Archive for February, 2018

Jigsaw (No spoilers)

Posted: February 28, 2018 in Movies
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Jigsaw (AKA SAW 8!) went into production under the working title of Saw: Legacy. After a seven year hiatus Lionsgate decided to give the once very profitable horror series another spin. The results are a mixed bag. The good, thanks in large part to brand new creative blood behind the camera, is greater than the films weaker parts. Jigsaw has a solid team behind it in the form of directing duo Michael and Peter Spierig (Undead, Daybreakers). This duo deliver one of the series fresher entries.

The horrid ‘tortue porn’ monicker the series was known for creating is not as relavent this time out. Jigsaw, while very gory in places, is more of a lean and mean trap fest as those social justice crusader (I say with no sarcasim) Jigsaw deems guilty are put to the ultimate test in a deadly series of ‘games’ that will offer them a new lease of life. If they can manage to confess their sins and work out how to beat the deadly traps that have been set in place. The traps and set pieces in Jigsaw are some of the more well crafted in the series, which works in the films favour. As does the film’s setting. Where as past entries took place in a series of run down or abandoned factories and warehouses this entry mostly plays out on a farm. A change in scenery will do wonders for any franchise reaching it’s eight installment and I loved the setting. The farm lends the film a interesting colour pallate and looks great.

Jigsaw’s cast is made up of mostly unkown actors and it works for this sort of film because the lack of a big name means it’s not so clear who will be left alive at the end of the movie. The film has a sense of humour too. Somthing past Saw films lacked for the most part. While not exactly ‘light’ it’s certainly not as pitch black as previous entries.

Saw stood out due to the Jigsaw character. He was not a typical slasher or evil guy. Sure his methods were questionable but his mission was to punish those who he felt required it. Chances were that if someone found themselves caught up in one of his games then there was a very good reason for that. In a way those early films were about life and not death. Jigsaw would give his victims a chance to live but it would require a sacrafice on their end which would then give them a new appreciation of life and the mistakes they had made. As the series went on that theme sadly got lost as one sequel after the next got more and more convoluted.

By the end of Jigsaw there is a sense of a new begining but also the danger it could repeat it’s franchise’s past mistakes should it continue. While the action taking place at the farm is excellent and edge of your seat the police, who are trying to work out just what the hell is going on, are not as engaging. The actors aren’t bad, indeed one or two prove to be vital to the films third act. It’s just worrying to see this angle rise it’s head once more in the series after (I feel at least) playing out in the previous films. My fear would be the legacy of the series ends up being it chasing its own tail and not knowing where it’s headed.

Taking Jigsaw as a reboot/relaunch the film works more than it doesn’t. By the time the film ends you feel like you’ve got a complete story that doesn’t rely on cheap shocks to rope you back in for another entry. One of the reasons I went off the series as it went on was the blatant twists that got more and more messy as the franchise went on. There’s a clean new direction at the end of Jigsaw that, should the same creative talent return, give the Saw universe a new lease of life.

 

Scream 2 (No Spoilers)

Posted: February 26, 2018 in Movies
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After the success of 1996’s Scream everyone involved with the series set to work on a sequel. Crazy by todays standards – in that I mean how good the sequel turned out – Scream 2 hit screens less than a year after the debut of the box office smashing original. Wes Craven returned to direct from a script from series creator Kevin Williamson and all of the surviving characters and cast from the the first film returned for another dance with slasher Ghostface. Over twenty years on from it’s release and Scream 2 is the slasher sequel to beat. It’s strong points far outweigh it’s bad points but the film, considered a favourite amongst fans of the series, does have some slight issues at times.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has moved on from the events of the original film that saw her friends brutally dispatched by a knife wielding slasher, of whom she was the main target. Now in college Sid is determined not to let those events shape her life. Easier said than done. It seems a copycat killer is on the loose. Now Sid finds herself the target once more. Those closest to her in mortal danger. Bodies begin to pile up and ANYONE could be the killer.

Scream made an impact by the way it embraced the conventions of the slasher genre and played with audience expectations in relation to them. It’s characters we’re aware of slasher movies and all too aware their lives had turned into one. It was a great idea and hit home with fans. Scream 2 continues in this manner only this time it turns it’s sights on sequels. Scream 2 is a clever film. The problem is it’s arguably a bit too clever for it’s own good. See this sequel spends so much time – for a slasher movie this clocks in at just under two hours – showing us how it knows most sequels suck. Characters discuss the conventions of the sequel and by doing so prove how they can be overcome and still manage to provide a fresh and exciting film that goes against what the viewer expects to happen AND for the most part that’s just what Scream 2 does. Yet in doing so it forgets to be a movie in some ways and comes off more like a dissertation. I’m not syaing that’s bad and hell, look, Williamson had more than earned the right to show off with his genre knowledge with this sequel but it’s just extremley busy.

