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Film views from Sarge

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Legend in my own mind
Thought I would get involved in this.

Will log my thoughts, feelings and insights on the films that I watch.

Feel free to take a peek an share your own thoughts.

Will get some of the afore mentioned thoughts up soon.

"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)

Legend in my own mind
Few thoughts from a few of films that I have watched so far this year.
Will usually tell you my thoughts on the films rather than a lot of plot insights or reviews. This in order to stay away from spoilers.

Hacksaw Ridge
I loved this film. Went straight into my top 10. A superb story, brilliantly directed by Gibson. Game a glimpse into the horrors of war as well as the strength of human spirit and the power of faith and personal conviction. It was one those that is made so much more because it is a true story. The kind where you have to google the story afterwards. I have never clapped at the end of a film but this almost had me doing just that.
It was inspirational, moving and simply a masterpiece.

La la land
I don't like musicals, I don't really like many 'romantic' films unless it makes me think like 'Serendipity' or 'Sliding doors', I loved this film.
I have no idea why I liked it so much. I am still not convinced that it wasn't witchcraft. For 2 hours I was just submerged and invested into the story, the place and the music. I smiled and my head bobbed for the duration. I don't get why I liked it but I totally embrace it.

A monster calls
This was brutal. The true quality of this film lies in how much it moved me. I was emotionally drained by the end of it. I felt every ounce of pain that the lead character went through, and that is down to excellent, writing, directing and acting. It was a tough watch but I feel that was the point

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
This film is delightful. Delightful is not normally a word I would use to sum up my thoughts about a film but watching it was simply a delight. Funny, endearing, tense, relatable and it it felt real. It took me on the journey and what else should films do if not that?
Do yourself a favour if you haven't already and watch it.

Another true story that I enjoyed. The thing I enjoyed most about this film is the acting from Sunny Pawar, The eight year old was simply outstanding in his role. Another gripping story that takes you on a journey and begs you to put yourself in the main characters shoes every step of the way. It had me just wanting to intervene and help the young fella out

Sing street
Charming film about a young boy in Ireland that wants to set up a band to get a girl. It has a great soundtrack.I really enjoyed this film too. The music was great, the famous songs were top notch but so also were the songs that were written for the film. Some good characters that carry the film well.

Really enjoyed this film until the last 20 minutes. Was gripped and fully engaged but there was Shyamalan would cross the line and spoil it. He didn't let me down. Some people will love it and many will highlight the last 20 minutes or so as a key plus point. I just struggled with it. Like so many films from this director - It was full of promise and did so much right, but they he went and messed it up. McAvoy was excellent. Really good acting

Let me know your thoughts


Legend in my own mind

A friend had been telling me for a while that he thought that I would like this film but I just didn't think I would.

Finally watched it today and turns out he was right.

Firstly the two leads JK Simmons and Miles Teller are really good in this film.

The music in the film is also a big plus and has led me to deduce that I need more Jazz in my life.

It is a film about loss, drive, sacrifice, learning what is important, overcoming and not giving in to 'bullies' as well as drumming and Jazz.

JK Simmons character evoked feelings of anger and affection and caused me to laugh at the very same time.

A good good film

Legend in my own mind
It's kind of a funny story (2010)

I remember seeing the trailer for this film a few years ago and thinking that it might be worth a watch.

That was the last time that I thought about it until I saw that it was on Amazon prime.

In a nutshell, This is a film about a young boy that considers himself to be depressed and he has been having suicidal thoughts.
He wants to seek help for this and it ultimately leads to him being admitted for a 5 day assessment in an adult psychiatric hospital.
I am not sure that this is possible or plausible but for the benefit of the film I just overlooked that detail.

'It's kind of a funny story' is a weird mix of a 'coming of age story' crossed with a weird tribute to 'One flew over the cuckoos nest'.

The film documents his 5 day assessment and introduces the viewer to the other patients and their relationships with one another, the staff and the world around them. It also looks at the struggles they have as well as showcasing the need for friendship.

The main character goes on a journey of self discovery and realisation of who he wants to be through the film.
There are some funny lines and scenes withing the film that raised a smile without it ever going looking for cheap laughs.
Zak Galifianakis plays a good part in my opinion, although the character is not too different to others that he has played.

Overall I enjoyed the film, and in particular the central characters and the dynamic that they have with one another.
With that said the film did seem to be lacking something but I am not really sure what it was.

I would suggest that this is a good watch for a rainy weekend afternoon.

