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Napoleon: A Grand Historical Epic or a Stale Retelling?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Ridley Scott’s Napoleon attempts to unfurl the enigmatic life of the French emperor through the lens of his passionate yet tumultuous relationship with Empress Josephine. With high expectations and an illustrious director at the helm, the film promised a grand historical epic. However, does it stand tall among Scott’s previous masterpieces, or does…

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Next Goal Wins – A Disappointing Struggle for Victory

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ In the realm of cinema, the anticipation for a Taika Waititi film has become synonymous with a blend of humour and heart. However, his latest endeavour, Next Goal Wins, seems to falter on both fronts, leaving audiences bewildered and disappointed. As the film attempts to capture the essence of the American Samoa football…

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The Marvels: A Mixed Bag of Superhero Extravaganza

Rating: ★★¾ Apologies for the tardiness, but we finally caught up with The Marvels, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film follows Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, as her powers become intertwined with Kamala Khan (Miss Marvel) and Monica Rambeau, leading them on a mission to save…

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Thanksgiving (2023) Film Still

Thanksgiving – A Feast of Horror Unwrapped

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ In Eli Roth’s latest creation, Thanksgiving, the picturesque town of Plymouth, Massachusetts, transforms into a haunting setting for a grisly tale. Following a disastrous Black Friday, the film introduces a Thanksgiving-inspired serial killer who stalks those held responsible for the tragic events. Starring Patrick Dempsey, Rick Hoffman, and an ensemble of emerging talents,…

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes – A Resurgence into the Heart of Panem’s Darkness

Rating: ★★★★ In the eagerly anticipated return to the dystopian world of Panem, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes takes audiences on a gripping journey. Directed by Francis Lawrence, the film explores the roots of President Coriolanus Snow and his morally twisted descent. The narrative revolves around his mentorship and complex emotions…

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Loki: Season 2 – A Cinematic Marvel Masterpiece Unfolds

Rating: ★★★★½ The second season of Marvel’s Loki takes viewers on a thrilling ride through the multiverse, weaving a complex narrative that explores the character’s depths. With Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as the God of Mischief, the season promises a deep dive into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the Time Variance Authority (TVA)….

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The Creator: A Visual Feast with Unexplored Depths

Rating: ★★★☆☆ In Gareth Edwards’ latest cinematic endeavour, The Creator, audiences are thrust into a world where the line between humanity and artificial intelligence blurs, and the consequences are visually astounding yet narratively enigmatic. The film unfolds against the backdrop of a brutal war between humans and AI, and at its core lies a search…

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Dumb Money: A Rollercoaster Ride on Wall Street

Rating: ★★★☆☆ In the volatile landscape of financial rebellion, Dumb Money invites audiences to buckle up for an exhilarating ride through the GameStop stock frenzy. Directed by Craig Gillespie, this film delves into the incredible true story of ordinary people who dared to challenge Wall Street’s status quo. While Dumb Money might not quite reach…

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The Continental: A Stylish But Short-Lived Prelude

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ “The Continental,” the John Wick spin-off TV series, we delve into the past of a young Winston, portrayed by Colin Woodell, with the added presence of Mel Gibson. Visually, it successfully captures the John Wick aesthetic, delivering that signature gritty and stylish feel. However, the narrative stumbles, feeling rushed and underdeveloped with only…

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River - A Mesmerizing Dance of Time and Emotions

River – A Mesmerizing Dance of Time and Emotions

Rating: ★★★¾ Prepare to be swept away on a captivating journey through the ethereal landscape of “River,” a hidden gem that defies convention and redefines the boundaries of the time loop genre. Nestled within the picturesque Japanese town of Kibune, the narrative unfolds at the elegant “Fujiya” Inn, where winter’s tranquillity is disrupted by an…

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How to Have Sex - A Gritty Rites-of-Passage Odyssey

How to Have Sex – A Gritty Rites-of-Passage Odyssey

Rating: ★★★☆☆ In “How to Have Sex,” directed by the visionary Molly Manning Walker, a mesmerizing journey unfolds within the captivating backdrop of the New Zealand International Film Festival. Through this unapologetically raw and immersive cinematic experience, audiences are plunged headfirst into the exhilarating, yet disorienting, world of three British teenage girls seeking liberation on…

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Echoes of Change: A Mother’s Quest in ‘Monster

Rating: ★★★★☆ We recently had the opportunity to watch “Monster” at the New Zealand International Film Festival, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda , a Japanese film that delves into the complexities of human relationships. The story revolves around a mother who confronts her son’s teacher after noticing a change in his behavior at home. Before watching…

