Flatliners is directed by Niels Arden Oplev and is the remake of the 1990 sci-fi horror with Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts. Starring Ellen Page, Nina Debrov and Diego Luna; Faltliners sees a young group of medical students tap into the other side - stopping each others hearts just long enough to be brought back to life. Back in the existing world, they soon realise some lines shouldn't be crossed.
A lengthy episode of Casualty with trippy side effects. Essentially Flatliners isn't an ambiguous film it's just plain silly. Starting with a steady pulse, once it slips into tired horror clichés, there is no resuscitating this futile flick. Playing it safe - it's too afraid to explore either the scientific or religious possibilities for the afterlife and has the opportunity to become something of its own yet never takes it.
An unlikely roster of talented young actors just about breakaway from the commonly expendable team of young adults in horror movies. Unfortunately the material the group are given is little more than horrifying. It would be unfair to label Flatliners a completely idiotic adventure - most doctors may disagree of course, but the medical science behind flatlining offers a not only creative but daring premise.
A minuscule $20,000,000 budget begs the question - Was it worth reviving Flatliners? The answer is - yes, but not under these circumstances. Had Flatliners been remade in the 90's - it's unintentional cheese, silly horror and absurdity would most definitely of made it a hit. Given hollywood today, Faltliners should have injected a significantly higher budget into its system, focused on a more robust script and really had fun in creating a thrilling teen sic-fi horror. With these enhancements, I would already have tickets booked and popcorn ready, but for now ... I'll pass.
A distorted caper in dire need of a defibrillator. Flatliners is a classic example of go hard or go home. Aplov sets up a promising movie that quickly spirals out of control - a great premise lead by a evenly well performed cast makes no excuses for the appalling result. As the title suggests this preposterous picture soon flatlines.
I am going to give Flatliners:
Kingsman: The Golden Circle sees the return of director Matthew Vaughn - following his surprise hit Kingsman: The Secret Service. Kingsman: The Golden Circle follows a matured Eggsy (Taron Egerton) alongside Merlin (Mark Strong) - who must join forces with their american cousins - Statesmen - after the fall of the entire agency. With the rising threat of a new villain - the two must work together in order to take down the dreaded underworld organisation - The Golden Circle.
Vaughn amplifies unique action in substitute for the original's stylish edge. Cranking it up to one thousand miles per hour - the opening sees a strapping young Kingsman (Eggsy), battle against an evil henchman with a bionic arm - zooming past the streets of London to Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy'. Vaughn quickly reminds us how much we've missed the umbrella swinging gents. And once again creates a cheeky, boyish and downright fun romp.
Once the dust settles and the guns quieten - the goofy tone grows tiring fairly quick. Though intended as a 'spoof' on the genre - Kingsman's charm, aberrant style and element of surprise is the reason most view it as a genuine 'spy' flick. The Golden Circle finds colourful, new ideas that struggle to shine through an over clustered story.
Electrifying action set pieces, quirky new characters, insane gagets and an unnerving villain - are all ingredients that should have made this sequel sweet. All the pieces were there - Vaughn just struggled to click them into place - leaving a more salty after taste.
Juliane Moore displays first class acting from her super villain 101 lesson. The carnivorous cutie is aggravatingly underused and given a mere fraction of the screen time she most rightly deserves. Her unsettling nature and unpredictability along with a retro 50's gimmick - easily makes her the film's greatest element. Egerton performs as perfectly as you'd except and the return of Colin Firth sees a more vulnerable yet emotive character. The Statesmen too upsettingly underused, crack electric whips, brilliant one liners and offer an ironic British look at life across the pond.
The Golden Circle's social commentary yet again sparks various thoughts on how we view modern society - but draws more laughter than meaning. Aside the imbalance of jokes and tension - Vaughn creates a sequel that's extra baggage has noticeable impact.
More of the same would have been just the touch this eccentric series needed. The bits that work best happen to be what we have already received i.e. manner maketh man bar scene, exhilarating car chases and action packed fight sequences. Thinly plotted, poorly crafted, and a celebrity cameo that will make you laugh at least the first four times they appear. The Golden Circle - delivers on Kingsman's zany style but jumbles ideas that just don't click second time round.
I am going to give Kingsman: The Golden Circle:
Victoria and Abdul is directed by Stephen Frears and stars Judi Dench as the notorious Queen Victoria. A poignant look into the later years of Queen Vic's rein, sees an unlikely relationship spark between her and a young Indian clark named Abdul.
Dench reprises her role as the moody monarch in this somewhat bland, rich tea biscuit drama. Despite its number of poignant moments - Victoria and Abdul struggles to emphasise the importance of the two's relationship.
When it's said and done - Dench delivers a masterclass performance and is the core reason in creating an almost worthwhile biography. Her exemplary acting skill tends to overshadow Abdul (Ali Fazal) - producing a film which should conveyed the anomaly of the times but rather highlights a progressive and unnoticed side to Queen Victoria.
