Film Round-Up: Empire of Light, 80 for Brady and Cocaine Bear

A Guy Who Talks About Movies
3 min readJul 12, 2023

Here’s some film reviews.

Empire of Light

Hilary tries to run a cinema with her mental health struggling and a romance budding with a young staff member. This film looks to use nostalgia for it’s own benefit. The first few shots of the glamourous old-style cinema with the the vintage chocolate wrappers are designed to remind you of the ‘good old days’. But the film twists that by reminding you of the bad parts of the old days like the National Front and how we didn’t really do a good job of dealing with people’s mental health. When the film focuses on this, it’s very strong and can have a very powerful emotional effect. I also like how it takes the time to show the power of the cinema too. But I think the love story in the film is a bit odd, and never really feels right. And the movie does a lot on this and it didn’t connect with me personally. It’s a bit of a mixed bag then, strong in places but weak in others.

80 for Brady

A group of older women follow Tom Brady’s career with a passion and when what could be his last Superbowl is set to take place, they do all they can to be there. So this is part of a genre I’ve noticed growing over the last few years which is basically ‘old women doing things old women don’t usually do’. You get some veteran female actresses, notably Sally Field and Jane Fonda in this one, send them on an adventure you’d have seen graduating high school students do in the 1990s, a few rauncy jokes and emotional reveals later, you have a movie. While this one is NFL themed, with plenty of cameos to boot including Tom Brady himself, this follows these familiar patterns. The film is desperate to avoid any sort of high stakes with most problems being dealt with in ten minutes and with not much urgency. It’s never that funny, other than the odd joke that’s so bizarre it needs some sort of reaction, and it’s emotional moments feel a bit jerky. I understand that this film is for a very different audience but surely we can have better movies aimed at older people than this?

Cocaine Bear

A bear gets into some cocaine that has dropped into the woods and goes on a drug crazed killing spree. This is a Ronseal movie, it does what it says on the tin. It’s called Cocaine Bear and that’s what you get, a bear on cocaine. It has a thin plot which has just enough to drive itself and make sure various different colourful characters go face to face with a bear on a drug fuelled rampage. The bear haunts characters like it’s a slasher movie villain and then tears people apart with plenty of gore and guts. And there’s no shame about it, people in the movie directly call it a cocaine bear because why disguise it? I have absolute appreciation for a movie that knows what it is and just delivers it. Obviously this is a B-Movie and if you care or things like plot, characters and theme, you’ll be disappointed. But if you want to see a movie where a bear gets high on cocaine and slaughters everyone it sees, then wham, bam, here it is.



A Guy Who Talks About Movies

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.