Drifting Home (Ame wo Tsugeru Hyôryû Danchi/雨を告げる漂流団地) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A fascinating look back to the power that a home can have over us, more than just four walls and a roof.   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

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

The clouds over an ocean.

Drifting Home Review

At the end of last year, I realised that I had not watched enough animated films in 2021 and that needed to change in 2022. I think I succeeded on that front, but when I looked back, I realised that there was one hole in that catchup, Anime. Today I start fixing that blind spot by diving into a film full of mystery.    

 So to set the scene, in town in Japan at the onset of summer, there is an apparently haunted apartment block about to be torn down. While the old building is being removed to put something better, it is still considered ‘home’ for Natsume Touchi (Asami Seto) and Kosuke Kumagai (Mutsumi Tamura), who grew up there. However, since they moved out, the two have drifted apart as they went through separate lives. One day before they tear down the buildings, Kosuke and a group of boys visit one of the buildings and find Natsume hiding in their old apartment. As more school students show up, a concern about a mysterious boy called Noppo (Ayumu Murase), whom no one has met before but who lives in the building, raises the tension. It is all the building blocks for an argument between Natsume and Kosuke that had been percolating for months. As the two fight, Natsume slips off the roof, but before she hits the ground, a storm envelops the apartments, and the group finds themselves in the middle of the ocean, all alone.

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The Invitation – Movie Review

TL;DR – A completely generic story slightly elevated by a cast understanding what type of film it is and playing to it.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid to see this film.

A DNA Test.

The Invitation Review

There is a whole world of mythology waiting to be mined for ideas, yet we always seem to come back to one or two touchstones, one of which is vampires. The question then becomes, can you do something new in a space that has been mined for hundreds of years? Probably not, but can you still make it entertaining? Well, that is the question we get to explore in today’s film, The Invitation.

So to set the scene, we open in a dark mansion on a stormy night. A woman in a white dress breaks out of her locked room and runs through the building but not seeing an escape, she decides to kill herself than stay where she is. Moving to New York City, we meet Evelyn “Evie” Jackson (Nathalie Emmanuel), a struggling ceramics artist who takes up catering jobs to make a living. After one of those jobs, she gets one of the leftover goodie bags with a DNA kit. Lo and behold, she discovered that she had a relative, a cousin called Oliver (Hugh Skinner), who happened to be coming to New York from England on business. When they meet up, Oliver invites her to the social wedding of the century at the estate of Walter De Ville (Thomas Doherty). There be red flags a plenty, but without any family of her own left, Evie takes the trip, unsure of what she will find on the other side of the pond.  

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The Green Knight – Movie Review

TL;DR – Visually visceral, narratively interesting, and almost entirely engaging. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

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

The Green Knight. Image Credit: Amazon Prime.

The Green Knight Review

Everyone has a narrative style that they are just a sucker for, it could be road trip movies or WW2 war films, or like me, it is taking myths from the old and reinterpreting in a modern context. This can be the bombasticness of Greek Legend, the sharpness of Norse Legend, or, as we get today, the weirdness of Arthurian Mythology.

So to set the scene, we start the film with a bucket of water in the face as Gawain (Dev Patel) is woken up in a brothel by his lover Essel (Alicia Vikander). Gawain might be hungover, but it is Christmas morning, and Gawain has duties to attend to. While his Mother (Sarita Choudhury) stays at home, Gawain heads to the keep to the feast of King Arthur (Sean Harris) and Queen Guinevere (Kate Dickie). However, a stranger on horseback arrived during the feast, a man made of bark and leaves, the Green Knight (Ralph Ineson). Walking up to the King, he lays out a challenge, and Gawain is the only one to take up the charge.

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Last Night in Soho – Movie Review

TL;DR – Well Last Night In Soho is a film that threatens to go off the rails at any moment yet somehow manages to hold on just by its fingertips   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene, but there are images during the credits

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Warning – This film depicts scenes of abuse

Warning – This film features sequences with flashing lights

Last Night in Soho. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Last Night in Soho Review

Some directors out there have built up such a strong reputation that you know you will be checking out their next film no matter the genre/tone/story. For me, one of those directors is Edgar Wright, who has never once bored me with one of his films. Indeed, we have already gotten his take on a talking-heads documentary this year with The Sparks Brothers, and I was not going to turn down the chance to see two new films from him in the one year. I will say that this is a film that is best seen with as little information as possible, so if you are intrigued, you may want to stop reading here.

So to set the scene, Eloise “Ellie” Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) lives in rural Cornwell but has always dreamed of being a major fashion designer in London. She is obsessed with the style of the 1960s and capturing that time in her work. It was good news for Ellie when she got accepted into the London College of Fashion; thus, she made the long trip into the big city. After some interesting interactions with her roommate Jocasta (Synnøve Karlsen), Ellie moves into a bed/sit in Goodge Place being rented out by Ms Collins (Diana Rigg). This old lady had owned the property for decades. It is perfect for Ellie, but as she sleeps, she visits an apparition from the past, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a singer and dancer in 1960s London. 