I love Scream 2. I love how big the film is compared to the first film. It’s got a massive cast and some of the best set pieces out of the entire series. There’s loads of characters in Scream 2 and each one is well drawn out from the leads to the smaller roles. So much so that when one character claims “Everyone’s a suspect” you literally think that ” yeah, no messing, the killer or killers could be anyone in this movie!” The big stand out Scream has had over other slasher movies is the way it follows it’s core characters and not it’s slasher. Ghostface in these films is a tool. The focus, as I hope more slasher writers would come to realise, is it’s fantastic characters. You don’t want these people to die. You root for them. I think that’s why I love the Scream series as much as I do.

Wes Craven, his cast and crew do fantastic work. The film looks brilliant. No one expected the first Scream to be such a smash hit and with this sequel you can see on screen the results of that success. Like I said, this film is bigger, bolder and much more self assured of itself. That’s not to say it’s better. Scream is a classic. Scream 2 is almost as good but not quite. It would have been interesting to see what Williamson and Craven would have come up with if the sequel had not have gone into production as quick as it did. As it is Scream 2 is a extremley strong film, a great sequel and one that turned out shockingly well when you consider the fast turn around from concept to release.

 

Lord of Illusions

Posted: February 23, 2018 in Movies
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Lord of Illusions, released in 1995, is the last feature film (to date) to be directed by Clive Barker. If you are a fan of horror fiction then you will have heard of Barker. He is a class act in the realm. An acomplished author of books, screenplays, producer and director. He can do it all. More importantly he does it well. I’m a big fan of Clive Barker. His books alone are excellent and I urge any horror fan to check them out.

Harry D’Amour, who the film centres around, is a recurring protaganist in Barker’s books but this marked D’Amour’s live action debut. D’Amour is a private eye, who has links to the world of the occult and as such takes on cases which imply the workings of the unkown. He’s a great character. One who would absolutley warrant a franchise. Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, NCIS: New Orleans) makes a good D’Amour. He’s not someone I would have saw in that role but he does good work.

Opening the movie is a freaky desert set rescue on a cult compound. Nix (a solid Daniel von Bargen) has harnassed true magic. This ain’t fun and games. It’s DARK. So dark he needs to sacrafice the life of a child to fully gain his power and destroy the world. A group of magic sensitive bad asses storm the compond, rescue the kid and put an end to Nix or so they think. Years later the survivours of that day are once more brought into the dark realm of the unkown. Bodies begin to pile up, people go missing and the past may not be as burried after all. Enter D’Amour, who reluctantly takes on the case and sets out to find out just what the hell is going in Hollywood’s magic circle.

What’s cool about Lord of Illusions is the way the film plays with the audience and it’s own characters. It’s a story about magic and illusions. Magic, in the sense of fun and entertainment; one of the central characters, a survivour from the opening of the film, is a world class illusionist. Entertaining audiences around the world but the darker side to this is how he aquired said magic. The point the film makes is there is a darkness to magic, real magic, that can prove utterly terrifying and potentially world threatening if abused. D’Amour and us as viewers are never certain if what we are seeing unfold on screen is misdirection or real. The film plays with you a lot but never at the expense of the viewer. It wants you to be scared but to have fun too. Sure at times some of the effects aren’t state of the art but the film has a ton of charm that that sort of stuff didn’t bother me or hurt the film. The characters are done well and the deaths are pretty grissly. Horror fans won’t be dissapointed.

Lord of Illusions ranks as one of Barker’s stronger films. Up there with Hellraiser for originality and frights. It’s a pitty Barker and co. didn’t manage to bring D’Amour back to cinema screens for another case into the dark arts because the character and the world Barker has built around him really did lend itself to a franchise. As it is Lord of Illusions is a good slice of horror and while not the franchise starter it should have been it’s good and worth a look for any fan of Barker or the genre.

