Tagged: David Griffiths

Summary: The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 23rd January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, Mexico

Director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Screenwriter: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan,

Cast: Jay Amor (Rodrigo Vargas), Happy Anderson (Jenkins), Jeff JJ Authors (Felix the Forensics Guy), Jennifer Badger (Julie Weber), Sidnei Barboza (Tommy Bahama), Chick Bernhard (Judge Sorenson), Bianca Bethune (Megan), Thomas Brag (Jeffrey – Cake Boy), Tom Bui (Detective Austin), Damian Butler (Lt. Butler), Kate del Castillo (Isabel Aretas), DJ Khaled (Manny), Bilall Fallah (Fael), Massi Furlan (Terry Taglin), Dennis Greene (Reggie), Carlos Guerrero (javier), Vanessa Hudgens (Kelly), Nicky Jam (Zway-Lo), Melissa Kennemore (Major Patel Miami PD), Martin Lawrence (Marcus), Alexander Ludwig (Dorn), Dennis McDonald (Reggie), Charles Melton (Rafe), Ivo Nandi (Carver Remy), Paolo Nunez (Rita), Joe Pantoliano (Captain Howard), Nick Puya (Sargaent Normand Harris), Theresa Randle (Theresa), Leah Renee-K (Officer Hemminger), Eduardo Rosario (the Butcher), Jacob Scipio (Armando Aretas), Will Smith (Mike), Lindsay Thaxton (Detective Rodriguez), Buddy Watkins (Officer Kittes),

Running Time: 124 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) 15 (Thailand)

 

 

OUR BAD BOYS FOR LIFE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Is there a more terrifying word in Hollywood than reboot? Well if you are serious movie fan who adores the movies and television shows of the 1980s and 1990s I would certainly say no. It didn’t take Hollywood long to realise that there was still money in recreating the fan favourites of the past but as the recent animated version of The Addams Family showed these reboots rarely capture the magic of the originals.

It’s for that reason so many people have been nervous about the release of Bad Boys For Life. For an entire generation of film fans Bad Boys and Bad Boys II are the epitomes of what a good action films should be. A semi-believable storyline, great action sequences, lead actors who ooze charisma and a witty script that knows when it is okay to allow a laugh or two.

Whenever the mention was made that Bad Boys III was in the works people almost treated it as blasphemy and then as more than a decade passed it seemed less and less likely that it would ever happen. But now fifteen years after the last film in the franchise Bad Boys For Life hits cinemas and I am happy to say that it bucks all trends and gives us what well could be the best installment in the franchise to date.

In fact I may have just accidentally nailed why this movie works so well. While it is technically a re-boot such is the feel of the movie it just seems like it is simply the third film. Nothing is re-set here the action just starts up fifteen years after Bad Boys II. Detectives Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) still patrol Miami with wit and charm bringing the bad guys down with their own way of Policing. However, things change forever when Marcus starts to think about retirement after becoming a grandfather and a cold-blooded assassin shows up in town with Mike in his sights.

The first thing that hits you about this film is the ability that directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have with incorporating the new with the old. The opening sequence from the film is a homage to the first film and while Mike and Marcus have not changed at all they fit in extremely well with the new characters including Kelly (Vanessa Hudgens) and Rita (Paola Nunez). From there the film remains aimed at the original fans of the franchise – it is adult orientated and never once does it feel like the film is even slightly slanted at trying to attract a younger audience.

You also begin to realise that these filmmakers also know a thing or two about how to make good action films. The duo have cred from their award-winning film Black and with Bad Boys For Life they take the bigger budget and run with it without over-awing their audience. They seem to mirror what the young Michael Bay did with the first two films and infuse a believable cop story with elements of action without over-doing it to the point with belief has to be suspended. There is also a great plot twist here that suits the story and like other major plot points in the film contains true heart.

Perhaps the most important thing for the film though is that the amazing chemistry between Smith and Lawrence returns. Sure Smith has delivered some terrible films over the years (and Gemini Man is still fresh in everyone’s minds) but here he is back at his stunning best. He mixes comedy, action and drama at will and better still gets to bounce off the amazing timing of his good buddy Martin Lawrence. And yes, despite the naysayers before this film was released… Lawrence still has it.