Legend in my own mind

Trainspotting 2 (2017)

I was reluctant to watch this film as the original 'Trainspotting' (1996) was released smack back in the middle of my adolescence and was one of the stand out films from that time in my life. I remember at the time thinking that it was a hard watch in terms of heroin addiction but also struck a chord in me as a young man about friendship, coming of age and all that went with it.

It was a film that affected me, and as I said a lot of it resonated with me, but i have never been able to say that I enjoyed it. The soundtrack, the acting, the subject matter and as I have mentioned the things that spoke to me as a young man from a working class background, elevated it to cult status for me and many others.

I was therefore hesitant about the sequel and had initially planned not to see it through the fear of it tainting the original. After a few friends had watched it and all spoke of it positively, I finally went to see it today.

The best thing about this film for me is that it did not taint or tarnish my memories of the original as poor sequels so often do.

The film is set 20 years after the original and most of the main characters cross paths again.

A lot of the film is just a nostalgia trip and a tribute to the original, and that is not a bad thing. It was like 'Trainspotting' had sent us a postcard to let us know what it is up to.
The acting was good and the characters came back to life, especially from Robert Carlyle (Begbie).

The film served as a pleasant trip down memory lane, but all it really achieved is helping me realise that it is too long since I watched the original. I will be doing that this weekend.

The best parts of the film are the flashbacks and references to the original and the story line in this film is actually quite weak.

It was nice to see what the characters were up to 20 years later, although part of me wishes that they hadn't bothered and just left it to me to draw my own conclusions.
As a stand alone film it really isn't anything as the majority of the content is looking back.

There was some relief that in making this, they hadn't messed it up and ruined the legacy, However I think that in another 20 years time, people will still be talking about the original film rather than this one.

Legend in my own mind

Hidden figures

I do like a good biopic and feel that there is something special about true stories.
The best thing about this film is that it had me feeling a range of emotions which is one of the key things that I look for in any film.
The main feeling that it brought up in me is anger. Discrimination is a key theme in this film set in 1961 Virginia with both race and gender are sources of the discrimination for the lead characters.
I felt myself shaking my head and being so frustrated with how unfair society was and seemed to do so with little awareness. This is depicted in general and specific ways within the film and had me struggling to understand how things were ever this way.

The backdrop for the film is the 'space race' with the main characters involved and contributing to the Americans part in the race.

The three lead characters all have their own individual struggles intertwined within the general challenges of racism and sexism. The film showcases how each of them goes about seeking to overcome these challenges. I was rooting for each one of them and found myself audibly willing on each lady in their own personal challenge.

I found that I was emotionally hooked early into the film and was therefore fully engaged throughout. This was further helped by the quality of the acting, which came across as believable and sincere.

For me, it is one of those films that is more powerful as it is 'based on true events' and is a snapshot into history and in many ways this makes it more powerful and emotive.

This is a good film that although engaging, and largely enjoyable, it also gives a glimpse of how far society has come and maybe a pointer to parallels today.

The space race stuff is cool too, and the film gave me a greater insight into how intense it actually was and maybe even continues to be.

Legend in my own mind

The nice guys (2016)

I really enjoyed this film for so many reasons. It was superbly shot with an excellent soundtrack. The film was fast moving with plenty of action, yet there were laughs a plenty, due to excellent dialogue, plenty of witty banter and some funny predicaments that the characters faced.
As I have said, I think that the film did funny and action well but it is almost like it couldn't really decide which it wanted to do best. It could have been an exceptional action film or an exceptional dark comedy and instead become a very good 'crime, action dark comedy'.

I really enjoyed it and was glad that I finally got around to watching it.

Fury (2014)

It had took me until today to watch this film, simply because I hadn't really fancied it. That is surprising as I tend to watch a lot of war films, I like Pitt and Laboeuf and thought that the cast looked good. I had also heard some positive things from others about it.
Overall I thought that the film lacked depth and any real direction for the plot, but I did like plenty about it. The main thing that I liked is the honesty of the film. Many war films can't help but show the allies as upstanding men of moral fibre and are portrayed as 'the good guys' and the Germans are shown as sneaky and arrogant, and are shown as 'the bad guys'. I disliked a few of the main characters and although I applaud it for being honest, it also affected my emotional investment into the characters except for one.
The film showed some of the horrors of war and how it can affect those that experience it, especially over a sustained period.

Lego Batman (2017)

This was great fun as you would expect. the jokes were funny and absolutely relentless. The animated action was good and the action flowed.
I am not sure what else to say apart from that it was just under two hours of superb, childish fun.

