Dong-won Gang and Jung-hyun Lee are the stars of Peninsula, the sequel to director Sang-ho Yeon’s well received zombie thriller Train To Busan (2016).
Set four years after the zombie outbreak, the Korean peninsula is devastated and Jung-seok, a former soldier who escaped overseas is given a mission to go back. To his surprise he finds survivors.
Train To Busan has been on my list of movies I should probably watch for a while now. It’s just that I’m not generally drawn to zombie films . However, due in part to me not wanting to miss out and after the brilliance of the first Korean movie I ever watched (Parasite (2019), I really should make time.
It’ll probably be nice to spend a little time reminiscing about that one time in 2012 when I was there. Not Busan, but Itaewon, South Korea.
The fun trailer, ’being a fan of old school Jim Carrey’ and 90s nostalgia are the main reasons I was drawn to Sonic The Hedgehog; a story about a super fast alien hedgehog. One who must avoid government capture, with the help of a small town cop named Tom (James Marsden).
As director Jeff Fowler’s movie played, I soon realised that there are only really two things that kept me watching and somewhat enthused. The first is Marsden’s character. I just generally enjoy Marsden’s roles. The second is Adam Pally as Wade. His dialogue reminded me of how much I really enjoyed his work as Dr. Peter Prentice on The Mindy Project.
I’m definitely not saying that any of the other actors were bad. It’s just that I didn’t find most of the story and particularly the dialogue especially inspiring or fresh.
As for Carrey’s role as evil genius Dr. Robitnik, it turns out that seeing Carrey play a character similar to the ones I used to enjoy watching him play back in the 90s felt far too ‘same old, same old,’ rather than exciting and fun.
I’m sure that fans of the Sonic The Hedgehog games will enjoy this movie that little bit more. Sadly for me, even with some good special effects, star power, and a few useful notes on loneliness and isolation, I didn’t find Sonic The Hedgehog to be as fun as I’d hoped.
Guns Akimbo, is the story of Miles (Daniel Radcliffe), a nerdy video game developer whose life changes drastically and against his will, when he becomes the next contestant in an underground live-streamed real-life death match.
Watching Radcliffe play a character extremely far removed from the one he’s most known for is a key reason I wanted to see Guns Akimbo. The fact that the trailer gave me slight ‘The Hunger Games for the social media age’ vibes is another reason.
Post viewing, I can now say that I found Guns Akimbo to be an OK movie overall. For me personally, it’s not really until the forty five minute mark that things became most engaging. After this point is when the memorable, well executed scenes, particularly regarding the humour, action and music took place. An example being the fight scene featuring a funny and well timed ’Stop. Hammer time’ reference.
There’s also one or two scenes that have rather stylish camera work and / or great special effects; plus an unexpected turn in the story. It’s arguably no wonder then that Quentin Tarantino came to mind a few times. Tarantino is an absolute master in terms of style, story, music and overall execution. And what writer / director Jason Lei Howden does with these elements in Guns Akimbo made me see him as one of Tarantino’s promising students. One who still has room to grow. Especially considering this is only his second feature length film.
Earlier in the movie there’s a scene where I thought that Miles could have ended his troubles by simply taking the time to explain his predicament to an injured officer but he didn’t. Later on we do get to see why that would have likely not worked. Still, I wish the writing had been so tight that I wouldn’t have had to question any of the character’s choices at all.
I’m happy to say that on the strength of the parts of Howden’s film that I really did enjoy, I’m now intrigued to see what he does next.
If you haven’t seen it yet, perhaps give Guns Akimbo a chance if you’re especially curious.
High Ground is a Stephen Johnson directed action / thriller starring Simon Baker, Callan Mulvey and Jack Thompsom.
Set in Australia in 1919, after fighting in WWI as a sniper, Travis (Baker), now a Policeman in northern Australia loses control of an operation that results in the massacre of an Indigenous tribe.
When his superiors insist on burying the truth, Travis leaves in disgust, only to be forced back twelve years later to hunt down an Aboriginal warrior whose attacks on new-settlers are causing havoc. Once again, things don’t go quite as smoothly as Travis hoped…
I’m drawn to this one because of the promising visuals, the words ‘Australia’s untold history‘ and the long chase sequence hinted at in this trailer.
Caren Pistorius, Ryan Corr, John Bray, Mark Garrawurra, Frances Djubiling, Jimmy Cooper, James Demsey, Wakarra Gondarra, John Brumpton, David Field and Mick Glancy also star.
There is a fair amount of newness in this second instalment to keep things interesting. Firstly, the characters are on a completely new level with new dangers, traps and puzzles. Then there’s the addition of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover’s characters. Yet, even with all this newness and more, the main reason director Jake Kasdan’s latest didn’t come out in front for me is in large part because sequels just can’t be as ‘fresh and new’ as their predecessors.
I did also find the ending of the first movie / solving of the final puzzle that little bit more satisfying and action packed. That’s not to say that Kasdan’s film doesn’t feature some very well choreographed action sequences of its own – because the scene with the mandrills and bridges is quite impressive.
In terms of the characters, DeVito as grandpa is the main highlight for me. Followed by the parts played by Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson – unsurprisingly. I just really love their great chemistry, comic timing and fun dialogue. I also remember particularly appreciating Hart’s delivery of the below line, in Glover’s speaking voice and cadence.
‘Did I die – and turn into some kind of muscular Boy Scout?’
One more highlight is of course, the ‘special skill’ of the beautiful black horse.
Watch Jumanji – The Next Level because you’re curious and it’s good. Also, especially if you had fun watching 2017’s Jumanji movie.
I wanted Charlies Angels, an action / comedy about three ass-kicking young women who work for a private detective agency to be a good movie. Unfortunately, I can’t quite say that ‘good’ is the word that best fits.
Part of the reason director Elizabeth Banks’s film isn’t great is firstly, the fact that it offers nothing that hasn’t been seen many, many times before and often better executed. Second, there’s the arguably insufficient chemistry between the three main characters played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. It also really didn’t help that much of the humour – most of which is delivered by Stewart came across as a tad forced.
Lastly, Naomi Scott’s character’s transition from hacker to full blown Angel just seemed unconvincing to me. I mean, the ‘bowl cuts’ sequence was fun but I just couldn’t believe how comfortable she appeared to be in such a high stress predicament. (Could I be projecting here? Maybe a little.)
In terms of what I liked, the on screen presence of the silent, tattooed assassin played by Jonathan Tucker stood out for me in a good way. Plus, newcomer Ella Balinska has me excited to see what her next roles will be. I also did rather enjoy the below line because of the fear it must inspire in the person to whom the words are directed.
‘Oh baby, baby! You swiped right. I’m your girlfriend now!’
Should you find yourself especially curious, give Charlie’s Angels a chance. Otherwise, I trust that you know what to do.
The story about twelve strangers who are chosen and kidnapped for the specific purpose of being hunted is directed by Craig Zobel. And the key cast includes Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Justin Hartley…
I found the original trailer for this movie pretty compelling. This new one isn’t bad but I much prefer the darker more mysterious angle that featured terrifying music. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to seeing Gilpin’s character do her absolute worst and delight her audience.
It was good to learn that this movie hasn’t been changed at all following all the controversy. Only the marketing’s changed. so fingers crossed it ends up being worth the delay.
Steve Coulter, Wayne Duvall, Amy Madigan, Macon Blair, Teri Wyble, Alexander Babara, Sturgill Simpson, Ike Barinholtz and Glenn Howerton also star.