Godzilla Vs Kong: A Pretender To The Throne

Written by Luke Barnes

Godzilla Vs Kong is a science fiction film directed by Adam Wingard and set in the Monsterverse. The plot sees the two Kings do battle, as there can only be one.

As many of you know, I was not a fan of King Of The Monsters, I thought it was loud, dumb and devoid of charm. However, whilst to a point that is still applicable here, I am please to say I enjoyed this film far more.

The logic of the film is still very dumb, the humans turn on Godzilla almost immediately despite realising how much they liked him at the end of the last film- only to later realise they like him again. There are a ton of plot holes, and broken plot threads that go nowhere, but you aren’t watching this for the plot.

The monsters fighting is quite well done and does not become repetitive as I had feared it might do. I think that this was far more of a Kong film with the odd appearance from Godzilla here and there, and I didn’t mind that.

I thought the emotion was spot on; that is my biggest compliment of the film. Firstly, you cared about the human characters, which is shocking, and not only that but they have impactful emotional arcs both between themselves and with the titans which greatly enhances the film as a whole.

Overall, a step up from the previous film that manages to do the impossible and make you care about the human characters.


The human characters

The emotion

Fun monster fights


It is dumb and the logic doesn’t make sense

It feels a little underwhelming after all the titans featured in the previous film


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Operation Varsity Blues: Matthew Modine Rocking The Bowl Cut

Written by Luke Barnes

Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal is a drama documentary film based on real events, told using dramatic recreations and talking head interviews with those involved. The film explores the issues surrounding the college admissions scandal that saw a number of rich and in some cases famous people face jail time after bribing college officials to allow their children entry into the most prestigious universities in the United States.

Much like Netflix’s Fyre documentary this film will see you laughing and taking a small amount of joy out of seeing these privileged people be reminded that the rules do apply to them, and that they can’t just do what they want.

Also much like Fyre this documentary is fairly trashy and salacious, making sure to cram in and shame as many famous faces as it possibly can during its runtime, which is not inherently a bad thing more so it places this film firmly in the category of junk food documentary.

Something that bothered me about this film is the way they structure the ending sequence. As is fairly common practice the ending of a documentary usually features some text about ongoing events or updates that have happened since filming. This film decides to list the legal sentences that each culprit got instead, which is a novel idea, however, where it goes wrong is that in some cases certain people hadn’t been convicted or tried by the time of filming, and as such when the film shows them in the end credits it just says how they pled and not the conviction, which becomes jarring and confusing quickly.

Another thing that is quite confusing about this film is the use of recreations and talking head interviews, as we will be shown the real perpetrators on screen in an image but then for the purpose of the film be shown an actor standing in for the person, as they clearly didn’t want anything to do with the documentary, this again becomes confusing. More so when the film starts to blend the lines of based on true events drama and a standard documentary.

Overall, Matthew Modine sinks into his role as the mastermind of the scheme, Rick Singer and there is a lot of interesting and infuriating fun to be had here, however, several artistic choices hurt the film and I think the concept as a whole should have been better refined and adapted, the talking heads and the recreations together don’t work.  



Trashy fun

A few interesting points raised


An incomplete ending

The format doesn’t work as the recreations frequently clash with the talking heads


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Interview With Darcy Weir: Head Writer/ Director For Crop Circle Realities

Written by Luke Barnes

I recently had the chance to chat to Darcy Weir about their documentary film Crop Circle Realities, the film serves to investigate the phenomena of crop circles and tries to suggest possible origin theories for them. We discuss other worldly visitors, UFO’s and of course the actual origins of crop circles, I hope you enjoy!

Q: What word would you use to describe Crop Circle Realities?

DW: Informative

Q: Who is your filmmaking inspiration?

DW: James Fox

Q:  What was the catalyst for you making this film?

DW: I found this story sitting in some hay in England…Jaime Maussan and I had done a couple documentaries together

and I saw how for years since the early 90’s he had been flying over to England to observe first-hand the crop circles as they appeared.

