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  1. WARNING: This reviewer is not a consumer of comic books/graphic novels. Any inconsistencies with the these works will not be addressed here. It only reflects the film as a standalone work.

    Cinebling Movie Review Valerian

    From Luc Besson, Valerian promised to be the most visually stunning CGI film since Avatar, and it delivers on that promise.

    The premise is an intriguing one, founded in reality - that the International Space Station is built upon time after time until it becomes so big it has to be jettisoned from our atmosphere and set off into space, becoming a planet known as Alpha. This happens with a montage over a believable timescale, so that the work's protagonists and world feel far off, rather than just around the corner. (A back-firing trick from Back To The Future that recently had us all cussing scientists everywhere and asking where our hoverboards were.)

    The film centres on Major Valerian and his partner Sergeant Laureline. As well as being 'space buddies' stuck on a ship with Alex the AI for company, they also have a relationship, which evolves throughout the film, running as bumpily as true love's course should. Valerian plays something of a bad boy, having a 'playlist' of exes and needing to be bailed out from his missions a couple of times. Laureline is introduced as a fiery femme fatale but settles into the more traditional role of caregiver as the work runs on.

    The promoted stunning opening scenes are actually part of the collateral of war, although the questions are limited to the single bad apple, rather than a wider questioning of empire.
    CONCLUSION: Stunning visuals, a love story, and loads of explosions!
    OVERALL RATING: Not everyone's cup of tea, but definitely worth a look.
    Check it out on IMDB here!

    [Image from IMDB]

  2. Cinebling Movie Review Dunkirk

    British director Christopher Nolan has returned with a film that, at first glance, appears to be a far cry from the Dark Knight Trilogy, but is actually all about real-life heroes. For those a little rusty on their history (like me) the year is 1940, the Germans are advancing to the edge of France, and there are over 300,000 British troops stuck at Dunkirk. With no way of getting them home using military resources, a plan was hatched to utilise the 'little boats' and get the troops home safely.
    Although there have been films about Dunkirk before, none has tackled the subject in quite the same way. The film is initially split into three sections; The Mole, The Sea and The Air. The list could read as ingredients for any number of films, but in Dunkirk they have been weaved into something magical.
    The frantic planning of the film's opening sequence gives way to a look at the harsh practicalities of such an audacious operation. Each of the parts of the film have their own action and arc, as the mission starts out and goes through the trials that ring true as the chaos of war.
    Nolan both humanises and makes heroes of the stars of his film, and has roused thoroughly convincing performances from every member of the cast. And when one of your cast is an ex-boy band member, that's a pretty strong recommendation of your talents. The photography is also stunning and compelling. Switching between the vast sky and the claustrophobic Spitfire cockpit feels entirely natural, and gives an insight into what fighter pilots then (and probably still now) felt.
    It wouldn't be a spoiler to say that the film has a mostly triumphant ending, though it has so focussed on the individual stories that when the members of the public are introduced, their reaction is as surprising to us as it is to the soldiers.

    CONCLUSION: History has never been so absorbing.
    OVERALL RATING: Overall rating: Go see this now! Run. Why are you still sitting there reading this? I said, run!

    Check it out on IMDB here!

    [Image from IMDB]

  3. Cinebling Movie Review Colossal

    Colossal's main premise is a 'what if' with a big difference. This quirky indie movie stars Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) as Gloria, an alcoholic who returns to her hometown after being thrown out by her boyfriend. Although there is little to establish how long her alcohol addiction has grown for, the brevity is much appreciated as this has little effect on the story, other than banishing Gloria back to her home town.
    Once home, she soon runs into an old friend and lands a job at his bar, serving drinks up and then indulging her addiction through the night and into the morning. At the same time, a giant monster appears and smashes up large parts of Seoul, in South Korea. As metaphors go, it should be like being beaten round the head, but the initial combination of joy and horror with which the characters react - making the monster dance, for example - allows the film to carry this off.
    The realisation that Gloria is, in fact, the monster, seems to be the wake-up call needed for the alcoholic to try and change her ways, but a twist in the story means that another character has the mother-of-all-leverage over her. This takes various forms, and initially starts out amicably enough. At one point, Gloria’s empty house is furnished, apparently for the sole purpose of being smashed up during a later fight scene that provides a new twist on a special friendship.
    CONCLUSION: Unusual but enjoyable!
    Overall rating: Not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but definitely worth a watch. Check it out on IMDB here!

    [Image from IMDB]

  4. WARNING: This reviewer is not a consumer of comic books. Any inconsistencies with the comics will not be addressed here. It only reflects the film as a standalone work. 

    Cinebling Movie Review Wonder Woman

    There are those in the world that have seen way too many superhero movies, and there are those that will never watch enough. Luckily, Wonder Woman is of a calibre that both sides of the superhero appreciation coin will enjoy. Gal Gadot was best known for her roles in The Fast and The Furious franchise, but not only does she bring warmth to the role, her naivety shines through in the most genuine of ways during her time spent in a more mixed up world.
    When the Amazon's world is rocked by the arrival of a downed pilot and the Nazis who are hunting him, Diana (aka Wonder Woman to us mortals) takes up the mantle of peace keeper. She journeys to a world where she is patronised left, right and centre. The decision around the period setting can be easily explained - it creates conflict, it provides motivation and, let's face it, WWII films are still very popular because they provide us with a very bad 'baddie'. The reservations around setting are soon dissolved as the team of renegades that Diana recruits smash their way through no man’s land and eventually defeat the Nazis.
    I had the pleasure of experiencing this film on an IMAX in 3D, and almost wish I could watch every film that way. The world that the team have created draws you in, from the beautiful, lush Amazon dreamworld to the war-devastated regions that are visited by the scruffy band of misfits.
    The only downside to this film was the lack of confidence to let Wonder Woman truly star, rather than effectively co-lead with Chris Pine. Still, I can't wait to join Wonder Woman on her next adventure!
    CONCLUSION: Action packed and fun, this is a truly satisfying superhero film.
    Overall rating: Go see this now! Run. Why are you still sitting there reading this? I said, run!

    Check it out on IMDB here!

    [Image from IMDB]