In this episode of The Popcorn Conspiracy Dave Griffiths and Kyle McGrath take a look at the brand new horror flick Fantasy Island.
Summary: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th February 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 6th February 2020
Australian DVD Release Date: Out Now
Country: United States, United Kingdom
Director: Cathy Yan
Screenwriter: Christina Hodson
Cast: Charlene Amoia (Maria Bertinelli), K.K. Barrett (Dr.Aguilar), Ella Jay Basco (Cassandra Cain), Guiesppe Bucaro (Carlos Rossi), David Anthony Buglione (Joe Bertinelli), Robert Cattrini (Stefano Galante), Francois Chhau (Mr. Keo), Dan Cole (Officer Timm), Dana Lee (Doc), Michael Masini (Officer Drago), Miyuki Matsunaga (Mrs. Keo), Lenora May (Mrs. Marcucci), Ewan McGregor (Roman Sionis), Chris Messina (Victor Zsasz), Ella Mika (Young Helena), Anna Mikami (Miss Keo), Ego Mikitas (Don), Anthony Molinari (Mafiosi), Sara Montez (Kathrine), Bojana Novakovic (Erika), Bruno Oliiver (Sal), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Greica Santo (Crystal), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Dinah Lance/Black Canary), Steven Williams (Captain Patrick Erickson), Matthew Willig (Happy), Derek Wilson (Tim Evans), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Helena Bertienlli/The Huntress), Ali Wong (Ellen Yee)
Running Time: 109 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia) 18 (Thailand)
Dave Griffiths Review:
Creating a spin-off to the much maligned Suicide Squad film of 2016 was always thwart with danger. Yes the Director’s Cut was ten times better than the theatrical release but sadly after the bad experience of the original not many people wanted to part with hard earned cash to take a chance on the re-working.
Now that Suicide Squad curse seems to be tarnishing Birds Of Prey before it is even released. The film hadn’t even opened before some people were proudly boasting that they were going to give it a big miss. But are the negative comments geared towards the film warranted? I would have to say after sitting down to watch the film – they are not.
Aside from the fact the film features the intelligent but clearly psychopathic Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie – Wolf Of Wall Street) comparing Birds Of Prey to Suicide Squad is like comparing chalk and cheese. Where Suicide Squad revealed a cheesy side Birds Of Prey takes the lead from its DC counterpart Joker and delivers a more hard-edged film complete with adult language and violence that is certainly not suitable for children.
Here we find a Harley Quinn who has settled into her new state of madness. Her world is rocked though when she and Joker go through a bad break-up. Now alone Quinn finds herself unprotected and suddenly even criminal low-life in Gotham wants her dead – led by the vicious and cruel Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor – Trainspotting). Also attracting the attention of an arrow-for-hire hit-woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead – 10 Cloverfield Lane) and the down-beaten Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez – Fearless) Quinn soon finds herself needing the protection of the deadly Dinah Lance (Jurnee Smollett-Bell – Underground).
For the most part the film does hold up and is an entertaining action film enhanced by the acting talents of the Oscar nominated Margot Robbie. The film is at its best though when it embraces its hard-edge. Scenes such as the one where Sionis is torturing a family for information is what sets DC apart from Marvel, likewise the early fight scenes involving Quinn and Lance which capture the same violence of John Wick have the audience on the edge of their seat.
Add to the that the suspense of never knowing whether Quinn will keep helping young pick-pocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco – Veep) while she is danger or eventually turn her over to claim the bounty, and the genuine comedic moments produced by Quinn’s madness and you are on the way to a pretty decent film.
Despite the moments of true enjoyment throughout the film Birds Of Prey does find a way to trip itself up. Like Suicide Squad there are moments when the film dips into that cheesiness that just doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. You could probably over look it more if it didn’t occur during one of the key fight scenes – what should be one of the most memorable scenes of the entire film becomes laughable as the stars battle it out in an overly choreographed fight sequence that almost feels like it needs the cheesy ‘POW’ and ‘BIFF’ text of the 1960s Batman series to appear after each punch or kick.
