Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions (2021) – Get Me Out Of Here

Released: 1st July
Seen: 10th October

Escape Room: Tournament Of Champions Info

Over the last few years, it appears that one of the big things in horror movies is “What if escape rooms were actually deadly?”. No, not like in the Saw films where you have deadly traps in rooms you need to escape, but literal escape rooms with puzzles to solve and if you don’t solve them fast enough you will die somehow.

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Free Guy (2021) – GOTY Material

Released: 12th August
Seen: 29th September

Free Guy Info

The video game movie is obscenely hard to get right, some might suggest that it’s impossible because once you remove the players’ ability to influence the action then you fundamentally change the story to the point where any adaptation just won’t work… I’d suggest it’s just because the people making movies don’t know anything about video games other than they make money, so why not make a movie about them. 

Things can go horribly wrong, from the story not suiting the game (Hi Sonic) to the actors being horribly cast (Super Mario Brothers… both live action and the upcoming animated versions honestly. Seriously, Chris Pratt is Mario, that’s a thing that’s happening), it’s so easy to screw up. Then along comes Free Guy to do a video game movie absolutely perfectly.

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Bad Girls (2021) – Talking About Bad Girls

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

The gloriously unsubtle is basically the bread and butter of the Sydney Underground Film Festival (which, by the time you read this, will possibly be finished for the year). Every time I’ve gone to see what they’re showing, most of their films are some level of bonkers, no ifs ands or buts. Well, it looks like someone’s stealing the show and decided to be the most bonkers thing around… ok second most bonkers, you can’t top Ninja Badass.

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Fast & Furious 9 (2021) – Deliciously Dumb

Released: 17th June
Seen: 9th September

Fast & Furious 9 Info

Remember when the Fast & Furious franchise was just about underground car racing? Remember the early films that were just about this cop who infiltrated an underground racing ring? Feels so long ago, now they’ve turned into superhero films but with cars instead of superpowers where every movie has some giant cataclysmic world-ending event that can only be stopped by Vin Diesel doing a really sick burnout off the top of a skyscraper. It’s the dumbest movie franchise and it is just endlessly fun almost because it is so spectacularly dumb. Now we’re up to Fast & Furious 9 and god damn it keeps getting dumber and I keep just enjoying its celebration of stellar stupidity.

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The Suicide Squad (2021) – Absolutely Superb

Released: 5th August
Seen: 2nd September

The Suicide Squad Info

You may have noticed that for a few months not I’ve not been able to do any reviews for films currently in cinema. In fact, the last film I even got to see in a cinema was In The Heights way back in June. Why? Because I live in Australia and I live in a state that’s had such a bad covid infestation that we’ve been in lockdown for over 2 months.

Obviously “Hobbyist reviewer can’t see films in a cinema” is a problem worthy of the tiniest violin in the grand scheme of things but it’s still the reason why I’m about a month late seeing The Suicide Squad and why films like Candyman, Shang Chi, Respect and Free Guy haven’t been reviewed here. If I can somehow rent them, or the lockdown ends soon, I hope to get to them but that’s why this blog is even more out of date than it normally is… but now I’ve seen The Suicide Squad, time to ramble on about how awesome it is.

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Infinite (2021) – Endless Boredom

Released: 11th August
Seen: 16th August

Infinite Info

Little behind the scenes info here, I normally only watch films once before reviewing them. Streamed, in cinema, copy I have on DVD, one viewing and then start work on the review. Why? Well, a few reasons. The main reason being time, I do not get paid to do this and don’t have extra time for multiple viewings. The second reason being cost, this is especially true with films I see in a cinema (you know, that thing I haven’t been inside of for 7 weeks because my state decided to be run by idiots who can’t seem to get other idiots to stay inside their idiot homes so we can stop the spread of a deadly plague!). 

In general I just don’t feel the need to, one viewing tends to give me a pretty solid opinion and when my opinions change it isn’t due to subsequent viewings but just due to having more time to think about the film… this is to say that I had to watch Infinite twice, not due to lack of understanding but because it actually bored me to sleep on the first go round and almost took me out on the second viewing. 

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The Tomorrow War (2021) – Big Time Fun

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 1st August

The Tomorrow War Info

One of the interesting things that’s started happening over the last year and a half of the pandemic has been witnessing big film companies selling off their features to streaming services in order to ensure the biggest possible release in the current circumstances. The Tomorrow War was originally meant to be a big Christmas day release in 2020, taking the mantle of being one of the few holiday blockbusters that weren’t made by Marvel. 

Of course because last year was the year we learned “Avoid it like the plague” was a complete lie, that film had to be pushed back in release and was eventually sold off to Amazon for release on their Prime video service… and that change in venue is the biggest weakness of The Tomorrow War.

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Occupation: Rainfall (2021) – Does The Job

Released: 28th January
Seen: 31st July

Occupation Rainfall Info

In 2018 the film Occupation was released in July to an audience of… uh… almost none. On a six million dollar budget the little Aussie Sci-Fi invasion flick brought in a worldwide box office total of about $150K. To put that into perspective, in July of that year the 2007 film Across the Universe got a re-release for three days and made about $200K. To put it bluntly, Occupation was a flop. 

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Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) – Almost Totally Badass

Released: 15th July
Seen: 28th July

Normally I start these things with a little fun thing that will provide some context for the review, either on why the film exists or on a bit about the genre or even just a bit about my relationship to the material in order to try and paint a broader picture. Today, just a little mild housekeeping before I talk about Gunpowder Milkshake. My home state of NSW has been in lockdown thanks to covid for the last month, which is why I’ve had the time to basically do one of these every day and why you might’ve spotted I missed out on some recent releases like Space Jam 2, Fast & Furious 9 and Escape Room 2. Well, that lockdown’s been extended throughout August so I’m gonna miss a bunch of those releases too, which is particularly annoying cos I know some of the big ones are gonna be on HBONow and I can’t access that (I think) so please just keep my home state in your thoughts, hopefully we can get things on track and return to normal… anyway, let’s talk about a film that only released in cinemas down here but was also on Netflix in the US so was therefore relatively easy to access.

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Shadow In The Cloud (2021) – Check Your Baggage

Released: 14th January
Seen: 25th July

Without a doubt in my mind, I feel confident in saying that The Twilight Zone is one of the most influential pieces of media to ever exist. Not only is it a piece that’s been redone time and time again (TV, radio, movies that end in horrific tragedy that should’ve probably ended the careers of the men who directed them) but it’s a series that every single creator is legally required to reference at some point. It’s a rich source for inspiration and possibly the most well known and often referenced segment would be Nightmare At 20,000 Feet, a piece where William Shatner is a passenger on a commercial airline and looks out to see something on the wing of the plane… and if you’ve seen that episode, congrats on also seeing Shadow in the Cloud.

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