Movie Review – Hotel Mumbai

TL;DR – This is an incredible, violent, and emotionally visceral film that will grab you in the first frame and not let go  

Score – I honestly don’t know how to score this.

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

Hotel Mumbai. Image Credit: Screen Australia.

Review

In a now previous life, I taught international relations to university students. This is a large discipline and one of the areas we looked at was terrorism, which happens to be one of the most pressing security issues in the modern world, or not, it’s complicated. All of this meant that when I walked into the theatre to review this film I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I was about to see, as I was quite familiar with the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, and well I could not have been more wrong.

So to set the scene, we open with a boat slowly making its way into one of the many harbours on the Mumbai shoreline. On the boat are eight well-dressed young men who could be there for work in the financial capital of India, but immediately you know that is not the case. Each of them carries a large duffel bag and they are listing to someone give them instructions, directing them to different landmarks across the city. Meanwhile, across the city everyone else is just going through their day as normal, Arjun (Dev Patel) is trying to get his dastaar perfect as he gets ready for work at the Taj Hotel, Zahara (Nazanin Boniadi), her husband David (Armie Hammer), and their nanny Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) are arriving at the hotel after a long flight and everyone is racing to get the room ready for her as her mother is a VIP, and the hotel head chef Hemant (Anupam Kher) is just trying to work out how to get everything done in such a short time. None of them knows the hell that is heading for them.

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery: An Obol For Charon

TL;DR – This week we delve into a very classical episode of Trek, with an emotional punch that left me in tears.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Discovery: An Obol For Charon. Image Credit: CBS Studios

When you watch a TV show there are many things that can draw your attention. There could be some cool effects, some nifty action, some big emotional moment, or something witty that makes you laugh. For me personally, I find myself focusing on the things that show off someone’s or in the case of a show, everyone’s talent. That can be that beautiful starscape that awes me to the core, or it can be an emotional moment where the actors with the help of the director, script and the whole crew bring words to life and make them their own. In tonight’s episode of Star Trek Discovery, we get several moments like this including one that ripped out my heart and made me weep.

So to set the scene, after last week’s episode Point of Light there was some more focus for the USS Discovery as they had captured the mycelium creature hitching a ride on Tilly (Mary Wiseman). At this start of this week, we get some more focus as Number Two (Rebecca Romijn) comes on-board for burgers and to let Captain Pike (Anson Mount) know that she has found the direction Spock took after fleeing the care facility and allegedly murdering three people. With this information in hand, they warp off to intercept him before someone less savoury finds him. All is fine, well bar Saru (Doug Jones) having a cold, which Linus (David Benjamin Tomlinson) can sympathise with, however just as they get near the warp trail the Discovery is ripped out of warp by an ancient being and held in place as all hell breaks loose. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

TL;DR – This is a film with two halves, the beautiful story of a family coming together in the face of a crisis with the help of Mary Poppins, but also a story about how it is individuals and not big corporations that are bad … from Disney … umm  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Mary Poppins Returns . Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Mary Poppins is a movie that is quite dear to me. When I was a child it was one of those films that we would watch as a family on a Saturday night. I honestly I was not really all that on board with the remake/sequel hybrid film all the trailers seemed to imply that we were about to get. As well as this, I am starting to get a little tired of Disney’s ‘Weaponised Nostalgia Era’.  Well, that is what I thought walking in, but then a wave of joy enveloped my life leaving a smile on my face and tears rolling down my face.  

So to set the scene, it has been a number of years since the first film and the Banks’ children have grown up. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is, well was, a painter, who married and had three lovely children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) before his wife tragically died. This has understandably sent ripples through the family, made all the worse when there is a knock on the door and we discover that the bank is foreclosing on the house because Michael has fallen behind paying back a loan, the same bank his father helped run, and the same bank he currently works for. Well, the whole family, including his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps to look for their father’s shares in the bank in the last ditch effort in saving the house, when who should appear at the end of a kite, none other than Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) herself.

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Movie Review – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (How to Train Your Dragon 3)

TL;DR – Beautiful, joyous, funny, emotional, a film for everyone, and one of the best sequels I have seen a very long time   

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but the credits are delightful

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Review

The How to Train Your Dragon series has been one of those little gems that keeps binging quality films, time and time again. It is a really simple premise, you live in a world with dragons, and you can either fight them or make friends with them. It is a simple but effective morality tale about fearing what you do not know and finding a new way forward. Well, today, the third film in the series is out in cinemas and we thought it was really good, like really, really good, like you really need to go see it good.

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Movie Review – Roma

TL;DR – Delightful, heart-breaking, alienating, immersive, full of complicated people in complicated relationships, a film that I would recommend everyone to see.        

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

Roma. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There is always an interesting feeling when the credits start to roll and the world comes back into focus, and the wave of emotions that have built up over the last few hours comes crashing down. Do you realise that you just wasted the time on something with no substance, or did your whole world change whilst time stood still? Well, today we look at a film that falls more on the later side of that divide. A world where everything is right and normal, and it all can be pulled out from underneath you in a moment. A film that will stay with me for the weeks and months to come.

So to set the scene, we open in on 1970 Mexico City as Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) washes the tiles of the driveway of the house she works at. We watch as she gets the house ready for the day for her employers Sofía (Marina de Tavira), Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), and their children Paco (Carlos Peralta), Pepe (Marco Graf), Sofi (Daniela Demesa) and Adela (Nancy García García). Cleo is an indispensable part of the family, but then she is also not part of the family because she is a maid and this disconnect filters throughout the film. Things in the household shift when Antonio leaves for a conference in Canada and stays longer than planned, and when Cleo meets a man Fermín (Jorge Antonio Guerrero) and the tension under the surface of Mexico starts to rupture.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab

TL;DR – In the battle between love and hate, on which side would you be on? This is the question today’s episode asks before emotionally punching you in the gut.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: Demons Of The Punjab. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

When I heard Doctor Who was going to set an episode in colonial India, you can bet I was deeply concerned. A British TV Show doing an episode on the British occupation of another country, it is a recipe for disaster if handled wrongly, and the title Demons of the Punjab didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. However, then we got to see Rosa (see review) earlier this season all about Rosa Parks and her struggles, they showed a real understanding of exploring deeply complex historical events, so I had a hope that they would be able to here as well, and I honestly think they pulled it off.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum

TL;DR –  A deeply emotional episode that using the entire ensemble to their best, a truly wonderful episode of Doctor Who

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: The Tsuranga Conundrum. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

This season we have had the highs of Rosa (see review) but also a lot of awkwardness in the construction of episodes, like the show is exploring how to make it all work. Well, this week we see it all come together when you have the emotional weight as well as the tight construction and flow of the episode, that also allows each member of the ensemble a moment to shine.

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