Halloween Advent: My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022)

Rating 15
Length 1h37
Release 30.09.2007
Director Damon Thomas
About In 1988 best friends Abby and Gretchen navigate boys, pop culture and a paranormal force clinging to Gretchen. With help from a mall exorcist, Abby is determined to compel the demon back to the pits of hell — if it doesn’t kill Gretchen first.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime
Trailer:

Trick

  • It is a slow burn plot. It absolutely pays off, but you have to stick with the set up and some viewers out there today do not have the attention. Especially when you add the fact that this film is not getting a cinema release.
  • Anyone with 80’s nostalgia fatigue would do well to steer clear of this one. Yes, there’s an somewhat timeless tone that would forgive you if you assumed it was modern day with the 80s fashion back in style. However those who are tired of the era being used in every film and tv show since Stranger Things, will perhaps want to pop this to one side.
  • The nighttime scenes are made for a cinema. I lost a lost of the action during those scenes. Combine this with the slow burn, and you might just zone out before it gets good.

Treat

  • This film is Jennifer’s Body meets Fight Night, in all the right ways.
  • The 80s era, the bright colour and pop songs. It all contrasts with the darkness and sinister chill that everyone watching it there to see beautifully.
  • The friendship ups and downs really resinated with me, as I’m sure it will with others. The film tackles some fairly weighty issues that are really quite cleverly approved and resolved.
  • Christopher Lowell is always a joy on a project, but in this case he steals the show. Almost to the point that I wish he was much more involved.
  • The two leads, Elsie Fisher and Amish Miller are one’s to watch. While a slow burn is not my favourite type of film, the two girls and their friendship has me invested from the very start.

Final Thoughts

It’s a decent watch. Perhaps not quite as good as Freaky, but it will certainly give you enough goosebumps to see you through the spooky season.

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Rating 12a
Length 2h11
Release 27.05.2022
Director Joseph Kosinski
About After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime and Paramount+ from 24/08/2022
Trailer:

The Good

  • Miles Teller! There are so many levels of perfect to his casting. As the biological son of Goose, he’s spot on. As the boy who will have been raised by Maverick, he’s got it down. The mannerisms, the anger (that flush! I hope to god that’s real and not some CGI deep-fake shit because I identified with that anger tell so hard) and the chemistry with everyone he worked with was what had me invested.
    The final act had me wishing we’d gotten there sooner and spent the majority of the run time with just him and Cruise.
  • Bashir Sakahuddin’s turn as Hondo was understated and quite possibly my favourite part of the movie. The lines he gets to give out are gold.
  • It is a visually stunning film. The first movie struggled to keep my attention during flight sequences, but this?! There were so many shots I’d hang on a wall.
  • Tom Cruise knows how to entertain. I’m not just talking about his role in this movie as Maverick. He’s probably the only old school “star” able to command a box office. He has a brand and he’s used all his power to get this film made and into the cinema.
  • Val Kilmer and Iceman. Nope, that’s all your getting.
  • That said, my final note must be about Cruise and the character of Maverick. It’s a feat to have a character stay true yet not have washed out by the time we pick up the story 30 years later. Absolutely loved how it was within the realms of possibility.

The Bad

  • I personally could have done without the romance. It undoes the resolution of the first movie. I only couldn’t tell you if it was better or worse that they made a new character rather than have Jennifer Connelly play Charlie.
    Don’t get me wrong Connelly, and the character of Peggy, was decent. I just felt that it didn’t add anything.
  • The film really was trying to hard to recreate the conflict of the original. Unfortunately Hangman is too much of a unabashed dickwad throughout the film that it doesn’t have that same feel.
    I either needed a very different dynamic, or I needed something that breaks him down and humbles him and I’m not talking about not being picked.
    In fact, you know what would have been good? Keep the final act involvement of Hangman, but have him choke out during one of the final training missions.

The Ugly

  • I think I’ve spent too much of my life worried I’d become my mother, that I’ve become my father. Mainly because this movie is just a retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope.
    Seriously though?! There’s a good chance you were already thinking it, but if you weren’t, watch it again and tell me I’m wrong?!
  • Where was all the gay undertones that the original was so famous for?! My lecturer didn’t write a paper on the homoerotic coding of Top Gun for Top Gun: Maverick to do us so dirty!

Final Thoughts

I did not expect to like this film, let alone like it as much as I did. Issues aside, it’s a fairly decent movie. Dare I say the “blockbuster” has a pulse after all?!

Review: Star Trek Picard (Episode One) Spoiler Free

Star Trek: Picard

S1 Ep1: Remembrance

First Thoughts

I watched the first trailer late at night whenever it dropped online. I showed it to my dad first thing, the very next day. His face lit up and he grinned like a kid at Christmas. Star Trek was not just ‘his’ show, it was ‘our’ show. He was so looking forward to catching up with Jean Luc and he found the addition of Seven in the second trailer rather clever. Unfortunately, my father passed in November, so tomorrow is going to be very different to the day we’d had planned. In fact, I almost was going to never watch it.

Fast forward to January 2020 and I’ve sobbed through the first half of the other show of ‘ours’; Dr Who. The thought of Picard being as painful was actually on my mind a hell of a lot.

Then, something amazing happened. I won tickets through Amazon Prime to be at the premiere in London. Seems like dad was there making sure I didn’t let this show pass me by.

The Logical

  • This is Trek, but not as we’ve come to know it. At the heart we do have familiar faces, but this isn’t the universe we left the crew of Enterprise in. It’s a stunningly flawed and embittered society we’re faced with and it clashes with the serenity of the vineyard.
  • There’s catching up for viewers to do and it’s done in a way that embraces those who are new to the franchise. There’s no gate keeping in the opening episode. Which is brilliant because I was a bit foggy on the events of that last movie outing.
  • Visually, it is stunning. From the costumes, to the physical movement and location choices. It is that balance between the tv show and the cinematic outings.
  • Patrick Stewart not only fits back into the role like he’s never left, he makes it seem so effortless. Jean Luc instantly pulls back your loyalty and your trust like its 1987. There’s a scene in which Picard engages with the media and I found it to be one of the most powerful scenes ever crafted for Trek: it was able to comment upon topical politics while utilising Stewart’s theatrical background for a breathtaking speech.
  • New face, Isa Briones, has a charm that will disarm you while the mystery surrounding her will keep you thinking long after the credits role. The actress is challenged with making the audience feel something for her very quickly and she does so with beautiful grace.
  • A personal favourite actress of mine, Alison Pill, shines in the later half of the episode as what I hope will be our resident Dr for this series. Her interaction with Picard are tonally perfect and give the viewers a humorous interlude to the dramatic.

The Illogical

  • Why are they not all dropping tomorrow?! The episodes, that is. Wow! That first episode was over in a flash and left me wanting more. Yes, I’m impatient and I have questions that need answers.

Final Thoughts

This episode is not fan service, it’s not about everyone getting a pay check. This first episode is the start of something! It’s a well crafted, emotionally charged hour of tv perfection.

Star Trek Picard launches its first episode tomorrow on Amazon Prime.

Love Han x