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Oppenheimer: A Masterful Character Study and Nolan's Magnum Opus

Oppenheimer: A Masterful Character Study and Nolan’s Magnum Opus

Oppenheimer Rating: ★★★★¾ Director Christopher Nolan once again astounds with his latest film, Oppenheimer. A mesmerizing character study of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant mind behind the atomic bomb. Nolan’s intricate storytelling and attention to detail make this a truly remarkable cinematic experience. Oppenheimer delves deep into the life of its titular character, brilliantly portrayed…

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Talk to Me: A Refreshing Take on Horror

Rating: ★★★★☆ Talk to Me is a little-known Australian horror film that has been making waves recently, boasting an impressive 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. As someone who generally isn’t a fan of horror movies, I must admit that this film exceeded my expectations. The story revolves around a group of teenagers who discover a…

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The Rise of the AI Threat: Mission: Impossible Takes on a New Enemy in Dead Reckoning Part One

Rating: ★★★★¼ Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One takes the audience on another thrilling adventure filled with car chases, intense action, and high-stakes espionage. In this installment of the Mission: Impossible series, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, facing off against a new enemy: an AI entity known as “the entity.” The…

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Joy Ride: A Hilarious and Darkly Entertaining Comedy

Joy Ride: A Hilarious and Darkly Entertaining Comedy

Rating: ★★★★☆ “Joy Ride” is a raunchy R-rated comedy that delivers an uproarious and refreshing cinematic experience. In a landscape where such comedies are becoming increasingly rare, this film manages to find the perfect balance between crude humor and genuine heart, creating a unique and memorable viewing experience. The movie excels in delivering laugh-out-loud moments…

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Black Mirror Season 6: A Mixed Bag of Intrigue and Disappointment

Black Mirror, the popular dystopian anthology series, returns with its highly anticipated sixth season on Netflix. Comprising of five thought-provoking episodes, the season offers a mixed bag of intriguing narratives and moments of disappointment. While some episodes showcase the trademark Black Mirror brilliance, others fall short of the series’ high standards. Let’s dive into a…

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Fast X Review

Fast X – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! James: We’ve just seen Fast X at the New Zealand premiere. What is your take? Nayan: I really enjoyed it – thoroughly enjoyed it more…

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! Nayan: Hello everyone, I’m Nayan and I’m joined here by James and we just got out of the screening for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. …

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie – Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! James: Hello everyone, we just saw The Super Mario Bros Movie, Nayan and I just saw a public screening we didn’t go to the screening…

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Air – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! Nayan: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this review – James and I have just come out of Air – based on the Air Jordan shoe….

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The Last of Us – TV Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! James: All right, so the first topic we’re going to be talking about The Last of Us series. Now I myself have unfortunately not seen…

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Weekend Box Office Forecast: Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! Nayan: James, what are your thoughts on Shazam! Fury of the Gods? James: I’m pleasantly surprised. But, you know, I think both you and I…

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John Wick: Chapter 4 – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! James: Overall thoughts. What do you think? Nayan: I thought it was a fantastic film. Overall, each John Wick film always supersedes the others but…

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Scream VI – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! Nayan: So James What were your just overall thoughts? James: Well, I’ve only seen Scream V and I really liked it. You know, we’re talking…

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Creed III – Movie Review

Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in! James: Alright, so then what do you think about just the overall thoughts? Nayan: I really enjoyed it. I think usually the third film in…

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Don’t Worry Darling – Review

Florence Pugh adds another powerhouse performance to her repertoire while standing above a film clouded in rumour and conflict. Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling provokes plenty of intrigue but does so little with the material to substantiate to the viewer. Don’t Worry Darling has had one of the most interesting press tours that we have…

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Bullet Train – Review

Judging what this film is aiming to be based on its trailer is perhaps the most challenging part of Bullet Train; in truth, at its most rudimentary elements, this is no more of a thinking man’s movie than Hobbs & Shaw (2019) or The Gray Man (2022). However, its trailer gives off enough distinct style…

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The Boys: Season 3 – Review

The last three episodes of The Boys: Season 3 caps off the best season of the series so far. With stakes raised, powerful moments and the destruction of Homlanders psyche it paves way for the series to go in a new direct come Season 4 which could potentially be the series’ last. How do you…

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The Gray Man – Review

What on God’s green earth compelled Netflix to spend $200 million on a frivolous action flick directed by the Russo Brothers with stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans? Who exactly is asking for this film? And why isn’t there another season of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance? Well, with some context, this lunacy can…

