Tenet: What Is In A Word

Tenet is an action science fiction thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, the plot sees The Protagonist (John David Washington), try and prevent the end of the world, whilst also dealing with events happening backwards and forwards in time.

So before I get into this one, I would be remiss if I did not mention, that during the pandemic I have come to dislike Christopher Nolan quiet a bit, as he has had no regard for the ongoing corona virus and how his film may act as a super spreader event, he just cares that it is out and that he can lord himself as the ‘saviour of cinema’, so some bias, but hey if you’re still with me let’s get into it.

The concept is novel and inspired, I enjoyed it very much. Though the timey whimey stuff could have felt gimmicky it never does. I enjoyed seeing the same scene play out twice, one forward in time and once backwards, I found that this approach cleared up a lot of plot holes along the way.

The acting was all superb, with John David Washington proving that he is more than capable of leading a blockbuster film and of giving his dad a run for his money in the charm department. Though his co-stars give good performances as well, really this is Washington’s film and will be the one you walk away taking about.

The plot I had a few issues with, I found it to be overly obtuse and deliberately confusing, throwing in random science things from left field in an effort to seem smart. Some of the dialogue comes across as feeling a little try hard in that regard, and as I always say making something pretentious doesn’t make it clever or deep; it makes it smug.

Furthermore, in my screening of the film I had a lot of issues with sound mixing, I have talked to other people about it and they have experienced it as well. There will be a quiet conversation and you won’t be able to hear it because there will be a loud boowom in the background and you will be like wait what.

Overall, is this film worth seeing it cinemas right now? Maybe, maybe not, it is good, but I don’t really think it would be any worse on streaming, the cinema experience seems to work against it in the sound department. I think this film will be quite niche, you will either enjoy it or you will walk away bored and frustrated; there is no in-between on this one.

Pros.

The acting

The premise and the time effects

I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would

Cons.

It reeks of smugness and is deliberately confusing

The sound mixing is awful

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke           

6 Underground: Bay’s Explosions Have Lost Their Boom

6 Underground is an action film directed by Michael Bay. The plot sees a team of highly skilled covert operatives try and overthrow the brutal dictator of a far away country.

So, at this point I am starting to see a lot of similarities with Netflix’s action movies, they aren’t all exactly the same, but they have a very distinct feel to them that makes them all kind of blend together. The issue with this almost formula is that it gets repetitive and feels done before, this film definitely suffered from that.

Bay is not really known for character or dialogue, so I won’t go on about how standard if a little subpar it is here, but he does waste the comedic talents of Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds does have a few jokes here and there that mostly fall flat because the film takes itself far too seriously. That raises another issue, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time just some of the time, sometimes the film will be silly and Reynolds will play it straight and then the film will be serious and Reynolds will be silly, it is a strange off kilter kind of thing that leads to a very jarring experience.

The explosions and action that I would expect from a Bay film are here, but again they feel run off the mill, I feel like I have seen better elsewhere he needs to up his game.

Overall, a very by the numbers kind of film that doesn’t do much of note beyond being incredibly tonally inconsistent.
Pros.

The action is serviceable

It has a few cool moments

Cons.

The comedy doesn’t work

Ryan Reynolds isn’t funny here

The tonal mismatch

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

Tammy: Proof That Couples Shouldn’t Make Films Together

Tammy is a comedy film directed by Ben Falcone. The plot follows Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), a woman who is fired and then then finds out her husband is cheating on her so decides to hit the road with her mother to try and start over.

Why Mark Duplass? Why did you appear in this, did they force you? This film is a mess from start to finish and proves without a doubt why Falcone and McCarthy shouldn’t work together, they just make trash. The pair are married, and no doubt cheered on the others bad decisions and that is how you end up with a film as bad this one, a film that underutilises the ever wonderfully Mark Duplass and tarnishes his filmography.

If you have ever seen one of her “comedy” films before you know what you are getting in for, McCarthy is painfully unfunny near constantly and has to rely on very juvenile slapstick humor to try and get a cheap laugh and guess what, not even that is funny. Almost ever line is either cringe or capable of drawing out a groan.  

The characters and plot are non-existent, what do they matter right. Tammy herself as a character is one of the most unlikeable personalities ever set to screen, you struggle to feel any kind of sympathy with her and by the end of the film actively want to see her life be left in ruins.

Overall, this is a waste of your time it is not even funny in the slightest way and makes Adam Sandler and Johnny Knoxville look like wise comedy masters by comparison.

Pros.

It is short

Cons.

It is not funny

I wanted to turn it off multiple times

It wastes Mark Duplass

There is a distinct lack of characters or plot

0.5/5

Reviewed by Luke  

Daddy’s Home: Having A Laugh At Male Infertility

Daddy’s Home is a comedy film directed by Sean Anders. The plot sees Brad (Will Ferrell), a new stepfather who just wants to be loved by his wife’s kids, become forced out of the picture as his wife’s much more handsome and assertive ex husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg), remerges on the scene.

