Saturday, 15 February 2020

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, 15/02/20


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Trailer         



Synopsis

With his newfound best friend, a human by the name of Tom Wachowski, Sonic tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth. But the evil Dr. Robotnik wants to capture Sonic and use his powers for world domination. This leads to Sonic and Tom teaming up and prevent this from happening.

Cinema

ODEON (2D)

Run Time

One hour, Forty minutes (1h, 40m)

Movie Rating

63%

Age Rating

PG (Fantasy / Sci-Fi)

Cast

Sonic the Hedgehog (Voice) – Ben Schwartz
Ivo ‘Eggman’ Robotnik / Doctor Robotnik – Jim Carrey
Tom Wachowski – James Marsden
Maddie Wachowski – Tika Sumpter
Stone – Lee Majdoub
Wade Whipple – Adam Pally
Major Bennington – Neal McDonough
Crazy Carl – Frank C. Turner
Rachael – Natasha Rothwell
New Girlfriend – Debs Howard
Secretary of Homeland Security – Elfina Luk
Roundhouse Waitress – Shannon Chan-Kent

Movie details

Mid – Credits:  Yes (Sets up possible sequel)

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: After some serious delays on Friday, I was forced to reschedule, and I when I finally got to my seat, I find some people booked for nearly 13 seats away taking up my reservation. After kindly asking if they were in the right seat, they responded with them “needing” to sit there, although they booked their seats further away. In a nearly empty screening, this baffled me, so I took the next seat away from them, only to find someone else three seats down on their phone, sporadically, throughout the screening. I was also cut off by an SUV driver on their phone as well, at 70mph. Scary...

Review: I didn’t grow up on Sonic the Hedgehog, as I opted to buy Nintendo and not SEGA in my youth, although I had a friend who was obsessed with the character and the games. So my knowledge prior to watching the movie was border-line at best. Of course, I also owned a Nintendo Wii, owning one very addictive fighting game called Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and surprise surprise, Sonic the Hedgehog was the final unlockable character to round off the roster to challenge the big bad boss, Tabuu.

So I knew what Sonic was capable of beforehand, and after a tweak to the character due to a backlash over his appearance, I was also expecting the movie to have brought the character into the present day. Now, Jim Carrey as Dr Robotnik, I have to say was a really good casting choice. Some people haven’t seen Ace Ventura, but for those that did, it seems Jim Carrey incorporated aspects of that character into the villain, like his walk. His portrayal of Dr Robotnik, for me, was spot on. A Fast and Furious producer is also attached to the movie, so lots of speed, obviously.

There is lots of humour, lots of action and some character building along the way. For an older viewer, at one point, I had imagined Sonic as the foul mouthed Ted who occasionally had the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan (minus the aura). But this is a PG showing, and there were children in the screening, so I had to make do with that. I thought the movie did well in introducing Sonic the Hedgehog to the big screen, and I look forward to more in the franchise.

Friday, 7 February 2020

BIRDS OF PREY, 07/02/20


BIRDS OF PREY AND THE FANTABULOUS 

EMANCIPATION OF HARLEY QUINN

Trailer         




Synopsis

It becomes open season on Harley Quinn after her explosive breakup with The Joker puts a target on her back. Whilst on the run and unprotected, Harley Quinn faces the wrath of narcissistic crime boss Black Mask, Victor Zsasz (his right-hand man) and every other thug Gotham city has to offer. However, things soon even out for Harley Quinn when she comes into contact with three deadly women, who also become unexpected allies in Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya

Cinema

ODEON (2D)

Run Time

One hour, Forty Nine minutes (1h, 49m)

Rating

88%

Cast

*Potential Spoilers*
Harley Quinn / Harleen Quinzel – Margot Robbie
Huntress / Helena Bertinelli – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Young Helena Bertinelli – Ella Mika
Dinah Laurel Lance / Back Canary – Jurnee Smollett-Bell
Renee Montoya – Rosie Perez
Black Mask / Roman Sionis – Ewan McGregor
A Black Mask henchman – Talon Reid
Victor Zsasz – Chris Messina
Cassandra Cain – Ella Jay Basco
Ellen Yee – Ali Wong
Captain Patrick Erickson – Steven Williams
Doc – Dana Lee
Mr Keo – François Chau
Tim Evans – Derek Wilson
Happy – Matt Willig
Erika – Bojana Novakovic
Maria / Franco Bertinelli – Charlene Amoia / Paul Lasa
Stefano Galante – Robert Catrini

