Summary: A woman in her sixties, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
Cinema Release Dates: 18th February 2021 (Australia), 17th May 2021 (UK), 19th February 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: Available in all territories.
Director: Chloe Zhao
Screenwriter: Chloe Zhao
Cast: Jeff Andrews (Jeff), Ryan Aquino (Ryan), Greg Barber (Greg), Forrest Bault (Forrest), Roxanne Bay (Roxy), Bryce Bedsworth (Bryce) Teresa Buchanan (Teresa), Suanne Carlson (Suanne), Cat Clifford (Cat), Sherita Deni Coker (Deni), Paul Cunningham (Paul), Cheryl Davis (Cheri), Paige Dean (Paige), Gay DeForest (Gay), Derek Endres (Derek), Makenzie Etcheverry (Mackenzie), Emily Jade Foley (Emily), Jeremy Greenman (Jeremy), Ken Greenman (Ken), Patricia Grier (Patty), Carol Anne Hodge (Carol), Carl P. Hughes (Carl), Derrick Janis (Victor), Linda May (Linda), Warren Keith (George), Frances McDormand (Fern), Donnie Miller (Donnie), Terry Phillip (Terry), Merle Redwing (Merle), Angela Reyes (Angela), Bradford Lee Riza (Brad), Mike Sells (Mike), Matt Sfaelos (Noodle), Melissa Smith (Dolly), Douglas G. Soul (Doug), Peter Spears (Peter), David Strathairn (Dave), Tay Strathairn (James), Charlene Swankie (Swankie), James P. Taylor Jr. (James), Annette Webb (Annette), Bob Wells (Bob), Brandy Wiber (Brandy), Karie Lynn McDermott Wilder (Karie), Matthew Stinson (Nurse Matt), Paul Winer (Paul), Ronald O. Zimmerman (Ron)
Running Time: 107 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), R (USA)
OUR NOMADLAND REVIEWS
David Griffiths and Kyle McGrath’s Nomadland Review:
Summary: After 11 years, the Jackass crew is back for their final crusade.
Cinema Release Dates: 3rd February 2022 (Australia), 4th February 2022 (UK), 4th February 2022 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Cast: Jason ‘Wee Man’ Acuna (Self), Eric Andre (Self), Lance Bangs (Self), Tony Belleci (Self), Sydney Bennett (Self), Travis Bennett (Self), Parks Bonifay (Self), Lionel Boyce (Self), Errol Chatham (Self), Sean Cliver (Self), Brandon DiCamillo (Self), Rob Drydek (Self), Ryan Dunn (Self), Dimitry Elyashkevich (Self), Dave Englund (Self), David Gravette (Self), Scott Handley (Self), Tony Hawk (Self), Zach Homes (Self), Aaron Homoki (Self), Greg Iguchi (Self), Spike Jonze (Self), Johnny Knoxville (Self), Rick Kosick, Machine Gun Kelly (Self), Preston Lacy (Self), Gary Leffew (Self), Brandon Leffler (Self), Eric Manaka (Self), Otmara Marrero (Self), Ehran McGhehey (Self), Sean McInerny (Self), Nick Merlino (Self), Shanna Zablow Newton (Self), Francis Ngannou (Self), Danielle O’Toole (Self), Natalie Palamides (Self), D.J. Paul (Self), Chris Pontius (Self), Chris Raab (Self), Rakeyohn (Self), Jalen Ramsey (Self), Michael Rooney (Self), Alia Shawkat (Self), Steve-O (Self), Brent Stoller (Self), P.K. Subban (Self), Jules Sylvester (Self), Trip Taylor (Self), Jeff Tremaine (Self), Tyler The Creator (Self), Compston Wilson (Self), Davon Wilson (Self), Rachel Wolfon (Self)
Running Time: 96 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 18 (UK), R (USA)
Summary: An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief.
