Gold – Movie Review

TL;DR – Brutal, uncomfortable, and completely compelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this film

Gold. Image Credit: Stan.

Gold Review

When you are creating a film that wonders into the Survival genre, there are two very different ways you can engage your audience. The first is through shock, a sudden event or trauma like a bear attack. Or you can slowly pull everything away from people like a tide coming in or an approaching winter you are not ready for. Today we look at a film that explores the latter, but instead of the chill of winter, we get the brutal, unrelenting heat of the desert Sun.   

So to set the scene, some time, someplace, not far from now, a man is sitting in a train carriage boosting a ride in cargo. Man One (Zac Efron) has the clothes on his back and not much else as he walks out into the desert heat at Greenview Outpost. He is heading to the compound in the restricted Eastern Territories and gets a lift with Man Two (Anthony Hayes) through the inhospitable landscape. Man One goes off to take a leak after the car blows its radiator, which is when he spots something shiny in the desert, a gold nugget.

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King Richard – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating picture of a complicated man.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

King Richard. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

King Richard Review

There has been a resurgence in biopics in recent years, mainly in the music space. However, if there is one area where we could see more coverage, it would be in the sporting space. Today, we are looking at just such a case, but instead of a sporting star, today we are looking at one of their parents.

So to set the scene, back in the day, Richard Williams (Will Smith) and his wife Oracene Price (Aunjanue Ellis) are raising their five daughters in a two-bedroom house in Compton, California. Richard works night as a security guard, and Oracene works as a nurse. Still, in all their free moments, they are helping their daughters Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) by coaching them in tennis. But for the girls to take the next step, they need to have more professional support, but Richard has a plan for that.     

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The Green Knight – Movie Review

TL;DR – Visually visceral, narratively interesting, and almost entirely engaging. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this movie.

The Green Knight. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

The Green Knight Review

Everyone has a narrative style that they are just a sucker for, it could be road trip movies or WW2 war films, or like me, it is taking myths from the old and reinterpreting in a modern context. This can be the bombasticness of Greek Legend, the sharpness of Norse Legend, or, as we get today, the weirdness of Arthurian Mythology.

So to set the scene, we start the film with a bucket of water in the face as Gawain (Dev Patel) is woken up in a brothel by his lover Essel (Alicia Vikander). Gawain might be hungover, but it is Christmas morning, and Gawain has duties to attend to. While his Mother (Sarita Choudhury) stays at home, Gawain heads to the keep to the feast of King Arthur (Sean Harris) and Queen Guinevere (Kate Dickie). However, a stranger on horseback arrived during the feast, a man made of bark and leaves, the Green Knight (Ralph Ineson). Walking up to the King, he lays out a challenge, and Gawain is the only one to take up the charge.

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Minari – Movie Review

TL;DR – It captures a snapshot of a life so perfectly that it is almost difficult to watch sometimes because you feel like a voyeur eavesdropping on someone else’s life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this movie.

Minari. Image Credit: Madman Films.

Minari Review

Some films you can tell are works of personal nature because of the breath intimacy at every turn. You feel it in the story, the world, and the characters. This makes it a more intimate film, but it also can be more challenging to watch. Today we look at a movie that might be the most personal film I have ever seen that wasn’t a direct autobiography.

So to set the scene, in the 1980s, the Yi family make the trek inland from California to Arkansas. Jacob (Steven Yeun) picked the house because of the land, but his wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) is less than impressed that Jacob bought a trailer and not a house. Jacob wants the land to be a farmer to grow Korean crops for the diaspora, while Monica is fearful that they are too far away from the cities as their son David (Alan Kim) has a heart problem. Things get better/worse when Monica’s mum Soon-ja (Youn Yuh-jung) arrives to watch David and his sister Anne (Noel Kate Cho) as Monica and Jacob spend their days sexing chickens in a local factory.  

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Pig – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that has so many disparate parts that it threatens to come apart at every turn, but they hold it together into this heartfelt journey.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

Pig. Image Credit: Madman Films.

Pig Review

There is this phrase that gets used today: that things can be a ‘mood’. It is one of those concepts that is difficult to define, but you instantly recognise it when you see it. Today, we have a film that is a mood from the moment it starts till the moment it ends.

So to set the scene, we open in a forest by a river where Robin “Rob” Feld (Nicolas Cage) lives with his pig Pig and spends his days rummaging for truffles. He trades his truffles for supplies once a week with Amir (Alex Wolff), who is concerned that he lives up here all alone without even a phone. But one night, Pig is upset. Rob thinks it is coyotes right up until someone kicks down the door and knocks him out, and steals Pig away.               

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Luca – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film that is a pure delight from start to finish.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this movie.

Luca. Image Credit: Disney.

