December 28, 2017 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2017: August

Another big month with 7 films…

First up, The Incredible Jessica James is a decent indie film about a woman teaching kids how to act and write, while trying to sort out her own career as a playwright. It’s a little uneven, but it’s a film with a good heart. The final scene is far too cheesy, but that’s a small moment. Watch. (See my The Incredible Jessica James Twitter review)

Chadwick Boseman turns in an excellent performance in Message From The King, a pretty decent indie crime thriller. As most of these things go, there are no big surprises or huge stand-out moments but everything works reasonably well, a few bad lines aside. Reasonably good. (See my Message From The King Twitter review)

I was excited to see another time-loop comedy but Naked doesn’t deliver. It’s obviously low-budget, but it’s also weakly-written and doesn’t seem to care much about its concept. The lead is caught in a time loop mere hours before his wedding, starting off naked. It errs between being precise about the timing, and then being extremely loose. Some laughs, but mostly meh. (See my Naked Twitter review)

On paper What Happened To Monday should be something I would enjoy: a sci-fi action film about cloning in a world where you can only have one child, starring Noomi Rapace and Willem Dafoe. It doesn’t live up to that hope. There are plot holes everywhere, some terrible dialogue, and mediocre acting throughout. There are some interesting ideas, but they can’t overcome the poor execution. (See my What Happened To Monday Twitter review)

Charlize Theron continues to be an action badass in Atomic Blonde. The movie is stylish but slowly paced, building up the world around Theron’s secret agent. The action set-pieces are exceptional, with one lengthy fight in a stairwell likely being the best action sequence of the year. So many good fights. Watch. (See my Atomic Blonde Twitter review)

You know how Tom Cruise has two modes of late? He either does sincere action-guy, or somewhat charismatic but down to earth rogue. American Made sees him do the latter. It’s a true-ish story about a drug smuggler. Well-made, with a decent pace, and fun enough. It’s easy to watch, but not particularly standout. (See my American Made Twitter review)

Finally, Death Note is an adaptation of an anime series, in which a young boy gets a book that allows him to kill anyone he likes. As you might expect, there are consequences. The film rushes through a lot you would like to see explored more, but the depth of the premise is apparent by the end. I’d have preferred a mini-series to allow the story to breath, but it’s still watchable. Willem Dafoe is particularly good as the demon, Ryuk, who controls the book. Decent. (See my Death Note Twitter review)

The winner for August is Atomic Blonde. An easier win than most months recently, but not undeserved.