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: Voiceover

Before the Review: Typically, an impatient driver who unfortunately happened to be driving a BMW decided he wasn’t going to wait anymore and overtook a bus, whilst nearly skimming an oncoming truck. Honestly, BMWs are very nice cars (I’ve driven a few) but people need to ask themselves at least three times if they should be handling one. They are in demand for a reason and that stunt was not one of them. A driver of a BMW X7, who drove past a red light doesn’t really help, as did someone driving what appeared to be a KIA Sorento. And a white van skidded out of the way of an oncoming bus, which was at least two metres away from it in the first place. A black van driver decided texting was more important on a roundabout, and quickly sped off when horned at. Wow...

Review: Birds of Prey was crazy from the get go. Using elements from Suicide Squad, there were moments where I thought that more references would be made to characters outside of Batman and The Joker, but it seems that the movie is trying to stand on its own from. Even though the movie is set in Gotham, it is heavily implied that Batman is still a presence, although only by verbal reveals and not physically.

The movie was action packed with some hilarious fighting scenes, some character build-ups for the less recognised vigilantes like Huntress (I’ve watched the Arrowverse and dabbled in reading comics so I was well aware beforehand). The funny thing is, I did not know much about Roman Sionis aka Black Mask before playing Arkham City video game based on Batman bringing order amongst chaos.


One other character has a different origin and a changed direction in the movie. Whether the audiences agree with this change, time will tell should this story continue in the future. There is language not for the faint-hearted, and the story basically let’s rip during the fight scenes, one of which I found hilarious. A break from The Joker being mostly featured in Gotham City related storytelling from previous movies helps build Batman’s vast rogues galleries for future appearances should they be needed, for example in the upcoming Matt Reeves "The Batman".

Friday, 17 January 2020

BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, 17/01/19


BAD BOYS FOR LIFE

Trailer         




Synopsis

Cops Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett, team up to take down the vicious leader of a Miami drug cartel. Elite team AMMO, newly created of the Miami police department, alongside Mike and Marcus go up against the ruthless Armando Armas

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, Four minutes (2h, 04m)

Rating

75%

Age Certification

15 (Strong Bloody Violence, Language, Crude Humor

Cast

*Potential Spoilers
*Detective Michael “Mike” Lowery – Will Smith
Detective Marcus Burnett – Martin Lawrence
Kelly – Vanessa Hudgens
Dorn – Alexander Ludwig
Rafe – Charles Melton
Rita – Paola Nuñez
Isabel Aretas – Kate del Castillo
Zway-Lo – Nicky Jam
Captain Conrad Howard – Joe Pantoliano
Theresa Burnet – Theresa Randle
Armando Armas – Jacob Scipio
Jamie Neumann
Lee Taglin – Massi Furlan
Cake Boy – Thomas Brag
Reggie – Dennis Greene
Wedding MC – Michael Bay
Manny the Butcher – DJ Khaled

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Was parking up my car and a driver drove past me at speed. She was swiftly cut off by a guy cutting into the junction seemingly without any care of which lane they were entering into. In the middle of a three lane road (Left, straight and right), a people carrier forced its way through another car to turn right, knocking the wing mirror clean off. They then sped off, past the red light and into oncoming traffic. A miracle no one was injured and an SUV drove past descending barriers in a car park very slowly and knocked it off. They comically demanded on the intercom that the car park reimburses them...

Review: Strangely enough, this is the first Bad Boys movie I have seen in the cinema where I haven’t been hindered by travel and timings (So I haven't seen the previous two in the cinema). And I do quite enjoy watching Will Smith on the big screen. Sometimes he's smooth and other times he's angry, but one thing is for sure, he usually always owns the scene.

There is great chemistry between him and Martin Lawrence that it's almost a travesty that we had to wait almost seventeen years for Sony owned Columbia Pictures to release get another movie in this series (I was just shocked at writing seventeen). But still, it was worth the wait and I'm very glad I've seen it. Sometimes, language and crude humour can be intoxicating, especially when its Martin Lawrence doing the delivery.