Luca Review

We have a longing for those moments in our childhood when everything seemed to come together. I think this is an almost universal drive in people, the place and location might be different, but that drive is still the same. Today we look at a film that captures this drive and crafts it into a narrative that will delight.

So to set the scene, once evening off the coast of the Italian Riviera, two fishermen decide to fish close to Isola del Mare even though the reputation that monsters surround it, which was sort of true because around the island live a village of sea people. Among the sea people/monsters is Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), who lives with his family herding goatfish. However, one day in the fields, a human approached collecting the flotsam on the bottom of the ocean. Luca runs but soon finds that this is not a human but another sea person called Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer). Alberto lives on the surface in a tower because once a sea person leaves the water, they can turn into a human when they dry out. 

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Shadow In The Cloud – Movie Review

TL;DR – Conceptionally, this is an interesting film, but I am not sure it makes the leap from concept to the final film.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.

Shadow In The Cloud. Image Credit: Roadshow Films.

Shadow In The Cloud Review

Well, today, we look at a film that is clearly swinging for the fences in what it wants to do. It’s a wild ride, like anything experimental, but like some experiments, it doesn’t quite work in places.  

So to set the scene, we open in World War 2 with a short cartoon reminding everyone that there is no such thing as gremlins, and only airmen can stop disasters in the sky. At an Allied Airbase in Auckland, a B-17 bomber called The Fool’s Errand is waiting to take transistors to Apia, Samoa. However, just before they take off, Flying Officer Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) arrives with a broken arm, a mysterious package, and secrecy orders. The crew is quite miffed about the change of plans, but they relent, and the plane takes off, with Maude in the Sperry Ball turret on the bottom of the aircraft. Her goal is working until they see some Japanese planes and a creature crawling on the wing.  

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Jolt – Movie Review

TL;DR – I had so much fun with this film, but it is very much a film made for me, and that mood will not be for everyone.   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.

Jolt. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

Jolt Review

There are some films out there that are created on a particular wavelength. These movies have facets that might engage one person but deeply frustrate others. On some level, all films do this, but some hit harder than others. Today we look at a movie that is very much my groove, but oh boy, could this rub others the wrong way.  

So to set the scene, when Lindy (Sofia Weldon) was a child, she tended to explode with violence on a moment’s trigger. Even when she was diagnosed with an intermittent explosive disorder, it did not lead to her getting the help she needed. Now an adult, Lindy (Kate Beckinsale) has it mostly under control, but this needs almost constant electro-shock therapy. Trying to find some normalcy, she tries to go on a date with Justin (Jai Courtney), but things go awry when the waitress (Savvy Clement) is just the worst and when Justin ends up in a dumpster with two bullets in his chest.  

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Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse) – Movie Review

TL;DR – In many ways, it feels like almost a relic of a different time. But there was a lot of work put into this film, and the cast is clearly here for it.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.

Without Remorse (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse). Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Without Remorse Review

I am not sure that any modern author’s works have been adapted as much as Tom Clancy. From movies to TV shows to video games, the late author’s name is everywhere as his works of political intrigue get adapted and then readapted. His works are deeply political, so it is always interesting to see how it has been reinterpreted for a different time. Today, I look at the latest film adaption of his work with Without Remorse.     

So to set the scene, we open in Aleppo, Syria, as John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) and his team are sent sneak into a stronghold to rescue a CIA operative captured by government forces by CIA operative Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell). However, when they arrive, it is not Syrian Government forces holding the officer but Russian forces. As they try to exfil from the building, an RPG splits the team, but they manage to escape. Three months later, John is in Washington DC with his very pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London), preparing to leave the Navy. Still, unknown to him, his old team is getting assassinated one at a time across America.

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The Protégé (The Asset) – Movie Review

TL;DR – Well, look, it is not a great film, but it is not a bad one either. It is just that the narrative is not there to support the action.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.

The Protégé (The Asset). Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

The Protégé Review –

Some actors out there give solid performances no matter what film they are in. One of those actors is Maggie Q, who I have always seen giving her best in whatever production she is in. Frankly, I am not sure why she is not in more things. Well, today I catch up with her latest action film with The Protégé.    

So to set the scene, in 1991, it was a stormy day in Da Nang, Vietnam. Moody Dutton (Samuel L. Jackson) walks into a hideout to find that all the people inside are dead, bar one little girl hiding Anna (Eva Nguyen Thorsen) in a closet that may have killed them all. Moody can’t leave her alone in the middle of all that death, so he takes her with him. 30-years later, in Bucharest, Romania, a now grown-up, Anna (Maggie Q) and Moody kidnap Vali (George Piștereanu), the kid of a local mobster Don Preda (Velizar Binev), for 3 Million Euros. But while Don Preda blusters, he does not know that Anna is not a kidnapper. Anna is an assassin.

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