Serenity (2019) – How’s the serenity?

Released: 20th February
Seen: 23rd March

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In 2005, Joss Whedon was given the chance to adapt his cult hit series Firefly into a feature-length film. The film, Serenity, was an intense action sci-fi film where the crew of a spaceship tried to find out why one of them is being chased by an operative who is tasked with killing them. It’s a fascinating film that’s gloriously shot and wonderfully written with some really great action set pieces and its criminally underrated… so it really upsets me that now when you Google that film’s title, you’re  going to first have to come across the 2019 movie of the same name that’s so hilariously bad that it’s almost art.

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Captain Marvel (2019) – Marvelous

Released: 7th March
Seen: 6th March (Advance Screening)

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Have you ever been looking forward to a movie, one you’re sure is going to be a lot of fun with some cool characters and funny lines but then you go online and learn that it’s an evil piece of feminist propaganda meant to cuck all the men and turn them into soy boys, or whatever the hell idiots online think feminism will do to them? Yeah, that’s basically how it’s been building up to this movie, The internet has turned into a constant barrage of idiots taking the lead actresses quotes out of context and pretending they’re anti-men or being giant raging turd monsters telling a woman to smile because they looked at 4 pictures where she isn’t and that means she never does. Oh, oh and then there’s the other thing where people who haven’t seen any movie ever said that instead they’re going to go see Alita instead of Captain Marvel because Alita isn’t at all a feminist movie and is totally apolitical, even though it’s literally a movie about a lower class being lied too and oppressed by the one percent and the only hope for anyone is a woman who is surrounded by flaming garbage dumpsters in the shape of men. Basically, I have hated every single discussion building up to the release of this movie because it has slowly sapped me of my hopes for humanity and now that I have seen it… this is what you were scared of? This? THIS IS WHAT FRIGHTENED SO MANY MEN ONLINE, PEOPLE!

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Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – ROBOTS FIGHTING!!!

Released: 14th February
Seen: 15th February

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In 1991 the first volume of the manga Battle Angel Alita, or Gunnm as it’s known in Japan, was released. The series would follow the titular Alita, a cyborg with no memories except for a very particular fighting style that she ends up using to become a bounty hunter. The series ran 9 volumes between ’91 and ’95, with several follow up series continuing the story of Alita. The series is actually still being released today with an English release date for the latest one meant to come out at the end of April this year… and, as if always the case with these adaptations, I never read the original manga. My research tells me that this movie comprises of the first 4 volumes in the series… you can tell, you can seriously tell.

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Escape Room (2019) – Get Me Out Of Here

Released: 7th February
Seen: 4th February (Advanced Screening)

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In 1997 there was a film released called Cube, a glorious little horror film about six strangers waking up in a cube that turned out to be part of a gigantic maze. During the 90’s horror resurgence this was one of the big markers of change, showing you could basically create a tense powerful horror film that relied on people being intelligent instead of just being the dumb jock and the virgin girl. They also dealt with things like suspicion, doubt and the general fear that comes from not knowing which room is going to carve you up into tiny pieces like a box-shaped blender, creating a sense of tension that built every time they would enter a new room and find a new math puzzle. That’s right, it’s a horror film and everyone tries to save themselves with complicated mathematics. It’s a genuinely brilliant thrill ride and I highly recommend it… because that’s basically what Escape Room is, except Escape Room wishes that it was as intelligent as Cube was.

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IO (2019) – Zzz

Released: 18th January
Seen: 22nd January

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There is nothing on this earth that is quite as boring as spending time watching paint dry. The very concept is used as a mocking description of boredom, an understandable comparison since the idea of enduring the sight of a wall covered in a beige coloured liquid comprised of pigment, binder and solvent until that liquid becomes a solid is an interminably long one as paint can take a very large amount of time to lose its liquid quality. This concept is a cousin to a similar explanation of boredom that we call “Watching Grass Grow”, both ideas suggesting just staring at something that does something so slowly that it’s almost impossible for the naked eye to witness it happening. I would like to also include the phrase “Watching the movie IO” as a new descriptive term for boredom.

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Glass (2019) – Shattered

Released: 17th January
Seen: 17th January

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In 2000, M. Night Shyamalan brought out the movie Unbreakable. Unbreakable was a movie that posed the question “What if superheroes were real people?” roughly 8 years before anyone had even contemplated the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it barely made its budget back domestically, the film is considered one of the best superhero films made and was made back when the name M. Night Shyamalan didn’t immediately elicit a groan from paying customers. Then in 2016, Split came out and was a huge success and basically rehabilitated M. Night’s image after a string of disasters. It also had a scene at the end of it that told the audience that Split and Unbreakable were in the same universe and it was only a matter of time before the main characters from both movies would have to meet… but did they have to meet in a place like this?

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Aquaman (2018) – It’s Better, Down Where It’s Wetter

Released: 26th December
Seen: 26th December

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DC has really had something of a bad time with their attempt at a cinematic universe. While the hardcore DC fan base have enjoyed the films so far, with general audiences they’ve been critically panned and have such a horrible reputation that the massive team up movie Justice League is the worst performing film in the franchise. That’s almost impossible to contemplate, the film where every major DC superhero was meant to team up in an event that we have been building too for four movies and it didn’t make as much money as Suicide Squad. The audience is effectively done with what the DC universe is offering now. There were serious talks for a while that the upcoming Flashpoint movie might be used just to try and erase the entire franchise and start again from scratch, it’s not looking good for the DCEU who not only have a failing franchise on their hands that can barely bring them a return on investment, but the franchise is now so far behind the juggernaut MCU that it seems unlikely they’ll ever catch up. For this franchise to still have legs it needs this film to be good. All they had to do was make something that didn’t hurt to watch and they might actually put themselves on the right track… and oh thank god they pulled it off.

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Once Upon A Deadpool (2018) – Once More, With Savage

Released: 12th December
Seen: 19th December

One of the most infamous bad horror movies of the ’80s was a film called Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. The internet knows it mostly because of the infamous “GARBAGE DAY” scene that was a meme a while ago. The movie itself is a barely repackaged copy of the original movie, edited down with interstitial scenes featuring the brother of the main character from the first movie and a psychiatrist who literally go over the events of the original film in detail before moving onto a new story in the second half of the film. Beyond the Garbage Day sequence, there wasn’t much about it that was memorable. At best it was a mediocre cash in that barely tried to differentiate itself from the original and was trying to bank on the media uproar that surrounded the original film in the franchise… so, what if someone took the “Repackage an old movie” idea, used a good movie to do it, but didn’t bother to add any new story elements of any kind and just relied on a marketing gimmick in order to make some money? Turns out, that might work but only up to a certain point.

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Bumblebee (2018) – More Than Meets The Eye

Released: 20th December
Seen: 14th December (Advanced Screening)

Last year the film Transformers: The Last Knight was released to cinemas on June 20th. On July 3rd I walked into a cinema and saw it and I can safely say it was the worst cinematic experience I had in 2017. I hated so much about it, I hated its drab colour scheme and shoddy editing. I hated its stupid dialogue and insipid story. I hated its stupid attempt at using Arthurian mythology. I hated how it wasted legendary actors, and also Mark Wahlberg. I raged about the aspect ratio and the transitions and every aspect of the filmmaking. I raged about that so much that I literally stated that Michael Bay does not know how to make movies. I labelled it the second worst film of the year, and I STILL think I was being very generous when I gave it that title because I don’t know if I should’ve called it a film! So you can imagine how I was not in any way excited about a new Transformers movie. I was prepared to sit there raging in anger and broiling in my own hate-juice while I vomited bile all over the seats around me… and then I went to see the movie, and I got a Christmas miracle.

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Overlord (2018) – 100 Nazi Scalps!

Released: 6th December
Seen: 3rd December (Advanced Screening)

One of the great joys of doing this is getting to really see some intense hard-hitting films. As I slowly start to finish out 2018 I look back and think about the hard intense thrillers, the powerful dramas, the deep explorations of the human psyche that I have sat through for the last 12 months and after all that it’s about time that I got to have a nice simple movie that I could switch my brain off during and just enjoy for its visceral delight in being over the top… and Overlord provided me exactly that.

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