Sunday, 5 April 2020

NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW, 05/04/20


NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW

Trailer         




Synopsis

Naruto and Team Seven set out to guard Yukie, a popular actress, from being captured.

Cinema

Streaming

Run Time

One hour, Twenty two minutes (1h, 22m)

Movie Rating

85%

Age Rating

12 (Moderate Violence / Threat)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sasuke Uchiha – Noriaki Sugiyama
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Kakashi Hatake – Kazuhiko Inoue
Sōsetsu Kazahana – Hidehiko Ishizuka
Yukie Fujikaze – Yūko Kaida
Nadare Rōga – Hirotaka Suzuoki
Sandayū Asama – Ikuo Nishikawa
Fubuki – Kakuyoku – Jun Karasawa
Mizore Fuyukuma – Holly Kaneko
Dotō Kazahana – Tsutomu Isobe
Director Makino – Chikao Ōtsuka
Assistant Director – Akimitsu Takase
Kin / Buriken – Yataka Nakano
Hidero – Kan Tanaka

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Not really

End – Credits: Yes (Non – sequel related)

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lives, who are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinemas remain closed, for good reason. Moving on, I was cut off approaching a duel carriageway on my back from work by a driver confusing himself in which lane was best for him, couldn’t make up his mind, and then ran a red light for his troubles. *Eye-Roll*. Social distancing and product limits had been introduced and enforced, but not everybody got the memo. A customer in Tesco’s felt entitled to buy two products over the limit, and was swiftly challenged by security. Also, an escalator broke down, so a very lengthy queue for the one trolley per lift limit beckoned.

Review: A few years ago at work, I had just started a new job. Whilst getting to know my colleagues, I happened on one of them watching an anime called Bleach. Fascinated that I had found someone with something in common with regards to anime, we got to talking and I mentioned DragonballZ and Dragonball Super were my favourites, which he asked if I’d seen Naruto, for which I declined. But I was intrigued and started watching the series, about six episodes a week. I then moved on to Naruto Shippūden.

Realising I was a bit behind with the movies, I finally found time to make a start on them, which has led me to the first movie. I was advised to stick to Japanese with English Subtitles as the English dub of multiple anime series is pretty much watered down for the younger viewers, which I subsequently found out when Majin Buu dropped a few F-Bombs in the Japanese version when dabbling into the series as I got older. Imagine my surprise, haha.

There are a few takeaways from the movie itself. It maintains the fluidity of the series and of Team 7 which is replicated onto the big screen. Although we’ll see some things in the movie that did not appear in the series, I will chalk them down to minor changes, for the purposes of the movie. Although there are points in the story that may be questionable, this is still a good entry if you are starting out with the series, filler free. 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL, 15/03/20


SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL

Trailer         




Synopsis

A former police detective returns to Boston’s criminal underworld to unravel a twisted murder conspiracy.

Cinema

Netflix

Run Time

One hour, Fifty One minutes (1h, 51m)

Movie Rating

40%

Age Rating

15 (Action & Adventure / Comedy / Mystery & Suspense)

Cast
Spenser – Mark Wahlberg
Hawk – Winston Duke
Henry Cimoli – Alan Arkin
Cissy Davis – Iliza Shlesinger
Driscoll – Bokeem Woodbine
Wayne Cosgrove – Marc Maron
Squeeb – Austin Post
Bentwood – James DuMont
Captain John Boylan
Mara – Colleen Camp
Letitia – Hope Olaide Wilson
Macklin – Kip Weeks
Mrs Boylan – Rebecca Gibel
W. Lintz – Big Shug
Big Boy – Donald Cerrone
Liquor Store Worker – Justus Carney
Hipster – Christopher Gerard Weigel

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No (A sequel is heavily implied before movie conclusion)

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: The Coronavirus is wrecking people’s lifestyles, people are panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema is not really an option at the moment. I’ve been blessed with a good immune system, but against Coronavirus? I’m not so sure, and hopefully people stay safe as well as healthy. I was driving on the dual carriageway when a silver Polo abruptly pulled out, horizontally. The driver corrected himself, drove through a red light, and then sped off. Baffling really. Oh, and an SUV cut me off as well, with its driver on her phone and one driver settling in the middle of two lanes, held everybody up. King of the road agenda much?

