Monday, 31 August 2015

Best and Worst of August 2015

The final month of the summer brought some of its best and worst participants. We saw secret agents, rappers and romance take to the screen in fine fashion, while superheroes, vacations and videogames have seen better days. But no matter, let’s round out what has been a pretty spectacular summer with three very different but still very good movies that sum up why every ,ovie fan loves this season.

3: Trainwreck
Judd Apatow’s latest rom com may not be quite as clever or envelope pushing as it thinks it is, but putting that aside it’s still tremendous fun. Amy Schumer’s script is fast and funny, as is her performance. There are also some ingenious twists on the genre that flip the gender roles to keep the story fresh and importantly upbeat. At the same time though there’s a certain amount of gravitas and Bill Hader’s down to earth performance only makes the eccentricity of everything else more humorous.

2: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
I knew this film would be good (or at the very least my intuitions pointed to that, and by intuitions I mean footage of Tom Cruise on the side of a plane) but I did not expect it to challenge Brad Bird’s ‘Ghost Protocol’ as the best of the franchise. It seems to have turned this series into the best modern action franchise and it’s easy to see why, ‘Rogue Nation’ defies physics but somehow still keeps you on the edge of your seat, backed up by a great ensemble cast, sequences that are choreographed and directed with an artistry and best of all, it knows where it stands. Director Christopher McQuarrie has crafted a thriller of pure popcorn entertainment.

1: Straight Outta Compton
Biopics are never afraid to make a political statement on behalf of their subject matter, but few do it as nonchalantly and as unapologetically as this NWA drama. There’s a lot of what you may expect such as gut punching gravitas, racial statements and issues of fame. What’s unexpected is how tender it can be when it needs to be, or the award worthy performances from all involved or the sheer brilliance of the script. Amid it all it manages to avoid making any statements that support or condemn the actions of its subjects, trusting your intelligence and understanding your music tastes (as long as you like NWA, but even if you don’t you’ll enjoy it as a dramatic character study).   
And the worst….

I have to feel sorry for Josh Trank, hell in ten years’ time maybe someone will make a movie about his battle with 20th Century Fox behind the scenes of this film. How many of the rumours are true, I don’t know. What I do know is that the end result is simply awful. This film is all exposition, rying to build towards a film that has not happened yet, and after this ,ay never happen (I’d back a ‘Deadpool 2’ replacing its slot). It may not be as bad as ‘Batman and Robin’ but the dreary tone makes it far less hilarious so on the other hand, it’s worse than ‘Batman and Robin’.  

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