WELCOME TO THE MINI MOVIE REVIEWS PAGE ( WARNING: SPOILERS )
I WATCH FILMS OCCASIONALLY, SO... ( MOST RECENT REVIEWS AT THE TOP )
Reservoir Dogs 7.5/10
Confession; I have seen this film before but never in it's entirety- just bits and pieces over the years so it was about time to sit down and watch it properly. I'm glad I did though- this is another great example of crafting a compelling story on a fairly small budget, without the bloat of multiple locations, pointless sub-plots and characters or gratuitous set-pieces; it's just a solid story, characters and 'who done it' mystery that unravels as the plot unfolds in the trademark time-jumping style that Tarantino likes to use sometimes. The 90-minute run-time does feel a little short if anything, as though they could have shown more of the events that happened rather than just describing it to paint a picture of how the characters found themselves in the situation they did at the end of the movie, but I suppose that was intentional as instead they chose to explore each character in flash-back, that seems to have been the focus and it certainly works with the story-building. I would call this a great film in terms of character and story ( and sound track ), less so in terms of setting and visuals which seems to be the only focus in many modern movies ( why have good characters and writing when you can have soulless cgi and action every 2 minutes? ). Go watch it if you haven't, you'll thank yourself.
Beyond Skyline 7/10
Remember that film Skyline? Of course you do- turns out it had a sequel, and it happens to be pretty 'not bad' in my opinion, with a decent blend of character building, action and adventure, with a lashing of big-budget B-movie charm. I suppose a fair way to describe it would be to say 'imagine with Independence Day 2 was actually good'. It's set at the same time as the original but also carries the story forward, featuring the original 2 main characters ( their story-line is wrapped up, which makes a change from some movies ) and sets the scene for how humanity finds a way to fight back effectively. Now there is also going to be a third film released next year so I look forward to that- some people really dislike this franchise which is fair enough, not everyone can be right, but if you enjoy a good sci-fi action adventure then this is definitely worth checking out- not quite the block-buster it tries to be but still pretty competent compared to franchises that are far larger and more costly to produce.
Rapture Palooza 6.5/10
A silly film based around a simple premise, yet it wasn't groan-inducing or boring- not all that engrossing either to be fair but there was just about enough going on to keep me paying attention, more or less ( it was better than Bill & Ted 3 in that regard, so... yeah ). Acting was fine, no one seemed to be phoning it in despite the comically low budget & it comes across as fun little film to watch if you're bored, not a block-buster or thriller; just what I needed right now. Also, Anna Kendrick is always a win, so it gets a thumbs up for sure.
Bill and Ted Face The Music 6/10
So yeah, that was a film, I suppose. I'll echo many reviewers by saying it didn't live up to the first two films, not by a long way- it really lacked the sense of adventure and wackyness the previous entries in the series executed so well. There are some good jokes here and there, but the supporting cast is pretty weak in my opinion and their dialogue equally so- especially given their subplot felt like a bad rehash of the previous films. Over all, if you were a fan of the originals then you'll probably want to see this for completion, but if you've never seen any of the films or don't remember them, this is third installment might be worth skipping unless you're really stuck for something to watch. Also, Keanu Reeves with no beard is... unsettling...
Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna 8/10
Beautifully animated compared to Digimon Tri, good scripting for the most part, several really nice call-backs to the original series(s) and a tear-jerker ending. What I didn't like was the fact the ending of series 02 seems to have been thrown out the window in order to craft this new ending essentially; fans will remember that the end of 02 included a glimpse into the future with adult versions of the main characters and their children, all with partner digimon; not any more apparently as that ending is considered non-canon now. I also didn't really like how Kizuna heavily focuses on just Matt & Tai when they really could have included the rest of the characters a bit more- I suppose they did that in Tri so no need to do it again maybe? Anyway, as I said this was a beautifully animated film with a good, though sad, story and did a fairly good job or wrapping up story arc of the Digidestined and their partner Digimon- you never want these things to end but at some point they have to, one way or another... until they reboot it ( Digimon Adventure 2020 ftw! ).
Space Battleship Yamato (2010) 7.5/10
I've been meaning to watch the anime for years but could never force myself to get around to it- as fate would have it I happened across a copy of the 2010 live action film, with English dubs ( boo, hiss, subs not dubs etc ) so I decided this was as good as time as any to finally see what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did- though this live action version does vary somewhat from the very original it does seem to stay very true to the story for the most part with a few tweaks to make this more of a stand-alone film rather than something that invites sequels as the original did. The acting is a little hammy here and there and the English dubs don't help much although I will say the voice cast did a great job all the same, can't complain too much in all honesty. The CGI is very nice for the most part with just a little bit of ropeyness when the humanoid aliens are on-screen en-mass ( bit of ctrl+c ctrl+v action going on almost ), the physical sets, props and costumes look great, very loyal to the original. All in all I would happily recommend this film to anyone who has never watched the anime but is vaguely familiar with it, as I was- it's a simple story with a simple message, easy viewing with lots of action to entertain most viewers.
Terminator: Dark Fate 5.5/10
Granny and Grandpa, with guns, and generic weak/strong characters because weak story-telling is all the rage right now. This is really just a complete retread of Terminator 3 & Terminator Genysis, right down to the ropy CGI & completely OTT action scenes that aren't remotely believable. I say ropy CGI, but the funny thing is the opening scene with young Sara & John Connor look amazing- they are damn-near flawless... but then the rest of the film happens and it's back to 'not-bad' or 'sub-par' CGI again. The marketing of this film didn't do it any favours either really, leaning into the whole 'female empowerment' thing in ways that just made me want to scratch my eyes out; Terminator 1 & 2 are famous for doing female empowerment correctly, with a well written characters and great acting performances. How they managed to screw it up this badly by having an androgynous-looking character and setting up 'big reveal' that it's the female protagonist who is humanity's saviour, not her hypothetical-unborn son is beyond me- it wasn't necessary to relay that kind of message in the 80s, or 90s, but now all of a sudden... virtue signalling, virtue signalling everywhere, girl power, down with the patriarchy, we don't need men, socially aware cinema ftw. Ugh. Sad thing is up until about 2/3 the way through the film it wasn't too bad, but when a retired terminator who sells drapes turns up it all starts going off the wall and into silly-nonsense territory. I really didn't plan on watching this one, but I forced myself and I feel dirty for doing so- if you are curious, watch it yourself, if you didn't really like the last 3 Terminator films, this one isn't any better.
Sonic The Hedgehog 7/10
I'm glad they redesigned Sonic, the original film version was... nightmarish. This is a goofy film and very lighthearted in tone, even in the darker moments- I think it works quite well given the intended audience and it's in no small part thanks to Jim Carey's masterful performance. I would say however he wasn't quite the manic version of himself we all grew up with in the 90s and early 2000s, he seemed a little toned-down in his performance though I suppose his character wasn't meant to be quite that comical, more cynical and maniacal with just a touch of madness. The script was a little 'eh' here and there but I'd say it was quite comparable to Detective Pikachu in that sense- more emphasis put on visuals and fun than anything else, though the supporting cast did a good job for the most part considering they were basically acting to nothing most of the time, as is the issue with having a fully CGI character. Over all I'd say this was a fun little film that will entertain the kids and has enough references to the original games to please adults too- along with the joy of seeing Jim Carey on the big screen again. Go see it, you'll enjoy it, even if it isn't a master-piece.
Ender's Game 7/10
This film is a bit weird. I really don't believe the premise of training kids to be master tacticians in order to save humanity on the basis that playing video games makes them perfectly skilled for the job... that seems like just a tad wishful thinking. Anyway, I have a feeling the book contains a lot of important detail that ended up getting watered down or lost entirely and it certainly feels that way as the film progresses- there are moments that are very intelligently written, there are moments that are touching, and there are moments where I screwed my face up trying to fathom what exactly is going through the characters mind, or the writer's minds at any rate. Elsewhere the visuals are stunning, some very good CGI and set design so no real complaints there, and a rather brilliant twist/revelation towards the end, though the very end fell a bit flat for me- like it was just tacked on and was probably much... 'better' in the book. Still, it's an okay film and one that nearly passed me by, but I'm glad I saw it even if parts of the story felt like I was missing something.
Detective Pikachu 6.5/10
Not a bad effort, but not a great as some outlets were making out. The CGI is fairly good but also somewhat unpolished, at least it is to my eyes at any rate- the script/dialogue however is really quite poor in some spots with characters being rather 1-dimensional and unrealistically bland or just plain dumb. The best examples of this being the main villain and his incomprehensible lack of common sense and ridiculous motivations, and the police Lieutenant who ignores blatant evidence that something fishy is going on beyond what one short, cut-off video clip shows; contrived nonsense like this really spoils what is otherwise a fairly interesting take on the Pokemon universe. We'll also overlook the Pikachu character having the exact same voice as the main character's Father, the blatant rip-pff of Zootopia when the kid gets off the train at Ryme city ( identical visuals, it's so obvious ), and the total rip-off too of the whole concept of Digimon ( shut up ) in that Pokemon and humans live side by side as partners in Ryme city, rather than tamer and slave/pet. Over all, it's not a bad effort of a film, but there are a lot of things that let it down and spoil what could have been a great film for what it is- see it if you like Pokemon and Ryan Reynolds, but don't expect it to quite live up to the hype of the trailer.
This is brilliant, a very under-rated and over-looked film by all accounts. Don't let the lack of a well-known cast fool you, there is some great acting and a solid premise that seems rather predictable at first, but as the story unfolds there are twists and turns and a finale that caught me out for certain. The camera work and fight choreography is fantastic and the special effects brilliantly executed- in terms of plot holes or any wonky story elements you will struggle to find very many and none are serious. Over all it's fairly formulaic- mysterious villains with unclear motives and a murderous revenge spree, but the way it's done is what sets this film apart from others. Go see it, it's too good not to.
Jumanji: The Next Level 5/10
The cringe, the cringe! I disliked this more than the previous entry into a franchise that should have only ever been one movie. More of the same really in terms of plot, only in different settings and more 1-dimensional characters, and more ropey cgi that looks like it belongs in the early 2000s. The dialog in places is just so bad and the character behaviour so predictable & ridiculous, it's cookie-cutter B-movie almost. There are a few touching/funny yet equally predictable moments, and Karen Gillan's bare abs ( noice... ), but nothing can make up for the over-all lameness- and the ending sets up another film... that retreads a key part of the original only with worse looking cgi most likely. Oh joy, can't wait for that one.