It is a shame that scene exists because it seems to stay with you after you leave the cinema and spoils what otherwise would have been a film that may have sparked a lot more interest in what DC plan on doing with these characters down the line. The fact that DC haven’t learnt that it is that kind of cheesiness and the sudden introduction of an influx of characters (as happens here with Huntress) is hard to fathom… especially in the same week they saw Joker score Oscar glory.
To sum up Birds Of Prey is a more than serviceable film. The performances of Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor do allow the film to occasionally have an edge to it. The events of the film also did make you curious enough to wonder where the storylines involving the actual Birds Of Prey team that form during the film may lead to the future, but the film also dangerously lets itself down with one badly played scene that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It is obvious what DC needs to do – they need to take stock of people liked about this film and take that on board for all future endeavours or else they are destined to keep making the same mistakes over and over.
Kyle McGrath’s Review
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Birds Of Prey Reviews: N/A
Poised to thrill audiences around the nation, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has today unveiled the full line-up for its eagerly anticipated 31st season at www.affrenchfilmfestival.org
Spreading its cinematic stardust across 8 cities and 4 satellite locations, the Festival, which is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas, will commence its national tour from 10 March until 19 April and is set to thrill audiences with a stupendous selection of 49 contemporary and classic French films, many enjoying their Australian premiere.
We’re also delighted to announce that dynamic filmmaker, Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth, True History of the Kelly Gang), who has long taken inspiration from French cinema, will be the 2020 Festival Patron.
Additionally, acclaimed director/actor, Zabou Breitman, whose lyrical, animated drama, The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul), has won plaudits from critics and audiences alike on the international film festival circuit, will be visiting Melbourne to introduce a screening of this, her latest feature, which she directed with Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. This special Festival event is slated for the evening of Tuesday 17 March at Palace Cinema Como, and will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A.
On a more sombre note, this year has already experienced horrific bushfires ravaging our land and robbing so many of their lives and homes. The Alliance Française, and venue partners thereby invite you to join us in helping those impacted by this tragedy by supporting special previews of How to Be a Good Wife and In the Name of the Land (both screening courtesy of Palace Films) to be held in all capital cities on 9th and 10th of March. 100% of tickets sales for these sessions will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health.
And in celebration of mankind’s great capacity for kindness and compassion – which often comes to the fore in times of crisis – the Festival will launch the 2020 season with The Extraordinary (Hors normes), one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, which will screen courtesy of Madman Entertainment.
The latest feature from renowned filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (who delighted with The Intouchables and C’est la vie!), The Extraordinary is inspired by a true story and was honoured as the Closing Night Feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. For twenty years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organizations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.
The result of two years’ immersion in the lives of the two associations, The Extraordinary is a crowd-pleasing charmer, which will have viewers experiencing a gamut of emotions as they fall in love with a host of extraordinary characters in exceptional circumstances. It’s a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.
And concluding the 2020 season, on a deliciously whimsical note, will be The Bare Necessity (Perdrix), the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, starring Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury. Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, this sweetheart of a movie, which delighted hardened cynics when it premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2019, looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.
With so many highlights bursting from this year’s programme, it’s impossible to list every film, but read on for some of the delights to be savoured:
Director: Daniel Cohen
Cast: François Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Bérénice Bejo
In this delicious tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.
AZNAVOUR BY CHARLES (Le regard de Charles)
A Film by Charles Aznavour, Directed by Marc di Domenico
Narrator: Romain Duris
Crooner, Charles Aznavour, beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance. But his life beyond music was even more extraordinary. An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.
DEERSKIN (Le daim)
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy
With his life in disarray, Georges might not be able to control his circumstances but he can control his wardrobe. Believing that the deerskin jacket of his dreams is the answer to all of his problems, Georges’ delusions gradually increase each time he wears it, edging his obsession closer to a violent delirium.
