REVIEW: No Time To Die (2021)

Daniel Craig as James Bond and Ana de Armas as Paloma in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s NO TIME TO DIE — Photo: Nicola Dove / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios / Universal Pictures.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga — Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

When I rewatched Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE the other day, I was reminded of the fact that the previous film in the Bond-franchise was released all the way back in 2015. A lot has happened since then, so much so that you may have even forgotten about all of the behind-the-scenes drama that transpired long before No Time To Die became the first major film to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After several rounds of rewrites, the shift in director, production, and the pandemic, the fifth and supposedly final film in the Daniel Craig-era of the James Bond-franchise has now finally been released. Thankfully, in spite of the real world drama that threatened to ruin it, this is actually a spy epic that is suitable as a true tribute to Daniel Craig’s bumpy but extraordinary time as the iconic agent. It isn’t the best film in the Craig-era, but it is a very memorable chapter in the franchise.

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REVIEW: Candyman (2021)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in Nia DaCosta’s CANDYMAN (2021) — Photo: Universal Pictures.

Directed by Nia DaCosta — Screenplay by Nia DaCosta, Win Rosenfeld, & Jordan Peele (Get Out; Us).

Horror remakes, reimaginings, or sequels decades after a popular antagonist’s inception are inevitable. This movie studio trend was especially prevalent in the 2010s, when it was emphasized just how profitable decent-to-good horror films can be. One of the more stylized attempts was Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake, while one of the more disappointing attempts was Kölsch & Widmyer’s Pet Sematary remake. Horror remakes are a dime a dozen these days, but the current horror movie trend is the legacyquel — a portmanteau of legacy and sequel — which is a continuation of a previous film but one that takes place a long time after the events of the original film and often with entirely new characters. Another trend is that of ignoring some films in the franchise, for the purpose of taking the franchise in another direction. Such is the case with a legacyquel like David Gordon Green’s Halloween. Another legacyquel that ignores certain chapters in its own cinematic mythology, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, which really ought to have a different title for simplicity’s sake, follows many horror movie trends, but perhaps most notably those kickstarted by her producer and co-writer Jordan Peele.

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REVIEW: The Invisible Man (2020)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of The Invisible Man — Directed by Leigh Whannell.

120 years after H. G. Wells’ original science fiction novel The Invisible Man was released, Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy was released to negative reviews. That film was intended to kickstart an interconnected cinematic universe known as the ‘Dark Universe,’ of which a The Invisible Man-adaptation was supposed to be a part. However, instead, the Dark Universe quickly became the most used example of a cinematic universe that fell apart before it had a chance to connect two films. Three years after the release of Kurtzman’s monster movie, which was a critical and financial failure, we have the latest adaptation of the aforementioned iconic Wells-novel. Although Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man is notably not a part of any cinematic universe, he has done what Kurtzman, unfortunately, failed to do, i.e. make an effective and modern monster movie. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Invisible Man (2020)”

REVIEW: The Mummy (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of The Mummy – Directed by Alex Kurtzman.

Back in 2014, Universal Pictures tried to make a new series of films featuring the classic Universal Monsters characters. The first film was Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold, but, after that film was both critically panned and financially unsuccessful, the ‘monsterverse’ was eventually cancelled.

Now Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy is the first film in the new shared universe of Universal Monsters known as the Dark Universe. Unfortunately, while the film’s leading man is one of the biggest action movie stars in Hollywood, Kurtzman’s The Mummy is completely forgettable and quite dull. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Mummy (2017)”

REVIEW: Warcraft (2016)

Warcraft Poster
U.S. Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Warcraft (also known as Warcraft: The Beginning), a Duncan Jones film.

I’m somewhat familiar with Warcraft. I think I’ve only played 5 to 10 minutes of World of Warcraft – definitely not more than that – but I did play Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos a lot. But while I’m somewhat familiar with the franchise, I don’t remember the story at all. To be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t been a fan of the trailers for the film, but I have a lot of faith in the film’s talented director, Duncan Jones.  Continue reading “REVIEW: Warcraft (2016)”

RETRO REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk Poster
Theatrical Release Poster – Marvel Studios – Universal Pictures

The following is a retro review of The Incredible Hulk, a Louis Leterrier film.

Five years after Ang Lee released his version of a Hulk-film, Marvel Studios decided to make a quasi-sequel/reboot of Bruce Banner’s adventures and make it a part of a newly planned franchise. But while The Incredible Hulk became the second film in a multi-billion dollar movie franchise, stuff behind the scenes would end up making this film the least important that Marvel Studios produced in the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk (2008)”

REVIEW: Fast & Furious 7 (2015)

Universal Pictures poster for Fast & Furious 7

There really is no better mix of testosterone, speed, and thrill than the Fast & Furious films. I remember how much I enjoyed the first one a long time ago, I remember how Paul Walker won me over time and time again in its sequels.

To me Paul Walker has been the soul of the franchise, so I was worried about this seventh installment considering the fact that Walker passed away in 2013. Would it be the same knowing what happened to him in real life, or would real life events cloud and tarnish the potential of the most expensive Fast-film to date? Continue reading “REVIEW: Fast & Furious 7 (2015)”