NHS

NHS

Saturday, 11 July 2020

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BLOOD PRISON, 11/07/20


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BLOOD PRISON

Trailer         




Synopsis

Being convicted of a crime he did not commit, Naruto is sent to an inescapable prison. Whilst planning his escape Naruto has to contend with his chakra being locked away by the prison warden.

Cinema

Streaming (Japanese with English Subtitles) / Netflix

Run Time

One hour, Forty Eight minutes (1h, 48m)

Movie Rating

59%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Animation / Adventure / Comedy)

Cast
Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Yamato – Rikiya Koyama
Kakashi Hatake  – Kazuhiko Inoue
Tsunade – Masako Katsuki
Shikamaru Nara – Showtaro Morikubo
Choji Akimichi – Kentar
ō Itō
Kiba Inuzuka – Kōsuke Toriumi
Neji Hyūga – Kōichi Tōchika
Tenten – Yukari Tamura
Might Guy – Masashi Ebara
Sai – Satoshi Hino
Rock Lee – Yoichi Masukawa
Gamabunta – Hiroshi Naka
A / Fourth Raikage – Hideaki Tezuka
Killer Bee – Hisao Egawa
Samui – Hikari Yono
Omoi – Kunihiro Kawamoto
Karui – Yuka Komatsu
Mui – Masaki Terasoma
Ryuūuzetsu – Mie Sonozaki
Muku/Satori – Yūichi Nakamura
Muku/Satori (Child) – Kengo Kawanishi
Kazan – Kōsei Hirota
Maori – Takaya Kamikawa

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: Yes (Flashback to an earlier event in the movie)

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, Gilead Sciences (A pharmaceutical company) will charge the United States 25% more than the rest of the world for its Coronavirus drug, Remdesivir, Oxford University has moved ahead to lead the vaccine race for COVID-19 and as lock-down easing measures continues, a large truck with a very restless driver decided to overtake at least four vehicles waiting for a van to reverse into a junction with a mini roundabout a few yards away and almost collided with an oncoming... van. Some really bad road transformations makes some drivers really anxious and frustrated?

Review:  A full cast is back, but playing a more limited role than they did in an earlier movie (Naruto Shippuden The Movie: Inheritors of the Will of Fire). The movie is a bit out there with the supernatural element, much like Naruto Shippuden The Movie: the Lost Tower. It felt very much like an Indiana Jones movie, except there is a prison break involved. A few elements at play but the most shocking of all, was Naruto actually thinking outside the box. The trailer above from 1:21 did not occur in the movie.

I really believe that Naruto actually grew in this movie. Although he is “alone” within the confines of the prison, it was somewhat controversial to see him, a 16 year old, thrown in there with grown-ups who are murderers and thieves. But he is a Jinchuriki for the Nine – Tails within him so it is expected of us, the audience, to believe that he can hold his own. A fight scene actually contained some humour, which is quite rare in Naruto Shippuden, unless he is training. Some climatic scenes made for good viewing.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT, 28/06/20


BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT

Trailer         



Synopsis

Scouring the dark streets of Gotham City to find the elusive and infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper, this is a Victorian era re-imagining of Batman using his brute strength, wits and steampunk-style gadgets.

Cinema

Streaming

Run Time

One hour, Eighteen minutes (1h, 18m)

Movie Rating

73%

Age Rating

15 (Action / Animation / Adventure / Fantasy /Crime / Horror / Mystery / Thriller)

Cast

Batman / Bruce Wayne – Bruce Greenwood
Selina Kyle – Jennifer Carpenter
Alfred Pennyworth – Anthony Head
Father Callahan – Chris Cox
Police Chief Bullock – John DiMaggio
Cyrus Gold – David Forseth
Sister Leslie Thompkins, Jason Todd and Selina Kyle (Singing Voice) – Grey Griffin
Mayor Tolliver – Bob Joles
Harvey Dent – Yuri Lowenthal
Dickie Grayson – Lincoln Melcher
James Gordon – Scott Patterson
Hugo Strange – William Salyers
Timmy Drake / Marlene Mahoney – Tara Strong
Arkham Radio Man – Bruce Timm
Barbara Eileen Gordon and Pamela “Ivy” Isley – Kari Wuhrer

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, the beaches were packed out on 24/06/20 – 25/06/20, sparking fears of a second Coronavirus wave, apparently the UK's “game changing” antibody tests are under scrutiny as they only test if you have had the virus but not if you’ve built up an immunity to it and a pickup truck ran a red light on a motorway exit slip roundabout and was followed by a van who joined at the next entrance without stopping whilst another, older people carrier forced its way onto and exited at its first junction. Crazy drivers...

