TL;DR – Filled with excited characters, and interesting action, it is almost a great film, that is until it fails to stick the landing
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Alita: Battle Angel is one of those films that has been bubbling in and out of
the film scene for almost twenty years now. It would get so close to being made
and then another setback, and once it was filmed we would get these little titbits
every month or so. With all this, I was
wondering what we would actually get with the final product because I had not seen the original Manga it is based on so
I was coming in blind. Well now that I have had some time to think through it,
I can say that it is a film with some truly beautiful moments, some really
intense ‘oh damn’ moments, and also is a movie that it falls into the same trap
as many films these days and sacrifices the narrative of this film to set up potential
sequels in the future.
So to set the scene, in the far future the Earth is covered in large sky cities
until one day called ‘The Fall’ everything came crashing down bar one city
called Zalem. With the Earth devastated many flock
to the one remaining bastion of civilization creating the great Iron City that
sprawls out underneath Zalem. No one from the Iron City can enter Zalem, but
they all work for the city, in the farms, factories, or as Hunter-Warriors who
are bounty hunters in a world where the police no longer exist. In the centre
of Iron City is the junkyard, where the people of Zalem throw out all their
junk raining it down on the city below. One day Dr Dyson (Christoph Waltz) was scavenging
the junkyard for parts for his cybernetic limbs clinic when he comes across a
cyborg core with a still functioning brain. He brings her home and repairs her body when she awakes she has no idea what her
name was, or what her past was, but she accepts the name Alita (Rosa Salazar)
and begins to learn about the dangerous world around her.
– When it is a Road Trip film it works
really well, with two charismatic leads, as a social commentary film which it
is desperately trying to be, well it fails dismally.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
As it gets close to February, I continue my yearly tradition of trying to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars ceremony. While this is the plan, it is rarely successful, however, I thought it best to at least see all the films with a strong chance of winning on the night. Well, this leads us to Green Book which is actually a very interesting film. For it is a film of two halves, one that works and one that doesn’t, and both of these halves are in direct competition with each other.
So to set the scene, it is in the early 1960s and Frank “Tony Lip’ Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) works for the Copacabana at night as a combination bouncer/maître d/driver. As well as this, Tony always finds an opportunity to make a quick buck “bullshitting” people. When the Copacabana closes for a couple of months for renovations Tony is left with very little money to keep his family going when he gets a call about a driving opportunity at Carnegie Hall for a Dr Shirley (Mahershala Ali), only to find that he is not a medical doctor but a musician, he is black, and that he is about to embark on a tour of the deep south. Tony needs the money, but he also has problems with African-Americans to the point that he threw out two glasses that African-American plumbers used when fixing the pips in his house. Well eventually Tony agrees to take ‘Doc’ Don Shirley on his tour, well only after Don called his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini) to check if it was all right.
TL;DR – A masterpiece in animation, in incorporating comics into film,and exploring all the emotions, a must watch.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene and the credits are a technicolour dream coat
When I first heard that they were going to do a new Spider-Man animated film outside of the MCU I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope. It felt like a plan of a company that is trying to scramble while not doing anything new with a property that had stagnated for years. Then they announced that the story was from Phil Lord, and that piqued my interest, and then that first trailer dropped and I knew instantly that I was going to have to eat my words. Now that I have seen the movie proper I can honestly say that this is not only one of the best films of the year, but it might be the best superhero film I have seen in a while. This has been a bumper year for Spider-Man with Infinity War, the Spider-Man video game from Insomniac Games, but Into the Spider-Verse is the crown achievement and I have never been so glad to be wrong.
TL;DR – Hidden Figures is an amazing film about our past and very much relevant in our present, that when you oppress people it holds everyone back.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Straight from the start, I should say I love movies about space, the history, NASA, the satellites, probes, and rockets, I watched the Curiosity landing even though it was very early in the morning here. So what I am saying is Hidden Figures, much like The Martian & The Dish, is a film that automatically peaks my interest before I make it to the cinema. This means that I have to be really careful when reviewing these films to make sure I am being objective and not just getting caught up in my joy of the subject material, but even with a cautious approach Hidden Figures still knocks it out of the park, or knocks it into orbit, or, wait no I think I am starting to mix metaphors here.
TL;DR – Luke Cage starts the season with a slow build, but the tension it creates is amazing, and more importantly it hooks you in for the long run.
Score – 4 out of 5 Stars
Well off the back of both a movie series that keeps going from strength to strength (Team Cap all the way) and some groundbreaking TV adaptions (like who knew that Daredevil could be likeable) Marvel is simply killing it at the moment. Indeed the Netflix experiment itself is still growing exponentially, it’s a service that can show everything from Chef’s Table to Stranger Things and all in between. Within all this, we get the next in the Marvel/Netflix joint project Luke Cage (after Daredevil and Jessica Jones), and like its predecessors, Luke Cage is provocative, but also brilliantly made. For this review we are going to look at the first three episodes ‘Moment of Truth’, ‘Code of the Streets’ & ‘Who’s Gonna Take the Weight’ because they clearly set the scene and the tone for the rest of the season. Now we are going to be talking about these episodes in detail, so to be clear spoilers are now in effect. Continue reading →
TL;DR – At this point I think we are clearly one film too many in this series, so we do we get for our wait?, a kind of meh ending and a poor film
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
So here we have the conclusion of the four movies series and more specifically part two of the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay. So I should start out with the proviso that while I have seen all the films, I have not read the books, so I can’t tell you how good of an adaption of the book the film is, though I am reliably informed that Part One was much better without the constant inner monologue droning on. So I should say, because I know I am not one of the target audience for these films, that I genially enjoyed Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and while I didn’t enjoy Part One as much as the others, I saw it as an interesting set up for the finale. But honestly, Part Two just annoyed me from start to finish. Continue reading →