Three Thousand Years of Longing (3000 Years of Longing) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it might meander to the end, it shines when it delves into stories and vignettes of the past.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

Three Thousand Years of Longing the book.

Three Thousand Years of Longing Review

Few films have ever captured my soul quite like Mad Max Fury Road, a movie that changed and shaped my engagement with cinema. It made such an impact that when I heard that the team behind the film, including director George Miller, were back for another ride. Well, I had to check that out on the opening day.

So to set the scene, once upon a time when humans flew through the skies on metal wings while pulling stories out of the air on their glass pads. A Narratologist called Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is making her annual trip from her gloomy home in England to a more exotic land in Istanbul to attend a conference of peers. But when she arrives, she starts to see things that are not quite right. Ignoring them as artifacts of her over-active imagination, she spends some time in Istanbul’s Grand Bazar, and she picks the one junk pile, in one of the rooms, in one of the thousands of shops and finds a glass jar whose life told a story. But she got more than what she wished for when in her hotel room, she decided to clean the jar up and inside was a powerful Djinn (Idris Elba) who gave her three wishes.   

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Beast – Movie Review

TL;DR – It starts strong and has genuinely terrifying moments, but it does not have the legs to make it to the end.   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

A truck drives through the South African bush.

Beast Review

A long tradition of films can be summed up as ‘an unknowable antagonist hunts down our plucky protagonists’. If we slip into horror, this can be a slasher hunted down kids at a summer camp, dinosaurs running amok in Jurassic Park, or you could flip it, and the unstoppable force is the protagonist as in John Wick. However, one of the more popular scenarios in this realm is animals, and while sharks may have been king for a while, today’s film looks to unseat them with the big cats that roam the savannah.

So to set the scene, it is late a night as a group of poachers stalk through the bush to a trap they have set up. Letting loose a barrage of gunfire, they kill all the lions there, bar one that gets away. The next day, Nate Samuels (Idris Elba) and his daughters Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Sava Jeffries) arrive at Mopani Game Reserve in South Africa to spend time with Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley), an old friend of Nate and his late wife. Nate is a ranger at Mopani, and in the morning, he gives the group a tour around the preserve, even in the areas the public doesn’t usually see. But when they see a man running out onto the road covered in blood and go to help, they soon realise that there is something out there in the grass coming for them.

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Thor: Love and Thunder – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it was missing some of the substance of the last film, I found Thor: Love and Thunder to be a fun romp through the galaxy.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and a post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

Thor sits under a tree as four suns set.

Thor: Love and Thunder Review

I don’t think I have made it any secret that I found Thor: Ragnarok one of the best films in the MCU, and indeed a film that I will always sit down and watch when it is on. But I thought this would be a one-off because of some unwritten rule that stops solo films after three outings. Well, call me surprised when it was announced that we were getting Thor 4 because that was probably the best news out of this somewhat fractured start of Phase 4.

So to set the scene, we open in on a parched land as Gorr (Christian Bale) and his daughter Love (India Hemsworth) walk one step at a time, praying for deliverance from their god Rapu (Jonny Brugh). But there is none to be found as Love dies from exposure. Gorr is beside himself when he hears voices in the wind and stumbles into an oasis, where Rapu is having a glorious feast and does not give a hoot about Gorr or his daughter. In that moment of horrific destruction of faith, the Necrosword appears in his hand, and he slays the god and begins a campaign to exterminate all the gods. Meanwhile, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, trying to find his place in the world. When Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) calls out, Thor comes to her aid and discovers that a mad man has their next target, New Asgard.

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that hits pretty much the same as the first, but I am not sure the first film was good enough to rest on your laurels    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Knuckles walks through a coin portal

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was one of those moments where you could tell that there was a good movie and idea out there, but that it had been so cluttered that it was hard to find. To let a spoiler out of the bag, I do think the sequel improves in some areas. However, on the whole, what we get here is more of the same than any actual development.

So to set the scene, Sonic (Ben Schwartz) has been living with Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie Wachowski (Tika Sumpter) for a while now, but secretly at night, he goes out to Seattle to try and fight crime. Tom is concerned that he is not mature enough for that, but as a test of faith, he leaves Sonic home alone while they go to Hawaii for the wedding of Maddie’s sister Rachel (Natasha Rothwell) to her new beau Randall (Shemar Moore). It is all going fine, but for the fact that on the Mushroom Planet, Doctor Robotnik (Jim Carrey) found a way to send a pulse into space, which summoned the Echidna with the fists and a feud with Sonic, Knuckles (Idris Elba) to the planet.

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The Suicide Squad – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that finally made me care about these characters but one that also suffered from some narrative bloat    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film.

The Suicide Squad. Image Credit: Warner Brothers Pictures.