Review: Well, there is definitely a twist on Jack the Ripper’s big identity reveal here. When you feel like you have figured it out, you are thrown a pretty big curve ball, which I feel was very well handled. The lead up to the big reveal seems a bit sinister, but given the aura of reputation surrounding Jack the Ripper, you probably wouldn’t expect anything less.

The movie does well to capture the setting of the Victorian era, where many may feel, by today's standards anyway, that this was a whole different time and in some aspects, still playing catch up. This is reflected in the movie quite well, the twists and turns making for unpredictable sequences throughout the movie. It feels like London, before you realise it is Gotham City.

Although “the Batman” is already established, the movie simply gets going when Batman is introduced to ensure that audiences know what to expect. As a Batman movie, no supporting cast of other heroes are needed, but with Alfred Pennyworth involved, sometimes you feel that he is balancing Bruce Wayne and Batman, which makes you appreciate the character a little bit more. A sequel is possibly teased as well.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: THE LOST TOWER, 20/06/20


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: THE LOST TOWER

Trailer         



Synopsis

Naruto is sent back in time to the city of Rouran, after being caught up in chakra ritual. A chance encounter in the past might send him back to his own timeline and possibly save the future.

Cinema

Streaming (Japanese with English Subtitles) / Netflix

Run Time

One hour, Twenty Five minutes (1h, 25m)

Movie Rating

57%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Animation / Adventure / Fantasy / Moderate Violence)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Yamato – Rikiya Koyama
Young Kakashi – Mutsumi Tamura
Sai – Satoshi Hino
Minato Namikaze – Toshiyuki Morikawa
Young Guy – Mayuki Makiguchi
Young Asuma – Fujiko Takimoto
Tsunade – Masako Katsuki
Shizune – Keiko Nemoto
Third Hokage / Hiruzen Sarutobi – Hidekatsu Shibata
Jiraiya – Hōchū Ōtsuka
Shibi Aburame – Kenji Hamada
Chōza Akimichi – Nobuaki Fukuda
Sāra – Saori Hayami
Sēramu – Yumi Tōma
Mukade / Anrokuzan – Ryūzaburō Ōtomo
Masako – Yuko Kobayashi
Sarai – Fujiko Takimoto

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes (Montage for movie and flashback to the anime series)

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying, but not to the news worthy levels seen during the beginning of the pandemic and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, the Coronavirus alert level for the UK has been lowered from four to three (4 à3) and is also considering a downgrade of the two metre gap to a one metre gap, the UK is also using Dexamethasone to treat COVID-19 patients which is being used in the NHS (Exercise caution though, it is not a cure / vaccine), and two joggers appeared to wantonly run across the road which forced the oncoming driver to initiate an emergency stop.

Review: Taking a break from the full cast of the previous movie, a makeshift Team Seven has their hands full. Given an element of the movie concerning some major jutsu’s of certain characters from the anime, I was disappointed to not see them show up in the movie. However, that can be excused due to the surprising maturity of one future Fourth Hokage, a younger Minato Namikaze (Although in Naruto’s timeline, he already occupied the position).

Some characters, although they made the cast, feature pretty much as extras to help push the story forward. It is sort of inspiring to see how one particular character, although a huge part of Naruto (including Shippuden) was more or less shaped by his past, which led to his development throughout the series as someone interesting in the series for audiences to enjoy their presence, even though I was more intrigued with Minato Namikaze’s on screen presence.

As expected, some humour at certain parts of the movie. There did also appear to be a possible plot-hole where Minato Namikaze speaks but it is muted and I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether this is resolved in future movies or not. This takes place during an emotional scene where once again, Minato Namikaze’s maturity but more importantly, his intelligence and skill are brought to light.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

BATMAN VS TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, 13/06/20


BATMAN VS TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Trailer         



Synopsis

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles team up with Batman and some members of the Bat family to do battle with Shredder, Ra’s Al Ghul and The League of Assassins.

