TL;DR – Several interesting ideas are going on here, but they never coalesce into something worthy.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
Bullet Train Review –
When you are making an action film, there are many different styles that you could employ. There is the grizzled machismo of movies like Rambo, the high-octane yet safe for families action of the Fast and the Furious films, or the grimy rawness of films like The Northman. But one of the more recent action styles has been this smooth, free-flowing, and fast-talking style of cinema that was thrown into the spotlight with Deadpool. While that style has been divisive, I have generally enjoyed it, and today we see another example of it in the form of Bullet Train.
So to set the scene, it has been a long road of recovery for ‘Lady Bug’ (Brad Pitt) since he got shot doing a job in Johannesburg. But he is finally ready to take on a new mission, and his handler (Sandra Bullock) has picked an easy one for him. He must go on to a bullet train stationed in Tokyo, Japan, retrieve a briefcase with a train sticker on the handle, and remove it before the train reaches Kyoto. The only issue is that ‘Lady Bug’ is not the only operative working a job on that train as “Lemon” (Brian Tyree Henry), “Tangerine” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), “The Wolf” (Benito A. Martínez Ocasio), “The Prince” (Joey King), “The Father” (Andrew Koji), and “The Hornet” (Zazie Beetz) all have their own plans in how this will go.
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 – A compelling film that pulls you in with its content and visual style, and then used it to tell a story of a world not that dissimilar from today.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
So today we are looking at a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film, ok wait no that is too broad a category. Ok a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film featuring Doug Jones, ok no that is still too many, Ok a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film featuring Doug Jones as a water monster … seriously still. Now, of course, I kid because all of these films are visually stunning and some of the most fascinating stories in modern cinema, indeed I still think about the ending of Pan’s Labyrinth. So today we are going to unpack Guillermo del Toro’s latest film The Shape of Water which is up for a fantastic 13 Oscars at the moment.
TL;DR – This movie is trying to be a lot of things, but never really succeeds at any of them
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
So we have hit December and that means that Christmas movies are upon us, and the first cab off the rank this year is The Night Before, so how is it, well, meh. To try and explain this film, imagine taking the comedic sensibilities of a usual Seth Rogan production (see Bad Neighbours, This is the End & The Interview) and smash it together with the iconography and themes of traditional Christmas movie. This is an interesting concept, but in practice, we get a slapdash amalgamation of the two rather than an interesting hybrid.