Category: War

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

Trailer:

Summary: 
A family man is drafted to fight in a future war where the fate of humanity relies on his ability to confront the past.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

VOD Release Dates: 2nd July 2021 (Australia), 2nd July 2021 (Thailand), 2nd July 2021 (UK), 2nd July 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Chris McKay

Screenwriter: Zach Dean

Cast: Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Young Muri Forester), Rose Bianco (Rose), Piper Collins (Chelsea), Matthew Cornwell (Frank), Kiley Casciano Davis (Yoga Teacher Alexis), Patrick Fleming (Ben), Seychelle Gabriel (Sgt. Diaz), Betty Gilpin (Emmy Forester), Angel Giuffria (Veteran Susan), Caden Graham (Ted), Eric Graise (Veteran Terry), Clyde H. Harris (Larry Sutton), Amanda Hatfield (Samantha), Edwin Hodge (Dorian), Chris Holloway (Lieutenant Marks), Joshua Israel (Jayden), La’Toya Kirkland (La’Toya), Alexis Louder (Diablo), David Maldonado (Dodd), Patrick Malone (Kyle), Jasmine Mathews (Lt. Hart), Mike Mitchell (Cowan), Ashlyn Moore (Katie), Keith Powers (Major Greenwood), Chris Pratt (Dan Forester), Mary Lynn Rajskub (Norah), Sam Richardson (Charlie), Michelle Rivera (Jodie), Zachary James Rukavina (Veteran Palo), Clark Sarullo (Traci), Seth Schenall (Martin), Jared Shaw (Tank), J.K. Simmons (James Forester), Terrence Smith (MEPS Tech Officer Sams), Yvonne Strahovski (Colonel Muri Forester), Amere Stewart (Tina), Felisha Terrell (Conscription Officer Paveza), Alan Trong (Lt. Tran), Chibuikem Uche (Lt. Ikemba), Gisette Valentin (Conscription Officer Dean), Olalu Winfunke (Captain Woods)

Running Time: 138 mins

Classification: 16+ (Australia), 12 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR THE TOMORROW WAR REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Tomorrow War Review:

With cinemas still not fully opened around the world one of the biggest movies of the year has just landed straight in everybody’s lounge-rooms. At a budget that topped the $200 million dollar mark The Tomorrow War is no low-budget feature, in fact it is possibly one of the biggest blockbusters to go straight to a streaming service since the Covid outbreak started.

Directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) the film gives obvious nods back to the great action films of the 1990s with some pretty amazing similarities and visuals as films such as Starship Troopers and Waterworld. The good news is though the film also has a screenplay that is much better than the films just mentioned, thanks largely to the work of Zach Dean (24 Hours To Live).

The film itself centres around former Green Beret Dan Forester (Chris Pratt – Guardians Of The Galaxy) who finds himself working as a biology teacher as he struggles to find work within the scientific community. While de-stressing with his family after another employment knock-back he witnesses a major interruption during a World Cup broadcast that alerts today’s society to the fact that in 2051 humanity will be wiped out after a three year war with alien invaders known as Whitespike.

When it is decided that people from today will be sent to the future to help save humanity Dan finds himself drafted. His wife, Emmy (Betty Gilpin – Isn’t It Romantic) and his young daughter beg him to do anything he can to stop himself from being sent. In a last bid effort he goes to see his conspiracy theory loving, ex-military father, James Foreter (J.K. Simmons – Whiplash), to see if he can find away to prevent him from that going.

But when that fails he soon finds himself being sent off to the futuristic war where he finds himself fighting alongside his now fully grown daughter, Colonel Muri Forester (Yvonne Strahovski – The Handmaid’s Tale), who reveals to him that they have been estranged for years.

It is hard not to notice the similarities between The Tomorrow War and Starship Troopers as you watch the film but while the 90s classic tried to create an anti-war storyline The Tomorrow War does nothing of the kind and instead in a way follows the formulas of films like Independence Day that centre around wars against some intergalactic visitors.

The thing that prevents The Tomorrow War becoming just another dull all action affair is the storyline that revolves around Dan and adult Muri. Dean’s screenplay drops little breadcrumbs throughout the film that suggests that the perfect Forester family that we saw at the start of the film have been ripped apart by something. When Muri tells Dan in 2051 that they have been estranged for years it opens up a storyline that is a lot more suspenseful than any of the alien versus human battle sequences throughout the film.

That is not to say that Chris McKay doesn’t make the action sequences quite a spectacle on the screen but to be honest there is nothing here that we haven’t seen previously, and in fact many of the battle scenes look a lot like what we saw in Monster Hunter earlier this year.

