What I Watched in the Last Quite a Long Time (Film)

A long break from my weekly reviews, due to other commitments, and then this hideous flu that has been doing the rounds. Fully recovered, here's what I passed the time with.

Colossal (Prime)
A woman returns to her home town, where she is horrified to discover that she appears to have a link with a monster terrorising the South Korean capital. It's a comedy with some interesting themes around moving on from your past, and not letting other people control you. If nothing else, it has one of the more bizarre premises I've ever heard for a film.

The Founder (Prime)
Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, in a film charting the rise of MacDonalds, and his part in it. Keaton is absolutely brilliant in this, playing a character who behaves appallingly, and yet is still oddly charming. Recommended.

The Tempest (recorded from the BBC some time ago)
A play I really like, but a curiously leaden adaptation, especially given its starry cast. I couldn't persevere with this, I'm afraid, and abandoned it after an hour.

10 Cloverfield Lane (Netflix)
An excellent psychological thriller that probably doesn't need its tie in to the "Cloverfield Universe". That tie in isn't as intrusive as in The Cloverfield Paradox (of which, more later) but I was left wondering whether the film might have been better without it.

The Cloverfield Paradox (Netflix)
A decent horror/thriller about the crew of a space station in the near future, that, for my money, is ruined by being crowbarred into a wider continuity with which it doesn't have a clear linkage. The space station story is pretty good, for what its worth.

The Age of Shadows (Prime)
Opulent costume drama about the Korean resistance to Japanese occupation in the 1930s. Shockingly violent at times, but oddly "glossy" in feel, as though we're not really immersed in the story. Still worth a watch.

I Saw the Devil (Prime)
Another Korean film, this time about a psychopathic serial killer, and a young secret agent who exacts revenge upon him. At times it has a Hanneke-esque level of challenge to the audience, pushing us to decide just what cost we're willing to endure for the killer to get his comeuppance, and how far his tormentor is justified in pursuing revenge for the terrible wrong he has been done.

Martyrs (Prime)
Extreme cinema from France, in which initially tells the story of a young woman and her childhood friend tracking down and exacting revenge on the people who kidnapped and tortured her as a child. It enters more disturbing territory after that, perhaps more so because of the dispassionate way in which the terrors are both inflicted and depicted. Everyone doing terrible things in this film believes that they are driven by a higher purpose, and the film perhaps critiques the emptiness of the "torture porn" genre (its director describes the film as a sort of "anti-hostel"). Definitely not for everyone.
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