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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Movie Review – IO

TL;DR – This is a film that has the appearance of wanting to say something profound, but never actually gets around to saying much of anything.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

IO. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In some respects, Netflix has been the saviour of the small concept science fiction film in recent years as cinemas abandon anything but the next tent pole franchise blockbuster. However, for all the wonders of Annihilation (see review) and films like that, there has been a slew of mediocre dull affairs. Today we look at a film that at first look feels like it should be the first, but unfortunately, it ended up being the latter.

So to set the scene, there were many attempts to forestall the coming abyss including making a satellite to harvest geothermal energy from other planets. However, it was all in vain because before they could intact their plan, the atmosphere on Earth turned bad becoming toxic at most lower altitudes. Most people that could leave the Earth did so in a great exodus for the space station IO around Jupiter’s moon Io. There are few people left on the planet but Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) is one of them, trying to find a way to fix the planet rather than flee it. Well, on IO they have finally stored enough energy to send people off on interstellar colonisation missions, so they are stopping the evacuations of Earth. Sam has one choice, give up her father’s research and get on the last ship out of a dying planet, or be left behind.

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Movie Review – Instant Family

TL;DR – There are some moments of real humour and it can be really heartfelt, but it has also be smashed into a rigid three-act structure to the point that you can see the plot beats coming a mile away.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Instant Family. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Review

Adoption and foster care are two very important issues in society today. There are not enough foster parents for all the kids in the system, meaning that they get bounced around from house to house, or left in a worst state than when they came in. Which is a tragedy because these are some of the most vulnerable members of society and we need to be protecting them. Today we look at a film that explores this issue by looking at what happens when you go from having no kids to having three.

So to set the scene, Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) are a couple going through life that seemingly has it all. They run a successful renovation business where they buy down and out houses and then do them up to flip them for a profit. This helps gives their lives purpose, until one day Ellie’s sister mentions that they are never going to have kids and a look ensues. This leads to them having a look at adoption websites and being overcome by the need. So they attend training run by Karen (Octavia Spencer) and Sharon (Tig Notaro) and on a lunch playdate/get to know all the kids/totally weird event, they come across Lizzy (Isabela Moner) who everyone else is ignoring because they don’t want teenagers. They really like Lizzy but there is one catch, she comes with two siblings Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz) and all of a sudden they become a family of five.

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Movie Review – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (How to Train Your Dragon 3)

TL;DR – Beautiful, joyous, funny, emotional, a film for everyone, and one of the best sequels I have seen a very long time   

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but the credits are delightful

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Review

The How to Train Your Dragon series has been one of those little gems that keeps binging quality films, time and time again. It is a really simple premise, you live in a world with dragons, and you can either fight them or make friends with them. It is a simple but effective morality tale about fearing what you do not know and finding a new way forward. Well, today, the third film in the series is out in cinemas and we thought it was really good, like really, really good, like you really need to go see it good.

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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