Aquaman (2018)

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aquaman.jpgAquaman is a 2018 superhero film directed by James Wan and based on the DC comics character created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. The all-star cast includes Jason Momoa as the titular character as well as Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Willem Dafoe, Temura Morrison, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Nicole Kidman.

In order to seize the throne from his maniacal half-brother (Wilson), Arthur (Momoa) must go on a quest to reclaim a magic Trident that only the rightful King can wield. With assistance from a rebellious Princess (Heard), Arthur must also uncover the secret of his mother’s (Kidman) disappearance whilst evading a vengeful murderous pirate (Abdul-Mateen).

There are a lot of good things in Aquaman and there are a lot of bad things. There are a lot things in general. So so many things.

For a movie that over 2 hours long, Aquaman feels stuffed to the brim. I counted at least 3 different movie’s worth of storylines crammed into a remarkably convoluted take on the Arthurian legends. Continue reading

Review: Mortal Engines (2018)

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mortalengines.jpgMortal Engines is a 2018 Fantasy Adventure film directed by Christian Rivers in his feature film debut and starring Hera Hilmer, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Stephen Lang and Hugo Weaving. The story is based on the book by Philip Reeve and was co-written and co-produced by Peter Jackson.

In a post-apocalyptic world where cities ride on wheels and consume each other to survive, an orphan (Hilmer) and a historian (Sheehan) meet in London and try to stop a conspiracy orchestrated by the Head of the Guild of Historians (Weaving).

Mortal Engines is a lot of fun and it’s important to state that upfront because the film does not hold up under any form of scrutiny. Continue reading

Review: The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

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oldman.jpgThe Old Man & the Gun is a 2018 Crime Drama written and directed by David Lowery and starring Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover and Tom Waits. The script is based on the New Yorker article of the same name by David Grann.

Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford) and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities (Affleck) and enchanted the public.

Heavily billed as Redford’s final role before retirement, it only makes sense that the film heavily focuses on the acting of its talent.

Redford is of course fantastic, oozing effortless charm and embodying Tucker’s affable but untrustworthy persona. His scenes with Spacek have such a touching believability that their relationship feels almost tangible. The way their eyes sparkle when they look at each is heart-warming and their slow naturalistic conversations are endearing yet long-winded. This isn’t the snappy, precise dialogue that modern audiences are accustomed to, this is slow plodding dialogue fully of pauses and half-finished sentences.
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Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

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spideryverse.jpgSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a 2018 animated movie based on the Marvel superhero Spider-Man and directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman.

With a considerable number of notable characters, the film stars Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber and Nicolas Cage.

Miles Morales (Moore) becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions (Johnson, Steinfeld, Mulaney, Glen and Cage) to stop a threat to all reality from a team of supervillains (Schreiber, Ali and Hahn).

Hands down, Spider-Verse is one of the best Spider-Man movies of all time. Not only that but it’s arguably one of the best animated superhero movies of all time. I think that reason for this is simple: the filmmakers love and understand Spider-Man. Continue reading

Review: Green Book (2018)

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greenbook.jpgGreen Book is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic, The Lord of the Rings) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Marvel’s Luke Cage). The story is based on true events and takes its name from a mid-20th century guidebook for African-American travelers.

A working-class Italian-American bouncer (Mortensen) becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist (Ali) on a tour of venues through the 1960’s American South.

Even whilst dealing with the inevitably heavy racism, the film conforms to the structure of a buddy-comedy road-trip movie, where two characters from two very different walks of life are forced together and become friends over hardships.
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Review: Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N (2018)

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Image-21.jpgMarvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is a brand new immersive experience that opened its door outside the ExCel London on November 30th 2018.

S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is an acronym for Science Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network, where guests will step inside the popular films and become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline, whether trying to lift Thor’s hammer or taking a sneaky peak at Bruce Banners Lab.

The multi-room experience works more as a showcase of props and information from the MCU, with a degree of the interactive element coming from pressing buttons on various displays.

The experience starts with a video briefing from Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) which works as a fitting introduction to the overall atmosphere: giant screens line the walls, darkness everywhere else, staff members that stay in character at all times. It’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that this experience feels as authentic as possible. Continue reading

Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

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Wreck it Ralph 2-2.jpgRalph Breaks the Internet (Wreck-It Ralph 2) is the sequel to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph directed by Phil Johnston and Rich Moore and starring John C. Reily, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Alan Tudyk.

Six years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Ralph (Reily) and Vanellope (Silverman) head to the internet to track down a replacement steering wheel for her arcade game before her game is switched off forever.

Let’s get a few things of the obvious things out of the way first. The animation is outstanding – the colours pop beautifully, the textures are varied and detailed, the scale is outstanding and the character designs are great. The star-studded cast are perfect for their roles and put in fantastic performances (especially Alan Tudyk as KnowsMore). Continue reading