‘The Invisible Man’ (2020) Review

'The Invisible Man' (2020) Review: A Clear Classic 2018 saw the release of an amazing action film called ‘Upgrade’. Initially I reviewed it as being “some of the most imaginative, fun and wildly expressive” action I’d seen in a long time. Sadly, since ‘Upgrade’ there hasn’t been anything to quite scratch the itch it left behind. There have been superb action movies no doubt, but none that make you question the nature of the filmmaking itself. Thankfully, director Leigh Whannell is back once again making ‘The Invisible Man’, and has cemented himself as one of the most interesting directors working today. From the film’s opening titles you can tell you’re in for something special. Waves crash over a seemingly empty space, only to reveal invisible text as the water trickles over it. From there, we’re introduced to a distressed damsel Cecelia making what is obviously a very methodical escape from an abusive relationship. It’s here that the film introduces you to one of its primary weapons of tension. Silence. With each step Cecelia is in danger of waking her captor. You know nothing about her, but the filmmaking alone makes you root for her survival, and fear for her safety. After that point, the film goes on to show a woman suffering from an extended period of trauma. Elisabeth Moss deserves accolades for her performance. She’s vulnerable, frightened, and at the same time, paints a picture of a person unable to shake the feeling…

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‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ (2020) Review

'Sonic The Hedgehog' (2020) Review: My Friend Sonic Movie trailers are a funny thing. They’re meant to get you hyped, but there’s a balance to making a good one. Show too much and you ruin the movie. Show too little, and there’s nothing to get excited about. Show your character as a mutated freakish version of his beloved design, and you inspire so much outrage that you’ll be forced to set back your release date by 3 months and increase your budget by $5 Million trying to fix a cgi disaster. A bad trailer can literally ruin your film’s chances of success, which has little to no bearing on the quality of the film. Though it can sometimes affect how you see the movie. In the case of Sonic, a part of me always wondered how it would be if we had the narrow eyed, human teethed monstrosity we initally were exposed to. Then again, that’s the same part of me that wishes ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ was a bad film, worthy of ridicule. Instead, it’s actually a well made children’s film.This being a film about a furry alien with super speed, it’s starts off with a quick paced action scene, abruptly halted by my favourite storytelling device, narration. Ben Schwartz hurls the audience all the way back to the beginning. An adorable baby hedgehog speeds through a realistic rendition of the video game world familiar to fans of the source material. Soon after,…

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‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)’ (2020) Review

'Birds Of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)' (2020) Review: The Merc With Make-Up I think Harley Quinn just became my favourite superhero. This isn’t exactly a new development. The character has been a cult favourite since her first appearance on the Batman Animated Series, all the way up to getting her own animated series at the end of the last decade. She was the saving grace of Suicide Squad, even giving Will Smith a run for his money for scene thievery. Now, four years after her debut film, the character takes the reigns all to herself, with ‘Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’It’s an arduous title, but one that audiences will be gleeful in repeating. ‘Birds of Prey’ is only an hour and 49 minutes but in that time it establishes itself so strongly. Yet the language of the film is a known one. The movie has the dna of ‘Deadpool’, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’, combined into the mutated one of a kind masterpiece that is ‘Birds of Prey’.This hyper violent, abundantly colourful romp is also the deep and touching story of a woman breaking free of her abuser. Harley Quinn is once again played by Margot Robbie, and instead of pining after the Clown Prince of Crime, she’s having to make a go of it on her own. It’s something that she’s not sure that she can do, nor is the…

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Most Snubbed: 7 Movies I Thought Deserved Oscars (2020) Edition

2019 started out as a less than excellent year for movies. It was a startling surprise when the middle of the year rolled around and ‘Avengers Endgame’ was still in the working top 5 films for listmakers worldwide. Eventually, there came a cavalcade of quality films that created one of the most competitive and consistent collections for a year in a long time.And the Academy still managed to get it wrong.That may be a little underhanded. To be honest the Academy had its work cut out for it this year. And at first glance, the list of film’s assembled as the year’s very best is a film buff’s dream. A comic book movie has been given the most nominations of the night. Scorcese has a near 4 hour crime epic starring, De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci. Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood’s biggest hollywood nerd making a movie about...hollywood. And most importantly, Bong Joon Ho getting the white-spread recognition he’s always deserved. Dig a little deeper though, and there are still some egregious snubs.I write this list every year, so I like to keep an eye out for contenders that I certainly think deserve attention, but are likely to fly under the Academy’s radar. This year, I thought I could’ve given it to Eddie Murphy in Dolemite, Taron Edgerton in ‘Rocketman’, George Mackay for ‘1917’. I really struggled to choose one of them. Then the Academy pulled a fast one on me and made this the…

