TL;DR – In many ways, it feels like almost a relic of a different time. But there was a lot of work put into this film, and the cast is clearly here for it.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this movie.
Without Remorse Review –
I am not sure that any modern author’s works have been adapted as much as Tom Clancy. From movies to TV shows to video games, the late author’s name is everywhere as his works of political intrigue get adapted and then readapted. His works are deeply political, so it is always interesting to see how it has been reinterpreted for a different time. Today, I look at the latest film adaption of his work with Without Remorse.
So to set the scene, we open in Aleppo, Syria, as John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) and his team are sent sneak into a stronghold to rescue a CIA operative captured by government forces by CIA operative Robert Ritter (Jamie Bell). However, when they arrive, it is not Syrian Government forces holding the officer but Russian forces. As they try to exfil from the building, an RPG splits the team, but they manage to escape. Three months later, John is in Washington DC with his very pregnant wife Pam (Lauren London), preparing to leave the Navy. Still, unknown to him, his old team is getting assassinated one at a time across America.
TL;DR – The Pilot combines a great story, with fascinating animation, and a
voice cast that is here for it, so much fun to watch.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
A while back there was some mention of Michael B. Jordan staring in an animated
mecha series from Rooster Teeth, and you have to believe that this immediately caught
my attention. This of course was added to when we got the little hints as to
what the series is going to be about and the sheer bonkers voice cast that was
coming on board. Well, today we get to
see the final product, and well it does not disappoint.
So to set the scene, in 2068 the world is a very different place with a
totalitarian government The Union rising up and slowly taking over the world
with their nano-tech. There are very few governments left to stop them and all
attempts to find a diplomatic resolution have failed. As The Polity trains for
the coming war, Julian Chase (Michael B.
Jordan) and Miranda Worth (Dakota Fanning) take some time away from The Anvil,
their base of operations, to visit Chase’ mum Roberta (Shari Belafonte) in Brooklyn,
New York. However, they are not visiting in person but through VR Holograms.
After the prerequisite embarrassing
stories about Chase’s childhood, the pair leaves
just as The Union start their main attack on New York. The team race to defend
the city but sometimes the only option left is a sacrifice. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a
whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS]
TL;DR – While it may tread along a path that is a bit predictable, the commitment of the actors and the emotion make it a must-see film.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Back in 2015, I didn’t really have any great desire to go see the first Creed film, a spin-off of a long-running boxing series that had felt like it was running out of steam didn’t seem like an enjoyable time in a world where remake after remake was getting greenlit. However, some people that I trust called me on my reluctance and really recommended it, so reluctantly I went and soon discovered how wrong I was. It was a beautiful film of struggle and triumph, fighting when no one believes in you, and how we battle both are internal and external demons. It was the film that immediately put Michael B.Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Ryan Coogler on my radar of performers to watch out for and ended up on my Top 10 Films of 2015list. So when I heard they were doing a sequel I was incredibly excited, when I heard Ryan was not directing or writing it, I got a little concerned, but now I have seen it once again I should have known better.
TL;DR – While it is wonderfully acted and beautifully filmed, unfortunately in the attempt to update the source material it loses some of the core parts of the narrative in the attempt to tell a more straightforward narrative.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene.
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is one of those titan works of literature that kind of looms over narrative and speculative fiction genre. It was both miles ahead of its time but also very much a product of its time, making it a difficult work to adapt especially as time has gone on. It is one of those books that is weird and at times off-putting but entirely compelling as it sucks you into a world without books. When I heard that they were going to do a remake of it starring Michael B. Jordan I was really excited because it held such promise and now that I have seen it well, I don’t know, but somewhere along the way, it lost something. Today we are going to look at just what that might have been and yes I am writing this from the perspective of someone who has read the source material, and if you have not you might get something completely different from the film and that is completely fine. I am not someone who believes that you have to read the book before seeing it updated, but seeing that I have it shapes the way I experienced the film.
TL;DR – Wow, just wow, every part of this film comes together to make something people will be talking for years to come.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and end credit sequence
I was expecting Black Panther to be good, all the Marvel films so far have been at least ok and this was tracking to be better than average. However, nothing prepared me for just how good the film was going to be, and also just how challenging it was going to be, it does not hold back, not one single bit. So today we will explore the world of Wakanda, the people, history, and locations. But before we do that, can I suggest if you have not seen the film to go do that right now, without reading on, you will be much better to go into Black Panther with as little pre-knowledge as possible, well other than it is really good.