The Suicide Squad Review

In life, you rarely get the chance to make a second first impression. For every Parks and Rec that gets to find its feet in its second season, many more fall by the wayside after their first attempt. Well, today, DC gives us a film that is a second chance to bring a set of characters and scenarios into the DCEU to see if they work, and the answer to that question is yes … mostly.

So to set the scene, we open in with Savant (Michael Rooker) in prison attacking birds with his bouncing ball. But before he has time to finish his time off, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) tells him that he has been conscripted into a mission. Within moments he is rushed to the island of Corto Maltese, with Weasel (Sean Gunn), Javelin (Flula Borg), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), TDK (Nathan Fillion), Mongal (Mayling Ng), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). Their mission is to infiltrate the island and get past the military patrols, as the island recently suffered a military coup. It is all going well right up until Weasel dies because he can’t swim, and Blackguard immediately sells them out.     

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Movie Review – Hobbs & Shaw (Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw)

TL;DR – A film that soars when it is in the banter/action grove but falters when it needs to move the story forward.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There are multiple mid-credit scenes as well as an end credit scene

Hobbs & Shaw. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review


 To be honest, if I have a blind spot in modern cinema it is the Fast and Furious franchise. When the films started to come out, I didn’t really jell with the super-serious machismo in what was an inherently silly premise. This looked to be the way for all the films but when The Fate of the Furious came out two years ago, I thought I would give it another watch. Well about the time they used a car to take out a submarine I realised that they had finally realised just how silly it all was and had leaned into it, and that is something I can get behind. That being said, a spin-off the film is still a bit of a gamble, but given how well the director and cinematographer are at actions filmmaking, I walked in being quietly optimistic and with the action, I was not let down.

So to set the scene, two years since the last adventure and Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is enjoying his life as a DSS agent and a father to his daughter Sam (Eliana Su’a). However, at that moment in London, an MI6 team is taking out a band of mercenaries that have a manufactured virus and who are about to sell it on the black market. After a clinical takedown of the gang, all is right but then a mysterious figure (Idris Elba) arrives and single handily kills all of the MI6 bar Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) the lead agent. Fearing the virus would get into the hands of evil people Hattie injects herself with the virus to hold on to it while she escapes. The MI6 think she has turned rogue and the CIA, MI6, and the criminal organisation are now hunting her. The only chance she has is if Luke teams up with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and well that has disaster written all over it.

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Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War

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

Avengers Infinity War Banner

Review

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.

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Exploring the Past – Pacific Rim (2013)

TL;DR – “At one point a giant mech picks up a cargo ship to use as a cricket bat to take down a giant monster stomping its way through Hong Kong” you will probably know if this film is for you from that snippet alone.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Pacific Rim

Review

Back in the relatively calm year of 2013, how five years can change the world, there was this little gem of a film. It was a homage to the mecha and giant monster films of Japan and at the heart was the simple message that we should all work together. Well, it has been years since I have watched Guillermo del Toro’s monster epic, well at least his giant monster epic, and with the sequel coming out later this week, now is as good as time as ever to dive back into the world of Jaegers* and Kaijus*.

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Movie Review – Molly’s Game

TL;DR – Exploring the interplay of power and greed, and how lives can change in an instant, also you got Aaron Sorkin walk and talks, so what’s not to like?

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Molly's Game

Review

Today is an interesting week because we are looking at a film that is both from a first-time director but also one of the industries long-time greats, Aaron Sorkin. So today we will see if his walk and talk dialogue works when he is the one behind the camera? Now before we start, because of the way the film is structured it is hard to talk about it at all without getting into [SPOILER] territory almost immediately, so if you have not seen the film probably be careful when proceeding.

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

TL;DR – A visual extravaganza, Taika Waititi with the cast and crew gave their all to this film, and it amazing to watch.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid and End Credit Scene

Thor: Ragnarok. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

Review

Wow, what an amazing end to a film trilogy, and one of the strongest so far for Marvel. I’ve always had a kind of indecisive feeling towards the Thor films so far. They have been a case of fantastic casting matched with just ok storylines. Now when you have Anthony Hopkins going gangbusters, then even a bad script will look good, but overall I just thought the Thor films were ok and nothing more. To be fair, I think it was a testament to the quality of Marvel’s films that while Thor might have been my least favourite Marvel films it was because they were only ok, not fantastic. However, I was honestly wondering with everyone doing their big Cinematic Universes now if superhero fatigue would set in given my relationship with the films so far, but nope this film was a riot from start to end and I highly recommend it. So today we will set the scene, and then have a look at all the factors that went into making the film work. However because of the nature of Thor Ragnarok and its story, we are going to hit spoilers much earlier than we would normally do, so to be on the safe side I am implementing a [SPOILER] warning from this point onwards.

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