Hmm. Everyone went mad for this when it hit the cinemas, proclaiming it to be the best Transformers film yet and that this is how all the previous films should have been. Well, in all honesty this is really not much different to those previous films in the franchise; the only real difference is that this one is set in the 80s rather than present day. That's it, really- Micheal bay produced it and you can see & feel his touch everywhere, from the OTT action scenes to the badly written characters and silly dialogue. I think what people liked about this were the first-generation Transformer designs- seeing their childhoods brought to the big screen in a more accurate fashion caused most people to lose their objectivity in an instant, but it's plain to see this is just another Transformers film, with all the usual flaws on display. That said, it was still fun- watch it if you want a popcorn film & you like Transformers regardless of it's silly script & 2 dimensional characters.
SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse 8.5/10
Impressive display of good storytelling & a unique animation style. I must admit the lower than normal frame rate (14 fps, I think) is a little distracting at first but once you get used to it you don't really notice so much & it actually helps to amplify the comic-book style of animation. There are a few continuity errors here and there, nothing too bad, though I do question what I consider to be a fairly important plothole; where did that radio-active spider come from? Hmm. Otherwise it's a thoroughly entertaining movie that moves along at a good pace with some touching moments and good jokes. Go watch it, you won't regret it.
Hobbs & Shaw 6/10
Dumb fun. It wouldn't be quite so bad if not for the ridiculous sci-fi tech that various characters often have or use; if the film were set a few decades into the future it might not be so silly or hard to suspend your sense of disbelief. That said, the plot is very simple to follow and the action sequences are really well-done, and the cameos are definitely lots of fun too. Still, it is a bit too dumb for it's own good compared to the regular F&F films that are at this point well beyond ridiculous with the stunts that can only be accomplished with CGI. If you like that sort of thing, a pure pop-corn movie, then it's lots of fun for sure...
Iron Sky: The Coming Race 5/10
You know, from a technical point of view this is a pretty damn good film considering the budget. From a story point of view, it's pretty silly though it does follow on from the original quite well whilst moving things forward rather than just being a rehash, like so many other sequels tend to be. The fact the story is so daft though does detract, but you'd be a fool to expect much more, knowing what the first film was about; hollow Earth & evil Alien Illuminati controlling the world- and all dealt with far too easily for my liking. This might entertain you for its ~90 minute run-time, though I did feel restless more than a few times due to just how silly the plot got at certain points ( the church of Steve Jobs.... yeesh ). If you like B-movies, this is one of the better ones, otherwise take it or leave it really, up to you.
Ad Astra 6.5/10
What happens when you cross fairly hard sci-fi with psychological drama? You get Ad Astra pretty much. This film was an interesting character study set against the back-drop of a natural disaster in the near future, and only one man with some serious daddy-issues is humanity's only hope. He's very good at hiding those issues however, but as the story unfolds through interesting set-pieces one after another we begin to see his super-calm exterior begin to unravel... albeit with the help with some really awkward narration ( I'm thinking deleted BladeRunner narration levels of unnecessary ). I think that was a big part of what I didn't enjoy about this film- it's really an action-movie in space but someone wanted to do a psychological drama, so they ended up watering down both elements until what they were left with just feels slow-paced and pseudo-psychological with only the occasional peek in attention-grabbing action or dialogue. I suppose it's a lot like Annihilation in that sense, same kinda concept, different setting- I could easily have skipped Ad Astra and not been bothered, I suppose it depends on what you want from a movie as to whether you should bother catching this one or not. I give it a 'meh' out of ten personally- take it or leave it kinda film.
StarShip Troopers: Traitor of Mars 7.5/10
The biggest criticisms I see levelled against this latest sequel in the franchise is that the voice acting isn't great, the dialogue is cheesy and the plot doesn't make any sense; the voice acting is a bit hammy in places & the dialogue is indeed hecka-cheesy quite often- just as it should be. This is StarShip Troopers after all, it's a worthy successor to the much beloved 90s original yet also builds on what came before and stays truer to the original novel's depiction of the Mobile Infantry ( armoured suits and loads of guns... ). As for the plot not making any sense- utter rubbish. There may be some minor holes here and there that aren't terribly well explained, but then that's part of the point- all cloak & dagger stuff and left to the viewers imagine to fill in the blanks- it makes perfect sense given how very straight forward it actually is. My biggest gripe would be the main villain being rather weak and one dimensional, though even then that aspect of the plot is actually explained as to why and what-for. Could have been handled better but it does tie into the wonderful cheesyiness along with the news bulletins that feel pulled directly from the original too ( would you like to know more? ). If you did like the original and you are a fan of games like Halo then go watch this- it's a good pop corn movie with lots of action and armoured troopers kicking bug butt, a real blast and then some.
What a weird yet interesting film. Original enough concept with a fairly intimate cast that works well with how the plot unfolds, some good CGI and some slightly ropey effects- given the 40 million dollar budget I'd say it's not too bad really. You do get a good sense of the impending doom that awaits the characters and see them breaking down emotionally ( and physically ) as the story unfolds- the Bear attack scene is particularly terrifying / horrific ( don't have nightmares... ) and the ending is trippy as hell which I kind of expected given some of the themes of the film- it's a very much sci-fi meets mystery meets arty psychological affair and blends them all quite well. Apparently it didn't too well at the box office for some reason- probably because it wasn't all that well advertised and was up against much larger films at the time. I would say however that if you enjoy your lower budget, intimate films which are a bit more challenging in terms of themes explored then this is a real gem that deserves investigating.
Toy Story 4 8.0/10
I'll admit, I was apprehensive when this film was announced as I felt like the 3rd film was a fitting ending. However, I can safely say that this film leads on from where the last one ended nicely while adding in a little backstory to important characters that was absent previously, and by the end it felt like the perfect start to a new trilogy that isn't forced unlike many franchise that refuse to die. New characters get a good story arc, older minor-characters maybe don't get the same treatment though it isn't exactly necessary as such- as such they are treated as comic relief more than anything but it all comes together in the end, and what an ending. I cried, yeah- it was that good. The end credit scenes were fantastic too and lightened the mood which is definitely needed. Go see this, trust me, you won't regret it.
Alita Battle Angel 8.5/10
I loved this, and it absolutely deserves a sequel. For all of the reported issues regarding James Cameron dumping 600 pages of notes on director Robert Rodriguez, the film turned out really well- solid plot that flows along nicely without being clunky, good characters even if some of them didn't get much screen time or a chance to really shine, and actual character development that revealed their motivations without feeling forced. I did get smile out of the guy ( Mahershala Ali ) playing Vector; you couldn't have asked for a better audition for playing the next Blade. Anyway, if you like cyberpunk, dystopian / post-apocalyptic futures and sci-fi, then go watch this for certain. It genuinely does deserve more love.
The Meg 6/10
Dumb fun that felt straight out of the late 90s or early 2000s. There were actually some clever ideas in this film that made me want to give it a higher score, but then it went ahead and ruined those moments by doing exactly what I was originally expecting- specifically the subs that went to the bottom of the ocean were actually believable with small viewing ports and a futuristic inner surface that acted as a video wall to enable a good view of the outside; then they had to ruin it by having the stupid 'glider' mini-sub going to the bottom of the ocean too when in reality that style of sub is only good for a couple hundred feet at most before it would have gone pop. That aside, the rest of the film just felt like pretty generic action-adventure shark movies of the early 2000s, albeit with the 'pander to Chinese market' deal slavered on top, as is the norm these days- it wasn't too painful to put up with, but painful enough- didn't do too much to hurt this film though as it's a cheesey affair regardless. If you like shark-flicks, go see it, it's fun, but you could easily pass on this one otherwise- you really aren't missing much.
Spiderman: Far From Home 7.5/10
It was alright really, nothing amazing or groundbreaking, just a good & enjoyable film- very good CGI for the most part and a solid story which wasn't overly convoluted or contrived. I do find the side-characters antics and dialogue irksome a lot of the time- I suppose they felt the need to include some comic relief where if really isn't needed just to give those characters something to do other than need saving constantly. Apart from that, it was fine- the end credits scene was rather good and sets up the next film where who-knows what will happen; I look forward to it...
Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker 5/10
Oh man, where to begin. The first half of this movie suffers from the fact J.J. Abrams didn't make the previous film and it really, really shows- it pretty much ignores 99.9% of what was established in 'The Last Jedi' and just jumps straight into the action, and then some. That's one major issue I had, the pacing is all over the place and the plot/story is bordering on schizophrenic, like JJ is trying to cram his missing-movie into the first half of this one, but does so in such a way that it just skips over most of what would be required set-up for the story. Stuff just... happens... with little to no context and jumps around like crazy, it's highly disorientating and feels rushed as hell. The next issue for me were the new force-powers that Rey and Kylo seem to have developed that are nothing more than convenient plot contrivances- the desire to show new stuff for the sake of showing new stuff is a painfully old trope and tends to ruin sequels rather than improve them. That said, once we get half-way through things settle down and there is an actual coherent story that plays out; this is when the film really tugs at the heart-strings and hits you over the head with the nostalgia hammer. There are however still plenty of plotholes and simply unexplained plot-points that really could have done with more work to make them make any sense in the broader picture. Like I said, JJ really needed to have been the director on Episode 8 in order to set up events of 9, but we got what we got so he just pretended that didn't happen and this is where we ended up instead- a terribly incoherent story that struggles to pull it together with lots of stuff that doesn't make sense, and relies heavily on nostalgia and spectacle; you can tell this is the work of JJ if you compare it to the Kelvin timeline StarTrek- same kinda visuals and thin-on-the-ground storylines. Go see it, for sure, if only for the sake of closure, then go enjoy The Mandolorian and realise just how well-done StarWars can actually be done when you put someone competent in charge...
