Old – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that is equal parts engaging and unsettling      

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film

Old. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Old Review

If there is one filmmaker who knows Hollywood’s very heights and depths, it’s M. Night Shyamalan. But no matter if his films work or not, they are always impeccable shot and are at least trying to be more than the sum of their parts. So when you hear that he is diving back into the horror world or at least the supernatural world, well, it makes you want to see at least what he has made.     

So to set the scene, we open in on a family as they make their way by coach to the Anamika Resort on some tropical island. While the parents, Guy (Gael García Bernal) and Priscilla (Vicky Krieps), put on a good show for their kids Maddox (Alexa Swinton) and Trent (Nolan River). This was, in fact, the last holiday before the parents separate, so they are trying to make it a good memory. While at the resort, the manager suggests that they all go to a private beach that they are only opening for select guests, all you have to do is walk through a small canyon, and you are there. It is a beautiful day at the beach, right up until a body floats ashore.

Continue reading

Gunpowder Milkshake – Movie Review

TL;DR – Stylistically fascinating, tonally inconsistent, and yet still engaging      

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Gunpowder Milkshake. Image Credit: StudioCanal.

Gunpowder Milkshake Review

There has been a real struggle for independent stories to break through in a world of franchises and sequels. So when you see a new film emerge, you want to see it thrive. However, there are still as many hits and misses when you have new ideas as what happens when you are working with a solid franchise base. Today, we look at a film which has aspects of both sides, both the good and the bad.

So to set the scene, we open with a phone beeping off the hook as blood and bullets scatter the room. It is here where we are introduced to Sam (Karen Gillan), who is a cleaner for a secret organisation called The Firm. 15 years ago, a young Sam (Freya Allan) was abandoned at a diner by her mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) after a shootout with the Russian Mob. Now, Sam is here with her handler Nathan (Paul Giamatti), and she is on the last legs with the organisation. All she has to do is hunt down some missing money. What could go wrong?     

Continue reading

Space Jam: A New Legacy – Movie Review

TL;DR – Take the first Space Jam, introduce it to Tron Legacy while giving Ready Player One a run for its money.      

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but some pictures in the mid-credits

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Space Jam: A New Legacy. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Space Jam: A New Legacy Review

When there are 25 years between entries in a film franchise, there is always a fear of who will be your target audience. Are you trying to bring in new fans, or are you catering for those who liked the last film? Today we get a movie that tried to bridge both groups with an entertaining film for kids but filled with moments that only the parents will get.

So to set the scene, we open in Akron, Ohio, in 1998. A young LeBron (Stephen Kankole) is practising, but his coach thinks his head is not in the game, and he has to ditch all the distractions. One montage of LeBron’s career later, and a now champion LeBron James (LeBron James) is raising a family. While he is all about basketball, his son Dominic “Dom” James (Cedric Joe) likes to code and has built a video game. This is heading towards conflict when at Warner Brother Studios, their inbuilt algorithm Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) has devised a plan. A plan that pits son against father and makes the Looney Tunes fight for their very lives.

Continue reading

Space Jam (1996) – Exploring the Past

TL;DR – A blast from the past that has unfortunately lost a bit of its sheen. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is an End Credit scene

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

Space Jam. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Space Jam Review

When Space Jam first came out in cinemas, I was in primary school, and I can remember that it was a film that teachers would put on when they needed a break from us but not that much more. It has been over a decade since I have seen the film, and besides the occasional look at the old website, I hadn’t thought about it much. However, then they went and made a sequel. I felt I had to give it another watch for due diligence to see just what it was that captured people all those years ago.

So to set the scene, in 1973, a young Michal Jordan (Brandon Hammond) is practising at his home well after midnight. When talking to his dad, the one thing he wants to be is a champion and play on a championship team. One montage of Jordan’s career later, and a now champion Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan) is retiring from basketball to join baseball. But on a planet in deep space, a theme park boss is Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), is trying to find a new attraction, and he decides to steal all the Looney Tunes. But instead of being captured, Bugs Bunny (Billy West) cons them into playing a basketball game for their freedom.   

Continue reading

The Tomorrow War – Movie Review

TL;DR – An interesting film with a concept that intrigues you, delights you, and also kind of terrifies you.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

The Tomorrow War. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Tomorrow War Review

The Alien Invasion genre and the Time Travel genre are ones that you would expect to crash into each other more often than they do. But there are times when they crash into each other you get fantastic, weird works like Edge of Tomorrow. Today we get another entry into this world with a war that is coming in the future, but we are fighting it now.   


We open with Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) crashing into a city on fire. War has come to this land and left carnage in its wake. Twenty-eight years earlier, in December 2022, Dan is with his wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin), and daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) are watching the World Cup after Dan lost out to another private-sector job when an explosion happens in the middle of the final match. It was not a bomb, but Lt. Hart (Jasmine Mathews) and her team coming back from the future. They are at war with an Alien force, and humanity is losing. They need people from the past to jump to the future and help them fight, or all humanity is doomed.  

Continue reading

Fast & Furious 9 (F9) – Movie Review

TL;DR – It is the bombast that you expect from these films, full of family and of course lots of cars.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of the film.

