Category: 2018

Robin Hood

Release date: 21.11.2018
Length: 1Hr 56

About:

Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.

The Good

The cast is pretty decent if not close to perfect. With a nice change of pace, we see Taron Edgerton providing us with a younger, more political Robin of Loxley. A self aware ‘toff’, humbled and embittered by war with a moral code to motivate his civil crusade against the corrupt. It’s hard not to love the man who brought a charm to Eggsie, Eagle and Elton.

Ben Mendelsohn, if people don’t mind me being so bold, is fast filling the hole left by the late, great Alan Rickman. Successfully handling the bad guy mantel in films like Ready Player One and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he’s a shoe in for the Sheriff of Nottingham. While it’s safe to say, he didn’t have as much fun or ham up the role as born-to-be-badguy Rickman, he gives it his own flare and brilliant villainy.

In fact, one of the strengths of this production is that Nottingham is not the highest rank of the dastardly food chain. And when you’re historically known bad guy starts to tremble, something interesting is about to happen.

Honorary mentions must go to Fifty Shades actor Jamie Dornan who seems much more at home playing support than lead, and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck, who steals every scene he’s in and makes me wonder why he’s not in more stuff.

I liked that this film doesn’t assume that Robin Hood’s story is something that can, and should be contained to one movie outing. It’s just a shame that I’d rather not see a second outing for these outlaws.

The Bad

Its that old clique of having all the best people but still providing the audience with a steaming turd of a film. I wanted to love this film; I even gave it a second chance to win me over. However, both times I felt like I’d had my eyes superglued open and subjected to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit followed by the extended editions of Bored of the Rings.

It feels bloated, insincere and lacking any credibility. The script is dire, takes itself too seriously and gives the audience no rewards. The final act is given no gravitas, and the motivation of all the players are either too thin or so convoluted it makes my ears bleed. Case in point is Sheriff of Nottingham and his hatred of those who help him in his treason. His reveal of being sexually abused does not make his motivation clear or just.

The Ugly

When is this bad boy set?! The narrative suggests medieval and they certainly hammer home that this is firmly placed within the papal sanctioned Crusades that began in 1095.

However, from the moment Mendelsohn’s Nottingham donned his bleached grey leather coat that possibly belonged in his Ready Player One wardrobe, I was thrown off.

All the costumes scream future, rather than past. There’s an attempt of medieval stylings, but it’s too obvious that they came from the disposable-fashion racks of the local Primark.

Then there’s the crusade units themselves; the language is too modern, as are the machine gun weapons that both sides of the war use. The uniforms and filming style would look perfect in a Call of Duty game play trailer, but not in a period piece that was attempting to escape the curse of bad Robin Hood productions.

The film is set in a very Mount Doom-like post-apocalyptic Nottingham. It’s seaside town of mountainous proportions with a epic mine that the people can live in set beside Japan inspired architecture that does not blend with the medieval setting it’s pathetically attempting to convey.

Some of these things can be overlooked, but put it all together with the historical elements and you have a messy clash like oil on water. Which is fine, for some. However, for me I want a film that pulls me in and helps me escape from the concept of time and reality for a while; not something that pulls me out of the experience and gave me checking if my watch is ticking ever so painfully backwards.

Love Han x

Bohemian Rhapsody (12a)

Bohemian Rhapsody (12a)
Running time: 134min

I don’t even know where to begin. I went in with only one wish, one expectation; that Joseph Mazzello’s British accent didn’t suck. I’ll save my gushing about Joe until later, but it’s safe to say that it was a winner and I wanted to watch it all over again the second it finished.

The media has been very unkind about this film. I always try and avoid reviews, but its hard when the puns lay it out with such brutality. One review makes sure you know their star rating regardless of whether you click or not.

The biggest criticism seems to be that the film ‘glosses over the seedier parts of Freddie’s life’. Certainly, from my perspective, the film not only addresses all parts of Mercury’s life, but it does it with class, respect and without sugar coating. For those who are criticising this film for what it misses out, I’ll remind you that I’ve yet to see a film about MLK that touches on his extramarital affairs.


