Eternals


Viewed – 21 January 2022 Disney+

A group of immortal super beings who have lived amongst us for centuries, travel the planet seeking out and killing a race of creatures knows as deviants. Their mission is to aid mankind’s development through the ages. In the present day, an estranged Eternals have to regroup when a new threat endangers the planet.

The new Avengers?

This latest Marvel Studios effort introduces a new group of heroes, and after countless Avengers, Spider-Man and Captain America movies it was refreshing to see these newer characters (outside of the comics). Casting is decent, with names like Angelina Jolie and Salam Hayek being joined by Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Train to Busan’s Don Lee. What this generally is, is an epic saga following the lives of these characters over the ages, feeling at times like a pilot to a TV series. However under the direction of Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) a lot is crammed into an energetic 2hrs 38 minutes. The cinematography is often gorgeous, aided by not only a globe-trotting storyline but also the wealth of IMAX shots (yes I watched that version) and it certainly delivers a visual treat. Action is also plentiful and the various abilities of the characters make for some exciting and imaginative encounters.

The story is a bit ‘out there’ and doesn’t entirely add up, and an appearance by Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington comes off as an after-thought. Yet with some good character melodrama amongst the action and spectacle, I must admit I enjoyed this. The CGI is decent and the various twists and turns definitely caught me off guard. Better than it’s lukewarm reputation may have you believe and I for one look forward to what we get next.

Verdict: Good

Don’t Look Up


Viewed – 19 January 2022 Netflix

You got to give it to streaming giant Netflix… they certainly can get the big names to star in their movies. So naturally it was only a matter of time before Leonardo DiCaprio appeared. This end of the world satire has the acclaimed actor alongside such stars as Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchet and Jonah Hill.

When two scientists (DiCaprio & Lawrence) discover a huge comet heading straight for earth – they race to warn the powers that be (including Meryl Streep’s President). However in a world obsessed with public image, social media etc they are met with a resounding lack of interest. This movie asks the question: what if an apocalyptic threat to the world happened today in our disassociated, materialistic culture? Granted some of the ways the people in charge treat the threat is exaggerated, but when you consider the likes of Donald Trump can be a world leader and an oddball like Mark Zuckerberg can become one of the wealthiest people on the planet – much of the satire here is at times unnervingly believable.

DiCaprio is decent once again even if that freaking out act is becoming a bit too much his ‘thing’. Lawrence is also very good. The movie does get a little side tracked in a subplot involving DiCaprio & Blanchett, and it feels a bit long at 2hrs 11 minutes. Overall though, this was well done, entertained and made me think about just what sort of world we’re living in.

Verdict: Good

Xbox spends big…


Just a quick post. Microsoft just bought Activision Blizzard for around $67 billion. That means Xbox now owns Call of Duty. Just let that sink in…

Going forward once the deal closes, reportedly sometime in 2023… this will likely mean games like Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Spyro the Dragon, Diablo, Overwatch and Call of Duty could become day one Gamepass titles. It could also mean that COD on PlayStation could be no more. Hmm. It’ll be interesting how Sony reacts to this.

Update


So I’ve had a break for a couple of weeks. To be honest I haven’t been that in the mood to watch movies and have mostly been focusing of playing games and watch TV shows. Over Christmas I purchased Resident Evil Village which I’m loving and is proving a worthy, atmospheric follow up to RE7. I also put in quite a bit of play on Halo Infinite both single player and multiplayer and consider it a return to form for a franchise which had seemed to lose its footing since developer 343 Industries took over from Bungie. I also finally finished A Plague Tale Innocence – a challenging game with a great premise and a genuinely powerful story. Oh, and I got the platinum on Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart but getting all 47 trophies! A first for me I might add.

Resident Evil Village

As for TV, I have mostly been watching Netflix and Disney+. I am nearly at the end of Hawkeye which is great, and I’m a bit addicted to The Big Bang Theory, which passed me by during its initial run. Desperate Housewives is also a guilty pleasure I’d say, and away from these services I’ve also been trying to finish the final season of Wentworth.

Hawkeye

That’s not to say I’ve not watched any movies. Over Christmas I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, an undisputed classic which was part of a 4K Blu-ray box set I got as a present. Image quality was very good with lots of detail and overall it was fun to revisit the movie. Maybe I’ll check out the other movies in the set at some stage. For my birthday in November I received a Blu-ray box set of the Dirty Harry movies and am slowing watching all but for the first (which I’m overly familiar with) with my Dad who’s quite a fan of Clint Eastwood. So far Magnum Force was quite good, whilst The Enforcer was a bit rubbish.

I have a number of movies I want to check out and will be posting reviews as usual. So normal service should resume soon!

Craig.

Top Ten 2021


It’s that time of year again! What with the pandemic, I feel it’s been a weird year movie release-wise and getting to the cinema has been a struggle. However I watched a total of 79 movies this year (new and old) and coming up with my ten favourite wasn’t easy.

However, the list below are the movies I enjoyed the most. A few may also be slightly older than 2021…

10.

Free Guy

9.

The Empty Man

8.

The Mitchells Vs The Machines

7.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

6.

Cruella

5.

Dune

4.

No Time To Die

3.

Raya and the Last Dragon

2.

The Father

Drum roll…

1

Last Night in Soho

There you have it. Of the movies I was disappointed by in 2021…. There was Bill & Ted Face the Music, Nomadland and Censor.

Happy New Year folks!

Craig.