John Wick: Chapter 3 7/10
You know that feeling when you wan to love something, but you can't help but notice just how silly it really is, especially when you pay more than just a small amount of attention? Yeah, the problem with this film is that visually it's glorious, well choreographed and some fantastic set-pieces and stunts etc etc, but that choreography is also the main problem. There are just so many silly fights where characters would or should be dead straight away but simply aren't, and the amateurish SFX used for blood splatter ( a puff of red mist ) just looks like something you'd expect on a low-budget YouTube fan-film or something. Likewise, the fact that no one ( members of the public/ by-standers ) seems to react to people being stabbed right in-front of them, or gunshots right outside the doors they are walking past just really takes you out of the moment and makes the scene so horribly unbelievable. Still, it is very enjoyable and has great style, and the story eludes to things in the past that helped to form John Wick into the man he is today- shame we never really learn much in that regard, just hints. The ending however sets things up for yet more large-scale madness, so that's something to look forward to- go watch this film if you enjoy stylised combat and action, and Keanu Reeves, lol.
Fun, but so cringy in a lot of places, with predictable story/plot points and some dodgy acting/characters thrown in for... reasons? I think DC went over-board trying to lighten the tone of their films just a bit too much. That said, the story is pretty solid with some great acting by the main cast, and very little in the way of plot-holes or goofs; I did laugh at the ending when we see Superman walk in to the school cafeteria... from the neck down- the issues with getting Cavil to reprise his role on display, but it was a funny scene regardless. Go watch this if you liked BIG, Freaky Friday and superhero/coming of age comedies.
Godzilla King of the Monsters 7.5/10
Over-compensated for the lack of monster vs monster fight-scenes = I'm A-OK with that. What I didn't like so much was the oddly futuristic tech in the film considering it's supposed to be set in the present day ( I think? ), kinda cheapened the feel of the whole film by making it play out like cheesy sci-fi action flick, rather than a monster-movie with humans caught in the cross-fire as such. Still, the human element doesn't feature too heavily- just enough to make you care ( a bit ) about the lives of the people caught up in the drama, but not heavily enough to really matter all that much. What we wanted was to see giant monsters fighting, and we got it, and then some- the CGI is pretty good and the action fairly visceral for a PG kinda film, characters say and do fairly dumb stuff ( which is a common complaint with this film- some wasted actors too ), but... it's got giant monsters fighting and making awesome giant monster noises, so, it's a win. Go see it if you haven't, you won't be disappointed.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix 5/10
Well, it wasn't quite as awful as many people claim, though it certainly had plenty of issues. For one, that horribly forced 'the women keep saving the men' feminazi bullshit was painful and so unnecessary, nothing more than an exercise in ticking boxes by 'woke' studio executives. Then there was the... 'wtf aliens' aspect to the film; so many ways to do the Dark Phoenix plot and they go with aliens- aliens vs mutants no less; yuk. I'll skip over the whole 'lets go to space without any space suits, in a glorified transport jet'- you know it's a comic-book movie when even the tiniest bit of logic and reason goes right out the window. I dunno what they did with Mystique though, the skin colour and make-up looked like garbage compared to previous films. Still, there were some good aspects to the film- nice practical effects and blending of CGI, some good story-telling and character development ( what there was of it ), though it was quite obvious the studio knew this would be there last shot at the X-men before Marvel took back control- the ending of the film was just bleh- Charles leaving his own school for the sake of 'protecting' the children, and being taken in by Magneto? Nah, that's nonsense. Anyway, I'd say watch it if you haven't already and are the least bit curious- there won't be anymore for a while and it's worth seeing how this prequel/reboot/whatever it is pans out. I've seen worse films, that's for certain...
Ready Player One 7/10
It's like The Matrix + VR Gaming, with a metric shit-ton of pop-culture references dolloped on top, basically. I enjoyed this, though I'd need to watch it frame by frame to really appreciate the assault on the eyes that this film is- so many references it's an embarrassment of riches at times and becomes overwhelming. That said, there is more to the film that that to keep you entertained and interested- solving the riddles in the game and seeing the real world struggle play out at the same time is quite nice, though it does feel somewhat cliched in this day and age and pretty much felt like a box-ticking exercise in film making. I also noted a confusing moment near the end of the film when a minor character had her moment in the spotlight- I say confusing because she looked near identical to the main female protagonist, minus the birthmark; this left me thinking she was a doppelganger or something until I realised she was actually just a completely different character who happened to also be a pale skinned red head; poor bit of casting really unless they wanted to leave the audience confused for a moment, which I doubt somehow. I also noted the same old cookie-cutter happy ending that all happens quite quickly and left unanswered questions or quick explanations to things we never actually saw happen on film. Over all this really is just a visually rich pop-corn movie for people who love pop-culture and gaming references- it's not in any way a masterpiece of cinema or a game changer in terms of special effects and such ( the CGI was passable to alright for the most part ). Should you see it if you haven't by now? Sure, it was fun seeing some of the references to old games and films, never hurts to tickle the old nostalgia bone occasionally.
Mission:Impossible Fallout 7.5/10
Another solid entry in a franchise of films that just keeps on delivering enjoyable and engrossing stories, with plenty of plot twists and surprises and amazing stunts & fight sequences. I suppose my only real complaint is that each film, though enjoyable, kinda feels a bit 'samey' after a while- lots of exotic locations, lots of motocycle and car chases, lots of running and jumping... each one struggles to differentiate itself visually, just in terms of general plot. You'll enjoy this if you enjoy spy-thrillers and action movies in general, and the previous films in the franchise of course.
Stupid, ridiculous, cheesy, predictable, yet fun, awesome, entertaining and watchable. Sticks out a bit in DC's line up of dark and moody superhero films; some may see that as a good thing, some not so much- personally I think they need to be more consistent and get a grip on what they are trying to build- that said I did find this film pretty enjoyable even if it did make me groan and roll my eyes, or screw them up in incredulity a bit too often. Worth seeing for a bit of fun, but don't expect it to be as amazing as some have made out.
How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World 9/10
A fitting end to a fantastic trilogy. I'd say this film is very much in line with the 2nd film- solid enough story with incredible animation and good characters/development, though some of the same slightly annoying character dialogue from the comic-relief characters and a villain/villains lacking in back-story or real motivation besides simply being bad guys. Still, the story was great with heart-warming moments and an ending that did bring a tear to the eye, just a little. Go watch it, buy the box set, and enjoy the hell out of this fantastic and original series of films; watch the tv series too as they fill in the story between the 1st and 2nd film and add a great deal.
Avengers EndGame 9/10
The hype is real, but this isn't a perfect film by any means. The positives are many- characters get good development and story arcs, lots of nice nods and references and some good jokes, some real touching emotional moments and a final battle that was so epic I was whooping like a nutcase the whole time. The negatives however can't be ignored- some real, dodgy plot contrivances that were required in order for the latter half of the film to even happen- mainly past-Nebula channelling memories of future Nebula- how convenient, or not I suppose, the rat magically walking on the exact right keys to activate the Quantum device in the van, Nebula neglecting to mention there needed to be a sacrifice in order to get the Soul Stone ( she knew that, I'm certain of it after nearly getting the Gauntlet off of Thanos in Infinity War ), and last but by no means least the annoying habit that HollyWood movies have of just glossing over the important issues at the end of the film- in this case Captain America being tasked with returning the stones to the exact moment they were taken in the past. Considering how much went wrong or nearly went wrong when getting the stones to start with, what are the odds of him pulling that off single-handed? Very casually just sent him on his way alone and he was completely successful apparently- ignoring the issue of the Red Skull and infiltrating various places without getting caught or injured, or interacting with themselves again as they were taking the stones the first time? Very easy to just glass over that stuff when in reality that could have been another hour of film on its own. Still, if you can forgive such plotholes and contrivances then this was a fantastic film and is absolutely worth seeing in the Cinema, at least once if not a few times in order to spot all the references and easter eggs. The 3 hour run time goes by quite fast really as the pacing is pretty good, never really drags unlike some films with shorter runtimes- go see it, enjoy it, cry or be shocked by who dies ( I was shocked, that's for sure ) and look forward to the next 10 years of Marvel films...
Captain Marvel 6.5/10
Over-hyped, much like Black Panther, and for the same reasons pretty much. A rather disjointed story that was in no way 'an origin story like you've never seen'- it was an origin story exactly like you've seen countless times before- mixing up the story with flash backs makes very, very little odds to how the character develops and their story plays out. Lots of good CGI and some fun 90s call-backs to pop culture ( I didn't think it was over done really ), but a lack-lustre performance by Brie Larson who seems to lack any real range of emotion other than grumpy, angry and smirking ( doesn't help that some of her comments while promoting the film made a lot of people unhappy too ). Over all not a terrible film at all but you could easily skip this one and it would make barely any difference in terms of the set-up for End Game.
IT (2017) 7/10
Interesting film- a well cast set of characters that felt like it delved into certain areas of the book that the original IT mini-series shied away from ( I think, it's been a long time... ). I did however find the CGI very jarring at times, especially where it was purposefully implemented in weird ways to create a certain visual effect, not entirely sure that added to rather than detracted from the story as a whole. Over all worth seeing if only to see the new take on the classic story, and it tells it in a more visual way thanks to modern cinematography techniques along with some more in-depth character analysis. Go watch it, not too long before the second part of the story comes out really...
Beauty and the Beast (2017) 6/10
I hate musicals*, Emma Watson can barely act and has the most annoying accent ever ( and fails miserably at doing accents, though that's another issue ), Beast's voice doesn't fit the character even remotely, no idea why they didn't bring back voice actors/actresses from the original animation, rather a lot of bloopers and historical inaccuracies; I was cringing 6 minutes in, no idea how I managed to make it to the end without just giving up. Still, the film does a half-decent attempt at living up to the legacy of the original but falls short on many levels- you just can't recapture that magic, though you can capture the box-office takings it seems ( $1.2 Billion... )- I just wish they hadn't butchered 'The Dress'- I think that's what irked so many people more than anything else amusingly enough. Watch it if you're curious, but if you're old enough to have seen the original then this may well be a disappointment.
Finding Dory 8/10
Wasn't expecting this to be so good, felt like it would just be an unnecessary sequel but in reality it ties in perfectly with Finding Nemo and gives Dory the back-story she deserved. Some great new characters with as much development as could be shoe-horned into the ~90 minute run time, same great animation quality and voice acting, and some derpy minor characters that got a lot of laughs. Mainly a kids/family movie but plenty of jokes and moments for adults, over all well worth seeing for the fun, action adventure and heart-warming pay off at the end.
