Tomb Raider (2018)

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I did a short and sweet post on this reboot on here and have been looking forward to seeing how this movie compares to the previous films starring Angelina Jolie.

The story is pretty simple, Lara is choosing not to accept the death of her father Richard Croft and rebel against who she is, until she has to be bailed out by his company.  She returns to ‘the croft manor’ only to find clues to lead her to the last whereabouts of her ‘late’ father in hopes of finding out what happened to him.

Alicia Vikander is a good choice as the lead character in this movie and I actually preferred her to Angelina Jolie’s take on the character because I think that the previous Tomb Raider films were more about style and gadgets that the gritty game character we know and love.  If you want a ‘sex symbol’ you’ll be disappointed but if you want something closer to the earlier games and more action and close calls then you’ll enjoy this.

Walton Goggins is always a good bad guy, he’s great in a series called ‘Justified’ which is worth watching if you haven’t already.  It’s important for a reboot to have a good villain especially with Lara Croft because the ‘villains’ play such a key role in both the games and films.

Special effects wise, you can’t fault this movie.  It’s action packed from start to finish which is exactly what I was hoping for going in, it’s not the ‘I know every move and you can’t beat me’ type of film, there’s some scene where Lara get’s beaten up pretty badly herself.

Personally I really enjoyed this movie, I’d heard mixed reviews and went in with an open mind to be pleasantly surprised.  If you want a more gritty, younger and action packed style Tomb Raider then you’ll enjoy this film.  Judging by the ending, depending on how well it does there’s going to be more to follow….

Perfect Popcorn Score – Good non-stop action packed fun, it could have had a slightly better storyline but it set up for a franchise quite well.  I’m giving it a strong seven! 7/10

 

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Black Panther (2018)

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Captain American:Civil War introduced us all to a new hero, Black Panther.  We see that after the death of his father, the new king T’Challa seeks revenge on the ones that caused his fathers death.  Things get complicated and basically, he returns to him homeland of Wakanda after helping restore order amongst the other heroes.

Black Panther sees our hero have to fight to claim the throne throughout the film.  First facing another tribe leader and then having to face his own vengeful cousin.

This film is full of non stop action from start to finish because, it’s smack bang in the middle of Civil War and Infinity War so there’s no time to waste.  It feels as though we’re too far down the line here for an origin story but this film does work on some level.  I think that in order to have Black Panther fighting with our other heroes we needed to see him prove he can live up to them, this film proves that.

The acting is great, such a brilliant cast including up and coming actor Daniel Kaluuya who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in ‘Get Out’.  We’ve also got some old favourites such as Forest Whitaker and Andy Circus in supporting roles. I personally am still warming to Chadwick Boseman, I’ve not seen him in enough to know whether or not I like him just yet.  He’s alright as Black Panther but I think there are better young actors out there, time will tell…

As with all Marvel movies the VFX are flawless, there’s plenty of them in this one due to the advanced technology in the city of Wakanda it’s got more of a sci-fi feel to it then other Marvel movies and the actual sets and landscapes used are stunning, my personal favourite without saying to much is scene when T’Challa is ‘dreaming’.

Overall, it’s a good addition to the Marvel franchise however, it lacks connections to the other films in more ways than one.  If you see this movie as a stand alone film then you’ll enjoy it but as a Marvel fan that was wanting an explanation on a certain story-line you’ll be disappointed like me…

Perfect Popcorn Score – Black Panther gets a seven from me, I wanted something that connects because I think that’s the stage we’re at now and this felt isolated. Also something was never brought up and I think the fans needed it to be addressed. 7/10

Red Sparrow (2018)

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Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is a ballet dancer and also a carer for her mother, (Joely Richardson). She finds herself in a dangerous situation which leads her into a secret government programme.  This programme trains people to become ‘sparrows’, a specific kind of spy, used to seduce it’s target to extract information from them.  Her target is Nate Nash, (Joel Edgerton) and as suggested in the trailer there is a romance between the two characters.

There’s a lot of good actors in this film, Jeremy IronsCharlotte Rampling and Ciaran Hinds, too name a few.  It looked so promising in the trailer, I hoped for something on the same level as Bourne but with a female lead.  I can’t criticise the acting, all performances were good but I just felt like I could predict every scene’s outcome in this movie.  There was no twists or shocking revelations that a good spy film should have, it was all so ‘safely’ written.

