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My Letterboxd reviews of The DUFF, Big Hero 6, and Blade Runner

Reblogged from my Letterboxd list, my review of The DUFF:

The DUFF is a nice surprise: a film I fully expected to be awful, judging by the try-hard social media marketing campaign, and the ‘Hottie and the Nottie’ implications of its central conceit. But it’s actually a pretty funny, well-done contemporary take on those risque ’80s teen comedies we look back on with such fondness. Starting from a fairly crass premise, the film moves through a series of set-piece high-school cliches in lieu of a plot, but they’re cliches because they work, and there’s enough modern riffing and stereotype inversion to set it apart from straight pastiche. Plus there’s the versatile Mae Whitman (the voice of Katara in the fantastic Avatar animated series) in the lead as the so-called Designated Ugly Fat Friend of the title, gracefully walking that line between sensitivity and silly comedy, and who by all rights should be destined for better things.

I can’t say I liked Big Hero 6 very much:

No. No, no, no, no, no. This is NOT how to do a movie. You don’t take what are basically only enough elements for a proof-of-concept short and expand it to a full-length production without ‘doing the work’. The annoying plot holes and absence of logic, the lack of any real sense of place, the arsehole main protagonist: those are the things you’re supposed to fix months, nay YEARS before it ever sees a suburban cinema projector. And don’t even get me started on the character models, with their plastic texturing and clone-stamp shapes. No, no, no, no, no. (I like the robot, though.)

Blade Runner got another viewing, this time in its ‘Final Cut’ version:

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen the film, though I believe this was my first viewing of The Final Cut (despite having the box set in the house). It was certainly my first viewing in a cinema, an experience that definitely adds to the moodiness of the piece, and its strange brew of sci-fi spectacle and noir-ish grime that’s yet to be matched. (Until someone makes a good adaptation of Neuromancer, perhaps.)