TL;DR – A beautifully charming film that will make you feel a lot of emotions
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Penguin Bloom Review –
You may have many fears, some might be more obvious like spiders or heights, but others are deeper down like what if you were in a crash and became paralysed. This fear is at the heart of the film we are looking at today as we see the aftereffects of this profound change.
So to set the scene, we open with Noah Bloom (Griffin Murray-Johnston) giving a rundown of his life. It is full of living on the beach, going for a surf, and making honey as a family. However, on a fateful trip to Thailand, Sam Bloom (Naomi Watts), her husband Cameron (Andrew Lincoln), and their three kids Noah, Rueben (Felix Cameron), and Oli (Abe Clifford-Barr) were climbing up to the top of a building to get a look of the view. However, when Sam leans on a fence, some rotten wood gives way, and she falls over the edge to the concrete below. Back at home, Sam is trying to adjust to her life in a wheelchair, but as Noah is down the beach, he finds a magpie chick that had fallen out of a nest who they take home and call Penguin.
As I have gotten older, I am not afraid of having a good old fashioned ugly cry in the cinemas when the time calls for it, and hell I probably got emotional just writing this list (Spoiler: I did). Sometimes they are tears of grief, sometimes they are tears of joy, and even still sometimes they are tears of anger.
Emotion is a core part of the cinema experience. If you can’t get us to respond to your characters and/or the situation emotionally, well then I am sorry you have failed in making a good film.
So without further ado, these are the films of 2020 that emotionally wrecked us. Be warned that there will be some big spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, you can click on the banners to go to the full review.
TL;DR – A beautiful episode about coming together through the pain of the past
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Forget Me Not Review –
Throughout Star Trek, there has been a long history of letting events happen, but to not really explore the aftermath. However, The Next Generation’s Family as well as, Deep Space Nine’s It’s Only a Paper Moon, both show that this can be some of the best the show can make. This week’s episode also knew this lesson and was the better for it.
So to set the scene, so far this season, Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) got trapped in the future alone for a year, the USS Discovery crash-landed on a planet with ice that eats you, and last week we found out that Earth had become an isolationist power and the Federation had left 100 years ago. All of this is leaving a toll on the crew because there has been no time to process what has happened to them appropriately. Things are starting to fray, which is understandable given the circumstances, but who will be the first to break. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – This is a beautiful look at the many factors that make up the world of BBQ.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
There are few series on Netflix that have captured my attention more than Chef’s Table. The exploration of food and the journey of those who make it always captures me and brings me into this world. Today we are looking at the next sort of spin-off of the series since Chef’s Table France with a look at the joy that is Barbeque.
One of the exciting things about BBQ is that it means very different things depending on what country you are in. So for this series, their interpretation of BBQ is food cooked under, above, around a fire. As will be mentioned in the series as an Australian, I grew up cooking food over an open flame, and I still try to when I get the chance. This means a series about food cooked on fire is an instant sell for me.
TL;DR – A look at the side of WW2 that does not get shown often, which is full of moments that overwhelm you but also full of awkwardness.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
If there is one conflict that has been extensively explored on screen, it is World War Two. Indeed in 2017, we got three different films that explored Dunkirk. Even with all of this coverage, there are still aspects of WWII that have not received the same attention. One of those aspects is the Chinese front which is where our film is set. It started years before the main war and went on to the very end, but we don’t explore it nearly enough. Well, today we look at a film that is trying to change this, and a film backed by the juggernauts of Tencent and Alibaba.
So to set the scene, we open with the collapse of the front lines of the National Revolutionary Army during The Battle of Shanghai. With the Imperial Japanese Army taking the outskirt town of Dachang the city has been lost. However, there is still hope in the retreat. The Revolutionary Army decides to leave a small contingent of troops behind at Sihang Warehouse led by Colonel Xie Jinyuan (Du Chun). They aim to stall the Imperial Army long enough to allow for the retreat of the rest of the army. The second aim is to be an example to the Western powers that have not yet picked a side. This is because the Warehouse is situated right next to the International Settlement in Shanghai, so for one brief moment, the whole world is focused on them. Now because this is a film based on a real event, we will be discussing parts of the plot in a little more depth than we usually would, so please be careful as there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
When I walked in to see Babyteeth, I had no idea I was walking into. Sure, from the wigs I assumed it had something to do with cancer, it also had Ben Mendelsohn, so at the very least I was going to be entertained by that. However, nothing could prepare me for the emotional roller coaster that I would be taken on from start to finish.