The Good

From the opening bars to the final drum clash; it’s an epic biopic that the world has needed. It pulls no punches in setting up Freddie’s life as an outsider trying to shine.
Rami Malek has always been incredible; from his stint in the Night at the Museum films, to his staring role in Mr Robot he has always commanded your attention. Bohemian Rhapsody is no exception; his exotic charm and defiant nature will keep you hooked from start to finish. This wasn’t just an exercise in impersonation; Malek is deserving of an Oscar (read: ALL THE AWARDS) for his embodiment of the lead singer of Queen.

Both Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee bring authenticity to their roles of original and current band members Roger Taylor and Brian May respectively. Each bringing warmth, Charisma and humour to the film. They work so well together, you’ll be wanting them to be announcing their own tour once the credits roll.

I can’t move on without talking a little bit more about the wonderful Joseph Mazzello. For those of you seeing that  smile and wondering where you’ve seen it before; he is one Tim Murphy from Jurassic Park. It just so happens that he is also my first ever celebrity crush. I would watch anything, and everything, he was in. It was great; he was in loads of things. Then he disappeared like many a child actor does. Can’t blame them; they want what everyone has, an education. He’d been off my radar for many years now.

However, here he is, all grown up and just like that; the crush is back. His acting, comic timing and charm are all spot on and pitch perfect for the role of John Deacon; the final member to join the band. The highlight of Mazzello’s performance being a scene in which his character dissolves the volatile tension between Freddie and Roger with a performance of John’s newly written song, Another One Bites the Dust. It is utterly brilliant; there’s comedy in their, but it also demonstrates John’s (and by extension, Joe’s) talent within the band. I know I’m bias, but he’s my favourite part of the film and I enjoyed every facial expression and bassist close up Bohemian Rhapsody could offer. Side bar; I want to listen to him talk in a British accent forever. I’m not one to tell you if it’s ‘good’. I thought Michael C Hall’s was alright in his Brit Thriller Safe, to then read a load of reviews calling it ‘shite’. I couldn’t tell you where in England John is from, but what I will say is; it was consistent, I bought it and it made me smile.

queen


The Bad

We can’t have a good biopic or a brilliant film without an antagonist. Allen Leech plays Paul Prenter; Freddie’s personal manager and occasional lover. He made my skin crawl, my heart ache and at times, I wanted to reach in and get Freddie out of harms way.

While I don’t know how much of the narrative relating to Pretner is true, it makes for an amazing story arch with the band and Freddie himself. We must expect some artistic licence with this medium of expression.

Other antagonists come in the form of Mike Myers. And what a joy it is to see him play Ray Foster, an EMI executive, hell bent on changing the released single on A Night at the Opera. Just wait for the Wayne’s World nod; it’s a nod and wink Easter egg that everyone needs.

mike m

Ugly

That has to be my tears. Oh I cried, and I ugly cried. From the inevitable signs of Freddie’s diagnosis, to the epically recreated LiveAid concert; I sobbed, I gasped, and I felt for Freddie Mercury. What an amazing man, who reached rock bottom, pulled himself back up only to be taken from the world.

There’s something about this film that hits an emotion raw spot. I’m glad we didn’t see his declining health and I was happy with the heavy suggestions of the life he delved into without plastering his personal life onto the screen. There’s something to be said about the changing attitude of society and it breaks my heart to think; if only society was so accepting of homosexuality, perhaps those like Freddie and Kenny Everett, who makes a brief appearance in the film, wouldn’t have felt the need to have their relationships in secret.

I also want to praise the film for having that upbeat ending without censoring Freddie’s condition. It’s a testament to British rock, to the men who have brought joy to anyone who has stood in a club come closing and swayed to the quintessential last song Don’t Stop Me Now. It’s a joy to watch, despite what the critics say, and I will be very disappointed if this film passes by without any award nominations.

