Cinderella (2021) – More Like Sinderella

Released: 3rd September
Seen: 4th September

The story of Cinderella has been adapted countless times in multiple forms. From the legendary Disney animated classic of 1950 to the millennial favourite 1997 version that starred Whitney Houston and Brandi, to the Disney Live-Action version from 2015, there have been so many attempts made at this simple story that it feels weird to go five years without someone taking a shot at it. 

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Luca (2021) – Looka At This, It’s Cute (and a little bit gay)

Released: 18th June
Seen: 18th June

Luca Info

With all the films that are going to Disney’s premier service lately I’ve noticed a weird pattern regarding the films that they don’t throw a surcharge on the second it pops up… namely that they’ve been, largely, kind of bad. Sure there’s exceptions like Soul or Onward, but other films like Magic Camp, Stargirl and Artemis Fowl (a film that, no joke, didn’t pop up on their site’s list of original films when I went to look before writing this). Basically if a film skips cinemas and just pops up on Disney Plus I’m going to be going in with some trepidation… and then they just throw something like Luca up there and I wonder if they even know when they have a good thing on their hands.

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Wish Dragon (2021) – A Charming Little Wish

Released: 11th June
Seen: 16th June

Wish Dragon Info

So earlier this year, Disney released the film Raya and the Last Dragon. It was a pretty great film as a lot of Disney’s animated fare tends to be but there was this weird thing going around where people wrote off its box office as a failure because it only made 130 million worldwide on a 100 million budget. For some reason this is a thing that keeps coming up this year where films are having their box offices judged based on pre-pandemic expectations, as though we’re completely through the wilderness. Spoilers, we’re not. Anyway I bring this up because I wonder if the supposed failure of Raya and the Last Dragon led to today’s film Wish Dragon not getting as much attention as it deserves which is a shame because Wish Dragon is charming.

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Oxygen (2021) – Breathe In The Goodness

Released: 12th May
Seen: 15th June

Oxygen Info

Alexandre Aja is a fascinating director. He first really came to prominence with his film Haute Tension, part of an era of horror cinema known as “New French Extremity” which, very basically, means French films that really messed with people in the early 2000’s. He would go on to make the Hills Have Eyes remake (one of the few good 2000’s horror remakes), Piranha 3D (another one of the few good 2010’s horror remakes) and Crawl (2019 Best Film honorable mention). His films have this weird pattern of somehow getting less extreme the longer he works, which is a fascinating projection for one of the founding members of the New French Extremity movement. It fits that pattern then that Oxygen might be his most subdued film yet, but it’s still really damn good.

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Thunder Force (2021) – Super Pooper

Released: 9th April
Seen: 29th April

The Superhero genre has been the biggest thing in movies for a little over the last decade, largely thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has somehow managed to go from strength to strength. When something is as culturally important as the Superhero genre has been for the last several years it stands to reason that someone would come along and satirize the tropes that by this point have become tiresome… or, if you’re something as unabashedly awful as Thunder Force, you could not make a single decent joke despite a decades worth of material you’ve been gifted and instead rely on the talents of two leads who aren’t miracle workers and can’t make you even remotely humorous. 

Yes, this is one of those angry reviews about a bad film, go get a soda because we will be here a while.

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Mortal Kombat (2020) – Eh-Mortal

Released: 22nd April
Seen: 29th April

Mortal Kombat Info

In 1992, Mortal Kombat burst onto the world and forever changed the course of video game history. To say the game was controversial would be an understatement, it was THE game that every single parent hated with a passion. I vividly remember there was a Mortal Kombat arcade machine at my local fish and chips shop and my mother would never even let me look at the screen let alone play the thing (and now I’ve grown up and watch horror movies so violent they would turn stomachs, so clearly that wasn’t effective).

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Pinocchio (2020) – Pinocci-No

Released: 25th December 2020
Seen: 22nd April 2021

Pinocchio Info

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi was printed in 1883 in Italy and quickly became a classic. The story of a little wooden puppet with a nose that grows every time he lies has not only been adapted multiple times but has inspired a multitude of other films. Possibly the most famous adaptation was done by Walt Disney in 1940, a film so popular that the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” would basically become the Disney anthem.

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Love And Monsters (2021) – My Best Monster

Released: 14th April
Seen: 21st April

Love and Monsters Info

It has been said before that there is only a finite number of stories that people draw from, things like the monomyth or Boy Meets Girl are simple little stories that end up applying to thousands of movies and books. One story that keeps being reused and influencing others is A Boy and His Dog, the 1969 story that is the basis for a large amount of apocalyptic fiction. Even just knowing the basic storyline (a boy and his dog walking through a nuclear wasteland, the journey help the boy grow) you’ll see it in places like Mad Max, Fallout and the Oscar-Nominated Love and Monsters.

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The Midnight Sky (2020) – The Sky Is Forgotten

Released: 23rd December 2020
Seen: 8th April 2021

The Midnight Sky Info

One of the weird things I have noticed since starting to review films is how some of them will stick around long after viewing, and some start moving out of my head the minute I’m finished. For example, one of the first films I watched as a reviewer was Get Out and I may have watched it once since reviewing it but I remember almost every single frame of that thing. Meanwhile, I saw Chaos Walking around a month ago and the only thing I remember from that film is Tom Holland’s in it… that’s it, that’s all I’ve got. Some films just refuse to be remembered… though, it’s a very rare film that makes me start forgetting I watched it while I’m still watching it, but The Midnight Sky did that.

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WolfWalkers (2020) – Wolftastic!

Released: 11th December 2020
Seen: 5th April 2021

WolfWalkers Info

I’ve made it no secret that I do not like the Apple+ service that much. I find its layout to be subpar and its content to be so sparse that I can’t imagine paying for it at all. Honestly, I only have it because I got a few years for free and even with that I’ve still never been that bothered to use it even when they finally put an app on game consoles meaning I can actually watch their limited content on the TV. 

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