Movie Review – The Old Guard

TL;DR – A solid action flick, with an interesting premise, that lands from start to finish.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Old Guard. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review – I think it is no surprise that I like a good action film. Add an exciting premise, and compelling characters and I am there for the ride. Well, I have not seen a compelling action film since I went into lockdown, but I am glad to say this all changes today.

So to set the scene, we open in on Marrakesh, Morocco where a lady called Andy (Charlize Theron) walks through the market, stalked by someone on a motorcycle. Thankfully, it is was an old friend Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts), who is here with the rest of the team with a proposition. A former CIA contact Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) needs some help, a group of school girls have were kidnapped in Juba, South Sudan and no one else can help but her and her team. In a surgical strike, they take out the camp where the girls are kept only to find it was all a setup. Gunned down in a hail of bullets, this should be the end, but moments later they wake up and catch the would-be murders in a storm of their own. At the same moment in Afghanistan, a marine Nile (KiKi Layne) is leading a search for a bomb maker when she is stabbed only to wake up without a scratch.  

Continue reading

Movie Review – Jumanji: The Next Level

TL;DR – A film that is as fun as ever, but shows that more does not always equal best.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Jumanji: The Next Level. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

A couple of years ago a surprise occurred, we got an unnecessary reboot that not only was a proper follow up to the last entry but also was a strong fun film in its own right. I had a wonderful time with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which meant I was looking forward to its sequel. Well, I missed it at the cinemas but now is the time to jump back in and discover the world of Jumanji (insert drum sounds here).

So to set the scene, a while has passed since the group had their last adventure with Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) having left town to go to separate colleges. But Christmas time is here, and the whole group is coming back home to Brantford, New Hampshire, but all is not well. For some, their lives have not matched that one time they were in the game. So when one morning Spencer does not show up for dinner, and the drums sound, the rest of the group rushes over to his house only to find the game to be broken, and there might not be works as well as the last time.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Hunt

TL;DR – A film that is brilliantly bookended but a bit of a slog to get from start to finish.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Hunt. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

Many films have a rocky road from start to release, however, the problems usually lie either during or in the post-production process. Rarely do films have problems once they are ready to go, well sometimes it is threats from North Korea, and sometimes it is issues well outside anyone’s controls. Today we look at such a film that whose second attempt at a release got messy thanks to the world at the moment, but it is here now so let’s take a look.

So to set the scene, we open in on a forest as eleven strangers wake up, with no idea where they are or what happened to them, nor why they are wearing gags. One of the group, a young woman (Emma Roberts) notices one of the group run off into the woods, but everyone else is fixated on the box in the middle of the field. Inside is the keys to their escape, but also the start of the carnage as guns start going off everywhere. Now unlike a lot of films, it is a bit difficult to talk about this film without hitting [SPOILERS] real quick, so there will be some plot points that are spoilers that we will be discussing in the review.

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Legend of Baron To’a

TL;DR – A bonkers fun film from first till last    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Legend of Baron To'a. Image Credit: Madman.

Review

Do you know what I needed this week? I needed a bit of fun, you know what I think a lot of people need this week, a little fun, well, have I got news for you. It has been great over the last couple of years to see Pasifika Cinema go from strength to strength and today we get to look at another entry into the great canon.

So to set the scene, we open in on the great Baron To’a (John Tui) himself as he does a tour of his home and local culdesac Kinlock Ave. He is the heart of the local community and he is most proud of his son Fritz (Lotima Pome’e). However, it cannot last and twenty years later when Fritz (Uli Latukefu) returns to help sell his house after his uncle Otto (Nathaniel Lees) stops returning his calls he finds that the sac is a very different place than what he remembered.   

Continue reading

Movie Review – Guns Akimbo

TL;DR – There is a kernel of a good idea here, and there are parts of it where you can see how it could have made a really good film, just maybe not the one we got    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Guns Akimbo. Image Credit: Madman

Review

When you here that the premise of a film is that someone has bolted guns to Daniel Radcliffe’s hands and let him loose in the world. Well, that congers up a lot of images and expectations, indeed Daniel has been bouncing from one delightfully odd film to the next since his time in/as Harry Potter. At the very least, it is the kind of set up when you know before walking in that it is either going to be amazing or a dumpster fire but not in-between. Well trust me, I am just as surprised as you that I got it very wrong.   

So to set the scene, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is your usual loner who lives a less than great life as a code monkey for a soul-sucking corporation. But at night, he finally comes alive as he trolls, well other trolls. One night, however, things take a turn as he discovers ‘Skizm’, which is kind of like Twitch but with murder, indeed we are introduced to the program with Nix (Samara Weaving) annihilating another contestant because two people start and only one comes out alive. Well, Miles starts trolling the chat and eventually gets noticed by the admin Riktor (Ned Dennehy) who smashes down his door, knocks him out, and performs a little surgery. Miles wakes up with a splitting headache … oh and two guns bolted to his hands.