Cinema Release Dates: 5th November 2021 (Australia), 5th November 2021 (UK), 5th November 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 12th November 2021 (Australia), 12th November 2021 (Thailand), 12th November 2021 (UK), 12th November 2021 (USA)
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Screenwriter: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Vincenzo Amato (Director Gallo), Ritu Aya (Inspector Urvashi Das), Daniel Bernhardt (Drago Grande), Robert Clotworthy (Opening Narrator), Chris Diamantopoulos (Sotto Voce), Gal Gadot (The Bishop), Ethan Herschenfeld (Aranoub Magdy), Dwayne Johnson (John Hartley), Ivan Mbakop (Tambwe), Brenna Marie Narayan (Cleopatra), Rafael Petardi (Security Chief Ricci), Ryan Reynolds (Nolan Booth), Ed Sheeran (himself)
Running Time: 118 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR RED NOTICE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Red Notice Review:
It is perhaps a sign of the times when the biggest film to be released in Phuket this week is on a streaming platform despite the fact that cinemas are open. And when we say big – we mean big in every single way. Not only is Netflix’s Red Notice starring three of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment – the film itself is the most expensive Netflix film ever made with a budget of around US$160 million. The good news is that this time we also have a big budget film that works in every single way.
Directed and written by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Skyscraper) Red Notice begins with Special Agents John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson – Moana) and Urvashi Das (Ritu Arya – The Umbrella Academy) hot on the heels of notorious art and relic thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool) as he is about to steal one of Cleopatra’s rare golden eggs.
However when Hartley suddenly finds himself named as an accomplice of Booth’s he suddenly has to find himself teaming up with Booth and going up against his arch rival, The Bishop (Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman), in a bid to find the other golden eggs and clearing his name.
The plot of Red Notice seems simple but it’s not. Thurber’s screenplay is intricate with twists and turns galore that are forever catching their audience off guard. You could forgive a film starring three big names if it decided to become a walking cliché but that is something that Red Notice certainly never does. Instead it becomes a smart film that seems like a cross between Ocean’s Eleven and Indiana Jones and somehow manages to work to the point that it is sure to become one of the most memorable films of 2021.
As a film it is sleek – really sleek. The screenplay delivers a believability to it while its action set pieces look so good they could have been taken straight from a Bond film – there are fast cars, ritzy locations and chases galore, and somehow it all comes together to create something quite magical. Some people maybe a little worried about seeing Rawson Marshall Thurber’s name as director given that his last action film – Skyscraper – was such an awful clichéd mess, but Thurber has obviously learnt from his mistakes because Red Notice is flawless.
In fact one of the things that makes this film so special is the fact that Thurber has mixed genres so well together his past. While everybody wants to forget Skyscraper we need to remember that Thurber is also the man responsible for the best comedies of the last decade – We’re The Millers. That brilliant comedic timing is certainly present here in Red Notice, the film contains some absolute zingers with dialogue – and this is one time when outside the Deadpool universe where Ryan Reynolds smart-ass routine actually works well and enhances his character. You get a strong feeling while watching the film part of Reynolds’ performance working so well most likely comes back to Thurber’s screenplay.
The other thing that makes Red Notice work so well are the performances of its stars. Gadot, Johnson and Reynolds have a special magic between them that makes them one of the best ensembles we have seen over recent years. Whether it be delivering comedic lines between each other and locked in battle with some spectacular fight sequences these three work together brilliantly well. Gadot cements herself as a screen siren who can deliver both action and drama with her role of The Bishop while Johnson once again mixes action and comedy together brilliantly well and shows why he deserves to be called the biggest star in Hollywood at the moment.
Red Notice is perhaps one of the biggest surprises of 2021. This is one slick action/crime flick that also contains just the right amount of humour without tripping itself it. Its three leads bring their A-Game and they are working with a screenplay that delivers a truly memorable heist film. This is an amazing film and once again Netflix have delivered a game-changer in the cinematic universe.
Summary: The story follows John Parker, a 19 year old from Manchester who embarks on a journey to Brighton, the sJames Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Cinema Release Dates: 11th November 2021 (Australia), 7th October 2021 (Thailand), 30th September 2021 (UK), 8th October 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: UK, USA
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Screenwriter: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cast: Dali Benssalah (Primo Cyclops)), Priyanga Burford (Dr. Symes), Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ana de Armas (Paloma), Coline Defaud (Young Madeline), David Dencik (Valdo Obruchev), Hugh Dennis (Dr. Hardy), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Lashana Lynch (Nomi), Billy Magnusson (Logan Ash), Rami Malek (Lyutsifer Safin), Brigitte Millar (Vogel), Amy Morgan (Alison Smith), Hayden Phillips (Sir Sebastian D’ath), Lea Seydoux (Madeleine), Lisa-Dora Sonnet (Mathilde), Christoph Waltz (Blofeld), Ben Whishaw (Q), Lizzie Winkler (Alison Smith), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter)
Running Time: 163 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR NO TIME TO DIE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ No Time To Die Review:
Bond! James Bond is back! If you a hardcore James Bond fan, and a lot of us are, then the pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just when everybody was getting excited to see Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 the world went into chaos, cinemas closed their doors and we watched in dismay as the release of No Time To Die kept on getting pushed back further and further. I would be lying if I admitted there was a time when I was wondering if I would ever get to see this film. Well now the film is in cinemas, and I am happy to say that this is one time where that old wives’ tale of ‘good things come to those that wait’ is actually true.
Craig’s final hoorah begins with Bond retired from active service and happy in a relationship with Madeline (Lea Seydoux – Midnight In Paris). We quickly learn though that she has a dark secret that ties to her to the maniacal and precise Lyutiser Safin (Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody) who is about to unleash a vicious plague across the world.
When good friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright – Shaft) reaches out to Bond for help Bond finds out that things are very different at the agency. To M (Ralph Fiennes – Schindler’s List), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris – Moonlight) and Q (Ben Whishaw – Cloud Atlas) he is now an outsider whom they question whether they should help, and in fact he has been replaced with a new 007 (Lashana Lynch – Captain Marvel).
But as Bond works hard to try and bring the old team back together again he finds that just like Madeline he must faces ghosts from the past when he finds that perhaps his old foe Blofeld (Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained) may in fact hold the key to how to stop Safin’s heinous plan.
You could forgive the filmmakers behind No Time To Die wanting to do the Fast & Furious game-plan for Daniel Craig’s final Bond film of bigger is better. But luckily for audiences director Cary Joji Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and his co screenwriters, Neal Purvis (Skyfall) and Robert Wade (Spectre), opted for a different approach.
I’ll admit that I am a fan of their approach. I have always thought that Bond films work better when they are more natural and believable. Perhaps that is why I have been more of a fan of the Craig Bond films then I have of some of the past films. Here Fukunaga again goes for the more natural approach – the villain here is believable and instead of going for bigger-is-better action sequences he goes for some brilliantly shot car chases and fight pieces that in a way are more believable for the audience. The result is something much more suspenseful and memorable than the myriad of city-destroying action films that litter cinemas these days. At times No Time To Die feels like I am watching a big budget episode of Spooks – and I have to say I like that.
Fukunaga and his writers also don’t forget the fact that while they need action set pieces they also need characterisation. I would argue that you see more of Bond’s character and emotions in No Time To Die than we ever had in any other Bond film and the closeness that makes the audience feel to the character seems like a fitting way to farewell Bond out the door. Likewise Madeline and Safin are given an amazing amount of characterisation throughout the script – while we also see different sides to Q and Moneypenny as well. Sadly the same can’t be said for the character of Nomi (the new 007) – there is very little characterisation shown with her and the result is she feels cold and aloof to the audience, although I suspect that may have been a smart little plan by the screenwriters to show her in the same light as how Bond views her.
