REVIEW: Train to Busan: Peninsula (2020)

Theatrical Release Poster – Next Entertainment World

The following is a review of Train to Busan: Peninsula (‘반도’) — Directed by Yeon Sang-ho.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cinephiles have stayed away from their beloved cinemas for several months, but, at the end of July, I finally went back to the movie theater. Now, obviously, I should say that this was only possible for me because I live in Denmark where movie theaters have been open since the end of May 2020. Please note that you should absolutely only go to the movie theaters if it is safe to do so where you live. But I will say that it was good to be back, even though the movie that I returned to the movie theater to watch maybe didn’t give me the escapism that I may have needed. After all, this is a movie about a dangerous epidemic in an Asian country that leads to quarantines and lockdowns. Nevertheless, I was very happy to be able to watch a new movie in an actual movie theater for the first time in several months. Again, it was good to be back. Continue reading “REVIEW: Train to Busan: Peninsula (2020)”

REVIEW: Greyhound (2020)

Release Poster – Apple TV+

The following is a review of Greyhound — Directed by Aaron Schneider.

Though not the first Apple TV+ film (it was preceded by two documentaries, Minhal Baig’s Hala, and George Nolfi’s The Banker), Aaron Schneider’s Greyhound is almost definitely the biggest, most expensive, and most widely seen Apple TV+ film released thus far. Originally scheduled to be released by Sony Pictures in theaters around the world, Greyhound was, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, delayed and later sold to Apple TV+ for a reported sum of $70 million. With the acquisition, Apple TV+ was granted not just a marketable war flick with a household name in the lead role, Apple also received a genuinely good and entertaining film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Greyhound (2020)”

RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)

Theatrical Release Poster – Artisan Entertainment

The following is a retro review of The Ninth Gate (the review includes some story spoilers) — Directed by Roman Polanski.

Based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas, Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate tells the story of an unscrupulous book dealer, Dean Corso (played by Johnny Depp), and his attempt to authenticate a mysterious book for a wealthy collector, Boris Balkan (played by Frank Langella). To properly authenticate the book, Corso has to bring it with him to Europe to compare it with the other two known editions of the book, but this isn’t just any book. Balkan’s book can supposedly summon the Devil, and, as Dean Corso soon finds out, crazed individuals are willing to go to great lengths to acquire it. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)”

REVIEW: The Old Guard (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Old Guard — Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Old Guard is a straight-to-Netflix superhero action film that is based on the comic book of the same name, which was written by the film’s screenwriter Greg Rucka. The Old Guard follows a group of four warriors led by Andromache “Andy” of Scythia (played by Charlize Theron). Each of these warriors is superpowered with regenerative healing abilities, which means that they can all survive being killed. After the superpowered vigilante squad survive an ambush on a mission in South Sudan, they soon realize that they are being hunted by someone who wants the power that they possess, and, meanwhile, they have visions that indicate that there is a potential new recruit in the United States Marine Corps, Nile Freeman (played by KiKi Layne). Continue reading “REVIEW: The Old Guard (2020)”

REVIEW: Defending Jacob (2020)

Release Poster – Apple TV+

The following is a review of the Apple TV+ mini-series “Defending Jacob,” — Directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Mark Bomback.

Morten Tyldum and Mark Bomback’s Defending Jacob is a crime mini-series based on the William Landay novel of the same name. The series follows the Barber family — Andy (played by Chris Evans) and Laurie (played by Michelle Dockery) and their teenage son, Jacob (played by Jaeden Martell) — from Newton, Massachusetts. At the outset of the series, Andy Barber, the assistant district attorney, is assigned to prosecute the murder of Ben Rifkin, one of Jacob’s classmates, and he is quick to identify a prime suspect. However, soon Andy is forced to abandon the case when his son is charged with the murder of Ben Rifkin. The Barbers are naturally shocked, and, in the series, they must try to clear their son’s name, find the actual culprit, and endure the harsh spotlight that they, as a family, have suddenly been put under. Continue reading “REVIEW: Defending Jacob (2020)”

REVIEW: The Call of the Wild (2020)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Studios

The following is a review of The Call of the Wild (2020) — Directed by Chris Sanders.

Chris Sanders’ The Call of the Wild is an adaptation of the Jack London short adventure novel of the same name from 1903, which, since 1923, has been made into several films. Set in the late 19th Century, the film follows Buck (motion-captured by Terry Notary), a large and excited St. Bernard-Collie dog. In the film’s opening, the oversized, eager, and excited dog from California is abducted, crated, and put on a ship headed for Yukon. In snowy Yukon, Buck is then swiftly sold to become a sled dog, which he struggles with. Over the course of the film, Buck experiences wilderness, he leads by example, and he encounters new masters and friends, including John Thornton (played by Harrison Ford), a grumpy and world-weary nomad, who learns to love man’s best friend. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Call of the Wild (2020)”

REVIEW: Domino (2019)

Release Poster – Saban Films etc.

The following is a review of Domino — Directed by Brian De Palma.

Brian De Palma’s Domino is a crime-thriller that takes place all over Europe. The film follows Christian Toft (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”), a Danish police officer, as he tries to bring a criminal to justice. After forgetting his gun at home, Christian inadvertently puts his colleague and father-figure, Lars Hansen (played by Søren Malling, “Borgen”), in harm’s way. When, due to the fact that he has misplaced his own firearm, Christian borrows Lars’ gun to investigate a domestic disturbance, Lars is killed by a handcuffed assailant (played by Eriq Ebouaney, “Femme Fatale”). When the, as of yet unidentified, assailant appears to have escaped, Christian and Alex Boe (played by Carice Van Houten, “Game of Thrones”), Lars’ heartbroken and vengeful mistress, leave Denmark to find and apprehend the man responsible for Lars’ death. Continue reading “REVIEW: Domino (2019)”

REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — Directed by David Dobkin.

David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is an American straight-to-Netflix comedy about a fictional band’s journey to the Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition that celebrates pop music. It is, essentially, the European Championship of pop music. In the song contest, each country has a representative who must belt out an original popular song and attempt to win the grand prize of a microphone-shaped glass trophy, as well as the right to have their country host the song contest the following year. Continue reading “REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)”

Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game

The Last of Us: Part II – Naughty Dog – Sony – PS4 Screenshot

The following article features story spoilers for the entirety of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part II. Do not read the article before you finish both games.

In 2013, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us — my favorite video game ever made —  was released exclusively on PlayStation 3 (it was later remastered on PlayStation 4) to near-universal praise and numerous accolades. On the surface-level, this was a survival horror game in the zombie sub-genre. But it was also so much more than that. It was a story about love and rediscovering something to fight for. Gamers primarily played as Joel Miller (Troy Baker), a smuggler without scruples, who was tasked with transporting a young girl, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), across the United States for the purpose of crafting a vaccine to the fungal virus that had turned infected humans into ruthless barely-human creatures without rational thought. Continue reading “Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game”

REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Sonic the Hedgehog — Directed by Jeff Fowler.

Jeff Fowler’s Sonic the Hedgehog is based on the popular iconic video game franchise of the same name, which is about an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog that can run extremely fast. At the outset of the film, the aforementioned blue hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is just a fast young hedgehog without a care in the world, but, when it becomes too dangerous to stay on his homeworld, Longclaw the Owl (voiced by Donna Jay Fulks), Sonic’s guardian, gives Sonic a small bag full of magical rings that can help him travel to different worlds in the universe. Sonic the Hedgehog needs to find a safe and new home. Continue reading “REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)”