Wednesday 10 April 2024

REVIEW: No Way Up (2024 Movie) - Starring Sophie McIntosh, Will Attenborough, Jeremias Amoore, Manuel Pacific, Grace Nettle, Phyllis Logan and Colm Meaney

No Way Up
 

"No Way Up" is a survival thriller from 2024, directed by Claudio Fäh and written by Andy Mayson, presenting a combination of drama, tension, and peril beneath the waves. The story follows a diverse group of characters stranded in the Pacific Ocean after a plane crash, battling not only the elements but also the looming presence of a shark.

The film begins with a gripping scenario: a bird strike forces the plane down, leaving only a handful of survivors struggling for survival in the submerged wreckage. Led by Ava, the daughter of a prominent politician, and her boyfriend Jed, the group must navigate perilous waters while contending with internal strife and the ever-present threat of the shark.

One of the film's strengths lies in its performances, with the cast delivering believable portrayals of individuals pushed to their limits. Sophie McIntosh shines as Ava, conveying both vulnerability and determination in the face of adversity. Will Attenborough and Jeremias Amoore also deliver solid performances as Kyle and Jed, respectively, adding depth to their characters' arcs.

Visually, "No Way Up" surpasses expectations, particularly given its low budget. The underwater sequences are well-executed, immersing viewers in the characters' harrowing struggle for survival. Additionally, the brief runtime of just over an hour and a half ensures tight pacing, maintaining tension throughout.


For fans of the killer shark genre, "No Way Up" offers a thrilling ride reminiscent of B-movie classics. The film doesn't shy away from its genre roots, embracing the absurdity of its premise while delivering the requisite thrills and chills. However, it falls short in fully capitalising on its potential for campy fun, occasionally taking itself too seriously and missing opportunities for humour.

Furthermore, the film isn't without its flaws, with some plot holes and lapses in logic detracting from the overall experience. Certain moments may leave viewers scratching their heads or shouting at the screen in frustration.

In summary, "No Way Up" is a solid addition to the killer shark genre, offering a satisfying blend of suspense and action. While it may not reach the heights of genre classics, it delivers an entertaining experience for audiences seeking a thrilling ride. With decent performances, impressive visuals, and a brisk runtime, it earns a fair score of 7 out of 10.

Out now on digital at
Apple TV - https://apple.co/3Ubudxp
Amazon Prime - https://amzn.to/49ui0t1


REVIEW: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024 Movie) - Starring Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson

 
"Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" heralds a delightful return to the iconic franchise, seamlessly blending the familiar with the fresh in a supernatural adventure that lives up to expectations. Directed by Gil Kenan and co-written by Kenan and Jason Reitman, the film stands as a worthy sequel to "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," carrying forward the legacy while introducing novel challenges and characters.

Set two years subsequent to its predecessor's events, the plot commences with a mysterious incident in 1904 that sets the stage for the contemporary chaos. The seasoned Ghostbusters, accompanied by new recruits, find themselves confronting a chilling threat as they endeavour to rescue New York City from the clutches of a deathly-cold deity and his spectral army.

One of the film's notable strengths lies in its finely crafted plot, deftly interweaving elements of mystery, comedy, and supernatural intrigue. The narrative unfolds with a perfect equilibrium of nostalgia for long-standing fans and fresh twists to sustain the story's allure. From the captivating backstory of the enigmatic orb to the unveiling of the ancient demonic god Garraka, every narrative element contributes to the film's overall thrill.

The cast delivers standout performances all-round, with Mckenna Grace particularly shining as Phoebe Spengler. Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, and the ensemble cast each breathe life into their characters with charisma and wit. It's a delight to witness the original Ghostbusters, portrayed by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson, back in action, although some may find themselves wishing for more screen time for Murray's beloved Peter Venkman.


Visually, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" dazzles with its top-tier special effects and CGI. From the spectral entities to the chilling frozen landscapes of New York City, the film immerses viewers in a world where the supernatural feels both eerie and captivating.

Whilst the film effectively pays homage to its predecessors, some viewers may find it slightly reliant on past glories. However, this does not significantly detract from the overall enjoyment of the film, which offers plenty of thrills and laughter to satisfy both longstanding and new fans alike.

