Monday, January 15, 2018

Paddington 2






 


In 2015, Writer/Director Paul King’s Paddington was the first of only three films I gave a rating of 5 out of 5.

I’m happy to report that his Paddington 2 is as delightful as the original and, in some respects, is even sweeter.

The plot by King and Co-Writers Michael Bond and Simon Farnaby concerns Paddington’s (voice of Ben Whishaw) desire to find a perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy (voice of Imelda Staunton), who raised him and still lives back in the jungle where he was born.
 
An antique pop-up book with representations of 12 famous London landmarks seems to be the perfect gift.  However, it is very expensive and that prompts Paddington to take on jobs, all of which are disastrous. 

When a dastardly magician, delightfully played by Hugh Grant, steals the book, knowing that it holds the key to a hidden treasure, Paddington is falsely convicted of the crime and that is when the fun goes into a non-stop comic romp.



Paddington 2 is perfect entertainment for people of all ages and, like its predecessor, is the first film of the year that I’m giving a 5 out of 5.

The Commuter











I enjoy Liam Neeson’s action films more than his more “serious” work (outside of Love Actually) and Director Juame Collet-Serra’s The Commuter has a lot of enjoyable action.

However, despite my extremely large capacity for suspension of disbelief, the story/script by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle, went, outside of one fine Spartacus-style scene, so far beyond the realm of possibility that, at one point, I had to just sit back and enjoy the action without any regard to what was happening plot-wise.
 
If you like Neeson and action over story, this might be a film for you.

I give The Commuter a 3 out of 5.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Phantom Thread










Writer/Producer/Director/Cinematographer Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is a strangely haunting film that is both maudlin, yet extremely sensual, thanks to Vicky Krieps, who is beautiful in a plain, but perfect way.

Vicky plays a waitress with an inner strength, yet a poor view of herself, that begins to be overcome, when a sour-hearted clothing designer (Daniel Day Lewis) brings her into his domain as his muse.

Thanks to the music of Composer Jonny Greenwood, Anderson’s Cinematography and Mark Tildesley’s Production Design what might have been a television event is an excellent filmic production.

Supposedly, this is Daniel Day Lewis’s last film, but I hope it is the blossoming of Vicky Kriep’s career.

The story may challenge your values, but it resolves your sentiments in a most interesting way.

Phantom Thread is for intelligent viewers and gets a 4 out of 5.