Just the Verdict #4 | John Wick: Chapter 2, Kong: Skull Island, La La Land, Logan, Moonlight and We Are X

John Wick 2 posterJohn Wick: Chapter 2

There’s a very simple way to know if you’ll enjoy Chapter 2, and that is to ask yourself whether or not you enjoyed the first one.

This is, thankfully in our opinion, more of what made the first one a breath of fresh air. It’s a slick neo-noir thriller, with some nice set pieces, good camerawork. In never outstays it’s welcome and it very enjoyable.


Kong Skull Island posterKong: Skull Island

The latest monster movie is a reboot of a franchise that, in the West at least, was still lumbering under the weight of negativity aimed at Peter Jackson’s 2005 blockbuster. Whilst Kong: Skull Island is unoriginal, it is an entertaining spectacle. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson do what they can with the script, and the support is pretty decent. Samuel L. Jackson hams it up a bit as an Ahab-like antagonist too.

It’s part of the same movie universe as the 2014 Godzilla film. Hopefully the next entries are more like this than that.


La La Land posterLa La Land

Damien Chezelle’s  first film since the amazing Whiplash (the Fake Geeks film of the year)  is a musical set in Hollywood, about chasing your dreams.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are very good in the lead roles, and the songs are mostly good. The story meanders a smidge, but the ending is pretty darn good.


Logan posterLogan

Hugh Jackman’s swansong as (mostly) everyone’s favourite X-Men is a violent, moving denouement.

Deliberately paced, without dragging, this is the weightiest, meatiest and deepest ‘superhero’ story for a long while. Every bit worthy of the praise it has received, it is a must watch for fans.


Moonlight posterMoonlight

The winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture (eligible for the FG Films of the Year Awards for 2017), Moonlight is an excellently made film with some strong performances.

It is only really held back by a story that, besides it in itself being a coming-of-age film, doesn’t offer much you haven’t seen before.


We Are X posterWe Are X

For those who do not know them, X-Japan are one of the biggest bands in Japanese music history. They formed in the early 80s, split in the late 90s, and reformed again in 2007. This documentary mixed interviews with the band members (who give us a whistle stop tour of the band’s history), whilst we see the band prepare for a massive sold out show at Madison Square Garden.

If you’re remotely interested in hard rock, then this makes for compelling viewing. Yoshiki is an interesting and emotional bandleader who deeply cares for his band and the members of it.




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