It’s been a while since we’ve spotlighted movies on this site, and while this writer has yet to make that trip to the cinema since pre-lockdown days, the make-shift home cinema gets the job done. This recent batch of movies ranges from the sinisterly uncomfortable, to the stylish and visually thrilling, and disappointing.
Wind River is a tale that puts the spotlight on the often-ignored crimes against Native American women. It’s a harrowing and uncomfortable story that successfully provokes a sense of rage over the loss of such a bright life. While most crime movies focus on identifying the criminal, Wind River chooses to firmly put the spotlight on its victim, reminding us of the strength of the victim in her final moments. It’s a brutal tale, one that is reflected in the harshness of the cold landscape of its setting. In a film that sees Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen delivering a subtlety captivating performance, Wind River is the type of character-driven thriller that won’t be so easily forgotten.
The Lion King
The 1994 Disney animated classic is a childhood favourite for many, and this live-action remake failed to capture the spirit of this beloved classic. Now, not there were a few bright spots as the soundtrack, helmed by Elton John, is as captivating as it was in the animated. Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner were a welcome addition to the cast as they brought life to the comedy-duo Timon and Pumbaa, and the death of Mufasa was just as traumatising in this version of the tale. However, it’s also worth noting that the bests moments of the movie are made up of components that were already effective in the original. So, instead of enhancing the Lion King story, Disney chose to create a clunky copy of the original that was awkward to watch and inauthentic in its execution. Disney’s live-action franchise’s overreliance on nostalgia has proven to be ineffective in its long-term effectiveness, especially as the quality of these remakes remains to be significantly weaker than their original counterparts.
Related Post: The Pros and Cons of Live-Action Remakes
Bad Times at the El Royale
Bad Times at the El Royale is a smart, and stylish thriller that follows seven characters that find themselves at the charmingly sinister El Royale. In its prime, the El Royale was a hot-spot for its high-end guests, but beyond its charm, the El Royale hides a shady secret. However, it’s not just the building that hides behind its lofty exterior, but so do our characters, all of which have a sinister motive for staying at the El Royale. Bad Times at the El Royale effectively ramps up the tension as we unravel the secrets of this hotel and its customers, treating viewers to a visually stylish and sinister thriller.
Ready Player One
Book adaptations are hard to get right. Granted, this writer has no prior knowledge or has read the book, but if the intent was to create a world that celebrates the world of gaming, then it sure hit the mark. Visually, Speilberg takes us on an adventure that pays homage to the games that defined many viewers’ childhoods. It’s non-stop action as this virtual reality creates an immersive game-like atmosphere that’s thrilling and nostalgic. Sadly, this visual spectacle fails to provide any depth to our characters, but it’s an action-packed sci-fi thriller that can be enjoyed by the whole family.