Film Round-Up: Fall, Blonde and Hocus Pocus 2

Right then, movies.

Fall

Two girls climb a giant television tower not long after one of their partners has died during a climb. While the big lure to this film is this quite incredible climb up a 2000ft pole, that’s just the backdrop for a simple personal story about grief. Not just normal grief, but grief for someone you loved despite a whole lot of red flags telling you to get out of that. It executes this idea really well, with the two actors doing a great job with a story that if not for the tower, probably could be done in a play. The letdown is that the technical details of this film aren’t there. The green screen can be very poor at times which takes you out of the story and the sound mixing can drown out some of the dialogue, which is really frustrating as it happens during one of the film’s key scenes. Despite this, it’s a really solid drama that takes advantage of its unique backdrop.

Blonde

This is the life story of Marilyn Monroe as she becomes the most famous person in the world despite her past haunting her. I’m not sure if I’ve seen a worse movie than this simply because it ticks every box on the bad movie list. Is the plot nonsensical? Check. Is the pace and editing as if it’s a bad piracy evading cut on YouTube? Check. Does it have pretensions of thinking it’s something amazing and throws things for film scholars without bothering to make sure the foundation of the film is good? Check. is it exploitative of a real person and real issues, in this case abortion and rape, something in which recent news has made people more sensitive to the issue? Check. Does it last for three bloody hours in order to make the pain continue for as long as possible? Check. I’ve encountered a lot of bad movies, but they usually don’t check as many boxes as this. The only good thing about this movie is Ana de Armas is giving it her all, but that winds me up more that she’s being wasted in a movie that just offends the senses. In the end, Blonde is a nasty exploitative film that think it’s the great new biopic but instead ends up being the sort of disaster Marilyn would never have touched.

Hocus Pocus 2

Becca and Izzy accidentally bring back the Salem witches after doing a ritual in the woods and must stop them before they take revenge on the town’s mayor. The first Hocus Pocus was an of its time coming of age story, just with Bette Midler chewing scenery with the appropriate teeth for the job. It’s a likable movie which has continued to get more and more popular, hence this movie. And Hocus Pocus 2 does exactly what it needs to do. It offers a new story which lends itself to Bette Midler and co overacting and getting the opportunity to do mad song numbers, which were the best parts of the original and the best part of this movie as well. You also get some likable new characters and a plot that if predictable, is at least pacey and fairly enjoyable. Attempts to make the villains sympathetic are pointless as the fun is in them just enjoying being evil, and nothing’s as ever fun as when the witches are on screen. But if you enjoyed the original, you’ll enjoy this too and that is the point.

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A Guy Who Talks About Movies

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