Wonder Woman is a superhero film directed by Patty Jenkins. The plot centres of Amazonian warrior Diana (Gal Gadot), who becomes entangled with a WW1 plot and who finds out that she is a demigod. There is a lot going on, but hey it’s a superhero film.
Before I get into this review I just want to say that this film is probably my favourite DCEU film to date, closely followed by Shazam, and I believe it achieves a lot of what Captain Marvel was going for in terms of female empowerment, but is often short changed in favour of the inferior MCU film.
Gadot really did prove all of the haters wrong, she perfectly embodied the character on screen and became almost synonymous with the role. Diana as a character is easy to root for and is very down to earth and likeable despite not being mortal.
The colour pallet of this film and the use of humour really help this film to set itself apart from the wider DCEU and establish it as something with its own identity. I really think this film nails how to use comedy in a superhero film it has several funny sequences including the penis scene early on with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), which made me laugh, but hey I also laughed at the “what are those” line in Black Panther. The humour also doesn’t take away from the badass action, as is the problem with the MCU a lot of the time.
Yes, I know I can’t talk about the film without addressing the final CGI boss fight that does let the film down and ends it on some what of a sour note, it is a shame, but the rest of the film more than make up for it.
Overall probably the best DCEU film.
Diana and Steve
The WW1 setting
The final fight
Reviewed by Luke
Iron Man 3 is a superhero action film directed by Shane Black. The plot sees Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), suffer with the consequences of being Iron Man. It is a very human story. The you have some nonsense with serums and old enemies seeking out Stark. However, at its heart it is a story about Tony finding a new place in the world and coping with it.
This review may be controversial.
So, this film had a big task to accomplish it had to follow Iron Man 1 and 2 (which I enjoyed), and also serve to end the Iron Man trilogy, that is a tall order by any means. I applaud Shane Black for making this a more stripped back story, focusing on Tony as a human being rather than a superhero. Having him have to use his mind to get himself out of trouble rather than this armour or his Superhero pals. As a character study piece it gets thumbs up from me, however, this is not a character study film this is a superhero film.
It is in that regard that I think this film falls apart. The promise of Ben Kingsley as the famous Iron Man villain the Mandarin was a tantalising one indeed, so when they revealed that the he wasn’t the actual Mandarin and was actually an actor it was more than a little disappointing. The real villain of the film was a one note baddy whose name I can’t even remember, the subversion didn’t work and was later undone in further material.
Overall an ambitious film in a lot of ways, it succeeds as a character study it fails as a superhero film.
Making Tony Stark human.
Not including other Avengers (outside of Rhodey)
Giving Pepper something to do
The twist doesn’t work
It adds nothing to the MCU as a whole and ends up feeling quite inconsequential
Reviewed by Luke
The Rental is a horror thriller film directed by Dave Franco. The premise seems two couples head to a rental house for the weekend, once they get there they notice that it is the Air BnB from Hell and things quickly escalate.
Now, I had mixed feelings on this one. I thought for what it was trying to achieve and for a first-time directional effort it was good, but in a lot of other ways It was critically let down.
I thought the actual story itself was well done and well executed, it was tense and it used that tension well throughout. What I didn’t like however, was how blatant it was in its homage. This film feels like Franco is trying to make a Hitchcock film, there are several sections that seem directly inspired, I didn’t enjoy that. Mimicking the classics does not make your film a classic.
The characters are also a mixed bag. On the one hand you have Alison Brie as Michelle, the nice person of the group, she is likable and should really be the hero of the story; however she is unceremoniously killed off. The other 3 main characters are differing degrees of bad people and their unpleasant actions make it very hard to sympathise with them.
One more thing that bugged me about this film was the weird racism subplot from the start of the film. It plays into character motivations eventually and gets better over time, but at the start of the film it did not fit at all and felt forced and clunky. Trying too hard to be relevant.
A solid first effort
Uses tension well
It feels like a poor imitation of one of Hitchcock’s lesser works
The racism subplot at the start of the film does not feel natural
Reviewed by Luke
Scooby Doo And The Legend Of The Vampire is an animated family film directed by Scott Jeralds. The plot follows Scooby (Frank Welker) and the gang as they head to Australia for a music festival, once they get there they find some strange goings on resulting in them coming face to face with a local vampire called the Yowie Yahoo.
