TL;DR – A war film that does not know what it wants to say about war
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this film.
The King’s Man Review –
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the first entry into this universe with Kingsman: The Secret Service. I even liked the follow-up Kingsman: The Golden Circle, though I may be alone on that front. So when I heard that there was going to be a prequel, I was interested but also concerned because revisionist histories can land like a thud. And after watching it all, I’m still not sure.
So to set the scene, we open in South Africa, 1902 with Orlando Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his wife Emily Oxford (Alexandra Maria Lara) arriving at British Concentration Camp during the Boer War. They were inspecting the facilities for the Red Cross and meeting Lord Herbert Kitchener (Charles Dance) when a sniper kills Emily in the crossfire. 12-years later, the world is careening towards war because a mysterious force is pulling strings behind the scenes, pushing King George of Britain (Tom Hollander), Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany (Tom Hollander) and Tsar Nicholas of Russia (Tom Hollander) into conflict.
Sometimes you go into to see a film and you have no idea that what you are about to watch has been almost tailored just for you. In this case, we have a war film, about just two characters, presented as if it was all filmed in one take. If I was explaining to you what would be the perfect film for me this would not be far off. I bring this up to put some context down before we dive into the world of explosions, gun shots, and every trench under the sun.
So to set the scene, we are in the heights of World War One on the front lines in France, with Germany and their allies on one side and Brittan and their allies on the other. This is trench warfare and every centimetre of territory has been won through a considerable loss of life. It is here where one day Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is roused from his sleep and asked to go on a mission with Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) by General Erinmore (Colin Firth). For you see, overnight the German forces have retreated and many commanders believe that they have them on the run. However, it is actually a ruse, the Germans have just retreated to a more fortified line and they are leading those chasing them into a trap. The boy’s mission is to cross into no-man’s land, travel through enemy controlled territory so they can make it to Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch) in time to call off the attack and save 1600 lives. Now due to the nature of the film and that it has a staggered release date across the world, I am going to be a bit more cautious with my examples so as to not spoil anything.
TL;DR – The beginning of the end, and the start of the new beginning, this shows what Doctor Who can be when it is firing on all cylinders.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
It is the end of an era as Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat say goodbye to Doctor Who (this is not a spoiler because this was announced 6 months ago) but while it is the end, it is also the start, and that is what is amazing about Doctor Who. So today we look at the last story of the Twelfth Doctor, and a new story of the First Doctor, and also the first story of the Thirteenth Doctor, it was a packed episode.
TL;DR – While not revolutionary per se, DC finally found a formula that works, and realised that there is no point moving a universe ahead if the individual movies don’t work.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
P.S. – There is NO mid/post credit sequence
So if you have read my reviews for Suicide Squad or Batman v Superman you would probably know that unfortunately, I have not had the best time with the DC Expanded Universe so far. Now when it comes to DC v Marvel I have no skin in the game, I want both to succeed, and I only care about if the movie is good or not, and so far DC just has not made a compelling entry into this expanded universe of theirs. Well, that is until now. Is Wonder Woman a perfect film, no of course not, but it is logically structured, emotionally resonant, and filled with fascinating characters, which is a huge step in the right direction. Now as we go one we will keep this as spoiler free as possible, however, we do need to discuss the ending, but we will clearly mark them so that you can avoid them it if you want.
TL;DR – Is Fantastic Beasts a perfect film, no, but it is a really entertaining one, and it is a good continuation of the Harry Potter universe
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I came late to the whole Harry Potter universe, I didn’t read the books growing up, and in fact, I was quite old when I eventually read them all. If memory serves me correctly, I read through them all back to back, and watched all the films, in-between Deathly Hallows Part 2 being in the cinemas and when it was out on DVD. So I have always come to the Harry Potter Universe in a different manner, so for me, the books dramatically improve after that twist at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because I liked the more mature tone. But I know that for many people the opposite is true, so I was interested to see how I was going to respond to this newest entry into the Harry Potter Universe – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The first film in this universe I got to see at the cinemas.