Director: Alexis Michalik
Cast: Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon
Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success. When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac. Can he accomplish the impossible?
Director: André Téchiné
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Kacey Mottet Klein
Muriel, a respected member of her idyllic local community, is horrified to discover that her visiting grandson, who claims to be heading to Canada for work, has in reality been radicalised by Islamist extremists. His plans to fight for ISIS in Syria expose this ordinary woman to a moral dilemma of heart-breaking proportions.
HOUSE OF CARDIN
Directors: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes
Synonymous with glamour, refinement and sophistication, this documentary provides a rare glimpse into the world of a 20th century icon. Allowing unprecedented access to his personal archives, we follow Cardin from his birth in the Italian countryside circa 1922, to his move to France where he made his name in fashion.
HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La bonne épouse)
Director: Martin Provost
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Yolande Moreau, Noémie Lvovsky, Edouard Baer
In 1968 amidst the lush regions of Alsace, the head of a housekeeping school that transforms teenage girls into ideal housewives, has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin.
IN THE NAME OF THE LAND (Au nom de la terre)
Director: Edouard Bergeon
Cast: Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon
Returning to France in the late 70s, Pierre marries his sweetheart and takes over his father’s farm. But twenty years onwards, Pierre is exhausted. With mounting debt, what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on his family who risk being torn apart by the property that binds them, in this powerful tale of resilience.
LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
Director: Nicolas Bedos
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller
Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.
THE LOST PRINCE (Le prince oublié)
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Omar Sy, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens
Djibi, a devoted single father, transforms into a heroic Prince in the nightly fairy-tales he tells his beloved 7 year-old daughter, Sofia. But as the years pass, Sofia is ready for her own stories with different heroes. But is the Prince ready to become just a memory of his daughter’s childhood?
LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT (Mon inconnue)
Director: Hugo Gélin
Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe
After waking in a parallel universe, Raphaël finds his wife, Olivia, is nowhere to be seen and his professional achievements have vanished. Without Olivia, his life is empty, but winning her back proves harder than he could have imagined – especially when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is!
Director: Yvan Attal
Cast: Yvan Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eric Ruf
Henri, a writer in the depths of a mid-life crisis who hasn’t released a successful book in 25 years, strikes-up an unconventional friendship with a stray, bad-mannered dog who inspires him and his dysfunctional family to re-examine their lives and attitudes towards each other.
THE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICK (Le mystère Henri Pick)
Director: Rémi Bezançon
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz
The late Henry Pick, in life an unassuming Breton pizza marker, is celebrated as a brilliant author when a lost manuscript, attributed to him, becomes a literary success. But one outspoken intellectual thinks the whole thing is a sham, and, after losing his wife, his job and his prominence due to his opinion, decides to uncover the truth.
ONLY THE ANIMALS (Seules les bêtes)
Director: Dominik Moll
Cast: Denis Ménochet, Laure Calamy, Damien Bonnard
Set in an isolated town in the lush, wintery mountains of southern France, the film opens with the departure of Evelyne, a local woman whose disappearance during a snowstorm soon reveals itself as murder. This act of violence gradually unveils the hidden agendas of several locals, setting the unexpected into motion.
Director: Alice Winocour
Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant- Lemesle, Matt Dillon
As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she’s invited upon a year-long space mission – Proxima – forcing her to choose between her work and her child.
ROOM 212 (Chambre 212)
Director: Christophe Honoré
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste
After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a “magical night”, and it’s not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.
Director: Justine Triet
Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel
Dissatisfied with her life, Sibyl, a psychiatrist, decides to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Casting professional ethics aside, she secretly uses the private sessions of her actress patient, Margot, as inspiration for her novel, a decision that irreversibly impacts upon both their lives.