In summary, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" earns a commendable 8.5 out of 10. With its stellar cast, thrilling action, and seamless blend of old and new, the franchise is in good hands, promising an exhilarating future for Ghostbusters enthusiasts.

Out Now in Cinemas.

Monday 8 April 2024

REVIEW: Imaginary (2024 Movie) - Starring DeWanda Wise


"Imaginary" presents a spine-chilling exploration of childhood innocence and the lurking horrors of repressed memories. Directed and produced by Jeff Wadlow and brought to life by the genre-defining masterminds at Blumhouse, the film is set against the backdrop of a Louisiana childhood home. It grips viewers with its sinister premise: what if imaginary friends aren't just products of youthful imagination but manifestations of something far more sinister?

DeWanda Wise delivers a compelling performance as Jessica, a woman haunted by the return of an imaginary friend from her past. Pyper Braun shines as Alice, Jessica's stepdaughter, whose innocent games with a seemingly harmless stuffed bear take a sinister turn. Dane DiLiegro breathes life into the enigmatic Chauncey Bear, blurring the lines between childhood whimsy and malevolent force.

As Jessica's memories resurface, fueled by cryptic tales from her elderly neighbor Gloria, portrayed with eerie authenticity by Betty Buckley, the tension escalates. The film expertly weaves together a narrative of family dynamics, psychological terror, and supernatural intrigue, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.

One of the film's strengths lies in its pacing and character development. Each twist and turn feels deliberate, drawing viewers deeper into the mystery. The judicious use of jump scares and tension-building music heightens the immersive experience, while the creature designs add an extra layer of dread to the proceedings.

However, "Imaginary" isn't without its flaws. Some plot twists may feel telegraphed to astute viewers, detracting slightly from the overall impact. Yet, even with its occasional predictability, the film manages to deliver a satisfying blend of horror tropes and unexpected revelations.

In summary, "Imaginary" emerges as a solid supernatural horror film that delivers on its promises of creepy toys, possessed protagonists, and demonic apparitions. While it may not break new ground in the genre, its competent execution and effective scares make it a worthwhile watch for horror enthusiasts. With a fair rating of 6.5 out of 10, "Imaginary" offers an engaging journey into the dark recesses of the human psyche, where childhood fears and forgotten memories collide with terrifying consequences.

Out Now on Digital
Apple TV - https://apple.co/4ao8OaF
   


Tuesday 26 March 2024

Thrills, Kills, and The Blob: LEGEND's April Film Lineup

 

As spring unfolds, the airwaves are set to sizzle with a riveting lineup of cinematic treats courtesy of TV channel LEGEND. This April, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride through action-packed thrillers, spine-chilling horrors, and cult classics as LEGEND unveils eleven channel premieres, promising an electrifying viewing experience for movie aficionados.

Leading the charge are the UK TV premieres of two adrenaline-fueled action flicks featuring the indomitable Bruce Willis. First up is "HARD KILL" (2020), where Willis stars as billionaire tech CEO Donovan Chalmers, who enlists a team of mercenaries to safeguard a piece of world-threatening technology. The stakes escalate when Chalmers' daughter is snatched by a ruthless terrorist group, setting the stage for a high-octane showdown.

Following hot on its heels is "AMERICAN SIEGE" (2021), which sees Willis donning the sheriff's hat as Ben Watts, a small-town lawman thrust into a desperate race against time to thwart a gang of thieves holding a wealthy doctor hostage. With tension simmering and action aplenty, Willis delivers a masterclass in gritty heroism.

But the adrenaline rush doesn't stop there. LEGEND is set to transport viewers into the heart of the action with a diverse array of premieres. From the dystopian dystopia of "DEATH RACE 2000" (1975), where contestants vie for victory by mowing down pedestrians in a brutal cross-country race, to the gritty crime drama of "VILLAIN" (2020), starring Craig Fairbrass as a former convict drawn back into the criminal underworld, the lineup promises edge-of-your-seat thrills at every turn.

