News of the World – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling ride through the 1890s with a man trying to his best in difficult circumstances    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this film.

News of the World. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

News of the World Review

There are few actors around that you know going in will always give their best performance no matter what film they are in. One of those few is Tom Hanks who gives his all even in movies that are not that great. Today we get to explore a film that puts him right in the centre of a world going through a difficult transition.

So to set the scene, we open in Wichita Falls, North Texas, 1870, on a cold a rainy night. Here we find a Captain Kidd (Tom Hanks) speaking with the fine folks of the town. They are cut off from most of society, so he lets everyone know the news of the time, like a local fever going around or river crossings being cut, for a fee of 10c. On the way to the next town he stumbles across a black man who had been lynched, and the young girl Johanna (Helena Zengel) who he was carrying. She had been taken in a raid by the ‘Indians’, and she had been brought back to what was left of her family. When some Cavalry riders arrive, we discover that Captain Kidd served with the Confederate Army in the Civil War. They tell him to take the girl to the next town, but things are never as easy as that.

Continue reading

The Midnight Sky – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film with a premise that does not hold up and then undermines the rest of the narrative   

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence

The Midnight Sky. Image Credit: Netflix.

The Midnight Sky Review

I think it is safe to say that I am a fan of the Science Fiction genre. Indeed I try to watch as much as I can get. However, sometimes you come across a concept that just does not work. Unfortunately for all the star power, good acting, and exciting design, today we look at a film that just does not work.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Barbeau Observatory in the Arctic Circle in February 2049 where we are told it has been three weeks since ‘The Event’. The Observatory is being evacuated chaotically, but Augustine (George Clooney) stays behind as menacing red circles appear over cities on maps on the computer monitors behind. Augustine is trying to contact the last mission away from the planet Æther to warn them when he finds that not everyone evacuated with a little girl Iris (Caoilinn Springall) being left behind.        

Continue reading

True History of the Kelly Gang – Movie Review

TL;DR – A visually stunning film that unfortunately left me feeling hollow at the

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Warning – Contains significant strobe lighting

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

Awards

Nominated: Best Australian Film

True History of the Kelly Gang. Image Credit: Stan.

True History of the Kelly Gang Review

Well, there are many aspects of Australian life I just don’t get, and one of those is the veneration of Ned Kelly. But then it does have the distinction of being the subject of the first feature film ever made. Today we look at a movie that explores the life of Ned Kelly, the true story of the bushranger … well maybe not the whole truth …or even a little bit of it.

So to set the scene, in 1867 Australia, and a young Ned Kelly (Orlando Schwerdt) is trying to find his place in a rural world with no education and a mother Ellen (Essie Davis) with an ‘interesting’ view of raising children. She sells the boy to  Harry Power (Russell Crowe) a bushranger who introduces the boy to the violent world, including shooting Sergeant O’Neill (Charlie Hunnam) a member of the constabulary. After spending time in jail and away from his family Ned (George MacKay) returns home and gets brought back into the world he once escaped.

Continue reading

The Expanse: Churn – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode where we delve into Amos’ past, and my heart breaks a little

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Churn. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Churn Review

We dive straight back into the second episode of the season which continues to build the tension for the potential coming disaster. However, this episode is more of a character piece as we get to see what motivates many of our cast of characters.

So to set the scene, in the first episode Exodus we focused on all the crew going their separate ways as they flew to different parts of the Solar System. Amos (Wes Chatham) landed on Luna and after chitchat with Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) made the trip back to his home on Baltimore. Alex (Cas Anvar) arrived on Mars and faced a frosty reception from everyone including Bobbie (Frankie Adams), and Naomi (Dominique Tipper) made her way to Pallas Station. This departure left James (Steven Strait) all alone on Tyco Station, which was the perfect time for Monica Stuart (Anna Hopkins) to arrive with tales of intrigue. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

The Expanse: Exodus – TV Review

TL;DR – An episode that moves everybody and more importantly everything into place

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this series.

The Expanse: Exodus. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Exodus Review

To be honest, 2020 has not been the best of years, and that might be an understatement. However, there was one ray of light on the horizon for me, and that was a new season of The Expanse, and well now it is here, it has so far not disappointed.

So to set the scene, it has been about 100+ days since the end of Season 4 and all the drama that happened on Ilus. In that time the crew of the Rocinante, James Holden (Steven Strait), Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), and Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) have made their way to Tyco Station for refit and repair. Only it is time for reflection, and for many, it is time to close some personal demons. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

Continue reading

Ever After: A Cinderella Story is the best Cinderella (1998) – Exploring the Past

TL;DR – A joy to watch from start to finish. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Ever After Review

There are a lot of films that landing when you were growing up, that no matter what, will always charm and excite. For a child of the 1990s, it is those films like 10 Things I Hate About You that hit you in your core no matter how many times you have watched them. Well, today we get to look at one of those films that does it better than many others, which can take you back in time with a single first trumpet swell.

