TL;DR – At times, it is a delightful bloody mess, but it does struggle in places
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
Renfield Review –
Some genres in cinema are almost timeless and resurge from time to time. The last time vampires surged to the front, they were sparkly and problematic for various reasons. But with the recent strengths of What We Do in the Shadows, it was only time until someone took that energy into the cinema space, and that is what we are looking at today.
So to set the scene, we open with Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) giving a little back history of his life since he rocked up to Count Dracula’s (Nicolas Cage) castle at the start of the 20th century. When Dracula gets injured by sunshine when hunters attack, Renfield moves the two to New Orleans to set up in the dilapidated Charity Hospital. Renfield needs to find victims to help Dracula heal, so he attends a co-dependent relationships self-help group where he hunts for abusers. However, one day while protecting Rebecca (Awkwafina) from Tedward Lobo (Ben Schwartz) and his henchmen, he saves many innocent lives, sending him on a crash course with his master.
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.
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.
TL;DR – A soulless husk of a film that is barely made watchable by the fact that at least Matt Smith is having fun
Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There are two mid-credit scenes
Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film
Morbius Review –
There are moments when the credits roll, and you sit back in your chair and wonder, what did I just waste my time with? Then, of course, you immediately go, well, maybe I am having a bad day, perhaps the film is targeting a different audience, or did I just miss something. But then you look around and feel the audience’s tone and discover that you are not alone with your disbelief. Well, today, we have a film that, when the credits rolled, a whole room of people collectively shrugged at the very meh-ness that they just watched.
So to set the scene, 25-years ago in Greece, two boys who needed three blood transfusions a day to live met in a clinic. The head of the clinic, Emil Nikols (Jared Harris), discovers that young Michael (Charlie Shotwell) is a prodigy and gets him into a private school, and he promises his friend Milo (Joseph Esson) that he will find a cure. In the now, Michael (Jared Leto) takes a helicopter ride to a cave in Costa Rica to capture some bats that only feed on blood. He is hopeful that inserting bat DNA into a human might cure him and Milo (Matt Smith). It works … but at what cost? Well, a boat full of mercs, at least.
TL;DR – Honestly this was a surprisingly good film, though that may have something to do with my super low expectations I had going in and that I have never seen an Underworld film before.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
I think I need to start this review off with this small issue, while I have always been meaning to watch all of these Underworld films until now I have never actually gotten around to it. You know each time a new one would come out in cinemas, I would endeavour to marathon the ones I missed and then watch the new movie, but alas I never actually ever got around to it. Also then Twilight was released and that killed any drive I might have had to watch the battle of werewolves and vampires. However it’s been four years since the last entry so this time instead of making the commitment to marathon the previous films I went blow it, let’s just go for it and see how good it is going in blind. I wanted to make that clear because not only did I come to Underworld: Blood Wars without seeing any of the previous films, I also come to it with really low expectations, like Leo McGarry going to a vice-presidential debate low. But despite this (or likely because of it), I have to say I was quite surprised how well I actually enjoyed Blood Wars. I mean let’s be clear here, this is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is the best of this type of film I have seen in quite a while.