Tagged: Ryan Kiera Armstrong

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

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

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

Country: USA

Director: Chris McKay

Screenwriter: Zach Dean

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

Running Time: 138 mins

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

OUR THE TOMORROW WAR REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Tomorrow War Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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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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