The Last Witch Hunter
As I write this review I’m actually waiting for the clock to tick by a bit faster in order to see this movie again. So yes-It’s re-watchable. What comes to mind is a phrase I definitely plan to use again- “9pm movie slot fodder”. It’s meant in the most affectionate way too. It’s not an Inception mind bender nor is it a drab Fantastic Four affair or even a run of the mill action for action sake Hitman: Agent 47 type movie. It has just about enough good acting to elevate it from being condemned to the relegation zone of ‘relatively watchable’ action movies.
Michael Caine, Elijah Wood, and Rosie lend their star power with Vin Diesel taking centre stage with the rare opportunity to exhibit more range. The trailers don’t give away the story which is great- I’m so tired of that happening. What’s even more refreshing is the amount of quality acting that happens in the downtime of this movie. The cliché conversation filler/banter that we’re all accustomed to is not done here, rather it’s used as an opportunity to explore range which helps Vin Diesel. Perhaps I give the movie too much praise but it is great to watch a movie better than its trailers. The best part of all of this? It left me genuinely intrigued and invested and craving to see this world and its characters return for another outing in a well-made sequel.
At a time where many movies force upon us sequels no one asked for it’s nice to watch a film that does enough to at least deserve another go at the box office. Vin Diesel plays an immortal witch hunter, skilled at his craft he has gotten better with age let’s hope Vin Diesel’s second outing follows the same trend.
Star rating: 4.5/5
Why watch it?: Watch a simple story set in an interesting world as Vin Diesel and crew play interesting characters and help this movie earn its sequel stripes.
I’ve watched many movies that declare themselves to be prequels and yet do more to damage the mythology set up in previous films. Terminator Genysis was accused of such. Other Prequels have been accused of being disjointed and not as good as their big brother originals-take The Hobbit series for example. A rare exception? Maybe James Bond’s Casino Royale (If we can call that a prequel). Whatever you may believe, one thing is definite, prequels rarely have it easy-Prometheus anyone?
Pan goes out of its way to do something different without mutilating or disrespecting its source material. In fact, it goes in the opposite direction and expands and embellishes eloquently without slapping you over the head with its story just because it’s got a big budget- investment comes organically and payoff is worth the wait. It’s well paced and greatly cast. It’s both beautiful and imaginative in equal measure. It’s not perfect but it’s very darned close.
Star rating: 4/5
Why watch it?: To witness a believable beginning of a legend we all know and love.
A petition has been making the rounds on change.org. A call to support our voting system after our debacle of an election. I don’t think this movie could have come out at a more opportune time for the cause. Carey Mulligan, who is front and centre in this feature film actually supported the cause which is great and gave the movie some press. Watching this movie a single thought kept running through my mind-this film is the most relevant film of the year.
A character in the film states “you were promised nothing and you got nothing,” This is a sentiment that modern day electorates are rejecting, riding the political disturbance of Labour’s resurgence due to Jeremy Corbyn’s new brand of truthful transparent and fair politics. Politics apart momentarily, the movie’s direction, cinematography and sense of time is flawless. The cast give a spotless performance and as with most great films of this nature, the soundtrack is in sync with the film’s progression.
This film really is the most relevant movie of the year but doesn’t coast on its great timing alone, it’s a thumping success due to the sum of its parts that help accentuate its important and timeless message.
Star rating: 5/5 PLUS KUDOS to the cast and crew
Why watch it?: Because everyone should watch the best film of the year.
Becoming great is one thing. Remaining great is an altogether different task. The James Bond franchise has saw itself reinvigorated with new life with the new iteration of Bond-Casino Royale. Mission Impossible and Bourne have proven themselves to be competition in the spy/thriller/action genre and Bond after Quantum of Solace (which I still blame the writer’s strike for) took a great big misstep. However, the bond series really rose head and shoulders above the competition and shook off the weight of its predecessors in Skyfall a rounded film that had it all.
So the natural question to ask having been on this journey and arrived at Spectre is-is it better than Skyfall? This film is a finale, cleverly weaving together elements and threads from previous Craig bond outings into a believable plot. Sam Mendes goes above and beyond shooting impeccable scenes; every shot is beautiful-the incredible attention to detail is enrapturing to behold. The casting director needs a pat on the back for selecting people who fit into the elegant frames.
The script is not as silly as some of the older bonds but Craig’s bond finally gets to explore some humour and it’s greatly appreciated-the audience laughed out loud many times, it didn’t feel out of place at all. There are the obvious Bond tropes that happen, in fact one might tick them off as they are happening but it’s all crafted in a way that feels as organic as possible rather than forced for the sake of sticking to a well-worn recipe.
Bond’s character is explored, his relevance in the modern age questioned, his character and motivations laid bare, progressively rather than per outing. Craig’s bond has been exploring all these themes often being compared to modern means of spy craft and their competencies. This outing in Spectre more than any other addresses these themes and attempts to answer the question. As with anything, it’s open to interpretation but I’d wager the themes were tied up neatly in this outing to call it a day if they don’t come up with anything better in the near future.
If Skyfall was hard to beat Spectre, whether you thought it wasn’t as great as Skyfall, will be just as hard to follow. Then again that’s part of the fun and the challenge of making Bond better. Bond was great in this movie, his character being fleshed out so much more, the perilous scenarios he is placed in riveting and tense. If the rumours are to be believed then this is Daniel Craig’s last Bond movie but I do sincerely hope he returns for at least one more-he’s been great.
Star rating: 5/5 KUDOS to the Cast and Crew
Why watch it?: The train scene brawl alone is worth the price of admission.