Usually, I feature both the film and TV shows I’ve been watching recently. However, with this slump I’m in I’ve found myself watching a lot more than usual. It also helps that at the moment we have a temporary home cinema set up in our very own living room. There is nothing better than watching films on the projector. It makes them all the more epic and immersive. Some of the films I watched were instant classics, others were a bit of a dud. Here is a summary of my summer viewings so far.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I had previously seen snippets of the film, but never in its entirety. If there is one thing I’ve discovered from watching Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, it’s that Guy Ritchie is not the director for me. I just don’t like this constant use of slow motion, choppy action sequences. It makes me feel like I’m watching a series of trailers rather a film. This was the same issue I had with his King Arthur film, which sucks cause I know he’s signed on to direct the Aladdin live action film.
Admittedly, I didn’t have high expectations for this film. However, I was in the mood for a fantasy film and it seemed like a good one at the time. Now, my knowledge of the World of Warcraft game is limited. My housemates at university used to play the game, but beyond the fact that there are mystical creatures in the game, I have no idea what it is all about. Sadly, the film didn’t help clarify things for me. I think the issue with this film is the lack of depth. I felt no emotional attachment to these characters at all and most of the scenes just felt like they were going through the motions. There was no heart, so I had no real reason to invest in it.
You’re all probably wondering why it took so long for me to watch this film. The truth is, I don’t know. What I do know is that Black Panther is right up there among the best of the Marvel films. What I loved about this film is that it showcased the depths that these superhero films can explore alongside the action sequences. The exploration of Wakanda’s place in the world was fascinating, especially as we explore the ideas of various leaders within the country. As newly crowned King, T’Challa faces the difficult task of exploring these ideas as he tries to preserve the beauty and strength of Wakanda and its people, but also recognise their place in the world. Even more impressive is that the villain, Erik Killmonger, is actually a character that has been shaped by the misgivings and wrongdoings that have been done to him. He’s a tragic villain, one whose future could have easily taken a different path if given the chance. When you combine all these elements together with a stellar cast, you are treated to one of the best Marvel films of all.
Blade Runner 2049
The original Blade Runner film is one I’ve only seen snippets off, but I understood the gist of this universe before going into this film. It took a while to get into it, but in the end, I thought it was a brilliant film, one that definitely makes a case for itself as a future classic. I would never have pegged Ryan Gosling for this sci-fi film, but he did a great job at exploring the tale old questions of what it means to be human as he explores the doubts that plague him and his memories. There was still plenty of action to be found in this film, but what amazed me was how elegant the cinematography was. Of course, we cannot forget Harrison Ford’s part in this tale and his interactions with Gosling were a highlight. This film was awesome and will appeal to fans of the original Blade Runner film, but also introduces this universe to a whole new wave of fans.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Confession, I am not the biggest Potter fan. So, when news of this spin-off came to light I wasn’t all that interested in it. However, after watching the trailer, I had to admit that I was intrigued. So, I thought it would be best to give this film a chance to impress me, and boy did it do just that. What was great about this film was its ability to stand apart from Harry Potter. Yes, they exist in the same universe, but Fantastic Beasts succeeded in establishing its own roots in this universe. The casting of Eddie Redmayne as it’s lead, Newt, was a genius idea. His charming, innocent, almost child-like fascination with these fantastic beasts was endearing, heightening the darkness that crept up in the films as a contrast.
The biggest surprise. I was not expecting to enjoy this film. I thought it would just be like any other generic action heist film. Naturally, I was wrong. I think the accompanying soundtrack boosted my enjoyment, but I thought the twisted comedic elements were golden. The film covers a lot of grounds. Yes, it’s a heist film, but it slowly turns into a game of cat and mouse between the crew. Does it buy into the typical stereotypes, yes? However, it also has an energy to it that makes it feel like a breath of fresh air in comparison to other crime thrillers.
Lord of the Rings
My love for this franchise will never fade. Most of you should be aware of the fact that the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended edition) is my favourite. If not, I suggest you check out this post, where I highlight the reasons why you should watch the trilogy. I make it a priority to watch these films at least once a year, and every time I have that same sense of wonder I felt the first time I watched it.
Have you seen any of these films?
What’s your favourite film?