It’s months like this, with 9 films, that have made me reticent to tackle Film Fight of late. That said, let’s get going!
First up, In The Shadow Of Iris has a few moments that fall a bit flat, but for the most part is a solid thriller with some decent twists. At the heart of it is the mystery of a kidnapped woman, and her husband who seems to be up to something. I don’t want to say too much about it, but it’s a well-made mystery. Worth seeing. (See my In The Shadow Of Iris Twitter review)
Another few months, another Marvel film. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 has the humour of the original but goes back to some beats a little too often. It’s fun enough, but a little long. Sadly, the middle of this film is absolutely laden with dull exposition setting up some backstory. It’s fine, but not one of the best Marvel films, nor one of the worst. (See my Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 Twitter review)
From it’s opening, with a man stating to camera that he will be the killer, Handsome sets itself up as a very different murder mystery. Jeff Garlin does a great job both behind the camera and in front of it, as a detective called in to solve a bizarre murder. It’s funny, and has enough good moments to make it worth seeing. (See my Handsome Twitter review)
The premise of Mindhorn is that a washed-up action star is called in to help catch an obsessed murderer on the Isle of Man. It’s at its best when it leans into absurdity, and its worst when it tries to find earnest moments. Constrained by run time and, presumably, budget but not the worst way to spend 90 minutes. Okay. (See my Mindhorn Twitter review)
Alien: Covenant could’ve been a much better film. Tying elements of Prometheus to the themes of the original Alien film works conceptually for me, but is far too heavy-handed in execution. It works best as light horror, and serves as an okay sequel. The CG on the alien is atrocious and gets notably worse every time it appears. Some good moments, particularly nearer the start, but devolves into generic action. (See my Alien: Covenant Twitter review)
Alcoholism is a serious subject, on which Colossal is a very different take. Mixing Godzilla-style monster action with a story about a woman whose life is falling apart, this is an uncannily smart and unusual film. Both leads (Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis) turn in excellent performances as the plot shifts around them. I’m avoiding most of the details here, because it’s worth seeing this fresh. An absolute must-see. (See my Colossal Twitter review)
Small Crimes is an indie, well, crime film. It’s decent enough but stays in fairly well-trodden territory. The anti-hero, corrupt cops etc. There’s not much you haven’t seen before but at least it’s cohesive. Okay. (See my Small Crimes Twitter review)
Get Me Roger Stone is a look into the titular trickster for various Republican campaigns. He’s a man who is not afraid to fight dirty, so what we see is a bizarre circus show. The documentary itself seems relatively fair and even-handed. Good. (See my Get Me Roger Stone Twitter review)
When War Machine starts with some awful and fairly lengthy narration, I was expecting it to be bad. Thankfully, it settles down quite quickly into a slightly uneven film about Afghanistan. It tries to be deadly serious AND satirical, and that doesn’t quite gel. Brad Pitt is decent enough as the lead, but not much else stands out. (See my War Machine Twitter review)
The winner for May is Colossal; a fantastic and fantastical look at some fairly heavy subjects.