A Field In England: Taking Drugs In A Field

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

An alchemist’s assistant, played by Reece Shearsmith , and a group of deserters try and navigate the battlefields of the English Civil War.

I like the films of Ben Wheatley for the most part even though sometimes they miss the mark. However, this film I think may be his worst and misses the mark by a large degree boiling down into pretentious nonsense that feels like the sort of thing a first year film student might make if they couldn’t decide on a narrative direction for their film and instead decided to throw everything at the wall.

This is clearly    most experimental work but that isn’t a good thing as it makes the film feel far too art house for its own good, coming across as an effort in pretention. Additionally, this decision to be experimental means there are big sections of the narrative that make little to no sense and don’t really fit with the tone of the rest of the film, this doesn’t come across as some brave stylistic decision but rather a lack of ability to write narrative and an attempt to disguise lazy writing by being pretentious.

The only thing that really gripped me about this film is the occult focus which I enjoyed and which did deliver some good scares, we could have done with more of this and less silly art house nonsense.

Overall, Wheatley pushes the boundary into how art house he can be and still maintain audience interest and arguably goes too far.

2/5

Pros.

A few good scares

The occult stuff later into the film

Cons.

It is pretentious

Some sections of the film don’t fit

It has awful pacing

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Medieval: One Man’s Rise To Greatness

2.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A band of mercenaries become bound up in the future of Bohemia.

On the one hand I praise this film for telling a new and fresh tale, and one in which many outside of the area, myself included, would have probably never heard of. It is nice to see lesser known historical figures get their screen adaptions over yet another film about Robert The Bruce or some Wild West Outlaw.

However, on the other hand this film is a very cliched sort of historical epic and the way in which the story is told, and more importantly acted, is nothing to write home about and lacks any kind of freshness. Ben Foster is doing his best to try and hold things together, an argument could be made that they should have got a Czech actor to play a famous national figure, but they wanted the star power of Foster to try and boost the profile of the film I’d guess. Michael Caine and Matthew Goode, both have some good moments of scenery chewing, but are used far too infrequently to have any real impact.

Overall, watchable and fresh to a degree but sadly weighed down by epic genre cliches.

Pros.

Showing lesser known historical tales

It is watchable

Foster, Caine and Goode

Cons.

Pacing

It feels very cliched

Some of the cast are very underused

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

The Woman King: Revisionism

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The story of an all-female warrior unit that fought to protect the Kingdom of Dahomey.

I thought this film was at times a slog to get through. I know that historical epics are often on for a long time and feel like a mammoth task to watch, but this film just seemed to never end. I think there are a lot of scenes which could have been cut from this film that would improve it and make the pacing better.

Moreover, I didn’t care for the historical revisionism that was in play within the film, with the fictious lead character, played by Viola Davis, trying to preach the evils of slavery to the King, played by John Boyega despite the fact that in real life Dahomey played a large role in the slave trade. To me this felt like the film was trying to virtue signal and rewrite history rather than deal with troublesome truths.

Additionally, a lot of the reviews I have read for this film praise its action, but I thought that the action actually looked quite bad. This can be seen to come down to two things, firstly that the sword hits never quite seemed to land and were often a few miles off, and secondly the choreography was just all over the place often challenging in baffling ways what people will believe to be realistic for a tale with real people not superheroes.

I would say the cast was a saving grace for the film. Lashana Lynch and Viola Davis both had a number of great moments and delivered instantly memorable performances. Both of their characters felt fully rounded and interesting to get to know.

Overall, a historical epic that has some interesting moments but mostly misses the mark

Pros

Davis

Lynch

Cons.

The fight scenes

The historical revisionism

The pacing  

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Elvis: Tom Hank’s Worst Performance

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

An Elvis biopic featuring a career worst performance from Tom Hanks.

Who thought Tom Hanks character here was a good idea? Whoever that person is should be fired, being subjected to Hanks’ performance here is nothing short of cruel and unusual. From the horrible over the top accent, that moves around constantly, to the awful facial prosthetics that become hilariously distracting at times, Hanks is destined for a Razzie nomination for this one.

