Midsommar ★★★☆☆

Following up from the critically acclaimed Hereditary last year, Ari Aster’s latest release sees a young couple join their friends on a summer retreat out in the Swedish countryside. The communal festivities seem jovial until things start to take a sinister turn……

Directed by Ari Aster

Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and Will Poulter


If you enjoyed the clip, do check out our other reviews and make sure to subscribe!

Advertisements

Spiderman: Far From Home ★★★★☆

Following the dramatic conclusion of the Infinity Saga, Spidey swings back in to close Phase 3 with another MCU gem filled with laughter and drama. It probably could have waited a few more months before hitting the screens, but it wraps things up well! Onward to Phase 4…………

Directed by: Jon Watts

Starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson


If you enjoyed the clip, do check out our other reviews and make sure to subscribe!

MIB:International ★★☆☆☆

The Summer of Meh continues with another average remake. The latest in line is the latest chapter of the Men in Black franchise, can Hemsworth & Thompson recapture the chemistry from Thor Ragnarok?

Directed by F Gary Gray

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson


If you enjoyed the clip, do check out our other reviews and make sure to subscribe!

Rocketman ★★★★☆

Freddie Mercury got the big screen treatment last year, now it’s the turn for another musical icon to get on the silver screen. Can Rocketman hit the Oscar buzz? Taron Egerton takes up the role of the iconic Elton John in this flamboyant biopic!

Directed by Dexter Fletcher

Starring Taron Egerton, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard


If you enjoyed the clip, do check out our other reviews and make sure to subscribe!

Review : Searching ★★★★

We’ve already seen the ‘on screen’ format recently with Unfriended :Dark Web, where the majority of the action takes place on the screen of a characters computer. It’s a unique way of telling a story, which works rather well with the society we live in now. Whereas Unfriended used this method to deploy cheap thrills and deliver an incoherent story, Searching manages to be surprisingly emotional and intense.

Following the disappearance of his young daughter, Margot (Michelle La) , David Kim (John Cho) uses all the methods at hand in order to track down what exactly happened. After tracking her Facebook, Tumblr and other social media activities, things start to turn down a sinister avenue.

Director Aneesh Chaganty manages to weave a captivating tale, even though we only see the drama take place in one place, the desktop of David. The film feels very current, and the tech used are the real programs, giving the film that much more realism.  John Cho puts in a fascinating performance,  he is pretty much in all the scenes, and really has to carry the movie. Though he is commonly known for his comedic talents, his role as a worried dad, willing to do anything to find out the truth is wonderful.

The film makes great use of the mother’s passing, to convey emotion. Especially when David logs into the account of someone who has passed away. It provides an eerie vibe, with small details like an inbox with thousands on unread emails. There are several other small details hidden in the background that makes things so effective.

The film manages to relate to several issues we have nowadays, especially the trend of people trying to bandwagon onto whatever the next trending news is, in order to get some more likes or retweets. How easy it is to talk trash/meme a stranger online. or how people act in real life, as opposed to their online persona. One particular scene is done extremely well, and makes want to yell at the character on screen!

On the negative side, there really isn’t too much to frown upon, the only issue I had was the fact the film’s promotional material, actively mentioned a big twist, which isn’t really that shocking. It was obvious the film would have a twist, and it felt strange that they felt like it needed to be mentioned, especially as the twist felt rather rushed. The film’s trailer also reveals far too much of the story, and would have preferred if they kept more of it a secret!

Searching is by far one of the best movies of the year so far, and is getting the critical praise it deserves (still at 92% on RT!), Cho really turns this film into what could have been a fairly average film, to a great one. It also contains probably one of the most emotional openings to a film since Up! And that’s saying something!

Soldado Unravels…★★★

Incredibly intense and wonderfully filmed, Sicario was one of the stand out films of 2015.  The success of the original meant a sequel was inevitable, but without the influence of Denis Villeneuve and leading lady Emily Blunt, can this installment match the heights of the original?

Sicario : Day of the Soldado, directed this time, by Taylor Sheridan, follows CIA agent Graver (Brolin) as he once again enlists the assistance of rogue operative Alejandro (Del Toro) to destabilize the Mexican drug cartels, who are suspected of smuggling in terrorists across the US border. They aim to accomplish this by staging the kidnapping  of the young daughter (Moner) of the cartel kingpin, and in effect, creating a civil war.

