Ken’s Movie Diary 2017 – Week 31

Weekly Update: I finally got a chance to return to the movie theaters this week, and saw some nice solid movies, and then some others…

Curious what else I’ve seen this year? -Click here to read the full list of movies viewed year to date-

240. Okja (2017)

Okja is one of 26 lab bred “superpigs” created to take part in a corporate-run experiment. Each pig is delivered to a different farmer around the world, and after 10 years whoever grows the biggest pig is the winner. Okja is raised in the hills of Korea alongside Mija, who loves Okja more than anything in the world. But then the company returns to reclaim their prize Pig, and soon Mija is caught up in a fight between the company and an animal rights group with their own motives.

Okja feels like a classic Disney film with a bit more grit, dealing with the sometimes disturbing ways animals are bred to slaughter. The film isn’t anti-meat as it takes time to mock the sometimes overzealous animal rights activists, but certainly anti-corporation and against the cold methods some companies use in their quest to grow more and bigger meat sources. Heartily recommended for those looking for a modern day fairy tale with a social conscience.

241. The 101-Year Old Man who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared (2016)

This rousing sequel to The 100-Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared follows in the original’s footsteps in a familiar, but not at all dull way. A year after the events of the first film, Alan Karlsson and his friends are still in Bali, but have managed to blow just about all of the $50 million dollars they stole in the first film. Looking for ways to make money, they discover a bottle of “Folksoda” a drink Alan perfected in the 1970s with the help of the Soviet government. Soon they find themselves pursued by gangsters, a crazed woman, and the CIA all looking for the formula. It is definitely recommended to see the first film in order to comprehend this one, as it acts as a direct continuance of the story. Overall, this is a solidly entertaining follow-up and worth a look for fans of the original.

242. R.O.T.O.R (1987)

R.O.T.O.R. (Robotic Officer Tactical Operations Research) is a robot cop unleashed on the world too early, as it had not yet been programmed with the ability to not kill everything in sight.  Its up to R.O.T.O.R’s creator to hunt him down before he kills a bunch of people. This movie is simply made for bad movie nights with friends, highly recommended for that purpose.

243. Logan Lucky (2017)

A group of rednecks plot a heist against a racetrack in Steven Soderbergh’s latest film. Sort of an off-kilter take on the Oceans 11 formula, but rather than a gang of master thieves, it’s a gang of blue-collar working guys. Full of clever dialogue and humor, this is a heist film that I’d recommend to just about anyone.

244. Wind River (2017)

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a hunter for the Fish and Wildlife service who happens upon a dead girl while tracking in the mountains.  He calls in the police, who call the FBI, as the murder occurred on Tribal land. Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate, and asks Cory to assist, as he knows the land. What follows is a dark and snow-swept mystery that examines living with loss, as well as the trials of life on American Indian reservations. This is an often depressing, but ever poignant film, another masterpiece by writer Taylor Sheridan.

245. Dunkirk (2017)

At the start of WWII, the Germans launched an offensive that overwhelmed the French Army and British Expeditionary Force, pushing them all the way to the coastline, where the British made a stand at Dunkirk, just long enough to allow a large amount of their men to be evacuated. What was essentially a massive military failure was also in many ways a morale victory, as the evacuation employed the use of civilian seacraft, working together. Director Christopher Nolan keeps the film moving at a breakneck pace, ramping up the tension with each passing second. One of the year’s best films.

246. Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

A British couple (Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris) find themselves in way over their heads when on holiday in Morocco. A Russian gangster approaches them and asks the husband to approach British authorities on his behalf, claiming to have information that could buy him protection. Our Kind of Traitor is a solid espionage thriller perfectly in line with what fans of John Le Carré have come to expect. Though perhaps not quite as inventive and involving as the best adaptations of his work, still worth a viewing for genre fans.

247. A Murder of Quality (1991)

This Made for TV movie adapts John Le Carre’s second novel, which brings the character George Smiley into a murder investigation when a killing occurs in a rural English Public School. This is not so much a spy story as a murder mystery, and it is handled pretty much the way most British TV murder mysteries play out. I can’t speak to the book, but this is pretty predictable overall.

248. The Deadly Affair (1966)

Yet another adaptation of a John Le Carré novel, but with names changed for rights issues. James Mason plays British Intelligence officer Charles Dobbs, who investigates the apparent suicide of a prominent official who he had spoken to just hours earlier. Dobbs soon uncovers a scheme to pass information to the East and a cover-up. Director Sidney Lumet brings a good amount of style and atmosphere to the proceedings, and the film utilized a pre-exposed color technique that gives a moody, washed-out feeling to the visuals.

249. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Vincent Price stars in this sequel to the original Invisible Man film. Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, he escapes the gallows by having a doctor inject him with the same invisibility serum as the first film. The struggle then begins for him to clear his name, and work to find the cure for the invisibility before it drives him insane. This film belongs to Vincent Price, whose charismatic performance keeps the film from feeling like more of the same. Fans of classic Universal horror will get a real kick out of this one.

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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