TL;DR – A fun delight of a film that goes hard thanks to the charisma of Antonio Banderas
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is something after the credits, but you do not need to stay for it
Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish Review –
When I think back, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the Shrek series, even the later films that did not quite hit the same mark. The characters and world were always a delight as they took what was familiar and made a modern twist to it. One of those characters that shined was Puss in Boots, and today we see if they hold a whole film together with the sheer force of will that is Antonio Banderas’ charisma.
So to set the scene, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is galivanting around the world and is having a ball drinking, dualling, and having many musical interludes. In one such town, he usurps a Governor’s mansion and would have gotten away with it had it not been for a forest giant and a misplaced bell. Puss is on his last life, which should not be a problem until the Big Bad Wolf (Wagner Moura) arrives, wanting to take that final life. Running from the threat, Puss becomes an average lap cat which almost works until he hears of a fallen star and a hope that the one final wish could restore his lives. But he is not the only one out for that wish.
TL;DR – While this is not charting any new ground narratively, the solid work from the cast makes it an enjoyable romp through the jungle.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
The Lost City Review –
There is a group of films that fit within the ‘romantic-comedy’ genre that I think you may have watched before. This is where two people not in a couple are dropped into a life-or-death situation and must learn how to get along with each other or more by the time the film has finished. They can be good like Romancing the Stone and My Fellow Americans, and well, they can be not so good. Today, we are looking at a film that hits all the main points of this world and manages to shine due to a cast committed to the chaos.
So to set the scene, Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) is a prevalent romance author. However, she has been stuck with writer’s block since her archaeologist husband passed away. She put together a new book for her agent Beth Hatten (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), but her heart was not in it, and even less so in the book tour that she had to go on to promote it. Sensing this, Beth asks the popular model Alan Caprison (Channing Tatum), who has been the cover model for all of Loretta’s books, to come along to boost attendance at the events. That also goes poorly, but as Lorretta is leaving, she is kidnapped by reclusive billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe). For you see, as an undergrad, Loretta was an expert in a small Indigenous people’s group in the Atlantic and incorporated that work into her novel. Abigail is after a lost treasure from those people, and Loretta might be the only one who can help him.
TL;DR – A film with one of the best individual performances I have seen in a long time, bolstered by an amazing supporting cast but ultimately held back by some odd stylistic choices.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene.
Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse.
Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday Review –
Billie Holiday has one of those voices that you can instantly pick out. It has this uncanny ability to be soft and harsh all at once. When writing this review, I wondered when the first time was I had heard a recording of her performing? And it could have been off one of my grandfather’s records as he always had Jazz and Big Band playing. Or at the very least, it was on one of the radio stations in Fallout. But knowing about her voice, I realised before watching this film that I did not know much about her life at all. Well, today, I help fix that with a movie that charts some of the struggles she faced.
So to set the scene, we open with an older Billie (Andra Day) as she and her manager Miss Freddy (Miss Lawrence), sits down with interviewer Reginald Lord Devine (Leslie Jordan) to chart her life and explore why the government is so opposed to her. Well, we flashback in time to 1947, as a young soldier Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes) makes his way to a jazz club in New York City where Billie is about to perform a complete set, including the one song no one but the audience wants her to sing Strange Fruit. Someone who especially wants her to stop the song is Agent Harry J. Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund) from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.