Tagged: Greg King

Summary:  Doctor Strange teams uFrom his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi to his rise to stardom starting in Memphis, Tennessee and his conquering of Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley becomes the first rock ‘n roll star and changes the world with his music.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  23rd June 2022 (Australia), 23rd June 2022 (Thailand), 24th June 2022 (UK), 24th June 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Australia, USA

Director: Baz Luhrman

Screenwriter: Baz Luhrman, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner

Cast: Charles Allen (Reverend Brewster), Princess Mariama Andrews (Sweet Inspirations – Cissy), Gad Banza (Shake Rag Friend – Doc), Natasha Bassett (Dixie Locke), Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Dee Stanley), Nicholas Bell (Senator Eastland), Mike Bingaman (Sonny West), Liz Blackett (Grandma Dodger), Luke Bracey (Jerry Schilling), Sharon Brooks (Sweet Inspirations – Sylvia), Miles Burton (Shake Rag Friend – Bobby), Austin Butler (Elvis), Gary Clark Jr. (Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup), Sandro Colarelli (Tony Goochera), Josie Cross (Glenda), Elizabeth Cullen (Natalie – Motel Girl), Gareth Davies (Bones Howe), Olivia DeJonge (Priscilla), Hilton Hyppolite Denis (Claude Thompson), Shonka Dukureh (Big Mama Thornton/Pentecostal Singer), Adam Dunn (Bill Black), Leon Ford (Tom Diskin), Miranda Frangou (Nell), Charles Grounds (Billy Smith), Tom Hanks (Colonel Tom Parker), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (B.B. King), Chaydon Jay (Young Elvis), ALyson Joyce (Marie Knight), Jenna Kenney (Barbara Hearn), Aristene Kisando (Sweet Inspirations – Myrna), Christian Kisando (Shake Rag Friend – Smoky), Alex Knight (Ron Tutt), Alton Mason (Little Richard), Christian McCarty (Red West), Josh McConville (Sam Phillips), Jack McGirr (Tommy), Senayt Mebrahtu (Sweet Inspirations – Estelle), Ange Miliken (Madam Z), Dacre Montgomery (Steve Binder), Andrea Moor (Nurse Tish), Cle Morgan (Mahalia Jackson), John Mukristayo (Jimmy), Kate Mulvany (Marion Keisker), Tony Nixon (Dr. Nick), Sarah Ogden (Mrs. Eastland), Anthony Phelan (Meyer Kohn), Greg Powell (Milton Berle), Alex Radu (George Klein), Terepai Richmond (DJ Fontana), Richard Roxburgh (Vernon), Patrick Shearer (DJ Dewey Phillips), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Jimmie Rodgers Snow), Xavier Samuel (Scotty Moore), Christopher Sommers (Horace Logan), Helen Thomson (Gladys), Melina Vidler (Barbara), David Wenham (Hank Snow), Katrina West (Ann Eastland), Mark Leonard Winter (Tom Hulett), Yola (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)

Running Time: 149 mins

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

OUR ELVIS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Elvis Review:

Nobody makes films like Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann’s own style of filmmaking was there for all to see with his 90s hit Strictly Moulin. From there he went from strength to strength wowing audiences with his own take on the classic Shakespearian tale of Romeo & Juliet and then of course came the gem in his crown – the visually spectacular Moulin Rouge. It seems the only blemish in Luhrmann’s career to date was the sub-standard Australia that made the country it was named after cringe.

When you think of the loud music and the glitz and glamour that Luhrmann loads his movies with you soon realise that he is the perfect filmmaker to bring the story of the great Elvis Presley to the big screen. Presley like Luhrmann was a glitzy showman who shone brightest when the spotlight was him and to the former’s credit he captures all that and more with his latest epic – Elvis.

Told through the eyes of Presley’s (Austin Butler – Arrow) long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks – Castaway) Elvis follows Presley’s career right from the earliest days when he performed to make money for his parents, Vernon (Richard Roxburgh – Van Helsing) and Gladys (Helen Thomson – Kangaroo Jack) through to Parker signing a long term deal that would see him perform some of his most energetic shows on the Vegas.

Along the way we see the young Presley working with musicians such as Little Richard (first time actor Alton Mason) who helped form his now famous sound and also his more personal moments especially as his relationship with Priscilla (Olivia DeJonge – Better Watch Out) begun to blossom.

Most will go into Elvis expecting a movie that is full of glitz and glam but lacks substance, in reality though nothing is further than the truth. Luhrmann surprisingly digs deep into the live of Elvis Presley and touches on some of the darker moments and events that happened throughout his career.  Topics such as racist politicians and law enforcement officers targeting Elvis during the early days of his career are explored in great depth and ground the film, it is a rarity to see Luhrmann tackle serious subjects like this in his films but he shows here that he is more than capable of it.

Likewise despite the fact the film is told through the eyes of Parker Luhrmann allows the film to explore many of the allegations brought against him. Early on Parker while acting as narrator defends himself saying he never did anything to harm Elvis yet later we see him recounting times when he pushed the man to the limit of exhaustion fuelling his drug habit while making selfish decisions that would benefit him but damage the career of the man he supposedly cared for.

