Category Archives: Fantasy

RENFIELD (2023): New Trailer From Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Schwartz, Awkwafina…

Starring Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Ben Schwartz and Awkwafina; the trailer for director Chris McKay’s comedy/fantasy/horror Renfield is here.

The very promising story follows Renfield, the tortured aide to Dracula, history’s most narcissistic boss. 

After centuries of servitude, Renfield is now ready to see if there is life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness.

I like this angle on the Dracula story, especially considering that it’s a comedy. 

As for Hoult’s involvement, first he was ‘R’ in Warm Bodies (2013) and now he is Renfield. I just realised that, for me, there’s something about Hoult in ghostly face makeup that makes his characters that much more intriguing. I’m sure it’s more about his prowess at portraying vulnerability, or his facial features rather than the white face paint that draw me in. Either way, I’m excited and ready for the fun dialogue plus action that Renfield is promising to serve up. 

It will certainly be interesting to see the clever solution that Renfield settles on to end this unpleasant phase of his working life. Let’s wish the poor chap a lot of luck.

Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Schwartz, Brandon Scott Jones, Jenna Kanell, Caroline Williams, Adrian Martinez, Joshua Mikel, Choppy Guillotte, Dave Davis, Gissette Valentin, Taylor Shurte and Bess Rous also star.

Happy Film Loving

G

AVATAR (2009): The Thing I Missed…

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to re-watch Avatar (2009), writer/director James Cameron’s action/adventure/fantasy about a paraplegic Marine dispatched on a unique mission to the moon Pandora.

Perhaps even more so than the impressive special effects Avatar is most known for, I particularly remember how strongly Cameron’s film reminded me of how easily evil wins when those who oppose it do nothing. And post second viewing, I can confirm that said message still rings clearly for me today. I mean, it is a recurrent theme in the human experience.

There is one other thing that stood out ever so clearly to me this time around. And it’s something that barely registered back in 2009, Zoe Saldana’s emotional performance as Neytiri. The visuals must have been too stunning for me to notice her contribution the first time around. But, as they say, better late than never, right? I certainly have a brand new respect for Saldana as an actor now.

As cliché as some feel the Avatar story is, for me, the thought never crossed my mind as I took in the movie. Perhaps I was too engaged with all the arresting audio-visual events happening before my eyes at the time. Whatever the case, I’m glad Avatar exists, and I was here to watch, even if Avatar may not end up in my list of top ten favourite movies.

I’m sure that by now, several of you have already re-watched Avatar and the follow-up Avatar – The Way of Water. And based on what many have said, both films are as impressive and epic as James Cameron movies are known to be. I’ll likely agree with this sentiment when I finally see The Way of Water before this month ends. I wonder what I’ll miss and only notice when I watch it again several years later. 

Did you also rewatch Avatar before the new release? And if so, how do you feel upon second viewing? Perhaps you also missed something the first time around.

Happy Film Loving

AVATAR – THE WAY OF WATER (2022): New Trailer From James Cameron, Starring Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi…

Director James Cameron is properly back with the finished sequel to Avatar (2009).

Avatar – The Way of Water is set more than ten years after the events of the first film. Planet Pandora is under attack once more. And Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), plus his new-found family must do everything possible to keep each other safe.

Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Giovanni Ribisi are among the key cast.

To watch or not to watch Avatar – The Way of Water? Doesn’t that sound like the silliest question to ask a movie enthusiast? The answer is both yes and no. The former is true because all James Cameron movies are an event. A truth that arguably applies to him more than most.

Even though I may not be in the mood to watch a film about a family fighting for survival by the time this is released, I would be doing myself a disservice as a dedicated movie enthusiast by not watching it. Especially considering how impressive I found Avatar to be.

The reason the above question is not the silliest is this: No one thing is ever really loved by all, and that is the way of the human.

I’m curious, how highly anticipated is Avatar – The Way of Water for you? I haven’t been as excited as I ought to be because of all the release delays over the years. Yet, something tells me that will all change once the opening credits begin.

Jemaine Clement, Bailey Bass, Edie Falco, Joel David Moore, Chloe Coleman, Jack Champion, Cliff Curtis, Jamie Flatters, CCH Pounder, Britain Dalton, Matt Gerald and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss also star.

Avatar – The Way of Water Release Dates: December 16th, 2022 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving,

G

WEDNESDAY (2022): New Trailer Starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Luis Guzmán…

Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán are the stars of the new The Addams Family spin-off series, Wednesday.

Focused on Wednesday Addams, we get to watch the mischievous Addams daughter as a high school student. She’ll be getting up to her usual fun to watch shenanigans, as well as attempting to master her emerging psychic ability and solve the mystery that’s embroiled her parents.

I must admit that this delightful little trailer has made me so very happy indeed. And what a wonderful young talent Ortega is.

The fact that Wednesday is a series and has input from Tim Burton is the reason this looks like so much fun.

Bring on all that promising humour, beautiful set and costume design. I’m ready!

Emma Myers, Jamie McShane, Joy Sunday, Riki Lindhome, Thora Birch and Hunter Doohan also star.

Wednesday Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

BLACK ADAM (2022): New Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi, Noah Centineo, Pierce Brosnan…

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra; Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi , Noah Centineo and Pierce Brosnan are the stars of new action/fantasy/sci-fi, Black Adam. A character for whom unleashing his unique form of justice on the modern world is a key goal.

And who can blame him really, when nearly 5000 years ago, he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods-and imprisoned just as quickly.

