Movie Review – Svaha: The Sixth Finger (사바하, Sabaha)

TL;DR – This is a film that starts of in this weird tonally mismatched place and then as we delve deep it reveals the strength on which it is developing.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Svaha: The Sixth Finger. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are times when a surprise is really good and then there are times when you unknowingly walk into a situation that you never expected. Today we have a bit of the latter as we look at the Korean film Svaha. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, nor even what genre of film I was about to watch, I just thought it would be a good idea to catch up on some world cinema before I went to bed. Well, there are many things forthcoming in the world, but after this film, a good night’s sleep is not one of them. With that in mind, to put off going to sleep, even though it is 6 degrees in Brisbane tonight, and hold off the nightmares for an hour or two, I’m instead going to write this review.

So to set the scene, we open in a small farming town in 1999 where a woman has given birth to twin girls. However, one of them is a monster, and the doctor doesn’t think it will last the night. Soon both Geum-hwa’s (Lee Jae-in) parents are dead but her sister did not die, she lives on hidden by the family not even taught how to speak. In the present day, Pastor Park (Lee Jung-jae) is given a lecture at a local theological college. Park is an expert on new religious movements and cults in particular. He is looking to make sure that they don’t become a danger as they have been in other countries. However, it feels like he is more drawn to scandal to make a quick buck than by any real spiritual connection. One of the many groups he is monitoring is a small Buddhist-adjacent organisation who has a symbol of a deer on their buildings. But his convictions are tested when he starts digging deeper and the bodies start piling up.

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Movie Review – Kin (2018)

TL;DR –  An example of a great concept and acting, not quite working due to the format.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Kin. Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Review

As a fan of Science Fiction, I really enjoy seeing new ideas brought to the screen, even if they don’t always work out as well as they hoped. Today we get to look and just such a film that is filled with heart and some really interesting ideas, but maybe a film was not the right format to properly express it. With that in mind let’s delve into a story about a boy and his gun.

So to set the scene, we open in on Elijah “Eli” Solinski (Myles Truitt) who lives in Detroit with his adopted father Hal (Dennis Quaid). Eli has been struggling at school, he is a good kid but he has anger management issues (well if kids were making fun of your dead mother, I would not be shocked if you threw a punch or two). One day as Eli was stripping out some wiring from an abandoned factory we stumble across the site of a battle between two alien forces. On the ground are a number of corpses and on box shape gun that Eli drops when one of the bodies move. Back home Hal lets him know to set another plate for dinner because Eli’s older brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) just got out of prison, but Eli needs to be careful around Jimmy. Which is not an unreasonable statement because what they don’t know is that Jimmy is in debt to Balik (James Franco) a local gangster to the tune of $60,000 for protection while he was in jail and soon Jimmy brings that damage into the house.

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Movie Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Godzilla II: King of the Monsters) (2019)

TL;DR – The action in the third act is some of the best monster action I have ever seen, however, the story is so incredibly dull that it is a slog to get to it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is some mid-credit important information and a post-credit scene

Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

It is odd to see a film that has two such disparate parts that are almost in conflict with each other. Where one part of a film is so amazing that you feel it could be a game changer for the industry. However, there is another part of the film that works so poorly that you wonder how it made it off the drawing board. This is something that actually makes reviewing this film quite difficult because you have to ask how much you should let the story side just because the visuals were so good. Well, today we will try an unpack this all, as we explore Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

So to set the scene, we open the film on the attack in San Francisco in the first Godzilla as we see Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) desperately look for their son amount the rubble of their house. In the years that passed since it is clear that the tragedy irreparably damaged their relationship as Mark is now charting wolves in Colorado and Emma is working for Monarch in China with her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). Emma is working on ORCA an interface that uses biodata to communicate with the Titans. The first trial of the device works as they can control a newly born Mothra caterpillar. However, just when they think it is all going well eco-terrorist Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) attacks the lab killing everyone and taking Emma, Madison, and the ORCA. Which is a problem because if the ORCA can control the Titans, what damage can it unleash?

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Movie Review – The Meg (2018)

TL;DR –  A film that knows how to be a bit silly while still playing it mostly straight about a shark that suddenly not extinct.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Meg. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

Last year there was a film that came out about a killer shark destroying the world, and not just a shark but a megalodon. I wanted to go see it, but the timing never worked out and I think I was going through Jurassic World fatigue at the same time. Well, this week with the release of Godzilla and after playing Sea of Thieves I had been interested to give it a look and what would you know the very day I was pondering The Meg popped up on Netflix. Well never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I knew now was the best time to check it out and wow, it did not disappoint.