Some rather hyped up suspense scenes which led nowhere. Lots of action, humour and some downright ridiculous moments, one of which (crude humour) had me smirking for the rest of the movie. Funny how that Michael Bay is not in the director's chair that this movie scored a higher rating, but it is deserved, in my view. There is nothing quite like this series, and I really hope another one is made soon, as the Mid-Credits have alluded to.

Friday, 10 January 2020

1917, 10/01/20


1917

Trailer         




Synopsis

At the time of World War One, two British Soldiers (Lance Corporals Schofield and Blake) are given orders, which appear near impossible. Crossing over into enemy territory and in a race against time, they must deliver a message that could possibly save 1,600 lives of their fellow comrades, including Lance Corporal Blake’s own brother.

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

One hour, Fifty Nine minutes (1h, 59m)

Rating

89%

Cast

Lance Corporal William Schofield – George MacKay
Lance Corporal Tom Blake – Dean-Charles Chapman
Captain Smith – Mark Strong
Lieutenant Leslie – Andrew Scott
Lieutenant Joseph Blake – Richard Madden
Lauri – Claire Duburcq
General Erinmore – Colin Firth
Colonel Mackenzie – Benedict Cumberbatch
Sergeant Sanders – Daniel Mays
Major Hepburn – Adrian Scarborough
Lieutenant Richards – Jamie Parker
Lieutenant Hutton – Michael Jibson
Colonel Collins – Richard McCabe
Sepoy – Nabhaan Rizwan
Private Cornelius – Michael Cornelius
Marksman – Daniel McMillon

Movie details


Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: 1917 won Best Picture at the 2020 Golden Globes on 05/01/20 after a limited release. A courier van of a major logistics company tailgated another white van. I didn’t know whether to humorously smile or be concerned if the white van was to brake suddenly. But a speeding Maserati decided to dangerously cut 3 lanes and force its way in through the car ahead of me, which led to an eye-roll and my companion murmuring, “Typical boy racers”.

Review: Well, another war movie, another German bashing. It seems like Europe’s biggest economy can’t catch a break when continuously reminded of their past. But anyway, I had seen Cloverfield previously so the hype surrounding the “one camera, one take” experience was a bit lost on me, but this was not a horror movie, it was a war movie.

War is never like they say it is. You can get TV shows like SEAL Team, which tell you about the struggles of entering war zones, but the reality is that the horrors experienced really can’t be put into words. Sometimes it’s physical and at other times it can be psychological. And the other things, well, they’re open to interpretation. Some, like emotions, were caught on screen in the movie very well.

So, Benedict Cumberbatch, one of my favourite actors, was in the movie and that was my main draw to watch it. A very British movie with big British names attached. I though the lead actors did very well to capture the struggles and near death experiences of war. Lots of upbeat scenes with build-ups and slow-downs to catch the audience unawares, very grounded but not for the faint-hearted.

Friday, 20 December 2019

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, 20/12/19


STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Trailer         



Synopsis

The First Order faces the surviving Resistance members as Rey, Finn and Poe’s journey continues. Power and knowledge of generations past now urging them on, the final battle commences.

Cinema

ODEON (IMAX 3D)

Run Time

Two hours, twenty two minutes (2h, 22m)

Rating

58%

Cast

*Possible spoilers*

Rey – Daisy Ridley
Luke Skywalker – Mark Hamill
Leia Organa – Carrie Fisher
Young Rey – Cailey Fleming / Josefine Irrera
Kylo Ren / Ben Solo – Adam Driver
Finn – John Boyega
Poe Dameron – Oscar Isaac
C-3PO – Anthony Daniels
Jannah – Naomi Ackie
General Hux – Domhnall Gleeson
Allegiant General Pryde – Richard E. Grant
Maz Kanata – Lupita Nyong’o
Zorri Bliss – Keri Russell
Chewbacca – Joonas Suotamo
Rose Tico – Kelly Marie Tran
Palpatine / Darth Sidious – Ian McDiarmid
Lando Calrissian – Billy Dee Williams
Beaumont Kin – Dominic Monaghan
Resistance Member – Shirley Henderson
BB-8 – Dave Chapman / Brian Herring
Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix – Billie Lourd
R2-D2 – Jimmy Vee
Temmin “Snap” Wexley – Greg Grunbery
Han Solo – Harrison Ford
Nien Nunb – Mike Quinn
Voice of Nien Nunb – Kipsang Rotich
Wedge Antilles – Denis Lawson
Wicket W. Warrick – Warwick Davis
Klaud – Nick Kellington
Rey’s Mother – Jodie Garlin
Rey’s Father – Billy Howle
Knights of Ren – Martin Wilde / Anton Simpson-Tidy / Lukasz Leong / Tom Rodgers / Joe Kennard / Ashley Beck
Resistance Trooper – Lin-Manuel Miranda
Supreme Leader Snoke – Andy Serkis
Darth Vader – James Earl Jones
Anakin Skywalker (Voice) – Hayden Christensen
Luminara Unduli (Voice) – Olivia d’Abo
Ahsoka Tano (Voice) – Ashley Eckstein
Aayla Secura (Voice) – Jennifer Hale
Adi Gallia (Voice) – Angelique Perrin
Kanan Jarrus (Voice) – Freddie Prinze Jr.
Qui-Gon Jinn – Liam Neeson
Mace Windu (Voice) – Samuel L. Jackson
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Voice) – Ewan McGregor / Alec Guinness
Yoda (Voice) – Frank Oz
Unspecified – Jeff Garlin
Unspecified – Kevin Smith