So this was another classic from my early 2000’s childhood, I decided to revisit it as the animated Scooby Doo films prove to be great comfort viewing. I have to say I enjoyed it, it held up well. Also unlike Monster of Mexico this film did not rely on cheap stereotypes for characters, and actually had some well written Australian and Aboriginal characters (for a kid’s movie at least).
Though I talk a great deal about the problems with formulas I have to say the Scooby Doo formula works well, you know what you’re going to get and there is some comfort in that. I found the villain, the Yowie Yahoo to be quite interesting and I enjoyed the throughout rock feel of the film, which I thought was boosted incredibly by the return of the Hex Girls from The Witches Ghost.
Overall a fun and entertaining Scooby Doo adventure with interesting new characters and a terrific reunion.
An interesting monster
Not using stereotypes
The rock feel of the film
The return of the Hex Girls
A tad predictable
Reviewed by Luke
Iron Sky The Coming Race is a Finnish German Austrian comic science fiction action film directed by Timo Vuorensola. The plot this time around sees the surviving humans now living on the ruined Nazi moon base, however, there existence is threatened by the fact that the base is falling apart. So the daughter of James Washington (Christopher Kirby) and Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), from the first film, Obi (Lara Rossi) must lead a team to find a new element within the hollow Earth to power up a spaceship and save the last of her people.
So yeah as you can guess this film goes fully out there and has a race of lizard people being present throughout human history and saying that the Earth is hollow. I think these new twists added to the mythology of the film and helped this sequel to feel different enough to stand on its own. Furthermore, the ending twist of the Soviets having a base on Mars is inspired and hilarious; if a little predictable.
My issue with this film is that though the new characters introduced therein are good, they just aren’t as good as Washington and Klaus (Gotz Otto), from the first film. In terms of likeable lead characters this film defiantly has a void that isn’t filled by the new cast. Whatsmore by having Renate having a backseat for most of the film I feel almost cheated out of seeing her as the badass leader of the remaining humans, (this happens off-screen).
Overall, this is still good and entertaining and by embracing further wackiness it does justify its existence, but it should have been a direct follow up with a bigger focus on Renate and should have kept James around. A bit of a disappointment.
The Red Planet twist at the end
Further embracing the weirdness
Renate’s final scene
The new character struggle to be likeable
It just isn’t as good
Reviewed by Luke
Iron Sky is a Finnish German-Austrian comic science fiction action film directed by Timo Vuorensola. The plot reveals that the Nazi’s were not defeated in World War 2 rather they fled to a base on the Moon to plan a counterattack. We follow Renate (Julia Dietze) and Klaus (Gotz Otto), two of the Moon Nazi’s who are tasked with going back to Earth to prepare for an impending invasion.
I really enjoy this film; I have been meaning to watch it for a while and finally did, and I have to say it lived up to what I hoped it would be. The film fully executes the comedic nature of its premise, it is not afraid to get silly with it. The sense of humour of the film is quite zany and dark, but I have to say it kept me very entertained.
Easily the best character in the film is James Washington (Christopher Kirby), the model turned astronaut who unwittingly discovers the Nazi’s hidden fortress. He has a lot of the best lines in the film and made me laugh a lot.
This film does something I thought was impossible, it makes spoof movies good again. The spoof as a genre has had some great success, but in recent years it seemed to be dead after a lot of misfires in the early to mid 2000’s. However, this film and its well-done spoof elements prove there is still some life in the genre yet.
Overall, a wonderfully wacky good time, I whole heartedly recommend.
Not afraid to get silly
Fully lives up to the premise
The space battle at the end
It becomes a little repetitive towards the end and some of the jokes don’t land.
Reviewed by Luke
Ferdinand is an animated family film directed by Carlos Saldanha. The plot follows a Bull called Ferdinand (John Cena), who doesn’t like to fight. In the Spanish world of bull fighting that proves to be a liability and Ferdinand soon finds himself facing up to some unpleasant truths.
So, I really enjoy Blue Sky Animation, I am a big fan, yes, I know they didn’t make this and that it was actually made by 21st Century Fox Animation, but I saw their name attached and thought I would check it out. My takeaway? It is a very meh film, sure it is a nice turn your brain off kids movie, but if you’re looking for any substance or originality you’re looking in the wrong place.
