Category: War

Summary:  Kitty, the imaginary girl who Anne Frank wrote to in her 1940s diary during WWII, seeks out the deceased diarist while also inspiring a wave of modern social justice for refugees.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  23rd June 2022 (Australia), 12th August 2022 (UK), 18th March 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands , Israel

Director: Ari Folman

Screenwriter: Ari Folman, Anne Frank

Cast: Nell Barlow (Elsa Platt (voice)), Skye Bennett (Margot (voice)), Emily Carey (Anne Frank (voice)), Sebastian Croft (Anne’s Peter (voice)), Ari Folman (Officer Van Yaris (voice)), Michael Maloney (Otto Frank (voice)), Ralph Prosser (Kitty’s Peter (voice)), Ruby Stokes (Kitty (voice)),

Running Time: 99 mins

Classification: TBC

OUR WHERE IS ANNE FRANK REVIEWS

Kyle McGrath’s Where Is Anne Frank Review:

I love animated films either made for adults or with more mature themes. The films of Pixar or Studio Gibli have shown us many times over the years a single animated picture can be used to entertain children and adults alike with both appreciating it for different reasons. It’s important to remember that animated films can be used to excite but also educate audiences of all ages with important messages.

Where is Anne Frank is an animated drama following historical events with a fictionalised fantasy twist. It follows the journey of ‘Kitty’ (voiced by Ruby Stokes) the imaginary friend Anne Frank (here voiced by Emily Carey) wrote her famous diary to as a tactic not to be writing to herself. Kitty through magical means comes to life in the modern era unaware of what has happened to Anne since her final diary entry. Flashing backwards and forwards though the decades we are presented with the heartbreaking story of Anne’s confinement as well as Kitty’s adventure throughout modern day as she experiences it in the face of Anne’s legacy.

While not a direct follow up to Waltz With Bashir (that would be the lesser appreciated The Congress) this is the latest film by Israeli born filmmaker Ari Folman with a creative use of animation in order to tell a documentary like story.

The idea of Kitty being the main character was an inspired choice as a way to both introduce us to Anne Frank who we all know but also to reflect what Anne Frank’s legacy means to us today. The ravages of time, censorship and endless retelling of history have inevitably led to a bastardisation of the facts and Folman does not shy away from saying that despite honouring Anne Frank by naming schools, streets, theatres and hospitals after her along the way the humanity and the soul of this young girl might be overlooked.

Not to mention turning the annex in which she and her family hid from the Nazis for years into a tourist attraction though done in the best of intentions is meaningless if nothing is truly learned from the experience in how we conduct ourselves today.

The animation throughout the film was stunning. I am not educated enough to know whether this was a true old style hand drawn animation however it was infinitely more soulful than something like the recent Chip n Dale film was. Likewise the mixing of 2D with 3D characters & environments blended in a flowing way and never took me out of the movie. There was always something real about the characters and how they were presented which couldnt have been achieved I think with a live action experience.

Both Stokes & Carey in their respective roles as Kitty & Anne were amazing. Two different actresses essentially playing the voice of the same true life figure worked much better than I believed it could have. Again simply dressing up modern day actors in period clothing would not have achieved the same level of emotional authenticity I believe this movie did using animation. There were times I felt that maybe having English speaking actors was a little bit anachronistic however years of ‘Hollywoodised’ historical films made this a non issue. Ironically the only voice which felt out of place was perhaps that of Ari Folman himself in his cameo voice role as a police officer Kitty interacts with in the modern timeline.

I feel that this movie achieved something brave by essentially telling us that in viewing Anne Frank as a historical figure and not seeing her as a true person we were like tourists stomping through her bedroom. Everyone knows what happened to Anne however witnessing a depiction of this beautiful girl with such a big heart and imagination slowly losing that spark in her confinement was a terrible thing to see. Through Kitty’s eyes we see not so much the exact details of what happened or who betrayed the Franks but her learning that this friend of hers ended the same way as millions of other Jewish children and it is absolutely heartbreaking.

I did find Ari Folman’s insistence that we need to see Anne as a person and not simply a concept an apt conclusion. Unfortunately I believe he hurts the message then by recontextualising everything he achieved and attempting to compare her story and that of the entire holocaust itself to current day immigration issues in Europe. While Folman pulls back from comparing immigration officials to actual Nazis (as they alone are depicted in a stylised demonic way in the past timeline emphasising a lack of humanity) the entire conflation between the two comes out of left field and may be considered quite problematic in how lightly it takes both issues.

