leonblackwood

IMDb member since September 2011
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Reviews

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
(2019)

Not a good way to end the saga! 5/10
Review: This is one of those movies that I actually went to the cinema to watch, but I ended up falling asleep after the first half an hour. When it finally got released on steelbook, I decided to give it another watch, and once again, I ended up falling asleep. Now, the thing that was great about the first 3 movies that were released in the saga, was the simplicity of the plot, and the brilliantly written humour, which made us feel for the characters, but every film thereafter, was a complete shambles. This movie, which is supposed to be the last in the franchise, was a poor way to bow out because the characters were weak and it lacked humour. It seemed like a constant goose chase from the beginning to the end, and the average action scenes, mixed with an uninteresting plot, was a terrible way to see the Star Wars saga end. When the big revelation of Rey's grandfather is revealed, I was left thinking, "was that it?", and the big battle scene towards the end, didn't have the punch and shock value that the first three movies did. On a lighter note, I loved the little puppet that erased C3PO's memory, Babu Frik, and the Princess Leia scenes were emotional. It was also good to see the return of the Death Star, which brought back some memories, and I was glad to see Han Solo & Luke Skywalker make a small appearance, but if you were to ask me what stood out in the movie, I really couldn't say. After watching the two and a half hour bonus material on the disk, I appreciate the effort that was put into directing and producing this epic film, but I must admit, I did find that more interesting than the movie. It did answer all of the lingering questions that Star Wars experts were asking, but it still didn't do it for me, especially after all of the time and anticipation I invested in this saga. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by J.J. Abrams, who also brought you Mission Impossible III, Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I know that he is a highly respected director, but I personally thought that he had made more movies. After watching some of his interviews, he does have a unique style of directing, with a touch of Spielberg, and a huge passion for film, but I'm yet to see why he's such a huge name in Hollywood. With that aside, he does have over 100 producer credits to his name, with over 50 in the pipeline, including 2 Mission Impossible movies, so he's definitely keeping himself busy. I know that taking on the last movie in the Star Wars saga and rebooting the whole Star Trek franchise, must be a huge burden for a director, but I do wonder if he was guided more by his heart and not by the fans. Enough Said!

Budget: $275million Worldwide Gross: $1.07billion

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Green, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo and Kelly Marie Tran. 5/10

The Gentlemen
(2019)

Not that memorable! 5/10
Review: When I heard that Guy Ritchie had returned to his old style of directing with this movie, I was excited to see it, especially when I heard that Hugh Grant was playing a cockney geezer, but I must admit, I was pretty disappointed with the final product. It didn't have that funny and clever wit, that we have all grown to love from Guy Ritchie's earlier films, and the swearing seemed inappropriate and over the top in places. The back and forth of the storyline spoilt the flow of the film, and it felt messy in places. Although people were praising the cast's performances, I thought that all of them was a weird choice for there roles, and I must admit, I fell asleep halfway through the film. There were a couple of strokes of genius, like the freezer scene towards the end, and when McConaughey saved his wife, but most of it wasn't that memorable. Personally, I would have used Colin Farell's character much more throughout the film, and there should have been more character building because I couldn't care less who lived or died. It really reminded me of Get Shorty, in terms of McConaughey trying to correct his mistakes in life, but the fact that comedy element was missing, really let the movie down. In all, it's another one watch in my eyes, and I personally think that Guy Ritchie has lost his touch. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Guy Ritchie, who also brought you Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Swept Away, Revolver, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the Man from U.N.C.L.E., King Arthur and Aladdin. Like Quentin Tarantino, he seems to have lost his passion for movie making of late, after a boost to the big time with his earlier movies, and I personally can't see him making another film that will touch them. As for this movie, he did try his utmost to bring back the golden years, with the cockney gangsters and heavy soundtrack, but it was a right mess. With another Aladdin movie in the pipeline, along with 2 other films called Empire Rising and Cash Truck, I personally can't see them pushing him back into the big leagues, which is a shame because I can still watch his earlier movies, over and over again.

Budget: $22million Worldwide Gross: $115.2million

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Jeremy Strong, Lynne Renee, Henry Golding, Tom Wu, Eddie Marsan, John Dagleish and Jordan Long. 5/10

Knives Out
(2019)

Exptected more! 6/10
Review: Although the cast is pretty amazing, I did find this film to be a pretty average "whodunnit", which is a shame because it started off pretty well. Once the main character, Marta (Ana de Armas) reveals the true story behind the death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), I didn't really see the point of the film, and it seemed to go round and round in circles, which I found pretty annoying. It's obvious that there was more to the plot because of how early the "suspense" element goes straight out of the window, and I knew that Chris Evans (Ransom) would play a big part in the conspiracy because he is one of the biggest names in the cast. As for Daniel Craig (Benoit Blanc), he certainly wasn't in the same league as Sherlock Holmes or Poirot, especially with that weird Southern accent, but he produced a touch of genius towards the end, which saved the film. Like most Agatha Christie type movies, everyone is a suspect, and one of the fun and amusing aspects of this film is the interrogation of the suspects at the very beginning, but even that was short-lived. I did like the chemistry between Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas towards the end, and all of the family members in the house put in a great performance, which is why I was expecting more from the film. You do end up sticking with the plot because your expecting something amazing to happen, which it kind of does towards the end, but it's isn't memorable. It just seemed like an episode of Quincy with some fancy actors. Anyway, I personally think that it's only worth a one watch because once the plot is revealed, I cant see people rushing to see it again. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Rian Johnson, who also brought you Brick in 2005, The Brothers Bloom, Looper, 3 episodes of Breaking Bad and the Last Jedi. It's been announced that there will be a Knives Out 2, after the profit that this movie made, so with Daniel Craig not playing Bond anymore, I'm sure that he will step up to the plate to play Benoit Blanc once again. Although I found this film to be overrated, I still think that it's cleverly pieced together towards the end, but not that surprising. And what was it with the whole doughnut analogies? Anyway, I got the moral of the story, that good always outdoes the 7 sins, but I still thought it was slow and predictable in places.

