The LTLF Film Thread (sponsored by FBS!)

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Jackass Forever

How do you review a film like Jackass Forever? That’s the question I ask myself. Well, I guess I just tell the truth, which is: This is a documentary about people doing really dangerous and stupid, yet funny things. It’s not a film. It’s not a documentary. It’s just a series of random clips where the Jackass folks try and inflict pain on themselves. I know it doesn’t sound all that appealing if you’ve never been a fan of the TV show or the previous films. However, let me tell you: This is exactly the documentary film we need right now. Something insanely fun and stupid and that we can lose ourselves in for 90 minutes and not be overwhelmed with the world outside. And that is what Jackass Forever brings to the table.
It opens with a huge set piece where Godzilla is destroying a city. As he spits his stuff at the Jackass team they fly through the air, they get blown up, they get set on fire and much more. Then you realise that Godzilla is actually being played by one of the crew… in a very unique way. From that big opening, and it is big, the documentary film just goes all out in doing random, weird, painful, funny things such as someone shot out of a cannon dressed like an archangel and then landing in water, painfully. There is the massive slip and slide. There is the scorpion Botox. There is the bicycle jumping over humans. There is the firing of footballs at high speed at other members of the crew. There is my personal favourite; the massive hand slapping people. Then there is Johnny Knoxville taking on a bull much like he did in the first stunt of the first film way back when. But Knoxville is older now and the bull is aggressive. It’s the type of stunt that you want to look away from but can’t. And then you realise why these films and the TV show have a very important warning at the start and at the end of them to not try any of these stunts at home.
Look, Jackass Forever isn’t highbrow filmmaking. It’s not even lowbrow filmmaking. It’s filmmaking all on its own. And you know what? It works. It’s just funny (and a bit painful obviously). But funny is kinda what is required at present and this documentary film nails it perfectly. It’s escapism of the finest order.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Dr Steven Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong and Wanda Maximoff.
What is it about Marvel movies that are meant to focus on one character and end up bring loads more into the fray? This film could have been called Doctor Strange and his amazing friends. There are characters in her that are just in here for the sake of showing what a huge universe (or should that be multiverse) Marvel have. Personally, I feel there are too many characters and as such one of the main ones, America Chavez, gets side-lined in the middle third and really this film seems to be desperate to introduce her as a new Marvel character who is probably going to get her own film or TV show. If that’s the case then just do it straight off the bat. Don’t mess around bringing her in and dropping her out and then back in again like this film does. It’s a shame as I was quite invested in the character.
Now, onto the multiverse. Or lack of it. Early on Strange and Chavez fly through many of the multiverses. After that it’s left to about three multiverses for the film to operate in. The issues is that everything is happening so quickly you just can’t take it all in. It’s moving at lightening pace because otherwise many would see that this film’s entire premise is pretty flimsy, which it is. The film needed to take a breath and let us all take in what has happened so far. But it doesn’t and instead it just keeps flying forward at relentless pace. When the film is good is when it introduces a slight horror element to Strange’s multiverse personalities. Now, that has to be because the film is directed by Sam Raimi, the man who gave us one of the greatest horror films ever in the Evil Dead. In the finale this has a few touches of Evil Dead 3 aka Army of Darkness. But because all Marvel movies are made by a committee it means that Raimi isn’t allowed to flourish with his own personal style. It’s watered-down Raimi, which is just sad.
I have to mention the flappy hand waving stuff. Much like in The Eternals there is more hand waving in this film than a traffic cop standing in Oxford Circus at rush hour. There is flappy hands upon wavy hands upon twisty hands. It’s relentless. This must be the new, unofficial, Marvel signature. It has to be because it’s done so much in this film that it feels like a signature stamp nowadays.
Joking aside, this film is low tier MCU. It’s just another film which feels like it is just there to tee up another film and then another film and then another film. I didn’t hate it. But I just came away feeling hugely underwhelmed about the whole thing.
 