For those with a taste for the supernatural, LEGEND has unearthed some spine-tingling gems. Sink your teeth into "THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA" (1973), the eighth installment in Hammer's Dracula series, featuring the iconic Christopher Lee in his final outing as the legendary vampire. Or why not delve into the surreal horrors of "BEWARE! THE BLOB" (1972), a quirky sequel to the cult classic creature feature that sees the titular gelatinous menace wreaking havoc once more?

And let's not forget the timeless classics making their LEGEND debut. Alan J. Pakula's "THE DEVIL’S OWN" (1996), starring Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt, offers a gripping tale of loyalty and betrayal set against the backdrop of Irish-American gang warfare. Meanwhile, "A REASON TO LIVE, A REASON TO DIE" (1972), a spaghetti Western starring Telly Savalas and James Coburn, serves up a hearty dose of frontier justice as a disgraced army officer seeks redemption on the battlefield.

Rounding out the lineup is the critically acclaimed "BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL" (2007), a tense psychological thriller starring Pierce Brosnan and Gerard Butler, which explores the lengths one man will go to save his family from a sadistic tormentor.

With a lineup this electrifying, April promises to be a month to remember for LEGEND viewers. So, grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and prepare for a cinematic journey like no other, as LEGEND delivers thrills, kills, and everything in between.

TV: Sky 148 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 41 / Freesat 137


Sunday 17 March 2024

REVIEW: Spaceman (2024 Film) - Starring Adam Sandler

 

Normally, I'd watch a film and promptly write my review. Yet, "Spaceman" was different. It lingered in my mind, prompting me to let it simmer for a few days. Unexpectedly, it left a profound impact on me, especially given its surprising source: an Adam Sandler film.

Directed by Johan Renck and penned by Colby Day, "Spaceman" is a mesmerizing fusion of retro-futuristic aesthetics, set in an alternate 1990s, and profound psychological drama against the backdrop of space exploration. Adam Sandler, in a departure from his usual roles, delivers a stunning portrayal of Czech astronaut Jakub Procházka. His raw emotional depth adds layers to Jakub's character as he embarks on a daring mission to explore the Chopra cloud beyond Jupiter, grappling with the solitude of space and his strained relationship with his wife Lenka, played with poignant sincerity by Carey Mulligan. Alongside, the haunting voice of Paul Dano breathes life into Hanuš, a telepathic extraterrestrial creature resembling a three-foot-long tarantula.

Sandler's transformative performance as Jakub stands out, shedding his comedic persona to delve into a man haunted by his past, navigating loneliness, guilt, and the consequences of his choices. The narrative unfolds non-linearly, intertwining Jakub's present struggles with glimpses of his past, unveiling layers of trauma and regret. Renck's direction creates a dreamlike ambiance, complemented by stunning visual effects that capture the awe and isolation of space. The film's retro-futuristic setting adds a unique touch, blending nostalgia with speculative futurism.

At its essence, "Spaceman" is a contemplation of human vulnerability and resilience in the face of existential challenges. Its ambiguous ending invites interpretation, sparking post-viewing discussions. While some may find the narrative ambiguity vexing, others will relish the opportunity for introspection.

In summary, "Spaceman" defies genre norms, offering a bold and immersive journey. With powerhouse performances, evocative visuals, and thematic depth, it emerges as one of the year's most compelling films. While it may not appeal to all tastes, those willing to embrace its unconventional narrative will find themselves rewarded with a profound exploration of space and the human condition.

Personally, I found "Spaceman" captivating. Sandler's performance resonated deeply, and despite Hanuš being an unconventional companion, it strangely fits. I give "Spaceman" a resounding 9 out of 10. It's a film that will linger in my thoughts for weeks to come, and that's high praise indeed.

Out now on Netflix - https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/81301595

Did you know that this film is based on Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař, which is available at https://amzn.to/3TtprvX

Thursday 14 March 2024

REVIEW: Double Blind (2024 Film) - Starring Millie Brady

 

"Double Blind," helmed by director Ian Hunt-Duffy, emerges as a gripping sci-fi thriller entwined with horror elements, plunging viewers into the harrowing aftermath of a botched drug trial.

The film's premise is as intriguing as it is chilling. The notion that sleep equals certain demise injects a palpable urgency and dread into the narrative. Set within the confines of an isolated medical facility, the claustrophobic backdrop amplifies the characters' sense of isolation and desperation.

