Published 26 October 2016 • 45 minutes, 18 seconds
Another blockbuster novel turned film, The Girl on the Train has quite a bit in common with 2014’s Gone Girl, although executed with less finesse. It has some strong points, namely the prioritising of womens’ viewpoints, a serious discussion of domestic abuse, and a great lead performance from Emily Blunt, but the structure is messy and there are plot holes big enough to drive a train through.
Published 19 October 2016 • 44 minutes, 30 seconds
SSQ favourites Dylan O’Brien and Gina Rodriguez star in this dramatisation of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that led to the worst oil spill in US history, creating devastation in the Gulf of Mexico. We went in not expecting much, coming from the director of BATTLESHIP, but we were mistaken. The movie approaches its subject matter with compassion and humanity and largely avoids some of the more dire disaster movie clichés.
Another TV interlude as the first season of Netflix’s LUKE CAGE drops. We’re joined by our friend Jamie Butlin to talk being bulletproof, series storytelling and snake-based villains. Luke Cage’s Harlem is beautifully realised, the music is off the charts, and the acting is top notch, especially Mahershala Ali and Alfre Woodard. But while the show is extremely progressive in some aspects, it’s treatment of women isn’t great, and the pacing would have benefitted from allowing the story to breathe a little. WARNING: SPOILERS.
Bereft of new ideas, Hollywood is re-making classic films, but with Antoine Fuqua helming, Denzel Washington in the lead and a Chris, we thought this one was worth a look. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stand up well against Seven Samurai or the 1960 Hollywood version, but it has some fun moments and a genuine commitment to re-examining some of the prejudices inherent in the myth of the wild west.
Published 28 September 2016 • 37 minutes, 41 seconds
Disney has remade its wacky 1970s adventure about a boy and his dragon with a high-profile cast and a spectacular setting. While 2010s sensibilities may be more aesthetically pleasing, the lack of wackiness made this remake quite dull. We review it, and pitch a rewrite to make it better.
Published 21 September 2016 • 33 minutes, 9 seconds
Following a weird snafu with its distribution, this animated adaptation of the classic French children’s’ book finally found an English-speaking home on Netflix. While Mel loved it and found it both beautiful and true to the source material, Katie was not charmed and found it disturbingly infantilising.
Published 14 September 2016 • 33 minutes, 5 seconds
Another in our occasional ‘there’s nothing on at the movies, what can we find on Netflix by women directors’ series, The Intern is a step out of our comfort zone, and a movie we had really hoped might be good. It has a few things going for it: Anne Hathaway, a lush aesthetic and its heart in the right place, but that’s not really enough to overcome it’s throwback liberalism and cliché-ridden runtime.
Published 7 September 2016 • 32 minutes, 58 seconds
When one of our favourites does an experimental indie we must watch it, and so you have Tom Hiddleston to thank for this episode. While out of our comfort zone, High-Rise has quite a bit to offer in terms of its aesthetic and it’s metaphorical examination of the logical endpoint of neoliberal capitalism.
Laika, the studio behind CORALINE and PARANORMAN, is back with this elegiac Japanese-inspired saga. Kubo lives a sheltered life with his troubled mother, and just wants to escape. After he attempts to do so, he realises the depth of trouble his mother is hiding, and goes on a quest to re-assemble his father’s armour.
We’re not mums yet, but we had quite a bit of fun watching some get (kind of) bad. Kristen Bell is a comic delight, and Jada Pinkett-Smith is criminally under-used, but the six (female!!) leads give funny, fearless performances. They are not well-served by the writing that never quite goes hard enough at the comedy or the feelings, but we can’t help but be happy that this movie is out there, showing the can’t-win-no-matter-how-hard-you-try reality of the lives of mothers today.