A bounty hunter makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

Directed by Dave Filoni The Mandalorian chapter one is excellent, it may not be a feature length film but this live action series is thankfully the next best thing. Created by Jon Favreau and with Disney and Lucas Film wallet he offers great production values, practical effects, hidden FX and a music score to match, it does not disappoint.

Actor Pedro Pascal expertly echoes Boba Fett injecting his own nuances and movements into this new lead character. The tone is perfect and feels like Star Wars should.

It is not just all new Uber characters and elements. It welcoming builds and expands George Lucas’ established universe. For example recycling/reusing established species and droids (including the Ewok’s Battle for Endor’s Blurrgs) to name but a few. Filoni also offers an IG bounty droid mirroring the IG-88 ESB character. You get to see a bounty droid in action.

With a job from Carl Weathers’ Greef Carga, Pascal’s Mandalorian tracks a target for a well-paying client (Werner Herzog) he freezes and shoots his way through the episode with The Man with No Name prowess. With the help of an indigenous character Kuill (voiced by Nick Nolte) and the bounty droid IG-11 our hero proves his honour durning a surprise reveal of a familiar unknown Star Wars species at the closing of the first episode.

Overall, aside from some iffy CGI it’s pretty much a TV Star Wars action adventure dream come true. Captures that Stars Wars magic

As he walks the streets of Gotham City Arthur Fleck is isolated, bullied and disregarded by society causing him to descend into madness turning him into the anarchy iconic criminal known as the Joker.

Channeling the likes of Taxi Driver, American Psycho with a dash of The King of Comedy director Todd Phillips offers an outstanding Joker origin film, so much so and Oscar worthy it feels too good to be a mere DC superhero movie.

Joaquin Phoenix is mesmerisingly outstanding, making Fleck both sympathetic and menacing. The Wayne/Batman connections are weighty and dramatic enough not to induce eye-rolling. Cinematographer Lawrence Sher delivers the atmospheric grit of the late 70s into an early 1980s set Joker.

The psychological aspect is reminiscent of American Psycho with a play on what is real and what is not. Its intriguing throughout watching Fleck’s metamorphosis into something quite edgy and creepy during the briskly paced running time.

Phillips expertly injects violence that is hard hitting, that emulates the simmering and brutal kills of The Godfather, Goodfellas and the like with a tragic character and dark comedy at its core.

It’s a must see, if anything, it’s arguably too well made to be a comic book movie.

An expert hitman is pitted against his own clone run by a government sanctioned security service Gemini.

Director Ang Lee offers a solid fun actioner with an injection of science fiction that echoes the likes of Assassins (1995) and the 6th Day (2000) with a feel of John Woo’s Face Off (1997).

With a notable supporting cast that includes the likes of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Douglas Hodge, Benedict Wong and (somewhat wasted) Ralph Brown you’d think it would be a entertaining dramatic hit however everyone feels so relaxed that there’s no real sense of danger. With paper thin motive the Jason Bourne-like government conspiracy scenes never quite hit the mark lacking some much needed weight.

Even though the whole film seems an excuse for Will Smith to face off against the parallel universe Fresh Prince of Bel-air assassin, Smith is great in the duel young/old roles along side a menacing Clive Owen. Smith, however, like the reset of the cast feels flat, even during the emotional highs, possibly due to the colourful locations, cinematography and Ang Lee’s general directing style.

The CGI de-aged effects are a mixed bag at times as excellent as the wacky fight setups but at others not as effective as the young Sarah Conner in Sky Dance’s other release Terminator Dark Fate.

With global-trotting fights, chases and shoot outs throughout there plenty to like right up-to a little clone twist in the closing act along with a surprise death.

Overall, Gemini Man is a lot better then the trailer makes it out to be but it’s odd tonally flawed entertaining action film.

In Mexico City a young woman named Dani Ramos becomes the latest target of a cyborg assassin, Rev 9, from the future sent by ‘Legion’.

Director Tim Miller (Deadpool) offers a standup Terminator outing correcting Genisys working as a sequel to Terminator 2. However, opening with Endoskeleton Terminators which are wiped out because of the events in T2, a young John and (excellently CGI rendered young) Sarah Connor – it then takes a sudden story turn to present day. Miller flashes forward at times to a possible or inevitable future (never clarified in Dark Fate if it can be prevented as in T2). These snippets introduce a Salvation like future with bizzare fast moving tentacle Terminators and the creation of an technologically augmented super soldier.

It has better casting than Terminator 3 (namely poorly cast Danes and Stahl). But don’t get too excited though as it barely has the grit or grounded practical feel of The Terminator nor the substance and style of the second. Frankly there’s too much CGI which takes centre stage ripping you out of the action. That said, as a CGI driven modern action film younger viewers may find it more appealing, but this is where the likes of Halloween (2018) and also Mexican themed Rambo: Last Blood have a slight edge over Miller’s loud big outing as the aforementioned focus is on the characters not just the effects.

Emotionally the film belongs to it’s cybernetically enhanced soldier Grace brilliantly played by Mackenzie Davis and Linda Hamilton, who returns as Sarah Connor. Both actors have great chemistry. Hamilton is great here, Miller keeps it refreshingly female orientated.

