1917

Title: 1917
Director: Sam Mendes
Genre: Drama, Action, War, Historical.
Main Cast: Dean Charles Chapman, George MacKay.
Runtime: 119 mins.
IMDb rating: 8.5/10.
My rating: 8.5/10.
Quick summary: Two soldiers are entrusted with a vital mission to save 1,600 of their fellow soldiers. Traversing across No Mans Land, German-occupied cities and harsh conditions, the brothers in arms must rely on each other and themselves to stop a catastrophic ambush in war-torn France.

Plot

Lance Corporals Blake (Chapman) and Schofield (McKay) are given a mission that could save thousands of lives. Blake’s brother is part of a force that are advancing on retreating Germans. What the older Blake brother doesn’t know, along with over one thousand other men, is that the Germans are feigning this retreat and plan on decimating the English forces. The two soldiers are ensured that the German occupied trenches on the other side of No Mans Land are deserted and, reluctantly on Schofield’s part, head on their treacherous journey.
What follows is almost two hours of intense, dramatic cinema. We follow the two soldiers on their descent into hell and chaos as they battle booby-traps, desperate Germans, waterfalls and hails of bullets as they struggle to get their message to the right people in time.

Verdict

This is truly edge-of-your-seat, handrail-gripping cinema. From the moment our two heroes set out on their ill-fated journey your heart begins to pound in your ear as the actors, the soundtrack and the audience have fallen quiet. Even in the louder action scenes towards the end of the movie you can still hear the THUMP THUMP against your chest. When Blake and Schofield are caught in a bomb blast in the bowels of a German trench you would be forgiven or thinking that this was the end of our soldiers. This is a bleak movie and although it has a somewhat happy ending, you may still feel hollow and drained walking out of the theatre. It is wonderfully shot and the locations for the production were beautiful against the dark setting.

Chapan (left) and MacKay

Chapman is best known for his role as Tommen on Game of Thrones. He still has a boyish innocence about him, making his performance that more real as he talks of home and plans for the future despite the hopelessness of his situation.
MacKay is someone who I have known to be in a number of interesting films. I just haven’t seen any of them. After this film, though, I will be looking out for him in any future or past work. He plays the traumatised Schofield incredibly well. Both numbed by war but horrified by death, Schofield’s blank stare and unbreakable will keep you invested in this story and as I said before, on the edge of your seat.

Te screen time is taken up mainly by the two young stars but the film boasts a star-studded supporting cast. Colin Firth plays the general who thrusts the mission on the two corporals. Mark Strong cameos as a general who assists Schofield after a tragic encounter with a fallen German pilot. Benedict Cumberbatch features as the trigger-happy general in charge of the doomed attack, incensed with rage at Schofield’s message of withdrawal. Richard Madden, another Thrones alum plays Blake’s older brother.
What I loved about this stellar supporting cast was that they didn’t take away from the story. None of these veteran actors/soldiers joined our protagonists on their journey. The limelight was solely on Chapman and MacKay. If Mark Strong joined MacKay on his almost fatal journey through a German-occupied French city we wouldn’t be as invested in the story. We genuinely feel that the young soldier will not make it through as he is on his own. The stars only add to the performance; They don’t take away from it.

George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in 1917 (2019)
MacKay

Sam Mendes is a terrific storyteller. He has directed two of Daniel Craig’s Bond performances and also directed one of my favourite films, Revolutionary Road. He is not restricted by period or genre with each film as dramatic and suspenseful as the last. This film is up for ten different categories at theAcademy Awards and has already won Best Director at the Golden Globes. Its presentation as one-shot has a lot to do with this as you are on the same time path and journey as Blake and Schofield. In particular, the scene where Schofield runs across the front line of battle through soldiers, bullets and debris. It is a sight to behold and one of the many reasons that you should go and watch this film.

A Private War – Review

Title: A Private War
Director: Matthew Heineman
Genre: Drama, Action, Biopic.
Main Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Faye Marsay, Tom Hollander.
Runtime: 110 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.7/10.
My rating: 8.5/10.
Quick summary: Marie Colvin was a fierce human being, a fantastic writer and journalist and a woman at war with her own demons. She saw many battles while fighting her own. Which would be the end of her?