The two stars are also well-supported by the rest of the cast. Kate del Castillo often steals the show playing the very Bond-villain like Isabel Aretas while Nunez, Hudgens, Happy Jackson and Charles Melton play the kind of new-breed cops that you can easily see continue to move this franchise along for the next few years.

Bad Boys For Life is a film that is going to be adored by the original fans of this franchise. The magic, the style and the charisma all returns with a storyline that goes above and beyond what any of us could have hoped for. Cast all the doubts aside because this is action cinema at its very finest.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:   Bad Boys for Life (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Bad Boys For Life Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

Summary: Two young British soldiers during the First World War are given an impossible mission: deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men, and one of the soldiers’ brothers, from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 9st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 30th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, United Kingdom

Director: Sam Mendes

Screenwriter: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Ciarns

Cast: Benjamin Adams (Sergeant Harrop), Gabriel Akuwudike (Private Buchanan), Andy Apollo (Sergeant Miller),  Daniel Attwell (Captain Sandbach), Elliott Baxter (Private Singer), Jacob James Beswick (Lance Corporal Duff), Anson Boon (Private Cooke), Pip Carter (Lieutenant Gordon), Dean Charles-Chapman (Lance Corporal Blake), Bradley Connor (Sergeant Gardner), Samson Cox-Vinell (Orderly Dixon), Benedict Cumberbatch (Colonel McKenzie), Josef Davies (Private Stokes), Claire Duburcq (Lauri), Elliott Edusah (Private Grey), Justin Edwards (Captain Ivins), Colin Firth (General Erinmore), Tommy French (Private Butler), Kenny Fullwood (Private Rossi), John Hollingworth (Sergeant Guthrie), Luke Hornsby (Private Pinewood), Gerran Howell (Private Parry), Adam Hugill (Private Atkins), Michael Jibson (Lieutenant Hutton), Taddeo Kufus (Soldat Baumer), Jonny Lavelle (Orderly Byrne), Spike Leighton (Private Kilgour), Merlin Leonhardt (Soldat Muller), George MacKay (Lance Corporal Schofield), Richard Madden (Lieutenant Joseph Blake), Daniels Mays (Sergeant Sanders), Richard McCabe (Colonel Collins), Joe Mendes (Private Willock), Ryan Nolan (Private Malky), Jamie Parker (Lieutenant Richards), Billy Postlethwaite (NCO Harvey), Nabhaan Rizwan (Sepoy Jondalar), Michael Rouse (Captain Rylands), Jonah Russell (Captain Morahan), Adrian Scarborough (Major Hepburn), Andrew Scott (Lieutenant Leslie), Jack Shalloo (Private Seymour), Mark Strong (Captain Smith), Paul Tinto (NCO Baker), Chris Walley (Private Bullen), Ian Wilson (Sergeant Wright)

Running Time: 119 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR 1917 REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Over the years the cinematic world has been blessed with some pretty amazing war films. Think of the sheer emotional nature of films like Schindler’s List and Hacksaw Ride or the epic sale of films like Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor. It feels like it is the war genre when some of the truly great filmmakers of our generation have really had a chance to show us what they are capable of an that legacy certainly continues with 1917.

As a filmmaker Sam Mendes has certainly proved himself to be one of the most ‘intense’ of the modern generation. That intensity has been delivered with powerful drama and dialogue in films like American Beauty and Revolutionary Road while it also returned through the power of stunts and action with his trip into the Bond universe with Skyfall and Spectre. With 1917 Mendes manages to fuse both of his skills in drama and his style of action together in a way that results with a unique film that will go down as one of the finest in 2020.

Plot wise 1917 is quite basic. It is set during World War I in France and General Erinmore (Colin Firth – A Single Man) receives word that an Allied attack is going to be walking right into a trap set by the Germans. In a desperate bid to stop the annihilation of 1600 men he gives Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman Game Of Thrones) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay – Peter Pan) a near impossible task. He asks them to go through the front-line and go behind the enemy line to deliver a letter that should stop the attack from ever happening.