Gabriel Luna’s advanced Terminator model whose skin and skeleton can function as two separate bodies is interesting but his incognito infiltration element, to blend into any surrounding is wasted as he blatantly goes on wacky outlandish killing sprees in plain sight.

Schwarzenegger lights up the screen as Terminator but it leaves very little impact, it’s a pitty he didn’t show up in the flesh in Salvation. His 101 model has some good lines and generous amount of screen time. Many elements are rehashed from T2, others echoing the underrated Salvation, Dani Ramos (played by Natalia Reyes) is the new the Sarah Connor but with a welcomed little twist on the story.

Miller and writers thankfully keep it coherent compared to the last outing, but they never really explore the time travel whys and what. Also Kyle or Ginger never get a mention from Sarah’s lips, given her subtler scenes with both leads it felt like a missed opportunity.

Overall, with less CGI it could have been great, never the less it’s an enjoyable Terminator film, maybe coming from an analog age it’s just not my Terminator film.

While attempting to save her father during a hurricane, a woman finds fighting for her life against a group of hungry alligators.

Alexandre Aja (director of the underrated Maniac and overlooked Pyramid) offers a excellent exciting creature feature flick.

The glue here though is a good performance by Kaya Scodelario as Hayley. Barry Pepper is also on his usually form as her father Dave. The premise is simplistic enough. There’s moments reminiscent of The Shallows, Rouge and 47 Metres Down to name a few.

Where Aja excels is with the practical and digital effects, as looters, police and other fodder are devoured on the rising waters and storm backdrops. The tension at times is as well executed as the alligators themselves especially the setups where Hayley is trapped in a house.

Overall, it’s no game changer or as visually ground breaking or clever as Aja’s other works but it is a recommend creature feature, especially thanks to Kaya’s dedicated performance and alligator moments.

Rambo goes on a rescue mission to Mexico to return a kidnapped loved one but a Mexican gang brings the war back to him.

Last Blood is an interesting Rambo instalment, just as you think Adrian Grunberg’s well directed outing is going to be a paint by numbers kidnap flick there’s a major twist on the Taken-like premise. However, while Sylvester Stallone’s and and few other writers flesh out Rambo (reminiscent of First Blood’s characterisation) aside from some old photos it lacks some much needed dialogue nods and throwbacks. Col. Troutman doesn’t really get a mention, his Vietnamese flame, Co Bao, doesn’t get a look in etc. No bandana or hair cut tidbits either. And the theme music is not as punchy as the early outings.

That said, Rambo’s father is mentioned , his mental state is explored and his reliance on medication is touched on. The last twenty minutes as the grizzled veteran dusts off his crossbows to take on the sex traffickers are particularly gory and graphic, appeasing Rambo action fans. There’s gut-wrenching carnage as he picks off a variety of stereotype cartel. Its as hard hitting as it’s predecessor and makes Part II and Rambo III look quite tame in comparison.

Hopefully, Stallone has one more Rambo outing left in him to come full circle, connect the dots with more Vietnam and First Blood, 2, 3 links not just weapon references. We always wanted him home but maybe Rambo is more entertaining back out in a war zone.

Nevertheless, it’s great to see Stallone as Rambo back on the big screen. Recommend.

On a planet a handful of Gelflings begin a rebellion against the Skeksis when they discover a terrifying secret behind their power that threatens their world.

This series prequel to the 1982 movie is admirably inventive and has all the visual splendour of the film while expanding on Jim Henson’s original vision.

These well directed episodes have the same intense feel only with more action and deep colours. There is something underlying menacing which stirs emotions like its predecessor. And just like Dark Crystal, Age of Resistance may be a little too creepy for children (and some adults too!). The series also has the charm of the recent J. R. R. Tolkien adaptations only with puppets.

Sigourney Weaver narrates and it features the talents of Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel, Simon Pegg, Mark Hamill,Jason Isaacs to name a few. Even though the voices of the original characters are not consistently spot on they’re good enough not to distract too much and that’s really as negative as it gets.

As with the best screen fantasies it has a dreamlike atmosphere and once the characters are established it moves at a brisk pace breaking new ground, introducing new places, creatures and characters not see before in the world Thra.

The advancements in technology mixed with the traditional puppets is breathtakingly groundbreaking. Excellent viewing, highly recommend.

A boy named Harley and his family attends a taping of The Banana Splits TV show. However, when the show is cancelled the stars go on a killing rampage through the studio.

Director Danishka Esterhazy offers viewers The Banana Splits gang, a vest-wearing headstrong mother heroine, over the top gore and Hostel Saw-like torture, mixed with Rob Zombie’s Hell 31 (2016) on a low budget.

Like the recent similar tones of the Puppet Master: Littlest Reich (2018) reboot, Esterhazy film lacks a cinematic look and quality, its straight to home-video feel stops it becoming a cult classic. That’s said, there’s plenty to enjoy. Fleegle and Drooper are particular menacing as the majority of adults are killed off. The child actors are good, actress Dani Kind does her best Linda Hamilton as a Sarah Connor type and Naledi Majola is notable as studio manager Paige.

