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Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

November 1 marked the US and global release of Terminator: Dark Fate. Tim Miller is the director while James Cameron and David Ellison are the producers. Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise their roles as Sarah Connor and T800 a.k.a Carl. We get to see Mackenzie Davis as Grace, Natalia Reyes as Daniella “Dani” Ramos and Gabriel Luna as the Terminator Rev-9.

Beyond this point lies spoilers and minor rant. Read on at your own risk.

The Plot

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

The events of this movie take place directly after Terminator: Judgment Day. Starting, we get to see Sarah Connor and John Connor relaxing in Livingston, Guatemala in 1998. After the events of Judgment day, they are now sure they saved the future. No more Skynet. John Connor can now be a car mechanic instead of the leader of the resistance. While they are busy relaxing a T800 shows up kills John Connor and poof, he vanishes. Little did Sarah Connor know that Skynet had already sent various terminators to kill John Connor. Throughout the timeline.  

Moving on, now that Skynet and John Connor are no more the Spotlight shifts to Daniella Ramos.

Daniella or Dani is now the future leader of the Resistance.

They now fight against a new AI called Legion, who sends a new terminator Rev-9 to kill Dani. Dani from the future sends a cyborg subordinate Grace to protect the younger Dani.

In the end, Sarah and “Carl”, join forces with Dani and Grace. They eventually stop Rev-9. Sacrificing Grace in the process and “Carl”.

Cons

Is it all Retconned?

The answer to that is YES. The sixth instalment being the legitimate third instalment the others are officially retconned. They now exist in another dimension. While the series Chronicles of Sarah Connor is completely redundant.

Have we seen this before somewhere?

Again Yes! We have. In T2 we get to see Sarah Connor saving the future leader of the resistance. With the help of a subordinate from the future sent by the leader to stop the bad robot. The bad robot also being sent from the future to kill the younger future leader. 

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

Apart from the obvious retelling of the T2 plot; they managed to pull a Halloween. Where the Halloween 2018 is the direct sequel to Halloween I and II. Retconning the rest.

“CARL”

To clear up some facts first, the T800 models all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one is not to be confused with the one that died in T2. The T800 that killed John Connor is stuck in the past, gains feeling. The feeling of emptiness. Lost without a purpose. Gets married! Regrets he killed John.

Pros

It is refreshing to see the old faces reprising their roles. James Cameron being back. Terminator: Force Awakens hits us all with an ample amount of nostalgia.

Verdict

Terminator: Dark Fate follows the old recipe to deliver a fun action flick

All in all, it is a fun action movie. Regardless of the confusion and retelling of the old plot. We get to see a good amount of badassery. Sarah Connor being armed to the teeth and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Who doesn’t love Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a fun trip that lives up to expectations

The wall-crawling Avenger is back to close the phase 3 of MCU. This time the stakes are higher and some unanswered questions are addressed. This is a spoiler-free review, so keep reading.

Read more: A love letter to MCU from a fan with no ticket

Spider-man: Far from home takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame where the Avengers re-snapped the universe. So fan expectations were unusually high. Does Peter Parker deservedly carry on the legacy of his mentor Tony Stark?

Far From Home, the sequel to Homecoming, easily bests its predecessor.

Homecoming ignored repetitive things like the death of uncle Ben, the hardship of Aunt May and the origin story of Peter Parker becoming a superhero.

However, Spider-man: Far From Home ups the ante and tries something that has never been done with this character. Peter is on the verge of becoming a responsible individual, only to be hindered by teenage angst and identity crisis. For the first time, a Spider-Man film did not take place entirely in New York.

Destination Europe

Spider-man: Far From Home is a fun trip that lives up to expectations

The world mourns the death of the fallen Avengers, but life goes on and Peter is prepping for a Euro trip with his school buddies. He wants to leave behind his spandex life and spend some quality time with MJ. Unbeknownst to him, aunt May packed his luggage with a suit (which will come in handy later in the film).

Peter plans to ask out MJ in Europe. The high schoolers visit Venice, Paris and other landmarks but the Euro trip goes haywire when a supervillain named the Elementals start destruction in Venice. Peter and his friends were just off a boat. He left his suit in the hotel room. with a pair of web shooters his utmost effort to stop the antagonist was not enough.

Spider-man: Far From Home is a fun trip that lives up to expectations

That’s when the fan-favourite Mysterio aka Quentin Beck arrives in the scene. He teams up with Peter but almost single-handedly stops the destruction. We see a glimpse of Mysterio in the opening scene of the film, where Nick Fury and Maria Hill acts as a witness.

Fury coerces a reluctant Peter to suit up and go to his secret lair. Peter finds out Quentin Beck is working with Fury to take down the Elementals. Quentin hints of a multiverse, claiming he came from Earth, just not the one Peter lives in. Throughout the movie, other versions of the Elementals make an appearance. These villains were loosely based on old Marvel characters like Hydro-Man and Molten Man, giving fans a scope to replenish some comic book memories.

To be honest, it is hard to write a no spoiler review of Far From Home, without telling enough about the plot. There’s deception, old enemies and loads of surprise to keep you on the edge of your seat. Peter inherits a pair of high tech glasses named Edith (courtesy of Tony Stark), capable of worldwide surveillance and destruction. Edith plays a central role in the movie, putting Peter on the forefront of enemies he must stop.

