FELINE FILMS | MAY 2016

Collin Cougar's August 2017 Movie Reviews

Folks, it has been too long.  I know you have had a hankering for more movie reviews from your old friend, Collin, and that is just what I aim to deliver.  Since it has been a while, let’s go with two movies I had planned on talking about a while ago.

Both movies were labors of love that took years of work to get pushed across the finish line.  Both were made for budgets that were significantly smaller than would be normal for their ilk.  I suppose you could classify them both as “Science Fiction” but, let me tell you, these are two opposites.  Either is a great way to spend an evening not doing your homework.

Deadpool (2016) [R]
Deadpool (2016) PosterSo, let’s start with the controversial one first.  Not the controversial movie, but the review.

Deadpool is certainly a breath of fresh air.  It brings a sense of vitality to a genre of movies that usually stick to a tried and tested formula.  For that, I applaud all of the fine folks who put Deadpool together.

It was also clearly a labor of love.  Watching the movie, it becomes abundantly clear that the star, Ryan Reynolds, is completely committed to the character of Deadpool.  While he is not listed as a writer, the movie feels as if it were custom made for Reynolds and his acting style.

The thing is, it felt like the story was lacking a bit and I think the filmmakers missed an opportunity to get viewers emotionally interested in their main character.  I loved the non-linear story line and I don’t think putting it in order would help.  I just didn’t care about the character of Deadpool and was therefore not invested in his quest to save his love. I feel like the film makers wanted to have it both ways.  “We want him to be a charming, ruthless killer who doesn’t care about human life.  Well, except for his girlfriend. And his buddy, the bartender.  And his favorite cab driver . . .   He’s an anti-hero but he’s also the hero and we want to make sure people like him, so don’t make him too ruthless but keep his edge.”

That being said, Deadpool is very entertaining and is certainly one of the better “comic book movies” I have seen in a while.  If you are a fan of the comic, you’ll be a fan of the movie.  If you are a fan of Ryan Reynolds, you’ll be a fan of the movie.  It’s pretty good.  I just didn’t think it was great.

7.5 paws out of 10

Cargo (2009) [UK 12 so let’s say PG-13]

Cargo (2009) PosterI’ve actually been waiting to review this one.  My friend introduced me to Cargo a while ago and I thought it was fantastic.  But I wanted to wait until they added it to Netflix streaming (and DVD) before I brought it out here.  If you can get it on BluRay, do so. You won’t regret it.

Cargo is the first science fiction film to be made in Switzerland. It took them eight years to make and cost around $4.5 million dollars.  Honestly, I have no idea how they made a movie this gorgeous for $4.5 million dollars.  It was cheaper to make this movie than buy an ad during the Super Bowl this year and it looks better than Hollywood films that cost 10 times that amount.

The story is set in 2270, when the  Earth is depleted and uninhabited.  The rich have moved to the planet, Rhea, while the rest of the population lives in cramped space stations. Dr. Laura Portmann has decided to work on a cargo ship that is transporting freight to a remote station in deep space so she can raise money to meet her sister on Rhea.  She is the only person awake on the ship as the rest of the crew is in cryosleep.  But as she does her daily patrols, she starts to think that maybe she’s not the only person awake after all.

The setup is a fairly common trope, but it is the delivery and atmosphere that really make this movie for me.  The performances are universally good (even if you don’t speak German).  It has a good story that is helped by superb visuals.  It has action, suspense, horror and it will make you think.  I was quite pleasantly surprised when I saw this and I really think you will be too.  Here’s a link to the trailer.  Give it a shot and then fire up Netflix.  Trust your old buddy, Collin, on this one.

8 paws out of 10

As always, if you have a movie you think I should check out or you want to talk further about one of these reviews, drop me a line at collincougar@collin.edu or leave me a message on Facebook.

 

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