TL;DR – Donnie Yen and Andy Lau are both amazing actors, and I just wish they had been given a better movie to show their talents in.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a mid-credit scene
I knew nothing about Chasing the Dragon before going to see it other than it was set in 1960s Hong Kong. This was a really interesting time for Hong Kong, and so I thought it would be a great setting for a film. However, to be honest right from the start I did not enjoy Chasing the Dragon at all, I mean it is not that all films have to be enjoyable, but they should at least be captivating. Now I don’t like ragging on something that people have clearly put a lot of work into, but it is a film that has a lot of flaws, unfortunately. So today we’ll look at what went wrong, but also the highpoints as there are some throughout the film.
TL;DR – A beautiful film, wonderfully acted, but it does glaze over history
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
So we are about to look at Victoria and Abdul a film that promotes itself as ‘Based on Real Events’ … ‘Mostly’. Now, on the one hand, this could sum up most ‘based on true events’ films, but it is telling that they had to add the disclaimer which we will see as we go through it. Overall I did like Victoria and Abdul despite its many issues, but it does present a very one-sided view of the past and that is deeply problematic. Though I must say it was interesting watching the BBC make something that is almost irreverent about the Royal Family.
TL;DR – While not revolutionary per se, DC finally found a formula that works, and realised that there is no point moving a universe ahead if the individual movies don’t work.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is NO mid/post credit sequence
So if you have read my reviews for Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman you would probably know that unfortunately, I have not had the best time with the DC Expanded Universe so far. Now when it comes to DC v Marvel I have no skin in the game, I want both to succeed, and I only care about if the movie is good or not, and so far DC just has not made a compelling entry into this expanded universe of theirs. Well, that is until now. Is Wonder Woman a perfect film, no of course not, but it is logically structured, emotionally resonant, and filled with fascinating characters, which is a huge step in the right direction. Now as we go one we will keep this as spoiler free as possible, however, we do need to discuss the ending, but we will clearly mark them so that you can avoid them it if you want.
TL;DR – King Arthur is a fascinating film as long as you don’t care that much about the source material, though it does have more than a few lulls and awkward story moments
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
So this was a surprise, from all accounts, and my own expectations going in I was expecting a dumpster fire in movie form. Instead what I got was sure a flawed film in many respects but also a really interesting one as well. So today we are going to look out how this film approaches the legend, how the cast works, then the parts of the film that excel and the parts that really fall short. So let’s begin with how they approach the myth of King Arthur, and well it’s interesting.
TL;DR – The action sequences are some of the best I have seen in a very long time, truly epic in scope, the only problem is you have to sit through a lot of rubbish in between it
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
The Great Wall is interesting just from its very existence, it is the most expensive movie ever made in China, and it is a real indicator of the continued rise of Chinese cinema and the continued push of Chinese soft power diplomacy. Like Kung Fu Yoga, this leads to some interesting features, but it also leads to some issues. The Great Wall ends up being a film that is dependent on its action sequences because there is not a lot else going for it.
TL;DR – Hidden Figures is an amazing film about our past and very much relevant in our present, that when you oppress people it holds everyone back.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Straight from the start, I should say I love movies about space, the history, NASA, the satellites, probes, and rockets, I watched the Curiosity landing even though it was very early in the morning here. So what I am saying is Hidden Figures, much like The Martian & The Dish, is a film that automatically peaks my interest before I make it to the cinema. This means that I have to be really careful when reviewing these films to make sure I am being objective and not just getting caught up in my joy of the subject material, but even with a cautious approach Hidden Figures still knocks it out of the park, or knocks it into orbit, or, wait no I think I am starting to mix metaphors here.
TL;DR – The best movie adaption of a video game, but that was not really a high bar to cross and Assassin’s Creed kind of just stumbles across it.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
It is one of those weird things of Hollywood that no matter how many times they try, no one has made a decent adaptation of a video game into a movie. Now part of this has been that people have been adapting video games without understanding what there were, and also there are a lot of difficulties condensing a long interactive experience (sixteen hours for the first Assassin’s Creed game) into a two-hour passive movie. To the point where the most successful and critically acclaim versions of this genre Wreck-It Ralph & Tron used video games as just the backdrop for their story. This can be complicated even further as video games are big multi-billion dollar industry so if you’re making a film, you’re gonna want to franchise the heck out of it, the big problem with last year’s Warcraft (See Review). So within all this mess comes the Assassin’s Creed film, based on the incredibly popular series of games that has the fascinating caveat that you could set it at any point in human history. So how does it go, well for a video game adaptation movie, it goes quite well, for just a movie, it is a bit meh.