Mission Impossible: Fallout – Next Entertainment Review

 

THE LOWDOWN

Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

 

THE GOOD

You know there are some celebrities that people always have some “go-to” statements when they hear their name?  Well Tom Cruise, for some reason, is part of that list.  Yes, he did eat his baby’s placenta.  Yes, he is (or was, or who really knows anymore) a promoter and frontman for Scientology.  And for some reason, more than that he is not taken seriously by the majority of the movie going public anymore.

There was, however, a time when we loved Tom Cruise.  I believe in my heart that we STILL love Tom Cruise.  He does no wrong on the big screen.  Granted.  Eyes Wide Shut was a bit much for pockets of people.  But.  I maintain. He does no wrong.  On screen and behind the scenes.

With all the Mission Impossible films including Fallout, he does his own stunts.  And yes, it is a credit to his age, and his commitment to his craft.  But also, they make for some really great action sequences. It is indeed, these sequences, that show us that this film pulls out all the stops.

In a time where big budget superhero films are dominating the box office – action films are a close second to put your money on.  But only the really, really good ones.  Like this one.  Mission Impossible: Fallout, is what some are calling, the best action film of 2018.

What I like about Fallout, is that yes, there are 4, maybe 5 or 6 Mission Impossible films out so far, and you can watch the latest in the franchise and still feel like you are not the spare wheel in-between a private joke.

Also.

Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby add class and integrity to the film.  Their performances are subtle and superb at the very same time.

What more do you want?

Action (done right) – Check

Tom Cruise at his best – Check

Scenes that will win you over one act at a time – Check.

Fallout has got all the check boxes ticked.

 

THE BAD

Here’s the deal.  I really enjoyed this film.  So, I didn’t have much to complain about.  But.  I did do some scratching and got a feel for what others had a different opinion on when watching Fallout.

  • Some felt that the villains were not up to standard. Henry Cavill was a bit stock standard with little context to whom his character was and even less more around why he hates Ethan Hunt so much.  I have never really been a fan of Henry Cavill’s performances, so I wasn’t expecting more than 2-dimensional acting on his part.
  • On that note, should we ask ourselves “Has Alec Baldwin had his time on the big screen?” I mean, he has more than proven himself to be a great comedic talent on television – but it almost seems like reusing an old hat for an improper fit here.
  • Some have felt that the plot was rather thin – but in the film’s defence, you should watch all of the films to enjoy the franchise and what it has to offer.

 

RANDOM PERSONAL SIDEBAR

When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I watched Cocktail with my sisters and found Tom Cruise to be my personal hero.  For years, I demanded to have a haircut just like the one Tom Cruise would don and would endlessly comb it in his 80’s lady-killer style – thinking it would bring me closer to being Tom.  That. And we also have the exact prominent nose shape.  It was like it was meant to be.  A Tom Cruise doppelganger every time I looked into the mirror.  Ah. Memories.

 

You can get your copy of Mission Impossible: Fallout now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Next Entertainment

The Meg – Next Entertainment DVD Review

 

THE LOWDOWN

The Meg is a 2018 science fiction thriller film directed by Jon Turteltaub with a screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten. The film stars Jason Statham, Li BingbingRainn Wilson, Ruby RoseWinston Chao, and Cliff Curtis. The film follows a group of scientists who encounter a 75-foot-long (23 m) megalodon shark while on a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean.  And of course, many things go south from there on.

 

THE GOOD

I loved this film.  One, the teasers for this film were released around a year and half before it’s actual release date.  So, I had been waiting a really long time to grab my popcorn and watch The Meg.  I am a big monster film fan – so this was right up my alley.  On a quick point, that also made me super-sensitive to whether the film would be done right?  And The Meg delivered on all my expectations.  Jason Statham is great.  Watching him in all his films as an action-hero, and now as an action-adventurer, he always gives an audience what they want.  Men want to be him, and women (and men) just plain, want him.  The cast had a cool dynamic. The action scenes are positively terrifying (in a good way).  You will cheer when the massive Megalodon takes a bite out of, well, anything and everything, that it can.  And there are some great mass casted scenes that will put Jaws back on the shelf and to shame.

