidence of the living. She’s a little annoying in parts and the rules of her zombieism keeps changing. 

A good idea dropped on its head. 

Lion

This is the tale of a 5 year old child in India who gets lost one evening from his elder brother as they try to work to get money to survive. This is a true story. Young Saroo sleeps in a stationery train carriage till his brother returns. Unfortunately when Saroo wakes up he finds that the train is on a two day journey and he can’t get off. When he gets off the train he just gets lost further because no one seems to have heard of the village he is from. 

He somehow survives until he gets into the foster system where he ends up in Australia, for 25 Years! 

His separation haunts him every day and he searches as best he can to get back to his distraught family. 
This doesn’t sound very uplifting I admit but it’s actually oddly life affirming. This resilient child turns into a wonderful man with a huge heart and his journey is beyond remarkable. 

Nicole Kidman plays his adoptive mother and Rooney Mara is his girlfriend and with Dev Patel as Saroo in his thirties, it’s a high caliber of acting. But it’s young Sunny Pawar as the delightful lead boy who captures your heart. 

It sad and happy at the same time and is a bitter sweet amazing tale. 

This film has stayed with me.