Tag Archives: Tuesday Cinema Club

Tuesday Cinema Club: Dunkirk

I’m a fan of war movies, I watch quite a lot about all sorts of battles and one thing I love about them is that they teach you things and give you a better understanding of how the world works. That is where I feel this movie was a let down.

I thought it was good but not great. I’m not quite sure what all the 5* reviewers saw that I didn’t but clearly we have a gulf in opinion. If you don’t know the history behind what happened at Dunkirk you learn very little from this movie. There is no customary written intro and exit heralding the figures of such an achievement of human spirit and determination and I think that was greatly missing.

I would have loved at the end to know how many men were on the beach, how many returned, how many ships, boats and vessels retrieved them, how many planes covered them and a summary of what happened next. I think if you are highlighting a movie about what happened over the course of I think a week so important in history, that you could have taken the time to add a couple of written slides at the end giving you the figures.

I honestly don’t think any other country could have pulled off what we did that week. A call goes out that Englishmen are stranded on a beach in France and as many ships, boats, ferries and the like that can manage it head across the sea into a war zone – unarmed and unprepared with a moments notice, risking their own lives and livelihoods to bring them back. That is what needed to be made more of in this movie.

For those people sailing across most of them used their boats for work, if they got sunk or were killed that risked the lives of their families and the people who relied on their business. That is a hell of a thing. I know a lot of the ships were commandeered by the British Navy but I believe a lot of people joined in regardless to help out.

The movie made reference to the fact that we brought French soldiers back but I haven’t heard this before. Not that it showed you any French soldiers returning, the leader makes reference to them having to wait.

The one thing the movie lacks is the rawness of the situation given it shows no real injured soldiers, there are no dead bodies, even in the sea there is minimal floating debris and bodies following the sinkings. It shows the beach being bombed and the explosions and yet everyone gets up and back into line. When all the ships have gone the beach is empty, which is unrealistic.

There was reportedly around 400,000 men on that beach, there would have been weapons, vehicles, dead bodies, rubbish, shrapnel and all sorts lining the beach. Anyone who has lived with a man knows how much mess they can make so you can’t tell me 400,000 of them left the beach completely clear.

The flashback sequences weren’t very obvious either. It took me a minute to realise we were seeing the same part again from a different perspective and it was annoying a couple of times.

I don’t think it’s accurate that only 3 Spitfires were sent out to protect the boats. I know they wouldn’t have used everyone but 3 seems a bit light. Also due to the flashbacks it seems a Spitfire can drift for an extraordinarily long time with engine failure and damage.

Seeing the WW2 planes now gives me goosebumps, I can’t imagine how those men in the ships and fighting on the beaches and fields felt as those wings flew over to protect them. They really were a feat of engineering and without them we would have lost the war.

As a film it told a sanitized story of war from the perspective of the sea, beach and air. I don’t doubt it was based on things that happened and there were elements of risk shown but I think it could’ve been more realistic. I also wish they’d added an educational element at the end for all the young people watching who don’t know much about WW2.

For me it was good but I like a little bit more grit in my war films.


Tuesday Cinema Club: Despicable Me 3

From the start my enjoyment of the movie was spoiled by the kid behinds constant need to kick my seat and put his feet on the spare seat. When I was a kid my parents wouldn’t have let me do this and it annoys me that no one says anything to kids nowadays when they behave badly. Despite me voicing my annoyance and him sitting next to an adult they didn’t even try to stop him kicking the seat.

There is no need to put your feet on the seats or keep kicking someones seat, especially when you have enough leg room as it is, it’s just rude and inconsiderate of the people around you. The world could use a little more consideration and a little less self-importance. If you don’t learn consideration as a kid you certainly won’t learn it as an adult!

However, despite the rudeness of others I did enjoy the movie. It had the usual amount of silliness but there was enough to keep adults entertained too.

Gru meets his long-lost twin brother and the two of them undertake a heist together following in their Dad’s footsteps. It was everything you would expect a Despicable Me film to be. Including a hunt for unicorns, I mean who hasn’t wanted to meet a unicorn?!


Tuesday Cinema Club: Patriot’s Day

I ended up seeing Patriot’s Day earlier than I thought as Hacksaw Ridge was no longer showing. I guess I’ll have to wait till Hacksaw Ridge is out on DVD. I liked the look of the trailer, I love a good war film but my cinema companions said they felt like they’s seen the film already and it was boring.

Anyway to Patriot’s Day and the story of the Boston Marathon bombings. I remember seeing some of the footage at the time but I don’t spend much time watching the news. I find it all too depressing. So for me a lot of what I saw in the film I was hearing for the first time.

