Monday, 30 April 2018

Other April viewing

Here's a run-through of other stuff I consumed this month.

First Match (Olivia Newman, 2018)
In an attempt to get her father's attention, a young woman joins her high school wrestling team.

Though it follows a familiar trajectory, First Match benefits from committed performances from lead actress Elvira Emanuelle and a solid script that gives all the characters clear, understandable motivations. A great showcase for its writer-director and cast.

Scandal (Michael Caton-Jones, 1989)
A dramatisation of the 1963 Profumo Affair which almost brought down the British Government, focusing on the woman at its centre, Christine Keeler (Joanne Walley) and her friend Stephen Ward (John Hurt).

The end of an era, viewed from the POV of one of its romanticists, Scandal is a fine drama featuring a great performance from John Hurt as the doomed Ward, who ended up as the scapegoat for the the titular scandal.

The theme song by Dusty Springfield is a belter.

Night Owls (Charles Hood, 2015)
A one-night stand turns complicated when Kevin (Adam Pally) discovers a) his paramour Madeline (Rosa Salazar) trying to kill herself and b) that the home they just did the dirty deed in belongs to his boss...

Set in one location for the entire runtime, Night Owls is a solid character piece, featuring compelling performances from Pally and Salazar.  

Atlanta (S1, 2016)
The story of Earn (Donald Glover), as he tries to manage his relationship with his kinda-ex Vanessa (Zazie Beets) and the career of his cousin, upcoming(?) rapper Alfred/Paper Boi (Bryan Tyree Henry). 

I was so happy when this popped up on Netflix, and totally worth the hype. Glover is great, but Beetz is the real standout as the grounded Van. The Juneteenth episode is excruciating and the TV debate about Paperboi's use of transphobic slurs is hilariously on-point 

Nailed It (Netflix, 2018)
Every episode, a group of amateur bakers attempt to re-create the most ambitious and eye-popping cakes. 

Cakes. Nicole Byer. An Italian cop named Sal. Nailed It is the cooking show for people who don't like cooking shows.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (Jim Gillespie, 1997)
A year after accidentally killing a man, a group of teens are stalked by a mysterious figure in a rain slicker.

Well, that was a movie I watched. While not terrible, there is something so lifeless about this  late 90s slasher. In its favour, Ryan Philippe is good as the douche-y ex-football prospect and it features one great stalking sequence in a closed store. Other than that, a little blah.

If Looks Could Kill (William Dear, 1991)
High schooler Michael Corben (Richard Grieco) finds himself mistaken for a secret agent and forced to go on a mission to save Europe from a fascistic mad man intent on... continental domination.

This is one of those movies that I remember vividly from  childhood - Linda Hunt and her extendable collar; the interchangeable bus drivers; the beautiful femme fatale who gets blown up. All those things are great, but not much else is.

The World Is Not Enough (Michael Apted, 1999)

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (Alex Gibney, 2010)

Directed by Alex Gibney, this doc chronicles the series of events leading up to the fall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and the hypocrisy of the men who brought him down. Worth watching for a supporting performance from future Trump booster Roger Stone. 

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