Perhaps Luhrmann’s hand on the film really comes to light though during Presley’s Vegas years. The flashy neon lights and the fast pace of Las Vegas are perfect fodder for Luhrmann’s style of filmmaking and the scenes of Elvis on stage in Vegas are some of the highlights of the film – especially given that Austin Butler’s performance is so believable that it feels like you are watching archival footage.

In fact it probably isn’t out of place to suggest that Butler could easily earn an Oscar nomination for this film. His performance here is faultless as he literally seems to become Elvis. His singing voice mimics the King to a tee what his dancing ability is off the charts. When you mix that with his fine acting performance that takes him through all the emotions what you see here is one of the best acting performances of 2022.

This is also one of Tom Hanks finest acting performances to date, and that is saying something given the calibre of Hanks’ previous roles. He seems to embrace being able to play Parker as a type of villain and his performance is one of the most memorable things from the film. Likewise Olivia DeJone is stunning at Priscilla, she may have limited screen time but she makes use of what she does have.

Elvis far exceeds the expectations that many will have from it. The serious tone of the film is a huge step up and a surprise from Luhrmann. He keeps control of this film remarkably well knowing the right times to unleash his glitzy brilliance and when to hold it back for some of the films more serious moments. Together Luhrmann, Butler and Hanks have created something very special, something that is one of the best films of the year.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Elvis Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Greg’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

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N/A

Trailer:

Summary:  In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates: 24th March 2022 (Australia), 18th March (UK), 18th March (USA)

VOD Release Dates: N/A

Country: USA

Director: Ti West

Screenwriter: Ti West

Cast: Owen Campbell (RJ), James Gaylyn (Sheriff Dentler), Mia Goth (Maxine/Pearl) Martin Henderson (Wayne), Kid Cudi (Jackson), Jenna Ortega (Lorraine), Matthew J. Saville (Officer Mitchell), Brittany Snow (Bobby-Lynne), Stephen Ure (Howard)

Running Time: 106 mins

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

OUR X REVIEWS

Alex First David Griffiths, Greg King and Peter Krausz’ X Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Greg’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

Other Subculture X Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary:  Two writers are thrown together on a whirlwind book tour of Mexico.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  10th March 2022 (Australia), 17th March 2022 (Thailand)

VOD Release Dates: 4th February 2022 (USA)

Country: Mexico, UK

Director: Analeine Cal y Mayor

Screenwriter: Analeine Cal y Mayor, David Quantick

Cast: Fernando Becerril (Max Rodriguez), Alejandro Bracho (Julio – Event Organiser), Sam Claflin (Henry Copper), Antonio Clarke (Allison), Laura de Ita (Rosa – Interviewer), Veronica Echegui (Maria Rodriguez), Giovani Florido (Miguel), Ruy Gaytan (Diego), Edwardo Gurrola (Veronica), Daniela Luque (Martha), Remmie Milner (Jill – Bookshop Owner), Melissa Pino (Helena), Lucy Punch (Jen Spencer), Horacio Garcia Rojas (Antonio), Sofia Sisniega (Bertriz – TV Host), Galya Vidal (Francisca – Interviewer), Horacio Villabolos (Pedro)

Running Time: 106 mins

Classification: M (Australia), TBC (Thailand), 12 (UK)

OUR BOOK OF LOVE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Book Of Love Review:

Love is universal! Although the type of universal love that Hollywood has been talking about in romantic comedies over the years has often been pretty unrealistic – honestly when has anyone ever landed in an different country and found everybody, including the person they like, all seem to speak one language. That finally has been addressed in brand new romantic comedy Book Of Love.

Directed by Analeleine Cal y Mayor (Treading Water) the film revolves around a young British writer named Henry Copper (Sam Claflin – Me Before You). Henry has written a romance book that he loves, but it seems like he is the only one because the book is not selling largely due to the lack of ‘sex’ in it. Despite the feedback Henry is still convinced that romance and sex should never be mixed together.

With the book virtually being given away in bookstores in the UK Henry finds himself called into the offices of his publisher, Jen Spencer (Lucy Punch – Into The Woods), where he is expecting to be fired. Instead though he is told that he is book has become a bestseller in Mexico and he must leave straightaway for a whirlwind press tour.

On arrival in Mexico Henry discovers that he is a superstar and suddenly he must have to deal with things such as social media and fans everywhere he goes. However, after meeting Maria Rodriguez (Veronica Echegui – Trust), and seeing how worked up the people become that have read his novel Henry soon begins to realise that the translation of his novel maybe a little different to the English version.

Book Of Love does have its moments and to be honest the characters of Henry and Maria are very, very likable but the thing that sets this film apart from most other romantic comedies is the fact that the director and screenwriter David Quantick (Veep) have attempted to make the film so natural that it is in both English and Spanish. When Henry arrives in Mexico he quickly realises that there are very few people that he can actually converse. So important is that to the plot of the film it becomes a central theme of the film and also provides a great deal of laughs as Henry tries to converse with people including Maria’s son.