Though it may be hit or miss - Victoria and Abdul generates a few genuine British laughs that often detract from the film's more enjoyable and more heartwarming moments. When joke do land - it's noticeable how it's not the line itself that was amusing but so much the way in which they are delivered. It finds a common ground between Victoria and Abdul fairly quickly but doesn't define the unlikeliness of their relationship. Dench's co-stars though just about serviceable - deliver regularly one note performances that more play as an unnecessary time fill in.
What clearly prevents Victoria and Abdul from becoming anywhere near as special as it could of been - is the writers struggle to get a firm grip on the material. Based on true life events that were hidden away from the world for over one hundred years - it's as if the material itself doesn't supply the meat of the story that was initial imagined. Too few events occur throughout the story to challenge their relationship and doesn't acquire a layered enough narrative to create an entire movie on.
BBC's latest period piece, is primarily worth while for Dench's dazzling portrayal of one of history's most iconic figures. Given the charming colour of Abdul and Vic's relationship - it's almost miserable how dull the story plays out. Despite great pains taken to explore the unusual friendship given the time - when it comes to end result - we are not amused.
I am going to give Victoria and Abdul:
Directed by Taylor Sheridan and starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson, Wind River tells the shocking true story of how an FBI agent teams with a town's veteran game tracker to investigate a murder on a Native American reservation in the Wyoming wilderness.
This ice cold thriller chills to the bone - smartly written, it challenges the audience to dig deeper under the snowy surface. Slower and more deliberate in approach, Wind River resists the temptation to go for cheap thrills, rather provoking more thoughtful outcomes.
Taylor Sheridan recently stated in an interview with Collider that Wind River would be the third movie in his Frontier Trilogy - along with 'Sicario' and 'Hell or High Water'. Comparing the three doesn't exactly work in Wind River's favour; though atmospheric it lacks the grit previous works have so well established.
Sheridan once again delivers an insight into an apparently corrupt justice system but doesn't follow through with an obvious meaning to it all. For the third film round the stakes aren't so much raised but more the pace is lowered - Sheridan takes time to build this cold and ruthless world he is creating. Unlike Sicario he builds tension between characters through still moments and dialogue, rather than through the heightened tension and shoot outs of his Mexican tale.
Renner delivers his most exceptional performance yet (although in fairness previous work hasn't really challenged) as does Olson, who's fish out of water performance tests her to step outside the Marvel world. The unlikely dynamic between the two buoys this mainly character driven film - highlighting their personality weaknesses, in apparent contradiction given their professional status. Both perform painlessly - they are no longer Scarlett Witch and Hawkeye, everybody now knows them to be but Corey and Jane.
It would be mistaken and possibly short sighted to label this movie a revenge flick. Wind River is a story of experience and journey, and highlights a marginalised and overlooked Native American culture, emphasising it's difficult engagement with the modern world. Created with thought provoking writing and picturesque cinematography - Wind River may lack the spice of Sicario and Hell or High Water but is certainly driven by the trilogies best set of characters.
I am going to give Wind River:
IT is directed by Andy Muschietti and stars Bill Skarsgård as the demonic clown Pennywise. After hiding away for 27 years 'IT' is back to once again terrorise the strange town of Derry, Maine. As more and more of the town's kids go missing, an unlikely group of teens band together to face their ultimate fears in order to take down the clown.
Crawling his way from the depths of the sewers, Pennywise is back and is certainly not clowning around. It takes a lot more than scary visions and red plastic balloons to depict the true horrors that lie within Stephen King's unsettling novel.
IT marries 80's nostalgia with coming of age adventures but when it gets to horror IT finds itself in rather grey water. More creepy than horrific - when the scares occur they are well earned but as a whole it's either too absurd or too restrained.
Strangely, aside from its mild horror moments IT makes for a poignant, near perfect teen flick. Guided by its delicately selected cast - each kid offers a part of your younger self you can relate to. Finn Wolfhard offers a wider look into his exemplary acting range and given the film's 80's setting - wholly contrasts to his most famous performance as 'Mike' from Stranger Things. The kids are no doubt what makes this film special - and oddly not so much the spectacular Skarsgård.
The young Swede has some comically large shoes to fill - that of Tim Curry. It's most challenging to determine whether Skarsgård is the superior Pennywise as his appearance is minimal. His shortage of screen time feeds back to the mystery of the novel - the idea of the unknown. Although his presence seems at times abrupt, Pennywise is an embodiment of fear - used in a way that emphasises the story’s primay concern: the kids and their engagement with newer, more adult challenges.
Illustrated through unforgettable cinematography - each balloon, emphasised with blood shot red - stands out amongst even the darkest of scenes. With all the jokes supplied by the kids - the tone shifts quite naturally from hilarious to horrifying.
The nightmares of each kid, highlight adolescent anxieties and service the smaller coming of age story line far better than the horror aspect. IT boasts a terrifying journey into Stephen King's world of horror but works far better as a coming of age adventure. Surprisingly endearing matched with charm and laughs: Ultimately, IT works perhaps in different ways than anticipated.
I am going to give IT:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.