Moreover, though I enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s style to a degree it is too much here. With the awful pacing and frequent needless asides this reeks to me of a director who was given carte blanche over proceedings and decided to fully embrace their style to the detriment of the film more widely, sometimes it is good to reign in a director. Truly, I think the most egregious thing about this film is its runtime, which is frankly absurdly long.

On a more positive note, this film does include all of the classic Elvis numbers that many of you will be coming to this film to hear, and in that respect you will be happy for the film’s obscene runtime as it gives you a chance to hear more of them and even to hear some totally needless remixes of them as well.

In addition Austin Butler gives one hell of a performance and manages to salvage this film from being a total dumpster fire fueled on by an unchecked director. Butler really becomes lost in the role and by the midpoint in the film you almost entirely forget that he isn’t Elvis himself. To further push that point home, up against Hanks’ ghastly performance Butler looks like he should be winning next year’s Oscar.

Overall, a good time if you like Elvis, otherwise fairly mixed.

Pros.

Butler

You get to here all your old favourites

Quite a detailed look into the life of Elvis

Cons.

Hanks’ performance and everything about his character

The runtime

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Hairspray: John Travolta’s Finest Hour

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A group of teens sing and dance to protest segregation.

This review might be controversial to some people, as in some circles Hairspray is a beloved classic up there with Grease, however I think this is far from true and that by having far too much on its plate this film becomes a mess.

Overstretching can be seen as the film does not just try and be a fun breezy musical, but also a socially conscious narrative that brings in topics such as racism and sizeism. The film struggles to develop all three of these aspects simultaneously and as such often neglects one or the other of them. Moreover, within the film’s first act there is a an incredibly awkward transitionary period where these racial themes are injected into the film and it diverts from being simply a silly musical, as the film takes this turn the whole narrative slows down and it feels as though the film you are watching has ended and a new one begun.

The songs aren’t anything special either, for the most part it just feels like you could be watching any musical and if you close your eyes it could even be Highschool Musical. They did very little for me.

Overall, seeing John Travolta sing and dance in a fat suit made it worth my time.

Pros.

It was watchable

Travolta

Cons.

The songs aren’t very good

The tone is inconsistent

It’s message is generic and has been said before

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Mothering Sunday: Prepare To Be Depressed

1/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Set in a post WWI Britain this film tells the tale of Jane, played by Odessa Young, a maid who falls in love with a wealthy man, played by Josh O’ Connor.

This film was fairly bleak across the board. With the amount of death and heartbreak in it one questions whether this is even a romance film, or whether it is simply a drama about the impacts of post war trauma and gilded cages. I was so depressed by the end of this film that I had to watch something happy and upbeat almost straight away, be warned.

Moreover, the film has a needless amount of nudity throughout. This goes in both directions and feels as though it has just been stuffed in to give a shock to the older market that would usually come out for this sort of fare. Rather than feeling daring, or perhaps subversive, this instead feels incredibly try hardy.

For positives I would say that this film is certainly watchable, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman both give strong performances even if they are only featured infrequently. However, The leads seem far too detached for most of the film, which makes it hard to care about either of them, or even the film itself at times.

Overall, I am curious who this was made for?

Pros.

It is watchable and Firth and Colman give good performances

Cons.

The excessive amount of nudity

It is depressing

It is hard to care about any of the characters

It is terribly paced

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill And Came Down A Mountain: Looking For Love In Wartime Wales

4.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Two cartographers, played by Hugh Grant and Ian McNeice, visit a small Welsh town during World War 1 to measure local features, one of which is a large land mass that the locals say is a mountain -however the cartographers think is a hill. Hijinks ensue.

I think you can’t go wrong with young Hugh Grant, maybe Four Weddings but hey that was a fluke. Grant is at his charming best here and plays the tongue tied English man who of course falls in love with a local Welsh woman, played by Tara Fitzgerald, with gusto. You really end up caring about the central relationship but not perhaps as much as you do for the wider community who come together to turn there hill into a mountain. This is a community that has been ripped apart by war and suffering and to see them all come together to try and save their mountain is honestly heart-warming. There are a few moments wherein the sentimentality does feel a little sappy and American but for the most part the heart is just right.

