Tag Archives: Opinion

Ready Steady Cut EP57 – September 2017 Movies Preview

Click Here To Download Or Play The Episode

This is Episode 57 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, we discuss and preview the movies that will be getting a wide release in September 2017.

There are a number of wide releases in September, however, it does not look on paper to be a big month for the box office apart from the anticipated Kingsman: The Golden Circle. With each film, we offer our thoughts on the pre-release information, trailers and make predictions to how they will be critically received.

Episode Summary:

00:00 – Intro and Episode Summary
04:13 – Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Wide Re-release)
07:03 – IT
12:01 – Home Again
19:03 – American Assassin
25:44 – Mother!
33:11 – Kingsman: The Golden Circle
38:11 – Stronger
42:52 – The Lego Ninjago Movie
46:11 – The Battle of the Sexes
51:21 – Brad’s Status
54:31 – Flatliners
57:31 – American Made
1:01:51 – Final Comments

Continue reading Ready Steady Cut EP57 – September 2017 Movies Preview

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.

Continue reading Opinion – Why cinema prices are ruining everyone

Review – The Dark Tower

What’s this?

Recently, on our Stephen King podcast episode, I pondered whether King was the most movie-adapted author of all time. My colleague removed all doubt with a positive confirmation that he is. Thinking back, I feel stupid for even questioning that statement. He obviously is.

The Dark Tower is based on a continuation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series, which consists of eight books. I have not read them but research explains that the novels are based on multiple genres. The unique selling point of a Stephen King adapted movie is that they are usually rich in narrative with deep but interesting detail. With the leading roles performed by Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, I was excited. Surely this had all the makings to be a classic?

What’s it about?

It is not difficult to explain. You have to expand your imagination to fully convey the plot but the premise is pretty simple. The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) seeks to destroy The Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is on a mission to stop the Man in Black. If the Man in Black succeeds, it will be a fatal end to the universe. The poetic component to the premise is that only an innocent child’s mind can bring down The Dark Tower. This leads to the second part of the premise.

In New York, Jake Chambers is experiencing multiple horrifying visions of this world that the Man in Black and the Gunslinger reside in. Coincidentally, earthquakes appear to happen all over the world when he has the visions. Nobody believes him of course. His conspiracist nature and curiosity leads him to the Gunslinger, and this ultimately triggers the Man in Black wanting to find him. Jake and the Gunslinger go on a mission to stop the Man in Black from achieving his objectives.

It sounds like this needs some backstory right?

Continue reading Review – The Dark Tower

Review – Message From The King

What’s this?

Message from the King is a neo-noir action thriller. A Netflix Original. Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly. It appears the media giant is trying to distribute through every genre possible. It also stars Chadwick Boseman. Before he completely disappears into the Marvel Universe, we get to see him showcase his talents in this dark narrative. Intrigued? So was I.

What’s it about?

I am not going to lie. When I hovered over the thumbnail and read the description I rolled my eyes. I deliberated whether to press play. The Xbox Netflix app has this persistent feature where it either plays a snippet from the movie or starts the episode and, to my annoyance, it meant I had to press back a few times. Here is the basic premise: a South African man named Jacob King lands in Los Angeles to avenge his young sister’s death. It sounds like a typical action narrative that is good for the tired brain that cannot be bothered to concentrate. Here is how the premise really sets itself up: Jacob lands in LA, investigates the daily life of his sister in order to find her, ends up at a morgue as per advice from a local, identifies his bloodied and mutilated sister and gets extremely angry. Jacob is quite clearly a character that has more to him, yet reveals only grains of his personality. Who killed his sister is not clear, and who is important remains to be solved. The first twenty minutes of Message from the King gives you a convincing impression that we may have an absorbing thriller on our hands. I was surprised.

Did it deliver?

Yes, though with a few gripes which I will discuss later. The opening of the movie is immediate and straightforward. It does not begin showing his life in South Africa. It rolls from an L.A. airport where two unknowing border control men ask the suspicious questions and consider the shady answers. From there, it moves to Jacob investigating the whereabouts of his sister. Less is more because of the setting, the atmosphere between characters, and the slow revelations. It keeps you engaged. There is a moment in particular where Jacob passes his motel neighbour and she throws him the enquiring glance. He returns the favour so you know that she will be important at some point. By the time he finds his murdered sister you are ready. His pain and anger can be felt. Whether or not the slow build-up to the key moment was intentional, it works because when he first participates in an action scene you are exhilarated by his violent side. Message from the King wants you to know that this is not action reliant. There is a real character on display.

Continue reading Review – Message From The King

Ready Steady Cut EP53 – The Conjuring 1 and 2

Click Here To Download Or Play The Episode

This is Episode 53 of the Ready, Steady, Cut! Podcast. On this episode, with the upcoming release of Annabelle: Creation, we discuss The Conjuring Series. Please note that this is Laura’s first horror episode. How did she handle it? Find out!

Trailer Talk is IT and as always, we answer questions raised by our listeners and play another game of You Can’t Beat Me!

Episode Summary:

00:00 – Introduction and Episode Summary
02:10 – Announcements
03:30 – Trailer Talk – IT
09:33 – Thoughts on The Conjuring Series
11:14 – The Conjuring 1
39:57 – The Conjuring 2
1:01:39 – Questions from Listeners
1:11:13 – You Can’t Beat Me! – Gangsters
1:34:14 – Final Comments

Continue reading Ready Steady Cut EP53 – The Conjuring 1 and 2

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.

Continue reading Review – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 

Review – Imperial Dreams

What’s this?

Imperial Dreams was actually released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Based on research it did not make strides in terms of distribution. Whiplash probably did not help matters, as it owned the festival. In February 2017, Netflix, the platform that appears to have its fingers in so many pies, distributed it as one of their own, and behold: it became a Netflix Original. Imperial Dreams became the preliminary platform for John Boyega. Yes, he did have a career before he was thrown into the Star Wars franchise. He was not just plucked from nowhere, apparently. This really is his film. Something that you can find at the bottom of his drama school locker and now lives as a thumbnail on Netflix, ready for any passerby to consume.

What’s it about?

John Boyega plays lead character Bambi, a reformed gangster, who has just been released from prison. He returns to Watts, Los Angeles and nothing has changed. It is still violent, still treated by the police as the projects, and those associated with him before are still the same. His family is the priority, his loyalty is clear, and he wants to ensure a safe and prosperous future for his son. The entire premise is the willingness of Bambi to not get consumed by the life he had before, which means sacrifices and testing relationships. The movie is an American drama, one that you would expect. We’ve seen it before and it has the usual, generic components, but the story is interesting. We all like a movie that demonstrates a character’s struggle. There’s more for John Boyega to do in this film to sell a story, and he does deliver.

Continue reading Review – Imperial Dreams