In a lot of ways the style Mendes uses to tell the story is very similar to what Peter Jackson used with The Lord Of The Rings. The film itself entirely surrounds the impossible journey that the two embark on yet somehow Mendes stops the film from every becoming boring at all. Around every corner he places a new task and obstacle in the way of the pair and his idea of using a one-shot technique means that the audience is right there amongst the action. Whether it be urgently pushing past soldiers in the trenches, battling to swim against a raging river or coming under heavy enemy fire Mendes has the audience right there beside the heroes which only further enhances the suspense and intensity throughout the film.

Surprisingly the screenplay which Mendes co-wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Penny Dreadful) also keeps the dialogue to the bare minimum. For a lot of the film the pair either use silence or brief but powerful dialogue to get some in-depth points across. At one point Blake and Schofield debate whether war medals really mean anything or not, and while some writers would let it take up five minutes of the film Mendes and Wilson-Cairns let both characters make their point within a minute. Likewise anything we learn about the two men is fitted nicely into some of the most natural dialogue you will ever hear on the screen.

Such is Mendes’ maturity as a filmmaker that he never allows the action sequences to ever take anything away from the drama of the film. Plane crashes and enemy fire occur in real time and while it does have the audience on the edge of their seat Mendes never allows it to over-shadow the film’s major storyline or detract from it.

I have heard some people suggest that the film would have been further enhanced if the two leads had been more recognisable actors, but I fail to see how that would have helped. Chapman and MacKay put in absolutely brilliant performances and there could be very little more asked of them. The two share some very poignant scenes together and in all honestly they carry the film throughout as the camera never leaves them. Very few young actors could pull off such an intense acting performance but these two seem to do it with ease.

1917 is one of those films that leaves you in complete stunned silence as you watch it. Mendes never allows his audience to rest, instead he takes them on the journey with his two heroes using camera angles we haven’t seen since The Children Of Men. Yes at times 1917 feels utterly claustrophobic but it is also a visual delight that will find its audience going through a range of emotions as they view it. This film is a true classic that will be savoured by true movie lovers.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  1917 (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment 1917 Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

Summary: A British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 30th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Guy Ritchie

Screenwriter: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson (story), Marn Davies (story)

Cast: Childi Ajufo (Bunny), Brittany Ashworth (Ruby), George Asprey (Lord Snowball), Russell Balogh (Russell), Max Bennett (Brown), Bruce Chong (Npuc), Michelle Dockery (Rosalind Pearson), Gershwyn Eustache Jnr. (Roger), Christopher Evangelou (Primetime), Colin Farrell (Coach), Henry Golding (Dry Eye), Hugh Grant (Fletcher), Tom Rhys Harries (Power Noel), Charlie Hunnam (Ray), Togo Igawa (Wang Yong), Jack Jones (Nick), Eugenia Kuzmina (Misha), Matthew McConaughey (Mickey Pearson), Lyne Renee (Jackie), Jeremy Strong (Matthew), Eliot Sumner (Laura Pressfield), James Warren (Iron Chin), Samuel West (Lord Pressfield), Jason Wong (Phuc), Tom Wu (George), Jon Xue Zhang (Fat Tony)

Running Time: 113 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR THE GENTLEMEN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Nobody quite does gangster film the way Guy Ritchie does. Ritchie basically made the genre his own after re-inventing it with modern day classics like Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrells and Snatch. And while cinema goers have enjoyed Ritichie’s take on Sherlock Holmes and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. nothing he has done in recent years has ever captured that true magic of his early films… that was until now. Yes The Gentlemen sees Ritchie return to the gangster genre but also sees him return to form with his creativity and stunning scriptwriting.

The film centres around Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club) a gangster who has built a budding marijuana business across England. However when Mickey is shot in a bar a private investigator turned wannaba screenwriter named Fletcher (Hugh Grant – Love Actually) is employed by a newspaper to investigate the case. Not happy with his fee though Fletcher decides to cash-in and try to blackmail Mickey’s right-hand man Ray (Charlie Hunnam – Pacific Rim) with a meandering tale that also involves other crime figures like Dry Eye (Henry Golding – Last Christmas) and Coach (Colin Farrell – The Lobster).

