Monday, 10 September 2018

DVD Roundup: Fly-By-Night edition

When it looked like Studio Ghibli was going to shut down after Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (again), several members of the studio decided to hedge their bets and go out on their own, founding Studio Ponoc. Their first film is Mary and the Witch's Flower, looking very much like a Ghibli movie, but sounding much more like Harry Potter. Based on the The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, the story looks at the consequences of a lie told in a mystical academy. I've been looking forward to this film a lot since seeing the trailer at our screening of Isle of Dogs, so watch this space.

OK, so the premise for I Feel Pretty seems pretty interesting, especially in a world were everyone is encouraged to turn themselves into a brand with all the social media stuff: an insecure woman wakes up to find that she the most beautiful woman in the world, but she doesn't know that her appearance hasn't actually changed. Yeah, could be pretty inspiring, but I look at this film and cannot trust this movie to have any conviction of its message. It's like hearing Christina Aguilera sing "Beautiful" or TLC sing "Unpretty"; I get what your saying, but it's really quite shallow.

I remember watching The Strangers and being creeped out by the premise - home invasion always creeps me out - but then finding it to be a rather standard and unscary movie. Ten years later we now have sequel Prey at Night, which sounds exactly the same as the first movie, except we now have the horror of staying in a dreaded holiday home. If it was a Butlins then, yeah, worst nightmare ever.

Directed by Rob Reiner, Shock and Awe looks into the report that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and the journalists that questioned the White House on the validity of that report. With a pretty good cast, including Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson and James Marsden, this film looks set to be a interesting breakdown of recent history, but instead comes across more like a "lecture" (Washington Post).

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