Kong: Skull Island 7/10
Pleasantly surprised by this film, moves away from the classic plot formula and updates it in order to fit into the new 'Monster Universe' along with Godzilla- now that's something to look forward to when it comes to fruition in the future. Anyway, a solid cast of main characters with some great visuals and themes, character development is present though a little thin on the ground since it takes a back-seat to the story as a whole as it unfolds around them. A few minor errors and plotholes but nothing very much compared to some films I don't care to mention, and thankfully no horrid children and the stereotypical characters are very bearable and relateable largely. I think my main gripe was giving away the presence of Kong so early in the film when the two pilots crashed and were fighting on the cliff top; it would have been better to have a giant shadow loom over them but not actually show Kong- we all now who and what Kong is by this point in time but still, it took away from his big(ger) reveal later on. Over-all, an enjoyable film and worth seeing for some great cinematography, great creature design, good soundtrack and some really good characterisations.
The Predator 4/10
How Hollywood continues to keep on butchering the Predator franchise boggles my mind- we're talking AVP:R levels of terri-bad. Plot-holes everywhere, cringe-worthy dialogue, annoying kid, OTT set pieces that are just nonsensical CGI wank-fests for the sake of it- every trope and cliché thrown into the mix and then some. Some seriously weird characterisation also going on too, presumably to try and work some.. angle, I guess; if you can't write an interesting story then make the characters wacky? It was just painful to sit through with so many glaring issues that made no sense at all, you have to wonder how bad it was before the extensive re-writes, although from what I've seen it may have actually been better with less plot-holes created. Whatever, this is not a good film- if you're bored and/or a die-hard fan of Predator, this WILL disappoint you, but it might be fun way to kill some braincells and pass the time, avoid it unless you really must see just how badly things can go wrong with such a simple premise as the Predator films.
Ghost in the Shell 8.5/10
Ignore the anime / manga fan boys who all got butt-hurt because shock-horror, a live action film adaptation didn't stick strictly to the source material; and definitely ignore the idiots screaming 'white-washing'. The story was handled extremely well with strong characters and development, a well-written story that sticks closely to the source with some nice twists & turns for those not familiar with the original. If you like a bit of near-future action with vivid yet grungy tech-noir type stuff ( words... ), this is for you, I really liked it.
BladeRunner 2049 7/10
Another one of those visually stunning films which sadly lacks much of a story, and what story there is plods along at a glacial pace. When it's good it's great, but there are just so many slow-moving sections where nothing really happens that advances the story or the character development- oh, there certainly is character development and some good character-arcs at that, but it feels like a 90 minute film stretched out to 160 minutes because Ridley Scott wanted to remind us he can make good films sometimes. If you liked the Original BladeRunner, you'll like this- if you like arty films then you'll like this, but if you get bored easily then you might wanna look elsewhere.
Better than expected, even if it does wee and poo all over established canon/back-story. Some good jokes and great action sequences, but also a very weak and unconvincing main villain and nonsensical glossing over of certain plot elements ( because apparently astronauts don't need suits for re-entry any more, and just jumping into a hatch and not strapping in seconds before take off is absolutely fine and safe- I know it's a comic book movie but please give us some respect at least... ) just seems like skipping over or ignoring things that would make this feel more like a grown-up movie, not a kid's one. That point is hammered home by the fact it was originally shot as an R-rated/18+ film, but then cut down to be kid-friendly; massive waste of potential but there we go. A lot of the action happens very quickly too so repeated viewings are certainly required to really take in all the detail and plot elements, what there are of them, but over all I'd say it's a fun movie and the flaws in it's plot/writing isn't enough to ruin it- worth seeing if you're interested or after a bit of a more fun buddy-movie.
Solo: A StarWars Story 6.5/10
We didn't need or ask for it, but we got it anyway, and you know what; it was kinda fun despite all the drama during production. Some great set-pieces and good jokes, almost ruined however by the most pointless and annoying SJW robot that served zero purpose and added absolutely zero to the story besides some contrived nonsense about navigational charts that could easily been done any other way imaginable. Thankfully that nonsense didn't last too long but it did leave a bad taste in the mouth, along with some other rather weak or odd story elements that didn't do much to improve things, though again there were fun moments that filled in parts of Han's back story ( or tried to, unnecessarily some might argue ). Over all, fun, but nothing special really- not as good as Rogue one, but far less awful than Episode 8.
Incredibles 2 8/10
After a ten year wait, we get a film that is technically brilliant yet at the same time is largely the same story as the first film. Some great scenes and good jokes, but a villain that turns out to have rather weak motivation who could be talked out of being evil by someone with a modicum of common sense and reasoning skills. Other gripes include the infuriating lack of initiative on the part of the heroes near the end ( they know the masks are controlling people, yet they take forever to decide they need to pull them off ), and some ropey dialogue in places that just grates rather than adds any depth to the interactions of characters. That said, the good points of the film easily balance or out-weigh the bad ones and you will be left in stitches by some jokes and scenes- baby Jackjack steals the show again and again, the raccoon fight being a particular high light. Over all, a great film if a little unimaginative in it's story, well worth seeing even if you haven't seen the first- the inevitable sequel should be even better now that there are a new generation of heroes on the scene.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 5.5/10
Another re-hash of a previous Jurassic Park film, this is almost an exact retelling of The Lost World albeit updated and with a few predictable twists and pointless sub-plots. That's not to mention the painful attempt to retcon in new characters, and the groan-inducing one-dimensional young characters- a sassy feminist who doesn't take sh*t from the men giving her instructions, and the whiny, screeching IT nerd. That's also ignoring the dumb third-act and frankly ridiculous idea to weaponize the IndoRaptor. Still, wonderful practical effects and very good CGI, shame it's wasted on badly written characters ( whose personalities flip between films.. ), and comically silly moments that defy the laws of physics and nature ( hint: pyroclastic flow travels upwards of 70mph usually and reaches over 800 degrees celcius ). There are plenty more issues with the film and they aren't nit-picking, you really just have to remove your brain and enjoy the visuals for this one- the set up for the next film looks interesting if nothing else. Watch this film if you enjoy mindless Dino-fun, otherwise if you're not invested then I would say not to worry too much...
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 6.5/10
Ignore the stuck-up, easily confused and dim-witted 'professional' critics- this is actually a fun film, a point proven by comparing audience ratings with critics. It is however a somewhat generic retreading of previous entries- curses, ghosts, young new characters, old cast, treachery, a few forced jokes that fell flat ( repeatedly ), but still, enjoyable with a good pace and good cgi for the most part. There were also plenty of good jokes that raised a good laugh, and not too many unexplained or unresolved plot-points, though there did seem to be an over-abundance of Royal Navy characters who were killed off just as quickly as they appeared, and other characters that existed only to serve a single purpose before never being seen again. All in all, worth seeing if you've managed to see the rest, but if you had enough after the 3rd film, then this won't do anything to really excite you and does little to move the story along, it could happily exist as a stand-alone entry. A fun cameo by Paul McCartney
Antman and The Wasp 7.5/10
This was pretty much on par with the first Antman film- lots of fun scenes and great action sequences, only, more of it. Having multiple villains was interesting and didn't result in the mess if could have quite easily, although the secondary villain was more of a nuisance than anything- the main villain being shoe-horned in as is often required when creating back-story kind of resulted in a rather 'meh' threat, rather than a serious problem to deal with. Worth seeing though for sure- the end credits scene ties in the film with Infinity quite nicely, and sets up at least some of the events in Avengers 4 based on available info so far. Fun times ahead indeed...
Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets 6.5/10
I actually enjoyed this- forget all the negative reviews, this is worth seeing if you enjoy intrigue, space, aliens and adventure. The big reveal at the end isn't all that much of a surprise and the story does seem a little rambly- too much arty-farty imagery, not really enough substance; really does feel like 5th Element but with a lesser cast and even more emphasis on visuals. Don't get me wrong though, it's a good pop-corn movie and it's original ( based on a graphic novel but anyway )- I don't think the trailers or advertising did it any justice at all, it really could have been sold to audiences better if the trailers gave some kind of idea as to the story, instead all you got were lots of nice visuals and zero clue as to what was going on, never the best way to get people interested. Some characters worked well and others didn't, some scenes were fun and others felt rather disjointed in terms of continuity, the principle cast was a bit weak but not terrible by any means ( really could have done with stronger leads, rather than young and attractive people with little acting history ), but over all I liked it once it got going- worth seeing for sure.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 5.5/10
Generic and predictable, with some really questionable dialogue / interactions between characters- the first half an hour or so are a grind to get through but then it does pick up and become more bearable. The main villain is painfully 1 dimensional and wasted for the most part, and the ending has none, none at all of the punch that the original's had. The supposed 'tribute' to Robin William's character is nothing more than a throw away line about the open encampment in the jungle where another character was living- nothing like what was promised in terms of being a meaningful passing of the torch or however it was phrased. It is enjoyable enough if you can stand Jack Black and Kevin Heart, and Dwayne Johnson ( very much an over used actor these days, as much as we love him )- Karen Gillan makes the film more enjoyable with some wicked fight scenes and such, but over all this isn't a patch on the original that had so much more going for it.
DeadPool 2 7.5/10
Similar kind of feel to the first film, but more of it and bigger & better, or tries to be at least; some of the gags are a bit naff and the dialogue is a bit ropey in places, that said over all it's thoroughly enjoyable with some great action sequences. It has its tender moments too where necessary and those inform the direction of the plot quite well, and the 4th wall breaks are well timed for comedic effect, though they didn't make me laugh as much as the first time around; what did make me laugh however were the end-credit scenes, predictable as they might be given their nature. Go watch this, and enjoy it, and wonder what the third film in the trilogy will be like if the last 2 are anything to go by...