There’s plenty of action and violence, if you’re squeamish you may need to look away at one scene in particular but I’ll let you get there and guess that one. This film doesn’t stop but at the same time our heroin doesn’t seem to get stronger.  She starts off pretty strong and stays that way, sure she learns a few new skills but she’s not a better person in the end.

I’ll be honest with you, this one should have gone straight to DVD or download whatever you guys watch these days… I’ve seen a couple of movies that haven’t even got cinema release and they’re better than this! So predictable, give me something new or at least something with an actual story that holds my attention cause I have to say, this got boring.

Perfect Popcorn Score – Red Sparrow gets a six from me, good acting from a great cast but the material was just not there.  More original stories please… 6/10 

Thor Ragnarok (2017)

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So there’s countless superhero movies and television series gracing our screens at the moment and Marvel  themselves have a lot to come in this next year…

Thor: Ragnarok is the third instalment in the stand alone Thor movie franchise and it’s the best one by far! I’ll be honest with you guys, after the boring snooze fest that was Dark World I wasn’t expecting much from this movie but boy was I wrong! Taika Waititi is an interesting choice for director for this film but his comedic timing and directing is genius and works so well with all of the actors involved to raise the bar for the Marvel franchise.

Chris Hemsworth (swooooooon!) is back as Thor however, this film does knock him down a few pegs which in my opinion needed to happen.  We’re so used to seeing these comic book giants succeed in these movies it was nice to see a little struggle here and there throughout this film.   Cate Blanchett is a brilliant villain, she’s sassy, dark and has no mercy at all! Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki and Mark Ruffalo is also featured in this movie as the lovable big green guy (Hulk).  There’s a lot of big names in this movie, there’s also a fantastic cameo that I’ve chosen to not spoil for you but it’s great!

The plot is basically that Thor get’s stranded on another planet and has to fight his way out of it to save Asgard from his evil sister Hela (Blanchett). He meets some interesting characters along the way, some help him and some, not so much…

Marvel is one of the biggest giants in the movie arena so it’s safe to say they spare no expense when it comes to the Special Effects budgets in these movies so expect it to be amazing because it really is! It’s got an interesting style to it, there’s so much neon and kind of a Tron vibe to it. The soundtrack is also a good one, I mean Led Zeppelin feature so need I say more?

Overall I think this film is brilliant and probably my personal favourite Marvel film to date which says a lot because I’ve seen them all!  I mean Chris Hemsworth was quoted saying he was sick of Thor and the directors response was ‘So I am’ so that should give you an idea of the direction of this movie.

Perfect Popcorn Score – Thor Ragnarok get’s a 10! There’s nothing I would change, it’s got style, sass and sarcasm for all the family to enjoy! – 10/10 

 

 

Bright (2017)

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So at the moment I’ve been binge-watching ‘Mad Men’ on Netflix like crazy and then decided to take a break and watch a movie instead.  This movie has been advertised in the cinema, as well as on Netflix itself and I really liked the look of it so thought I’d give it a go…

So the concept for this film is quite interesting, it’s basically about a world where fairy tale creatures such as elves co-exist with humans in one world. There’s a back story to it and a war has been fought but you only really hear a little bit about that which is why I think there will be another movie…

So the main characters and our ‘heroes’ for this film are Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). Ward is a LA cop with a wife, daughter and money problems and Jakoby is an Orc that just wants to get on with his life but is hated by all other orcs because he is a cop.

So there’s a evil magical cult that are trying to bring back the ‘Dark Lord‘ and a rebel elf that steals a magic wand as she’s trying to stop them.  Ward and Jakoby respond to a call and end up in the middle of it all.  This results in them being hunted by both humans and magical creature alike.  The rebel elf ‘Tikkais probably the weakest character in this and that’s my only problem with this movie. I mean she has the guts to get the wand in the first place and rebel and then she just goes down hill, barely any dialogue which is a shame really.