Movie details

Mid – Credits:  No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Well, usually it is drivers behaving like looney toons, but here goes. I almost had my car rammed into by an SUV which was driving dangerously, its indicators seemingly non-existent. Upon overtaking the vehicle, I saw that the self-entitled driver barely had their head over the steering wheel. I thought it was just me, but then they cut off another driver as they were in the wrong lane. Another SUV driver couldn’t be bothered to go around the roundabout correctly and just sped off on the right hand side, nearly totalling an oncoming vehicle. Another carer brought a disabled person to the cinema to watch the movie. These guys are legends, seriously.

*Possible Spoilers*

Review: I don’t even think I was born when the original trilogy was released as the whole saga has taken almost 42 years. As a child of the modern era, I didn’t even think negatively of the prequel trilogy. And truth be told, when I saw Kevin Smith’s name crop up as a possible cameo, I became hawk like in trying to find him (Russell Howard calls him “Sir Nerd”) and it was kind of a blink and you’ll miss it scene. I also noticed that the synopsis mentions “battle” and not war, paving the way for more possible entries in the future.

But still, it’s been two long years of anticipation. The characters are growing and throwbacks to the previous movies are intended to please fans. I’m not very selective of what genre I watch. If it peaks my interest, I will most definitely watch it. This movie contained a lot of throwbacks which were blended into the original trilogy in terms of storytelling as well. There was amazing animation, as expected, along with twists and turns.

 There was also many revelations and answers to questions during this trilogy which also extended to the original trilogy. It even cleared up some of the confusion in regards to recent Siths in general. I especially enjoyed the force spirits arriving in time of the main characters needs. The movie gives Rey’s character closure to her story, but in many ways, opens the possibility of future core movies in the franchise.

Friday, 13 December 2019

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, 13/12/19


JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

Trailer         



Synopsis

Spencer heads back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, whilst his pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany follow him to bring him back home. Discovering more obstacles and dangers that lie ahead, they soon realise that everything they knew about Jumanji, is about to change.

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, three minutes (2h, 3m)

Rating

71%

Cast

Dr. Smolder Braveston / Eddie– Dwayne Johnson
Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon / Fridge – Jack Black
Franklin “Mouse” Finbar / Milo – Kevin Hart
Ruby Roundhouse / Martha – Karen Gillan
Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough – Nick Jonas
Ming Fleetfoot – Awkwafina
Nigel Billingsley – Rhys Darby
Jurgen the Brutal – Rory McCann
Jurgen’s Spokesperson – John Ross Bowie
NPC Seductress / Bravestone’s Ex-Girlfriend – Dania Ramirez
Young Smolder Bravestone – Zachary Tzegaegbe
Spencer Gilpin – Alex Wolff
Martha Kaply – Morgan Turner
Anthony “Fridge” Johnson – Ser’Darius Blain
Bethany Walker – Madison Iseman
Eddie Gilpin – Danny Devito
Milo Walker – Danny Glover
Alex Vreeke – Colin Hanks
Switchblade – Massi Furlan
Nora Shepherd – Bebe Neuwirth

Movie details


Mid – Credits:  Yes

End – Credits: No

Before the Review:  After hearing all these horrible stories of people being mistreated in care, it warmed my cold, dark heart to see a carer bring in a disabled person, take a selfie with them and enjoy the movie. These moments can change your perceptions about your surroundings, even if for a short period of time. Not like the guy in the middle row though, he sporadically disturbed the guy ahead of me by switching his phone on, and got a popcorn to the head for his troubles. One of those “you had to be there" moments. An SUV cut into my lane, eyeballed me when leaving the lane and cut up a white van. Humorous. 

