Thursday, 16 November 2017

Movie Review: My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a serious connection to all things associated with Cartoon Network, in particular growing up on the legendary Cartoon Cartoons block. From the pre-pubescent spy antics of Codename: Kids Next Door, to the superpowered comedy of the Powerpuff Girls, to the mad science capering of Dexter’s Laboratory, even the surprisingly emotional and poignant messages of Whatever Happened To Robot Jones?; these shows and others helped shape a lot of how I approach and appreciate media, and likely explains why I still hold a lot of respect for what children-centric entertainment is capable of. Where am I going with all this and what does it have to do with anything? Well, considering my own liking for cartoons, including several that aren’t exactly aiming for my demographic, I have never really understood the disdain for bronies. And this isn’t even with hindsight; even at the height of its backlash, the seeming hatred for these people never made sense to me. Hell, I even joined in out of sheer social necessity, but it was always me playing to the crowd; even as the words “screw you, bronies” came out of my mouth, I still didn’t get the rationale of that statement.

With all that in mind, when today’s film was announced, I knew that I’d have to give my two cents on this whole thing before stepping into the realms that traditional masculinity seems to hate with a passion. Sure, I’m not all that familiar with the My Little Pony franchise myself, but I’ve watched a couple episodes of Friendship Is Magic and it’s honestly pretty good. Let’s get into this thing and see if there is something to it beyond “it’s based on a girly show”. This is My Little Pony: The Movie.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Movie Review: Ittefaq (2017)

The plot: A book publisher (Kimberly Louisa McBeath) and a lawyer (Samir Sharma) have turned up dead and the only two witnesses to the crimes are also the prime suspects: Author Vikram (Sidharth Malhotra) and homemaker Maya (Sonakshi Sinha). As officer Dev (Akshaye Khanna) interviews them both, and hears two different versions of the facts from each of them, he struggles to piece together what actually happened that night. However, as the investigation carries on, it seems that the 'truth' of the matter is going to be even tougher to discern than first thought.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Movie Review: The Son Of Bigfoot (2017)

The plot: Teenager Adam (Pappy Faulkner) misses his father (Christopher L. Parson), who was presumed dead after being chased down by scientists led by Wallace. However, when Adam by chance finds that his father is still alive, he’s more than just alive: He’s Bigfoot! As Adam reconnects with his father and his forest friends, Wallace is hot on their trail to capture Bigfoot and discover the cure for baldness.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Movie Review: Three Summers (2017)

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve looked at an Aussie film, so let’s rectify that by looking at today’s film by that fabled Australian filmmaker… Ben Elton. Okay, to be fair, this is a primarily Aussie production, full of premier Aussie actors and it’s set in the outback; it’s just directed by a British guy. But not just any British guy but one of the UK’s foremost satirists. Behind such classics as The Young Ones and Blackadder, Elton’s bombastic and scathing approach to satire is genuinely impressive. Whether it was looking at 80’s punk culture with Young Ones or basically the whole of history with Blackadder, the man had a definite knack for the work, which considering how fiddly true satire can be is commendable. It also helps that he had a hand in the greenlighting of Red Dwarf, not only a strong force of sci-fi satire in its own right but an all-out classic piece of British pop culture. With this kind of pedigree, and taking into account what Australian media is often best at (cultural examination), this should turn out pretty good… right? This is Three Summers.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Movie Review: Bad Moms 2 (2017)

For as much derision as the practice gets, I don’t have any major issue with the whole sequel/franchise/cinematic universe thing in Hollywood. I find it interesting to see what films hold up to the original, and I’m always surprised to see films that manage to exceed what came before it like John Wick: Chapter 2 and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Today’s film, however, is of a brand that does make me tilt my head. It was a little over a year ago that I looked the first Bad Moms, a film that I still think people didn’t give enough credit to for the kind of film it was. Having this little amount of time between installments is usually the sign of a cash-in “let’s just repeat what we did before” sequel. Combine that with this being a Christmas film released in November, because doing it in December would’ve made too much sense, and this has a high probability of being less-than-adequate. Still, given how impressed I was with the first film and seeing how some equally impressive cinematic follow-ups this year, I’m holding onto some hope that this might be decent. For once, I will not be pleased if I’m proven wrong. This is Bad Moms 2 (also known as A Bad Moms Christmas).

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

I never thought I would get to this point but I think I’m starting to get burnt out on all these Marvel movies. I’ve mentioned before how much I love superhero and comic book inspired films, and I still stand by all of that, but as more time passes, I’m beginning to realize that my zeal to see these films in the cinema has severely diminished. Yeah, I’ve still seen all of the MCU to date, but I ended up getting to some of them like Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming far later than I would have expected. Whether it’s down to the sheer volume of releases per year, the fact that all of them are interconnected so that they all need to be seen to get the full experience, or just down to me discovering other sub-genres that interest me more, some part of my subconscious is hesitant to keep seeing these. Not that it should be; I mean, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is still an astounding work, Homecoming gave us the first real Spider-Man movie and even Doctor Strange has some of the greatest effects work I’ve ever seen full stop. So, yeah, maybe it’s less that I’m losing my love for these films and more that they are starting to feel more like work. No change there then, honestly. Anyway, enough waffle; time to get into this latest MCU offering that seems to be taking the franchise in a different direction. A very weird direction. This is Thor: Ragnarok.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Movie Review: Jigsaw (2017)

Saw is my favourite film series. I really have no other way to put it; I friggin’ love these movies. Born right here in my homeland from director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, the yearly Halloween release of these films was one of the few cinematic schedules I stuck to without a break. And it’s not even for ironic ‘guilty pleasure’ reasons, as there’s honestly a lot to genuinely like for the more strong-stomached audiences out there. The grungy visual texture, Charlie Clouser’s heart-racing soundtracks, the twisted ingenuity behind the series’ trademark traps, even down to the compelling and surprisingly complex characters; it’s a cult film series with the easily-overlooked positives and myopic detraction that a lot of these series end up getting. When the series originally closed out with The Final Chapter, while disheartened that it ended on its worst note, I’ll admit to being more disheartened that the story was closing up shop. But then, the marketing for today’s film kicked in and… well, for reasons I’ll get into, I’m approaching this with an equal mixture of excitement and hesitance. Let the games begin again; this is Jigsaw.