Ian Hunt-Duffy adeptly harnesses the limited setting to ratchet up tension. The cinematography deftly captures the facility's eerie ambiance, intensifying the prevailing unease.

The cast delivers commendable performances, with Millie Brady shining in the role of Claire. Pollyanna McIntosh exudes menace as Dr. Burke, adding an extra layer of tension to the already fraught scenario. While character depth may be lacking, the actors imbue their roles with enough nuance to keep audiences captivated.

The film maintains an unrelenting pace, keeping viewers teetering on the edge of their seats as the tension mounts. The specter of impending doom looms over each scene, propelling the characters to desperate measures in their struggle to stave off sleep and survive.

"Double Blind" earns praise for its innovative premise and striking visual flair. The fusion of suspense and body horror elements enriches the narrative, elevating it beyond a conventional thriller. While the plot may veer into predictability, particularly after the initial act, it still delivers ample twists and turns to hold audience interest.

Despite its strengths, "Double Blind" isn't immune to criticism. Character development remains somewhat shallow, and the 90-minute runtime feels stretched, suggesting potential for trimming to maintain a tighter pace without sacrificing narrative depth.

Overall, "Double Blind" stands as a commendable endeavor, fulfilling its promise of tension and suspense. While not flawless, it offers a compelling cinematic experience guaranteed to keep viewers on edge. With its inventive premise and strong direction, it heralds a promising debut for Ian Hunt-Duffy and screenwriter Darach McGarrigle. I'd assign "Double Blind" a respectable score of 7 out of 10, recommending it to aficionados of sci-fi thrillers and horror aficionados alike.

Out now on digital at

Apple TV - https://apple.co/49DMtFQ

Monday 11 March 2024

REVIEW: Lisa Frankenstein (2024 Film) - Starring Kathryn Newton

 

"Lisa Frankenstein" takes viewers on an exhilarating journey through horror and hilarity, masterfully crafted by Diablo Cody and Zelda Williams. Set in the nostalgic 1980s, the film follows Lisa, a teenage girl grappling with her mother's tragic death, and her unconventional romantic interest, the reanimated Victorian-era corpse known as the Creature.

The film excels in seamlessly blending horror and comedy, from the whimsically eerie circumstances of the Creature's resurrection to the sharp and witty dialogues sprinkled throughout. Kathryn Newton's performance as Lisa adds a captivating presence, while Cole Sprouse and Liza Soberano deliver solid supporting roles.

Despite its campy humor and nostalgic charm, "Lisa Frankenstein" occasionally stumbles with pacing issues and a disjointed narrative. Yet, its colorful visuals, clever humor, and memorable characters ensure an entertaining experience. While not flawless, it's a delightful homage to classic horror with a fresh twist.

In conclusion, "Lisa Frankenstein" offers a nostalgic and entertaining ride through 1980s horror comedies, filled with laughs and thrills. Despite its imperfections, its charm and creativity warrant a watch, earning it a solid 8 out of 10.

Out on Apple TV now at - https://apple.co/3STtbVY

COMPETITION: Win Green Room on Blu-ray



The brand-new Limited Edition release of Green Room will be music to your fears, as Second Sight Films gives acclaimed director Jeremy Saulnier’s (Blue Ruin) hit horror the physical release it deserves on 18 March 2024, standard editions will also be available.

And to celebrate we have a great competition and 2 copies on Standard Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis
In a masterclass in casting, national treasure Patrick Stewart gives an outstandingly terrifying turn as a sadistic neo-Nazi and stars alongside stellar cast, the late Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Hearts in Atlanta), Imogen Poots (Vivarium, 28 Weeks Later) Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Whip It), Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Skins) and Callum Turner (War & Peace, Victor Frankenstein), who all give unwavering performances. This, accompanied by a stomping soundtrack and a bucket load of bloody violence makes for ‘A debilitating, white-knuckled thrill fest’ says Starburst Magazine.

Struggling punk band Ain't Rights are in the Pacific Northwest for a gig, but when it’s cancelled, Pat, Sam, Reece and Tiger must find another way of making the money that they desperately need. When an opportunity for a show in the sticks arises, they can’t say no… but what the hell have they walked into?

