Movie Review – God’s Own Country (2017)

TL;DR – Much like the Yorkshire Moors that is filmed on, this is a film that is both harsh and yet filled with moments of beauty   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

God's Own Country. Image Credit: British Film Institute.

Review

My family originally came from Yorkshire, so when I spot a film set in the region I always give it a watch to try and connect with my past. Well, I am not sure what I expected when I loaded up God’s Own Country, but what I got was a film that was both frank and also a little optimistic in a world of bleakness.

So to set the scene, Johnny lives and works on a farm with his father Martin (Ian Hart), and his grandmother Deirdre (Gemma Jones). He spends all day grafting on the farm and all night in the local town drinking. Wake up, chuck out the contents of his stomach and repeat. Most of his friends have gone off to university, however, because his dad had a stroke and can’t work the farm like he used to, Johnny has to step up and take all that pressure. Given some issues, Martin calls in some help, as they are about to go into calving season, and Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu) a Romanian farmhand takes the job. There is instant tension between the two because Johnny sees Gheorghe has a manifestation of his failure but he needs the help.

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Movie Review – Dredd (2012)

TL;DR – A film that combines great action, compelling characters, visual storytelling, and creative worldbuilding making it a must watch   

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Dredd. Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Review

There are some films out there that just don’t find their audience the first time around, yet over the years they build upon and continue to find their voice as a slow burn. These are films that are often referred to as Cult Classics. Today I want to take a look at a film that is both of these things. It is an action film, both beautiful and violent, it is a look at society, and also is the home for some of the best one-liners in cinema.

So to set the scene, in the far future the world has been ravaged by war with people crowding into mega cities where violence and murder are commonplace. Long gone are democratic governance and due process, replaced with the Judges. These are judge, jury, and indeed sometimes (a lot of the time) executioners. They have the power to hand out justice as they see fit, only answering to their other judges. One such Judge is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) who is tasked by the Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) to give a new recruit Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) an evaluation. She had marginally failed the final test but she is the best psychic the Judges had ever seen so this is her sink or swim moment. They can pick anything to respond to so they choose Peach Trees a mega block with 75,000 residents where ‘Ma Ma’ (Lena Headey) had just killed three men and made an example of them. Judges rarely come to Peach Trees, but when they capture one of her key lieutenants Kay (Wood Harris) alive and take him away to be interrogated, Ma-Ma locks down the entire block forcing the Judges to fight their way out.   

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Exploring the Past – The Great Buddha+ (Dà fó pǔ lā sī, 大佛普拉斯) (2017)

TL;DR – This is a film of dissonant halves, both funny, yet confronting, sad but also hopeful, engaging but also infuriating

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene but it does not offer any answers

 

The Great Buddha+. Image Credit: MandarinVision

 

Review

Today I get to review a film thanks to the Brisbane International Film Festival that I would not have normally been able to see. I have been trying to increase the films that I have seen from Asia, and while this has included films from Hong Kong and China, today is my first dive into Taiwanese filmmaking with Huang Hsin-yao’s odd The Great Budda+. This is an interesting film but also a frustrating one at times, so to properly review it we will first give a general overview before we enter into spoiler territory as we dissect its ending, and what an ending it is.

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Films of All Time List

TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.

Countdown

Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.

  • Films that are beautifully constructed
  • Films that mean something to me
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema

With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.

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Exploring the Past – Sicario (2015)

TL;DR – A masterful look at how to use tension to build a story in a brutal world

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Sicario. Image Credit: Lionsgate

 

Review
Today I got to cross a film off my pile of shame that has been sitting there for quite a while. Sicario was one of those films that were made by people I have come to deeply respect in the film industry but at the time when it came out, I was not in the right head space to give it a watch. Ever since then I have been meaning to go back and give it a go if only to add to my understanding of some of these filmmaker’s work, but it sat there. Well, today that changes as we take a dive into the world, or at least one perspective of the world on the American/Mexican border.

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Exploring the Past – Super Troopers (2001)

TL;DR – A combination of off-brand Afghani animation, smugglers on the border, and all the shenanigans.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Super Troopers banner

Review
Super Troopers is one of those little films that could. Fighting hard to get it financed and being turned down at every point and then finally getting it greenlit but you only have $1.2 million to put your passion project together. Well after many years a sequel is about to be released so I thought it would be good prep to take a look down memory lane at a world full of shenanigans, so, many, shenanigans.

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Exploring the Past – Pacific Rim (2013)

TL;DR – “At one point a giant mech picks up a cargo ship to use as a cricket bat to take down a giant monster stomping its way through Hong Kong” you will probably know if this film is for you from that snippet alone.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Pacific Rim

Review

Back in the relatively calm year of 2013, how five years can change the world, there was this little gem of a film. It was a homage to the mecha and giant monster films of Japan and at the heart was the simple message that we should all work together. Well, it has been years since I have watched Guillermo del Toro’s monster epic, well at least his giant monster epic, and with the sequel coming out later this week, now is as good as time as ever to dive back into the world of Jaegers* and Kaijus*.

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