Summary: An ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.
Cinema Release Dates: 20th January 2022 (Australia), 27th January 2022 (Thailand), 21st January 2022 (UK), 17th December 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: USA, Mexico
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan
Cast: Paul Anderson (Geek #1), Dian Bachar (Fee Fee The Birdgirl), Jim Beaver (Sheriff Jebediah Judd), Cate Blanchett (Dr. Lilith Ritter), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Louise Hoatley), Toni Collette (Zeena the Seer), Clifton Collins Jnr. (Funhouse Jack), Bradley Cooper (Stanton Carlisle), Willem Dafoe (Clem Hoatley), David Hewlett (Dr. Elrood), Mike Hill (Dogboy JoJo), Troy James (The Snake Man), Richard Jenkins (Ezra Grindle), Matthew MacCallum (Human Skeleton), Peter MacNeill (Judge Kimball), Rooney Mara (Molly Cahill), Holt McCallany (Anderson), Sarah Mennell (Abigail), Drew Nelson (Humphries), Tim Blake Nelson (Carny Boss), Ron Perlman (Bruno), Linden Porco (Brofo the Small), Mark Povinelli (The Major), Samantha Rodes (Zizi the Pinhead), Mary Steenburgen (Mrs. Kimball), David Strathairn (Pete)
Running Time: 150 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)
OUR NIGHTMARE ALLEY REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Nightmare Alley Review:
I am probably committing a sin against cinema by admitting this but I have never really been someone that has fallen for the whole ‘del Toro is one of the greats film directing’ claim. Sure he has made a couple of films that I have enjoyed but I stand by my claim that The Shape Of Water is one of the most over-rated films to ever hit cinemas and I will never really forgive him for making me endure Pacific Rim.
But something sparked inside of me when I saw the trailer for Nightmare Alley. There was something about this film that seemed appealing to my inner film geek. It looked dark, it looked slightly Gothic in theme and it seemed to remind me of one of my favourite TV shows – Carnivale. I was more than willing to take a look at the film off the back of what had teased me and I am so glad that I did.
Nightmare Alley centres around Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born) a man who is left homeless and jobless after deciding to run from his past. His journey soon brings him to a carnival run by Bruno (Ron Pearlman – Hellboy), where he lands a job through Odditorium owner Clem Hoatley (Willem Dafoe – Spiderman) who quickly teaches him the secrets of the trade.
But it is the ‘grifting’ work of Zeena the Seer (Toni Collette – Muriel’s Wedding) and her husband Pete (David Strathairn – Godzilla) that captures Stanton’s attention and soon he begins to learn everything he needs to become a ‘psychic’ himself. At the same time Stanton becomes infatuated with the ‘electric woman’, Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), and finds himself drawn into a new game thanks to psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine).
My first thought when watching Nightmare Alley was the feeling of how epic it was. Not epic in the sense of a film like Lord Of The Rings but epic in its scale of storytelling. This is based on a novel from 1946 and you can feel that nostalgia rush through your body as del Toro creates a film that really is only comparable to Scorcese’s Shutter Island. No matter how much you enjoy this film there is something dark and sinister that bubbles along just under the surface the whole time you watch this film.
This is a film that tests your morals. The treatment of the ‘geek’ by Clem is horrendous and the fact that the rest of the carnival staff know about it means there is not really a redeemable one among the lot. Then there is the film’s hero, Stanton Carlisle, a man whom the audience is shown the dark sins of in the opening of the film and a man that you know will screw anyone over to live another day yet somehow del Toro presents him in the film in such a way that you find yourself siding with him. It is quite sick when you think about it but it also shows me that del Toro has learnt so much about good screenwriting over the years that he is now a pro who can easily control his audience like a puppet in a pretty remarkable way.
Del Toro and his cinematographer, Dan Lausten (The Shape Of Water), give this film the dark, foreboding look and feel that it deserves and needs. There is never a moment during the film when the audience gets a chance to relax, like the characters in the film they are kept on their toes as they never know what is around the corner when it comes to the plot or who is going to be played next. If having your emotions heightened during a film is your thing then this is certainly the film for you.
