Logan (2017)

I was already warned that Logan will be a very violent film; however, I wasn’t prepared for the actual level of violence. It was way (way) too much for me. And not just the blood and torture and murder, I have seen all of that in films before and I am more or less okay with it, but the main thing I disliked about Logan was how heavy and depressing it felt.

I am not a fan of these superhero films, I guess I should have started with that; nevertheless, in most cases they are a great way to escape reality for a world far more exciting than ours. So it has to be interesting and above all – it has to be light. And Logan was the exact opposite.

First of all, I don’t fancy films set in future (and Logan takes place in 2030s), since futuristic simply isn’t my thing. Secondly, I don’t like violence simply for the sake of violence – we don’t live in a fairytale world and bad things happen, but what’s the point of ten minutes of massacre if it doesn’t do anything for the plot? I guess nothing sells a film or a TV show better than unnecessary nudity and violence. What a time to be alive, right? But most of all – I don’t like films showing the end of the protagonists who are still alive and kicking in films to come. And what about the lost and found child plotline again? Didn’t they just use it in the previous X-Men film with Eric? I know that in the universe of these films time is a relative concept and future can be changed in a blink of an eye (e.g. X-Men: Days of Future Past), but still.

I know that people seem to like this film, and probably it is a great send-off for dear old Hugh, but I left the cinema with a heavy heart – and that’s not what a film should do. However, I’m curious how they will introduce the new Wolverine.


 

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

I was quite reluctant to go and see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but I’m so glad that I did. This was most probably the sweetest film in a long time. Definitely a must see (even if you didn’t particularly like Harry Potter).

Firsty – these creatures! Oh my god! They were the cutest thing ever! Especially the niffler. Go and see at least for the sake of the niffler! It’s impossible not to like him. Secondly, there were a lot of comedy elements. The Harry Potter films were more on the depressive side, but this film was quite light (it most probably will get darker during the next parts, though).

What I didn’t like was Colin Farrell’s plotline. I had such high hopes for his character! I really wanted him to be as ambiguous as Severus Snape, so the real plot twist was a real disappointment. I don’t think I have got over it yet. And I wasn’t very fond of so much time being allocated to the American Ministry – it could have been cut shorter.

However, as I already said, this is a wonderful film. It will entertain everyone who goes to see it and for Harry Potter fans, well, for us it will be like coming home after a long journey. And did I mention the niffler?

Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

Our Kind of Traitor might have been a semi-decent thriller, if it hadn’t been so far-fetched. Well, at least the cast was quite good, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

I just simply couldn’t understand the motivation of McGregor’s character. When a member of the Russian mob asks for his help, he pulls a Robert Langdon and really goes for it. Perhaps I’m not such a humanitarian, since it didn’t seem neither believable nor reasonable. OK, the mobster has a bunch of kids who all might be killed *sob, sob*, but is that really a valid argument? Would you risk your life for virtual strangers? Also, some of the characters seemed way too stupid to be involved in such high stake games. For instance, using one’s phone whilst hiding in a safe house definitely qualifies as a silly thing to do.

The only thing I appreciated was the fact that the film used Russian speaking actors for Russian characters. All due respect to the American actors, but their Russian accent is too horrible to be taken seriously.

All in all, an average film. At one point one of the character asks the other one ‘Why are you still here?’ to which the other replies – ‘I don’t know.’ And that sums up my feelings while watching this film. I have no idea why I even bothered to watch it till the end.

The Light Between Oceans (2016)

I have been waiting for The Light Between Oceans for what seemed like forever. Was the film worth the wait? Yes, it was. It didn’t take my breath away, but it was a beautiful screen adaptation of an extremely emotional novel.