Cinema

Streaming (Japanese with English Subtitles)

Run Time

One hour, Twenty Seven minutes (1h, 27m)

Movie Rating

100%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Animation / Violence)

Cast

Batman / Joker – Troy Baker
Leonardo – Eric Bauza
Raphael – Darren Criss
Donatello – Baron Vaughn
Michelangelo – Kyle Mooney
Damian Wayne / Robin – Ben Giroux
Barbara Gordon / Batgirl – Rachel Bloom
Alfred Pennyworth – Brian George
Commissioner Gordon and Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow – Jim Meskimen
Shredder / Oroku Saki – Andrew Kishino
Ra’s Al Ghul – Cas Anvar
Harvey Dent / Two – Face and Dr. Baxter Stockman – Keith Ferguson
Penguin / Oswald Cobblepot – Tom Kenny
Dr. Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy / Dr. Pamela Isley and Pizza Delivery Girl – Tara Strong
Mr Freeze / Dr. Victor Fries – John DiMaggio
Bane – Carlos Alazraqui

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: Yes (Possible sequel teaser)

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, with the easing of lock-down, you can now have people in your gardens (not inside your houses / flats / accommodation), single people can now, allegedly, stay the night with loved ones and as some popular restaurants begin to open (Drive – Thru’s only), ill tempered people are still showing how much the pandemic has not changed them for the better, at least not for the camera’s rolling... yet.

Review: So, Batman is teaming up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or is he battling them? The title seems to contradict the synopsis. But anyway, the age rating is rightfully 12 and should not be watched with young children as there is violence involved. Nickelodeon may be attached to the movie, but this is a Batman movie as well, so expect some dark scenes not suitable for young children.

It’s not a dark movie, Michelangelo has seen to that there are lots of comedic moments, including some from Batman himself. I used to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child and was rather sceptical about them appearing alongside Batman. On paper, it seems like a complete mismatch, as the humorous Michelangelo, scientist Donatello, body builder / always seemingly angry Raphael and leader Leonardo all work in tandem because they are brothers, on a children’s show.

But when you consider Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello are similar to Batman (It’s like watching aspects of Batman being rolled into one, minus Michelangelo for the humour), it does make for good viewing. Should there be a sequel, I believe the end – credits will play a part or maybe in possible future crossovers between Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: INHERITORS OF THE WILL OF FIRE, 09/06/20


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: INHERITORS OF THE WILL OF FIRE

Trailer         




Synopsis

Four ninjas from the Hidden Villages of Sunagakure (Sand), Kumogakure (Cloud), Kirigakure (Mist) and Iwagakure (Stone), all possessing Kekkei Genkai (Unique Bloodline Limit abilities) suddenly go missing, sparking fears of another ninja (Shinobi) war if they are not found

Cinema

Streaming (Japanese with English Subtitles) / Netflix

Run Time

One hour, Thirty six minutes (1h, 36m)

Movie Rating

44%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Animation / Fantasy)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Kakashi Hatake – Kazuhiko Inoue
Sai – Satoshi Hino
Neji Hyuga – Kōchi Tōchika
Shino Aburame – Shinji Kawada
Hinata Hyuga – Nana Mizuki
Shikamaru Nara – Showtaro Morikubo
Choji Akimichi – Kentarō Itō
Ino Yamanaka – Ryōka Yuzuki
Kiba Inuzuka – Kōsuke Toriumi
Rock Lee – Yōichi Masukawa
Tenten – Yukari Tamura
Gaara – Akira Ishida
Kankuro – Yasuyuki Kase
Temari – Romi Park
Tsunade – Masako Katsuki
Shizune – Keiko Nemoto
Jiraiya – Hōchū Ōtsuka
Sasuke Uchiha – Noriaki Sugiyama
Kotetsu Hagane – Tomoyuki Kōno
Izumo Kamizuki – Tomohiro Tsuboi
Teuchi – Eisuke Asakura
Hiruzen Sarutobi – Hidekatsu Shibata
Asuma Sarutobi – Jūrōta Kosugi
Obito Uchiha – Sōsuke Komori
Rin – Haruhi Terada
Taiseki – Kanji Suzumori
Hiruko – Sōichirō Hoshi
Ichi – Yoshimitsu Shimoyama
Ni – Junko Minagawa
San – Hideo Watanabe

