TL;DR – A film that might have some of the most out-there performances I have seen but was missing a bit of substance in places.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film
Slumberland Review –
Grief is always a complex emotion for a film to land. Sure, you can phone it to get some emotional engagement from your audience, but if you want to tap into something more profound, that is a lot of work. Add to this the nuance needed when building a film directed towards a younger demographic, and you get the film we are looking at today.
So to set the scene, we open on a lighthouse on an island where Nemo (Marlow Barkley) lives with her father, Peter (Kyle Chandler). Nemo knows everything about the lighthouse, and every night Peter tells her stories of Flip (Jason Momoa) and the adventures they had when he was a kid. But when Peter is lost at sea during a rescue, Nemo must leave the lighthouse and live with her uncle, whom she never met and who lives in the city. No one is happy with this move. However, when Nemo goes to sleep, she is surprised when her soft toy pig comes alive, and even more so when her bed wakes up and smashes out of her window, taking her back to the lighthouse, but not quite as she remembers it, and someone from her father’s past is waiting for her.
TL;DR – There was a surprising amount of charm on show here but also an almost equal amount of frustration.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for the Binge subscription that viewed this series
Post-Credit Scene – Each episode has an end credit scene
Peacemaker Review –
Recently my day-time contract ended, and I have a bit more time during the day to catch up on things I missed before starting my next one. In this catch-up mood, I wanted to look at things that I had heard good things about but still had questions about. The first thing on this list was Peacemaker, a spin-off of The Suicide Squad film, which I liked, but based around a character Peacemaker (John Cena) that I didn’t. I was interested to see just how that juxtaposition would work, which was intriguing.
So to set the scene, it has been months after the events on Corto Maltese, and Peacemaker has recovered enough to be let out of the hospital. Seeing as no one is there to take him back to prison, he takes the chance to run out of the hospital and back to his home, a trailer painted with the American flag. But of course, he was not free as members of A.R.G.U.S. black ops squad “Project Butterfly” drew their guns on him. They need a psychopath to stop the ‘butterflies’, and Peacemaker is perfect for the job, just as long as Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), daughter of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), can leave some incriminating evidence if the whole thing goes sideways. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode and season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A cinematic work of genius and masterclass in literary adaptation
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
Dune Review –
Few films have filled me full of trepidation and promise, like the prospect of another Dune film. Dune is a book series that means a lot to me, and the miniseries fits in as one of those foundational moments where you discover the joys of filmmaking. Add to this the spectacular run of films from Denis Villeneuve from Sicario, Arrival & Blade Runner 2049, one of which was my top movie in 2016. Look, this is a long way of saying I came into this with very high expectations, and can I say that this film exceeded all of them.
So to set the scene, in an empire that spans the galaxy, the most valuable commodity is The Spice Melange. It extends life, allows intergalactic travel, and can only be found on one planet in the entire galaxy: Arrakis, Dune. The brutal House Harkonnen runs Dune, though its cruel Barron (Stellan Skarsgård) and his nephew Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista), commonly called “Beast Rabban”. But their time running Arrakis is up, as the Emperor has decreed that House Harkonnen’s mortal Enemies House Atreides, led by Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac), manages the planet. All is well, but Leto is fearful for him, his son Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and consort Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). Because while this is a great opportunity, it could also be a trap.
TL;DR – Bombastic, silly, overly long, but still by far some of the best fun DC has made so far.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
To say that the DC Expanded Universe has had a rough launch up to this point would be a bit of an understatement. Indeed, of all the past films, only Wonder Woman (see review) felt like a coherent film in any great sense. So, more than ever, the first film after Justice League had to hit the ground running, even more so after background conversations that the expanded universe was losing a lot of its big-name talent. Now while Aquaman is not a perfect film, it is a film with a lot of style, and more than most of the films that have come before it was just fun.
TL;DR – Is it as good as Wonder Woman, no not by a long shot, but it is also not the steaming mess like the last two films, so there has been some improvement here.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is a mid and end credit scene.
Ok before we start I need to say that this is actually a very hard film to review because while it shouldn’t matter, you can’t avoid not looking into the issues this film had in pre-production. Firstly, you have the disastrous reaction to both Batman v Superman (see review) and Suicide Squad (see review) hitting after production had already started, and you can see the course correction that they tried to make here. But also during production Zach Snyder’s family suffered a great tragedy and he stepped aside which meant that the reshoots and final edit was completed by Joss Whedon. So it is hard to work out where to direct criticism, but also you don’t want to heap stuff on someone who has suffered greatly. So will all this groundwork I will try my best to be objective here but you can’t help but bring outside stuff into this.