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.  

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Movie Review – Waves

TL;DR – A challenging film to watch at times, but always beautifully shot and acted.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Warning – Several scenes may cause distress and a scene that features extensive flashing lights.

Waves. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

When you go in to see a film, many factors engage you. There is the sound, the visuals, or the story. However, there is one factor that can have in an impact that you might not expect is that feeling of being in a room with a bunch of people that you don’t know who are having the same emotional experience. Today I look at a film where I felt the oxygen get sucked out of the room, felt the shock, and heard the gasps of exclamation.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Williams family as we get to see snippets of their lives. Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) is the firm farther pushing everyone to be the greatest they can be, Catherine (Renée Elise Goldsberry) might be a step-mother to the children. Still, she cares for them as if they were her own, (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) the local wrestling champion and eldest of the family Emily, and then (Taylor Russell) their caring daughter and Tyler’s sister. Tyler has everything going for him, he works for his dad, he is a star on the team with college scouts coming to the games, and an amazing girlfriend in Alexis (Alexa Demie). However, this façade starts to crumble when a shoulder injury doesn’t go away.

I am going to start the central part of this review by saying that it might be best to go into this film with as little knowledge as possible, so when those moments hit, they hit hard. Indeed it is going to be hard to talk about the movie in any meaningful way without running into spoilers right away. So with this in mind, I will try to be as vague as possible about the story beats throughout the review, but I will talk a little of the structure in the penultimate chapters where there will be full spoilers.  

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Movie Review – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

TL;DR – It tries to aim for that Eurovision absurdity, but Fire Sage mostly missed the target.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I bloody love Eurovision, the songs, the silliness, the absurdity, you know that moment when you are looking and wondering what the heck you are watching. It is a sceptical from start to finish, but it has been made clear on multiple occasions that America just doesn’t get Eurovision, looking at you JT. So when I heard they were making a Eurovision move … I was concerned, to say the least, and now that I have seen it that was not an entirely unfounded position.    

So to set the scene, we open in Husavik, Iceland on April 6th, 1974, a boy is sitting down missing his mother, with nothing cutting through his sadness until he heard ABBA’s entry into Eurovision. It was a moment of revelation, and at that moment, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. In the present day, Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrid (Rachel McAdams) have not let go of that dream even if his father Erik (Pierce Brosnan) thinks Lars is an abject disappointment. Well, their dream comes true when their song is picked for the Icelandic song contest, the winner will represent Iceland in Eurovision. The only problem is they were chosen by random to pad out the twelve places because everyone assumes that Katiana (Demi Lovato) will win. I mean, it would take all the contestants dying in a fiery conflagration to change that.                              

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Movie Review – Artemis Fowl

TL;DR – There is a lot of promise here that unfortunately falls flat at every turn.    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Artemis Fowl. Image Credit: Disney.

Review – Some genres really excite me when I get to see them, and one of those is when you crash fantasy and science fiction together. It is a delicate balance to get right, but when you do, it is grand. So a story where all the tales of fairies and such are real and they still live, but in high-tech cities under the Earth, well you have me intrigued. But you need to do something more than just intrigue, which is where we fall flat from almost the start.     

So to set the scene, we open in on Fowl Manor in Ireland, who is currently under siege, by the press and police. As the police arrest a Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) and take him to a black site for integration, he speaks of magic as it is real, to the amusement of everyone. However, as he continues he lets everyone know, it is not Artemis Fowl Sr (Colin Farrell) they should be concerned with, but his son Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw). Artemis is just a kid, a brilliant kid, what threat could he be? Because isn’t it the father, the thief, that is the real threat, or is there something darker at play?    

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Movie Review – Da 5 Bloods

TL;DR – A powerful film that hurt to watch at times, but I am glad that I did.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit moment

Da 5 Bloods. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There have been a lot of films set during the Vietnam War or explores its aftermath. It is not a noble war like WW2 in people’s minds, it was bloody, unnecessary, and it left shockwaves throughout American society, that we are still living through today. How do you capture a war like that, well some have done it through sceptical, some have done it through horror, and there was that one time was a flying elephant. Today I look at a film that has all of that, okay not the elephant part, while hitting the realities and legacy of the Vietnam War.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a montage of Black America and their experiences in war, specifically Vietnam War or the American War as it is known in Vietnam. This is where we get a crash course on the War from start to finish through a lens we don’t always see. We jump to today in Ho Chi Minh City today where four old friends come together again in a country they once fought in, a place full of memories but also somewhere that has gone through a lot of changes. Paul (Delroy Lindo), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Otis (Clarke Peters) & Eddie (Norm Lewis) have come back to Vietnam for one reason, to find the body of one of their fallen comrades Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Boseman). However, there may also be a whole lot of gold from the war on the line as well.

