True Spirit – Movie Review

TL;DR – An impressively acted story that is let down by forced conflict and unnecessary padding.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

The Pink Lady leaves Sydney Harbour.

True Spirit Review

There are these moments that you remember because they touched all of society when they happened. Usually, these are moments of tragedy that cut through the world, but for Queensland and Australia, we had the moment built on triumph. Today’s film is based on that long journey by Jessica Watson across the planet.

So to set the scene, Jessica Watson (Teagan Croft) grew up on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, where water was always on your doorstep. She learned how to sail on the open ocean, catching the wind and riding the waves here thanks to her coach Ben Bryant (Cliff Curtis). Jessica had one dream: to sail around the world by herself, which took a bit of a beating when her boat was severely damaged by a cargo ship in the 2009 trail run. But with everything going against her, Jessica is determined to make the trip before the government legislates that she can’t go.

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Knock at the Cabin – Movie Review

TL;DR – An intense, claustrophobic look at the potential end of the world    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is an audio queue at the end but not something you need to stay for.

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Warning – This film contains scenes that may cause distress.

The Cabin.

Knock at the Cabin Review

If you look across the media landscape, the post-apocalypse is all the rage at the moment, but what about an excellent old-fashioned apocalypse? A film about struggle against all odds, looking doom in the face, and maybe not getting out alive in the end. Today we look at just such a film that both embraces and is a bit sly about it simultaneously.

So to set the scene, Eric (Jonathan Groff), Andrew (Ben Aldridge), and Wen (Kristen Cui) have gotten away from the world and are spending some time relaxing in a cabin in the middle of the countryside. A perfect escape from the world, so remote there is no cell service among all the trees and picturesque lake you can swim in. It is a delight until one moment, Leonard (Dave Bautista) walks up to Wen when she is collecting grasshoppers. He tells her not to be afraid, but he and his friends need to get into the cabin her fathers are in, and they need the whole family for something special to stop the end of the world.

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Spoiler Alert – Movie Review

TL;DR – Well, if ugly crying in the cinema surrounded by people ugly crying in a cinema is a recommendation for you, then here it is.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

A bubble being blown.

Spoiler Alert Review

I am someone who does not mind a good cry in the cinemas. It can be cathartic and shows that the filmmakers have connected with you on an emotional level. However, there is a difference between having a good cry and being so emotionally devastated that you are ugly crying in a room full of strangers. And when I say ugly cry, I mean ugly. Well, today, we are looking at a film that did just that.

So to set the scene, Michael Ausiello (Jim Parsons) focuses his life on his work, like ranking all the Gilmore Girls from Best to Rory [which like fair]. But one night, after being dragged out to a club, he spots a man across the dance floor that smiles at him, so he waves back. Actually, Kit Cowan (Ben Aldridge) was smiling at his friend Nina (Nikki M. James) at the bar, but he took up the bait. It is the perfect meet-cute, bar the fact that, spoiler alert, we know from the start that this relationship is destined for tragedy.

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The Last of Us – Long Long Time – TV Review

TL;DR – A quiet contemplation of what love is in the face of loss.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Binge service that viewed this show.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Walking over a bridge.

The Last of Us Review

In our exploration through the world of The Last of Us so far, we have had a pretty point-by-point adaptation from the source material. A fact that many, including me, have deeply respected. However, sooner or later, they were going to make a big swerve from the game’s story, and the question is, how would that work? Well, we will find out a little sooner than I expected with today’s episode.

So to set the scene, in When You’re Lost in the Darkness, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) were charged with taking Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies in the old statehouse. Still, when they arrived in Infected, no one was left alive, and soon Tess had to sacrifice herself to let the others escape. On the road, Joel has few options, bar an old contact Bill (Nick Offerman), who lives in Lincoln, a town near Boston. But it has been a couple of years since he was last there, and Joel does not know if he is still welcome alone. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead for the show.

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The Wandering Earth II (The Wandering Earth 2/流浪地球2) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While frustratingly slow to build, I must say that it captured me in the end.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

MOSS

The Wandering Earth II Review

Back in 2019, this fascinating film slipped onto the scene and fascinated me. The Wandering Earth was one of the most unique scenarios I have ever seen put to film, and a movie with some of the most frustrating characters put to screen. It was this juxtaposition that both delighted and annoyed me. However, we now have a second bite at the pie, and it is time to see if they have learned from the issues of the last film.

So to set the scene, tragedy is brewing on Earth as it is clear that the Sun has prematurely entered its final phase and will soon expand to engulf the planet in the next 100 years. The United Earth Government was formed to find a solution with some form of Digital Life and The Moving Mountain Project being proposed. Time is of the essence as the globe slowly descends into chaos. In Libreville, Gabon, a test engine and space elevator is the first step towards The Moving Mountain Project, but this means it is at a critical phase, and if you could disrupt it at the source, then the whole thing could come crumbling down.