The film shows the lead up to the day, the day itself and the aftermath from the perspective of a number of key individuals from the police, FBI and general public.

It also shows background on the bombers themselves, which I imagine is from pieced together information, rather than accurate accounts.

They show some actual footage from the time, one of the most evocative scenes being Boston on complete lock down with deserted streets, like some sort of ghost town. When you think of the size of Boston is just doesn’t seem possible they could manage it.

The police in America get a lot of negative press and I’m sure in a lot of cases this is justified but it was interesting to see how they go about tackling the investigation of something so horrific. It’s hard not to want to react as a human being and lash out at anyone around you and seek revenge when something like that happens. It’s a spur of the moment reaction to your body being flooded with emotions all at once that you can’t process and control quick enough.

But as a professional you have to learn to get past that and engage your thinking brain to avoid loosing evidence in what it absolute mayhem. Where do you even begin to start controlling a crime scene and evidence chain under those circumstances when all people want to do is pile in and help.

As we know one of the bombers was killed whilst trying to be apprehended and attacking the police, run over by his own brother fleeing the scene. His brother is on death row, sentenced to lethal injection but it appealing his sentence. It seems he is no longer brave enough to take the consequences of his actions that day and what happened when he tried to escape the police.

The thing to take away from incidents like this is that the good in human nature will always come out when challenged and love with always overcome hate.

Tuesday Cinema Club: Hidden Figures

This film didn’t really come on my radar until I went to see Lion and once I saw the trailer I knew I would go and see it the following week.

There have been so many films made about NASA and their space missions that you think you’ve heard all the stories there are to tell, but this film makes you realise there is always something else to learn.

To see women excelling in high paced jobs and being given their proper recognition is something that should have happened much sooner. The black women in question are an inspiration to many others and rightly their story should be heard and now they have.

I found the whole film interesting and I’m glad I took the time to see it. I’m also glad that they didn’t try to explain any of the maths that they were constantly working on as it would have made the film very dull.

It was interesting to see that the very first computers were annoying and glitchy at set up and when you need them to be on top of their game, some things never change! But where would we be without them?

I believe it is especially important to show women as engineers. There is a shortage of people training to become engineers and in the future that could mean that we are left with little innovation in the world and that is a sad thing.

I worked for an engineering firm for 12 years and whilst I never trained, I was asked to look into mechanical engineering. For me it wasn’t something that held my attention. But after typing technical specifications for 12 years I could on occasion challenge something that didn’t feel right in the way it was included and more often than not I would be correct.

Even though I didn’t design any of the projects, I played my part and it was always nice to see the end photo’s and see it all come to life.

Maybe if we show more young girls and women this film we might capture the imagination of the next generation of women who decide to break down barriers to achieve their goals.

Tuesday Cinema Club: Lion

I’ve spoken to a few people about this film and not one of them had anything bad to say about it, me included.

I was told going in to have my tissues ready as it tugs on the heart-strings and they weren’t wrong.

It is the story of a boy who goes missing in India when he is 5 years old after falling asleep on a train and only being let out days later, thousands of miles away in Bengali speaking Kolkata. Unable to make himself understood he tries to walk home to his Mother.

You feel for this poor child alone in the middle of a strange town filled with people who don’t understand him, with no money and no way of knowing how to get home.

When you see later in the film the attempts adult Saroo makes to find his home you can only imagine the frustration he must feel.

I’m trying not to give anything away but most people know the broader aspects of the story. Never the less there was a very satisfying ending and most people had a chuckle and a smile on their face through the tears as they walked out.

I would recommend seeing this movie if you can, sometimes it’s nice to watch something real and not all CGI and blowing up cities.

Tuesday Cinema Club: Live By Night

It feels like it’s been a really long time since I last went to the cinema. 2016 was a mixture of not many films of interest and being too busy or tired to fit in a visit. Let’s hope 2017 will be better!

We had a choice this week to pick an Affleck with both Ben and Casey starring in films at present. We chose Ben this week and I think we lined Casey up for next week.

Live by Night was an ok movie. My friend described it as instantly forgettable and I can see why he said it. I should add that our enjoyment of the film may have been impeded by the fact, the theatre was so cold I had gloves on and my thermal winter coat hood pulled right up but still couldn’t feel my legs. It’s the first time I wished I’d stayed at home in the warm rather than going to the cinema!

The film had all the classic gangster movie themes. At two and a half hours it was quite long compared to some movies, but it didn’t feel overly long, although it could have ended sooner. The actual end of the movie we found a little confusing in terms of the timeline. It almost felt like trying to cram in details without it being totally necessary.

The acting was good and it’s always nice to see English actors appearing in big Hollywood movies. Although I must say Sienna Miller’s Irish accent was a bit much and not in a good way.

