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Mr. Holmes (2015)
Mr. Holmes (2015)
2015 | International, Drama, Mystery
8
7.1 (9 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The new Roadside Attractions film Mr. Holmes is a new twist on an age-old story.
We first see Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellan) in a train voyage with a package, and we don’t know to or from where he’s going or why.
The entire movie is full of flash backs and multiple time frames of the same mans life, as he tries to piece together memories that seem to lie just beyond his ability to recollect
Holmes has retired from his detective business and is cared for by widowed housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) and her young son Roger (Milo Parker).
Roger is quick witted and interested in anything Holmes might be able to teach him, and throughout the movie their relationship moves from one of strained and grumpy acceptance (on the part of Holmes) to one of grandfatherly love. It is a beautiful relationship that develops between the two, and makes the near -disaster that occurs at the end of the film even more heart wrenching.
It is of utmost importance to Holmes that he remember the details of his last case, 30 years prior, that apparently caused him to close up shop as a detective and retire to the coast. The trip we see him on in the opening scene turns out to be a trip to Japan to meet with Mr. Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada) who helped him search for, and ultimately find, a plant (prickly ash) said to have curative powers for memory problems.
Holmes plays both the role of his younger self and as the 93 year old man with advancing Alzheimer’s very very well. I believed the character as a 60 year old and just as much as a 93 year old.
The film felt a little bit long, and there were a few slow spots but overall it flowed very well despite all the jumping around in time & place, and it wove together the stories past & present to tell a cohesive and interesting tale. It built relationships between the main characters and I could see the bond between Holmes and Roger, and even the somewhat prickly Mrs. Munro growing throughout the film.
I would give this film 4 out of 5 stars.
  
Mortal Kombat (2021)
Mortal Kombat (2021)
2021 | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Contains spoilers, click to show
After all the hype I tried desperately hard not to buy into, Mortal Kombat turned out to be exactly what I expected...
The whole film suffers from an excruciatingly piss poor script (with the exception of Kano's anal bead comment at Lui Kang of course). Every character gets to announce their name unnecessarily at every opportunity, phrases from the game are shouted when the they don't really make sense in the moment, and the narrative is just about held together by bizarre edits and cuts. I can only assume that anyone not familiar with the source material may have a few issues following what the fuck is going on at certain points, even when the pacing takes a hard dip around the mid point.
Having Cole (a non-game character written for the movie) as the main lead is a shot in the foot - the character himself isn't unlikable by any stretch, but he's a little bland, and his inclusion means that a lot of familiar characters are sort of pushed to the side, and moulded around his story. Without naming names, unless they do some ret-conning in the inevitable sequels, I take issues with a few big characters being killed off so early in a proposed franchise. If these deaths stick, then there's some seriously wasted content being thrown away.

All of these negatives however are surrounded by a number of positives. For the most part, the fight scenes are entertaining enough, but the climactic duels are pretty damn awesome. The action is complimented with decent CG work (I kind of miss weird-puppet Goro but he did look pretty great in this one).
The gory moments are pretty full on as they should be and the cast are pretty solid. Some great turns from Hiroyuki Sanada, Max Huang, and Josh Lawson in particular. The film manages to pack in a tonne of references to the wider MK lore as well which is a nice touch for fans.

Overall, Mortal Kombat is dumb and trashy, but manages to be a whole heap of fun with some spectacular violence to boot. It might not be the best video game adaption out there, but it's a far cry from being a bad one.
Between this, Sonic, and Detective Pikachu, I truly, and possibly naively, hope that the era of shit video game films has passed - all eyes on Uncharted to carry on the trend.
  
Mr. Holmes (2015)
Mr. Holmes (2015)
2015 | International, Drama, Mystery
7
7.1 (9 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Characters – Sherlock Holmes is one of the iconic characters in any mystery tale, this time we following him in his latter years, as we follow the three moments, the last case he didn’t solve, the trip to Japan and how he is writing the story about his last case. This character is interesting to find because we see a great mind struggling to remember everything that he should. Mrs Munro is the housekeeper looking after Sherlock while he focuses on his projects and bees, she does want to move away with her son because she finds Sherlock more in need of a nurse than a housekeeper. Roger is her young son that Sherlock takes under his wing, he is eager to learn more about his stories and the bees which can leave him in trouble at times. Tamiki has invited Sherlock to Japan, claiming to be a big fan, but he has different motives for this, we don’t really see enough of this character though.

