Mortal Kombat (2021) – Movie Review

TL;DR – Gory, gruesome, and yet also just a ton of fun.    

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.

Mortal Kombat. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Mortal Kombat Review

When I was growing up, Mortal Kombat was this illicit thing that everyone knew about because the adults kept trying to get it banned. A baby Brian’s first experience with the Streisand Effect. So when you got to play it, well, it was almost an act of defiance, which of course, added to its appeal. As time when on, it mostly faded from my radar, and the two past films did not help, well more the second, the first still had the banging soundtrack if nothing else. But when you hear that they are doing a remake holding nothing back … well, this is something you need to check out.

So to set the scene, we open in on 1617, Japan, at the house of Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and his family. Hanzo is the Shirai Ryu ninja clan leader, and as such, his home is well protected from threats. However, one fateful day while he was out fetching water, Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) of the Lin Kuei assassins arrived and killed all the guards and Hanzo’s family. They fight, but Bi-Han uses his ice to win the day and stop the prophecy of Hanzo’s bloodline being Earth’s salvation. Well, almost, as Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) arrives, he hears a cry call out from the house, for a baby had been hidden away and was saved from the slaughter. Today, Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is just going about his life as an MMA fighter when that birthmark shaped like a dragon turns out to be a bigger deal than he ever thought.

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Love and Monsters – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it never quite gets to the heights it aims for, it is still a delightful ride with some stunning effects.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

Love and Monsters. Image Credit: Netflix..

Love and Monsters Review

There are times when people can be stringent around how films can be categorised. Then films can come along and blow those strict delineations apart. You see it in movies like Zombieland or Warm Bodies, and we see it again today in the film we are about to look at.   

So to set the scene, in the near future, there was an asteroid Agatha 6-1-6 hurtling towards Earth. The governments grouped together to shoot it out of the sky, which they did. Unfortunately, the chemicals they used in all those rockets fell back down to Earth. They contaminated and mutated all the cold-blooded animals, from ants to crocodiles and everything in-between. While the militaries and the giant mutants wiped each other out, 95% of the world’s population died, leaving only those who were able to find security in bunkers. One of the survivors was Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) from Fairfield, California. He made it to safety, but he has a habit of freezing in front of the monsters, not a good long-term survival trait. After an incursion into their bunker, Joel makes up his mind to go out into the world make the trek 90 odd miles to where his old girlfriend Amiee (Jessica Henwick) now lives. Ninety miles of infested territory that is trying to kill everything.

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Nobody – Movie Review

TL;DR – An incredible violent romp through the suburbs after the Russian mob picked the wrong man to come after.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film.

Nobody. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Nobody Review

When John Wick first blasted onto the scene, it was this dramatic shift in how action movies could be presented. Instead of a disjointed mess, there was flow. Instead of shying away from the realities, you saw it all up close and personal. Many films have tried to copy that style with mixed success, but today we look at a movie that nails it, and all it took was the same writer and producer to make it happen.

So to set the scene, the film opens with Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk), a man who goes through the same dull routine each week (which makes it surprising that he can’t remember to put out the rubbish). There is a growing distance between him and his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) that is exacerbated when the house is robbed, and Hutch lets his son Blake (Gage Munroe) get punched rather than take someone out with a golf club. But while the world sees Hutch as mild-mannered, or more clearly a wimp, he is actually a former CIA wet work expert known as an Auditor, which local Russian Mafia boss Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov) discovers the hard way when he comes after Hutch and his family.

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Greenland – Movie Review

TL;DR – A disaster film that leans into the emotion and is better for it.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

Greenland. Image Credit: STX Films.

Greenland Review

After falling off the face of the Earth, disaster films have started to make a resurgence in the cinemas. There have been good disaster films and bad, but one of the core similarities is that a bunch of them have stared Gerard Butler. Well, we now have another entry into this particular genre so let’s dive in.  

So to set the scene, we open in Atlanta, Georgia as architect John Garrity (Gerard Butler), is trying to keep things as normal as possible for his son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) after his marriage with Allison (Morena Baccarin) fell apart. While this is happening, all of Earth is looking up at the Clarke Comet that was picked up only weeks ago. The scientists say it will burn up in the atmosphere and make a great light show, but after John gets a Presidential Alert, he realises that something more is going on and then the first boom hits.

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High Ground – Movie Review

TL;DR – A challenging and confronting film exploring a part of Australia’s history that we don’t like to talk about.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

High Ground. Image Credit Madman Films.

High Ground Review

When I was growing up, every year at school we looked at the explorers that charted the coast, then the first fleet, finally the early penal colonies, and then we skip forward to Federation. At no time did we talk about the people who lived in the land before the colonists arrived, nor did we explore what happened to them as colonisation swept across the nation. The period known as the Frontier Wars was a bloody conflict about removing people from their land. In today’s review, we look at a film that explores this part of Australia’s history and all the ugliness that comes with it.

