Tag Archives: Movie

Review – What Happened To Monday

What’s this?

I do not like Mondays. It is always a bit of a shock to get up so early and respond to colleagues after such a laid-back weekend. By Tuesday I am fine. I think the title What Happened To Monday is fitting. If I was ever going to choose a day where something bad happened, it would be that day.

This is a Netflix Original. A dystopian science fiction thriller that originally premiered at the Locarno Film Festival and stars familiar face Noomi Rapace.

What’s it about?

The premise is a distinctly interesting subject. It is 2073 and the planet is nearly beyond saving with food resource dwindling, there is an increase in natural disasters and the world appears to be over-populated. The story plants the idea that families producing too many children is the crux of the planet’s problem. Governmental departments have set up the CAB (Child Allocation Bureau) that enforces a policy that each family can only have one child, with the theory that in the short term it will deal with the planet’s issue.

Meanwhile, Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe), has just learnt that his wife has died whilst giving birth to identical septulet sisters in an unknown hospital that is willing to keep it a secret. In a world set by the CAB policy the last thing you need is this, obviously.

The first act sets the stage; the seven sisters are trained into a robust cooperative routine to survive this dystopian nightmare in which they find themselves, in order to not get caught and cruelly executed. Conveniently, their father gives them names of each day of the week. That is the day they are allowed to go outside and become part of society. Their house is constructed in a way that allows the women to react to random strangers approaching the property if it ever became a problem. The concept is immediately absorbing which sets up the remainder of the feature.

So it’s good then?

There are a couple of elements that this movie gets right. The entire set-up presents an intriguing dystopian world accustomed to the norm that having one child is ideal to prevent disasters. The streets parade regimented CAB officials and checkpoints, something that you’d similarly see in other dystopian movies. If you are familiar with Never Let Me Go, you will understand that it hides you from the true horrors of a surviving disconnected world. What Happened To Monday wants you to understand the atrocities by showing forced compliance.

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Opinion – Why cinema prices are ruining everyone

I’m currently facing bit of a predicament at the minute. There are A LOT of films coming out over the next couple of months that I desperately want to see, but I’m not sure whether I have the funds to cover them all. In September alone, there are four films I want to see. This will amount to a minimum cost of £39.16 (yes, I can work a calculator), before any other expenses are taken into account i.e. travel and snackage. Now, I don’t believe that I am the only one who believes this to be an outrage. Since when did going to the cinema to see one film, let alone four, force a person to consider selling an organ on the black market?

It was during the planning of a recent cinema trip for four people to see Dunkirk that the extortionate cost of cinema tickets became apparent to me. I did a survey of the four biggest cinema chains I could think of: Showcase, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, and I was very surprised by the results. Showcase Cinema Deluxe was actually the cheapest, and Vue was the priciest at near enough £11 per ticket for adults. I was suitably gobsmacked to say the least.

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Review – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

What’s this? 

Somewhere in an air-conditioned office in Hollywood, a bunch of sweaty executives trawled through a big pile of scripts and raised this one in the air: The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The next task was to ensure that this explosion-filled blockbuster was going to make huge profits. How about Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds? A comedy action genre? Bingo. Insignificant history was born.

Oh dear.

Okay, I am being intentionally sarcastic. The point is, there is no point in me sitting here writing an in-depth review about a movie that was not made to be critically well received. There were two reasons why this film was made; for money to be made, and mass audiences to indulgently eat popcorn and enjoy it. Money first, of course. Did it succeed in that? Well, I cannot discuss the money as it has just come out as I write this, but there is no denying that The Hitman’s Bodyguard is fun.

Okay, interesting. What’s it about?

Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a triple A rated bodyguard. That’s until one of his jobs goes terribly wrong. Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is a famous imprisoned hitman that has been selected by Interpol to testify against violent dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). Despite their bitter past, Michael is forced with the task of protecting Darius as they go en route to the international court whilst the dictator has groups of corrupt men trying to stop them. That’s all you really need to know about The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The plot is irrelevant anyway.

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Review – Girls Trip

What’s this?

About a year ago, a friend of mine pointed me towards a YouTube video in which a woman who calls herself Angel demonstrated how to use a grapefruit to enhance a blowjob. Angel’s technique – which my girlfriend wholeheartedly believed was a prank I’d somehow engineered for my own benefit – is perhaps the most terrifying thing I’ve ever witnessed, and I am a man who has seen a video of a hostage being beheaded by a terrorist, and a woman in Ibiza fire a rugby ball from her vagina with such velocity that it hit a patron twenty feet away.