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The Black Phone – Review

Many directors who enter the Hollywood machine are often faced with a looming creative existential crisis – do they trade away what makes their art their art for the sake of getting the project green-lit, or do they fight back against the villainous studio executives in suits that want to change their creations into something…

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Thor: Love and Thunder – Review

Coming off the success of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s second entry into the MCU fails in its attempt to mimic the formula that made Thor: Ragnarok work. Thor: Love and Thunder is at its best when it shows our superhero characters explore the most human emotion, love.  After so much loss and constant battles, Thor…

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Stranger Things Season 4: Vol 2 – Review

Stranger Things Season 4: Vol 2 brings together multiple narrative threads together in a pitch-perfect symphony of television magic – establishing itself amongst some of the best TV series of all-time.  You’ll see that in my review of Stranger Things Season 4: Vol.1, I really appreciated the wider scope, clearer vision and the setup for…

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Minions: The Rise of Gru – Review

Minions: The Rise of Gru achieves its goal of cramming as many gags and Minion mayhem as possible to cater and entertain the young ones. However, as a film it ultimately fails at further cementing this franchise as anything more than a cash grab.  Minions: The Rise of Gru feels less like a movie but…

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Elvis – Review

Taking on one of the biggest culture icons of the 20th century, Austin Butler dives deep into the roots of Elvis Presley and provides an extremely invigorating and dedicated performance. The rest of the film matches Butler’s energy, but struggles to tap into the emotional core of the king of rock and roll.  Musical biopics…

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Obi-Wan Kenobi – Review

Anticipation for Obi-Wan Kenobi was at an all time high before it aired its first two episodes. A project and character that Star Wars fans have been vocally wanting for many years just to see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as the iconic character. Sadly, it could not match the levels of anticipation as there…

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Lightyear – Review

It has been over 27 years since the release of Pixar’s Toy Story (1995) – a groundbreaking 3D animated film that dethroned the established powers at the time (Disney) by proving that the mouse wasn’t the only player that could conquer the animated film genre. Within no time at all, Pixar Animation Studios released multiple…

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Jurassic World: Dominion – Review

Returning characters, stalking dinosaur thrills and nostalgia bait is not enough to carry Jurassic World: Dominion to conclude this iconic franchise. The essence of Jurassic Park was pitting humans against dinosaurs and watching the characters escape from impossible situations. As the Jurassic Park/World franchise went on we were treated to less dinosaur vs human scenarios…

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The Innocents – Review

When thinking back to the earliest days of being a child it’s quite easy to forget how blissfully unaware you were of life’s most basic fundamentals like manners, healthy habits, behaviours, and most importantly, knowing right from wrong – heck, it’s hard as an adult to keep up with it all given the worlds complex…

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The Bob’s Burgers Movie – Review

The Bob’s Burgers Movie can easily be compared to an actual burger. You have the buns which represent the casual and die hard fanbases. You can then move onto the meat patty which has a mix and range of flavours which doesn’t quite work together, this can represent the story. You then have the salad…

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Top Gun: Maverick – Review

I’ve never quite understood the allure of Top Gun – don’t get me wrong, I too marvel at the sight of a fighter jet roaring to life and blaring off the pad of an aircraft carrier. And I, like many young men, have contemplated becoming a pilot simply out of its sheer coolness factor –…

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent – Review

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent may serve Nicolas Cage’s own self-portrait for his fans and himself but he is dangerously rivalled by someone who may just command the screen more than him in Pedro Pascal. Nicolas Cage stars as himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, facing an ending career and financial crisis….

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How to Please a Woman – Review

Sprinkled with subversive undertones and provocative messages, How to Please a Woman takes pride in its natural use of comedy with a surprisingly charming component. On the surface, it may toy with your moral compass but underneath, the moral is noble. How to Please a Woman follows Gina (Sally Phillips) dealing with difficult situations as…

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The Northman – Review

If there were to be one common thread seen across all of Robert Eggers films from the past 8 years, it would be his love of folkloric tales. In fact, Eggers devotion to this narrative tree is so strong that he openly admits to framing his entire films around them, often seeking simplified narratives so…

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Top Gun – Review

Launching Tom Cruise into Hollywood stardom and having state of the art visual effects for its time, Top Gun finds itself to be an entertaining viewing experience even if there is no substance to its narrative. Top Gun follows fighter pilot Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell as he participates in the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School…

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Moon Knight – Review

Bringing Egyptian culture into the Marvel Universe, Moon Knight diversifies itself from the typical superheroes we see nowadays whilst introducing a new culture to this universe. Exploring split personalities throughout a comic book series, Moon Knight delivers one of the most creative and engaging MCU content to date. Oscar Isaac’s performance as the titular hero…

