Film Reviews

By Justin Driscoll

Film Reviews By Justin Driscoll

Justin is a local resident who lives with his fiancee Emma, in Southoe.

A lover of films past, present, blockbuster and obscure. 

As a founder of the St Neots Underground Film Club that meets every Monday evening at the Pig n Falcon in St Neots, we feel Justin is expertly placed to share his latest films reviews with you. 

Arrival

Release Date: 11 November 2016

Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama

Age Rating: 12A

Film Summary: When 12 alien spacecraft arrive around the globe, linguist Dr. Louise Banks is brought into help the American team communicate with their "shell". This takes on a new sense of urgency as other countries begin to lose patience with the lack of progress and edge towards attacking the craft first, forcing the scientists to race towards understanding the visitors before it's too late.

What you thought: "Arrival" is a methodical, slow burn drama that does an excellent job of visually representing the process of discovery in an engaging and exciting way. The idea of figuring out how to communicate with beings without any social or cultural context is a fascinating idea, and the way the science works towards bridging that gap is truly thrilling. But, more important themes come into play towards the end of the movie that gives Dr. Banks an imaginative way of staving off the impending disaster. The result is a movie that is as much about hope and love as it a hard sci-fi. The only true issue is the movie could have ended 10 minutes earlier and been more effective; the final denouement only serves to underline the point of the film which just sucks the momentum out of the movie.

Would you recommend it to other: Yes

Why: A visually stunning movie backed by moving performances, "Arrival" is a film rarely made today: a sci-fi movie hard on science and discovery while having a true soul to its message.B Inspired Rating: A warm blanket that is like a comforting hug.

American Ultra

 

Release Date: 04 September 2015

Genre: Action/Comedy

Age Rating: 15

Film Summary: Mike and Phoebe are two stoners living a dead end existence in rural Virginia. But, when a mysterious woman comes into their lives, a past that was almost buried surfaces in an explosive way.

What you thought: "American Ultra" manages to strike that delicate balance between action and comedy without losing the pacing of the story. This mainly boils down to two tonally consistent performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, which helps to ground the movie. Their motivations and relationship remain on a consistent footing, so when the various twists that come in the movie, they feel organic to the character rather than a screen writing contrivance. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is pretty bland. The action is the same hyper kinetic gun/kung fu that has been in most action movies over the last 10 years, the villain does not have much to do except be a cartoon character and the end feels like it's from a completely different movie. The result is a passably enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable, action comedy.

Would you recommend it to other: No

Why: It's hard not to recommend this movie; the central performances are good, the action is passable, if tired, and the movie does what it sets out to do. But, there are movies that take the themes, action and characters and do them much better.

B Inspired Rating: A knock off t-shirt that is almost as good as the real one.

Scout's Guide to the Apocolypse

Release Date: 2015

Genre: Horror/Comedy

Age Rating: 15

Film Summary: Three best friends, and life long Scouts, spend one final night out on a camping trip. Unbeknown to them, the town has been evacuated due to the outbreak of a zombie virus. Now it is up to them, and their Scouting skills, to save the town by surviving the night.

What you thought: This movie is the definition of a day late and a dollar short. It combines a weaker version of the R-rated high school party comedy that was popular in the mid noughties with a surprisingly tame zombie film that has seen its influence begin to wane by the time this film came out. The final result is a boring, laugh-less movie that inserts unnecessary swearing, blood and boob jokes to push for the R-rating. Zombie comedies can be very effective, but unfortunately, this is not the case.

Would you recommend it to other: No

Why: This film was five years too late when it was released, and it hasn't aged well. There are funnier, more horrifying and better executed zombie films out there.

B Inspired Rating: A pair of knock of shoes you buy for a fiver, but fall apart before you've left the market.