While there is a lot to like about Book Of Love, including some of its witty dialogue, the film does have its flaws. There are moments that are so cheesy you will groan, wait until you see the poor acting when Maria’s ex-husband, Antonio (Horacio Garcia Rojas – Narcos: Mexico), is hit in the head with a book, and of course if you have seen enough of these films you will be able to pick the ending off a mile away.

But the film is still a fun ride as it plays out to get to that ending. As was mentioned previously both Henry and Maria are likable characters and you find yourself wanting to see them get together from the first moment they meet.

Quantick’s screenplay also surrounds the two with interesting enough characters. Antonio is a clichéd villain but still a villain that you will hate. Then there is Henry’s Mexican publisher who again is a walking cliché but still manages to pull the laughs. Mainly though the likable parts of this film play out between Henry and Maria and Henry and Maria’s young son – and it those moments throughout the film that keep the audience interested. And for the laughs – well they do come frequently during the film but are mainly from the many, many Mexican fans that will do or say anything to spend time with Henry.

Book Of Love does have its flaws but for the most part it remains a likable film. The filmmakers behind it need to be congratulated for having the courage to create a bilingual film because that in itself brings a realism to this film that makes it lovable.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King, Jacqui Hammerton and Peter Krausz’s Book Of Love Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Greg’s rating Out Of 5

Jacqui’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

Summary:  Street-smart Nathan Drake is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan, and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  17th February 2022 (Australia), 17th February 2022 (Thailand), 11th February 2022 (UK), 18th February 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, Spain

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Screenwriter: Matt Holloway, Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum

Cast: Sophia Ali (Chloe Frazer), Pilou Asbaek (Gage), Joesph Balderrama (Carlos), Antonio Banderas (Santiago Moncada), Alana Boden (Zoe), Manuel de Blas (Armando Moncada), Tati Gabrielle (Braddock), Georgia Goodman (Sister Bernadette), Tom Holland (Nathan Drake), Tiernan Jones (Young Nate), Pingo Moli (Hugo), Rudy Pankow (Young Sam), Serena Posadino (Goldie), Steven Waddington (The Scotsman), Mark Wahlberg (Victor Sullivan)

Running Time: 116 mins

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

OUR UNCHARTED REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Uncharted Review:

For gamers one of the most anticipated video game to film adaptations over the past few years has been Uncharred. Before Hollywood even became aware of the game’s popularity it felt like gamers were already calling out for it. And it wasn’t just gamers in front of the PlayStations who were interested to see what would happen, there were high profile actors and directors – including the likes of David O. Russell and Robert De Niro who were putting their hands to be involved should the project ever get off the ground.

Well some years later and it has taken PlayStation getting their own studio off the ground to see the film finally be released in cinemas. The good things for all of those who have been calling out for the film is that it remains true to the games themselves while remaining highly entertaining for those who have never held a controller in their lives.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) Uncharted introduces the audience to the adventurous life of Nathan Drake (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: No Way Home). Introduced to the idea that famed explore Ferdinand Magellan’s crew hid a fortune of gold during their round the world voyage by his older brother Drake has always been fascinated by history.

But since his brother’s disappearance years earlier he has spent his time working in a New York Bar which allows him to steal from the socialites that often frequent it. However, his interest in Magellan’s gold comes flooding back after he meets the untrustworthy Victor Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg – Boogie Nights) who recruits him on a quest to find the elusive fortune.

Soon Drake finds himself teamed up with Sullivan and the alluring Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali – The Wilds) in a deadly game to find the gold before the rich Santiago Maoncada (Antonio Banderas – The Mask Of Zorro) and his ruthless ally Braddock (Tati Gabrielle – The 100) find it first.

To be honest Uncharted is a much better film then it should be. Going into the film you could be forgiven for thinking that it is going to be an Indiana Jones knock-off, but through interesting characters and an engrossing plot Fleischer and his team of screenwriters have been able to give Uncharted a legend of its own… and made a pretty decent film along the way.

The film’s plot winds its way through the world that these characters live in and is loaded with so much suspense that the audience is kept guessing at who Drake can trust at every single turn. Raising the suspense even further is the fact that Fleischer reveals very early on that he is not worried about killing off main characters either.

Enhancing the film even more is the fact that while blockbusters like Death on The Nile and Moonfall were using green screen during Covid times Uncharted goes all out shooting in exotic locations which really come to the fore during the aerial boat sequences that use some of Thailand’s picturesque islands for a back-drop. This sequence is going to be one of the highlights of cinema in 2022.

Further enhancing the film are the performances of its leading men. Tom Holland throws away any of the doubts people had about Drake being younger in the film with a performance that more than cements the fact that he is one of Hollywood’s best leading men at the moment. His performance here alongside his work in the Marvel universe who perhaps suggests that he is now one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars as well. No matter what is thrown at him in this film – dramatic dialogue driven scenes with Sophia Ali, stunts where he is hanging off a plane or delivering some comedic relief  – he delivers it with skill.