SPREAD YOUR WNGS (Donne-moi des ailes)
Director: Nicolas Vanier
Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez
Christian, a visionary scientist, studies wild birds. For his son, a teenager obsessed with video games, the idea of spending a vacation with his father in the middle of nature is a nightmare. However, father and son soon bond over a daring project to save an endangered species, which takes them on an incredible journey.
THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)
Directors: Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec
Voice: Simon Abkarian, Zita Hanrot, Swann Arlaud
Based on the cherished novel of the same name, this critically acclaimed, animated drama follows two couples living in the Afghan capital during the 90s and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat.
THE TRANSLATORS (Les traducteurs)
Director: Régis Roinsard
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio
Nine language experts, hired to translate the final book of a bestselling trilogy, are in lockdown within a luxurious bunker. But when the top-secret manuscript’s first ten pages appear online, their dream job implodes. The culprit has to amongst them and the publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask who it is.
TWO OF US (Deux)
Director: Filippo Meneghetti
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker
In this emotionally compelling tale, pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is tested when circumstances trigger a series of events, preventing them from moving freely between each other’s apartments.
Director: Cathy Verney
Cast: Romain Duris, Céline Sallette, Florence Thomassin, Julie Fournier
When Vernon Subutex, an unemployed former owner of a once legendary record shop, is evicted from his flat, he’s helped by old friend rock star Alex Bleach. But Bleach’s sudden death makes Vernon a deadly target when it’s discovered that he’s in possession of 3 mysterious videotapes owned by Bleach.
WE’LL END UP TOGETHER (Nous finirons ensemble)
Director: Guillaume Canet
Cast: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte
About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house. So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away. But this cannot be – something has to be done! The sequel to 2010’s star-studded comedy, LITTLE WHITE LIES.
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David, Ninon François
Haiti, 1962…A man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. Modern-day Paris…Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’. But the incendiary family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her heritage with shocking results.
National dates and venues for the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:
10 March – 8 April
Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
11 March – 8 April
Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre
11 March – 8 April
Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,
Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema
12 March – 8 April
Palace Electric Cinema
17 March -14 April
Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinema
18 March -14 April
Palace Barracks & Palace James Street
19 – 28 March
19 March – 1 April
Avoca Beach Picture Theatre
26 – 29 March
Riverside Theatres Parramatta
31 March – 12 April
Palace Byron Bay
17 – 19 April
17 -19 April
Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s Mulan, in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.
Mulan features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin, suggested by the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.” The producers are Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and Jason Reed, with Bill Kong, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Coddington and Mario Iscovich serving as executive producers.
Mulan will be released in Australian cinemas on March 26, 2020.
The trailer was launched in Miami, Florida at THE ROAD TO F9 event, which featured a once-in-a-lifetime concert hosted by Tyrese Gibson, alongside Maria Menounos, with performances by global superstars Ludacris, Cardi B, Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth and Ozuna, and special appearances by series godfather Vin Diesel, F9 director Justin Lin, plus franchise stars Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and Nathalie Emmanuel—as well as newcomer to the Fast & Furious family, John Cena.
Summary: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Screenwriter: Brad Copeland, Lloyd Taylor
Cast: Rachel Brosnahan (Wendy (voice), Jarrett Bruno (Young Walter/Pigeon Voice (voice)), Min-Hyuck Jang (Joon (voice)), DJ Khaled (Ears (voice)), Karen Gillan (Eyes (voice)), Tom Holland (Walter (voice)), Carla Jimenez (Geraldine (voice)), Rashida Jones (Macy (voice)), Peter S. Kim (Joon (voice)), Reba McEntire (Joyless (voice)), Ben Mendelsohn (Killian (voice)), Masi Oka (Kimura (voice)), Will Smith (Lance (voice)), Youn So (Soo-Min (voice)), Randy Trager (Terrance/Pigeon Voice (voice)),
Running Time: 102 mins
Classification: PG (Australia) G (Thailand)
Dave Griffiths Review:
A film where a super-hero turns into a pigeon shouldn’t work, no even the notion of such a film would probably have you laughing and wondering whether or not the film deserves to be placed in the same pile as the ridiculous Sharknado. But let the laughter subside because somehow Spies In Disguise not only works but is pure entertainment from start to finish.
The fact that the film works is probably good news for Will Smith (Men In Black) who certainly needs a winner after the absolute shocker that was Gemini Man. In this animation Smith voices Lance Sterling, the greatest spy the world has ever seen. However Sterling’s career is placed in jeopardy when he comes up against arch-villain Killian (Ben Mendolsohn – Ready Player One) who frames Sterling and makes it look like he is using a killer drone to do his own dirty work.
Sterling vows to clear his name when he is confronted by an eager young agent named Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones – The Social Network) who is hellbent on arresting him. However when Sterling is escaping he is forced to take the nerdy and socially inept inventor Walter (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Far From Home) with him after he accidentally drinks a liquid that turns him into a pigeon. Now with the lives of many in danger it is up to the Sterling pigeon and the out-of-his-depth Walter to try and save the day.
Like we mentioned previously the whole film’s premise sounds so far out of this world that it simply wouldn’t work, but somehow the screenplay by Brad Copeland (Wild Hogs) and Lloyd Taylor (The Wild) pulls everything together and has it work perfectly. To put it simply the film works because Copeland and Taylor never try to make this film anything that it’s not. They know the premise of the film is ridiculous and they simply go with that ‘flow.’ When Sterling is in human form they make the film a serviceable James Bond parody and when he is pigeon form they are gifted enough comedy writers to be able to introduce an influx of bird jokes and slap-stick comedy that is actually funny.
Perhaps the most important thing though is that Copeland and Taylor alongside the film’s two directors Nick Bruno (first time director) and Troy Quane (The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol) have given this film heart. Never at any time when you watch this film do you feel that this was a film made just to generate some cash at the box office. Yes despite the whole ridiculous nature of the film’s premise from start to finish this feels like a film that was made by a group of people who genuinely believed in the story at hand. The result is a film that will be lapped up by its audience as it goes from a moment of true comedy through to a far-fetched action sequence that totally works and will then rest for a moment as it explores the notion that Walter is actually emotionally hurt by some of the more traumatic events that have occurred during his life. It is moments like that that makes Spies In Disguise resonate so well with its audience.
The team behind this film also completely nailed the voice casting of the film. Will Smith is the absolute perfect choice to play a cooler-than-cool spy while Tom Holland shows real style as he branches out and gives Walter real characterisation through his vocal work alone. At no point in the film did his unique Spider-Man voice become apparent which was something I was worried about when first sitting down to watch the film.
While expecting very little from Spies In Disguise this was one animation that really surprised me. Like Teen Titans Go To The Movies and Planet 51 before it Spies In Disguise manages to overcome the obstacle of having a ridiculous premise and somehow becomes a film that reminds you just how magical cinema can be sometimes. While some of the violence of the film may not make it friendly for younger children this is certainly a film that will be enjoyed by kids who are older enough to sit down and enjoy something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe you still think Spies In Disguise sounds like a ridiculous waste of time but trust me you write off this film at your own peril.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Spies In Disguise Reviews:
You can read our Spies In Disguise review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ using this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/spies-in-disguise-with-no-egrets-74415.php
Summary: In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2019
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 25th December 2019
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Jake Kasdan
Screenwriter: Jake Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenburg, Chris Van Allsburg (book)
Cast: Awkwafina (Ming Fleetfoot), MichaelBeaslley (Coach Davis), Sarah Bennani (Andi Tow), Jack Black (Professor Sheldon ‘Shelly’ Oberon), Ser’Darius Blain (Anthony ‘Fridge’ Johnson), John Ross Bowie (Cavendish), Rhys Darby (Nigel Billingsworth), Danny DeVito (Edward ‘Eddie’ Gilpin), Massi Furlan (Switchblade), Karen Gillan (Ruby Roundhouse), Danny Glover (Milo Walker), Colin Hanks (Alex Vreeke), Kevin Hart (Franklin ‘Mouse’ Finbar), Jared Hasmuk (Dagfin), Madison Iseman (Bethany Walker), Dwayne Johnson (Dr. Smolder Bravestone), Nick Jonas (Jefferson ‘Seaplane’ McDonough), Sal Longobardo (Tony), Rory McCann (Jorgen The Brutal), Bebe Neuwirth (Nora Shepherd), Deobia Oparei (Gromm), Dania Ramirez (Flame), Ashley Scott (Ashley), Morgan Turner (Martha Kapley)
Running Time: 123 mins
Classification: PG (Australia) G (Thailand)
Dave Griffiths Review:
Cinema fans rejoice the true dream team are back. Yes a team made up of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black may seem like a strange line-up for what is essentially an action adventure film, but nobody gets things done like these guys do. No one seemed to predict just how successful of a film Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle was going to be back in 2019 and once again people seem caught out but the arrival of the latest film in the franchise and just how good it is.
