Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it took a long time to get started, it triumphed when it found its voice.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

Everyone looks in shock as Benoit Blanc arrives

Glass Onion Review

It is no secret that I love the first Knives Out film, one of those rare films that improve with each rewatch. It waltzed onto the screen full of pomp and circumstance before subverting the whodunit genre. It could have worked perfectly as a stand-alone film. It would have been satisfactory to quit while you were ahead. But to be honest, I always wanted to jump back into this world, and I am glad we did.

So to set the scene, one day, Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) all received a mysterious parcel in the mail. It is from reclusive billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a long-time friend and controversial figure. The box invited everyone to a murder mystery, his murder, in Greece. But when everyone turns up at the dock, surprisingly, there is a Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) there as well. Even more surprising is that Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe) also arrives. Because Andi was just betrayed by everyone, publicly, and well the stage is set for murder.    

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1899: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – A dark and compelling tale full of mystery and ‘wait… what?!?!’ moments.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

The Kerberos

1899 Review

One of the shows recommended to me is Dark, and I have always meant to give it a look, but finding time to watch three seasons has been elusive. However, when I heard that the creators of Dark had a new series that hit all the same feels, well, it was time to give it a watch. Also, for some reason, Netflix defaults to the English dub of this series. Please, before you watch, make sure you change the language from English – Dubbed to English – Original.

So to set the scene, it is 1899, and in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is the Kerberos, a large steamship taking passengers to New York City. The ship itself is light on with passengers because the Kerberos’ sister ship Prometheus disappeared on the same route a month ago with no trace. One night as all the first class passengers are eating their dinner, a young boy Krester (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), bursts into the dining hall saying they need help because his pregnant sister Tove (Clara Rosager) is going into shock. No one will help but Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham), who rushes to assist, even though the dreams of her being locked up and tortured in a psychiatric institution bare heavily upon her. Captain Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann) is annoyed that Maura broke the rules, but that is all put aside when the ship has a sudden communication from the Prometheus, which might not be at the bottom of the ocean as most people thought. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Warriors of Future (明日戰記, Ming yat zin gei, Virtus, 矛盾戰爭) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating action story, held back by some frustrating characters.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

Looking up at a painted rendition of what Earth used to look like.

Warriors of Future Review

If there is one thing that will get me immediately interested in a film, it is a story about trying to fight for a future. The world has gone to pot, but there is one chance to save us all. I can’t help but sucked into stories like this, and today we look at one around an alien plant.

  So to set the scene, technology had been advancing at a prodigious pace in the last century, as was the propensity for destruction, aided by the development of military robots. The wars and ecological decline led to a societal collapse worldwide. It is hard to go on when even the air you breathe is toxic, so what governments that were left started building Skynets over cities so they could purify the poisonous air. Things were beginning to turn around when a meteorite crashed into the plant. It caused immense destruction, to where it hit City B-16, and it carried an alien plant called Pandora that rapidly expanded when exposed to water. A turn that humanity might not be able to recover from.           

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The Peripheral: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – While it expertly builds tension and the world, it ends on a flat note of frustration  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Prime Video service that viewed this show.

End Credit Scene – The final episode, The Creation of a Thousand Forests, has an end credit scene.

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.

Flynne connects to the VR Set

The Peripheral Review

It has been a while since I have sat down to a good sci-fi mystery. One that makes you scratch your head and wonder how all the different parts connect. I think the last one that truly captured me like this was Westworld. Which is good timing because you can see those influences in the show we are looking at today.

So to set the scene, we open in London in 2099 as Wolf (Gary Carr) sits on a park bench as holographic galleons recreate a battle on the pond in front of him. As he watches a young girl Aelita (Sophia Ally), approaches the bench without shoes. She wants to save a world, not the one they are in now, that is lost, but another world, one that can still be saved. In the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2032, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) is helping her sick mother, Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton), when she notices that her medicine is being cut by her no-good brother Burton (Jack Reynor). Confronting him, she instead gets dragged into helping some guys beat a level in a WW2 VR Video Game, something she is very good at. At work, she is given a package for her brother, a new VR machine that she can beta test, and get money for her family. But the immersive VR set in a future London is more real than anyone expected. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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The Menu – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is one of those films that revels in subverting something that brings me great joy and captivates me the entire time it is doing that.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.

Oyster Foam, with lemon lemon gel

The Menu Review

There is always a delight when you walk into s film with no idea what you are about to witness. Even more so when that film goes to places, you would never have expected. Well, today we have just such a film which was taken to the next level with me only seeing it because of a mix-up, and I am delighted that mix-up happened because goodness, what an experience.

So to set the scene, we open at a boat dock as Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and her date Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) wait in fancy evening attire. They and a bunch of important critics, celebrities, foodies, and businessmen are taking a trip to one of the world’s most exclusive restaurants, Hawthorne, run by Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), hidden away on its own island. The restaurant’s maître d’ Elsa (Hong Chau) takes them on a tour of the island, revealing all its natural bounties and constructed eccentricities. Everything has been tailored to each guest. The only issue is that Margot was not meant to be there, and no one let the restaurant or Chef know.