Carlos

Massive Member
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Dr Steven Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong and Wanda Maximoff.
What is it about Marvel movies that are meant to focus on one character and end up bring loads more into the fray? This film could have been called Doctor Strange and his amazing friends. There are characters in her that are just in here for the sake of showing what a huge universe (or should that be multiverse) Marvel have. Personally, I feel there are too many characters and as such one of the main ones, America Chavez, gets side-lined in the middle third and really this film seems to be desperate to introduce her as a new Marvel character who is probably going to get her own film or TV show. If that’s the case then just do it straight off the bat. Don’t mess around bringing her in and dropping her out and then back in again like this film does. It’s a shame as I was quite invested in the character.
Now, onto the multiverse. Or lack of it. Early on Strange and Chavez fly through many of the multiverses. After that it’s left to about three multiverses for the film to operate in. The issues is that everything is happening so quickly you just can’t take it all in. It’s moving at lightening pace because otherwise many would see that this film’s entire premise is pretty flimsy, which it is. The film needed to take a breath and let us all take in what has happened so far. But it doesn’t and instead it just keeps flying forward at relentless pace. When the film is good is when it introduces a slight horror element to Strange’s multiverse personalities. Now, that has to be because the film is directed by Sam Raimi, the man who gave us one of the greatest horror films ever in the Evil Dead. In the finale this has a few touches of Evil Dead 3 aka Army of Darkness. But because all Marvel movies are made by a committee it means that Raimi isn’t allowed to flourish with his own personal style. It’s watered-down Raimi, which is just sad.
I have to mention the flappy hand waving stuff. Much like in The Eternals there is more hand waving in this film than a traffic cop standing in Oxford Circus at rush hour. There is flappy hands upon wavy hands upon twisty hands. It’s relentless. This must be the new, unofficial, Marvel signature. It has to be because it’s done so much in this film that it feels like a signature stamp nowadays.
Joking aside, this film is low tier MCU. It’s just another film which feels like it is just there to tee up another film and then another film and then another film. I didn’t hate it. But I just came away feeling hugely underwhelmed about the whole thing.
Underwhelming is the exact term I used to describe it. It had so much promise only to not really use any of the tools it had. I'll avoid any spoilers until everyone gets a chance to watch it but I have a massive issue with one part.
 

Strummer

Orel Mangala Fan Club
Underwhelming is the exact term I used to describe it. It had so much promise only to not really use any of the tools it had. I'll avoid any spoilers until everyone gets a chance to watch it but I have a massive issue with one part.

I am going to watch it this weekend, so we can compare notes!

Dr. Strange is one of my favourite Marvel characters and I loved the first film, so I’m hoping they haven’t cocked it up too badly.
 

Carlos

Massive Member
I am going to watch it this weekend, so we can compare notes!

Dr. Strange is one of my favourite Marvel characters and I loved the first film, so I’m hoping they haven’t cocked it up too badly.
Don't get me wrong mate it isn't a "bad" film, it just should have been a lot better. Perhaps it's fell foul of following the superb Spiderman movie and having been hyped up massively for years
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Everything Everywhere All At Once

An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
More filmmaking like this please. More films like this. Films that defy standard film tropes and conventions and instead throw everything into the mix and also make all of those things work perfectly. More individual filmmaking please because this film is an absolute delight from start to finish. It’s also a head-spinner as well. You really have to keep up because otherwise you are going to find yourself lost in the multitude of universes that the protagonist finds themselves in. I’ll say this, it is totally worth keeping up with because the film switches between family drama and Sci-Fi action/adventure with relative ease. The first couple of times it happens its all done with a lot of comedy. Then after that it switches to full-on action and it does not disappoint in those stakes either.
So what can I tell you about the film without spoiling too much?! Well, not a lot. Here’s what I can say. Michelle Yeoh is absolutely brilliant in the lead role of Evelyn. This is a woman who just wants to expand the family washeteria business, but her tax returns are under scrutiny. Then something happens as they get in the elevator to go see the tax person and suddenly the film flips everything. That’s when the adrenalin of “What Is happening?!” kicks in and the film goes all out on the action and adventure efforts. I think Yeoh’s fighting in the film is easily as good as her work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The woman really packs a punch… and a kick. I love how easily she switches from homely housewife and business owner to full-on deranged action star in this film. I’m really not sure many action stars, male or female, would have been able to pull off this type of performance. But Yeoh does it perfectly and so naturally.
So my suggestion to you is: Don’t read or watch too much of this film before going to see it because the twists and turns and the surprises in this film are going to leave your jaw on the floor. It’s very funny, it’s violent and it’s, in a weird way, easy to follow. Marvel could never make multi-verses this easy to follow and this brutal. Top notch filmmaking all-round for this.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Uncharted