What I also found impressive with this film was the performances. Bradley Cooper is in career best form and he gets to play the anti-hero Stanton and his scenes alongside Cate Blanchett are some of the best ‘theatre’ that you are ever likely to see. The dialogue between the two is like cat and mouse and their scenes together are some of the cinematic highlights of 2022. Dafoe is also at his sinister best while Rooney plays the vulnerable Molly well and is never over-shadowed by the bigger names around her.
I never really thought that I would say this but del Toro has delivered a real masterpiece here. The film takes its audience down a haunted rabbit burrow that they are not likely to forget for a long time. The film is kind of left wanting during a dry middle act but it is bookended by some of the best cinema that you will see in 2022.
Summary: Six people unwillingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they’ve all played the game before.
Cinema Release Dates: 1st July 2021 (Australia), 16th July 2021 (UK), 16th July 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions.
Country: USA, South Africa
Director: Adam Robitel
Screenwriter: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch, Oren Uziel
Cast: Thomas Cocquerel (Nathan), Nick Dodani (Flashback – Danny Khan), Jay Ellis (Flashback – Jason Walker), James Frain (Henry/Puzzlemaker), Isabelle Fuhrman (Claire), Renee Harbek (Priscilla), Anton David Jeftha (Orrie), Tyler Labine (Flashback – Mike Nolan), Logan Miller (Ben Miller), Indya Moore (Brianna Collier), Carlito Olivero (Theo), Holland Roden (Rachel Ellis), Taylor Russell (Zoey Davis), Corin Silva (Ensler), Derick Siow (Paramedic Jarrod), Tanya van Graan (Sonya), Yorick van Wageningen (Flashback – Games Master WooTan Yu), Deborah Ann Woll (Amanda Harper)
Running Time: 88 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions Review:
Dave’s rating Out Of 5
Lee’s rating Out Of 5
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions Reviews:
Summary: A young girl’s love for a tiny puppy named Clifford makes the dog grow to an enormous size.
Cinema Release Dates: 30th December 2021 (Australia), 10th November 2021 (UK), 10th November 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 10th November 2021 (USA)
Country: UK, USA, Canada
Director: Walt Becker
Screenwriter: Blaise Hemingway, David Ronn, Jay Scherick
Cast: Bear Allen-Blaine (Mrs. Jarvis), Adam Aminov (Reno), Willow Grace Becker (Sara), Darby Camp (Emily), Melanie Chandra (Susan), John Cleese (Bridwell), Keith Ewell (Mr. Jarvis), Tovah Feldshuh (Mrs. Crullerman), Barney Fitzpatrick (Freddy), Jacson Frazer (Sid), Karen Lynn Gorney (Mrs. McKinley), David Alan Grier (Packard), Sienna Guillory (Maggie), Tony Hale (Tieran), Neil Hellegers (Steve), Raymond Neil Hernandez (Colin), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Peta), Yasha Jackson (Meter Maid/Officer Zapatero), Ty Jones (Police Cheif Watkins), Khari McDowell (Austin), Alex Moffat (Albert), Madison Morris (Melinda), Rosie Perez (Lucille), Russell Peters (Malik), Paul Rodriguez (Alonso), Mia Ronn (Florence), Horatio Sanz (Raul), Madison Smith (Isabelle), Kenan Thompson (Vet), Izaac Wang (Owen), Jack Whitehall (Casey), Russell Wong (Mr. Yu), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Colette)
Running Time: 96 mins
Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)
OUR CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s Clifford The Big Red Dog Review:
Dave’s rating Out Of 5
Lee’s rating Out Of 5
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Clifford The Big Red Dog Reviews:
Summary: With Spider-Man’s identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Cinema Release Dates: 16th December 2021 (Australia), 23rd December 2021 (Thailand), 15th December 2021 (UK), 17th December 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Country: USA, Iceland
Director: Jon Watts
Screenwriter: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Cast: Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds), Frederick A. Brown (Fred The Janitor), Hannibal Buress (Coach Wilson), Thomas Haden Church (Flint Marko/Sandman), Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn/Green Goblin), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Jamie Foxx (Max Dillon/Electro), Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Jason Ionello), Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Alfred Molina (Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock), Adrian Moayed (Agent Cleary), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson), Angourie Rice (Betty Brant), J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson), J.B. Smoove (Mr. Dell), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), Gary Weeks (Agent Foster), Benedict Wong (Wong), Zendaya (MJ)
Running Time: 148 mins
Classification: M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Spider-Man: No Way Home Review:
Let’s be honest it is always kind of hard to gauge a Marvel movie going on the company’s promises. Every time a new Marvel movie is coming out they promise that it is bigger and better than the last one. Like all repeated promises sometimes they deliver and sometimes they don’t, but believe me you have to believe the hype when it comes to Spider-Man: No Way Home. Not only does the film deliver a new level of being epic, this is one film that is guaranteed to become a fan favourite… perhaps Marvel have finally found the way to create a film that true fans are going to love while still making that elusive cinema buck.