The venue turns out to be a neo-Nazi bar… and when the band witness a brutal murder, things quickly spiral out of control and they find themselves trapped in the green room, with little chance of escape…  Forced to fight for survival using anything and everything at their disposal, can they make it out alive?

Take your seat in the Green Room for a ‘Brutal, vicious, cerebral and expertly acted movie that will get your heart thumping, and your adrenaline rushing’ (Film Threat).
 
Pre-order on Amazon at https://amzn.to/49NLiDU

Enter now for a chance to win.

Who stars as Darcy Banker, the leader of the skinheads in Green Room?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 25-03-24
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Brandon Cronenberg's Possessor on Blu-ray


Visionary director Brandon Cronenberg's ‘terrifying sci-fi horror freak-out’ (The Guardian) Possessor garnered international acclaim on its 2020 release from critics and audiences alike and now, masters in the field, Second Sight Films work their magic with a brand-new Limited Dual Edition 4K UHD/Blu -ray Box set due for release alongside Standard Edition releases on 4K UHD and Blu-ray, on 18 March 2024.

And to celebrate we have a great competition and 2 copies on Standard Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis
On the surface Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough – Mandy, Nocturnal Animals, Birdman) appears to be a regular woman with a son and husband waiting for her at home when she returns from her ‘business’ trips. But there’s more to her than meets the eye… As an elite corporate assassin, Tasya takes control of other people's bodies using brain implant technology to execute high-profile targets. With each hit comes a stronger lust for blood, and her newfound thirst for killing throws the whole operation into jeopardy.

Described as ‘One of the best and smartest films of the decade’ by New Scientist and with a spellbinding turn from Riseborough, alongside stand-out performances from co-stars Christopher Abbott, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Lee and Tuppence Middleton, prepare for an ultra-violent, mind-blowing experience, like nothing you’ve seen before.

You’re guaranteed to be possessed by Possessor – so make sure you get your hands on this ultimate release.
 
Pre-order on Amazon at https://amzn.to/48X5JNK

Enter now for a chance to win.

Who plays Tasya Vos in Possessor?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 25-03-24
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Wednesday 28 February 2024

REVIEW: The End We Start From (2024 Film) - Starring Jodie Comer

The End We Start From

"The End We Start From" paints a chilling picture of a near-future Britain grappling with environmental devastation, following the journey of a young family fighting for survival. Helmed by Mahalia Belo, the movie showcases Jodie Comer's standout portrayal of the resilient Woman, accompanied by an exceptional ensemble cast including Joel Fry, Mark Strong, and Katherine Waterston.

Set against a backdrop of relentless storms and flooding, the narrative delves into the resilience and human connections forged amid adversity. As London sinks and resources dwindle, Woman and her husband R embark on a perilous quest to secure safety for their newborn son, Zeb, encountering loss and the harsh realities of a world teetering on collapse.

The film shines in its portrayal of motherhood amidst chaos, illuminating the profound challenges and fears of raising a child in dire circumstances. Comer's performance is captivating, conveying a spectrum of emotions with nuance, even in sparse dialogue.

Belo's direction infuses the film with intimacy and urgency, capturing the solitude of Woman's journey while exploring themes of humanity and solidarity. Though constrained by budget, the minimal visual effects enhance the authenticity of the storytelling.

However, "The End We Start From" has its drawbacks. Some may find the ending rushed, and the scarcity of dialogue might challenge those accustomed to more verbose narratives. Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch's limited screen time may disappoint fans.

While timely, the film's exploration of climate change could be perceived as overly political by some. Nevertheless, it succeeds as a thought-provoking reflection on resilience, sacrifice, and hope in dire circumstances.

In summary, "The End We Start From" delivers a compelling portrayal of survival in a world ravaged by environmental catastrophe. Despite flaws, its poignant performances and relevant themes make it a noteworthy addition to the genre, earning a solid 7 out of 10.

Out now on

Apple TV - https://apple.co/49uvRjW

Also available

The End We Start From Audible Logo Audible Audiobook - https://amzn.to/49EHm8k