Movie Review: Last Night in Soho

How things normally work in the movie business is – if you get a big hit, and make a great movie in the past, odds are high that you will get another shot – mainly due to name recognition and a hope that fans of your previous movie will return for your new one. In 2017, Edgar Wright both wrote and directed the vey good “Baby Driver” and most likely somewhere in his files or office floor was one of several scripts that were rejected in the past. The new movie “Last Night in Soho” seems like one of those scripts that would have no chance of ever getting made into a movie were it not for the success of Baby Driver.

The idea about a young woman going to fashion school in London and then having visions of another woman like her 50 years earlier was a stupid enough twist in the middle of this story, only to be surpassed by an even more ridiculous ending that tries to explain the previous 100 minutes of what amounts to a very bad and mostly boring idea.

The advertising for this new film has been rather frequent during TV breaks all over cable TV, trying to remind everyone that Edgar Wright who wrote and directed Baby Driver has a new film. Unfortunately most fans of Baby Driver will be very disappointed with this new movie that in my opinion had no business ever being made. A bad sign for me is at the mid point of any film I am sitting through, when I am thinking about what I will be doing after its all over, or thinking – “please God let this be over soon”.

This movie stars Anna Taylor Joy who received some major accolades for last years extremely good Netflix series “The Queens Gambit”. One has to wonder why she took this role, perhaps not even reading the script because she just wanted to work with Edgar Wright.

The Rotten Tomatoes opinions for Last Night in Soho are an average 73%, but they should be much lower, because this is a long 2 hour waste of time. For fans of Edgar Wright, see Baby Driver again and miss this badly made mess of a film.

Movie Review: The Last Duel

The new movie “The Last Duel” marks the first time Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have written a screenplay together since “Good Will Hunting”, released in 1997 and won both of them the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 1998. I recently saw both Affleck and Damon on a talk show, talking about the arduous and long task of writing Good Will Hunting. According to Damon, the process took years of learning how to create a great screenplay, and over 1000 pages of trial and error. This is what it takes to create a great screenplay, which is why so few have been written. It took of all people, Harvey Weinstein to bring Good Will Hunting to the screen with his money and clout – unfortunately.

The story behind The Last Duel happened in the 1380’s in France. Amazingly this story is about a duel to the death over a woman, due to a he said – she said – over a alleged rape of a French Soldier’s wife and his best friend. This story is told in 3 parts, reminding me of a weak episode of a sitcom where 3 perspectives of a story are told almost as if the writers had trouble coming up with a teleplay that week. How and why Damon and Affleck found this obscure story from so long ago and then agreed to go through the hardships of writing and then filming a movie like this in the depressing dark French countryside for months, is the most unlikely part about this film. Then add highly respected director Ridley Scott who directed this movie that like so many films was halted in mid production during the Pandemic of 2020.

I am very surprised by the relatively high 86% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes for this film, despite the good acting including relative newcomer Jodie Comer, who plays Damon’s wife. There are too many areas of slow moving boredom that in some cases can offset the good parts of this film and I did not like the 3 part perspective idea, repeating too many areas of this story. For me, the essential problem is that the overall idea here is not big enough or compelling enough to make a movie about it. The final duel scene is impressive between Adam Driver and Matt Damon, and I was surprised at the relatively small role for Ben Affleck, who plays a King who constantly cheats on his wife.

I rank this movie as a marginal thumbs up, mainly for fans of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Movie Review: Halloween Kills

For the entire Halloween movie series spanning 12 movies starting in 1978, with one more “Halloween Ends” to be released in 2022 – we all expect a stupid movie, an idiotic plot with zero logic, including the fact that this mass murder who wears a mask just cannot be killed – no matter what. However, this new movie “Halloween Kills” breaks its own ongoing record of increasingly idiotic films and reaches new highs with this most recent very bad installment. For those expecting many scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis in this latest version, they will be very disappointed because she has a relatively small part. Its obvious that the producers decided to shoot these “last two” Halloween movies together so one could speculate that for next years Halloween Ends, Curtis will have a much bigger part.

I remember seeing “Halloween H2O” in 1998, and at the end of this bad film Jamie Lee Curtis decapitates Michael Meyers with an ax (see video) – and yet, somehow, this clear end to the series of films 23 years ago continued. How can that be? Did medical science advance to the point of sewing Meyer’s head back on? The point is, when the owner of this franchise decided to end a series of movies, that should be the end. The mass murderer is clearly and forever dead, there is no coming back from a decapitation. Or is there? Don’t cheat logic and the audience along the way, by dragging this movie franchise on forever, with one stupid movie after another for decades.

Will next years Halloween Ends be the end? Unfortunately that depends entirely on how much money it makes. If Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends make money, there will be yet another bad Halloween film in our future. If that is the case, maybe murderer Meyers has a twin or something? Or a new copy-cat murderer takes over for Meyers and then there can be 20 more years of bad “copy cat mask murder” movies.

Halloween Kills is in movie theaters and streaming on the new Peacock service. I opted for the Peacock service, saving some money for a movie that I knew in advance would be very bad. The reviews for this movie are correctly negative, as low as 42% on Rotten Tomatoes and even for the most die hard horror movie fans – I rate this latest mess of a movie, a big pass.