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Film Reviews: Week 4 (Jan 22-28)

Major apologies about the lack of posts in the past week. I have been swarmed with work and also spending time with family and friends. Due to this, I only got to see two films that I wanted to and I am still to see Maze Runner: The Death Cure as well as Coco. These should be seen within the next two weeks though (hopefully). The two films that I saw last week were both cinema releases and were interesting to say the least.

The Commuter

I have never seen a movie starring Liam Neeson. I haven’t been interested in the likes of Taken or Non-Stop. What drew me to watch The Commuter was not only the setting of a train, but also the casting of Vera Farmiga. I am a huge fan of Bates Motel and she is fantastic in that, so when I saw that she was in this film I was very intrigued.

This film is definitely interesting. Watching this film was very overwhelming due to the amount of storylines and action that was crammed into 100 minutes. Yet even though there was so much going on, there were scenes that felt like nothing was happening and dragged on. The set-up was well executed and necessary to the main plot of the story, and also added reasoning to Neeson’s character for decisions made later on.

I also liked the idea of the train. Not only is it an interesting place to set majority of the film due to the moving aspect and separate carriages, but also the idea that people on the train are regular commuters an that helps Neeson decide who is the person he was looking for. There was one scene in particular where the action fight seemed to flow all in one shot and it was well executed.

The plot is so unrealistic and unbelievable. It took me out of the story to see such dramatic events happening at weirdly specific timing. That is especially the case in the bus crash moment, where the timing seems too good to be true.

There were also three or four plots that were occurring at the same time and it started to get clustered. With family issues, drama on the train and a court case also being intertwined together and trying to connect as one, the flow of the film was not as smooth as it could have been.

This is definitely an interesting take on a film, but I think the execution was not the best. The acting was well done, but there is not much to attach to the characters to care much apart from Neeson. It isn’t a bad film to say the least, but it also isn’t the greatest.



Anyone who knows me knows that this has been on my most anticipated films for a long time. I saw the trailer and was drawn into the concept and how unique it was. I am also a huge fan of Matt Damon and Neil Patrick Harris so seeing them connected to this project got me excited and my hopes were very high.
If you have read the reviews of Downsizing, you will know that it is very different from how the trailers perceived it to be. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is almost disappointing. I still really enjoyed this film, and I plan to see it again without the bias of the trailer to influence me, but I can see why a lot of people are disliking this film.
Instead of the light comedy that the trailer influences, it is more of a drama that discusses issues such as economy and social impact. Alexander Payne created a film about how the environment is dying and a concept (downsizing) would help the environment.
What works for this film are the characters. Paul (Damon) is extremely likeable and is simply a person trying to figure out how to make the most of his life. He has always been fascinated by the idea of downsizing and when he goes through the procedure, he goes on a journey to learn more about the meaning of life.
The stand out character however is Hong Chau as Ngoc. Her ideas of the world are so out there and her portrayal is fantastic. I was laughing whenever she would start speaking as she is so likeable and believable. 
I feel this movie could have had better reception if it was advertised better. This seems to be the case in Hollywood now, especially since mother! suffered the same issues. Just because a movie’s ideologies doesn’t seem marketable doesn’t mean false advertising is needed to make it sell.

This week has been an interesting week in terms of films, and I hope next week’s viewings are better. Tomorrow (Thursday 1st February) I will be posting a new blog post about the Oscar nominations, the snub of James Franco and the success of Get Out, and discussing why I think Three Billboards will be the big winner of the night.
Until Thursday, that was some film for thought.

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