Review: Mark Wahlberg seems very rooted to a niche genre where there is a mix of everything and he is like an American hero (Lone Survivor?). But the main reason I am normally draw to his movies is because of the comedy aspect. Sometimes, whether he is delivering the dialogue or not, it just adds a bit of spice to the scene, although the demented Cissy provided most of the comedy.

The movie itself I thought was not too bad. Barring the blood-work on in a prison scene, the rest of the movie held up. Winston Duke was not in his battle garments side by side with Black Panther’s T’Challa, but it was good to see him branching out in a different role, even if he is still being sent into battle. Good story that also paves the way for a sequel, although Netflix may need to really put some serious thought and effort into it.

Friday, 28 February 2020

DARK WATERS, 28/02/20


DARK WATERS

Trailer         



Synopsis

Based on a true story, a persistent attorney begins to connect and uncover a dark secret involving a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. He soon finds himself risking his future, family and his own life in trying to expose the truth.

Cinema

ODEON (2D)

Run Time

Two hours, Six minutes (2h,06m)

Movie Rating

89%

Age Rating

12A (Drama / Thriller)

Cast

Robert Bilot – Mark Ruffalo
Anne Hathaway – Sarah Bilot
Tom Terp – Tim Robbins
Wilbur Tennant – Bill Camp
Phil Donnelly – Victor Garber
Joe Kiger - Richard Hagerman
Darlene Kiger – Mare Winningham
Harry Deitzler – Bill Pullman
James Ross – William Jackson Harper
Carla Pfeiffer – Louisa Krause
Larry Winter – Kevin Crowley
Kim Burke – Bruce Cromer
Denise Dal Vera – Sandra Tennant
Abi Van Andel – Kathleen Welch
John Newberg – Dr. Gillespie

Movie details


Mid – Credits: Kind of (Facts of outcome after movie concludes)
End – Credits: No

Before the Review: After coming towards merging lanes at 20mph, a dpd courier van, which either was late for a delivery, just impatient or driving “normally” came speeding across at nearly 40mph to overtake me whilst narrowly missing my bonnet after I slammed the brakes on. My dashcam would clearly show / prove that should a collision have taken place, the courier was at fault, but this is “normal” London driving to me, so I carried on as normal. 

Whilst leaving a supermarket, another car came swerving off my junction at nearly 30mph, whilst again forcing me to slam my breaks on. An SUV pulled into a parking bay awkwardly and at speed which caused a child to fall back in shock. The (I believe) mother was so angry at that driver, she threw a flower pot at the SUV, which left quite the quite a visible scratch. Yikes...

Review: One of my favourite all time quotes comes from Ultron being thrown out from the Quinjet by the Hulk saying, “Oh for God’s sake” in Avengers: Age of Ultron. So literally you’re more or less waiting for Mark Ruffalo to “Hulk” out. But he plays a defence lawyer in Dark Waters, and not a renowned physicist in gamma radiation, who turns into a big green monster called Hulk when angered / provoked. For the record, from what I heard and saw being depicted, this is not a 12A (Maybe a 12/15). 

This movie is based on a true story regarding a chemical company / corporation and their dumping of unregulated waste on site, which also happens to get into the local communities water supply (A bit like what happened in Batman Begins, but with wider implications). Deceit is heavily implied on the chemical company / corporation’s part, which could be taken more seriously, given its “Imminent” threat to public life, which includes cancer and birth defects (amongst others).

If you’re not a fan of reading the news (Either on paper, TV or freelancing apps etc), this movie is a great way to learn more about the effects of unregulated dumping of dangerous chemicals which can lead to a very bleak future ahead of us. Climate change is very real, however threats to human life come in a number of ways, and Dark Waters highlights just one of those, and this is not just limited to the local community as depicted in the movie, but worldwide. Dark Waters producer Mark Ruffalo is raising awareness of chemical pollution and has even attended Paris to meet with the European Parliament.

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.