Showing posts from December, 2018

Bumblebee (2018) - Review

Somewhere between 'Aquaman', 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse', 'Mary Poppins Returns' and...the rest, I feel like 'Bumblebee' has been pushed to the side out of all of this year's Christmas releases. The film is *gradually* making money, but I think the lack of interest stems from the quality of the previous films; I think once people realise that 'Bumblebee' is a genuinely great film, it will actually find greater success. The new posters I've seen for it have emphasised its positive reviews, but here I am to tell you that yes, 'Bumblebee' is really, really good and you should go and see it - especially if you have kids.
The story opens with a prologue on Cybertron, introducing us to the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. With flowing camerawork, slightly clunky 80's-style designs and bright, vivid colours, this sequence alone stands out from Michael Bay's five (how on earth are there five?) films. Bumbleb…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) - Review

I'm struggling to work out how to start this review of 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse', because not only is it the best Spider-Man film in 14 years, but it's also one of the best films I've seen this year. No, seriously. This is an incredible piece of cinema that I highly recommend watching if you have any interest in it whatsoever, and I am really hoping that there's a big IMAX 3D screening somewhere near me soon - 'Into the Spider-Verse' deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Whilst I enjoyed 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' last year, I felt that the screenplay could've been tightened and that six films later, Jon Watts has produced the least visually interesting Spider-Man film of the lot. Funny how 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' improves on every problem I had with that film. This is a gorgeous film to look at, with absolutely incredible animation that is directed with a sense of energy, artistic flair but also ve…

Aquaman (2018) - Review

It's hard to imagine that James Wan's 'Aquaman' would've arrived as fully-formed and utterly bonkers as it is prior to Marvel Studios' world takeover. Prior to the juggernaut successes of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Warner Bros Pictures would have more than likely favoured a down-to-earth, serious version of the story - why else did they cast Jason Momoa for Zack Snyder's ultra-serious 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'? Thankfully, Momoa has some comedy chops, and James Wan went ahead and made the first Aquaman film a hell of a ride.

'Aquaman' is a very busy film at the end of the day, trying to remain a standalone entry whilst also following on from last year's 'Justice League' in a "we don't know if 'Justice League' was successful yet so we'll mention it and then carry on like normal" sort of way. In part because the character was left so underdeveloped in his team-up movie though…

Doctor Who: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos (2018) - Review

Here we are then. Ten weeks later and Doctor Who's eleventh / thirty-seventh series has reached an end in 'The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos'...and everyone seems a bit disappointed with it.

To be fair, this episode isn't really the sort of series finale we've been used to from Doctor Who in recent years. We expect a whole army of Daleks, or Daleks vs Cybermen, or the Master, or Davros and the Daleks, or the Daleks teaming up with the Doctor's other foes, or the Master/Missy teaming up with the Cybermen, or the Master, Missy and the Cybermen, or...hang on, this is feeling a bit repetitive somehow. It makes sense for Chris Chibnall to re-work the finale into a conclusion for its characters. Ryan and Graham confront Tim Shaw (who teleported away in Episode 1), and grow closer because of it. Graham's determination to kill Tim Shaw is very much the crux of the episode, but his decision not to felt like a key development in his shared arc with Ryan, whom he has f…

Doctor Who: It Takes You Away (2018) - Review

I feel like I need to re-watch 'It Takes You Away', mainly because the episode went in a direction that caught me completely off-guard. Most, if not all of my expectations were subverted, so much so that I'm not entirely sure if these twists really worked in the episode's favour.

So, 'It Takes You Away' starts off with Team TARDIS trying to help a little girl whose father has gone missing and is surrounded by some kind of sinister creature. It turns out that a mirror in the house is a gateway to an Anti-Zone, which is a pathway to a mirror universe. Ryan discovers that there is no sinister creature around the house, and that the girl's father has been keeping her trapped, while the Doctor, Yaz and Graham journey through the Anti-Zone, meeting a sinister guide Ribbons and encountering deadly flesh-eating moths. Arriving in the mirror universe, the Doctor and everyone else realise that inside, their loved ones have been resurrected. The girl's father Eri…

Marvel's Daredevil: Season 3 - Review

As I finished the third season of Marvel's Daredevil this weekend, it was admittedly with a tinge of sadness, knowing that this would be the last season of the show, and that Episode 13 would serve forever more as the show's series finale, not just a season finale. Despite the criticisms hurled at Marvel and Netflix's co-productions, I feel that they managed to create something really special as a whole. It was an experiment that people invested in, but now seems to be without an ending. If rumours are to be believed, after next year's Jessica Jones: Season 3, the Marvel/Netflix-verse will be no more.

But if we're being honest here, Daredevil was always the best of these shows - despite its rocky second season. The characters were likable, complex and well-defined with clear roles in the stories; the villains were (mostly) brilliant; the production values excellent; and the fight sequences incredible. We had a strong hero, a strong villain, and a strong conflict t…