So to set the scene, Milla (Eliza Scanlen) is preparing for her last day at school for a while as soon she would be starting chemotherapy as her cancer had returned. While she is waiting to get on the train, someone crashes into her from behind. Moses (Toby Wallace) had just been kicked out of home due to his drug addiction. They run off to get her hair cut, and Milla brings him home to meet her parents Henry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Anna (Essie Davis). It goes about as well as you expect it would.
I do feel that I have to preface my review with the note that moments in this film are painful to watch. So difficult that you want to turn away from the screen because the pain is too raw to bear. I say this because I feel people are going to come away with very different feelings about this film, and I wanted to give a little forewarning before we dived into the review proper.
TL;DR – This was the perfect way to end such a special show
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
How do you end a show, does it go out in a whimper, in a mess, in a fleeting flame, or do you stand there as a wave of emotion pours over you. I have seen a lot of finales that have stumbled at the last hurdle, some so bad that they cast the rest of the series into question. However, today I get to take a look at one that gets it right as it says goodbye.
So to set the scene, throughout this season the philosophy gang Michael (Ted Danson), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) have been fighting to save the afterlife. First from a system that just put everyone in The Bad Place, and then from The Judge (Maya Rudolph) who decided to wipe everything away and start again from scratch. However, finally, after everything the gang has made it to The Good Place and it is here that they get to have their best times. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
It has been a long time since I have had a good cry in the cinemas, and I don’t mean a good one solitary tear gallantly making its way down the side of my face as the music soars around. No I mean some good old fashioned weeping, the kind that makes you wish you had brought a hankie or at least some tissues as you try to compose yourself after as you thank God that you were not wearing any mascara because there would be no coming back from that. Well, today we look at a film that is all that and more.
So to set the scene, we open in New York City back in 1868 where Josephine “Jo” March (Saoirse Ronan) works as a teacher in a boarding house as she tries to be published as a writer. The publisher Mr Dashwood (Tracy Letts) is interested in her work, but it needed to be more salacious and the female characters must end the book either married or dead. In France, Jo’s sister Amy (Florence Pugh) is enjoying some time painting and finding a husband under the guidance of her Aunt (Meryl Streep) when she spies Theodore “Laurie” Laurence (Timothée Chalamet) a childhood friend of her and her sisters Meg (Emma Watson) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen), as well as the former suiter of Jo, in the gardens of Paris. It is a moment of joy, but there and across the Atlantic, there is a cloud on the horizon because the past is not going to stay in the past.
Sometimes you go into to see a film and you have no idea that what you are about to watch has been almost tailored just for you. In this case, we have a war film, about just two characters, presented as if it was all filmed in one take. If I was explaining to you what would be the perfect film for me this would not be far off. I bring this up to put some context down before we dive into the world of explosions, gun shots, and every trench under the sun.
So to set the scene, we are in the heights of World War One on the front lines in France, with Germany and their allies on one side and Brittan and their allies on the other. This is trench warfare and every centimetre of territory has been won through a considerable loss of life. It is here where one day Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is roused from his sleep and asked to go on a mission with Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) by General Erinmore (Colin Firth). For you see, overnight the German forces have retreated and many commanders believe that they have them on the run. However, it is actually a ruse, the Germans have just retreated to a more fortified line and they are leading those chasing them into a trap. The boy’s mission is to cross into no-man’s land, travel through enemy controlled territory so they can make it to Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) in time to call off the attack and save 1600 lives. Now due to the nature of the film and that it has a staggered release date across the world, I am going to be a bit more cautious with my examples so as to not spoil anything.
TL;DR –.A really frustrating film that nevertheless sucks you in and leaves you heartbroken.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Well, last night I noticed Into the Wild had come onto Netflix. I had heard some good things
about it a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a nice relaxing film
to put on before going to bed. Oh wow, did I ever get that wrong.
So to set the scene, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) gets dropped off on
an Alaskan trail and walks into the wilderness a lot less prepared than maybe
he should have. Ignoring the concerns from the guy that dropped him off he
begins the march into the wilds of the north until he finds an abandoned bus
and uses that as a base of operation. When then jump two years into the past
and see why it is Christopher set off on this journey.