Where is Anne Frank is a beautiful yet heartbreaking portrait of a young woman who lost her life like many many others during one of the darkest times in human history. While I feel Ari Folman betrays his own achievements in the film’s final moments everything up until then was a uniquely special film enhanced by the animated style.

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Trailer:

 Stan, Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions, today announced production has commenced on the brand new Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T. Director, producer and writer Kick Gurry (Edge of Tomorrow) stars in the six-episode series alongside Sean Penn (Stan Exclusive Series Gaslit), Ben O’Toole (Detroit), Lincoln Younes (Last King of the Cross), Alexander England (upcoming Stan Original Series Black Snow), Mel Jarnson (Mortal Kombat), Fayssal Bazzi (Stateless), Dorian Nkono (The Twelve) and Rebecca Breeds (Stan Exclusive Series Clarice). The series is produced in association with Fremantle.

Also joining the cast is Matthew Fox (Stan Original Series Last Light), Bella Heathcote (Stan Original Series Bloom), Bryan Brown (Stan Original Series Bloom) and Erik Thomson (Black Snow).

The satirical comedy series C*A*U*G*H*T follows four Australian soldiers sent on a secret mission to a war-torn country. Mistaken for Americans, they are captured by freedom fighters and produce a hostage video that goes viral. When the soldiers reach celebrity status, they realise that being caught might just be the best thing that could’ve happened to them. 

Following a deal with Fremantle, the series is due to launch exclusively on new streaming service ITVX in the UK in 2023.

Stan Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobie said: “To have an award-winning international superstar like Sean Penn join a superb cast that includes major Australian and Hollywood actors like Bryan Brown, Bella Heathcote, Fayssal Bazzi and Matthew Fox is a real coup. Helmed by the extraordinary Kick Gurry, C*A*U*G*H*T marks yet another blockbuster addition to our growing slate of locally produced, world-class Stan Originals — with the series promising to poke fun at celebrity culture, while exploring the often outrageous price of fame. We look forward to working with Fremantle, ITVX and the creative team ahead of C*A*U*G*H*T premiering on Stan in 2023.”

Director, Producer and Creator Kick Gurry said: “The biggest challenge for me was creating something worthy enough of all my insanely talented friends. I genuinely cannot wait to share this show with the whole world and look forward to the internet telling me how terribly I missed the mark.”

Executive Producer and Actor Sean Penn said: “Kick’s brand of irreverence is so charged by an enthusiasm for all things considered inappropriate. From ball-sacks, to fame, idiots & intellectuals, and finally to that creepy-crawly continuum of war. C*A*U*G*H*T captures the comedy that is generally confined to fox holes.”

Jamie Lynn, EVP Co-productions and Distribution, EMEA, International, Fremantle said: “Stan continues to set a high bar for premium originals and with the mirrored ambition of the soon to launch ITVX, we knew this could be a perfect partnership. Kick Gurry’s contagious enthusiasm and delightful scripts immediately convinced us this was a special and timely project unlike anything else in the market. The fact that A-list talent like Sean Penn, Matthew Fox and others quickly came to the same conclusion, along with an array of star studded cameos, only reaffirmed this. C*A*U*G*H*T is going to surprise people in 2023 and we can’t wait to share it with the world.” 

ITV’s Head of Content Acquisitions, Sasha Breslau said: “We are thrilled to be working with Stan and Fremantle to bring C*A*U*G*H*T to UK audiences, the star-studded cast and satirical humour will be a real treat for ITVX viewers next year.”

The Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T is created, produced and directed by Kick Gurry. Sean Penn executive produces alongside producers John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz (Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Stan Original Film Gold) from Deeper Water Films, and Brendan DonoghueC*A*U*G*H*T is executive produced by Cailah Scobie and Amanda Duthie for Stan. The series is produced in association with Fremantle, who will also handle international distribution for the series.

The Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T is now in production and will premiere in 2023.

