The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A absolute delight that understands how not to outstay its welcome through charm and joy.   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Knowhere

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review

When you hear the word ‘Holiday Special’, there can be a certain dread. That is because history is littered with failed examples, sometimes infamously failed. In my experience, they are, at best okay. However, today we have a model that might buck that trend.  

So to set the scene, back in the past, we find a young Peter Quill (Luke Klein) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) setting up their own little Christmas tree on the Ravanger spaceship when Yondu (Michael Rooker) walks in and trashes it because it shows weakness. Back in the post-Endgame, post-ditching Thor present. The Guardians of the Galaxy have bought Nowhere and have started bringing it back to its former prime. However, the gang feels that Peter (Chris Pratt) is still sad about losing the love of his life. Well, it is Christmas time, and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have a plan, let’s kidnap Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon).  

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Jurassic World Dominion (Extended Edition) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While a clear improvement, those improvements are but like sticking band-aids to a broken bone.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this edition of the film

A Dead T-Rex.

Jurassic World Dominion Review

Earlier this year, the newest edition to the Jurassic World franchise was released in cinemas. While it went on to make just over a billion dollars at the box office, Jurassic World Dominion fell thematically flat with me. However, the original Jurassic Park still ranks as part of my favourite films of all time, so when I heard the was an extended edition that fixes many of the issues with the film, well, I had to give it a watch.

So to set the scene, at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the team had a choice to kill all the dinosaurs off or release them into the North American continent, and they chose the latter. We saved them from a second extension, but maybe at the cost of our own lives, which is shown in stark relief as a T-Rex smashes through a drive-in theatre. As the world starts to work out how this new existence will play out, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) live a quiet life out of the way, right up until Blue’s child is kidnapped and Owen swears to her that he will get that baby back.

Now, we will not be giving a full review of this film as you can read the original coverage for it HERE. However, we will look at the areas where the extended edition improved the film and where it didn’t.

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Thor: Love and Thunder – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it was missing some of the substance of the last film, I found Thor: Love and Thunder to be a fun romp through the galaxy.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

Thor sits under a tree as four suns set.

Thor: Love and Thunder Review

I don’t think I have made it any secret that I found Thor: Ragnarok one of the best films in the MCU, and indeed a film that I will always sit down and watch when it is on. But I thought this would be a one-off because of some unwritten rule that stops solo films after three outings. Well, call me surprised when it was announced that we were getting Thor 4 because that was probably the best news out of this somewhat fractured start of Phase 4.

So to set the scene, we open in on a parched land as Gorr (Christian Bale) and his daughter Love (India Hemsworth) walk one step at a time, praying for deliverance from their god Rapu (Jonny Brugh). But there is none to be found as Love dies from exposure. Gorr is beside himself when he hears voices in the wind and stumbles into an oasis, where Rapu is having a glorious feast and does not give a hoot about Gorr or his daughter. In that moment of horrific destruction of faith, the Necrosword appears in his hand, and he slays the god and begins a campaign to exterminate all the gods. Meanwhile, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, trying to find his place in the world. When Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) calls out, Thor comes to her aid and discovers that a mad man has their next target, New Asgard.

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Jurassic World Dominion – Movie Review

TL;DR – A disappointing dilemma for this dinosaur dynasty, a dismal and dreary debacle.    

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

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

Claire hides from a Therizinosaurus in a lake.

Jurassic World Dominion Review

I go into this film with a conflicting stand with the Jurassic Park/World franchise. When it is good, it is so good, and without a doubt, the first Jurassic Park still sits in my top 10 Films of All Time. However, at this point, there may have more misses than hits in the franchise, and there comes a point that even the draw of dinosaurs can not fix that. Well, I am always an optimist, and well, I might be the only one who like Jurassic Park III, so can I say that I went into this film hopeful but still warry. I should have been a touch more warry.

So to set the scene, at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the team had a choice to kill all the dinosaurs off or release them into the North American continent, and they chose the latter. We saved them from a second extension, but maybe at the cost of our own lives. As the Battle at Big Rock showed, there may be awe but also sharp teeth. As the world starts to work out how this new existence will play out, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) live a quiet life out of the way, right up until Blue’s child is kidnapped and Owen swears to her that he will get that baby back.

