Saturday, April 20, 2024

What I Watched in April 2024

I had heard good things about WONKA (2023) from reputable sources so when it popped up as a streaming option I took the plunge. Rarely have I been so unexpectedly pleased with a film of this type! I watched the film with few expectations other than curiosity about the cast and found myself wide-eyed and mouth agape for most of the running time. Charming, heartfelt, funny and life affirming barely begin to describe the joys this astonishing film has to offer. After seeing this I looked up the creators and realized that they made the two recent Paddington films that I have been told I need to see as well. If they exhibit the same storytelling magic that this glorious confection displays then they may become new favorites. It is not often that a family friendly film can manage to crack open my cynical heart and make me smile as much as WONKA managed. Normally it takes a clever R rated wallow in the horror genre to give me this feeling of contented cinematic discovery, but by the final ten minutes of this beautiful movie I was happier than I’ve been in months. This is a film that didn’t just brighten my day – it improved my outlook on life. It’s been a long time I could say that about a movie. Obviously, I need to watch those Paddington movies soon. 

The List

WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)

CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982) – 9 (rewatch of the extended version on Blu)
HOUSE OF LOST SOULS (1989) – 5 (rewatch)
THE QUEST (1986) – 7
DUNE (1984) – 7 (SpiceDiver edit)
DUNE PART 2 (2024) – 9
CATMAN OF PARIS (1946) – 6
MARLOW (2023) – 7 (Neeson is too old for the part but the script is fun)

VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST (1974) – 3 (woof!)

THE BIRDS II: LAND’S END (1993) – 5 (flat and uninvolving)
DREAM SCENARIO (2023) – 9 (amazing)
ROAD HOUSE (2024) – 7 (stylish, fun action film)

WONKA (2023) – 9 (what a wonderful surprise)
SHANGHAI JOE (1973) – 6
SUITABLE FLESH (2023) – 8 (rewatch)

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