Review: Bright

Netflix has a hearty collection of original television programs on it’s streaming platform but not too much in the way of blockbuster films. That’s why all eyes were on Bright, a big budget buddy cop film starring Will Smith. Critics ripped the film into shreds but I still watched it. You know what? It wasn’t as bad as all that.

Bright is directed by David Ayer, the guy who wrote or directed good films like Training Day or End of Watch and bad films like Suicide Squad. This one falls in between both. Written by Max Landis, the film is wacky on paper. Picture Training Day, a gritty buddy cop film set in the various projects of Los Angeles. There are gangsters everywhere who want to do some harm to the police. Then add a lot of Tolkien-esque lore to the film.

[Credit: Netflix]

This world is very much like our own, only there are orcs, elves, dragons, centaurs, fairies and who knows what else in this world as active citizens. The film touches on race, class and social issues surprisingly well, with the elves representing the 1% while orcs are considered scum by many. Humans are right in the middle and that hierarchy plays nicely into the plot. There’s some interesting back story about the Dark Lord and some cool touches to make the world feel alive, such as pro orc graffiti or the fact that there is a magical crimes investigation unit at the Federal level.

Will Smith and his orc partner Nick, played by Joel Edgerton, are the standouts in the film. They have great chemistry together and are the reason you should keep on watching. The rest of the cast feels a bit flat, despite the fact that they are still interesting plot devices. Noomi Rapace is a great actress but she’s given very little to do here as a renegade elf coven leader whose after a magic wand to bring the Dark Lord back. She’s more action than substance. Edgar Ramirez is an magical fed but again, not much else to him.

[Credit: Netflix]

I think Bright would’ve been much better suited as a mini series or as a new show for Netflix. Two hours just isn’t enough to set up the world and all these characters. But we’ll definitely be getting more as Netflix already green lit a sequel.Here’s hoping it’s more substance over style though!

In the end, I thought Bright was better than everyone else seemed to think it was. Is it for everyone? Nope! Some of the scenes feel like they go on and the middle segment involving the Latino gangsters chasing our heroes down feels dragged out, boring and uninspired. But if you’re a fan of the director, the buddy cop genre or fantasy, try it out!


Review: Star Wars The Last Jedi

Well-that just happened. Hello all, been awhile hasn’t it? Yes I know, this channel has been a bit quiet as of late, and I do apologize. Working at the time on two Youtube channels and at Creators took up a lot of time but now I’m back and what a perfect way to return to Reel than with The Last Jedi. Continue reading “Review: Star Wars The Last Jedi”

Review: Fate of the Furious

Who would have thought that the franchise would have lasted this long? Yet here we are with marking the eighth entry in the fuel injected series and the first film to be made after the tragic passing of . Many wonder how the film would be with the absence of Brian; the family dynamic being such a huge point of these films that there were those who were unsure about going forward without him and thought the touching ending of Furious 7 was where the series should have ended. Rest easy though, this old ride still has plenty of mileage left in her.

I’m gonna be honest with you-I wasn’t a big fan of Furious 7. To me, it’s the second weakest film in the franchise so I was a bit worried about this one going in. Turns out, I had nothing to fear, Fate is awesome! It’s the most “James Bond” the series has been, abandoning the heist formula of the last few films to go full “save the world” this time around. From who you might ask? From the evil mastermind Cipher, played here with cold efficiency by Charlize Theron. Cipher is without a doubt, the best villain the Fast series has had. She has a lasting impact on the plot, is menacing, cruel and calculating. Unlike most villains, she actually makes good on her threats, which was a welcome surprise.

[Credit: Universal Pictures]
[Credit: Universal Pictures]

The big draw in this film as we know is that Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto has gone rogue. I initially thought he was going to be undercover for Kurt Russell’s Mr. Nobody at first but when the reasoning was revealed, I have to admit I didn’t see it coming and it made complete sense for the plot while also giving us some of the best character moments in the franchise. I then in turn was sold on Dom betraying his family, which was a great and refreshing change for the franchise.

Taking up the mantle for Brian is Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs, who is very much the co-lead of this film and he fully commits to the film, offering action, charm, wit and one liners for days. His constant verbal fights with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw are some of the best moments in the film. The usual suspects also all return, including Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese, Nathaniel Emmanuel and Elsa Pataky as Elena Neves.

Fate's cast [Credit: Universal Pictures]
Fate’s cast [Credit: Universal Pictures]

For the most part, the action delivers, from the awesome jailbreak scene to the nuclear sub finale. However, I found the New York action scene to be anti-climatic, empty and unthrilling, with Cipher hacking hundreds, if not thousands of cars to swarm in and attack. It felt disconnected and even for a series as preposterous as this one, unrealistic. The film had a few other minor hiccups along the way, from Scott Eastwood’s character to glancing over Shaw’s murder of Han but overall, this is one helluva fun film and fans of the series should have a great time watching it.


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Review: Eye in the Sky

Here’s a movie I had no idea existed until I saw it randomly On Demand and took note of the cast, which was the initial selling point. The film stars Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman in his final role, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi (the lead pirate from Captain Phillips) and Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen. Yeah, I know. Solid Cast. Plus its directed by Oscar winner Gavin Hood, who won Best Foreign Language Picture for his 2005 Tsotsi.

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Review: Lego Batman

Is everything still awesome? That’s what I was hoping for as I waited for #TheLegoBatmanMovie to start up. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2014 film, simply titled The Lego Movie turned out to be a genuine surprise for audiences and critics and was the launch for what is now going to be a string of Lego inspired films. After a bit of a wait and a new director, #LegoBatman finally has his own movie (because he’s Batman).

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Review: Rogue One

Spoiler free for the plot!

Very minor aesthetic spoilers!

After plenty of anticipation, trepidation and curiosity, the first Star Wars spinoff film is here and it’s a unexpected beast.  This is the prequel fans have been waiting for. Set immediately before the events of A New Hope, Rogue One gives us a brand new cast of characters and expands on the established history of the series. The film finds its own identity early on, stepping away from some establishments and having a gritty dark tone that sets it apart from the saga films. Be warned, this movie isn’t for young kids. Instead, this one is for the older fans who have grown up on the franchise and the film delivers a great film for that audience.

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Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Prequel and spin off. Two words that have become rather dirty in the film industry as of late. With major blockbusters like Star Wars and The Hobbit producing prequel films that didn’t hit the mark quite like their originals, prequels have made me nervous as of late. And so I went into Fantastic Beasts rather worried to be honest. Would the Harry Potter spin off deliver? Will five films be too many? The short answer is yes, they certainly delivered and I found myself craving more by the time the credits started rolling.

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Review: Doctor Strange

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry comes in the form of the strangest (ha) entry to date. Enter Doctor Strange, a metaphysical film about spirituality, dimensions and realities. And while the film stumbles a bit here and there, it is certainly the most visually engaging film I’ve seen in years and poses many questions for the future of the MCU.

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Final Rogue One Trailer Review

We got a new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story today after a new poster was revealed yesterday on The Star Wars Show. This is the third and final trailer and definitely shows the most in terms of plot so for those who want to go in completely blind, stop reading here. I’ve really enjoyed the tone and feel the first two trailers established and despite some criticism I have on this trailer, December 16th can’t get here any sooner.

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Review: The Magnificent Seven

The fall movie season gallops off to a fun start, thanks to the fun western that is Magnificent Seven. Unlike most recent westerns, like The Revenent  or more modern interpretations like No Country for Old Men, Magnificent Seven is an up to date version of saloon shoot ’em ups and cowboy action, worthy of modern popcorn entertainment but not for deep insight into man’s psyche. But that’ not a bad thing.

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