 

THE BAD

When a film is released on circuit I always read, listen and watch the public’s reaction to watching it via a lot of social media platforms and forums that I belong to on the net.  It gives me a better idea as to being able to provide a more accurate review of a film, and not have it be a one-sided view, as most critics do.  Even though I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film over and over again, a couple of things did come up.

The first is that those of you that didn’t watch The Meg or won’t watch it – have no interest in a monster film.  It’s definitely a preference.  My sister is one of those people.  Most of the time I can convince her to watch a film – but she has done nothing but flat out refuse to watch this film.  It has nothing to do with a fear or phobia, it’s just not her type of thing.

Another is that those that did watch the film, felt like it was a basic idea with no real innovation to movie making.  But again, I say this quite often with action adventure films.  Are any of them vying for best picture at the Oscars? No.  They are here for pure entertainment.  There are, of course, many, many films in this genre that perpetuate a terrible script – but this film isn’t one of them.  It’s fun. It IS ,indeed basic. But The Meg is free from “cringe worthy” moments.  And that’s a big plus in my opinion.

 

THE CHERRY ON TOP

The DVD release of The Meg includes a great bonus feature called “Chomp on This:  The Making of The Meg”.

Director John Turtletaub takes you behind the scenes in the making of the movie; why he chose to take on a monster film (something he has never done before); and what makes watching people on screen in absolute terror, so enthralling to an audience.

The feature also highlights how everyone, from the director to the stunt director – have nothing but great things to say about working with Jason Statham.   A credit to his name.  If it wasn’t true, I assume it would be just as easy to find a number of other things to put in the special features section.  It’s an honest running theme that he is a great guy!

And that does kind of justify a little as to why it is that we enjoy watching Statham in this, and all his other films.

Barrie M. Osborne, the films executive producer takes you on a play by play as to how the film was shot in the “middle” of the ocean with a skeleton crew and equipment.  This Is great to watch knowing we got some amazing scenes that Statham and the crew had to work well together to sell the believability of a giant prehistoric shark on the hunt for anything it can sink its teeth into it.  We also get to see how “water-acting” was accomplished and a glimpse into the swimming safety lessons that the cast had to take before getting into the water.

What is quite special to watch is child actor Sophia Cie with her experiences on the set and how she got along with the entire cast and crew.

 

The Meg is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Next Entertainment.

 

Creed II – Interview with Michael B. Jordan, Florian Munteanu and Director Steven Caple Jr.

Creed 2 sees the return of Adonis Creed taking on Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago.  Ivan killed Adonis’ father, Apollo Creed, 30 years ago. And in a showdown of epic proportions, we see Adonis and Ivan face off .

The film also sees the return of Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren reprising their original roles as Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago.
I had a chance to sit down and chat to the stars of the film, Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) and newcomer Florian Munteanu about what they learnt on set.

I was also joined by the film’s director, Steven Caple Jr. who tells us all about the this chapter in Rocky saga, and what he dreaded most about making this film.

Next Entertainment Review – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

THE LOWDOWN

This is the fifth instalment (but not likely last – they are planning a 3rd and final in the Jurassic World trilogy) in the American science fiction adventure film franchise Jurassic Park.  Steven Spielberg and Frank Marshall are back at the producer’s helm, and it is directed by J.A. Bayona.  Set on the fictional and now iconic island of Isla Nublar, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing set out to rescue remaining dinosaurs before a volcanic eruption destroys it.  But what is a Jurassic Park film, if not for its plot twisted by the greed of human beings.  DNA collected by the remains of the Indominus Rex, leads to the genetically engineered and ferocious Indoraptor – which forms part of a line-up of captured dinos that are being auctioned off to the highest bidders.  We also see the return of our favourite Velociraptor, Blue, who teams up with our heroes to take on the bad guys and liberate this world from the Jurassic Era.

THE GOOD

We love Chris Pratt.  He is just a really, really likeable casted character in pretty much any film, and the franchise did well by securing him in this and the last film, Jurassic World.  So big plus on that front getting to watch Pratt in action again.  We also absolutely love that Jeff Goldblum cameos again as the voice of reason (or doom and gloom, whichever you prefer).  Say what you want about the Jurassic Park franchise – but it is enjoyable.  And I can be objective.  I hated Jurassic Park 2 – The Lost World.  Well, the part that had the T-Rex running through the streets of American suburbia like some cheap Japanese monster film rip off.

