TL;DR – There is a scaffolding of a good film here, but not the substance needed
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a sequence during the credits
Disclosure – I paid to see this film.
65 Review –
Many things can capture my attention, and “Adam Driver Fights Dinosaurs” might be one of the quickest ways to do it. I knew practically nothing about 65 before walking in, but that tagline was enough, even when I heard it was not being screened for critics. Now that I have seen it, maybe I should have been a touch more hesitant.
So to set the scene, 65 million years ago, other species were exploring the galaxy. One such was Mills (Adam Driver) from the planet Somaris who takes a 2-year extended mission guarding some colonists so he could make enough money to save his daughter Nevine (Chloe Coleman), who is sick. However, along the route, the ship runs into an undocumented meteor swarm and crashes into an uncharted planet. But not just any old unknown world, because this is Earth and dinosaurs still rule the roost, and Mills and the only other survivor Koa (Ariana Greenblatt), have to fight for survival.
TL;DR – This is a film that feels both incredibly safe but yet also incredibly weird and that dissidence is really odd.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Well, it is an interesting time for a new Star Wars film, for maybe the first time in a long time. The last film Solo had a lacklustre reception and had issues in production as did Rogue One, and indeed as did Rise. To add to this, the discourse in and around Star Wars films has just been wholly unpleasant for quite a while. So for the first time in a very long time, I walked into a Star Wars film with a lot of trepidation. Now while thankfully a lot of that trepidation was unneeded, unfortunately, some of it was.
So to set the scene, at the end of The Last Jedi everything is in flux. The Resistance has survived annihilation but has been stretched to almost breaking point as The First Order storms across The New Republic. However, all is not dandy for The First Order as well, as their leader was assassinated by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and their main battle cruiser was destroyed. The game is set for the final* battle between the light side and the dark with the whole galaxy’s future is at stake. However, just at the cusp of this, a dark voice from the past pierces into the vale. For it appears that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has come back from the dead and is gunning for Rey (Daisy Ridley). Now with this review, we will try to be as general and non-spoilery as possible but there will be a section towards the end that will explore three big story points that will have spoilers but we will clearly label it for you (also if you don’t want spoilers maybe avoid the cast list at the bottom).
TL;DR – Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is at times hilarious, at times deeply provoking, and at no time will it hold your hand as it explores the deep centred racism in America (spoiler: it is not just America)
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
I was not one hundred per cent sure what it was that I was getting myself into when I walked into to see BlacKkKlansman. I knew it was about a black police officer infiltrating the KKK and that it was based on a true story but that was about it. Spike Lee is a filmmaker whose work I am unfortunately not that familiar with, so was this going to be a comedy, was it going to play it straight, was it going to do both while being deeper for it? Well with that in mind let’s take a look at the race relations of the 1970s which in no way reflects on America of today … in no way …
So to set the scene, in 1972 Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is hired as the first black police officer in Colorado Springs. While this is meant to be a step forward for race relations, Ron is hidden away in the records room taking abuse from his fellow police officers. That is until one day an important African-Amerian activist Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) comes to town and they need someone to go undercover at the speech and well every other member of the police force would stand out. It is here where he meets Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier) one of the event organisers, and listens to the speech which focuses on promoting the cause of African people from white oppression, up to and including armed resistance. Happy with his success the police decide to move Ron into the intelligence division and on his first day he responds to an ad in the paper about a new KKK chapter starting up in the town. One slight problem, just a small thing really, but it kind of won’t work if they ever have a face to face meeting. So Ron enlists officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), Ron is Ron on the phone, and Flip is Ron in person, and all of it flows from there.
TL;DR – The Last Jedi is charting its own story and this is where its strengths and faults lie.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Ok here we go, I didn’t think The Last Jedi was a fantastic film, nor did I think it was a really bad film. It was a film which had some aspects that really worked and some things that just didn’t, which made it a fascinating film to watch. However, this was also a problem for me because I wasn’t sure just how I felt about this film, and indeed for the first time this year, I actually went and saw the film twice before writing my review because I wanted to be sure about my feelings. Now in today’s review, I am going to set the scene and then give a general overview, and then we are going to go full spoiler with my analysis.
TL;DR – Logan Lucky is equal measures fascinating and boring, with a heavy dose of Sothern Americana on top.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
I love heist films, indeed there are so many facets of them that I find really fascinating. I love the setup, the betrayals, oh and you better believe a love a good double and triple crosses, I love the prep work, the crime, the hustle and the con, and that point where everything inevitably goes wrong. I think it is safe to say that everyone has seen a heist film at some point, from both Ocean’s, Die Hard, The Thomas Crown Affair, if you haven’t the good folks over at CineFix have you covered. So I was really intrigued going in to see Logan Lucky, especially with a name like Steven Soderbergh at the helm, who has a long history of fantastic films in this genre. However as I walked out of the cinema, I was left feeling perplexed, confused and honestly, more than a little underwhelmed.
So it has now been six months since the release of the seventh Star Wars film, and indeed given that it is now out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download etc, and also given that today is the May the Fourth, I think it is a good time to re-engage with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given the low bar that was the Prequels, where we just caught up in the notion of “it’s better than them, well that means it was a fantastic film”, or now with some distance and time (and the dulling of nostalgia) will we find it does not live up to the hype we placed on it? So of course just to be clear there will be full spoilers in this article, so if you have not watched it then now is the time to go make some tea and contemplate the universe.
TL;DR – “Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, yeah, Sing Hallelujah! … Sing Hallelujah!” – Dr. Alban
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ok before we start I am going to try my best to have no spoilers in this review, but you should be warned that while I may try my best there may be a couple of little tidbits throughout this review. Anyway, this is a great film and you should go into with as little information as possible, go see it before someone spoils it for you.