Review – The Legend of Tarzan

Imagine growing up in the wild, achieving the ability to swing on trees, learning to communicate with animals, and commanding the jungle whilst having the strength to defend the land from undesirable humans. Worlds apart from your day job, why Tarzan is defined as a legend in the fictional world, and how he has managed to live on in different media forms which depict different eras of his life.

This is another version of Tarzan’s story, but one where he has already left the jungle and appears to be accustomed to everyday human life. Going by the name of John Clayton III, he is invited back to the Congo, but unaware of the fact that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by Belgian Captain Leon Rom.

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Review – The Infiltrator

It’s hard to disregard the memory of Bryan Cranston and his extraordinary drug missions in Breaking Bad. What we also cannot help is recognising the opposites his role represents in The Infiltrator. This time, he is the “Hank” in the narrative, but the scale is much larger: Pablo Escobar’s trafficking network.

Bryan Cranston plays federal agent Robert Mazur who finds himself with the opportunity of taking down a large section of Pablo’s drug trafficking network. He goes undercover with the name Bob Musella along with his partners – Kathy Urtz (Diane Kruger) and Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo). The crux of the undercover narrative is that he must convince his peers in the crime world that he is a money-laundering businessman to gain the trust and confidence of Escobar’s top lieutenant, Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt).

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Review – The Girl With All The Gifts

Zombie stories are nothing new. Some prefer their zombies to be fast; some prefer them to be slow. The way zombies came to be is always different. When facing the trailer for The Girl with All the Gifts, you immediately feel it is the run of the mill zombie apocalypse movie. Wrong. This film is something new.

When the movie opens it immediately grips the audience with a tense score that is loud, forceful, and focuses you with narrowing shots that fixate you to the dystopian world we are witnessing. Some movies manage to persuade you that you are about to see something uniquely special in the first couple of scenes, and The Girl With All The Gifts is one of them.

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Review – Star Trek: Beyond

I have always been impressed with J.J. Abrams’ work since the day I came across his storytelling in Lost. I am not claiming he is a modern day industry genius, but there is something he manages to do in his work that provides such absorbing character development within the narrative core. Apart of me wanted to leave the Star Trek universe alone when the first modern instalment was released in 2009, because I was never agog in the original Star Trek material. What J.J. Abrams has accomplished with Star Trek is captivating, as he has managed to maintain a fan base and get new followers involved in the project. I was a little saddened to hear that he was not going to direct the third in the series… so does it impress?

There is no time to relax into your seat with Star Trek Beyond. The film throws you in immediately with Captain Kirk trying to humorously solve diplomatic peace arrangements on an unknown planet. The USS Enterprise crew continue to explore in unchartered space but unbeknown to them they come across a ruthless enemy, one that they have not faced before on their long-haul mission, that tests the strength of the Federation. In a nutshell that is the story you are faced with in Beyond.

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Review – Race

Race is a biopic that showcases Jesse Owens’ quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history which thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces against Adolf Hitler’s version of Aryan Supremacy. If you have never heard of Jesse Owens then I suggest you research him to understand the history and why this biopic was made.

Director Stephen Hopkins ensures that this is a celebratory film piece where the famous athlete is shown in his greatest moments. The film begins in the 30s, where Jesse embarks on a journey to Ohio State to train under its track and field coach, Larry Snyder. Owens is quite obviously the prime athlete of that time, which the film applauds in true cinematic fashion. From the first 100-metre race, it is clear the intention is to show that he was special. The film wants you too feel the glory of his greatness during that time, and to appreciate his level of athleticism. The film also shows his journey to the Olympics, but amongst all this it brings Owens’ personal demons to the surface and the politics surrounding a black man attending the Games in Nazi Germany.

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Review – Mother’s Day

The month that brings us Father’s Day is also the month that brings us Mother’s Day. Not sure if it is intended irony, as it is thought that Mother’s Day holds the most importance, but anyway. This is another star-studded comedy on our screens. Should be triumphant, right?

Overall: no. The film has a structure where you are thrown into the lives of a variety of different families, all with their issues and different circumstances leading up to Mother’s Day. You are essentially following the lives of different mothers. You have Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) playing the happily divorced mother until she finds out her ex-husband has married a younger woman. You have two sisters Jesse and Gabi (Sarah Chalke & Kate Hudson) who are nervous of their mother finding out that one of them is a lesbian, and the other is married to a man of colour (this aspect of the storyline was distinctly cringy). You have Kristin (Britt Robertson) who despite having a child with her boyfriend feels fearful of marriage with him, and finally you have Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), who is a widow, and dealing with Mother’s Day as a single father.

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Review – Morgan

I remember seeing the trailer for this and thinking it was kindred to Ex Machina (2015), which overall was underwhelming in the second half. Behold Morgan, a story about a bioengineered child who has exceeded expectations by age 5. Her creators are overawed by her but unfortunately due to a brutal incident the synthetic human Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) has to be risk-assessed by the company that created her. They send risk management consultant Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) to the secret laboratory facility.

In this age, society is always reminded of scientific and technological developments. Scientists are continually improving AI and allowing robots to become human-like. The traditional people of this world question when will the line be crossed, when will it get to the point that developing something so advanced that it can think for itself passes the principles of human life, where the AI are more dangerous and able than us. I have had this argument countless times, that we should always look to continue to develop technology to improve our quality of life, and to protect the Earth’s environment. Those scientists cannot just stop at a certain point because that’s the point of science – it continuously evolves.

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