Category Archives: 21-30%

Onward (2020)

Directed by Dan Scanlan
Starring Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Troll) and Octavia Spencer (Dolittle)

In a fantasy land well into its post-heroic age, magic is a thing of the past, having been abandoned in favour of the more reliable forces of science. Ian Lightfoot (Holland) is an elf high schooler who misses the presence of his late father in a family dynamic with his caring but overwhelmed mother, Laurel (Louis-Dreyfus), over-exuberant fantacist brother, Barley (Pratt), and Laurel’s new boyfriend Colt (Mel Rodriguez), a stuffy centaur police officer. On his sixteenth birthday, he and Barley receive a bequest from their father: A wizard’s staff and a spell to allow them to summon their father back to life for one day.

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The Invisible Man (2020)

“What you can’t see can hurt you.”

Directed by Leigh Whannell
Starring Elisabeth Moss (Us), Aldis Hodge (Hidden Figures), Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time), Harriet Dyer (Killing Ground), Michael Dorman (Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Raven)

Cecilia Kass (Moss) leaves her abusive boyfriend, wealthy optics specialist Adrian Griffin (Jackson-Cohen), with the help of her sister Emily (Dyer) . Two weeks later, hiding out with Emily’s friend James (Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney (Reid), she learns that Adrian has committed suicide, and learns from his brother Tom (Dorman) that Adrian left her five million dollars and a passive aggressive letter. Initially feeling liberated, a series of incidents cause Cecelia to believe that Adrian is stalking her, having found a way to become invisible.

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Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)

“A whole new speed of hero”

Directed by Jeff Fowler (feature debut)
Starring James Marsden (X-Men: The Last Stand), Ben Schwartz (The Lego Movie 2), Tika Sumpter (Ride Along) and Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Sonic (Schwartz) is a hedgehog, with the power to move at incredible speed. To keep that power from the wrong hands, his mentor and mother-figure Longclaw (Donna Jay Fulks) sends him through a sufficiently advanced scientific ring to safety. Sonic spends years living in secret near the town of Green Hills, developing a one-sided relationship with its inhabitants, especially ‘Doughnut Lord’ – local sheriff Tom Wachowski (Marsden) – and ‘Pretzel Lady’ – his wife, veterinarian Maddie (Sumpter). When Sonic’s frustration at his lonelieness finally gets the best of him, his temper sprinting releases a massive EMP and draws the attention of the government and their staff mad scientist, Ivo Robotnik (Carrey).

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Ready Or Not (2019)

“In-Laws Can Be Murder”

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Starring Samara Weaving (
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Adam Brody (Shazam!), Mark O’Brien (Bad Times at the El Royale), Henry Czerny (The A-Team), Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Nicky Guadagni (Silent Hill), Melanie Scrofano (Robocop), Elyse Levesque (Slumber Party Slaughter), Kristian Bruun (The Space Between) and John Ralston (On the Basis of Sex)

Grace (Weaving) is anxious about her marriage into the wealthy and eccentric Le Domas family, but very much in love with Alex (O’Brien), the youngest of the Le Domas. At the family estate, the two are married in front of Alex’s parents, Tony (Czerny) and Becky (MacDowell), brother Daniel (Brody), sister-in-law Charity (Levesque) and aunt Helene (Guadagni). All but Helene seem welcoming, as do Alex’s sister Emilie (Scrofano) and her husband Fitch (Bruun), who arrive just in time for the family’s traditional wedding night ritual, in which a new addition to the family must draw a card from a box and play a game. Grace’s game is hide and seek, however, which it turns out transforms the eccentric custom into a deadly game of cat and mouse in which the family hunt down the unsuspecting spouse and sacrifice them to their patron, Mr La Bail, for continuing wealth and life.

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Blast from the Past – The Terminator (1984)

“In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created ‘THE TERMINATOR’

Pithy.

Directed by James Cameron
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan the Barbarian, Terminator: Genisys), Michael Biehn (Abyss), Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), Paul Winfield and Lance Henriksen (seriously, have I really not reviewed a single movie with Lance Henriksen in?)

