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 – 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 – Bird Box

TL;DR – There are moments of real suspense, and Sandra Bullock is amazing, but the structure of the story holds it back by revealing its hand too soon.      

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Bird Box. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

2018 has been a good year for the suspense thriller/ horror films, we have built on the strengths of 2017, a produced such amazing films as A Quiet Place (see review) and Cargo (see review). I bring A Quiet Place up because after the first few minutes you can tell that this is the film Bird Box is going to be compared to the most, and that is not entirely unfair. As they are both suspense post-apocalyptic films where you have to cover one of your senses to survive i.e. sound, or in this case sight. However, this was less the case of copying a more the case of producers seeing that suspense films are back (also they never left but that is an issue for another day) and optioning different books at around the same time. However, while it is a bit unfair to compare the two while watching you can’t help but do so, especially when the differences between the two are probably the reasons why I liked one more than the other.

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Movie Review – Mortal Engines

TL;DR – This is a visually impressive film, full of moments that make you go wow, but you can see that they have been held back by fitting the whole first book into the one  film   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Mortal Engines. Image Credit: Universal

Review

The Mortal Engines series is one of those books that I have always been meaning to read but just have never gotten around to it. The idea where cities have become mobile and drive around hunting for prey is one of those conceptional ideas that is just genius, and I have a lot of friends that are super excited to see this world brought to life on the big screen. Add to this the fact that you have the minds behind The Lord of the Rings working to bring this to life and I have to say it definitely piqued my interest. Now that I have seen it, I can say I mostly enjoyed it, even if not everything worked.

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Movie Review – Cargo

TL;DR – A beautiful, haunting, and often brutal look at what we do for those we love.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Cargo

 

Review

There was a time not that long ago where zombies were this interesting subset of the horror genre. Now in a world where every second video game has them as an enemy and we have seen nearly every possible permutation of it on the big and small screen, it honestly feels like we have become saturated with the living dead. Now frankly, this is a great pity because out there in the world of media there are still very powerful works of art being made that deals with these issues, like The Last of Us and Train to Busan. Well, today we are looking at a film that is joining these lofty heights with Cargo.

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TV Review – The Rain: Season One

TL;DR – An interesting take on the post-apocalyptic genre from Denmark, which blends a number of common elements to make something quite interesting, if not that unique.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

 

The Rain

 

Review

The Post-Apocalyptic genre is one of those settings that can either be gold or a complete drag or in the case of one current series on TV at the moment, it could start off as gold and then drag into oblivion. At the heart of what makes these settings work is the focus on the characters and the human stories among the devastation. This is why films like Mad Max, The Matrix and shows like Jericho, and even video games like Fallout are so evocative. Today we are looking at another entry into this genre from Denmark with The Rain.

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Movie Review – Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

TL;DR – At this point I think we are clearly one film too many in this series, so we do we get for our wait?, a kind of meh ending and a poor film

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

Review

So here we have the conclusion of the four movies series and more specifically part two of the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay. So I should start out with the proviso that while I have seen all the films, I have not read the books, so I can’t tell you how good of an adaption of the book the film is, though I am reliably informed that Part One was much better without the constant inner monologue droning on. So I should say, because I know I am not one of the target audience for these films, that I genially enjoyed Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and while I didn’t enjoy Part One as much as the others, I saw it as an interesting set up for the finale. But honestly, Part Two just annoyed me from start to finish.
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