Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it took a long time to get started, it triumphed when it found its voice.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this film

Everyone looks in shock as Benoit Blanc arrives

Glass Onion Review

It is no secret that I love the first Knives Out film, one of those rare films that improve with each rewatch. It waltzed onto the screen full of pomp and circumstance before subverting the whodunit genre. It could have worked perfectly as a stand-alone film. It would have been satisfactory to quit while you were ahead. But to be honest, I always wanted to jump back into this world, and I am glad we did.

So to set the scene, one day, Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) all received a mysterious parcel in the mail. It is from reclusive billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a long-time friend and controversial figure. The box invited everyone to a murder mystery, his murder, in Greece. But when everyone turns up at the dock, surprisingly, there is a Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) there as well. Even more surprising is that Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe) also arrives. Because Andi was just betrayed by everyone, publicly, and well the stage is set for murder.    

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The Gray Man – Movie Review

TL;DR – A perfectly serviceable if messy action film but one that struggles to find an identity.

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.

A plane about to crash.

The Gray Man Review

You can feel that Netflix is a company going through an identity issue. No longer is it just ‘the place where you go for binging streaming content’ because others are doing it just as well, and now even the concept of binging has lost its value. So what we are getting are things being cancelled left, right and centre, but then $200 million being dropped on big-name films. I am not sure how this will go for the company, but we are getting to see the results of this tonight with The Gray Man.   

So to set the scene, we opened in 2003 in a state prison in Florida, where Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) of the CIA is here to recruit Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling). He is looking for people to add to his black-ops team, whose central role is assassinations in the ‘grey’. Eighteen years later, in Bangkok, Court is now Sierra Six and is one of the CIA’s best assists in the field, where he takes an op from Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas). It is a time-sensitive mission to take out Dining Car (Callan Mulvey), which is why they are using Six. But when he won’t risk the collateral of children, things start spiralling out of control, and then Six discovers that the mark Dining Car is Sierra Four and that his boss Denny Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page), might not be on the up and up.

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The Matrix Resurrections – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a weird yet oddly compelling film that will capture you if it is your mood. If it is not your mood, well, it is going to be a bit of a slog    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

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

The Matrix Resurrections. Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures.

The Matrix Resurrections Review

Of all the films that I have a complicated relationship with, The Matrix series is high on that list. That first film was one of my first entries into the love of cinema, and it still ranks high on my personal Top 10 list. But the sequels also taught me that sometimes lightning doesn’t strike twice. Both are important lessons to learn. However, after all this time, I questioned whether I was ready to enter the Matrix again?

So to set the scene, some years after the end of The Matrix Revolutions, people are still diving into The Matrix. While Bugs (Jessica Henwick) is searching, she discovers a moodle running using old code. Inside, a woman sits talking on the phone, only to discover that the line has been traced and police are on their way. Outside, agents pull up and ask the sergeant why he sent his men in “we can take care of one little girl”, he replies, “no, your agents are already dead”, comes the response. As Bugs follows the program, everything is familiar but wrong. In a way, she can’t put her finger on it. All of this falls apart when one of the Agents notices her and shows a secret portal to a room, the room of one Thomas Anderson, better known as Neo (Keanu Reeves). Okay, so much like Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is a difficult film to talk about because you cannot really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.

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Love and Monsters – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it never quite gets to the heights it aims for, it is still a delightful ride with some stunning effects.     

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film.

Love and Monsters. Image Credit: Netflix..

Love and Monsters Review

There are times when people can be stringent around how films can be categorised. Then films can come along and blow those strict delineations apart. You see it in movies like Zombieland or Warm Bodies, and we see it again today in the film we are about to look at.   

So to set the scene, in the near future, there was an asteroid Agatha 6-1-6 hurtling towards Earth. The governments grouped together to shoot it out of the sky, which they did. Unfortunately, the chemicals they used in all those rockets fell back down to Earth. They contaminated and mutated all the cold-blooded animals, from ants to crocodiles and everything in-between. While the militaries and the giant mutants wiped each other out, 95% of the world’s population died, leaving only those who were able to find security in bunkers. One of the survivors was Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) from Fairfield, California. He made it to safety, but he has a habit of freezing in front of the monsters, not a good long-term survival trait. After an incursion into their bunker, Joel makes up his mind to go out into the world make the trek 90 odd miles to where his old girlfriend Amiee (Jessica Henwick) now lives. Ninety miles of infested territory that is trying to kill everything.

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TV Review – Iron Fist: The Fury of Iron Fist

TL;DR – A good first episode that has me quietly optimistic for the rest of the season.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

Iron Fist. Image Credit Marvel/Netflix

 

Review

The first season of Iron Fist was … well, it was a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. You can read all about in our past review (see here), but the TL;DR, and we are all about the TL;DR here, is that every part of the production felt rushed. It was clear to anyone watching that Finn Jones had not enough time to prep the action sequences which were the hooks that the show was using to propel everything forward. Were there moments when the season got interesting? Yes, but not enough to really recommend it. Well since then we have had The Defenders (see review) which was a step in the right direction, and Finn popped up in Luke Cage and was actually engaging for a change. All of this had me hoping that they had learnt their lessons and would take their time with pre-production this time around, and from the first episode, I think they have.

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TV Review – The Defenders: Season 1

TL;DR – a concise story, with strong action, and continues builds upon the world that has been created across the different boroughs of New York.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Defenders

Review

After five seasons we have got there, the big team up in New York, as Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and the Iron Fist (Finn Jones) come together to battle The Hand. Now The Defenders was always planned out to happen, so in one respect it has had a smoother road to creation, but it has also been a rocky one at times.

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TV Review – Iron Fist: Season 1

TL;DR – So far it’s not the train wreck that people were making it out to be and it does get better throughout the season, but there needed to be more work done with the Danny Rand character before filming.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Iron Fist

Review

Ok all thirteen episodes have been watched, four pages of notes taken, so let’s delve into the world of Iron Fist/Danny Rand (Finn Jones) the last addition to the Netflix/Marvel mini-universe before we get to see the big defenders cross-over later this year. Now I don’t think any in-house (i.e. not Fantastic Four) Marvel product has ever had this much negative press before launch, and it was a rocky couple of weeks, to say the least. So let’s break down what does work (because some of it does), but also where the series went wrong, and there is a lot of that too. Now because we are looking at the season as a whole, there may be some spoilers here, so you have been warned.

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