Budget: $40million Worldwide Gross: $309million

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Frank Oz. 6/10

Jojo Rabbit
(2019)

Original but uncomfortable in places! 6/10
Review: If it wasn't for the brilliant acting from Roman Griffin Davis, who plays Jojo Rabbit, this film wouldn't have worked. He really did make this film a joy to watch, but the storyline was a bit warped. I know that it is supposed to be a black comedy and that you're not to take it seriously, but it's hard not to be offended by some of the scenes. It felt a bit claustrophobic because most of the scenes are set in a house, with Jojo Rabbit in every scene, and with the subject matter based on Nazi Germany, I was hoping for some moments that would lighten the mood. With that aside, you can't fault it for originality, with some great performances from Scarlett Johansson (Rosie), Sam Rockwell (Captain Klenzendorf) and the girl in the cupboard, Thomasin McKenzie (Elsa). The chemistry between Jojo and his mother, Rosie, was excellent, and quite emotional in parts, and the last scene with Jojo and Captain Klenzendorf was brilliant, but I did find Adolf's (Taika Waititi) scenes a bit too much. It had a Wes Anderson/Coen Brothers feel, where you don't know if to laugh or cry, which is why I can see it not being everyone's cup of tea. If you put aside the subject matter, you should definitely watch it for the performance from Roman (Jojo), and if you can stomach this type of humour, then I wouldn't be surprised if you thought that this was a touch of genius. I'm in two minds about the film because, in one way, I enjoyed the chemistry between the characters and the way that a Jojo carried himself, but in another way, I found it all bit much to take in at once. Anyway, I have to rate Taika Waititi for pushing the barriers to the limit, even though it will make some people feel uncomfortable, and for taking a chance on the little boy, who was fantastic throughout. Watchable!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Taika Waititi, who also brought you Eagle vs. Shark in 2007, Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and the brilliant Thor: Ragnarok, which changed the direction of Marvel. He currently has 8 films in development, which include Time Bandits (TV series), Akira, Oompa-Loompas (TV series), Thor: Love & Thunder, and an untitled Star Wars movie, which sounds promising. His unique style of directing has got the Hollywood big-wigs excited, which has put him in high demand. The best Mandalorian episode was the final episode, which he directed, so I'm not surprised that he was scooped up to direct a project in the Star Wars franchise. He won an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Adapted screenplay for Jojo Rabbit, which is quite ironic because he is Maori/Jewish, playing the role of Adolf Hitler. If there was an award for the best young actor, Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo) would have won them all because this film wouldn't have been the same without him.

Budget: $14million Worldwide Gross: $90million

Genre: Comedy, Drama, War Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant and Archie Yates. 6/10

Gisaengchung
(2019)

Unique and full of surprises! 8/10
Review: Were do I start with this film! I really didn't know what to expect because every time I asked someone what it was about, no one could explain it, and now that I've watched it, I can totally understand why. I deliberately waited for the UK Steelbook release because I was hoping that it would come with an English dubbed version, which it didn't so I wasn't happy when I saw I had to read subtitles all the way through. I can honestly say, it wouldn't have worked with a dubbed version because of there expressions and tones. Now, after the first 15 minutes, I didn't know where the movie was going, and I personally thought that the rock was going to have some mystical and magical powers, but it's SO cleverly written and full of surprises throughout, and I'm glad that I didn't know what was going to happen. The acting is top class, and with the storyline being based around 2 families, in two houses, it proves that you don't need a massive budget to produce something special. A lot of people think that 1971 deserved the Oscar for best picture, but after watching this film it beats it hands down for its originality, acting and pure suspense. The amazing twists and turns, mixed with comedy and emotion, was put together extremely well, and you couldn't help but feel for the family who used their brains to get out of the gutter. There are little touches of genius, like the smell aspect of the storyline, and the way that the dad could turn on a switch of a button, which all come's together by the end of the film. Anyway, I fully recommend this movie to all moviegoers, except for kids of course, and I hope that people will give it a chance because you will be surprised with the outcome. Brilliant!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Bong Joon Ho, who also brought you Barking Dogs Never Bite in 2000, Memories of Murder, The Host, Tokyo!, Mother, Snowpiercer and Okja. The only movie that I have seen from his previous work, was Snowpiercer, which I wasn't that impressed with, but this film was unique and a touch of class. It's not often that I agree with the Oscar's panel, but in this case, I did. It won 4 awards, including Best Picture, Best International Film, Best Writing and Best Directing at the 2019 Awards Ceremony, and it's the first Non-English film to win an Oscar in the Best Picture category. Truly Deserved! It covers all genres, which is extremely rare, and the message about different classes is relevant to what is happening around the world today.

Budget: $11.4million Worldwide Gross: $257.5million

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Jeong-eun Lee, Hye-jin Jang, Myeong-hoon Park and Ji-so Jung. 8/10

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
(2020)

Complete waste of time and money! 3/10
Review: I really didn't enjoy this film. The ridiculous action scenes and silly jokes really got on my nerves and Margot Robbie went a bit overboard as the crazy Harley Quinn. Ewan McGregor (Roman Sionis) was also a terrible baddie, and the soundtrack made the whole film seem like a bit of a joke. On the plus side, the Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was brilliant and the chemistry between the girls, when they joined forces, was half decent but it's hard to find anything else positive about the film. As the DC franchise is in a right mess at the moment, this film really doesn't help matters, which is a shame because it sounded promising on paper. If they do agree to make another movie, they really need to tone down Harley Quinn, who seemed more mentally disturbed than anything. The whole back and forth in time thing was also annoying and the way that the girls took out big grown men with ease, made me cringe. As I haven't read the comics, I don't know how close this Harley Quinn is to the written one, but from an entertainment point of view, I really found it hard to watch. As far as I am concerned, if your going to have an action-packed movie with wit, the least that they could do is make it funny. Anyway, I won't be watching this movie again in a hurry, and it has to go down as one of the biggest let-downs of this year. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Cathy Yan, who also brought you a movie called Dead Pigs, which I haven't seen or heard of. Now I know that these big studios are supporting these new up and coming directors, by giving them big-budget movies to work on as there first projects, but with DC in so many problems at the moment, they really needed someone in Christopher Nolan's league to save the franchise. I know that they wanted to make this an "all-women" affair, in terms of starring and working on this film, but I personally think that the final product was awful. The whole thing just seemed silly and unfunny, but it still made a decent profit at the box office, even though we are in the middle of a pandemic. With the critics and a majority of audiences around the world, completing slating the movie, I wonder if the big wigs behind the DC universe will finally listen to us because it's obvious that they are wasting time and money on these movies, which are definitely not working.