A mentioned earlier though it is the father-daughter storyline that makes this film so special though and that vision first planted by Dean in the screenplay is brilliantly brought to life by the performances of Pratt and Stahovski. We know though his work in the Marvel universe that Chris Pratt is an actor that can blend genres together seamlessly. And while the comedic skills that come into play as he portrays Star-Lord are not needed here he does show a more dramatic side to his acting as his character is faced with questions about his future that leave him completely confused. As usual Pratt also comes to the fore during the action sequences.

He is also well supported by Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski who portrays his daughter Muri. The very under-rated actress has been making a name for herself over recent years with her performance in the hit show The Handmaid’s Tale but is was her performance alongside Noomi Rapace in Angel Of Mine that revealed just how talented she is. She again brings the intensity of that role to this film as she mixes dramatic sequences with action brawn with ease.The Tomorrow War is not the most original film to be released this year but if you are looking to waste some time with a big dumb action film it will certainly fill that void. Well worth a look though for the performances of Chris Pratt and Yvonne Strahovski.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Other Subculture The Tomorrow War Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Sparke Films has secured the television rights to the “Axis of Time” trilogy, the best-selling novels by John Birmingham. The epic drama television series, tentatively titled “Weapons of Choice” after the first book in the series, is in late development with offers out to first-choice cast. “Weapons of Choice” will explore the far-reaching effects of time, war, and the human condition.
 
Written by Luke Sparke (the Occupation franchise), “Weapons of Choice” is a historical sci-fi military-techno epic drama, based on Birmingham’s best-selling “Axis of Time” trilogy, comprised of “Weapons of Choice”, “Designated Targets” and “Final Impact”.
 
As talent is approached and locations are scouted, Birmingham enthused: “I am stoked to see Luke and his crew turn this favourite, much loved story into something new and madly exciting. His Occupation films are enormous fun and his plans to blast “Weapons of Choice” onto the screen promise even more. More fun, more action, more head-spinning concepts and adventures. I’ve always had a movie of this series running somewhere in my head and reading his script, seeing the artwork, it was like it suddenly exploded all around me.”
 
The pilot is a collaboration between executive producer and showrunner Luke Sparke and co-writer Jay Thames. Carly Imrie and Carmel Imrie will produce, alongside Trimax Media’s Alan Glazier (The Bank Job, Get Smart) and Zachary Garred (Occupation Rainfall).
 
The “Axis of Time” trilogy deals with the radical rip in the fabric of time when a technologically advanced naval task force from the near future is accidentally transported back through time to 1942, landing in the middle of WWII.
 
A military experiment in the near future has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll, and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war.
Thousands die in the chaos, but the changes in the time space continuum have only begun. For the veterans of Pearl Harbor, led by Admiral Spruance, have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. And they’ve never encountered an African American colonel or a mixed-race female British naval commander. While they embrace the armada’s awesome firepower, they may find the twenty-first century sailors themselves far from acceptable.
Initial jubilation at news the Allies would win the war is quickly doused by the chilling realization that the time travelers themselves, by their very presence, have rendered history null and void. Celebration turns to dread when the possibility arises that other elements of the twenty-first century may have also made the trip, and might now be aiding Yamamoto and the Japanese.
 
“When I read John’s “Weapons of Choice” on its release back in 2004, I knew immediately it would make an amazing TV series. That book and the subsequent trilogy became my “Catcher in the Rye”. When I reached out to John with my ideas, I got to work developing the first season. Five years later, we have a series that is extremely relevant and timely with everything going on in the world. There’s never been a better time to look back on our history and see how far we have come, let alone throwing our current culture 80 years back in time and see the two worlds collide. This series is very dear to my heart and will be developed for the screen with loving care,” Sparke said in a statement as he courts interest from multiple networks, streamers and sales agents.
 
Luke Sparke is repped by Seth Nagel Management and John Birmingham by Russell Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency.

Summary: 
Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs.

Year: 1997

Cinema Release Dates:  5th February 1998 (Australia), 30th December 1997 (Thailand), 2nd January 1998 (UK), 7th November 1997 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Screenwriter: Edward Neumeier

Cast: Curnal Achillies Aulisio (Sgt. Gillespie), Marshall Bell (General Owen), Ungela Brockman (Corporal Birdie), Clancy Brown (Sgt. Zim), Erik Bruskotter (Breckinridge), Jake Busey (Ace Levy), Christopher Curry (Mr. Rico), Denise Dowse (Sky Marshall Meru), Matt Entriken (Marco), Steven Ford (Lt. Willy), Tami-Adrian George (Djana’D), Seth Gilliam (Sugar Watins), Bruce Gray (Sky Marshall Dienes), Neil Patrick Harris (Carl Jenkins), Kaius Harrison (Cpl. Allen), Michael Ironside (Jean Rasczak), Brad Kane (Lanny), Lenore Kasdorf (Mrs. Rico), Matt Levin (Kitten Smith), Blake Lindsley (Katrina), Dina Meyer (Dizzy Flores), Patrick Muldoon (Zander Barcalow), Denise Richards (Carmen Ibanez), Anthony Ruivivar (Shujimi), Amy Smart (Pilot Cadet Stack Lumbreiser), Brenda Strong (Captain Deladier), Teo (Corporal Bronski), Casper Van Dien (Johnny Rico)