The Gentlemen screams creativity from the get go. Ritchie doesn’t make the film an easy watch for the audience. The story doesn’t play in order instead the audience is fed bits and pieces of information from a myriad of sources and at times it is up to them to work out what his truth or lie. Of course Ritchie also throws in the odd red herring to try and put you off the scent and the result is a heightened sense of suspense as you are never really sure what is true, right down to character’s deaths, until it is spelled out for you in actual black and white.

In true Ritchie style the way the plot is presented is also a stroke of genius. Having Fletcher recount the story for Ray not only gives the filmmaker a way to show the different variations of the truth in a creative way but also allows Grant and Hunnam to have an amazing screen presence that both actors seem to embrace with two hands. Grant is truly sensational and despite a long career to date this is easily his best ever role. While the film is not a comedy Grant uses his comedic timing to further enhance the character of Fletcher and make him someone truly memorable. Nearly all of the scenes that the two actors share together feel like an intense theatre production and there is no sign of weak acting anywhere to be seen.

Of course with the all the theatrics and creativity that Ritchie shows with this film he could probably be excused if it were being used to cover up a weak storyline but that certainly isn’t the case here. The story is an absolute gem, made up of unique characters who seem out to only aid their business dealings while not really caring what they do or who they have to crush to get what they want. And while there seems to be a never-ending amount of characters being included in the story you never seem to lose track of who is who and more importantly who works with who.

Anyone planning on going to see The Gentlemen should be warned though that while we have entered into a time of political correctness Ritchie seems to ignore that with this film. The language is perhaps the most extreme we have seen in cinema for awhile (but it does fit with the storyline) and of course this wouldn’t be a Ritchie gangster film if there wasn’t a couple of very violent on-screen deaths as well.

We mentioned earlier the brilliant performances of Grant and Hunnam but really there are a number of other actors who deserve credit for their work as well. Once again Matthew McConaughey shows why he is one of the best character actors going around at the moment while the big surprise here might be the performance of Henry Golding who breaks the shackles of his normal nice-guy persona by playing the very untrustworthy Dry Eye. Then of course there is Hollywood’s forgotten man Colin Farrell who seems to be having a ball playing the slimy Coach.

As far as gangster films go there are none better than The Gentlemen. This is a true cinema tour de force that delivers a headbutt to the face of its audience. It leaves in shock, it leaves you in awe but beyond all else this is a film that you will want to watch over and over again. Guy Ritchie is a true magician of a filmmaker and with The Gentlemen he delivers some good old-fashioned creative magic.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: The Gentlemen (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Gentlemen Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Summary: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Greta Gerwig

Screenwriter: Greta Gerwig, Louisa May Alcott

Cast: Dash Barber (Fred Vaughn), Timothee Charlamet (Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence), Chris Cooper (Mr. Laurence), J.M. Davis (Susan Robbins), Laura Dern (Marmee March), Lilly Englert (Kate Vaughn), Sasha Frolova (Mrs. Hummel), Louie Garrel (Friedrich Bhaer), Jayne Houdeyshell (Hannah), Ana Kayne (Olivia), Tom Kemp (Asa Melvin), Charlotte Kinder (Viola), Adrianne Krstansky (Mrs. Dashwood), Tracy Letts (Mr. Dashwood), Bill Mootos (Mr. Davis), Jen Nikolaisen (Evelyn Meriweather), James Norton (John Brooke),  Bob Odenkirk (Father March), Maryanne Plunkett (Mrs. Kirke), Florence Pugh (Amy March), Abby Quinn (Annie Moffat), Jared Reinfeldt (Ned Moffat), Hadley Robinson (Sallie Gardiner Moffat), Saoirse Ronan (Jo March), Amber Leanne Rothberg (Young Meg), Eliza Scanlen (Beth March), Meryl Streep (Aunt March), Emma Watson (Meg March), Lewis D. Wheeler (Josiah Workman)

Running Time: 135 mins

Classification: G (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR LITTLE WOMEN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Timeless tales never die. That is the only defence you can really use against people who are convinced that the new adaption of Little Women should never have been made. Yes, there have been a number of cinematic versions of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale that have made it to the big screen over the years, but every adaption has its own tone and feel and that is what makes them unique. I can remember the same being said when Baz Luhrmann re-created Romeo + Juliet… and look how well that ended up turning out. Besides after the quirkiness of Ladybird how could anybody not be curious to see what Greta Gerwig was going to do with Alcott’s classic.