A Private War (2018)

Plot

Marie Colvin (Pike) loses her eye in a Sri Lankan ambush after interviewing a rebel leader. She journeys far and wide to the most war-torn places, trying to let the wider world know the human side of conflict; the innocent civilians that are caught up in the bloodshed and violent chess games that more powerful men play. She constantly puts herself in the most dangerous places, risking life, limb and eye to get the stories out there that people need to hear.
We follow Marie all over the world to places like Liberia, where she interviews Gaddafi, and the Syrian city of Homs that is under constant siege. The bullets rain down and the ceilings cave in as Marie lets the trauma she has witnessed take control and drive her to the edge. Her photographer, Paul Conroy (Dornan) is a strength beside her but he cannot save her from herself. A results-driven and unsympathetic editor at her newspaper doesn’t allow her to rest and take a break, ultimately driving her towards destruction.

Rosamund Pike, Raad Rawi, Jamie Dornan, and Emil Hajj in A Private War (2018)
Conroy, Colvin and Gaddafi

Verdict

There is not much hope or happiness present in this film. What it does do is it brings a human perspective to the table regarding war. It is easy to look at an article online or in the paper about a conflict far away and brush it aside from your mind. We already have enough to worry about don’t we? This film reminds us that we are all one race. Our brothers and sisters are out there dying in rubble and decimated rural lands and we are safe. But, if we know more about it we can possibly do something, or spread the message that it is not OK.

Rosamund Pike is superb as Marie Colvin. It was surreal to see the real Marie in an interview at the end of the movie and realise that Pike had absolutely nailed her voice. She spirals throughout the movie. She reaches depths that no person should ever reach but she is constantly reminded of the plight of others through her work. Pike portrays this hollow existence superbly. We feel helpless for her and know there is no saving grace for this fallen angel.

Dornan suits the look of a war photographer. His Liverpudlian accent may have slipped a few times amid the bombs and the debris but he looks the part.

Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan in A Private War (2018)

This film also raises a lot of valid points about mental health and how sometimes it is OK to ask for help or step away. People may use you for your own benefit. Sometimes the truth is more impportant than your own safety. Sometimes you have to pay the ultimate price. Most of the time, though, people have ulterior motives.

This movie was based on the Vanity Fair article written by Marie Brenner in 2012. It has inspired me to read more about Marie Colvin’s life and to read the original article. This movie is not suitable for a Friday night at home relaxing. It is something you should watch knowing that it will stay with you. And isn’t that what all great art should do?

Bad Day For the Cut

Title: Bad Day For the Cut
Director: Chris Baugh.
Genre: Action, Comedy, Gangster.
Main Cast: Nigel O’Neill, Susan Lynch, Josef Pawlowski.
Runtime: 99 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.5/10.
My rating: 7/10.
Quick summary: A quirky but gory look at a mild mannered farmer who loses the one thing keeping him sane…His mammy. Violence galore and cultural clashes make this film an enjoyable one. It’s on Netflix so head on over.

Bad Day for the Cut (2017)

Plot

Donal, played by Nigel O’Neill, is a middle aged farmer living in the countryside near Belfast. His quiet existence of living under his mother’s thumb is rocked when she is murdered in their home. Donal himself is targeted two nights later. After killing one assailant and taking the other one captive, Donal sets off towards Belfast city to find out more about his mother’s killing.
Donal, his Polish attacker Bartosz (Pawlowski) and Bartosz’ sister Kaja go on a meek but unmerciful rampage against those who robbed Donal of his mother. He might just find out some things he’d rather he didn’t.

Verdict

Thumbs up from Donal and Bartosz!

This is a sort of hidden gem on Netflix. It caught my eye immediately and I’m so glad I turned it on. It captures the predicament of many rural Irish adults and farmers especially; do they leave and do their own thing or stay in the family house and take care of elderly parents?
Donal is devoted to his mother and despite her abruptness with him we see their tight bond and her love for him. Obviously he takes her death hard. The attempt on his life by two inept attackers, from the same crowd that killed his mother as it turns out, spurs him on to find out the truth once and for all and exact revenge.
The movie moves along at a nice pace. We are brought all over Belfast in an hour and a half of action. While the action is impressive and varied, it is the individual performances of the actors and the development of their characters that give this movie such a high score for me. Donal has lived in the countryside all his life while Bartosz, attacker turned friend, has lived in Poland and Ireland and is several years younger. There is a brilliant scene where the younger man explains mobile phones to Donal, the older man getting visibly annoyed with the technology. The fact that this light hearted moment is immediately followed by Donal daring his life to go and rescue Bartosz’ sister, Kaja, makes it a much more solid showing of the bond that has grown between the two.