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: Not really (A message from Naruto creator, Masashi Kishimoto)

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, AstraZeneca is proposing a possible mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine, mass protests broke out over the death of George Floyd after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his throat for eight minutes, and for the first time COVID-19 fatalities in the UK dropped to pre lock-down levels, although how long that will last given the situations taking place where people are not social distancing is anyone’s guess.

Review:

This movie was quite action packed and it’s broad cast being given a chance on the big screen was quite pleasing to see. This also is the first movie to link back to the anime series, making references to earlier points, even if they were filler episodes. Bizarrely, this felt more like a cinema worthy movie compared to most previous ones. The references made between the movie and anime help to drive the story forward.

As someone who has been watching the original serious (Shippuden), it was nice to see that finally the movies are linking back to the anime and not being standalone. It feels like I am watching a shared universe (Like the Marvel Cinematic Universe) but between the anime and movie. But as a precaution, even though the segments stand on their own, should people want to explore them more, and then perhaps refer to the filler episodes where they are located in the anime.

There is a point in the movie that perhaps inspires Orochimaru’s experimentation nature in the anime / manga. Team 7 (Consisting of Naruto, Sakura, Sai and Kakashi) are once again heavily involved, although the other teams (8, 9 and 10) also lend some support. As usual, Naruto and Sakura provide the humour. As battle lines are being drawn in the movie, you have to wonder where suddenly all those siege weapons came from?

Sunday, 24 May 2020

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS, 24/05/20


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE: BONDS

Trailer  



Synopsis

A group of mysterious ninja from the Land of the Sky suddenly make a surprise attack on Konoha, owing to the latter nearly destroying them during the last Shinobi World War. The country survived and is now targeting Konaha and their ally, the Fire Country, for revenge.

Cinema

Streaming (Japanese with English Subtitles) / Netflix

Run Time

One hour, Thirty three minutes (1h, 33m)

Movie Rating

77%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Animation / Fantasy)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Sasuke Uchiha – Noriaki Sugiyama
 Kakashi Hatake – Kazuhiko Inoue
Sai – Satoshi Hino
Neji Hyuga – Kōchi Tōchika
Shino Aburame – Shinji Kawada
Hinata Hyuga – Nana Mizuki
Shikamaru Nara – Showtaro Morikubo
Choji Akimichi – Kentarō Itō
Tsunade – Masako Katsuki
Shizune – Keiko Nemoto
Jiraiya – Hōchū Ōtsuka
Orochimaru – Kujira
Kabuto Yakushi – Nobutoshi Canna
Yamato – Rikiya Koyama
Amaru – Motoko Kumai
Shinno – Unshō Ishizuka

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Not really

End – Credits: Yes (Non sequel related)

Before the Review: The trailer is in English as the Japanese one contained Chinese subtitles. More to the point, Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, Moderna, an American biotech company, has successfully completed “Phase 1” of human trials, whereby people developed antibodies against COVID-19, however another pharmaceutical company, Astrazeneca, is looking to “upstage” them, pending successful phases, to begin shipping the vaccine in September. Lock-down is being eased but with some governments being wary of a second wave and a burglar was caught and arrested after breaking wind from his hiding place... *Eye-roll*

Review:

This time, Sasuke Uchiha is on the cast credits because he does, in fact, appear in the movie, and does play a substantial role. He reminds me of Vegeta (of Dragonball Z / Super fame) in that he continually pushes the main character to become stronger, and even though they may be rivals, it is healthy and the endgame usually serves both interests, in a positive manner.

Shino Aburame is another character I can sometimes relate to (minus being a bug user), in terms of his over thinking personality, which given the current global situation, quite a bit of people could be doing a lot of as well. Although Orochimaru and Kabuto Yakushi have been around since the first Naruto series, this movie marks their first appearances, although how the events of the movie tie in to their future appearances remains to be seen.

