Genres: Fantasy

Poster for the movie "Wonder Woman"

Wonder Woman

I enjoyed the movie but thought it could have been better. My main gripe was when Aries spontaneously appeared for the final smack-down with Wonder Woman towards the end of the movie.

There were so many opportunities for the film to hint at his hand throughout (rather than just hearing Diana tell us that Aries was behind the war), and so many squandered opportunities for both of them to posture throughout the script, that it felt quite odd for him to suddenly appear in the watchtower and then escalate into the atypical DCEU smackdown-of-the-gods as we have seen before. We also saw some of the standard tropes during the movie in the exposition dialogue (“is that all you’ve got” et al) which felt like more work could have been done, even though it still stands above the Justice League work by far.

Gal Gadot’s performance was excellent and the script was well grounded throughout the rest of the film which gave it a more human element than other DCEU scripts have had. It was more relatable and her “fish out of water” performance was funny. Themyscira (her island home) was also beautifully rendered.

Superhero movies are everywhere these days, but I find ones that deal with god-like beings more challenging because they are an ‘outside context problem’ for mere mortals. Marvel has taken much of the god-like stuff off-world, isolating it in context from humanity, which makes it more engaging. Marvel also has a cast of superheroes who aren’t all god-like beings but are instead humans with augmented abilities which can make it easier to write relatable stories, and also more vulnerable as characters.

I don’t find it surprising that Warner Brothers has chosen now to focus more on individual films (the DCU) rather than trying to run with an integrated universe from the get-go (the DCEU) and I think the slow and steady approach that worked with Marvel will benefit them. Assuming the superhero genre remains popular in the long term!

Wonder Woman

Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.

20172 h 21 min
Overview

An Amazon princess comes to the world of Man in the grips of the First World War to confront the forces of evil and bring an end to human conflict.

Metadata
Director Patty Jenkins
Runtime 2 h 21 min
Release Date 30 May 2017
Budget $149,000,000
Revenue $821,847,012
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Good
Actors
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya, Lilly Aspell, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Ann Wolfe, Ann Ogbomo, Emily Carey, James Cosmo, Wolf Kahler, Alexander Mercury, Martin Bishop, Flora Nicholson, Pat Abernethy, Freddy Elletson, Sammy Hayman, Michael Tantrum, Philippe Spall, Edward Wolstenholme, Ian Hughes, Marko Leht, Steffan Rhodri, Andrew Byron, Dominic Kinnaird, Rachel Pickup, Ulli Ackermann, Frank Allen Forbes, Peter Stark, Rainer Bock, Josh Bromley, Jennie Eggleton, Eva Dabrowski, Harvey James, George Johnston, Danielle Lewis, Florence Kasumba, Eleanor Matsuura, Josette Simon, Doutzen Kroes, Hayley Warnes, Caitlin Burles, Jemma Moore, Samantha Jo, Brooke Ence, Madeleine Vall, Hari James, Jacqui-Lee Pryce, Betty Adewole, Caroline Maria Winberg, Lizzie Bowden, Kattreya Scheurer-Smith, Rekha Luther, Thaina Oliveira, Ooooota Adepo, Zinnia Kumar, Toma McDonagh, Amber Doyle, Freddy Carter, Fred Fergus, Tim Pritchett, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Camilla Roholm, Stephanie Haymes-Roven, Nia Burke, Dee Lewis Clay, Tori Letzler
Poster for the movie "The Lego Batman Movie"

The Lego Batman Movie

Poignant and grown-up at the same time as embodying the irreverent fun of a Lego adventure. The whole cast of DC villains is here, along with a few from other franchises (Harry Potter, Dr Who, etc). Fun movie with a heart and a message.

The Lego Batman Movie

Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman.

20171 h 44 min
Overview

In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The Lego Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble—Lego Batman—stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.

Metadata
Director Chris McKay
Runtime 1 h 44 min
Release Date 8 February 2017
Budget $80,000,000
Revenue $311,950,384
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Very good
Actors
Starring: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Mariah Carey, Jenny Slate, Billy Dee Williams, Héctor Elizondo, Conan O'Brien, Jason Mantzoukas, Doug Benson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Adam Devine, Eddie Izzard, Seth Green, Jemaine Clement, Ellie Kemper, David Burrows, Ralph Garman, Chris Hardwick, Chris McKay, Laura Kightlinger, Susan Bennett, Todd Hansen, Mark Jonathan Davis, Lauren White, Brent Musburger, Abel Arnett, Archie Arnett, Charlie Bean, Marco Campagno, Garret Elkins, Ryan Halprin, Alison Ingram, Holly Isaacson, Kelly Lafferty, Doug Nicholas, Samantha Nisenboim, Chris Paluszek, Wendell Stephens, Vanara Taing, Matt Town, Bram Tulloch, John Venzon, Matt Villa, Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger
Poster for the movie "Bright"

Bright

Disjointed in places, and seeming to need to embrace modern memes or pop culture references instead of better writing that would be more relevant to the alternate universe. Racial stereotypes abound in this movie, which is often common in fantasy stories but feels less appropriate in a modern setting and especially so with today’s movement towards better inclusivity.

