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Review Roundup - Ring Out

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021)

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe constantly shifting to include magical dimensions and space travel, it was inevitable that they'd try to incorporate genre elements from Wuxia cinema. Kung-fu had been toyed with in their television shows after all. But this time it's definitely aiming for less realism and more fantasy. There's no longer any reason to make this grounded, and they have the budget to go beyond Luke Cage and Daredevil. This is more in the vein of Doctor Strange. For better or worse this is a movie which starts with hand-to-hand combat and ends with dragon-on-dragon monster action. It's hardly on par with the kind of action sequences from the classic days of Golden Harvest, but it's not entirely without merit.

Review Roundup - Double or Nothing

NO TIME TO DIE (2021)

Daniel Craig's 'tenure as James Bond', as they call it, has been less than stellar. There have been many highlights, but beyond the franchise reviving first instalment things have been rather shaky to say the least. Which isn't just a jab at the second unit camera work in Quantum of Solace. It seems at every turn there was a writer's strike or a long production delay of some kind. But this is a definitive conclusion to the rebooted series, for better or for worse. Does it go out on an all-time high or is it just a patchy affair? Unfortunately while this is a major step up from the laughable outing Spectre, the results reflect a lot of what has come before. Which is to say it includes the best, and worst, of Craig's time in the tuxedo, behind and in front of the camera.

Scorecard

OCTOBER 


FILM OF THE MONTH: The Shining ☆☆☆☆

Horror Bites - They're Creeping Up On You

IT FOLLOWS (2014)

A lot of modern horror these days falls into the category of bland, with the likes of Insidious and Sinister blurring together not only in terms of their homogeneous titles, but the generic supernatural plot elements. They have forgettable casts of family units and there's an overall lack of charisma. Elsewhere the lingering smell of the Blair Witch Project and its found footage ilk remains. The type of haunted house jump scares these projects are littered with replace any really imaginative elements, which is a shame. And don't get me started on all of the remakes out there. It's understandable that the old-school slasher movie won't get as many theatre seats filled, thanks to the age rating problem. But still this is a disappointing state of affairs. Luckily there are those who try something new, which is to say they borrow from other sources.

Horror Bites - Ninety-Nine Red Balloons

IT CHAPTER TWO (2019)

Well boys and girls, here were are with the conclusion to Stephen King's It. Again. The ending to the original TV movie is one of those memories many viewers share similar feelings about. The adult actors aren't as good, the pacing is off, and the internal logic of the story quickly falls apart. Particularly during the final battle with unspeakable horror, and that whole shoe-string budget spider set piece. It sets a clear template on what to avoid, with all the pitfalls mapped out. Surely nothing can go wrong this time, right? But in their efforts to reproduce the elements that worked in part one, it seems as though they've spent all their time shoe-horning in extra childhood scenes. In a strange turn of events all the important elements have been overlooked.