Like you see on some television shows and movies, some characters are created exclusively for them (for example, Chloe Sullivan from Smallville), so their continuity is usually short lived and unique in itself. Quite a few characters again are reduced to "extra" status. The movie was quite confusing at times and at one point, I thought it would develop a plot hole, but this was cleared up in the end – credits. 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: THE MOVIE, 17/05/20


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: THE MOVIE

Trailer         




Synopsis

Whilst trying to escape a prediction relating to his own death, Naruto must protect Shion, a priestess, and help her fulfil a mission to defeat an evil demon and save the world, whilst also having to contend with a mysterious group of ninja with assassination plans.

Cinema

Streaming (with English Subtitles)

Run Time

One hour, Thirty five minutes (1h, 35m)

Movie Rating

84%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Adventure / Animation / Anime  / Family / Fantasy)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
 Kakashi Hatake – Kazuhiko Inoue
Rock Lee – Yōichi Masukawa
Neji Hyuga – Kōchi Tōchika
Tsunade – Masako Katsuki
Shizune – Keiko Nemoto
Might Guy – Masashi Ebara
Shikamaru Nara – Showtaro Morikubo
Temari – Romi Park
Shion – Ayumi Fujimura
Miroku – Fumiko Orikasa
Taruho – Yoshinori Fujita
Moryo – Seizō Katō
Yomi – Hidetoshi Nakamura
Gitai – Kishō Taniyama
Setsuna – Katsuyuki Konishi
Susuki – Daisuke Kishio
Kusuna – Tetsuya Kakihara
Shizuku – Miyuki Sawashiro

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: Yes

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying (One customer in Lidl bulk bought UHT milk) and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, a Swiss pharmaceutical company (Roche Group) has developed a 100% accuracy antibody test to see who has developed immunity against Coronavirus, lockdown measures are easing in the UK (although if it is safe to do so, only time will tell), protests seem to be breaking out against the lockdown, Brexit talks seem to have stalled, again and The Sun (Star seen in the sky, not the newspaper) is currently in a phase of solar minimum, according to NASA...

Review: The third Naruto movie swaps Sasuke Uchiha with Neji Hyuga and Rock Lee, to round off Team 7. Contrary to other sources, Sasuke Uchiha does not make an appearance in the movie. Aside from Rock Lee and Neji Hyuga and Sakura Haruno, the other characters from Konoha who round off a much larger cast have roles akin to extras in the movie. Rock Lee's fight scene is one to watch out for.

The first movie entry in the Naruto Shippuden series starts with a bang and continues throughout. Similar themes are used in which Naruto takes issue with some characters decision making within the movie and this is then used to uplift the individual(s) to influence an outcome. There were moments which felt like Sasuke Uchiha may have made an appearance, but ultimately, he did not.

By Shippuden’s beginning, Sasuke Uchiha had already left Konoha. It is good to see other characters from Konoha finally getting some screen time. The up-tempo feel of the movie somehow manages to draw you in with some twists and turns along the way. The end credit scene seems to also hint at Naruto’s cluelessness at certain requests, much to the annoyance of others, albeit quite humorously.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

NARUTO THE MOVIE: GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM, 10/05/20


NARUTO THE MOVIE: GUARDIANS OF THE CRESCENT MOON KINGDOM

Trailer         




Synopsis

Naruto and a makeshift Team 7 make their way to the Land of the Moon, where the mission is to protect the prince.

Cinema

Streaming (with English Subtitles)

Run Time

One hour, Thirty five minutes (1h, 35m)

Movie Rating

76%

Age Rating

12 (Action / Adventure / Animation / Anime  / Manga)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Rock Lee – Yōichi Masukawa
Kakashi Hatake – Kazuhiko Inoue
Hikaru Tsuki – Kyōsuke Ikeda
Michiru Tsuki – Akio Ōtsuka
Korega – Kenji Hamada
Amayo – Marika Hayashi
Shabadaba – Umeji Sasaki
Ishidate – Masashi Sugawara
Kongō – Hisao Egawa
Karenbana – Haruhi Terada
Kakeru Tsuki – Rokuro Naya

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Not really, just a continuation of events that were mentioned towards the end of the movie

End – Credits: Yes (Non – sequel related)

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles, people are still panic buying (One Tesco’s employee bulk bought about eight Dove deodorants) and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed. Moving on again, some Americans are demanding an end to lock-down, even with the highest death rate in the world, having children “chipped” to enforce social distancing is being debated and a driver ran a red at temporary traffic lights, only to stop for another red at a junction? Strange...

