Grosse Pointe Geek’s August Rapid Fire Review – Ant Man, The Gift, Fantastic Four and More!

Grosse Pointe Geek’s August Rapid Fire Review – Ant Man, The Gift, Fantastic Four and More!

Will Strong casts his eye over another bundle of movies…

 

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The Gift

Director: Joel Edgerton

Actors: Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton, Rebecca Hall

A rich married couple (Bateman and Hall) move to a fancy new home in the suburbs, however domestic bliss soon takes a turn for the downright strange when an old classmate (Edgerton) enters their lives and turns out to be somewhat of an oddball with designs on Bateman’s rather attractive wife.

Now this was a film i thoroughly enjoyed. What initially looked like run of the mill home invasion thriller (i.e Unlawful Entry) mercifully turns out to be anything but. Featuring a trio of outstanding performances (especially Bateman who is simply brilliant) plus really inventive writing and direction from Edgerton, The Gift is one of this years best. Dont miss it.

8/10

At Cinemas now

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Fantastic Four

Director: Josh Trank

Actors: Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell.

When an teleportation experiment to another dimension goes badly wrong, four young scientists are gifted/cursed with strange powers (invisibility, fire etc) and must use them to stop a powerful enemy from destroying humanity.

If you have been reading the internet, you will probably be aware that this film has now officially become the whipping boy of the 2015 summer blockbuster season and the modern superhero genre in general. Reviews have been appalling, its box office even worse and director Josh Trank has come in for somewhat of a kicking after rumors abound of serious behind the scenes issues and forced re-shoots.

So is it really that bad? Overall I have to say that the answer is definitely no – not by a long shot. Indeed the best comparison i can make is that FF4 is very similar in tone and structure to the first X-Men film  – i.e nothing particularly amazing but certainly enjoyable and seemingly well made.   Yes i’ll admit there are problems  – for a start its probably 15 minutes too short and could have done with at least one more big action scene, in addition there is very little character development meaning one does not really care much about the four principals and their plight.

However – on the positive side it is unequivocally  head and shoulders above the last two FF4 films (which were appalling) its well acted (in particular Kebbell, Bell and Teller are very good) and the story kept me interested throughout. Trank’s direction seemed fine and there was some unusually violent scenes in the last third that were certainly refreshing to see in a summer blockbuster.

So overall – not bad at all and certainly worth a look

5/10

At Cinemas now

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Actors: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris.

Fifth entry in the MI series finds the  Impossible Missions Force disbanded with Ethan (Cruise) and Benji (Pegg) on the run from the US government and a shadowy organisation known only as The Syndicate, headed up by Sean Harris’ uber villain.

Cracking film this, extremely well put together, with skillful direction from McQuarrie, another smooth performance from Cruise, plus great turns from Pegg and Ferguson. However its in the action scenes that it succeeds the most  – in particular an astounding bit where Cruise jumps on the wing of a plane then has to hold on for dear life as it takes off (and yes it IS Cruise and not a stunt double) plus a brilliant motorbike chase that again sees Cruise doing all his own stunts (the insurance company must have had a stroke on this one). If i had one quibble it was that it wasn’t quite as good as the fourth entry (Ghost Protocol), but to be honest it was so much damn good fun it didn’t matter.

Highly Recommended

8/10

At Cinemas now

 

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Ant Man

Director: Peyton Reed

Actors: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, Corey Stoll

Final entry in Marvels phase 2 set of superhero films, sees reformed cat burglar (Rudd) recruited by a millionaire scientist (Douglas) and his daughter (Lily) to steal a top secret weapon using a suit that shrinks its occupant to – you guessed it – the size of an ant.

This one falls firmly into the category of good but not great. Its mostly enjoyable and is certainly professionally put together, plus Rudd, Douglas and Lily are fine in the three central roles. But after watching this and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, am I the only person on the planet who thinks that the Marvel brand is looking a bit, well, average??????????

6/10

At Cinemas now

 

Will Strong
Grosse Point Geek

 

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