Running Time: 129 mins

Classification: MA (Australia), 18 (UK), R (USA)

OUR STARSHIP TROOPERS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Starship Troopers Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Other Subculture Starship Troopers Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary:  In the puppet state of Manchukuo in the 1930s, four Communist party special agents, after returning to China, embark on a secret mission. Sold out by a traitor, the team find themselves surrounded by threats on all sides.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 1st May 2021 (Australia), 30th April 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: China

Director: Yimou Zhang

Screenwriter: Yongxian Quan

Cast: Jiayin Lei, Naiwen Lei, Haocun Liu, Hailu Qin, Yi Sha, Ailei Yu, Hewei Yu, Hanyu Zhang, Yi Zhang, Yawen Zhu

Running Time: 120 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

OUR CLIFF WALKERS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Cliff Walkers Review:

As a film lover I have never really been much of a James Bond fan. As a kid I can remember sitting down with my father and watching Bond films with him. Dad was a Bond connoisseur and I remember sitting there wishing I could get as much enjoyment out of them as he seemed to. But I never did, instead all I could ever see was a cheesy character in a world that never seemed real.

As a result when I was growing into a film lover myself I rarely gave much acknowledgment to spy films in general. That as it turned out was a pretty stupid thing to do because as I have found out over the years there are some brilliant spy films out there that don’t feature Bond, what have I also learnt though is that I prefer my spy films to be more on the realistic side of things.

When it comes to realism you can’t go past the brand new Chinese spy thriller Cliff Walkers. Set in Northern China during the 1930s it tells the story of four spies sent behind the Japanese enemy lines to conduct a mission that will allow the world to see the Chinese people’s suffering.

The group led by Zhang Zianchen (Zhang Yi – The Sacrifice) soon finds themselves in a position where they no longer who they can trust. This tightens the bond between Wang Yu (Qin Hailu – Return Ticket), Chu Liang (Zhu Yawen – Red Sorghum) and Xiao Lan (Liu Haocun – One Second) but also makes every move they make dangerous, especially when they find themselves separated and having to try think what they ruthless enemy will do next.

Director Yimou Zhang (House Of Flying Daggers) does an amazing job bringing a naturalistic style to this film. The scenes shot in deep snow look so real as an audience member you find yourself shivering and even the car chases involving historical cars look sensational on the big screen – and while Hollywood directors often go easy on historical cars Zhang does not.

What lifts this film to a whole new level though is the suspensefulness that creeps through this film from start to finish. From the moment the four agents land in Northern China their lives are in danger and it shows on the screen. Watching the film you find yourself trying to guess whether the next person they meet is bad or good, and to the credit of the screenplay the film never gives that away until it absolutely needs to. The result is some wonderful ‘golden-age-of-cinema’ moments when characters suddenly reveal a gun and their true colours.

I was also amazed by some of the acting performances in the film. Yu Hewei (Three Kingdoms) is sensational as the ambiguous Zhou Yi and part of the fun of this film is trying to work out whether he is good or bad. There is also a stand-out performance by Liu Haocan who brilliantly plays the innocent but deadly Xiao Lan – so interesting is her character that you almost wish the film’s producers would do some spin-offs centring around her.

I feel that I do have to warn people that there are some hard to watch scenes in Cliff Walkers. Some of the torture sequences may be hard for some audience members to watch, but if you are an avid fan of thrillers then this is one film that you certainly shouldn’t miss.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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IMDB Rating:

Impasse (2021) on IMDb

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Trailer:

British filmmaker Andy Goddard chats to Subculture about his brand new World War II thriller Six Minutes To Midnight which hits cinemas tomorrow.

In the interview Goddard chats about what it was like researching such a little known piece of war history and what it was like working with Eddie Izzard and Dame Judi Dench.

You can take a listen to the full interview here:

Thanks to Defiant! Screen Entertainment we here at Subculture have 5 DVD Copes to giveaway of the brand new action film – Redemption Day.

The film stars Gary Dourdan, Serinda Swan, Ernie Hudson, Martin Donovan, Robert Knepper, Samy Naceri and Andy Garcia.

To enter simply go to the Subculture Entertainment Facebook page – then like it and private message the code word ‘Redemption’ to us.

Redemption Day is available on DVD now.