Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Review

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4 STARS

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Emile Hirsch, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Margaret Qualley, Mike Moh, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis

Writer/director Tarantino and his movies are much like Marmite: you either love them or you hate them. He can be quite the controversial figure at times, and yet his movies are generally well-received critically and are relatively timeless, whether you like them or not. It’s generally best to go in with an open mind and probably some context so you’re aware of what you’re in for. Slated as his ninth and ‘final’ film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (hereafter OUATIH) ought to be the movie that sees out Tarantino’s career as we currently know it; he’s even been heard to have labelled this movie his ‘magnum opus’. Is it really worth the accolades it’s been receiving, or might it force Tarantino and his career to slip quietly out the back?

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Yesterday – Review

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Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Joel Fry, Kate McKinnon, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Harry Michell, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chappell, Ed Sheeran

Imagine a world where your favourite band/artist did not exist, where you’d never hear their music or see them perform in any capacity. Doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it? This is exactly what happens in Yesterday, a fictional world in which the Beatles (and many other musicians, brands, fictional characters etc.) never happened. That might not bother a lot of people who aren’t particularly fans, but for the majority of the population of the world it would be a disaster. Does director Danny Boyle’s latest production give us an entertaining and somewhat thoughtful glimpse into such a world, or could we just as easily live in a world where this movie never existed?

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What’s On – August 2019

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With a lot of releases heading our way this month (including quite a lot of independents) there’s likely to be something for everyone over the next four weeks. If the weather has been too much for you of late, you’ll find plenty to keep you (and the kids, where applicable) indoors at your nearest cinema. Someone had the (potentially amazing) idea to throw Hobbs and Shaw together; someone else had the (potentially terrible) thought that Playmobil could be as good as Lego in a movie; Tarantino’s final ever (probably, maybe, who knows) movie gives us a glimpse of old Hollywood; Dora the Explorer’s gone through puberty in her movie debut. See? Lot’s going on, and plenty more besides (I promise).

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The Lion King (2019) – Review

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3 STARS

Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, J.D. McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric André

Here we are once again at the receiving end of another Disney remake (many saying “live-action”, though it’s technically not). 1994’s The Lion King animation quickly became a classic amidst the studio’s “renaissance” period and has remained so with many fans all over the world, also becoming one of the longest running, highest grossing and most popular stage shows ever. The animation is known for its award-winning songs and score, fantastic performances, emotional scenes and comic relief. A remake was, arguably, entirely unnecessary, however it’s perhaps understandable given the advancements in technology since the early 1990s and the curiosity it would have peaked in filmmakers wanting to give the animation a somewhat “realistic” makeover. But does it have the same impact that the animation did and (very much) still does?

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Toy Story 4 – Review

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4 STARS

Director: Josh Cooley
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Annie Potts, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Ally Maki, Keanu Reeves, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Madeleine McGraw

It seems that no matter your age, the Toy Story franchise has probably factored into your life in one way or another. Whether you were the parent of a child who saw the first movie back in 1995, you were the child yourself at that time or been one or the other at the time 2 or 3 were released, chances are it’s been in your life somehow. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t at least know of these movies and its famous characters. The end of each movie left little ideas that signalled potential sequels, but they also rounded stories off quite nicely so that there wouldn’t necessarily need to be any further movies. On that note, was there really any need for a fourth instalment? Does it even measure up to previous movies (particularly the first)? Is there any real potential for a fifth? Do we WANT a fifth??

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