Girls Trip is essentially a feature-length version of Angel’s grapefruit video. It even includes a scene which specifically imitates it, and I think it’s telling that this is somehow less ridiculous than the original footage.

I should clarify that none of this is a criticism.

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Opinion – Is Daniel Craig A Little Too Shaken And Stirred To Play Bond Anymore?

So, following well over a year of speculation about whether he will return to the role of 007, it has been confirmed that Daniel Craig will play James Bond for a further two films.

After all the injury problems experienced during the production of Spectre, the actor’s most recent outing as the spy, Craig’s future was very much in question. During the promotional work for Spectre, everyone kept asking the big question – will he do another film? At the time, it looked as though we had seen the last of him. Craig seemed to have had enough; looked as though he had completely fallen out of love with the character. However, over a year and a half on after the release of the last film, the news has surfaced that he is signed not for one, but for TWO more films.

Now, inevitably, everyone has their take on the announcement. It has received a somewhat mixed response and has definitely polarised cinema-goers and Bond fanatics. Some have been overjoyed to hear that Craig will be in the role for the foreseeable future, and others have been… less so.

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Review – Kidnap

What’s this?

A perplexingly bad new thriller that follows Academy Award winner Halle Berry as she pursues her kidnapped son through Louisiana while talking, crying, screaming, whining and praying to herself in medium close-up for 90 agonising minutes. It is asinine, unabashed garbage, and made with such an absence of skill or dramatic consideration that the reliable incompetence of its writing, direction, editing and acting make for one of the most unintentionally hilarious puddles of genre slop I’ve seen all year.

Well, it is August. What’s it about?

Berry plays Karla Dyson, a single mother making ends meet by working a thankless job as a diner waitress. The diner, needless to say, feeds only rude and difficult clientele, and her son, Frankie (Sage Correa), frequently sits inside while he waits for her shift to end. This is, as far as I can tell, tantamount to child abuse. It’s no surprise then that Karla’s off-screen husband is divorcing her in favour of an upscale new squeeze, and while he’s at it he’d like Frankie full-time, thanks very much. While negotiating the terms of this arrangement in a local park, Frankie is snatched by a couple of scruffy, fat hicks, and bundled into the back of a teal Ford Mustang; Karla gives chase. This pursuit takes up most of the movie and is wonderful, laugh-a-minute stuff. Most of it is filmed an inch or two from Berry’s nose, which is far enough away to take in her bug-eyed, teeth-gnashing overreactions, but too close for the audience to see all the automotive mayhem that’s apparently happening outside the car. At one point Karla leaves the Chrysler to pursue the Mustang on foot, and this strikes me as perhaps the funniest movie moment of the year.

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Review – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 

What’s this?

After many apparent hesitations, director Luc Besson and his wife decided to write an English-language French science fiction action-adventure film titled Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It is based on the French comic series Valérian and Laureline. I am not familiar with the comics but in the past couple of months, I have admired the trailers from a visual standpoint. Then again, the movie did have a budget of 197 million Euros, so it should look mightily impressive. The movie has nowhere near matched the budget in the box office, and it is the most expensive European and independent film ever made. Ouch. I would hate to deliver that news to the board.

What’s it about?

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a space station. Wait, this will not work. Instead, clear your mind for a minute and imagine a space station in 2020. Then years later, leading countries of the world attach their station to this one. Then many years later, other species from different planets send their station to join in on the action. This continues to happen until the 28th century. We now have one large planet made of cities (named Alpha) with a multitude of peace agreements. Still with me? Good. Now, imagine a planet far away with pale looking, peace loving Avatars, who are living in harmony amongst powerful energy-containing pearls, in a tropical paradise. All of a sudden, huge ships crash into their planet and they are wiped out. Lead male character Valerian wakes up. He just had a dream about this decimated planet and he is about to embark on a mission with Laureline ordered by his commander to retrieve a converter. They are later told that Alpha is infected by an unknown force and they must investigate and protect the Commander, suspiciously performed by Clive Owen.

Can you see why I told you to close your eyes? This narrative has so many obstacles to jump around that, at times, it felt mentally challenging.

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