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Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045

I wanted to call a helpline to make it stop
Anyone seen "Barbie life in the dreamhouse" (although my iPhone 'corrects' this to "Barbecue life in the steakhouse")?

If you have, you know it's very funny and the animation suits that whole Barbie environment. The animation is very well thought out.

It's a satire. It knows that and delivers it very well.

Now what has that got to do with "Ghost in the shell SAC 2045"?

Everything and nothing.

The animation and dialogue in 2045 is so bad, it makes Barbie look like a work of art (which it already is).

If you are expecting the Manga and the films that subsequently followed then you DO NOT want to watch this. Nothing of that old 80s idea or animation or plot or dialogue or story is in 2045. Nothing.

All this is doing is exploiting the name.

I asked my 13 year old to watch 2 minutes of this and she said, "Lego".

Is that what Ghost in the shell anime become? Lego!

I wouldn't even mind if all this was some extreme revisionist update of the anime but it isn't.

It looks cheap, it feels cheap and it is cheap.

With lingering shots angled around female anatomy (and yeah the originals had problems with that too), dispensing of people with mental health issues, all "the good guys" looking like they have their own tik took account and awful production....I honestly cannot find one good thing about this.

I started this review by awarding it 2 stars. But having just vented my frustration, I'm revising it to 1.

It's bad. Go watch Barbecue in the steakhouse (!) or the Lego movie.

In fact, in you want to see how it should be done, look up "Love, death and Robots" on Netflix. Each episode is differently animated but everyone is 1000 times better than this weird interpretation of Ghost in the shell.

Alita: Battle Angel

Pretty Ordinary
As in it looks pretty but is just plain ordinary.

This film had so much potential. A lot of green screen, CGI and VFX were thrown at this. But the ultimate outcome is, "yeah and?".

This is a top notch star cast who, by the end, look like amateur dramatists. James Cameron producer. He's also The co-writer. His writing partner has a good pedigree too (minus Terminator: Genysis) and Roberto Rodriguez directing.

Starts off well with the world building but by the third act, the characters do some really uncharacteristic things and whole thing just gets into an methodical look at how make sure all loose ends are neatly tied up. It's just too clean and sterile, from a story telling perspective, and doesn't make sense.

I honestly couldn't care less about any of these people because the whole thing is forced. The "falling in love" is forced, the villain(s) are caricatures by the end, fight scenes are forced....there is nothing new or interesting in this from a story point of view.

...and by the end, you realise the biggest ruse of all...this film is set up for a sequel (at the least) it's not like it's a full story.

The whole talk was about the leading character being a "virtual" actor. Which is fine by me and that choice to use a cgi character Is good considering that this film allows for that leniency. She's Alita. She's a battle angel....of which why she's a battle angel isn't really fully discussed. But then some other characters are CGI'd and others have human actor faces....why? I don't understand why do that. The CGI faces do look like CGI and yeah sure they are very good but still they look like CGI faces.

Ultimately, it's pretty ordinary story dolled up to show off cutting edge CGI and that is also, in the rapidly moving day and age, pretty ordinary too.

Watch it if you're on your own on a evening, with a beer, where you just want to see pretty pictures and switch off your brain. It's perfect for that.


Want an action film? Here you go.
Look, I like to think I know my cinema.

I like good films.

I like honest films.

And this is a good, honest film.

It doesn't pretend to be anything it is not.

I loved 1917, and because of some of the the visuals - namely the one shot sequences, Extraction is being compared.

The more apt comparison would be something like The Raid meets a better scripted version of Proof of life.

It's an action film but doesn't condescend the viewer. It's intelligent enough to have some good humour interspersed between the mayhem (and boy there are sequences in this that are jaw dropping).

It really is a well written and directed film.

Chris Hemsworth does a great job.

It ends well and if you had paid for it, to watch it at the cinema, you would leave thinking, ah that was money well spent.

But the commodity, nowadays is time.

And I, along with my wife, thought it was cinematic experience worthy of our time.

It's a good solid film. A good Saturday evening watch.

Star Trek: Picard

Starts boldly and goes somewhere everyone's been before
There are some interesting characters in this. Picard (to begin with), the captain is fun along with the EMH and there are some nice cameos.

It starts of very promisingly, shares some great potential but unfortunately all that potential is completely tossed aside for schmaltzy cameos, dull villains and a very pedestrian ending. Why is the official uniforms of "baddies", black?

It happens with a number of other TV series. They always have great ideas and just descend into filler episodes and by the end just struggle to keep the main plot in focus.....which by that time is so convoluted and contrived, that the whole thing becomes a chore to finish. But finish you do because this is Star Trek and this is Picard and Data is mentioned and the Borg are referenced and all goodies that ultimately serve to nothing really.

The big bad that threatens, at the end, oh come's stupid.

The budget is big, the execution is lacking.

Ah well. Opportunity lost.

If you want to see how to take a universe and add to it with originality, new perspective and love, then watch The Mandalorian and see how it's done.

I love Voyager. I love Star Trek. But the potential here is sadly wasted in favour of a plot that winds itself to a place we have been a 1000 times before.

Don't start and you won't miss much. Not bad but not good either.

21 Bridges

Depends on when you decide to watch it
First off, you will be in for a crushing disappointment if you are expecting an exploratory look into the 21 bridges round Manhattan.

In fact, Not a a single bridge was harmed in the making of this film.

This is a derivative story done many many times before. There is nothing new here.

The only reason you would give this film a look in because of the cast (really good level of acting is involved here). Quite impressed with how many good actors they managed to get in this.

H. brothers produce some proper rubbish films (Mile 22, happy time murders etc) and that sort of nonsense rears it's head here at points. Realism takes a back seat in parts of this film.

21 bridges blocked, a race against the end neither matter. It does not matter that there is no way out or if time is of the essence. It's all a bit perfunctory.

Nevertheless, like films like the The Negotiator or 18 Blocks, it's one of those films where you don't mind switching off your brain.

It's no French connection or Serpico.

Overall, in time, history will completely forget this effort.

Just a footnote in the list of "people are after you" films.

It's a Sunday morning, sofa breakfast type of film.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

A beautiful film reminiscent of Classics
Chewitel Ejifor is a remarkable actor.

Without doubt, currently, one of the best British actor working today.

To watch this film and then to find out that not only did direct this but also wrote it. respect for this man has gone up several levels.

A family film that isn't shmaltzy, not full of of Holywood cliches is a hard thing to produce.

It was very reminiscent of classics such as "Jean De Florette" and "Hope and Glory".

The triumphalism of the human spirit, the Explorations of human and family is a remarkable film.

It is a Sunday morning film that I feel should be watched by many more people.

In this world of pandemic lockdowns, the film shows how we cannot abandon each other, how as a group, a collective, believing in science....we all can benefit.

For Netflix, this is another excellent addition.

As I said, it's a morning film.

Happy Death Day 2U

Sucks the joy out of watching films
I enjoyed the first one.

Groundhog Day meets scream.

It was fun, silly but you know you went with it even though the final reveal as to the villain's motives was a bit wooly.

This starts off interestingly. The POV is changed for the events but somewhere along the line the filmmakers decide to go back to the original idea and then completely destroy any semblance of sense.

From around 20 minutes in it starts to nosedive.

When it finally crashes down, and you know you've crashed, when the finale contains such action pieces as a sofa being moved, stealing a set of keys and a woman pretending to be French (in the most stereotyped way possible) oh and blind (in the most stereotyped way possible) just want the torture to end.

The revelation of the villain.....I mean why not hand anyone the knife and say yep that person is the killer. Makes not sense. Utter stupidity.

And when you think the films finished, crashed and burned they have that credit scene where the whole ****ing point of the original is just disposed of and they ready up for no. 3.

When you've finished number 1, you felt happy.

Whereas going through a number 2 is literally that.

A pile of....

Save your time.....Repetitively's more fun and makes more sense.

In fact watch Scream 1 and 2 and see how to do it properly. In fact scream 3 is good too.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Makes Transformers look intelligent
Smash, smash, cliche, boom, smash, meh.

Sorry for spoiling the plot.

If Godzilla is the dumb, Kong colon skull island is the dumber then this is the dumberer.

It's not even fun smash smash, boom, cliche. It's just rubbish.

Save your pandemic time and watch one of the transformers you didn't watch.

The Art of Self-Defense

Just watch fight club and thank me later
Comedy, crime, drama, mystery, sport, thriller.

According to IMDB that's the genres this film falls into.

Unfortunately, there is no category for pointless....or even more precisely weirdly pointless.

I don't understand the kooky allure of Jesse Eisenberg. It may well have worked well in Aaron Sorkin's "The social network".....but he's carried that on.....and well it's.....just Jesse Eisenberg being kooky.

This film is very odd. I presume what they wanted to explore with this was toxic masculinity. They failed.

The comedy is oddball and primarily derived by people talking in a way that no human talks to another unless they are all suffering from the same condition....which is unnecessarily saying things they are thinking in a monotone way. It isn't funny.

It has no elements of the crime genre. There is no major dramatic tension anywhere to be found. The sport of karate is hardly explored.

It definitely isn't thrilling and the only mystery is pretty much obvious from about the middle of the film.

If it was written as an exploration of masculinity...simply put there is no better film than fight club for that is a comedy, thriller....and so on....and I would argue contains more sport than this load of....

About 2/3rds of the way through this film I felt like walking out....but since it was my home and my tv....I just carried on watching and felt like making sure no one else makes the mistake of wasting their time.

Watch fight club. Just watch fight club. Avoid this. It's weird and pointless.

Spenser Confidential

Switch your brain off and let it wash over you
I've never heard of Spenser. I'm from the UK.

Magnum PI, lethal weapon and Batman....sure heard of them but Spenser...nope.

In this day and age of instant availability and the ridiculous amount of choice, one gets overwhelmed with what to watch next.