Look, I have been a fan since the 1990’s.  This is just another chapter in historic film making.  Watching the T-Rex in action (again) is homage to the original.  Sure.  I would have loved to see the amazing Laura Dern somewhere in the Jurassic World’s, but we can’t get everything we want.  On the dino front, the Indoraptor is positively perfect.  The hint to an emo-horror film is a big-time theme in the film, as it skulks around open bedrooms and chases little girls around mansion halls. And it’s fantastic.  I personally will be in the front row for Jurassic World III.  I am just hoping there will be mass havoc (as hinted to at the end of the film) across the 50 states of the Trump administration in the next film.

THE BAD

As a massive fan of the Jurassic Park franchise, to find out that most of the film takes place off the island was a bit of a let-down.  Having said that.  I can respect that the filmmakers did give us something slightly different to the original plot.  People go to an island.  People meet dinosaurs.  People get eaten by dinosaurs.  People get off said island.  End scene with T-Rex.

Don’t get me wrong.  People get eaten. If this isn’t your vibe, stay away from this film.  Also.  Just replace “island” with mansion in the rich burbs of America, and you have Fallen Kingdom.  It won’t win any Oscars, or much favour with critics, but then again, Fallen Kingdom doesn’t set out to promise audiences riveting unique movie going.  It’s supposed to just be fun.

THE CHERRY ON TOP

The DVD release has a ton of great extras you can enjoy.  Let’s have a look at some of my favs:

  • You get to see Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on set behind the scenes. They have some amazing chemistry.  I love watching actors having fun and doing their thing, as you get to know them a little more personally.
  • The Kingdom Evolves: Steven Spielberg chats about his love for the franchise and why he kept the Jurassic faith.  Again, we also get confirmation that there will be a 3rd in the Jurassic World
  • Birth of the Indoraptor: One of my favourite dinos in the Jurassic Park films.  Genetically engineered danger wrapped in a beautifully homicidal package.  We get to see the concept art and creation of this majestic monster.
  • Death by Dino: How do you die by dino?  Find out in this segment as we see the actors get bloodied and beaten.
  • Malcolm’s Return: Jeff Goldblum is a highlight in our lives, and of course, in the film.  Ian Malcolm embodies the spirit of Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton.  We get a closer look at his involvement in this movie.

And a whole lot more.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray from Next Entertainment.

 

 

 

Next Entertainment: Deadpool 2 Review

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THE LOWDOWN
Deadpool 2 is the second in the franchise and the 11th in the X-men film series. Directed by David Leitch, with some stellar scripting by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds (who also plays Deadpool in the film – the story revolves around now fully fledged mercenary Wade Wilson, trying to deal with the loss of his girlfriend Vanessa, who was gunned down by one of Deadpool’s failed target hits). The X-men’s Colossus takes Wade in, recovering at the X-Mansion, but things quickly go south for the X-man in training, when Deadpool confronts an unstable youth called Firefist, both go to mutant lockup, and Firefist finds solace in the care of the unstoppable Juggernaut. Throw in future freedom fighter Cable, and team up with the beautiful Domino – and Deadpool 2, is one of the best films you will see in 2018.

THE GOOD
Firstly, I want to re-iterate that because I am a massive Marvel fan, most would think I would be completely biased in my opinion of a Marvel film. It’s quite the opposite. Because I am a big fanatic – I have a much higher expectation of the comic adaptations that come to our silver screens. And so you can definitely expect an raw and honest review.

Now that that’s out the way.

This film is great. It’s actually super-awesomely great.

D2 is brilliant from start to end. While the first in the franchise spent most of the film setting up the origin and premise of the character, we got a whole lot more time to spend with all these really likeable characters in the second.

Don’t worry, there is still the down side to the film coming up. But that can wait for a moment.

One. The humour is crazy. The action is everywhere (in a good way). And the acting is spot on. Ryan won us over in the first film, and he does it again in the sequel. The Deadpool franchise can get away with what the X-Men films can’t – so expect a lot of in your face, off the tangent cinematic moments.

Everyone in this film is amazing, but Zazie Beetz who plays Domino, takes the win in every scene. Not only is she breathtaking to look at, but even more breathtaking to watch encompass the role.

