Midnight Movies: Award-Winning Blockbusters, the Underdog’s Struggle, and Detective Pikachu.

With the award season coming to an end in the most delightful and surprising fashion, it’s time to spotlight the movies that have occupied most of my nights and taken us on many adventures. Here is what I’ve been watching.

The Irishman

Will an all-star cast leading Scorsese’s latest blockbuster, the Irishman is an epic gangster drama that journey’s the rise of Frank Sheeran in this crime syndicate. The Irishman focuses on the politics of this crime gang, choosing to highlight the power dynamics whilst highlighting the unspoken code of conduct between gang members. It’s about knowing your place. It’s a journey that spans a lifetime yet refuses to glamourise the violent deeds of organised gangs. The biggest criticism would bein its length, with a run time of 3 and a half hours, when 30 minutes could have easily been scrapped. Nevertheless, The Irishman is a triumph in exploring the lives of these influential men and spotlighting the consequences of their actions.  Continue reading

TV Talk: Sci-fi Family Adventure, a Test of Brotherhood, and Scandi-Noir Thriller.

Currently, I’m in the middle of the second season of You, and it’s so stressful I’ve had to take a break to write this post and destress. When the time comes, a lot will be said about You. However, until then, this post will treat you to a discussion on three completely different programmes, each with a compelling storyline and interesting character dynamics.

Lost in Space (Season 2)

Looking for your next sci-fi fix? Look no further than Netflix’s Lost in Space. A surprising gem in Netflix’s catalogue, Lost in Space spotlights the Robinson family’s quest to navigate their way through space to a well-established colony on Alpha Centauri. Along the way, they have to confront the unresolved tension between family members, overcome some extreme physical challenges, and carve out their place in the family and within this space colony. Narratively speaking, the second season of Lost In Space had two primary objectives. Reach Alpha Centauri and find the robot. Some may say that this season does nothing to push the narrative along, but the core of the show has always been the relationship between the Robinsons and it did a phenomenal job at exploring the various dynamics between the family. With that, we saw the emergence of Penny. The middle child whose skills lie in her words often struggles to fit into the family of scientific geniuses, and this season provided an opportunity to get an insight into that struggle. Out of all the characters, Penny is one that we can relate to most, and it’s clear that by the end of the season she carries the emotional heart of the family. The tweet below sums up everything you need to know about season two. It is a character-driven season, but one that set up some interesting dynamics that has the potential to shake the very foundations of the Robinson family. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: An Adam Driver Special

Adam Driver has easily become one of the most prolific actors of our time, displaying his range as an actor in every role he takes. He’s one of those performers that instantly captivates audiences with his nuanced performances, turning one-dimensional characters into complex and compelling individuals. Here is a small selection of films that demonstrate just how versatile of an actor Adam Driver is.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

And so we come to the end of the Skywalker saga. The final trilogy of this saga has not been as smooth sailing as they’d like, with The Last Jedi facing the scorn of fans and The Rise of Skywalker causing further divisions. However, if there is anything that we can take away from this sequel trilogy it’s the way it celebrates the legacy of this epic sci-fi saga. Continue reading

TV Talk: The Witcher

Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher (2019)The Witcher
Creator: Lauren Schmidt
Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Joey Batey
IMDB Rating: 8.6/10
Synopsis
The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than monsters and beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a special gift, the three must learn to navigate independently the increasingly volatile Continent.
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Midnight Movies: Christmas Special

‘Tis the season to be jolly. The countdown draws ever near and with all the preparations going into the festivities, we have to make time to indulge in those romantic, funny, and heartwarming Christmas films. Here, is what I’ve been watching so far.

Klaus

If you only watch one new Christmas film this year, make it Klaus. Serving as an origin story for the legend that is Santa Clause, Klaus takes us the island of Smeerensburg, a town built on a longstanding feud between warring families. Our reluctant postman, Jesper is given the near-impossible task of delivering 6000 letters in a year. To do this, he enlists the help of Klaus, a reclusive woodsman with an eye for craftsmanship. Jesper plots to use the children of the town to fulfil his goal by writing a letter to Klaus in exchange for a gift. What follows is an odd-couple dynamic that unintentionally changes the dynamic of Smeerensburg, and with that brings a sense of joy and purpose that had long been missing on the land. The animation heightens the cold desolation within the town, but also adds a layer of vibrancy and nostalgia, as its traditional animated techniques effortlessly blend with the latest animated innovations, providing a distinctive look that effectively immerses the viewers in the story. Klaus will surely become a modern classic, as the film touches on the tale old value in the spark of small acts of kindness while also providing a unique and moving origin story for Santa that oozes charm and heart. Continue reading

Midnight Movies: The Statistical Strategy in Sport, Tense Historical Drama, and a Monster Movie Knock Out.

The festive season is upon us and, like many of us, I have every intention of indulging in all the Christmas classic flicks. However, in the last month, there were several films that both surprised me and delighted me with brilliant performances, insightful storytelling, and one ridiculous festive film.

The King

An understated historical feature that spotlights the brutality of war and court manipulation. Some may say the film lacks action, but this allows the spotlight to fall on our main protagonist, newly crowned King Henry V, a man so dismayed by the destruction of war that he emotionally distances himself from his father, Henry IV. As king, he seeks to unite England and bring peace between nations. Timothée Chalamet stole the show as Henry V, alongside Joel Edgerton’s Falstaff, his closest ally and former warrior. There is a subtle nuance in their performance that is incredibly effective as we get to visually and emotionally witness the exhausting toll war takes on a man’s mentality. As tensions mount between the French and English, we are treated to a suffocating battle culminating in a visually striking reminder of the brutality of war. The King is a period drama that finds its strength in performance and substance.
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TV Talk: High Stakes Fantasy, Cliche Period Drama, and the Most Wholesome TV Event.

Brace yourselves, this is a long one. From fantasy dramas, cliche period dramas, international sporting events, and the most wholesome show on Earth, the last couple of month have provided some highly engaging TV. Here is what I’ve been watching. 

Carnival Row (Series 1)

A neo-noir fantasy series on Amazon Prime that explores a city on the brink of collapse as tensions between the citizens and the mythical creatures seeking refuge in the city threaten to boil amidst a string of unsolved murders. It’s a tale that finds our central characters, former lovers Philo (Orlando Bloom) and Vignette (Cara Delevigne) work together to uncover the conspiracy behind these murders and confront the past that tore them apart. The mythology of this show is visually stunning and incredibly fascinating, and several aspects of the show seem to be laying the groundwork for the next season. However, their titular focus remained on our war-torn lovers. While certain aspects of their relationship are credible, there still seems to be a spark missing between them to make you really invest in their relationship. I’m hoping the next season will explore the political mechanisms while continuing to expand on the mythology of these creatures and their world. Continue reading