MV5BMjIwM2ZjMWYtMGM0Zi00NTEwLThlZjAtYjU5ODA2ZDk4ZTc1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_

The opening and middle chapters of the movie are still as potent as the original.  The film mixes the bloody violence and brutal nature of the cartels, with the meticulous nature of our agents well. Brolin who is having a very successful summer, is as fierce as ever. And Benicio Del Toro is the same mysterious, magnetic hitman from before. Although the film loses the character the audience could relate with (Blunt from Sicario), our duo as strong enough to keep her loss to a minimum. Isabela Moner, who yet again plays another young character with her namesake (after her role in The Last Knight!) also gives a great performance as a young girl caught up as the innocent pawn in a government covert operation.

MV5BNjRmNjMwMjctMTMxYS00YjczLWIzMWItMTJhZDVlM2E1Mjc5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc5OTMwOTQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1496,1000_AL_

As the plot starts starts to come together towards the climax, is when things really start to fall off. It was reported that the original screenplay was changed, and the film loses its traction it begins with. The plot starts to leave far to many gaps, and character decisions that really go against their previous actions. Alejandro, who was a ruthless assassin, willing to kill children, suddenly develops paternal like behavior, in hardly any time. We also never really know who the true antagonist is, the cartels? The US government? It’s obvious to see that this is a part 2 of 3, leaving a bit too much unexplained for the third chapter. The operation itself rather falls apart way to quickly, for something that was planned with laser precision. Unfortunately the film makes decisions that feel like a cop out, where the first was praised for the gutsy decisions the script took.

DgNNfAPWkAAFRcg

The tension and suspense the film creates is still on point. There are moments in the movie you will honestly want to look away. The Beast, the daunting, yet iconic soundtrack from the original returns, and when it starts intensifying, the tension cranks all the way up! The ambush scene is magnificently shot, and comes out of nowhere!

Soldado is not a match to the original, but the characters are more than strong enough to carry the film onto the obvious third installment. Sadly it does feel like filler, but maybe after the final chapter, Soldado will look better in hindsight.


 

*THE BEAST INTENSIFIES* 

Fallen Kingdom / Review

Jurassic World was a triumphant return back to the big screen for the Jurassic Park franchise, after a 14 year hiatus since Jurassic Park 3JW received not only glowing reviews, but took in a staggering $1.6bn at the box office, so no pressure on the sequel….

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, directed by J.A. Bayona, brings back our leading duo Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) & Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), as they return to Isla Nublar, to coordinate a rescue mission lead by Benjamin Lockwood, the former business partner of John Hammond, o save our reptilian inhabitants from a volcanic fate.

jurassic-world-fallen-kingdom-cover_1528309639072

Essentially, the movie is what you expect from a huge Summer blockbuster, it’s an impressive spectacle, dazzling CGI, hugely thrilling and comedic banter. But it does fail with its story, as the plot regresses back to the usual weaponized dinosaurs arch we have already seen.

The chemistry between our leads is far more cohesive here, their interactions feel less forced than it did in JW, FK gives them far more to do, and they break out of the typecasts they had in the first one. Claire is far more interesting as the head of a Dinosaur conservation group, rather than the dull, cold, career focused executive. The film also makes firm point regarding the boots she now wears, after the heels debacle from the last film!  They are joined on their adventure by fellow conservation staff members’ Zia Rodriguez (Daniella Pineda), a sassy and sharp witted veterinarian, and Franklin Webb (Justice Smith), the systems analyst, his character does grate a lot, as he is pretty much reduced to the petrified screaming comic relief, though he does tone it down over the course of the movie, Zia is far more tolerable as a character.

690359-jurassic-world-2

The dinosaurs are of course the reason why we’re here! Blue, the surviving member of Owen’s raptor squad is back, and has a leading role! The film can be split into 2, the island rescue, and back at the Lockwood mansion. The island scenes are amazing to watch, the CGI is as always stunning, and the inevitable fate of the island does lead to a frankly very emotional scene as our heroes make their escape. The big gun for this film is another hybrid creation, the Indoraptor, the cross between the Indominus Rex from JW, and a raptor. It of course escapes, and stalks our protagonists as they attempt to stop the plans of our villain. In all honestly, the Indoraptor does not feel like anything special, and still gets outshone by the T-Rex. Although Blue is still an enjoyable addition to the Jurassic clan, it has rather subdued the wicked nature of the deadly Velociraptors from movies past, now seeming more like a charming sidekick, than its previous iterations.