One thing I would note is that it is pretty poor that none of the leading roles are actually lead by Welsh actors. The three leads are Irish and English. Now I am not going to go on a big rant about representation, but it is quite poor that they couldn’t have got an actual Welsh person for this film.

Overall, Welsh representation aside this film is a heart-warming delight.  

Pros.

The romance

The emotion

The ending

It is a lot of fun

Grant

Cons.

The lack of Welsh actors

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

The Northman: A Viking Life For Me

5/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Amleth, played by Alexander Skarsgård, is a Viking prince who after losing his family and his kingdom goes on an epic quest for revenge.

Honestly this may be Robert Eggers best film, now I love the VVitch it is my second favourite film of all time, but I do think this film gives it a run for its money.

There is something so original and fresh about this film, you have never seen anything quite like it before, there are notes of Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising but even then not quite. This is not a revenge film as you would expect it, this is not a Viking film as you would expect it, this film takes different elements from several different genres and blends them together to create something new and abstract.

The abstract elements of this film, where things go noticeably strange, are just fantastic. Not only are they visually distinct and interesting but they are shot in such a beautiful way that they become burnt into your minds eye.

The characters are of course terrific Skarsgård is a capable lead, but I would say he is outpaced by both Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy who both give masterful performance that will stay with you. I thought the twist with Kidman’s character worked perfectly and superbly steered the film towards its final act. My favourite performance of the film was probably Willem Dafoe’s jester/mystic character who thought he was only in it for a few brief scenes is a lot of fun.       

Overall, a must see.

Pros.

The epic scale

The battle scenes

The abstract elements

The performances

The ending

Cons.

None

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Operation Mincemeat: The Most Shocking Hand Sex Scene In The History Of Cinema

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A daring tale of WW2 espionage is ruined by a ham fisted love triangle that becomes distracting.

Before seeing this film I was excited the event this is based on is fascinating. For those of you who don’t know Operation Mincemeat was a British military plan whereby a corpse was floated ashore in Spain carrying false papers in an effort to convince the Axis powers that the Allies were going to attack Greece instead of Sicily. At the time the plan was deemed incredibly risky and is now viewed as one of the greatest feats of espionage ever. That premise sets this film up to be a good war time thriller, however, the focus is not on the operation itself really at all instead it focuses on the personal lives of the characters.

Colin Firth, Kelly MacDonald and Matthew Macfadyen, the three sides of the love triangle, all give good performances. The performances of those involved is not the problem, what is a problem however is the fact that the love triangle between these three actor’s characters becomes of greater importance to the plot than anything else. I thought it was entirely needless.

Moreover, during the Spain sequence there are these incredibly random sex scenes that just sort of come out of nowhere and feel weird. I don’t know if they are done in reference to real things that happened and were included for authenticities sake, but if they weren’t what are they doing in the film? The hand-job scene in particular had everyone in my showing of the film looking at each other in shock and confusion asking why this was happening?

Overall, though the film was very watchable and had good performances for the most part, the focus is in entirely the wrong place.

Pros.

It is watchable

Strong performances across the board

When they actually talk about the plan it is interesting

Cons.

The love triangle

The sex scenes

It has awful pacing

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Against The Ice: The Bleak White North Of Greenland

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

An expedition to Greenland soon turns into a life or death struggle for two men, played by Nikolaj Coster- Waldau and Joe Cole. Based on the 1909 true story.

I think this film is a remarkable tome to the human condition, both Coster-Waldau and Cole are  giving it their all and you can really feel it in their performances, from the beginning both sink into their characters so completely that you forget that you are watching a film.

Moreover, the film maintained a strong sense of tension throughout, there were multiple moments where, pardon the trite overused phrase, I was on the edge of my seat. I thought the film for the most part was deeply enthralling and kept you engaged throughout, this was helped along by you caring about the fate of the explorers.

My main issue with the film was that though for the most part it did a good job of keeping you interested there was significant pacing issues resulting in slow moments that hurt the film broadly and that tested your interest in it, regarding this there are also a number of sub-plots that could have been cut down to save time as they really don’t add much of anything.

Overall, an interesting film that is dragged down by some aggressive pacing issues.

Pros.

Coster-Waldau

The tension

You care about the characters

Cons.

The pacing

It overstays its welcome

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

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer