Tagged: Eric Pearson

Summary:  Natasha Romanoff confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 8th July 2021 (Australia), 29th July 2021 (Thailand), 7th July 2021 (UK), 9th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: Out in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Cate Shortland

Screenwriter: Ned Benson, Eric Pearson, Jac Shaeffer

Cast: Ever Anderson (Young Natasha), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Young Antonia), Nanna Blondell (Ingrid), Jordyn Curet (Young Ingrid), O-T Fagbenie (Mason), David Harbour (Alexei), William Hurt (Secretary Ross), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Olga Kurylenko (Antonia/Taskmaster), Michelle Lee (Oksana), Violet McGraw (Young Yelena), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Olivier Richters (Ursa), Liani Samuel (Lerato), Rachel Weisz (Melina), Ray Winstone (Dreykov)

Running Time: 134 mins

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

OUR BLACK WIDOW REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Black Widow Review:

Despite the fact she has many people’s favourite Avenger it was easy to start to think that Black Widow was the forgotten Avenger. Hardcore Marvel fans were furious when Captain Marvel became the first female led Avengers movie, they saw it as disrespectful to Black Widow who had basically been there since Day One.

Well now Black Widow gets her chance and finally actress Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) gets her chance to step up in a film that not only tells the origins story of Black Widow but also fills in the gaps of what happened to her in between Civil War and Infinity Wars.

Directed by award winning Australian director Cate Shortland (Somersault), who was hand-selected by Johansson for the job, Black Widow reveals Natasha Romanoff’s (aka Black Widow) Russian spy ‘family’ including her ‘mother’ Melina (Rachel Weisz – The Constant Gardener), ‘father’ Alexei (David Harbour – Suicide Squad) and ‘sister’ Yelena Belova (Forence Pugh – Lady Macbeth).

While Natasha is on the run from Secretary Ross (William Hurt – Lost In Space) she reunites with Yelena and despite a testy relationship they decide to find Melina and Alexei and get them to help hunt down the man who created them and now wants them dead – the evil Dreykov (Ray Winstone – The Departed).

The early stages of this film have Shortland’s DNA all over them. When it comes to directing Shortland normally prefers gritty dramas and early on it feels like Black Widow is going to be more like an episode of Alias or La Femme Nikita then anything we have ever seen in the Marvel universe previously. To be honest that look and feel suited what kind of film Black Widow should be and it was almost disappointing when the film seemed to capitulate about halfway through and become yet another all action and very little plot clog in the Marvel machine.

That is not to say that Black Widow is not an enjoyable film – it is to a certain extent. But you would have to stay that the clichéd ending to the film makes it an average film rather than the brilliant film that could have changed Marvel forever if it had continued with the Shortland hard-edge that the film had during the open scenes. Most of the disappointing aspects of Black Widow lay with the screenplay – the finale is derivative of the end action sequences of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and introduces us to a villain that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the lamer James Bond films.

On the plus side though are the acting performances. Johansson shows that she deserved her own Avenger film a lot sooner with a performance that shows both heart and pure action skills no matter what she has to do during a fight sequence. David Harbour steals the show with his comedic timing while Florence Pugh puts in a brilliant performance and it is exciting to know that we get to look forward to her character returning in Hawkeye later this year. Eager fans will notice that the post-credit scene with Black Widow strongly shows how she will enter into the Hawkeye series.

While some people feared that Shortland’s style of filmmaking would not fit the Marvel universe the truth is that her style almost pulled off one of the best Marvel films to date… it’s just sad that it was pulled back by her overly Marvelised ending. The film does hold up due to the acting performances of its leads but it could have been so much better.Black Widow is currently available on Disney+ and will be released in Phuket cinemas on July 29th.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of Black Widow in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/black-widow-return-of-a-true-marvel-80707.php

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Summary:  The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 25th March 2021 (Australia), 25th March 2021 (Thailand), 31st March 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 1st April 2021 (UK), 31st March 2021 (USA)