 

Happy Death Day (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: February 21, 2018 in Movies
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Happy Death Day is like a breath of fresh air. I love horror and I adore slasher movies. Good ones. And man this one is good. Now before I get into the film I want to be clear that as far as horror and slasher movies go this is on the lighter side. It’s not full of brutal violence or gore. It’s tone is very much in the slasher camp but it’s execution is more on the comedy side, with a dose of thriller and (why the hell not?!) a dash of Back To The Future and Groundhog Day for good measure. If that sounds nuts that’s fair enough but you can’t deny that mixture hasn’t caught your attention. The movie certainly did catch on with audiences last Halloween when it went on to make serious money at the box office.

The film follows college student Tree (Jessica Rothe). It’s her birthday! Yay! Well no. As it happens Tree is not your typical horror leading lady. Think Regina from Mean Girls or one of the trio of Heathers from said movie. Tree is not exactly likeable. So much so someone wants to kill her. They want this girl dead and that’s just what happens. Tree is brutally dispacthed before her birthday is through. No I haven’t ruined the film. See, Tree wakes up suddenly. It’s her birthday. She’s lived (and died this day before) and she will again and again unless(!) she can figure out who wants her dead (and there’s no shortage of suspects) and why. Brilliant. I wish I could come up with great ideas like this for genre movies.

Happy Death Day comes from the Blumhouse team (Get Out, Insidious, The Purge and this years Halloween) and those guys know what they are doing. Director Christopher Landon has more than earned his horror stripes having written and directed a few of the Paranormal Actvity movies and the excellent Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. He knows how to stage the frights and as Scouts Gudie… demonstrated he can balance the horror with the laughs. I’m now totally a fan of this guy and will be keeping an eye out to see what he has coming out in the future.

Another reason for the success of Happy Death Day is the film’s fantastic cast. Made up of talented yet unkown (at leats to me) actors. Jessica Rothe is great as Tree. She has the hardest role in the film because despite playing an unlikeable hero she had to get the audience to root for Tree despite her flaws and that’s just what she does. Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken and Rob Mello fill out the cast and do great work. The scene stealer in this cast though is Rachel Matthews as one of Tree’s sorority sisters. She has some of the funniest scenes in the movie and had me laughing out loud at some of the stuff she comes out with.

I’m mad at myself for not making more of an effort to go see Happy Death Day at the cinema because I reckon it would have been a boss movie to see with a crowd. It’s definitley a film I plan to buy and add to my collection. It is also another great example of how this decade is shaping up to be one of the best for horror. If this momentum keeps up then the next few years are going to be one hell of a ride for genre fans.

 

Wonder Boys

Posted: February 19, 2018 in Movies
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Curtis Hanson made great movies. L.A. Confidential, In Her Shoes and 8 Mile to name a few. My favourite film of his though is Wonder Boys. It is based on the novel by Michael Chabon (a brilliant writer and one whom I urge any of you to check out). The film came out in the winter of 2000 and has an excellent cast led by Michael Douglas, who is supported by Toby Maguire, Robert Downey Jr, Frances McDormand and Katie Holmes. Wonder Boys is packed with charm, well written characters, wit and great acting from everyone. Not to mention the direction which, as expect from Hanson, is brilliant.

Douglas plays Prof. Grady Tripp, who having penned a best seller now finds himself unable to finish his latest book. His students and peers remind Tripp several years have now past since his last book. The question arises has Tripp, a celebrated author, now lost his magic? If that wasn’t enough Tripp has to contend with pressure from his agent (an excellent Downey Jr as Terry Crabtree) and the fact his affair with his boss’s wife Dean Sara Gaskell (a fantastic McDormand) is growing more and more complicated. Then he has star student James Leer. Odd yet brilliant. Leer has few friends and is disliked by the majority of his classmates. Leer’s lies (oh boy does this guy lie as well as he writes!) and oddness act as a catalyst which sets Tripp off on a life changing journey.

Wonder Boys will resonate with any veiwer who has a love for writing in whatever form. It’s a gem of a film. As a viewer you get engaged and want to know how all of this is going to play out. Some of the best parts of the film centre around Tripp and his student James. James is a social outcast who makes up in his writing skill what he lacks in social skills. Throughout the film Tripp and James take a journey of sorts. Each learning a lesson from the other – directly or indirectly – that will ultimately benefit each. As writers each of them are at very different points in their careers and that is mirrored by their lives socially. It’s the resolution of those arcs which makes the film work as well as it does.

If books, writing or reading are your thing or not you’ll hopefully still have a good time with this film. At it’s core it’s a movie about people and relationships and that’s universal. I love the world and the characters all involved have brought to life and I think it’s a shame you don’t see more films like this at the cinema these days. I think the audiences are there. I can remember seeing this at crowded showing and I can’t see a reason why more films like Wonder Boys arent given wide releases these days. Sure they’re out there but you have to go looking for them. If you ain’t seen Wonder Boys then go look for it because it’s most defo worth your time.

