A huge month, with eight films appearing!
First up, Bladerunner 2049 is the sequel I’ve been most worried about in the last few years. I was at least hopeful when Denis Villeneuve, director of last year’s excellent Arrival, was announced as director. I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s get the bad out of the way first: it’s probably a bit too long. That said, the slow and deliberate pacing that lets you soak in the world is a big part of what makes the mood work. We get shown some absolutely immaculate visuals, particularly in the Wallace Corp. building, and a soundtrack that lives up to the original. The story itself and the questions it raises are worthy of this being made. Very worthwhile. (See my Bladerunner 2049 Twitter review)
You never know what you’re going to get with a Stephen King adaptation but Gerald’s Game is on the better end of the spectrum. It’s a small horror, set largely in one room, that manages to build a lot of tension through a simple premise. The coda is completely unnecessary (and detracts from the film), but it’s decent enough overall. (See my Gerald’s Game Twitter review)
Time loop films are some of my favourites so I was happy to see that Happy Death Day was mixing Groundhog Day style loops with a slasher film. A girl is murdered on campus repeatedly, and has to figure out what’s happening. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite the subject, making it very watchable. The end is somewhat predictable, it’s not a classic, but I’d still watch it again at some point. (See my Happy Death Day Twitter review)
The Babysitter is a comic book horror that wants to wink to the camera. It tries to ape the visual style of Edgar Wright, without quite pulling it off; I’m more than happy for the attempt, though. It’s a bit cheesey and cheap, but dumb fun. Have with a drink and enjoy. (See my The Babysitter Twitter review)
Armando Iannucci has a tonne of great satire behind him, so it’s initially a little strange that The Death of Stalin isn’t quite that. It’s less farcical than expected, with a much darker vein running through it. That’s not a bad thing. There some great lines and moments, making for a brilliant look at the period. Must see. (See my The Death of Stalin Twitter review)
Bomb Scared is a dark, comedic farce about an ETA unit failing to do anything of note. It’s reminiscent of Four Lions, with the subject matter and style, and that is in its favour. Worth seeing for the sometimes excellent dialogue. (See my Bomb Scared Twitter review)
After the dour Thor: The Dark World, it’s great to see Thor: Ragnarok lighten up. It has a weird comedic tone, that works surprisingly well. It’s probably the funniest MCU film since to date, with some fantastic new characters. It does suffer from some plotting issues, and the villain is ill-defined, but it is still worth seeing. (See my Thor: Ragnarok Twitter review)
Finally, The Meyerowitz Stories is surprising for a few reasons. It manages to get some excellent dramatic performances from comedic actors. Both Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller turn in pretty damn good performances. That’s the only real positive here. It’s a tedious slog of a film. I wanted to like it but found myself bored through almost every scene. Dull. (See my The Meyerowitz Stories Twitter review)
The winner for October is Bladerunner 2049 as, despite the length, it delivers everything you’d want in a sequel.