Summary:  Follow a group of children who are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during the Second World War, where they encounter a young soldier who, like them, is far away from home.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  15th September 2022 (Australia), 15th July 2022 (UK), 23rd September 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, UK

Director: Morgan Matthews

Screenwriter: Daniel Brocklehurst, Jemma Rodgers

Cast: Jenny Agutter (Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury), KJ Aikens (Abe), Jessica Baglow (Angela), John Bradley (Richard), Tom Courtney (Uncle Walter), Zac Cudby (Ted), Gabriel Freilich (Military Police Officer Rouse), Beau Gadsdon (Lily), Eden Hamilton (Pattie), Austin Hayes (Thomas), Hugh Quarshie (General Harrison), Jospeh Richards (George Duckworth), Sheridan Smith (Annie), Oscar Wallwork (Jimmy), Hannah Wood (Miss Eckersley)

Running Time: 99 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Railway Children Return Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s The Railway Children Return Review:

The Railway Children Return is a family adventure film set in 1944 during World War 2. As regular bombings causes life in England’s cities to be increasingly perilous the three Watts children Lily (Beau Gadsdon), Pattie (Eden Hamilton) & Ted (Zac Cudby) are among a number of youths sent by their parents on a train to the countryside for safety. In the small Yorkshire village of Oakworth the three are fostered by the Waterbury family, matriarch Bobbie (Jenny Agutter), daughter Annie (Sheridan Smith) & grandson Thomas (Austin Haynes).

While scary at first the Watts children are enraptured by the welcoming community and settle pleasantly into their new home meeting local characters such as station master Richard Parks (John Bradley). One day while playing hide and seek the children stumble across a young injured African American soldier known as Abe (KJ Aikens) who at first taking advantage of the children’s naivety claiming to be on a secret mission quickly is outed as an under-age deserter fleeing his regiment due to racial persecution from his fellow soldiers. The children take it upon themselves to assist Abe in his attempts to avoid the military police and to escape back home to America.

This film has a refreshingly authentic feel with costume design by Dinah Collin and production design by Jeff Tessler both of whom have extensive experience with recreating English period pieces on screen. Although the railway plays more incidentally into the story there was something quaint in seeing this simpler village at a historic time and many small details I appreciated about its world building.

This film acts as a long term follow up to the 1970 children’s classic The Railway Children inspired by the classic novel by Edith Nesbit. Whereas that film told the tale of the Waterbury family in 1905 travelling to Yorkshire and this film is set nearly 40 years later it does still retain certain key elements. At it’s core are the selfless actions of the children as each story focuses on and their desire to help others coupled with a warm feeling of good family values.

Jenny Agutter returns to the role she first played in 1968 in a BBC television production of the story before being recast again for the 1970 movie. Her inclusion in this production is a positive however it must be said she feels like she hasn’t been given much to work with. The story of course focuses on a much younger generation however I do wish Agutter’s talents were better utilised here.

Speaking of the younger cast I found them delightful it this film. Hamilton, Cudby & Haynes are adorable while much of the heavy lifting is provided by Gadsdon as the older sibling who has had adult responsibilities thrust upon her early in life due to the war. Aikens as well gives his all as a black youth dealing with racism in a role perhaps much heavier than was necessary.

The story is at its best when it follows the adventures of the children being children showing resilience in a world bigger than they can fully comprehend. This was the strength of the original film and it’s why 50 years later it remains a timeless favourite on par with similar movies like Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Love Bug. While in the age of the MCU and Pixar films one might think child audiences wouldn’t have the patience for slower paced films however I was pleased to see the younger members of my screening greatly enjoying this type of movie.

What damages the film is it’s insistence on dealing with the much heavier subject matter of racism and bigotry within the military. It is made so much worse as this is handled in such a blunt and hamfisted fashion that the message of the film seems to be “all white American soldiers during World War 2 were racist and the British were absolutely not”. Something preposterous when it is displayed as such an absolute and I feel is frankly offensive to World War 2 veterans.

The depiction of the military police in this movie seems more designed in such a way as to work as allegory for contemporary social issues on race and the police. While racism was and still is a serious issue a ‘Railway Children’ movie made for kids doesn’t need to have disturbing scenes of black people being beaten to a pulp in the street for the crime of socialising with white women.

I enjoyed much of this movie, a very beautiful and relaxing film it’s simpler first half and even the matter of the children wanting to help a young soldier in need were welcome. However it’s shifting in tones to much darker territory only for it to shift again at breakneck speed for a happy resolution damage the film’s potential to be a worthy follow up to such a beloved classic.

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

Other Subculture Railway Children Return Reviews:

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Trailer:

The time has come for SABATON to reveal some BIG NEWS.  The band is beyond proud to announce that for the last two years, they have been busy working on an exciting, large-scale project.

