TL;DR – A solid ending for Daniel Craig’s run as Bond, giving James the most to play with as the world explodes around him.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a Press Screening of this film
No Time to Die Review –
Well, it has been a long time, getting from there to here. Eighteen months since it was meant to be released, and Bond is finally making its return. Part of me was concerned that we would never get to see the film out in the real, another part of me was concerned given how Spectre turned out, but here we are. There is always a trepidation going into the film where you know it is an actor’s last. Thankfully, I should not have been concerned because this film almost knocks off Skyfall as my favourite of the Craig era.
So to set the scene, we open in the middle of the Norwegian winter as a young girl (Coline Defaud) is looking after her sick mother (Mathilde Bourbin). As she is cleaning up a spill, she sees a man in the window wearing a mask. He is here to kill Mr White, but his family is an excellent second choice since he is not there. In the present, Bond (Daniel Craig) and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) are enjoying their retirement travelling down the Italian coastline arriving at the town of Matera. Swann is concerned that James keeps looking over his shoulder, but that seems fortuitous given that soon bullets start ringing out across the countryside.
– While films are here
to entertain, they also have an increased chance of selling you all sorts of
Today one of the biggest films in recent memory Avengers:
Endgame has launched and with it comes reviews, calls for no spoilers,
marketing and PR, but also a similar trend we see with every major movie
release recently and that is comments about product placement. This is
something that is not new for the movie universe, indeed it was being lampooned
all the way back in 1992 in Wayne’s World.
However, it does feel like it is becoming more of an issue these days, or at
the very least it is more in your face.
So why is this important? Well, for many reasons, the first being that companies
are using films to pepper you with ads when your subconscious has lowered its
usual defences that it uses to ignore advertisements. Sometimes these are very obvious
like when on Chuck they would stop to
explain the Subway sandwich they are having, or on Cougar Town when they would stop to explain the Subway sandwich
they are having, or on Community when
they … okay look Subway does this a lot. Fun fact, when writing this article I
double checked I was right about the Subway integration and lo and behold
before the YouTube videos of the shows was a new ad for Subway. While this is
all a bit silly, it is also important because advertisers pay a lot of money to
do it. PQ
Media found a 14% increase in spending on product placement in 2017 alone.
TL;DR – Today we chart every
location visited on screen in the James Bond film franchise
Over the last little while, I have been
rewatching all the old Bonds now that they are all streaming here in Australia.
Watching the old Bonds I have been struck by a lot of things, like how did they
ever get away with calling a film Octopussy? But the one really interesting
thing is just how much of the world James Bond visits in his travels. Indeed
back before air travel was as available as it is now, this was one of the core
drivers of the Bond franchise. Because you got to see exotic parts of the world
that you would never get to see in your lifetime and this is still the same today.
So with this map, I have tried to get
every location that I could find but this did lead to some issues. There are a
lot of places where there are no clear locations, indeed there are a few
fictional countries as well. With that in mind I have made some educated
guesses, and when there are not reasons otherwise I have used the actual
filming locations as a guide. It was also fun to see the locations that films
like coming back to like Hong Kong, Istanbul, Venice, and Austria. Well, without
further ado, here is the James Bond World Map.
TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.
Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.
Films that are beautifully constructed
Films that mean something to me
Films that are always re-watchable
Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema
With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.
TL;DR – At times deeply funny, and also quite shocking, while it doesn’t quite reach fantastic it is clear that a lot of talent and care has gone into the film, even though the full frontal nudity and language will be a barrier for many.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There are mid-credit scenes
This was actually quite a bit of a surprise, there had been a lot of bad buzz about the film floating around, and I honestly had no idea what to expect of the film other than the most blatant rip off of a Bond title since Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. However, the one thing that was clear from the first few minutes is that a lot of care has gone into the construction of this film, because there is a lot they could have phoned it in, but no they put the effort in.
TL;DR – Heart pounding, electric, bombastic, edge of seat, high octane, adrenaline rush, these are all things I would use to describe Fallout.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
When I think back to 1996 when the first Mission: Impossible film came out all those years ago I can remember it being enthralling and as it was one of the first big action films I ever saw in the cinemas that opening mission still holds a special place in my personal cinematic history. However, I didn’t think I would still be talking about these films over twenty years later, I mean there were a lot of great action films in the 1990s but few if any have had the same persistence as Mission: Impossible. Now to be fair, not every film in the series has been a gem, and I even stopped watching after a while, but people told me I should catch the last entry into the franchise with Rogue Nation (see review) and I really enjoyed it. Well, jump forward to 2018 and the director/writer of that last film Christopher McQuarrie is back for a second jump into this world of spies. With this in mind, I had high hopes that they could continue the good work here, and I am so happy to say that they did.
TL;DR – This is a fun ride back into the world of 60s spy film and superheroes, the story does not always work but the animation and setting more than make up for it.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post credit scene
Content Warning – There are a couple of sequences that could be dangerous for people that suffer from epilepsy.
Back all the way in 2004 Pixar was in its golden era where each film released by the studio was better than the last and in that moment we got The Incredibles. It was a fun romp through the world of superheroes four years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched the flood of superhero film into the world. The original was this fun mix of a 60s spy film with the trappings of a modern superhero film and to this day stands as the closest we will get to a decent Fantastic Four film on the big screen. Now I quite liked the first film, but it wasn’t the huge cultural touchstone for me like it was for a lot of people. So when I heard they were finally doing a sequel to it I was less in an ‘it’s about time’ frame of mind but more ‘hmm that might be a bit of fun’ and overall I do think it was all a bit of fun.
TL;DR – Takes everything that worked in the first film turns it up to 11 and then gives it real emotional stakes.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – there are two mid-credit scenes
Back in 2016, there was this little film that could that exploded out into the zeitgeist of the film world. The first Deadpool (see review) was a passion project for all involved because it took years to get it greenlit, indeed, it took test footage being leaked to finally convince the studio to start it, and even then they cut the budget drastically before shooting because they had fears about what an American R-rated film would make at the box office. Well as we know it make bank at the box office and now we get to see the fruits of that decision with Deadpool 2, well also it probably helped convince 20th Century Fox to finally let them do Logan (see review) as they really wanted, so thanks for that too. So today we are going to look at the follow up to the merc with the mouth, can they capture that same feeling that exploded out on screen both literally and metaphorically, well let’s dive in and see.
TL;DR – Wow, just wow, every part of this film comes together to make something people will be talking for years to come.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and end credit sequence
I was expecting Black Panther to be good, all the Marvel films so far have been at least ok and this was tracking to be better than average. However, nothing prepared me for just how good the film was going to be, and also just how challenging it was going to be, it does not hold back, not one single bit. So today we will explore the world of Wakanda, the people, history, and locations. But before we do that, can I suggest if you have not seen the film to go do that right now, without reading on, you will be much better to go into Black Panther with as little pre-knowledge as possible, well other than it is really good.
TL;DR – A great follow-up, but it does struggle to find its feet in places.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So the original Kingman: The Secret Service was one of the first films we reviewed back in 2015 when we started (and you can read it HERE). Overall we really liked the film, it had great action, a fantastic cast, a magnetic lead villain, and it was a star-making turn for lead Taron Egerton. Overall the movie worked bar one ill-placed ‘joke’ at the end which was out of place, tacky, unnecessary, and literately brings the whole movie to a stop to get it out, but that didn’t stop Kingman from getting on our Top Films of 2015 list (see HERE). So I was wondering if they could make the follow-up as good as the first film and I think they may have just pulled it off.