Continue reading

Awards – Explosions, Guns, and Punches, Oh My. The Best Action of 2019

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 2019 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 2019. 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.

Continue reading

Why I Love Tron: Legacy

TL;DR – An exploration of a film that effortless blends music, visuals, story, and passion into something that is greater in almost every way.

Tron: Legacy. Image Credit: Disney.

Review


There are some movies that just touch you in your heart, you can’t really explain why? They just fill you with joy and no matter how many times you have watched it, you are always ready to crack open that DVD/BluRay/digital copy/whatever and give it another watch. For me, one such film is Tron: Legacy, it is the hill I am ready to die on and I love it with all my heart.

So to set the scene, in the years since the first Tron, there has been joy and tragedy. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become CEO of ENCOM International and had a son Sam (Owen Best). However, tragedy struck and took his wife away. Flynn refocused his work and made a huge discovery, something that would change everything but days after finding it out he disappears leaving Sam an orphan. Years later Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but while he is the main shareholder of the company he basically leaves ENCOM alone, bar the yearly prank, which this year involves sneaking into the company releasing their new software for free and then base jumping off the top of the tower. This might be a big joke for Sam but is not for Kevin’s old friend and Sam’s mentor Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). He lets Sam know that he got a page from his father, the first communication since he disappeared. It came from the old arcade, so Sam goes to investigate and finds more than he bargains when he gets transported into the world of the computer and discovers all is not well on the Grid.        

Continue reading

Movie Review – 6 Underground

TL;DR – An incredibly stylish and well-produced film that just didn’t quite nail the substance portion.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

6 Underground. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes in life, you want to shut your brain off for a bit, sit down, and watch some explosions flare to life on your screen. The action flick is the king of this, especially if you pivot it in the direction of an action/comedy. However, today we are looking at a film that should be all this and more, but I walked away feeling that something was missing.   

So to set the scene, we open in on a special ops team, which is having a very bad day, because everything is going very wrong, very, very, wrong. This is not your usual black ops team because while black ops teams are sometimes called ghosts, this team is for all intents and purposes are actually ghosts because the world thinks they are all dead.  We have One (Ryan Reynolds) The Billionaire, Two (Mélanie Laurent) The CIA Spook, Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) The Hit Man, Four (Ben Hardy) The Skywalker, Five (Adria Arjona) The Doctor, and Six (Dave Franco) The Driver. Their aim was to find information out about Rovach Alimov (Lior Raz) a dictator with the predilection for using chemical weapons against civilians.   

Continue reading

Article – Why I Love Star Trek: First Contact

TL;DR – From the action to the story and the music. First Contact captures a real moment in Science Fiction history and is still probably my favourite Star Trek film.

Star Trek: First Contact. Image Credit: Paramount.

Article

As the march of time continues forth, I was reminded that it has been twenty-three years since Star Trek: First Contact came out in cinemas. Goodness, 1996, such a long time ago, a time when I was not even in high school. However, in all the time since and before I don’t think any Star Trek film has had the same impact on me (though Wrath of Khan and Beyond come pretty close). As the time is right, and we all know how important time is, let’s dive into the joy that is Star Trek: First Contact.

So to set the scene, in Generations the USS Enterprise-D was destroyed by assailants and so a new ship the Sovereign-class USS Enterprise-E was commissioned with all our familiar faces making the transition. However, just with the Enterprise is in the middle of its shakedown cruise the worst possible news happens. The Borg are back. A large cube ship is on a trajectory with Earth but the Enterprise cannot help as Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) was once assimilated by the Borg and Starfleet wants it away from the battle. But to hell with orders, which is good because this time the Borg is messing with the timeline and only the Enterprise can fix the damage before it is too late.

Continue reading

TV Review – Les Norton: Season One

TL;DR – Was one of the more interesting shows I have seen on Australian TV by being both a throwback to the past and also something a little new 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Les Norton. Image Credit: ABC.

Review

We took a look back at Les Norton’s first episode You Wouldn’t Be Dead For Quids, back when it first came out. Well, the first season has just finished so I wanted to take a moment to look back at the show and how well it did as a whole. A show about the 1980s, finding yourself in over your head, and also just about the most aggressively Australian TV show I have seen in a very long while.

So to set the scene, Les Norton (Alexander Bertrand) is a country boy from Dirranbandi in south-west Queensland. He’s had to skip town after an incident where a rival teammate was left fighting for his life with a head injury and he needed to disappear before there was a riot. He needed to find some work to get through his time in Sydney which is where he meets his guide and new friend Billy Dunne (Hunter Page-Lochard) working as a doorman at a local club in Kings Cross. The first 22 minutes of his shift is boring, but we come in at minute 23 and the fists start flying. The head of the club Price Galese (David Wenham) likes what he sees and brings him into the fold and Les discovers a world hidden out of sight, protected by the powerful, and who run on very different rules where discretion is key.

Continue reading