The idea for the film came about, when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson watched a documentary one sleepless night. That documentary was ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’. The next morning he called his good friend, The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and pitched the idea. Merchant loved it and started writing the script immediately.
Paige and her brother Zak (Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden) were born into a wrestling family. They’ve spent their entire lives dreaming about leaving their small town of Norwich and heading to America, to join the WWE. Their parents (Nick Frost and Lena Heady) run a local wrestling club and have raised them to be champions. The pair both get called for WWE try outs, but only Paige makes the grade. She then heads off to Florida for training, whilst Zak is left in Norwich.
Although Stephen Merchant has been writing/directing films and TV for nearly 20 years, this is his first time going solo and he shines. His signature razor-sharp dialogue is present throughout. Fighting With My Family is the first great film of 2019, given that it’s Merchant’s baby, I went in expecting a feel-good, character-based comedy. This is much deeper than that. The laughs come thick and fast, but the film isn’t afraid to tone down the comedic elements, when the story calls for it and it. The dialogue and characters always feel authentic and, it never falls foul to any sports biopic tropes. There’s no unnecessary romantic subplot, even the “mean girls” cliché is wonderfully subverted.
This is also quite possibly the most realistic sibling relationship ever put on screen. Pugh and Lowden are instantly believable as brother and sister, their equal respect and jealously for each other is perfectly balanced.
Merchant has crafted a wonderful film, that excellently reflects the highs and lows that come with chasing your dreams, but it also teaches us that even if you don’t quite achieve what you’ve wanted. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. This film will appeal to both wrestling fans and those, like me-who’ve never seen a match.
Six months after Superman (Jerry O’Connell) sacrificed himself to defeat Doomsday, the world has been introduced to four new versions of the man of steel; Superboy, Steel, Cyborg-Superman, and the Eradicator. Each one of them is very different in their personalities and crime-fighting style compared to the original Man of Steel; leaving the world questioning which one, if any, is the true Superman.
At 87 minutes, this is one of the longer DC Universe Animated films. But the extra length enables it to achieve a number of things, such as continuing threads that were set up in ‘The Death of Superman’. We also get a great amount of character development, not only do we see some really touching moments between the Kents and Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn). We also see Lois develop a friendship with Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson). Lex Luthor also plays a very active role in this story-excellently voiced by Rainn Wilson. It also allows for the film to set up the wider DC animated universe.
Let’s just say, DC’s animation department has done it again. Reign of the Supermen is a triumph. Despite being based on a comic book from 1993, writers Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieg-along with director Sam Liu, manage to keep the film feeling fresh and engaging. They understand just how much the original comics mean to fans and expertly adapt them for the screen.
This is the kind of movie I wish DC’s live-action department were making. It’s got a darker/edgy tone, the heroes actions have consequences. But, it doesn’t take itself seriously. There’s a lot of fun to be had here.
REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN is available now on Digital Download, Blu-ray™ and DVD
After his girlfriend Caitlin (Tointon) dumps him at graduation, Nick (Thomas) is convinced by his best friend Shane (Animashaun) to attend a music festival, they’d previously booked tickets for-even though it means running into her.
On the train, they meet the annoying Amy (O’Doherty).
Sure enough, they run into Caitlin and after a number of humiliating situations, Nick ends up getting himself and Shane arrested, which leads to Shane’s mum’s boyfriend(Clement) bailing them out.
Whilst the cast provide enough energy to make it watchable, the film feels like it’s made from rejected jokes from The Inbetweeners. Which makes sense considering it’s written by the shows co-creator and stars Joe Thomas.
The script is packed with gags-none of which land. In fact, some of the humour is so grotesque and tasteless that it’s jarring, alienating and cringe-worthy. The filmmakers abruptly cut scenes to distract from the thin plot and random set-pieces.
Jermaine Clement gives a great performance and steals every scene he’s in. Nick Frost and Noel Fielding manage to raise a few smiles, with their cameos. But there’s little substance here. Ultimately, the film feels like that random drunk guy on a train. Chattering endlessly, but never getting to a point.
On paper, an all-female instalment in the Ocean’s series, featuring a great cast-lead by Sandra Bullock sounds like everything you need for a great time. In practise however, Ocean’s Eight never really hits the mark.
There’re a lot of parallels in this film to Ocean’s Eleven. The movie starts at the parole hearing of Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock). Once released, she reunites with her old partner in crime Lou (Cate Blanchett, Thor: Ragnarok) to pull off a $150 million diamond heist at the Met Gala.
They assemble a heist team; fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter, Big Fish), jeweller Amita (Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project), hacker Nine-Ball (Rihanna, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), pickpocket Constance (Awkwafina, Dude) and Tammy (Sarah Paulson, The Post).
The idea behind this film, seems to be to just chuck a bunch of famous names together and see what sticks. The script really doesn’t have anything to say, the camera work is basic and, the characterisations are one-dimensional and this talented cast just go through the motions, with very little to work with.
They really hammer home the George Clooney/Danny Ocean references. I get that they need to establish that this is in the same universe as the previous films, but it’s done incredibly sloppily.
There is clearly a lot of potential here and the cast are clearly having a great time, but they deserve a movie worthy of their talents, Ocean’s Eight isn’t it. Perhaps they can convince Steven Soderbergh to return for Ocean’s Nine…
As part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Films in Concert, two showings of Star Trek were shown over the weekend. Saturday showed 2009’s Star Trek. Sunday showed Star Trek:Beyond.
Both screenings were accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and conducted by Ernst van Tiel.
We attended the Saturday event.
I’ve attended concerts like this at The Royal Albert Hall, many times. But some how each time feels like the first.
For those who are unfamiliar with these concerts, the films are played on a suspended screen, above the musicians. The dialogue is intact, with the Orchestra performing the soundtrack and sound effects live.
Not only are these amazing musicians a sight to behold on stage, but the evening provided a phenomenal audio experience that no Blu-Ray can possibly live up to.
My personal highlight of the evening was the Orchestras performance of the Star Trek theme, over Leonard Nimoy’s “space the final frontier” speech. They received a seven minute standing ovation for this.
The film takes place in 2045, when much of humanity uses thevirtual realitysoftware OASIS to escape the desolation of the real world. Orphaned teenager Wade Watts (Sheridan) discovers clues to a hidden game within the program that promises the winner full ownership of the OASIS, and joins several allies to try to complete the game before a large company run by businessman Nolan Sorrento (Mendelsohn) can do so.
The Royal Albert Hall have announced Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, will be part of their live in concert range in 2017. The film’s score will be performed live, by the Philharmonia Orchestra.
We’ve been to a few of these events now, theyr’e absolutely breath-taking.
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart of the true Prince within.
The cast of the live-action adaptation features; Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.