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.
Films based on popular computer games have only really found their footing over the past few years. Before that it really was a treasure trove of who had made the worst game-to-film adaptation. Uncharted, I’m reliably informed, has been a massive seller as a game so it makes sense to make it into a film. Here we have Tom Holland playing the lead character of Nathan Drake in a sort of Tom Cruise in Cocktail meets Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones but nowhere near as good as those actors/characters. This character just sort of exists in this space that is already occupied by a million other action/adventure lead heroes that have all been forgotten about within months of their film coming out. The same will happen here. There is nothing interesting about Drake or Sully or any of the people they meet along the way. The adventure part of the film comes & goes without any real impact. It’s also a pretty simple adventure storyline too. There isn’t loads of twists and turns. It’s everything that makes this film quite a dull watch.
I will say this: There are two great action set pieces. One involves Drake jumping out of a plane while strapped to some heavy boxes and then a car coming flying after him. There is also a good finale set pieces involving helicopters carrying old fashioned Pirate ships. Yep, you heard me. Helicopters carrying ships. Bizarre yet it works. I am reliably informed they are from the computer game as well. So I guess it makes sense to keep them in.
But the rest of the film is pretty dull. The heist at the beginning is lifeless. The interaction between Drake and Sully is desperately trying to be hip and cool and sarcastic. It comes off looking & sounding desperate. I do think Holland was a good choice for the role. He is good at the running & jumping stuff (as we’ve seen in the Spider-Man films). But the film just offers nothing of note for him to get his teeth into. Were it not for Holland’s charm and entertainment factor then this film would be a real stinker. As it is, it’s watchable. Just don’t expect it to live long in the memory afterwards.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

A lonely bushwoman struggles to raise her children and run the family farm while her husband is away.
So this film is based on a play that was then made into a book by the director Leah Purcell. So it’s safe to say she knows the story inside out. Also, Purcell plays Molly Johnson in the film as she did on the stage, and I have to say that she is terrific here. When we first meet Molly she is a homely woman just looking after the kids, sweeping the homestead and generally getting on with life until her husband returns. It’s only when a wanted outlaw comes onto her property do we see a different side to Johnson. This is when the film switches from a drama into a thriller, and maybe even touching the horror genre as well, because Molly is ready to go all guns blazing to defend her property and her kids.
But then the question arises of: what if the person you thought was against you is actually on your side and those you thought were there to help are actually there to hind?! This is something that Molly has to come to terms with in a very quick way because the wanted man on her property has a dark secret that involves Molly. This then puts a different perspective on what Molly has been doing up to that point. The film is set in 1893 in the Australian outback, so it deals with racism and aboriginal heritage alongside being a family drama/thriller. It’s a taut piece of work that doesn’t so much as dial up the tense as let it play out naturally and make thought-provoking suggestions and observations about life at that time and how different it was depending on where you were from and what colour your skin was.
It is certainly a movie that benefits from the vast expanses of the Australian outback. The cinematography doing a great job of showing just how alone Molly is out in the wilderness most of the time. And even when she has visitors she is still very stand off-ish towards them. Her life is her kids, and she is ready to do anything to protect them, like any mother does. It’s just this mother is having to deal with shocking revelations to her life and her livelihood.
This is a good, little indie film that will catch a few people off guard as to what it is doing and saying.
 

Strummer

Orel Mangala Fan Club
Everything Everywhere All At Once

An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
More filmmaking like this please. More films like this. Films that defy standard film tropes and conventions and instead throw everything into the mix and also make all of those things work perfectly. More individual filmmaking please because this film is an absolute delight from start to finish. It’s also a head-spinner as well. You really have to keep up because otherwise you are going to find yourself lost in the multitude of universes that the protagonist finds themselves in. I’ll say this, it is totally worth keeping up with because the film switches between family drama and Sci-Fi action/adventure with relative ease. The first couple of times it happens its all done with a lot of comedy. Then after that it switches to full-on action and it does not disappoint in those stakes either.
So what can I tell you about the film without spoiling too much?! Well, not a lot. Here’s what I can say. Michelle Yeoh is absolutely brilliant in the lead role of Evelyn. This is a woman who just wants to expand the family washeteria business, but her tax returns are under scrutiny. Then something happens as they get in the elevator to go see the tax person and suddenly the film flips everything. That’s when the adrenalin of “What Is happening?!” kicks in and the film goes all out on the action and adventure efforts. I think Yeoh’s fighting in the film is easily as good as her work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The woman really packs a punch… and a kick. I love how easily she switches from homely housewife and business owner to full-on deranged action star in this film. I’m really not sure many action stars, male or female, would have been able to pull off this type of performance. But Yeoh does it perfectly and so naturally.
So my suggestion to you is: Don’t read or watch too much of this film before going to see it because the twists and turns and the surprises in this film are going to leave your jaw on the floor. It’s very funny, it’s violent and it’s, in a weird way, easy to follow. Marvel could never make multi-verses this easy to follow and this brutal. Top notch filmmaking all-round for this.

