Last year I managed to watch a fair number of films that were new to me. In fact I probably watched more films and TV than playing games-but I suppose that’s the nature of a Lapsdgamer with two kids. Anyway, here’s the list in no particular order. Not all came from last year.
Taika Waititi is fast becoming one of my favourite directors. It tells the tale of 10 year old Johannes (JoJo), and his experiences of life in Nazi Germany. Johannes becomes indoctrinated into Nazi beliefs. This is highlighted by his imaginary friend Adolf, marvellously played by Taika. JoJo then discovers a Jewish girl, and finds that his beliefs are challenged. It is a brilliant film, full of tragedy, comedy and some harrowing scenes.
Eye of the Beholder
A fascinating documentary that delves into the Art of Dungeons and Dragons. One of my favourite things about fantasy is the art work that it inspires. This documentary starts at the humble beginnings of Dungeons and Dragons, and features many famous artists.
Two great actors put in outstanding performances in this film. Gripping throughout. A film that shows, the difficulty of overcoming prejudices, but that it can be done, leading to lasting friendship.
Gary Oldman has anther career highlight playing Winston Churchill. The film only shows a small part of Churchill’s experiences during the war, and this focuses on Dunkirk. The stresses, strains and worries are all shown here, as Churchill tries to get The British Army home, to rally his party, despite the many ongoing plots occurring behind his back. It portrays him as the man no one wanted to be P.M. This film also forms an excellent two parter with the Brian Cox starring Churchill movie.
Fast & Furious Presents-Hobbs and Shaw
This film plays out like a videogame. It is plains nuts, but so much fun, especially with The Rock and Jason Statham thrwoing barbs at each other. This is one film, where you don’t question what’s happening on-screen, instead just enjoy the ride!
John Wick 3-Parrabellum
The third chapter in the excellent John Wick series is a sight to behold. The film deepens the world of John Wick adding extra layers and bringing in new characters. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, and the sheer will shown by John Wick. The stunts and action are once again stunning, and Keanu Reeves is brilliant as John.
The funniest film I saw all year, was Good Boys. It features three teenage friends who are entering sixth grade, with dilemas. How this all plays out is extremely funny. The actors are brilliant, and the script has so much heart.
Toy Story 4
After what I thought was a perfect ending in 3, Pixar released the fourth film, and this was once again a high quality film. It felt like slipping into a worn pair of slippers; the world is familiar, and you all know the characters, but they now face new challenges, in particular Woody. Once again the humour is there and the character depth for the new(Forky) and old (Bo-Peep). It also brought out a feeling of nostalgia with Keanu Reeves in a role that reminded me of my Evel Knievel toy. A great film to watch.
Life after Flash
“Flash! Ah Ah, Saviour of the Universe!” Flash Gordon, is still one of my favurite films, and means a lot to many people. This documentary focuses on Sam Jones, and his life after Flash. Sam Jones is very honest and open about his mistakes at the time, and why he didn’t become a bigger star in Hollywood. This documentray will bring back the memories, which will make you go and seek out Flash Gordon.
Christian Bale produces an astonishing performance as Dick Cheney. I actually couldn’t believe that it was Batman playing the ex-Vice President. This was a fascinating film, since so much that seems to have come from Dick Cheney can be seen in our media, and society today, and not in a good way. It’s an excellent film, but a thought provoking one, that left me troubled.
Bad Boys For Life
This was a surprise to me. I like the first two. I think Smith and Lawrence have an excellent chemistry and I was expecting more of the same. However this film, took the franchise into a new direction; it was intelligent, mixed the young and old generations extremely well, and still had all the action and wise cracks from the original. I’m now looking forward to the 4th film.
Boxsmart is another coming of age comedy, that is really funny,. Two friends in their last week of high school realise that they have been missing out on parties and fun, so decide to have one last night of fun. The two main actors are brilliant. The script is excellent, and there are a lot of laughs.
This has been on my to watch list for years. I’m a big fan of American sports, and this film tells the story of Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play in the MLB. Chadwick Boseman brilliantly plays Jackie Robinson. It highlights how one man can be a pioneer for others, because of who he was and the talent he had.
The Mission Impossible films have been getting better and better. It’s always fascnatiing to see the situations Tom Cruise puts himself in. With links to previous films, the continuation of a number of threads and a villain on par with Ethan, this was another really enjoyable instalment.
Last year we did 5 episodes where we played Dungeons and Dragons. We all had a lot of fun, so if you loved those episodes or if you love Dungeons and Dragons or any form of fantasy, you really do need to see this film. There are so many references to other films and role-playing, that you would need to watch it a few times to catch them all. However, the quest is a personal one, involving a lost father. Some surprising turns add further flavour to it, and made it a hit.