Skyscraper 12a

Skyscraper
12a
1hr 42
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell.
Release date: 18th November 2018

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The Good

It’s a summer action film with the Rock at the helm; you pretty much get what you pay for in terms of expectations. You get the added bonus of Millennial Scream Queen Neve Campbell who works so well with Johnson that I really do wonder why they’ve never worked together before.

I adore the idea that the protagonist is someone with a disability and someone who is one half of a multi-racial couple. The characters, their relationships and the whole ‘people in peril’ plot has me sold from the beginning.

The Bad

There’s too much exposition for a film that should have an easy flow to it. Dwayne spends too much screen time alone and it makes the film a little clunky. Johnson works best when he has someone to bounce off, and what we have to remember is, even John McClane had a radio to communicate with his ‘partner’ and bad guy Hans. It’s the biggest thing that is missing from this.

The Ugly

It’s been done before in a much better format, with a much smoother plot. It’s bordering on a Epic/ Date Movie type spoof feel with the way in which it homages movies; from Cliffhanger, Die Hard and Towering Inferno to Poseidon Adventure, High Rise and even Jurassic Park.

It’ll make for an ideal Christmas present for any Rock lovers out there, but my advice is to rent it rather than buy.

Film Review: Hotel Transylvania 3

In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

https://youtu.be/d5exSS74Lh0

The good

As sequels go, this one has a fair go and keeping fresh and avoiding the pitfalls of gimmicks that worked in previous outings (blah blah blah, for example was referenced, but not over worked)

As always, my favourite was the Wolf-man, his wife and his brood, discovering the on board childcare was a definite highlight.

Drac’s loneliness actually hits an emotional chord. It’s lovely to see films embrace the concept of love after grief.

The humour is spot on. I laughed the loudest and the most throughout the film. I’m sure there were many questioned from confused kids ‘mummy why’s that lady laughing?’ at some of the more adult-based jokes that rendered me a giggling mess.

The bad

It felt a little long for a kids film. Even I was wriggling in my seat. It really could have done with about 20 minutes shaved off, just to keep the audience focused.

The ugly

It was very episodic. Almost as if it was created as part of the Netflix tv series and they were all stitched together. It’s a personal thing, but I’m not a fan of that type of storytelling. War Horse being the worst for that.

Oh… and Al Brook’s gramps and his speedo clad saunter past the witches was a sight I could do without.

Avengers: Infinity War (12a) With Major Spoilers

Release Date: 26.4.2018
Summary: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Time: 2hr 36


The Good

The first good I really need to talk about is Thanos. He’s the first decent villain in the Marvel Universe (Loki is an  anti-hero, not a villain in my eyes) and he does up the stakes a little more.
The crew count was handled well. Certainly much better than Civil War, which felt very bloated and overwhelming in terms of characters. This film upped that count, but was as strategic as a game of chess in its placement of characters and relied heavily on perfect smaller team ups than aiming for everyone on the screen at the same time.
The humour was on point! Those beautiful one liners and the films play on language; from Peter Parker’s pop culture references to Thor and Steve’s misunderstandings, it’s the perfect lift to a film that has very heavy emotions throughout.
Spoiler (This is the ONE I wouldn’t want spoiling so highlight the section at your own peril)
DINKLEDGE!!! If you didn’t know, I have major love for the Dink! He’s just amazing in everything he does and he’s the kind of bloke I’d love to sit and have a drink with and put the world to rights, you know? So having Dink play a giant who towers over Thor was just a stroke of genius. 
Spoiler
For once, we where light on the romance, save for already established pairings. It was great to not have that trope in play, meaning any romantic gestures in play had deep rooted meaning and purpose.

The Bad

While the handling of the cast was good, it didn’t escape without casualties. Black Widow is reduced to mere window dressing and it doesn’t do one our long standing heroes justice. It was almost to the point where I wish they’d benched her until the second outing.
Some of the CGI was ropey. If you’re truly into a film, you possibly don’t notice until watching at home. However, I’m a little concerned that there were bits I picked up on (namely the Hulkbuster Iron suit) on my first viewing. Not because I wasn’t engaged, but simply because they stuck out like sore thumbs.

