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 Farewell (Bié Gàosù Tā, 別告訴她)

TL;DR – A truly emotional work of film that affected me in ways film rarely does.     

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

The Farewell (Bié Gàosù Tā, 別告訴她). Image Credit: A24.

Review

Wow, just wow, I thought I had some handle on how this film was going to affect me when I walked in, but I had no idea. I didn’t know I would be tearing up in the first five minutes and that it would not stop until the credits rolled. It is a film like this that shows the power of the medium to tell stories that can affect us on our deepest human level.

So to set the scene, Billi (Awkwafina) is struggling to find her place in the world after failing to get the fellowship that she was after. While at her parents to use their washing machine she notices that her mother Jian (Diana Lin) and father Haiyan (Tzi Ma) are acting odd. Wounding the worse, Billi discovers that her beloved Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has been diagnosed with late-stage cancer, but also that the family has decided not to tell her. Using a wedding as an excuse the whole family is going over to China in part to say goodbye without actually saying goodbye.       

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Movie Review – Crazy Rich Asians

TL;DR – During the film, I along with the whole cinema, laughed, cried, gasp ‘oh no you didn’t and I can’t remember a film that had that same reaction

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

Crazy Rich Asians. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

There are some films that simply be being made are making a statement of intent. These are films like last year’s Black Panther (see review) and Wonder Women (see review), films that “conventional” Hollywood wisdom states that they shouldn’t be made because they won’t make any money. There is a long history of information coming from focus groups that people are not interested in films helmed by women and people of colour, information which is inevitable proven wrong time after time when the box office numbers are released. To put this in perspective, the last live-action film from Hollywood to feature a predominately Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago in 1993. This means a whole generation of people have grown up and not seen their stories or people like themselves up on the big screen, and well folks this is why representation matter. So while Crazy Rich Asians is important for just existing, it is even more power from the fact that it is also a fantastic film in its own right and one of my films of the year so far.

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Movie Review – Ocean’s 8

TL;DR – It is not doing anything revolutionary with the genre, but I had fun from start to end in this well-acted and constructed film.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Ocean's 8

Review

Okay right from the start I am going to preface this with the fact that I do really love the Ocean’s 11 film series, well at least Eleven and Thirteen, not so much Twelve. But when I heard they were doing 8 I was mostly ambivalent, it hitting at the moment when I was really getting tired of the spin-off machine. However, then the cast list was announced I was very intrigued because it became clear that they were not phoning this one in. Now that I have had the chance to see it, it is clear that they were not messing around with this spin-off, and they come out of the gates swinging.

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