The Gentlemen – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating and engaging story filled with great performances and many yikes moments     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

TL;DR – A fascinating and engaging story filled with great performances and many yikes moments     

The Gentlemen. Image Credit: STXfilms.

Review

When you sign up to watch a Guy Ritchie film, you sort of know what you are going to get yourself into as he has a very specific style. It is one that is a very flash in the pan, but with a lot more substance than similar filmmakers. On the whole, I do tend to enjoy his style of filmmaking and the stories he focuses on because at the very least they will be entertaining. Well let’s dive into his latest that I was not able to catch in cinemas given ‘waves hands around’, but I am looking forward to now.     

So to set the scene, we open with Michael ‘Mickey’ Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) walking into a pub he owns ordering a pint and a pickled egg and phoning his wife Rosalind ‘Ros’ Pearson (Michelle Dockery). Only to find out there is someone unknown in the house with her which is just the moment that someone puts a bullet in the back of his head. Jump to Raymond ‘Ray’ Smith (Charlie Hunnam) arriving at his home only to find general sleazeball and private instigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) waiting for him with a story and a demand for 20 million dollars. A tale of a bad man who wants to get into the world of legitimacy from a world of danger and it goes about as well as you can expect.      

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Map-It – Let’s Get Fast and/or Furious

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited on screen in the Fast and Furious film franchise

The Fate of the Furious. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.
The Fate of the Furious. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Map

For the site last week, I went through and watched all of the Fast and Furious films from start to finish for our review. As cars were taking down Tanks, Cargo Planes, and Submarines (oh my) and they started jumping around the world from Los Angeles, I started jotting down locations, and well we all know where that is going to lead to. So once again I have mapped out a franchise (you can also see our maps for James Bond and Marvel), from the start in LA to the ice fields of Russia. Note that we are using the named locations and not where they were filmed.

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Escape From Pretoria – Movie Review

TL;DR – A exploration of tension when one wrong step can be fatal.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Escape From Pretoria. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

One of the things I like the most about cinema is when they let me know of stories that I have previously been unaware of. As well as this, I have seen a lot of prison break films in my time, some fictional, some real, some ‘we think this is how they did it’, and I have always found them fascinating. Well, today we get to explore both of these with Escape From Pretoria.

So to set the scene, we open in the heart of apartheid South Africa with accrual footage of the time. It is here where we are introduced to Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) and Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber) who work setting up leaflet bombs for the African National Congress or ANC. One day after a successful campaign, they are captured by the police and sentenced to twelve and eight years in the all-white political prisoner’s prison in Pretoria. While in Pretoria jail they meet Denis Goldberg (Ian Hart) who was put on trial with Nelson Mandela and fellow prisoner Leonard Fontaine (Mark Leonard Winter). They dream of escaping, but how do you do that when you are locked behind several feet of steel?    

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Fast & Furious Franchise Review

TL;DR – It starts ridiculously serious for its subject matter before finding its groove after several films.     

The Fate of the Furious (Fast and Furious 8). Image Credit: Universal.

Well, when you are stuck at home unemployed in the middle of a pandemic, you can either head down some very unhelpful rabbit holes, or you can take the time filling in some blanks in your life. After spending too much time with the first, I decided to give the later a chance. So which movie blank should I look at correcting? This was the query set before me. There are a lot of films and genres to choose from but if there is one that most of my friends have seen, but I haven’t it would be the Fast & Furious Franchise, and well where better than to start there.

This has always been an odd franchise for me as I set well out of its target audience, hell I can’t even drive a manual, let alone parse most of the racing dialogue. Indeed, the only reason I know one of the characters is driving a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and the other is driving a 2012 Nissan GT-R R35 Bensopra is that I looked it up in the Wiki. However, it keeps going from strength to strength, and while I had reviewed some of the later films, it was an oversight not to go back to the beginning and start anew.  To fix this, over the last few days, I have now watched all of the feature films in the franchise. So let’s dive into The Fast Saga a world of fast cars, high-speed crashes, so many different heists, and family above all.

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Movie Review – The Magic School Bus Rides Again Kids In Space

TL;DR – A fun trip down memory lane, while learning a thing or two about the International Space Station.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

he Magic School Bus Rides Again Kids In Space. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


 The Magic School Bus was one of those shows that I can’t help but think back fondly on. Like I can still remember an episode where they went inside a decaying log for some reason. So when a new episode of the show popped up in my feed, and one set in space no less, I had to check it out, and I got sent back in time and into the future all at once.