So, I always enjoy the Ferrell Wahlberg dynamic on screen, even if it is lesser when compared to Ferrell and Riley, however here it goes past the point of being funny. Keep in mind a lot of my issues with this film stem from its humour which is entirely subjective.

This film feels like an extension of the Other Guys which also stared both leads, the comedy is very similar, however there it felt like a good back and forth, here it just feels mean spirited. This film goes blue several times with the humour going places that I thought was a little needless. Call Ferrell’s character a “pussy”, sure but don’t make fun of the fact he is infertile it just leaves a bad taste.

On the writing front this is an incredibly generic comedy, there must be thousands of others like it that treat the premise with more of a clever take. You can accurately predict this film scene by scene before you have even seen it, and this obviousness makes the film boring in the long term.

Overall, despite having a few good laughs the humour mostly leaves a bad taste in your mouth and this film will go down as yet another miss for Ferrell.

Pros.

One or two laughs

The ending with John Cena

Cons.

The humour is mean spirited

The characters are oddly inconsistent

The story is laughably predictable
2/5

Reviewed by Luke   

Run All Night: Neeson Will Kill Anyone

Run All Night is an action crime film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. We are introduced to aging mob enforcer Jimmy (Liam Neeson), a man who’s past has long since caught up with him. He is shunned by his family and his only friend in the world is the boss of the crime family he used to work for Shawn McGuire (Ed Harris). That all changes when Jimmy ends up killing Shawn’s son to protect his son, the two men then have to face off and only one can walk away alive.

The post Taken action film of one Liam Neeson have become something of a guilty pleasure of mine in that vein I greatly enjoyed this film. I knew exactly what was going to happen before I had even seen it of course, but that is the same with all these kinds of films, I wasn’t watching it for the story of the plot I was watching it to see old man Neeson gun down a room full of people without even pausing to reload.

The acting was okay, nothing more than that, everyone acted exactly how they normally would in these sort of roles, Liam Neeson’s character and performance could have been from any number of movies. The one thing I will say on the characterization front is that the father son stuff in the film, shifts greatly by the end of the film and it does not feel earned. I understand that Neeson’s character final action is to save his son’s life, but does that make up for all the horrible things he has done throughout his life, including murdering his own family?

Overall, a schlocky action film that is as predicatable as they come, if like with me that is what you’re looking for then you will enjoy it.

Pros.

Solid action

Liam Neeson is fun

Its good schlock

Cons.

It is very predictable

It is dumb as hell

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke    

The Lego Movie: Everything Is Indeed Awesome

The Lego Movie is an animated action and adventure film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. We follow the tale of Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who is just like everyone else: he follows the rules of life and suffers for it. However, one day he meets master builder Wild Ride/ Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), who tell him that he is destined for greatness.

Can I just say before we get into this that the live action section in this film, when we see the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), is actually just the avatar of a dad in the real world who goes down and plays with Lego’s after work, is shockingly well done and poignant. I enjoyed the analogy; I thought the father son stuff was a very sweet turn that also brought with it a great surprise.

I also enjoyed the social commentary and punchy dialogue that features in almost every scene, it often made me laugh and took me off guard as I was not expecting it from a kid’s film. Furthermore, I think the level of imagination in this film surpasses the director’s other effort Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs by a mile.

Obviously, the film is very wholesome with a nice message that everyone could do with heeding and has sweet characters that you want to see more of, but these are things I’ve come to expect from good family films, so I won’t go on about them.

Overall, a gem of the early 2010’s for sure, proving the talent of both the directors and everyone involved, very much a lightning in a bottle firing on all cylinder’s type affair.

Pros

The real world section

The smart dialogue

The imagination

All of the characters are likeable and have distinct and varied personalities

It made me laugh a few times

Cons.

Some of it is a little cliched

4.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

Moonrise Kingdom: A Flood Is Coming

Moonrise Kingdom is a comedy drama film directed by Wes Anderson. The plot follows a pair of young kids who fall in love and decide to escape their restrictive homelives to be together, prompting a man hunt.

So, I have talked at great length about Anderson’s quirks in filmmaking in other reviews, so I won’t go too much into it here, only to say that this might be the best usage of them yet. They work in such a way that they make the film feel cheery, even though a lot of bleak things happen, it never feels depressing; it has a childlike sense of wonder and nativity that prevail throughout.

The kid’s actors were fine, that is big praise considering normally child acting ranges from terrible to god awful.

The two stars on the acting front are Edward Norton as the Scout Leader and Bruce Willis as the town’s sheriff/ policeman. Now, Norton’s character is very sweet and wholesome, and he is almost impossible not to root for, but also he is expectedly good. The real star on the acting front is Willis. This is because to most people it is clear that Willis stopped trying years ago, he mainly just does paycheck roles and straight to video stuff now, but this film proves that when he is trying he can still be great.

Overall, a very sweet tale of outsider love told in a way only Anderson can.

Pros.

The clear Anderson touch

Bruce Willis actually trying

The childlike wonder and optimism

The child actors aren’t terrible

The Jason Schwartzman cameo

Cons.

A little slow with the pacing, a bit of bloat

4.5/5

Reviewed by Luke  

The Oath: A Very Mixed Message On Political Extremism

The Oath is a dark comedy thriller film directed by Ike Barinholtz. The plot revolves around a family that comes together to celebrate Thanksgiving, however, in the political background citizens are being asked to sign a loyalty oath. This adds to the divisions of the family and leads down a dark path.

So, the first 45 minutes of this, before things got really crazy I thought were well done. It was a biting look at both political extremes, mocking both and showing how dedicating your life to any political belief is not a wise thing to do. I thought that a lot of the comments the film was making were incredibly current and on the money, frighteningly so; this is definitely an uncomfortable watch.

However, after the 45-minute mark things start to fall apart. When the government agents arrive at the home and Chris (Barinholtz), decides to take them hostage after a dust up thing get laughably dumb, and the smart edge that the first half of the film had is gone as the characters are turned into cartoonish caricatures. Also the ending of the film that sees Chris, who by the end of the film has become a true villain, get away with everything rather than face any kind of consequence almost feels like it is condoning or glorifying his behaviour, which feels counter to the point of the film.

Another issue with this film and others like it is that by focusing so much on the current political landscape the film feels dated and will not stand the test of time. It might feel worlds removed watching it in 2025.

Overall, it had something great when it started, but then it proceeds to ruin it over the last half of the film, making the lead unlikably evil and laughably dumb.

Pros.

The first half

The biting commentary

A very uncomfortable watch

Cons.

The second half ruins the film completely

The end feels like a justification when it shouldn’t be

The character goes from a relatable everyman to a political extremist

It will feel dated quickly  

2/5

Reviewed by Luke    

Magic Camp: Do You Want To See A Trick?

Magic Camp is a family comedy film directed by Mark Waters. The plot follows failed magician Andy (Adam Devine), who ends up teaching at a summer magic camp for kids interested in the mystical arts. Whilst there Andy rediscovers his passion, thanks in no small part to the kids, and also mends fences with his ex Darkwood (Gillian Jacobs).

I’ve said this before, Adam Devine is this generations Jack Black, if a little less charming and a little more desperate. With that in mind I found many similarities between this film and Black’s classic School Of Rock, and in that regard I found this film to be a heart-warming success. Will it set the world on fire or break the industry? No, no it won’t. However if you just want to watch a nice, happy, easy to watch film then look no further.

Devine works much better in a family friendly setting, so not getting his dick out, he has a strong paternal energy to him, and you buy him as someone who really does care about these kids by the end of the film. He also manages to nail key emotional scenes with the kids, that don’t come across as cringey.

Overall, very enjoyable, not a challenging watch, but maybe something to watch when you’re feeling down and need a pick me up. Further proof that Devine is Jack Black.

Pros.

Heart warming

Devine

A good heart that nails the emotional scenes

A few good jokes

Cons.

Nothing new

4/5

Reviewed By Luke  

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Film Of A Generation

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is a comedy action adventure romance film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic of the same name by Bryan Lee O’ Malley. The plot follows Scott (Michael Cera), a young man who falls under the spell of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), however in order for the two of them to be together he must defeat in battle her seven evil ex boyfriends.

So, the fact that this film was not a box office smash and universally beloved when it came out is nothing short of a crime. Over the course of the last ten years since it came out I must have watched it at least 10 times if not more. There is just something so pure and so joyful about this film that is really hard to capture in words, but I will give it a try.

Not only are the leads of this film terrific, but it also boasted a wide array of secondary characters and unlike other films, each of these feel like real people in their own right even if they only have a few minutes on screen. They are each given their moment to shine and shine they do.

The fights are madness incarnate, reminiscent of classic video games and thrilling through and through. Each of the seven evil ex’s feels memorable and Scott’s struggle to defeat them feels genuine. When he eventually gets the ending he deserves, (no spoilers here), it feels earned and is also a cheer worthy moment.

Overall, a modern classic that should have been recognised more for the sheer brilliance that it is.

Pros.

Having a great world

Incredibly likeable and compelling leads

Having well realised secondary characters

Incredibly memorable and quotable

Fun to watch

Cons.

None

5/5

Reviewed by Luke