Ambulance – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is non-stop action from the word go, which can get existing at times, but it is a riot to watch when Michael Bay is on his game.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Ambulance. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Ambulance Review –

For a long time, Michael Bay has been derided for his films, and I think that is both fair and a little bit unfair. Because Michael Bay has a particular style of filmmaking that does not work with every script, however, when a story and cast line up with his filmmaking strengths, well, you can get something special. Today we are looking at a film that does just that as we romp across LA County, one explosion after another.

So to set the scene, Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is a war veteran. Still, he is getting shafted by the Department of Veteran Affairs because they won’t pay for his wife Amy’s (Moses Ingram) experimental surgery, and there is no way Will can come up with the $231,000 himself. Well, there is one way, but it means getting in contact with his estranged brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal), who followed their father’s footsteps into the world of illicit money. This is good news for Danny because he needs an extra man in his crew to take down one of the biggest bank hauls, and Will has five minutes to pick if he is in or not. The robbery was going well, right up until Officer Zach (Jackson White) comes up to the bank to ask out one of the tellers on a date, and things fall apart from there, including Zach getting shot. Well, the police are surrounding the bank, and there is no way out, or maybe because EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González) has arrived on the scene to save Zach’s life and that big ambulance looks like the perfect opportunity to slip past a police cordon.  

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The Matrix Resurrections – Movie Review

TL;DR – This is a weird yet oddly compelling film that will capture you if it is your mood. If it is not your mood, well, it is going to be a bit of a slog    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

The Matrix Resurrections. Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures.

The Matrix Resurrections Review

Of all the films that I have a complicated relationship with, The Matrix series is high on that list. That first film was one of my first entries into the love of cinema, and it still ranks high on my personal Top 10 list. But the sequels also taught me that sometimes lightning doesn’t strike twice. Both are important lessons to learn. However, after all this time, I questioned whether I was ready to enter the Matrix again?

So to set the scene, some years after the end of The Matrix Revolutions, people are still diving into The Matrix. While Bugs (Jessica Henwick) is searching, she discovers a moodle running using old code. Inside, a woman sits talking on the phone, only to discover that the line has been traced and police are on their way. Outside, agents pull up and ask the sergeant why he sent his men in “we can take care of one little girl”, he replies, “no, your agents are already dead”, comes the response. As Bugs follows the program, everything is familiar but wrong. In a way, she can’t put her finger on it. All of this falls apart when one of the Agents notices her and shows a secret portal to a room, the room of one Thomas Anderson, better known as Neo (Keanu Reeves). Okay, so much like Spider-Man: No Way Home, this is a difficult film to talk about because you cannot really discuss it without getting into spoilers at a frighteningly quick pace. So with that in mind, we will give some general impressions and then dive into full spoilers.

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Candyman (2021) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film that is haunting, captivating, terrifying, but also a bit frustrating.    

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene/sequence.

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Candyman (2021). Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Candyman Review

When the first Candyman arrived on screens, I was a bit too young to watch horror films, with my introduction coming a little later with movies like Scream. But when I talk to people a bit older than me, they speak in almost hushed tones about the film. That it made them fear reflections, indeed one friend suggested that I pre-emptively leave a couple of lights on for when I got home after seeing it. I thought it was all a bit silly, but now I am kind of glad that I did.

So to set the scene, we open in the 1970s in the Cabrini Green neighbourhood of Chicago, Illinois. Billy (Rodney L Jones III) is taking his family’s washing to the laundry room in the basement while cops ask everyone if they have seen a man with a hook for a hand. Ignoring them, Billy goes down into the basement, where a piece of candy comes from nowhere and lands on the floor. Within moments a figure appears from a hole in the wall, candy in one hand, a hook in the other. The boy’s screams could be heard for miles around. In the present, the Cabrini Green neighbourhood has been gentrified, and Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), an artist, lives with his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris) in a new apartment. Anthony is trying to find inspiration for his next artwork when Brianna’s brother Troy (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) lets slip about the Candyman urban legend, and Anthony goes off to explore if it was true.

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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.

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Movie Review – The Greatest Showman

TL;DR – They are clearly going for heart-warming, and they mostly succeed, however, the predictable story and character arcs leave a lot to be desired.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

The Greatest Showman. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

So this one sort of snuck up on me at the end of the year. I didn’t really have much of an intention to go see it, but it was cheap Tuesday and I was there, so what the hell, and I am mostly glad I did … maybe. For one, this is a musical, a genre that you don’t see on the big screen that often anymore, so that’s refreshing. It also has a cast that is giving their all to this movie and it shows, but you can’t help having some issues with it as you walked out of the cinemas.

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Movie Review – Baywatch (2017)

TL;DR – It tries to tread a familiar path with tone and execution, but lacks the charm with its story and Dwayne Johnson’s charisma can only get you so far.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Baywatch. Image Credit: Paramount.

Review

So to be fair, where ever possible I try to read nothing about a film before I go see it, because I want my first viewing to be through my own eyes and not the through the lens of other people’s views, it’s why I avoid trailers wherever possible. However, for Baywatch that simply was not possible as it released a week later here in Australia and the mixed reviews were everywhere. So when I walked into the cinema I was not really expecting anything of great quality, possibly even a dumpster fire of a film. However, I do have to say it’s not that bad, I mean it is not great, or even good, more borderline, but if anything it is just a real missed opportunity. Now throughout this review, I am going to be referring to 21 Jump Street (2012) and its sequel 22 Jump Street (2014) a bit. Now, on the one hand, I do think generally films should stand or fall on their own merit, however in the case of sequels or here when they were clearly trying to replicate the success of a previous movie, well then you can’t help but invite comparisons.

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