Gerwig does do little to change the basic storyline. The film is set in 1868 with Jo March (Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn), a budding young writer getting a story published by a local publisher. At the same time her work is heavily criticised by one of her co-workers and in a bid to escape how she feels about it she uses the fact that her sister, Beth (Eliza Scanlen – Sharp Objects) is sick to return home. As she spends time with her mother (Laura Dern – Wild) and her other two sisters, Meg (Emma Watson – Harry Potter & The Philospher’s Stone) and Amy (Florence Pugh – The Commuter) she reflects on their lives and the obstacles they have overcome.

A scathing critic would probably try to point out that Little Women’s main focus is on female empowerment but I would argue that Gerwig’s film goes even deeper than that. This is not simply a film about female empowerment this is the film that explores the notion of how a family pulls together to overcome some of the most turbulent and life-changing obstacles that anybody can face. From the harsh fights between Amy and Jo, through the four sisters having to face numerous struggles with their father is off at war this is more a film about family then it is anything else.

The power of this version of Little Women though is how much the film draws you into the character’s lives. At a quick glance the character of Jo could be considered cold-hearted especially towards the men in her life, including Laurie (Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy). But through the power of Gerwig’s writing and directing the audience gets to see what makes Jo this way and that is something that can’t be said for all versions of Little Women. Gerwig also allows the film to show the struggle of the artist as well – whether it be a writer, a painter or a teacher all find themselves tested during this time of war and this secondary element to the plot adds a powerful element to the film that continues to draw the audience in.

What also drives this film is a repeat of one of the strengths from Lady Bird. As a director it is obvious that Gerwig knows how to draw the best out of her cast. Here Saoirse Ronan is once again in award winning form and she is well supported by Emma Watson and Florence Pugh who both seem to have turned up their acting game several levels as well. In regards to Ronan though she is well directed by Gerwig with the scene of the final confrontation between herself and Laurie being an absolute highlight. The raw emotion that is generated from the screen during the scene is a rarity in modern day cinema and needs to be cherished.

A special mention must also be made to Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). While she has limited screen time she managed to steal every scene she was in with a truly powerful performance. Her scenes with both Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are some of the best examples of brilliant acting you will all year. There is a real power with those scenes and neither younger actress seems to be over-awed by the fact that they are sharing the scene with acting royalty.

Every adaption of Little Women has something that sets it apart from the others but few have the sheer emotion and power that we see here with Gerwig’s interpretation. Here Gerwig uncovers secret layers to the plot that lesser filmmakers would have not noticed while at the same time she directs one of the most talented younger casts that modern day cinema has ever seen assembled. If you leave in preconceived notions you have about Little Woman at the cinema door you will find yourself totally drawn into this worthy drama.

 

 

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IMDB Rating: Little Women (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment LittleWomen Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Summary: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.

Year: 2020

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)

 

 

OUR SPIES IN DISGUISE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

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:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Spies in Disguise (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment SpiesIn Disguise Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

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.

Year: 2019

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)

 

 

OUR JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

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.

