Movie Review – Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업)

TL;DR – This is a film that is hilarious, funny, and had me laughing from start to finish.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Extreme Job (Geukhanjikeob, 극한직업). Image Credit: CJ Entertainment.

Review

There are many reasons that you may want to go to the movies. You may want a visual spectacle, an interesting character study, or maybe you just want to site and laugh your heart out. Well, today I look at a film that has the distinction of being not one but all of these things at once. Even better I had no idea about this film before seeing it, other than the title, so I didn’t know I was about to see one of the best films of the year when I walked in. Also just a pro-tip, do not go into this film on an empty stomach, trust me on this one, or at least plan to go get food the moment the film ends.  

So to set the scene, we open on an illegal gambling den as police radios crackle to life with instructions reminding everyone to limit property damage as they repel down the side of a building to block off all avenues of escape. This means no smashing through windows like you are an action star and politely asking the criminal to turn himself in … and that goes about as well as you can expect. The whole team Chief Go (Ryu Seung-ryong), Detective Jang (Lee Hanee), Detective Young-ho (Lee Dong-hwi), Detective Ma (Jin Seon-kyu), and Detective Jae-hoon (Gong Myung), chase after the suspect through the streets of Seoul only for them to have everything fall apart. They are dragged in front of the Police Superintendent (Kim Eui-sung) and berated for their incompetence, with the very real chance that their team will be disbanded. Everyone knows that they are on their last chance when Choi (Song Young-kyu) the head of a rival police taskforce gives them a tip that Lee Moo-bae (Shin Ha-kyun) one of Korea’s big drug players is about to return to the country. So the team has to engage in the biggest stake-out in their history, and it goes about as well as you expect.

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Movie Review – The Wandering Earth (Liúlàng Dìqiú, 流浪地球)

TL;DR –  At its core is an interesting idea, however, it is populated by the most unlikable characters in cinema at the moment  

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Wandering Earth. Image Credit: China Film Company Limited

Review

If you have read any of my reviews you will know I am a fan of Science Fiction. I love exploring the future and what it could be, I love interesting ideas and concepts, and I love the idea of exploring the universe. Today’s movie The Wandering Earth out of China does all of that and more. However as I walked out of the cinema I was not elated, instead, frankly, I was disappointed in how someone could squander such a good idea.

So to set the scene, at some point in the near future the Sun decides that it is ready to turn into a red giant now rather than billions of years from now and humanity has a choice. They can sit there and die as the Sun expands, or they can do something about it. They choose the latter and build hundreds of engines across the planet so that they can move the Earth to the Alpha Centauri system. To make sure nothing goes wrong they build a large space station that travels ahead of Earth to warn them of any danger. The one threat is that before they leave the Solar System they need to perform a gravity assist boost around Jupiter, but then it seems that Jupiter was not ready to let go. As all of this is happening Liu Peiqiang (Wu Jing) the senior astronaut on the Space Station has to watch helplessly as his son Liu Qi (Qu Chuxiao), father-in-law Han Zi’ang (Ng Man-tat), and adopted daughter Han Duoduo (Zhao Jinmai) are caught outside in the emergency and are marshalled into helping the Earth stave off disaster.

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Movie Review – The Hate U Give

TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Hate U Give . Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.

So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.  

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Movie Review – Alita: Battle Angel

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. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

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.  

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Movie Review – Green Book

TL;DR – 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

Green Book. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

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.   

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Movie Review – Polar

TL;DR – This is a film that revels in the tonal whiplash, but aside from an interesting performance from Mads it never quite comes together.     
Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Polar. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of the things I have been really enjoying the last couple of years is how action films are taking leaps and bounds with their cinematography and storytelling. This has led to some interesting films being made that explore weird and wonderful scenarios. Today we are looking at a film that first came into being as a graphic novel and you can see that DNA all throughout this film. Though while Polar has made the jump from the page to the big screen, or at least as big a screen as you want with Netflix, I am not sure it was a completely successful transition.

So to set the scene, we open in the wilds of Chile where Michael Green (Johnny Knoxville) is very much enjoying the last few days before his retirement, with drugs, booze, and of course women. Just one problem, one of those things is about to kill him, and sure enough, he is not long for this world. Back in America, Duncan (Mads Mikkelsen) is a fortnight away from his own mandatory retirement when he finds out that many of the agents form the hitman company he works for has been killed in recent days. Vivian (Katheryn Winnick) his contact and his handler for Mr Blut (Matt Lucas) lets him know that they have found the person killing all their agents and Duncan is tasked with going to Belarus to send a message. Just one problem, all is not what it seems.     

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Movie Review – Dragon Ball Super: Broly (Doragon Bōru Sūpā: Burorī, ドラゴンボール超 ブロリー)

TL;DR – A great step back into this world, and while it fumbles a bit in the middle, it starts and end on a strong note.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but images play throughout the credits

Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Image Credit: Madman

Review

Back in the day, Dragon Ball Z was one of those shows that everyone in my age group watched almost religiously in the morning. From memory I watched all of the show, all the way to the end of Dragon Ball GT and then it kind of fell off my radar as I entered high school. Well a few years back I stumbled across TeamFourStar creating an abridged version of Dragon Ball Z and that flood of nostalgia came running back. Well today as a new movie dropped here in Australia I thought it was time to re-visit the past, to see who the show has evolved, and of course support the official release.

So to set the scene, forty years ago on the Planet Vegeta a convoy of ships arrive in orbit. Landing in the palace compound King Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) is introduced to Frieza (Christopher Ayres) his new master with a short temper. In his rage King Vegeta checked on his son and was aghast to find a low born baby in a nearby crib had a higher power level. So King Vegeta had the baby shot into space to concur an inhospitable planet (basically to kill the child). His father Paragus (Dameon Clarke) raced of to find his child, but in the process of saving him their ship is destroyed trapping them on the planet forever. Fast forward to today, and Frieza is back and on the march and needs new warriors to take on Goku (Sean Schemmel), Vegeta (Christopher Sabat) and the other warriors of the galaxy and two of his scouts have discovered a high power level off on a planet in the distant reaches of the galaxy.

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