Budget: $84.5million Worldwide Gross: $202million

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime Cast: Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, Ewan McGregor, Ella Jay Basco, Chris Messina, Ali Wong, Steven Williams and David Ury. 3/10

Bad Boys for Life
(2020)

Watchable, but not as good as the previous movies in this franchise! 6/10
Review: When I heard that the dynamic duo, Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) were returning to the big screen, I did think that it was going to be two geriatric cops, shooting guns on there zimmer frames, but it was surprisingly full of intense action. Martin Lawrence did get on my nerves after a while because he couldn't keep up with Superman, Will Smith, who looked as young and fit as he did in the first movies. I also wasn't impressed with the comedy throughout the film, which didn't have the punch that the first movies did, but with that aside, it was good to see them together again. When I also heard that Michael Bay wasn't returning to direct the third instalment, I thought that there was no way that this movie would work, but I must admit, it fits in well into the franchise. Although the action was pretty far-fetched, it was put together well, and the tension, kept you glued to the screen. On the downside, it's nothing that we haven't seen before, and once the plot is revealed, it's not the type of film that you would watch time and time again, like the previous films. That's not to say that it's a bad film, it's just that it lacked that special Michael Bay, over-exaggerated but original action, and I missed the funny humour. The new AMMO team was a great addition to the cast, and it was good to see Agent Howard taking control of the misfits again, but once the situation takes a turn for the worse, the film gets serious and it turns into your regular cops and robbers type of movie. It's still worth a watch and I'm sure that audiences will enjoy it but it won't go down as the best in the franchise. Watchable!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, who brought you Image in 2014, Black, which is highly recommended from movie-goers, and Patser in 2018. As I haven't seen any of there previous work, it's hard to compare this movie to anything that they have done, but after watching the bonus material on the Blu-ray, I can see that they took this project seriously, and they worked closely with Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith, who also produced this film. Personally, I thought this was going to be another one of those movies that a franchise could do without, but I was surprisingly entertained. I wouldn't be rushing to watch it again, and there weren't any moments that struck a chord, but I have seen worse.

Budget: $90million Worldwide Gross: $425million

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Paola Nunez, Kate del Castillo, Nicky Jam, Joe Pantoliano, Jacob Scipio, Theresa Randle, Happy Anderson and DJ Khaled. 6/10

Jumanji: The Next Level
(2019)

Surprisingly Enjoyable! 7/10
Review: Although the storyline is far-fetched, I must admit, I really enjoyed this film. The fact that Jack Black, The Rock and Kevin Hart weren't acting the same as they have done in most of there films, made it interesting and the CGI was top form, especially during the Emu and Monkey scenes. The storyline was also written well, and the chemistry between all of the characters, especially the Rock and Kevin Hart, was great. It's harmless fun for the whole family, with decent action scenes, and enough tension to keep you glued to the screen. The various twists and turns throughout the film, made the two hours seem like an hour, and I liked the fact that each character got the same amount of screen time, including the new characters, Eddie (Danny DeVito) and Milo (Danny Glover). Ming (Awkwafina) was also a brilliant addition to the cast, alongside Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann), who is well known for playing the Hound in the Game of Thrones. Don't get me wrong, it's not a cinematic masterpiece, like the original Jumanji which was released in 1995, but for a sequel, the director managed to produce something fresh and unique with the same characters. It's not often I can say that I would watch a movie again, but I honestly think that I would give this a second watch, especially as a lot of movies got held back this year. Enjoyable!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Jake Kasdan, who also brought you Zero Effect in 1998, Orange County, The TV Set, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Bad Teacher, Sex Tape and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. With the first movie making $962million, it was in the studio's interest to bring these characters back to the big screen, even though Dwayne Johnson's wages must have doubled. This film had one of the fastest turnarounds from filming to theatrical release for a major studio film, with filming beginning in February 2019 and wrapped four months later in May. It was then released in December, seven months later, which was extremely quick compared to most films which are released one year after filming. After seeing Dwayne Johnson's schedule, it's not surprising that they had to get this film wrapped fast. With 14 films in development and due to be released, including Red Notice starring Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, Jungle Cruise with Emily Blunt, Black Adam, which is a spin-off from Shazam, Big Trouble in Little China and San Andreas 2, he's definitely in demand. Although this movie didn't make as much money as the original, I hope to see these characters again because it has the makings of a decent franchise.

Budget: $125million Worldwide Gross: $797million

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Awkwafina, Madison Iseman, Ser Daious Blain, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Rhys Darby, Colin Hanks and Rory McCann. 7/10

Bloodshot
(2020)

Terrible script with average action scenes! 3/10
Review: What an awful film! The acting was terrible from the WHOLE cast, and the storyline was completely ridiculous. I don't know if the makers were trying to stay true to the comic, but that's no excuse for such a terrible attempt at an action/sci-fi film. Even the established actors, Vin Diesel and Guy Pearce weren't that great, and all of the technical jargon went straight over my head. I didn't understand how in one scene, Ray Garrison is learning how to use his newfound strength, and in another scene, he's able to hack into computers and go rouge! After watching the whole film, it all came together but I really wasn't that impressed. The only saving grace was the fight on the lift towards the end, but the CGI was pretty bad. Although I'm a fan of Diesel, I'm beginning to question his acting ability because he only seems to be starring in films where he has to wear a vest, and kill baddies. Outside the Fast & Furious franchise, his films don't really make a big impact, so maybe it's time for him to prove that he's not just muscles with corny one-liners. As for Guy Pearce, this will have to go down as a bad day at the office, and I can't see the other actors gaining any respect for there performances. In all, this film was a massive letdown, and I hope they don't attempt to make a sequel. Awful!

Round-Up: This is the first film directed by Dave Wilson, who must be pretty disappointed with the box office takings, even though he had Diesel on board. He could have easily made this into two films, by spending some time character building, except for jumping straight in at the deep end. With Bloodshot being one of the most popular characters in the 80 million comics selling Valiant Universe, it was a much-anticipated film but it failed in every category. It seemed like the director concentrated on the action scenes, more than the actual storyline, so the flow of the movie was jumpy. Anyway, with another Fast and Furious movie due to be released soon, and a role in the upcoming Avatar 2 and the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, Diesel will be able to put this far in the back of his mind, with the hope that no one will bring up the subject ever again.

Budget: $45million Worldwide Gross: $31million (Terrible)

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi Cast: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Talulah Riley, Lamorne Morris and Johannes Haukur Johannesson. 3/10

1917
(2019)

Great cinematography, average story! 5/10
Review: Now I know that a lot of people think that this is a cinematic masterpiece and that Sam Mendes deserves every award under the sun, but I personally think that it is just a toned-down version of Saving Private Ryan with some dull actors. There are some A-listers popping in and out of the film, but the main character, Schofield (George MacKay) didn't have any screen charisma. I know that it was made to look like it was one shot, which was extremely clever, and an amazing achievement from Sam Mendes, but I personally think that the film wasn't anything that we haven't seen before. I appreciate the amazing effort that was put into the timing of each scene, which must have been difficult to achieve because of the flow of the film, but from an entertainment point of view, I did drift off a couple of times. If they had put an actor in the same category as Tom Hanks, then I would have agreed with the critics and a lot of the viewers, but I honestly can say that I wasn't in a rush to watch the movie again, once it had finished. It felt like a bit of an anti-climax when Schofield reached his destination, after everything that he had been through, and Cumberbatch made it clear how he felt about his presence. That's the main difference between this film and Saving Private Ryan. They actually fought together to get out of the mess they were in, once they reached their destination. I know that Schofield saved many life's by delivering the message but I was expecting fireworks at the end. Anyway, I'll give Sam Mendes props for the cinematography, but there are better war films out there. Watchable!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Sam Mendes, who also brought you American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Away We Go, Skyfall and Spectre. 1917 won an Oscar for Cinematography, Visual Effects and Sound Mixing, along with a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Original Score and Best Director. It was tipped to win the Best Picture Oscar, but it was beaten at the post by Parasite, which I am yet to see. It was inspired by Sam Mendes grandfather's experiences in WWI: "The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897-1991", so it really came from the heart. It took the actors 6 months to rehearse the movie, mainly because of the timing of the shoots, and with over 40 awards for cinematography, it's clear that it's getting recognition, more for the filming than the content.

Budget: $95million Worldwide Gross: $384million

Genre: Drama, War Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth, Pip Carter, Andy Apollo, Paul Tinto, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch. 5/10

Sonic the Hedgehog
(2020)

Surprisingly a lot of fun! 7/10
Review: I really didn't have high hopes for this film because it seemed like a crazy idea, but I actually found it entertaining. Don't get me wrong, the plot is extremely unrealistic and some of the characters couldn't act at all, but the witty script saved the day. Jim Carrey, who plays Dr. Robotnik, wasn't as crazy as he usually is in his films, so I was actually able to keep up with him. The buddy relationship between Sonic and Tom (James Marsden) was, surprisingly, a joy to watch and the CGI made it seem like the little blue fella was actually in the room. There is something for all ages, especially if you grew up playing the game, and I like the fact that they gave Sonic the majority of screen time. If you don't take the plot seriously, you will find it fun for the whole family, and I hope that they don't take years to make a sequel. It will be good to see how Sonic adapts to Earth, now that he has joined his new family, and with Dr. Robotnik making his way back to civilisation it has the makings of becoming a decent franchise. Enjoyable!

Round-Up: This is the first movie directed by Jeff Fowler, so I'm unable to compare this movie to his previous work. With a sequel due to be released in 2022, which was announced before the virus, and this being the 3rd biggest release of 2020, behind Bad Boys For Life and 1917, Fowler must be happy with the success of the film. It managed to beat Rise of Skywalker, Harley Quinn and Jumanji: The Next Level, so I'm not the only person that found it fun. With many big-budget movies held back due to the virus, I'm sure that this movie will go down the box office takings chart at some point, but it went down well with the critics and I personally would recommend it.

Budget: $85million Worldwide Gross: $307million

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family Sci-Fi Cast: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Lee Majdoub, Neal McDonough and Tom Butler. 7/10

Dolittle
(2020)

Was expecting much better from Downey! 3/10
Review: After reading some terrible reviews about this film, I thought that I would give it the benefit of doubt, mainly because Robert Downey Jr. is one of my favourite actors. One of the main problems with this film is that we don't get the usual quick-witted Downey Jr., and the script was extremely awful. The CGI is top form, even though the plot is totally unrealistic, and the huge sets were put together well, but it was a shame to see all that effort go down the drain. The film is very poorly written and a lot of the scenes seemed pointless, And I know that I might be alone on this one, but I preferred the Eddie Murphy versions, which were basically what they said on the tin. On top of that, Downey's Welsh/Scottish accent was appalling, and his acting was the worse I have seen from him. The villain of the plot, Dr. Blair Mudfly (Michael Sheen), was a blithering idiot and Dolittle's sidekick, Stubbins, became annoying after a while. On the plus side, the animals saved the film, especially the Gorilla and the Squirrel, but they weren't enough to make the movie interesting. At the end of the day, it was a bad day at the office for Downey, even though it made a profit at the box office, and with his name down as executive producer, along with his wife as Producer, I hope that Sherlock Holmes 3 and Pinocchio turn out to be much better. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Stephen Gaghan, who also brought you Abandon in 2002, Syriana and Gold starring Matthew McConaughey. For such a big movie, he wouldn't have been my first choice because it needed someone with a lot of experience behind the camera. It does make me wonder if these movies are all about the money nowadays, and not about entertaining an audience because they couldn't have been happy with the screening before they released it to the public. I can't totally blame Downey because he was talking to animals that weren't there, but I would have questioned the script after reading it. With all that aside, I'm sure that the young target audience will enjoy it, especially if you're watching it as a family day out, but I personally won't be watching it again in a hurry.

Budget: $175million Worldwide Gross: $244million

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy Cast: Robert Downey Jr. Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, Marion Cotillard, Kasia Smutniak, Jason Mantzoukas and Ralph Ineson. 3/10

Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec
(2010)

Unique but silly in places! 5/10
Review: When this movie was released 10 years ago, I neither seen nor heard about it, which was quite surprising because Luc Besson was on a streak of hit movies around then. I totally didn't know what to expect, and when I saw that the whole film was in French, I did find it slightly off-putting because I hate reading subtitles whilst watching a film. I also didn't know any of the actors, and I hadn't heard of the book, but it didn't take me long to find the plot intriguing. The slapstick comedy was ridiculous in places, but it was refreshing to watch a film that didn't follow the typical guidelines of movies in his genre. Louise Bourgoin (Adele Blanc-Sec) played her role extremely well, and some of the characters, like the resurrected mummies, were great but the plot was all over the place, even though the director tried his utmost to stay true to the original story. There wasn't much depth to the characters, and no one seemed that shocked that there was a flying dinosaur, and walking and talking mummies roaming France, but I think that was deliberate because of the type of weird tone that was set from the beginning. The CGI is pretty poor, and the Indiana Jones/Sherlock Holmes investigating throughout the film was totally unrealistic, so it's not the type of film that you're supposed to take seriously. If you watch it with an open mind, you will find it fun and quite deep in places, in terms of Adele trying to save her sister, but I know that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. In all, it's worth a watch, especially if you understand the French language, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Luc Besson, who also brought you The Last Battle in 1983, Isabelle Adjani: Pull marine, Subway, The Big Blue, Nikita, Atlantis, Leon, The Fifth Element, Joan of Arc, Angel-A, Arthur and the Invisibles 1, 2 and 3, The Lady, The Family, Lucy, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Anna in 2019. He hit a hot streak during the '90s with Nikita and Leon, mainly for there unique action scenes and clever writing, but his films have gone downhill since then. He's still rated as a director, even after the awful big-budget Valerian, because he always brings some unique to the projects that he commits to. This movie might have made more money at the box office if they pumped money into the advertising campaign, but it wouldn't have increased Luc Besson's credibility.

Budget: 31.5million EUR Worldwide Gross: $35million

Genre: Action, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery Cast: Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche, Jean-Paul Rouve, Jacky Nercessian, Philippe Nahon, Nicolas Giraud, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre and Serge Bagdassarian. 5/10

Spies in Disguise
(2019)

Has the potential to make a decent franchise! 5/10
Review: This movie could have been in the same league as the Incredibles, but it seemed to go downhill as soon as Lance Sterling (Will Smith) became a pigeon. As the other pigeons didn't talk, which I think they should have because they stole the limelight, we had to put up with Walter's (Tom Holland) over-excited squeaky voice for most of the time, which became tedious after a while. There was also not much depth to the other characters, especially the main villain Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) who seemed to pop in and out of the film, and the ending was a big letdown. On the plus side, it's non-stop action from the beginning to the end, and there are a couple of amusing moments that were cleverly written, but the makers didn't take full advantage of having Will Smith in the lead. I did enjoy the funky soundtrack, supplied by Mark Ronson, and the animation, which looked very much like the Incredibles, was impressive but it didn't reach it's expectations. It's still a watchable film, which has the potential to make a decent franchise but it needs some younger, and more hip writers to push it out of the safe zone. Watchable!

Round-Up: This is the first major release for directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, who must have thought they won the lottery when they managed to get such a good cast, along with Mark Ronson in the sound department, for there movie debut. It seems like all of the animators are following the movie playbook when it comes to films in the genre because nothing has blown people's mind for a good couple of years. With huge budgets and the amount of time it takes to make animation movies, you would think that the studios would try and come up with something original. With that aside, this is still a watchable film, which is fun for the whole family, but it won't go down as an all-time classic.

Budget: $100million Worldwide Gross: $172million

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi Cast: Will Smith, Tom Holland, Ben Mendelsohn, Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled, Rachel Brosnahan, Reba McEntire, Mark Ronson, Masi Oka and Carla Jimenez. 5/10

Onward
(2020)

Watchable, but only worth a one-watch! 5/10
Review: This is another mediocre movie from Pixar, which had some amusing moments, but it lacked originality. The subject matter seemed to follow a familiar structure, compared to other Pixar movies, so the outcome wasn't that surprising. With that aside, I did enjoy the bonding element between Ian and Barley Lightfoot, and the attention to detail was brilliant, but it's not in the same league as other popular Pixar films. The Avatar looking characters could have easily been normal humans, and the whole Harry Potter wizardry must have confused the younger audience. It seems like Pixar need to come up with new writers and directors because their latest movies lack the grit and wit that we have grown to love in their earlier projects. They have gone down that typical Disney root, by producing safe movies, targeted for a certain age group. They still have the ability to touch our hearts, in terms of the Lightfoot's wanting to speak to there father, which is why I found it quite emotional in places. In all, this movie isn't the worst I have seen from Pixar, but I can't see myself watching it twice. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Dan Scanlon, who also brought you Monsters University, which was a big let down. According to the director, who lost his father at a very young age, this film is inspired by the question he's always asked, "who was my father?", which means that it came from the heart. This is the first film that has been released after John Lasseter's departure as CEO of Disney's Animation and judging by the amount it lost at the box office, it's not a good start. I'm sure they will smash the box office once everything goes back to normal, but the anticipation of a Pixar release is slowly withering away.

Budget: $175-$200million Worldwide Gross: $111million

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Cast: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Kyle Bornheimer, Lena Waithe, Tracey Ullman and John Ratzenberger. 5/10

Frozen II
(2019)

Not that Great!
Review: After not typing a movie review since March, when the whole Coronavirus began, I've decided to start watching the movies that I have bought. For some unknown reason, I haven't been interested in films during the pandemic, which is weird because this is the best time to watch them, but with my backlog growing, I think it's time to return to reviewing the hits and flops of 2020. As I wasn't a big fan of the first Frozen movie, especially the annoying song, I wasn't over-excited about watching this film. Personally, I found the singing annoying, and the songs extremely corny, but as the movie is aimed at a younger audience, I'm sure they enjoyed it. I did like some of the new characters, and the animation is the usual high Disney standard, but I still ended up sleeping through some of the movie. The writers did try to add adult themes, like the 5 elements and the family back story, but it wasn't enough to make the movie interesting. Like the first film, Olaf did make me chuckle in places, and some of the magical scenes were impressive but I cringed every time the characters burst into song. By the end of the film, it seemed like I just wasted 2 hours of my life because there weren't any memorable moments that stuck out in my mind. Anyway, after waiting nearly 4 months to review a movie, I must admit, it wasn't a great start. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Chris Buck, who also brought you Frozen, Surf's Up and the 1999 version of Tarzan. After the success of the first movie, it was good to see the original director return for the sequel, but he made a complete shambles of it. Personally, I think the profit is based on the success of the first film, and after reading many reviews, I can see that a lot of people were also disappointed. With that aside, Disney is laughing all the way to the bank, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3rd instalment.