Review: Back in 1995, the original Jumanji movie, starring the late Robin Williams was released. I would watch this movie a few years later. There was a “supposed” sequel, Zathura, but some people attached to that movie said that Jumanji and Zathura were not connected, so I thought nothing further. Then came the 2017 release, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

I knew the original cast  from previous shows / movies, like WWE (mainly Smackdown), Dr Who, Kung Fu Panda, Scary Movie parodies and South Park. I had quite enjoyed watching them play out their on screen characters as a kind of “Freaky Friday” tribute, the movie which eventually stands on its own. Initially, some characters were portrayed as the actors would have been in their natural roles. However, for Jumanji: The Next Level, things were shaken up in a big way.

An actor’s worth can sometimes be measured on the variety of roles they play. For example, I thought Dwayne Johnson having to pretend he was Danny DeVito ‘s character was awesome as with Kevin Hart, Danny Glover and Karen Gillan. All characters showed some growth and as a result, I quite enjoyed the story. As a video game enthusiast, it was a no brainer to watch this movie. It contained humour, comedy and character development. I also did not grow up on the Jonas Brothers, and my expose to them came via South Park, which is how I recognised Nick Jonas.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

KNIVES OUT, 28/11/19


KNIVES OUT

Trailer



Synopsis

A lush estate of a patriarch is visited by police and a private detective when he is discovered dead after his 85th birthday celebration. Suddenly the quirky relatives and those present become suspects.

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, ten minutes (2h,10m)

Current Rating

96%

Cast
Detective Benoit Blanc – Daniel Craig
Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale – Chris Evans
Marta Cabrera – Ana de Armas
Linda Drysdale – Jamie Lee Curtis
Walter “Walt” Thrombey – Michael Shannon
Richard Drysdale – Don Johnson
Joni Thrombey – Toni Collette
Detective Lieutenant Elliot – Lakeith Stanfield
Megan “Meg” Thrombey – Katherine Langford
Jacob Thrombey – Jaeden Martell
Harlan Thrombey – Christopher Plummer
Trooper Wagner – Noah Segan
Fran – Edi Patterson
Donna Thrombey – Riki Lindhome
Wanetta “Great Nana” Thrombey – K Callan
Alan Stevens – Frank Oz
Mr Proofroc – M. Emmet Walsh
Marta’s Mother – Marlene Forte
Cop – Raul Castillo
Voice Cameo – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Movie details

Mid – Credits:  No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: One person drove at 30mph on a country road when the speed limit was in fact 60mph. *Sigh* Some entitled driver drove up a No Entry zone in the car park, with a suspected driver’s license they must have clearly bought . A company minivan almost crashed into a bus after a dangerous manoeuvre to overtake an SUV, which joined from the wrong side of a roundabout.   

Review: I saw the trailer for the movie, and instantly saw that it was stacked with star power. However, all I could think of was: “This isn’t freedom. This is fear”, “Just tell me the first word that pops into your head. For example, I say, Day, and you might say... Wasted.”, “I was bred to be a warrior, Kal. Trained my entire life to master my senses. Where did you train? ON A FARM?”

Those are, of course, my most memorable quotes from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Chris Evens as Captain America) , James Bond: SKYFALL (Daniel Craig as James Bond) and Man of Steel (Michael Shannon as General Zod). And now, they are all part of a murder mystery in the mould of Murder on the Orient Express. It took some getting used to seeing Chris Evans no longer as Captain America. And Daniel Craig, the man can act. In fact, he was my main draw for the movie.

Usually these types of movies have me dozing off, but I was determined to see this one to the end, considering that the director, Rian Johnson, is of Star Wars (The Last Jedi) fame. There was humour; a car chase (with a hint of what seemed to be an insult to a certain car brand) and suspense, which all came together. I don’t know who gave the age rating of 12A, given some upsetting scenes, but it definitely isn’t suitable for children. The last scene kind of felt a little bit satisfying.