Saturday movie posts are fast becoming my favourite posts to write, even though I’m not entirely sure that anyone actually reads them. Writing reviews is something I’ve done since I studied film at university and something that I should really aim to do more of, given that I really enjoy it!
Anyway, let’s get into it – the movies I’ve been watching this week!
Captain America: Civil War
Technically it’s over a week since I ventured to the cinema to see Civil War , but it’s worth a mention anyway, because it was awesome.
Captain America: Civil War plot
Political interference in the Avengers activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
I wrote a review about Captain America: Civil War earlier in the week, but it does contain a ridiculous amount of spoilers. So if you want to avoid spoilers, I’ll simply say:
Captain America: Civil War is by far the most polished and brilliant superhero film to date. I strongly urge you to go to the cinema tonight – treat yourself, grab a burger, a few beers and enjoy it.
10/10. Simple as that.
As stated previously, I love Melissa McCarthy, so it does bother me that whenever I watch one of her movies, I know that reading a review before or after, I’m going to be met with something or someone that openly discredits her in some way, shape or form.
The same publications that have openly attacked McCarthy’s weight, then go on to chastise her for making a comedy movie based on the fact that she’s focusing on her weight negatively. Or, there’s someone who will state that her brand of comedy is stale: another movie where she is foul mouthed and overweight? BORING, change the record!! Yet, Will Ferrell’s comedy hasn’t changed for decades – neither has Ben Stiller’s – yet no one brandishes quite an axe to grind against them, as they do with McCarthy.
After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.
In short, I really enjoyed Tammy. While the movie focused on the image that McCarthy herself has created and allowed herself to be perpetually typecast in, I think that it was executed most successfully and heart warmingly in Tammy.
The movie introduces itself by painting the titular character in a truly sorry light; the tone is, undoubtedly suggesting, that the audience needs to pity this character – not sympathise or empathise with – pity. It is clear from the outset that Tammy’s character is brash and has an over-inflated sense of self, executed through her cocky attitude and seeming disdain for the everyone around her, once her world comes crashing down: within the first few scenes, she loses her job and returns home to find that her husband has been engaged in a long-term affair with a neighbour.
In these first few scenes, Tammy continues the perpetuation of the over-inflated sense of self and brash commentary to those she shares the screen with. However, in a touching flicker of a moment, Tammy’s true self is exposed: the camera pans to a photograph of Tammy and her husband during better days – her appearance is clean and well-kept, which soon puts her brash exterior in her current reality into harsh perspective – or at least it did for me: the dishevelled appearance and behaviour elicits sympathy, because its ultimate aim is to hide the intense vulnerability of Tammy’s personality that her husband’s affair truly exemplifies: Tammy wants to be accepted and loved – and in her current existence – she truly hasn’t been accepted or appreciated for who she is at her core.
The movie truly begins when McCarthy’s Tammy decides to go on a journey with her Grandmother, Susan Sarandon’s Pearl and the rest of the movie hinges on the well-established canon of the buddy comedy. While Tammy attempts to put her life into perspective, she has to deal with her grandmother’s nymphomania, alcoholism and ultimately, her grandmother’s own sense of self-discovery. The vehicle for Tammy’s turnaround and appreciation of self, is indeed, her own grandmother’s behaviour – and I think that it’s executed in a truly captivating manner. The two are largely similar, and it is through their similarities that Tammy’s life begins to come together.
While Tammy isn’t laugh out loud funny in every single scene, it is heart-warming and offers more genuine laughs when the comedy strikes. It’s charming and explores McCarthy’s character in a truly realistic manner. There are no frills and there are no unbelievable boundaries between realism and cinematic fantasy here (with the exception of the robbery, perhaps), and I think that this is what makes the movie so watchable and enjoyable.
I’m going to give Tammy an 8/10. While I thought it was charming and funny, there are elements of Ben Falcone’s direction that I simply don’t like – particularly given that his protagonist is his wife.
The Wizard of Oz
Whenever I feel unwell – or am feeling dramatic and sorry for myself – I’ll put on an old movie. I’ve been having pretty bad headaches most of the week, so I decided to watch The Wizard of Oz.
The Wizard of Oz: Plot
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.
The Wizard of Oz is – without a doubt – a childhood staple that follows generation after generation as a piece of Hollywood golden age history that never gets old. Whether you’re an avid movie fan or not, I feel that anyone who has seen it knows that The Wizard of Oz acts as a pivotal backdrop to childhood and offers a sense of reminiscence each time it is viewed; we all can pinpoint the exact moment in our childhoods when we first witnessed the cinematic marvel that was the initial transition from boring black and white, to marvellous and glorious Technicolor, which marked the moment our journey into Oz was first established.
I’ve always found that Dorothy’s exploration into Oz offers far more than a simple journey, but a powerful message regarding Dorothy’s own sense of self. As discovered with the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion – the aspect of each self that they thought was fundamentally missing, were demonstrably present, yet simply went unacknowledged. As Dorothy progresses through the movie, she loses a lot of her childhood and we see her transition into a young adult.
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that some of the most touching moments in the movie can be attributed to Dorothy’s own sense of self-discovery – namely her empathy and ability to comprehend and appreciate the feelings of others. Executed through the vehicles of her supporting actors, each show aspects of Dorothy’s personality that grow as she traverses through the fantastical landscape of Oz: her empathy, her sympathy, her wisdom and her courage.
The Wizard of Oz is, undoubtedly, one of the best musicals ever created and holds a truly special place in my heart. Its captivating score and breath taking scenery is so unbelievably beautiful, that it’s truly hard to believe that it was first released in 1939. It’ s a timeless classic if there ever truly was one, and will forever hold a truly special place in my heart.
10/10. Without a doubt; I could watch it again now.