You have probably already heard a lot of internet buzz about things that will or may happen within this movie but don’t worry we will try to write this review in such a way that we don’t mention anything that you haven’t already seen in a trailer or a poster… and we will try to be vague yet informative about things that you haven’t seen yet.
Directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) the film picks up in the very seconds after the ending of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland – The Impossible) identity has been exposed to the world by Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler) and online journalist J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons – Whiplash).
Not only that but Peter Parker finds himself being investigated for the death of Mysterio and it seems like the world is turning against him. He turns to his support network of Aunt May (Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau – Chef) for support but when the impact of the investigation affects him, his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya – Dune) and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalan – Spider-Man: Homecoming) in a major way he decides that something needs to be done.
Peter then turns to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power Of The Dog) for help but the resulting spell that is cast has catastrophic ramifications. Suddenly Peter and his crew find themselves in a battle as foes from the multi-verse land in New York led by Doc Ock (Alfred Molina – Boogie Nights), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe – The Card Counter) and Electro (Jamie Foxx – Horrible Bosses).
What Jon Watts has created here is a very special film for comic-book fans. If you are a causal Marvel movie fan then you are going to like this film but if you are a die-hard Spider-Man fan then you are going to LOVE this film because this is something so special that the only one to describe it is that it is a once in a generation film.
There are some very special moments in this film for true Spider-Man fans, we will leave that at that so there are no spoilers, but it is how everything else that comes together in this film that takes it to the next level.
Somehow Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna (Ant-Man And The Wasp) and Erik Sommers (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle) manage to pack a lot of things into this film without making it feel crowded or letting it run past its welcome. To their credit they also bring the right blend of things to the film – nostalgia, epic action sequences, characterisation and just the right amount of humour. They have pretty much made the perfect comic-book movie!
The result is a film that makes Spidey fans gasp at times throughout the film – and in the screening we were in there were even rounds of applause and screams during some of the film’s big revelations, and that is something that you rarely see in modern day cinema.
It also feels like the actors here know they are acting in something special. We have known that Tom Holland is something special every since his performance in The Impossible but here he takes his acting to a whole new level. He almost has to as Willem Dafoe comes into the film bringing his A-Game. The scenes between Dafoe and Holland are legendary and it feels through Dafoe’s performance that he forces Holland to take that next step and become a true star that can deliver as well.
There are too many special moments in this film to mention and many of them would be spoilers so the best thing to say is that this is a film that Spider-Man fans are going to truly embrace and adore. This is the one time that Marvel has delivered something very special indeed for comic book fans everywhere.
Summary: In 2024 a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.
Cinema Release Dates: 11th December 2020 (UK)
VOD Release Dates: 16th March 2021 (Australia), 11th December 2020 (USA)
Director: Adam Mason
Screenwriter: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes
Cast: Carol Abney (Marie), K.J. Apa (Nico), Elipidia Carrillo (Grammy/Lita), Sofia Carson (Sara), Alexadria Daddario (May), Ian Duncan (Anthony), Paul Walter Hauser (Dozer), Andrew Howard (Reg), Darri Ingolfsson (Steve), Liz McHugh (Emma Griffin), Demi Moore (Piper Griffin), Craig Robinson (Lester), Paul Sloan (Boomer), Peter Stormore (Emmett Harland), Nichole Briana White (Alice), Bradley Whitford (William Griffin)