Short Film Ratings (2014-17 Films)
It’s been quite a while since my last Short Film Ratings, so I thought I’d watch some films that I have missed watching over the last few years for one reason or another. There’ll probably be another edition of this kind of post, or two, to come in the coming months. This edition contains The Big Short, Get Out, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Arrival.
The Big Short
Humpo Show Rating | 7.7
IMDb Rating | 7.8
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and others
Director: Adam McKay
Plot Summary: In 2006-7 a group of investors bet against the US mortgage market. In their research they discover how flawed and corrupt the market is. (IMDb)
The film won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as being nominated in a host of categories – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale) and Best Film Editing.
The Big Short is an extremely interesting film. It’s approach to a complicated subject with impressive attention to detail was needed, given that there were many financial terms that the layperson would have no idea about. To be honest, I struggled to understand some of the systems that were explained, even when Margot Robbie is doing the explaining!
It is well-acted and its humour is aimed at the horrendous systems that were in place before ‘the recession’. Carell, Bale and Gosling are all very watchable and it was both a pleasure and excruciating to see them portray individuals that made money off the back of such a horrendous twenty-first-century event that is still being felt today.
For those interested in modern history and enjoy having things explained in fairly simple terms, then The Big Short is a must watch.
Humpo Show Rating | 7.3
IMDb Rating | 7.7
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones and others
Director: Jordan Peele
Plot Summary: A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point. (IMDb)
Get Out won Best Original Screenplay at the 2018 Academy Awards.
An entertaining horror that got the world talking in 2017/18. Get Out is an interesting enough watch, but in terms of the horrors I’ve watched (not too many), it falls short of Paranormal Activity and A Quiet Place. After hearing so much hype about the film, I was left wanting more, as it didn’t hit the high notes I was expecting, although it is a good film.
Kaluuya is excellent as the lead in this – his reactions are a particular highlight. His performance made the details of the horror more believable and exciting to watch. The unique premise, which garnered much of the acclaim, is absorbing to watch and I was wondering where it would lead to next.
A watchable horror for people that don’t typically watch horrors.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Humpo Show Rating | 7.8
IMDb Rating | 7.7
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella and others
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Plot Summary: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius. (IMDb)
Kingsman has a mixture of James Bond, Mission Impossible and Johnny English. It has some highly stylized action sequences that rival those in MI, the sophistication of espionage from Bond, and the comedy factor from English. It is most definitely comedy-orientated, especially given the number of one liners, innuendos and Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.
Jackson’s voice is the biggest negative of the film. Anyone know why he spoke like that?
Besides that quibble, the film is entertaining and I can’t wait to watch the sequel. Egerton is a strong lead, and the older statesmen of Firth, Strong and Caine make for a good supporting cast. The action sequences are the obvious highlights of the film, and the plot is not bad either – although it is nothing new – and I quite liked the interview process as it helped to give Eggsy a good origin story to start with.
Humpo Show Rating | 8.0
IMDb Rating | 7.9
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Plot Summary: A linguist works with the military to communicate with alien lifeforms after twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world. (IMDb)
Arrival received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Adams, as linguist professor Louise Banks, gives a compelling performance that is rightly worthy of her Best Actress nomination at the 2017 Golden Globes. She plays the part in a subdued but deeply moving manner, with the soft moments acted out exceptionally well, especially as these moments become more important as the story progresses. It’s a delicate performance of a woman that uses her knowledge and skills to change the world through language.
The film is introspective, philosophical and existentially inclined, something similar to Villeneuve’s other forays as a director, but also, to other sci-fi films like Interstellar. The cinematography, musical scores, plot, acting, direction and CGI are all brilliantly done and make Arrival a watchable sci-fi that deals with the meaningful just as well as it deals with the extraterrestrial.
The Humpo Show | Richard