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The Lost City – Review

Within the first 30 minutes of The Lost City, I felt like a lost lamb; pondering whether I was witnessing a poorly constructed film or just more manufactured tripe made for a specific demographic. I quickly came to the conclusion that I was seeing both of these things. The Lost City is a comedy-adventure film…

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Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Review

What’s the difference between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2? Well pretty much nothing I suppose. Apart from the awesome fan service and the introduction of two iconic characters from the game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 fails to build upon the first film and or explore the Sonic universe; adding nothing new or…

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The Bad Guys – Review

What do you get when you fuse the world of Zootopia with the visual style of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a narrative of Oceans Eleven? Well The Bad Guys of course. An engaging story and some fantastic voice casting, The Bad Guys is one of the few animated films that is trying to break…

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Everything Everywhere All at Once – Review

There are few films projected onto your local cinema screen that leave you feeling like every second you spent in that theater was worthwhile. Where you can concede that the film did everything in its power to faithfully execute its creators’ vision; to provide you with compelling characters and leave you feeling satisfied with the…

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The Batman – Review

If Batman (1989) was one small step, then The Batman is one giant leap for batkind. Matt Reeve’s psychological crime noir thriller is something we haven’t seen before in previous Batman films and while The Dark Knight still soars above it, this film is still a worthy entry into the Batman franchise. You would hardly…

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The Dark Knight Rises – Review

While it may not reach the heights of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises proves to be a satisfying conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga. An emotionally fuelled film which has you at the edge of the seat throughout the films run time, The Dark Knight Rises utilises its tension by incorporating real world…

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The Dark Knight – Review

The Dark Knight exceeds the parameters of comic book filmmaking and filmmaking in general by delving into real world themes and utilising those core thematics against the main characters. Fantastic performances by the cast – headlined by Heath Ledger, box office success and a pop culture icon, The Dark Knight has changed the way we…

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Batman Begins – Review

Darker, grittier and more grounded than ever before, Batman Begins ushers in a new era and new take on the Caped Crusader. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman strips the character to the core and goes back to comic-book roots, this is the Batman movie I have been waiting for! We have seen Thomas & Martha…

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Batman & Robin – Review

Batman & Robin almost single handedly destroyed not only the Batman franchise but the comic book genre in general. Joel Schumacher ups the ante in terms of cheesy one-liners and terrible puns, in which he creates quite possibly one of the hardest movies to watch that I have ever seen. George Clooney is quite miscast…

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Batman Forever – Review

New director, new composer and a new Batman, Batman Forever throws away the dark elements of the character and brings back the campiness and cringe of the Adam West era. Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever seemingly takes a large step backwards in the Batman franchise. Another film where the villains are the main focus and once…

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Batman Returns – Review

Batman Returns can be compared to fine wine, where it has aged perfectly 30 years on from its original release.  Batman Returns keeps what Batman (1989) did right and elevates it by introducing some new elements. Batman Returns is a character study for the villain’s story arc while the titular hero takes a back seat….

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Batman (1989) – Review

Gone are the days of Batman being seen as a campy character with a sidekick from the Adam West era. Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) reintroduces the character in a different light, black body armor suit, darker tone and less silly jokes. Batman (1989)  has reinvented the character and has been built upon within future films…

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Belfast – Review

Belfast gives off the scent of a life-long passion project made reality; one that the visionary behind this film had been waiting his entire life for the opportunity to create; to turn the pictures in his head into images on-screen. It’s not all that surprising that it’s taken this long for this film to get…

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Scream – Review

How many times can this film series scream before it loses its voice? Apparently five times isn’t enough. Not that I’m complaining, Scream (2022) is undoubtedly the best sequel since Scream 2 (1997), successfully reconfiguring the plot to work within a modern day horror framework. The consensus? Scream does exactly what a Scream film should;…

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Peacemaker – Review (Episodes 1 – 7)

Were you feeling underwhelmed by the Peacemaker character in The Suicide Squad? Or did you perhaps love the character and wanted more? Well James Gunn’s Peacemaker will settle those sentiments as it is as boisterous as The Suicide Squad while not being afraid to explore the dark humanistic traits of Peacemaker. As they say, give…

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Encanto – Review

Encanto has all the key ingredients to fit in alongside the best of Disney’s impressive animated features yet slips into a formulaic approach – stripping its chance to stand-out from anything that has come before it.  Encanto follows a Colombian family who possess the power of Encanto, a magical gift granted to every member of…

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Spider-Man: No Way Home – Review

Spider-Man: No Way Home is an extremely dense film to unpack with so many shifting parts to balance in order for it to work. Jon Watts achieves a purposeful equilibrium in the storytelling while executing what might be the most emotionally resonant MCU film to date.  The film directly follows Spider-Man: Far From Home following…

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Review

Despite the fierce intimacy shared by Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 falls into the same trap as Spider-Man 3 except it doubles down on misguided character motivations and incoherent storytelling. There are a ton of terrible storytelling decisions that play out here and the movie would honestly be in complete shambles…

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The Amazing Spider-Man – Review

The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t offer much in terms of Spider-Man’s origin, as we see Uncle Ben killed off again and offering the advice of responsibility onto Peter Parker. But with fantastic performances from Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone it is enough to make this film enjoyable to watch. While the retelling of Spider-Man’s origin wasn’t…

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Spider-Man 3 – Review

There are a ton of odd storytelling decisions and character motivations that make little sense at play here – mostly contrived of studio interference. Rewatching this in 2021, Spider-Man 3 contains so much of the key ingredients that so many superhero films miss today.  It’s an incredibly tall task following the greatness of Spider-Man and…

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Spider-Man 2 – Review

17 years since it was released Spider-Man 2 is still an enthralling film to watch which pushed the Spider-Man franchise to new heights. Heart inducing action, an engaging villain and an emotional character arc, Spider-Man 2 can still be considered the best Spider-Man film made to date. What makes Spider-Man 2 such a joy to…

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Spider-Man – Review

A lot has happened in cinema and the wider world since the year 2000. In fact, those who are proficient at their movie trivia may even know that the marketing material for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man included imagery of the World Trade Centre buildings. While it’s certainly not a pleasant piece of trivia to reflect on,…

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West Side Story – Review

West Side Story (2021) is a musical film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the stage musical of the same name. West Side Story (2021) follows two divided gangs in New York City; the Jets, an all-white gang of delinquents who aim to claim the neighbourhood as their own; and the Sharks, an all-Puerto…

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The French Dispatch – Review

In an open love letter that is all things old school print journalism, The French Dispatch features a large ensemble cast while incorporating the pastel visual flair Wes Anderson is known for. Stepping out of his comfort zone Wes Anderson creates an anthology of storytelling to ensure that it is one of his most unique…

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No Time To Die – Review

If No Time To Die were a Vodka Martini, the cocktail would be a well-shaken beverage; consisting of 1 part Bond flair, 1 part heart inducing action sequences, and 2 parts raw emotion – all poured into the Martini glass that is Daniel Craig’s best performance as 007. No Time To Die has all the…

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Don’t Look Up – Review

Adam McKay’s bombastic, erratic, cocaine-induced directorial style builds towards a timely cataclysmic message. Don’t Look Up zooms in on the societal climate we live in today covering particular aspects such as the social media age and misinformation. There is a persistent spotlight on the fixation of our current human flaws which may become overbearing but…

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Being the Ricardos – Review

Aaron Sorkin is a writer-director who is largely more of the former than the latter. I make this arid comment because it is of course followed up with some context. You see, when you look at the monstrous talent from a man like Aaron Sorkin you begin to ponder what projects would tempt a man…

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Last Night in Soho – Review

When I first viewed the marketing material for Last Night in Soho, two emotions swept over me that I couldn’t quite wrap my finger around, until now. The first feeling was a sense of anticipation for what looked like a fresh avenue for renowned director Edgar Wright. The second was a small degree of trepidation…

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Eternals – Review

So, what do we have here? A 2 hour 36 minute MCU origin story that spans over thousands of years which consists of 10 major characters. Sounds impossible to pull off but Marvel Studios brought in the Academy Award winning director Chloe Zhao to helm this ship. The results? A clunky and low-energy film with,…

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Halloween Kills – Review

Something, something, Halloween Kills my hope for the next film.  Halloween Kills is director David Gordon Green’s attempt at following up his surprisingly spooky 2018 soft reboot of the franchise. This film is a literal direct continuation of the previous film, down to the minute; Halloween Kills attempts to build on the momentum of its…

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Review

Resurrection or rebirth? The new Ghostbusters: Afterlife film makes it quite hard to distinguish whether this franchise has entered a new era of life or death. There are fundamentally two directions a franchise like this can go in nowadays; the direction of mass appeal or the direction of purist appeal. Mass appeal being of course…

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Dune – Review

For the better part of half a decade the common line uttered from avid book-readers and seasoned film-makers has more or less been the same; simply, that Dune was logistically and narratively unadaptable. The presiding thought being that the gargantuan scale of its world and intricacy of its lore would be the barrier between what…

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