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Movie Review – Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery

TL;DR – This is a film with a great set up and leading pair, but is held back by the format not fitting the story    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Hidden Orchard Mysteries The Case of the Air B & B Robbery. Image Credit: Vision Films

Review

Growing up one of the staples of literature was the children detective novel; for some, it was Nancy Drew, for me, it was the Raven Hill Mysteries/Teen Power Inc. So it has always a bit of nostalgia for me when I get to see a new version of this genre put to screen. Well, today we have just that opportunity with Hidden Orchard Mysteries.  

So to set the scene, we open as the house gets ransacked, with laptops, pearls and more taken in the theft. The next day the homeowners Mr Parker (Donovan Williams) and Mrs Parker (Kim Akia) are in the middle of a community meeting when the theft is discovered by the local groundskeeper Mr Sanchez (Orlando Cortez), and they return home to count the damage. Mystery and intrigue are afoot, so the two local sleuths Gabby (Gabriella Pastore) and Lulu (Ja’ness Tate) to get on the case to work out who robbed the Air B & B.

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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.

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Movie Review – The Wrong Missy

TL;DR – An interesting premise, but I don’t think the film ever lives up to it.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Wrong Missy. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We have all sent a text message to the wrong person before and had that mortified realisation, well what would happen if you had made that wrong text and didn’t know about it. This is a really interesting set up for a film that gives you a lot of avenues to explore. Well, one of those avenues is hard MA15 comedy, which might not be my first choice but here we are today.

So, we open in on Tim (David Spade) as he is meeting someone on a first date only to find that the women he has been set up on a blind date with is married to Roman Reigns. Of course just before he gets his head beat in his real blind date Missy (Lauren Lapkus) pops in to tell him she set it all up. Well, the first date deteriorates from there and includes a short sword, an escape out of a bathroom window, and a broken ankle. Well three months after that disaster he is running through an airport when he collides into a woman called Missy (Molly Sims) in an airport and they immediately clicked together, the first person since his marriage fell apart. Well the company retreat is coming up and his ex-fiancé Julia (Sarah Chalke) is bringing her new beau Rich (Chris Witaske), so Tim takes a chance and invites Missy to Hawaii … and I think you can tell from the title what happens.

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Movie Review – Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

TL;DR – An interesting exploration of Psychedelics through personal stories but it didn’t quite sit well with me at times.      

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

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


If there is one policy area that has received more attention than any other in recent years/decades/centuries it is that of drugs. Governments across the world have tried everything from the death penalty to throwing up their hands to turning a blind eye and all in between I mean, America is still fighting a War on Drugs for little to no effect. Well, how do you approach an issue like this, well one way is to actually talk to the people involved. This is the documentary that we explore today, though I should preface this goes into depth with the experience of drug and it is a hard R rating for a reason and you should know that going in.

So to set the scene, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is a documentary that talks to people in the arts sphere about their experiences with drugs of the psychedelic variety. This documentary is broken up in several different ways, there are long-form interviews with people like Sting, where the documentary animates their stories, there are a wide range of talking heads from musicians, comedians, actors, and more, while also having old school educational videos (both real and created), while Nick Offerman pops in occasional as a teacher type figure.

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Movie Review – Ten Reasons Why I Love 10 Things I Hate About You

TL;DR – A joy to watch from start to finish   

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

10 Things I Hate About You. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

A while ago when I was writing my Top 10 Films of All Time, I mentioned that one of the contenders for the list was 10 Things I Hate About You. To this day, I keep going back and forth on that list and how that would probably be one of the changes I would make. With this in mind, and because I was feeling a bit glum, today I cracked open the TV put out a cheese platter and dived back into this seminal film from my youth, and boy does it still hold up.

So to set the scene, we open in on Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a new student at Padua High School as he is shown around all the groups and hierarchies by Michael Eckman (David Krumholtz). It is here where he spies the enchanting Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik) and is immediately entranced. The one small catch (other she has no idea who he is) is that it is widely known that the Stratford sisters can’t date. Well, all that changes when Walter Stratford (Larry Miller), Bianca’s dad changes the rule, Bianca can date when her sister Kat (Julia Stiles) dates. This sets off a chain reaction that involves bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), local cashed-up rich boy Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) and a school formal that goes disastrously wrong.      

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