 

 

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IMDB Rating: Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) on IMDb

 

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Summary: A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th May 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 20th June 2019

Australian DVD Release Date: 28th August 2019

Country: UK, USA, Canada

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Screenwriter: Lee Hall

Cast: Charles Armstrong (Mr. Anderson), Guillermo Bedward (Geoff), Jamie Bell (Bernie Taupin), Tom Bennett (Fred), Lee Bridgman (Steve), Rob Callender (Rory), Kit Connor (Older Reggie), Leon Cooke (Hugh/Dancer), Tate Donovan (Doug Weston), Barbara Drennan (Mrs. Anderson), Taron Egerton (Elton John), Ross Farrelly (Cyril), Leigh Francis (Pete), Demetri Goritsas (Carter), Stephen Graham (Dick James), Sharmina Harrower (Heather), Bryce Dallas Howard (Sheila), Matthew Illesley (Young Reggie), Gemma Jones (Ivy), Alexia Khadime (Diana), Kamil Lemieszewski (Dr. Maverick/Paramedic), Marek Lichtenberg (Mike Potts), Ophelia Lovibond (Arabella), Max Mackintosh (Stephen), Steven Mackintosh (Stanley), Richard Madden (John Reid), Will Masheter (Teddy Boy), Benjamin Mason (Bryan), Aston McAuley (Dave Godin), Solomon Mousley (Sonny), Rachel Muldoon (Kiki Dee), Peter O’Hanlon (Bobby), Tom Ogg (George), Jason Pennycooke (Wilson), Diana Alexandra Pocol (Mary the Receptionist), Charlie Rowe (Ray Williams), Celinde Schoenmaker (Renate), Carl Spencer (Ricahrd), Tanisha Spring (Sylvi), Jimmy Vee (Arthur), Evan Walsh (Elton Dean), Harriet Walter (Helen Piena), Leon Delroy Williams (Clint)

Runtime: 121 mins

Classification: M (Australia) 18 (Thailand)

 

 

OUR ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Most music fans do not need an introduction to Elton John. He is the man responsible for some of the most iconic songs in rock history. From the catchy Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, the heart-wrenching Candle In The Wind through to the cinematic masterpiece Can You Feel The Love Tonight Elton John has wowed music lovers with hit after hit since he first album was released to the public back in 1969.

Despite his popularity it is very rare though that many people could tell you much about the life of Reginald Kenneth Dwight – the man behind the Elton John persona. Sure there have been the news headlines, the lavish lifestyle and his very public relationship with his husband David Furnish. What the tabloids and John’s fans haven’t always been aware of though is the pain felt by the man who always seemed to smile when on stage. The drug abuse and the fractured relationships were kept behind closed doors. It is for that reason that new film Rocketman becomes one of the most important films released this year.

From the creative mind of director Dexter Fletcher, who also recently directed a large chunk of the away winning Bohemian Rhapsody, comes a warts and all look at John. Nothing is hidden here at all. Screenwriter Lee Hall (who also wrote films such as Billy Elliott and War Horse) takes the audience on a journey through John’s life, showing them the almost non-existent and sometimes cruel relationship he had with his father (played here by Steven Mackintosh), the moment his life changed forever when he met his lifelong song-writing partner Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell) through to the excessive lifestyle and drug abuse that almost ended with John dying in a swimming pool in front of his family and friends.

To Fletcher’s credit Rocketman does all of this with a very unique twist. While the biggest weakness of Bohemian Rhapsody was the fact that the film seemed to just skirt over some of the issues in the life of the late, great Freddie Mercury here Fletcher manages to delve deep into the emotional side of John’s life while managing to keep the film as flamboyant and loud as the man himself. If you are expecting a dour drama as the more painful elements of John’s life are exposed for the audience to see – forget it! Instead Fletcher uses a little bit of creativity and has John pour out his life to a group of people in rehab while moments of true drama and emotion are intercut with loud, colourful dreamscapes as the singer’s biggest hits are performed with very theatrical sequences that wouldn’t be out of place during a big Broadway production. In many ways it is a stroke of genius from Fletcher, yes some people may criticise the film for taking on so many elements of a stage production but given how entertaining and creative Fletcher is with the style aspect of the film it ends up working remarkably well and mirrors the flamboyant actions of the man at the centre of the film.

What else makes Rocketman work so perfectly is no doubt the casting. While some have been sceptical, before they have seen the film, of the choice of young actor Taron Egerton to play the role of Elton John his performance should easily silence those critics and shows Hollywood that Egerton is certainly a star on the rise. While mainly known for his action performances in films like Robin Hood and of course the Kingsman franchise, here Egerton is asked to go out of his comfort zone and instead dance and sing at times while also delivering truly deep, emotional moments of intense acting when it is called for him to do so.

