Cinema Review – John Wick: Chapter Two

Immediately after the events of John Wick, our titular hero is still on a mission to get his car back. Once he does, an old acquaintance visits him to get John to kill his sister, so he may take her seat at the table of power. The assassination goes fairly smoothly, but when John learns a large bounty has been put on his head, all bets are off. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Moonlight

Moonlight tells the story of a young black man, from childhood to adulthood, as he struggles to find who he is, and overcome the circumstances of his family life, in a rough Miami neighbourhood. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – The Founder

In 1954, as he struggled to make a living from selling milkshake machines to diners, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) stumbles across a fast food stand called McDonald’s, run by brothers Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick (Nick Offerman) McDonald. Kroc was so impressed by the McDonald brothers’ revolutionary fast food concept that he joined the company with a view to franchising across the US. It was not long, however, before Kroc had some ideas of his own, ideas that the McDonald brothers were not fans of. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Fifty Shades Darker

Picking up where the first film left off, Ana (Dakota Johnson) finds herself unable to resist when Christian (Jamie Dornan) tells her he wants her back. Demanding “No rules, no punishments and no more secrets”, Ana quickly falls back into bed with her paramour, but soon finds that all is not as rosy as it seems. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Bill Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

On returning from Iraq after earning the Silver Star for valour in combat, Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) and his squadron are sent on tour around the US, culminating in an appearance at the NFL Thanksgiving Game in 2004, with Destiny’s Child. Through flashback, the audience learns just what happened on the day that Lynn is being hailed for, and the inner conflicts he is struggling with, when considering whether or not to go back to Iraq. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Prevenge

Believing that she is receiving messages from her unborn daughter, Ruth (Alice Lowe) sets out on a bloody rampage of revenge against those she believes to have wronged her, and her family. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – 20th Century Women

In late 1970s California, Dorothea (Annette Bening) and her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) live together in a large house, along with lodgers Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and William (Billy Crudup). The film navigates the relationships that Jamie forms between his mother, his housemate and Julie (Elle Fanning) the girl he has a crush on and who climbs in his window to sleep beside him every night. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – The LEGO Batman Movie

Fresh from his adventures in The LEGO Movie, Batman (Will Arnett) finds himself facing a new and unexpected adversary; himself. When The Joker (Zach Galiafinakis) demands that Batman acknowledge that he is the Caped Crusader’s greatest enemy, Batman is quick to remind the Clown Prince of Crime that he doesn’t need anyone; “I like to fight around”. Of course The Joker is not likely to stand for that, and although Batman claims to relish his life of solitude, he will need all of his wits, and his friends around him to take down the greatest threat that Gotham City has ever seen. Continue reading

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Cinema Review – Rings

12 years after the events of The Ring Two, college professor Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) comes across a mysterious tape in a VCR he bought at a flea market. After watching the tape, Gabriel’s phone rings and he is warned he has just seven days to live. In order to protect himself, Gabriel passes the tape among his students, but when Julia (Matilda Lutz) watches the tape to save her boyfriend Holt (Alex Roe), she sees images no-one has ever seen before.

Rings is the third instalment in the American Ring franchise, and not only have all of the actors from the first two films been replaced, it seems great swathes of the Ring movie mythology has been altered in order for this sequel to even happen.

The cast is made up of Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan and Laura Wiggins. None of the cast truly get a chance to make their characters anything but one dimensional and stereotypical. We never learn what the characters like and dislike – other than premature death, obviously – and so there is precious little to root for when Samara comes to call.

David Loucka, Jacob Estes and Akiva Goldsman have replaced Ehren Kruger as screenwriter on this new instalment in the franchise, and the lack of continuity shows throughout the film. While there are touches of Scream, Final Destination, Oculus and Don’t Breathe scattered throughout the film, these only serve to highlight how derivative and unoriginal Rings is, and coupled with a dull and pedestrian story, and precious little actual dread or horror, Rings pales in comparison with the truly scary predecessors.

As director F. Javier Gutiérrez never truly manages to get Rings moving with any sense of urgency, and with characters that are thinly sketched and scares that are obvious a mile off, Rings simply becomes dull and pedestrian. Add to this the overuse of iPhone torches and darkness that make the action on screen almost impossible to see, and it is clear that the Ring franchise has run out of steam with this final instalment that could be a reboot.

In all, Rings is not scary, suspenseful or particularly engaging. The screenplay messes with the mythology created by the first two films, the characters are dull and the pacing meanders. There is probably a new story to be told of Samara and her curse, but this, with its feel of Final Destination, Oculus, Don’t Breathe and Scream, is derivative and, perhaps the worst crime of all for a horror movie, boring.

Rating: 1/5

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Cinema Review – Resident Evil: the Final Chapter

Immediately after the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is contacted by an unexpected ally, and told there is hope for humanity, but she only has 48 hours to break into The Hive and save the world; a place where The Umbrella Corporation definitely does not want her to go. Continue reading

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