So, I think of it like this. Certain films are for certain times.

Spenser confidential is decent fun, albeit at little TV movie by the end, but still enjoyable enough to let it play in the background if you're cooking or eating your breakfast. It's sweary but other than that mild in comparison to other offerings out there.

It isn't Oscar worthy but as a filler between things, and simply to lift your mood a little, say, worth a go.

Instantly forgettable but fun while it lasted.

Mortal Engines

I'm being kind with a 4/10
I haven't read the book(s).

I liked that Peter Jackson was linked to this film.

I liked the original premise - Cities on wheels etc

...And the outcome....a completely unoriginal piece of film making. Yeah, it looks good (but this stuff was done 15 years ago). The screenplay is like a template.

I felt nothing for any single character.

There is plenty of nonsense here both from the actions of characters and the seriously generic dialogue. It's all a bit.....pffft.

Honestly, rewatch the original lord of the rings and leave this well alone.

You've seen this film a thousand times and you don't really want to watch it again.

Seriously, don't bother.

The History of Time Travel

Interesting take on the old time travel genre
At 1 hour 11 minutes and really close to 1 hour 5 minutes (excluding credits), to give it that documentary feel, this is something that you can watch when you get a moment.

It is a different and interesting take on time travel.

It kept me thinking throughout and question certain things.

It's all that I'll say about this.

If you don't mind the nature of documentaries, are prepared to go with it and enjoy films that make you think, this is for you.

It's not fast paced but nevertheless engaging enough.

It does have a feel of something that was filmed for a detective interview puzzle type video game from about 10 years ago.

Watch it if you like time travel films.

Hotel Artemis

This isn't UPGRADE. It's a so so filler though.
Someone (I apologise to that person for not recalling their name), in an earlier review, mentioned that this is like UPGRADE.

It isn't. It is set in the near future but that's about it really in terms of comparison.

(UPGRADE is an very good film btw)

What Hotel Artemis is a B movie with some recognisable faces.

It promises something interesting with an expectation of a Big Bang pay off by the end but, unfortunately , it whimpers to a conclusion.

It's the kind of film you'ld dip in and out of. You wouldn't miss much if you were on a smartphone for a minute or two.

The inclusion of big names is failed by a slow, shrug of a shoulder ending. Some of the plotting is weak too. Characters would not react the way they do to certain events that happen (events which to them are life changing). As an example, there is no real sense of loss, rage or grieving shown by the characters to certain things that they find out or happens to them.

You wouldn't care if it was fast paced but it isn't.

You'ld watch it for the recognisable faces but ultimately it would be more worth your time to watch a more enjoyable recent futuristic B movie outing such as....well....UPGRADE..which is nothing like this btw :-)


What a good film this is.
Blumhouse, the production company behind films like Get Out, The Purge, Happy Death Day and Black kkklansman, is getting to be synonymous with entertaining, thought provoking films. Their films are generally moulded around the horror genre but with scripts that aren't cliched.

Upgrade is another addition to their wonderful cannon of work. I'm not sure why Upgrade was not a bigger hit than some of it's predecessors but it still doesn't take away from what is a very, enjoyable film.

The premise is simple, almost something taken from the 80s and revamped. An upgrade allows a man to do extraordinary things that his normal self cannot do. I'll leave it at that and let you watch the film.

The plot is interesting with a great ending. I really liked the way the script guided you through the film and by the end left you with something interesting to ponder upon.

The action is good and it keeps a good pace right to the end.

if you liked Blumhouse's other features, you will enjoy this. Honestly, give it a try. You will not be disappointed.


Really just a TV movie so wait till it comes on TV
I watched it with my 12 and 14 year old and paid a princely sum to watch it at the cinema.

There is something very wrong with DC.

It's really gone downhill since Suicide Squad.

Poor CGI, 80s plotting, 1 dimensional bad guys, no real sense of danger and terrible dialogue.

The thing is DC do have some interesting ideas to work with. A disparate bunch of anti heroes group together (Suicide Squad), a female superhero who completely takes the reins (Wonder Woman) and now a kid who becomes a superhero. The ideas are really interesting, it's in the execution of the ideas that it all fails.

All the recent scripts are the same really. All end up with this OTT (and yawn inducing) Big Boss fight off.

Shazam is fun in parts. The first act is really over drawn but things improve significantly once Shazam enters the frame. And that middle act is fun. Full of jokes and humour but then we get to the third act and it reverts to type.

That last act is cringe worthy (something my children told me). No real sense of peril or danger and the CGI doesn't help.

Honestly, not sure why people are posting 10s for this. It ain't The Godfather or Toy story. It's just another run of the mill 80s type plot with mediocre to poor CGI with some decent jokes.

Save your cinema ticket for something better and catch this on Tv whenever it comes out. You will thank me.

You could argue that it's just silly fun. Yes, if the film were just the middle act but unfortunately you have to sit through the final third for zero pay off.

For the time being, don't bother.

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