Picking up a few years after the events of Welcome To The Jungle we find our original players coming together for the first time since they graduated from High School. Spencer (Alex Wolff) and Martha (Morgan Turner) have split up and Spencer finds himself in a rut that sees him separate himself from his friends.
Determined to try and put some spark back into his life Spencer begins to put the Jumanji game back together and places himself back in the world of the video game. When they discover that he is missing his friends decide to go into the game to rescue him but in doing so accidentally take Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his ex-best friend Milo (Danny Glover) with them. From there it is once again up to the team of Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan), Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Franklin Finbar (Kevin Hart) and the Professor (Jack Black) to once again save Jumanji.
With so many franchises staying beyond their welcome these days I can imagine there are a few people out there who are rolling their eyes and thinking ‘oh no, not another one’ when it comes to Jumanji. The good news though is director/screenwriter Jake Kasdan once again finds new ways to bring a freshness to the franchise. The inclusion of Danny DeVito and Danny Glover is the cast enhances this film in a way nobody could have predicted. As well as their character’s storyline adding a little bit more personal drama to the plot but seeing Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson have then to take on the characteristics off DeVito and Glover is absolutely priceless and shows both actors did have more range than many would have predicted. The same goes for Awkwafina who later has to carry the DeVito mantle and does it with brilliant comedic timing.
It is the comedy of Jumanji: The Next Level which also makes the film such a pleasure to watch. Kasdan seems to be able to mix genres throughout this film in a way that very few filmmakers can. Often a film that tries to mix comedy, drama and action would feel disjointed but here Kasdan can go from a scene of pure comedy between Johnson and Hart to an action sequence where all the characters’ lives are placed in danger and it seems just perfectly natural.
The big difference this time around is that the action scenes, excuse the pun, feel like they have gone to the next level. The ostrich attack and the monkey battle on swinging bridges are right up there as some of the best action sequences that you will see in cinemas this year and they only further enhance the video game feel that the film portrays throughout.
As we mentioned earlier Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart steal the show as they try to mimic Danny DeVito and Danny Glover. Hart actually produces some of the best acting of his career as he portrays a character who feels like he owes his former best friend a lot but just can’t break away from his bad habit of over-explaining things. Credit must also be paid to Karen Gillan who is sensational when it comes to the action and fighting sequences throughout the film showing why she is one of the most under-rated action stars going around.
It has taken nearly all year to get there but Jumanji: The Next Level is one of the most enjoyable action films of this year. The film has the right mix of drama, comedy and action and contains one of the best ensemble casts we’ve seen on the big screen for a long time.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Jumanji: The Next Level Reviews:
You can read our Jumanji: The Next Level review that appeared in ‘The Phuket News’ using this link – https://www.thephuketnews.com/jumanji-the-next-level-is-rock-solid-74331.php