TL;DR – Annihilation is a slow burn that then hits you like a freight train and then messes with your mind till it becomes putty, would recommend watching this, but maybe not at night.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
What is good sci-fi? As someone who loves this gene in all of its permutations, good sci-fi could be the grand space operas of Star Wars, Stargate or The Expanse, the more character driven works like Moon and The Martian. They can be thought-provoking works like Star Trek or Arrival, or thumping action set-pieces of Mad Max. Now sometimes they can be the weird contemplative works that dip into science, horror, supernatural, blending that hard and soft sci-fi into new and wonderful ways, and today’s Annihilation is the later. Now before we jump in I do have to say because the film begins in medias res, that is it opens on the ending, it is hard to talk about the film without getting into [SPOILERS] straight from the start, even with our setting the scene part of the review. If you have not seen Annihilation you may need to be a bit more careful going forward, as there will be major plot points discussed throughout.
TL;DR – The Last Jedi is charting its own story and this is where its strengths and faults lie.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Ok here we go, I didn’t think The Last Jedi was a fantastic film, nor did I think it was a really bad film. It was a film which had some aspects that really worked and some things that just didn’t, which made it a fascinating film to watch. However, this was also a problem for me because I wasn’t sure just how I felt about this film, and indeed for the first time this year, I actually went and saw the film twice before writing my review because I wanted to be sure about my feelings. Now in today’s review, I am going to set the scene and then give a general overview, and then we are going to go full spoiler with my analysis.
Before we start I need to make it clear that this blog will be full of spoilers for the recent Rogue One and Suicide Squad, as well as last year’s The Force Awakens, and all of Star Wars in general, so proceed cautiously if things like this concern you.
So when I was watching Rogue One yesterday for the third time, at which point instead of watching the broad strokes of the story you instead focus on more of the details, it occurred to me that not only is Rogue One interesting in the fact that it kills off its entire leading cast (yes I said there were spoilers don’t complain that I didn’t warn you) but also how it kills them. Now of course, as most people know, there were extensive reshoots with Rogue One which may have drastically changed the outcome of how characters died, but that is a discussion for another day, today we will just be focusing on the movie as it is in cinemas.
TL;DR – A bit of a mess at times, but any complaints I have are overridden by the strongest ending in the franchise’s history.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
So here we are with Star War’s first attempt at a standalone film (a film set in the Star Wars universe, but not one of the main numbered entries) and a prequel no less, by any measure this was a risky gambit for the Mouse House, because the last thing you want to do to your $4 Billion investment is damaging the brand with a bad movie. Now this coupled with extensive reshoots in a year where extensive reshoots have led to mediocre films like Suicide Squad and outright failures like Fantastic Four had a lot of people concerned, is the prequel curse going to continue? Well, I am happy to say those reshoots must have only improved the movie because Rogue One is a blast. Now is it a perfect film, oh no, it has some real problems, but any issue I could have with it is blasted away by some quality filmmaking. Now we will be discussing the story later in the review, so I’ll put a Spoiler Warning out before that, but I feel with a property like this, it is important to say, I will be discussing aspects of the film and the characters and you may find that to be spoilery, so you have been warned to continue with caution. Continue reading →
So it has now been six months since the release of the seventh Star Wars film, and indeed given that it is now out on DVD/Blu-ray/Digital Download etc, and also given that today is the May the Fourth, I think it is a good time to re-engage with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Given the low bar that was the Prequels, where we just caught up in the notion of “it’s better than them, well that means it was a fantastic film”, or now with some distance and time (and the dulling of nostalgia) will we find it does not live up to the hype we placed on it? So of course just to be clear there will be full spoilers in this article, so if you have not watched it then now is the time to go make some tea and contemplate the universe.
TL;DR – “Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, Sing Hallelujah!, Sing it, yeah, Sing Hallelujah! … Sing Hallelujah!” – Dr. Alban
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Ok before we start I am going to try my best to have no spoilers in this review, but you should be warned that while I may try my best there may be a couple of little tidbits throughout this review. Anyway, this is a great film and you should go into with as little information as possible, go see it before someone spoils it for you. Continue reading →