Movie Review – Kingsman: The Golden Circle

TL;DR – A great follow-up, but it does struggle to find its feet in places.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Kingsman The Golden Circle banner 2

Review

So the original Kingman: The Secret Service was one of the first films we reviewed back in 2015 when we started (and you can read it HERE). Overall we really liked the film, it had great action, a fantastic cast, a magnetic lead villain, and it was a star-making turn for lead Taron Egerton. Overall the movie worked bar one ill-placed ‘joke’ at the end which was out of place, tacky, unnecessary, and literately brings the whole movie to a stop to get it out, but that didn’t stop Kingman from getting on our Top Films of 2015 list (see HERE). So I was wondering if they could make the follow-up as good as the first film and I think they may have just pulled it off.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Movie Review – American Assassin

TL;DR – Bland the movie

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

American Assassin

Review

Well, I don’t know what I was expecting with American Assassin, maybe some excitement, maybe some competent action sequences, maybe an interesting character study, maybe even an interesting look at America’s involvement in global terrorism. Of all the things I was expecting, the last thing was a bland paint by numbers snooze fest, well not paint by numbers because that implies that there was some colour in there somewhere. So yer, let’s dive into our review of American Assassin a dull film if ever I saw one.
Continue reading

Movie Review – Atomic Blonde

TL;DR – Atomic Blonde is a technically brilliant film, but unfortunately the story does not quite live up to the rest of it

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Atomic Blonde

Review

So I have a pitch for you: we have an MI6 agent who romps through Berlin in the closing days before the Wall falls, they take down Soviet goons, drink vodka, seduce foreign intelligence agents, whilst acting condescendingly toward their superiors. Oh and no this is not a missed Bond entry during its Dalton-Brosnan hiatus, oh and the MI6 agent is played by Charlize Theron, it’s an interesting pitch, you have to at least give it that. However, while this pitch is interesting, Atomic Blonde is a very peculiar film, because it has a lot of things that really work for it, but it also has some other issues that really hold it back. So let’s jump in and discover the underworld of Berlin in the late 1980s, but beware there is at least one David Hasselhoff reference in your near future.
Continue reading

Movie Review – The Fate of the Furious (Fast & Furious 8)


TL;DR
– The Fate of the Furious is a stupid dumb film, but it’s also a bunch of fun and downright heart-warming in places.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Fate of the Furious

Review
Ok so we need to acknowledge straight from the start that this is the eighth film in the Fast in the Furious franchise, that’s a real accomplishment and puts it tied with Star Wars which is not mean feat, but it still has a bit to go to catch up with Star Trek, Marvel, Bond, and wait what Air Bud, really, there have been fourteen of them, goodness. Ok wait, we went off on a tangent there, ok where were we, oh yes eight films, it is a real achievement, and means that they are doing something right. However, to be honest for me I have not watched any since the 2nd back in the day, because they kept taking this ridiculous premise and playing it completely seriously and it just grated on me. But given that this is film number eight and given that this franchise has become one of the biggest in modern filmmaking I thought I’d give it another go, and wow was I pleasantly surprised. So going into the eighth film in a franchise there are some things that you can expect before the opening titles roll, there will be a lot of fast cars, a lot of women in tight clothing, a metric ass-ton of machismo, and oh, also a completely on point James Bond narrative, ok I was actually not expecting that last one but there it is and it was a pleasant surprise. It is really fascinating to jump back in after all this time and see just how much the series has evolved, but also how in many ways it has really not changed much at all. So in today’s review, we are going to look at the story, the characters, the action, as well as a couple of other tidbits.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Movie Review – XXX: Return of Xander Cage

TL;DR – This is a perfect popcorn flick, as long as you don’t try to think through the plot, which you can’t help but do in the 2nd act.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Movie Review – XXX: Return of Xander Cage

Review

XXX: Return of Xander Cage is a film of many things, interesting set pieces, an incredibly diverse cast, a title that you really need to be careful with when searching on the internet for researching the movie, but also some missed opportunities. So it should come as no surprise that everyone is trying to create the next Bond, and why wouldn’t you? if you could swing 25 feature films out of a single premise. There have been multiple attempts over the years to create the new spy king, a fresh new face. Now for me, the best attempt has to be Kingsman (Click here to see Review), but many people have tried and one direction they went in was recasting the Bond-type with an extreme sports star, and well I have heard worse premises. However, after twelve years, and fifteen since Vin Diesel has been the lead, did we really need another crack at this formula to see if it works, well if this is anything to go by then … maybe?

Continue reading

Movie Review – The Accountant

TL;DR – When people ask me what a close but no cigar film is I will now be able to use The Accountant as my go-to example, it’s an ok film, but it could have been so much more.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Review – The Accountant is a really interesting movie, it has one of the strongest cast in cinema at the moment, and has some fantastic set piece action sequences, and some really important representations. However, and I am sorry to have this however so close to the start, as a movie it just doesn’t quite work. So in this review, I am not just going to review the film, but also break down why the film just doesn’t work as well as it could have.
Continue reading