TL;DR – Wow what a surprize, did not see that coming, one of my movies of the year.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
So cards on the table, I was not planning to go see Creed. I never really watch the Rocky films, they were always a little before my time and didn’t get the same reruns on TV like movies such as Die Hard. That being said, I know most of the main plot points through clips here and there, impersonations and parodies etc. So not seeing any of the others, combined with it being a sports film, a genre I don’t generally like and the last movie I saw Michael B Jordan in Fantastic Four (see review), his acting was so wooden he could give Chris Pine a run for his money, was a perfect storm of meh, can’t be bothered. But a number of people recommended it to me, and I am glad they did because boy was I wrong.
TL;DR – This movie is a train wreck that will make you look back fondly on the camp amusement that was 2005’s Fantastic Four.
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
Fantastic Four has not had the easiest life in development, it is a film that only exists to fulfil a contract and avoid movie rights reverting back to Marvel. Now interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened with the Fantastic Four, also this is not necessarily a bad thing. X-Men First Class was in the exact same situation, but while that was an exercise in innovative storytelling, this is an overly protracted and ultimately boring film.
As with most reboots, Fantastic Four is an origin film, we see how all the main players get their powers and how it changes their lives. One should point out, no one asked for these powers, like Spider-man this is caused by an accident. This is a really interesting set up because you didn’t get to choose, the powers get thrust upon you and you have to decide how to react. But here we come across the first stumbling block of the film, lazy writing. This film is full of clichés, (Spoilers Ahead: Jump To The Next Paragraph If You Wish To Avoid), like how one character constantly argues with their father only to regret it later, seriously, if you have to declare “I’m an adult now” during a middle of a temper tantrum, you’re not an adult. Then we also we have the two characters are presented to be best friends, then enemies, then best friends again … because of the story. Also, good writers can foreshadow future events or give little winks to the audience who know what’s coming (see King Joffery’s Crossbow), bad writers literally go in the first 5 minutes of a character’s introduction “wow you’re like Dr Doom”. Also, while I am always ok with an adaption changing something from its source material to make it work, if it improves the adaption, or makes it work in a new medium, some of the changes (which come down to the core of the relationship between the FF and the world) feel forced and unnecessary, bar for the need to add tension for no suitable reason.
The casting also is a bit of a problem, they cast the film way too young, Julian McMahon may have been overly theatrical with his performance of Dr Doom in the 2005 film, but at least he had some gravitas behind his performance rather than whiny angst. Now, in this case, I don’t blame the actors because you can see some of them are really trying, but whether through the script, or the directing or the editing it just falls flat. Out of all the cast Miles Teller (Reed Richards/ Mr Fantastic) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/ The Thing) work the best, however, the way they frame Kate Mara’s (Sue Storm/ The Invisible Women) performance makes it almost feels like an afterthought that they added in, and Michael B. Jordan has all the bluster of the Human Torch, but with none of his charm.
This film is so bad that the trailers for the film are edited in a way that gives the impression that the film is going to be a much more action focused global film when nothing could be further than the truth. At best it is misleading and worst it is simply lying to a potential audience. There is a simple reason for that, the films pacing is really slow at the start and never really ramps up until it hits a sudden unsatisfactory climax, and then just kind of ends with this sort of staging for the sequel, which I doubt is a done deal atm and also reinforces how uneventful the rest of the film has been.
Now it is not all bad, some of the effect are really amazing and given you have Weta Digital on the payroll that should come to no surprise, it is just a pity that you don’t see more of it.
There is much more I could say but I think at this point you can get the general feeling I have for this film, in the end, Fantastic Four, I’m not really upset with you, I’m just disappointed.
(warning: the trailer is edited in such a way to give an impression that this is a action film, nothing could be further from the truth)
Directed by – Josh Trank Screenplay by – Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg & Josh Trank Based on – ‘Fantastic Four’ by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby Starring – Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey & Tim Blake Nelson Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: 12A; NZ: M; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13