I am so looking forward to this.
 

Trents

Jack Burkitt
I watched The Northman last night. Following the success of such series as Vikings and The Last Kingdom it's no surprise to to see a similar themed movie arrive. If you enjoyed those series like me, I'm sure you'll like this.

The costumes, sets and scenery are wonderful. With an cast lined with stars the budget must have been generous on this one. Now I don't mind a bit of graphic violence in films, but this took it to a level that I'd not seen before. It's very raw, and goes to uncomfortable places morally that you don't often visit.

The base story is a pretty basic one of revenge. It does go a bit WTF in places with Shamen and hallucinations. This would have been just as good without that. The 2nd hour of the film did seem to drag on a bit up to the inevitable ending.

A good turn by Alexander Skarsgård who brought much of the madness to life.
 

HBB

Geoff Thomas
Death On The Nile

While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.
Kenneth Branagh returns to the moustached detective for another outing. The previous outing was all a bit lifeless and flat. This one is almost dead on arrival. It is one of the most boring films I’ve seen recently. Nothing really happens, and I do mean that even though three people die and there is a big murder investigation. It’s all very lacklustre in everything it does. It takes nearly an hour before Gal Gadot’s Linnet Ridgeway is mysteriously killed. The problem is that by that point you are either meant to like or hate the character, and I just felt nothing for her. It’s an empty character who is meant to be one of the antagonists. So the film spends a ridiculous amount of time introducing us to the cast of characters and showing us all their pros & cons. This is meant to keep you guessing as to who might have done the murders later on. All it did was elongate and already long opening third of the film. Finally when the bodies start piling up the film kicks into gear. Well, sort of. It’s just Poirot who starts to move up through the gears and is working everything out and using his great detective skills. The problem is that its all so dull. Branagh just doesn’t feel like a Poirot at all. He is trying his best but this is a character that just doesn’t fit his acting abilities I’m afraid.
And I think that goes for the rest of the ensemble. Each of them seemingly playing a completely different character than the one they should actually be playing. It is messily cast. But that’s not the kicker. The real kick is the accents. They are all over the place. Some of the worst accents all in one place. And I have no idea why British actress is doing an American accent or an American actress is doing a British accent or a Scottish actress is doing a French accent or a French actress is doing a British accent and so on and so on. It boggles my mind that Branagh thought it was a good idea to mix it up like that. It’s teeth-clenchingly bad decisions across the board. Which all come together to create a film that I honestly didn’t care about from about minute five.
I said in my review for Murder on the Orient Express that that film was oversaturated with CG graphics. This one is even worse. Everything bar the few rooms the move between on the boat is done with overly saturated CGI, and it looks terrible. In fact, the whole film looks and sounds terrible. This is a real clunker.

I hated this film from start to finish and that's pretty rare for me. Obviously we've probably all seen previous versions but the producer's clearly felt the need to add "more" to the story and the characters and in doing so have created a bloated monstrosity that is less than the sum of its parts. In trying to make his Poirot more Branagh in fact makes him less, no longer the great detective who we follow through an unfolding mystery he is instead lost in a froth of nonsense and inconsequentiality. The CGI is distracting and the accents baffling. Very much a misstep by all involved.
 

T.B.T.

Forum Princess
I’m really looking forward to Maverick hoping for a mix of nostalgic Top Gun associations along with a modern storyline and plenty of CGI action.

Out on 25th. #youcanrunbutyoucanthide #takemetobedandlosemeforever
 

Phooey

Jack Armstrong
I’m really looking forward to Maverick hoping for a mix of nostalgic Top Gun associations along with a modern storyline and plenty of CGI action.

