Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Movie Review

TL;DR –  It unravelled a bit at the end, but I enjoyed the ride up till then.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this film

The family sit on a broken car.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review

With our next catch-up film, we get to go back to a movie released on New Year’s Day in 2022. I had meant to watch this well before this, but there was a lot of toxicity around the film building up to release, which put me off a bit, and it never worked into the schedule until now. But what failed at Halloween is now ready at Christmas, and it is time to dive in.  

So to set the scene, on a stormy night at Shandor Mining Co., a man leads an invisible entity back to his farm. He tries to catch it, but the power fails, and the creature attacks before he can recover. With his death, his farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, reverts to his estranged daughter Callie Spengler (Carrie Coon), who is in financial struggle and moves out there with her daughter Phoebe Spengler (Mckenna Grace) and son Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard). They were hoping to be able to sell the place, but nothing is straightforward, and they have to stay for a while. Things are going okay, but for the daily earthquakes with no source. That is until Phoebe finds her grandfather’s old ghost trap, and she, her friend Podcast (Logan Kim), and teacher Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd) open it up and let out a coming doom.  

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Jurassic World Dominion (Extended Edition) – Movie Review

TL;DR – While a clear improvement, those improvements are but like sticking band-aids to a broken bone.    

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to watch this edition of the film

A Dead T-Rex.

Jurassic World Dominion Review

Earlier this year, the newest edition to the Jurassic World franchise was released in cinemas. While it went on to make just over a billion dollars at the box office, Jurassic World Dominion fell thematically flat with me. However, the original Jurassic Park still ranks as part of my favourite films of all time, so when I heard the was an extended edition that fixes many of the issues with the film, well, I had to give it a watch.

So to set the scene, at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the team had a choice to kill all the dinosaurs off or release them into the North American continent, and they chose the latter. We saved them from a second extension, but maybe at the cost of our own lives, which is shown in stark relief as a T-Rex smashes through a drive-in theatre. As the world starts to work out how this new existence will play out, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) live a quiet life out of the way, right up until Blue’s child is kidnapped and Owen swears to her that he will get that baby back.

Now, we will not be giving a full review of this film as you can read the original coverage for it HERE. However, we will look at the areas where the extended edition improved the film and where it didn’t.

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Jurassic World Dominion – Movie Review

TL;DR – A disappointing dilemma for this dinosaur dynasty, a dismal and dreary debacle.    

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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

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

Claire hides from a Therizinosaurus in a lake.

Jurassic World Dominion Review

I go into this film with a conflicting stand with the Jurassic Park/World franchise. When it is good, it is so good, and without a doubt, the first Jurassic Park still sits in my top 10 Films of All Time. However, at this point, there may have more misses than hits in the franchise, and there comes a point that even the draw of dinosaurs can not fix that. Well, I am always an optimist, and well, I might be the only one who like Jurassic Park III, so can I say that I went into this film hopeful but still warry. I should have been a touch more warry.

So to set the scene, at the end of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the team had a choice to kill all the dinosaurs off or release them into the North American continent, and they chose the latter. We saved them from a second extension, but maybe at the cost of our own lives. As the Battle at Big Rock showed, there may be awe but also sharp teeth. As the world starts to work out how this new existence will play out, Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and Maisie (Isabella Sermon) live a quiet life out of the way, right up until Blue’s child is kidnapped and Owen swears to her that he will get that baby back.

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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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Space Jam: A New Legacy – Movie Review

TL;DR – Take the first Space Jam, introduce it to Tron Legacy while giving Ready Player One a run for its money.      

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but some pictures in the mid-credits

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

Space Jam: A New Legacy. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Space Jam: A New Legacy Review

When there are 25 years between entries in a film franchise, there is always a fear of who will be your target audience. Are you trying to bring in new fans, or are you catering for those who liked the last film? Today we get a movie that tried to bridge both groups with an entertaining film for kids but filled with moments that only the parents will get.

So to set the scene, we open in Akron, Ohio, in 1998. A young LeBron (Stephen Kankole) is practising, but his coach thinks his head is not in the game, and he has to ditch all the distractions. One montage of LeBron’s career later, and a now champion LeBron James (LeBron James) is raising a family. While he is all about basketball, his son Dominic “Dom” James (Cedric Joe) likes to code and has built a video game. This is heading towards conflict when at Warner Brother Studios, their inbuilt algorithm Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) has devised a plan. A plan that pits son against father and makes the Looney Tunes fight for their very lives.

