A Day at the Cinema

Recently, I had some troubles and needed to gain some distance and clear my head in order to take a fresh look at that stuff. With that in mind, I headed to the movies. The picks are slightly weird, but I just went to see what was starting next, so this is what you get…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [2016]

fantastic_beasts

So there was never any possibility for the Hollywood to let go of such a profitable franchise as Harry Potter. First they’ll mine through all the stuff produced by Rowling and unless Rowling can stop them, they’ll plow ahead to milk the cow until it is dead. This is the first of the Rowling produced texts outside the main Potter stories to be turned into a feature film.

And not surprisingly, Hollywood has no idea what to do with the film. There’s a bungling idiot, who by accident releases a bunch of creatures in NYC, gets into to trouble with local wizard community while trying to catch them back, happens to be there, when a proto-Voldemort thingie reveals itself and then saves the day. There’s obviously a girl involved and blaa blaa.

I just wonder, how a guy like David Yates went from directing mini series and short films to directing the Harry Potter franchise. He has now 5 major films under his belt – the four last Potter films and now this. Checking IMDb, I noticed to my horror, that there’s already been 4 sequels announced to this and Yates has been attached to all of them. Well, I’d be smiling in his shoes with the paychecks he’s raising without really even trying.

There is no main character in the film. Nothing happens to anyone, nobody changes, they just stumble through the events and by chance happen to be there, when something important happens. There’s some beautiful shots of weirdly Victorian British looking NYC. There’s a few entertaining moments mostly powered by the bungling idiot’s, that is, Newt’s (played by Eddie Redmayne), smiles or the few funny slapstick episodes involving some of the escaped creatures. Obviously the production values are through the roof.

That is, the production does everything right to make the film a smooth and enjoyable ride. That it is, but they forgot to add in the sights. You can easily pass the time with this, but you’ll come out as bored as you went in.

  • Director: David Yates
  • Watched on: November or December 2016
  • Watched at: Kinopalatsi
  • 2/5

The Girl with All the Gifts [2016]

the_girl_with_all_the_gifts

Every now and then, there’s a film that starts at the festival tour and ends up being a surprise hit with the main stream audiences too. Usually they ride on a plot twist gimmick of one sort or another. This is no exception to that.

Colm McCarthy, a first time feature film director, has shot yet another Sixth Sense or the like. The film is completely average, if you know what it’s about, but if they get to spring the surprise on you, you’ll be in awe for a few days – long enough to recommend it to your friends and the film becomes a hit. So stop reading, if you intend to watch it.

Yeah, it’s yet another zombie film. Here we start in some sort of a military facility, where a bunch of kids go through varied classes during the day, but are chained to their wheel chairs and sleep in locked and guarded solitary cells. After a while they drop the first hint and then a few more and finally the zombies break through to the compound. A few soldiers and teachers, and one of the kids flee together. Cue in a bunch of narrow escapes with the one red shirt dropping along the way, a few difficult decisions and some power struggles between the soldiers and teachers on what is important now. Obviously the ending is the second surprise, although you see it coming a mile away – the human race is ended and the second generation zombies will take over.

So, why the 3.5 stars then? The first segment of the film is really effective. It keeps raising tension slowly and you really don’t know, what is going on, before the curtain finally falls. That bit would’ve been a masterpiece short film. After that there is absolutely nothing special about the film, but it isn’t bad either. It remains a tightly structured and nicely paced film to the end.

  • Director: Colm McCarthy
  • Watched on: November or December 2016
  • Watched at: Kinopalatsi
  • 3.5/5
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