The Ugly

The ‘deaths’. So there’s two separate deaths in play here. Firstly, we have the one that the Russo brothers had declared of one main cast member ‘there’s no take backs this time’. I believe this is the opening sequence death of Loki. It lacks the punch that it could, mainly because that dude has played dead so much it feels like a bit. It didn’t have any emotional resonance for me.
Nor did the final rug pull of the Infinity gauntlet dusting genocide. I’ll admit, I did gasp at the first character’s disappearance and I was close to tearing up. That was until we lost pretty much everyone who has been confirmed for a solo outing film in the next however many years. To me (and I know its not everyone’s thoughts. A student was unimpressed that I did not warn her about the ending), it takes away any jeopardy for the characters. It’s a shame, because this was the first film in a long time that made me feel there was something at stake.

Side bar- this isn’t the fault of Infinity War. The biggest problem was Avengers Assemble and the choice to resurrect Agent Phil Coulson. Damn, that death meant something. That death gave the assembled heroes something to avenge. Most of all, that death had me crying like a bitch. I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t prepared. I was begging the screen for it not to be true. I mourned the character who had been given a place in my geek heart.
Then in a ‘it was all dream’-esque twist of fate, my tears had been wasted and I vowed never to cry over a Marvel death again.

Except Yandu! Damn, that was a harsh blow and was more about his words preceding his death than anything else. I sobbed like a baby with that one too.

Truth or Dare – 15

About 
Release date  13.4.18
Summary A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.
Time 1hr 40


Trailer


truthordare

The Good
If you like your horrors with a body count and a supernatural tone, this is the one for you. It’s reminiscent of the early Final Destination films; the deaths are scary because some of them can be easily passed off as an accident. It’ll chill you to the core.
The Bad
The premise is a little far fetched. I can’t get past the initial decision of Markie (The Flash’s Violett Beane) to withdraw Olivia (Lucy Hale) from her planned work experience holiday, never mind the fact that the whole group join Olivia and Carter on the big trek up the mountain. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’m tired and done on a night out, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me going home.

The Ugly
While it’s not exactly torture porn territory, but it’s almost there and is almost tasteless because of it. The dares are quite horrific and morally corrupt. I found the ‘lust’ triangle nauseating and the treatment of the gay character bordering on offensive.
The plot is so familiar and predictable that you can’t help but feel a little cheated.


Cinema offences
A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.
Viewing date/time: 13.4.2018/ 4pm showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: About 20 people.
Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 8 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): One of the girls that arrived late Boomeranged the screen for Instagram and then spent the next 5 minutes uploading it, with emoticons and everything! 
Talking: Same late girl was talking 3 -4 times throughout.

The Quiet Place – 15 (With spoilers)

Details
released 5th April
time 
1h 30

About
A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.

Trailer

a-quiet-place

The Good

Holy crap, this is one scary movie. There’s an intensity and a stillness that not only gets under you skin, but right into your bones as well. From the opening scene, to the credits your heart is in your mouth.

It also sucked me into the world (certainly, me at least) and while I’d normally gasp and in some cases, scream. I ensured I was absolutely silent too. The kids are amazing and both John and Emily bring their A-game and potential Oscar acting chops to the table.

The Bad

Lee and Evelyn are the most idiotic adults ever seen in a horror movie. Their decision to have another child once they find themselves in a post apocalyptic wasteland is hugely irresponsible and completely dangerous. Regardless of how the plot develops, the parents lose me as a viewer 15 minutes in due to their selfishness.

I mean, come on you’re in a world where if you make a sound, you’re shish kebab. Evelyn has had three other kids so she knows her childbirth alone will bring all the creepy things to their yard. Then there’s the baby to deal with… and I’m sure they haven’t forgotten that they cry. A lot.

I’ll agree, without this plot point, there isn’t much of a film. However, just a slight change in the dating and it makes the parents a little more sympathetic. Or have one of their children older and pregnant.

