The Birds: Why Is Hitchcock A Cinematic Icon? I Don’t Get It

2/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A woman with too much time on her hands, played by Tipi Hedren, starts getting attacked by birds.

I am going to say something that within some film circles is the highest form of blasphemy so get ready. I don’t really like the films of Alfred Hitchcock, I think they are often slow and badly paced, and more often then not seem to think they are smarter than they actually are. His films have a certain smugness to them, the only one I actually like is Psycho.

Anyway, I did not think this was the worst film I have ever seen but I did think it was boring. Scene after scene of Hedren’s characters personal drama as she obsesses over a man she met in a pet shop, played by Rod Taylor. Honestly it is quite a ways into the film where the titular birds start to turn bad until that point you would be forgiven for thinking you are watching some old fashioned drama/romance film. The pace during this early section is so bad that it almost made me turn it off.

I enjoyed the cinematography and the shot choice and would even go so far as to say a few of the shots were quite inspired, but this didn’t make up for the wider short comings of the film. Chief amongst these I would say were the performances that frequently felt quite wooden.

Overall, painfully slow.

Pros.

A few strong shot choices

Visually a beautiful film

Cons.

It is badly paced

The birds don’t turn bad until way into the film

The performances are fairly wooden

It is boring

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

Andor: Aldhani

3.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Andor, played by Diego Luna, embarks on a heist and the embers of the rebellion begin to form.

I think this was a very good episode and way better than a lot of the other Disney + Star Wars shows we have had so far, however, I would say that it is a step back from what we got last week. This is very much a talking set up episode, which by no means is a bad thing as we will get to, but it does mean that the episode suffers with pacing issues. I think the worst thing about pacing in this episode is where it leaves off on, as the ending of the episode just feels like a random cut to black in the middle of a scene.

I enjoyed the scenes with Stellan Skarsgard’s Luthen, it is nice to see that he is a man of many faces. I have no idea where his story is going but I am excited to find out. Moreover, I thought his scenes with Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’ Riley, were really strong, and I thought that O’ Riley was really starting to shine in the role.

I also thought the heist planning scene was a lot of fun later in the episode, I liked the fact they built a model diagram and that yet again it seems like Cassian will be doing a suicide mission. I thought the two stand outs of the Cassian scenes were Faye Marsay as Vel and Alex Lawther as Nemick, both instantly created memorable and likeable characters who I want to see more off.

Overall, a slower episode but still one that is a lot of fun.

Pros.

Seeing more of Luthen

O’ Riley’s Mothma

The heist planning scene was a lot of fun

Seems like there is a lot to be excited for later in the season

Cons.

Pacing issues, mainly where they choose to end the episode

Not a lot happens   

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

End Of The Road: A Sorry Endeavor For All Involved

1/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A family on a cross country road trip get on the wrong side of a sketchy group of dudes, and a cat and mouse game begins.

This film sucked hard. The social commentary of this film is so on the nose that it feels like it reaches over and hits you in the face. Nothing new is being said here and it is once again the narrative of white people are bad and are inherently out to get POC, honestly this narrative really annoys me as it is both lazy and such a broad generalisation that it kills any kind of nuanced conversation dead. I don’t doubt that there are evil groups of white people such as the ones this film present, I am sure there are many all over the world, but the way this film goes about tackling this issue never gets out of a place of race-baiting.

The performances are fairly weak across the board, I don’t think anyone in the film thinks this is going to be the film they get an Oscar for. No one hugely stood out though I would say Queen Latifah comes closest, it is nice to see her back as a headline billing, however, she can do far better than this schlock.

Overall, a thriller that goes far too hard on the racial aspect of its narrative and that doesn’t actually deliver many thrills.

Pros.

A few unintentionally funny moments

Cons.

The performances are weak

The race-baiting

The pacing is awful

It is schlock without any charm

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

Beast: Man Vs Nature

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Idris Elba fights a lion.

So the survival thriller subgenre or more aptly for this the man vs beast category of the survival thriller subgenre is like I often say overstuffed. I feel like somewhere with the annuls of the films featuring in this area there must have been a man vs lion film before, however, if there was I can’t remember it or haven’t seen it as such this was a fairly new gimmick to me.

