A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell (Screenplay) Madeleine L’Engle (Novel)

Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Chris Pine, Guge Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis

 

Plot: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.


Tagline – Be a warrior

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dragging Adventure

 

Story: A Wrinkle in Time starts when a trouble high school student Meg (Reid) hasn’t given up hope on being reunited with her father Mr Murry (Pine) after his sudden disappearance. Meg has become closed off from the world with her adopted brother Charles Wallace (McCabe) noticing the change in her. Meg, Charles and Calvin (Miller) get visited by Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon) that opens up the possibilities for answers.

Mrs Whatsit takes the three children on an adventure through the universe with Mrs Which (Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Kaling), who believe they can locate Mr Murry after his research has taken him across the universe unlike anyone in human history.

 

Thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time

 

Characters – Meg is an outsider teenage girl, daughter of two brilliant scientists, with her father disappeared for four years now. She went from the popular out going girl to the shy closed off one. she has never given up hope of finding her father, which does leave questions about her relationship with her mother, she gets a chance to find her father with the will she shows in her heart. Mrs Which leads the three light entities that can help Meg travel the universe to find her father, she isn’t just guiding Meg, but the newest member of the team Mrs Whatsit. Mrs Whatsit is the bubbly member of the light entities, she is on her first mission of guidance which does see her make mistakes along the way. Mrs Who is the third member of the team, she is always positive like the rest only she gets the least amount of time to do anything of the three. Mr Murry is the father that has gone missing, he is a brilliant scientist that has always believed in travel through the universe to be possible and has been searching for a way to achieve. Calvin is the high school friend of Meg that ends up on the journey, he wants to support her even when it shows his own weakness in the world.

PerformancesStorm Reid is the highlight of the film which sees her going on the adventure to find her father, this is a disappointing as we do have a talent cast, only they just don’t seem to shine on the levels you would expect them to reach.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that gets to do on an adventure across the universe in search for her father through the powers of light entities. This is a story that has come from a popular novel and is meant to show the science behind potential travel through the universe and how the power is within us all. This is a story that just drags along, it doesn’t offer anything to the world we are entering. This story could have so much potential and ends up just glossing over too much, making it a hard watch.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film shows the journey that takes the children across the universe to see just where one’s father has gone, this does show us the fantasy elements of the film in the sci-fi universe we end up going along.

SettingsThe film is set in a fictional land where the people can travel to unknown planets in the universe, each one has its own unique look.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used to create the different worlds look beautiful, only they don’t seem to make anything feel as important to the story.


Scene of the Movie –
Understand other people’s problems from behind closed doors.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This story just doesn’t become interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that had so much potential only to fall so short, it has an amazing cast that just don’t get a chance to shine, the story just doesn’t get us going like it should do.

 

Overall: Disappointing.

Rating

 

 

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Outlaw King (2018)

Director: David Mackenzie

Writer: Bathsheba Doran, David Mackenzie, James MacInnes (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Paul Blair, Sam Spruell

 

Plot: A true David v Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.


Tagline – Based on the Untold True Story

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Brutality of War

 

Story: Outlaw King starts after William Wallace has been defeated and the English have taken over Scotland, accepting the surrounding kings and lords. Robert Bruce (Pine) is ready to take over his father’s role with King Edward I (Dilldane) controlling the land, with Elizabeth (Pugh) being married to Robert.

When Robert kills, he breaks the peace between the two nations with Scotland naming him King, England brand him the Outlaw king forcing him to build a new army to fight back against the English against all the odds.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw King

 

Characters – Robert Bruce is the son of his father’s name, next in line for royalty during a time of peace under English control, his action start a new war where he becomes King and must lead the fellow Scots in battle against the odds. He offers the people a chance to be by his side or against him without holding their decision against them, remaining fair to everyone in conflict. Elizabeth Burgh is the English lady that is forced to marry Robert, the two do get on which helps complete the peace, when the peace is broken she stands by his side and is used to bait Robert out of hiding. James Douglas joins the battle with Robert as he looks to regain the honour his family name deserves. Prince Edward is leading the English army in hunting down Robert and the rebels, he is doing this to impress his father with his place of King in his future.

PerformancesChris Pine gives us a wonderful performance showing us once again how he can adapt to any role given to him, never looking out of place playing a Scotsman. Florence Pugh continues her run in the period piece films, she shows us once again that she does have the talent for someone as young as she is. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is strong in the supporting role, he looks like the desperate man that he is meant to be playing. Billy Howle is strong too, we see how he can make his desire for power be the thing which drives his performance.

