Category Archives: Adventure

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN (2020): New Trailer From Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren…

The One and Only Ivan (2020), Walt Disney Studios
The One and Only Ivan (2020), Walt Disney Studios

In Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston and Sam Rockwell’s latest ,The One and Only Ivan, a gorilla tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Stella, as they work on a plan to escape from captivity.

A partly animated adventure/comedy directed by Thea Sharrock, additional key cast includes Danny DeVito, Brooklynn Prince, Phillipa Soo…

I’m certainly not the biggest fan of circuses. As such, I’m glad it looks as though by the end, this movie will put a big smile on my face. Also, it has elephants!

Ariana Greenblatt, Eleanor Matsuura, Ramon Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez, Betsy Graver and Owain Arthur

The one and Only Ivan Release Dates: Augustt 21st, 2020 (US)…

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THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME (2020): New Trailer From Edgar Ramírez, Michael Pitt, Sharlto Copley…

The Last Days of American Crime (2020), Edgar Ramírez, Netflix
The Last Days of American Crime (2020), Edgar Ramírez, Netflix

Based on the graphic novel by Greg Tocchini; The Last Days of American Crime is a new action/crime movie starring Edgar Ramírez, Michael Pitt and Sharlto Copley.

Directed by Olivier Megaton, the story is set in a not-too-distant future. A future where America’s final response to terrorism and crime is the the government having the ability to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit a crime.

I’m in to find out more about the ‘freezing crime’ capabilities. Fingers crossed that the story around the tech is equally compelling.

Anna Brewster, Jay Anstey, Inge Beckmann, Sean Cameron Michael, Tamer Burjaq, Robert Hobbs, Daniel Fox and Clayton Boyd also star.

The Last Days of American Crime Release Dates: June 5th, 2020 (US)/ Netflix…

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BIRDS OF PREY – AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN (2020): The Things I Liked

Birds Of Prey (2020), Margot Robbie, Warner Bros. Pictures
Birds Of Prey (2020), Margot Robbie, Warner Bros. Pictures

What I enjoyed most about Birds Of Prey – And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn is all the moments that Margot Robbie was on screen as Harley Quinn. I liked Robbie’s performance and the film’s very colourful and visually pleasing aesthetic. 

Directed by Cathy Yan and set just after Harley Quinn breaks up with the Joker – then ends up joining three other female superheroes, I have to admit that I was unconvinced by all the female solidarity. I’m not saying that all that happened isn’t very possible. It’s just that the way the stories of each of the characters played out and led to all four coming together for one cause didn’t feel as smooth / seamless and satisfying as I’d imagined. 

After the disappointment of Suicide Squad back in 2016, I had feared that Birds of Prey would leave me wanting, and it seems my fears came true. It certainly doesn’t help that I didn’t quite like Ewan McGregor as the villain either. I’ve just seen more engaging and interesting superhero movie villains in other stories.

Overall, even though I appreciate the message behind the story, I didn’t fully enjoy the delivery. I only really made it to the end of Birds of Prey because of Robbie and all the hype about Harley Quinn. 

As some of you may have gathered, I’m more of a Marvel fan when it comes to superhero films. I mean, I’ll take Batman (the Christian Bale era) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, but everything else DC can keep.

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AVENGERS – ENDGAME (2019): The Things I Liked…

Avengers - Endgame (2019), Chris Evans, Marvel Studios
Avengers – Endgame (2019), Chris Evans, Marvel Studios

I know that around the time Avengers – Endgame was released in 2019, there were next to zero complaints about whether the final instalment in the four-movie avengers’ franchise was good or not. Even still, I was very happy to see for myself that soon after Avengers – Endgame started, everything Marvel is known for doing exceptionally well when they’re at their best was very present in Avengers – Endgame. From visually arresting action choreography, good dialogue, memorable special effects to engaging humour, characters and story.

Directed once again by Joe and Anthony Russo, everything picks up in the aftermath of all the devastation that took place at the hand of Thanos in AvengersInfinity War. With even higher stakes than before, Captain America, Tony Stark, The Hulk and their allies have one final chance to reverse everything Thanos did and restore balance throughout the universe.

At the risk of repeating myself, as was the case with Avengers – Infinity War, I don’t personally have any complaints about Avengers – Endgame because I had fun through it all. An additional highlight for me is all the extra movie references. Plus, just as Thanos was the absolute star and my favourite character of Avengers – Infinity War, the number one avenger in this movie is Thor; specifically ‘out of shape Thor.’ I found the surprise dive into Chris Hemsworth’s character so much fun that I’m quite sure I’ve never liked Thor more than I do in Avengers – Endgame.

Of all the Avengers films, Avengers – Endgame is perhaps the most moving / emotional. Specifically as someone who’s probably best described in this case as a casual Marvel fan, I can only imagine how much more significant an experience Avengers – Endgame must have been for the most serious Marvel fans.

Now that it’s all over, for now, I’m left wondering how long it will be before a brand new generation of avengers is announced. I’m in no specific hurry but when do you think the announcements will happen – assuming it hasn’t already happened. And how soon is too soon? I feel like a year or two from now is madness, but then I again I’m not a Marvel super fan.

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THE WILLOUGHBYS (2020): Its…

The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix
The Willoughbys (2020), Netflix

For animated movies to fully keep my attention, it usually helps if funny, fun, cute and moving / heartwarming are key elements of the well written story and finished film. Unfortunately, in The Willoughbys, neither of these themes came across especially strongly for me

Directors Kris Pearn, Cory Evans and Rob Lodermeier’s movie about four children with terrible parents. The kind who only have time for themselves and their romantic love proved quite disappointing. 

