Review-Mulan

With the exception of The Jungle Book, I haven’t enjoyed any of the Disney live-action remakes. It’s not that I’ve thought any of them were terrible, it’s just that none of them hit me the same way. However, I was genuinely interested in Mulan. It’s packed, with a cast full of martial artists experts and on paper is arguably, the only Disney film that could really work as live-action.

This version of Mulan vastly deviates from the 1998 source material. There are no musical numbers and the romantic subplot, is nowhere to be seen. It also replaces the wisecracking dragon, Mushu, with a soaring phoenix whose presence beats you over the head, with obvious metaphors.



With a cast consisting mostly of Chinese actors, with costumes and sets so impeccably designed. It seemed like a sure-fire hit. The film does look genuinely beautiful in places, the blend of New Zealand and China’s locations is seamless. However, the film doesn’t really have a lot going for it. There’s some really dodgy CGI and green screen work and, as great as her performance is, Liu Yifei never convinces as a man. She’s recognisably a woman throughout, it’s difficult to suspend your disbelief when the film isn’t even pulling off its central promise.

The film has many promising parts but fails to bring them together in a satisfying way. The action set pieces, that should be spectacular are either bad or mediocre, which is a shame considering the film boasts a cast that includes Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, and Gong Li. These are all actors renowned for their martial arts expertise. This could have been so good.

Mulan 2020 is just Mulan 1998, with the fun taken out. My advice would be to wait until it’s free to stream on Disney+.



Review-Bill & Ted Face the Music

Reunion films are tricky. They have to rekindle the magic that made them successful in the first place, be new and innovative enough to entice a new generation and, please life-long fans who’ve been writing the new installment in their heads for years.

Comedy films are doubly tricky, as society’s sensibilities change so much during a hiatus of a decade or longer. But, where the likes of Dumb and Dumber to and, Jay and Silent Bob reboot fell. Bill & Ted Face the Music soars.

It’s been 29 years since Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, but Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves instantly fall back into their titular roles. It’s like they’ve never been away.

Our heroes are still trying to write the song that will unite the world. They’re older now, but they remain just as kind-hearted, as when we last saw them.

After a hilarious session at couples therapy, Bill and Ted are visited by Kelly (Kristen Schaal), the daughter of their future-dwelling mentor Rufus (named after Carlin’s real-life daughter), who brings news of universe ending proportions.



What follows is a fun adventure, told mostly in real-time, written by the franchise creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. The duo have delivered a most outstanding script. They’ve allowed Bill and Ted to grow and evolve, they’re still recognisably the characters we fell in love with in 1988. But they’ve changed, as we all do.

There are enough callbacks to the prior films, to please fans. But nothing that would put off a newcomer. William Sadler as Death remains a highlight, he’s so absurd and uncool, that he ends up being most triumphant.

The handling of the late great George Carlin’s Rufus is done with love, respect, and admiration. It even brought a tear to my eye.

Whilst Bill & Ted are off having adventures, we also follow their daughters Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving), who are traveling through time, attempting to assemble the greatest band of all time to help their dads fulfill their destiny. Both are completely believable as the daughters of Bill & Ted, I would happily take a spin-off with these two at the helm.

If any criticism can be leveled at this, it’s in the handling of Bill & Ted’s wives Elizabeth and Joanna. We barely see them. However, with a runtime of only 91 minutes, some characters are always going to feel underserved. Hopefully, we’ll get a comic book, that shows us the princess’s adventure. 

The entire film is an utter delight from start to finish. Their careers may have taken them in vastly different directions over the years, but Reeves and Winter have remained very close. That trust, natural chemistry, and understanding absolutely shines through.

This film offers a message of love, hope, unity, friendship, and, an utter joy for music. 2020 has been a rough year for everyone, Bill & Ted Face the Music is a shining beacon of pure unadulterated pleasure. It might just save the universe.

Stay for the end credits.

Bill and Ted Face The Music will come to UK cinemas on September 16th.



Episode 232: New Mutants

Martyn and Gerrod discuss the 13th film in the X-Men franchise, they also discuss the latest Bond trailer and, John Boyega’s recent interview with GQ.

The New Mutants is a 2020 American teen-horror, based on the Marvel comics of the same name. It is the thirteenth and final installment in the X-Men franchise.

The film was directed by Josh Boone, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Knate Lee.

It stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga.

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Episode 230: Backwards Boys (Tenet)

In which a couple of backwards boys give a spoiler-free review, of a film about a couple of backwards boys (Tenet).

They also pay respect to the late great Chadwick Boseman and Norm Spencer.

They talk about Sylvester Stallone’s director’s cut of Rocky 4, as well as discuss the wrath of Bob McLeod, Christopher Eccleston joining Big Finish, Bernice Summerfield, series 2 of The Umbrella Academy, DC Fandome, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Adam, The Snyder Cut, and a quick spoiler-free review of Bill & Ted face the music.



The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to;

Podchaser, Player FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Youtube.

Check out We Sound Familiar.

Check out Comedians talking football.

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Pete – @BeeblePete

Sam-@Sammichaelcomic

Chris-@ChrisWalkerT



Trailer- Miss Virginia

Based on the inspiring true story of Virginia Walden Ford’s fight to create positive educational opportunities for African-American students in Washington D.C., Miss Virginia is a gripping drama about community empowerment with a powerhouse central performance from Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black).