In 2023, SABATON will release The War To End All Wars movie, a full-length musical motion picture featuring songs from the band’s 10th studio album, The War To End All Wars. This movie vividly tells the stories of World War I by way of animation and live action. It will give the viewer a better understanding of what the band’s songs on the album are about — it is a musical and historical adventure.

Currently in post-production, the movie is being made in collaboration with Yarnhub Animation Studio.  SABATON previously worked with them on other projects, including their most recent animated story video for ‘The Red Baron
The War To End All Wars movie is on a completely different scale that neither the band nor Yarnhub have ever attempted before.

As the band has said, you’re going to want to see this!

“We premiered an early version of this movie to journalists during a preview session for our latest album, ‘The War To End All Wars,’ at the Royal Military Museum in Brussels. Witnessing their reaction to it was priceless – they were speechless – so we decided to take it to the next level and push the boundaries even further for a global audience.” // Pär Sundström

“When Sabaton asked us to go beyond anything we had produced before and jointly create a film for their new album, we were filled with excitement and trepidation. It was a massive undertaking that required new people, technology, and skills. But we couldn’t miss the opportunity. We often say our mission is to harvest goosebumps, and our work with Sabaton has always been the most successful in that regard. It’s been two years in the making, but after spending many late nights and weekends in meetings with the band, the end result is something unique. A new way to listen to the album; a deeper understanding that helps the viewer experience the bravery and tragedy that was the inspiration for Sabaton’s latest masterwork.” // David Webb, Yarnhub

The War To End All Wars movie is a cohesive, thought-provoking and emotionally charged piece with a heavy focus on storytelling. It features members of the band, both in real life and animated, and a lot of research and effort has been put into it to ensure it depicts history in the most accurate way possible – this is something that the band is very passionate about.
SABATON had a dream of creating something that’s entertaining but with great educational value, and that dream has become a reality after two years of hard work.

There is so much more to tell you about this movie and SABATON will reveal more in time, but know that they are very excited to present this to you next year. Watch this space.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this teaser…

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/uYFWmUZagT4

Summary:  A former Navy SEAL officer investigates why his entire platoon was ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission.

Year: 2022

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions now.

Country: USA

Directors M.J Bassett, Antoine Fuqua, Tucker Gates, Ellen JurasFrederick E.O. Toye, Sylvain White

Screenwriters: Max Adams, Tolu Awosika, David DiGilio, Lisa Long, Olumbide Odebunmi, Brook Roberts, Hennah Sekandary, Daniel Shattuck

Cast: Riley Keogh (Lauren Reece), Taylor Kitsch (Ben Edwards), Arlo Mertz (Lucy Reece), Chris Pratt (James Reece), Jeanne Tripplehorn (Secretary Hartley), Constance Wu (Katie Buranek)

Episodes: 8

Classification: R18+ (Australia), 18+ (Thailand), 18 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE TERMINAL LIST REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Terminal List Review:

I love the fact that we live in an era of television where the small box now has the power to draw big name stars to its product, but that it is also a time where producers and directors seem to want to make each episode of a television show feel like you a feature film.

The latest offering from Prime Video, The Terminal List, certainly ticks both of these boxes. This feels like someone has taken an episode of NCIS and infused it with the action and budget of Liam Neeson’s Taken franchise… and I’ve got to say that this is the perfect mix for me.

Based on a novel by Jack Carr The Terminal List opens with decorated NAVY Seal James Reece (Chris Pratt – Jurassic World) leading an attack to bring down a notorious chemical warfare expert. The whole mission goes horribly wrong and only Reece and one other soldier survive, Boozer (Jared Shaw – The Tomorrow War)… or at least that is how Reece remembers it.

I saw that because once Reece gets back to the USA he is told that Boozer actually killed himself two days previously, something that is news to Reece who had a beer with him the night before. Then the audio of the actual attack seems to go against Reece’s account of the events and what he remembers happening.

Soon everyone around him is saying that Reece’s PTSD is causing him to have issues with his brain while he becomes convinced that the hierarchy above him are out to get him. He turns to his best friend, a man he considers his brother, Ben Edwards (Taylor Kitsch – Friday Night Lights) and dogged journalist Katie Buranek (Constance Wu – Crazy Rich Asians). Soon as Reece’s bid to seek out the truth intensifies the body count begins to rise and he finds himself a wanted felon suspected of multiple murders.

