The best film that I saw last month, by a good country mile, was Fall. This 2022 movie tells the story of best friends Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner) who climb 2,000 feet to the top of a remote, abandoned radio tower, and find themselves stranded with no way down. Becky and Hunter have to survive the elements, thirst, and the vertigo-inducing heights in this surprisingly good thriller. I won’t say anymore than that, apart from to say that I do not like heights (Siggy too and she refused to watch it with me) and it actually made me nauseous watching it – adding to the drama!

Shimmer Lake (2017) is a crime thriller on Netflix starring Benjamin Walker, Wyatt Russell, Stephanie Sigman, and Rainn Wilson in lead roles. Walker plays a small-town sheriff named Zeke Sikes who is investigating a bank robbery that went awry. The robbery was committed by a trio of small-time criminals, which included Zeke’s brother. The movie is told in reverse chronology, with each day of the week leading up to the robbery shown in reverse order. This sounded rather daunting, and I was expecting some Chris Nolan complexity, but to be honest it was quite easy to follow and a lot of fun.

As the investigation unfolds, Zeke uncovers a web of lies and deceit involving the criminals, corrupt law enforcement officials, and even his own family. The film’s plot twists and turns, and has a dark sense of humour. It’s worth watching if you enjoy unconventional storytelling.

Rocketman (2019) is a biographical musical film directed by Dexter Fletcher (Bryan Singer’s replacement for Bohemian Rhapsody) based on the life of British musician Elton John, played by Taron Egerton. The film (the only one here that isn’t currently on Netflix in the UK) tells the story of Elton John’s rise to fame, from his days in London as a young boy called Reginald Dwight to his transformation into one of the most iconic musicians of all time. The movie depicts his struggles with addiction, relationships, and his eventual acceptance of his homosexuality. It’s therefore a little harder hitting than the Queen biopic.

The film sometimes thinks it is a musical, with some of Elton John’s most famous songs being incorporated into the storyline. Egerton is impressive when singing and prancing around in the many flamboyant costumes. The film also has a few fantasy sequences touches which set it apart from other rock biographies. I enjoyed the film (which to be honest I thought would be a trainwreck) far more than I expected because of the approach to storytelling through the music and visuals.

Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) was a bit of a let down after the much-loved TV show. In this Netflix original, disgraced John Luther (Idris Elba) sits behind bars for a bit while a gruesome serial killer (Andy Serkis – who was a lot of fun in the role) is terrorizing London. Of course it would have been a really dull film if Luther didn’t break out of prison to catch the killer.

The whole movie smacked of trying too hard to elevate the TV show to James Bond levels of action and over-blown bad guy shenanigans. Any realism or grittiness was lost along the way, but by the end of the film I did actually enjoy the nod to the rumours that Elba was being considered for the role of 007. The Fallen Sun wasn’t the worst film for me in March though…

Bright (2017) is an American urban fantasy action film starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, and Noomi Rapace. Bright is set in an alternate version of present-day Los Angeles where humans coexist with orcs, elves, and fairies. The story follows two LAPD officers, Daryl Ward (Smith) and an orc Nick Jakoby (Edgerton). Nick is the first orc to join the police force and faces racism from both his fellow officers and the orc community.

The plot of the movie revolves around the discovery of a powerful magic wand that everyone wants to get their hands on, including corrupt cops, powerful elves, and a group of rogue orcs. Ward and Jakoby find themselves caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict as they try to protect a young elf and the wand from falling into the wrong hands. Despite my love for this kind of stuff, I found the film to be a bit weak and would’ve rather have watched one of the original Hellboy movies instead. Edgerton’s orc was probably the most entertaining of the characters as he had a few funny lines, but overall the script was pretty basic.

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