TL;DR – Class does what the last season of Doctor Who couldn’t, it got me engaged with this franchise again, with interesting mature stories that feel like they have some weight to them.
Score – 4/5 Stars
As I mentioned in my Top 30 TV Shows Countdown, some way through season 9 I fell out of interest with Doctor Who, I can’t put my finger on any one thing, I just lost track of the episodes and found I did not really care to chase them down and catch them up. So when this new Doctor Who spin-off series hit my feed, I almost passed it up, because as at this point why bother. Well, I’m glad I didn’t, because Class is the most engaging entry into the Doctor Who universe that I have seen in a while.
TL;DR – This is visually one of the best Marvel films ever produced, strong cast, overall a great film, though I do have to say these Marvel films are starting to feel a bit safe.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. There is a mid and end credit sequence
Well, this Marvel machine keeps on churning, earlier this year we had the fantastic Captain America: Civil War [See Review] which at the time of writing is still on track to be my film of the year, but now Marvel takes a different tack and jumps into the world of the ‘mystical’. In many respects, Doctor Strange is an interesting film because at times it is almost at arms distance from the rest of the cinematic universe, yet also it is almost the most ‘Marvel’ film Marvel has put out.
TL;DR – This is a fantastic entry into the series, and it had its One More Turn hooks into me from the start, beautiful music and art, solid gameplay, however, there are a couple of small issues with some systems and UI
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So here we are and the year of 4X continues, and this time it is the granddaddy of all 4X, the next entry into the Civilization franchise. Now I am probably ageing myself here, but I have played every entry in the series so far from Civ1’s square everything and Palace that you could build, all the way to Civ5’s One-Unit-Per-Tile shake up and I have loved each entry. However, Firaxis’ last game Beyond Earth, while having some interesting ideas, left many people feeling more than a little meh, and while its one expansion pack Rising Tide [See Review] really improved the game, it left me and others wondering could they pull off a sequel to their flagship franchise? Well not to jump ahead, but can they even, Civilization 6 got its hooks into me right away, to the point I think I am done with Civilization 5 and I have (now this is a judgment-free space, I won’t judge you from watching every episode of Gilmore Girls if we just gloss over the next bit) over 1500 hours in that game. That’s not to say Civ 6 doesn’t have its issues, because it does, but most of them are minor compared to everything they get right.
TL;DR – The action is there, the characters are there, but something is just missing from this sequel that stops the film from excelling.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
So full disclosure I didn’t watch the first Jack Reacher, nor have I read the books in the series by Lee Childs, and I was kind of tired of the film before I even went to see it because you could not open a Twitch stream, nor YouTube video without having to suffer through the trailer (yep that one right above you here). So I may not have come into the film with the best mindset but then honestly I don’t think you needed to see the last film or read the book to get the narrative because the writers use the opening sequence to pretty much set up the character of Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) and his motivations, and thankfully it is that one scene in rural America with the sheriff and a phone call that you have probably already seen over and over again and they get it out of the way right at the start. So as far as American PG-13 action films go, Jack Reacher is not bad, however, it did feel like something was missing and because of that, it fell short of being a great film.
TL;DR – On the one hand this film does nothing new, and follows the same patterns and tropes of the genre, on the other hand, everybody commits to their roles, so it actually turns out quite good.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
When you go to a Hollywood movie that describes itself as an ‘action-comedy’ especially an American PG-13 ‘action comedy’, it tends to follow a very predictable route, characters are put into a zany situation, there will be some risqué subject material, but not too risqué, and they will drop their one F-Bomb at some point in the film and Keeping Up with the Joneses does not deviate from this at all. Indeed The Joneses fits very comfortably within the buddy-cop, or fish out of water genre, by taking two very different couples and then playing them off each other, and in that interplay hopefully some humour can be found. So the question then becomes can The Joneses solid enough film to sustain its premise for the whole film whilst still being entertaining, and well for me, I think they pulled it off.
TL;DR – A competently produced National Treasure like film, that really hopes you don’t start thinking through the plot points too deeply.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
I should start this review with a quick clarification, I have not seen any of the films in this series (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno) nor have I read the source books, this is not because I have any dislike for books in general, indeed I have too many shelves full of them, but just honestly The Da Vinci Code never seemed to be that good. So with the third one of these films coming out and the ability to still get Tom Hanks and Ron Howard involved in something that feels like a straight to DVD release it did have me intrigued, have I misjudged this series? is there actually something here? So with this in mind, I decided to give it a watch with the worst case scenario I get something to write a rant about it. However, what I saw was not a bad film, but it’s not a good one either.