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Why I Love Tron: Legacy

TL;DR – An exploration of a film that effortless blends music, visuals, story, and passion into something that is greater in almost every way.

Tron: Legacy. Image Credit: Disney.

Review


There are some movies that just touch you in your heart, you can’t really explain why? They just fill you with joy and no matter how many times you have watched it, you are always ready to crack open that DVD/BluRay/digital copy/whatever and give it another watch. For me, one such film is Tron: Legacy, it is the hill I am ready to die on and I love it with all my heart.

So to set the scene, in the years since the first Tron, there has been joy and tragedy. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become CEO of ENCOM International and had a son Sam (Owen Best). However, tragedy struck and took his wife away. Flynn refocused his work and made a huge discovery, something that would change everything but days after finding it out he disappears leaving Sam an orphan. Years later Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but while he is the main shareholder of the company he basically leaves ENCOM alone, bar the yearly prank, which this year involves sneaking into the company releasing their new software for free and then base jumping off the top of the tower. This might be a big joke for Sam but is not for Kevin’s old friend and Sam’s mentor Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). He lets Sam know that he got a page from his father, the first communication since he disappeared. It came from the old arcade, so Sam goes to investigate and finds more than he bargains when he gets transported into the world of the computer and discovers all is not well on the Grid.        

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Movie Review – Men in Black: International (MIB: International)

TL;DR – A film that is funny in places, has some good effects and cast, but can’t escape its boilerplate plot    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Men in Black: International. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Back in the day, oh goodness, 1997 was over two decades ago, I had no idea that a moth floating through the air was going to lead to something just magical. That first Men in Black film was like lighting in a bottle, hell I still have that theme song playing in my head from time to time. However, since then the follow-up films have never been able to capture, or even come close to that first film (though the cartoon series almost did). Flash forward to last year when I heard that they were taking another shot at the series, honestly, I felt a bit mostly meh. But then they announced that it was going to be headed by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth. Well if there is a way to get me instantly interested in something it is to cast Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and let’s see how they did.

So to set the scene, back in 2016 Agent H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) arrive in Paris to stop a catastrophe, for the Hive, a destructive species, was about to use The Eiffel Tower to gate onto Earth and take it over. We then find ourselves with a young girl called Molly (Mandeiya Flory) who got to see the Men in Black in action and hid so she never had her memories wiped by the Neuralyzer. Now in 2018, all grown up Molly (Tessa Thompson) tries to find the MIB and after a lifetime hunt, she is given status as a probationary officer and sent to the London Branch where something does not seem right.      

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Movie Review – The Predator (2018)

TL;DR – There is a lot of great production here, and strong acting, but it has clearly been hacked apart in the edit leaving a disjointed mess.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Predator. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

The first Predator film was maybe the pinnacle of the 1980s macho-action film genre, I can remember watching it for the first time, probably far younger than I should. It was Arnie at his best hunting down an alien hunting people for sport and while there were sequels nothing ever captured the intensity of the first film. When I heard they were bring it back and giving it to Shane Black I had high hopes that at the very least it would be an interesting film … and then the last week happened and I can’t believe how disappointed I could be at such a promising director. Now the film is here and well, you can see the vision, but you can also see where the studio has taken a hatchet to it.

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Movie Review – Ocean’s 8

TL;DR – It is not doing anything revolutionary with the genre, but I had fun from start to end in this well-acted and constructed film.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Ocean's 8

Review

Okay right from the start I am going to preface this with the fact that I do really love the Ocean’s 11 film series, well at least Eleven and Thirteen, not so much Twelve. But when I heard they were doing 8 I was mostly ambivalent, it hitting at the moment when I was really getting tired of the spin-off machine. However, then the cast list was announced I was very intrigued because it became clear that they were not phoning this one in. Now that I have had the chance to see it, it is clear that they were not messing around with this spin-off, and they come out of the gates swinging.

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Movie Review – Solo (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

TL;DR – It is okay, the story is okay, the acting is okay, the effects, okay well they are more than just okay, but overall it is just okay

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Solo

Review

Hmm, okay, well this is an interesting film, it had a dramatic change of directors and tone during production, and it is charting the course for one of the most iconic characters in film history. All of this leads to some pretty big expectations, but also a lot of hesitation because a large course change mid-way through rarely leads to a great end product. However, the same was also said of Rouge One (see review) and that turned out to be really good, by the end. Well, today let’s see if they can capture that magic again, and give justice to the character of Han Solo.

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