Skyscraper – Film #55

Skyscraper or Shite-scraper?

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They don’t make them like they used to….until now!

Dwayne Johnson is back with another absolute blockbuster. Arguably the hardest working man in movies at the moment, Johnson is firing out movie after movie that are just hitting all the right notes. Jumanji was surprisingly decent, Rampage was a romp, and here he is with a film which is straight out of the 80’s and 90’s golden age of cheesy action flicks.

Skyscraper is a simple storyline…someone has built a massive skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson is an ex military man with one leg following an incident (something which isn’t dwelled on) and his family are living inside the residential section of the super structure whilst he assesses it. It passes the asssessment, then terrorists take over and set the state-of-the-art building on fire, disabling all the fire safety measures, and framing Johnson in the meantime.

But with Johnson’s family, including wife Neve Campbell (who hasn’t aged a day since I first saw her in Scream), are trapped inside the building and Johnson has to get inside to save them

Cue death-defying leaps of faith, tense shuffles over small planks over raging fires, an ingenious way to scale a building, some pretty naughty bad guys and plenty of foreshadowing thrown into the mix.

I’m saying this now…Skyscraper is great.

I saw it in IMAX 3D and it really brought it to life…especially the moments where they showed the height perspectives etc.

Stunning special effects, fairly average story, but executes really well.

It’s dumb, it’s fun and it’s 2hrs of great cinema. This is what the big screen was made for.

4.5/5

Current movie list…trending at 98 movies for the year…complete with links to all the reviews where I did them either on YouTube or as a Blog Post here on my blog :

 

02/01/2018 1 Three Billboards…
07/01/2018 2 My Little Pony
09/01/2018 3 Downsizing
14/01/2018 4 Coco
15/01/2018 5 The Commuter
27/01/2018 6 Maze Runner : Death Cure
31/01/2018 7 The Shape Of Water
03/02/2018 8 Early Man
05/02/2018 9 Winchester
06/02/2018 10 I, Tonya
13/02/2018 11 Black Panther
13/02/2018 12 The Mercy
23/02/2018 13 The Greatest Showman : Singalong
26/02/2018 14 Game Night
02/03/2018 15 The Greatest Showman
09/03/2018 16 Red Sparrow
13/03/2018 17 Love, Simon
16/03/2018 18 Walk Like A Panther
17/03/2018 19 Peter Rabbit
22/03/2018 20 Tomb Raider
25/03/2018 21 Blockers
26/03/2018 22 Isle Of Dogs
27/03/2018 23 Unsane
29/03/2018 24 Ready Player One
03/04/2018 25 A Quiet Place
11/04/2018 26 Duck Duck Goose
12/04/2018 27 Thoroughbreds
12/04/2018 28 Rampage
12/04/2018 29 Death Wish
12/04/2018 30 Pacific Rim: Uprising
14/04/2018 31 Truth Or Dare
14/04/2018 32 Ghost Stories
26/04/2018 33 Infinity War
01/05/2018 34 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
04/05/2018 35 The Strangers: Prey At Night
05/05/2018 36 Tully
09/05/2018 37 I Feel Pretty
12/05/2018 38 Sherlock Gnomes
13/05/2018 39 Life Of The Party
14/05/2018 40 Book Club
15/05/2018 41 Deadpool 2
17/05/2018 42 Breaking In
28/05/2018 43 Show Dogs
29/05/2018 44 Solo: A Star Wars Story
06/06/2018 45 Jurassic World 2
08/06/2018 46 Kaala
16/06/2018 47 Hereditary
20/06/2018 48 Incredibles 2
22/06/2018 49 Ocean’s 8
05/07/2018 50 The First Purge
06/07/2018 51 Tag
10/07/2018 52 Hotel Artemis
15/07/2018 53 Secret Of Marrowbone
16/07/2018 54 Soorma
17/07/2018 55 Skyscraper
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Soorma – Film #54

Soorma or Soor-nah?

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With one finger held aloft, Sandeep Singh celebrates another goal for India in hockey, using his Drag-Flick to maximum impact.