So to set the scene, we skip all the standard preamble and start with the Bus as a rocket blasting off into space. Ms Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) is taking the whole group up to the International Space Station. The astronauts are heading back to Earth, so the team is watching over the station until the next crew arrives the following day.

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Movie Review – Black is King

TL;DR – A visual masterwork and required viewing if you have Disney+    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Black is King. Image Credit: Disney+.

Review

Today we review a film that might be the oddest film I have watched from a conceptional perspective. It is a reinterpretation of the story of the Lion King remake, a movie I thought was okay but not much more. But this reframing is the barest framework the film uses throughout to explore everything from religion to music to race and more. This should not work, but it does.      

Black is King. Image Credit: Disney+.
It explores many themes during its runtime and gives each and every one of them the justice they deserve. Image Credit: Disney+.
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TV Review – Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege [Chapter One]

TL;DR – While presenting some new ideas and context for this Transformers world, I couldn’t help but walk away feeling hollow by the experience.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy – Siege. Image Credit: Netflix.

When it comes to the little franchise that could, Transformers has always been the one ready to well transform itself and come back as something new. From the original Gen 1 to the hit and miss movies, and all the many animated shows in-between. No matter the case, it always has ready to put on a new coat of paint, or fathers and scales that one time, and now is no different. Today we will be looking at a show that takes us right back to the beginning with the War for Cybertron.

So to set the scene, we open amid a millennia-long civil war between the Decepticons led by Megatron (Jason Marnocha) and the Autobots led by Optimus Prime (Jake Foushee). Cybertron, once an ecumenopolis of shining lights is now rubble pocketed with the damage of the conflict. The Autobots however, have been on the losing side of this war, and now are struggling to survive. They need energon to escape on their Arc, but Megatron is planning something worse that may destroy them where they stand, and no one will be able to hide from it. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole, and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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Explore It – Out For A Day In Brisbane

TL;DR – Today I got out of the house and just went for a walk for the first time since March

Article

Since March, life has been a state of being at home twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, unless you had some specific event to go to. After a while, that starts to put a drain on your mental fortitude. Also, the lack of exercise plus stress eating has not helped either. Well, yesterday I had the day off and given the good situation that Queensland was in (when I left my door that morning, but we will get into that later) I thought it was time to get out of the house and go for a wander. So I packed my bag with hand sanitiser and a mask, left after peak hour, as recommended, and started my walk.    

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Movie Review – Shine Your Eyes

TL;DR – A film that presents a lot of interesting questions, but I am not sure it answers everything it sets out to do.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Shine Your Eyes. Image Credit: Primo Filmes.

Review

One of the great things about World Cinema is that you can explore whole worlds you don’t know about and see them come alive. I have never been to Brazil or Nigeria, but through cinema, I can experience those stories, the pain and the joy.  

So to set the scene, Amadi (O.C. Ukeje) has been tasked by his family to fly across from Lagos, Nigeria to São Paulo, Brazil. He is in the unfamiliar country for one reason, to find out what happened to his estranged older brother Ikenna (Chukwudi Iwuji). What makes things worse is when he discovers that the story that Ikenna has told his family is a lie, and if he does not find out what happened he might have to take on the mantle of the older brother as is required in Igbo society.   

I am going to start with the fact that as someone from Australia, I do not know if the film represents Igbo society or Brazil. So I am proceeding in this review under the assumption that they do in this regard unless I discover otherwise.     

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Movie Review – The Speed Cubers

TL;DR – A look into the world of Rubik’s Cubes and those who can solve them in under 7 seconds.    

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Speed Cubers. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the great things about documentaries is when they take you into a world that you have no idea about. Today we get a film that does just that, with the world of Rubik’s Cubes. I don’t get Rubik’s Cubes. My brain cannot compute them. The skill involved boggles my mind, so watching it all unfold is a real joy.

Where this documentary works is by offering us an insight into a world that everyone has a handle on but then also something you can’t quite comprehend. I think everyone has played with a Rubik’s Cube at some point in their lives. It is a novelty thing, that let’s be honestly more than a few of us have only finished one because we pealed the colour panels off and switched them around. It is a tactile situation that we can all relate to, so when you see people move their fingers in a blur and shift chaos into order in mere seconds.

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