Likewise Mark Wahlberg shows why he beat a list of anyone who is anything in Hollywood to land the role of Sullivan. Like Hollywood he takes to the comic side-relief lines with brilliance and of course is more than capable when it comes to action sequences.

Then there is Sophia Ali who certainly announces herself with this film. She plays a role here where the audience is never sure whether they should hate her or love here but in doing so they find themselves drawn to her and luckily it seems like she is going to have a major role in the sequel.

Uncharted goes above and beyond what any cinema fan expected it to be. In a rare double the film not only stays true to the video games it is based on but also because of its interesting characters and amazing stunts and effects becomes a film that fans of blockbuster cinema will also warm to.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krausz’s Marry Me Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5:

Greg’s rating Out Of 5:

Peter’s rating Out Of 5:

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You can read our review of Blacklight that appeared in The Phuket News here –

https://www.thephuketnews.com/uncharted-finds-its-place-on-the-big-screen-83161.php

Trailer:

Summary:  Travis Block is a government operative coming to terms with his shadowy past. When he discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, Block finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director he once helped protect.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  10th February 2022 (Australia), 24th February 2022 (Thailand), 11th February 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: China, Australia, USA

Director: Mark Williams

Screenwriter: Nick May

Cast: Caroline Brazier (Sarah), Tim Draxl (Drew Hawthorne), Georgia Flood (Pearl), Clara Helms (Blaire Wright), Mel Jarnson (Sofia Flores), Zac Lemons (Wallace), Liam Neeson (Travis Bock), Aidan Quinn (Gabriel Robinson), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Mira Jones), NF Ravi (Kennele Tanara), Gabriella Sengos (Natalie Block), Andrew Shaw (Jordan Lockhart), Taylor John Smith (Dusty Crane), Yael Stone (Helen Davidson), Claire van der Boom (Amanda Block), Andriana Williams (Margaret Robinson)

Running Time: 104 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR BLACKLIGHT REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Blacklight Review:

Over the past decade actor Liam Neeson has established himself as an action hero in sleek thrillers that you can normally guarantee are better than the stock standard films in the genre. Even his films that take a more indie approach, like The Ice Road, always seem to have something about them that makes them an enjoyable watch from beginning to end. That tradition continues with Neeson’s latest film – Blacklight from director Mark Williams (Honest Thief).

Set amongst the current political turmoil of the United States Blacklight follows the events that occur when a political candidate is killed in what appears to be a hit and run accident. Intrepid journalist Mira Jones (Emmy Raver-Lampman – The Umbrella Academy) finds herself doubting that the incident was an accident especially after ‘wanted man’ Dusty Crane (Taylor John Smith – Hunter Killer) tries to contact her about it.

This puts Mira onto the radar of the FBI’s Mr Fix-It, Travis Block (Neeson – Schindler’s List), who is asked to pull Dusty off the street and put him into ‘rehab’. This is a job that Block has done 100s of times previously but it is also a job that has ruined him mentally and causes friction between himself and his daughter, Amanda (Claire van der Boom – Red Hill).

Blacklight may not exactly be a cinematic masterpiece but it is certainly an enjoyable film to watch. First time feature film screenwriter Nick May fills the story with intrigue and suspense while also remembering to make the characters likable for the audience. Neeson’s character, Block, is the kind of the character that would normally be the ‘bad guy’ in these types of films. Instead here May makes him a likable character by showing him in tender moments with not only his daughter but also his granddaughter (Gabriella Sengos ).

The plot allows for Block’s character arc to become just as much as a learning curve as Mira’s investigation is. May is also a smart enough screenwriter to know that a film like this works better with a mix of action and dramatic moments. Often throughout this film scenes between Mira sitting down and talking to her colleagues or speaking with Block are just as suspenseful ad the moments when people are fighting for their lives.

May’s screenplay is further enhanced by the work of director Mark Williams. Williams delivers some pretty spectacular car and foot chases all with the city of Melbourne providing a perfect and picturesque back-drop. Williams seems to bring the same intensity to Blacklight that is created on the show that he produces – Ozark, and the result is a film that is guaranteed to bring the big cinematic suspenseful moments all while revealing more about characters that the audience are drawn closer to. The result is a film where the audience are often on the edge of their seat as they actually care what is going to happen when a character’s life is put in danger.

If you need any further proof that Williams is a sensational director when it comes to the action-thriller genre look no further than the brilliant scenes here as Block is cornered inside a house by a team of men sent to kill him. The inventive way and shot selection that Williams and his cinematographer, Shelly Johnson (Captain America: The First Avenger), use make this something pretty special.

Once again Neeson seems to enjoy the thrill of being in such a film – he is a master of this genre now and it once again shows in his performance here. He is also well supported by Emmy Raver-Lampman who reveals herself as somebody that Hollywood needs to consider for bigger roles while Aussie Claire van der Boom is her usual brilliant self.

