June in film: My recommendations

In the Heights

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The cinemas are back open and there’s lots of exciting releases coming up this month!

So without further ado, here are my top recommendations for June (released in cinemas unless stated otherwise):

A Quiet Place Part II

Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe and Millicent Simmonds are back for more in this sequel to the amazing 2018 horror. This one continues right where that first film finishes off and follows the Abbott family as they try to find a new home. Expect more jumps and plenty of unsettling tension as they encounter the monsters, which hunt by sound. My review is already live, check it out here. Released: 3rd June.

The Father

This release is supremely delayed but you’ll finally be able to find out why Anthony Hopkins well and truly deserved his Best Actor Oscar win! His performance as a man suffering from dementia is absolutely devastating and if the final 10 minutes don’t reduce you to tears then you have a heart of stone! This film is clever and deliberately disorientating to put us in the shoes of somebody with dementia. Can’t recommend enough. Here’s my review. Released: 11th June.

In the Heights

I loved Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s stage musical so I’m very excited about the movie adaptation, directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu! This film tells the story of different characters living in the Washington Heights neighbourhood of New York City, and judging by the trailer, I’m going to love every second of it. Cannot wait to see all the singing and dancing on the big screen! Released: 18th June.

Luca

I always expect a very high standard from Pixar’s films and so I have high hopes for Luca, an animation based in 1950s Italy. It tells the story of best friends Luca and Alberto who are both hiding a secret – they’re sea monsters! It looks so good! Released on Disney+ (with no premium fee): 18th June.

F9

The ninth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise looks set to be the most ridiculous one yet! But wouldn’t you be disappointed if they went for realism instead of defying the laws of physics?! Blockbusters are certainly back in business. Newcomer John Cena joins the franchise as Vin Diesel‘s onscreen brother and nemesis. Released: 24th June.

Supernova

Now for something a little different. This lovely drama stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as Sam and Tusker, a couple who go on a trip in an RV to visit their favourite spots and people before Tusker deteriorates further in his battle with dementia. Two dementia films in one month! I saw this at the London Film Festival and cried so I’d definitely recommend tissues for this one. Here’s my LFF review. Released: 25th June.

There are other honourable mentions coming up, including Dream Horse, In the Earth, Land, Shiva Baby, Nobody, and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

A Quiet Place Part II: Film Review

A Quiet Place Part II

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

I loved the first A Quiet Place, I gave it a full five stars and thought it was a terrific horror, so I was cautious about this sequel because I didn’t think it was necessary and I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the standard of the first one.

Following a cool prequel-style prologue, the main action takes place right where the first film ended and it is now day 474 in their new world, which is dominated by monsters with an acute sense of hearing so everybody has to be as quiet as possible to survive. The Abbotts – Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her children Marcus (Noah Jupe) and Regan (Millicent Simmonds) (plus baby) – must find somewhere new to live and come across a warehouse which their old friend Emmett (Cillian Murphy) calls home. While there, Regan comes across a radio channel that only plays Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin and becomes convinced the song is a signal so sets off to find the location of the transmission on an island a couple of days’ walk away.

What I loved about 2018’s A Quiet Place was that it was taut, focused and concentrated on one family and their experience of the monster apocalypse. It was inevitable that the sequel would expand and explore the world surrounding them more, but as a result, it becomes more sprawling, the pace is slower and the film has to cut back and forth between different characters and storylines and it just lacks that special magic that made the first film so awesome.

And number two, once again directed by John Krasinski, essentially feels like a bridge between number one and number three. A third hasn’t been announced yet but it is inevitably going to happen since this one basically has no ending. Outside of the incredible, thrilling opening flashback, the action just continues on from the first film and then stops after 90+ minutes even though it felt like it should carry on – there is so much more story left to tell. It didn’t feel like a satisfying conclusion. This sequel is basically just the one that gets them from point A to B and sets up the next storyline, which is apparent from this “ending”.

All this criticism makes it seem like I didn’t like it but that’s not the case. I just wanted it to be better because I liked the first one so much. I found this one less scary in a horror sense, even though there were a couple of good jumps, and more of an unsettling thriller, which was very effective at getting my heart pumping and making me feel tense every time they slowly tried to avoid making any noise is a potentially loud situation.

Simmonds was the emotional heart of the first film and she’s the star of the show here, without a doubt. She has the most exciting storyline, the one that pushes the narrative forwards, and she has such a compelling presence. I liked Regan’s partnership with Emmett and how they learned to communicate without him knowing sign language. Blunt felt side-lined somewhat. She really didn’t have much to do, which is a shame because she had the central role last time. Jupe is a very talented young actor and he does well with what he’s given, while Murphy is ace as what is essentially the kids’ new father figure. Also, Djimon Hounsou makes a small but important appearance and keep an eye out for Scoot McNairy, who looks barely recognisable in his role.

I had a great time watching A Quiet Place Part II but it failed to live up to the standard of its predecessor and I felt disappointed that it wasn’t enough of a standalone story.

In cinemas from Thursday 3rd June

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Honey Boy: Film Review

You think you know Shia LaBeouf – given that he’s been in the spotlight since he was a child and has been in the headlines for his run-ins with the police in recent years – but when you watch his biographical film Honey Boy you’ll realise you had no idea.

[Read more…]

Top Films for December

It’s finally here. We are in the last month of 2019! And we’re set to go out with a bang, judging by the films that are coming up. Here’s a rundown of the releases I’m most excited for this month:

[Read more…]

Honey Boy: LFF Film Review

You think you know Shia LaBeouf – given that he’s been in the spotlight since he was a child and has been in the headlines for his run-ins with the police in recent years – but when you watch his biographical film Honey Boy you’ll realise you had no idea.

[Read more…]

A Quiet Place: Film Review

I have shied away from horrors in recent years but I had to check out A Quiet Place because I love Emily Blunt and was intrigued about her teaming up with her real-life husband John Krasinski, who directs, co-writes and co-stars, and I’m glad I did because it’s not just a good horror, it’s a good movie in general.

[Read more…]

Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

We were at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards at London’s May Fair Hotel tonight and stars including Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Florence Pugh, and Hugh Grant hit the red carpet. See my pics inside!

[Read more…]

Wonder: Film Review

If you’re after a nice, sweet, heartwarming story that might make you well up, then Wonder is exactly what you need.

[Read more…]

Suburbicon: Film Review

Suburbicon

I felt confident about Suburbicon – what with it being directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore – until the bad reviews came out following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. I didn’t let that faze me as I wanted it to be good and I went in full of hope – and came away miffed about the mixed bag I had witnessed.

[Read more…]