Friday, 11 October 2019

GEMINI MAN, 11/10/19


GEMINI MAN

Trailer



Synopsis

An elite assassin, Henry Brogan suddenly finds himself a target of a mysterious operative who appears to anticipate his every move. Henry, to his horror, soon discovers that this operative that is trying to hunt him down and kill him, is in fact a younger, faster and a cloned version of himself.

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

One hour, fifty seven  minutes (1h, 57m)

Current Rating

30%

Cast

Henry Brogan – Will Smith
Danny Zakarweski – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Clayton “Clay” Varris – Clive Owen
Baron – Benedict Wong
Janet Lassiter – Linda Emond
Kitty – Theodora Miranne
Jack Willis – Douglas Hodge
Yuri Kovacs – Ilia Volok
Marino – E.J. Bonilla
Keller - Björn Freiberg

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Review: Well, Will Smith. I grew up on Will Smith dominating my childhood with showings like Men in Black and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. There's been ups and downs, but the anticipation to watch movies starring Will Smith still remains. Adding David Benioff of Game of Thrones fame and Jerry Bruckheimer of Lucifer fame, there was bound to be great sequences, and the poor rating doesn’t do the movie justice, unless it is aimed at the editing, then maybe I understand.

However, Will Smith plays a younger version of himself. I thought he did really well through the action sequences, when he isn’t making a black suit from Men in Black "look good", in a script that has been in limbo for nearly 20 years. Benedict Wong is fast becoming a decent supporting character, having impressed alongside Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange.

It’s great to see Will Smith diversifying as he grows older. It is difficult playing your younger self, but I think Will Smith pulled it off. If you don’t mind the editing in that some of the action sequences were sped up, then the ratings definitely don't hold down.

Friday, 4 October 2019

JOKER, 04/10/19


JOKER

Trailer



Synopsis

Failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks a connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City, forever alone in a crowd. Wearing two masks, one which acts as his day job as a clown and another as a futile attempt to feel like a part of the world around him. Feeling isolated, bullied and disgraced by society, Flecks begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind, Joker

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, 02 minutes (2h, 02m)

Current Rating

77%

Cast

Joker / Arthur Fleck – Joaquin Phoenix
Murray Franklin – Robert De Niro
Sophie Dumond – Zazie Beetz
Penny Fleck – Frances Conroy
Thomas Wayne – Brett Cullen
Alfred Pennyworth – Douglas Hodge
Bruce Wayne – Dante Pereira-Olson
Gene Ufland – Marc Maron
GCPD Officers – Bill Camp / Shea Whigham
Randall – Glenn Fleshler
Arkham Asylum Clerk – Brian Tyree Henry
Gary – Leigh Gill
Social Worker – Sharon Washington
Guest – Justin Theroux

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Review: Heath Ledger’s take on the iconic Batman villain was always going to be hard to match, or even overcome. Joaquin Phoenix, whether people agree or not, is a success in a dark world with an R rating (15 in UK). Granted that an origin story for the iconic villain is not really needed given his popularity and as the comics (source material), have never really established his origins as canon. White Knight, an ongoing series by DC, but not canon / connected to the main DC Universe, establishes a Joker by the name of Jack Napier, similar to Jack Nicholson’s take on the character. 

With influence from The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns, this movie is more a psychological thriller than simply reintroducing the villain to the wider audience (The screening I attended was full of teenagers, who abruptly, and shockingly ceased to make any noise when the movie started, which was very ominous). If you need some inspiration on how much faith is in this movie, look no further than one of its producers, THE Bradley Cooper, aka, Rocket Raccoon of Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy.

Intended as a standalone movie, there are elements that this movie could, in theory, span a sequel. It is possibly intended to kick start DC's Black Label (Formerly Vertigo) imprint, which is not linked to the main DC Universe as it is alternative story telling, but some elements could find their way through, if the story is strong enough. Arthur Fleck’s descent into becoming The Joker was very captivating. Some comments regarding the characters portrayal look as though they know nothing of the evolution of The Joker, from the 60s (Cesar Romero) to the current day. No Ace Chemicals involved, so this is more or less an imagined origin story.

Friday, 20 September 2019

AD ASTRA, 20/09/19


AD ASTRA

Trailer




Synopsis

A son journeys across the Solar System in search of his missing father, who has been branded a renegade scientist whose experiments pose a threat to humanity

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, 03 minutes (2h, 03m)

Current Rating

82%

Cast

Roy McBride – Brad Pitt
Clifford McBride – Tommy Lee Jones
Helen Lantos – Ruth Negga
Eve McBride – Liv Tyler
Colonel Pruitt – Donald Sutherland
Peter Bello – Jamie Kennedy
General Stroud – John Finn
Lorraine Deavers – Kimberly Elise
Franklin Yoshida – Bobby Nish
Adjutant General Amelia Vogel – LisaGay Hamiliton
General Rivas – John Ortiz
Chip Games – Greg Bryk
Donald Stanford – Loren Dean
Captain Lawrence Tanner – Donnie Keshawarz
Arjun Dhariwal – Ravi Kapoor
Tanya Pincus – Natasha Lyonne

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Review: Well, the second movie I have seen starring Brad Pitt this year, except this time he was the lead character and had less humour. I generally enjoy space movies, especially those involving celestial bodies or otherworldly civilisations, much like Star Wars, Star Trek and both Guardians of The Galaxy movies. The misleading opening credits of Superman Returns had me believing the movie would take place in space in some form, but then didn’t.

