The Invitation – Movie Review

TL;DR – A completely generic story slightly elevated by a cast understanding what type of film it is and playing to it.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

A DNA Test.

The Invitation Review

There is a whole world of mythology waiting to be mined for ideas, yet we always seem to come back to one or two touchstones, one of which is vampires. The question then becomes, can you do something new in a space that has been mined for hundreds of years? Probably not, but can you still make it entertaining? Well, that is the question we get to explore in today’s film, The Invitation.

So to set the scene, we open in a dark mansion on a stormy night. A woman in a white dress breaks out of her locked room and runs through the building but not seeing an escape, she decides to kill herself than stay where she is. Moving to New York City, we meet Evelyn “Evie” Jackson (Nathalie Emmanuel), a struggling ceramics artist who takes up catering jobs to make a living. After one of those jobs, she gets one of the leftover goodie bags with a DNA kit. Lo and behold, she discovered that she had a relative, a cousin called Oliver (Hugh Skinner), who happened to be coming to New York from England on business. When they meet up, Oliver invites her to the social wedding of the century at the estate of Walter De Ville (Thomas Doherty). There be red flags a plenty, but without any family of her own left, Evie takes the trip, unsure of what she will find on the other side of the pond.  

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Nope – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a film that swings wildly, where you have moments of pure terror, but I am not sure it all comes together in the third act.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

Warning – This film contains scenes that may cause distress.

a feild of waking inflatable men

Nope Review

Today, I look at a film that is quite difficult to review. Challenging in that from a production perspective, I have rarely seen a movie that works as well as this. But from a narrative perspective, there were moments that negatively impacted me that I am still trying to process the day after. It is also a film that is hard to talk about without immediately heading into spoilers that might impact your time with the film. Well, it might be difficult, but I’m still going to take a solid crack at it. As such, it is time to dive into our review of Nope.

So to set the scene, we open on a TV set in the 1990s, a sitcom with rows for audience seating, but only there is no one there even though the applause signs still flash. But we see a chimpanzee sitting with blood on its hands while a lifeless body lies in the background. Flash forward to the current time, and we are introduced to Otis Jr. “OJ” Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya), who works with his father Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) at Haywood Hollywood Horses. A ranch that trains horses for TV and movie productions. While OJ is doing all the work and wondering where his sister Emerald “Em” Haywood (Keke Palmer) is, he hears something odd coming from the sky. Then what looks like hail starts hitting the ground on a clear day, but it is not hail but metal shrapnel like keys and coins, one of which strikes Otis Sr. in the head. While the siblings struggle to keep the ranch going in the wake of this tragedy, the story of the objects falling out of a plane just does not hold up, and they start to wonder what else might be out there in the sky.

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Luca – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film that is a pure delight from start to finish.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this movie.

Luca. Image Credit: Disney.

Luca Review

We have a longing for those moments in our childhood when everything seemed to come together. I think this is an almost universal drive in people, the place and location might be different, but that drive is still the same. Today we look at a film that captures this drive and crafts it into a narrative that will delight.

So to set the scene, once evening off the coast of the Italian Riviera, two fishermen decide to fish close to Isola del Mare even though the reputation that monsters surround it, which was sort of true because around the island live a village of sea people. Among the sea people/monsters is Luca Paguro (Jacob Tremblay), who lives with his family herding goatfish. However, one day in the fields, a human approached collecting the flotsam on the bottom of the ocean. Luca runs but soon finds that this is not a human but another sea person called Alberto Scorfano (Jack Dylan Grazer). Alberto lives on the surface in a tower because once a sea person leaves the water, they can turn into a human when they dry out. 

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Shadow In The Cloud – Movie Review

TL;DR – Conceptionally, this is an interesting film, but I am not sure it makes the leap from concept to the final film.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

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

Shadow In The Cloud. Image Credit: Roadshow Films.

Shadow In The Cloud Review

Well, today, we look at a film that is clearly swinging for the fences in what it wants to do. It’s a wild ride, like anything experimental, but like some experiments, it doesn’t quite work in places.  

So to set the scene, we open in World War 2 with a short cartoon reminding everyone that there is no such thing as gremlins, and only airmen can stop disasters in the sky. At an Allied Airbase in Auckland, a B-17 bomber called The Fool’s Errand is waiting to take transistors to Apia, Samoa. However, just before they take off, Flying Officer Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) arrives with a broken arm, a mysterious package, and secrecy orders. The crew is quite miffed about the change of plans, but they relent, and the plane takes off, with Maude in the Sperry Ball turret on the bottom of the aircraft. Her goal is working until they see some Japanese planes and a creature crawling on the wing.  

