December 28, 2017 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2017: July

Another big month as the summer blockbusters hit and Netflix release a film a week. Seven in total for July…

First up, The House is a comedy that has its situation sorted, it just desperately needs a plot. The few story points that do exist are just there to set-up bits for the comedy. Some work, some don’t. It definitely has funny moments but probably not enough. Meh. (See my The House Twitter review)

Okja is the latest film by Joon-ho Bong, the South Korean director behind Snowpiercer. This is a very different film, looking at the abuses and lack of humanity in the modern livestock system. The story is reasonable enough and it is as well shot as you’d expect, but the goofier moments detract a lot from a fairly serious film. Jake Gyllenhaal’s character, for example, appears to be in a completely different movie. Okay. (See my Okja Twitter review)

There is a lot to be said about the privacy implications of social media that a film could really take a deep dive into but The Circle is not that film. While the cast is great (Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega), the film itself is far too lightweight and superficial. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. Maybe a little disappointing but still watchable. (See my The Circle Twitter review)

Was another Spiderman reboot really needed? No, but Spiderman: Homecoming makes it worth your while. Tom Holland is excellent as a breezy and fun take on the character, playing against Michael Keaton as one of the most menacing villains the MCU has seen. It’s well-paced, fun, with decent set-pieces. Most importantly, it stands head and shoulders above recent Marvel films by doing something different rather than just fitting the mould. Very good. (See my Spiderman: Homecoming Twitter review)

To The Bone is a difficult watch but worthwhile, tackling the issues around eating disorders. It’s thoughtful, and doesn’t demonise the sufferers. There are moments of levity, and some solid performances. Worth seeing. (See my To The Bone Twitter review)

Christopher Nolan tackling a war film? Dunkirk doesn’t disappoint. From the start, the audio design is fantastic and absolutely gripping. The action is relentless. The pacing is tense. The minimal dialogue works brilliantly. This is a film that isn’t afraid to be an audio-visual experience, without the crutch of exposition. Great. (See my Dunkirk Twitter review)

Finally, War for the Planet of the Apes is the blockbuster action film you expect if you saw the last film in the series. Some of the story doesn’t quite add up, and the last act in particular loses a lot of ground to stupid plotting, but we’re here mostly for the performances. Andy Serkis deserves at least a nomination for his work as Caesar, bringing a great deal of humanity to a CG ape. Well acted and shot. (See my War for the Planet of the Apes Twitter review)

The winner for July is Dunkirk, as an incredible cinematic experience.