Aside from the beautifully shot action pieces here, and I have to say that car and motorcycle chases through the cobblestone streets of a small European town is one of the best action sequences in any Bond film, it is the characterisation that makes No Time To Die such a special film. It gives the audience a closeness to the characters that is often rare in action franchises and this is one time when Bond’s sexual/personal relationship is very believable. These scenes are beautifully played out by Craig and Seydoux and that becomes a useful tool for the director when he wants to tug at the heart-strings or raise the suspense.
It feels weird saying that an action film is a beautiful film but No Time To Die certainly is. There is a beauty to the way that Fukunaga has shot this film – a 4WD chase through the mists of Scandinavia certainly attests to that. The believability and sheer brilliance of this film makes No Time To Die not only the best Daniel Craig Bond film but one of the best of the franchise that we have ever seen. This is going to become a well-loved Bond classic.
Summary: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Cinema Release Dates: 27th May 2021 (Australia), 24th June 2021 (Thailand), 3rd June 2021 (UK), 28th May 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: John Krasinski
Screenwriter: John Krasinski
Cast: Emily Blunt (Evelyn Abbott), Chad Corbi (Jim Chimney), Wayne Duvall (Roger), Djimon Hounsou (Man On Island), Noah Jupe (Marcus Abbott), John Krasinski (Lee Abbott), Scoot McNairy (Marina Man), Cillian Murphy (Emmett), Millicent Simmonds (Regan Abbott)
Running Time: 97 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR A QUIET PLACE PART II REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ A Quiet Place Part II Review:
Cinemas are back open and the movies are back with a BANG! There has been no ‘slow-opening’ when it comes to blockbusters being released with one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year opening this week… after a delay of exactly a year (thanks Covid!!!).
Back in 2018 genre film fans were shocked when real-life husband and wife team John Krasinski (TV’S The Office) and Emily Blunt (Edge Of Tomorrow) brought their passion project, titled A Quiet Place, to the big screen. The film itself was a virtual cinematic masterpiece and fans begun asking for a sequel almost straight-away. Now that sequel has landed with A Quiet Place Part II and once again those fans are going to be enthralled.
Part II picks up exactly where the original film left off. The subsequent fire, thanks to the finale of Part 1, sees Evelyn Abbott (Blunt) and her kids, Regan (Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck) and Marcus (Noah Jupe – Honey Boy), seeking shelter elsewhere while the creatures still hunt them down whenever they make a noise.
They soon find shelter in an old mill alongside family friend, Emmett (Cillian Murphy – Inception), but when Regan finds a radio transmission on her father’s radio she becomes insistent that the group travel to where the feed is being transmitted from. She soon makes it known that if the others don’t follow her she is willing to go it alone.
It becomes very obvious early on with Part II that as a filmmaker Krasinki wanted to makes this film bigger and better than the original but without losing that ‘indie’ feel that was so obvious in the first film – and to his credit he manages to do that. The opening sequence which is a short prequel to the event is mind-blowing – brilliantly directed and still has a small town feel to it which makes it perfect fodder for those that love shows like Stranger Things.
From there though the film returns to the almost slower pace that made the first film so special. The film focuses on characterisation whether it be the audience being frustrated at behaviour of Marcus that often puts his family at risk or the emotional growth that we see from Regan this time around. The fact that the people behind the camera also had the sense to risk a large portion of this film being carried by young Millicent Simmonds pays off as well.
Simmonds is brilliant in this film and often steals scenes from her more experienced co-stars like Emily Blunt. She uses her deafness to her advantage in her portrayal of her character on screen and some of the film’s most important and memorable moments are played out with her alongside Cillian Murphy. Both Murphy and Simmonds are also made look even better by Krasinski and his cinematographer, Polly Morgan (Lucy In The Sky), who frequently give small nods to cult classics like Alien throughout the film.