I will admit that I am junkie for these kinds of shows. The fact that I can sit down and watch shows like Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher where it feels like every episode is an action film is some kind of utopia for me. The same can be said for The Terminal List. It didn’t take long for this series to have me salivating over it – the moment that the screenwriters delivered the twist of Reece’s best mate Boozer killing himself when Reece clearly remembers seeing him the night before I was hooked.

There was another event that drew me in even more, but I can’t talk about that here because it would be a major spoiler. Let’s just say that the writing and directing of the show is so good that you don’t see it coming and the result hits you a John Reece butt of the gun punch to your face. It changes everything with the series and certainly raises the stakes with the story at hand.

I found The Terminal List so captivating that there is no way that you could just sit down and watch one episode. I love the fact that it has been written so that every episode finishes with a cliff-hanger, although given my need to binge watch the series episode after episode I can safely say that my sleep patterns were not a fan of it… but that does give a testament to just how well this show is written.

I’ll admit that I did go into the show wondering how believable Chris Pratt would be in a dramatic role and how believable he would be as a NAVY Seal, but I need not have worried because this is perhaps the series that shows us just how far Pratt has come with his acting. His performance here is well and truly beyond what we have ever seen him do in the Marvel or Jurassic World franchises. Whether it be a fast paced action sequence or a scene of real emotion as his character is put through emotional hell he delivers perfectly.

He is well supported by Taylor Kitsch who I still feel is one of the Hollywood’s most under-rated actors. His performance here hails back to the real dramatic skills that he had to show in Friday Night Lights and to me he plays one of the most interesting characters in The Terminal List.

I found The Terminal List to have a little bit of everything for its audience. In some parts it is a well written emotional drama, it depicts political spin in a serious yet scathing manner but best of all as an audience it constantly has you guessing whether Reece is the right or whether or not everything that is happening is a figment of his imagination.

With the right mix of intense action and all the suspense of a good crime thriller this is one series that needs to be on your ‘To Watch’ list.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

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Trailer:

Summary:  After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  26th May 2022 (Australia), 4th May 2022 (Thailand), 27th May 2022 (UK), 27th May 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Screenwriter: Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: Monica Barbaro (Lt. Natasha ‘Phoenix’ Trace), Jennifer Connelly (Penny Benjamin), Tom Cruise (Capt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell), Greg Tarzan Davis (Lt. Javy ‘Coyote’ Machado), Jay Ellis (Lt. Reuben ‘Payback’ Fitch), Jon Hamm (Adm. Beau ‘Cyclone’ Simpson), James Handy (Bartender Jimmy), Ed Harris (Radm. Chester ‘Hammer’ Cain), Manny Jacinto (Lt. Billy ‘Fritz’ Avalone), Jean Louisa Kelly (Sarah Kazansky), Tommy Kijas (Big Roy), Val Kilmer (Adm. Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky), Raymond Lee (Lt. Logan ‘Yale’ Lee), Charles Parnell (Adm. Solomon ‘Warlock’ Bates), Jake Picking (Lt. Brigham ‘Harvard’ Lennox), Glen Powell (Lt. Jake ‘Hangman’ Seresin), Lewis Pullman (Lt. Robert ‘Bob’ Floyd), Danny Ramirez (Mickey ‘Fanboy’ Garcia), Bashir Salahuddin (Wo-1 Bernie ‘Hondo’ Coleman), Jake Schumacher (Lt. Neil ‘Omaha’ Vikander), Miles Teller (Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw), Kara Wang (Lt. Callie ‘Halo’ Bassett), Lyliana Wray (Amelia)

Running Time: 130 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 12-A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR TOP GUN: MAVERICK REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Top Gun: Maverick Review:

Filmmaker Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) has one of the toughest jobs in cinema this year. See it is Mr Kosinski who is the man responsible for bringing Top Gun: Maverick to the big screen. Mark my words if the film is a flop there will be people baying for his blood because the original Top Gun film is not just a favourite for many cinemaphiles it is an absolute classic that was lauded with changing cinema forever.

Now as if there isn’t enough weight already on Kosinski’s shoulders he’s also had to wait that little bit longer for the verdict on the film because it has been repeatedly pushed back due to the pandemic. By the time it opens in cinemas this week it will nearly be two and half years since the date it was originally scheduled for release.

Well perhaps we can lighten that load a little for Mr Kosinski because we have seen Top Gun: Maverick and as a fan who has been waiting over 30 years for another film in the franchise I can say the film more than lives up to expectations.