The Ugly

While this is an amazing film, worthy of award season hype when it comes around, it does highlight an epidemic within our cinemas. So often I have to ignore people on their phones, whispering, asking questions or even having a casual coffee shop chat. Most films have enough dialogue to drown out the annoyances, but in a film where there is very little dialogue it can’t be ignored.
People arrived late, a group of twenty-somethings whispered through the first act to the point where I considered going and complaining. But what was the point? It would have caused more disruption by getting someone in and they probably wouldn’t have stopped talking.

Rampage – 12A

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About 

Release date  11.4.18
Summary
Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Time 1hr 47


Trailer


The Good
This is a Dwayn ‘the Rock’ Johnson movie and I’ll hold my hands up here and now; there’s no wrong this man can do (sidebar: My dad calls him The Fairy because of The Toothfairy. When an actor or film gets a Dad Hunter pseudonym, that means they’re on the win list). With Johnson, so come some film expectations. There’s going to be fast paced action, quips and smouldering. There’s also an understanding that the plot will stretch reality to provide a fun plot and indeed it does provide. Bucket loads of it to the point that I’m not so sure we can really call it Science Fiction.
Johnson’s character works well with George, the CGI Gorilla saved from poachers during infancy and taught to sign (Yup, We verge into Congo territory. I’ll reassure you though; I think this one will be considered a little better). Some of the best scenes involved the two of them interacting. There’s heart and humour in their banter and it allows you to feel for them and root for their survival when the shit hits the atmosphere about 2 minutes later.
In addition we have Naomie Harris and Jeffery Dean Morgan helping Johnson ‘save’ his friend and Malin Akerman and Joe Manganeillo playing for the company that caused the mutations in the animals.

The Bad
It really is a shame that most of the film sees George and Johnson’s Davis separated. Not only that, but essentially on opposite sides. They truly do have amazing chemistry that no one else can come close to and it removes some of the natural humour. If the film could keep them together by tweaking the plot it would keep the comedic tone and not seem to be bookended by a separate movie.
The two outside sections have a lighter a tone and sees everyone in on the joke and having fun, however the bulk of the film takes itself a little too seriously.

The Ugly
The CGI is rather ropy and it’s worrying that I picked up on it the first viewing. Normally because it’s all new, I miss the little flaws and only catch them during a repeat viewing, usually at home. It means I wasn’t as engaged in the story as I normally would have been and that could be because of many factors; one being the lack of feeling for the characters.


Cinema offences

A new segment for my reviews. I’m going to list the problems with the cinema going experience as it is something I think we all face issues with.

Viewing date/time: 12.4.2018/ 11.40 showing (Odeon Uxbridge)
Fullness: Quite a busy showing for early in the morning. That said, there couldn’t have been more than 40 people.

Late comers (5 minutes or more into a movie): 4 people in 2 separate groups
Phones (Texting/games/checking the time. Essentially anytime I see/am distracted by the glow of a phone): 0
Talking: 3 separate groups, all persistent.
Oh this was a big one today. Fresh off the back of my annoyance from The Quiet Place I think my patience had already warn thin. However, it was people in the row right behind me and it was persistent; like a running commentary on a DVD. Imagine my horror, when I turn around to bollocks the tween triplets I’d mentally given three chance to are not in fact three kids, but a mum and her two sons. Instead of telling her kids to stop, she was engaging them in conversation. I was rather reserved, for me; I politely asked them to stop talking. Well, my dear readers, I might as well have taken a dump right there on her lap based on the look she gave me. All I heard was ‘don’t listen to her’ from the mother and I’d had enough. Premiere seats be damned, I got up and moved to one of the nice seats; I figured Odeon owed me this for allowing this sort of behaviour to become the norm (Disclaimer: It’s not an Odeon problem, the is a all-franchise epidemic. Seriously, this woman will have spent at least £25 on tickets. Alone. I’m sure she’d jacked her kids up on sugar too and when a ‘kids pack’ starts at £4.50, surly just setting fire to your money would be better?! Or at least buy a dvd, rent one from Sky and then let them chatter away to their hearts content at home.

lonely child

Love, Simon- 12A

About
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

Trailer

Love-Simon-banner

The Good
Where to start?! It’s a wonderful cast, a charming love story with an Indie tone and a message for everyone. The humour is on point and comes at the right time to alleviate the heaviness that some of the plotlines could bring to the movie.

