Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I have had a very busy week with my podcasts and other responsibilities. Of course you know that means some more of my mini-reviews!
Follow the Light
First up is a film from Japan called Follow the Light that I saw virtually as part of the Fantasia Film Festival. This is the kind of sci-fi I enjoy that’s sweet and gentle in its characters and messaging. It also doesn’t over-stay its welcome at under 2 hours.
The film tells the story of a young man named Akira who is trying to fit in a new school in a rural town that is falling apart. One day returning from school he notices crop circles and a girl named Maki is laying inside one of them.
The journey the 2 characters go on is beautifully filmed with a great score which reminded me of what Radwimps did in Your Name. It also had moments between Akira and his father that reminded me of a Kor-eeda film.
In a festival with lots of gore and horror Follow the Light is a welcome surprise. It does take a while to get going so don’t give up on it!
8 out of 10
Paw Patrol: The Movie
I am not very familiar with the Paw Patrol television series but I know enough to know it is for pre-k children under the age of 5. I am sure there will be a fair share of grown up people ranting and raving about this film. However, I enjoyed what this film. The animation is a definite upgrade from what I’ve seen in the show and the action is well done.
The best part of Paw Patrol: the Movie is the message of teamwork and accepting ourselves flaws and all. Many kids will be able to relate with Chase and his insecurities and Liberty and her desire to be part of the team. It’s a cute movie kids will enjoy and parents will find tolerable. I appreciate the villain had a Saturday morning cartoon buffoonery about him. That was fun.
6 out of 10
Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist
In this documentary we go through Kon’s filmography and look into how each film was made and the influence it had over other films. It includes testimonials from many other directors including Darren Aronofsky, Mamoru Hosoda and more. It might have been nice to learn about Kon’s upbringing and start into film but still for fans of Kon or anime it’s a must see.
This is also part of Fantasia Fest virtual screening 2021.
8 out of 10
The Last Letter from Your Lover
I actually wasn’t planning on watching this movie because it is based on a novel by Jojo Moyes who I can’t stand but I was asked for a podcast to give it a look. In the end, the cast elevates this material but it still drags on for far too long to recommend.
It tells the story of 2 women played by Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley separated by many years. Jones finds some love letters between Woodley’s character and her lover (as the title would imply) from the 1940s. The chemistry between all the couples doesn’t work and there isn’t enough of a compelling story to draw the viewer in. It does pick up a bit in the last act but I found it mostly quite dull.
4 out of 10
Resort to Love
Resort to Love is another Netflix rom-com that’s stuffed full of beautiful people at a beautiful beach but the script let’s them all down. My biggest problem is the humor is too broad and silly for the story it is telling. I found myself cringing more than I was laughing.
Christina Milian is an engaging actress and in a better script she can be great. I even enjoyed her previous effort for Netflix entitled Falling Inn Love. That was a sweet silly rom-com. This tries to hard with the antics and silliness for my taste.
4 out of 10
So there you have it. What have you been watching lately? I’ve got a lot of screenings coming up so get ready for more reviews. Thanks tons!