Film Round-Up: Candyman, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Old
Artist Anthony McCoy finds out about the legend of the Candyman and becomes obsessed. Anyone who goes ‘hurr durr politics shouldn’t be in my horror movies’ are idiots because politics have always been part of horror movies. Candyman is probably the most overtly political as this reboot looks to make the most of the fact Candyman was a black slasher villain which wasn’t exactly common. How well you like this movie depends on how much you like the integration of the politics into the horror. For me, it’s hit and miss. For sure, it adds a lot more depth to the film and with everything that has happened over the last two years with Black Lives Matters, the film does have extra meaning. But on the other hand some of it doesn’t mix that well and the film’s horror scenes often feels tacked on, with the school bathroom scene feeling very out of place compared to everything else happening in the film. I appreciate the attempt from this film but it only partially sticks the landing.
Dear Evan Hansen
Evan Hansen accidentally becomes close with a family who lost their son to suicide as they mistakenly believe he was their son’s best friend. I don’t know how this plays on the West End and Broadway but this story is irredeemable for the main character. He goes along with pretending to be the best friend of a dead boy so he can get with his sister. That’s the plot and it’s hard to really sympathise and go with the story’s morals when this is our lead. To make it worse, Evan is obviously a 30-year-old plus man and not a teenager. This gets even worse when everyone else either looks like a teenager or is one. So you have an adult masquerading as a teenager using a dead son to get with a teenage girl. Ugh. Add onto this the sound mixing means you can’t hear the lyrics to the songs, you have a musical which makes the creation of Cats seem sane.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Teenager Jamie wants to be a drag queen but he’ll have to overcome his self-confidence issues and bigoted family members before he can do that. Now if you want a musical about a teenager going through some tough times at school, this is the one to watch. And I’m not just biased because this was set and filmed about a mile away from where I live, though that does help. This is just a feel good musical which is just enjoyable to watch. There are plenty of catchy songs, the musical sequences are done in a stylistic way which will catch your attention and there are plenty of fun performances on display, especially a very game Richard E Grant who steals the show as an aging drag queen who plays mentor to Jamie. The story is predictable and it’s as standard musical as you can get, but sometimes that’s what you want and this hits that hole just right.
A group of holidaymakers end up on a beach which speeds up the process of aging, meaning they only have a short amount of time to escape or they’ll die. Did you think that Split might mean M Night. Shyamalan would finally realise the potential he showed with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable? Nope, we’re back to the crap that made him a joke! An interesting premise which is ruined by everything that makes up a movie. So that is some incredibly stilted acting, performances which are more wooden than a oak tree and the plot completely stalls after everything is revealed. I get the feeling that this idea might be better suited to a short film than it is a full length movie. This is probably one of Shyamalan’s duller efforts because seriously the film completely loses track of what it’s doing halfway through, but also one of his most frustrating as he recently revealed that he isn’t a complete hack. This film will age like milk.