Egerton is also well supported with some stellar performances from his co-stars. Bryce Dallas Howard is almost unrecognisable as John’s mother while Jamie Bell also delivers some moments of true dramatic tension in his role of Bernie Taupin. Game Of Thrones fans will also not be disappointed by the work of Richard Madden who here plays the unlikable John Reid who was once John’s romantic partner. While watching Madden here it becomes very obvious that just like Egerton he is on the verge of becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Rocketman is a truly sensational film. The mere fact that the film can tell the story of an at times tortured artist like Elton John while still managing to have its audience tap their feet and sing-a-long to some of his most recognisable tunes is a feat upon itself. The film showcases why Dexter Fletcher needs to be considered one of the most interesting directors going around at the moment while paying a true tribute to a man whose life for the most part has had its sadder moments kept well and truly in the shadows. Creative in the way it is presented on the big screen and with an amazing portrayal of Elton John by an actor that is likely to earn an Oscar nomination Rocketman is the type of film you just sit back and savour.

 

 

 

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IMDB Rating  Rocketman (2019) on IMDb

 

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Summary: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: 15th August 2019

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 12th September 2019

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States, UK, China

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Zoe Bell (Janet),Gillian Berrow (Gillian),  Kansas Bowling (Blue), Parker Love Bowling (Tadpole), Madison Beaty (Katie), Michael Bissett (Officer Mike), Robert Broski (Abraham Lincoln), Austin Butler (Tex), Julia Butters (Trudi), Josephine Valentina Clarke (Happy Cappy), Clifton Collins Jnr (Ernesto The Mexican Vaquero), Maurice Compte (Land Pirate Maurice), Bruce Dern (George Spahn), Adrian Dev (Raj), Leonardo DiCaprio (Rick Dalton), Omar Doom (Donna), Lena Dunham (Gypsy), Dakota Fanning (Squeaky Fromme), Gabriela Flores (Maralu The Fiddle Player), Spencer Garrett (Allen Kincade), Rebecca Gayheart (Billie Booth), Zander Grable (Hermann The Nazi Youth), Nicholas Hammond (Sam Wanamaker), Danielle Harris (Angel), Tom Hartig (Sweet William), Maya Hawke (Flower Child), James Landry Herbert (Clem), Damon Herriman (Charles Manson), Cassidy Hice (Sundance), Emile Hirsch (Jay Sebring), Courtney Hoffman (Rebekka), Dallas Jay Hunter (Delilah), Lorenzo Izzo (Francesca Capucci), Keith Jefferson (Land Pirate Keith), Lenny Langley Jnr (Dashihi Donnell), Damien Lewis (Steve McQueen), Mikey Madison (Sadie), Michael Madsen (Sheriff Hackett On Bounty Law), Hugh McCallum (Lancer Camera Operator Hugh), Scoot McNairy (Business Bob Gilbert), Mike Moh (Bruce Lee), Timothy Olyphant (James Stacy), Al Pacino (Marvin Schwarz), Victoria Pedretti (Lulu), Eddie Perez (Land Pirate Eddie), Luke Perry (Wayne Maunder), Daniella Pick (Daphna Ben-Cobo), Brad Pitt (Rick Booth), Margaret Qualley (Pussycat), John Rabe (Darrin Stephens/Red Apple Man), Rachel Redleaf (Mama Cass), James Remar (Ugly Owl Hoot on Bounty Law), Rebecca Rittenhouse (Michelle Phillips), Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate), Samantha Robinson (Abigail Folger), Costa Ronin (Voytek Frykowski), Kurt Russell (Randy), Gilbert Saldivar (Land Pirate Gil), Chris Scagos (Benjamin), Ruby Rose Skotchdopole (Butterfly), Harley Quinn Smith (Froggie), Monica Staggs (Connie), Craig Stark (Land Pirate Craig), David Steen (Straight Satan David), Rage Stewart (Humble Harv), Sydney Sweeney (Snake), Lew Temple (Land Pirate Lew), Heba Thorisdottir (Make-Up Artist Sonya), Victoria Truscott (Gina), Brenda Vaccaro (Mary Alice Schwarz), Dreama Walker (Connie Stevens), Mark Warrick (Curt), Rumer Willis (Joanna Pettet), Rafal Zawieucha (Roman Polanski)

