Gold – Movie Review

TL;DR – Brutal, uncomfortable, and completely compelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this film

Gold. Image Credit: Stan.

Gold Review

When you are creating a film that wonders into the Survival genre, there are two very different ways you can engage your audience. The first is through shock, a sudden event or trauma like a bear attack. Or you can slowly pull everything away from people like a tide coming in or an approaching winter you are not ready for. Today we look at a film that explores the latter, but instead of the chill of winter, we get the brutal, unrelenting heat of the desert Sun.   

So to set the scene, some time, someplace, not far from now, a man is sitting in a train carriage boosting a ride in cargo. Man One (Zac Efron) has the clothes on his back and not much else as he walks out into the desert heat at Greenview Outpost. He is heading to the compound in the restricted Eastern Territories and gets a lift with Man Two (Anthony Hayes) through the inhospitable landscape. Man One goes off to take a leak after the car blows its radiator, which is when he spots something shiny in the desert, a gold nugget.

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Land – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film where profound sadness and haunting beauty intersects on the mountains of rural Wyoming.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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

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

Land. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Land Review

There is a genre of cinema that is sometimes derogatory referred to as a vanity project. This when a star gets enough clout to be able to direct their first film and then casts themselves in the lead role. These are usually overly dramatic works hoping to buy into that Oscar love. However, every now and again, you get a film that cuts through that noise and shows a real talent both behind and in front of the camera. With Land, we get just such a film and a phenomenal directorial debut from Robin Wright.  

So to set the scene, we open in Chicago with Edee (Robin Wright) in a therapy session, trying to talk about why she is alone with her pain and why she refuses to share it with anyone. She is there out of her sister Emma (Kim Dickens) insistence, who is scared that her sister might self-harm. Edee instead decides to sell everything she owns, rents a car and drives all the way to rural Quincy, Wyoming. Here she buys a cabin off the beaten track that was already off another beaten path to be alone from everyone. But living with no running water, electricity, or phone has more challenges than first encounters, especially when winter starts.

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Love and Monsters – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it never quite gets to the heights it aims for, it is still a delightful ride with some stunning effects.     

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.

Love and Monsters. Image Credit: Netflix..

Love and Monsters Review

There are times when people can be stringent around how films can be categorised. Then films can come along and blow those strict delineations apart. You see it in movies like Zombieland or Warm Bodies, and we see it again today in the film we are about to look at.   

So to set the scene, in the near future, there was an asteroid Agatha 6-1-6 hurtling towards Earth. The governments grouped together to shoot it out of the sky, which they did. Unfortunately, the chemicals they used in all those rockets fell back down to Earth. They contaminated and mutated all the cold-blooded animals, from ants to crocodiles and everything in-between. While the militaries and the giant mutants wiped each other out, 95% of the world’s population died, leaving only those who were able to find security in bunkers. One of the survivors was Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) from Fairfield, California. He made it to safety, but he has a habit of freezing in front of the monsters, not a good long-term survival trait. After an incursion into their bunker, Joel makes up his mind to go out into the world make the trek 90 odd miles to where his old girlfriend Amiee (Jessica Henwick) now lives. Ninety miles of infested territory that is trying to kill everything.

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Exploring the Past – Into the Wild (2007)

TL;DR –.A really frustrating film that nevertheless sucks you in and leaves you heartbroken. 

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Into the Wild. Image Credit: Paramount.

Review

Well, last night I noticed Into the Wild had come onto Netflix. I had heard some good things about it a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a nice relaxing film to put on before going to bed. Oh wow, did I ever get that wrong.

So to set the scene, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) gets dropped off on an Alaskan trail and walks into the wilderness a lot less prepared than maybe he should have. Ignoring the concerns from the guy that dropped him off he begins the march into the wilds of the north until he finds an abandoned bus and uses that as a base of operation. When then jump two years into the past and see why it is Christopher set off on this journey.

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Video Game Review – Ark: Survival Evolved

TL;DR– Bringing the survival gameplay into a world of dinosaurs is a fantastic idea, but for me,the balance is not quite there.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ark: Survival Evolved

Review –

If you have read my reviews in the past, you would know that one of the easiest sells for me is to add dinosaurs to something. Movies, TV, Books, you name it and if it has dino’s in it I am there for it. However, when it comes to video games with dinosaurs I am much more hesitant after getting burnt in the past with games like The Stomping Land,and more generally in this genre with Day-Z.So when Ark first came out I was not prepared to invest in another Early-Access survival game, but now it has been out in full release for a year I thought it would be a good time to take the dive into the world of Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, lots of Dodos,and oh the mechanic that lets you know when you pooped.

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Movie Review – The Revenant

TL;DR – Bleak but Beautiful, Though provoking but brutal, Heart-wrenching but uplifting, One of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen but one I don’t think I ever want to watch again

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Revenant. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

Wow, the first movie for the year and boy is this an amazing work of art, this is a movie that is at times hauntingly beautiful and at other times horrifically brutal, this is not a film to take your children to, there are vivid violence and some very disturbing scenes. The Revenant is fictional retelling of the real life story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) who was left for dead after being mauled by a grizzly bear and has to try and survive in the barren frozen wastelands of (the now) The United States of America fighting his own body, the elements, and the indigenous population.

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Movie Review – The Martian

TL;DR – A movie with tension, humour and humanity, go watch it

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

The Martian. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

The Martian is a film about adversity and challenge in an environment that will kill you, which would make a very interesting film, now take that environment and put it on another planet and then leave your protagonist alone as everything crumbles around them.

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