I am a great fan of all things Irish, especially Irish art and creative productions. If an Irish film is done well it is a breath of fresh air. While this film shows small town life, it also invests in the human relationships that are vital to us and give us life. Donal may have been feeling a bit of wanderlust with his new van at the beginning of the movie. I wager that by the end he had had enough of travelling and meeting new people for quite some time. Typically Irish, if you ask me! Rave on about travelling and lament your home in the country once you’re out and about 🤣

The film ends on something of a cliffhanger which I’m afraid to say I wasn’t a fan of in this instance. I know that Donal is fed up of fighting and just wants to go back to his cottage but the dilemma he faces at the end is too easy to solve. I won’t ruin it for you here but Donal should continue fighting and bring this story to a close. Other than that, please watch this when you get a chance or need something to throw on Netflix when you’re chilling out after work!

Thunder Road

Title: Thunder Road.
Director: Jim Cummings.
Genre: Indie, Comedy, Drama.
Main Cast: Jim Cummings, Kendal Farr, Nican Robinson.
Runtime: 99 mins.
IMDb rating: 7.1/10.
My rating: 9/10.
Quick summary: A bizarre man goes through an extended mental breakdown as he loses all closest to him. This independent film was based on a short film of the same name which won awards at Sundance. A slow burner that always threatens to boil over the edge. Highly recommend.

Plot

Officer Arnaud (Cummings)

Jim Cummings plays Officer Jim Arnaud, a Deputy in what seems to be a small American town. He has just lost his mother, will potentially lose his daughter and judging by his descent into madness will probably lose his job too.
The film follows Officer Arnaud as he battles his own demons with the help of his partner and friend, Officer Nate Lewis (Nican Robinson), and his daughter Crystal (Kendall Farr).

Thoughts/Verdict

Crystal Aranud, played by the wonderful Kendal Farr

I really enjoyed this movie. From the very beginning we know that we have an extremely unpredictable protagonist, or antagonist depending on which way you view him. He is both endearing and alarming all at once. The opening scene in which Officer Arnaud reads an eventful eulogy at his mother’s funeral sets us up for the chaotic timeline we follow.
Although he is an unnerving man and a person we might all avoid if for some reason we were forced to be in a small room with them regularly, he shows an unconditional love for his daughter. The scene where he perfects the hand-clap game she plays with her friends is perfect. The camera pans to show his practice set up of drawn hands on a piece of paper sellotaped to the wall. It is superb storytelling that shows his true, kinder side that morphs back into his aggressive, macho side in one of the very next scenes.
This movie is not for everyone but if you give it a chance you might just laugh and smile throughout.

Jim Cummings is masterful and extremely funny as the neurotic Officer. This movie was based off a short film of the same name that won numerous awards at SxSW. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The last scene alone nearly moved me to tears with Jim sitting alongside his daughter watching a ballet recital. The camera pans to his face as he fights back tears and a strings performance of ‘Skinny Love’ by Bon Iver plays out. It is strangely beautiful, just like this movie.

Officer Lewis (Robinson) and Arnaud

21 Bridges – Review

It is odd to hear Chadwick Boseman talk in his normal, American accent. I had become so used to hearing him with an African lilt in Black Panther and Message from the King (2018 & 2016 respectively) that I was half taken aback when he spoke in this movie.
Boseman plays Andre Davis, a celebrated New York city detective who is a tad trigger happy. He claims he shoots in self defense but his reputation still precedes him.
One night, in Brooklyn, two burglars kill seven cops and a bar manager when a robbery goes wrong. They don’t know if they’ve been set up or if they just have terrible luck but now Manhattan is closed down and everybody with a badge and a gun is shooting to kill. This time, though, Davis is asking questions before shooting.

I don’t know why this movie disappointed me as much as it did. In truth, it didn’t disappoint me that much as I knew virtually nothing of the plot other than that it involved multiple bridges, but it did let me down towards the end. It was enjoyable throughout and had enough action scenes to satisfy your average cinema-goer, but the beginning of this film was so intriguing and thought-provoking that it failed to deliver. At just over an hour and forty minutes it felt like it dragged and could have been finished about twenty minutes earlier.
The cast was almost too talented for this poor an offering. Boseman might not be the most gifted actor around but he is above this movie. So is J.K. Simmons and so too is Sienna Miller. Taylor Kitsch’s character was probably the best part of the beginning of this movie. However, he was removed far too early and when his character died, so too did most of the intrigue and the action.
Stephan James was brilliant as the young and confused Michael. The pair had great chemistry as frightened, confused but deadly killers.