The plot is rather uninspired and very predictable, the lion terrorises the family and kills a dear family friend, played by the ever excellent Sharlto Copley, and then finally the father kills it in a hectic showdown. So much so cliched. However, despite all of this the film still feels compelling there is still enough about it to get you to care for the characters and want to see them make it out the otherside.   

I thought both Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley brought a lot to the film, and both of their characters were both complex and surprisingly nuanced, whereas the kids were both incredibly whiny and irritating. I won’t spend much time ragging on child actors as they are low hanging fruit, but suffice it to say that the two we meet here are not very talented.

Overall, despite being quite generic there is more than enough to keep you entertained here.

Pros.

It is compelling

It felt fresh to me, but if you have seen other man vs lion films then it might be less so to you

Elba

Copley

Cons.

The child actors are really bad and quite distracting

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

Fall: Life Lessons For Trying Times

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Two young free climbers, played by Grace Caroline Curry and Virginia Gardner, decide to get back into it after suffering a  loss that has effected them both. During this attempt the two young women find themselves trapped at the top of an abandoned tower in the middle of nowhere with no way down.

I have seen and reviewed a lot of these sort of films, the survival thriller genre seems to have a new film out every week and for the most part they are all bad. However, this one really struck a chord with me and impressed me, whether it was the fact I have a fear of heights so I felt the threat a lot more or whether it was something I hadn’t seen readily before this film certainly kept me engaged.

The performances are a mixed bag, Curry is a fairly weak lead outperformed by both Gardner and also Jeffery Dean Morgan who plays her dad and has a collective 5 minutes of screentime in the whole picture. I think the film would have been better if Gardner had the top billing and Curry was the co-star.

My two main small issues with this film were the frankly shockingly bad CGI during the first tragic climb and also the twist towards the end of the film that one of the girls had actually been dead for some time as I thought it felt lazy and done for shock value. However, in my mind both of these things are fairly minor and don’t really stop you enjoying the film.

Overall, an interesting and genuinely distressing survival film.

Pros.

The threat

The tension

The cinematography

Gardner and Morgan

Cons.

The CGI is a little patchy in places

The twist didn’t work for me

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

Orphan First Kill: Grey And Lifeless

2.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Ester’s origins are explored with the help of a simply awful lighting and colour gradient combo.

Really this film shouldn’t have been made. They add in some new twists and turns here, but for the most part it can’t hope to compete with the twist from the first film that Ester, played by Isabelle Fuhrman, who everyone thought was a child was in fact a grown adult. Once you know that twist a lot of the places this prequel goes to are not very exciting.

Moreover, as I said in the above summary there is some really quite poor lighting and colouring choices in this film that makes vast parts of it hard to see or tell what is going on, furthermore this is only worsen by a grey hue that seems to stick to the film throughout giving it a dull and lifeless air.

However, it is not all terrible as the film for the most part is very watchable. In addition a surprisingly out of left field evil turn from Jessica Stiles makes for captivating watching, the film would be a lot wore without Stiles in it that’s for sure.

Overall, a very average film that didn’t really need to be made.

Pros.

Stiles

It is watchable

The ending

Cons.

Once you know the twist from the first film it takes a lot away from this prequel

The lighting and colour work is awful

The pace is aggressively bad

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

Nope: You Will Never Look At Clouds The Same Way Again

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A family of horse trainers come under threat from a massive otherworldly entity.

This could potentially be Jordan Peele’s best film. Now that might be a controversial claim but stay with me, I think by being far more obvious and straightforward in its plotting rather than abstract and heavily reliant on subtext this becomes the director’s most accessible and dare I say enjoyable film. It is nice to be able to just watch this film and enjoy the character’s journeys and to understand the film once it ends rather than having to wade through a lake of fairly on the nose racial subtext to be able to draw some sort of a conclusion.