I Can’t wait to see what Johnson brings to this. Even as fatigued as I am with the superhero genre, the hope and possible promise of some difference always has a way of making me sit up and pay attention.

Also, surely it’s a positive sign when something that happens in a movie trailer results in at least one loud ‘WOOO….’ from me. Let’s hope!

Uli Latukefu, Aldis Hodge, Marwan Kenzari, Joseph Gatt, Quintessa Swindell, Chaim Jeraffi and Jalon Christian are among the cast.

Black Adam Release Dates: October 21st, 2022 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SUICIDE SQUAD (2021): The Things I Liked…

As far as movie disappointments go, Suicide Squad (2016) is up there for me. And since I’m one of those ‘once bitten, twice shy’ people, I took my sweet time to watch The suicide Squad (2021); DC’s James Gunn directed attempt to redeem themselves. 

My main hope with Gunn’s movie was for the story to be great. And for the finished film to be worthy of Margot Robbie’s super captivating take on Harley Quinn. If you’ve seen the Suicide Squad Comic-Con trailers, then you understand.

I can say without hesitation that The Suicide Squad is unequivocally better than Suicide Squad (2016). But, did I love it? Well, my favourite characters are played by Robbie and Idris Elba; no surprises there. Robbie’s Harley Quinn isn’t even featured particularly heavily. But, thankfully, when she was on screen, missing her a little in other scenes proved just about worth it.

Story-wise, I had more fun with this second movie, thanks in part to one or two surprise twists and turns. There’s also the moments of excellent camerawork, stunt work, special effects and a particularly well-executed last quarter.

The Suicide Squad (2021), Idris Elba, Warner Bros. Pictures
The Suicide Squad (2021), Idris Elba, Warner Bros. Pictures

The parts that made my experience less than desired include the rather annoying characters who worked closely with Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller. There’s also a specific emotional scene between Elba and Cleo Cazo’s Ratcatcher that felt forced and not entirely earned. Lastly, I don’t love rats, AT ALL. But that weasel!

Perhaps I should just be grateful that this movie did a better job of weaving a story around many hardly known characters than the 2016 film. By ‘hardly known’, I mainly mean hardly known by non-readers of comic books, such as myself, of course. I’m certainly glad that Gunn’s movie is an improvement on the Suicide Squad story. Even if the film still has a somewhat empty/surface-level quality to it.

Besides The Suicide Squad being quite fun, particularly towards the end, both films are fixed in my mind as reminders of just how difficult it must be to deliver a truly great story, one that features many comic book characters. 

Watch it if you’re curious. There’s definitely some fun to be had. 

Happy Film Loving 

MORTAL KOMBAT (2021): The Things I Liked…

Mortal Kombat (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures
Mortal Kombat (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures

I haven’t watched many video game movies. That’s largely because upon release of the films of the past, even though the trailer may have had me super excited, soon after release, I hear nothing but bad things. 

Mortal Kombat, a hugely successful video game I’ve played in the past, and the story of the search for Earth’s greatest champions to fight in a high stakes battle for the universe is a fun movie. One with great special effects and an engaging story. 

Mortal Kombat isn’t perfect, but it is the best movie based on a video game that I’ve ever seen. Starring Jessica McNamee, Joe Taslim, Josh Lawson, and Hiroyuki Sanada, and more; I had so much fun that I thought about how proud I hope everyone who made it is. Because more than twice, the words ‘This is so fun/cool’ escaped my lips as I beamed. The fight choreography and special effects are my favourite thing. Then comes the characters and all else.

If you’re familiar with the game, then you know that this is a violent film. However, it still didn’t feel as gruesome as some Tarantino movies I’ve seen. 

There’s one moment in director Simon McQuoid’s film where a key moment involving Cole Young could have been executed slightly differently because it deserved more to be made of it. Yet, a few seconds later, that minor disappointment was behind me and I was back to hoping that everyone involved is super proud of what they’d achieved. It’s likely that the action was just relentless, engaging and fun enough to think about, let alone care about the areas the movie could improve. But what can I say? I wanted fun action and great special effects, which I got.

Even if you’ve never played the game, watch Mortal Kombat. And if you’ve seen other fighter/action/adventure video game movies, by the end of this one, you may just have a new favourite.

Happy Film Loving

G

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021): New Trailer Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michelle Yeoh…

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Awkwafina, Marvel Entertainment
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), Awkwafina, Marvel Entertainment

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the latest offering from Marvel Entertainment isn’t something I was expecting. But I sure am glad it’s here.

Starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung; director Destin Daniel Cretton’s action/adventure/fantasy movie is based on a Marvel comic book, of course, and it focuses on a character named Shang-Chi who’s forced to deal with his past and the mysterious Ten Rings organisation.

So many reasons to be excited about this one. Firstly, I used to watch comedy series Kim’s Convenience. And it’s so great to see one of its stars (Liu) as the lead in a Marvel movie.

Second, I personally had zero prior knowledge of this story. befor ethis trailer. I therefore can’t wait to find out and enjoy all the ways Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is both similar to, and different from other Marvel movies.

Lastly, who could possibly resist the combination of a troubled father/son relationship, exciting fight choreography and all the usual ‘Marvel cool,’ and more? Not me!

Florian Munteanu, Ronny Chieng, Fala Chen, Dallas Liu, Meng’er Zhang and Kelli Bailey also star.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Release Dates: September 3rd, 2021 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G