Movie Review – Detective Pikachu (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu)

TL;DR – I had a smile on my face for the whole film, filled with joy and heart.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Detective Pikachu (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu). Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

Before we start I should mention that I am probably the easiest sell when it comes to a live action Pokémon movie. I grew up with the show and the video games, so this is honestly the perfect setting for me if you want to hit that rose-tinted nostalgia that people in the industry crave. With this in mind, I walked into the cinemas with a sceptical mind, but I have to say it got caught up in the world almost instantly.

So to set the scene, we open in on Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), there was a time long ago when he wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, but that time has passed and now he is happy being an insurance claims adjuster (which I think they chose because it sounds like the most boring job in the world if you were a child … or adult). His best friend Jack (Karan Soni) is about to leave town to be a Pokémon trainer and he fears for his friend being left all alone, so they try and catch a Cubone, this way he will have a companion. After that all falls apart they walk back into town only to discover Tim has several missed messages from Detective Hideo Yoshida (Ken Watanabe) from Ryme City where his dad works. There has been an accident and his father has been killed in the line of duty and Tim needs to come to the city to settle his affairs. However, when he arrives he finds someone lurking in his dad’s apartment, a Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) that only he can understand.

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Movie Review – Rampage

TL;DR – Rampage knows what it is and leans into it hard, with giant monsters crashing into buildings and Dwayne Johnson being his charismatic best

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Rampage

Review

Now, this is the point at the start of the review where I talk about how there has never been a great movie adaption of a video game so far, and I talk about the problems about adapting and trot out examples like Assassin’s Creed (see review) and Tomb Raider (see review). However, this time around I don’t think I have to do that because while this is by no means a masterpiece I think it is the first film to really crack that adaption puzzle or at least the one who has got the closest to it. With that in mind, today we are going to enter the realm of giant monsters crashing into buildings, and who doesn’t love a giant monsters crashing into buildings.

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Movie Review – Tomb Raider (2018)

TL;DR – A solid action flick, with a good homage to the titular video game, but it is not the golden gem the video game adaptation that is still eluding filmmakers

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene after the title card

Tomb Raider banner

Review

The elusive video game adaption, for years Hollywood has tried to crack that particular gem. While comic book films like The Avengers and unfilmable literary epics like Lord of the Rings have found their feet, video game adaptations have remained just out of reach for the industry. In this battle, we have had disasters like Super Mario Bros. and close-but-no-cigar films like Warcraft. So today we have our first major attempt in a while to cross that divide … and it almost gets there.

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Movie Review – Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

TL;DR – Somewhere in here is a good movie, unfortunately, it is smothered in poor action, the need to jump cut eight times every second, and an entirely predictable story.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

So Hollywood has been on a bit of a bender recently bringing back franchises from the 2000s to give them another try. First, it was Underworld, then XXX, and now the granddaddy of them all (by a couple of months) Resident Evil. Now, of course, Resident Evil does have a bit more stability in its releases compared to the other two, but when in Rome, lump a bunch of stuff together to make it easier to analysis, so who am I to disagree. Honestly, I do have to say I did quite like the first two films in the series, the first Resident Evil had some iconic scenes, and the second really made the most out of its unfolding zombie apocalypse setting, you know before we got sick of that particular setting, thanks, Hollywood. However, since then the Resident Evil films have felt more like rehashes of each other, different movie, same themes, so I was actually quite excited when they named this next film ‘The Final Chapter’. I wanted to see them really go for it, take that final chapter mantra to heart, and knock it out of the park, but alas once again my optimistic nature has been dealt a blow.

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Movie Review – Assassin’s Creed

TL;DR – The best movie adaption of a video game, but that was not really a high bar to cross and Assassin’s Creed kind of just stumbles across it.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Assassin’s Creed. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

It is one of those weird things of Hollywood that no matter how many times they try, no one has made a decent adaptation of a video game into a movie. Now part of this has been that people have been adapting video games without understanding what there were, and also there are a lot of difficulties condensing a long interactive experience (sixteen hours for the first Assassin’s Creed game) into a two-hour passive movie. To the point where the most successful and critically acclaim versions of this genre Wreck-It Ralph & Tron used video games as just the backdrop for their story. This can be complicated even further as video games are big multi-billion dollar industry so if you’re making a film, you’re gonna want to franchise the heck out of it, the big problem with last year’s Warcraft (See Review). So within all this mess comes the Assassin’s Creed film, based on the incredibly popular series of games that has the fascinating caveat that you could set it at any point in human history. So how does it go, well for a video game adaptation movie, it goes quite well, for just a movie, it is a bit meh.

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Movie Review – Warcraft (Warcraft The Beginning)

TL;DR – A film with a lot of promise, held down by too many competing demands.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Warcraft (Warcraft The Beginning). Image Credit: Legendary.

Review –

So there is this stigma about movies based on Video Game franchises, that they simply will never be good, indeed Good Game did a whole episode on this very issue. To be fair, at best we have only ever got passable Video Game movies, and the only good film in this genre was Wreck-It Ralph and it only used Video Games as a setting, and of course the less said about Pixels the better. So with all this, is Warcraft the movie that will break the curse? No, no it won’t. So before we go on I should qualify that I never played World of Warcraft, so I am coming to this movie with only the knowledge that you get from being on the Internet, Alliance and Horde and all that jazz. That being said, for a movie to be good I should be able to understand everything without playing the source material, and a good adaption would make that happen.

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Movie Review – Pixels

TL,DR – Is this the train wreck everyone said it would be, yes, this is an abomination of cinema, Do Not Waste Your Money On It.

Score – 0.5 out of 5 stars

Pixels. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

There was a time a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away when I quite enjoyed Adam Sandler films. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer are all classic films worthy of a re-watch. As time when on I just stopped liking them, but hey people grow up, tastes change, and you know Adam Sandler goes out of his way to keep his friends employed every year, so kudos to that. But as time goes on and it is just one terrible film after another, it has me wondering, is there ever going to be an Adam Sandler film that I like again?, is Pixels going to be that film?, No, no it’s not.

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