Pacific Rim: Uprising 6/10
It was fun, but as many have noted the dialogue is garbage in many places, the CGI not as good as the original, John Boyega's accent is so very grating, and had almost none of the emotion either when you saw Jaegers biting the dust ( even watching the original 2 or 3 times you still feel all the pain and emotion, as silly as that might seem ). Over all, I'd call this movie fun, but largely soulless with one or two gaping plotholes- the aliens are still alive and well in their dimension, as are their monsters, but they can't create their own portal(s), and yet they just so happen to have a dozen or more Kaiju ready to pass through at a moments notice, even though they couldn't possibly have any kind of inter-dimensional communication to organise such an event with mind-controlled Newt? Sure. One thing I did like/find amusing were the Aliens references ( motion tracker, hooking into Scraper power-loader style with even similar looking footwear ), and the Trollolol music had me in stitches. The set up for a potential third film was... interesting, that would be even more of a spectacle and round out the trilogy I suppose ( we don't need a Pacific Rim franchise spinning off a dozen films like F&F, please... ).
Digimon Adventure Tri: Our Future 6/10
As I've said before, this whole series of films could have been made into a single ~90 minutes of far higher quality animation and story telling, this final ( for now... ) instalment is no exception with far too many single-frame moments and reused sequences. We had the fake Digimon Emperor being an annoying tool, again, Hackmon doing his wise-old-man routine, again, and some more unexplained stuff that made little sense ( magical underground science lab in the Digital World? )- we did however get some resolution on the Series 2 cast at last, though it was far from a full explanation. Anyway, the fight scenes were fairly epic although very few real enemies were present, and the one that did turn up was way over powered- in keeping with the previous films none of the enemy digimon speak which is rather disappointing too. It's over now though, and most of the loose ends were tied up- apparently there is likely to be further sequels at some point; might be better than what we've had so far, but I won't get my hopes up. Won't be buying any box sets though, I'll say that much...
Avengers: Infinity War 8.5/10
On balance, I would say this did live up to the hype, though it did try to pack a lot of action and characters into a very modest run time, as a result many characters got little more than a few seconds of screen time and/or bumped off rather unceremoniously. I say this because some deaths were rather too 'easy' given how resilient & smart the characters have been up until this point- case in point would be Loki, who can easily multiply himself & disguise himself, yet opts to try and stab Thanos in a very predictable attack and promptly meets his end. The audience knows this was stupid, the studio does too, but.. run time... wage bill... gah. Anyway, silly things like that aside it was nice to see just how stupidly OP Thanos is even without all of the stones, learning his rather single minded motivation for his actions, and looking forward to the next instalment to see how things play out. Go and see this film asap if you are at all interested- the memes and spoilers are in full flow so going into this without knowing most of the plot beforehand is rather hard, though there were still a few nice surprises I must admit, so well-done Marvel for keeping those secrets.
Black Panther 8/10
A very likeable film with good characters and a solid plot. A few plot holes or issues here and there ( Vibrainium is a rare and valuable metal, yet during the car chase sequence they were throwing/losing spears made of it like they were disposable ) and some dodgy-looking CGI Rhinos and obvious green-screen limb removal, but on the hole a great entry into the MCU that introduces a new hero with real motivations and advances the story along, yet ius a stand-alone story in and of itself. Now, time for Infinity War...
Justice League 8/10
I liked this more than Thor Ragnorok- for real. The jokes were used sparingly but they were mostly good and actually funny, not forced or shoe-horned in to try and lighten the tone- this film does have its lighter moments but the tone isn't overwhelmingly dark either, it's closer to the darker moments in marvel films I suppose. I suppose the main things to criticise were the generic evil villain without much of a backstory- he did get some exposition though so his motivations were simple enough to understand- I appreciated him being a bad-ass and over powered compared to the good guys... until Superman turned up and then there was some wonderful action to behold. Not much character development to be seen though this was the first film for 2 of the heroes so fair enough- I was more put-off by that awful CGI top lip on Superman; it wasn't always so obvious, but when you noticed it, it was all you could focus on- the idiots that forced Henry Cavill to keep it deserve a good flogging. Over all I'd say this was a pretty solid entry with just a few flaws that detracted- it isn't a bad film like many are saying, don't believe the negative hype on this occasion. Hopefully future DC films will build on this and get the tone right and not fall into too many clichéd plot-lines.
StarWars: The Last Jedi 5.5/10
Hope hope hope, spark spark spark. Okay, there is a lot to like about this film, and a lot to make you groan & roll your eyes too. The jokes were good but they were used fairly sparingly, unlike the last film I watched, but the annoying and pointless characters were still present; the SJW crap does taint this film somewhat, but not too badly- anyone who isn't triggered easily will just look past it, whiny bitches will gripe and moan relentlessly however. The sub-plots with Finn & Rose were largely pointless and existed only to give them something to do in this film really- there is any number of ways they could have snuck on board Snoke's ship but I guess they needed to shoe-horn in a relationship for Finn out of nowhere & offer up a moral lesson about the evils of profiting from war whilst also introducing a new character whom was ultimately just a minor side-show & left no sooner than he arrived- wasted opportunity to bring back an old & very similar character like Lando but never mind. One major gripe most people seem to have & that I agree with is the rather obvious way that everything the Episode 7 set up basically got torn down in Episode 8; Snoke gets killed off without finding out any of his backstory, Captain Phasma gets killed after doing not very much, again ( pointless character to start with in all honesty ), Rey's parents are dismissed as being nobodies ( or are they... ) and various other things. Luke & Leia's new abilities are no where near as shocking or controversial as the aforementioned whiny bitches love to make out- pretty tame really in the grand scheme of things but some people just want a reason to hate something I guess- there were far better things to moan about as I've already touched on. In summary- go watch it, enjoy it, roll your eyes at the stupid bits and grin like an idiot at the fantastic parts. Now the wait begins to see how this story will end, baring in mind the sad loss of Carrie Fischer and Luke Skywalker fading into the sunset- now the story will focus on Rey, Poe & Finn... and Kylo....
Thor: Ragnorok 7/10
So, a lot of people said this was a fantastic & hilarious film, a smaller number said it was pretty bad; I'm closer to the latter group in my opinion. Way too many forced, obvious & groan-inducing 'jokes' that might have impressed a young audience, but not an adult one- some felt natural and flowed well in/with the scene, but most were just bad, or so bad they were funny in an unintentional way. Then there are the characters- many good, some bad- the bad ones really detracted and took you out of the moment with their failed attempts at humour, or voice that didn't fit the look of the character at all, with an equally unnatural way of speaking that just didn't suit the tone of the film- and that too felt way off base in many places with the inclusion of certain locations and characters. All that said however, it was a fun movie even if the tone was all over the place and some of the characters were terrible- if you like cheap jokes and aren't bothered by or don't pay attention to characters and dialogue then you will like this film. If you were expecting something a bit more meaty and darker in tone then you might be left a bit non-plussed. See it anyway because as a fan of the MCU it's kind of required viewing...
Despicable Me 3 6/10
More of the same really- beautiful animation, straight-forward plot and characters, same cringe-inducing dialogue and scenes that could have been shortened or written better for pacing and not being so groan-worthy. I don't think we'll be needing any more of these films really- the story and characters have been developed enough, though that's never stopped the Hollywood machine in the past so who knows.
Transformers: The Last Knight 4/10
These films just keep getting worse, but the sad thing is there was actually brilliant CGI and special effects, and an interesting plot that just ended up buried under a pile of non-sensical action and cringey, muddled dialogue and pointless characters with yet more garbage dialogue. The constant desire to fill the screen with action, yelling, running & explosions really took away from the movie as a whole, but then the butchering of Unicron's back-story really stuck in the knife and made me groan- he/it could have been a great villain to defeat, but it seems that they will try and work that into the next film... somehow. Over all, if you can look past the mindless, indeed pointless action and find the plot, then it isn't that bad of a story, but Michael Bay just seems intent on cramming too much into these films and ruining them- all style over substance essentially. Maybe worth seeing if you've managed to sit through the previous films, but as a casual movie goer I'd avoid it probably.
Digimon Tri: Symbiosis 4/10
Disappointing. Considering this was the 2nd to last film, I was expecting a lot more- more answers, more reveals, more action; instead we got 60 minutes of pretty much nothing but repeating the same discussions and arguments, then 20 minutes of mindless fighting between Digimon with no idea who is friend or foe- Alphamon just randomly turning up made no sense at all. We saw Ophanimon very briefly before a weird merging with Meicoomon's Mega form to create some weird gigantic beast- supposedly all part of Yggdrasill's plan to wipe out the human world; not entirely convinced by that to be honest, nor was I convinced by the story that Meicoomon contained a shard of Apocolomon and that is why she needs to be destroyed. This film pretty much completely forgot about everything that came before in season 1 & 2 of the show, and is focussing too hard on trying to be some complicated, angsty teenage melodrama with the occasional fight scene thrown in- with a nonsensical storyline weaved in that raises more questions than answers constantly. I hope, hope the last film next summer will make some actual sense and answer long standing questions about the missing characters from season 2- and don't get me started on 'killing off' Tai- what on earth was that about...
Wonder Woman 6.5/10
Hmm. I don't quite understand why so many people are/were raving about how amazing this film was- it really, really wasn't. Don't get me wrong, it had its moments for sure, but the number of worthless scenes/interactions was way too high- characters doing what felt like a bad job of ad-libbing ( if it was scripted, even worse ) in scenes that could easily have been cut and not hurt the story one bit- made for a bad flow from one scene to the next. The world's most culturally diverse military team was kinda cringey and pointless too, as were certain jokes at the expense of other male characters- you can almost taste the overt feminist ideals being heaped onto the story by its director. Then there was the 'villain', who turned out to be some old English guy with a moustache trying his best to be powerful and intimidating; I groaned so much during that final fight scene it was unreal, really bad attempt at misdirecting the audience and creating a plot twist ( so many red hearings... ) reveal that just plain failed to impress or surprise. CGI was average to quite poor which was a shame for such a big production, really took you out of the moment it was so unconvincing at certain points, not to mention the pointless sacrifice of the main male character ( they could easily have just shot the plane a few times once it was airborne to detonate the bombs, or lobbed in a handy stick of dynamite that they did actually have with them and allow enough time for it to get some distance ). Worth seeing, yes, amazing piece of feminist cinema- certainly not. I don't hold out much hope for any DCU films these days, they just never quite resonate with the audience, try to be too dark and gritty and forget that they are based on comic books, resulting in badly written scripts and poorly executed characters & stories with the wrong tone. Never mind I guess...