So to set the scene, off the shore of China a billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) has built Mana One a purpose built deep ocean observatory. Its goal is to study the life in the oceans around the Mariana Trench but to also investigate a theory of chief scientist Zhang (Winston Chao). He believes that the trench is actually deeper and there is a layer of cold water creating a thermocline (barrier) protecting an undisturbed ecosystem underneath. So they send down Lori (Jessica McNamee), Toshi (Masi Oka), and The Wall (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) in a submarine and lo and behold Zhang was right. However, just as they start to explore this new region they are attacked by something large and fast, sending them crashing into the ocean floor. With time being on the line and few people qualified they call in Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) a rescue diver who is now out of the game after a rescue went wrong and people blamed him for the deaths of his team.

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Movie Review – Rocketman

TL;DR – It is a film of great character moments, wonderful music, and an interesting story of someone going from low to high to low and then back again. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Rocketman. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Review


It looks like it is going to be the decade of cinematic superheroes and also of the musical biopic. Especially a musical biopic of a seminal rock superstar from England that took the globe by storm only to discover a world full of drugs and dodgy management. Given they have been so far Oscar gold and have made bank at the box office we are sure to get a couple of these and today we look at one that is taking the standard biopic and twisting it up.

So to set the scene, we open with Elton John (Taron Egerton) exploding through a door in full orange sequined devil glory. You expect him to be doing a grand entrance into a stadium, but instead we soon find out that he is at group theory session when the first question was asked “what was your childhood like?” and we drop through the floor back to the 1950s when a young Reggie (Matthew Illesley) lived with his mother Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard), grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones) and occasionally his father Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) when he comes back from the army. Elton says he had a happy childhood, but we soon find out there is a difference between what Elton says and reality.

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Video Game Review – Surviving Mars: Green Planet

TL;DR – It builds on everything that worked in the base game and then adds features that make it a must play

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Surviving Mars: Green Planet. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

Review –

Last year I had a look at a really interesting strategy game about starting the first ever colony on Mars. Just in its name, Surviving Mars, it told you just how hard it would be to build and sustain life on a hostile planet. You could set up a colony only to sit there and watch it die because you accidentally set up a negative feedback loop. But while this can be devastating, the game is always there tempting you to try again, and when you succeed there is so much joy in that moment. While I enjoyed my time in Surviving Mars, it did feel like it had yet to reach its full potential. Well, today we are going to look at the newest expansion Green Planet to see if this helps to fill in the gaps in the base game with copious amounts of Martian concrete.

So to set the scene, you are the commander for the first colony being sent to the red planet. When you arrive Mars is a bleak, hostile, but also a deeply beautiful place. It is a planet filled with promise but also death. You need to build up resources, construct domes to protect your people, provide oxygen and water, and keep it safe from all the disasters that can strike. However, while surviving is fine, there is a next step that you could take. Because what if we can shape Mars to be friendlier, what if we could turn it into a green planet?

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Movie Review – Loners

TL;DR – This is a film that was on the cusp of being something really interesting but just held back by an inconsistent tone    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Loners. Image Credit: Indie Rights .

Review

Sometimes I wonder if this political science adjacent degree I studied for will be any good in my future and then a political satire falls in my lap. I have a certain weakness for political worldbuilding and counterfactuals and today we have an interesting one to explore.

So to set the scene, in the not too distant future in an attempt to clamp down on the number of gun massacres. The government has created a system where introverts and loners are forced to wear an “L” Band across their heads that monitors them and helps them be better members of society. On top of this, once a week they have to meet for a group therapy session called “Lone-Anon”. Which is where we meet Lincoln (Brian Letscher), Tanner (Tyson Turrou), Ed (David Christian Welborn), Franny (Brenda Davidson), Jeremy (Khary Payton), Dabney (Neil McGowan), and Clara (Denise Dowse). After suffering through group theory sessions led by Mike (Keith Stevenson) they all got back to Clara’s house because they worked out that two hours of close proximity with six people is enough to get the authorities off their backs for the rest of the week. That is until Clara gets grabbed by the feds and Senise (Melissa Paladino) is brought in to join the group and things start not adding up.

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