At the end of the day what you get here is what we have come to expect from Liam Neeson recently – a slick crime-thriller that draws its audience in with just the right mix of action and drama. If you are a fan of the thriller genre then certainly take a trip to the cinema to check this one out.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krausz’s Marry Me Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5:

Greg’s rating Out Of 5:

Peter’s rating Out Of 5:

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You can read our review of Blacklight that appeared in The Phuket News here –

https://www.thephuketnews.com/neeson-shines-in-blacklight-83232.php

Trailer:

Summary: 
Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd, instead.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  10th February 2022 (Australia), 10th February 2022 (Thailand), 11th February 2022 (UK), 11th February 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 11th February 2022 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Kat Coiro

Screenwriter: Harper Dill, John Rogers, Tami Sagher

Cast: Utkarsh Ambudkar (Coach Manny), Sydney Blackburn (Sydney), John Bradley (Colin), Michelle Buteau (Melissa), Marritt Cafarchia (self), Adam Catino (self), Jack Chiaravelle (Jack), Olivia Chun (Chun), Chloe Coleman (Lou), Katrina Cunningham (Tyra), Scarlett Earls (Scarlett), Tristan-Lee Edwards (Tristan), Jimmy Fallon (self), Ryan Foust (Percy), Haj (self), Jameela Jamil (Anikah), Jim Kaplan (Jim), Hoda Kotb (Self), Jennifer Lopez (Kat), Lucie Lopez-Goldfried (Lucie), Diego Lucano (Jose), Maluma (Bastian), Khalil Middleton (Kofi), Tyrone Mitchell (self), Brady Noon (George), Connor Noon (Not George (Spencer)), Nic Novicki (self), Sarah Silverman (Parker), Rachel Singer (self), Charles Jacob Smith Jnr. (self), Teale Sperling (self), Nicole Suarez (self), Justin Sylvester (self), Stephen Wallam (Jonathan Pitts), Taliyah Whitaker (Esther), Owen Wilson (Charlie), Leslie Woo (self), Leah Jimenez Zelaya (Leah)

Running Time: 112 mins

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

OUR MARRY ME REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Marry Me Review:

There was a time when gifted filmmakers treated the romance genre the same way they treated every other film they approached. They wanted the film to be original and showcase their skills. The result was classic romance films such as Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally. Yes, they were still kind of sappy but they had something different about them that made them an enjoyable watch for both women and men alike.

Somewhere along the line though it felt like there was a major change in the romantic genre. The films became generic and predictable and it also felt that filmmakers and studios had forgotten that both sexes enjoy these films. That seems to have all changed with director Kat Coiro’s (A Case Of You) new film, Marry Me, which ends up being a much needed breath of fresh air in the genre.

The film explores what happens when single Dad, maths teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson – Marley & Me) is dragged along to a pop concert by his daughter, Lou (Chloe Coleman – My Spy), and over-zealous colleague, Parker (Sarah Silverman – Wreck-It Ralph).

The concert it is supposed to be the wedding of the year as world wide popstar, Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers), will celebrate the release of her new single, titled Marry Me, by tying the knot with her beau – singing sensation Bastian (Encanto).

The wedding is destroyed mid-concert though when footage of Bastian cheating on Kat comes to light. During a moment that her minders call a breakdown Kat decides to do something out of the blue and plucks the man she sees holding a ‘MARRY ME’ sign in the audience onto the stage and marries him – that man just happens to be Charlie.

While the world is expecting the marriage to be annulled the very next day Kat’s manager, Collin (John Bradley – Moonfall), sees their maybe PR potential in the ‘marriage’ so urges the couple to stay together for a few months.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Marry Me is the deep topics that the film explores. From what it is like being a single father in 2021 through to the pressure that a superstar feels to have the perfect personal life it is all explored in detail through the sensational screenplay delivered by a gifted team of writers and based on the graphic novel by Bobby Crosby.

The film doesn’t just brush over these topics instead it focuses on them and makes them a key point as Kat and Charlie try to get to know each other. Even more important is the fact that the film is often told by Charlie’s point of view which gives the screenplay the opportunity to explore the emotional storyline that Charlie feels that he just isn’t good enough for a woman of the calibre of Kat. This is not a theme normally explored in cinema, outside of teenage dramas, and the result is a film that will not only be enjoyed by men but may also be very important for single fathers everywhere.

The film doesn’t forget about its female audience though as it also sees Kat wondering whether at this time in her life she should just settle for a guy even if is a sleazy cheat while also showing the pressures that woman must endure when it comes to work and a personal life and what is ‘expected’ of them by society.

There is something kind of special about this film as it features a storyline that is easily going to captivate the audience watching it while delving into some deep topics and themes that nobody will see coming.

Making the film even more special are the performances of its main actors. Owen Wilson is perfect as Charlie and casting him opposite Jennifer Lopez turns out to be a stroke of pure genius. Lopez rises to the occasion as well and while a cynic may say she is playing herself as a performer she takes her performance to the next level and brings Kat to life in an almost fairytale way. Then there is Chloe Coleman. We have said with her past two films that she is going to become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and Marry Me just further cements that prediction.