 

Zoolander 2

Posted: February 16, 2018 in Movies
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Zoolander is a great comedy. The sequel took it’s time. It didn’t hit screens until 2016. Fifteen years after the release of the first film. Like most fans of the first film I was excited to see the return of the dumbest super model known to mankind. The reviews hit and the overall feeling was the sequel wasn’t as good and, to be blunt, wasn’t even worth the wait. I caught it recently and I enjoyed it.

The film picks up some time after the events of the first movie. Once the worlds greatest super models, Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are both living in seperate self imposed seclusions. The world of fashion has moved on. Derek, suffering from personal loss, has lost his son to child services. It takes a visit from old pal Billy Zane to get Derek’s life back on track and once more give him purpose. Derek sets out to enter the high stakes, life and death world of the fashion industry. Joined by his friend Hansel, who also has his own demons to overcome. Meanwhile a series of assassinations have led to the deaths of several musical super stars all over the world. The assassinations drawing the attention of Interpol’s Fasion Police (how could ANYONE outright dislike this film?), led by ex-swimsuit model Agent Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz)! Derek soon learns his big comeback is linked to these killings, so along with Hansel and Valentina he sets out to uncover the conspiracy.

Zoolander 2 is not as good as the first film but it’s by no means the disaster I was expecting. I think it’s a worthy follow up. Worth the wait? Depends on how much you enjoy the madness of the world Ben Stiller and co. thought up. I’ve seen WAY worse comedy sequels. This gets far more right than it gets wrong. The opening of the film does a great job of reminding us where we left everyone at the end of the first film and while it’s not a laugh a minute riot from then on it is pretty much, for the most part, a comedy that had me grinning and laughing outright, if not throughout, certainly periodically! All of the cast are great in their roles. Stiller and Wilson making it seem as if no time has passed between movies with each actor settping back into their roles with ease.

What I really liked about the film was the relationship between Derek and his estranged son Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold). The two couldn’t be further apart personality wise. Their journery through the film gives it a surprising bit of heart and makes for some of the funniest moments. It was great to have Will Ferrell back as Jacobim Mugatu. SO funny in the first movie, his appearance in the sequel is held back maybe a bit too long but once he shows up the character brings that extra sense of nutty humour that made him so memorable in the first film. One or two jokes rely on what we know from the first go around with these characters so don’t make as much of an impact but honestly I feel like the film is at it’s funniest when it’s Derek simply talking and interacting with those around him. He’s still impressively stupid and very funny. The film has a host of cameos that I won’t reveal. One in particular proves one of the films funniest moments.

If fans of the first Zoolander said this sequel wasn’t as good I could see where they are coming from but to call it majorly disappointing is a bit OTT. A fun follow up to one of Ben Stiller’s most popular comic creations. I had a good time with Zoolander 2. Could it have used it’s time to make more of a comment on the state of fashion and media culture today? Sure it could have but the film is way too busy indulging in it’s lead character and his crazy adventure and for me that wasn’t an issue.

 

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Ah the 1990’s. A glorious time for Star Trek fans. 1994 saw the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation wrapping up their seven season TV run and leaping onto the big screen with Star Trek: Generations. Deep Space Nine, the show known for taking place on a space station and not a ship, kicked off in 1993 and two years later sister show Voyager set off. To recap we had TWO TV shows running along side each other and a healthy prescence on the big screen that would contine into the early 00’s. For ‘Trek fans the 1990’s was a great time.

I was a casual Trek fan. At best. I’d tune into Next Generation from time to time, made an effort to stick with Deep Space Nine but fell off and tried Voyager but got distracted by the arrival of Buffy and Dawson’s Creek which were more in line with my tastes at the time. I did see the movies and they were great. The 00’s, even from the outside looking in, were not a great decade for the Star Trek brand. The shows had wrapped up and the films had finished. That was until J.J. Abrams swooped in and gave Star Trek the reboot treatment for the big screen. The rest is history. Star Trek is back. Three films into the rebooted canon and now with a brand new show in the form of Star Trek: Discovery. The new films are awesome and having finished watching Discovery just this week I am now a full fan. I love Star Trek.