Out on 25th. #youcanrunbutyoucanthide #takemetobedandlosemeforever
It's getting five star reviews around so, hopefully, should be setting special.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Benediction

The true story of English writer, poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon.
I really didn’t know anything about Sassoon before seeing this film. And now having seen it I feel like I learnt a lot about who he was and what he stood for. So I think in that regard writer/director Terence Davies has done a terrific job. We get to experience many parts of Sassoon’s life throughout the film and they are all bookended by these clips from the war, real footage, set alongside poems written by Sassoon about his time on the frontlines. That I very much liked because it gave it a real-world effect to the entire film. It reminded you that Sassoon was a real person and he experienced a lot of horrors even from a young age.
The actual storyline itself has a somewhat Great Gatsby element to it. Sassoon is very much an upperclass gent. He only hangs around with his likeminded people. He answers back to his superiors in the Army. He is someone who already has a great amount of bravado. And that’s before he starts to fall in love with Ivor Novello. Then the film switches to a love story, which then becomes a somewhat broken love story. There is a lot going on during this period of Sassoon’s life. The film is quite busy showing all different things that he is involved in, so it’s one that you do need to keep up with because many things influence his later years.
The film makes it easy to be sucked into Sassoon’s life because of the actor playing him – Jack Lowden. It’s a performance and a half from Lowden. One with pure magnetism. I couldn’t take my eyes off him because he was giving such a brilliant performance. One minute he was the most confident person ever and the next he was a broken shell of a man. It’s a performance that runs the entire gamut of emotions and Lowden is brilliant throughout. To be fair, the rest of the cast are excellent as well. But it is Lowden who really stands out and makes it his own film.
This is a film that deals with just about every single facet of the central character’s life, and it does it very well. Here is a man trying to make sense of his own life and love, and at every turn he is thrown something else to think about. There is really something to be said about this type of storytelling biopic being both standard and different. This kept me interested throughout.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Marry Me

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.
Oh Boy! Where to even start with the film’s synopsis??!! Well, it is much less believable than a fairytale. This film is a fairytale’s fairytale, and then some. It’s hideously cliched in ever second of its runtime. It’s a story that would never happen (It helps that Charlie is the only person at Kat’s concert with a sign that says Marry Me on it, and it wasn’t even his sign). My eyes rolled so much that I had become a master of the eye-rolling after this film. It’s exactly as you would expect it to be. Horrible from start to finish.
And yet… and yet… there is something about it that pulled me in. I sort of was won over by its terribleness and it’s horribly cliched romance story. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but I’ve since worked it out what made me actually fall under this film’s spell. It was Jennifer Lopez. The woman holds the entire film together and actually makes you care for the character. It’s an amazing feat to do considering how utterly self absorbed Kat Valdez is and how she really only cares about her career, which seems to only exist online. And yet…. I bought into it quite a bit because of the excellent performance by Jennifer Lopez. There is a nice tenderness to her when everything is stripped away and we just see the real Kat Valdez. I actually found myself rooting for her a couple of times.
I wasn’t rooting for Owen Wilson as Charlie though. Who thought casting this guy as Mr. Average, Mr. Guy-On-The-Street (actually Mr. Guy-in-the-crowd)? Because it really isn’t Owen Wilson. He is badly miscast here and I just never bought into anything he said or did, even in a so-bad-its-good way.
So this is a film that has one really bad performance and one really good performance in a film that is, really if I’m being honest, quite terrible. Yet, that good performance from Lopez actually redeems the film quite a bit. So if you like/love Jennifer Lopez as an actress and/or singer then you’ll like this film. For anyone else… all the best.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers

Thirty years after their popular television show ended, Chip and Dale live very different lives. When a cast member from the original series mysteriously disappears, the pair must reunite to save their friend.
Easily one of the most iconic animated TV shows of the late 1980s. I bet most people still know the theme tune too. So a reboot makes sense. However, this is not a reboot (that is available on Disney+ already), this is a continuation of the original series set in the modern day with a very modern type of storytelling. The film is very self-aware. Chip and Dale are aware of their stardom and the highs and lows it brought them. Here is very much a plot here about how stardom can, and will, fade. We see Chip doing the Comic-Con circuit and doing signings for fans alongside other characters from that era. This is something that is ripped direct from real life. It’s actors still desperate for their adoring fans. I love that about this film that it is poking fun at something like that and yet also making it a bit of a sad tale about desperately trying to cling to that stardom you once had. But that’s not the main plot, the main one is to do with the disappearance of Monterey Jack. So at the heart of this film is a sort of detective storyline, which Chip N Dale used to do in the TV show. But time has moved on in the crime storytelling landscape and this is another thing that the film self-references a lot, and it works brilliantly. Chip N Dale realise they haven’t been in the crime solving game for a long time so have to come to terms with the fact that they are already one step behind. Luckily they get help from a new police officer, and super fan. I liked this part of the film. It was fun, fresh and quite addictive as to what actually happened to Monty. So for the main storyline it does have an addictive structure arc.
However, I think what is really the best thing about this film is all the nods, references, visual gags to everything in the Disney universe and beyond. There are so many jokes with Disney characters and at the expense of Disney characters. There are visual jokes that you have to keep an eye out for. There are much-loved but kind of forgotten about characters popping up throughout. There are so many references to the old Chip N Dale cartoons as well. This film is a treasure trove of entertainment for anyone who grew up in the 1980s/90s. And it is all brilliantly done. I was in fits of hysterics throughout. Also, I must mention the animation. There is literally every type of animation going in this film. Every time a new character popped up it was done in a different style, and I loved the explanation as to why Chip was animated different to Dale in this. And it completely makes sense within the storyline.
So this animated feature film isn’t for kids. It’s for adults who used to love the show when they were kids, and that’s the point of the film: It’s showing how once loved but now forgotten can still make comebacks if done right, and Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers is done really, really right. I just loved this because of how clever and funny it is.
 

HBB

Geoff Thomas
Benediction

The true story of English writer, poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon.
I really didn’t know anything about Sassoon before seeing this film. And now having seen it I feel like I learnt a lot about who he was and what he stood for. So I think in that regard writer/director Terence Davies has done a terrific job. We get to experience many parts of Sassoon’s life throughout the film and they are all bookended by these clips from the war, real footage, set alongside poems written by Sassoon about his time on the frontlines. That I very much liked because it gave it a real-world effect to the entire film. It reminded you that Sassoon was a real person and he experienced a lot of horrors even from a young age.
The actual storyline itself has a somewhat Great Gatsby element to it. Sassoon is very much an upperclass gent. He only hangs around with his likeminded people. He answers back to his superiors in the Army. He is someone who already has a great amount of bravado. And that’s before he starts to fall in love with Ivor Novello. Then the film switches to a love story, which then becomes a somewhat broken love story. There is a lot going on during this period of Sassoon’s life. The film is quite busy showing all different things that he is involved in, so it’s one that you do need to keep up with because many things influence his later years.
The film makes it easy to be sucked into Sassoon’s life because of the actor playing him – Jack Lowden. It’s a performance and a half from Lowden. One with pure magnetism. I couldn’t take my eyes off him because he was giving such a brilliant performance. One minute he was the most confident person ever and the next he was a broken shell of a man. It’s a performance that runs the entire gamut of emotions and Lowden is brilliant throughout. To be fair, the rest of the cast are excellent as well. But it is Lowden who really stands out and makes it his own film.
This is a film that deals with just about every single facet of the central character’s life, and it does it very well. Here is a man trying to make sense of his own life and love, and at every turn he is thrown something else to think about. There is really something to be said about this type of storytelling biopic being both standard and different. This kept me interested throughout.

For those interested in knowing more about Sassoon, I recommend the BBC History Extra podcast and you can read more here https://www.historyextra.com/period/first-world-war/siegfried-sassoon-life-death-poetry-protest/
 

Cortez the Killer

Impressive member
People always talk about Sassoon's career in hairdressing, so it was good to hear that, before all that, he was a war poet and anti-war advocate.

Sent from my SM-G780G using Tapatalk
 

Captain Sinister

Senior doom Monger
I watched The Northman last night. Following the success of such series as Vikings and The Last Kingdom it's no surprise to to see a similar themed movie arrive. If you enjoyed those series like me, I'm sure you'll like this.

The costumes, sets and scenery are wonderful. With an cast lined with stars the budget must have been generous on this one. Now I don't mind a bit of graphic violence in films, but this took it to a level that I'd not seen before. It's very raw, and goes to uncomfortable places morally that you don't often visit.

The base story is a pretty basic one of revenge. It does go a bit WTF in places with Shamen and hallucinations. This would have been just as good without that. The 2nd hour of the film did seem to drag on a bit up to the inevitable ending.

A good turn by Alexander Skarsgård who brought much of the madness to life.

Never mind the violence, what is the tit count?
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Ghosts of the Ozarks

In post-Civil War Arkansas, a young doctor is mysteriously summoned to a remote town in the Ozarks only to discover that the utopian paradise is filled with secrets and surrounded by a menacing, supernatural presence.
OK, let’s get the elephant out of the room first. Yes, that synopsis sounds very similar to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village movie from several years ago. There is no escaping it and the film itself can’t really escape that ghost lurking in the background because it does for much of the film’s runtime feel a bit like a sort of prequel to The Village, or should that be sequel depending on the time frame??!! No sure on that. Ghosts of the Ozarks is a well-made movie. It uses its minimal locations well and for most of the film I did get a genuine sense of unease about what was happening. There are a few creepy moments as well.
But the problem is that most of this film is dialogue. It’s not as atmospheric as it could be. It’s not as scary as it could be. It is dependant on the characters all talking their own talk and making you question each of them but after a while you start to be a little bored with them all. There are certainly a couple of these characters that could easily have been trimmed out of the film and it wouldn’t have made too much of a difference to the plot. The other big issue in the film is how easy it is to pick up on what the actual supernatural presence is. Certainly I guessed how the film was going to end very early on because it is pretty obvious about everything it does. The problem is that the film starts out on this path very early on and can’t seem to right itself in-order to keep the viewer guessing. So once you have figured it out it is just a waiting game for the actual conclusion. The final third of the movie isn’t anywhere near as good as it could be either. Whether you guessed the ending or not, the finale should be this rip-roaring ending. But this feels like a bit of a damp squib.
This is a film that has some potential in it. But it’s too heavily wanting to be an M. Night Shyamalan movie and then also try and do its own thing. Unfortunately it comes a cropper early on and struggles from that point. For anyone with an interest in old time-y American-set horror then it might be worth a look. For everyone else, its underwhelming.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Fireheart

Sixteen-year-old Georgia Nolan dreams of being the world’s first female firefighter. But her father forbids it. But when a mysterious arsonist starts to burn down Broadway, New York’s firemen start disappearing. Georgia’s father comes out of retirement to help his old firefighting buddies. They are joined by a new recruit called Joe, as they set out to stop the arsonist.
Fireheart is set in the 1930s, that’s why the storyline is all about the first-ever female firefighter. Just incase you were wondering why that would be a story in this day and age. And because it is set during that period we do get some excellent background animation in the film of classic New York buildings and cool motor cars and some excellent clothing. I really enjoyed all the background animation. The foreground animation, the characters themselves, are nothing to write home about. They are the sort of standard, generic type of character stylings we have seen for many years.
So it really is left to the storyline, and that is OK. It’s not outstanding, yet there is some really entertaining moments throughout that did keep me interesting. Mainly it revolves around Georgia trying, and failing, to get her dad to give her a job in the fire department and then when he doesn’t she takes matters into her own hands. It’s a fun and quite easy going part of the storyline. Of course, underneath that is the theme that women are as good as, if not better, than men at many things and they should be treated equally in any day & age. It is a message that is hammered home a lot in the film. While the message is important it does feel overly used though. When the film is doing it subtly it works very well. When it keeps repeating it many times over the film it does feel like overkill.
Beyond that I did like the characters. I thought Georgia as Joe (spoiler alert! But you probably already guessed that) was really funny. I also very much enjoyed the family Dalmatian dog that comes along for the ride even though he is just about scared of everything.
So Fireheart might not be the best animated feature of the year, or even the month, yet there is a great message at the centre of this charming animation film.
 

FBS

Stuart Pearce
Top Gun: Maverick

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, training a new group of pilots for a very special assignment.
How do you follow up one of the most adrenaline fuelled, and erotic, blockbuster movies of the past 30 years? It’s a tough ask but when you have Tom Cruise involved it is likely to be worth the wait. And I can confirm that Top Gun: Maverick was worth the wait, and then some. The film does play on the nostalgia of the original film initially. We see Maverick flirting with Peggy, still in communication with Iceman and even keeping photos from the old days. So there is a lot of nods back to the original in this which I’m sure many will love. The interesting bit is that this film needs those nods back because it is almost like a bridge to a new era. Now we see Maverick teaching a group of new Top Gun pilots for a very deadly mission. It just so happens that one of those pilots is Goose’s son, and someone who Maverick has been trying to make amends with for a long time. So this film really goes deep on the PTSD that Maverick still has after the death of his best buddy and co-pilot all those years ago. Everywhere Maverick turns he is haunted by the ghost of Goose, and now he has to see the living embodiment of the next generation. And Maverick wants to protect him but Rooster, Bradley Bradshaw’s call sign, isn’t here for that. He wants to be the best like his dad was. He wants to beat the others to lead this dangerous mission. So this film is very much hitting a sort of coming of age for Bradshaw as well. There is this Love/Hate relationship between those two characters that I thought worked brilliantly. And that Miles Teller looks almost identical to Anthony Edwards back in the day. It was pretty scary, yet that’s amazing casting for you.
Of course, we aren’t here just for the emotional storyline (and yes it will get you teary eyed), we are here for the flying sequences and let me tell you they are worth the wait. These have been dialled up so much more than the first one. There are cameras inside and outside of the planes making it feel like we are directly on Maverick’s lap at all times. It is incredible cinematography, so much so that those who suffer from vertigo are advised to stay away because it throws the camera all over the place. The big finale is just one huge ball of adrenaline and relentless camerawork. It is an absolutely brilliant finale that just left me flabbergasted at how amazing it was. Truly jaw-on-the-floor stuff.
In the very real sense, Top Gun: Maverick is a true blockbuster. A true summer big tent pole blockbuster like we used to get back in the 1980s/90s. It has just about everything to keep everyone entertained. I don’t know how Tom Cruise and the writing team have done it, but they’ve pulled off making an outstanding sequel to a much-loved classic. This is breath-taking stuff, literally. Just make sure you see it on the biggest screen possible.
 

Carlos

Massive Member
Top Gun: Maverick

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, training a new group of pilots for a very special assignment.
How do you follow up one of the most adrenaline fuelled, and erotic, blockbuster movies of the past 30 years? It’s a tough ask but when you have Tom Cruise involved it is likely to be worth the wait. And I can confirm that Top Gun: Maverick was worth the wait, and then some. The film does play on the nostalgia of the original film initially. We see Maverick flirting with Peggy, still in communication with Iceman and even keeping photos from the old days. So there is a lot of nods back to the original in this which I’m sure many will love. The interesting bit is that this film needs those nods back because it is almost like a bridge to a new era. Now we see Maverick teaching a group of new Top Gun pilots for a very deadly mission. It just so happens that one of those pilots is Goose’s son, and someone who Maverick has been trying to make amends with for a long time. So this film really goes deep on the PTSD that Maverick still has after the death of his best buddy and co-pilot all those years ago. Everywhere Maverick turns he is haunted by the ghost of Goose, and now he has to see the living embodiment of the next generation. And Maverick wants to protect him but Rooster, Bradley Bradshaw’s call sign, isn’t here for that. He wants to be the best like his dad was. He wants to beat the others to lead this dangerous mission. So this film is very much hitting a sort of coming of age for Bradshaw as well. There is this Love/Hate relationship between those two characters that I thought worked brilliantly. And that Miles Teller looks almost identical to Anthony Edwards back in the day. It was pretty scary, yet that’s amazing casting for you.
Of course, we aren’t here just for the emotional storyline (and yes it will get you teary eyed), we are here for the flying sequences and let me tell you they are worth the wait. These have been dialled up so much more than the first one. There are cameras inside and outside of the planes making it feel like we are directly on Maverick’s lap at all times. It is incredible cinematography, so much so that those who suffer from vertigo are advised to stay away because it throws the camera all over the place. The big finale is just one huge ball of adrenaline and relentless camerawork. It is an absolutely brilliant finale that just left me flabbergasted at how amazing it was. Truly jaw-on-the-floor stuff.
In the very real sense, Top Gun: Maverick is a true blockbuster. A true summer big tent pole blockbuster like we used to get back in the 1980s/90s. It has just about everything to keep everyone entertained. I don’t know how Tom Cruise and the writing team have done it, but they’ve pulled off making an outstanding sequel to a much-loved classic. This is breath-taking stuff, literally. Just make sure you see it on the biggest screen possible.
I came away from that film just thinking "it needed to have all that time between the first film and this, also I can't think of a sequel to a classic that is as good as this"

Absolutely brilliant film.
 
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