Spiderman: HomeComing 7/10
Nothing amazing, fairly run of the mill but well done none the less- pretty standard Marvel movie. Special effects were generally quite good, but a little janky every so often, fairly typical of modern films that are over-reliant on CGI. Acting was fine, characters however ranged from weak to just plain stupid- Spidey and Ironman were fine, but Peters friend ( Ted? ) and 'Happy' were so one-dimensional, cardboard cut-out stereo types, it was painful to watch at times- why does there always have to be the character that refuses to listen to anything you say until everything goes wrong ( even if they listen then... ), and that one character that cannot keep their mouth shut and acts like a total moron constantly? The saving grace there however was the wonderful 'looking at porn' gag that had me in stitches, nice to see pop culture making it into films in a well-done but not over-done fashion. It'll be interesting to see Spiderman in Infinity War, this movie was just good enough to be entertaining, with a solid villain and hero, just needs a little better character development/writing...
Dr. Strange 8/10
Interesting. Amazing special effects, good use of humour without over-doing it, a good origin story even if it did fast-forward a bit too much of Strange's learning process, yet something doesn't quite sit right with me. As a stand-alone movie it's a great bit of fantasy, but I'm having a hard time seeing how this will really fit in with the rest of the Marvel films, the Avenger ones in particular as the whole idea of magic and other dimensions just doesn't fit in too well with what has, up until this point, been a franchise very much grounded in reality- even the Thor films are fairly grounded compared to Dr. Strange. All said and done though it was a great film which didn't leave too much to nit-pick over, well worth seeing for the visuals if nothing else- I look forward to more.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter 6/10
Not the best, not the worst. Didn't really feel much like the final chapter, more just like another entry in a long list. Plenty of things annoyed me in this film, logic and physics defying nonsense such as why is there a huge crater in Racoon City? The nuke that detonated there was an air-burst type, not an underground detonation- there shouldn't be a huge mile-wide crater. Then there is the issue of the anti-virus spreading through the air like magic in all directions, despite it even being stated that it is carried by the wind- all the zombies dropping like flies in a huge wave, and instantly at that, was just sheer nonsense. Some great CGI and some pretty ropey CGI too, pretty standard for a modern action film but better than expected perhaps.
I can't say I'm bothered either way that this was the last of the Resident Evil films- the first one was pretty cool but after that they descended into mediocrity pretty quickly, there is no deep emotional investment unlike some franchises that I could speak of- news that there will probably be a reboot doesn't excite me either to be honest. Probably worth watching this final entry if only for closure, but I won't be spending any money to get a box-set or anything like that.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 7/10
Not as good as the original, but still fairly fun. As per many other reviews, there was too much effort put into trying to make jokes that just fell completely flat and ended up being cringe-worthy wastes of runtime. Some nice cameos and references to comic book lore which some fans would appreciate, I can only hope those characters get more screen time in volume 3 or Infinity war. General plot was fine with no real plot twists, though it seemed like a lot of effort to set up Peters dad as being a bad guy with some evil scheme that was pretty generic and easily beaten- the sub-plot with the Sovereign was little more than a distraction. A fairly okay film the grand scheme of things with some great special effects and a sad farewell to Yondu with the promise of greater things to come, worth seeing for sure but don't expect too much, probably on a par with Iron man 3 and Thor 2 I'd say.
Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation 8/10
I enjoyed this film, for the most part, with just a few big stand-out issues that made me groan. The film is fairly grounded in reality as per usual, but then they throw in things like a ridiculous underwater computer hub, complete with spinning arms of doom- knowing what a liquid cooled data centre looks like in real life just made me face palm at the silliness of that scene. Likewise Tom Cruises character being able to walk away from a Bike crash and car crash, or being able to take hits to the head which would knock a person out cold. Silly things, but they kill the immersion sometimes, or just hurt your brain knowing how unrealistic they are. That said, over all the plot was easy to follow with some very clever misdirection and twists along the way- some of it predictable, some not. A solid entry into the franchise and a nice introduction to some new characters whom we will see again in the next film no doubt. Worth seeing for sure, even if Tom Cruise is a lunatic and 2 dimensional actor.
Alien Covenant 6/10
Ridley Scott needs to be stopped. Not content with re-writing Alien canon, he also decides to recycle story elements from all three Alien films ( dropship scene, directing Alien where they want it by closing passage ways ) and borrows sights and sounds from his first Alien film, one he will surely never better. The story itself is rather inconsequential- another group of people you don't really care about due to lack of real introduction or character building set down on an alien world and start doing stupid things to get themselves killed- not as bad as in Prometheus but still, pretty groan inducing. Then we have Michael Fassbender doing a terrible American accent in an effort to show the audience he isn't the same model android as David... despite looking identical. Scott is obsessed with telling his overly long and convoluted story that rewrites the origin of the Alien and completely tosses aside the Space Jockey elements, to such an extent that the ending sets up for yet more 'David meddling with genetic engineering' shenanigans, no doubt resulting in lots and lots of Aliens and lots of dead colonists, but getting us no where nearer to how the Engineers ship came to be crashed on LV-426 with a cargo bay full of Alien eggs; at this point I'm not sure that's even possible without rewriting yet more of the story since all of the Engineers are dead, thanks to David killing them due to being on some massive ego trip ( 'I wasn't built to serve ( humans )'- what that has to do with killing all the Engineers is anyones guess ). Neomorphs were an interesting introduction and a fairly cheap yet clever enough tool for demonstrating how wildly the alien pathogen can mutate living organisms. Once again though we have to suffer the idea of Alien gestation lasting just an hour or so, compared to a day or two in the original film- heck, a facehugger manages to impregnate someone after just a few seconds of contact before it is killed. I also intensely dislike the idea that the ships computer is more advanced than those decades into the future, that still makes zero sense.
Over all, it wasn't as bad as Prometheus, but it suffers from weak story, over-reliance on nods to the other Alien films to keep fans happy, and cardboard cutout characters you just don't care about. If you are a hardcore fan, go watch it and feel my pain, if you are a casual cinema goer, I'd skip it.
The Fate of the Furious 6/10
If the last F&F film was stupid fun, then this one was just stupid, for the most part. Half the sketchy CGI-filled sequences defied the laws of physics so badly it just wasn't even funny and really took you out of the action, making it actually painful and groan inducing to watch. There were other scenes that just made no sense at all and skipped over rather important info, such as how the submarine that was up on stands magically got into the water, why on earth on obvious attack sub had nukes, why on earth it had heatseaker missiles, and how on earth it was able to keep up with sports cars ( sub top speed 35 knots submerged, 10 knots when surfaced, cars 60-100+ mph ); that entire scene was ridiculous from start to finish. For that matter, the opening scene was also rather stupid; how fast can a clapped out old car drive in reverse and still manage to beat 'the fastest car on the island'? The general plot itself wasn't terribly original and felt like a rehash of previous films, Nathalie Emmanuel continues to grate with her awful out of place accent, as did Helen Mirren doing a dodgy east-end London accent that was so out of place with all the American /Hispanic voices in the film. I'd say this was one of the worst, most crazy in a bad way entries into the franchise, so it boggles the mind that it is also the highest earning; there is indeed no accounting for taste... For the casual cinema goer, I'd say skip it, for the die-hard fan who is easily pleased, you'll enjoy the stupid set-pieces and car chases.
John Wick: Chapter 2 8/10
You know a film is good when you're smiling nearly the whole way through. The way they managed to continue the story was quite clever without too much obvious retroactive continuity occurring, though it always smacks of lack of foresight when they have to shoe-horn in some extra back-story and characters in order to carry the story forward in a new direction; it's entirely forgiveable though in this instance. The cinematography, music and visuals were superb- vivid colour grading really made scenes pop which is another nice change to many films with heavily muted colours these days. Some moral-fags in the press complained about the gratuitous 'gun-porn' and how it supposedly encouraged or glorified gun violence, and all I can say to that is their logic is so flawed as to be utterly laughable; if gun violence or car chases in films ( or games ) truly encouraged people to copy such activities then we would be seeing utter bedlam in the streets world wide, as it is the tiny number of people who do attribute their behaviour to video games or cinema are typically insane to start with, so they point at anything & everything as an explanation or trigger for their behaviour in order to avoid accepting personal responsibility. People are smart enough to separate fantasy from reality, a fact sadly lost on moral crusaders in the press who were derided for their idiotic, naive views anyway.
I digress though, John Wick Chapter 2 was a worthy follow up to the original and the ending sets up what will surely be an even more incredible third film- well worth seeing and buying the film, or wait for a box set eventually.
A fitting end to Wolverines story, but... Let me state for the record that this was a great film, and indeed a fitting end to Hugh Jackmans run as the Wolverine ( and Patrick Stuart as Professor X too ), though it feels as though there should have been one or maybe even two more films between this and the previous ones. So much time has supposed to have passed yet the details of what has happened is just dropped as one-line of dialogue between characters, seems a pity yet perhaps we that's all we needed, hard to say. A few things I didn't really like were the excessive and hard to believe amounts of swearing that certain characters blurted out every 10 seconds; I love swearing in movies, I'm from the 80s, but Professor X dropping F-bombs? Seems very out of character, just having characters swear for the sake of it because they went for an adult rating. I also felt Stephen Merchants portrayal of Caliban was pretty weak- his accent was so out of place, and his line delivery had zero emotion, of any kind- it was like listening to a child reading a line form a school play, really did nothing for me next to the great acting of the rest of the cast really. Over all, great film though and well worth picking up/watching- it'd be nice if Jackman could do a cameo in a DeadPool film but I won't get my hopes up too much...
Rogue one: A Star Wars Story 7/10
I can understand why there were a lot of re-shoots, this really did feel like more of a war film with a very serious tone, but it was tempered with some lighter moments, and came together as a true Star wars film towards the end in terms of narrative and visuals. I can't say I was gripped the whole time watching the film, knowing how the film is gonna end before it even starts kinda makes it feel like it's just going through the motions for the sake of it- filler material isn't the kindest description but the studio did a decent job of constructing a film to fill the gap between episode 3 and 4. Character development was a little thin, though some effort was made- I wasn't terribly sad when they all started getting bumped off, K2-SOs death was probably the saddest, oddly enough- they all died heros though and that's the heart of the story. Might be worth adding to your film collection if you like the franchise enough, worth seeing at least for the fantastic visuals.
Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss 7/10
Finally, we start getting a few answers to questions that popped up in the first Tri film, then again, more new questions pop up and we are still no closer to finding out what happened to the 2nd series cast. There was some nice character development and relationship building between Digimon and their partners, but what should have been Sora and Pheonixmon's time to shine was disrupted by the unnecessary inclusion of other Mega digimon; Seraphimon was wasted here, he should have been saved until at least the next film, if not the last, same with Herculeskabuterimon just popping in for no real reason. Animation quality is still hit and miss- sometimes it looks really nice with the newstyle, but sometimes it looks like garbage when characters are in the background of the shot as such. The film ending on a cliff-hanger was kinda cool, I can't wait until the next one.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7.5/10
I would say this is one of the more enjoyable Mission Impossible films- straight forward plot that's easy to follow along, but with enough little twists and turns to keep things interesting- may be a few too many really as certain sub-plots added nothing to the plot to help move it along. The stunts were well executed as per usual- Tom Cruise may be a nutter, but he is enjoyable to watch in movies. The biggest issue I found really was the daft missile sequence; any modern nuke carries multiple warheads that separate from the rocket miles above the ground to target multiple targets at once- this film portrayed the missile as having only one warhead and it did not separate from the rocket, kinda seemed a bit cheap and over simplified in order to avoid dealing with the reality of nuclear warfare. Still, I enjoyed it just fine and the few jokes here and there at Simon Pegg's expense were done well, some cool effects scattered around though some were a bit rough too- if you enjoy spy films and gadgets, then this will be right up your street.
I can honestly say this was probably one of the weakest Bond films ever made- weak main villain, painfully weak henchmen ( figuratively at any rate... ), and an evil scheme that was so transparent I'm surprised the 'good guys' didn't spot it from a mile away. Some of the main stunts and action scenes felt like carbon copies of stunts from the classic bond films- sliding down a mountain side, using a ski lift filled with civilians to escape, helicopter chase, all been there and done that type of scenes, and way too often at that. A few things that really struck me as being rather lame or bizarre were, firstly, the opening scene were Bond let the bad guy nearly escape by staring at him instead of just grabbing him, then the resulting ridiculous helicopter flying out of control routine. Secondly was Blofeld's big reveal ( sense made = none ), and his helicopter crash that resulted in the police cordoning off the scene instantly when in reality it would have taken 10-15 minutes for that to happen after the crash, not to mention the utterly, utterly moronic plot to torture Bond and wipe his memory of the girl he was with before killing him; this is such an awful trope that it was parodied in an Austin Powers Bond spoof movie, that's how stupid these kind of evil plots are. The only saving graces were some nice cinematography and the stunts were well executed with good practical effects, but that couldn't save this weak display of a film. I'm not surprised at all that Daniel Craig walked away from the franchise before his contract was up- the films were getting so bad it must have been painful to make them, regardless of the money. I'd avoid this turd of a film unless you really, really love formulaic and predictable spy movies.
I'm going to echo another review I saw shortly after this film hit the cinemas; it was so close to being a pretty decent film, but then it fell short in too many ways to ignore or make excuses for. Visually it was great, casting seemed just fine, general plot a little thin and ropey, but then, then there are the plot holes and plot points that just make no sense at all, and some pretty dodgey editing or cuts from one scene to the next, or one shot to the next ( having a huge gun battle... um, yeah, I guess we won that suddenly so lets just walk off I guess... ). There is also the elephant in the room to speak, which is Jared letos Joker- I really didn't see any point in the Joker even being in this film as he had precisely zilch interaction with the main cast besides one brief moment which also did nothing to advance or alter the path of the story. I feel sorry for Leto since it does seem he filmed way more material, but again I get the feeling the presence of his character would still have been pointless as it was a very minor sub-plot to the main action, ignoring his take on the character being far too... I dunno what- weird just doesn't describe it. The amount of work he put into 'becoming' the Joker just doesn't seem justified considering this was nothing but another comic book super hero/villain movie, not some Oscar-bait extravaganza. I also had an issue with how they dubbed the voice of the Enchantress, that really didn't work at all for me and took me right out of the film at some points, along with the idea of Dr Moone being the worst archaeologist in history and some characters being thrown in just so they can be killed off in 5 minutes, not to overlook how stupid and generic the evil plan of the main villain was ( ooh look, another giant sky beam ) and how easily she was defeated after such an effort to get to her, and her also easily defeated brother. It was just too meandering and stupid at some points and too generic and boring at others, with a good-guy boss lady who could have been saved without any help from the SuicideSquad, who really weren't needed for the fight with the secondary main villain if all it would have taken to defeat him was a bomb under his ass, and defeating the Enchantress just required another bomb and squishing her heart in a box. Film tried too hard and failed, even after re-writes; poor DC, they are really struggling against Marvel- seemingly relying on massive amounts of hype to make their films profitable before audiences realize they aren't all that worth watching...
StarTrek Beyond 4/10
So bad, so many plot holes- huge ones at that, not just little nit-picky ones. Justin Lin may well have directed this pile of shite, but you can feel the influence of JJ in his producing role, or whatever he did to contribute to this mess of a film. We all know StarTrek died a long time ago, but this 'film' had nothing, nothing at all to do with the values that StarTrek of old used to ooze- the morality, the self discovery, the emotional journey of the characters- nope, none of that was present in this piss-weak excuse for a generic sci-fi action film. The characters just go through the motions and you care not one bit about what happens to any of them ( much like Independence Day: Resurgence )- the villain of this film has such a weak case for his actions that it is laughable, not to mention how utterly stupid it is that he needed some ancient weapon to carry out his evil plan, when said weapon seemed as good as worthless compared to the weapons he already had. The giant snow-globe star base was a wonderful piece of design, but is beyond ( see what I did there? ) ridiculous- such a thing makes zero sense to be a Federation starbase design, being incredibly fragile ( looking ), and being far too large to have been 'new'- not to mention its location right next door to the mysterious nebula which is rather handy, nor to mention why on earth the Enterprise just so happens to visit it when it's supposed to be out in deep space exploring unexplored areas. That's just the tip of the iceberg though- it is no surprise at all that film didn't even make back its production cost, it is an awful mess of a film so riddled with issues that no one in their right mind would consider it a worthy of the StarTrek name, just fecking terrible. If you like mindless action, go for it, but if you like a plot that makes sense and character development, avoid it.
Inside Out 6.5/10
Not a bad effort from Pixar, though I didn't feel the same level of emotional distress as some weepy-eyed viewers seemed to have, due to certain plot points ( I'm just too jaded and calloused I guess ). An interesting concept though slightly oddly executed in places, what with BingBong just wondering around instead of being forgotten earlier, and sadness screwing things up for no good reason, and saving the day at other times when it made sense for her to. I really didn't feel all that sad when Bing-Bong 'died', he really didn't get a huge amount of screen time and only a rushed back story. I was also bewildered that an obvious method for returning the core memories wasn't used, two methods in fact- and the ultimate solution for getting back to Head Office was to sacrifice hundreds of imaginary boy friends and bounce on a trampoline- 'cos magical trampoline is OP as frack apparently, which felt incredibly cheap given all that Joy & Sadness had been through in their journey up until that point. I dunno, it was a fun film, but not really aimed at kids, but a bit too meh for adults too- not worth buying, but worth seeing, even if to just see if it's as good as so many people claimed it was- I didn't feel it was personally...
Digimon Adventure Tri: Confession 8/10
It was worth the wait. Starts off slow as the previous two films have, but then the feels start to kick in and things get very heavy and emotional ( poor Patamon... ). Then things kick into high gear and the action starts in earnest, and boy does it get hectic. Just like that though, the feels drop like a bomb again and kick into overdrive- back in the Digital World finally, and something isn't quite right it seems- then oh sh*t, it's Alphamon and Jessmon, and Ken! But it isn't Ken, it's... an evil Gennai? and Himekawa? Da fuq? Just like that though, it ends, and it's killing me to see what happens next- so many possibilities, I think my head will explode with anticipation...
Hardcore Henry 7/10
A very interesting film using the 1st person perspective, makes for a rather different viewing experience though it seems really only suited for action films where the action rarely lets up. That said, 90 minutes of 'shaky-cam' does take it's toll in certain places where it's just hard to see exactly what's happening without the benefit of other perspectives. Then again, if you like your first-person shooters ( video games ), then you should love this film- where the video style works, it works brilliantly. The story is rather confusing at first with little explanation for what is going on, but things gradually fall into place before a couple of big reveals that suddenly give background to the events so far- it's cleverly written if a little shallow on story really; this really is just a show case for the 1st person video style, the story is almost secondary at some points. Over all, I rather enjoyed it for what it was, and being only 90 minutes long doesn't get too tiresome, with some good plot twists and really gory kills and fights that are very entertaining. Worth seeing, maybe not worth getting the the DVD unless you can find it cheap- the budget for this film was tiny and it did well considering, I've seen far more expensive films made in a similar albeit conventional style that were far less entertaining.
The Hateful Eight 9/10
Tarantino does it again with another masterpiece in film making. Strong characters, engrossing plot, great dialogue- you actually care what happens and why ( to the characters ), rather than just not caring when someone gets blown away- everything happens for a reason and by the end you'll be grinning like an idiot at how brilliant the plot was. Very few gripes with this film, beyond questioning the real need to kill-off the inhabitants of Minnie's Haberdashery in order to stage the elaborate 'jail-break' as it were. Over all, a brilliant film that runs a little long in order to tell a great story- well worth seeing and adding to your collection.
This is one of those films I wish I'd seen when it came out- not quite what I was expecting, but really well done all the same. Special effects are quite good, sometimes excellent, sometimes a little rough looking- no worse than today's CGI when you consider this film is ~7 years old. Story is pretty original and compelling though by the end it does essentially turn into a pretty simple 'monster in the woods' kinda film which was a shame, otherwise the plot moves along at a good pace and you rarely get bored or wish it would get going again. There are some nice twists which I should have seen coming, and some I definitely saw coming- some eyebrow raising, some wtf no way, all entertaining. Definitely worth seeing if you like your sci-fi more realistic with a good story and some drama mixed in.