Runtime: 161 mins

Classification: R (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

The release of a Quentin Tarantino movie is now considered a cinematic event. It’s funny when a new Marvel movie is about to be released you see red carpets galore yet outside of America Tarantino’s movie just creep into cinemas, even the media screenings are 10am affairs with no big fanfare. Yet somewhere deep down inside every movie lover there is a sense that something special is about to happen. Let’s be blunt for a moment – Tarantino never makes boring films and he certainly hasn’t made a bad movie yet.

Now maybe I am in the minority because I prefer Jackie Brown to Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained to Inglorgious Basterds but I have unashamed love for the work of Tarantino and every time I go to see one of his movies for the first time I find myself turning into that little kid that I used to be when I eagerly anticipated movies like E.T. and Gremlins coming on TV again. The great news is that with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Tarantino reaches out to his true fans with a brilliant masterpiece, but be warned it may leave casual cinema goers a little perplexed.

Tarantino sets the film in 1969 – Hollywood’s golden age that is seeing big changes happening. His central characters are aging television cowboy Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio – Inception, The Departed) and his out-of-favour stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt – Mr & Mrs. Smith, Moneyball). Living next door to Dalton is star-on-the-rise Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie – Suicide Squad, The Wolf Of Wall Street).

Life for the two households couldn’t be more different. Dalton reflects on the days when he was a television star while he now treats bit parts in television pilots like they are the answer to his resurrection. Then there his is best buddy Cliff Booth who only gets work through Dalton and even then that is tainted due to the story going around that he killed his wife. Then you have Tate whose career is taking off, she is on the verge of something big. What the three don’t know is their lives are about to be changed in a way that they could never expect.

If the synopsis makes the film sound like a character piece, that is because that is exactly what you get with this film. If you are looking for another Tarantino shoot ‘em up then look elsewhere because for three-quarters of this film the screenplay allows the audience to almost be a fly on the wall of the friendship between Dalton and Booth. Tarantino has no qualms showing Dalton have a lengthy conversation with a young actress (played brilliantly by Julia Butters) on the set of his new pilot and nor should he. When you have the screenwriting abilities of Mr. Tarantino there is no problem creating a heavily dialogue driven movie that at times wouldn’t feel out of place being a stage-play.

Perhaps what makes this film so special though is Tarantino’s eye-to-detail and the pay offs that true cinema fans will get from his references. From actual radio ads of the time playing on car radios, a killer soundtrack and appearances from greats like Bruce Lee (Mike Moh – Empires, Inhuman) and Steve McQueen (Damian Lewis – Homeland, Band Of Brothers) this perhaps one of the greatest cinematic tributes to this era of time and is something that will be long remembered.

As usual Tarantino also brings out the best in his cast. While some people may be disappointed that Robbie doesn’t get more screen time her screen presence is enough to counter-act that. Make no mistake though this is the DiCaprio and Pitt show. The on-screen chemistry between the two makes Dalton and Booth one of the best buddy relationships that Hollywood has ever seen. The two men also completely embrace their roles. As usual DiCaprio completely dissolves into being the character he is playing and this time he takes Pitt with him. Fans of movies like Moneyball will know that Pitt is not just the pretty-boy actor he used to be but here we see Pitt find another acting range and he matches DiCaprio in every scene they share.

While Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is different to anything that Tarantino has ever done before this movie can be summed up in one word – a masterpiece. Not many directors can pull off a film that is largely dialogue driven and then explodes with a graphic thrilling finale like this film does – but then is there anything that Mr Tarantino can’t do. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is pure cinematic bliss for serious cinema lovers.

 

 

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IMDB Rating:  Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019) on IMDb

 

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