Even though the The Willoughbys has some funny moments, it’s the kind of humour that made me smile instead of laugh. The finished film also had the quirkiness and darkness that got my attention during the trailer. Yet, for me,  it’s almost  as if the story tried to do too many things at once,. A reality which then ended up resulting in a finished product that felt disjointed and not as engaging or entertaining as I’d hoped. In fact, by the time The Willoughbys’s overarching theme about ‘the family you choose’ came along, it barely proved impactful. At least not in a way that I connected with.

Even though within thirty minutes of hitting play, I knew I wasn’t really enjoying The Willoughbys, I still thought that I’d eventually get into it and the story would finally settle into a groove I could get on board with. Sadly not.

As for the pointy noises I mentioned in my response to the trailer, they didn’t prove as jarring as they were initially, but that’s not to say that I was ever fully comfortable with them either. 

Give The Willoughbys a chance if you’re very curious. Some people find it refreshingly different. I’m clearly not one of them but perhaps you are.

Happy Film Loving

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AVENGERS – INFINITY WAR (2018): The Things I Liked…

Avengers - Infinity War (2018), Thanos
Avengers – Infinity War (2018), Thanos

From director brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers – Infinity War is the one where the likes of Captain America, Black Widow, Thor and Iron Man, along with their allies come together in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin). For Thanos is hellbent on not just putting an end to half of planet Earth, but half of the entire universe, for reasons including it’s his ‘destiny’.

It’s not often that I’m struggling to come up with what I find to be ‘not so great’ about a movie I’m reviewing, but I really have no complaints about Avengers – Infinity War. The story and execution were great and Josh Brolin as Thanos is very much the perfect supervillain.

Brolin did a truly memorable job with his character. His voice performance was just perfect and did a lot to help make Avengers – Infinity War the impressive movie that it is – in addition to the stunning visual effects, dialogue and so on. 

Thanos is the kind of villain I actually thought Ultron would be  in Avengers – Age of Ultron (2015). At the very least in terms of screen time. James Spader’s performance as Ultron was indeed great. It’s just that among a few other things, Ultron wasn’t featured in the movie half as much as the film’s trailer suggested he would be.  

If by any chance you too enjoyed The Avengers (2012) but were left disappointed enough with Avengers Age of Ultron to take a two year break from the avengers movies, Avengers – Infinity War will very likely get you right back on board. Another reason you’ll want to get back into it all is Avenger – Endgame (2019), of course.

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FANTASY ISLAND (2020): The Thing I Liked…

Fantasy Island (2020), Lucy Hale, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Fantasy Island (2020), Lucy Hale, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Starring Michael Peña, Lucy Hale, Portia Doubleday and Maggie Q, the best time I had watching director Jeff Wadlow’s new fantasy / adventure / horror film Fantasy Island is at the very start because it opens well. There were also a few other suspenseful moments and chase sequences that commanded my attention.

The unfortunate thing is that it became quite clear soon after the start that this is a story that isn’t as well thought out or clever as I’d hoped. It felt simplistic, slow in parts and unconvincing. The latter especially because how could one book a stay at a resort that promises you the chance to live out your most elaborate fantasies but without finding out the detail of what that actually really means? Particularly since you had to complete a questionnaire beforehand to state what your fantasies are. I’m clearly not a big fan of surprises that aren’t guaranteed to be pleasant, especially if I’m paying big bucks for it.

If you really, REALLY must, then hit that play button. Otherwise, maybe watch Lost; a TV show also set on a mysterious Island. Unfortunately no movies similar to Fantasy Island came to mind as I wrote this.

Lastly, I actually never even made it past half of season two of Lost so I probably shouldn’t be recommending it.

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CAPTAIN MARVEL (2018): The Things I Liked…

Captain Marvel (2018), Brie Larson, Marvel Studios
Captain Marvel (2018), Brie Larson, Marvel Studios

The subject of Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios’s first superhero film with a female superhero as the main character is Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). Danvers is an officer of the United States Air Force who, following an accident, ends up becoming one of the universe’s most powerful heroes.

Also starring Lashana Lynch, Jude Law, Annette Bening and directed by Anna Boden plus Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel features the classic elements of the superhero origin story. Yet it also has a couple of satisfying twists and turns I didn’t see coming, especially since I don’t read comic books.

Well acted, adequately engaging – both story-wise and visually, what will stay with me most about this movie is the moment I realised and saw just how powerful Captain Marvel really is. A truth that had me both wowed and wondering about who the most powerful avenger actually is. I also couldn’t help but be curious about the important role Captain Marvel would eventually play in Avengers Endgame (2019).

Having seen Wonder Woman (2017), DC Comic’s first female superhero movie months prior to the Captain Marvel release, part of the reason I was drawn to the latter film was to find out which of the two movies I’d find more entertaining. In short, the answer is Wonder woman. I’m not saying I think it’s a perfect film but I do remember enjoying the humour, story, action, musical score and visual effects that little bit more.

I’m now wondering if Wonder woman will still come out in front once I’ve seen the sequels for both films, when they eventually arrive.

I’d say watch Captain Marvel if you’re curious but you probably already have. So instead I’ll ask, which movie did you prefer and why? Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman?

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