Things I saw in October


Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Sequel to one of the greatest science fiction films ever is a wonderful re imagining of the world. Ryan Gosling gives a wonderful performance as K, a blade runner who must solve a mystery surrounding Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). The ideas the film brings up builds on the themes of the original, and the visuals are stunning. This is a film where the images flow over you. 3.5 stars out of 4

The Good Place Season 1 (2016-17) Hilarious and ingenious comedy, Kristen Bell plays a not so good person who dies and is sent to “The Good Place” by mistake. This show has a lot of twists and turns in it with the final one coming at the end of the season. It’s good binge television with winning performances. 3.5 out of 4

Archer Season 8 (2017) The latest season of Archer entitled “Dreamland” gets points for creativity as it delves in Archer’s dream state after he was shot and left in a coma last season. It’s able to riff on an alternate reality where the characters are re imagined in a film noir landscape. However most of the jokes fall short, and Archer for the first time felt a little tired to me. Still some pretty funny moments. 2.5 stars out of 4

The Babysitter (2017) I happened upon this Netflix original which is pretty good entertainment. A kid who is afraid of everything is left for the weekend with his cool babysitter who he also is in love with, only to find out she’s into satanic sacrifices and pretty soon he has to face almost every fear his has. This is a short and sweet movie that has a good sense of humour about things and doesn’t hold off on the blood and gore. 3 stars out of 4

George Harrison Living in a Material World (2011) Martin Scorsese’s documentary about George Harrison goes into unexpected territories regarding Harrison’s own beliefs and how they helped him through his life. Add to that this was just a very engrossing documentary about a very famous man who held onto his own spirituality. 4 stars out of 4

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) Classic musical of seven mountain men and the seven women they love. This won’t win any political correctness awards especially for this day and age, but the charm of this film is hard to resist, and it doesn’t seem to have any ill will to it. Directed by musical master Stanley Donen, this has some of the best choreographed moments on film and is worth it just for that, plus the musical numbers aren’t that bad either, a real joy. 3.5 stars out of 4

Unconquered (1947) Cecil B. DeMille production of colonial times with the old trope of Native Americans being the bad guy. This film doesn’t age well, but has a few interesting set pieces. Gary Cooper is one of those dependable leading men, and Howard De Silva is one of those great slimy villains you can’t wait to get their comeuppance. Still over long and kinda boring. 2 stars out of 4

Strange Things Season 2 (2017) More fun and adventure with the Stranger Things gang. Although overall I enjoyed season 1 more, this had enough in it to recommend. The characters are the main reason to stay tuned to this 80s nostalgia fest, adding a few more new characters to the mix and more to the mythology. Even though this series is tailor made for bingeing, some story telling elements didn’t sit well with me, it’s less focused and more all over the map than the first, still I had fun. 3 stars out of 4

Suburbicon (2017) The latest from George Clooney the director. This dark comedy co-written by the Coen Brothers has a lot going for it, and I enjoyed it on some degree. A mid-fifties suburb is home to racial intolerance and a grisly murder investigation. Not sure it needed both storylines, and Clooney I think does his best to capture a Coenesque sensibility with his darkly comic tone, however it I wasn’t fully satisfied, almost as if the script needed a few more re-writes. The racial story is shoehorned in with no real purpose, and this dark comedy needed more comedy. 2.5 stars out of 4

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