February is a lot shorter than January’s behemoth edition with just 3 films.
First up, Jupiter Ascending has some stunning visuals. If you took the Wachowski’s latest film as a series of isolated moments, it can be absolutely striking. Sadly, those moments are tied together as a film; and a terrible one at that. The plot is nonsensical, largely told in exposition, and with characters for whom it would be a stretch to call them “sketched”. Some of the devices and ideas tying the world and action together are beyond dumb, the gravity skates being a particular low point. This film is awful, and I’d wager a contender for worst film of the year. (See my Jupiter Ascending Twitter review).
Selma is a fresh take on the American civil rights movement, focussing on the period Martin Luther King took his campaign to Selma, Alabama. It’s a fascinating insight into both a small moment of the movement, and does a reasonable job of showing that King was a visionary but not perfect. David Oyelowo puts in a fantastic performance as the lead, demonstrating King’s well-known oratorial prowess, and some of his frailties. At times the swelling music and sweeping visuals can be a little on the Oscar-bait side, but this is a movie worthy of that grandeur. Very good. (See my Selma Twitter review).
Finally, Kingsman: The Secret Service is the kind of big, silly, fun, comic-book chaos that you expect from a Matthew Vaughn film. Sure, it doesn’t quite make sense, and some of the action is a little more chaotic than clear, but it’s entertaining. It’s not going to win any awards, but some films don’t have to in order to be enjoyable. Good. (See my Kingsman: The Secret Service Twitter review).
Fairly easy but deserving win for Selma in February.