Movie Review – Aquaman

TL;DR – Bombastic, silly, overly long, but still by far some of the best fun DC has made so far.    

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Aquaman. Image Credit: Warner Bothers.

Review

To say that the DC Expanded Universe has had a rough launch up to this point would be a bit of an understatement. Indeed, of all the past films, only Wonder Woman (see review) felt like a coherent film in any great sense. So, more than ever, the first film after Justice League had to hit the ground running, even more so after background conversations that the expanded universe was losing a lot of its big-name talent. Now while Aquaman is not a perfect film, it is a film with a lot of style, and more than most of the films that have come before it was just fun.

Continue reading
Advertisements

Movie Review – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

TL;DR – While at times this film has moments of technical brilliance, huge issues with tone, and a story we already know to death means that the film ends up being just dull.     

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

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

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. image Credit: Netflix

Review

There are warning signs in the industry that happens sometimes that lets you know a studio is not really confident with what they are about to release. This could be not screening it for critiques,or putting an embargo on reviews before release, or in this day and age it is a film suddenly disappearing from the cinema schedule and being sold off to Netflix. Now, this is not always a case of it being a bad film, just a case of the distributors not knowing what they have, see this year’s Annihilation(see review). However,today we look at a film that probably falls squarely into this category.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Crazy Rich Asians

TL;DR – During the film, I along with the whole cinema, laughed, cried, gasp ‘oh no you didn’t and I can’t remember a film that had that same reaction

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

Crazy Rich Asians. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

Review

There are some films that simply be being made are making a statement of intent. These are films like last year’s Black Panther (see review) and Wonder Women (see review), films that “conventional” Hollywood wisdom states that they shouldn’t be made because they won’t make any money. There is a long history of information coming from focus groups that people are not interested in films helmed by women and people of colour, information which is inevitable proven wrong time after time when the box office numbers are released. To put this in perspective, the last live-action film from Hollywood to feature a predominately Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club twenty-five years ago in 1993. This means a whole generation of people have grown up and not seen their stories or people like themselves up on the big screen, and well folks this is why representation matter. So while Crazy Rich Asians is important for just existing, it is even more power from the fact that it is also a fantastic film in its own right and one of my films of the year so far.

Continue reading

Movie Review – Pan

TL;DR – I feel like I have seen this movie, this is the same story over and over again, but it has its moments

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review

Pan is a story of how Peter Pan became the boy that never grew up, how Hook becomes Captain Hook and how Hugh Jackman decided that we was just going to have fun and ham it up for an hour and a half.
Continue reading

Movie Review – The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

TL;DR – While not the best movie I have seen this year, it’s full of charm and a lot of fun, well worth a look

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Review

 

Before I start I should mention I have not seen the source TV show, unlike Get Smart, MASH or Hogan’s Heroes etc. it just did not get a lot of reruns on TV where I live, so I no idea if this is a faithful adaption or not, on a side note can you imagine how bad a remake of MASH would be, so I am just judging on what I saw in the movies.

 

 

Henry Cavill shows that he has charisma

Henry Cavill shows that he has charisma. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

The basic premise for the film is that the world is in the middle of the Cold War, and Europe is divided between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. However, a new threat is rising (or an old threat is resurfacing, the movie needed to be more clear on this) that has forced the two enemy’s the USA and the USSR to work together. As far as settings go, it’s a pretty good one, it allows you to create tension easily among the characters, but it also allows you to revel in the 1960s and all its charm.

This is a film that if the two leads didn’t work, then the rest of the film would be a total mess. Thankfully this is not the case. Henry Cavill is great as the American agent Napoleon Solo, even if that is a ridiculous name for a character. Napoleon, is a womaniser, a conman and a thief, but at the same time, he has a sense of composure that fits his character well. The real stand out for me is Armie Hammer as the Soviet agent Illya Kuryakin, he has a charm I was not expecting and also a physical presence unmatched by the rest of the cast. He also has an understandable motivation for everything he does. Together both Cavill and Hammer help drive the film and give the movie a lot of its strength. Alicia Vikander works well as Gabby Teller, a mechanic from East Berlin caught up in the villain’s plot, and the rest of the supporting cast works quite well, with special mention to Elizabeth Debicki who give the main villain Victoria Vinciguerra a sense of power and importance.

 

From the sets, to the locations, to the costumes, everything screams the era

From the sets, to the locations, to the costumes, everything screams the era. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

While the casting is quite good another key aspect of why the film works is the style it uses throughout. The production design is really quite spectacular, they really work hard to recreate 1960s Europe and it is a lot of the small touches that ground the film. There is a really good use of sound, using the lack of music, or the lack of sound effects to give a scene heightened tension. Also, it was nice to see at times the use of zooms and pans (CGI-assisted of course) to help give a sense of geography in the big fight scenes. It today’s tendency to cut to a new shot every second, taking that moment to let you know where everyone is, is kind of refreshing.

While this is a good film there are some things that don’t quite work. Generally, the special effects are quite good but there are a couple of shots that really do look like CGI. The story needed a little work, like a lot of Guy Richie films (see Sherlock Holmes) the story tends to lack a sense of scope which they then try to make up for with character interactions and stylish filmmaking which is good, but it would also be nice to have an in-depth story as well. Also as this is an origins type of film, it does feel like they have held back a bit so as to leave room for a sequel and some of the pacing at the start is a bit off.

 

Even the geopolitics of the time work out

Even the geopolitics of the time work out. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

Look this is not going to be my favourite film of the year, but the tone is spot on, the characters are compelling, the action is good, and overall it is an enjoyable 2 hours. With this in mind, I recommend The Man from U.N.C.L.E. even if United Network Command for Law and Enforcement is once again a really silly name.

 

Directed by – Guy Ritchie
Screenplay by – Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram
Story By – Jeff Kleeman, David Campbell Wilson, Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram
Based onThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Sam Rolfe
Starring – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, Luca Calvani & Hugh Grant
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: 12A; NZ: M; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review – Mad Max: Fury Road

TL;DR – A masterpiece of action and cinema, something you should go see just for the spectacle.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

Mad Max Fury Road. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review –

Wow, just wow,  George Miller knows how to put on a visual spectacle. Now I should mention at this point that I have never seen any of the other Mad Max’s (outside of those clips you see from time to time on TV) so while I had a basic understanding of the lore, I  (for better or worse) did not come into this film with nostalgia baggage, which is good because you don’t need any of that to enjoy this film.

Continue reading