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Return of the Cinema MAGIC!

I am a movie fanatic. I'm obsessed. Crazed. Possessed if you will by the power of two ish hours of plot and dialogue slammed into my face. Give it to meeeee!!

But really, I am a true movie fan.

I will watch practically anything. I will watch horror movies, followed by a chick flick and topped off with blockbuster drama as a fun Sunday afternoon. It's just what keeps me looking forward to the next day to see what enticing story they pull out next.

To add a stat to help prove my obsession it is three months into the year and I have watched, to date, 53 films, and that is singular films, no double watches allowed.

At this rate I'm going to hit somewhere close to 200 for the year which is something like (let me do some quick maths) around 16.5 entire days dedicated to filling my brain with action sequences and dialogue.

That's a lot of screen time.

But what I'm most excited for this year is the return of my one true love, the cinema. I've only recently started back up again during March but I'm planning on making 2022 my return to the movie theatre. Now, I know it never technically died but COVID definitely dampened the mood and the last two years have dragged on for a considerable length of time.

As both a Hoyts and Dendy member I have always considered the cinema a bit of a home away from home. It has always been my ideal destination for a first date (minimal talking + an easy conversation starter afterwards) and also just a fun break from life where no-one can text or call me for a few hours.

It holds a certain level of esteem in my mind, and a lot of happy memories from my childhood all the way up to now.

In today's post I really wanted to do a quick review of some of the films I've seen lately *in the cinema* because no-one wants to read a review of all 53 films that I've watched so far... right? I'm more than happy to do it if you want. Just lemme know! But I digress.

So far this year I have watched four films in theatres.

All four were pretty fantastic but I thought I'd give you a rundown of my thoughts in case you were pondering whether to spend the $20 to go see them in theatre and wanted a quick check-in before you cash-in. These are spoiler free reviews and I tried to be impartial without applying any history or personal preference that might impact my review, so here goes.

I'll skip over Dune quickly because I'm well aware this came out last year and I am very very late to the party and I'm also sure most people have already seen it.

I really enjoyed Dune for the most part. It was definitely one you should watch in a cinema, preferably wide screen and seated in the direct centre. The sound was phenomenal, the plot was pretty followable and the characters were all pretty fantastic. I think the length was reasonable for the amount of information it tried to convey although a bathroom break may be needed.

The visuals were simply stunning. There was at least three moments where I caught myself with an open mouth and wide eyes just in awe of what I was seeing. I would definitely recommend seeing this film if you haven't already. It makes complete sense that it won so many Oscars.

The Batman was all I had hoped for. I was sceptical given the overdone nature of the batman franchise but I think this film brought a fresh new take to the past decade of batman related films (sorry Ben, you just don't do it for me as a superhero!) This film showcased a side of Bruce Wayne that is, I feel, often overlooked. His moody emo attitude is a core part of his tortured outlook on life and this film encapsulated that perfectly.

This had a core 'who dun it' plot line that I think is needed after years of heavy action superhero movies. I liked seeing batman as a bit more of a detective as opposed to a pumped up vigilante (although the fight scenes were pretty stellar).

I definitely think they could've comfortably shaved off twenty minutes of dialogue but as a whole it was engaging, clever and visually impeccable. I would recommend seeing this in theatres instead of waiting till it comes out on DVD. The soundtrack is fantastic and the visuals are better seen on the big screen.

Unchartered was exactly what you expect it to be. Much the same as 'Jungle Cruise' with the Rock it's a pretty stock standard adventure tale with some big name actors, a mediocre bad guy and a bunch of epic stunts always chasing some lost treasure or another. I enjoyed it for what it was though.

There was no confusion and there is sure to be a sequel because it'll make enough money to fund it. I found the accents laughable though so as long as you skip over that and don't think too deeply about the complete inconceivable nature of some of the plot points this is a very watchable and enjoyable film. Fun for the whole family indeed. Plus some bonus shirtless action with Tom Holland (who has clearly been doing some prep work) and classic marky mark with his half an eyebrow raised look.

You could probably save the cash on this one and save it for a long-haul flight or even a Sunday rainy afternoon. It serves it's purpose as a film but it definitely doesn't need the spectacle of the cinema attached to enjoy it.

Finally, the latest instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. It's worth noting that I started as a bit of a sceptic of the FB franchise. As a die-hard Harry Potter fan I despised the idea of an off-shoot series that was still in the same realm as the series I loved so much. But once I finally got over my boycotting and sat down to watch the first two I was pleasantly surprised.

This latest instalment is exactly what I had expected in a way. The way that magic is shown in these films has always been one of my favourite things about the HP universe. Because magic is just magical and seeing the wands and the spells on the big screen just gives me such a thrill. Not to mention, this film returned to Hogwarts and simply because of that fact I loved it more than the film that preceded it. HP has always been about the school to me and those elements were lovely to see in this film.

I thought the story was a little mediocre. The assembly of a rag tag team off to slay the bad guy and celebrate their shocking success feels a little over done to me. Especially off of the back of over a decade of marvel movies following the same plot points.

I thought Mikkelsen was a believable Grindelwald but I felt a tug in my heartstrings at the way Dumbledore's relationship with him could've been portrayed had Johnny Depp still been cast. It would of felt a little more believable to me, but I think that's a personal take. Mikkelsen's character certainly oozed charm and sophistication and sold me on why so many would've been entranced by his motives.

Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable film. Without revealing spoilers this won't be the last one in the series, but I think that comes as a shock to absolutely no-one. The money train just keeps on rolling through the magical station.

I'm definitely still on board.

And that's a wrap.

Till next time,

Rhi xx

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