This time around we find Maverick (Tom Cruise Rainman) still technically a Navy pilot but now testing new era aircraft. It’s not his ideal role but at least it isn’t retirement but as usual Maverick tests the nerves and patients of the top brass and soon finds himself close to being forced to retire.

Luckily for him though he is saved by Iceman (Val Kilmer – The Saint) who is now a highly ranked officer and he is given the task of being sent to the Top Gun Academy to help train a team of pilots for a near impossible mission.

On arrival at Top Gun Maverick instantly finds he is not wanted by his new boss, Cyclone (Jon Hamm – The Town), and discovers that his former deceased flight partner Gooses’ son Rooster (Miles Teller – Divergent) is part of the team that he has to train. Like Cyclone Rooster soon shows that he also has not time for Maverick.

To the credit of Kosinski and Tom Cruise, who had a lot of creative input into the film, what we have here is a rare exception in the cinema landscape – a sequel that more than matches the original film. Even a quick glance at this film will show that the action sequences here sets it apart from anything that we have seen in cinema over the past decades. Marvel could only dream of creating something as original as this.

There are no shortcuts with this film as one of the rules Cruise had about being part of this film was that the use of CGI was to be limited. Yes just like the original film Top Gun: Maverick sees the filmmakers having to work very closely with the Navy and shots on aircraft carriers were filmed on real carriers and the sequences with actual fighter jets were mostly shot with actual jets. Even Cruise’s own private antique aircraft makes an appearance.

The result is something that nobody could have predicted. The scenes of jet fighters flying low through canyons or shooting off with their afterburner glowing is nothing short of spectacular and needs to be seen on the biggest screen available. Knowing that the cast including Cruise, Teller, Monica Barbaro  (The Good Cop) and Lewis Pullman (Them That Follow) are actually in a jet and experiencing the G’s that put agony across their face adds to a realism that an action film has no right happening.

Even the screenwriting team nail their jobs with this film. There is nothing in it that disrespects any of the characters from the past and given how ill Val Kilmer was when they were making this film they treat his character with the upmost respect. Unlike a lot of sequels or reboots even the new characters, which include an old flame of Maverick’s Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly – A Beautiful Mind), add to the storyline rather than hinder it.

In fact it is the performance of one of the actors playing one of the new characters that really steals the show here. Miles Teller is truly sensational as Rooster. It is obvious that he has studied the performance of Anthony Edwards who played his father, Goose, in the original film because he seems to capture all the same mannerisms that Edwards brought to his character in an eerily good way. Even the scenes where he has to stand up to Cruise, one of the best actors of our generation, have a raw power to them and it feels like an honour watching this young actor go from strength to strength.

There is simply just so much to love about Top Gun: Maverick from sensational visual and action sequences through to a plot that actually allows its stars the ability to put in some brilliant acting performances. As far as sequels go this is pure perfection!

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Kyle McGrath’s Top Gun: Maverick Review:

Kyle’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture Top Gun: Maverick Reviews:

You can read our review of Top Gun: Maverick that appeared in The Phuket News right here –

https://www.thephuketnews.com/top-gun-maverick-big-action-for-the-big-screen-84350.php

Trailer:

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge join Tom Cruise, and co-stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Greg Tarzan Davis, along with filmmakers Joe Kosinski, Jerry Bruckheimer & Christopher McQuarrie at the Top Gun: Maverick Royal Film Performance & UK Premiere in London.

Summary:  In the early years of the 20th century, the Kingsman agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  6th January 2022 (Australia), 31st December 2021 (Thailand), 26th December 2021 (UK), 22nd December 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Germany, UK, ,USA, France, Italy

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Screenwriter: Matthew Vaughn, Karl Gajdusek