Virgina Walden (Uzo Aduba) an impoverished single mother who is losing her fifteen-year-old son to the rough streets of Washington D.C. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she places him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him. Attacked and threatened by those who don’t want change – from a corrupt politician to the local drug lord, Virginia must discover depths of strength she never knew she had.


Because of Virginia Walden Ford’s tireless campaigning, in 2002 the United States’ government enacted the first-ever Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income children, leading to a complete overhaul of Washington D.C.’s education system.
Miss Virginia stars Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) in the titular role, Niles Fitch (Roman J. Israel, Esq., This is Us) as her son James, as well as Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Vanessa Williams (Shaft), Adina Porter (American Horror Story) and directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna.

Trailer-The Batman

Warner Bros. has released the first teaser trailer for Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ and it’s pretty outstanding.

The Batman will be a noir-style story, that will heavily on Batman in his detective mode. Which is something no other Batman movie has done yet. In the comics, he’s the world’s greatest detective. Director Matt Reeves has said that it’s going to tell a deep and psychological story and confirmed that the movie will not be an origin story. We’ll be seeing Batman in the second year of his

The film stars Robert Pattinson as Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Cat Woman, Andy Serkis as Alfred, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/The Riddler, Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál, John Turturro as Carmine Falcone and Peter Sarsgaard as Gil Colson. Gil Perez-Abraham (Orange is the New Black), Charlie Carver (Teen Wolf), and Max Carver.

The Batman is now scheduled for release on October 1, 2021.

Review-Scoob!

Scoob! Had been in development at Warner Bros, for about six years. It made headlines a year or so ago, when long-time Shaggy voice actor, Matthew Lilliard revealed on Twitter that he hadn’t been asked back. I can’t help but feel that he missed a bullet here.

Scoob! suffers from the same fate as Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’ and Sony’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man-verse’. In both instances, the studios tried to launch an entire universe. Before establishing one solid film.
This film also has the chore of re-introducing the world to everyone’s favourite ghost hunting adventurous, whilst setting up the wider Hanna-Barbera universe. Such as; the Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Captain Caveman, and Whacky Racers. The film also went through several creative-team switch-ups and a major theatrical-release shift, moving from September 2018 to May 2020 and then, well. You know what happened in May 2020.

The animation is incredibly well done. Director Tony Cervone, was clearly inspired by the colourful nature of the original cartoon series. The actors all bring their A-game. Will Forte makes a great Shaggy. As always, Frank Welker is great as Scooby-Doo. However, the weak plot and shoe-horning of Hanna-Barbera properties really let this film down.

Scoob! is available digitally on-demand

Review-Terminator: Dark Fate

It’s no secret that the Terminator franchise has been in pretty bad shape for over two decades. First, a studio bought the rights to make Terminator 3: Rise of the machines, this was meant to jump-start a new trilogy. It didn’t. Then another studio bought the rights and made Terminator: Salvation. This was meant to jump-start a new trilogy. It didn’t, although the lighting was fantastic. Then, knowing there were only a few years left until the rights reverted back to James Cameron, another studio tried to cash in with the sequel/reboot Terminator: Genesis. This was meant to jump-start a new trilogy. It didn’t.


Finally, in 2017 the right reverted back to Cameron who acted as producer to this film, leaving the directing duties to Tim Miller (Deadpool). And this time, instead of focusing on John Connor, Terminator: Dark Fate follows his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton) who is now older and battle weary. Her stare alone cuts through the screen with unwavering anger.

The main focus of this film is a young Mexican woman named Dani (Natalia Reyes). Dani is being chased by a new breed of Terminator, the Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna). Dani is being protected by an “enhanced” human from the future named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) who is able to trade blow-for-blow with a Terminator.

With Dark Fate, we get something of a reboot in terms of storytelling and in-universe continuity. Everything post-Terminator 2: Judgement Day, now exists in an alternate timeline that didn’t happen for these characters.

Dark Fate has a very different and interesting dynamic between the leads, even though she’s being protected. Dani isn’t a damsel in distress. She wants to fight, she knows she has to. She just doesn’t know-how. The film holds itself together pretty well, it respects its origins whilst building a new story. The action set pieces are fun and engaging, even if the CGI is a little dodgy at times.

Arnold Schwarzenegger also returns as another T-800-101 model and brings a bit more comedy to his role, than we normally see. He isn’t cracking jokes, but there are a few deadpan lines that break through the tension of the film.

The Rev-9 design is outstanding, easily the best Terminator we’ve seen since Robert Patrick’s T-1000. The Rev-9 is able to create a twin Terminator, to assist him with his mission.

Overall, I was really impressed by Terminator: Dark Fate. It’s a shame the audience has been burnt so many times by poor sequels, as this is more than a worthy successor for Terminator 2.

Episode 217: The Mask (1994)

Martyn and Gerrod sit down to discuss 1994’s The Mask.

The Mask is a 1994 comedy directed by Charles Russell, produced by Bob Engelman, and written by Mike Werb, loosely based on the comic series of the same name published by Dark Horse Comics. The film stars Jim Carrey, Peter Riegert, Peter Greene, Amy Yasbeck, Richard Jeni, and Cameron Diaz in her film debut. It revolves around Stanley Ipkiss (Carrey), an unfortunate bank clerk who finds a magical mask that transforms him into a mischievous zoot-suited gangster.



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