Taylor Kitsch and Stephan James in 21 Bridges (2019)

The Russo brothers of Marvel Cinematic Universe fame were billed as producers for this movie. They definitely had control of the soundtrack choices as several scenes are completely overshadowed by loud, intrusive and epic scores. They add to the atmosphere, if the atmosphere they were going for is absolutely sh1tting your pants at loud sounds.
I can only guess that the production team were going for suspense. What they achieved was a mixture of confusion and fear that Thanos was about to reduce the number of bridges to an even twenty.

In saying all of that, I did enjoy the movie. The first hour or so was really good and just what an action movie should be. However, there was never any sense of danger. Detective Davis was always gonna come out on top, and Miller’s portrayal of the narc, Frankie Burns, was always a bit sketchy so there was no surprise she was a bad egg. Simmons’ reveal as the real villain of the piece and his embittered monologue about his reasons for partaking in illegal activities was so shoehorned in that I needed a new pair of socks! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, shoe puns!

All in all, a watchable movie that disappoints. The first hour is great but the last twenty minutes seemed like an afterthought. Everything is wrapped up neatly to the detriment of the plot.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

There’s something about sports movies that just get me going. The storylines are always uplifting and you are almost guaranteed a happy ending. Even if the sequel throws up some new troubles and questions for our sports star, they almost always come out triumphant at the end.
Goon (2011), was the first time I had seen Seann William Scott play a role other than a loud-mouth, fast talking degenerate. The kind but clinically dumb Doug Glatt transforms from bouncer to hockey player and fighter extraordinaire, leading a rag tag team to semi-professional, Canadian hockey glory. He beats the crap out of every team he plays, meeting his one and only match in Ross Rhea, played be Liev Schreiber. The finale of the first movie is Rocky-esque, the two knocking each other to the ground at the exact same time in an icy punch-out.

Seann William Scott

The sequel, Last of the Enforcers, picks up with Doug ‘The Thug’ married to his girlfriend Eva, played by Alison Pill. Injuries are plaguing him and threatening his career, while a new threat in the form of Anders Cain (Wyatt Russel) proves to be too much for our hero. He is forced to retire and prepare for a life of fatherhood and desk jobs. But will the lure of the ring and the bloodshed be too much for Doug, and will his marriage be strong enough to allow him to fight and be a father?

I enjoyed this movie but like most straight to video, or now straight to Netflix, sequels, it is not as good as the first one. I found myself checking how long there was left in the film. Whereas in the first instalment, we knew Doug was stupid yet it was his kind nature and inherent goodness that drew us to him, this time around it is used for far more cheap laughs throughout. Scott doesn’t have much to do here and is just there for the fights.
Alison Pill puts in a strong performance as the suffering Eva, lending a note of seriousness to a production of cheap laughs.
Wyatt Russel is O.K. as the villain of the piece. He is hauntingly good at looking… well haunted, by his fathers domineering nature and lack of love and his own failures as a player.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)
Wyatt Russel and Seann William Scott

However, when all is said and done, I still love a sports flick, and the Highlanders’, and indeed Doug Glatt’s, journey to the playoffs is full of great hockey moments and fantastic fights.
Schreiber is a welcome addition, reprising his role as the punch-drunk and alcohol-drunk Rhea.

Rating: 3/5.

Hangover watchable: Definitely.

Unbelievable

It is rare that a show or movie leaves me speechless. I won’t lie to you. There were a number of times during the show that I was a bit uncomfortable. The subject matter is extremely shocking and it was tough to watch at times. Rape, especially the rape of women, is a common thing that we hear of almost every day. It fills me with a great sadness to hear of any incident of rape or sexual assault, whether it be from a person I know personally or a random person on the internet who is sharing their story. This show, despite me being hooked and enjoying the storytelling and the acting, made me sad. I can only be thankful that I am just sad at what has happened and what is happening and not suffering from it myself. The women depicted in this story, from Marie, Amber, Lily and Sarah to Detectives Duvall and Rasmussen, are all heroes. The women who live with what has happened everyday, all over the world, are heroes.