Fast & Furious 9. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Fast & Furious 9 Review

I am going to be honest. I did not get The Fast Saga for a long time. They were these big grandiose films that were inherently silly yet played so seriously. But many of my friends swore by it, which left me intrigued. So when The Fate of the Furious was announced, I thought it was time to give it another go, and it was watching that film that I finally understood what this was all about. I have now watched every movie in the franchise, so I was ready to dive into a new film with all that combined knowledge, well at least I thought I was ready.        

So to set the scene, we open up in 1989, as NASCARs race around the track, screeching their tyres along the route. As one car pulls in, we see a young Dominic Toretto (Vinnie Bennett) helping out his dad Jack (J. D. Pardo). However, tragedy strikes and in an instant, Dom’s life is changed. Back in the present, Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) have left the world of car-spy-shenanigans to stay on a farm and raise Brian (Isaac Holdane/Immanuel Holdane). However, one morning a car arrived baring Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Chris’ Ludacris’ Bridges), and Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) because Mr Nobody’s (Kurt Russell) plane has crashed and there is a new operative on the scene, one with ties to Dom’s past.

Continue reading

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) – Movie Review

TL;DR – More of the same, so if you know how you feel about the first film, well, not much has changed    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene and something at the end.

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard). Image Credit: Roadshow Films.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Review

A few years ago, there was this small weird film that slipped into cinemas. The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a fairly average action film, with all the narrative beats that you would expect. However, with some good cinematography, action set pieces, and a cast that bought entirely into the premise, it turned out to be more than the sum of its parts. I wondered if they could capture that same energy twice, and the answer is both yes and no.

So to set the scene, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is no longer an AAA-rated executive protection agent, as the organisation took umbrage that he took a bullet for a known hitman. After some counselling from his therapist (Rebecca Front), he decides to instead of waiting for the review board he would take a sabbatical from bodyguarding and fly to Capri for a relaxing holiday. Which lasts about five seconds until Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) arrives guns blazing as the Mafia has captured Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), and only Michael can set him free.

Continue reading

In the Heights – Movie Review

TL;DR –  It captivates you in the first moments and never lets you go until the very end.   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There may be a post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

In the Heights. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

In the Heights Review

If there is one genre that has kind of disappeared from movie screens, it is the musical. Looking back, the last proper musical I saw on the big screen was The Greatest Showman. But something is exciting about being in a room full of people as the music and emotions wash over you. That moment when a song hits all the right notes, and you feel that emotion in your soul.  Today, I get to add another entry onto this list with the sheer delight that is In the Heights.

So to set the scene, we open with Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos) sitting on a beach telling a bunch of kids the story of the land of Washington Heights in the far off city of Nueva York. Here we see Usnavi go about his day, looking after his Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), opening up his bodega with his cousin Sonny (Gregory Diaz IV), and striking out with Vanessa (Melissa Barrera) while Sonny and his best friend Benny (Corey Hawkins) watch on. But something is happening on the street today, Kevin Rosario’s (Jimmy Smits) daughter Nina (Leslie Grace) is coming back from Stanford, and everyone is ready for the celebration.

Continue reading

Army of the Dead – Movie Review

TL;DR – This film is like a shotgun of ideas slapped up on the screen, and none of it lands. 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

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

Army of the Dead. Image Credit: Netflix.

Army of the Dead Review

I need to start this review with a little proviso about filmmaker Zach Snyder, the director, writer, and cinematographer of this film. I do think he can be a great filmmaker because when his particular style lines up with the right narrative, you can get great films like 300. Unfortunately, you need someone to help channel that style, or you get a bloated mess of a film, and I think we are in the latter today y’all.

So to set the scene, we open in as a military convoy with a high-value cargo leaves Area 51, transiting it somewhere safer. However, when a driver on an oncoming car becomes “distracted”, their car crashes into the convoy killing many soldiers. But just as the survivors regroup, something comes out of the cargo and rips them all to pieces. That would be bad, but what is worse is that those once dead come back alive, and Las Vegas waits over the horizon. Sometime later, after the government lost the battle and instead decided to wall off the infected town, a mysterious businessman called Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) enlists the help of Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and his team to break into the city. Because there is a lot of money left in those casinos, and you might as well take it before the government nukes the place.

Continue reading

Those Who Wish Me Dead – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it starts a bit muddled, it soon picks up, and the third act had me on the edge of the seat.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of the film.

Those Who Wish Me Dead. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Those Who Wish Me Dead Review

I am not sure what you feel when you hear the word ‘firestorm’, but for me and I think many Australians, there is a visceral terror as we have all seen that all-consuming force. We know that destruction, year after year, so when you set a film in this world, there is a kind of instant buy-in as to the danger from the moment that first spark gets set off. But for a movie to work, it needs to be more than that, which is what we get this week. 

Set the scene, we open with a group of firelighters jumping out of a plane and parachuting down into the oncoming storm. They’re smokejumpers, and they are trying to make a firebreak and shore up the defences when the wind turns the fire directly at them. A year later, two men walk into the house of a district attorney in Fort Lauderdale, and minutes later, the house explodes, killing the whole family. Back in Jacksonville, Owen Casserly (Jake Weber), a forensic accountant, is getting his son Connor (Finn Little) ready for the day when he sees the news and immediately knows he is next. The two flee to Montana, where Owen’s brother-in-law Ethan Sawyer (Jon Bernthal) works as a sheriff, but just as they get close, the two men Jack (Aidan Gillen) and Patrick (Nicholas Hoult), attack.  

Continue reading