Budget: $150million Worldwide Gross: $1.45billion

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Ciaran Hinds and Alan Tudyk. 3/10

Trolls World Tour
(2020)

The first movie was much better! 4/10
Review: As I felt slightly entertained after watching the first movie, I thought that I would give this movie a chance, even though I didn't hear a good word about it. Like many sequels, it turned out to be a pointless film, with an average soundtrack, but it works in the "family day out" department. The vibrant colours and singing/dancing trolls will keep the kids quiet for an hour and a half, but from an adults point of view, it's pretty weak from every aspect. There are hidden messages, in terms of making the world a better place, even though we're all different, but apart from that, it's a one watch in my eyes. They had an opportunity to make something special because it's a movie about all different genres of music, so they could have introduced some unique and funny characters, for all ages, but it all seemed a bit too safe. On the plus side, the animation wasn't too bad, and there are enough elements to carry you through the film, but like many films I have seen this year, I was expecting more, especially from Timberlake. At the end of the day, it's what it says on the tin, but don't expect any outstanding moments that will blow your mind. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Walt Dohrn, who also co-directed the original Trolls movie. He also directed 12 episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants and Shrek's Yule Log, so this is basically his first time in the director's chair for a major release. Although it made a profit, it was released at a difficult time because of the pandemic, so the studio must be happy that they made their money back. With that aside, the mixed messages throughout the movie confused the critics, but they praised the concept because of the state of the world at the time of release. It did seem like the director followed the Thanos concept, in terms of the gathering of six strings to make the world a better place, so it lacked originality, but it's harmless fun for the whole family.

Budget: $6million Worldwide Gross: $9.5million

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical Cast: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Bon Funches, Kelly Clarkson, Anderson .Paak, Sam Rockwell, Mary J. Bilge, Kenan Thompson, Kunai Nayyer, Jamie Dornan, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Ozzy Osbourne. 4/10

Frozen II
(2019)

Not that Great!
Review: After not typing a movie review since March, when the whole Coronavirus began, I've decided to start watching the movies that I have bought. For some unknown reason, I haven't been interested in films during the pandemic, which is weird because this is the best time to watch them, but with my backlog growing, I think it's time to return to reviewing the hits and flops of 2020. As I wasn't a big fan of the first Frozen movie, especially the annoying song, I wasn't over-excited about watching this film. Personally, I found the singing annoying, and the songs extremely corny, but as the movie is aimed at a younger audience, I'm sure they enjoyed it. I did like some of the new characters, and the animation is the usual high Disney standard, but I still ended up sleeping through some of the movie. The writers did try to add adult themes, like the 5 elements and the family back story, but it wasn't enough to make the movie interesting. Like the first film, Olaf did make me chuckle in places, and some of the magical scenes were impressive but I cringed every time the characters burst into song. By the end of the film, it seemed like I just wasted 2 hours of my life because there weren't any memorable moments that stuck out in my mind. Anyway, after waiting nearly 4 months to review a movie, I must admit, it wasn't a great start. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Chris Buck, who also brought you Frozen, Surf's Up and the 1999 version of Tarzan. After the success of the first movie, it was good to see the original director return for the sequel, but he made a complete shambles of it. Personally, I think the profit is based on the success of the first film, and after reading many reviews, I can see that a lot of people were also disappointed. With that aside, Disney is laughing all the way to the bank, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3rd instalment.

Budget: $150million Worldwide Gross: $1.45billion

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Ciaran Hinds and Alan Tudyk. 3/10

Ford v Ferrari
(2019)

Does exactly what it says on the tin. 5/10
Review: As I'm not a massive racing car fan, I wasn't over-excited about this movie, but the cast was impressive and the story was intriguing. The director portrayed the 60's period well, and the cars were amazing, but the whole racing car theme became a bit tedious after a while. All of the technical jargon went straight over my head, but the attention to detail, in terms of the cars and the tracks, was on point. The acting from Christian Bale (Ken Miles) and Matt Damon (Carroll Shelby) seemed average in my eyes, mainly because I didn't know the real-life characters that they were portraying, so I didn't know how accurate it was. With that aside, the chemistry between the characters was great, and there were some scenes, which didn't have anything to do with racing, which was enjoyable, but the main core of the movie seemed a bit too safe to me. There weren't any standout moments that stood out, and I wasn't left feeling that I wanted to find out more about the characters. I know that the' race is an important part of American history that will always be remembered, but I personally lost interest once Carroll and Ken joined forces. I did feel the intensity during the races, which made me stick with the two and a half hour movie, and I did find the ending quite shocking, but it's not the type of movie that I will be watching again. That's not to say that it's a bad film because it does exactly what it says on the tin, but it's just not my cup of tea. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by James Mangold, who also brought you Heavy in 1995, Copland, Girl Interrupted, Kate & Leopold, Identity, Walk The Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight & Day, The Wolverine and Logan. He's due to direct 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea: Captain Nemo and the new Indiana Jones project, but with the Coronavirus in our midst, no one really knows what's going to happen to the upcoming projects that are in pre-production. Judging by his filmography, he has made some impressive movies to date, and with this movie going down well with critics worldwide, the only way is up for this established director. The only reason why I wasn't that impressed with this film was because of the subject matter, but it's well made and the box office takings prove that it was enjoyed by many.

Budget: $97.6million Worldwide Gross: $225.5million

Genre: Action, Biography, Drama, Sport Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Tracy Letts, Remo Girone, Ray McKinnon, JJ Feild and Jack McMullen. 5/10

Doctor Sleep
(2019)

Brilliant movie, but the ending was a big let down! 7/10
Review: When I heard that they were making a sequel to the Shining, I knew that it wouldn't be in the same class as Kubrick's classic, especially when I found out that Jack Nicholson wasn't involved in the project. The only saving grace was that it was based on the novel by Stephen King, so I thought that I should give it a chance. I opted to see the directors cut, which was 3 hours long, so I knew that I might be falling asleep at some point. Right from the beginning, I found the plot intriguing, and the different storylines were written to perfection. The 3 main characters, Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor), Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) was excellent, and I loved the way that their individual storylines intertwine, even though they came from completely different backgrounds. The intensity throughout the film was also brilliant, matched together with a great soundtrack that made the thrilling moments pretty scary. The only problem that I had with the film was the ending. As soon as the hotel came into play, the whole film went downhill, which was a shame because I couldn't wait for Dan & Abra to face Rose. Like the Joker, they could have easily made this a standalone movie, with nothing to do with the Shining, which would have made this a 10/10 in my eyes. Getting Henry Thomas (Elliott in E.T.) to play Jack Nicholson was a bad idea, but they did make the hotel look the same as the original, which did send chills down my spine. Although the Shining was an all-time classic, Stephen King wasn't happy with some of Kubrick's adaptations from the novel, like the ending being set in snow, which is why he worked closely with the director to get this movie right. There are a lot of questionable moments that happened in the hotel, which really let the movie down, but if you put the hotel out of your mind, the rest of the film is amazing. Personally, I think they promoted the film wrong, by calling it a sequel to the Shining because a majority of the film has nothing to do with it. Don't get me wrong, the concept is all based on the original, but you could easily watch all of the scenes before they reach the hotel, without seeing it. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly written thriller/horror, but the ending could do with a rewrite. Enjoyable!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Mike Flanagan, who also brought you Makebelieve in 2000, Still Life, Ghosts of Hamilton Street, Absentia, Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Gerald's Game. It has been reported that the underperformance of this film was due to the fact that the younger audience wasn't bothered about the Kubrick classic, and the elder audience didn't have high hopes for the film. Most of the people that saw the Shining, didn't leave the film thinking about what happened to the little boy on the bike. He was one of the film's least engaging characters, ranking somewhere between the ghostly twins and the withered hag in the bathtub. Another problem was the length of the movie, but if you watch the director's cut, it really doesn't seem that long while you're watching it. As the Shining was written while Stephen King was an alcoholic, he chose to portray his real-life feelings through Dan's character, of how he redeemed himself and became a better person. Anyway, I hope that more people will give this movie a chance, later on down the line because it's definitely worth a watch, even if you haven't seen the Shining.