Marry Me is one of the biggest surprises of 2021. On the surface it appears to be a fluffy romance but dig down a little and you discover a film that has some very important things to say about what it is like to be a man or woman in the dating game of 2021. Write this movie off at your peril because this is something special and once again reminds us all that romantic films can be works of art as well.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krausz’s Marry Me Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5:

Greg’s rating Out Of 5:

Peter’s rating Out Of 5:

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You can read our review of Marry Me that appeared in The Phuket News here –

https://www.thephuketnews.com/serious-fun-to-be-found-in-marry-me-83057.php

Trailer:

Summary: 
A mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  3rd February 2022 (Australia), 3rd February 2022 (Thailand), 4th February 2022 (UK), 4th February 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, China, Canada, UK

Director: Roland Emmerich

Screenwriter: Spenser Cohen, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser

Cast: Andreas Apergis (Lt. Colonel Reed), Carolina Bartczak (Brenda Lopez), Andre Bedard (Captain Avery), Halle Berry (Jocinda ‘Jo’ Fowler), Stephen Bogaert (NASA Director Albert Hutchings), Ryan Bommarito (Ziggy), John Bradley (KC Houseman), Katy Breier (Bling), Josh Cruddas (Scrawny), Kathleen Fee (Elaine Houseman), Frank Fiola (Alan Marcus), Kyle Gatehouse (Jules), Eme Ikwuafor (Doug Davidson), Zayne Maloney (Jimmy (10 Years Old)), Piotr Michael (Chuck), Hazel Nugent (Lauren Lopez (12 Years Old)), Michael Pena (Tom Lopez), Charlie Plummer (Sonny Harper), Maxim Roy (Sgt. Gabriella Auclair), Chris Sandiford (Mosley), Frank Schorpion (General Jenkins), Jonathan Maxwell Silver (Johansen), Donald Sutherland (Holdenfield), Ava Weiss (Nikki Lopez (9 Years Old), Patrick Wilson (Brian Harper), Wenwen Yu (Michelle)

Running Time: 130 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR MOONFALL REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Moonfall Review:

You really have to wonder what the Earth has ever done to director Roland Emmerich. With the movies that he has penned and directed over the years it feels like Emmerich is always thinking of ways to destroy the planet that we live on. From creature feature Godzilla, to alien warfare in Independence Day and doomsday films 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow Emmerich has brought planet destruction to the big screen on a number of occasions. Now he is at it again with the epic Moonfall.

The film begins with a disastrous space-walk for astronauts Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson – The Conjuring) and Jocinda Fowl (Halle Berry – Catwoman). When they come under attack they nearly lose their lives but worse still is the fallout. Harper claims that they were attacked by a swam of ‘something’ but when questioned about the event Fowl denies it.

The story then picks up years later with Harper now disgraced and his marriage over. Meanwhile Fowl has risen through the ranks at NASA and is now highly regarded in her field. They haven’t spoken for years but they are suddenly finding themselves having to work together after Fowl’s team notices that the moon as behaving erratically, causing havoc on Earth, and Harper is confronted by a young ‘astronaut wannabe’ named Houseman (John Bradley – Game Of Thrones) who claims the moon is a machine built by aliens.

Moonfall tries to desperately be something special but sadly is held back by some small things that really should have been ironed out before the film ever reached the big screen. The story itself is interesting enough and the sci-fi element is sheer brilliance (more on that later) but the film is held back by some cheesy and over-written dialogue. Then there are the green screen scenes that just seem to be lazy, such as Harper arriving at the Observatory in Los Angeles. You can understand why green screen would be used for some of the scenes set in space but a mundane scene like the one just mentioned should have been shot for real.

What works amazingly well for this film are the scenes that are set in space but it feels like Emmerich doesn’t realise that. Instead he brings in a storyline that involves Harper’s son, played by Charlie Plummer (Word On Bathroom Walls), and his wife’s new partner (Michael Pena – American Hustle). To be honest the audience never really becomes emotionally involved with that sub-plot or those characters and it really seems to do is take the focus away from the most suspenseful part of the film – what is happening in space.

It is the scenes in space that make this film watchable. The sci-fi twist that occurs in space is creative, engaging and depicts a look and feel that lifts this film to another level. In fact in some ways that element of the story (which we won’t spoil here) is actually better than the storyline that we saw in Promethius.

What also makes these scenes so special is the way that Wilson, Berry and Bradley combine to create a very special ensemble performance. Wilson is normally great in everything he does and here he embraces the opportunity to be an action hero. It is a role that seems to come naturally to him and for once we see an ‘action star’ who actually does have a dramatic range.

Berry also seems to take a step up with the scenes set in space. Gone are the cheesy bits of dialogue that seem to trip her character up when she is on Earth and then there is Bradley who embraces his opportunity on the big screen and brings together the right mix of comedy and drama as he portrays a character who is easily the most interesting in the film.