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The Post-Truth World (罪後真相/Zui Hou Zhen Xiang) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling tale of murder and coverup, where there are many potential suspects, and in the end, the truth might be the biggest casualty.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

The computer monitor.

The Post-Truth World Review

One of the most essential topics in modern times is the notion of truth and whether we can find it in our news anymore. Can you trust what you see in the news, read in the papers, or skim from the internet? With people yelling fake news at everything, how can you find the real in all the noise? Does the media care about the truth or just a narrative that can sell papers or subscriptions? It is within these questions we find our film today.  

So to set the scene, it is 2012, and all the bases are loaded, as a stadium dresses in yellow to support their team. As the game plays out below, different people’s lives start intersecting and collapsing. It is here where Zhang Zheng-yi (Edward Chen) walks out covered in blood, the blood of his now-dead girlfriend Wang Shi-yun (Tzu Hsuan Chan) and is promptly arrested and incarcerated for life. In 2019, Chang escaped jail by luring Liu Li-min (Joseph Chang), a journalist who ran the popular Dissecting the Society program back in 2012 and was at the stadium at the time of the murder. Today Li-min is trying to get a new title, True Standpoint, off the ground, and the biggest story of the year just kidnapped him. As the city begins a manhunt for Li-min, it is a moment of reflection on whether the truth matters.        

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Transfusion – Movie Review

TL;DR – It is a film trying to explore some essential issues. However, it felt like we only got a surface-level analysis.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film.

Blood in the sink.

Transfusion Review

It is one of modern society’s great tragedies, actually no, not a tragedy, embarrassments, that we send people off to war and wars with dubious pretensions, and then we ignore them when they return home. We give lip service to trying to do something about it, but the damage remains. Today’s film shines a light on that trauma and how it can have generational effects.     

So to set the scene, an Australian special forces team in The Middle East infiltrates a secured compound at night. The mission was a success until a surprise combatant sneaks up on the team, and Ryan Logan (Sam Worthington) is shot protecting his team. Back home, Ryan must adjust back to life with his wife Justine (Phoebe Tonkin) and son Billy (Gilbert Bradman), but where the trauma of the past still lingers. But when tragedy strikes, the bond between a father and a son is stretched to breaking point.     

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Jung_E (정이) – Movie Review

TL;DR – It sets up an interesting conundrum about a world of combat AIs and then revels the story.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

Many Jung_E's in a row.

Jung_E Review

We are thankfully back at the point where there are multiple new films every week. While this is great, it leads to the problem of trying to find which one of the many you take the time to watch? Well, when you hear that the creator behind Train to Busan has a new film out, that choice becomes quite easy.

So to set the scene, it is the far future of 2194, where humanity has wrecked the planet, and after climate change leads to drastic sea level rises, most humans escape to shelters built near the Luna orbit. With those left on Earth working in the factories. But this respite would not last as some banded together to create the Adrian Republic waging a decades-long war against The Allied Force. Everyone is trying to find a way to win the battle before humanity is wiped out, and for Yoon Seo-hyun (Kang Soo-youn), that weapon is the cloned android of a great leader of the past Jung_E (Kim Hyun-joo), or as she knows her as, mum.

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M3GAN – Movie Review

TL;DR – A weirdly wonderful film, full of camp and tension.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

M3GAN in a pile of soft toys.

M3GAN Review

Artificial life discovering sentience is one of those thematic moments that can land you on the whole spectrum of cinema. It can be thought-provoking life After Yang, menacing like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or could flip about in between, such as Lost in Space. Today we look at a film that skews more towards the menacing, where we see that Asimov might have been on to something.

So to set the scene, Cady (Violet McGraw) is travelling with her family when tragedy strikes, and she is left alone to go live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams). Her aunt is not ready to be a parent, and both struggle to bond until Gemma shows Cady what she is working on. A new toy and AI robot girl called M3GAN (Amie Donald/Jenna Davis) that pairs and bonds with her primary user. Everything is going well until one day, when they have a conversation about death.

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The Pale Blue Eye – Movie Review

TL;DR – It has a mood and the performances to match, but the narrative just didn’t hook me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Cadets in formation.

The Pale Blue Eye Review

It is time to jump back in time when women’s dresses came in many layers, the army was dressed in blue, and mutton chops were everywhere. It is an era I like when we jump into mysteries because it feels like a world where everyone is prim and proper, but that is just a veneer. It is in this world we find ourselves in as people start dying in the most unpleasant ways.   

So to set the scene, it is a foggy night, but from the gloom, we can see a man hanging from a tree. It is 1830 in Hudson Valley, New York, and Det. Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) has just been summoned to West Point Military Academy by Superintendent Thayer (Timothy Spall). They need someone with discretion. A cadet killed himself, and then his body was violated. This is a political timebomb, and the academy is desperately trying to get the case solved before certain senators in Washington find out.                   

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