Cast: Ross Anderson (Corporal Johnstone), Robert Aramayo (Sergeant Major Atkins), Gemma Arterton (Polly), Lucia Jade Barker (Grand Duchess Olga), Joel Basman (Gavrilo Princip), Todd Boyce (Dupont), Daniel Bruhl (Erik Jan Hanussen), Callum Chiplin (Declan Nell), Ron Cook (Archduke Franz Ferdinand Of Austria), Max Count (Young King George), Charles Dance (Kitchener), Dora Davis (Grand Duchess Maria), Harris Dickinson (Conrad Oxford), August Diehl (Vladimir Lenin), Barbara Drennan (Sophie, Duchess Of Hohenberg), Ralph Fiennes (Orlando Oxford), Rosie Goddard (Grand Duchess Anastasia), Matthew Goode (Morton), George Gooderham (Young Tsar Nicholas), Tom Hollander (King George/Kaiser Wilhelm/Tsar Nicholas), Djimon Hounsou (Shola), Rhys Ifans (Grigori Rasputin), Neil Jackson (Captain Forrest), Branka Katic (Tsarina Alix), Ian Kelly (President Woodrow Wilson), Alexandra Maria Lara (Emily Oxford), Nigel Lister (Arthur Zimmerman), Molly McGeachin (Grand Duchess Tatiana), Kristian Wanzl Nekrasov (General Ludendorff), Emil Oksanen (Young Kaiser Wilhelm), Valerie Pachner (Mata Hari), Alexa Povah (Queen Victoria), Alexander Shaw (Young Conrad), Alexander Shefler (Tsareich Alexei), Alison Steadman (Rita), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Archie Reid), Aaron Vodovoz (Felix Yusupov), Toby Woolf (Young Conrad)

Running Time: 130 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 18 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR THE KING’S MAN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The King’s Man Review:

One of the best franchises to have surfaced over the past decade has been the very British King’s Man franchise. A kind of mix between James Bond and a Quentin Tarantino film the original film not only made Taron Egerton a household name but also introduced the world of a cinema to a secret organisation that could even see Colin Firth lay waste to a room full of villains.

A second film soon followed and of course fans of the franchise soon started to ask more and more questions about this society and how it began. Well now those questions are answered as writer/director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) returns to the universe with a prequel aptly titled The King’s Man.

The film chronicles the early days of The King’s Man organisation as widely respected pacifist Orlando Oxford(Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List) works with his hired help, Polly (Gemma Arterton – Clash Of The Titans) and Shola (Djimon Hounsou – Guardians of The Galaxy), to investigate a cabal that he believes he is working to keep World War I continuing as long as they can.

While the cabal, which is headed by Morton (Matthew Goode – Stoker) and aided by the likes of Rasputin (Rhys Ifans – The Amazing Spider-Man), are playing out their cunning plan Orlando finds himself wanting to try and end the war anyway he can after his only son, Conrad (Harris Dickinson – Beach Rats), expresses an interest in enlisting.

The term prequel when it comes to an established franchise is often a scary notion but Vaughn has delivered an absolute classic with this film – it is easily better than the second film and gives the audience a great insight into the organisation and the characters that started it.

The power of this film though is that Vaughn is more than willing to try various things throughout the film. Yes, the traditional action sequences that made the first film so special are back, but added to that is the fact that Vaughn has a real handle on characterisation this time. Then there is also the brilliant screenplay, which is co-written by Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion), which goes from tear-jerking moments to laughs with ease and is never afraid to mix genres as well. The scene in which a trio of king’s men take on Raputin has just the right mix of comedy and action and is one of the best cinematic moments of the year, as is one of the film’s biggest twists that we unfortunately can’t talk about here as it would be a spoiler for a major plot point.

The strongest point of this script though is the relationship that Vaughn stets up between Orlando and Conrad. The dynamics between the two shift from a relationship made up care and respect through to a combative nature that makes both explore their views on the Great War. Even better is the fact that Vaughn moves away from Hollywood tropes to bring a close to the storyline that is a sheer stroke of screenwriting genius.

To the credit of the screenwriting team there are no wasted characters in this film either. While a lot of focus is placed on Orlando and Conrad that doesn’t mean that that characters of Polly and Shola are left lacking. Both have enough characterisation to make them interesting enough characters and most audience members will find that the hint that there may be a follow-up film to this one very welcoming.

The brilliant acting performances here though belong to Ralph Fiennes and Rhys Ifans. Fiennes is an acting force in this film – delivering both action and dramatic scenes amazingly well and he is well matched alongside a nearly unrecognisable Ifans playing the notorious Rasputin. The fact that Ifans is able to make the character comical while remaining a fearful villain is credit to both actor and screenplay.

The King’s Man will be loved by fans of the franchise and newcomers alike. The right mix of action and characterisation make this a memorable film while the amazing screenplay and characterisation make this a worthy entry into this already brilliant franchise.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of The King’s Man from The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/the-king-man-excels-82570.php

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