Performances – Ian McKellen is fantastic in the leading role, but could we expect anything less from one of the greatest of all times? Laura Linney has always been able to mould herself into any supporting character and here is no different. Milo Parker is good for a child star, nailing the important scenes and keeping his innocence about him. Hiroyuki Sanada is a man we would have liked to have seen more in this film, I feel there is a lot more that we could have had from his character.

Story – Sherlock Holmes, the icon, the legend, the detective that solves every case, is now old and trying to put together parts of his memory o finish a final book, as he tries to remember the chapters of his life. Following the three different stages of his elderly life, can in places become confusing, but everything is tied up by the end and plays into the idea of what is real or part of a story well. The pace of the story is slow in places which doesn’t help keep on top of everything though.

Mystery – The mystery side of the film, comes off slow, we have a couple of mysteries Holmes wants to solve, but we never get left in a position to want to see them unfold.

Settings – The settings play into the late 40s well, Japan is haunting for this, the beach/cliff top location looks beautiful too.


Scene of the Movie – Japan and the aftermath.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is very slow.

Final Thoughts – This is a slow mystery movie that does focus on certain parts of the later life of a Holmes figure which is different as it is him battle against his own mind while trying to remember or solve the cases.

 

Overall: Slow, but interesting.
  
Bullet Train (2022)
Bullet Train (2022)
2022 | Action, Thriller
8
7.7 (7 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Ultra-Violent...and a TON of Fun!
Early conversations surrounding the new Brad Pitt action flick BULLET TRAIN label this film as “Ultra-Violent”.

They say this as if it is a bad thing.

Directed by David Leitch (DEADPOOL 2) with a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz (FEAR STREET: PART TWO) and based on the book Kotaro Isaka, BULLET TRAIN is (no arguing here) an Ultra-Violent action flick in every sense of the term, set on the famed titular Japanese Bullet Train and follows an operative by the codename Ladybug (played by Pitt who you know from such gentle fair as FIGHT CLUB and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) who’s easy “snatch and grab” job is nothing easy thanks to the appearance of various other nefarious individuals who also are looking for that case.

Following in the footsteps of such similarily-violent flicks as NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, TRAINING DAY, FARGO and just about anything Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Director Leitch uses the violence, mayhem and bloodshed to ADD to the story (which all of the aforementioned films also did with great affect) and not “just” to be violent. And that’s an important distinction here. If the ultra-violence is fun and important to moving the story and plot along (and not just there to be gratuitous), then the movie can succeed quite well - and this one does.

What also makes these types of movies succeed is the plotting - which is sharp by writer Okewicz - and the twists and turns that you do not see coming - but make sense along the way (and will reward the viewer upon repeated viewing) and Bullet Train does this as well. It is a smartly made film that is crisply directed with some terrific action sequences (though, if I’m being fair, at times the CGI is not as good as it could/should be), but it is entertaining as all get out.

Leading us through this mayhem is the always charming and charismatic Pitt who parlays the “goofball” personae of a person in just a little over his head but comes out on top due to luck (or skill) - you be the judge. Pitt is the perfect performer for the audience to become invested in as he is the one that you need to be rooting for throughout - and you do from just about the beginning.

Leitch, wisely then, surrounded Pitt with some terrific character actors in this venture. From Aaron Taylor-Johnson (KICK-ASS) to Brian Tyree Henry (GET OUT) to Joey King (THE CONJURING) to the always terrific Hiroyuki Sanada (MORTAL COMBAT) and a host of others who do extended cameos - and to name them would be to spoil the fun of them. They all understand what type of film they are in and all seem to be having a good time going along with it all.

And why not? Bullet Train is a delight in the cinema - for those of you who like action and violence that is pretty spectacular and over the top. It is a heckuva lotta fun.

Letter Grade: A-

8 Stars (Out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)