Firstly, the film had an amazing soundtrack that was present throughout the film. You know, dramas usually tend to be quite quiet – you can hear your neighbours munching on their popcorn or your stomach rumbling. Not with this film. Really, really well-chosen score! Secondly, the shots were gorgeous. Everything – the scenery, the angle of the camera, the colours – it was a pleasure to watch. You can say that this was a work of art, not just some blockbuster. Thirdly, at least for me, Vikander was the star of this film. Fassbender was handsome (without the moustache, of course) and their level of chemistry was over the roof (no wonder they became a couple in real life). However, Vikander’s acting was the one that made me feel as if someone had punched me in the gut. Oh, the emotions! And I want to mention the little girl who played their daughter – what an adorable child! I understand how hard it is to work with small children, but she was perfect. A new celebrity in the making, most probably.

To sum up, the film will give you all the feels. I have to admit that it is a bit slow, but it might be due to the fact that I had already read the book, so there were no surprises left for me. All in all, a beautiful film with a beautiful cast – it’s impossible to dislike it.

The Shallows (2016)

The Shallows is an entertaining film that doesn’t seem to have any ambition of being something else. Which is good.

Blake Lively is gorgeous, as always. However, I cannot avoid mentioning the fact that she could have probably worn a little less revealing bikini, but, hey, you have to attract the male audience in some way, right? And it wasn’t so annoying as in other action films where the main female character runs around scantily dressed – she was a surfer, so it can be forgiven. Actually, Blake did a nice job here. It was so easy to feel what she was feeling – fear, pain, hunger, thirst and also anger. The Shallows was a one (wo)man show and it managed to pull it off.

What I didn’t like was the ending. There were a few times when the film crossed the line into the ridiculous and unbelievable section, but the ending got the most of it. I simply didn’t and couldn’t believe it.

Nevertheless, it didn’t spoil the film. It was the perfect popcorn-crunching thriller that is engaging, but doesn’t leave a long-lasting impression. In short – a fun distraction.

 

Inferno (2016)

Even though this definitely is one of Brown’s weakest novels, Inferno seems to translate remarkably well on the big screen. It’s a rare case when the screen adaptation is better than the written work, so it comes as a pleasant surprise.

It might be due to the acting – Tom Hanks is wonderful and I couldn’t possibly imagine another Robert Langdon. There were numerous scenes where Langdon is physically unwell and they were portrayed in such a way that almost made me feel the same symptoms. A sign of how invested I was in the main character – I wasn’t simply viewing it from afar, I cared for him – and this, in my opinion, depends heavily on the acting. These films as such are mostly a one-man show (except the young and beautiful female sidekick Robert usually gets), so it’s up to Tom. Luckily this time there was no romance involved, I don’t view it as a spoiler, it just simply common sense on the part of the writers – enough is enough, he’s a professor, not some kind of a sugar daddy, for god’s sake!

The plot was a bit chaotic, especially the first half an hour – it was extremely nightmarish. However, I still blame the novel for this, the film tried its best to clean up the mess and deliver a fairly logical story.

All in all, Inferno is really enjoyable. It’s the same Dan Brown – so don’t expect many surprises, he still uses the same template for all of his works. But the end result is an entertaining action film, the kind that makes you forget yourself for a while and live only inside the film (which is rare as well) with good actors and lovely scenery of historical and cultural places. Certainly worth checking out.

Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

If you are a romantic comedy addict like me (and with that I mean the romantic comedies of the late 90s/early 00s, not the majority of the modern a la Trainwreck ones), then Bridget Jones’s Baby will be an absolute treat. It most probably won’t win any awards, but it’s like meeting a dear old friend you haven’t seen for a while.

The film is warm and fuzzy, romantic and funny; while, still managing to have some serious, food for thought moments. And how could it have been any other way – with the (majority of) the same old cast and adding Emma Thomson to the mix. I’m extremely glad that they decided to go in a different direction than the one set out by the third book.

The actors did a great job. Firth and Dempsey seem to be aging backwards – they are still very much in the position to play the romantic leads. And Zellweger is the same old Bridget we fell in love with years ago. Less chubbier and more grown-up, but still a walking catastrophe.

The ending might have been a little too romantic and clean, but looking back it was the right choice. And kudos to the film for keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats until the very last moment because up until the last minutes it wasn’t clear how the film will end. It’s quite rare these days.