It is a shame that there are things that hold Moonfall back from becoming a great film because the story that is at the heart of this film is nothing short of sci-fi genius. Moonfall will be enjoyed by those that just want to watch a big, dumb action film but be prepared for those scenes that will make you groan and think ‘what the hell was that.’

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krausz’s Moonfall Review:

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You can read our review of Moonfall that appeared in The Phuket News here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/moonfall-lands-where-you-like-it-82970.php

Trailer:

Summary:  A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 4th March 2021 (Australia), 11th March 2021 (Thailand), 5th March 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 2nd April 2021 (UK)

Country: USA, Canada, Hong Kong

Director: Doug Liman

Screenwriter: Christopher Ford, Patrick Ness

Cast: Olunike Adeliyi (Piper), Tyrone Benskin (Hammer), Claudia Besso (Gwen), Demian Bichir (Ben), Tomar Boyd (Farbranch), Bryce Buckbauer (Young Davy), Blane Crockarell (Young Todd), Mylene Dinh-Robic (Julie), Jazzy Ellis (Lilly), Cynthia Erivo (Hildy), Frank Fontaine (Mr Phelps), Patrick Garrow (Ivan), Francois Gauthier (Charlie), Isabelle Giroux (Jenny Hewitt), Bobby Hernandez (Captain Alvarez), Tom Holland (Todd), Oscar Jaenada (Wilf), Nick Jonas (Davy Prentiss Jnr.), Don Jordan (Tam), Vincent Leclerc (Daws), Bethany Anne Lind (Karyssa Hewitt), Ray McKinnon (Matthew), Mads Mikkelsen (Mayor Prentiss), Tara Nicodemo (Tara), Yadi Nieves (Jackie), David Oyelowo (Aaron), Petra Post (Sweet Julie), Julian Richings (Gault), Daisy Ridley (Viola), Peter Seaborn (Caleb), Kurt Sutter (Cillian)

Running Time: 109 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 12-A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR CHAOS WALKING REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Chaos Walking Review:

Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley! When it comes to pop culture film stars you couldn’t get two bigger. She is the face and main star of the latest batch of Star Wars adventures and he… well he is Spider-Man. The fact that the pair of them have joined forced in a film that very few people know about despite the fact it is in cinemas now is deeply astounding.

With America’s cinemas still out of commission it feels like some films are being released into cinemas without much fanfare and sadly Chaos Walking is one of those. Not just sadly because it means pop culture fans are likely to miss out on two of their favourite stars on the big screen but also sadly because this is one teenage post-apocalyptic movie that is going to appeal to people of all ages.

Set on a planet called New World Chaos Walking finds Todd (Tom Holland Spider-Man: Far From Home) living in a woman-less society. Raised by Ben (Demian Bichir – The Hateful Eight) and Cillian (Kurt Sutter – Sons Of Anarchy) Todd has been raised to believe that all woman on the planet were killed by an invading army of aliens. Now he spends the days working on the farm, trying to control his Noise (thoughts that can be heard by others) and trying to avoid a mad priest (David Oyelowo – Selma).

Todd’s fathers become worried though when he starts to find favour with the town’s fearless Mayor (Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round) but even that relationship is put to the test when Todd is the person that finds the crashed space-craft of a young woman named Viola (Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

Directed by Doug Liman, the amazing filmmaker who has brought us films like The Bourne Identity and Edge Of Tomorrow, Chaos Walking goes far beyond your average teenage dystopian film and places itself in that elite side of the category that includes films like The Maze Runner and Divergent. Despite knowing the audience that this film is based at there is something edgy about the film. Todd doesn’t mind dropping the odd profanity and when the heroes do find themselves under the threat you know there is a good chance they may not get out of it alive.

The alternative nature of the film also seems to be embraced by the actors. Mads Mikkelsen brings his A-Game as he portrays a menacing Mayor with a world of secrets while the film also exposes a side of the acting of Ridley and Holland that few would have seen before. Many people have wondered whether or not Ridley has what it takes to make a career for herself outside of Star Wars and this is the film that suggests she certainly can.

The same can also be said for Holland. Unlike Ridley though Tom Holland had runs on the board before the franchise that made him a household name. Anyone who watched The Impossible, a film about the tragic Boxing Day tsunami, knew that Holland was going to become a star. Here in Chaos Walking he does what he did last year with The Current War and shows that he is going to be one of Hollywood’s best actors with or without the label of a superhero behind him.

Much of what there is to like about Chaos Walking also comes to the brilliant work of Doug Liman. Just like he did with The Bourne Identity Liman has audiences on the edge of their seat for a majority of the film and this is a film that he had to work hard to make. There were frequent re-writes and re-shoots throughout the film which of course caused major concerns with the busy schedules of the film’s stars so it really is a miracle that this film has ever made it cinemas. Those that love quality films though will be very thankful that it did.

