The New Mutants – Movie Review

TL;DR – A perfectly okay film but a bit of a missed opportunity.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

The New Mutants. Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Review

After thirteen films, and running for twenty years, the current X-Men franchise has drawn to a close. Today we review the last movie in the series The New Mutants, though it was never planned or designed to be a swan song it is what it has become. Well, let’s dive into a film that swerves into the horror of what it would be like to wake up one day with powers.

So to set the scene, we open in on a reservation in America when Danielle “Dani” Moonstar (Blu Hunt) is woken up by her father William (Adam Beach) and told to run. All around them, some outside force is destroying the reservation with snow and flames everywhere. William asks Dani to hide in a tree and goes back to help only to be killed, Dani runs form the oncoming storm and crashes down the side of the hill, hitting her head. When she wakes up, she is handcuffed to a medical gurney in what looks like an old hospital. Over the speaker Dr Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) askes her to calm down and lets her know she is safe, but that she was the only survivor of her reservation, everyone she knows is dead.  

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The Boys: Season One – TV Review

TL;DR – Confronting, uncomfortable, but entirely compelling.  

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

The Boys: Season One. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

When I first heard of The Boys, the concept of ‘what if superheroes were assholes?’ I’ll be honest it didn’t grab me. Maybe it was the Suicide Squad fatigue that had set in; perhaps it was the general feel of the time. However, given this is 2020, and what’s the worst that can happen? Well, I am glad I did because a lot is going on here, some unsettling, some subversive, but all fascinating.

So to set the scene, we open with bank robbers driving recklessly through the streets of New York. The truck carriers off the side of the road heading to some innocent bystanders when Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) of The Seven steps in front and takes all the damage herself while Homelander (Antony Starr) flies in and laser eyes the bandits while stopping to take a selfie or two. Meanwhile, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is walking down the street with his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) after finally deciding to move in with each other when one second she is standing there talking. The next she is red mist as A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) runs into her at super-speed after being too preoccupied to see what was coming. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Movie Review – Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey)

TL;DR – A really solid follow up to a film that didn’t work, so that is a great change of pace    Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

As things have been going, I think it has been safe to say that the DC expanded Universe has been made up of more misses than hits. However, in recent times that trend has started to change with Aquaman being a fun little film and Shazam! finding some real heart, showing that the studio can make it work on something other than Wonder Woman. However, coming into Birds of Prey, I was a little hesitant given what came before, but thankfully I had nothing to worry about.  

So to set the scene, in the time since Suicide Squad ended, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) broke up with The Joker and it was entirely amicable … okay maybe not. However, everyone thinks she’ll get back together with him, it’s only a matter of time. Well, that’s not what Harley thinks and to prove it to everyone she blows up the symbol of their love the chemical factory which does not quite go to plan. Meanwhile, Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) is trying to find out who is going around crossbowing local goons and a young pickpocketer Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) is about to pick the wrong pocket potentially shifting the balance of all of Gotham City.  

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Movie Review – Joker

TL;DR –  A hollow film trying to say something but knowing it actually has nothing to say and hoping you will be distracted by Phoenix’s performance not to notice.  

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Joker. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

It has been a couple of days since I watched Joker and instead of writing the review right away I needed to let this film sit a percolate in my brain for a bit before I started writing. Part of that is because I have talked to a lot of people because there are a lot of different experiences with the film, so I wanted to make sure I knew the different perspectives before I dived in. But also because there are aspects of the film I quite like and those that I really don’t and I needed to work through that juxtaposition.    

So to set the scene, in the 1980s Gotham City is beset by a garbage strike and tempers are starting to flare as the piles of rubbish start to accumulate. On the outskirts of the city lives Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) who works as a clown during the day and looks after his housebound mother Penny (Frances Conroy) in the evenings. Which would be difficult enough for any person but Arthur suffers from a neurological condition that required multiple types of medication and still causes spontaneous uncontrollable laughter. Things are manageable for Arthur but as his life starts to unravel so does he.