Anyway, as an actor, I can hardly find fault with Brad Pitt. I generally enjoy his movies as he adds an extra dimension to them, like you are experiencing the movie with him. He can seem to be hogging scenes, like in Troy but honestly I wouldn’t complain. I thought he did really well in the movie’s far future setting. Also, Tommy Lee Jones is another actor whose dry humour I always find humorous.
But we get something a bit more serious in this movie from him.

The director, James Gray, wanted to do a different kind of space story, and he did. I enjoyed the space travelling and stunning visuals. This is not a superhero movie, more of a family reunion type, but with a twist.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

It Chapter Two, 07/09/19


IT CHAPTER TWO

Trailer



Synopsis

The evil clown Pennywise returns after 27 years to continue to terrorize the town of Derry once again. Since leaving Derry and having gone their separate ways, the once young children have all grown up and moved on with their lives. But when people start disappearing, they are brought back to Derry as they had once sworn an oath to. As their scars from their past continues to haunt them, they must conquer their fears in hopes of defeating Pennywise, who is now stronger than ever...

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, 50 minutes (2h, 50m)

Current Rating

66%

Cast

Bill Denbrough – James McAvoy / Jaeden Martell
Beverly Marsh – Jessica Chastain / Sophia Lillis
Ben Hanscom – Jay Ryan / Jeremy Ray Taylor
Richie Tozier – Bill Hader / Finn Wolfhand
Mike Hanlon – Isaiah Mustafa / Chosen Jacobs
Eddie Kaspbrak – James Ransone / Jack Dylan Grazer
Stanley Uris – Andy Bean / Wyatt Oleff
Georgie Denbrough – Jackson Robert Scott
Henry Bowers – Teach Grant / Nicholas Hamilton
Dean – Luke Roessler
Pawn Shop Owner – Stephen King
Pharmacy Customer – Andy Muschietti
IT / Pennywise – Bill Skarsgård

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Review: I am not really a fan of horror movies, however, after seeing many episodes of TV shows where a clown or many of them are mentioned, to which I wasn’t really understanding of, until I saw the first movie It. It brought thrills, had a good story and really drew me in to the point where I didn’t want to miss the next scene. In short, it is the highest grossing horror movie because it earned it.

It Chapter Two brought something different from its predecessor. Again, a good story, had a talented cast, but added an element that is not really associated with horror movies, comedy and lots of it, throughout the duration of the movie. This takes away the anticipated thrills within the movie and you expect to see / hear the next comedy scene or event.

There were times I thought to myself that some sequences were very confusing, but it turns out there is a mix of younger and older characters trying to be balanced out to give everyone a fair amount of screen time. Visual effects were quite good and there is also more of an insight into Pennywise as well. The movie didn’t inspire me as much as the first one did, but the story has been expanded upon and lots of character build-up, for just less than three hours, so you may want to slow down on the popcorn to prolong it.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

ANGEL HAS FALLEN, 24/08/19


ANGEL HAS FALLEN

Trailer




Synopsis

Mike Banning, a Secret Service Agent, is taken into custody by for a failed assassination attempt of Allan Trumbull, now President of the United States. After being incarcerated, Banning manages to escape capture and evade the FBI, along with his agency (Secret Services) to find the real threat which targeted the president. In his quest to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies in his attempts to clear his name and uncover an imminent threat to the United States

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, 01 minute (2h, 01m)

Current Rating

40%

Cast

Mike Banning – Gerard Butler
Allan Trumbull – Morgan Freeman
Wade Jennings – Danny Huston
Sam Wilcox – Michael Landes
Martin Kirby – Tim Blake Nelson
Clay Banning – Nick Nolte
Leah Banning – Piper Perabo
Helen Thompson – Jada Pinkett Smith
David Gentry – Lance Reddick
James Haskell – Mark Arnold
Travis Cole – Frederick Schmidt
Ramirez – Joseph Millson
Murphy – Ori Pfeffer

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes

End – Credits: No

Review: I went into this movie with an open mind. Namely because I have seen The Dark Knight (My favourite movie), the hospital scene with the Joker detonating it and walking away from the destruction, a masterpiece scene and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, my favourite Marvel movie which depicts infiltration in a manner most would only think of. It more or less felt like the movie was an extension of these.  