In the unimaginably far-flung future of 2029, with humanity on the verge of victory against a remorseless, mechanical foe, the Machines send an assassin back in time to destroy the leader of the human resistance. That leader is the unborn son of LA waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton), and the assassin is the unrelenting engine of death known as the Terminator (Schwarzenegger).

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The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

“An evil army to fight, a demon to slay, a world to save. No pressure.”

Directed by Joe Cornish
Starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Doris, Rebecca Ferguson, Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart

Alex (Serkis) is a twelve year old boy, struggling alongside his friend Bedders (Chaumoo) with school bullies Lance (Taylor) and Kaye (Doris). Chased onto a building site, he discovers a sword in a block of concrete, thus becoming rightwise king of England. Soon, a new boy arrives and explains that he is Merlin (Imrie, or sometimes Stewart), and that Alex needs to rally his forces against the undead armies of the long-bound sorceress Morgana (Ferguson).

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Blast from the Past: The Matrix (1999)

  • Free your mind, or
  • In a world of 1s and 0s…are you a zero, or The One? or
  • Be Afraid Of The Future, or
  • The Fight for the Future Begins, or
  • Believe the unbelievable, or
  • Reality is a thing of the past, or
  • What is The Matrix? or
  • Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself, or
  • Perception: Our day-in, day-out world is real. Reality: That world is a hoax, an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us. Whoa, or
  • The Future isn’t user friendly, or
  • The Matrix has you, or
  • Welcome to the Real World, or
  • Remember there is no spoon, or
  • The Future Will Not Be User Friendly, or
  • The World’s population thinks it’s real. On March 31st, they will see the “Real World”

Oh yeah, this was back in the day when a tagline was considered important, clearly, although they didn’t necessarily do them well. Actually, I suspect that this is in part because The Matrix was different enough from anything that came before it that it was really difficult to market.

Directed by The Wachowskis*
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Gloria Foster and Marcus Chong

Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Reeves), is an office drone and secret hacker, obsessed with finding out what ‘the Matrix’ is. Meetings with fellow hacker Trinity (Moss) and the sinister Agent Smith (Weaving) lead him to cyberguru Morpheus (Fishburne) and his crew – including Trinity and less-committed hacker Cypher (Pantoliano) – who extract him from the Matrix, a simulated reality, to join their resistance against the world’s AI overlords, who use humans as batteries.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Directed by Jon Watts
Starring Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal

In the wake of the global catastrophe now known as ‘the Blip’, Peter Parker (Holland) is looking forward to taking a break from a) being Spider-Man and b) fielding questions about when he’s going to take on Iron Man’s mantle as public head of superheroing by taking a trip to Europe with his classmates, including bestie Ned (Batalon), cool punk and subject of Peter’s crush MJ (Zendaya), academic jock Flash (Tony Revelori) and Brad (Remy Hii), a rival for MJ’s affections who is notionally five years younger than the rest of the group, but didn’t vanish during the blip so is chronologically the same age. Alas, this holiday is soon interrupted by the appearance of a monster made of water and a mysterious hero in Venice.

SPOILERS BELOW THE LINE

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Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Jean Simmons, Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal, Josh Hutcherson and Blythe Danner

Sophie Hatter (Mortimer) is a simple girl, working in the family shop in a country on the brink of war. After a chance meeting with the infamous Wizard Howl (Bale), she is cursed by the Witch of the Wastes (Bacall) to become an old woman (Simmons). Leaving her home, she falls in with Howl, his apprentice Markl (Hutcherson), the fire demon Calcifer (Crystal) and a mysterious scarecrow, assigning herself as Howl’s cleaning woman in the hope that Calcifer can free her of the curse in return for her breaking his contract with the wizard.

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Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Directed by Rob Letterman
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe

Sinister AF Pokemon Mewtwo escapes from a lab, and a car is knocked off the road. Tim Goodman (Smith), a small town insurance assessor, learns that his father, Detective Harry Goodman, died in the crash, and comes to Ryme City to collect Harry’s effects from his boss, Lieutenant Yoshida (Watanabe). Here he meets his father’s partner Pikachu (Reynolds), a pokemon who is somehow able to hold complete conversations with Tim, and who ropes him into the search for Harry, convinced that he is still alive.

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