Waterfront’s Bloody-Cold Winter film round-up

Ah. It’s almost time to shed a layer (or two) and save on those massive energy bills as Winter comes to its inevitable end. Kind of, we do live in Wales after all. The past three months have been fraught with both movie blockbusters and its fair share of stinkers, to say the least.

If looking back isn’t your thing, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Just head on over to the Waterfronts big Spring peak-a-boo to see what the next three months have in store for you. Also, before we get started, I must add that all opinions and scores given during this article are my own. Some of our other content creators may disagree! We had heroes and villains, Flying nannies and comedy duos, decent and debauched movies alike. This is our round-up for the last December, January and February.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, 7/10
Spider-man: into the Spider-verse was, in my opinion, the best Spiderman movie since Toby Maguire’s Spiderman 2 back in 2004. As a militant Maguire fanboy, that’s saying something.

Of course, our newest hero in a growing line of Spiderman’s, Miles Morales was bitten by a radioactive spider which allows him to suddenly develop some pretty wicked spider-powers. Which, unlike the original Peter Parker, goes beyond just web-slinging and smart-mouthing.

Our protagonist soon realises that he isn’t the only one afflicted with such responsibilities as different spider-men aliases start arriving in his world through not so agreeable means.

I highly recommend this movie, even to those (like myself) that are not usually into the whole superhero thing. If not for the heroes, for the wicked soundtrack provided by Swae Lee and Post Malone.

Vice, 8/10
Vice took us on a journey, of sorts, through the life of the infamous Dick Cheney. We go behind the press to get a fresh look at George Bush’s vice president, in name alone, as we watch how Dick became the most powerful man in the world.

Played brilliantly by Christian Bale, whom I am actually surprised isn’t dead yet, backed by an amazing cast comprising Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Amy Adams, and a list-full of many more recognisable names.

Full of political manoeuvring and scheming that is simultaneously impressive and blood-boiling, Adam McKay’s Vice is sure to either re-set your perspective of the times biggest historical events as you witness the more ‘mundane’ formulations of them.

Stan & Ollie, 9/10
If you were wondering where all of John C. Reilly’s talent was during Holmes and Watson, it was here. Along with Steve Coogan (surprise, also in Holmes and Watson), Stan & Ollie was nothing short of a marvel.

Full to the brim with all the charm and personality of the late Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Stand & Ollie brings you up to a level of wholesomeness you didn’t even realise existed just to tear you down. Then pick you back-up again, just to do it all over again.

Stand & Ollie left me wanting in the end – wanting for more. More of the on-screen banter. More of the slapstick comedy. More of them feels. This film left me wanting for so much more in such a positive way. I left the cinema and watched Brats, an original Laurel and Hardy short from 1930. Spoiler, that was great as well.

The Favourite, 7/10
The Favourite was set to be the historical period film in the preceding 12 months. To a fair extent, it didn’t do too bad. Oliva Coleman is always great on camera. The Favourite was no exception. Coleman played the objectively weird queen Anne, alongside a cast of many bunny rabbits, weird moments with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz death-stare.

The Favourite tries to tell the story of the turbulent love-triangle between the three leads with a backdrop of a raging war between the English and French thrones. The awkwardness of the story wasn’t too well complimented by the confusing cuts but is saved by a slow-burning, albeit confusing, narrative. Some nice camera direction, and finally the bizarrely entertaining, but again confusing, actions and motives of the characters.

Really, if I had to choose between this historical drama or the more recent Mary, Queen of Scots, I’d chose The Favourite anyway. You can read my review of Mary, Queen of Scots now.

The Green book, 9/10
For director Peter Farrelly to go from There’s something about Mary and Dumb and Dumber to making such a hard-hitting and serious film like The Green book amazes me to no end.

Based on the classical African- American pianist Don Shirley’s tour of the deep south, The Green book is a seriously deep movie that manages to somehow not take itself too seriously, delivering a bucket of laughs throughout, all the while still somehow delivering such a hard-hitting narrative.

Staring arguably the best actor in the world right now Mahershala Ali as Dr. Shirley and the king himself, Viggo Mortenson as Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga.

Their onscreen presence is remarkable from start to finish. Delivery of the banter feels natural, with none of that cringe-forced rubbish. Basically, if you are going to watch any film on this list right now, I’d pick this one. Then Stan & Ollie.

Escape Room, 6/10
Escape rooms are not everyone cup of tea. They’re more like coffee – you like it or hate it. Anyone who says they love coffee is probably lying, by the way.

I enjoyed Adam Robitel’s Escape room for what it is – a saw-style film that you know is inevitably full of unlikeable characters and some questionable decisions. Does that make it a bad movie? Nope. It was actually enjoyable. Not scary as such, but it did have me cringing in one or two select paces.

That’s because Escape room manages to play on at least one of the audiences individuals ‘death fears’ – falling from heights, freezing, being crushed *Shudders*.

Cast-wise, Logan Miller was starring which was nice. I’ve always seen Logan Miller as this actor that just kind of turns up on set, probably not really knowing who he’s playing, so he just plays himself. Much like the film itself, that doesn’t make it a bad thing.

There were a lot of films released this Winter and I regrettably didn’t manage to catch them all – damn you, important life priorities. So, it goes without saying that there were many more films of note released during this time.

Some ‘honourable mentions’ are How to train your dragon: The Hidden World, Mary Queen of Scots, Alita: Battle Angel, Welcome to Marwen, and Bumblebee.

Which movie was your favourite Winter-flick? Let us know by tweeting @waterfront!

By Alexander John Udraufksi-Osborne.


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