Movie Review – Molly’s Game

TL;DR – Exploring the interplay of power and greed, and how lives can change in an instant, also you got Aaron Sorkin walk and talks, so what’s not to like?

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Molly's Game

Review

Today is an interesting week because we are looking at a film that is both from a first-time director but also one of the industries long-time greats, Aaron Sorkin. So today we will see if his walk and talk dialogue works when he is the one behind the camera? Now before we start, because of the way the film is structured it is hard to talk about it at all without getting into [SPOILER] territory almost immediately, so if you have not seen the film probably be careful when proceeding.

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Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

TL;DR – A visual extravaganza, Taika Waititi with the cast and crew gave their all to this film, and it amazing to watch.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid and End Credit Scene

Thor Ragnarok banner.jpg

Review

Wow, what an amazing end to a film trilogy, and one of the strongest so far for Marvel. I’ve always had a kind of indecisive feeling towards the Thor films so far. They have been a case of fantastic casting matched with just ok storylines. Now when you have Anthony Hopkins going gangbusters, then even a bad script will look good, but overall I just thought the Thor films were ok and nothing more. To be fair, I think it was a testament to the quality of Marvel’s films that while Thor might have been my least favourite Marvel films it was because they were only ok, not fantastic. However, I was honestly wondering with everyone doing their big Cinematic Universes now if superhero fatigue would set in given my relationship with the films so far, but nope this film was a riot from start to end and I highly recommend it. So today we will set the scene, and then have a look at all the factors that went into making the film work. However because of the nature of Thor Ragnarok and its story, we are going to hit spoilers much earlier than we would normally do, so to be on the safe side I am implementing a [SPOILER] warning from this point onwards.

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TV Review – The Defenders: Season 1

TL;DR – a concise story, with strong action, and continues builds upon the world that has been created across the different boroughs of New York.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Defenders

Review

After five seasons we have got there, the big team up in New York, as Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and the Iron Fist (Finn Jones) come together to battle The Hand. Now The Defenders was always planned out to happen, so in one respect it has had a smoother road to creation, but it has also been a rocky one at times.

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TV Review – Iron Fist: Season 1

TL;DR – So far it’s not the train wreck that people were making it out to be and it does get better throughout the season, but there needed to be more work done with the Danny Rand character before filming.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Iron Fist

Review

Ok all thirteen episodes have been watched, four pages of notes taken, so let’s delve into the world of Iron Fist/Danny Rand (Finn Jones) the last addition to the Netflix/Marvel mini-universe before we get to see the big defenders cross-over later this year. Now I don’t think any in-house (i.e. not Fantastic Four) Marvel product has ever had this much negative press before launch, and it was a rocky couple of weeks, to say the least. So let’s break down what does work (because some of it does), but also where the series went wrong, and there is a lot of that too. Now because we are looking at the season as a whole, there may be some spoilers here, so you have been warned.

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Analysis – John Wick is a Masterclass in Visual Storytelling and Worldbuilding

TL;DR – John Wick is a masterpiece of balancing storytelling and worldbuilding without resorting to multiple exposition dumps or clunky dialogue exchanges.

John Wick

When you are making or adapting some form of narrative medium, whether it is a book, video game, TV show, online video series, or a movie, two of the most important narrative facets are storytelling and worldbuilding, however, they can often find themselves in conflict with each other. I think we have all played that video game that is crammed full of lore, around every corner is another audio log sitting there for you to digest and thus the story gets lost in at that worldbuilding. Conversely, people fall in love with the worlds you can create, as much as people love Harry Potter, they are also enraptured with the whole Wizarding World, #HufflepuffForLife, so if you focus just on your story and don’t build the world around you, you’re going to have a shallow narrative and a missed opportunity. So how do you rectify this issue, well you could do what Snowpiercer and others have done in the past and gone with an opening newscast, or narration, or like the grandmaster of it all Star Wars, and have it all in your opening crawl. Or you could go with the Game of Thrones route and hide your exposition in sex scenes hoping that nudity will keep people engaged, and indeed you may even coin a phrase with ‘sexposition’ in the process. Or you could follow John Wick’s lead by crafting a strong narrative while also building a fascinating world. Now as we will be dissecting John Wick for this analysis, and since we will be focusing on the story, there is no way we could do that and not have any spoilers, so if you have not seen it yet, firstly go watch John Wick, but also you may not want to proceed any further, or do, I’m not your boss.

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Movie Review – Nerve

TL;DR – Nerve is an ambitious film that gets a lot of credit for tackling one of the big problems of the Internet, its mob mentality, but it doesn’t quite stick the landing

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review

Nerve as a film is sort of a first, well at least for me it is, as it is the first mainstream film I have seen that really attempts to address the rise of the YouTube celebrity, the Social Media star, the Internet Mob, and the clear problems that come from displaying your lives online for all to see. However, unlike other attempts to engage in this topic which come off as either old people making a film, they think young people will like or indeed, the moralising ‘lazy silly millennials have it too easy’, Nerve is trying to engage with these important issues, but not in a condescending way.
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Movie Review – The Night Before

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

Review

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.
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