Chaos Walking is one of the surprise hits of 2021. A step above most teenage sci-fi films this is the kind of film that will be embraced by people of all ages and once you have seen it you will be eagerly waiting to see if they decide to make more films in the franchise.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krausz’s Chaos Walking Review

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Lee Griffiths’ Chaos Walking Review:

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IMDB Rating:

Chaos Walking (2021) on IMDb

Other Subculture Chaos Walking Reviews:

You can also check out our review that ran in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/tom-holland-daisy-ridley-find-themselves-chaos-walking-79318.php

Trailer:

Summary: A terminally ill mother arranges for her family to get together one more time before she dies.

Year: 2019

Cinema Release Dates: 25th February 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 21st September 2020 (UK)

Country: USA/UK

Director: Roger Michell

Screenwriter: Christian Torpe

Cast: Anson Boon (Jonathan), Lindsay Duncan (Liz), Sam Neil (Paul), Susan Sarandon (Lily), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Chris), Mia Wasikowska (Anna), Rainn Wilson (Michael), Kate Winslet (Jennifer)

Running Time: 97 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

BLACKBIRD REVIEWS

David Griffiths and Lee G’s Blackbird Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Alex First, Greg King and Peter Krauszs Blackbird Review:

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Blackbird (2019) on IMDb

Other Subculture Blackbird Reviews:

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Trailer:

Summary: A group of middle-aged school teachers take part in a medical experiment that involves constant drinking in a bid to turn around their mundane lives

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 11th February 2021 (Australia), 18th December 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Screenwriter: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm

Cast: Maria Bonnevie (Anika), Cassius Aasav Browning (Sander), Aya Grann (Josephine), Martin Greis-Rosenthal (Overtjener), Waldemar Beer Hansen (Hjalte), Max Kaysen Hoyrup (Brille), Gustav Sigurth Jeppeson (Rasmus), Thomas Bo Larsen (Tommy), Freja Bella Lindahl (Caro), Albert Rudbeck Lindhart (Sebastian), Lucas Helt Mortensen (Fjonk), Mads Mikkelsen (Martin), Magnus Millang (Nikolaj), Maria Ovi (Sigrid), Clara Phillipson (Nicola), Helene Reingaard Neumann (Amalie), Lars Ranthe (Peter), Frederik Winther Rasmussen (Malthe), Mercedes Claro Schelin (Laura), Magnus Sjorup (Jonas), Silas Cornelius Van (Kasper), Aksel Vedseggard (Jason), Susse Wold (Rektor)

Running Time: 117 mins

Classification: M (Australia), TV-MA (USA)

ANOTHER ROUND REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Another Round Review:

After the disaster that was Buddy Games you could probably understand why I was a little nervous about sitting down and watching another film about middle aged men getting up to drunken hi-jinks with Another Round. Of course I didn’t factor something major into the equation though – Buddy Games of course came from that merry old country of the USA while Another Round hails from Scandinavia… a region of the world known for its brilliant cinematic pieces.

It is partially true that Another Round is about drunken hi-jinks, because realistically the film goes a lot deeper than that. The film centres around a depressed high school history teacher named Martin (Mads Mikkelsen – Doctor Strange) who is made aware of how far he has sunk into depression when his senior history class raises concerns that they are being so badly taught that they are likely to fail their graduation exams.

That makes Martin realise that his depression is also affecting his marriage and he needs to do something about it. That something is soon discovered when Martin and his school teacher buddies find out about a study, conducted by psychiatrist Finn Skarderud, that has revealed that humans may function better if they are slightly intoxicated. Soon Martin, Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen – The Hunt), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang – Heavy Load) and Peter (Lars Ranthe – Adam’s Apples) are conducting their own ‘research’ into the experiment with mixed results.

What director/screenwriter Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) has created here is one of the most important films of 2021. Often as a man you find yourself going through a range of emotions and never really knowing how to deal with them. Unlike Hollywood would have you think we don’t sit around talking to each other about marriage problems and if we are feeling a bit ‘down’ that week. Instead men hold onto it and let it fester – and sometimes it takes a movie like this one to really make us guys think ‘hey maybe I should do something about that.’

Another Round is not a film that glorifies a drinking culture, to the contrary without spoiling any major plot points I can say that the experiment at hand in the film causes some serious problems for some of the characters at hand. Likewise this isn’t a film that goes for the ‘childish’ style of excessive drinking that films like Buddy Games do, instead this is a film that has some powerful things to say and gets that across beautifully well. The heart and emotion that surrounds this film is understood even more when you realise that the director’s daughter died only days before the film begun shooting… something that touched the entire cast and crew as she was also to have a role in the film.

The powerful screenplay behind Another Round also has a massive affect on the acting performances in the film. Mads Mikkelsen is amazing here to the point where you find yourself asking – could there be an Oscar nomination in the wind? His portrayal of Martin has to be seen to be believed and he is so convincing in the role it really does feel like the audience is being taken on a character journey throughout the film.

I strongly get the feeling that when I put together my Best Of list at the end of this year that Another Round is going to be pretty high on it. This film not only deserves its Golden Globe nominations but is one of the films of the year.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First’s Another Round Review:

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Greg King’s Another Round Review:

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Peter Krausz’s Another Round Review:

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Another Round (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Another Round Reviews:

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Trailer: