Movie Review – The Old Guard

TL;DR – A solid action flick, with an interesting premise, that lands from start to finish.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Old Guard. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review – I think it is no surprise that I like a good action film. Add an exciting premise, and compelling characters and I am there for the ride. Well, I have not seen a compelling action film since I went into lockdown, but I am glad to say this all changes today.

So to set the scene, we open in on Marrakesh, Morocco where a lady called Andy (Charlize Theron) walks through the market, stalked by someone on a motorcycle. Thankfully, it is was an old friend Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), who is here with the rest of the team with a proposition. A former CIA contact Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) needs some help, a group of school girls have were kidnapped in Juba, South Sudan and no one else can help but her and her team. In a surgical strike, they take out the camp where the girls are kept only to find it was all a setup. Gunned down in a hail of bullets, this should be the end, but moments later they wake up and catch the would-be murders in a storm of their own. At the same moment in Afghanistan, a marine Nile (KiKi Layne) is leading a search for a bomb maker when she is stabbed only to wake up without a scratch.  

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Movie Review – Waves

TL;DR – A challenging film to watch at times, but always beautifully shot and acted.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Warning – Several scenes may cause distress and a scene that features extensive flashing lights.

Waves. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

When you go in to see a film, many factors engage you. There is the sound, the visuals, or the story. However, there is one factor that can have in an impact that you might not expect is that feeling of being in a room with a bunch of people that you don’t know who are having the same emotional experience. Today I look at a film where I felt the oxygen get sucked out of the room, felt the shock, and heard the gasps of exclamation.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Williams family as we get to see snippets of their lives. Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) is the firm farther pushing everyone to be the greatest they can be, Catherine (Renée Elise Goldsberry) might be a step-mother to the children. Still, she cares for them as if they were her own, (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) the local wrestling champion and eldest of the family Emily, and then (Taylor Russell) their caring daughter and Tyler’s sister. Tyler has everything going for him, he works for his dad, he is a star on the team with college scouts coming to the games, and an amazing girlfriend in Alexis (Alexa Demie). However, this façade starts to crumble when a shoulder injury doesn’t go away.

I am going to start the central part of this review by saying that it might be best to go into this film with as little knowledge as possible, so when those moments hit, they hit hard. Indeed it is going to be hard to talk about the movie in any meaningful way without running into spoilers right away. So with this in mind, I will try to be as vague as possible about the story beats throughout the review, but I will talk a little of the structure in the penultimate chapters where there will be full spoilers.  

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Movie Review – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

TL;DR – It tries to aim for that Eurovision absurdity, but Fire Sage mostly missed the target.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I bloody love Eurovision, the songs, the silliness, the absurdity, you know that moment when you are looking and wondering what the heck you are watching. It is a sceptical from start to finish, but it has been made clear on multiple occasions that America just doesn’t get Eurovision, looking at you JT. So when I heard they were making a Eurovision move … I was concerned, to say the least, and now that I have seen it that was not an entirely unfounded position.    

So to set the scene, we open in Husavik, Iceland on April 6th, 1974, a boy is sitting down missing his mother, with nothing cutting through his sadness until he heard ABBA’s entry into Eurovision. It was a moment of revelation, and at that moment, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. In the present day, Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrid (Rachel McAdams) have not let go of that dream even if his father Erik (Pierce Brosnan) thinks Lars is an abject disappointment. Well, their dream comes true when their song is picked for the Icelandic song contest, the winner will represent Iceland in Eurovision. The only problem is they were chosen by random to pad out the twelve places because everyone assumes that Katiana (Demi Lovato) will win. I mean, it would take all the contestants dying in a fiery conflagration to change that.                              

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Movie Review – Nobody Knows I’m Here (Nadie Sabe Que Estoy Aquí)

TL;DR – A haunting look at the damage that fame can do set in the beautiful world of the Chilean coast.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Nobody Knows I'm Here (Nadie Sabe Que Estoy Aquí). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Fame, it is a thing that many people want, and in the world of Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok it is almost more obtainable than in any other point in history. However, fame can come with a cost, fame can come with damage, and fame can have lasting effects. Today we look at a film that explores these issues and the legacy that can leave in their wake.

So to set the scene, a child musical prodigy Memo (Lukas Vergara) had a lot of hope at one point but now all grown up Memo (Jorge Garcia) spends time breaking into houses and not doing much else. The rest of his time is spent working on his uncle’s Mr Braulio’s (Luis Gnecco) sheep farm on a coastal island of Southern Chile. His past haunts Memo as the damage of his youth lives through every part of his life.  

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Movie Review – The Windermere Children

TL;DR – A deeply emotional and confronting film that looks at the aftermath of trauma and how you can walk back from it.    

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

The Windermere Children. Image Credit: Fremantle.

Review

There are those moments in life where we get to see the full depths of human cruelty and few moments have exemplified it more than the Holocaust. It was a moment where human depravity was industrialised and weaponised in the endeavour to exterminate an entire race. Today we explore a film that deals with the aftermath and trauma through the eyes of the children that survived it.     

So to set the scene, we open in on a bus full of children as they make their way through the British countryside at night. The bus is full of children refugees rescued from Holocaust camps. One thousand children brought from the camps to Brittan and 300 of them came to Calgarth Estate on the shores of Lake Windermere. As they arrive, there is a real fear that they have swapped one camp of despair for another. Their families are likely all dead, and all of them have suffered travesties that make every dog a threat and food something you hide when you can. They only have funding for four months to help them with their trauma, which is not enough time given everything they had gone through.

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Movie Review – Artemis Fowl

TL;DR – There is a lot of promise here that unfortunately falls flat at every turn.    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Artemis Fowl. Image Credit: Disney.

Review – Some genres really excite me when I get to see them, and one of those is when you crash fantasy and science fiction together. It is a delicate balance to get right, but when you do, it is grand. So a story where all the tales of fairies and such are real and they still live, but in high-tech cities under the Earth, well you have me intrigued. But you need to do something more than just intrigue, which is where we fall flat from almost the start.     

So to set the scene, we open in on Fowl Manor in Ireland, who is currently under siege, by the press and police. As the police arrest a Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) and take him to a black site for integration, he speaks of magic as it is real, to the amusement of everyone. However, as he continues he lets everyone know, it is not Artemis Fowl Sr (Colin Farrell) they should be concerned with, but his son Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw). Artemis is just a kid, a brilliant kid, what threat could he be? Because isn’t it the father, the thief, that is the real threat, or is there something darker at play?    

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Movie Review – Da 5 Bloods

TL;DR – A powerful film that hurt to watch at times, but I am glad that I did.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit moment

Da 5 Bloods. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There have been a lot of films set during the Vietnam War or explores its aftermath. It is not a noble war like WW2 in people’s minds, it was bloody, unnecessary, and it left shockwaves throughout American society, that we are still living through today. How do you capture a war like that, well some have done it through sceptical, some have done it through horror, and there was that one time was a flying elephant. Today I look at a film that has all of that, okay not the elephant part, while hitting the realities and legacy of the Vietnam War.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a montage of Black America and their experiences in war, specifically Vietnam War or the American War as it is known in Vietnam. This is where we get a crash course on the War from start to finish through a lens we don’t always see. We jump to today in Ho Chi Minh City today where four old friends come together again in a country they once fought in, a place full of memories but also somewhere that has gone through a lot of changes. Paul (Delroy Lindo), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Otis (Clarke Peters) & Eddie (Norm Lewis) have come back to Vietnam for one reason, to find the body of one of their fallen comrades Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman). However, there may also be a whole lot of gold from the war on the line as well.

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Movie Review – Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery

TL;DR – This is a film with a great set up and leading pair, but is held back by the format not fitting the story    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Hidden Orchard Mysteries The Case of the Air B & B Robbery. Image Credit: Vision Films

Review

Growing up one of the staples of literature was the children detective novel; for some, it was Nancy Drew, for me, it was the Raven Hill Mysteries/Teen Power Inc. So it has always a bit of nostalgia for me when I get to see a new version of this genre put to screen. Well, today we have just that opportunity with Hidden Orchard Mysteries.  

So to set the scene, we open as the house gets ransacked, with laptops, pearls and more taken in the theft. The next day the homeowners Mr Parker (Donovan Williams) and Mrs Parker (Kim Akia) are in the middle of a community meeting when the theft is discovered by the local groundskeeper Mr Sanchez (Orlando Cortez), and they return home to count the damage. Mystery and intrigue are afoot, so the two local sleuths Gabby (Gabriella Pastore) and Lulu (Ja’ness Tate) to get on the case to work out who robbed the Air B & B.

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Movie Review – The Prince (El Príncipe)

TL;DR – A film that spends a long time trying to find its voice but never quite gets there due to issues with the story.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Warning – Depicts scenes of sexual abuse

The Prince (El Príncipe). Image Creidt: Artsploitation.

Review

I watched a lot of films that have had difficult moments to watch, today I look at a film that is filled with them. This makes it a film that is hard to unpack because it has a big barrier of entry. Today we will try to examine that difficulty as we explore The Prince.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a scene carnage as a throat is cut and someone bleeds out on the floor. We then find ourselves walking through the dimly lit halls of a local jail. Jaime (Juan Carlos Maldonado) shuffles from one cell to the next before finding himself in the cell of Potro (Alfredo Castro) one of the jail’s patriarchs a place where safety and danger can be one and the same.    

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Movie Review – Mutiny of the Worker Bees (Rebelión de los Godínez)

TL;DR – This is a film of two halves, one that really works, and one that really doesn’t 

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Review – Today we get to review a film out of Mexico that delves into the world of office workplaces. A place of conflict, love, war, and comedy. It is here where we see the best and the worst of ourselves and others and it can be both a metaphorical and literal riot at times, and a bit frustrating at others.

So to set the scene, we open in on a city street in Mexico as someone in a mascot outfit walks down the street to the sounds of Staying Alive. He is very popular with everyone as they line up to take selfies with him right up until an elderly man shots him in the head with a t-shirt gun. It is here where we meet Omar Buendía (Gustavo Egelhaaf) the man behind the mascot outfit and his Abuelo (Alejandro Suárez) the man behind the gun. Well, Omar’s Abuelo has a minor heart attack, so has to step away from his job forcing Omar to find a steady white-collar job. Well, welcome to Relo Tech, a world of extremes … also a really toxic work environment.

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