Review : Mother!


“A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.”

So you might read that, and think you know what you’re getting yourself into, but boy would you be wrong. Mother is a metaphor, and I mean that in the most literal way possible, this movie is literally a metaphor, wrapped up in another metaphor, and a simile, and everything else literary and none literal. It stars Jennifer Lawrence as “Mother”, and Javier Bardem as her spouse, and in that, that’s as straight forward as this movie ever is or gets. Darren Aronofsky is known by now for his dream like storytelling and visuals, that he combines with very specific themes, that he almost always plays metaphorically, and leaves much to the audience to dissect and understand. This movie is no different, and is probably his most Aronofsky movie ever. To be fair, this movie isn’t for everyone, hell its probably not for most people, and it’s portrayal of certain ideas and concepts might really rub a lot of people the wrong way. This movie can come across as very voyeuristic, and almost pornographic in its presentation, and given the relationship between director and lead actress here, I think that makes sense. Mother requires a lot from Lawrence, and she gives it her all, and she is excellent in her role. A role however, that I think took a lot of trust and confidence in her director, and I think their personal relationship helped that. There is so much I can say about this movie, in breaking it down, dissecting and discussing it, but I’m never been one for spoilers, and I think a big part of this movie is seeing it, and being confronted by it, and then having to deal with that experience, and formulate an opinion from that. It also feels impossible to score this film, as for all of those that won’t appreciate what was attempted here, would probably laugh this movie off, so I feel like I have to score it based on those who are actually willing enough to try it. If all of this sounds a bit too out there for you, then maybe Mother isn’t for you, but if you like experimental, artistic, inventive, and out there stories and story telling, then give Mother a look.

Review Score : 8.5 out of 10

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Review : Blade Runner 2049


“A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years.”

1982 gave us one the most influential science fiction movies of all time in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. 35 years later, we have the combined vision of Scott, but this time helmed by Arrival’s Denis Villeneuve, with story by Hampton Fancher. It picks up 30 years after the events of the first movie, this time lead by Ryan Gosling as a LAPD Blade Runner charged with retiring older lost models of replicants. There is a lot more story here, but honestly, this movie is filled with so many unspoiled surprises, that I can’t really talk about much of it without giving a lot away. What I can say however, is that this movie is possibly the prettiest, most beautifully shot movie I maybe have ever seen, and that’s a real impressive feat given the general bleakness of this future landscape. That bleakness however, does allow the movie a kind of minimalist aesthetic that pairs brilliantly with the analog future design of everything here. It’s like they took what was done in the first movie, and instead of just going more into the future, they went into the future of what they had already created which allows 2049 to match perfectly with the original, but still feel new. That visual base is then stacked even higher by the acting here. Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, and the rest of the cast here are all spectacular. No one does understated like Gosling, and he plays this complex role to a Tee. He also cuts a great silhouette, and fits perfectly into this world. Even the more cameo roles here are so organic that you just believe these characters have been living and breathing in this world for years. Blade Runner 2049 is one of those movies, that might not be fully appreciated till years from now, for its contribution to the genre and film making. As slow of a burn as it is, it’s combination of cinematography, score, and subtle acting means you’re never wanting for more over this 2 + hour journey. Any fan of the original should be more than happy with this long awaited second outing, and even those who have never seen the original, should find a lot to like here.

Review Score : 9.5 out of 10

TTFF 17 Review


Salty Dog (Short\Trinidad 2017)

“When the rug is pulled from under his feet, a savvy old salt must navigate the stormy waters of his relationship with his estranged son. As tensions flare between the two, the son checks out retirement homes for his father”

Salty Dog is a short film written and directed by Oliver Milne, and features a cast, crew, and locations all related to the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As a short, it’s actually quite ambitious in its intended scope, and the narrative it looks to tell. Deep down I think this movie is really about homes, and the things that make them such. We see through the rocky relationship between this father and son that home for each has become two separate worlds, even if they both might be more similar than either would like to admit. You get a great sense also for the difference in lives each man has been leading, even in this shortened form of story telling. By the end, you get the idea that home isn’t always to same to everyone, and that maybe and old dog can learn some new tricks. Salty Dog is nicely done bit of story telling, with enough heart and humor to fill a movie with a longer run time.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10


King of Peking (China 2017)

“When home entertainment enters the market in 90s Beijing, a former projectionist ropes his young son into starting their own pirate movie company, but easy money comes with its own price tag.”

King of Peking is one of those movies made to make you feel warm inside. It plays on two major fronts, our love of movies, and our love for family. You feel for Big Wong and Little Wong throughout their ups and downs. They have a strong and great connection as father and son, and that connection is built on a mutual love of cinema. And we really do get to see that love, over the 5 chapters of the movie, and we really feel like we become part of the family. It reminds all of us that love film, that through right and wrong, through thick and thin, we will always have our favorite movies, and the connections we make from them. Shot with a real warmth, paced really nicely, and written super smartly, King of Peking is one of those movies that make you smile, and want to go home and hug your parents for all they’ve done for you.

Review Score : 8 out of 10

Review : Kingsman – The Golden Circle


“When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.”

Kingsman the golden circle, or just Kingsman 2, tells the continued story of unrefined youth turned super spy Eggsy, in a brand new story. Everything about Kingsman 2 is meant to be bigger and better. More action, more stunts, more fights, more guns, more everything. For the most part we do get all the “more”, but we could have done with a touch of the “less” also. The Kingsman sequel definitely makes some sacrifices for the sake of bigger and better, but in that we do lose a little of the soul that made the first movie so memorable. Bringing in their American counterparts in the Statesmen, the movie basically doubles its cast of over the top, but super charismatic spies, and allows for an entire new style to be used to great effect. All the great action you would expect is all here, where the movie falters, in its character development. All these new characters have their times to shine, but that spreading of the spot light, does mean less time to dive a bit deeper. I also feel like this movie made some choices in an attempt the deepen our emotional connections with characters, but served only to take some of the best characters out, most like in preparing for third and likely final entry in the Kingsman saga. Just like the original movie, this movie is certainly over the top, and doesn’t shy away from pointing the camera directly at the lesser flattering areas sometimes, and in some cases, some might find it goes too far. The new additions to the cast are also all fantastic, and do a great job to build out the world, as well as allow for some interesting match ups going forward. All in all, Kingsman 2 is every bit the over the top action movie you would expect it to be, it just lacks a bit of the deeper soul that made the first movie one of the best movies of 2014.

Review Score : 8 out of 10

Review : It


“A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of clown, begins hunting children.”

First off it must be said that I spent the majority of this movie looking off to a safe blank spot on the cinema wall, needless to say, if you’re not sure if this movie is “scary” worry not….its f$&@#ing terrifying. As the synopsis implies, this movie is heavy on the clowns, but what really matters here is it’s also super heavy on the story, and character development. It sees a cast of very talented young actors, who all add real emotion and depth to the story here, and you give you that human and emotional hook that a movie like this really needs. Lead by Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, and Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard we become deeply aquanted with the losers club, and the circumstances that bring them all together. They have great chemistry as a group, and each is capable of standing on their own, acting wise. Then we get to Pennywise….the dancing clown. In roles such as these (made famous by another actor already), making your performance stand out is a real task, one however, accomplished perfectly by Bill Skarsgård. I know a lot of his terror comes from special effects, wether make up or digital, but a large part here is also his acting. His tone, delivery, cadence and even movement really bring to life many of our nightmares. On top of all this however, this movie also shines because of its writing. Based of course on the popular Steven King novel, and adapted for the screen by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, It brings just as much dramatic, emotional, humorous story telling as it brings scares. It also benefits from not needing to rely on jump scares, but more often than not it uses real tension, and real emotional connection to scare the shit out of you. All in all, It is more than just a scary movie, it’s just a really good movie (that happens to be scary as shit and I recommend seeing it in the light of day), and really good movies deserve to be seen, and seen in cinemas.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

Review : Atomic Blonde


“An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.”

Atomic Blonde comes to us from one of the co directors of the popular John Wick movie in David Leitch, who had previously made his name and career of off doing stunt work, a credit which spoke greatly to the kind of movie John Wick was. He directors however separated with one going on to make John Wick 2, and the other Atomic Blonde. There are many similarities between the two, but Leitch does well to distinguish himself from the gun toting Wick in a few ways. Firstly, his visual style is ramped up even more here, and it fits perfectly with this graphic novel adaptation, giving it a real gritty and washed out aesthetic, except when he wants to be colourful, at which point he gives us blinding neons and super saturations that screen comic book page. Then there’s the action, which is surprising another place this movie separates itself from Wick. It uses minimal guns, and opts for a real brawler style hand to hand combat, that’s extremely satisfying to watch. They do a great job of illustrating the difficulty in a woman of Theron’s size having to fight men twice her size, and the double duty she must employ to escape. This movie also takes itself more down the mystery, espionage route with its story, giving the movie some nice breathing points to try and string the story along, and keep up the intrigue. All of this coupled with a pulse pounding synthetic score, and the biggest European hits of the late eighties, this movie has a real flare and style to it that’s hard to ignore. There are some small issues yes, and it doesn’t deliver quite the action level of some of its competitors, but with what it has already, it’s impressive cast of supporting characters and actors, and flare for the over the top, Atomic Blonde is a real sexy, fun, hard hitting ride, that doesn’t pull its punches, and is most definitely worth seeing on a big screen (with a big sound system).

Review Score : 8.5 out of 10

Trailer of the Week!

This weeks trailer of the week goes to:

Detroit (trailer #2)

You might have thought our trailer of the week this week might have been another black centric movie, but as much as I love the Black Panther trailer, I think this Detroit trailer is really something special. Detroit is the next film from acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow of Point Break (not that new one), The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty fame. Set to star a stellar, all be it young cast with the likes of John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, and even the likes of Anthony Mackie, plus so many more, this movie looks to deliver some great performances.

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The story is of course based on true events, with a script penned by Mark Boal who has worked with Bigelow before on The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark. It centers around a police raid that occurred in 1967 which then lead to some of the worst riots in American history, seeing even the National Guard being mobilized. I think this is going to be a really visceral and intense movie, made all the more difficult to watch knowing of how much truth lies behind its narrative. What do you think about the trailer? Does this movies look like something you’re going to want to see, or do you think it will be too much for you?