Unbelievable tells the story of Marie Adler, played by Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart). In 2008, Marie was raped at knifepoint, bound and blindfolded. The detectives who took her report didn’t believe her and Marie, after intense questioning and definite coercion, ended up saying she made the whole thing up. Living with the reputation of a false accuse, Marie’s life spirals out of control. Meanwhile, three years later, two detectives in Colorado, Duvall and Rasmussen, feel like they are both looking for the same rapist. Can they catch the monster, and is it all linked to Marie?

My lame attempt at making you want to see the show is unnecessary. If you want to watch a show that celebrates the power of the victims to hold onto their lives and the power of the female detectives who believed when so many men didn’t, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show based on a true story in which a violent monster is taken off the streets and his victims can live with at least a glimmer of hope for a better future, then this is the show for you. If you want to watch a show that is unafraid of exploring the brutality of rape and the aftermath of such a horrific act, then this is the show for you. If you can’t bring yourself to watch and see the toxic nature of a lot of male behaviour in the modern world, then this isn’t the show for you. But you should watch it anyways and learn.

I learned an awful lot from this show. Like any series based around the search, capture and imprisonment of a criminal, the intricacies of a police station is extremely intriguing. The different acronyms for scientific tests are interesting to hear about, as are the different hunches that detectives and their partners have. What struck me the most about this was the fact that rape victims have to relive and relay the information so many times. I know that it is important for police, detectives and doctors to have statements and to know what to look for, but I can’t begin to imagine how vulnerable the victim must feel in that moment.
I know that while I’m writing this it may come across as preachy and full of woe. A man, a big man at that, who has never felt at threat on his own walking down a dark road, or been in danger of being sexually assaulted is lamenting the plight of women and being a ‘white knight’. But it is sickening to think about and this show is important for people to watch.
As uncomfortable as it may be for some people to talk about it, the toxic traits associated with masculinity, mainly the perceived ownership of womens’ bodies or their perceived right to touch and feel women in a pub or club, need to be assessed and talked about in detail.

Rating: 5/5. Unbelievable show, pardon the pun. Go see for yourself.

Please read the Pulitzer Winning article of the true story that the show is based on.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/12/16/an-unbelievable-story-of-rape

Stranger Things 3: Tokyo Drift

Image result for stranger things

Please forgive my title. Whenever I see a sequel or a spinoff I always try and give it the ‘Electric Boogaloo’ treatment or assign it a title from one of the many Fast & Furious Movies. It’s a disease that I will not be seeking help for because it makes me laugh every time.
Anyways, I’m here to tell you about the majesty of Stranger Things 3. I won’t lie, I wasn’t that hopeful going into this season. I mean, how many times can the demigorgon or the mind-flayer terrorise the town of Hawkins without the townsfolk or the people of America taking notice. Every year there was a new story explaining away the deaths of a significant number of members of the community. I think, then, that you’ll forgive me for not waiting with baited breath for Eleven and her comrades. I think, then, that I should hold my hand up and apologise because it was the best season yet.

This season expanded its horizons. The younger kids are growing up and pairing off while the older kids are trying to figure out what to do with their life. The danger has moved away from Hawkins lab and migrated to the Starcourt mall while it is no longer just corrupt Americans that Hopper and the gang have to fight. The Russians have found their own source to the Upside-Down and are trying to break in. It’s what will break out as a result that will be the problem.
I really enjoyed the fact that they explored the kids development and showed them as they tried to navigate relationships and girls. I didn’t care for all the smooching they showed between Mike and Eleven but that’s just me. There are several hilarious scenes between Mike and Lucas in which the latter tries to explain how girls behave when he has no clue himself. He just has a girlfriend for a few months longer than Mike.
This season delved deeper into Hopper and Joyce’s will they/won’t they charade, with comical results in the form of Murray Bauman, the eccentric man who sheltered Nancy and Jonathan in Season 2.
This season also packed some serious emotional punches. While the last two seasons seemed formulaic almost, in the fact that I knew there was no credible danger to the main cast members, this year they differed from type and really let loose with the deaths. I’ll go into detail later.
Overall, a fantastic season and one that will live long in the memories of fans. Unless, of course, you binge watched it and have forgotten most details as it all turns into one massive blur of character, plot and theatre.