Also. Please. Celine Dion. On “Ashes”. Who does not love themselves a little Celine Dion coming out of the woodworks to perform your film’s movie title song (and more than likely Academy Award’s Song of the Year 2019)?

I could go on and on. Oh wait. A surprise appearance from Brad Pitt. Don’t blink. You will literally miss him.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX11yw6YL1w]

THE BAD
So, I did promise you the “bad”. And to be completely honest, Deadpool 2 (as hilarious as it is) does take the slapstick feel of humour too far in many scenes. You almost literally “lose the plot” through joke after joke after joke, and I must say, at points it can become rather tedious.

THE CHERRY ON TOP
The DVD release includes a gag reel that features all the heroes you love from the film. You will catch Wade, Domino and Cable cracking jokes and forgetting their lines, dropping some major F-bombs, and some general tomfoolery that happens on the set.

Deadpool 2 is now available on DVD from Next Entertainment. To stay up to date with their releases, check out and like their page on Facebook.

Next Entertainment: Pacific Rim Uprising Review

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EhiLLOhVis]

THE LOWDOWN
In his directorial debut, Steven S. DeKnight with producer Guillermo Del Toro, bring you the second film in the Pacific Rim franchise. In 2035, ten years after the battle of the breach (also the setting for the first film), this movie follows Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, who makes a living selling and stealing Jaeger parts on the black market. His misadventure leads him smack bang to the path of a 15-year-old Jaeger building prodigy, Amara Namani, whose self-built Scrapper has a run-in with the Pan-Pacific Defence Corps – and both are arrested. Jake’s adopted sister, PPDC Secretary General Mako Mori, helps Jake avoid prison by having him train Jaeger program cadets, with Amara serving as one of his recruits. Thrown into the mix is Shai Corporation’s drone program, which mass produces Jaegers, who are the forerunners for shutting down the original man-piloted fighting machines after Mako is killed by Jaeger Obsidion Fury. But that’s not all, Kaiju brains are being cloned in the drone production program – and all goes pear shaped when Kaiju-Jaeger hybrids wreak havoc in Tokyo.

THE GOOD
I really loved the first Pacific Rim film. It took the genre of man vs. monster to the level and expectation we all wanted: more massive monsters, with more action, more of the time. Having said that, I was looking forward to watching the second instalment. I also wondered how they would stretch the story beyond what worked so well for the first film. I must say, the idea was great and the execution even better. To pull in original characters into differently motivated roles was rather cool. The fact that the concept of the Kaiju had evolved was also a great angle. And of course, that the sentiment of man’s capitalisation on both mother nature and machine never ends well, was a solid running representation throughout the film.

THE BAD
The film lagged slightly, more so because of the disconnect of likeable characters that don’t feature in the film. This is because the character isn’t fully developed, and so at the end of the day, you care more about wanting to see a ferociously magnificent Kaiju in every scene over what becomes any of the characters behaving more like talking heads throughout the film.

THE (MASSIVE) CHERRY ON TOP
There are so many bonus features packed into the DVD release, so you might have to take a real moment to enjoy it all. I must say, I quite enjoy watching scenes that have commentary by the film director – a feature not new in concept, but still something that you have to get used and of course, and which you will only find with the DVD or Blu-Ray releases. Pacific Rim also has a ton of deleted scenes. You can enjoy them along with director Steven DeKnight.

  • Hall of Heroes – an insight to all the best of the best Jaegers in the film.
  • Bridge to Uprising – a look at how the creators of the film managed a realistic follow-up to the first film.
  • The Underworld of Uprising – where does the backdrop of the film play out, where Jaeger parts are being harvested, 10 years later, in the wild west zones and remains of the destruction in the first film.
  • Becoming Cadets – the new breed of Jaeger cadets. Younger, fresher, and more passionate about the war against the Kaiju.
  • Unexpected Villain – you know me. I love a good villain. And this villain doesn’t come cheap! A turn for the worst from one of our favourite characters from the first film.
  • Next Level Jaegers – a badass tribute to the new line of Jaegers. Next Level indeed. More efficient. More agile. Overall, more hardcore. The visual arts department had their work cut out for them.
    …and a whole lot more of course.

Pacific Rim Uprising is available now on DVD from Next Entertainment. For other movie reviews, check them out and like their page on Facebook.