TL;DR – While it has its moments and is quite watchable, it also can’t escape walking in the shadows of better films of the past.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.
Jungle Cruise Review –
When Disney gets an idea, they tend to go all-in, having many hits and misses. So when a film based on one of their rides worked, well, then everything was on the table. But for every Pirates of the Caribbean, there is The Haunted Mansion or even Tomorrowland, which means that there was a little trepidation going in even with a solid cast at the helm.
So to set the scene, history had been full of stories of the hidden wonders in the American continent. One such story told of a plant, ‘Tears of the Moon’, that could cure any illness, but no expedition to find it ever succeeded. In 1916 London, England, during World War One, Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) is trying to access records from the Royal Society to help her locate it. But they refused to give information to a woman, even when she used her brother MacGregor Houghton (Jack Whitehall) as a decoy. But a minor theft later, and they were on their way to Porto Velho on the Amazon River in Brazil, they just needed a captain to take them upriver, and tour boat operator Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) just found their next mark.
There are moments when a film is perfectly timed with what the world is going through, and after the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest movement, it was the perfect time to take a look back in time at the Black Panther movement. This film delves into a difficult time and explores the intersection of revolution and government control in America.
So to set the scene, we open in the FBI’s halls as its Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen), who is railing against a Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) of Chicago who has the power and charisma to unite many of the different anti-government movements across the country. FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) is looking for a way to get a mole into the local Black Panther organisation that Hampton leads when William “Bill” O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) falls into his lap after being caught impersonating a federal officer, and now they have their Judas.
TL;DR – There are some interesting character and filmmaking choices, but none of that really helps this film do anything more than mediocre-ing its way through to its ending.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and an end credit stinger
Game Night is really an odd duck of a film, it has some good character moments, and it is clear that the directors know what they are doing. However, as I walked out of the cinemas I kind of felt it was all a bit meh. So today we are going to unpack what happened by looking at the characters and the story.
TL;DR – A wonderfully filmed, brilliantly acted look at what was one of the most controversial periods in United States’ history. While it is interesting it does take a bit to get going.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
I don’t think a film in recent history has had an easier sell as The Post, a film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Meryl Streep & Tom Hanks, scored by John Williams, and based on one of the most controversial periods in United States’ history. Indeed, this is a kind of line up that you don’t see happen very often, and it is truly amazing to see it all come together. That being said there are some structural issues that do hold it back, and it does have a very clear message, and it is subtle about it which might work for you or not.
TL;DR – This is a bleak dissection of fan culture and what would happen if you were given ultimate power, and it is a problem we need to talk about
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So Black Mirror is one of those shows I have heard about and had full intentions to give it a watch, but whenever I went to take a look something else came up. Well, Season Four just came out on Netflix, so now is the best time to dive in. It does help that their first episode is examining the fan culture created around science fiction shows like Star Trek, a subject very dear to my heart. Now of course, just like I had been warned Black Mirror then took a knife and stabbed it in my heart and then held up a mirror to show me that I was the one doing it, so some complicated emotions happened during the watching of this episode. Look this is one of those episodes where it is best to go in knowing as little as possible and even my setting the scene is probably too much. So quickly before we move on, the acting is superb, they capture the essence of classic Trek warts and all, and it has something very important to say about how we relate to the media we consume, especially power fantasies. I do recommend.
TL;DR – This is a movie banking on the pull of its lead star, and in some respects it works, but also it leaves you wondering what was the point of it all.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ah the Cold War, once a time that we tried to ignore, that time when blowhards with nuclear weapons almost brought us all to ruin because of politics or ideology. We like to forget about it, but a lot of the problems of the world today can be traced right back to it, but still many don’t have a good understanding of the world that was. American Made is looking to change that, maybe, sort of, by shedding the light on some of the dirty dealings the Americans embroiled themselves in Central America, told through the story of Barry Seal (Tom Cruise).