Both Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are perfection as Simon’s parents. The weight of Jack’s (Duhamel) comments during Simon’s upbringing leave a broken man for part of the movie. It’s a refreshing change when he finally opens up and talks to his son.

Gah! We got Kid Flash. Who wouldn’t love seeing Keiynan Lonsdale outside of the Speedster CW show? It was wonderful seeing someone who is openly gay in real life play a supporting role within this movie.

The Bad
How is it, in this day and age, that this movie is considered ground breaking. That’s no reflection of the movie, but of society. This movie should not be ‘brave’ or ‘monumental’; this should be judged on its ability to stand up to  other teen movies such as Perks of Being a Wallflower or even Mean Girls (It does, by the way). It’s just a shame that the movie is being lost because of the challenges it brings to social thinking.

I also struggled with Katherine Langford as best friend Leah. It’s not her fault, but I still see her as Hannah from 13 Reasons Why and I hate Hannah. I’m waiting for a role that will break the spell of her being a little typecast. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it.

The Ugly
Tears. Oh wow! I cried like a bitch. There are your typical teen moments that have an emotional tug, but there is just one scene involving Simon and his Mom that will melt even the coldest of hearts. The group behind me, who had very annoyingly talked all the way through the movie, had a bit of a discussion about wanting a mother like that.

I think there’s some truth to that. No matter who you are; if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or just a supporter, you will certainly be able to empathise and agree that her stance is not liberal or LGBTQ specific. It’s something all parents should aspire to and something most (if not all) people want; acceptance and respect.

Ready Player One- 12A

I have now seen this film twice and I’m still struggling to write a review for it. Mainly because it’s so frigging awesome! Not very often (ever, if memory served) do I enjoy a book to film adaption this much. The key to this is possibly Spielberg’s diversions that allow readers of the book to experience the mystery and wonder from that first reading.
I went in very nervous. I even had a sneaky peak at a few reviews; that’s how nervous I was. My 8 year old self who found her love of films through Spielberg and Jurassic Park thought he was the perfect choice to make the film. However, present me who has witnessed a distinct change in his filmic style post Minority Report (This is where I first noticed the change) felt it needed someone like JJ Abrams or Jon Faveau to embrace the geeky fandom elements. I let my 8 year old win over in the end.
I’m glad I did and the second I saw that initial black screen, I knew the film was in safe hands.
As always, the casting is spot on. Spielberg has always had the ability to spot rising talent and featuring them with veteran actors from previous works. Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Lena Waithe are amazing in their roles within the High Five. However, for me it is Ben Mendelsohn and Speilberg’s current keystone Mark Rylance who steal the show playing Sorrento and Halliday respectively. Mendelsohn is a true delight as the head of the IOI.
It is the music that will win people over. Of course it doesn’t reach the highs of Guardians of the Galaxy in epic-ness for playlists, but it certainly does pack a punch. As music is a major player in Ernest Cline’s work (both RP1 and Armada), it’s good to see that it transfers over to the screen.
Spielberg has always been known for his trailblazing ways with graphics, and this lives up to that. The world of Oasis is stunning, breath taking and immersive. There are so many references within each scene that it just begs for repeated viewing.
As I mentioned before, the film diverts from the book quite a lot. It brings the real life counterparts together a lot earlier and this then enables both the Oasis and the real world to progress and give the film some momentum. It also changes the challenges. While some die hard fans may see this as sacrilege, I think it’s a stroke of genius. It removes any ‘they didn’t do this’, because recreations would never please everyone. Instead, what you get is the heart in mouth feeling of awe you got from reading the book the first time. I don’t want to spoil any of the tasks for anyone, but bloody hell that jade key task?! Gah! I loved every moment of it and Aech! Gah! Perfection.
The ending is very Goonies, right down to a in-car squabble between the defeated villians. It’s here more than anywhere I feel a little uneasy about the casting of Simon Pegg as Ogden. The scene loses a little of its power by having such obvious aging used on Pegg. It’s a shame as other sections were okay.
The only other missing piece from this almost perfect adaptation is the absence of Wil Wheaton as a nod to the fans of both the audio book and book proper.