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (The Conjuring 3) – Movie Review

TL;DR – What starts with an interesting and creepy premise nevertheless does not have the pull to make it through to the end.    

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Review

To be honest, The Conjuring as a series is not one that had piqued my interest before. Indeed I have never watched any of the other films and spin-offs before. But I knew they were famous, and there was a real following for the franchise. However, the film’s story is based on the event where someone pleaded not guilty because of demonic possession. Well then, now you have me interested.

So to set the scene, in the town of Brookfield, Connecticut, Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are helping a local family out after their son David (Julian Hilliard) was possessed by a demon. The demon presents itself in all its power, ripping the house apart and giving Ed a severe heart attack. Arne Cheyenne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor) compels the demon to leave the boy and enter him in the chaos. Only Ed sees this, but he soon passes out. Ed makes it through surgery. However, by the time he can tell what is going on, a boy is walking down the street of Connecticut covered in blood.        

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WandaVision: The Series Finale – TV Review

TL;DR – A beautiful conclusion to a fascinating series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this episode.

WandaVision: The Series Finale. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

When we started WandaVision all the way back with Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience, I’m not sure we knew where we were going to end up. However, after many twists and turns, we are here in the finale. With that in mind, let’s dive into the final episode of Marvel’s first real attempt at long-form storytelling in the MCU.

So to set the scene, in last week’s Previously On, we got a trip down memory lane as Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) tried to work out how Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was able to build the world from scratch. We found out that Wanda is actually the fabled Scarlet Witch because she can create matter out of nothing as she did with Vision (Paul Bettany). Of course, she makes this reveal while threatening to kill Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), which bluntness the reveal’s overall reverence. Meanwhile, Vision is flying back after having his history told to him by Darcy (Kat Dennings), Fake Pietro (Evan Peters) captured Monica (Teyonah Parris) snooping around the house, Agent Woo (Randall Park) is the only good guy left outside The Hex, which is essential because SWORD has activated the cataract program which reinitialised Dead Vision’s body creating White Vision (Paul Bettany). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.

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WandaVision: On a Very Special Episode… – TV Review

TL;DR – This week, everything changes again as we take a right turn into “did that just happen!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

WandaVision: Episode 5. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

There are days when you sit down to watch a TV show where you kind of know what you will get before you click play. Well, WandaVision is not one of those shows. We have already seen in change on a dime, and this week we get another example as the show starts to dark fast.

So to set the scene, in last week’s  We Interrupt This Program, we left The Hex and found out what had been happening in the world around. We see the road that Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) took to being a player in the weird TV show that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is creating in Westview. This week we dive into the 1980s, but things are not the same as Vision (Paul Bettany) has started to see something is not right with this world. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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WandaVision: Now in Color – TV Review

TL;DR – This is where we start to see what is under the hood in this show, and it might be menacing indeed.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

WandaVision: Now in Color. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

Well, we spent Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience & Don’t Touch That Dial living in the 1950s in all its black and white glory. However, last week made it clear that we would leap forward into this new-fangled thing known as colour.

So to set the scene, at the end of last week’s episode, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) witnessed a man out of place in their neighbourhood. However, Wanda did not want that to happen, so she rewound the tape back to before they went outside. When she got back, Wanda discovered that she was pregnant and also the world was in colour. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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WandaVision: Don’t Touch That Dial – TV Review

TL;DR – This is where we start to see what is under the hood in this show, and it might be menacing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.

WandaVision: Episode 2. Image Credit: Disney+.

WandaVision Review

We continue our dive into this odd show as we start to see the façade slip in places as things that should not be seen are seen. All of this starts asking some uncomfortable questions for our cast.  

So to set the scene, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) have started to become permanent fixtures in their little town of Westview. Wanda and Angus (Kathryn Hahn) come along to the local planning committee meeting to help with the talent show led by Dotty (Emma Caulfield Ford) the queen of the town. Meanwhile, Vision, is off to the local neighbourhood watch, after a tree branch scared them in the night.  Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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Movie Review – Sol Levante

TL;DR – An interesting vignette, but more focusing on the style than the substance   
   
Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Awards

Nominated: Creative Animation

Sol Levante. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I mentioned earlier this week with Familiar Strangers, that it was the shortest film that I had ever reviewed for the sight, well not three days later we are going to beat that record with Sol Levante. An animated short made in 4K HD that I don’t think anyone in the world is going to see at 4K at least not for the foreseeable future.

This is an interesting film to review because there is not a whole lot to it, but then it also feels like there is a bit more to it than first appears. There is not a story, bar a young woman fighting I want to say demons across a shifting landscape. There are quite a few of these set-piece moments that the fit into the three minutes run time that hint at things. It is a film that fits into the sort of nexus of fantasy, science fiction, and spiritual genres and is steeped in symbolism if nothing else.  

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