MV5BODUzMzNiMTEtNzE3Yi00NDkxLTkxNzctN2ZlOTZhMjY5ZTU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjg3MzQ4ODE@._V1_SY864_SX1776_AL_

The villain of the story is where things start to fall apart, who is simply a generic suit who just wants to get rich quick. It’s pretty obvious from the start who is the underlying antagonist, and it really does hurt the plot. While it is a fresh change to take the adventure away from the island setting, the weaponized dinosaurs storyline still feels ridiculous, in a film containing dinosaurs! The final 3rd of the does’ drag on for a tad too long, as our heroes are stalked through the mansion by the genetic raptor, if could have been concluded far more swiftly. There is also a ridiculous twist regarding the granddaughter of the mansion, which is utterly brushed over by the characters, and feels like a contrived plot device for the films end. The Mosasaurus, the gigantic ocean beast, which featured in the trailers, was seriously underused.

dims

Fallen Kingdom does feel far more unique than its predecessor, JW felt like a simple remake of the original JP, whereas FK stands alone far better, with a far more warming duo and change of scenery. It’s not an outstanding outing, but fans of the last film will have no reason to not enjoy this!

The Hitman’s Bodyguard:Forgettable Fun

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of those summer movies that you can watch, enjoy, and then simply forget about afterwards! Ryan Reynolds teams up with Samuel L Jackson team up as a pair of polar opposite personas, and travel across Europe leaving a trail of destruction!

Hitmans-Bodyguard-Review

Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is a private bodyguard for all the world’s top notorious criminal overlords. Or as he would put it, a ‘Triple A Executive Protection Agent’! His glamorous lifestyle is torn to pieces after losing a premium client to an assassination. Having to go back to low key jobs, and losing his ‘Triple A’ rating, he is forced to escort Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson), a convicted hit man, to the Hague. Kincaid will testify against brutal dictator Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), in return for the release of his wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek) from prison. It’s not all smooth sailing from the UK to the Netherlands, as Dukhovich’s thugs will stop at nothing to prevent Kincaid from his testimony!

photos_22016_1499219838

By far, the best part of the movie is the constant bickering between Reynolds & Jackson. It saves the movie from being utterly ordinary. On one side, you have Bryce, someone who lives by his rules, planning every mission to the very step, considering every possibility of failure. Then you have Kincaid, who lets his heart rule his actions, his devil-may-care attitude to life being a stark contrast.  It’s the standard formula for any onscreen partnership, and both actors do a hilarious job with their roles. Salma Hayek is also a blast, though she is pretty much the generic fiery Latino character here, seen in several movies before.

VLADISLAV DUKHOVICH (Gary Oldman) in THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD.
VLADISLAV DUKHOVICH (Gary Oldman) in THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD.

The rest of the film is a play by the books number, with uninspiring characters and troupes. You have the brutal eastern European tyrant, the hot ex-girlfriend, an elite task force that get taken out within 10 minutes with only the rookie surviving, characters managing to miraculously find each other in sprawling cities! The dictator storyline could have been entirely removed, and replaced with a mafia/gang boss, and it really wouldn’t make a difference!

methodesundaytimesprodwebbin9956f248-81ab-11e7-868c-437ffe17833c

Kincaid’s character is obviously given a background, in order for us to support him as the film approaches its finale, and it does work well. After all he is a serial killer, and they film does need to justify his actions. His actions may be twisted, but you can see why he is the way he is. Whereas Bryce, you never really care for his arch, and his love interest, Roussel (Elodie Yung)is just….there. Another character that could have been removed entirely to be honest!

Elodie-Yung-in-The-Hitmans-Bodyguard

The film also had a habit of using a very strange filter effect, where the image would be blurred. The budget clearly wasn’t high, but the strange smudgy filter to hide some of the effects were very shoddy, You start to wonder if its the fault of the movie, or the projector!

If you enjoy a film with the buddy cop mechanic, and the wit of Reynolds & Jackson, then it won’t hurt to go check it out, but you probably won’t remember much about it after a weekend!

 

 

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