Do you like movies?! Do you like so called “cult classics”?! Do you like Films people have rarely heard of?! Do you see your friends switch off when you begin to go on and on about a film that you know they’ve not seen but you can’t help it, its like word vomit?! Well my friend this is the series for you!
In this series I indulge in my favourite pastime; watching films and then annoying people with my opinions on them. Some odd, some wonderful, some downright bad, all watched over the course of one week and then reviewed for your pleasure. Sit back, relax, and potentially find your new favourite flick. And if you have a film you think I’d enjoy or you’d like me to review please leave it in the comments below!
My filmic week began on Wednesday this week, mostly because I finally pulled my finger out and bought the collectors edition of Spaced and so watching all the commentaries and features on that has been taking up my time. I’m not including it here as it’s a series rather than a film but if you’re interested in hearing more let me know.
FILM: Baby Driver
RELEASE DATE: 28th June 2017
WATCHED: In Cinema (Twice)
RATING: 7/7 Days, Would watch every day of the week.
SYNOPSIS: Baby Driver revolves around a young getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus and so uses music to drown out the whine. It’s a lot of banging tunes and banging cars if you know what I mean.
Now I don’t know about other Wright fanatics (mainly because I don’t know any but I digress) but I was rather disappointed with World’s End. Another review for another week but it made me a little wary of Baby Driver, but like any good fangirl I decided to rope some friends into seeing it opening night. Now I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but HOT DAMN IT’S MADE ME HAVE TO ADD ANOTHER FILM TO MY FAVOURITE FILMS LIST!
Lets talk about the use of sound first of all in this film. What. A. Soundtrack. Even if you’re holding off on getting to a theatre near you for this one I would recommend giving the soundtrack a listen on Spotify. I’ve heard it said a few times that it’s like Edgar Wright is a new friend who’s made us a mix tape of all of his favourite songs, which is precisely what it feels like. It’s such a phenomenal mix of genres that even if you’re a total music snob you’ll find something you love on it. I think the song Unsquare Dance by The Dave Brubeck Quartet will forever be linked with Baby Driver in my brain, and I’m not mad at it.
The synchronisation of movements to music in this film is what really makes it stand out. Not only gunshots and car movements are timed, which if you watch the trailers you’ll be expecting, but things like placing down coffee cups and even speech patterns are timed to the music in Baby’s ears. The post-title sequence set to Harlem Shuffle by Bob & Earl is a delight of a shot which is so perfectly choreographed I would recommend about ten viewings to take it all on board.
The other part of this film critics are shouting about are the stunts. As far as I’m aware at the time of writing this every car stunt was really physically done by a human in a car. And I’m not too proud to say that that is the sort of thing that gets me hot under the collar. It’s a real strength of this film because it really heightens the intensity of the moment and come on it just looks bloody beautiful.
The one strength of the film that no one really seems to have yelled from any rooftop yet is the realistic characters. Yes this is a heist film, and is very much a fantasy, but none of the main characters seem two dimensional. Every single character has a reason for doing what they’re doing and being where they are, no one seems to have been thrown in just for the sake of it. I also think the casting in this film is amazing, and everyone works together insanely well. Hello Eiza González, I didn’t realise I needed to watch all your damn movies.
TL;DR Brilliant, funny, well choreographed, real humans. Go watch it asap.
FILM: Hot Fuzz
RELEASE DATE: 14th February 2007
WATCHED: On DVD
RATING: 7/7 Days
SYNOPSIS: Supercop Nicolas Angel reluctantly moves to a sleepy country village only to discover that everything is not as tranquil as it seems. Dun Dun DUUUUUUUNNNNN.
Okay so I’m not on an Edgar Wright binge (I mean I am, but like) I’m doing a cultural exchange with my friend Cristian and this was my most recent pick for him as I was shocked and appalled that he hadn’t seen it. And as we were having a sleepover after Baby Driver (which I also made him watch) I got to watch it again too.
