Avengers: Infinity War – Review

There’s a reason the first Avengers film is still considered one of the best films in the MCU by many people. They built up to it over several films about multiple different characters and they pulled it off. Now after an even longer build up it’s time to see if they can pull it off again.

They did. This really feels like a big screen version of the big event crossovers Marvel often make in the comics. There are several great interactions between characters meeting for the first time with a standout being Thor’s interactions with the Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s also several really good action scenes, that I won’t spoil, that are a treat for any MCU fan.

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And of course you have Thanos himself. He was the character a lot of that hype for the movie was centred around, especially with many of the more recent MCU villains being improvements over the old ones and his comic counterpart not really feeling like that big a deal anymore. He’s fantastic, every scene where he fights the heroes he shows just how much he outclasses them even without using the Infinity Stones. I also find his motivations more interesting than his comic counterpart but that’s something you’ll have to experience for yourself.

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This isn’t my favourite MCU movie but it’s certainly one of the best, maybe when the sequel (which we still don’t know the name of) comes out next year I’ll do some kind of MCU rewatch marathon and figure out a ranking order for the whole series.

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Meet the Robinsons – Review

So I didn’t end up seeing more Netflix movies over the weekend, nothing really stood out. But I started thinking about Disney movies yesterday so I decided to finally watch this one. It’s one of those films that get brought up whenever the topic of underrated Disney movies comes up.

This is a fun movie. The characters are all entertaining in their own unique ways that I wish we’d gotten to see more of them. I know a DisneyToon Studios sequel was cancelled but considering their track record with sequels that’s probably for the best, a TV series would have been nice though. I also think this movie does a much better job at depicting a Tomorrowland inspired future than the actual Tomorrowland movie.

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The villains were especially entertaining. If you’re someone who misses Disney villains that aren’t twists and haven’t seen this yet you’ll have a blast with this movie.

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There isn’t that much else to say about this because a lot of this film’s charm is in the jokes which I don’t want to spoil in this review. If you’re ever in a Disney mood and haven’t gotten around to watching this I recommend it. Speaking of Disney the next movie I’m watching will be from them too, if you’re reading this the day I post this you can probably guess what it’ll be…

Happy Anniversary – Review

Netflix actually helped make picking which of their films to watch next easier by having the banner ad be for this movie. Good to see that banner doing what it’s supposed to do for once.

So far this is the best Netflix Original movie of the year. A lot of romantic comedies involve a couple breaking up over something and then thinking back on their relationship but this movie makes that setup feel new by making it the entire movie instead of something that happens in the third act. I’m sure other movies have done something like this but it’s still a nice change of pace.

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Of course being a romantic comedy an important element is going to be the leads and Noël Wells and Ben Schwartz are both great in this, especially in the scenes where we see them as a happy couple. They both need to be in more things.

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Short review but I do recommend seeing this if you have Netflix, especially if you like either of the leads in other things. I’m probably going to watch a couple more Netflix movies before the end of the week, maybe I’ll let Netflix decide for me again.

Isle of Dogs – Review

Weirdly despite my love of animation including other stop motion animated films like those from LAIKA or Aardman I wasn’t excited for this film. Mainly that’s because my limited experience with Wes Anderson films hasn’t been positive. From seeing Grand Budapest Hotel and the nonsense he stuck at the end of Fantastic Mr. Fox that dragged out the movie long after the original book had ended I feel his films would probably work better as shorts. The fact this film is longer didn’t really help, nor did the fact it’s not showing at my local Odeon so it wouldn’t be covered under Limitless . But positive reviews from friends and critics I follow convinced me to at least give it a shot.

I still had problems with the pacing but this is an improvement. That said the way they handle the Japanese speaking characters was a bit awkward. I get not subtitling their dialogue since we’re supposed to be seeing this from the dogs’ point of view but the scenes with the translator take away from that and often make no sense (why are people in Japan, who speak Japanese, watching the English translation of the news?). There was also the foreign exchange student only ever speaking English even when talking to Japanese characters, even though it’s obvious she does understand Japanese. I think the effect would have worked better if none of the humans spoke English.