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Movie Review – Abominable

TL;DR – A truly charming film from start to finish.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There are some pictures during the credits that tell a story.

Abominable. Image Credit: Universal.

Review


Films targeted at children often have a perception that they are of lower quality than other forms of cinema. Indeed some of the trailers for upcoming films I watched before this backed that assessment up. But every now and again a film casts off those assertions and shows that if you focus on quality it should not matter whom your target audience is. Well, today we get just such a film, as we explore a monster on the run through China.

So to set the scene, we open in a laboratory in Shanghai scared and alone and not knowing where we are. After hearing Dr Zara’s (Sarah Paulson) intentions for us we flee captivity and that is when you discover the animal fleeing is a yeti. Everest (Joseph Izzo) flees into the city and tries to hide after being hit by a truck only to end up on the roof of Yi’s (Chloe Bennet) apartment complex. Yi is focusing all her life on doing odd jobs so she can earn enough money to go on a tour of China her dad always promised to take her on. But when she finds the injured Everest there is only one thing on her mind, getting him to his home.

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Movie Review – The Meg (2018)

TL;DR –  A film that knows how to be a bit silly while still playing it mostly straight about a shark that suddenly not extinct.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Meg. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

Last year there was a film that came out about a killer shark destroying the world, and not just a shark but a megalodon. I wanted to go see it, but the timing never worked out and I think I was going through Jurassic World fatigue at the same time. Well, this week with the release of Godzilla and after playing Sea of Thieves I had been interested to give it a look and what would you know the very day I was pondering The Meg popped up on Netflix. Well never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I knew now was the best time to check it out and wow, it did not disappoint.

So to set the scene, off the shore of China a billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) has built Mana One a purpose built deep ocean observatory. Its goal is to study the life in the oceans around the Mariana Trench but to also investigate a theory of chief scientist Zhang (Winston Chao). He believes that the trench is actually deeper and there is a layer of cold water creating a thermocline (barrier) protecting an undisturbed ecosystem underneath. So they send down Lori (Jessica McNamee), Toshi (Masi Oka), and The Wall (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) in a submarine and lo and behold Zhang was right. However, just as they start to explore this new region they are attacked by something large and fast, sending them crashing into the ocean floor. With time being on the line and few people qualified they call in Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) a rescue diver who is now out of the game after a rescue went wrong and people blamed him for the deaths of his team.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Arachnids In The UK

TL;DR –  If you have a deep-seated fear of spiders, well this might be one of those hide behind the coach kind of episodes for you.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Doctor Who: Arachnids In The UK. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

Today we continue looking at Doctor Who’s 11th season, a season with a lot of promise but also some recurring issues. This has created a bit of a problem that you see all the good they are trying to do, but also how they are being held back for some odd reasons. Well, today we come crashing back to Earth for a creepy episode just in time for Halloween that is going back to a Doctor Who staples, monsters, running, and the failure of capitalism, oh my.

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Movie Review – A Quiet Place

TL;DR – A masterpiece in tension and the bonds of family, where every moment has you on the edge of your seat.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no Post-Credit Scene

A Quiet Place

Review

Now today before we start I want to do something a little be different than the norm. If you are a fan of sci-fi, horror, monster films, or films that take creative risks then I want you to stop reading this review right now and go see A Quiet Place, Trust me it is well worth your time, and you will want to go in with as little pre-knowledge as possible other than it is an expertly created film with a compelling narrative. For those who have seen the film or everyone else who is jumping ahead let’s take look at the masterpiece that is A Quiet Place.

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Movie Review – The Shape of Water

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

The Shape of the Water

Review

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.

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TV Review – Stranger Things: Trick or Treat, Fool

TL;DR – Today we learn that even when people are not the worst, they can still disappoint you

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Stranger Things

Review

It’s Halloween in the quaint town of Hawkins, and with the season there is a time for everything,
a time to make friends and a time to lose them,
a time to make promises and a time to forget them,
a time to get dressed into costume and a time to realise maybe don’t do that at school,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to say hello to a girl in the woods and a time to get hit in the head with a half-cooked squirrel,
a time to reach out and a time to miss the response,
a time to be bold and a time to run away from the all oppressive shadow in the sky,
a time to forget the past and a time to be defined by it,
a time to hold on for dear life and a time to let go,
a time to eat Eggo Waffles™ and a time to channel surf,
a time to wear all denim and a time to do literally any other fashion choice
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
a time to come together as a team and a time to be just the absolute worst, I mean come on Ted (Joe Chrest) The Russians, really, get it together.

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