Review: The third Naruto movie swaps Shikamaru Nara with Rock Lee to complete Team 7, as they are known in the anime series (Sasuke Uchiha is however, absent... again). The movie starts out with the characters (not Team 7) out of sorts and develops them over the course of events taking place. And as always, it is not so much Naruto’s actions or skills as a ninja which influences others, but his beliefs to instil an empowered sense of righteousness for people to rise up to.

A feel good movie with high tempo moments and again, with flashes of the powerfully sealed Nine Tails Fox within Naruto (from the anime) seeping through inside him as he continues to learn to hone his abilities. Some of the supporting cast oftentimes have their own character developments to overcome overwhelming odds to help progress the story.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

CODE 8, 02/05/20


CODE 8

Trailer         





Synopsis

Set in a world where 4% of the population is born with supernatural abilities, a desperate young man possessing special powers who works in construction suddenly finds himself working with a group of criminals to raise money to help his sick mother. As a result, he clashes with the police force after committing a crime.

Cinema

Netflix

Run Time

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

Movie Rating

75%

Age Rating

15 (Language / Action / Crime / Drama)

Cast

Conner Reed – Robbie Amell
Garrett Kelton – Stephen Amell
Park – Sung Kang
Mary Reed – Kari Matchett
Marcus Suttcliffe
Rainer – Alex Mallari Jr
Davis – Aaron Abrams
Nia – Kyla Kane
Maddy – Laysla De Oliveira
Freddie – Vlad Alexis
Wesley Cumbo – Peter Outerbridge
Dixon – Shaun Benson

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles whilst in lockdown, people are still panic buying (One father and son were stocking up on icing?) and the cinema remains closed. A couple was fined after driving a 530 mile round trip from Surrey to Cornwall for “an hour by the sea”, a man in a high-viz jaywalked across the road and then became aggressive after the driver blared their horn at him after slowing down abruptly to a halt from 40mph and a car ran through a red light at temporary traffic lights, only to stop for another red at a junction. Strange.

Review:  I was actually looking on Netflix for an episode from the Arrowverse’s Arrow TV Show where Bruce Wayne was mentioned by Oliver Queen. This was part of the Easter eggs hinting at Gotham City appearing in the The CW’s joint multiverse of WB/DC shows. This eventually led to the release of Batwoman during the Arrowverse’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event. Whilst the TV Show is not yet available on Netflix, it did lead me to CODE 8.

I was really sceptical about Justin Hartley’s (Smallville) Green Arrow being replaced by Stephen Amell, but he managed to pull it off. Personally, it was only a matter of time before he found his way into another movie / TV show whilst remaining in the make shift superhero genre. However, what really draws me to him is that his character of Oliver Queen usually acts as a mentor to others. So seeing Robbie and Stephen Amell (First cousins) sharing screen time felt a little nostalgic. Robbie Amell played Firestorm in the same universe but in another show, The Flash.

The movie has a very dystopian feel to it, 1984 and Equilibrium come to mind, although they are more suppressed than actually being forced into a way of thinking. Although not completely totalitarian in nature, it was more like Marvels Civil War Superhero Registration Act had already been passed and people are trying to simply live normal lives, whilst being treated like second – class citizens. Stephen Amell’s Garret Kelton, although not the lead character, will be one to watch.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

EXTRACTION, 25/04/20


EXTRACTION

Trailer         




Synopsis

A mercenary operating within the black market with nothing to lose, is hired to rescue an international crime bosses son. Within the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers however, an already deadly mission seemingly approaches the impossible.

