Movie Review – Triple Frontier

TL;DR – While it has all the components for a good film, it feels like it is spending more of its time imitating than driving its own course.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Triple Frontier. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

This is an interesting time for the action films, there are spaces where it is showing brand new filmmaking techniques, films that build tension as I have never seen, or simply shots where you go, how did they get that? Unfortunately, today I am not looking at a film like that, because today we review one of the most paint-by-numbers films I have seen in a very long time.   

So the set the scene, we open in Colombia where Pope (Oscar Isaac) works as an ‘independent observer’ helping the local police take down one of the local drug cartels. While there he becomes friendly with a local informant Yovanna (Adria Arjona) who lets him know how to get to Gabriel Martin Lorez (Reynaldo Gallegos) the local big bad. This is not a mission that he can pull off alone, nor does he want to involve the locals because they might tip his hand. So instead, he goes back to the States to recruit his old military Special Forces team. Redfly (Ben Affleck) now sells condos … badly and can barely keep his head above water after the divorce, Ironhead (Charlie Hunnam) spends all his time giving talks to military trainees, and his brother Ben (Garrett Hedlund) is now an MMA fighter, and Catfish (Pedro Pascal) can no longer fly planes after an incident. Together they go down to provide expert reconnaissance, and maybe a bit more than just that.    

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TV Review – The Umbrella Academy – Season 1

TL;DR – While the story was a little inconsistent, it an interesting ride from start to finish.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Umbrella Academy. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We live in a world today where superhero team-up projects are no longer a rare thing hidden in some comic book store. Today people know and understand the thought of a group of people suddenly discovering powers that they can use for good or evil. So in this world how do you differentiate yourself from all the other shows out there? Well, you focus on one thing, and that is family. Family can be complicated at the best of times, and well when you watch The Umbrella Academy you find that I don’t think there ever was a best of times.

So to set the scene, one day in 1989 a miracle happened (or a curse depending on your perspective) when across the globe 43 women gave birth to babies, the only issue was that they started the day not being pregnant. This drew the attention of Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) who went around the world trying to buy as many of the babies as he could … he got 7. However, there were not normal children, with all of them, well most of them, having extraordinary powers. Luther (Tom Hopper) has immense strength and take a beating that would kill someone and get back up. Diego (David Castañeda) has the ability to make anything he throws curve through the air, so he is a man who likes his knives. Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) has the ability to suggest things to people and they are compelled to oblige. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) has the ability to talk to the dead, Five (Aidan Gallagher) can phase through time and space, and Ben (Justin H. Min) can summon tentacles to cause mass destruction. Of the seven, only Vanya (Aidan Gallagher) didn’t develop any powers, being relegated to the sidelines as her siblings go off on missions like stopping a bank heist. All of this is fine but time goes on and families can drift apart even at the best of times. So at the start of the series, many of the siblings have not talked to each other in years, but they are all brought back into the fold when their at best eccentric and at worst abusive father is found dead under less than clear circumstances. Now, for this point onwards, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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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 – 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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TV Review – Carmen Sandiego: Season One

TL;DR – This is everything a Carmen Sandiego series needed to be, fun, informative, full of beautiful animation, and a cast giving their all.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Carmen Sandiego: Season One. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I grew up in the age before the internet, yes there was a time even before the internet yelled at you when you wanted to log on. It was an era when you would get games on floppy disks, both big and small, and it was here where I first met the elusive Carmen Sandiego. She was the final boss in an epic quest that took you from the streets of Reykjavik to Sydney and everywhere in-between as you hunted down VILE and recovered the stolen artefacts. When you have one of the touchstones of your first forays into the world of media getting another reboot, you tend to go in cautiously. However, I needn’t of worried because this was a joy from start to finish.    

So to set the scene, we open as Interpol agents Chase Devineaux (Rafael Petardi) and Julia Argent (Charlet Chung) run down the list of places Carmen (Gina Rodriguez) has recently hit, Art Galleries, Banks, … an amusement park …? The only clue she leaves is her presence in all red, announcing to the world who just robbed you. Well tonight she is in Poitiers, France, and the agents will stop at nothing to bring her in, but see Carmen is a master at what she does, and she has a little help thanks to Player (Finn Wolfhard). After a quick escape, Carmen makes it to the train only to be intercepted by Crackle (Michael Goldsmith) someone from her past. Well, since they have a lot of time on their hands before they reach Paris, Carmen relates to him the important story about how she became the world’s greatest thief. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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TV Review – Sex Education: Season One

TL;DR – It a show where sex is very much front and centre, however, it is actually the relationships that actually shine through.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Sex Education. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are some people who would like a do over, go back in time and do high school all over again, or indeed there are those people who never left. I would never go back to that hellscape of hormones, and finding yourself while the world gets ripped out from underneath you. Well today we look at a series that explores that very time period in all its uncomfortableness.

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TV Review – The Good Place: The Book of Dougs

TL;DR – While it does not always quite get there, it was still an interesting ride.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Good Place: The Book of Dougs. Image Credit: NBC.

Review

After three seasons of trying the gang is finally in the good place, and after all this, the emotional and social capital to get us here does it actually hold up? Well no, but then I think it does something a little more important, maybe.

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