Goodbye Christopher Robin – Review

Unlike most “based on a true story” movies this is actually one I knew details about the history it’s about before seeing it. Being someone who grew up reading the Winnie-the-Pooh books that still enjoyed reading them as an adult naturally I became curious about the history behind them. So when I heard about this movie I was interested, something that doesn’t tend to happen with true story movies that often.

It’s very good. It has a good balance of the childhood wonder that inspired the stories and the tragic effect fame had on the rest of Christopher Robin Milne’s life. I think the film captures both sides very well and the transition between them is heartbreaking to watch.

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This film has several talented actors each giving great performances but I have to say the stand out performance has to be Will Tilston as Christopher Robin himself, especially considering this is his first film.

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While it’s clear some elements of the film have been written in to work as a film narrative, especially in the final scene, it still captures a lot of the real history of the Milne family and the impact Winnie-the-Pooh had on their lives and does so very well. I think this is definitely worth checking out.

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The Truth Is in the Stars – Review

So I said I wanted to watch a documentary next and I found a couple of options. I decided to go with this one about the influence of Star Trek (and science fiction in general) has had on actual science and the people who work in those fields.

It has plenty of interesting interviews and it is pretty neat seeing genuine scientists talking with Captain Kirk about these topics. I’ve not seen Shatner’s other documentaries but while there are plenty of things to criticize the guy for I will say he does a pretty good job as a documentary host and it does make sense for him to be the person hosting one on this particular subject.

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It’s probably not going to be the best of this year’s documentaries I’ll see but it’s enjoyable. Unfortunately there’s not much else for me to say about it other than the topics discussed are interesting even if admittedly I don’t understand a lot of the points made in them. But that’s a point made in the documentary “the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”.

Little Evil – Review

Unfortunately as we’re getting closer to the end of the month there’s only one other film coming out that I’m going to see before October starts. This means I’ll need to see more than three films in the cinema next month to make up for the fact I’ll only have seen two this month but I also want to make sure I still see more new films this month so it’s time to turn to Netflix to see what else it has to offer.

This is a pretty decent film. It’s a comedic take on those Antichrist movies that tend to be a pretty popular horror theme. It’s got a good cast including Adam Scott of Parks & Rec fame, Evangeline Lily and popular voice actor Clancy Brown.

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And of course Owen Atlas who plays the Antichrist himself does a great job. He captures that creepy/evil child look very well and the fact we get to see him transition in and out of that mode later in the film shows that he has good range as an actor.

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It’s not as good as Okja but is a huge improvement over Death Note and one of this year’s better Netflix Original movies. I might watch another film on Netflix tonight, I should try watching a documentary next as I haven’t seen any of those this year.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Review

This film coming out was what finally got me to watch the original earlier this year and it was so good I had to update my top 10 films of 2014 list to include it. So of course my interest in this film increased after I really liked the first one.

Unfortunately while I did enjoy this film it is a significant downgrade from the original. It’s a decent movie but it feels like a lot of potential was wasted. For example one of the surviving characters from the first film is killed off pretty early in the movie and it just felt like a waste of said character, especially since several of the new characters are also underused.

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It’s still a fun movie with plenty of enjoyable action sequences, it’s just other than seeing Eggsy and Harry working together (which is neat) it doesn’t really bring that much that’s new to the franchise. The Statesman are fine but you get the general idea of their gimmick from the trailers so by the time they’re involved in the action they’re not all that different from the Kingsman agents outside of being cowboys, in fact from the trailers I assumed Halle Berry’s character was a Kingsman agent.

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I feel bad being so critical because I did like the movie, it’s just it could have been a lot better. I think the biggest fault of the film is it appears they used up all their spy tropes to parody in the first film because most of the spy stuff in this movie is just the same as the first film, which makes for an enjoyable action movie but not a satisfying follow up to the original.

Terminator Genisys – Review

And so we come to the end of the marathon. Looking at other reviews for this film it’s clear a lot of people really didn’t like this one with many reviewers getting angry at the film.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have nostalgia bias against it but I liked it. It’s not as good as the first two movies but it still has a lot of the elements I enjoyed about them. I like the scene recreations and the idea of Skynet going back to the events of the first movie instead of just trying again at a different point in time. The timeline gets messed up but that’s actually the point and the changes are easy enough to follow. Yes it’s a shame a certain twist was spoiled by some of the trailers (not the one I used) but it still works without the surprise.

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I like the new cast, it is amusing that all the other characters from the original are played by new actors but the T-800 is Arnold Schwarzenegger in every movie. The new actors’ performances are the right mix of mimicking the original actors and their own take on the roles.

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And so like with previous movie marathons it’s time to show my rankings of the films

Terminator 2: Judgement Day > The Terminator > Terminator Genisys > Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines > Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation – Review

Out of all the films in this marathon this was the one I was the least interested in seeing. Maybe it’s because it’s the only one without Arnold Schwarzenegger (unless you count the CGI cameo who doesn’t have any one liners) or because I didn’t care for Christian Bale’s performance in the Dark Knight movies. Either way my expectations were low.

And somehow it found a way to be worse than I thought. Before I get to the problems I will note that there are some things that were alright. Anton Yelchin did a good job as Kyle Reese (too bad he’s barely in the movie) and despite the fact Terminator 3 was poorly received they did keep the character Kate around instead of just ignoring the events of the film because people didn’t like it… Ok that’s it, on to the problems.

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Despite being a movie all about the post-Judgement Day point in the timeline the film doesn’t actually focus on John Connor. I don’t like Bale’s performance (which is just his Batman voice half the time) but considering this film includes John Connor meeting his father Kyle Reese for the first time you’d think they’d make that the focus of the movie instead of this boring cyborg guy. The film gives me no reason to care about this guy or his forced romance with a girl in the resistance he saves.

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And that’s the main problem with this movie, it’s boring. Also so far the timeline hasn’t been confusing, I guess that’s all going to be in the next movie but I remember hearing about it being ridiculous before that movie was in development. Anyway no matter what I think of Genesis it can’t be worse than this.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – Review

Since I already saw Terminator 2 it’s not being included in this marathon but I will share my thoughts on it before I start this review. Like the first film it was pretty good but now that I’ve seen both I can see the areas where T2 improved over the original, it’s also worth noting that the viewing experience is also a big part of my higher opinion as I had fun watching it with friends making jokes and doing Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions.

This film sadly wasn’t good but it was at least entertaining. There were some decent action scenes (most notably the chase scene near the beginning), Arnold Schwarzenegger has plenty of amusing lines and I think the ending worked well.

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The film’s problems however stand out more and one of the biggest is the weird fanservice stuff they do with the T-X including one scene where she makes her boobs bigger. It doesn’t help that her powers aren’t that different from the T-1000 so the things that make her stand out compared to other Terminators are hacking and “being sexy”. I also have no reason to care about the human characters in this film and this might be the most blatantly forced romance I’ve ever seen in a film since it only seems to happen because Arnold says they’re married in the future.

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I can see why the general reaction to this movie is bad but people’s problems with it aren’t common knowledge, it’s strengths aren’t enough to make it any good but the problems aren’t so horrible that I’d call it bad either. I’d say it was mediocre but it wasn’t boring, it just wasn’t anything of note. Two more movies to go now, maybe they’ll be better or maybe they’ll be worse. I haven’t had a controversial opinion on this series yet so who knows maybe one of them will be pretty good.