Independence Day: Resurgence 5/10
To put it bluntly, this film is pure garbage- it gets points for visual spectacle, but that's about it all it has going in its favour. The plot is B movie grade at best, borrowing far too much from the previous films in terms of dialogue- there are nods, and then there is just scatter gunning whole lines of dialogue through out the movie for no reason other than to try and recall the memories of how good the original was- this film fails miserably. There are far too many characters who get no introduction and hardly any screen time, and are killed off just as quickly as they appear in some kind of effort to evoke emotional response from the viewer, but you really just don't care at all when people die left, right and center who are friends or relations of the main characters- there is no emotional attachment at all. Some of the plot points are pure cheese and stink of lazy story telling, ret-conning the original in order to further or expand the story, and other plot points just make zero sense are pure rubbish; prime example being the salvage ship that has magic sonar that can measure to the inch how far the alien drill has penetrated the ocean floor, or the fact Dr Oken can just get out of bed and be fine despite being in a coma for 20 years that should have left him a shrivelled up skeleton with no muscle essentially. The introduction of a friendly alien species made perfect sense, though the god-awful shiny floating ball that informed the humans about an interstellar war just felt so tacky and an obvious attempt to set up a sequel in such a lame fashion; I can't imagine what the next film will look like, it'll be even more over the top and effects filled, leaving no room for a compelling story or a plot that is well thought out, two things this film desperately lacked. Only watch this film if you like totally dumb action films that make no sense and have lots of pew-pew effects.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 6/10
Ugh, this was just as much of a mess as the last film I reviewed ( see below )- totally disjointed action scenes, terrible dialogue, plot pacing all over the place, and stupid or wasted characters that might as well have not been there for all the input they actually had. I did like how Krang was brought to the big screen, he was fun but not half as menacing as he should have been; Shredder on the other hand was menacing but got no real screen time or action. The ending was also stupid in that the Turtles were hidden form the public by the police, but then told they could lead normal lives and be accepted- made no sense at all. The bizarre shot of them on top of Lady Liberty whooping after getting their medals on the ground made no sense either- there was just so much cringe in this film it hurt to watch it at times. The trailers had all the good parts in as per usual, with the idea that the film would look fun not holding up for very long once you start watching- the fun parts are more stupid than fun. Worth seeing if you are a die-hard fan, or bored, but not worth getting the DVD or Blu-ray.
X-men: Apocolypse 6.5/10
Hmm. This was nothing like I expected really- for a film set in the 70s, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was set in the future, the set and character design is just completely anachronistic, especially when compared to the two proceeding X-men films that felt much more grounded in their time periods. The film hits the ground running at the start, and the pacing barely lets up the whole way through which makes the action fly by far too quickly, with the big action set-pieces blurring together far too much. It feels as though there is a big chunk of the film missing at the start as Apocalypse himself has no real introduction, he just 'is'- feels like he could have done with his own film as an introduction considering his importance as a big-bad in the X-men universe. Moving into the film, the new characters were introduced fairly well, though some of CGI is a little ropey- something I'm seeing quite often in modern films, feels like the money is going into sets and actors and CGI is being skimped on. I did enjoy Wolverine's cameo appearance though it was done rather oddly as a fan service- the trouble with rebooting timelines, twice, in a franchise is that established characters and their introductions end up getting muddled quite badly and just don't feel right. I did massively enjoy Quicksilvers main action scene, easily the best part of the film and I find it hard see how Apocalypse could match him for reaction speed- he never appropriated those abilities seemingly, just a convenient plot device to prevent him losing too easily or soon; the magical teleporting ability seemed a bit much too. Magneto's family and it's death felt a bit contrived really, another plot device to turn him bad again- Quick silver not wanting to reveal his relationship to him also made little sense. Overall the films design and pacing was just a bit too jarring to be believable and felt misjudged compared to the two previous films which didn't ask for too many leaps of faith in terms of suspension of disbelief; I can understand why reception of this entry into the franchise had very mixed reviews, it just doesn't sit right in my opinion, and many other peoples...
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10
It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but it was far from great. Opens with a needless flash-back/dream sequence, one of many that just sets a weird tone throughout the movie and almost makes it feel more like a moody drama rather than a superhero flick. The pacing is awful early on- pretty much nothing happens for the first hour before you get a bit of a car chase; Batman is now a reckless maniac and just straight up murders people- okay then. The 'versus' part of the film only lasts about five minutes and admittedly is pretty damn awesome, then we get into the main fight against Doomsday which is pretty cool but the inclusion of WonderWoman here is kinda odd as she has no real introduction as a warrior- the whole encrypted data part that teases other superheros felt really forced. Overall, I would say DC comics are so desperately playing catch-up to Marvel that they are vomiting out films in no particular order in the hopes of building their cinematic universe. They needed to introduce characters in their own films then bring them together, not the other way around- the DarkKnight trilogy was so excellent but is entirely separate to what is taking place now, and is trying too hard to be something it is't ( dark and moody melodrama instead of a gritty superhero movie ). Worth seeing, but don't go into it expecting anything too special and engaging.
Captain America: Civil War 8/10
This really was Avengers 2.5, but told from the perspective of the Cap rather than all the characters as such, and focusing more on Caps journey. I think they did a good job with the pacing and how much screen time each person got, and the reasons for the disagreements/sides chosen were certainly well crafted. What I didn't like was the overly convoluted revenge plot that was driving the story, nor the fact no one seemed too bothered about defending their actions, or pointing out that if they didn't act then things would have ended up far worse in most cases. I did get a kick out of the young Iron Man CGI, but in many other places the CGI was pretty poor and wonky looking. SpiderMan was a welcome addition to the team, though his introduction was far too rushed and half-baked- hopefully his next stand alone movie will tie things in/together better. Worth seeing for sure.
I grinned the whole way through this, so brilliant. The animation is incredible, best I have seen of any 3D animation so far with brilliant furr detail and what almost looks like motion capture in terms of character movement at times. Voice acting / actors were perfect for their characters pretty much, music was great with a solid theme tune. Plot was very well written and not one dimensional like a lot of films or animations, not too predictable at all either. Plenty of pop-culture references and jokes for parents, though this is such a good film that I dare say it's not just for kids, it's a great film for anyone to watch- screw the furry haters, they are missing out on this one.
I enjoyed this film so much. The gore isn't over the top, the foul language is used in moderation, and the humour is spot-on; there is very little to dislike or nitpick over. My only real complaint would be a bit of meh dialogue from Collossus, some iffy fire-cgi ( burning clothes ), and the final fight scene seeming too even between the main characters when DeadPool is clearly the stronger fighter ( one minute they are completely even, then suddenly it's totally one sided and the fight is over ). Overall, it's a brilliant and thoroughly funny film with a good plot, good special effects and great action.
StarWars Episode 7: The Force Awakens 8/10
Thank you Internet. I went into this film not really being sure what to expect apart from lots of good SFX and action sequences, and I was not disappointed to say the least. The general feel of the film was that of an updated version of A New Hope- same kinda story, same kinda characters, everything updated for a new generation. That said, it was all very well executed for the most part, apart from a few ropey bits of CGI, some clunky exposition and over-acting, and poorly judged use of iconic characters who deserved better reintroductions and/or more screen time. Overall I was very impressed with the film and think JJ Abrams did a far better job here than he did with Startrek ( bitter, much ).
Hansel & Grettel: Witch Hunters 7/10
Very much in the same vein as Van Helsing & Red Ridinghood, modern and course language with silly OTT weapons, which actually makes the film very enjoyable. No Oscar winner, but great sfx and a fun story.
Digimon Tri: Determination 6/10
The feels have worn off sadly- from an 80 minute run time, there is only ~10-15 minutes of meaningful action. Seems Toei Animation have forgotten most of what made digimon great and tried too hard to make it into a grown up anime.
Pretty standard Jason Statham film, feels like John Wick ( even though it's an older film ) + Transporter + Crank + Man on Fire- if you liked any of those, you'll like this.
Suffers from the same issues as the first two films in the series- good for the most part but then terrible dialogue and pointless/needless scenes that add nothing and are cringe inducing.
Harbinger Down 6/10
Aims high but falls fairly flat in terms of acting, plot, script and effects that just don't live up to the legacy of 'The Thing'. I've seen far worse for higher budgets though.
The Martian 8/10
Borrows heavily from 'Mission to Mars' in many areas, but a great story and good science, good CGI & practical effects. Predictable plot points in several places let it down slightly.
An interesting mix of animation styles and story telling, my favourites being Second Renaissance part 1 & 2, and Beyond. Elsewhere, bizarre stories and overly stylized animation styles didn't do much for me.
DIGIMON TRI: REUNION 7/10
So many feels. Modern animation style is a little jarring at times, I miss the more cartoon-like qualities in terms of the battles and dialogue. Thin plot and lots of filler ruined the flow too.
Some brilliant CGI, good cast and witty dialogue, with a back story that adds depth rather than feels tacked on. Main battle with villain too short and late into the film maybe...
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 7/10
One of the better entries in the series, similar vibe to the original. Good fight scenes but poor cgi occasionally, along with some stale dialogue and delivery.
A brilliant display of acting, a clever plot that is very 'on point', but I think I'd have rather watched actual Birdman, this was less entertaining, more Broadway plodding on film...
Another Nolan masterpiece, fantastic visuals and gripping drama, even the high-brow bit's are still just a joy to watch. Airlock face-palm aside, the cheeky robots were awesome.
TERMINATOR GENISYS 7/10
Not as bad as I thought it would be, but too many unanswered questions intentionally setting up the sequel(s), and Matt Smith lolwtf.
JOHN WICK 8.5/10
Great cast, brilliant dialogue, plenty of action which isn't pure non-sense, never kill the dog!
FAST & FURIOUS 7 7/10
Very enjoyable bullsh*t, lolwtfbbq laws of physics and impossible minigun scene, RIP Paul Walker.
MAD MAX FURY ROAD 7/10
Slightly over rated, strange narration, failed to quite capture the spirit of the originals despite having same director, visually brilliant though & a good story regardless.
JURASSIC WORLD 8/10
Visually stunning, lots of nods to the original & tongue-in-cheek acknowledgements, slightly implausible dino fights, annoying kids, running in high-heels, logical fails everywhere.