I do wonder if I would’ve enjoyed it more if I had been warmer at the time but all in all it was entertaining. Would I be in a hurry to watch it again? Probably not. It’s probably not going to be on anyone’s all time favourite movie lists, it wasn’t a bad movie, just a little bit predictable and forgettable.

Tuesday Cinema Club: The Girl On The Train

I was surprised that this isn’t written by the same person who wrote Gone Girl. From the very first time I saw the trailer at the cinema quite a while ago now I assumed it was the same person. Just from the trailer you got the sense that it was going to be a similar theme.

I’m sure when I get round to reading the book version as with Gone Girl I will wish I’d read the book first!

The cinema was pretty much packed out for the showing which is unusual but a sign of how popular the book/ movie collaborations can be, in my eyes at least.

I don’t want to talk about the story too much as I feel it will give away some of the secrets. I certainly didn’t see any of it coming, but I did have an inclination that perhaps all was not as it seemed.

I thought the actors played their parts really well. Emily Blunt especially, given there are large parts of the movie where she drives the story through alone.

There wasn’t a slow part in the film, nothing that looking back I think why did they bother with that bit. Everything is moving you forward to the end of the film. That’s not to say you don’t come out of it with things to discuss! Definitely a film to watch with a friend.

I would imagine most people who enjoyed Gone Girl will be reading or at least watching The Girl on The Train also. If you like your entertainment coming from darker themed stories then I think you’ll enjoy this one. Although I wonder if reading the book and then seeing the movie will create a bigger impact.

Tuesday Cinema Club: The Secret Life of Pets

We have a cat and I have often wondered what he gets up to when we are out of the house. Come to think of it I wonder what HE gets up to when he goes out of the house. I’ve considered putting a camera on him but if the collar situation is anything to go by he wouldn’t be very happy about it!

I really enjoyed this movie. It was funny for adults as much as I think it would be for kids.

I loved that each of the animals had their own quirks and personalities but all of them in their own way liked to get up to no good. I’ve always imagined animals would be naughty when you turn your back on them. I think that’s how half the unexplained things happen in the house!

The troubling thing for me was the number of snakes living in the sewage network. As someone who hasn’t been able to use a toilet in comfort since I read a story about a 6ft snake being found in a toilet, that was not an image I needed in my overactive imagination!  Neither was the sliding touches up my arms and laughing by my fellow viewers who know how  much I hate snakes! Yes I know it’s a ridiculous fear but that is why it is called ‘irrational’!

I loved the dog massaging himself on the mixer and the fat cat eating the roast dinner, although who leaves a roast dinner in the fridge like that?!

The old woman at the end with 30 cats immediately made me think of what my sister will be like in 40 years time! She didn’t see the comparison 🙂

If you’re looking for a movie to see with the kids but that you will also enjoy then I think this ticks the boxes.

Tuesday Cinema Club: The Nice Guys

What can I say about The Nice Guys other than it stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling? Or #RUSCRO and #RYGO as we started calling them for no apparent reason than everything needs a hashtag in 2016!

I enjoyed the movie. The title is misleading as the lead actors play men who most people would not consider to be nice guys!

They are both a little down on their luck. Ryan has a young daughter who helps them with their underworld investigations into the porn industry and ends up doing better than both the men!

I liked the energy of Russell and Ryan together I thought it worked well. There was just enough of the moody vibes mixed with some bungling heroics and general destruction that comes in most American movies.

If you’re looking for something you will enjoy but don’t have to think about then this is the movie for you! Oh and if nothing else you get to look at the lovely Ryan Gosling for a couple of hours!

Tuesday Cinema Club: Money Monster

I didn’t know anything about this movie going in, only that George Clooney was in it and he usually makes a good movie!

I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I’ve often wondered what would happen if the people who make investment predictions got called on the investments that end up losing us money!

There is a lot of money to be made on the stock exchange if you understand what you are doing and make the right calls and the right moment. But how many of us ever take the time to learn what’s required?

We put our trust and our hard-earned money into the people we see as experts and hope for the best.

Well this movie is what happens when a guy loses all his money, gets pissed off and wants answers. We’ve all wanted answers and wished we could hold the people at fault accountable until we get them but most of us just stew over it and do nothing.

The guy in this movie did something and it didn’t work out well for him. I won’t tell you what as it will spoil the movie and I hate to do that.

You don’t need to understand stocks and shares to enjoy it, that isn’t really the point. The point is the nature of people and I think you get to see that in this film.

Both George Clooney and Julia Roberts play their parts well and it is always nice to see English actors like Jack O’Connell doing well in US movies. Overall I’d say it was an entertaining movie.

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