I won’t gush as much about this one as much but being honest if I had a gun to my head and someone was like “what’s your favourite film?!” I wouldn’t hesitate in saying Hot Fuzz. It’s funny, heartfelt, and gory as all hell.
As I mentioned above physical effects get me all hot and bothered and Hot Fuzz has them in spades. Now this is a spoiler-free zone, unless otherwise stated as now; SPOILERS IN THE NEXT LINE!!! When that church roof came down on Tim Messenger’s head my whole world was changed. It’s an amazing example of how you can mix physical and digital effects to make something that looks timeless and will really stand up in years to come, and also makes a damn good splat lets be real real.
Rather like Wright’s other works the stand out is not only his editing style, which really suits the whole cop genre I think, but also the stand out characters. This is a huge ensemble film with an enormous cast and yet you never once feel that anyone has just been plonked in for the sake of it, it’s something I think it always important in any film. If you don’t empathise with the characters you won’t care when the Mid Second Act Big Bad Thing happens to them. And full kudos to Simon Pegg on this front too, credit where credit is due.
TL;DR You like cop movies? You like to laugh? This one is for you.
MOVIE: 5ive Girls
RELEASE DATE: 10th October 2006
WATCHED: On DVD
RATING: 5/7 Days
SYNOPSIS: Five girls are sent to a catholic boarding school for wayward girls where they have to battle a demon. Exorcist meets St. Trinians…kind of
This was Cristian’s pick for our post-Baby Driver cultural exchange. And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I always like it when Catholicism shows up in films just because I feel like I don’t have to pay any attention to the lore; I grew up on this shit. So point in 5ive Girl’s favour. Lets be realistic though 5ive Girls doesn’t really use any lore, the Catholicism in this film is a thinly veiled excuse to put five hot ladies in a uniform, so point lost I think?
The overall plot of this film is pretty good, all of the girls have powers and they have to learn to use them to protect humanity against a demon who wants to take over their souls. I haven’t figured out yet whether it was a fun coincidence that all of the girls were actually superheroes or if that’s why they’re there I think I’d need to watch it again. I love the effects in this film, they obviously didn’t have a huge budget and so only use CGI where it’s 100% necessary and it works beautifully. There’s a few really great jump scares at the beginning, classic ghosts in mirrors stuff, that worked incredibly well. And I think all of the girls make sense as humans which really makes you feel for them in the third act.
This film is one of those movies that makes me want to make movies. It’s clearly got a low budget with high budget dreams, but it still manages to feel like a real cinema-release film (rather than a student flick), it’s well written and directed by Warren P. Sonoda. Who I wish had done more things. It feels like the kind of film someone who loves horror films would write and I’m so glad it exists on DVD.
Now, I know you’re asking yourself “Emily if you enjoyed it so much why not give it 7/7 days?” Well dear friend one character/casting choice really lets this whole film down. As it should be clear by now, in my opinion, the success of a film hangs in it having believable characters. One character in this film makes absolutely no sense, and that is Miss Pearce played by Amy LaLonde. She is supposed to be the headmistress of the school and a sort of Nurse Ratched type. But that child is barely old enough to be out of school let alone be the headmistress of that school! I mean she looks younger than me! And the lines she’s spouting sound like she’s been possessed by a 40-year-old. And what really ruins me is that it could have all been avoided…SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! Okay so Miss Pearce turns out to be the sister of the possessed Elizabeth, who’s death she is reversing I suppose by giving the five other girls in exchange for her sister. A pretty pivotal character you’ll agree. But the sister being a headmistress makes no sense, at least not one close in age to Elizabeth. Why wasn’t she just made her Aunt? Different surnames, same familial attachment, older woman more believable in the roll, hot damn it would not have been that hard. And its not that Ms. LaLonde did a bad job, she actually tried really bloody hard to make it seem like she could possibly be in the position she was but for me it just didn’t work.
TL;DR Some bad casting lets this down but overall it’s a well written horror flick.
Thank you for joining me this week, be sure to pop back next Monday for the next Monday Movies instalment!
Until Next Time,
Emily Jayne xo