However, the movie itself plays out differently as this is not a sinister villain with a pre-emptive mind to plan the destruction of a hospital beforehand, or a large scale infiltration by an organisation hell bent on world domination. Rather, this movie is the continuation of two predecessors, involving Morgan Freeman (returning to a role as President of the United States since Deep Impact) and Gerard Butler racing to save America from imminent danger from the inside.

There was humour involved, from unlikely characters and quite a bit of action sequences. Now, I'm generally someone who likes a lot of action scenes, as long as they hold up and don’t drag on to the point where people will wind down after them. It has to feel like it is moving the story forward; otherwise you could find yourself wondering where the story went after those scenes. But nonetheless, they held up. A sequel was kind of teased, but it could be a means to an end.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Once Upon a Time in ... Hollywood, 16/08/19


ONCE UPON A TIME IN ... HOLLYWOOD

Trailer



*The movie was released this week, but was released last week elsewhere*

Synopsis

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood first visits Los Angeles in 1969, where TV star Rick Dalton and his stunt double, Cliff Booth make their way around an industry they hardly recognise anymore as everything seems to be changing. Includes multiple story-lines and a large ensemble cast in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s Golden Age

Cinema

ODEON

Run Time

Two hours, 41 minutes (2h 41m)

Current Rating

85%

Cast

Rick Dalton – Leonardo DiCaprio
Cliff Booth – Brad Pitt
Sharon Tate – Margot Robbie
Jay Sebring – Emile Hirsch
Pussycat – Margaret Qualley
James Stacy – Timothy Olyphant
Trudi Fraser – Julia Butters
Charles “Tex” Watson – Austin Butler
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme – Dakota Fanning
George Spahn – Bruce Dern
Bruce Lee – Mike Moh
Steve McQueen – Damien Lewis
Marvin Schwarz – Al Pacino
Mary Alice Schwarz – Brenda Vaccaro
Roman Polanski – Rafal Zawierucha
Francesca Capucci – Lorenza Izzo

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes

End – Credits: No

Review: Well, there was a large cast, but really I was there for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. It never ceases to amaze me how effortlessly these two manage to draw me in with their performances. They stop becoming actors and become the characters they are portraying, and they are in a movie, together. I was impressed through.

But moving on, the movie is set against the backdrop of a changing Hollywood. A lot of tributes can be spotted, with the main standout being to Adam West’s 1960s Batman TV series to basically highlight the era setting, with quite a bit of humour involved, considering it is a Quentin Tarantino movie. I can’t really comment on Bruce Lee’s portrayal in the movie as this the setting is more or less fifty years ago.

*Spoiler Alert* However, the movie heavily depicts some of the “Manson Family” members. Events have been changed for the movie, but there is some historical depictions involved. The changes are intended to make the movie more exciting, and for me, it more or less pays off in Quentin Tarantino style.Certain parts of the movie were quite suspenseful, but ended up becoming quite satisfying.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, 02/08/19


FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS AND SHAW



Trailer




Synopsis

Ever since Hobbs, a loyal agent of America’s DSS (Diplomatic Security Service) and lawless outcast Shaw, former British military elite operative first clashed in Furious 7 (2015), they have tried to take each other down via smack talk and body blows. But a cyber genetically enhanced anarchist, Brixton, attempts to gain control of a bio threat that could alter humanity (He also manages to get the upper hand against a fearless rogue MI6 agent who also happens to be Shaw’s sister), the duo then become unlikely partners to bring down someone more intimidating than themselves

Run Time

Two hours, sixteen minutes (2h 16m)

Current Rating

71%

Cast

Luke Hobbs – Dwayne Johnson
Decker Shaw – Jason Statham
Brixton – Idris Elba
Hattie Shaw – Vanessa Kirby
Jonah – Cliff Curtis
Queenie – Helen Mirren
Madam M – Eiza Gonzalez
Professor Andreiko – Eddie Marsan

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes, contains two scenes

End – Credits: Yes

Review: It was definitely fast and it was definitely furious. The movie is packed with action and after being concerned that all the hype of the movie was all contained within the trailers (Like some previous movies I have seen previously), I can say that much more was included in the movie to keep audiences interested as the movie developed. It was packed with Hobbs and Shaw smack talking to each other, back and forth, which was quite entertaining to watch.

As for the humour (aside from the smack talk between Hobbs and Shaw), there was quite a bit involved. We had multiple cameo appearances from someone stepping out of costume from another movie franchise into a uniform who, then went on to talk about another television series that many people may be familiar with. Hattie, Shaw’s sister also ends up with a catchphrase which she uses throughout the movie.

The main focus in the movie (aside from the bio threat) is around technology, and how people use it. The movie touches on technology being in the wrong hands and the dangers involved from being too heavily reliant on such. It was definitely not something I expected. There were moments in the movie in which I thought that certain scenes paid homage to the Dark Knight, Batman.

However, the movie does more or less end on a cliff hanger and leaves it wide open for a possible sequel opportunity. Whether they end up being recurring villains / characters from the main franchise, or going in a different direction entirely, remains to be seen but either way, for me, the current direction looks positive.