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Christmas Ransom – Movie Review

TL;DR – A thoroughly charming film when it is working and a bit overwrought when it is not.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There are mid-credit scenes

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film.

emerging from a ball pit

Christmas Ransom Review

It is the time of year when Christmas films are a plenty. Indeed 5 Christmas films got added to a streaming service just today. But if I am to dive into what can be a mess of sentimentality, I want to spend some time with a local production. Well, it is good timing because the Stan Christmas film just dropped, and it is time to find some joy in the world.
 
So to set the scene, at Harrington & Sons toy store run by Clarence Harrington (Cleave Williams) and famous all through the country and the place to visit for toys. But as time marches on, Clarence’s son Derrick (Matt Okine) now runs the store. Christmas does not hold the joy it once was after doing it alone for so long, and even Gladys (Miranda Tapsell), the store’s security guard, can see something missing from Derrick’s life. Even more so given the store is about to close because of a lack of finance. But once the store is closed for the evening, we discover that not everyone has left. Two members of the naughty list, Wombat (Evan Stanhope) and Brady (Tahlia Sturzaker), are here. But before Gladys can finish integrating the little brats, two actual crooks, Nan (Geneviève Lemon) and Shez (Bridie McKim), come into the store with guns. Soon all the staff are tied up with tinsel, a ransom call has been made, and the question is, who can save them?

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Violent Night – Movie Review

TL;DR – The sleigh bells ring as Santa takes out one henchman after another.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Santa and his reindeer.

Violent Night Review

Some concepts for a film intrigue you by their very existence. For example: what if Santa must carve his way through a pile of mercenaries to save a young girl who truly believes in him? A concept that answers once and all the question ‘is Die Hard a Christmas film?’ by straight up making it one. Well, that is a film that gets my immediate attention.

So to set the scene, Santa (David Harbour) is getting wasted in a bar in Bristol, England. The constant consumerism of Christmas is wearing him down, and this might be his final year. Meanwhile, in Greenwich, Connecticut, Linda (Alexis Louder) is picking up Jason (Alex Hassell) so that their daughter Trudy (Leah Brady), can have a normal Christmas. Well, as normal as you can when you are separated, and you are part of one of the wealthiest families in America under the all-seeing eyes of matriarch Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo). But as Santa arrives at the house to drop off Trudy’s presents, Mr Scrooge (John Leguizamo) and his gang storm the house, kill the staff and take the whole family hostage. There is $300 million on the line, and now Santa is stuck in the middle of it.

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Poker Face – Movie Review

TL;DR – There could have been a good film here, but it gets lost in the mess of two competing ideas.     

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film

rolling waves

Poker Face Review

One of the things about reviewing films that can be frustrating is when you get a movie where you can see promise in there, but the final product just falls flat. You feel for the filmmakers because they were so close to finding something unique, but you must review what you get at the end of the day. Well, on that front, let’s look at Poker Face.

So to set the scene, we open in on a bunch of kids playing cards, jumping off cliffs, running from bullies, and being there for each other. Many years later, the leader of the group, Jake (Russell Crowe), is visiting a local shaman (Jack Thompson) in the bush and asking his lawyer Sam McIntyre (Daniel MacPherson), to arrange some trust accounts and an extraordinary evening. Soon Michael Nankervis (Liam Hemsworth), Alex Harris (Aden Young), and Paul Muccino (Steve Bastoni) are all racing up the coast in sports cars to make it to Jake’s luxury oceanside holiday house. The childhood friends will play a high-stakes poker game, but secrets are about to escape.

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Wednesday: Season 1 – TV Review

TL;DR – Wonderful characters crammed into a generic “insert narrative here.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this series.

Nevermore Academy sign

Wednesday Review

When you take a beloved property from the past and create a modern adaptation, you need to translate a text into a future it was not ready for. This transition can help you find a new voice for an old work or what can drown an old work as you lose what made it work in the first place. Today we look at a show that hits both of these extremes in its wild ride to make it to our screen.

So to set the scene, Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) is an odd duck in the straight-laced Nancy Reagan High School. However, she is and always will be intensely protective of her family, and no one gets to torture her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) but her. Well, one application of piranhas during water polo practice later, and she is expelled from another school. Wondering what to do, her parents, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez (Luis Guzmán), decide to enrol her in their old school Nevermore Academy. Aghast at being forced to live in her parent’s shadow and her roommate Enid’s (Emma Myers) colourful room, Wednesday decides to run away. But that is when one of the students tries to murder her, and she is saved by a creature that might be disembowelling local hikers, and maybe there is a place for her here after all. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.    

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A absolute delight that understands how not to outstay its welcome through charm and joy.   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Knowhere

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review

When you hear the word ‘Holiday Special’, there can be a certain dread. That is because history is littered with failed examples, sometimes infamously failed. In my experience, they are, at best okay. However, today we have a model that might buck that trend.  

So to set the scene, back in the past, we find a young Peter Quill (Luke Klein) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) setting up their own little Christmas tree on the Ravanger spaceship when Yondu (Michael Rooker) walks in and trashes it because it shows weakness. Back in the post-Endgame, post-ditching Thor present. The Guardians of the Galaxy have bought Nowhere and have started bringing it back to its former prime. However, the gang feels that Peter (Chris Pratt) is still sad about losing the love of his life. Well, it is Christmas time, and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have a plan, let’s kidnap Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon).  

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