Exploring the Past – Into the Wild (2007)

TL;DR –.A really frustrating film that nevertheless sucks you in and leaves you heartbroken. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Into the Wild. Image Credit: Paramount.

Review

Well, last night I noticed Into the Wild had come onto Netflix. I had heard some good things about it a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a nice relaxing film to put on before going to bed. Oh wow, did I ever get that wrong.

So to set the scene, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) gets dropped off on an Alaskan trail and walks into the wilderness a lot less prepared than maybe he should have. Ignoring the concerns from the guy that dropped him off he begins the march into the wilds of the north until he finds an abandoned bus and uses that as a base of operation. When then jump two years into the past and see why it is Christopher set off on this journey.

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Movie Review – Kardec

TL;DR – A biopic that had a real chance of being something interesting that unfortunately could never quite stick the landing.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Kardec. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

For a while now in the evening before going to sleep I have been taking to watching a couple of episodes of Penn and Teller: Fool Us. Penn and Teller are American magicians and one of the many things they are known for is debunking a number of things including the techniques behind spiritualism and mentalism. It has been interesting getting little hints as to how some of these tricks are done, so when a biography of one of the key spiritualists in France dropped on Netflix I was really interested to see how it would go.

So to set the scene, it is the 1850s in Paris, France and Rivail (Leonardo Medeiros) is a professor and teacher. He is a man of reason of logic and takes deep offence when a priest bursts into his classroom to give the catechisms. The influence of Catholicism in the classroom is a deal-breaker for the teacher and he retires. Struggling to find work, he agrees to do some translating work and it is here that is he is drawn into the new fad exploding among the fringes and not so fringes of French society.

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Movie Review – Rocketman

TL;DR – It is a film of great character moments, wonderful music, and an interesting story of someone going from low to high to low and then back again. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Rocketman. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Review


It looks like it is going to be the decade of cinematic superheroes and also of the musical biopic. Especially a musical biopic of a seminal rock superstar from England that took the globe by storm only to discover a world full of drugs and dodgy management. Given they have been so far Oscar gold and have made bank at the box office we are sure to get a couple of these and today we look at one that is taking the standard biopic and twisting it up.

So to set the scene, we open with Elton John (Taron Egerton) exploding through a door in full orange sequined devil glory. You expect him to be doing a grand entrance into a stadium, but instead we soon find out that he is at group theory session when the first question was asked “what was your childhood like?” and we drop through the floor back to the 1950s when a young Reggie (Matthew Illesley) lived with his mother Sheila (Bryce Dallas Howard), grandmother Ivy (Gemma Jones) and occasionally his father Stanley (Steven Mackintosh) when he comes back from the army. Elton says he had a happy childhood, but we soon find out there is a difference between what Elton says and reality.

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Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

TL;DR – At the heart is the powerful story of Freddie Mercury, but you can see the difficulties of adapting a life as grand as his into a standard film runtime.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There footage during the credits that you want to stay back for.

Bohemian Rhapsody. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

There have been a lot of productions that have been stuck in ‘production hell’ for years before they get made (and some never exit it) and one of the big casualties of this was the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic. It had gone through multiple directors and leading cast before finally going into production, only to find out that the difficulties were not done there. With clashes on set and the inevitable replacement of the director befalling production. When this has happened in the past, it has led to at best an uneven film, but often times the final product is a complete mess. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody avoids the latter but you can still see the problems under the hood.

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Movie Review – BlacKkKlansman

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

BlacKkKlansman. Image Credit: Focus Features/Universal Pictures

Review

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.

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Movie Review – Molly’s Game

TL;DR – Exploring the interplay of power and greed, and how lives can change in an instant, also you got Aaron Sorkin walk and talks, so what’s not to like?

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Molly's Game

Review

Today is an interesting week because we are looking at a film that is both from a first-time director but also one of the industries long-time greats, Aaron Sorkin. So today we will see if his walk and talk dialogue works when he is the one behind the camera? Now before we start, because of the way the film is structured it is hard to talk about it at all without getting into [SPOILER] territory almost immediately, so if you have not seen the film probably be careful when proceeding.

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Movie Review – The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris)

TL;DR – It has a rocky start, but it sucks you in and hits you with an emotional punch at the end.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit sequence.

The 15 17 to Paris

Review

What would you do if a terrorist, or any gunman, to be honest, started shooting at people while you were on a train? This is a question I have had to ask myself today as I walked out of the cinemas. Would you run? Would you hide? Would you confront them and try to stop it? While I may want to think I would do that latter, deep down I know I would likely freeze not knowing what to do, which was an interesting thing to ponder about your life. Well, there are some people out there in the world who know what they would do because it happened to them one day in August in 2015. So today we are going to look at a film that is both a testament to courage under fire and also one of the most fascinating casting choices I have seen in a very long time. It is also the most Clint Eastwood film I have seen in quite a while.

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