So to set the scene, in 1919 in Arnhem Land Australia, Gutjuk (Guruwuk Mununggurr) is being taught the dances of his people by his uncle Baywara (Mark Garrawurra) when they stumble across two men fleeing from troopers. They were accused of killing a cow, and they are allowed to stay the night, but then they must move on. However, before than can happen, the troopers arrive at the camp, but with a plan to discuss things peacefully. They were to move in as a group and announce their arrival. They brought the local priest Braddock (Ryan Corr) to help translate and if all went wrong the commander of the troop Travis (Simon Baker) was on the high ground overlooking the settlement and could fire down if needed. Well, that was the plan, but as Travis watches the group splits up, chooses to sneak up on the group, and ignore his command that only Travis can fire first. It is a recipe for disaster, and disaster is what occurs.

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Outside the Wire – Movie Review

TL;DR – An interesting film that attempts to integrates some complex issues, but could not make the landing stick.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

Outside the Wire. Image Credit: Netflix.

Outside the Wire Review

I have been looking forward to an exciting action science fiction film for a long time. I do like that sort of real, sort of future, mash-up like we got in Edge of Tomorrow, but it is a hard line to get right. Well, today we get a film that walks that line into interesting, even if it clear that they don’t know a whole lot about Ukraine.

So to set the scene, it is 2036, and Eastern Europe (Ukraine) has collapsed into war with the USA controlling to the border to stop the chaos spreading. Along this border, a platoon comes under attack and Lt. Thomas Harp (Damson Idris), a drone pilot breaks with command to kill a potential target but taking out two marines as collateral. As a punishment, he is sent to the front line to meet Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie), an android military officer, to gain some perspective on war’s realities through first-hand experience.     

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Awards – Explosions, Guns, and Punches, Oh My. The Best Action of 2020

A good Action sequence is something that is truly amazing to watch, as it can be as expansive as explosions crashing across the screen, or more intimate, like a duel between two people. This gives the best action scenes such a range and in 2020 we were given some truly amazing spectacles.

For me, the best action scenes are those that excel in every element, whether that be live actions, special effects, digital effects, or animation and bring every facet to shine. It is also the category that looks at some of the department’s people don’t often fully understand like stunt coordination or the 2nd unit.

So without further ado, these are the moments of action that awed us in 2020. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question. Also, click on the banners to see the reviews of each film.

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Extraction – Movie Review

TL;DR – A solid action film from start to finish   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Explosive Action
Winner: Explosive Action

Extraction. Image Credit: Netflix.

Extraction Review

Today I begin my power shot through the films that I missed this year, these will be shorter reviews than usual, as I have a lot to get through in preparation for my best-of list. We begin with an action film that is both very old fashioned but also refreshing in some way.

So to set the scene, In Delhi Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) is being a usual teenager going out with friends and visiting clubs right up until police officer kills his friend and takes him hostage. Ovi’s father is Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi) a major drug lord in India and is currently incarcerated. The boy was kidnapped by Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) a competitor from Dhaka, Bangladesh. With time being short, the boy’s family hires extraction expert Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) to save his life and well things don’t go to plan.

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Ava – Movie Review

TL;DR – A lacklustre film from start to finish   

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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

Ava. Image Credit: Vertical Entertainment.

Ava Review

When you see a film with an extraordinary cast that has been amazing in similar movies and with a strong premise, you expect a lot when you click play. Well, you at least expect something. However, today we are looking at a film that takes all that potential and does precisely nothing with it.

So to set the scene, we own with “Brandy” (Jessica Chastain) picking a British businessman Peter Hamilton (Ioan Gruffudd) from the Paris Airport. But as we soon see, Brandy is not just your average Uber Driver doing some flirting on the side. For Brandy is actually called Ava, a hired killer and Peter is about to have a horrible day. After the mission, Ava returns home to Boston, but all is not well as Management is now having her watched. Now before we dive into the film proper, it needs to be said that this was a film that was written by and originally meant to be directed by someone who has plead guilty to common assault with regards to his then partner.                           

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The Boys: What I Know & Season 2 – TV Review

TL;DR – Just when I thought I had worked everything out, The Boys was like, you know nothing while pulling the rug out from under my feet and maintaining eye contact as I fell to the floor.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Boys: What I Know. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

What I Know Review

After an exciting and long season, we have drawn to the final episode for their sophomore season. This is a season where back in episode three, we exploded through the guts of a whale in its entire gory spectacle, and even that was not the most bonkers moment. With that in mind, in today’s review, we are going to look first at how the final episode came together. Then we will explore an overview of the season as a whole.  

So to set the scene, in last week’s episode Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker, we thought everything was coming to ahead … until the head’s started popping. Throughout this episode, there were several essential plotlines. The first was getting a good look at Butcher’s (Karl Urban) life and the world that formed him as to who he is today. Homelander (Antony Starr) and Stormfront (Aya Cash) manipulated Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) and turned him against his mother Becca (Shantel VanSanten). Meanwhile, after Vought captures starlight (Erin Moriarty), Hughie (Jack Quaid) goes on a rescue mission with Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) to save her, and it goes … mostly okay. Finally, after everything they have done up until this point, there is a congressional inquiry led by Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) into Vought and what they did. Finally some progress, or not, as heads start exploding on live TV. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.          

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