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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.  

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Onward – Movie Review

TL;DR –  It takes a straightforward premise and elevates it with a real heart.    

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Awards:

NominatedCreative Animation & Most Fun

Onward. Image Credit: Disney.

Onward Review

There has been a couple of attempts in recent times to do the ‘what if the fantasy realm that you know was set in modern times’ and well, on the whole, they have been bad. But as a concept, it is solid, so I have been wondering if anyone would be able to pull it off. Well if anyone can do it, it is Pixar, and boy did they.

So to set the scene, Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) is just an average teenage elf, winning math awards, learning how to drive, avoiding his brother Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) and trying to find friends. He is trying to find his place in the world with his brother, who is a bit of a screw-up, and his mother Laurel Lightfoot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who is trying her best with the chaos. On his 16th birthday, their mother surprises them with a gift from their late father Wilden Lightfoot (Kyle Bornheimer) which turns out to be a magic staff and a spell, one that can bring him back, but only for one day.

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Movie Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

TL;DR – It really pains me to say that this film was a real disappointment with its story.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene but you do not have to stay for it

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. Image Credit: Universal/Legendary

Review

So well hmmm. Look when it comes to dinosaurs I am the easiest person to convince. I have loved them since I was a kid, the favourite book in my library is my first edition Dinotopia novel, and I have loved every one of the previous Jurassic Park films, yes even Jurassic Park III. However, as I walked out of the cinemas here I can’t help but think I just watched something that had an opportunity to do something different but decided to go the safest predictable route imaginable and just re-tread things from the last film, and overall just became a bit of a disappointment.

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Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War

TL;DR Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars (this is a tentative score, it might change after Part 2)

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end credit scene

Avengers Infinity War Banner

Review

It should be no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the new Avengers film. In preparation not only did I map out the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) but I also ranked every film released in the build-up (see here). However, if I am to be perfectly honest, part of this stemmed from a nervousness, could they stick the landing, could they create a story that would give justice to all the desperate characters they were involved, could they actually bring on Thanos? Well as you can probably tell I have seen the film now, so I can now answer those questions … sort of. Now a quick note today, there will be [SPOILERS] for several of the recently released Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok (see review) and Black Panther (see review). As well as this, I will try to avoid most of the major spoilers until a paragraph at the end when we discuss the ending, but because of how quick the film moves this is just a general [SPOILER] warning if you have not seen the film yet.

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Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

TL;DR – Volume 2 takes everything from the first film and elevates it with an interesting story, beautiful visuals, and some of the best humour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but your mileage may vary depending on a couple of factors.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. There are 5 mid/post credit scenes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney.

Review

Back in 2014 Marvel undertook the biggest experiment yet in this whole expanded universe, it was an ensemble cast which they had not done outside of an Avengers film at that point, its main lead was still a mostly unknown Chris Pratt. Seriously when he was cast he was mostly known as that quirky dude on Parks and Rec, two of the main cast were CGI and one of those only said I am Groot and it was amazing. It was funny, but emotional at places and that opening still makes me tear up, and until Captain America Civil War came along it was my favourite film in the MCU, or maybe still is, I go back and forth a bit here. So it would not be a surprise to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might be the film I was the most looking forward to in 2017. Now this as a reviewer is something you have to be careful with, you need to make sure your rose-tinted glasses are not blinding you to the flaws, or conversely that you don’t hype it up so much that it is a disappointment no matter how good it is. But I have just come from the cinemas and overall I really loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but I can also see areas that may put people off. So with this in mind let’s start the review.

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Movie Review – Passengers

TL;DR – The biggest problem with Passengers is that it keeps hinting at a better film out there, but unfortunately it never quite gets there.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Passengers. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

So would you say goodbye to everyone you love, board a spaceship in a hibernation pod for a 120-year journey just for a chance of a new life on a new world, even though you know when you get there everyone from your past will be dead. It’s an interesting thought experiment and one of many that Passengers speculates on throughout the film. When the film is at its best it is looking at an answering these questions, when it is at its worst it’s ignoring them to quickly tie the story up.

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