Friday 23 April 2021

Mortal Kombat (2021) - Movie Review

This is likely the only time that a new film will have to meet the benchmark created by Paul W.S. Anderson. And I’m not even remotely kidding; the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie remains one of the best video game adaptations of all time. Yeah, it’s a dense slice of action cheese, but with that casting, that soundtrack and those one-liners… in all seriousness, I went into this actively hoping for that same level of all-out fun. And truth be told, that is exactly what I got.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Ascendant (2021) - Movie Review

Independent Aussie films rarely look this good. While its very insular setting (most of it takes place in an elevator) and smaller cast (we largely stick with Charlotte Best in the lead as Aria) mean that there aren’t many spots for budget deficiencies to present themselves, this still holds up visually to just about any American film I’ve seen this year. Even the computer effects, which ramp up quite a bit as the film goes along, are genuinely impressive, whether it’s the more supernatural aspects of the characters or just the realisation of the brakes on the main elevator as they jut and throw its occupant around. But once you get past that presentation, things to start unravel very quickly.

Monday 19 April 2021

Two By Two: Overboard (2021) - Movie Review

In 2015, around when the big PureFlix boom of Christian films was taking place, I watched and reviewed a kids’ film called Two By Two (or Ooops! Noah Is Gone, or All Creatures Big And Small, depending on the market). Aside from being thoroughly annoying and containing one of the dumbest creature designs of any animated feature, it’s also a film I never expected to think about again after writing that review. But then posters for this sequel started turning up, and it seemed that my preordained path was to once again wade into the hideously-textured waters of family-friendly Bible shenanigans. And much like the first time round, this was not pleasant to sit through.

Friday 16 April 2021

The Father (2021) - Movie Review

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to look at a proper mind-screw of a film. And what’s more, this is about as far from the high-concept sci-fi trappings or Lynchian dream narratives I’ve come to associate such things with. This is as grounded as grounded gets, focusing on one man (Anthony, as played by Anthony Hopkins) as he interacts with his daughter (Olivia Colman), her husband (Rufus Sewell), and… well, beyond that point, it’s hard to tell. Because, for as domestic as this is, it might be one of the most disorienting films I’ve ever watched, let alone reviewed on here. And that's not an insult; that's me praising the fuck out of this movie.

Saturday 10 April 2021

Nobody (2021) - Movie Review

Okay… after the last three films turned out to be absolute shockers, I figured I’d hedge my bets on something that wouldn’t make me burst a blood vessel in anger. And for a modern action movie, it’s hard to think of a production in more stable hands than this one. From the director of the (in my humble opinion) criminally underrated Hardcore Henry, and the writer of John Wick (with Wick co-director David Leitch also on hand as producer), I was gearing up for something that matched those levels of transmedia fusion and world-building splendour. But I didn’t get that. No, these guys just found different avenues to make something awesome.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Tom & Jerry (2021) - Movie Review

Taking a break from giving Ice Cube more cinematic material to embarrass himself with (for now, given Ride Along 3 is apparently in development… thoughts and prayers are appreciated at this time), Tim Story, for some reason, has been handed the reins on the latest feature-length outing for one of the great cartoon duos. Between his inability to flesh out ostensibly original material with the Ride Along films, and his recurrent dropping of the ball with pre-established IPs like with the latest version of Shaft, I highly question why he was the one drafted for this.

But to his credit, he manages to modernise everyone’s favourite cat and mouse… not their classic material, though. Instead, more than anything else, this ends up being more of a modernisation of the ‘90s feature film, falling into the same traps that one did and even finding ways to go lower than before.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Kidnapped (2021) - Movie Review

Well, here’s a movie I would have completely missed if I didn’t keep track of the names attached to so many of the films I cover on here. For a start, this is an honest-to-Dude Lifetime movie that managed to make it to cinemas here in Australia, either because we’re still starved for new features to throw on the big screen or (more likely) because it was filmed and takes place in this country. There’s also the lead actress, Claire van der Boom, who I technically last saw in Palm Beach, but who I mainly remember for being in the glorified Nikon advert Love Is Now.

And then there’s the director, Vic Sarin. That name may not mean anything to anyone else, but apart from directing several other Lifetime productions, he’s also the director behind the quintessential rapture movie and the grandfather of modern Christiansploitation with the original Left Behind. That’s a trinity of warning signs without seeing a frame of the film itself, and I’ll be honest, I went in expecting a trainwreck. And while I didn’t exactly receive said trainwreck, I can safely say that this isn’t all that good either.

Monday 5 April 2021

Peter Rabbit 2 (2021) - Movie Review

I didn’t really know what to expect out of this movie. Between the initial trailer being as middling as it was, it being one of the first films to be made to do the COVID shuffle, and the original being so wildly inconsistent, I went into this follow-up without much expectation, other than hoping it wouldn’t derail itself with food allergies again. And to its credit, it left the realistic Epi-pen shit alone this time around… but it still managed to derail itself. In monumental, rubber-necking, legitimately infuriating fashion. Slow claps all round.

Saturday 3 April 2021

Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021) - Movie Review

My opinion on Legendary Pictures’ Monsterverse seems to be steadily growing more and more favourable the more films come out. 2014’s Godzilla was good, although not exactly landing high on my radar, then Kong: Skull Island had me in a gleeful frenzy at how kitchen-sink the action sequences were, and then Godzilla: King Of The Monsters… well, I named it one of my favourites of that year, as something that literally awe-inspiring deserves such commendation. With all the big studios still doing the COVID do-si-do with their release schedules, I was expecting the latest from this franchise to end up stuck in limbo, given it was one of many that was meant to come out in 2020. But now that it’s here, I can safely say that it is everything I wanted out of a new Godzilla/Kong movie… and even gave me shit I didn’t realise I wanted. Yep, it’s a Deadpool 2 situation.

Thursday 1 April 2021

Then Came You (2021) - Movie Review

Apparently, casting directors have taken to throwing darts at a mass of random names, because that’s the only explanation I can think of for that supposed triple-bill (I say “supposed” because Hurley gets about 5 minutes of total screen-time). This reads more like generations-removed fanfiction, pairing two talk show hosts in a romantic story, and if it weren’t for the fact that Kathie Lee also wrote this, I would be asking what she’s even doing here. Admittedly, I’m still asking that, after having seen the bloody thing, but you get my point.