TV Review – The Orville: Season One

TL;DR – While at first look this might have been just a Star Trek homage or at worst a blatant rip-off. Instead, it finds its feet and becomes a charming exploration of the future and the mess and opportunities that could come.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Orville. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox & Fuzzy Door Productions.

 

Review

I have been wanting to catch The Orville for quite a while but there was no streaming or TV that picked it up here in Australia, so I was expecting this was something that I might only get to see when it dropped on Blu-Ray. But with SBS announcing they had picked it up and would be showing Season Two I jumped on a watched the whole first season in one night, which meant that clown appeared at a very confronting time late at night. But binged the first season I have, and now it is time to jump in and see if it was worth the wait. Now before we dive in, a quick reminder that as we will be looking at the season as a whole, there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – The Predator (2018)

TL;DR – There is a lot of great production here, and strong acting, but it has clearly been hacked apart in the edit leaving a disjointed mess.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Predator. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

 

 

Review

The first Predator film was maybe the pinnacle of the 1980s macho-action film genre, I can remember watching it for the first time, probably far younger than I should. It was Arnie at his best hunting down an alien hunting people for sport and while there were sequels nothing ever captured the intensity of the first film. When I heard they were bring it back and giving it to Shane Black I had high hopes that at the very least it would be an interesting film … and then the last week happened and I can’t believe how disappointed I could be at such a promising director. Now the film is here and well, you can see the vision, but you can also see where the studio has taken a hatchet to it.

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Movie Review – Deadpool 2

 

TL;DR – Takes everything that worked in the first film turns it up to 11 and then gives it real emotional stakes.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – there are two mid-credit scenes

Deadpool 2

 

Review
Back in 2016, there was this little film that could that exploded out into the zeitgeist of the film world. The first Deadpool (see review) was a passion project for all involved because it took years to get it greenlit, indeed, it took test footage being leaked to finally convince the studio to start it, and even then they cut the budget drastically before shooting because they had fears about what an American R-rated film would make at the box office. Well as we know it make bank at the box office and now we get to see the fruits of that decision with Deadpool 2, well also it probably helped convince 20th Century Fox to finally let them do Logan (see review) as they really wanted, so thanks for that too. So today we are going to look at the follow up to the merc with the mouth, can they capture that same feeling that exploded out on screen both literally and metaphorically, well let’s dive in and see.

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Movie Review – Bridge of Spies

TL;DR – A solid film but it makes you wish for more

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Review

The Bridge of Spies is the third historical film we have had in a row now and unlike Legend (see review) and Black Mass (see review) it is not a mob flick, instead, it is all about spies. As well as this, unlike the other two, it actually is really quite good. The Bridge of Spies is a film about the Cold War, a time of bipolar world powers bent on outmanoeuvring each other and the fear of nuclear obliteration was very real one. Within this context, both the US and the USSR mobilised extensive resources to spy on each other and inevitably people got caught.
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Movie Review – The Martian

TL;DR – A movie with tension, humour and humanity, go watch it

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Review

The Martian is a film about adversity and challenge in an environment that will kill you, which would make a very interesting film, now take that environment and put it on another planet and then leave your protagonist alone as everything crumbles around them.
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Movie Review – Fantastic Four

TL;DR – This movie is a train wreck that will make you look back fondly on the camp amusement that was 2005 Fantastic Four.

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

(warning: the trailer is edited in such a way to give an impression that this is a action film, nothing could be further from the truth)

Review

Fantastic Four has not had the easiest life in development, it is a film that only exists to fulfil a contract and avoid movie rights reverting back to Marvel. Now interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened with the Fantastic Four, also this is not necessarily a bad thing. X-Men First Class was in the exact same situation, but while that was an exercise in innovative storytelling, this is an overly protracted and ultimately boring film.

"We gave you six years, and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing" strangely prophetic words given how the film turned out.

“We gave you six years, and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing” strangely prophetic words given how the film turned out. Image Credit: Fox

 

As with most reboots, Fantastic Four is an origin film, we see how all the main players get their powers and how it changes their lives. One should point out, no one asked for these powers, like Spider-man this is caused by an accident. This is a really interesting set up because you didn’t get to choose, the powers get thrust upon you and you have to decide how to react. But here we come across the first stumbling block of the film, lazy writing. This film is full of clichés, (Spoilers Ahead: Jump To The Next Paragraph If You Wish To Avoid), like how one character constantly argues with their father only to regret it later, seriously, if you have to declare “I’m an adult now” during a middle of a temper tantrum, you’re not an adult. Then we also we have the two characters are presented to be best friends, then enemies, then best friends again … because of the story. Also, good writers can foreshadow future events or give little winks to the audience who know what’s coming (see King Joffery’s Crossbow), bad writers literally go in the first 5 minutes of a character’s introduction “wow you’re like Dr Doom”. Also, while I am always ok with an adaption changing something from its source material to make it work, if it improves the adaption, or makes it work in a new medium, some of the changes (which come down to the core of the relationship between the FF and the world) feel forced and unnecessary, bar for the need to add tension for no suitable reason.

 

What is this mess

What is this mess. Image Credit: Fox

 

The casting also is a bit of a problem, they cast the film way too young, Julian McMahon may have been overly theatrical with his performance of Dr Doom in the 2005 film, but at least he had some gravitas behind his performance rather than whiny angst.  Now, in this case, I don’t blame the actors because you can see some of them are really trying, but whether through the script, or the directing or the editing it just falls flat. Out of all the cast Miles Teller (Reed Richards/ Mr Fantastic) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/ The Thing) work the best, however, the way they frame Kate Mara’s (Sue Storm/ The Invisible Women) performance makes it almost feels like an afterthought that they added in, and Michael B. Jordan has all the bluster of the Human Torch, but with none of his charm.

This film is so bad that the trailers for the film are edited in a way that gives the impression that the film is going to be a much more action focused global film when nothing could be further than the truth. At best it is misleading and worst it is simply lying to a potential audience. There is a simple reason for that, the films pacing is really slow at the start and never really ramps up until it hits a sudden unsatisfactory climax, and then just kind of ends with this sort of staging for the sequel, which I doubt is a done deal atm and also reinforces how uneventful the rest of the film has been.

 

What a waste of a good cast

What a waste of a good cast. Image Credit: Fox

 

Now it is not all bad, some of the effect are really amazing and given you have Weta Digital on the payroll that should come to no surprise, it is just a pity that you don’t see more of it.

There is much more I could say but I think at this point you can get the general feeling I have for this film, in the end, Fantastic Four, I’m not really upset with you, I’m just disappointed.

Directed by – Josh Trank
Screenplay by – Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg & Josh Trank
Based on – ‘Fantastic Four’ by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Starring – Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey & Tim Blake Nelson
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: 12A; NZ: M; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13

Movie Review – Paper Towns

TL;DR – It’s not a bad film, just somethings do not quite work.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars


Review

Paper towns is a name given to fake towns places on maps by cartographers so that they can check for plagiarism, (as a lover of all things maps, I love little things like this), it is also the name of a book by John Green and now a movie. Before I go on I should mention that I have read the source book Paper Towns and overall I had mixed response, some things really worked while others didn’t. I would talk about what those things were, but unfortunately, they are at the core of the book, so we would be not just dipping our toes into spoiler territory but diving head first, which is something I want to avoid. So with this is mind how does the film do? well not bad actually.
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