Breakout

D’Acre Montgomery, known for his portrayal of Jason in Power Rangers (2017) gave a powerful performance as the tortured Billy. In Season 2 we just saw an angry young man intent on fighting with the local guys and making out with the local girls. He was a colossal douche to his little sister, Max, and was generally unlikable. He was never involved in any of the dealings with the monsters and to the best of my recollection was just used as a device to get the kids to stand up for themselves.
He arrives in season 3 as the hunky lifeguard at the pool. He is the eye candy for every single female in there, especially Mike and Nancy’s mom. He has the town of Hawkins and every female in it at his feet. Unfortunately, he is infected by the mind-flayer and used to do the monster’s dark bidding around the town. His turn as the demented destroyer that Billy evolves into is mesmerising and there seems to be no way out for Eleven and the gang. His final scene in the final episode is beautiful, yet devastating to watch. Montgomery already has plenty of credits under his acting belt but he really showed his acting chops throughout these eight episodes.

Dacre Montgomery in Stranger Things (2016)
Dacre Montgomery as Billy

Millie-Bobby Brown turned in another electric performance as Eleven, or Elle. I didn’t see her in Godzilla because I had no interest in the movie, but I heard nobody really came out of that movie looking great. However, if she goes on to other shows and features while putting in the types of performances she has while playing the pre-teen superhero, she will be one of the best actresses of her generation.
In the penultimate episode she is almost struck down and must rely on her friends to save her. Her depiction of unbearable pain and despair was so real that I almost forgot it was a t.v. show for a moment. The agony was etched onto her face and just showed that as well as being the best character in the show, bar Hopper, she is the best performer.

Sadie Sink and Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things (2016)
Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink as Eleven and Max

Final Goodbye?

I told ye that I would go into detail about the emotional punches that are landed on your heart and soul throughout this season. It was tough guys. It was like Game of Thrones Season 3 when most of the Starks die. Except a bit more lighthearted throughout the rest of the show and not all doom and gloom.
In the final episode, as the final battle with the shadow monster rages on elsewhere, Joyce and Hopper have a chance to end it once and for all. Due to Russians and other unforeseen circumstances, Hopper gets caught on the wrong side of an explosion that will close the gap between worlds forever. Our Dad-bod hero is gone and it seems like there is no way back for David Harbour in the show. It wasn’t his death that got me, although that was devastating; it was his final look at Joyce and into the camera and the emotion that he showed. As his eyes welled up a chill went up my spine and I realised that Hopper had no way out. He would finally give his all to save Eleven, Hawkins and Joyce.
Now, there is a cut scene at the end which shows a prisoner being sacrificed to one of the demidogs from season 2. The scene is set in Russia in a military compound and as the guards approach a certain cell that is blocked from view, they say, “No, not the American.” Certain speculation has gone up online in which the ‘American’ could be Hopper who was somehow rescued from the blast or miraculously survived.
If the Police Chief is to return in the next season, he would have to be changed somehow by the blast and would not be himself. It could be a totally different American but for the moment we have to believe that Harbour will return for another outing as chain smoking legend Jim Hopper.

Winona Ryder and David Harbour in Stranger Things (2016)
Winona Ryder and David Harbour as Joyce and Hopper

What Next?

Will, Jonathan and Joyce are moving away from Hawkins and Elle is going with them. The rest of the gang are staying put. How will the story be played out next time? We know there is a creature in Russia used to eat prisoners and that that creature will most likely facilitate the spread of the monsters again.
Despite the explosion and the inference that the portal to the Upside Down is gone forever, we get no verbal confirmation that this has happened.
Where did the Russians get the demidog?
Will Elle get her powers back? Does she even want them back? She has a chance at a proper normal life now. Well, as normal as being psychologically tortured up until her teens, not getting a chance to know her mother and losing the only caring father she ever knew can be.
Will Mike grow out of being a shithead teenager? Pressing questions indeed.

Verdict

A solid 8/10 for this season. Loses a few marks for all the smooching I was subjected to and that we didn’t get to see more of Wheeler’s mom in a swimsuit. I am but a man.

Trailer Watch – Disney Edition

The world of the cinema is awash with remakes and sequels, and this week’s Trailer Watch is no different. Disney, long the proprietor of heartwarming, animated tales, has now become a relentless machine intent on remaking every single one into a live-action blockbuster. So, naturally, here is three trailers recently released by the corporation.

