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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
TL;DR – A truly amazing film, one of the best westerns I have seen in a very long time, great acting, great filming, and top notch action, this is one to see.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Once again another remake, it seems that 2016 should be subtitled the Year of Remakes, from the ‘surprisingly ok’ Ghostbusters to the ‘why bother’ Ben-Hur, to the ‘joy that was’ Pete’s Dragon. So this week not only do we have a remake, but we have a remake of a remake with The Magnificent Seven, and how did it fair, well really quite good if you ask me.
TL;DR – Not as good as the original, but unlike the other squeals, it nails what a Jurassic Park squeal should be like, in tone, if not always in execution.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Wow, it’s been a long time coming but we actually have a good sequel to the original Jurassic Park. The original Jurassic Park was a masterpiece and some of Spielberg’s best work, The Lost World was a movie with some really good parts (Raptors coming in the tall grass) but between these good parts was some real rubbish, and the less said about the plot hole inducing stupidity that is the tacked on final act the better, Jurassic Park III was a much better film than The Lost World but it rehashed a lot of the same ground. So given its rocky track record, I was wondering if this film would be any good, and while it is not as good as the first film (that could just be my rose-tinted glasses talking but probably not) it is a good film in its own right.