Fundamentals of caring (2016)

Enjoyed this. It was a coming of age film with a difference. The film raises awareness of a horrible disease that I have personal experience of. The film does it in a humorous manner through the well written script and some good acting. The themes of taking risks, stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your fears are all looked at, with some sad and brutal undertones haunting each of the two main characters. Some genuinely funny moments, but a real heartwarming film that had me feeling something throughout and mostly smiling.

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

I loved this film and it frustrated me in equal measure.
The things I liked were - The acting, the plot, the cast, the cast, the cast, the director, the cinematography, the jokes, the dialogue, the characters, and everything else.

The things I didn't like were... I don't know. Something irritated me about the film and it stopped me from raving about the film but I just don't know what it was.
It could possibly be that the structure of the film wasn't all neat and tidy, but I think that was the point. After all it was the story of a screenplay within a screenplay.

I may well edit this when I realise what it is that irritated me.

Superb acting from an excellent cast and a lot of funny dialogue.

Legend in my own mind

John Wick: Chapter 2

I have been really looking forward to this film ever since I heard that it was happening.
After stumbling across the original one night on Netflix having never heard of It I was gushing about it to everyone who would listen. The action, the cars, the wide shots, the stunts, the character. All were superb and it was just great viewing.

So I was hoping for more of the same and although I had heard good things you can never be sure.
Also the worry about not getting that 'first time' again. When something is new there is a certain wow factor and it is harder for sequels to follow this up as your expectations are already set.

I needn't have worried. I loved this film. Reeves was superb again. I don't think the film is perfect - far from it but it's like with a loved one - The things that you like and love about them are the things that you focus on. My wife can overlook the fact that I roll my socks up before putting them in the washing basket because of all my awesome qualities.
I feel the same about this film. I simply don't see a lot of the 'imperfections' because I am too busy focusing on the positives.

Action, stunts, humour, good guys, bad guys, 'gun fu' and not a shaky cam in sight.
I think if you liked the first film then you will like this.

A great action film, with superb fight scenes, excellent gun play that simply doesn't let up.
It is relentless.

As with the first one this film doesn't take itself too seriously and at points that can be seen.

The directors stayed faithful to all of the things that made the original work without simply creating the same film.

In this film there is a greater look at the secret world that John Wick and his 'colleagues' live and work in. There is a greater focus on the workings and structures of the Continental hotel.

If it's serious and realistic drama you are looking for then this will not be the film for you. Allow me to recommend 'Moonlight' or 'Manchester by the sea', both of which I will be posting reviews of in the near future.

If it is pure adrenaline fuelled action that you are after, with more headshots than a COD convention then this is the film for you.

Legend in my own mind

Patriots day (2016)

I remember where I was when the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon in April 2013. I was watching a film . I was at a friends house watching 'Cockneys v Zombies' (2012) and checked Twitter during a lull in the complex plot.
After the film I followed the story on the news and watched on with countless others around the world as the events unfolded. I continued to watch over the next few days.

This is a film about those days. It is meant as a tribute to those days and to the people whose lives were forever changed.

I was looking forward to the film as much as you can when you know that the depiction of suffering that you are about to witness was much more real for some actual people 4 years ago.

A lot of the story seems to remain consistent to the actual facts of the event there are some bits that are purely to benefit the story as a film. Whether it needs it or not is already a source of debate.

One such fictional element is Tommy Saunders, the character played by Mark Wahlberg as pictured above.
He is a central character and does help the story move along as a film as he is used to link different aspects of the story together.

There was plenty that I enjoyed about this film.
I thought that the acting was strong. Good performances from Wahlberg, Monaghan, Bacon, Goodman, and J.K Simmons who is always a joy to behold.

The film celebrated the city of Boston with some great shots of the city, especially the aerial shots of Fenway park, the suburbs and downtown. It really showcased it, which I liked as it is one of my favourite cities.

Overall I found it to be a powerful film. The film caused me to feel tense and like with 'Sully' previously I felt that I was there. I felt that I was peering into pieced together memories of those days, and the emotions that came with it. Some of that is of course down to my own emotional memory of watching the events unfold on TV, but it is also down in part to good film making.

As I have already said, I didn't find it an easy watch as it is ultimately a film that details events that caused so much pain and so much heartache for many people

Throughout this film I felt anger, sadness, injustice, sorrow and pride in the strength of others.

The first thing I want from any film is for it to cause me to feel something.

This certainly did that, a powerful film, that is a fitting tribute.

Legend in my own mind
I am a Bostonian and I cannot wait to see Patriot's Day. Just watching the trailer brings tears to my eyes.
I found it to be powerful. Am sure it will be more so for you.

Legend in my own mind

Mean creek (2004)

I bought this DVD a few years ago but eventually got around to watching it this week.

