For March, we have five films to review…
First up, Predestination is that rare film that does far more than the description. The synopsis suggests a time travel plot about catching a mysterious bomber before he strikes again. The actual plot is very different, but to speak about it would spoil some of the surprises. Obviously made on a lower budget, the film manages to fit in a remarkable amount of world and character building, with striking visuals and genuinely unexpected twists. Very good. (See my Predestination Twitter review).
Catch Me Daddy is a dark and provocative look into so-called “honour killings”. While the details of the plot are best watched, it’s fair to say the film progresses slowly and grounded firmly in a realistic style, giving a sense of grim menace. Despite the pacing, the film is gripping throughout. The performances are, for the most part, understated, but that feels right given the subject matter. Worth seeing, but not easy going. (See my Catch Me Daddy Twitter review).
Neill BlomKamp’s latest, Chappie, manages to further erode the stellar reputation the director set up with his debut, District 9. The plot is thin and limp, telegraphed from the outset, and with little originality on display. Despite a great cast, the performances from the traditional actors are bare, and those by Die Antwoord (who make up the emotional core of the movie) are atrocious; consisting of either flat line readings or one-note, overwrought depictions. You won’t care about what happens to anyone. It’s an awful film, avoid. (See my Chappie Twitter review).
If you’ve ever seen a con-man film before then Focus will have few surprises. Expect the usual breezy dialogue, heavy use of narrative exposition (usually explaining the next con), and twists-upon-twists that you can see coming from the outset. That’s not to say it’s a bad film: it’s entertaining and competent, if a little predictable. Fun, but far from essential. (See my Focus Twitter review).
Finally, The Voices is about a man whose dog and cat speak to him, and encourage his better and worse natures. The film takes sharp turns between comically overdone violence and brutal, gritty realism, which greatly helps amp up the dark humour. Ryan Reynolds does well as the lead (as well as providing the voices for the dog and cat), and the remaining cast fit nicely around his increasingly strange behavour. Weird, but funny. (See my The Voices Twitter review).
The winner for is Predestination. Despite me trying to avoid saying anything too substantial about the plot, it’s worth seeing.