Image result for movie reel

Mulan (teaser)

The latest in Disney’s attempts to keep their finger in the pie is the remake of the 1998 animated hit, Mulan. The trailer dropped Sunday to millions of views and a clear indication of how well the film will do when it is released.
However, die-hard Disneyites (new knickname I’m trying out for all you Disneyites out there) would do well to read the description for the video on Youtube. This movie is based on the 6th century poem, the Ballad of Mulan. While the animated version is dear to many of us, this one will take a different direction; one more true to the original ballad and more sensitive to Chinese culture and history. I, for one, cannot wait for Spring 2020 and can’t wait to see Yifei Liu as Mulan kick ass.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

I was pleasantly surprised when Maleficent (2014) turned out to be a rather good movie. I wasn’t convinced that a villain’s origin story would be appealing as a Disney movie but it was dark, hopeful and filled with enough emotion that I thought it worked very well.
The trailer for the sequel dropped yesterday and it looks fantastic. More family drama looks in store for Maleficent and Aurora when the young princess is sought out for marriage. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a definite villain judging by her glances to the distance as a plan forms behind those wonderful eyes.
There is a twist in the tale as the trailer gives away pretty much the whole story. But I won’t. So have a look.

Frozen II

2 Frozen 2 Feckin’ Cold will be released towards the end of this year. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff will reprise their roles in the sequel to the 2013 smash hit which drove parents crazy. This time around Anna, Else, Kristoff and Sven head off to save Arendelle and the world while discovering the origins of Elsa’s powers. Stay strong, Moms and Dads. Stay strong.



X-Men: Dark Phoenix

It is with a heavy heart that I must write my first terrible review. Up until now I’ve thought most movies were, at the very least, average. I’ve made excuses for how bad they were. I’ve solved plotholes and bad performances to justify the money I’ve spent on the film. That time has passed. Dark Phoenix has broken the mold, and broken my heart.

The latest installment in the X-Men franchise tells the story of how Jean Grey, played by Winterfell’s own Sophie Turner, becomes the powerful Phoenix. After a rescue mission turns sour, Jean absorbs what seems to be a solar flare and is perfectly fine..for about ten minutes. She subsequently proceeds to kill close friends, alienate all around her and become an intergalactic fugitive. Charles Xavier (James McEvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Blue Beast Man (Nicholas Hoult) and a host of other mutants try to save/kill/contain her in a movie that is not even saved by a fantastic action set piece aboard a train.

Problems

I must admit that I haven’t seen Days of Future Past, so I’m not entirely sure what was wiped out in this timeline. Pretty much everything, I’ve been told. I know that this movie is more truthful to the comics and that The Last Stand has been eradicated, thankfully. Although the aforementioned action scene was fantastic, the first hour and a half are so boring and predictable that it doesn’t really matter.
The X-Men go on a dangerous mission -> Someone nearly dies -> People get annoyed at Charles because he thinks he’s never wrong -> Jean can’t control her powers -> A mysterious villain tries to take over Earth -> A major American city is nearly decimated -> The X-Men and Magneto save the day -> Fin.

I was really looking forward to seeing Jessica Chastain. Ever since Crimson Peak and Molly’s Game she has been one of my favourite actors. It is a shame, then, that she shows no emotion in this movie and has about ten minutes screen time.

I feel like there’s always a scene involving somebody’s parents abandoning or disapproving of their child’s mutant powers in a cul de sac estate in an X-Men movie. Maybe it was only X-Men 2 but the police always get involved and get absolutely owned, not realising that pulling a gun on a powerful being who can control your fu***ng mind is a bad idea. Pulling a gun on any mutant is a bad idea. Wolverine took a bullet in the head, rejected it and kept on keepin’ on. Different timelines, I know, but come on. Don’t pull guns on superheroes and don’t @ me.

I’m like a broken record with this timelines shpiel but I honestly have no problems with it. Keep churning out X-Men movies and I will more than likely go see them. However, different timelines doesn’t mean different appearances I would imagine. So if this movie is set in 1992 and the first X-Men was released in 2000, that means Magneto and Professor X have eight years to go from handsome, charming young men in their forties to totally different looking but no less handsome and charming men in their late sixties.
And yes, you might say to me that it’s a film about mutants walking the Earth and co-existing with a species that can’t even co-exist with other humans of a different colour. And I might say to you that I told you to not @ me and that it makes no Gawd Dayum Sense.

Positives

Train scene. Many fighting and impressive CGI. Cian happy with violence.

Rating

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%

IMDB: 5.9/10

TheRathpeaconRambler: 4/10.

Happy Friday folks and have a good weekend. I’m off to Snow Patrol and Metallica. I haven’t listened to either band since I was 14 so I can’t wait to not know the words and get smashed.