StoryThe story here shows us the story of Robert Bruce the Outlaw King of Scotland who fought against the odds to reclaim the kingdom of Scotland from the English. We know how ‘Braveheart’ has its own version of the battle which the English won, this story takes place in the aftermath of the real story which peace couldn’t be kept leading us to battle once again and showed us just how confrontational the two nations were. We get a lot of different titles which can become slightly confusing to keep up on who is what and in what line to become king of whichever nation they are fighting for.

Action/Biopic/HistoryThe action is massive scale battles which are shot in the same style of Game of Thrones, this being realistic is great for effect, but difficult to watch when it comes to see the horses getting slaughtered in the battle. The history lesson and biopic side of the film shows who Robert and his men were along with they would end up becoming.

SettingsThe film gives us locations that feel like they could be from the same time, we get the beauty of the Scottish countryside which only shows how they made their own advantage.


Scene of the Movie –
The battles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Keeping on top of who is what ranking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a new brutal battle movie, it gives the history lesson needed and shows how people defined the future for people in the world.

 

Overall: Brutal history lesson.

Rating

 

 

Wonder Woman (2017)

Director: Patty Jenkins

Writer: Allan Heinberg (Screenplay) Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs (Story)

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Tagmaoui

 

Plot: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: DC Just Kicked Marvel’s Ass

 

Story: Wonder Woman starts in the present day (this works because we know Wonder Woman is part of the modern-day fight) where Diana (Gadot) receives the original photo of her with fellow soldiers Steve Trevor (Pine), Sameer (Taghmaoui), Charlie (Bremner) and The Chief (Rock) during the First World War.

This launches us into a flashback as Diana recounts her training under the greatest Amazon Warrior Antiope (Wright) first against her mother Hippolyta (Nielsen) wishes but soon with open arms. When Steve crashes into the oceans surrounding their island, he comes telling stories of a great war raging. Diana decides it is her destiny to fight to save the innocent and joins Steve in battle, but the outside world is nothing like she had expected and soon she will learn the politics, bravery and horrors of a modern war as she goes in search of Aires the God of war that she believes in causes it all, while Steve is on a mission to stop the latest weapon spreading. Can Diana unlock her destiny and become the hero the world is looking for?

 

Thoughts on Wonder Woman

 

Characters/PerformanceDiana is the warrior that wants to fight to save the world, always pushed to improve her abilities, she learns more about her true self on this adventure, while also having comical moments of not understand but reality checks by others. As Wonder Woman, she is the weapon we all came to see as he highlight of Batman v Superman and just continued to grow our love for this character. Steve Trevor is an American spy, he knows about the new weapon which could end the war and will do everything to stop it from causing more casualties. He is a good man that is showing Diana the way in this world. Hippolyta and Antiope are good character even if they fall into the typical mother and trainer routine. Ludendorff gives us the villain that will do anything to win the war however violent it is. The rest of the characters all either add laughs, menace or surprises to the story.

Gal Gadot is wonderful in this role, she is beautiful, naïve and can kick ass to save people all without blinking an eye. Chris Pine is a brilliant choice for this role as brave American not full off himself either. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright fill the middle-aged roles well both look beautiful and offering the advice from their characters. Danny Huston is easily one of the best go to guys in Hollywood for a villain role and he doesn’t fail to deliver. The rest of the cast all do great jobs throughout.

StoryThe story is an origins story but this time it is our aged mentally Diana looking back on what made her want to protect humans from war. This is also a brilliant war movie showing how unknown eyes would be in complete shock and terror in what they are seeing from the humans in battle. The story does feel grounded when it is just Diana witnessing the war but when she becomes Wonder Woman it turns full comic book which is good for the world created in this universe of DC characters.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is a mix of slow motion action sequences and big war set pieces, each one improving upon the last. The only negative in the action comes in the final battle. The adventure puts us on the mission to try and stop the war. The fantasy comes from Diana’s belief in Gods both good and evil being behind the war.

SettingsEach setting shows us the different environment Diana must enter after leaving her paradise, if it was London, the Front during war or the war bases which battles take place on. This helps us understand each decision Diana is making.

Special EffectsThe effects all look fantastic from start to finish of this movie and full expect to enjoy what you see.

Final ThoughtsAs a comic book movie, this is simply fantastic, wonderfully shot, powerful story that drives Diana to uncover her destiny and enjoy character. But as a major fan of the little things here, if this is Diana remembering the events how does she know what Ludendorff is up to? This of course is just being picky and is a question thrown around when people talk Titanic too, so we are in the top ranks of films here.