I wanted to find out more about his experience and what he had learned. This led me to meeting Gary King, who was the first person to

lead Jaime Maussan around a crop circle. It was all laid out for me from there.

Q:  Did you run into any stumbling blocks while making this film?

DW: Yes, I was looking for the original video of the Oliver Castle UFO laying a crop circle formation and through Tercer Milenio a Mexican News agency, I was able to obtain it finally.

Q: Do you have any fun on-set stories?

DW: Jaime Maussan fell off his seat at one time because he was startled by a call that he received on his cell phone mid interview. We had to cut that take for sure.

Q: What was your message with this film what were you trying to convey? 

DW: Not all crop circles are manmade, and the ones from an off world source have important messages for mankind. “Much pain, but there’s still time”.

Q: If you could go back in time to when you were first starting out as a filmmaker what advice would
you give yourself?

DW: Don’t be afraid to take chances, connect with as many like-minded people as possible and don’t waste your time on the other ones.

Q: What is the reality of crop circles?

DW: They have been showing up en-masse in the Wiltshire area of England for centuries now. There is a continuity in the messaging there and they will keep coming every year.

Q: If you won an award for the film who would you thank?

DW: My Wife, for supporting me and tagging along on these interview adventures.

Q:  Would you consider doing a follow up Documentary in the future?

DW: Yes, there is still a lot to talk about in terms of important crop circle messages that have shown up.

If you would like to check out Crop Circle Realities then you can find it on various streaming marketplaces, and as always check out my review of it which can be found on my blog right now!

If you enjoyed this review, then please head to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts and the ability for you to tell me what to review next. Check it out!


Crop Circle Realities: Lights In The Sky

Written by Luke Barnes

Crop Circle Realities is a documentary film directed by Darcy Weir. The plot of the film explores the phenomena of crop circles, and there possible alien connection. This documentary seeks out answers behind the creation of crop circles.

So, I must confess before watching this I had heard of crop circles before, in regard to aliens, but I never knew much about them beyond the basics. Luckily for me this film teaches you a lot about crop circles as a phenomena and is quite accessible in its presentation so everyone can understand and follow what is going on, regardless of prior knowledge.

I think the documentary strives to be informative over salacious, which is always a good thing, more so the film allows you to have fun watching it and feel entertained whether you believe in its central narrative or not.

Moreover, the more conservative run time of this film being only just over an hour allows it to operate at a nice quick pace: feeling like it is hitting on all the major points without feeling dragged out or padded for time, which can often cost documentaries marks.

Overall, a fun and informative documentary that raises some interesting questions and that prompts you to do you own research after the film ends.


The pace

The accessibility

A lot of fun

Watchable even if you don’t believe in the central narrative


A few ideas get brushed over and could do with a bit more time exploring them


If you enjoyed this review, then please head to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts and the ability for you to tell me what to review next. Check it out!


Friday The 13th Part 4: A Bald Child Proves To Be The Downfall Of The Hockey-Masked Killer

Written by Luke Barnes

Friday The 13th The Final Chapter is a horror slasher film directed by Joseph Zito. Originally billed as the last entry in the Friday The 13th series, this film sees Jason (Ted White), finally die.

This along with Part 2, which in my mind are tied, are the best entries into the Friday the 13th series (of the first 5, as I haven’t seen past that yet). However, both films fall just short of glory with one thing disrupting each. In this film’s case it is the ending tease of Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman), becoming the new Jason. I did not like this tease and I thought it spoilt the film somewhat, I would have preferred if the film had been left open ended, with the effects of the brutal killing on Tommy’s psyche being left up to our interpretation. Even if they do end up going into it in detail in the next film.