Cinema

Netflix

Run Time

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

Movie Rating

63%

Age Rating

15 (Language / sexual references / Drug use / Violence)

Cast

Tyler Rake – Chris Hemsworth
Ovi Mahajan Jr – Rudhraksh Jaiswal
Saju – Randeep Hooda
Amir Asif – Priyanshu Painyuli
Nik Khan – Golshifteh Farahani
Ovi Mahajan Sr – Pankaj Tripathi
Farhad – Suraj Rikame
Gaspar – David Harbour
Yaz Khan – Adam Bessa
Colonel – Shataf Figar
Neysa – Neha Mahajan
Gaetan – Sam Hargrave

Movie details

Mid – Credits: No

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lifestyles whilst in lock-down, people are still panic buying and the cinema remains closed, for good reason. Moving on again, the human trials for a possible vaccine in the UK has yielded no results as the world eagerly watches the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, intended to help fight Coronavirus after studies by the FDA currently show no benefits. A van driver almost ran through road traffic cones after spotting them very late after looking up from his mobile phone. Yikes.

Review:  When I last saw Chris Hemsworth, he was Thor and boarding Benatar, heading out towards the stars with the Guardians of the Galaxy (Minus Gamora). He actually ended up in the underworld of weapons dealing and drug trafficking where he is a mercenary, but with a job to do and inadvertently builds a connection with the one he is extracting.

So during the lock-down, I was watching The Graham Norton Show where one of his guests was Chris Hemsworth. That was when I found out that Extraction was available on Netflix, and here we are. The mention of the twelve minute long sequence was enticing to watch and after doing so, brought back a similar experience in the movie 1917, even if for what felt like a fraction of the movie.

I thought I would struggle with Chris Hemsworth playing the role of a mercenary after watching Thor 3: Ragnarok, where the humorous segments were expanded, but he surprising pulled it off, barely. Some character development, for a mercenary with whom he is supposed to be extracting was a different experience personally. The movie won’t be for many, but would be enough for those seeking escapism for the situation currently gripping the outside world.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

NARUTO THE MOVIE: LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL, 11/04/20


NARUTO THE MOVIE: LEGEND OF THE STONE OF GELEL

Trailer         




Synopsis

A make shift team of Naruto, Shikamaru and Sakura must protect a powerful stone from being misused by the forces of evil.

Cinema

Streaming

Run Time

One hour, Thirty seven minutes (1h, 37m)

Movie Rating

79%

Age Rating

12 (Moderate Violence / Threat)

Cast

Naruto Uzumaki – Junko Takeuchi
Sakura Haruno – Chie Nakamura
Shikamaru Nara – Showtaro Morikubo
Gaara – Akira Ishida
Kankuro – Yasuyuki Kase
Haido – Akio Nojima
Temujin – Gamon Kaai / Yūko Katō
Fugai – Urara Takano
Kamira – Sachiko Kojima
Ranke – Houko Kuwashima
Emina – Tomoka Kurokawa
Kahiko – Nachi Nozawa

Movie details

Mid – Credits: Yes (Non - Sequel related)

End – Credits: No

Before the Review: Coronavirus continues to dominate the news and impacting people’s lives. People are still panic buying and unfortunately, the cinema remains closed, but for good reason. Moving on again, whilst at a supermarket, one entitled customer wanted to go over limit and was challenged by security. A mini van driver was speeding through and cutting in-between lanes, only to join a queue and turn left at the traffic lights. One driver in a hurry drove up a priority direction (not theirs) and ended up causing heavy congestion. Some people just don’t care!

Review: The second Naruto movie swaps Sasuke Uchiha with Shikamaru Nara, with appearances by Gaara, alongside his brother Kankuro. Gaara, personally, is becoming a more important character in the Naruto series due to his age being similar to Naruto’s and a former fellow jinchūriki (Humans housing tailed beasts within themselves), which is more or less the main plot line of the series regarding Naruto himself!

I get the impression that the movies are not as grounded as the television series as they explore a different direction. For example, the Stone of Gelel is a powerful artefact and within the television series, there are also powerful artefacts like Benihisago (Gourd), but not as powerful, although they are developed more for a better understanding of what they can do. For what did not appear in the series, usually finds its way to the movies, and hopefully these can be explored a bit more.

The movie itself I thought was a dood effort. It is usually Naruto’s will and determination that shines through and tends to influence the direction of the movie. There was added humour and talents like Shikamaru’s strategic mind were showcased in the movie. It was nice to see Gaara and his brother, Kankuro getting more involved as the movies try to align with the television series, making for a decent effort.

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.