 

Overall: DC might just have won the battle this year with this brilliant addition to the superhero genre.

Rating

 

 

Hell or High Water (2016)

hellDirector: David Mackenzie

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham

 

Plot: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller

 

Story: Hell or High Water starts as we meet our bank robbers Tanner (Foster) and Toby (Pine) Howard who are targeting small Texan banks to get minimum attention to themselves. The amount taken doesn’t grab the FBI’s attention but soon to be retiring Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Birmingham) start look into the case.

As the crime heist continues across Texas we learn the reason behind Toby’s decision to rob the banks being to support his family while his brother is happier just to enjoy the ride. As the motives come through the race between rangers and robbers gets closer and we are left to see what will happen when they all finally clash.

Hell or High Water is a slow moving crime thriller that pulls you into every single scene between the characters, you understand the reasons behind the robberies, as well as the determined ranger wanting his last chance of glory before he faces an unknown future. The story is what shines through in the end because we never see too much of the robbery and focus on the human decisions behind the choices.

Pine, Foster, Bridges and Birmingham all give great performance that are their own bests for this year with each pairing coming off perfectly natural. This will end up being in Pine’s and Foster’s top five performances of their career while Bridges continues to show he can pull off anything. It is easy to see why people have enjoyed this film this year because it is up there with the very best.

 

Overall: One of the best of the year, gritty, intense and pulse pounding.

Ratingcard

 

 

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

startrrekDirector: Justin Lin

Writer: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella

 

Plot: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Addition

 

Story: Star Trek Beyond starts as Captain Kirk (Pine) is halfway through their five-year mission with his regular crew of Commander Spock (Quinto), Bones (Urban) Lieutenant Uhura (Saldana), Scotty (Pegg), Sulu (Cho) and Chekov (Yelchin). Kirk has reached the age his father need which has started to make him question moments of his decision to join Starfleet compared to his father.

When the crew gets a distress call the Enterprise goes on what was thought to be an easy rescue mission until they come up against an unknown enemy led by Krall (Elba) who is after an artefact from with the enterprise.

With the crew scattered around an unknown planet they have to learn who to trust while trying to find a way to save the rest of the crew and prisoners of Krall.

Star Trek Beyond continues the adventures of the Enterprise crew and this time we get a fresh storyline that doesn’t just become a rehash of one of the original storylines. We get to see how Kirk is getting a loss of direction like we all do in life. We get to see a slightly one-dimensional villain which disappoints until the final twist about who he really is. In the end this will make the Trekkie fans will happy throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Pine: Captain Kirk is now reaching one year older than his father was when he died, leading the Enterprise on a long haul mission. Starting to question is position he takes on a rescue mission on to have to lead his crew on a mission against an unknown enemy. Chris has grown into this character so well you could easily watch him in it for years to come.

Zachary Quinto: Commander Spock is dealing with the news of his elder self-passing on wanting to leave star fleet. He is loyal and logical through the mission and his friendship with Kirk is at the highest point to date. Zachary is good but has all the best scene with someone else rather than on his own.

Sofia Boutella: Jaylah has been leaving on this planet looking for her own way to escape and joins forces with the Starfleet to finally try and point a stop the Krall’s reign on the planet. Sofia is good in this role as the kick ass new species showing her strengths.

Idris Elba: Krall has been searching for a weapon Starfleet has for years and now he finally gets it he can lead an attack to take out anything that stands in his way. Idris is good as always but a very simple villain in this universe.

Support Cast: Star Trek Beyond has our usual crew in the supporting roles all doing good jobs throughout as we see them find a way to work with Kirk to save the day. I will say Bones is the star of the show.

Director Review: Justin LinJustin gives us a good addition to the star trek universe that can be enjoyed.

 

Action: Star Trek Beyond has great sci-fi style action throughout with the film seemingly always looking for new ways to destroy the Enterprise.

Adventure: Star Trek Beyond puts our heroes on a new adventure unlike one we have seen before.

Sci-Fi: Star Trek Beyond keeps us feeling like we are part of the mission through space throughout.

Settings: Star Trek Beyond keeps us in space and on a new look planet not going on with anything needed to be extra special.
Special Effects
: Star Trek Beyond has great effects throughout making each moment look realistic.

Suggestion: Star Trek Beyond is one for all the Trekkie fans to enjoy with a new storyline added to the universe. (Trekkie Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bones just steals all the scenes.

Worst Part: The final reveal of the villain comes off lazy.

Funniest Scene: Spock and Bones part of the story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $185 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

Overall: Enjoyable addition to the Star Trek universe.

Ratingcard