A lot of the details seem left out also, reasons why things are happening – all the stuff you need to spend time on to build a cohesive world framework – in favour of the buddy-cops-in-over-their-heads motif which pervades the film. You have the “bent cop” sequence (human), the “ninja assassins” (elves), the “criminal gang lair” (orcs) strung together with either chase or hide-and-seek sequences.

After a disjointed start, it settles into a watchable action/thriller yet occasionally leaves you wondering what just happened only to carry on regardless. Naturally, it wraps up nicely for our heroes and sets the scene for more outings with the Brights.

Hopefully, it may spend a bit more time on each of the races, break down the stereotypes and spend more time explaining some of the details. It may then stand on the shoulders of this “welcome to Bright” movie.

Bright

20171 h 57 min
Overview

In an alternate present-day where magical creatures live among us, two L.A. cops become embroiled in a prophesied turf battle.

Metadata
Director David Ayer
Runtime 1 h 57 min
Release Date 22 December 2017
Budget $90,000,000
Revenue
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Not bad
Actors
Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramírez, Ike Barinholtz, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Happy Anderson, Dawn Olivieri, Matt Gerald, Margaret Cho, Joseph Piccuirro, Brad William Henke, Jay Hernandez, Enrique Murciano, Scarlet Spencer, Andrea Navedo, Kenneth Choi, Bobby Naderi, Carlos Linares, Bunnie Rivera, Bailey Edwards, Rosemary Stevens, Greg Joung Paik, Cle Shaheed Sloan, Robert Jekabson, Nadia Sloane, Chris Browning, Laura Vallejo, Brandon Larracuente, Derek Graf, John Duff, Jamal Duff, Craig Henningsen, Aaron V. Williamson, Joe Rogan, Tim Sitarz, Luis Moncada, Jos Viramontes, Aileen Burdock, Briana Henry, Lesley Shires, René Mena, Chelsea Rendon, Daryn D. Dupree, Blue Mesquita, Natalie Camunas, Regan Talley, Gabriel Ortega, Roberto Garcia, Kevin Vance, Ignacio Rodriguera, Eugene Villanueva, Adan Mendoza Jr., Hector Chavez, Raul Cuellar, Gabriel Lopez, Keenen Bray, Diane Boose
Poster for the movie "Justice League"

Justice League

As a movie, this sort-a worked out OK. Lots of big action sequences, a team of heroes and heroines, some comedic moments though not much emotion. The “good” guys spent all but an instant wrestling with the morality of resurrection hingeing on the old adage of “the greater good” for example.

Yet as a film, you have to wonder why two of the tribes (Atlanteans and Amazonians) went to extraordinary lengths to “seal” the unity/mother boxes in temples/tombs when the Steppenwolf just teleported into them, and then teleported out again. All seemed a little pointless other than to show off some set design and set pieces. And the box of Man was just buried so nobody could ever find it, yet somebody did (which was not explained) and, even if they hadn’t, these boxes send out a homing signal when they wake up so Steppenwolf would know where they are. Odd that.

We’ve seen the Green Lanterns in other incarnations, so it might have been more prudent to spread the stones far and wide and take a bit longer getting to the big endgame (assimilate earth) than rush to it in a fraction of the time that Marvel did getting to Avengers: Infinity War. Though, if they had restricted it that way there is a lot of similarity between the ideas (megalomaniac seeks multiple power stones/crystals to ensure destruction).

Justice League felt like a collection of pieces that didn’t add up to more than the sum of its parts. It was still a visually good movie, and worth the runtime, but there wasn’t the payoff we have come to expect with the Marvel canon.

Justice League

20172 h 00 min
Overview

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince assemble a team of metahumans consisting of Barry Allen, Arthur Curry and Victor Stone to face the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and the Parademons who are on the hunt for three Mother Boxes on Earth.

Metadata
Director Zack Snyder
Runtime 2 h 00 min
Release Date 15 November 2017
Budget $500,000,000
Revenue $657,924,295
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Not bad
Actors
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Billy Crudup, Joe Morton, Amber Heard, Michael McElhatton, Joe Manganiello, Jesse Eisenberg, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Julian Lewis Jones, Marc McClure, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Holt McCallany, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Gemma Refoufi, Kelly Burke, Paulina Boneva, Alexandra Ford, Eleanor Matsuura, Daniel Stisen, Samantha Jo, Sergi Constance, Doutzen Kroes, Dan Mersh, Peter Vo
Poster for the movie "Black Panther"

Black Panther

This is another good move from the Marvel stable. It may be ‘groundbreaking’ in its casting, but the story felt somewhat formulaic and many characters remained two-dimensional. The story kept good pace (though felt a little long for me). Some backstory was left to voiceover over the opening titles, and didn’t really have a huge impact when it came to leveraging this during the story. But, this is Marvel and not something like the Planet of the Apes trilogy.

Black Panther

Long live the king

20182 h 14 min
Overview

King T'Challa returns home from America to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne by factions within his own country as well as without. Using powers reserved to Wakandan kings, T'Challa assumes the Black Panther mantel to join with girlfriend Nakia, the queen-mother, his princess-kid sister, members of the Dora Milaje (the Wakandan 'special forces') and an American secret agent, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

Metadata
Director Ryan Coogler
Runtime 2 h 14 min
Release Date 13 February 2018
Budget $200,000,000
Revenue $1,343,859
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Good
Actors
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, John Kani, Sterling K. Brown, Seth Carr, Denzel Whitaker, Florence Kasumba, Isaach De Bankolé, Danny Sapani, Sydelle Noel, Janeshia Adams-Ginyard, Jénel Stevens, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Stan Lee, Sebastian Stan, Bambadjan Bamba, Jeremy Sample, Sope Aluko, Alexis Rhee, Tahseen Ghauri, Danny Chung, David S. Lee, Mark Ashworth, Shad Gaspard, William Cowboy Reed, Alex Hibbert, Lucy Hockings, Ashton Tyler, Atandwa Kani, Connie Chiume, Dorothy Steel, Marija Abney, Maria Hippolyte, Marie Mouroum, Zola Williams, Christine Hollingsworth, Nabiyah Be, Michael David Yuhl, Elizabeth Elkins, Raven Wynn, Amechi Okocha, Tony Sears, Francesca Faridany, Roland Kilumbu, Timothy Carr, Apollo GT, James Siderits, Travis Love, Lidya Jewett, Alona Leoine, Kinley Fleurejuste, Ofu Obekpa, Michael R. Ciminna, John Y Lee, Byron Coolie, William Walker, Joseph Akharoh Jr., Stanley Aughtry, Raenen Golez, Leo De Rivera, Tevin Beech, Tari Omoro, Andrea Antonio Canal, David Dunston, Emelita T. Gonzalez, Josue Louis-Charles, Isaac Phillips, Trevor Noah, Jamel Chambers
Poster for the movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I enjoyed this movie. Despite running similar themes to Episodes V and VI, it managed to diverge sufficiently to add new elements into the Star Wars universe that gave it something fresh. New tech, new characters, new creatures. All good. Storywise, it was relatively predictable in its good vs evil progression with one or two good exceptions (I will say no more).

However, as with the blockbusters, I do find that the principal characters are somehow unassailable and survive explosions that turn everything else around them to cinders without a scratch. For example, Poe gets blown back through a door from the midst of an explosion on a rebel base that trashes the entire room and the people in it, only to bounce off the wall and sit up, dazed, covered in soot then carry on with the story. And Finn and Rose survive the explosion in a First Order hanger where every machine, ship and stormtrooper around is turned to toast and they get up covered in soot. And don’t get me started on Leia’s god-like abilities which seem more like a plot device to marvel at rather than have any consistency in their application. Enough of my grumbling!

Overall, not a great film in terms of mental stimulation, but a good movie in terms of entertainment and taking the Star Wars universe forward.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Saga Continues

20172 h 32 min
Overview

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

Metadata
Director Rian Johnson
Runtime 2 h 32 min
Release Date 13 December 2017
Budget $200,000,000
Revenue $1,325,937,250
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status Loaned
Movie Rating Very good
Actors
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Laura Dern, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Amanda Lawrence, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, Tim Rose, Mark Lewis Jones, Gwendoline Christie, Billie Lourd, Frank Oz, Dave Chapman, Brian Herring, Ben Schwartz, Bill Hader, Benicio del Toro, Adrian Edmondson, Lupita Nyong'o, Mike Quinn, Peter Mayhew, Jimmy Vee, Veronica Ngo, Justin Theroux, Lily Cole, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Warwick Davis, Gareth Edwards, Gary Barlow, Hermione Corfield, Noah Segan, Jamie Christopher, Griffin Hamill, Nathan Hamill, Chelsea Hamill, Paul Kasey, Kate Dickie, Ralph Ineson, Tom Kane, Kiran Shah, Crystal Clarke, Liang Yang, Bern Collaço, Joe Cornish, Andy Nyman, Navin Chowdhry, Shauna Macdonald, Edgar Wright, James Corden, James Corden, Ellie Goulding, Tom Hardy
Poster for the movie ""

Thor: Ragnarok

Pop comics. Worked in Ant-man, though this felt like it was a parody of Thor et al; a sort-of Thor does Fifth Element.  All the meat of the story glossed over. Pretty, but not much else. Sorry guys.

Thor: Ragnarok

No Hammer. No Problem.

20172 h 10 min
Overview

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the prophecy of destruction to his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.

Metadata
Director Taika Waititi
Runtime 2 h 10 min
Release Date 25 October 2017
Budget $180,000,000
Revenue $852,635,831
Details
Movie Media VoD
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not bad
Actors
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel House, Taika Waititi, Clancy Brown, Stan Lee, Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Georgia Blizzard, Amali Golden, Charlotte Nicdao, Ashley Ricardo, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Taylor Hemsworth, Cohen Holloway, Alia Seror-O'Neill, Sophia Laryea, Stephen Oliver, Hamish Parkinson, Jasper Bagg, Sky Castanho, Shari Sebbens, Richard Green, Sol Castanho, Jet Tranter, Samantha Hopper, Eloise Winestock, Rob Mayes, Tahlia Jade, Winnie Mzembe, Sean Edward Frazer, Connor Zegenhagen, Tracie Filmer, Tracey Lee Maxwell, Beatrice Ward, Donnie Baxter, Greta Carew-Johns, Adam Green, Mollie McGregor, Sophia McGregor, Scarlett Johansson
Poster for the movie "Warcraft"

Warcraft

Well, started much as a CG cut-scene might in a video game. Then carried on, so I gave up. There wasn’t anything to grab you in this movie unless watching video games is your thing. I may have persevered a few years ago but my films need to show more intelligence and finesse.

Warcraft

Two worlds. One home.

20162 h 03 min
Overview

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

Metadata
Director Duncan Jones
Runtime 2 h 03 min
Release Date 25 May 2016
Budget $160,000,000
Revenue $433,677,183
Details
Movie Media Blu-ray
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very bad
Actors
Starring: Paula Patton, Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Robert Kazinsky, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Daniel Wu, Clancy Brown, Ruth Negga, Callum Keith Rennie, Ryan Robbins, Burkley Duffield, Donnie MacNeil, Michael Adamthwaite, Dylan Schombing, Mackenzie Gray, Terry Notary, Anna Galvin, Glenn Close, Dean Redman, Glenn Ennis, Elena Wurlitzer, Anna Van Hooft, Callan Mulvey, Adrian Glynn McMorran, Kyle Rideout, Mike Antonakos, Elisabeth Rosen, Patrick Sabongui, Wesley MacInnes, Mackenzie Gray, Christian Sloan, Valérie Wiseman, Dan Payne, Eugene Lipinski, Christina Jastrzembska, Travis MacDonald, Frank C. Turner, Trevor Mack, Donavon Stinson, Joel Sturrock, Jill Morrison, G. Michael Gray, Raj Lal, Donnie MacNeil, Michael Patric
Poster for the movie "Doctor Strange"

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange

20161 h 55 min
Overview

After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

Metadata
Director Scott Derrickson
Runtime 1 h 55 min
Release Date 25 October 2016
Budget
Revenue
Details
Movie Media Blu-ray
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Actors
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Zara Phythian, Alaa Safi, Katrina Durden, Topo Wresniwiro, Umit Ulgen, Linda Louise Duan, Mark Anthony Brighton, Meera Syal, Amy Landecker, Adam Pelta-Pauls, Sarah Malin, Eben Young, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Elizabeth Healey, Guillaume Faure, Daniel Dow, Stan Lee, Ezra Khan, Kimberly Van Luin, Pat Kiernan, Alister Albert, Moya Allen, Mairead Armstrong, Raj Awasti, Annarie Boor, Dante Briggins, Jill Buchanan, Alice Chen, Bern Collaco, Anna Elizabeth Eaton, Daniel Eghan, Juani Feliz, Cliff Ferraro, Sian Francis, Ulises Galeano, Martavious Gayles, Chris Hemsworth, Leigh Holland, Mo Idriss, Tamika Katon-Donegal, Faith Logan, Tyrone Love, Pezhmaan Alinia, Kei Miura, Cameron Moon, Shina Shihoko Nagai, Emily Ng, Emeson Nwolie, Jag Patel, Andreas Pliatsikas, Henardo Rodriguez, Samantha Russell, Michelle Santiago, Nancy Ellen Shore, Tina Simmons, Rachel Emma Slack, Clem So, Ruolan Zhang