My feelings on this film are mixed but overall they are very good.

As with all my 'reviews' I tell you what I thought of the film without giving spoilers or revealing too much of the plot.

The film is a bit of a 'coming of age' film that is encapsulated within a tense drama with all kinds of morality issues.

The things that I wish were better in this film are:
* Length I wish it was longer. The film used the time that it has well in terms of getting to know the characters, and their personalities. It did however feel a little bit rushed and I wish it was another 30-40 minutes longer to give it a chance to extend the actual 'action and drama' of the film.
* A character One of the characters bordered on cliche for me, and I am not sure whether it was the writing or the acting that caused it. Either way, I think that they just about got away with it.

The things that I enjoyed about this film are:

* The feels Anyone who has read of these from me before, will know that the first thing that I look for in any film, is for it to cause a reaction within me. This film did that in spades. It caused me to feel various emotions and to question what I would do in certain situations. I felt tension when I was supposed to and frustration and even anger at times within the film.
* Characters All of the characters were good and the writing enabled me to get an understanding of each one in such a short time. One was bit over cooked for me but as I mention above, that may be more down to the acting than the writing.

Overall, this was one of those films that keeps coming to mind days and even weeks later. It wasn't an 'enjoyable' watch but it was immersive and caused me to empathise with each and every character at one time or another. One of those films that seems to become better the more you spend time reflecting on it. The film brings up moral issues that are not straight forward and are made even more complex when you place yourself in the shoes of each character.

Good film making.

Legend in my own mind
I liked that movie, but I much prefer Bully (2001), which is a very similar story. It's very trashy so I'd be hesitant to recommend it.
Will check it out. What do you mean by trashy?

Legend in my own mind

Logan (2017)

I was excited by this film. Not because I particularly rate 'Marvel' films, I have always found them ok, but always felt that they were lacking somewhat. They have always seemed too 'childish'. I know that it is to appeal to the wider audience, and whereas I always thought that they weren't bad, I kind of filed them all alongside each other as 'watchable but nothing special'.
'Deadpool' and 'Civil war' were a step up in terms of quality, and then came 'Logan'.

Wolverine is one of those characters that most people like, as he pushes the boundaries and appeals to the inner rebel.
I have been largely disappointed with the Wolverine films previously. They weren't bad films, but there was always something that frustrated me about each one.
Then came the reviews for 'Logan'. It was received so well by critics and rated so highly that my interest was piqued and I was cautiously optimistic.
I also knew that it was 'R rated' in the states and probably a 15 certificate in the UK, (it is) so thought that would give more scope to how far they can push the boundaries in terms of violence and ultimately realism.

Jackman as 'Logan' with the trademark snarl

I was not disappointed in the film and my optimism needn't have been cautious.
This is in my opinion, the best 'Marvel' film ever.
I know that some people will argue that this is not a 'Marvel' film as Fox are the distribution company but he is a 'Marvel' character and they are listed as the production company.
Semantics aside, the film is raw, it is entertaining and it seemed more real. There was humour, there was emotion and there was some superb performances and in in many respects the film and the writing was very clever.

Some of my favourite things to mention would be spoilers and I don't want to do that, even with the spoiler tags. So let's discuss it when we have all watched it.

The film is set a few years in the future and starts with Logan struggling in so many areas of his life, and this gives us a glimpse into a different aspect of the character. A vulnerability which was unnerving and refreshing in equal measure.
It is refreshing from the point of view that its shows how the years have taken their toll and it's not just a one man slash fest. It is a bit unnerving as it is it's like watching someone you love grow old and you notice some frailties for the first time.

Dafne Keen (above as Laura) is superb in this film and she could have a big future in this business either exploring this character or simply in other films. For me she stole the show and was tremendous in all aspects of the film. Some of her best acting were down without words, and not simply the action scenes, but the facial expressions and body language. Really good casting.

The film is violent and bloody, but if mutants including people with 'adamantium' claws were going at it then there would be some blood shed. I think it also gives credibility to the film and to the genre. In other films you see Wolverine attack people without necessarily seeing the results of a wolverine attack unfold.

I have never read any of the comic books so am not sure whether the purists will like it, but as a film it was splendidly done, and has raised the bar for all other 'Marvel' no, all other super hero films. There is even some reference to this within the dialogue of the film.

I have been out of the cinema for less than an hour and I cannot wait to watch this film again.

With Jackman saying that this will be his last outing as Logan,It is a fitting end to the Wolverine series, but it is also sad that there won't be any others made to this standard.

I really rated this film and would love to know what you think.