Country: USA, Australia, Canada, India

Director: Adam Wingard

Screenwriter: Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein

Cast: Demian Bichir (Walter Simmons), Millie Bobby Brown (Madison Russell), Chris Chalk (Ben), Kyle Chandler (Mark Russell), Ronnie Chieng (Jay Wayne), Julian Dennison (Josh Valentine), Eia Gonzalez (Maya Simmons), Rebecca Hall (Ilene Andrews), Brian Tyree Henry (Bernie Hayes), Kaylee Hottle (Jia), Hakeen Kae-Kazim (Admiral Wilcox), Daniel Nielson (Hayworth), Shaun Oguri (Ren Serizawa), John Pirruccello (Horace), Lance Reddick (Guillerman), Alexsander Skargard (Nathan Lind)

Running Time: 113 mins

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

OUR GODZILA VS KONG REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Godzilla vs Kong Review:

There is perhaps no bigger way to announce that blockbusters are back in post-COVID cinemas then to let two titans like Godzilla and King Kong go head-to-head. The Godzilla/Kong franchise has bubbled along nicely for Warner Bros over the past seven years and now it roars back to life as the two titans come to some pretty impressive blows in Godzilla vs Kong.

Directed by Adam Wingard (Blair Witch) the film sees the giant creatures go to war after Kong expert Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall – The Town) and her adopted daughter Jia (newcomer Kaylee Hottle) are persuaded by scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard – The Legend Of Tarzan) to bring Kong out of his protected environment in a bid to help with a scientific discovery that could save humanity.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world the determined Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things) and her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison – Deadpool 2) have joined forces with conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry – Widows) to try and clear Godzilla’s name after it appears that he attacked a city for no apparent reason.

However, once Godzilla realises that Kong is out and in the open he proceeds to attack the giant beast in a bid to become the ‘alpha’ placing the lives of all on Earth at risk.

The plotline of Godzilla vs Kong is pretty thin but of course nobody is going into this film expecting an Oscar-worthy script – no this is a film that is designed to be a visual spectacular and that is certainly the case from start to finish. If you want action then you’ve come to the right place because Godzilla vs Kong delivers it in spades.

The one thing you do very quickly realise with this film is that it is very much a Kong film. The film is largely told through the eyes of those who surround Kong ie. Ilene Andrews, Nathan Lind and Jia, and for the most part Kong is the hero of the tale and Godzilla the villain. That also results in strong storylines developing around those characters and Kong while the interest in the team trying to ‘clear’ Godzilla at times wanes as it is mainly one dimensional.

What saves the film though is the brilliant action sequences that see the two kings of the Monsterverse go head-to-head. To the credit of the filmmakers they don’t hold back on those scenes and the two epic battles are more than enough to fulfil those who criticised Godzilla: King Of Monsters for its lack of action. And yes the rumours are true – both battles easily last longer than 10 minutes on screen each. With some amazing special effects and the brilliant eye of Wingard and cinematographer Ben Seresin (World War Z) these battle sequences come to life in a way that fans of the franchise could only dream they could. They also have the sense not to be cutting away to minor characters during the battles and instead just let the beasts host their own version of Smackdown.

When it comes to the acting side of things you get both good and bad with Godzilla vs Kong. The talented Kyle Chandler (Super 8) feels wasted with his limited screen-time but both Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle shine as the carry most of the ‘human’ side of the film. You expect that someone with the experience of Hall could do that fairly easily but huge credit must be paid for Hottle for doing so. This is the first acting performance for the young hearing-impaired actress and her performance brings back memories of Drew Barrymore in E.T. or Kirsten Dunst in Interview With A Vampire. Like them she never seems to be over-awed by the scale of the film or by the experience of the actors around her and instead she makes her own mark as a star.

Godzilla vs Kong is the kind of film where you are willing to overlook some pretty obvious continuity errors and weak storyline simply because of the amazing special effects and action sequences. While the film is not likely to be an award winner it will certainly win over fans of this franchise with ease.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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IMDB Rating:

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) on IMDb

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You can also check out our review that appeared in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/godzilla-vs-kong-hits-phuket-screens-79481.php

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