Mini Review - Apollo 11
Apollo 11 (out Jul 18) is a tight, terrific documentary that marks the 50th anniversary of man first stepping foot on the moon. There are no re-enactments, face-to-face interviews or narration. It effectively uses actual footage and audio recordings to show how it all unfolded over an 8 day period. Matt Morton's film score adds to its power. Grade: A-.
Mini Review - The Lion King
The Lion King (out Jul 17) offers cute, life-like characters but the film lacks heart and passion. It’s as if we’re watching the same movie from 1994 and the filmmakers have been too scared to make any huge creative choices. Seth Rogen (as the warthog) and Billy Eichner (as they meerkat) win laughs but it all feels very stale and tired. Grade: C+.
Mini Review - Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home (out Jul 1) starts like a tired formulaic superhero flick but a neat twist at half way mark sets the stage for an interesting second hour. Grade: B.
Mini Review - Booksmart
Booksmart (out Jul 11) is a very funny comedy about two studious teenage girls who, on their final day of high school, decide to attend an alcohol-fuelled graduation party and get out of their comfort zone. I laughed a lot! Great performances and the humour is both edgy and surprising. Grade: A-.
Mini Review - After
After (out Jul 4) could be the worst movie of 2019. It's a corny, poorly acted romantic drama about a young, innocent college girl who falls in love with a guy from "the wrong side of the tracks". The film was inspired by One Direction fan fiction and that pretty much says it all. Grade: C-.
Mini Review - An Unexpected Love
An Unexpected Love (out Jul 4) is an Argentinean romantic drama about a long-married couple who choose to separate (their reasons are strange) and see what single life is like. Nice performances but it's slow and a little repetitive. Grade: B-.
Mini Review - Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Mystify: Michael Hutchence (out Jul 4) is a documentary that looks at success and troubles of iconic Australian singer-songwriter Michael Hutchence. We've seen this sort of music doco many times before but the interviews and behind-the-scenes footage provide great insight. Grade: B+.
Mini Review - Annabelle Comes Home
Annabelle Comes Home (out Jun 27) is the 7th film in the Conjuring Universe and it's one of the better ones. There's not a lot of character depth here but I still like the overall premise and use of music (or lack thereof). It's the tale of two teenagers and a young girl who come in contact with a series of supernatural beings. Grade: B.