Warcraft: The Beginning – Review

The parade of the video game adaptations marches ever onward, with the third addition this year out in cinemas today. Warcraft takes on Blizzard’s ever popular franchise and adapts one of its novels to the big screen, looking at the rise of the Orcish Horde, and the humans response to their invasion.

The film is headed by a truly fantastic cast, Travis Fimmel takes on the role of protagonist Lothar, one of the King’s knights who is doing everything he can to uncover where the Orcs are coming from as well as trying to stop them before they destroy the world, and Toby Kebbel steps into the shoes of his counterpart Durotan, an Orcish leader trying to find a better land for his tribe and family. Filling out the rest of the cast include the likes of Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga as the King and Queen, Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim (Durotan’s second in command) and Paula Patton as Garona, a half-orc who is attempting to find her place int he world.

With such a wealth of acting talent, it’s such a shame that the film itself fails to be anything more than formulaic and predictable. In trying to show both sides to the story, there isn’t enough time to flesh out either side, leaving rather flat, stereotypical characters. Whilst there are moments spent trying to make the Orcs seem less war-like, it ultimately leads to confusion when you can hardly remember what was said the last time, or whether it was mindless platitudes that make things seem more profound, but falls apart when looked at too closely. The film was adapted from two separate novels, each one portraying one side of the story, and one can’t help but feel that the film itself would maybe have worked better if the two stories had been split as well to spend more time with each of the characters.

Whilst the story is a let down, the visuals are something to behold. Despite swimming in the same Orange and Teal colour correction as numerous other films out there, the beauty of the settings is incredible, and the special effects used by the post-production houses for the magic spells is even better. On top of all that, the CGI Orcs are lovingly rendered, and appear to be wholly unique, the motion-capture technology helping convey the emotions and movements that lets them fit in seamlessly with their surroundings. It’s not enough to save the film, but it certainly pulls it from the pile of failure to give it a chance to stand on its own legs.

Ultimately, Warcraft is not a film that will define the fantasy genre in the way that Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter did. It’s a shame to see such a talented cast and director wasted on middling fare, but I daresay it will garner enough of a following from fans of the games to warrant a sequel which can hopefully address some of these problems. There’s nothing wrong with this movie, but that doesn’t mean to say there’s plenty of right within its frames.


Moonwalkers – DVD and Blu-Ray Review

Since the end of Harry Potter, both Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have had a lucrative career and have had some acclaimed movies or television series under their wand holsters. Rupert Grint, the third in the trio, has a somewhat limited range with a few independent films and an Ed Sheeran video in his post-Hogwarts career as well as owning his very own ice cream van. Nice.

Fair play to the young actor for not following set rules in his post franchise days and for picking different movies to continue his acting prominence.

And Moonwalkers is the film to definitely prove that his movie outings are weird, unusual, and utter brilliant.

Moonwalkers has the destiny to be a cult film if enough audience members witness the lunacy first hand. The antics on screen will surely be whispered throughout the circles that viewers may walk in and the DVD release today may accrue more folks bellowing, “Hey man, you’ve got to see this!”

That’s because the plot and the cinematic craziness that explodes on the screen has to be seen with your eyes, man. Doused in colourful sixties aesthetic, the blossoming spectrum plays host to hilarious hi-jinks that is almost a homage to the crime capers of the era. It’s almost as though director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet laced craft services with the most potent LSD and let his performers relish in the script and beautiful trip they were about to go down.

Basically, the plot revolves around an unstable CIA agent named Kidman (played by Ron Perlman in the most Perlman-y role ever.) The US Government are a little afraid that the moon-landing isn’t going to work and send Kidman to track down acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick in England. There he comes across band manager Jonny (Rupert Grint) who says he knows Kubrick which is a big massive lie – Kubrick is actually his flatmate Leon (Robert Sheehan). Going along with for the ride, Kidman and the pair try to pull off the biggest con of all time, or they’ll all be killed.

Sheehan and Grint team up yet again since their stirring efforts in Cherrybomb and delight once more with this hoopla of a film whilst Ron Perlman’s “holy shit, what have I let myself in for” performance is deserving of a multitude of praise. The movie is, indeed, a fantastic collection of actors doing mighty fine work despite the absurdity on the screen. Set to the most excellent sixties soundtrack, Moonwalkers is an infusion of people putting their bloody all in to the movie and the result is fantastically bizarre.

There are times that Moonwalkers trails off, as with most adventitious movies, the struggle to keep the wacky plotline going means there are moments of dullness.  And a lot of folk will be put off by the craziness but don’t be deteered by the insanity on the screen. It actually works and that is helped by the chemistry between Perlman, Rupert Grint, and Robert Sheehan.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Review

I didn’t last long.

Much to my credit, I made it through a lot of crud.

I made it through Tyler Perry’s worst Nutty Professor impression with that utterly distracting moustache. I made it through the over-acting of good thespians such as Stephen Amell and Laura Linney (come on guyyyssss, you are better than this.) I made it through that slow motion transformation scene where Megan Fox goes from blonde sexy scientist to valley girl as she, in the middle of a train station, changes into a mini-skirt and tied up blouse as the camera chooses to slowly pan across the flesh she now shows. I made it throw CGI pizza, spit-balls, and a hyperactive brain dripping gunk all over Shredder.

But I had to draw the line at animal penis jokes.

Yes, within this insipid attempt at movie-making there is a moment where two crooks turned animals compare the size of their dongs and congratulate each other on gaining such sizeable packages during the mutations. That was the moment the sensible side of my brain stopped and went, “enough.”

That was the moment Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows spiralled down the drain of my expectations that was already as low as possible.

The comic book franchise that nobody asked for has yet another putrid sequel that should be “delighting” audiences this half term. The movie leaps off where the prior entry finished. The turtles are still solving crimes, but within the shadows – nobody knows who they are or what they do. When master criminal Shredder escapes from prison with the help of the pulsating tentacle-clad Krang, they wind up embroiled in an intergalactic ploy to destroy New York and planet Earth. Can they defend the city once more?

Heavily laden with puerile jokes and messy action sequences, Out of the Shadows feels more like chore than an enjoyable summer flick. Director David Green attempts to rejuevinate the series but the joy is completely lost here. Turtles feels striped of the rambunctious energy that made it so famous during the nineties and the comic books beforehand. Steeped in the gritty grime that superhero movies just have o have nowadays, Out of the Shadows relies on comedy straight from an idiot’s joke book and doesn’t have the ballsy gun-ho follies to make it all acceptable. It’s all just sort of sad, really. And very, very, boring.

For the first half an hour, the movie encouraged balls of laughter from the little and grown-up audience members to the extent that I wondered what had made me such a grump that I just couldn’t enjoy the lumps of green pirouetting through New York with nun-chucks. But after a while the glee petered out into restlessness and the fun became rather arduous and dull. Frankly, the issues is that the story is so under-developed that the actors clearly had to overcompensate which is why seasoned performers raises their eyebrows in large alarm and talk then decibels higher than they should, uttering zero emotion, and little spirit.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows may appeal to its core audience but naysayers will have their displeasure confirmed: An immature, sloppy, and tedious outing for the heroes in a half-shell.


Independence Day: Resurgence – “Why Are They Screaming?” Clip

Why are a lot of blockbusters drenching their cinematography in blue and green? Why is that a thing? It just takes the once cheesy and beloved action movies and makes them grimy, gritty, and – blurgh – realistic. Nobody wants that.

Here is the first clip from the upcoming space caper, it seems that may be the case. Independence Day: Resurgence is set twenty years after the events of the first film and humanity have armed themselves with the alien technology from before. Happily safe, it all goes wrong when BAMN aliens happen again.

Why are they screaming? Who knows? Maybe it’s the upcoming alien invasion. Or maybe it’s because they’ve been doused in murky colours of blue, grey, and white.


Wiener-Dog – Brand New Trailer!

There are some movies out there that make you sit up, grab your friends hand, and scream “Yes. Yes. We must witness this.”

They could be massive blockbuster films, taut but hilarious comedies, and Sundance indie flicks. They all capture us in such an amazingly awesome way.

Wiener-Dog is that film.

The dog based comedy drama revolves around the titular pet that links four different people together.

Starring Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Julie Delpy and more, this looks like an intriguing, fun, and epic indie flick.


Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? – Brand New Trailer!

Lesbians and vampires.

They seemingly go hand in hand. Seeing as the blood sucking creatures are actually a synonym for sexuality and sexual awakenings, that’s not a hard task but there seems to be a sub-sub-culture of moviedom dedicated into homosexual lady lovers.

Based on the 1996 trashy cult classic of the same name staring Tori Spelling, James Franco has remade the film but has added lesbians and vampires into the mix.

“From the twisted mind of James Franco” seems to be about right for this trashy but somehow brilliant trailer. Truly, we are jonsing for this vampire romp.