The real key to A Quiet Place Part II working so well as a film though is the fact that Krasinski never allows this film to give in to the cheesiness that Hollywood so often feels like these films need. There are no tacky, throw-away lines placed into the film to try and get a cheap life and there are certainly none of those laughable jump scares that seem to litter horror and sci-fi films these days. It is obvious that Krasinski has learnt his craft by watching the films of the masters – directors like Spielberg, Carpenter and Scott, and thankfully for fans of the genre their work is mirrored in his.The Quiet Place Part II is better suited to those that have already seen the original film. While the flashback at the start of the film does do enough to give newcomers a bit of back-story once the film comes back to the current day there are things that happen that would only be understood by those who have seen the original. The great news is that for fans of the original this is a more than worthy watch and it reveals Millicent Simmonds as a future star in a role that is now truly memorable.
Dave’s rating Out Of 5
Kyle McGrath’s A Quiet Place Part II Review:
A Quiet Place was the 2018 surprise hit film directed by John Krasinski and starring himself and real world wife Emily Blunt as Lee & Evelyn Abbott, parents to Regan and Marcus played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. Largely set a year and a half after strange brutal monsters have wiped out most of humanity by attacking anything which makes a sound. The film followed the Abbotts as they try to make a literal quiet life for themselves on their farm in this new world of terror as they expect the birth of a new child. One day a series of events lead to the family being stalked by at least one of these creatures (there are 3 in the area), during which Evelyn gives birth, Lee is killed and Regan, a deaf teenager, discovers that the hearing aid her father made for her while it doesnt help her hearing emits such a frequency that weakens the monsters impervious shell allowing for the family to finally take down the creature with aide of a shotgun. The film ends with a cliffhanger as 2 more monsters race to investigate the explosive sound.
A Quiet Place part 2 picks up directly after these events, besides a flashback, where Evelyn, her 2 children and newborn infant are forced to flee their farm in search of aide and a new place to call home. They quickly come into contact with Emmett (Cillian Murphy) a neighbour with his own tragic story and former friend of the Abbotts in the old world. Upon hearing a radio broadcast the survivors set out to see if they can reach the source and if with Regan’s earpiece they might be able to honour her father Lee by providing some sort of larger scale fight back against these, until now, seemingly unbeatable monsters.
A Quiet Place was a movie that i personally didnt enjoy nearly as much as many others did. I found it to be a film with quite an interesting premise and being set in a world where characters had to remain as silent as possible I was really interested to see how it played out. Unfortunately while the movie featured a talented cast of actors, impressive special effects and effective jump scares the writing and world building I found somewhat lacking & hurt the believability of the film.
The thing which bothered me most watching the movie was that while I found John Krasinski had done an amazing job in taking a horror story of such an odd nature with little to no spoken dialogue and making it work extremely well, the film by its very nature almost encouraged the audience to think “why dont they do this, why dont they do that”. Some of this second guessing is inevitable with a genre film such as this but here was a movie with great actors, looked amazing and incredibly was never boring despite such long and silent moments when one could argue not much was happening. However I have to assume that most of the audience would like me be thinking about what they would find themselves doing in a situation such as the Abbotts found themselves in and this is just sitting in the audience for 90 minutes, rhe Abbotts have been living in this world for a year and a half and we see the story opens with the death of one of their children. If we the audience can think “maybe they should be living near that waterfall which provides cover for sound” maybe the Abbotts should have thought of these things as well. If I would carry around an egg timer or, hell, even a rock just to throw to the side to privide some sort of distraction for these blind creatures who hunt by sound maybe Lee Abbott should be as well.
It was an interesting movie and I was impressed that it made for such a unique cinema going experience where the audience feels the need to keep as quiet as possible like say a deep sea movie would encourage us to hold our breath. Some parts of the film I quite liked such as the family having a deaf daughter and knowing sign language, rather than this being a ridiculous coincidence I saw it as a reason that the Abbotts have survived so long, they already knew how to communicate with each other silently. But as the plot contrivances and holes began to pile up I couldn’t find ways to explain them all away.