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‘Dolittle’ (2020) Review

'Dolittle' (2019) Review: Talking To No One 2020 is not even a month in and we already have not only one of the worst movies of the year, but a strong contender for a spot on the worst of decade list. Yet unlike so many films as bad as this one, it seems ‘Dolittle’ is a victim of its own ambition. The casting is inspired, the visual effects impressive, and it’s led by the leading man of the last decade, Iron Man. Everything points to ‘Dolittle’ being a runaway hit. Would that it were so simple. Upon opening, the film shows promise. The tale of Doctor Dolittle and his wife traversing the world unfolds is beautifully simple animation. It’s a touching beginning to what is otherwise a turgid and unmitigated disaster of a film. After a lifetime of adventures, Dolittle became a shut in after the death of his wife, keeping his genius from the world at large. If only his film took the same approach, keeping itself from the viewing public.From that point, Dolittle becomes the target of two persistent children. One, an animal lover bringing an injured squirrel to the good doctor’s attention (Thanks to the guidance of a talking parrot voiced by Emma Thompson who, bless her heart, is giving the performance of a lifetime). The other, the child assitant to a child queen who has suddenly fallen ill, and is resistant to conventional medicine. The only answer is of…

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‘Bad Boys For Life’ (2020) Review

'Bad Boys For Life' (2020) Review: Ride Till I Can't No More In the 25 years it’s existed, I’ve never seen a film from the ‘Bad Boys’ series. If you asked me the names of the characters, I would have said “Fresh Prince & Martin”. Still, even with my limited knowledge, I could tell you of a few iconic moments. The time Mike & Marcus intimidated Marcus’ daughter’s boyfriend, the time they burst into a KKK rally guns blazing, or even the iconic shot of the duo with Martin Lawrence exclaiming the exact moment when things got real. All of these moments I know from ‘Bad Boys’ because whatever you may say about the series, it’s without a doubt iconic, with moments that transcended the cinematic experience and became part of a culture. Like Luke denying Darth Vader’s fatherhood, or Don Corleone making an unrefusable offer. ‘Bad Boys For Life’ knows this, and manages to reference its iconic moments far better than most long awaited sequels. Sequels like this tend to operate under a considerable amount of pressure. Coming back to the franchise the movie has to not only be a loving homage to what came before, but also innovate with new ideas so it doesn’t feel like a rehash. To that end ‘Bad Boys For Life’ is successful. Giving you more than enough that’s new, and organically weaving in the old. Old is the name of the game in this film.…

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‘Underwater’ (2020) Review

'Underwater' (2019) Review: Jawlien When Martin Scorsese compared superhero movies to theme park rides, he did so attracting the ire of fans the world over. Though his comments weren’t unfounded, I couldn’t help but find them reductive. A theme park ride has little to no story, character types instead of characters, and the plot is centred around the action rather than any meaningful message or character arc. Superhero movies aren’t like that, but ‘Underwater’ certainly is.The movie opens with a catastrophe, wasting no time getting to the meat of the matter. ‘Underwater’ seeks to give you a survival experience that’s visually arresting. You’re following a group of crew members at an underwater research station that has mysteriously started to flood. Their only hope for survival is to walk across the ocean floor, armed with nothing but their wits, and some high tech scuba suits, to a neighbouring station. To make matters worse, something seems to have awoken beneath the depths, and it has an appetite for scared survivors. Watching the movie I definitely felt a sense of dread. The situation the characters are in strikes the right level of hopelessness. The movie presents a number of problems for the characters to solve, and takes joy in showing you how that’s done. I found myself invested in the details, rather than in the characters themselves. Most of which don’t offer much to go off of. The dialogue is hard to hear at times, leaving…

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