Budget: $45million Worldwide Gross: $72million

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller Cast: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Cliff Curtis, Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Selena Anduze, Robert Longstreet, Carel Struycken, Catherine Parker, James Flanagan, Met Clark, Zackary Momoh, Jocelin Donahue, Carl Lumbly, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood and Sallye Hooks. 7/10

Midway
(2019)

Pretty basic, with no depth to the characters. 4/10
Review: With all of the Hollywood buzz around 1917, I was surprised that this movie seemed to come and go out of people's minds so quickly after it's release, and now that I have seen the film, I can understand why. After the first 30mins, I totally got fed up with the movie because it turned out to be your typical American heroic film, about guts and glory, which we have seen time and time again. There really wasn't anything original about the film, and the character-building was awful. It's basically a part of American history, which happened after the terrible Pearl Harbour fiasco during World War II. From an entertainment point of view, it does become slightly repetitive, and corny in parts, and the script wasn't that great. Visually, it isn't that bad, and the epic battle scenes sound great, if you have a heavy sound system, but I struggled to keep my eyes open after a while. The performances were mediocre from the whole cast, mainly because it switches between various characters from scene to scene, so it certainly lacked depth. As this is based on a true story, and the characters are actually based on real people, I was intrigued about how the intelligence agency and battle scenes would pan out, but it just turned out to fit every other American war-movie template. On the plus side, I have to commend the director for the attention to detail, and the scale of the whole project, and it was good to feel the intensity from both sides. At the end of the day, it's just worth a one-watch, and I can't see myself going back to it at a later date. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Roland Emmerich, who also brought you, Joey, in 1985, Hollywood Monster, Moon 44, Universal Soldier, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC, 2012, Anonymous, White House Down, Stonewall and Independence Day: Resurgence, which was awful. Although I wasn't a fan of the film, Emmerich struggled to get funding for the project, so he had to raise the $100million budget himself, which makes it one of the most expensive independent films of all time. That proves how passionate he was about the project, and he was happy that it made a profit, even though it wasn't any way near the profits that the major players in Hollywood make. It also explains why it didn't have a massive distribution budget, and why it wasn't released in many theatres. With that in mind, it's a great achievement by the director, and he was lucky to get a decent cast on board.

Budget: $100million Worldwide Gross: $126million

Genre: Action, Drama, History, War Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Luke Kleintank, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Keenan Johnson, Nick Jonas, Etsushi Tokokawa, Jake Weber, Darren Criss and Jake Manley. 4/10

Terminator: Dark Fate
(2019)

Worth a one-watch! 6/10
Review: I must admit, I was expecting this movie to be awful, but it actually turned out to be OK. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't any way near as good as Terminator 2, but it's much better than the rest of the films in this franchise. The sketchy script, and mediocre acting from the slightly annoying Dani Ramos (Natalie Reeves), did let the movie down, but it was good to see Arnie and Linda Hamilton back on the big screen together again, even though Arnie was playing a much tamer Terminator with a conscious. I was impressed with Grace (Mackenzie Davis), who carried the film right from the beginning, and the visual effects were great in parts, but it's a very average film that is only worth a one-watch. In this day and age, we are really spoilt for choice, and it takes something amazing to stand out from the rest of the movies in this genre, which is why there is nothing special about this film. The concept was, more or less, the same as Terminator 2 but it didn't have the originality, or shock factor, that made that the best film in this franchise. For such a big budget, and some epic action scenes, it didn't make much noise on its release, and now that I've seen the film, I can understand why. Although Linda Hamilton and Arnie haven't aged gracefully, the script lacked the magic that James Cameron brought in the original, but there is a sense of intensity that makes you stick with the plot. As the epic scenes towards the end are all set in the dark, and underwater, you don't get to see the attention to detail, and I personally couldn't work out what the hell was going on. The scene's in the plane were cleverly choreographed, and the switching from human to the robot was clean and smooth, but it's nothing that we haven't seen before. At the end of the day, it's a decent film with some epic action scenes, but I personally think that the franchise should have ended after the second film. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Tim Miller, who brought you Deadpool in 2016. He was also the creative supervisor for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in 2010, which is one of my favourite movies, but with such a small portfolio, I would have given this project to someone who had more experience. Although I wasn't impressed with the script, it was written by James Cameron, along with 8 other writers, but I personally think that he produces his best work when he has full control of a project. There was supposed to be a Terminator: Genisys trilogy, but after it's disappointing box office return, they decided to bin the project. This film is supposed to be the sequel to Terminator 2, which is why it seems so similar. They do plan to make this film into a trilogy, with James Cameron working with the director, but no information has been released yet.

