Collateral Beauty

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MCollateral Beauty

Director: David Franel

Writer: Alan Loeb

Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley; Jacob Latimore.

Who doesn’t love watching an intricate set of dominoes fall?  But when I realised this was the disintegration of Howard’s (Will Smith) heart, the final crash of those dominoes took on a new meaning.

After the death of his daughter, Howard is falling apart.  He does nothing but set up those dominoes only to watch them fall.

Once a successful advertising guru, the company is starting to fail because advertising is built on relationships so when the guru falls, so does the company.

Howard exclaims in a speech at the beginning of the film, the 3 truths of life: Death, Love and Time.

So when his daughter dies, it’s the 3 truths he writes to – posting a letter to each, expressing grief and anger that his daughter has been taken from him.

I don’t know why I always go into a Will Smith film with a cringe.  I know he has that frank, openess that has a way to pull the heart strings, and the cast had to be amazing to pull this script into a realm of belief.  And you just know you’re going in for a tear-jerker which I’m not a fan of.  But at this time of year when maybe you’ve had a health scare, or the family’s not quite right, it’s nice to go into that suspension of reality.

I haven’t seen Edward Norten in a film for a while and have to say I was worried when he showed up in khaki pants.  However, I bite my tongue because it got to me, this film about death and fear and love and loss and the great equaliser, time.

The soundtrack had something to do with this.  And the all-star cast.  Who else could pull off Death but Helen Mirren?

And notice I’m not going on about the directing, cinematography, costuming (although I had a few issue here with those fake blue contacts and khaki pants!) – it’s just not noticeable.

I was absorbed at the beginning with the fall of those dominoes and then held watching well-known actors dealing with stuff we all have to tackle, at some stage.

This isn’t my favourite type of film, but if you’re in the mood, Collateral Beauty is a wonderful escape.

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Suicide Squad

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Rated: MSuicide Squad

Director: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer

Starring: Will Smith, Jimenez Fitzsimons, Ike Barinholtz, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Cara Delevingne, Jai Caurtney, Joel Kimaman, Adewale Akinnuoge-Agbaje, Viola Davis, Ben Affleck, James McGowan, Jim Parrack, Ezra Miller; Jay Hernandez.

With such a huge amount of hype my expectations were duly high for Suicide Squad.

Was I impressed?

It comes down to the entertainment factor for me. Without a doubt, I was entertained.

Suicide Squad is an inverse to the usual superhero movie, where the bad guys are good and the humans, particularly Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), have become the devil incarnate to keep the human race feeling safe.

It’s a time of fear where mere mortals are faced with the idea of being over-powered. What would happen if Superman decided to take the President and drop him from the sky? No one would have been able to stop him.

To protect the human race, Amanda Waller puts together a squad of super-villains. Those with superpower but those locked away for being, well, bad. And now an Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), a genie let out of the proverbial bottle, has come to take over the world.

There are a lot of big names here, the stand outs for me: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Will Smith as Deadshot. I’m not always a fan of the Smith, but he played Deadshot well, managing to give the character warmth and depth.  There’s also a chemistry between Margot Robbie and Will Smith that works and appears genuine on film.

I have to say I was let down by the Joker (Jared Leto) after so much hype. The Joker in a film full of big characters felt crowded, but the twisted love story with Harley Quinn was a nice twist to the usual superhero love story.

The editing was conducted so even a second was counted.  A couple of jolts at the beginning and the rest of the film was seamless.  To fit so much and still give air to the story and characters, director and writer David Ayer is to be commended. And the rock’n soundtrack gave a great pace to the film.

A few gaps have to mentioned. If you don’t have prior knowledge of Suicide Squad or included characters, some of the backstory was a bit thin.  How a psychiatrist becomes a marital arts expert because she’s suddenly crazy was a stretch. And I would have liked more heart from Katana.  But more backstory of some characters would have meant cutting others.

Suicide Squad isn’t just a superhero movie, there are elements of fantasy (which I thoroughly enjoyed) put together with fun characters, a great soundtrack and a story held together enough for the film to be entertaining.