Watched The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) by an author from letterboxd.com
While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers—and brothers—Mario and Luigi are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi.

This movie is like a video game display copy. It looks amazing but when you open it up there is literally nothing inside.

★★

My review

Watched Deadstream (2022) by an author from letterboxd.com
A disgraced internet personality attempts to win back his followers by livestreaming one night alone in a haunted house. But when he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his big comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life.

Definitely heavier on the laughs than scares. Fun to watch with friends!

★★★

My review

Watched Avengers: Endgame (2019) by an author from letterboxd.com
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store.

This was my second watch and, now the hype dust has settled, I think we can say this is an fairly average entry in the MCU.

There is no arguement that this movie contains some of the greatest moments in comic book movie history. Obviously, if you score it purely on “those moments” alone it’s a five star masterpiece. And to pull together such an enormous cast into one movie, without it being a total disaster is, again, worthy of so much praise.

But… the plot (hilariously) is straight out of an Ant-Man movie and makes next to no sense. And, like all Ant-Man movies, establishes “rules” and then just breaks them. The extent to which it tries to wring emotion out of the audience, during the first two acts, is tedious and becomes wearing. This is especially true considering how easily accessed this emotion is during key moments. No wonder my 9 year old was so bored.

However, you just can’t overlook “those moments”, and some of the character arcs, especially Thor and Stark, are very satisfying. There’s still plenty to like about this.

★★★½

My review

Watched https://letterboxd.com/film/ant-man-and-the-wasp/1/ from letterboxd.com

There are a lot of good things in this but let’s start with bad ones…

The “physics” – most importantly, I cannot suspend my disbelief to the extent required. Shrunken things keep their mass when it’s convenient yet lose it when not. The pocket tank in Ant-Man is the tip of the iceberg. I just can’t. I’m sorry.

The story – the majority of the film is a goober hunt. To make it worse, we have two sub-plots with other parties also seeking the goober. Even worse, their motivations are simplistic or nonsense. We also have at least two other subplots on the go.

The length – it’s 2 hours. You have one almost entirely redundant sub-plot, which you could have ditched and saved 20-20 minutes. Yes, it is requied for one of the key action setpieces but, you know, try harder?

On the plus side, we get:

Jimmy Woo – excellent character
The Wasp (Mk 2) – now Hope isn’t quite so (justifiably) angry (about everything) it’s easier to warm to her and she is an excellent superhero
Luis’s best flashback monologue by far – enough said
Bobby Cannavale’s cop dishing out those hugs – super-wholesome
Super action – there are some excellent setpieces

But, overall, I just couldn’t wait for it to be over.

★★

My review

Watched Interstellar (2014) by an author from letterboxd.com
The adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

I didn’t much like this when I saw it at the BFI IMAX. I was wrong.

★★★★½

My review

Watched Blue Steel (1990) by an author from letterboxd.com
Megan Turner, a rookie NYC cop, foils an armed robbery on her first day and then engages in a cat-and-mouse game with one of the witnesses who becomes obsessed with her.

The premise is decent but as a film it doesn’t have much personality. Some props to Ron Silver who is convincingly unhinged and good ol’ Clancy Brown for actually being somewhat likeable!

★★★½

My review

Watched Green Room (2015) by an author from letterboxd.com
A punk rock band becomes trapped in a secluded venue after finding a scene of violence. For what they saw, the band themselves become targets of violence from a gang of white power skinheads, who want to eliminate all evidence of the crime.

Short, simple, nasty

★★★★

My review

Watched Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) by an author from letterboxd.com
Doctor Strange, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.

This review may contain spoilers.

On a rewatch… this is actually a very good Marvel movie and I think it might be under-appreciated…

Like many people (I’m sure), on first watch I spent way too much time trying to see what it what was setting up. With hindsight, turns out it wasn’t setting up anything! Who knew?! Who WOULDN’T think that a movie with the word multiverse in the title was pivotal to a mooted “multiverse saga”?

KF has come out recently and acknowledged that they’ve messed this up. That they’re mismanaging audience expectations in relation to this absolutely packed slate of movies and TV shows. Just what is “relevant” to the current “saga”?

To be honest, there were plenty of Infinity saga movies that did little to further the overarching storyline (Ant-man) and plenty of story threads (Mordo in DS1) that were never going to be revisited. Coming off the back of the conclusion of the Infinity saga, where the movies all tied together very closely, I think maybe audiences forgot this.

So, what we actually got here was a GREAT comicbook movie, that actually gave us some top tier sorcery action, amazing visuals, and a very neat little arc for our main character.

On the downside, we’re supposed to understand that Wanda is traumatised to the point of psychosis by the loss of the children she never had (which is a big thing in the comics) but it’s woefully under-developed here and she just comes across as “irrational woman”. This is very bad, not just in terms of writing, but in stoking recent criticism of the MCU that boils down to “too many women”.

Because this aspect of her is badly under-written, it feels like it takes a very long time for her to “come to her senses”. I mean, if you hadn’t seen Wandavision (again cursed with “but what is this setting up”) you’d really have very little basis for understanding the extent to which she’s flipped. As a result, her side of the story is a bit of a drag.

By contrast, the scenes in which Strange’s character is fleshed out are really satisfying. It happens in this wonderful safe space (for Strange) via “838 Christine” and neatly avoids uncharacteristic sentimentality.

We also got to see even more of Wong, which was undoubtedly one of the best things about She-Hulk too.

I really loved the tone of this story. Some people might find the moments of levity jarring but, again, we’re passed the poe-faced seriousness of Endgame. Lighten-up people, this is supposed to be fun! This guy made Evil Dead, which despite the name and reputation, is almost a parody of the sub-genre it invented! Take the Illuminati: they’re just there for the coolness of it! Don’t take it so seriously or try to read things into it!

I revelled in the later decent into full on Raimi-ness too. Again, I found it weird the first time around, but this time I really “got it”. Zombies and evil spirits? Fantastic!

I was also impressed with how neatly the story gave itself carte blanche to do some of these whacky things through the Darkhold and an unleashed Scarlet Witch. Previously there was just a lot of allusion to her potential but this time we really got to see how over-powered she truly is and why she needed to leave the MCU.

Also, some might call it lazy writing, but introducing a MacGuffin like the Book of Vishanti, an artifact powerful enough to defeat Thanos, and then destroying it immediately seems, again, more like parody to me!

Overall, I’ll look forward to watching this again and I’ll look forward to seeing Strange, Wong and America return in the future.

★★★★ (contains spoilers)

My review

Watched I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) by an author from letterboxd.com
Ever since killing the Fisherman one year ago, Julie James is still haunted by images of him after her. When her best friend Karla wins free tickets to the Bahamas, Julie finds this a perfect opportunity to finally relax. But someone is waiting for her. Someone who she thought was dead. Someone who is out again for revenge.

Thank goodness for Karla and Ty, without whom this would be completely unwatchable

★★

My review