This movie is very likeable, it’s got some good one liners and comedy but it’s also got some good action scenes and the makeup and CGI is brilliantly done, I mean just look at Joel’s makeup on the poster.  I think this has to be the biggest budget wise Netflix has had to play with for one of their originals because you’ve got a couple of big actors and some great effects here as well as a decent story-line.  We’ve all seen Will Smith as a cop and him do comedy sci-fi before so you just expect something good and you’re not disappointed, well I wasn’t… (Although I was hoping for an alien pug…)

Perfect Popcorn Score – Bright gets a solid eight from me, good humour, action and effects but one or two characters just let the movie down a bit… 8/10 

 

 

 

Split (2016)

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I saw it at the cinema a while ago when it first came out and then watched it again recently to do a decent review for you guys.  I wasn’t actually aware of it being a sequel to another M. Night Shyamalan film called Unbreakable which stars Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis and to be honest even after watching it a second time I’m not sure how to the two films are related… I’m sure all will be revealed in the up and coming third film ‘Glass’ in 2019.

So the film follows Kevin (McAvoy) and the three girls he kidnaps, Casey, Claire and MarciaClaire and Marcia are typical high-school girls, not really wanting to be friends with Casey but still invited her to their party… Casey from the off seems like an outcast, throughout the film you’ll learn more about why she is this way and her past via flashbacks.

Kevin himself is one of many personalities that take over his body.  We learn that there are actually 23 personalities all residing within Kevin’s body, some are even female.  He’s attending therapy and his doctor Karen Fletcher is trying to persuade others  that there is more to Kevin than pure insanity.  That there is something special about him and all the other personalities that live within him.

It’s a very interesting film and I was gripped straight away because it’s a subject that hasn’t really been used in a movie this way before.  We’ve heard of multiple personality disorders and some television shows have touched on them before, we’ve seen many movies use ‘possession’ so it’s a good concept to use in my opinion. Each personality you see is so different, some are good people and some are not so good…

The acting in this film is brilliant McAvoy is the only actor I recognized but his performance is Oscar worthy and if he isn’t at least nominated then I’ll be very surprised! He plays all 23 personalities amazingly different, I mean not many actors achieve what he did in this film to the standard he did as well.  The three girls are also really good, they don’t over act or annoy you they’re just perfect in their roles, especially Anna Taylor-Joy who plays Casey.

I can’t say much about the story or ending as such without ruining it for you but it’s something for you to guess yourselves.  Basically in short two of the personalities believe in something called ‘The Beast‘ and this links to why they have taken over Kevin and kidnapped these girls.  Is ‘The Beast‘ real? Watch to find out…

Perfect Popcorn Score – Split gets a nine from me, James McAvoys performance is brilliant and the story itself is very original.  Great overall movie… 9/10 

Evil Dead (2013)

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Evil Dead is a film franchise that will never die, it’s going to be rebooted countless times and we now even have a series (Ash vs. Evil Dead).  I went the cinema to see this movie because although it’s been done before, I had high hopes as the trailers looked pretty decent.

So the story of this Evil Dead is very similar to the original with a couple of modern twists… Basically drug addict Mia (Jane Levy) agrees to go cold turkey and give up the drugs.  Does she choose to do this the normal way at home or in rehab? Of course not… Her and her friends and old brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) decide the best place for a detox is their familys remote cabin in the woods.  

Before they go you see that a girl was killed in this same cabin by her father and some weird redneck family… They seemed to be the good guys as the girl was possessed and apparently killed her mother, the ritual was out of a creepy looking book…

The acting in this film is basically american teen drama acting, no better or worse than you’re typical Pretty Little Liars crowd. It’s not the worst modern day remake but it’s also far from the best…

The effects are average, there’s plenty of blood and gore, as you would expect.  The tree scene was done very quickly, for something that caused so much outrage when the original came out they just kind of skipped right past it in this film.  It’s a shame really because there’s a lot worse and more gruesome scenes in films these days so it could have been done far better.

The advertising for this film created a lot of hype, quotes on the poster such as, ‘see this movie when it comes out and often‘.  This made me so disappointed when I actually when to see it because it wasn’t something I’ve rave about that much personally.  There’s nothing exactly wrong with it but I think some bigger players acting wise would have given it a better feel, or even just better actors.  Look at Cabin in the Woods for example, a couple of well known actors and a few not as well know but all worked so well where as this was just a group of twenty something actors that have been in a couple of teen movies.

Overall  it’s not terrible, it’s worth a watch if you like the genre of film as there’s some good gory scenes.  Basically don’t take it seriously at all and you might enjoy it but if you go by the advertising you’ll be disappointed.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this film a six, decent effects and story but the acting does let it down in my opinion…  6/10