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

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

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

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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Tenet – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that blasts onto the screen with a roar of trumpets only to get bogged down in its own worldbuilding.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: All That Tension

Tenet. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

There are some filmmakers out there whose work has been consistently engaging that every new release gets immediately put on the must-watch list. For me, these are filmmakers like Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Coogler, Roger Deakins, Patty Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Wayne Blair, George Miller, and if I am honest with myself, at the top of that list for me is Christopher Nolan. His film Inception is still on my Top 10 Films list, and his work is always interesting even if like Interstellar the film does not capture me. Well, we live in precarious times, and I was not sure if I was going to be able to see Tenet in some form for a while, but thankfully I did get to see a screening today, and well, I think this is a film that is going to fall in the latter.

So to set the scene, we open in on an opera house in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a group of armed terrorists surge through the band and occupy the theatre. As the police arrive, one van is not what it seems because onboard is a CIA team led by our unnamed protagonist (John David Washington). This whole attack is a ruse to take out an operative whose cover has been blown, and it is our protagonist’s job to get the agent out. It all went wrong, but instead of dying to a cyanide capsule, he wakes up on a boat heading to an off-shore wind farm. It is here where he is informed that he is dead to the world, but a new opportunity has opened up. He is to explore Tenet, a mysterious phrase that is being used by arms smugglers and the like and which could be more dangerous than a missing nuclear weapon.  

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Peninsula (반도, Bando, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that unfortunately cannot reach the heights of its past.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Peninsula. Image Credit: Well Go.

Review

A few years ago, I stumbled across this fascinating Korean film called The Train to Busan. It was a zombie film where every character acted consistently and understandably throughout its run time. In a sea of mediocre zombie flicks, it instantly rose to the top, and since then maybe only Cargo has come close to meeting it. Thus, I was excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel to that great film. However, now I have seen it. I realise I should have modulated my expectations before going in.

So to set the scene, we open in on the day that South Korea fell. With Seoul burning in the background, Captain Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won) is racing through mountainous back roads to get his family out on the last refugee boat. While driving, they came across a stranded family with a baby and just kept on driving. They make it to the boat in time, however, as it is leaving one of the passengers turns and before they can stop it all of Jung-seok’s family is dead bar his brother-in-law Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon). Four years later, in Hong Kong living in squalor waiting for refugee status, Chul-min and Jung-seok are offered an opportunity by a local gangster to make some real money. All they have to do is go back to Inchon, in what is now just known as The Peninsular, under cover of darkness and recover a food truck with 20 Million Dollars in the back. What could go wrong?   

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The Gentlemen – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating and engaging story filled with great performances and many yikes moments     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

TL;DR – A fascinating and engaging story filled with great performances and many yikes moments     

The Gentlemen. Image Credit: STXfilms.

Review

When you sign up to watch a Guy Ritchie film, you sort of know what you are going to get yourself into as he has a very specific style. It is one that is a very flash in the pan, but with a lot more substance than similar filmmakers. On the whole, I do tend to enjoy his style of filmmaking and the stories he focuses on because at the very least they will be entertaining. Well let’s dive into his latest that I was not able to catch in cinemas given ‘waves hands around’, but I am looking forward to now.     

So to set the scene, we open with Michael ‘Mickey’ Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) walking into a pub he owns ordering a pint and a pickled egg and phoning his wife Rosalind ‘Ros’ Pearson (Michelle Dockery). Only to find out there is someone unknown in the house with her which is just the moment that someone puts a bullet in the back of his head. Jump to Raymond ‘Ray’ Smith (Charlie Hunnam) arriving at his home only to find general sleazeball and private instigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) waiting for him with a story and a demand for 20 million dollars. A tale of a bad man who wants to get into the world of legitimacy from a world of danger and it goes about as well as you can expect.      

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