Soorma is the story of Sandeep Singh, a young man who dreamed of becoming a big Hockey star in India, whilst also attempting to get the girl of his dreams.

Having very little experience of Hockey as a game, I was going into this movie somewhat blind. Luckily it all fell into place nicely.

It’s a great film about coming of age, getting better in a chosen sport, and suffering an amazing setback and the struggle to try to recover from it. As I knew nothing about Sandeep Singh, or what happened to him in real life, the story was completely fresh to me and I approached it not knowing whether I would be able to get behind a movie about a star in a sport I never really watch.

But I did. I found myself rooting for him. There’s some great montage sequences throughout, showing him getting better at Hockey and up to being the household name he clearly is today. It was all put together really well and I now know about India’s biggest Hockey star.

My second foray into Bollywood movies and both this and Kaala have been revelationary joys.

I will definitely be keeping my eye on what is coming up next.

3/5

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The Secret Of Marrowbone – Film #53

Marrow-Boner or Marrow-Bore?

Marrowbone

Finally, a Horror film in 2018 worth really shouting about!

2018 has been an up and down year for horrors. Unsane and A Quiet Place brought a different spin to the genre, splitting a lot of people’s opinions on whether they were good or not (I thought they were decent…read my reviews clicking on the links) but then everything came crashing back down with recent flops The Strangers Prey At Night and Hereditary.

So when I saw a trailer for another horror film, seemingly set in a house, with a dead mother and something happening, I genuinely thought this was going to be a big pile of Meh!

I was wrong.

Marrowbone is the story of four children who lose their mother. They are clearly on the run from someone who seemingly finds them one day. Jump forward 6 months and the family are living in fear. They are being plagued by an unknown spirit in the house that they have vowed not to leave, and the memory of their parents lives on in them.

Cue some very tense scenes with kids walking off down hallways, long glances at covered up mirrors etc.

The direction and writing of the film is fantastic and takes a lot of Chekhov’s gun moments…that don’t get used. What I mean by that is that as a seasoned movie goer, you see certain things and think “that has been shown to us so it can be used again later in the movie” and then doesn’t.

What this does is creates a sort of unease and tension which is exactly what the film is aiming to go for.

When you get to the end, you realise how brilliantly it’s all coming together. Its difficult to talk about anything in the final third without spoiling anything…so just go and see it.

Great acting too, especially from George MacKay in the lead role.

It’s not perfect, but it’s great. There’s some genuinely jumpy jump scares, which you can see coming a mile away, but still work so well.

Enjoy!

4/5

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Hotel Artemis – Film #52

Hotel Artemis or Hotel Total-Miss?

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Hotel Artemis should have been good. Look at that cast list and you have the makings of something amazing. You have Oscar winners, Hot up and coming actors…and Dave Bautista…what could possibly go wrong?

The answer is….so much

It’s unfortunate, as the idea is fantastic. In the near future, in the middle of riots all across America, “The Nurse” (Jodie Foster) runs Hotel Artemis, a members-only hotel-cum-Hospital where the underworld can come to get fixed up before being sent back out on their way. Bautista is the big orderly, and there’s plenty of crooks knocking around the place to make this a really intriguing prospect for a film.

But it just falls way short of what it could be.

Don’t get me wrong, the art direction of this art-deco style hotel being used as a hospital, along with some of the acting performances are absolutely on point. But when it’s backed up with a plot which is so horribly coincidental and insubstantial, it draws you way to far away from everything else.

I genuinely felt let down by the film as a whole as I wanted it to be good and found myself trying to force any “well that bit is well done” type thought into my brain, but it just wasn’t coming.

Unfortunately it suffers too much because of this. Whilst not being terrible, it’s not good either.

2/5

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Tag – Film #51

To Tag, or not to Tag, that is the Question!

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Based on a True Story, and taken from the Wall Street Journal article “It takes planning, caution to avoid being it”, Tag is the story of a group of friends who have been playing the same game of Tag for 30 years. The only problem is…one of them has never been tagged. Jeremy Renner is the one who has always outrun them, outsmarted them and generally just been better at the game than them.

Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress are the rest of the friends who are vying to bring down Renner in this year’s game (they only play during the month of May).

Lets start out by saying that this film is hilarious…literally laugh out loud funny whether it’s the well written lines, or the action, with Renner’s commentary during his slow-motion outsmarting of his friends. It’s so good.

However…the film takes a turn at one point which I didn’t enjoy. I ain’t going to explain what it is, but one of the story arcs in the last third of the film takes a turn which I both didn’t expect, and also fear it could suffer because of it. It’s a story around Renner’s fiancee, which you will fully understand when you see it.

But away from that, its truly fantastic. I did expect a bit more of a fun ending than we get, but hey you can’t have everything!

Great cast, and a film which feels like it comes straight out of the “Horrible Bosses” camp.

4/5

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The First Purge – Film #50

A night of terror, or a terrible night?
The-FIrst-Purge-movie-2018

The Purge franchise always brings up the questions of “who would you kill if you were able to?”….What? Just me? Erm…moving along….

The Purge franchise has jumped around somewhat. From the low budget start, all set within one house, to the bigger budget sequels, seeing more and more carnage unfold with each cinema release.

The premise is simple, for one night a year, everything is legal…Murder, sex crimes…everything!

In the first three films, the focus was very much on insurance companies cashing in, or corrupt politicians trying to off fellow candidates.

In “The First Purge”, we go back to the very beginning, when the new government in America implements a social experiment on Staten Island. This “experiment” quickly gets dubbed “The Purge”. Many protest groups look to shut down the idea, whilst others are readying themselves for carnage, whether aiming to hole up and protect themselves, or ready to head out and participate whether for revenge or to gain stature in the community.

What I enjoyed was the fact that there was plenty of character development in the early stages of the film. This was something I felt was never fully fleshed out in the previous films and it worked really well to see the motivation behind some of the actions later on.

It’s definitely the strongest of all four films, and the dynamic of the Purge being a new concept really changes is up from the other films where all the characters are super-prepared and tooled up ready for it. This time round, everything is a lot more raw. You have a lot of gun and knife play involved and it’s much more grounded.

One major part of the film, without actually forcing it, is the social issues it raises, mainly around race, and the political undertones of everything. The Race issue is the most obvious though, with a predominantly black cast, all of whom are fantastic, and most of the antagonists being white males. At one point, there’s even a bunch of people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, so you can see the angle they were aiming for.

The film is fantastic throughout. As I mentioned before, great characterisation, spot on action, and a great addition to the franchise.

Even if you haven’t seen any of the others, this one stands alone, and you wouldn’t miss anything by going to see this on it’s own!

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Ocean’s 8 – Film #49

Ocean’s Great, or Ocean’s Not Worth The Wait?

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What a great ensemble cast.

What a great chance to use this film as an empowering message for women the world over.

What a poor excuse for a film!

Ocean’s 8 misses on so many levels.

You have the potential for a great film. 8 great actors and a film franchise that is, if nothing else, fun. Something that this film completely forgot to include at any stage of the creative process.

In a very weak link to the originals, Sandra Bullock is Danny Ocean’s brother, and here endeth the links to the original. Where Ocean’s 11 was funny and an enjoyable romp, filled with a decent story and loads of twists and turns, here we have a very weak storyline which does nothing for women whatsoever. Why have the entire basis of the film revolve around 8 women trying to steal some jewellery…way to go with the empowerment there, having women swooning over shiny things!

There is literally zero laughs throughout…and I mean zero. It’s actually painful. Halfway through I found myself asking “am I watching a drama here?” and being thoroughly confused about what they set out to do with this film.

In true Ocean’s style, there’s a twist towards the end, one that happens and you just kinda shrug and say “is that it?”. You have characters who have not even been mentioned throughout the film just pop up and make a play as though as the audience we should have known who they were all along.

Bullock and Blanchett do their best, and act like they are genuinely making a half decent film, but “half decent” would have been an absolute godsend to the tripe we get served.

Don’t waste your time

1/5

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