I think this film has some of the best teens in the series with Trish (Kimberly Beck), Rob (E. Erich Anderson) and Jimmy (Crispen Glover), all being standouts. Of course Feldman is very serviceable as the lead and is fine as far as child actors go. I would have preferred for Rob to get a wider focus as his storyline, of coming to kill Jason after he attacked his sister years prior would have been very interesting to explore- sadly we didn’t get that. However, the small amount of time we get with Rob and his plotline is enjoyable.

I think the final showdown and what would have been the death of Jason Voorhees, if he wasn’t brought back 2 films later, feels satisfying and well-paced. Much like a lot of the series kills, the death of Jason is suitably bloody and over the top, reveling in the deranged spectacle.

Overall, a nice ending for the series, sadly the final few minutes taint the film somewhat but can be ignored.


The showdown

The ‘death’ of Jason

The teens are likeable and have personality

Rob and his storyline


Teasing Tommy as the next Jason


If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts and the ability for you to tell me what to review next. Check it out!


The Vault: Uncharted Meets Oceans, But Without The Charm Of Either

Written by Luke Barnes

The Vault is a crime heist film directed by Jaume Balaguero. The plot sees a group of thieves try to break into Spain’s most secure vault during the World Cup.

What is it with Freddie Highmore? As a young actor he had such promise and now he seems content in playing the same role over and over again: the role in case you were not aware is odd ball, intelligent characters with a bad streak. From Bates Motel to this film, that character type sums up Highmore’s career, and if anything is starting to get a little repetitive.  

There is some interest to this film when it first starts, Liam Cunningham is very interesting as the rich treasure collector and has a good screen presence, however, the film soon taints that. The ending of this film which in my mind is the worst part and the thing that seals the ultimate fate of this film for me, feels like a less charismatic, less thought-out spoof of one of the Oceans films; serving to be so unbelievably ridiculous and dumb that you are left saying “wait really”.

The one thing I will give this film credit for is the way it ties the event of the World Cup into the setting and the world of the film. This to me made the film feel unique and is just different enough to distract me from how generic this film actually is.

Overall, a waste of time. Liam Cunningham is giving a good performance and he almost makes this film worthwhile, but not even he is that good.



The use of the World Cup



The ending

How generic it is


Yes Day: Edgar Ramirez’s Time To Shine

Written by Luke Barnes

Yes Day is a comedy-drama film directed by Miguel Arteta. The plot follows a couple (played by Edgar Ramirez and Jennifer Garner), who used to say yes to life, however, since having kids no has become their word of choice. After a parent teacher night proves illuminating, they decide to give their kids a yes day: this is a day in which the parents have to say yes to whatever their kids ask of them.

When I put this film on I was expecting it to be bad, I wanted something mindless to switch off to yet still be happy enough to keep me entertained in the background. However, what I got was a surprisingly sweet film that made me smile quite a few times.

First off I want to say that this is Edgar Ramirez’s movie, he has made a few misses in recent years, but he is the life and soul of this film and his characters emotional arc spoke to me. I actually found myself becoming invested in his character throughout the film, I felt the same towards Garner though less so in terms of relatability.

I think the premise is comically inventive enough to be interesting whilst not being novel enough to shake the boat. Though it is always fairly obvious where the film is going, it is quite wholesome along the way and has a number of good messages and supporting characters; Arturo Castro was a particular delight.

In terms of the film’s comedy, I didn’t find myself laughing really at all, I had the odd chuckle here and there but for the most part I was smiling. I wouldn’t say this film is funny, but I would say it is entertaining.

Overall, a surprisingly good time.





Wholesome fun


Nothing you haven’t seen before


Case 39: The Most Upfront and Blatant Twist In All Of Cinema History

Written by Luke Barnes

Case 39 is a horror film directed by Christian Alvart. The plot sees dedicated care worker Emily Jenkins (Renee Zellweger), save a young girl from a brutal death at the hands of her parents. However, one thing leads to another and the rescued Lilith (Jodelle Ferland), begins living with Emily and Emily soon realises that there is something off with her.

Spoiler warning for one of the most obvious twists in cinema history.

Ok last chance.