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Movie Review – Spider-Man: Far From Home

TL;DR – As the swan song for the Phase 3 it delivers of nearly every front but mostly in heaping amounts of charm

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene (you 100% need to stay for the mid-credit at least)

Spider-Man: Far From Home. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

To be a bit honest I had some concerns about this film before I walked into the cinemas. I quite liked the first Spider-Man and the films since has showed that Tom Holland was one of Marvel’s best casting choices. However, this film was coming off the double whammy of being the follow up to both Endgame and also the first film since the revolutionary Into the Spider-Verse, and they are tough acts to follow. However, literally five minutes into the movie I knew I was in for a good time, but I didn’t know was how much of an impact this film would have on the greater landscape.

So to set the scene, we open with a quick recap of everyone who dies in Endgame, so if you have not seen it yet get ready for that band aid to get ripped off real quick. It also gives a little perspective as to how the world adapted to what they now call the blip with half of the people disappearing then reappearing 5 years later. It looks like most of Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) friends got snapped and have to suffer through doing the school year all over again. Well after all the stress of Endgame, Peter is happy that he is able to take a break because he and his friends MJ (Zendaya), Jacob (Jacob Batalon), Betty (Angourie Rice) and unfortunately Flash (Tony Revolori) are going to Europe on a school trip. However, before he leaves Happy (Jon Favreau) arrives at his aunt May’s (Marisa Tomei) charity dinner to let Peter know that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is looking for him and Peter does the only normal thing and ghosts Nick Fury. Well you can guess how well that went.

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Movie Review – Dark Phoenix (X-Men: Dark Phoenix)

TL;DR – In what might be the last major release of a Fox X-Men film, instead of going out with a bang, it goes out with a meh.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Dark Phoenix (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

With Fox being bought by Disney we know that the current X-Men film franchise is going to be reaching its end sooner rather than later, and with the New Mutants film having a difficult production, there is a chance that this is the last time we will see these characters on the big screen. With that in mind, there are many words I have used to describe the X-Men films in the past. There have been the highs of X-2, Deadpool, and Logan. There have been the lows of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand, and Apocalypse. However, today I have a new descriptor for an X-men film, and unfortunately, that word is dull.

So to set the scene, we open with a young Jean Grey (Summer Fontana) back in the 1970s driving with her parents when tragedy strikes and she becomes an orphan. Back in the present day of 1992, the Space Shuttle Endeavour has been hit by a solar flare and the president (Brian d’Arcy James) has only one team he can call. Since the time of Apocalypse, mutants have come out of hiding and the X-Men have become almost celebrities, using their powers, to help save the day. While in space, they discover that it was not a solar flare, but some kind of entity. While Jean (Sophie Turner) is trying to keep the shuttle together, the entity attacks and is absorbed by her. Back on Earth, she seems fine, but slowly they find out that this is not the case because Charles (James McAvoy) did something to her back in the day and that secret just burst forth.

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Map-It – Mapping Infinity: The Cartography of the MCU (2019 Update)

TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during all of Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

The Avengers Image Credit: Marvel

Article

Today Avengers: Endgame was released in cinemas, and well since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to update our map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases from Iron Man in 2008 to Endgame in 2019. This means that there are some slight spoilers for Endgame here, but only their locations which don’t really give anything away, but if you are super cautious please be aware.    

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked from Best to Last (2019 Update)

Back in 2018 we had a look at ranking all the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films from best to last. We at least, what ranking they were for me. Well I have just walked out of Endgame and as there are no more films (that we know of) left for 2019 it is time to revisit the list.

With these lists, I don’t rank them 1-10 as I feel that does not adequately reflect my feeling about each of the films and where they fit in relation to each other. As you can see in our X-Men countdown (see here) what we do is the group the films into categories Fantastic, Great Good, Ok, and Trash.

Fantastic are those films which get as close to perfect as we can on this side of Heaven, with compelling characters stories and visuals. Great are those films which I thoroughly enjoyed but they did not move me emotionally. Good are solid films that while they have some issues they still work and are still enjoyable. Ok are films that work, they have some good moments, but you can start to see some of the flaws that almost scuttle the film. Trash are those films which just don’t work, whether it is the story, the characters, the visuals, or a combination of all three, they are simply letdowns.

Also within those categories, I have listed the films not in a ranked order but in chronological order of when they were released.

So let’s dive into a world of gritty spy thrillers, fun heist films, moral tales on not watching your AI experiments as you steal alien technology, high school drama, a Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the greatest collection of Chris’ since the invention of the word Chris.

Also be warned, at the time of writing two of these films are still in cinemas, so be careful with [SPOILERS].

