TL;DR – While it nails the style, and the cast is giving their all, there is a lack of substance.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Warning – Some scenes may cause distress.
Don’t Worry Darling Review –
I am not sure any film has quite had as rough a publicity tour as Don’t Worry Darling for quite a while. It felt that every week there was some new drama going on behind the scenes, real or imagined. While this could have derailed the film for me, I quite liked the first trailer, I enjoyed Olivia Wilde’s first directorial work with Booksmart, and look Florence Pugh, and Chris Pine always give great performances. Which meant I was intrigued to see just how this would all play out.
So to set the scene, we open in The Victory Project, a company town in the middle of the desert where all the women stay home manning the house while their husbands go to a mysterious headquarters working on secret new materials. In a perfect house filled with every modern convenience, Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) gets breakfast ready for her husband Jack (Harry Styles) and watches with the neighbourhood as all the men leave for work simultaneously. She spends her days cleaning the house, making dinner, rehearsing ballet, and drinking with her best friend and neighbour Bunny (Olivia Wilde). The couple enjoys being young and fun, days drinking with friends, and nights partying with the neighbours. Things are going well for both of them. But as they chat at a party held by the boss Jack Chambers (Chris Pine) and his wife Shelly (Gemma Chan), their former friend Margaret (KiKi Layne) questions everything, and soon it has Alice wondering too.
TL;DR – Not bad, not great, but a very okay origin story
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
Eternals Review –
We are at an interesting point in Marvel/Disney’s grand experiment in the form of the MCU. Because after 30-odd films and other entertainment productions, Phase 4 has brought us back to the start thanks to the fallout of Endgame. Sequels have given way to origin stories again. Well, today, we dive into the next origin after Shang-Chi, telling a story of people who have been there since the start but whom we are just meeting now.
So to set the scene, at the start of the universe, the great Celestials created life across the galaxy. But soon, creatures called evolved called Deviants that hunted down life. In response, the Celestials called together the Eternals and sent them across the galaxy to protect planets full of life. Ajak (Salma Hayek) the leader and link to the Celestials, Sersi (Gemma Chan), who can change matter, Ikaris (Richard Madden), who can fly, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), who shoots energy from their hands, Sprite (Lia McHugh) who can project illusions, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) who is a great inventor, Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) who can run so fast, Gilgamesh (Don Lee) with mighty fists, Thena (Angelina Jolie) who can create bladed weapons, and Druig (Barry Keoghan) who can control minds. They arrived at the shores of Mesopotamia and entered the fight to protect life. Today, Sersi is a teacher at the Natural History Museum in London. When a global earthquake hits, everyone realises that something is going very wrong.
TL;DR – During the film, I along with the whole cinema, laughed, cried, gasp ‘oh no you didn’t and I can’t remember a film that had that same reaction
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
There are some films that simply be being made are making a statement of intent. These are films like last year’s Black Panther (see review) and Wonder Women (see review), films that “conventional” Hollywood wisdom states that they shouldn’t be made because they won’t make any money. There is a long history of information coming from focus groups that people are not interested in films helmed by women and people of colour, information which is inevitable proven wrong time after time when the box office numbers are released. To put this in perspective, the last live-action film from Hollywood to feature a predominately Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago in 1993. This means a whole generation of people have grown up and not seen their stories or people like themselves up on the big screen, and well folks this is why representation matter. So while Crazy Rich Asians is important for just existing, it is even more power from the fact that it is also a fantastic film in its own right and one of my films of the year so far.
TL;DR – There is a good movie in here somewhere, it’s just not the one we ended up with
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Well here we go again another Transformers film and another disappointment, though a slightly different disappointment this time round. What is interesting with Transformers is more so than say the Star Wars Prequels or other bad films, I can actually pinpoint where it was that this series fell apart for me. I was really enjoying the first two-thirds of the first film and then outside the Hoover Dam wanting to hide the AllSpark from the Decpticons the one person who had shown any military understanding up to that point goes ‘Let’s take it to Mission City to evacuate it’ and that was it in one moment my entire suspension of disbelief crashed down around me. It made no sense, sure it led to a visually spectacular action sequence, but given you were surrounded by desert the best option was to take it as far away from civilisation to protect people, and of course, a lot of people died because of that stupid decision. Since then I gave the second film a go because the first film was affected by the writer’s strike, so maybe they would learn from where they went wrong, well no, not at all. From there we had Dark of the Moon which was as bad as its title and Extinction was well more or less a bit meh. I tell you this because I came into this advanced screening with very low expectations but against my better judgement about half way through I found myself actually going along for the ride only to be let down once again.