Films From January
Editors Note: While I do my best to view films with an open mind, I usually don’t see most films opening night. That’s why I prefer watching them on my own unless I’m a massive fan of a franchise. You won’t see some of the mainstream films from my point of view since I don’t watch them all too often.
Polar (Netflix Film)
Mads Mikkelsen does a phenomenal job of portraying a washed-up assassin ready for retirement. I enjoyed the over-the-top comic book rendition of Polar and would highly recommend it. The action is spectacular and even has a nice twist to cap it off. Fair warning to those who prefer watching Netflix films with their children, there’s gratuitous sex and violence. It’s my type of film and adds humor where it counts.
Katheryn Winnick and Vanessa Hudgens are fantastic supporting actresses, each with their own roles to play. Mikkelson gives great interaction to both as one being slightly awkward while one being fully confident. The villain does the typical tropes but still makes it enjoyable. If you would like to see a “not your typical” comic book film, I think you’ll enjoy it.
IO (Netflix Film)
Listen, I’m not a fan of Anthony Mackie. But that doesn’t mean I’ll just a film based solely on him. Now, will that matter when Altered Carbon Season 2 debuts, maybe? But from the trailer, it appeared as though he would be playing a character unlike what we’ve seen in his Marvel films. And I can tell you, we do. He still gives a wooden performance but I think it’s overshadowed by the supporting cast.
The film is a slow paced drama that wants to tell a grander story but never finds its stage. Was it an awful film? No. But we didn’t need the “big reveal” of a certain character. If you paid attention from the beginning, it was obvious what happened. I would have preferred to know the history on why Margaret Qualley’s character, Sam, was alone. Why weren’t others communicating on radios since clearly that was set up that way? Something happens at the end that clearly shows there might be a way to survive, but no communication about it. Don’t expect a post-apocalyptic thriller.
Close (Netflix Film)
Noomi Rapace has been so versatile on Netflix. Not only was she phenomenal in David Ayers fantastic Bright, but she also displayed spectacular range in What Happened To Monday? Close was another film where she thrived in showcasing her action capabilities. It’s clear that she can easily play a tough, strong female character. I thoroughly enjoyed watching as she commanded every scene she was in.
My only dislike of the film was Sophie Nelisse’s character, Zoe Tanner. It wasn’t necessarily her acting that I couldn’t get past, but the character herself. The arc wasn’t there for me to see why Rapace’s Sam would risk her life trying to protect her. But I will say the shooting locations and set pieces made the film feel grounded and I appreciated that. I would recommend this film if you enjoy a simple action flick.
My Top Films I’m Looking Forward To In February
Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix Film)
This film was mesmeric and yes, I learned that word from it. Since this debuted on Netflix, I was able to see it immediately. Now, I may get some flack for this but I actually enjoyed this film over Dan Gilroy’s other film, Nightcrawler. I thought Gyllenhaal’s character, Morf Vandewalt, was brilliantly portrayed. It was how I actually think some art purveyors act. The pretentiousness of it all in the art world if on full display. Every actor makes you enthralled with their characters and it’s a joy to watch it all unfold.
Overall, this film was a commentary about what it is to create. How others view art and finding the muse to translate that from the idea onto a canvas. The fact the pompous intellectuals can’t understand that the mesmerizing art they’re so infatuated with is causing real wickedness is a charm. The overexaggerated horror elements mixed with the cynical views of what makes something ‘Art’ is brilliant. I would highly recommend this film if you dislike critics and their influence in today’s media.
My most anticipated film for February by far. I’m not a Manga fan nor am I an Anime fan, so this is all new to me. But what I can appreciate is not only James Cameron backing it, but Robert Rodriguez Directing it. He is one of my favorite directors and seeing a new film from him is a treat. Add that Junkie XL is the composer for the film and you should understand my hype. How the film is and what I like will be written in a review after I see it.
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I know I’m going to shed a tear for this film. Not only because it’ll be a thrilling conclusion to the Dragon world we’ve seen over the past 9 years. But also because I know my daughter, Avery, will be experiencing something like this for the first time. Watching her emotions over countless rewatches of the first two films intermixed with the Netflix Series is clear. She’s fascinated with the story and characters and has roped me in as well. I will be watching this film later today and will have a full review this evening.
What do you think? Have you seen any of the films from January? Are you looking forward to other films in February? Let us know in the comments below.