While this movie is packed with borrowed elements from better films writers Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas’s story holds up with a few twists, including a programming Frankenstein creator, robotic Banana Splits with a topical A.I. gone wrong reminiscent of Small Soldiers and the recent Child’s Play remake.

For die hard ‘Splits fans Cuckoo is possibly the psychological damaged fiancee (which sets up a sequel) but the ‘head on the wall’ from the original series appears to be omitted. Nevertheless, there’s blood, elaborate deaths throughout the rundown grime ridden studio setting and the showdown with good robot Snorky versus evil Bingo robot is a hoot.

This tone shift will split The Banana Splits fans but old school Banana Splits lovers who like horror should watch even if only for the novel adult tra la la slasher fun.

SPOILERS!

When a faulty Kaslan Buddi doll is returned to a store due to its red eyes, a mother gives it to her 13-year-old son as an early birthday present unaware of its potentially evil nature.

Directed by Lars Klevberg the Child’s Play remake is a crowd pleaser with a handful of over the top Saw, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Puppet Master-like gory graphic kills.

Tyler Burton Smith’s writing is only novel if you’ve not seen advanced the tech toys in Small Soldiers or integrated App controlling in Terminator Genisys to name a few. Here the A.I. Buddi doll from Kaslan Cooperation has been reprogrammed and it’s safety restrictions removed by a disgruntled Vietnamese worker who shortly after commits suicide. Later after bonding with Andy the ‘learning’ Chucky goes on an over protective rampage.

Smith borrows heavily from Joe Dante’s aforementioned Soldiers and Don Mancini’s Cult of Chucky especially in the closing where Chucky takes control of a variety of toys and the latest line of Buddi Dolls.

As Chucky slashes and stabs his (preferred way of killing) way through the paper thin plot (gone is the supernatural voodoo aspect of the original) Smith also throws in an E.T., Goonies group of kids which also echoes the popular Stranger Things to cover all bases. The cat versus Chucky feels a little too nasty. In addition, the Texas Chainsaw gag and skin mask nod is so outlandish and early on in the film, it steals any real credence to the derivative proceedings. The pervert in the basement is a mashup straight out of Hardware and The Resident.

Mark Hamill is fine as the voice of Chucky, complete with a well delivered catchy Buddi song. Hamill offers a serial killer calm and sinister edge to Chucky but arguably he’s less menacing than his predecessor Brad Dourif. Gabriel Bateman’s Andy Barclay is solid enough even if reminiscent of the child in The Predator but never is truly fearful of Chucky even after finding his mom’s boyfriend’s face. Through no fault of actor Aubrey Plaza as Karen Barclay, the slutty mom thing stops you really caring for the character. Likeable Brian Tyree Henry’s Detective Mike Norris feels wasted. The death of his mother is too circumstantial for you to buy into his brief investigations.

While this 2019 unoriginal version is well put together, briskly paced with great effects, Klevberg vision doesn’t have the weight, wit or tension of the original Child’s Play. It’s feels like a studio property money making exercise (that it does successfully) for the common denominator and demographics. Nevertheless, it’s worth watching once if only for the Hamill and the FX.

SPOILERS!

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must come to terms with loss, first love and team up with a new superhero to take on new elemental threats while on vacation.

Director Jon Watts delivers one of the best Marvel sequels, more impressively, one of the best Marvel films in my subjective book. This is cemented by Michael Giacchino’s music. Oddly, the characters are so endearing due to Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers’ character writing and one liners that at times it almost doesn’t need the big action setups.

Watts and crew capture much of comics tone and thanks to Tom Holland’s performance that hones Peter Parker’s teenage years perfectly it makes it a joy to watch. Again, not since Nicholas Hammond’s 1970’s stint has an actor echoed Parker in a likeable fashion. For fans (and those of a certain age) Far from Home also goes back not just to the original comics by including Mysterio but brings back memories of the 1960s cartoon.

Although elements of plot feel a little recycled from Iron Man 3 there’s enough comic rapport, teen romance and superhero action for it to have its own legs. This MCU addition hit’s home especially thanks to the top returning cast that offers character development and expanding relationships. Although lacking the vocal gravitas for Quentin Beck a.k.a Mysterio the master of trickery and illusion, Jake Gyllenhaal is a great addition to the cast offering plenty of weight.

It goes out of it way to address the five year ageing issue that Endgame caused. It’s a pity it wasn’t more of a stand-alone film. Hopefully with Fox now under Disney/Marvel Spider-Man can be reunited with the X-Men for the first time.

There’s a mid and post credit scene, the first which reveals Spider-Man’s true identity and (while not bringing into cannon) is a nod of sorts to Sam Raimi’s outings by including J.K Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. The second puts a twist on Far from Homes events and connects the outing to Captain Marvel with a Ben Mendelsohn cameo.

Overall, as with many of the Marvel outings it may not have rewatch longevity, but it certainly is fun, has heart and is more enjoyable than many of its predecessors. A must see for Spidey fans.