A Quiet Place 2 however I found to be a different case. A lot more is happening here with much of the film surprisingly not focusing as much on Emily Blunt’s character but on Regan and Emmett as they go on a quest of there own to reach what they hope will be a settlement and more survivors. The question is would they be people worth saving.
Despite the original film’s cliche’d “she cocks the shotgun and it cuts to credits” apparent sequel bait ending I can 100% believe that John Krasinski is being honest when saying that they never intended to make a sequel. Reason being is remember those 2 monsters that were racing to destroy whatever had made that shotgun blast? Well they both disappeared from existence which makes watching this movie as some sort of double feature quite humorous indeed as an immediate threat is set up only to be instantly forgotten about. Having the remaining Abbotts quickly dispatch 2 monsters in the film’s opening when a single creature had stalked them the entire previous movie may have nerfed the central threat of the series a little but still Kathy Bates’ character from Misery would be pissed at such inconsistency.
A lot of this movie is put on the shoulders of both Cillian Murphy and especially Millicent Simmonds. Simmonds as Regan trying to do what her father would have done and Murphy as Emmett a man who has lost everything, including possibly his mind, needing to protect his dead friend’s daughter both provided incredible performances which more than carry the film. Cillian Murphy is one of the most talented actors of his generation and fits well into his role giving us a character we’re not sure if we can trust or not.
Emily Blunt somewhat falls to the side in this film which is a pity but while the last film’s theme of protecting one’s children suited her having a much more substantial role, this film’s theme of children growing up and leaving the nest means it wouldnt have worked here. On that note in fact I was somewhat disappointed that the character of Marcus and Evelyn’s roles in the latter half of the film had been exchanced. Not to give anything away but this movie features a scene that makes the previous films stepping on a nail look preferable. The result is that Marcus is forced to stay mostly in one location taking care of a newborn while Evelyn goes in search of medical supplies. I couldnt help but think both their actions could have been swapped around with Evelyn being in the unfavorable position of having both her son and daughter out in the wild with her unable to do anything to help them. Especially considering that Marcus’ character arc in this film, not to mention the whole “leaving the nest” theme, would have fit better had he been the one forced by circumstances to be the protector rather than the one being protected.
The film has plenty more going on in it this time than in the last film. The characters moving from one location to another rather than the entire film being set in one fortified location also avoids the issues I had with world building in the previous movie. The characters act in a more believable way as they are thrust into dangerous situatuons that occur naturally rather than preventable situations they should have prepared for.
As the narratives split to 3 different focal points throughout the story it must be said that a credible job is done to seemlessly jump from one storyline to another without awkwardness or lapses in tone. As tension builds with Marcus exploring his surroundings and not knowing what he will find or what will jump out at him it also is gearing up with Regan and Emmett on their quest.
Once again the movie makes for an incredibly tense cinema going experience. It really goes to show Krasinski’s ability as a director that he can have 100s of people sitting in a room deathly silent on the edge of their seats too afraid to be the one to disturb the quiet by crinkling a bag of crisps and woe betide anyone who forgot to put their phones on silent as they’ll earn the scorn of an entire cinema moreso than usual.
Rarely do I find myself enjoying a sequel as much or more than the original and even more rarely do I find myself such a fan of a sequel to a film I didnt really care for. A Quiet Place Part 2 like Happy Death Day 2U is one of those freak occurrences. I was surprised when this movie got pushed so far forward from its initial 2020 release date with no question of an on demand release. However with its small and talented cast directed with an impressive eye for tension and jump scares this is a genre film the likes of which deserves to be seen on the big screen as much as any huge blockbuster. The interesting premise of the original film is still going strong here and I’m interested to see where the franchise could go from here.