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The strengths of the movie are the animation and the dogs. I think it’s because of this that I didn’t feel the movie was too long because the focus was on stuff I liked. The dogs have entertaining personalities and there are several funny recurring gags. Also for a celebrity voice cast none of the voices stood out as “hey it’s that person”, even Jeff Goldblum.

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If your someone who enjoys Wes Anderson’s movies you’ll probably enjoy this more than I did. I liked it but I would also consider it overrated. Now to figure out what Netflix movie to watch next…

Irreplaceable You – Review

Decided I’m going to try catching up on some of this year’s movies this week. Went with this one first because of the cast and the last Netflix movie I watched technically wasn’t a Netflix Original.

It’s alright. The problem with the movie for me is that I wasn’t really invested in the main story. There are several good moments but they’re all when the film shifts the focus away from Abbie  planning her finance’s love life after she dies and instead focuses on other parts of her life, her cancer and the people she interacts with.

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My main reason for watching this was the cast and in that area the film didn’t disappoint. Christopher Walken is the best part of the movie and there’s a great moment with Kate McKinnon’s character. I also think Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michiel Huisman play off each other really well as the main couple.

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If you just want to watch a movie on Netflix it’s fine but not one of their better films. And honestly as far as bitter sweet romance movies involving cancer go you’re better off just watching The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve got a few more Netflix movies lined up but I think for today’s film I’m going to pop to the cinema.

Love, Simon – Review

So this is another book adaptation where I’ve not read the book so I can’t really judge how it handles the source material but also won’t have any book bias. The main thing I knew going in was that it was pretty cool that trailers for a movie about being gay were playing before films like A Wrinkle In Time that are being seen by a mostly young audience.

It’s a nice film with a lot of heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The sort of thing you want a young romance movie to be. Sure it’s got its cliches but they’re presented well. The romance is sweet and the mystery element is fun to watch as Simon imagines each of his suspects narrating Blue’s emails and when his identity is eventually revealed it’s really nice scene. I’m also glad that when the third act starts and Simon is outed the consequences aren’t really to do with him being gay but his actions earlier in the movie while his sexuality has more impact on his interactions with his family.

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I think the film’s use of existing media is done well with the bands, shows and movies characters bring up liking or crushing on people from are popular in real life and Simon’s room has a bunch of neat elements that stand out like Adventure Time Pops and pictures of Bob’s Burgers characters. Too often films like this are either void of pop culture or have very forced advertisements (Peter Parker using Bing in Amazing Spider-Man for example).

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Is this the most original setup for a gay romance? Not really but honestly most straight romances in movies have pretty cliche setups so that’s not really an issue. What matter is if the story is told well and I think it is. The trailers include “from the producers of The Fault in Our Stars” as a selling point and while the films have different directors I do think this has a lot of the same charm as the John Green book movies so if you like them you’ll probably like this too.

Annihilation – Review

So when looking through Netflix Originals for new films I’ll often find many aren’t even Netflix Originals, just films Netflix owns the distribution rights to in the UK. Turns out everyone else has been having that experience with this film, though at least this time it’s actually from this year.

It’s an interesting film that can be both beautiful and disturbing as the characters encounter more mutations as they make their way through the Shimmer. It’s more of a thriller than a horror but it does use horror elements in several scenes and if you don’t like seeing gruesome deaths you’ll probably want to avoid this film.

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The designs of the mutations themselves are especially impressive. They start off subtle but get more and more drastic as the film progresses. It really looks like an alien world mixed with a fantasy world with a bit of post-apocalypse horror thrown in. The music also really helps give the place this really unsettling yet fascinating feel.

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It’s a movie designed to make you think about things including its ending and the nature of the Shimmer. If that sounds like your kind of movie I think you’ll enjoy this. While many people are saying it’s a shame this got a Netflix release outside of the US I actually think it’s a shame this technically isn’t a Netflix Original because Netflix really needs more movies that get the same amount of positive attention as their shows.