Budget: $185million Worldwide Gross: $261million

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta, Tristan Ulloa, Tom Hopper, Alicia Borrachero, Enrique Arce, Manuel Pacific and Fraser James. 6/10

Joker
(2019)

Fantastic performance from Joaquin! 8/10
Review: This is definitely a character study, more than your average superhero movie, which has superb acting throughout, and an emotional storyline which touched me in many ways. The dark tone is set right from the beginning, were we follow Arthur Fleck, a failed stand-up comedian whose descent into insanity and nihilism inspires a violent counter-cultural revolution against the wealthy in a decaying Gotham City. It did take me some time to get into the film because I didn't realise that the analysation of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) would go so deep, and the many knocks that he took throughout the film, along with his twisted family history, made it an extremely emotional ride. With his psychological problems, and society disregarding him, I couldn't help feeling sorry for Arthur, even though he committed several murders. It did make me think, "What would I do in his situation", and with no one to turn to, it's not a surprise that he turned out the way he did. You usually see concepts like this in documentaries, where they analyse the mind behind murderers, so that's why this movie is totally unique, and one of the best films of 2019. Joaquin Phoenix deserved every award that he received because his acting was out of this world. Most of his scenes were improvised, which meant that the director spent ages editing the final cut, so there are many different versions of the film on the cutting room floor. You definitely have to be in the right frame of mind to watch it because it can take you down avenues that you have never been before. When it had finished, it took me some time to get out of the dark mode, which is very rare, so I knew that the director produced something special. Personally, I think that it should have been released before Christopher Nolan's Batman because it would have fit perfectly together. It could have easily had nothing to do with DC, which I would have preferred in some ways because it touches on many elements that have nothing to do with the superhero universe. Anyway, I think it's a great achievement by everyone involved, and even though it wasn't intended on being a DC blockbuster, it's the second highest-grossing DC film to date, with Aquaman just ahead. That just proves that you don't need to have a massive budget, and a CGI extravaganza, to make a successful comic book movie. Brilliant!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Todd Phillips, who also brought you Frat House in 1998, Bittersweet Motel, Road Trip, Old School, Starsky & Hutch, School for Scoundrels, The Hangover franchise, Due Date and War Dogs. He's due to direct a Hulk Hogan biopic, which is in production, with Chris Hemsworth playing Terry Bollea, but the rest of the cast hasn't been named yet. As for this film, they plastered Robert De Niro's name all of the poster alongside Joaquin Phoenix, but I thought he was irrelevant to the plot. He did play a part in Arthur's complete conversion to the dark side, but I was expecting him to play a major roll in Arthur's life. I must admit, halfway through the film I called all of my friends because I thought that the Joker was Bruce Wayne's brother, which would have been a humongous twist in the franchise, but after watching more of the film, I realised that was a bluff. I'm amazed that it is the first R rated movie to make $1billion dollars, and that the director got his influence for the film from Alan Moore's comic "The Killing Joke", which tells the Joker's origin and descent into insanity, and the Martin Scorsese films Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and the King of Comedy. Sadly, Todd Phillips said he wants comic book movie fans to know that there is no chance of Joaquin Phoenix's villain and Robert Pattinson's Batman ever crossing over on the big screen, so this might be the last movie for this version of the Joker. I just hope that the upcoming DC movies take a leaf out of Joker's book!

Budget: $55million Worldwide Gross: $1.07billion (WOW!)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill and Josh Pais. 8/10

Zombieland: Double Tap
(2019)

Mindless zombie killing fun! 4/10
Review: As I'm not a big fan of zombie movies, and I don't think that Jesse Eisenberg has any screen charisma whatsoever, my expectations for this film wasn't that high. The only reason why I decided to give the movie a chance, was because I enjoy watching Woody Harrelson's movies, and the first film wasn't that bad. This film does take some time to get going, and the comedy element wasn't that great, mainly because Bill Murray wasn't in the majority of the film. All of the actors put in an average performance, especially Jesse Eisenberg who wouldn't stop whining through the whole film, but the bonus material at the end with Murray was brilliant. I'm glad that the director chose to make it more of a road movie, than a "humans killing zombies" film, and the relationships between Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) gave it a dramatic tone, but the script was more ridiculous than funny. Rosario Dawson (Nevada) was a good addition to the cast, and I liked the scenes with the Columbus and Tallahassee's clones, but a majority of the film was weak and silly. There is some zombie bashing towards the end of the film, which is not for the squeamish, but it's mindless fun if you're not expecting any special. Personally, the Bill Murray scenes during the end-credits were better than the whole movie, and I loved it when he said, "I ain't afraid of no ghost", and I was surprised to see the Columbia sign bashing zombies at the beginning, but the main core of the movie was just worth a one-watch. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also brought you Gumball 3000: 6 Days in May in 2005, Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less, Gangster Squad and Venom. He's due to direct the highly anticipated Uncharted movie, with Tom Holland stepping in as a young Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg taking on the role of Sully, Drake's old, crusty pal and sudo mentor. Chris Pratt was offered Nathan Drake, which would have been a better chose in my eyes, but he declined the role. As for this movie, although it didn't smash the box office, I personally don't think that the director was that surprised because it was made for a niche audience who demanded a sequel.

Budget: $42million Worldwide Gross: $123million

Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror Cast: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Rosario Dawson, Bill Murray, Luke Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Victoria Hall, Victor Rivera and Ian Gregg. 4/10

Gemini Man
(2019)

Great FX but the storyline is poor! 5/10
Review: When I saw the certification for this movie, I was a bit sceptical about the outcome, and it's not very often that a Will Smith movie, just about makes a profit at the box office. Now that I've seen the film, I understand why I haven't heard a good word about it because it seems like the director concentrated on the visual effects more than the storyline. There are a couple of decent action scenes, like the bike chase and the dramatic ending, but the movie jumps in right at the deep end, so you don't get any type of character building. I was impressed with the look of the younger Will Smith, Junior, and the clever camera work, when they were both on-screen together, was unique but the predictable storyline and extremely average acting, let the movie down. The fact that Will Smith (Harry Brogan) cared more about Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Junior than his long time friend, who put his life on the line for him, Baron (Benedict Wong), made the film unrealistic, and I couldn't understand why Clay Varris (Clive Owen) didn't kill him when he was in jail. There are a lot of sketchy moments in the plot that made it feel an average watch, but there is a sense of intensity which makes you stick with the film to the end. Once you know the outcome, I doubt that you will give it a second watch, and I personally couldn't remember any golden moments that stick out in my mind. In all, it's an average movie with some clever FX, but it has to go down as one of the weakest films starring Will Smith. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by Ang Lee, who also brought you Pushing Hands in 1991, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, Brokeback Mountain, Lust, Caution, Taking Woodstock, Life of Pi and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. He won the Best Achievement in Directing Oscar for Life of Pi, which was a visual extravaganza, and he's had quite a versatile career to date, so I doubt that this film will damage his reputation. I do think that the failure at the box office will hurt Will Smith, but with Bad Boys 4 in production, along with Bright 2, King Richard and the Council, he'll have to put this down as a bad day at the office.

Budget: $138million Worldwide Gross: $173million (Terrible!)

Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge, Ralph Brown, Linda Emond, llia Volok, E.J. Bonilla, Victor Hugo, David Shae and Theodora Miranne. 5/10

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