Tag Archives: rating: 4 stars

Fast Five Review: Blade Runner 2049

bladerunnerblogbannerfinalBlade Runner 2049
Science Fiction | 2017 | Reviewed by Michelle | Released January 24, 2018

Thirty years after the events of the first Blade Runner film, K is a new Blade Runner; a replicant tasked with tracking down and eliminating older model replicants. When he makes a shocking discovery that could cause widespread chaos between humans and replicants, K is determined to find out the truth – not only about replicants, but about his own life as well.

1) Did you like the film?

Yes, but with reservations. I’m a huge sci-fi buff, and obviously, a fan of the first movie. But the thing with Blade Runner is that it’s 35 years old, and feels awkwardly dated to rewatch. And while the new Blade Runner film is utterly lovely to look at, it’s still bogged down with the same problems as Ridley Scott’s film – issues that a film released in 2017 really should have tried harder to avoid.

2) Why?

Let’s start with the positive stuff first. Blade Runner 2049 is dazzling in so many ways. The world-building at work here is on an epic scale. The opening shots, combined with the nostalgia-heavy score is enough to make a fan of the first film weak at the knees. The word “iconic” is used for pretty much everything these days, but there are so many scenes in Blade Runner 2049 to which the word comes to mind easily. Overall, this is a fascinating, atmospheric film that’s almost-as-good-as-the-original good. Well, almost.

bladerunnerThe problems? What’s with the way this film treats women? No spoilers, but the number of female characters who wind up dead in Blade Runner 2049 is staggering. Women are revered in Blade Runner 2019 – they’re angels, miracles, supersized goddesses. But at the same time, they’re disposed of with an alarming, brutal efficiency.

And then, there’s that nearly three hour runtime. Spare a thought for those of us who saw this at the cinema. At least on DVD, there’s always the pause button…

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You’re a big, big fan of the first movie.

4) This film made me think about…

How can a film be so brilliant and so flawed at the same time? Like I said, this is a great film, but it’s 2017 – why can’t films about the future be…I don’t know, a little more futuristic in their outlook towards race and gender?

5) Overall rating?

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Adult Life Skills

adultlifeskillsbannerAdult Life Skills
Comedy | 2016
Reviewed by Michelle

Whether she’s ready or not, Anna is about to turn thirty. She lives in her mum’s garden shed, works at a depressing adventure camp for kids and spends her free time making videos of her thumbs with faces drawn on them, providing the voices as they bicker about life, the universe and everything in a rocket ship hurtling through space. As her life spirals out of control, Anna’s mum issues her an ultimatum: she needs to get her act together and move out before her thirtieth birthday. Or else.

1) Did you like this film?

I most certainly did! I had no idea what to expect from Adult Life Skills and was pleasantly surprised. This British indie film completely won me over.

2) Why?

This is a delightfully warped film about grief that’s genuinely funny, and sad, and weird, and thought-provoking – and all at the same time. Jodie Whittaker is captivating in the lead role (it took me ages to work out why her name seemed vaguely familiar…) and the film’s soundtrack is just perfect. Sure, there are a few narrative loose threads, but as a whole, Adult Life Skills is a little film with a giant-sized heart.

vlcsnap-2017-03-05-13h27m39s034

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

You don’t mind comedy that makes you laugh one moment and cry the next.

4) This film made me think about…

Last week, I reviewed (and loved!) a feminist film written and directed by a guy, and I had a bit of a rant about how we need more female film critics. But I think I got it wrong. It’s not that we need more female critics – there are heaps of them already out there, working away. What we do need is to place a greater value on the work of female critics, female producers, female writers…and female creators in general. Like Rachel Tunnard, the writer and director behind Adult Life Skills. I’m already looking forward to whatever she does next.

5) Overall rating?

Two thumbs up from me, as well as four stars.

Adult-Life-Skills-pic-2-600x330

4-stars

Fast Five Review: American Gods

americangodsbanner

American Gods

Drama | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Jennifer

Shadow Moon embarks on a road trip across America with enigmatic conman Mr Wednesday. On their journey, Shadow discovers that Mr Wednesday is one of the old gods, who warns of a war brewing between the forgotten gods of myth and the new American gods of money, technology and media. As Shadow finds himself embroiled in this world of gods among men, he has a choice to make. Should he follow Mr Wednesday into battle and find out more about his own mysterious past or attempt to reconcile with his recently deceased wife, who has now returned from the grave?

1) Did you like it?

Yes. I loved the Neil Gaiman book it’s based on, and have been looking forward to the TV adaptation for a while. I think it was worth the wait, though I’m only about halfway through the series as I write this.

2) Why?

The original book of American Gods is a series of intricately woven, atmospheric, intertwined tales, with a grounding in history, religion and mythology, all held together by the main narrative. Book adaptations are always a bit of coin toss, and this one presents many challenges. But to my eyes, the TV series retains the nuances of the book – due in part, I’m sure, to the fact that Gaiman was involved in the screenwriting process. The characters look exactly the way I imagined, and the whole show is beautiful, visually.

americangodsimage2

While the decision to create an R-rated show made with online streaming in mind may seem like a cynical attempt by Amazon to compete with Game of Thrones and the swarm of Netflix Originals, I think it was ultimately the right choice. Unlike a lot of screen adaptations (especially of graphic novels), American Gods retains the raw impact of the original story. The sex and violence is in context, and without it some of the characters just wouldn’t make sense.

3) You’ll enjoy this TV series if…

You like the urban fantasy genre – shows like Stranger Things, Grimm, The Dresden Files, etc. If you were a Buffy fan in your youth and are willing to take that extra step further into the darkness, this will probably take your fancy.

4) This TV series made me think about… 

The fairly new phenomenon of the R-rated TV series, with cinematic sensibilities. I’m glad I have a projector to watch this one on!

5) Stars out of five?

4-stars

Fast Five Review: The Lego Batman Movie

LegoBatmanBannerThe Lego Batman Movie
Animated | 2017

From the team who brought you The Lego Movie comes a new film starring everyone’s favourite sarcastic superhero: Lego Batman. The Joker has hatched a maniacal plan to flood the streets of Gotham City with all the meanest, baddest villains of all time…and it just might work! If Batman is going to save the day this time, he’s going to need to get used to something he’s not going to like: teamwork.

1) Did you like it?

As someone who really loved The Lego Movie, this film had me a little worried. You know what they say about sequels, right? They’re never as good as the original film? And the thing is, The Lego Batman Movie isn’t quite as good as its predecessor, but it definitely comes very close. And, as far as I’m concerned, a film that’s almost as good as an excellent film is still pretty amazing!

2) Why?

Just like the first Lego Movie, this film is ridiculously fun. It’s got great characters, hilarious jokes, non-stop action and a cute story. You could say everything about this film is…well, awesome! I won’t ramble on – just watch it!

3) You’ll enjoy this movie if…

The Lego Batman Movie is packed with genuine, laugh-a-minute humour that’s perfectly suited to adults and kids alike. It’s got something for everyone.

4) This movie made me think about…

I have to be honest, this movie was so much fun, I didn’t do that much in the way of thinking – I just sat back and enjoyed the film. Which is exactly what I wanted!

5) Overall rating:

4-stars

Fast Five Review: Sing (2016)

singfastfive

Sing
2016 | G | Animated

In a city full of animals, Buster Moon, an optimistic koala, hosts a singing competition in a last-ditch attempt to save his beloved, but crumbling old theatre. From hundreds of auditions, five finalists are selected – a gorilla trying to break free from his dad’s life as a crime lord, an overworked mother of 25 piglets, a punk-rock porcupine, a mouse with giant ego and a shy, young elephant with a severe case of stage fright. Who will win – and how will they react when they find out Buster doesn’t actually have the prize money he promised?

Continue reading