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Week 13 - 1st April

By Eloquent Gushing

Matthew's Letterboxd Watchlist Matthew's Letterboxd Diary iTunes RSS Feed Google Play Stitcher Radio TuneIn As much as I've had some weeks that seemed to be themed, there's no real trend this week. Some good films, some less good, and some completely random ones. Mr. Right Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick being cool together in a film? Sign me up. If it was just that I'd have really enjoyed this film, but the film also needed to include a romantic element between them, which didn't work because their chemistry wasn't there. Both these actors are fairly electric when they get to do their thing, so they need someone different to play off - plus the 17 year age gap didn't help. Had this just been a mentor or colleague situation (like A Long Kiss Goodnight) it would have been much stronger. Other than that, it's kind of fun. For the Love of Spock Another one we're covering for Pop Culturally Deprived, I do like this documentary a lot. It's very warm and emotional, which is the main reason I can't love it. I want more information and insight, but there's a lot glossed over and missed out because it's trying to serve two purposes - a discussion of Spock as a character and a biography of Leonard Nimoy. Still worth it for anyone even vaguely interested in the subject matter. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert This is film 100 for the year, and it's a great film to watch. The plot is pretty thin and it's reminiscent of an older style film that sees characters bouncing from one interesting situation to the next (see Barbarella for a recent example of this). But the performances are so dynamic and enjoyable you won't notice. Terence Stamp particularly is as wonderful as ever, but in a completely different role. A.I. Artificial Intelligence I had watched this a long time ago with my friend Dom, and he referenced it when discussing other Kubrick films after seeing Barry Lyndon. So I thought I'd revisit it. It's still a lovely film, and you can see how it's got the classic Kubrickian slowness and consideration alongside Spielberg's skill with the camera and making you engage with characters. The happy ending is perhaps a little heavy but, for me, it does elevate the film from being one to consider to being a film to enjoy. Despicable Me 3 I quite enjoyed the first two films in this series, and even Minions had some moments to like. This film is less good than those, but I'm not sure why. Lucy's story is superb, I love that she has a plot that doesn't revolve around or need Gru, and Kristen Wiig plays the character as well as she did last time. That does free up Steve Carell to have a lot of character fun, and Gru's story is perhaps let down because the new villain is significantly more enjoyable so I want more of him on screen. Perhaps it's that the minion plotline feels tacked on and largely unnecessary? Spider-Man: Homecoming I thoroughly enjoyed this in the cinema and was looking forward to seeing it again. It's still good, but I can see more of its flaws now. The John Hughes teenager elements are everything I've ever wanted from a Spider-Man film, and I think what I want even more from this film is to drop the Avengers / Peter wanting to be more involved threads and focus even more on his trying to reconcile his two identities as a growing up metaphor. Focussing on Michael Keaton's origin makes this a much better superhero than most, we get the enjoyment of seeing someone develop their character whilst also getting stories of how that impacts their day to day living. Miss Sloane I'd been looking forward to seeing this for a while, and gratefully I wasn't let down. Jessica Chastain is sublime in this sharp and deeply cynical political thriller. I loved the movements of this and was gripped all the way through. Anyone who enjoys Sorkin's cinematic work (and even his TV series) will enjoy this. Minority Report A favourite since the first time I saw this, Minority Report might be my most-seen Tom Cruise film. It's incredibly well put together high concept science fiction, but one that also brings tears to my eyes. Samantha Morton's performance is perhaps the thing that makes this as good as it is, she holds my attention every time she gets the chance to do something. The writing, particularly the second escape in the mall and the overall plotting of the impact of the vision and how pre-crime is twisted, just blows me away every time I see it. Sweet Bean / An We do like a Japanese film in this house, and An is a great example of why it's so different to Western cinema. This film is so small and personal, yet dealing with something (Hansen's Disease) that you wouldn't expect. It takes a while to get there, and it's not really a happy film, but that is so often the case and makes the watching experience more enjoyable because we're not being given everything on a platter when needed. Recommendation Miss Sloane was easily the best thing I've seen this week. As I said above, it was gripping and had twists and turns that were superbly crafted. The performances were electric and it really delivered something better than most political thrillers.

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