Tomb Raider – 12A

Tomb Raider – 12A

Release Date- 16.3.2018
Run Time- 118 minutes

Trailer

About
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished years earlier. Hoping to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance, Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination — a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. The stakes couldn’t be higher as Lara must rely on her sharp mind, blind faith and stubborn spirit to venture into the unknown.


img2The Good
Alicia Vikander is the perfect fit for the rebooted game. Not only for a modern audience wanting a hint of realism to their movies, but in terms of being the perfect incarnation of the 2013 game reboot that the movie is based upon.
It’s unfair to compare Vikander to Angelina Jolie, but you will be forgiven for doing so. Making her younger and removing the inheritance was a brilliant move. Showing her strength and friendships also make her more sympathetic.

The Bad
The plot was frustrating for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but it felt a little choppy. The game-play sequences certainly were the best parts, but the plot was almost shoe horned around it. The lack of friends joining her on the mission to find her father is also a misstep. To spend all that time setting up her current lifestyle and social circle, to drop it completely for the second act makes me feel like it was time wasted.

The Ugly
So, I have many problems with this film. It ranges from the tone of the movie to the characterisations.

  1. So, it’s in keeping with the rebooted games; darker with hint of realism. Unfortunately, the tone makes it take itself a little too seriously. It makes some of the outlandish and mystical elements clash with the overall film.
  2. Walter Goggins’ badguy, Mathius.
    1. Twice he mentions how he’s alone on the island and has been for 7 years. Okay, so the henchmen and slaves don’t count?!
    1. What is his motivation? The final act has him telling the Crofts that they are wrong in what they believe is buried. However, if he’s so sceptical, why is he there? I get that it’s to make money for the company, but I’d like to have seen what he was actually looking for.
    1. When you first meet Mathius, he makes it clear he has no hesitation to kill people. Yet from that scene onwards, he struggles to kill other people.
    1. There’s no development of the character to make me believe that he was someone the company would send to the island.
  3. It was very much an origins movie through and through; the final 20 minutes was a blatant set up for film number 2.

I, Tonya – 15

Release date: 16 February 2018
Running Time: 118m

About
In 1991, talented figure skater Tonya Harding becomes the first American woman to complete a triple axel during a competition. In 1994, her world comes crashing down when her ex-husband conspires to injure Nancy Kerrigan, a fellow Olympic hopeful, in a poorly conceived attack that forces the young woman to withdraw from the national championship. Harding’s life and legacy instantly become tarnished as she’s forever associated with one of the most infamous scandals in sports history.

Trailer

Oscars
Allison Janney won Best Female support


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The Good
It’s a good movie that keeps its pace and takes on an almost meta quality. It doesn’t claim to be telling the truth, but many interpretations of the truth. There’s a lot more humor to it than the trailer gives credit.
The nostalgia for the 90s is very real in this movie and gives the whole tone a gritty edge that I hope to see in more. I just wish this was part of the ’88 Winter Olympics; you’d then have a trilogy of films to watch.

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We can’t leave the good without talking about the amazing Allison Janney. West Wing alumni deserved every single win during awards season. She is brilliant in everything she does and I, Tonya is no exception. She’s on point with her characterisation of Mrs Harding and the depiction of what I believe is COPD.

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The Bad
I obvioiusly don’t know Tonya Harding personally, but the end of the movie shows, as many biopics do, clips of the real life counter parts. Based upon the clips seen, Margot Robbie plays Tonya a little too hard. In the clips and from other footage I’ve seen, there was a softer side to her. I would have liked to have seen that represented.

The Ugly
That ‘tache! Poor Sebastian Stan did not make that facial fuzz look good.

As always with biopics of this nature, they are uncomfortable to watch. The violence, the anger and the damage makes for an entertaining movie. However, it does pull you out when you remember it is someone’s life unfolding before you.