Aquaman 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
Mortal 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
The 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.
Spider-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
Green 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.
Marvel’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
Ralph 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
Solis is a 2018 Sci-Fi thriller written and directed by Carl Strathie and starring Steven Ogg (The Walking Dead) and Alice Lowe (Prevenge).
“When Troy Holloway (Ogg) wakes up to find himself trapped aboard a drifting escape pod shooting towards the Sun he quickly realises the true terror of his situation. With rapid oxygen depletion and a burn- up rate of 90 minutes, Commander Roberts (Lowe) leads a rescue party to save Holloway before time runs out.”
It’s worth mentioning right here at the start that Solis is very similar to the 2010 thriller Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy, a truck driver working in Iraq who wakes up buried alive in a coffin with only a lighter and a mobile phone.
On the one hand, Holloway has a lot more to do than Conroy in Buried which leads to a far more proactive lead character. He is also able to explore the immediate outside of his entrapment which is far more than we ever see in Buried.
Welcome Home is a 2018 thriller directed by George Ratliff and starring Emily Ratajkowski (Gone Girl), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Riccardo Scamarcio (John Wick: Chapter 2).
“Cassie (Ratajkowski) and Bryan (Paul) spend a weekend at a vacation rental home in the Italian countryside in an attempt to repair their relationship, but soon become victims of the homeowner’s (Scamarcio) sinister plans.”
Simplicity is the name of the game with Welcome Home as the main characters are the only ones we’ll be dealing with for 95% of the run-time. The movie really is as simple as a troubled couple being terrorised by a third party, whose intentions aren’t always clear or consistent. And whilst a larger plot is hinted in the final moments, it has little bearing over the actual events of the film and the re-contextualisation somewhat weakens the threat of the main villain.
I’ve never been LARPing before.
That’s effectively what Zed Events are offering with their latest attraction, “The Wasteland Experience”. A group of adults carrying fake guns being led through an abandoned shopping mall full of actors – both friendly and unfriendly – whose sole job is to scare the players as much as possible.
Does that sound like fun?
Because it is.
It’s a lot of fun. And I mean a hell of a lot of fun.