So to set the scene, we open in the 19th century, when the Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) invited The Brother’s Grim to her bedside. She loves their collection of folk tales … well all that is bar one, The Little Cinder Girl. Noticing a painting on the wall, one of the brothers asks about its providence, which lets the Grande Dame tell the story of her great-great-grandmother Danielle de Barbarac (Drew Barrymore). As a young girl Danielle (Anna Maguire) lived in a grand manor house her father Auguste (Jeroen Krabbé). One day in his travels he brings home a new wife the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Anjelica Huston) and her two daughters. It is another happy time, until when leaving on a trip to Avignon, Auguste has a heart attack at the gates of the property, leaving Danielle very much alone. 

Continue reading

Enola Holmes – Movie Review

TL;DR – A funny, engaging, and enjoyable film that casts a new spin on an old tale

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Awards

Nominated: Most Fun.

Enola Holmes. Image Credit: Netflix.

Enola Holmes Review

As the march of the copyright extension powers forward more and more, few stories are both in the public domain and have enough thematic strength to be engaging after all this time. However, I should note that not even Sherlock Holmes is not entirely removed from this mess. One of the few stories that match both of these criteria is the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We have reached the point that not only have we had the many different interpretations of the original stories but also original works within the universe. Today we look at an adaption of the later as we delve into a mystery at the heart of a family … well families.      

We open with Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) running through the English countryside giving us a back story of her life with her mother Eudoria Holmes (Helena Bonham Carter). A life that was full of mystery and joy. However, on the day of Enola’s 16th birthday, she woke up to find her mother missing. The only thing that was left was a single gift for Enola, a box of notes about flowers … or a box full of clues. Hoping to get some assistance she enlists the help of her two brothers Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin) … and that goes about as well as you can expect.  

Continue reading

Movie Review – Where’d You Go, Bernadette

TL;DR – A film full of promise that somehow fails to land     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Where'd You Go, Bernadette. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

When you watch a film that is not just bad but lazy, it is easy to critique, as it a movie that nails it. However, one of the most challenging parts of this job is when you get a film that a lot of passion has gone into its production, it has all the components needed to be amazing, and yet still it just does not come together. Today we look at just such a film with Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

So to set the scene, many years ago Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) was an aspiring architect, winner of a MacArthur Grant, and a revolutionary in her field. However, today she is just a recluse living in an unfinished house in Seattle with her tech industry husband Elgin (Billy Crudup) and their daughter Bee (Emma Nelson). While she spends most of her life supporting her daughter and feuding with the neighbours like Audrey Griffin (Kristen Wiig). Things are about to change as Bee is about to leave for boarding school, and Bernadette’s past is about to catch up with her.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Artemis Fowl

TL;DR – There is a lot of promise here that unfortunately falls flat at every turn.    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Artemis Fowl. Image Credit: Disney.

Review – Some genres really excite me when I get to see them, and one of those is when you crash fantasy and science fiction together. It is a delicate balance to get right, but when you do, it is grand. So a story where all the tales of fairies and such are real and they still live, but in high-tech cities under the Earth, well you have me intrigued. But you need to do something more than just intrigue, which is where we fall flat from almost the start.     

So to set the scene, we open in on Fowl Manor in Ireland, who is currently under siege, by the press and police. As the police arrest a Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad) and take him to a black site for integration, he speaks of magic as it is real, to the amusement of everyone. However, as he continues he lets everyone know, it is not Artemis Fowl Sr (Colin Farrell) they should be concerned with, but his son Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw). Artemis is just a kid, a brilliant kid, what threat could he be? Because isn’t it the father, the thief, that is the real threat, or is there something darker at play?    

Continue reading

TV Review – Altered Carbon – Season 2

TL;DR – It continues the story gallantly, but the second outing is more restrained and does not fix the problems of the first season.  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Altered Carbon – Season 2. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

A couple of years ago, there was this odd TV series on Netflix that I described as “if Westworld and Blade Runner had a baby with Ghost in the Shell as the midwife.” It was odd, it was out there, and even though it had some limitations it kept powering through. Well, I have finally caught up with the second season and I have to say it is more of the say, which is both good and bad.

So to set the scene, we open in a dive bar on some desolate system out in the deep black. On the stage is a singer (Jihae) singing a haunting song when a synth that had just needle cast in-system. Trepp (Simone Missick) is a bounty hunter, and a good one at that, and she is looking for one Takeshi “Tak” Kovacs. But in what sleeve is he in? Possibly only the malfunctioning AI Poe (Chris Conner) behind the bar knows? Well, Trepp buts a bullet in his back and brings him to her employer Horace Axley (Michael Shanks). All Tak has to do is protect Axley and he gets to keep this new body (Anthony Mackie). But more importantly, he knows where he can find Quellcrist “Quell” Falconer (Renée Elise Goldsberry), the person he has been searching for all these years. It’s a good bargain, right up until the moment he needle casts in and finds Axley dead on the ground, and all of Harlan’s World is out for his blood. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

Continue reading