All of the performers here are on good form, Kiki Palmer, Steven Yeun, Daniel Kaluuya all give strong performances and Brandon Perea becomes a standout as soon as he arrives, definitely a scene stealer. I would have preferred for Yeun’s character to have a bit more development, as he feels a bit thin outside of his one defining childhood trauma incident.

My main complaint of this film is that the pacing is quite noticeably off. When you reach the final ten minutes of the film you find yourself questioning how much longer it can go on for, as the two previous spots in which you thought an ending was near turned out to be very wrong.

Overall, possibly Peele’s best, however, the pace could use some work.

Pros.

The narrative

Subverting traditional alien abduction narratives

The performances

It is quite funny in parts

Cons.

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

Ava: A Movie We Have All Seen About 5 Times Before

1.5/5      

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Jessica Chastain plays yet another cold emotionless spy, but this time she is a girl boss. Oh we have seen this before from Chastain and just like her ill-fated venture with Simon Kinberg this too is a mess.

The clear feminist girl power vibes here couldn’t be any more striking it they reached through the screen and physically hit you in the face, there is nothing wrong with that but I do wish that this film and Chastain’s other feminist themed action films at least had something interesting and new to say.

Moreover, though no one can doubt that Chastain has action hero prowess, her performance here and in her other action roles feels just a little bit too try hardy and as though she is trying to prove something. We all know her credentials so she needs to have more of that laidback self-assured confidence that a lot of other action hero actors bring to their roles.

The plot is fairly uninspired, you have seen it before and the twists and turns are incredibly obvious from the outset. Chastain does a little to elevate the incredibly trite material but even then it can’t be saved, which is a shame as a lot of talented actors had their times wasted making this.

Overall, flawed and not really salvageable.

Pros.

Chastain is trying

A few well done action sequences

Cons.

Chastain is trying too hard

It has nothing new to say from a feminist/ gender studies perspective

It is bored and played out from the beginning

The pacing is awful

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

Spiderhead: Chris Hemsworth Might Be The Next Anthony Hopkins

4/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Prisoners in a luxury prison are used as guineapigs for mind-altering pharmaceuticals.

It has been a long, long time since a Netflix original film has managed to impress me, however, this film managed to buck that trend.

I thought though the premise has been explored before, I enjoyed where this film took it. The twists and turns keep you guessing and it didn’t end up going in the way I was expecting it to. I thought Chris Hemsworth was a completely inspired villain, Hemsworth needs to take more of these sort of roles, he was not downright sinister but rather slightly unsettling and I thought he was very effective in the role.

Miles Teller on the other hand was a fairly forgettable lead and he wasn’t really able to blow me away in any significant way. Many other actors could have had that role and would probably have been better able to do more with it then what Teller can muster up. Comparing Hemsworth to Teller, really highlights the flaws in Teller’s performance.

Overall, a fun film with a good performance from Hemsworth.

Pros.

Hemsworth

The premise

The twists and turns

The ending

Cons

Teller  

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

Watcher: The Moral Of The Story Is Don’t Wave To People Who Watch You Randomly

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A young woman, played by Maika Monroe, and her partner, played by Karl Glusman, move to Romania after the latter gets a job offer. However, during their time their women start getting killed and the lead finds herself facing more and more danger.

Other than her partner not being evil, despite being a dick, this film has little surprises in store. For the most part everything happens as you would expect it to in a thriller film and the mystery of what is going on is not much of one as it is incredibly obvious. The film does try and throw a few jump scares at you especially towards the end but they don’t land as they are blatantly signposted.

However, despite being obvious I do think this film has merit. It is incredibly tense and gripping and you can’t look away throughout it, It is always nice when a film can keep my attention. Moreover, Monroe continues to highlight what an unsung talent she is here landing another great and strongly compelling lead performance. I think the pros for this film just about outweigh the cons.

Overall, a fine thriller film made better by solid tension and a great lead performance from Monroe.

Pros.

The tension and suspense throughout

Monroe gives a really strong performance and conveys the stress and fear the character would be feeling in that situation in a very realistic way

The ending feels therapeutic

Cons.

It feels very familiar at times

Most the twists and reveals feel blatant and obvious.

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