Lilith, as the incredibly on the nose name would suggest is in fact a demon. Yes, to make it even more obvious she is a succubus demon- they are really hitting you in the face with it. She can make those who go against her see horrible visions and meet grisly ends, it is all fairly generic and nothing that you haven’t seen better before.

This film felt to me like the producers and creatives behind this film had watched Orphan and seen the great twist in that film and been like ‘let’s make something similar but dumber’.

The film has quite an all star cast as well, landing Zellweger at the waning peak of her Bridget Jones fame, Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane and manages to waste all of them. The acting in this film is the usual collection of horror movie cliches with little to elevate it beyond mediocrity.

Overall, one of the worst and most obvious twists I have ever seen in a film, and yes to a degree I applaud the film for being so blatant and up front about it, but at the same time it is still an incredibly weak film.


Some dumb fun to be had

Ian McShane is trying his best


The cast excluding McShane either don’t care or are being sorely underused

The twist

The ending

They repeat plot elements over and over again


Friday The 13th Part 3: Jason’s Gap Year

Written by Luke Barnes

Friday The 13th Part 3 is a horror film directed by Steve Miner. The events of the film take place directly after Part 2 and sees a defeated and hurt Jason (Richard Brooker), taking a moment to heal up before getting back out their to slaughter more camp councillors.

Of the film’s I’ve seen so far on my rewatch of the series this is definitely the worst so far. That is mainly because this film feels like filler, it is the middle film between Jason being hurt and then being ‘killed’ in Part 4. In terms of moving the franchise forward, this film just feels like more of the same.

Honestly when thinking about this film to write my review, it just blends in with the other films and all the moments I think ‘oh wait that was pretty cool’ were in fact from other entries in the series and not this film- literally nothing interesting happens here.

The teens are generic, and so are the kills. The original idea to have Amy Steel come back as a scarred Ginny Fields would have worked so much better for this film, sadly Steel didn’t want to come back, so they just made the film generic instead.

Overall, there is not a lot to say about this film it is definitely a low point in the series and is also deeply generic maybe skip over this one.


It is still mindless fun to watch


It is bland

It is forgettable

The new teens are painfully one note

Jason’s story is not furthered in any meaningful way


SAS Red Notice: Ruby Rose Finally Gives A Good Performance

Written by Luke Barnes

SAS: Red Notice is a British action thriller film directed by Magnus Martens, based on the book of the same name by Andy McNab. The plot sees the British government turn on a family of mercenaries in their employ when one of the many atrocities committed runs the risk of being traced back to senior figures. A cat and mouse game ensues.

This seems to be a week of humility for me, first I was wrong about the Snydercut and now I am wrong about Ruby Rose- well partially. So, as some of you may know I have strong doubts about Rose as an actor, in that she can’t act or emote with her face. However, the one thing she can do is be a convincing action star and this film proves that. She commands the screen as the unhinged psychopathic villain intent on making the world pay and manages to sell herself as an action presence.

However, Rose is easily out acted by veteran performers such as Noel Clarke and Andy Serkis. By and large the acting in this film is good. The lead performance from Sam Heughan is a little weak, but maybe that was on purpose as the film reveals his character to also be a psychopath and to struggle with emotions.

The film does focus a lot of its time and energy especially in the third act on psychopaths and how they differ from everyone else, and whilst I think it is a fascinating aside that I would love to see more explored elsewhere, it does steal focus away from the film and derail it a little bit.

Though for the most part I enjoyed this film my main issue with it would be that it reduced Hannah John- Karmen, a very gifted actor (who has appeared in Netflix’s The Stranger, as well as playing Ghost in Antman And The Wasp), down to basically a damsel in distress/ girlfriend character, which feels incredibly reductive.

Overall, a strong action film with a few interesting asides, sadly these asides derail the plot and from that position the poor performances are even more visible.


Rose as an action star and not as an actor

Some good action/ thrills

Clarke and Serkis

The ending



Poor acting from some of the cast