The plot feels very been there done that. I can name a whole host of other movies that have a lead character who doesn’t like or can’t do something that his world revolves around. The unoriginality in and off itself is not the damming thing, plenty of films feel samey, my issue is that this film can’t seem to be bothered to do anything new with the premise beyond an unfamiliar location.
Overall, John Cena’s easy charm can’t be called upon to make this a good film. As far as animated films go maybe give this one a miss, you and or your kids won’t gain anything from watching it.
I enjoyed the Spanish flair
Seen it before
Kate McKinnon was at her most annoying
The emotion feels hollow
Reviewed by Luke
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a science fiction action film directed by Jonathan Liebesman. The film reintroduces us to our favourite sewer dwellers, and gives a fresh take on their origin story, showing them as April O’ Neil’s (Megan Fox), pets that were used for genetic experiments, who escaped during a lab fire and fled underground.
So I had heard bad things about this film, and I have to say it is not as bad as people make it out to be. It is a passable enough endeavour.
My first point of contention with the film is the design of the Turtles themselves, they’re ugly and the CGI doesn’t do them any favours. I am not saying people in monster costumes would be better, but maybe there is something to it. I think the film was very wise to not show them off until a good ways into the film, naturally the tease was better than the revel. However, the CGI Turtles did grow on me over time
Another thing I didn’t like was the relationship between Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and April. I get that of the mutant brothers Mikey is the fun jokey one, but right from the off he was creepy towards April. A lot of the remakes he made felt a bit off especially considering it is a kids film, I don’t remember this side to the character from the cartoon.
Overall, despite the fact that I have talked about the negatives, the film is quite watchable it has its moments and the characters for the most part are done well.
A fresh start
The design of the Turtles
Reviewed by Luke
How To Be A Latin Lover is a romantic comedy film directed by Ken Marino. The plot follows Maximo (Eugenio Derbez), a man who has made a living off seducing and marrying old rich women. One day his wife realises that she wants a new toy boy and chucks him out, then Maximo goes to live with his sister Sara (Selma Hayek), and learns the value of family.
So, before we get into this I want to give this film applause for not being predictable. A lot of the time this sort of film has a very simple structure that it follows, but this one surprised me at several turns. I enjoyed how the film didn’t cave to convention and make Maximo realise the error of his ways by the end of the film. He starts the film as a toy boy and that is how he ends it; his character grows but not hugely. I was pleasantly surprised.
The comedy in this film was spot on for me and it had me laughing a lot, again as I often say humour is subjective, consistently throughout the film. I especially enjoyed Kristen Bell’s peppy cat lady character, I thought she was a scene stealer.
Overall, the best thing about this film is its heart. It is warming to watch and the relationship between Maximo and his sister is quite heart-warming to watch. Also another great supporting role by Rob Lowe.
It has a huge heart
It is funny
Rob Lowe is terrific
The relationship between Maximo and his sister is sweet
The film is surprising
A little too long, a few pacing issues around the second act
Reviewed by Luke
Sanctum is a true story thriller film directed by Alistair Grierson. The plot is at least partly inspired by the real-life expedition undertaken by the film’s writer Andrew Wrights and the films executive producer James Cameron. The plot sees a group of people trying to explore a series of underground caves before bad weather floods the cave.
So, I went into this film fairly blind, I was not aware of what it was about and only learned after the fact. I thought this was a made for TV thriller/ science fiction film.
The reason for that assumption is right from the off you have some of the worst CGI I have ever seen from a film. Cameron is known for having some of the best film tech in the game, but clearly he didn’t let the people making this film use it. The helicopter flight in at the beginning as well as when rappel down the cave wall is embarrassingly bad.
The characters are deeply, and I do mean deeply unlikeable, for the most part they have no personality at all simply existing as hollow shells that recite dialogue, but when they do show any signs of personality you wish they hadn’t. I don’t know if this was reflective of the actual people and they were “just trying to be factual”, or if the writing was simply terrible.
Overall, I bet this is one film that James Cameron wants nothing to do with, an embarrassing mess of unlikeable characters and god-awful CGI, don’t watch it!
I’m struggling to find any
It is dull
The CGI is awful
The bad effects take you out of the film
The characters are awful
The writing is bafflingly bad
Reviewed by Luke