Category Archives: Fantasy

PALM SPRINGS (2020): The Thing I Liked…

Palm Springs (2020), Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, Hulu
Palm Springs (2020), Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, Hulu

Palm Springs is a comedy and a romance film with the added twist of an infinite time loop to complicate things. I’m sure the purpose of this particular storytelling trope was to make things more interesting. Sadly, for me, I couldn’t be more tired of the infinite time loop concept. 

Yes, Palm Springs does bring a certain twist to the concept, but the whole experience just proved tedious rather than refreshing.

Groundhog Day (1993), the first infinite time loop movie I recall watching did a good job of it. And every movie that it has since inspired, that I’ve seen has turned out to be a disappointment. Especially since I understand the concept almost too well, which then means I feel robbed; both of the element of surprise and the movie I’d hoped to be watching.

There’s no denying that Palm Springs is well-acted. Plus, I did laugh a few times. Though just not enough to make me forget how tedious I find infinite time loop movies. 

My last three complaints about director Max Barbakow’s film include the fact that I didn’t fully buy into the romance. I also found the frantic nature of things exhausting, and finally, that cheesy – dare I say cringe ‘sister speech’ at the wedding towards the end may have caused me to say ‘Ugh! CHEESE! I have a dairy issue!’ 

Infinite time loop movie fans should give Palm Springs a chance, along with others who are simply curious. Who knows, you like many others may not find it as disappointing as I did.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE OLD GUARD (2020): The Things I Liked…

The Old Guard (2020), Charlize Theron
The Old Guard (2020), Charlize Theron

The Old Guard, an action/fantasy about a covert team of immortal mercenaries is not a bad film. However, though everyone performed well, for me, the movie tended to shine best when the camera was on its main character, Andy (Charlize Theron).

Another thing that director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s movie does well is the fight choreography; the kind that had me wanting to see the behind the scenes rehearsals as soon as possible. Especially for the major sequence towards the end.

As far as action/fantasies go, The Old Guard’s story is a good one and perfect for a sequel which I’d watch right away if it were possible. As you watch Theron, KiKi Layne, and Matthias Schoenaerts’s, another bit of good news is that it gets better as you continue to watch and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to guess everything that’s going to happen as the story unfolds.

What you probably should expect though is to be moved, because The Old Guard is definitely fun but it’s also more moving than you may anticipate and there’s certainly a lot more to love than not.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE OLD GUARD (2020): New Trailer Starring Charlize Theron, Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, KiKi Lane…

The Old Guard (2020), Charlize Theron
The Old Guard (2020), Charlize Theron

Read my spoiler-free movie review of The Old Guard (2020).


Charlize Theron, Matthias Schoenaerts, Chiwetel Ejiofor and KiKi Lane are the stars of The Old Guard, a new fantasy/action movie directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Theron plays the leader of a covert team of immortal mercenaries who are suddenly exposed, just as an unexpected new member is discovered. And so begins the fight to keep their identity a secret.

All this business of rapid healing has me intrigued, and I also find myself suddenly suspicious of Lane’s character.

I already know that Schoenaerts and Theron will be great. Fingers crossed for another good mercenary action movie from Netflix, especially considering the fun I had with Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction (2020).

Harry Melling, Natacha Karam, Marwan Kenzari, Van Veronica Ngo, Anamaria Marinca, Luca Marinelli, Adam Collins, Joey Ansah, Tuncay Gunes and Russell Balogh also star.

The Old Guard Release Dates: July 10th, 2020, Netflix/ Internet…

Happy Film Loving

G

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.

Happy Film Loving

G

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.

Happy Film Loving

G

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.

Happy Film Loving

G

JUNGLE CRUISE (2020): New Trailer Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jesse Plemons, Edgar Ramírez…

Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios
Jungle Cruise (2020), Emily Blunt,Dwayne Johnson, Walt Disney Studios

A fun new trailer for Disney’s Jungle Cruise just landed.

A fantasy / adventure based on Disneyland’s theme park ride, where a small riverboat takes a group of travellers through a jungle where everything wants to kill you, and there’s a the promise of the supernatural…

Emily Blunt, Dwayne Johnson, Edgar Ramirez and Jesse Plemons star while Jaume Collet-Serra directs.

I like that Jungle Cruise kind of reminds me of Jumanji – and not just because of Johnson and the jungle setting.

The Johnson / Blunt dynamic looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait to hear more from the villains. For example, who is Ramirez playing because the snake through the face moment in this trailer is quite something.

Veronica Falcón, Andy Nyman, Paul Giamatti, Quim Gutiérrez, Raphael Alejandro and Mark Ashworth also star.

Jungle Cruise Release Dates: July 30th, 2021 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ARTEMIS FOWL (2020): New Trailer From Colin Farrell, Josh gad, Judi Dench, Ferdia Shaw…

Artemis Fowl (2020), Colin Farrell, Ferdia Shaw, Walt Disney Studios
Artemis Fowl (2020), Colin Farrell, Ferdia Shaw, Walt Disney Studios

The latest trailer for Artemis Fowl, a fantasy / adventure about a young criminal mastermind is here.

Directed by Kenneth Brannagh; key cast includes Colin Farrell, Judi Dench Josh Gad, Ferdia Shaw…

With this one, rather than the story, I find myself more interested in the special effects, especially where the villains / monsters are concerned.

Fantasy is generally not my go to genre. However I do like Farrell, and I’m sure I’d eventually forget about how little Shaw seems to resemble Farrell once the movie gets started.

Nikesh Patel, Hong Chau, Nonso Anozie, Miranda Raison, Adrian Scarborough, Taylor James, Lara McDonnell, Joshua McGuire, and Ferdia Shaw also star.

Artemis Fowl Release Dates: June 12th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G