In the long, long history of the series this new show takes place years before Captain Kirk and Spock. Starfleet has made great efforts in it’s mission to explore space and spread it’s postive messages and ideologies. Except the Klingon Empire. They want nothing to do with Starfleet, humans or anyone. Basically they are the big threat in this opening season and thanks to some brilliant make up work and a re-design they have neve looked better and more dangerous! A big part of the show is the turmoil the Klingons cause for the Federation, the threat they pose and most interesting of all the unrest brewing amongst themselves as different factions wrestle for control over the Empire. Discovery is just as much about the Klingons as it is about Starfleet. The show’s writers careful to present arguments for intergration into an organisation like Starfleet and the voices of those who wish to remain beyond it. Add to that the fact the Discovery is a black op’s like science ship and you get not just entertaining sci-fi but legit well written science fiction that delivers again and again.

Seriously I loved this show. Every episode. I saw a few reactions online from long time Star Trek fans who know WAY more about this universe than I do. Quite negative reactions in some cases. I think that’s a shame and I can’t see why they’d react that way. If the aim of Discovery was to hold true to the themes and ideologies of Star Trek and introduce them to a brand new generation than I say mission accomplished. Gender roles, race, sexuality, politics, war and human rights are all explored in Discovery and in ways that make it one of the more forward thinking shows I have seen in some time and certainly one that isn’t affraid to break new ground. That is somthing I felt Star Trek always stood for and what I like about it.

For a TV show this looks amazing. Some of the best special effects I have ever seen on a series. The cast are boss and the characters are excellent. I love this crew and it was very refreshing to see how female driven the show is. That day will come when stuff like that doesn’t even warrant a comment because it will be so normal and Discovery more than does it’s job in playing a role in that. Equal representation does matter.

Unsurprisingly, having now seen the show, Star Trek: Discovery has been a massive hit and a second season has been given the go ahead. Star Trek is back in a big way. Thanks in a large part to this show I am now a proud fan and I can not wait to see where the Discovery and it’s amaze crew brings us next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hatchet 3

Posted: February 12, 2018 in Movies
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Last week saw the release of Victor Crowley (in the U.S. at least) AKA Hatchet 4. I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at 2013’s Hatchet 3. On it’s release it seeemed like this third entry in the slasher series closed out a trilogy. It certainly feels final. Series creator Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen, Hatchet 2) did not return to direct and would only provide the story and screenplay. BJ McDonnell took over directing duties and the film saw the return of series main stay’s Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris and Parry Shen. As a capper to a trilogy of film’s Hatchet 3 works. It’s a more focused film than the second entry and although not as good as the first film it never drags. The carnage and bloodshed kicks off from the get go and doesn’t let up until the credits roll.

Wrongly believing her actions during the second movie had succeeded in stopping slasher Crowley our hero Marybeth (Danielle Harris) is dragged (literally) back into his path of destruction. Her only hope for survival lies with the belief of Crowley expert Amanda (Caroline Williams). Amanda believes that laying the crazed killer’s soul to rest will finally put an end to the nightmare. Meanwhile Sheriff Fowley (Zach Galligan), his fellow officers and first responders, one who seems very familiar, learn that Crowley is not finished, is still angry and won’t rest until he’s slaughtered anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in his swamp.

McDonnell does a good job directing the film and I think Green taking a step back as director was a positive. There’s a fast pace to Hatchet 3 that was missing from part 2. In that movie the build up was too long and the kills lacked suspense. Hatchet 3 is all systems go right through till the end. The death scenes and jump scares are more intense and suspeseful and McDonnell  nails those elements. Green still makes his mark here though in the form of the script and story. The film has a few lead characters this time and it’s not clear who, if any, will make it out of the swamp alive. As far as the story goes it comes across like Green put a lot of care into it giving all of the lead characters clear motivations and arcs. Always a plus in a slasher movie because they’re not just random victims who are where they are so they can die.

Zach Galligan (Gremlins) is great as the in over his head Sheriff Fowler. I’m a big fan of Gremlins and when I found out Galligan was cast in Hatchet 3 I was looking forward to his work here and he’s great. Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as Victor Crowley expert Amanda is easily one of the films standouts. Amanda drives a big part of the narrative, Williams gives the role her all and I loved her in the movie. Now this is odd but I liked the way Harris and Green portrayed Marybeth here. She’s no longer the typical slasher final girl. She’s so OVER this shit. Marybeth want’s nothing more to do with Crowley. Her sole objective is to stay alive. Some could say she’s unlikeable here but I loved her character arc and felt it showed a totally realistic look at someone put into this situation yet again! Harris is great as always. Parry Shen is really good in this too but I don’t want to go into too much detail on how he’s back. The rest of the cast all do good work and as is the norm with the Hatchet series there’s a few cameos genre fans should keep an eye out for.

Hatchet wouldn’t work if it’s villain didn’t and that’s never been the case thanks to genre legend Kane Hodder. If he loves playing Victor Crowley then it really shows here thanks to the improved special effects make up used to create Crowley. In Hatchet 3 he looks more vicious and expressive than before. Hodder is able to convey way more emotion than he was able to in the previous entries and that’s due to the excellent practial make up effects used.

Hatchet 3 is a bloodbath. It really feels like a big send off to the series. Now we all know there is another entry out there this film still acts as a strong finish to what I guess you could say is the first arc of the saga. I haven’t seen Victor Crowley. As of now it has no UK release date. I hope it feels like a new beginning to the series and not Hatchet 3.5 because the end this movie gives to the fans seems more than enough.

 

Okay. So by now most of you have seen the teaser trailer for Venom and the big take away was you did not get to see Eddie Brock in his symbiote costume. This film has literally just finished shooting a few days ago. It’s not even out till October. The fact we got a look at it this early is a privilege. Sony don’t OWE us. They know the fanbase for this is big so all involved wanted to get a look at the film out as soon as possible. Be disappointed by all means but don’t start taking to Twitter complaining how hard it is you didn’t get to see Venom. Relax. You will. The amount of kick off online I saw in reaction to this trailer really pissed me off. Talk about a sense of entitlement!

Now on to the teaser itself. I think it looked good. Tone wise it seems like they nailed it and by that I mean it looks like this will be a science fiction flick with action and a serious vibe. Tom Hardy will nail it as Eddie Brock. With the motion capture tech we have today I think fans will be in for one hell of a treat once we get to see what Venom looks like in action. The film has a great cast. Hopefully the script and direction pay off because if they do this could be a quality flick. Venom hits cinema screens in October. See? It’s ages away. You’ll get another two or three trailers before it’s out.

 

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If someone had told me on Sunday night I would be seeing the brand new Cloverfield movie the following day I would not have believed them. In a shocking and surpriseing move Netflix aquired The Cloverfield Paradox from Paramount. During the Super Bowel on Sunday night the film’s trailer revealed it to the world and then announced it would be ready to watch on Netflix after the big game. What a move. Fans of the franchise went into a frenzy of excitment. The reaction has been mixed. Some feel the film was seriously lacking, while others saw potential in what the film was trying to do but overall The Cloverfield Paradox does pale slightly in comparison to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

The film is directed by Julius Onah and written by Oren Uziel. Like the film that came before it this did not begin life as a Cloverfield movie. Originally it was titled God Particle. There were even test screenings held during that time when the film had no connections to the Cloverfield universe. It’s facinating stuff. J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot saw the potential in God Particle to fit into the Cloverfield universe and so the film was re-worked to make it work. It does for the most part. I don’t think it’s awful by any stretch of the imagination.

There is some boss science fiction stuff in here that gets you thinking and what’s most shocking is the film answers quite a few of the big questions from the Cloverfield series to date. In fact, in my opinion, it answers more than it probably should. When the film is finished you’ll know exactly why everything that happened in Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane came to be. You’ll also get an idea of where the series will go in the future. FYI Cloverfield 4 has already been filmed and test screened and is due for release later this year.

The plot of the movie – no spoilers – takes place on a space station orbiting the Earth. Scientist’s and an experimental partical accellerator. That’s all you’re getting. Things get out of hand. As you’d expect! All of that stuff in space is great. The characters are okay, some more so than others, but that’s down to the writing letting some down and not the actors who all do good work. The opening of the film is great too and the theory of this ‘Cloverfield Paradox’ is explained really well, maybe too well. What doesn’t quite work out is the more on the nose connections to previous Cloverfield movies. Basically the Earth set sequences, bar one which is AMAZING, seem flat and clearly added in at a later time. If more work had of gone into those scenes I think it would have made the film stronger. The same can be said of the film’s last act. Characters just get tied up abruptly and it’s predictable for a series known for taking chances and risks.

To sum it up I think The Cloverfield Paradox is a decent, if flawed, entry into the Cloververse. It can’t have been easy on Onah and Uziel to have their film re-worked. The use of practial sets and effects goes a long way too and I always appreciate that stuff. I just wish the film had not explained some mysteries so clearly and spent a bit more time on the characters.