Film Reviews – all mostly not that great, apart from one – Gifted, My Cousin Rachel, Hampstead and Baby Driver

My reading has been slow of late as I’m busy writing, but even busy writing minds sometimes need a break, so here’s my round up of recent film releases I’ve seen.

Gifted – the story of an Uncle trying to raise his gifted seven-year-old niece. Plus points – it stars the lovely Chris Evans (Captain America) and Kiefer Sutherland’s daughter from Designated Survivor, McKenna Grace.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to be a great film but of the four I’ve seen recently, this one wins the enjoyability factor hands down. Rare for an American film of this nature, it doesn’t suffer from too much cloying sentimentality. The story moves along at a reasonable rate, and the backstory is interesting enough to keep you intrigued. There are, as there should be, a few teary moments and really, the star of the show is  McKenna Grace (the young girl) who plays her part brilliantly and will probably be found in many more films and TV shows in the future. I would give this a 4/5 for enjoyment alone.

My Cousin Rachel – a remake of the Daphne Du Maurie novel, is a remarkably slow and dull film, lacking any sort of tension either sexual or otherwise. It’s one of those films that I left wondering how on earth it even got made. A shame because I was expecting great things. That said, when I read the storyline of the book afterwards, it might well be that there really was little to go. No more than a 3/5.

Hampstead – the clips for this have been funny and I was expecting a lovely comedy, that might also have been a bit of a rom-com. Instead, and I hate it when this happens, all the funny parts were in the clips for the film and this film was lacking in absolutely everything. It seems to merely have been an excuse for Diane Keaton to wear a silly hat and romp around London wearing silly clothes. Not enjoyable at all, but instead torturously slow, with very little storyline, and everyone using their ‘inside’ voices so that it lacked any passion at all. I can see why the reviews for this have been so poor. No more than a 2/5 and that’s being kind. Thank goodness I didn’t pay to see the film. I would have been miffed.

Baby Driver – I know a bit of a change of pace but I will literally watch almost anything (apart from US comedies – because they’re never EVER funny). So the director is the man behind Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz (love that yellow Saab in it) and World’s End – all three films that I find very enjoyable. (Oh and Scott Pilgrim which is okay) I was, once more, expecting quite good things – five star reviews, recommendations from friends, and children keen to see it because the lead is out of a few teeny films. I also like Kevin Spacey. However, this film also suffered from a lack of pace, and to be honest, a lack of storyline. The whole ‘headphones’ and ‘music’ thing was a little bit too

However, this film also suffered from a lack of pace, and to be honest, a lack of storyline. The whole ‘headphones’ and ‘music’ thing was a little bit too much Guardians of the Galaxy, the whole heist thing was actually done much better in Going With Style (a bit of a giggle from a few weeks ago with Michael Kaine and Morgan Freeman in), and the love story bit was very much worthy of teeny films. Jamie Foxx was trying to be all sorts of bad, but wasn’t helped by all the above. In fact, I was almost nodding off in it, only for the mother of all gun fights to kick off and keep me awake until the end. The car chases were okay but nothing stellar. Very similar to Free Fire and suffering for similar reasons. Another film with a very misleading trailer. All in all, a firm 3/5 but really no more.

So going forward, I have the Transformers film to look forward to, even though I know it’s getting bad reviews, and of course, Despicable Me 3, but the one I’m really looking forward to is the mother of all car showdowns in Cars 3!

Author: M J Porter, author

I'm a writer of historical fiction (Early England/Viking and the British Isles as a whole before 1066, as well as two 20th century mysteries).

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