Film Round-Up: The Secret Garden, The King of Staten Island and Bill & Ted Face The Music

Let’s go do some film reviews!

The Secret Garden

Orphan girl Mary goes to live on her uncle’s manor estate and discovers a magical garden while playing. This film feels very old fashioned but in a good way. Most children’s films are now whizz-bang action because they are terrified if the pace slows for a second that their audience will go watch the latest dancing on TikTok. This film has faith in its audience that it can be slower and use an engaging story to keep everyone gripped. It’s not that good that I don’t think kids will have their attention drawn elsewhere, but it is sweet enough and has enough going for it that I can see plenty of children, and adults watching along with, falling in love with a film about other children getting through their problems by playing. It’s probably the nearest you are going to get to a Narnia film at the very least. While it’s not thrilling or particularly original, this is an ideal film to watch on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.

The King of Staten Island

Pete Davidson fails to grow up while everyone else in his life gets on with their’s. This is an insufferable film. It starts with Pete Davidson crashing into another car and then driving off, which shows you we are dealing with an incredibly selfish person. It doesn’t help that Davidson has one of the most punchable faces a leading man has had in a long time. Then because this is a Judd Apatow movie, it takes over two hours for him to start realising that yes he is very unlikable and yes he should probably start trying to change before everyone in his life decides he isn’t worth the time and effort. I’m sorry but that is way too long. I’ve spent far too much time going through unfunny jokes and Davidson trying to justify his way of living for me to start liking him because he washed a few fire engines. And yes, two and a half hours for a film marketed as a comedy is far too long. This was rubbish.

Bill & Ted Face The Music

Bill and Ted go to the future to find the song that they wrote that will change the world. I always approach sequels a long time in the making with a great deal of caution because often what happens is you dredge up something that was perfect for the time but when exposed to the cold light of the 21st Century, it can end up looking very bad. Luckily, Bill & Ted feels retro rather than outdated. Not only is it still very funny but there is much to enjoy, especially if you are big fans of the original two movies. It then avoids the other trap of just replaying its big hits and not bringing anything new to the table with the whole point of the film being to embrace the new and the future, which is certainly a nice message to have. This will not win you over to the Bill and Ted franchise if you already dislike it, which I get as the main characters are grating if you aren’t on board with it, but if you do like them, you’ll probably love it.

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

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A Guy Who Talks About Movies

A Guy Who Talks About Movies

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

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