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Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (Full Spoilers)

TL;DR – Now all together “Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, barrrrr bup bup barrr baaar bomp barrrrrrr, Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, Baaaaaaaar”

Score – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and a hint at the end

Review

Wow and here we are. Honestly, when I sat down to watch Iron Man in cinemas all the way back in 2008 I don’t think I really comprehended just what it was that I was watching. I didn’t know it would spawn a 20+ movie franchise that would take us into the past, into the deep reaches of space, and create one of the biggest events in movie history. In many respects, it feels like this is my generation’s Star Wars moment, and I have not seen queues like this to go see a film in a long time. Well, today we take the plunge and see if they can work out one of the biggest cliff-hangers in movie history and can this be a film that gives closure to the films that came before it.

So to set the scene, at the end of Infinity War the one thing they were trying to stop happening actually happened, as Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all the infinity stones after ripping the mind stone out of Vision’s (Paul Bettany) head and snapped his fingers. All at once across the galaxy, 50% of everything turned to dust and we had that gut-wrenching moment as everything literally fell apart in people’s hands. Indeed Peter (Tom Holland) looking desperately at Tony (Robert Downey Jr) pleading that ‘I don’t want to go” is one of those moments that just stays with you and it stays with the cast. Because as we start everything is in a bad place. Tony is trapped with Nebula (Karen Gillan) on a ship running out of fuel, air, and food, and those Avengers that survived are counting the losses on Earth where no one has been left unaffected. However, one should never give up all hope, because you never know when deliverance will come from an unlikely place, and then hope is lost again. Now with today’s review, we will be doing something a little different. In this review, we will be looking at all of the film so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. This is for people that have already seen the film and want to explore the ending of Endgame. If you have not seen the film and would like to see a no spoiler discussion Endgame you can go HERE. Also if you have already read the no spoiler review and want to skip to the discussion on the ending, it is the chapter starting with the big [SPOILER WARNING] below.         

Before we dive into the story and character aspects of the film, I want to first take a moment to talk about the production side of things. In this film, they have left nothing on the table when it comes to the lighting, production design, and effects. That opening scene as Tony is sitting in the ship waiting to die while bathed in a light blue light from the nearby stars was one of the most beautiful lighting techniques I have seen in quite a while. This extends throughout the entire film, with harsh contrasts at times, natural light in places, relentless oppression in other places. Every part of the film is well designed, even when they are using sets from the previous film, it has been amended to make it feel right in the new context.

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Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

TL;DR – Now all together “Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, barrrrr bup bup barrr baaar bomp barrrrrrr, Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, Baaaaaaaar”

Score – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and a hint at the end

Avengers: Endgame. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney.

Review

Wow and here we are. Honestly, when I sat down to watch Iron Man in cinemas all the way back in 2008 I don’t think I really comprehended just what it was that I was watching. I didn’t know it would spawn a 20+ movie franchise that would take us into the past, into the deep reaches of space, and create one of the biggest events in movie history. In many respects, it feels like this is my generation’s Star Wars moment, and I have not seen queues like this to go see a film in a long time. Well, today we take the plunge and see if they can work out one of the biggest cliff-hangers in movie history and can this be a film that gives closure to the films that came before it.

So to set the scene, at the end of Infinity War the one thing they were trying to stop happening actually happened, as Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all the infinity stones after ripping the mind stone out of Vision’s (Paul Bettany) head and snapped his fingers. All at once across the galaxy, 50% of everything turned to dust and we had that gut-wrenching moment as everything literally fell apart in people’s hands. Indeed Peter (Tom Holland) looking desperately at Tony (Robert Downey Jr) pleading that ‘I don’t want to go” is one of those moments that just stays with you and it stays with the cast. Because as we start everything is in a bad place. Tony is trapped with Nebula (Karen Gillan) on a ship running out of fuel, air, and food, and those Avengers that survived are counting the losses on Earth where no one has been left unaffected. However, one should never give up all hope, because you never know when deliverance will come from an unlikely place, and then hope is lost again. Now with today’s review, we will be doing something a little different. In this review there will be no spoilers, you will get my general impressions of how it all worked, however, I won’t mention any plot details that happen after the first act. Also, if you really want to be spoiler free, don’t examine the credits below. If you have seen the film and would like to see a full spoiler discussion of the ending you can go HERE.        

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