Margot Robbie’s career has become incredibly fascinating. From being the girl in Wolf of Wall Street to character actress to full-blown creative dynamo…Clearly someone who loves a challenge and who realized the film industry is full of opportunity just waiting to be seized.
You have to admire an actor who can move from Wolf of Wall Street to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot to Suicide Squad, and be amazing in all three roles.
Finished The ABC Murders - couldn’t resist watching another last night and I finished it off with the third and final episode today - and I thought it was really excellent. I love this take on Poirot and the twists and turns it introduces as we find out more about him and his past. Malkovich was just great.
Part of me hopes they leave it as a great single story, but it was so good that I would definitely watch more.
This is how I felt. Watched troll hunters with my kids and thought it was good for what it was, 3below, felt 3 notches below.
I got this for my wife for Christmas and we’re watching it tonight.
It’s an all-time favourite of hers, but I haven’t watched it in full for many, many years. I had forgotten how good it was - every scene is a great little sketch on its own, but they all hang together as a legitimately warm and uplifting story too, without ever getting too saccharine and with the sentiment always being earned.
It’s maybe Keanu’s best ever performance too, and for someone with his career that’s saying something. He’s hilarious throughout and steals every scene he’s in.
Pay attention to Joaquim Phoenix too (he was called Leaf Phoenix at the time); his performance is pretty amazing too.
It’s a great cast all round really. Even the bit-part players are consistently excellent.
I won’t get to watch it for a day or two, but the new Ben Wheatley movie Happy New Year, Colin Burstead is on BBC Two at 10:30PM for those interested.
Weirdly, there isn’t even a trailer for it available.
A couple of things I binged/watched during the period between Christmas and New Years Eve
Watership Down (2018 Miniseries):
I’ll admit, I haven’t read the novel since middle school. I did enjoy it and the animated movie though. Yet, it’s been so long since either that I didn’t have the capability to really let that be in mind during my watch of this. So, mostly outside of any recollection context, I thought it was pretty good. The main downsides are really on the bland and forgettable CGI art-and-character designs. They just come off as either very “stock” or, in the case of the rabbits, indistinguishable in most cases. The stand-out has to be during the high-intensity scenes and Fiver’s visions (which are pretty dang great). The voice cast also does a pretty uniformly great job, and outside a few groans, the story as depicted is really engaging. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Cuckoo Season 4:
The series has been mostly a case of diminishing returns for me for a while now. The three previous seasons, for however less interesting I found them, at least had something that made them stand-out a bit and kept it at a charmingly amusing level. The first had Samberg’s smarmy presence bouncing greatly off Davies’, the second was able to pull off the same with Lautner’s naive oafishness creating a new dynamic, and the third had Lautner contrast with himself and his new skills as a mob enforcer. So - each had something to offer even if I was chuckling less. Season 4 is perhaps the first season where it felt like kind of a waste of time. The season is really just repetitive plot beats and drama notes without any real development or tethering. It all feels rather aimless…which is the theme of the season as a whole - but that doesn’t make it entertaining to watch. Everyone is still okay in their roles, but I remember being brought to a smile maybe a handful of times.
If there is a fifth season, I hope it picks up.
Return To…Return To Nuke 'Em High AKA Vol. 2:
I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Especially after the long wait and my tepid feelings toward the previous film. I mean, I liked that one but it felt an hour too long. By comparison - this felt like it should have been that hour. It moves at a brisker pace, with the only pauses being really awkward and jarring flashbacks/recaps. And while that is an annoying bid to fill time - and some of the lame groaners from the predecessor remain - it was able to bring me to hysterics more often than not. Honestly, after seeing both now - this totally did not need to be two movies. It could have been cut into one product. It still would have been long, because the majority of Vol. 1 is in long takes, but it would have much better for it. Still…it was a nice note to end it on. And perhaps my favorite B-Movie remake since the Death Race remake.
So…all in all, a decent week.
I rewatched Season 2 of Legion over the past few days. It was better on the second viewing.
From a visual and audio standpoint, the series is a beautiful Frankensteining of Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Wes Anderson. Every scene is a feast for the senses. It’s so creative, inventive and innovative. I love the idea of psychic combat represented as a dance battle:
The writing is top notch. This season was a bit more linear than the first but it went deeper into the characters. It had scenes that made you go “Fuck yeah!” while others were “Oh FUUUCK.” It is such a character driven series with standout moments. There is a scene with Syd and Clark toward the end of the season with the two of them just talking. It is a quiet scene but very rich and deep. The series also has some great commentary on the Hero’s Journey and how gender plays into it.
What really stood out for me was the acting. Every performer was just nailing their roles. Everyone was in top form. I truly believe Navid Negahban’s Shadow King is the best villain that has shown up the screen, big or small. Dan Stevens and Rachel Keller are exceptional actors and deserve big roles.
Legion is my favorite adaptation of a comic book property. I think it is better than any of the movies. I can’t wait for Season 3.
Starts Friday, with Andie MacDowell replacing Lautner.
I figured that’d be the case after the way Season 4 ended.
Andie MacDowell is a strong choice though, just looked up the description…maybe taking it into more of a standard direction not so predicated on high impact culture clash could be what it needs.
And, hey, least Dale Jr. ain’t dead. Which is nice.
Yeah, I remember being quite surprised back when I saw this first at how good Keanu was. It’s a bit of a shame that he seems to have lost something he had back then.
In a way I think it’s a performance only a young actor can get away with. It’s not that dissimilar to his Bill & Ted schtick.
Yeah, only it has a bit more emotional depth, I would say.
And maybe it was a young actor’s performance, but it’s still weird that later on, he turned so… wooden.
Definitely, it’s a much more heartfelt film overall and Keanu’s character gets some genuine development over the course of it.
Thanks to a Hulu sale back on Cyber Monday (one year of Hulu for $1 per month), we finally got around to finishing the first season of Castle Rock. Unexpected bittersweet ending, but more satisfying than your typical Hollywood ending.
We are on episode 7 of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. Horror isn’t usually what my wife is into but she suggested it and I’m glad. It’s really well done with some a compelling story and genuinely creepy moments.
Haunting of Hill House was one of the best series of the year. Very different from the novel to the extent it is really an original story, and it’s better for it.
BIRD BATH on Netflix is also a good horror thriller. Even though the book it’s based upon was published before the movies THE HAPPENING, THE MIST, CELL and A QUIET PLACE, it is similar to all of them. More like THE HAPPENING and THE MIST than A QUIET PLACE, actually.
So more or less dumb? Because Quiet Place was very very dumb.