Tag Archives: genre: action

Fast Five Review: Wonder Woman

wonderwomanbanner2017

Wonder Woman
Action | 2017
Reviewed by Michelle

Diana is the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. She grows up on a peaceful island of female warriors; a paradise hidden away from the rest of the world. With the arrival of an American pilot – the first man she’s ever seen – with the news of a terrible war, Diana decides she must act, and leaves her home for the first time, determined to bring peace to the world. Along the way, she discovers the truth about her identity, teams up with a group of unlikely heroes – and falls in love for the first time.

1) Did you like the film?

Confession: I usually avoid comic book movies. But after watching Wonder Woman, I decided to check out a few online reviews, and the general consensus is that, as far as comic book films go, this is one of the best around. However, as a viewer with not much to compare this film with, that seems like a really low bar. I liked this film, but I’d have loved it if its storytelling choices were anywhere near as bold and brave as its main character.

2) Why?

The best thing about this movie is Gal Gadot as Diana. In fact, she’s so compelling that she makes pretty much all the other characters in the film seem incidental. Yes, even Chris Pine (who co-stars as the spy who crashes on Diana’s island and later accompanies her on her quest to end the war) looks like a goofy caricature next to her sheer energy and charm.

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Another thing I liked about Wonder Woman? There’s also a plot twist that is the film’s smartest, most interesting moment. But I’m not going to say a thing about that – you’ll need to watch the film yourself to find out more. Sorry, not sorry…

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re a fan of fast-paced action. The action sequences in Wonder Woman are many and frequent – and with the odd exception, not overly violent, which makes a nice change (yes you, Logan). They’re also very video-gamey, frequently slowing down to fully capture Diana’s gravity-defying flips and leaps. Personally, it’s a technique that drove me around the twist after the film’s first ten minutes, but if that’s your thing, you’re going to be in heaven watching this film.

4) This film made me think about…

Wonder Woman is the first blockbuster superhero film starring a woman since 2005. It’s also the first female-directed live action film to have a budget in excess of $100 million. While this particular movie mightn’t have been to my taste, it smashed records around the world. So can we all agree to make more female-led, female-directed and generally female-forward films? And not just action movies. Comedies, thrillers, animated films…anything goes. More women in film can only be a good thing.

5) Overall rating?

3.5-stars

Fast Five Review: Ghost in the Shell

ghostintheshellbannerGhost in the Shell
Science Fiction, Action | 2017

Major Mira Killian is the first of her kind: a perfect, cybernetically enhanced soldier, designed to hunt down the world’s most dangerous criminals. When a new terrorist threat arises, Major is the perfect choice to stop it – but as she prepares to face her enemy, she uncovers secrets from her past that leave her reeling.

1) Did you like it?

Well look, it’s complicated. I came to this film with not much in the way of previous knowledge of Ghost in the Shell. This live action film is a reimagining of the classic 1995 anime version, considered a classic of the genre, which is in turn based on an earlier manga version.

What I do know about Ghost in the Shell is that casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role – a character who was originally Japanese – was never going to be a good idea. And, without giving anything away, the film’s attempts to correct this misstep only make the problem so, soooo much worse.

Let’s just say right from the start that this is a movie with some pretty irredeemable flaws. There are brief glimpses of brilliance, but they’re few and far between.

2) Why?

One good thing about this film? It’s visually stunning. The opening sequence depicting the rebirth of Major Mira Killian – that’s Johansson’s character, by the way – will take your breath away. The world in which this film is set is one of holographic advertising, vying for space with towering skyscrapers and ordinary people trying to make a living. It’s all very pretty. And pretty familiar.

ghostintheshellagainThere’s more to world-building than just throwing in a tonne of CGI. Compare this movie to The Fifth Element or Blade Runner, for instance – they’re also films set in sprawling metropolises, but they actually made you feel what it was like to be a part of that world. That’s the thing with this film – there’s not much in the way of atmosphere. Oddly, for a movie about ghosts and shells; souls and machines, Ghost in the Shell often feels as hollow as a chocolate bunny. Ironic, huh?

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

Fans of The Matrix are going to love this film. Consider this The Matrix re-Reloaded.  Action lovers will also get a kick out of Ghost in the Shell. Its action scenes are slick – and frequent.

4) This movie made me think about…

When’s the new Blade Runner film coming out again? Is it soon?? I hope they don’t mess it up. Will there ever be a Neuromancer film? Also, how amazing is Scarlett Johansson’s hair?

ghostintheshell3 ghostintheshell25) Overall rating?

Five stars for Scarlett Johansson’s hair…two for the film.

2-stars

 

Fast Five Review: Logan

loganLogan
Action | 2017

Logan, aka Wolverine, has seen better days. He’s old, tired and fed up, working as a limo driver to help look after Charles Xavier, who has an incredibly powerful mind that’s slowly being destroyed by a degenerative illness. There have been no new mutants born in the past 25 years, making Logan and Charles among the last of their kind. That’s until Logan encounters a powerful new mutant – a young girl with remarkable powers…and dark forces already on her tail.

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Fast Five Review: The Great Wall (2016)

mattdamonthegreatwallThe Great Wall
2016 | M | Action

The Great Wall of China: it took 1700 years to build, and it’s 5500 miles long. What were the ancient Chinese trying to keep out? Probably Matt Damon. Unperturbed, he stars in this clunky but colourful film about trust, courage – and skewering lots of monsters. Yeah.

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Fast Five Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

rogueone

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2016 | M | Science Fiction, Action

 We all know about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, and how they defeated Darth Vader and brought down the Empire. But – an even longer time ago, in a galaxy further away – there was another band of heroes just as daring, whose actions helped save the galaxy. This is their story…

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