An entertaining thrill ride

John Watts returns in the director’s chair, and he does a good enough job to give Spider-Man the opportunity to shine as an Avenger when the world is at stake. The brilliant cast is the heart of the show, you will be occupied with laughter, emotional turmoil and gasping for more throughout the movie.

Spider-man: Far From Home is a fun trip that lives up to expectations

Tom Holland is impressive, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s first outing as Mysterio is something to die for. Samuel L Jackson is as charismatic as he was in the other MCU entries and seems like he’s not leaving the Marvel world anytime soon. Zendaya plays an unconventional MJ, putting a refreshing vibe on the character. Jacob Batalon’ Ned Leeds is the quintessential friend Peter needs by his side. He is super funny and provides some essential jokes to make the audience smile.

There are two post-credit scenes that might just be the best part of the movie.

Far From Home is the last MCU movie of 2019 and albeit an unmissable one.

Get your tickets from Star Cineplex to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Toy Story 4 is a heart melter that makes us crave for more sequels

The last Toy Story movie came out 9 years ago which seemingly gave the franchise a decisive ending. But never say never in sequel hungry Hollywood. Pixar just gave us another round of “Talking toys with identity crisis” and surprisingly, it’s a gem.

We rarely see sequels that fulfil our expectations. Thankfully, Toy Story 4 proved to be an exception. With a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is an unmissable movie.

Toy Story 4 is a refreshing and witty addition to the series.

The animation is stunning, the jokes are laugh out loud material and like other Pixar titles, this one aligns well with a subtle melancholy.

Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) bonds with their colourful crew of toy buddies. The existing characters were fun to watch, but the newer ones are equally charming. After Toy Story 3, what could possibly happen to Sheriff Woody and friends?

You’ve got a friend in me!

Toy Story 4 is a heart melter that makes us crave for more sequels 4

Andy is all grown up and his toys are transferred to another kid named Bonnie. Bonnie is very fond of playtimes but for some strange reason, Woody is not among her favourite toys. When Bonnie goes to her orientation day at kindergarten, she struggles to fit in and make new friends. Unbeknownst to her, Woody sneaked into her backpack and decided to give her a morale boost. Bonnie ended up DIY-ing a new toy and named it Forky (Forky is a plastic fork so the name makes sense). Bonnie loves Forky and wants to take him on a road trip with her, but Forky disagrees and tries to escape.

The thing is, Forky is made up of trash bin throwaways. He doesn’t think of himself as a real toy, hence always referring to himself as “trash”. Forky believes he belongs to a wastebasket where he can live a cosy and safe life. But Woody’s samaritan persona incessantly lectures Forky how important it is for him to keep Bonnie happy. Forky opens up existential questions that trouble Woody likewise- What is a toy without the love of a child? Can a lost toy find meaningful life? Is it okay to leave a kid once s/he grows up and move on for further adventures?

Toy Story 4 is a heart melter that makes us crave for more sequels

A theme that echoes throughout the movie is finding your true self.

In this case, it’s Woody who needs a little push to recalibrate his purpose as a toy. “Nothing lasts forever and you can always find new avenues to start over”. Woody learns this at the end of the movie.

We see flashback scenes, snippets of kid Andy playing with his toys, rescue missions, reunions…what not! One of the paramount reasons we loved this movie is because of its antagonist characters (read: toys). We sort of liked the Huggin’ bear fromToy Story 3, he’s an okay-ish villain. But the one you’ll see in Toy Story 4 is too cute and has sentimental agendas. We don’t want to spoil anything about this movie but you’ll love her for sure.

Greatest animated fanservice (probably)

People who have grown up watching Toy Story will especially like this sequel. It’s emotionally charged, has got fantastic dialogues and the narrative pays off.

The surge of female empowerment in Hollywood movies is evident in recent times, Toy Story 4 also leverages it to put girl toys on the forefront. Little Bo Peep, Gabby Gabby and Jessie get their ‘Power girl’ moments and leaves an inspiring momentum for young girls.

Toy Story 4 is a heart melter that makes us crave for more sequels

One would be happy to see all the fan favourite characters return after a 9-year hiatus. But when comedian Don Rickles (the voice of Mr Potatohead) passed away in 2017, we were half expecting to see some form of tribute to the moustached Potato we loved. Thanks to Pixar, they rummaged through old recordings of Rickles when he lent his voice for the trilogy and used it as a tribute to the actor. Director Josh Cooley deserves a pat on his back for such an amazing job.

This is one film you don’t wanna miss out. Do yourself a favour and watch it in Cineplex. Stick around till the end credits for bonus surprises.

Hellboy reboot is a stinker, but David Harbour shines bright

Clearly, the world was not anticipating a R-rated Hellboy reboot weeks before the release of Avengers: Endgame. Based on Mike Mignola’s terrific comics, Hellboy (2019) is the third attempt of the series. Despite its Deadpoolesque (or lack thereof) wit and gore, the David Harbour starrer bombed at the box office upon its release last week. We haven’t seen a comic book movie fail in this proportion for a long time. Seriously, what went wrong?

The 2019 version of Hellboy is starkly different from the previous two instalments directed by Guillermo Del Toro

Neil Marshall steps into the shoes of Del Toro and crafts a shamelessly violent yet wisecracking version of Hellboy. Marshall is known for horror and action movies and he orchestrated two Game of Thrones battles. His GoT connections justify the gorefest in Hellboy.

A brief (and digestible) origin story

At the height of world war 2, the Nazi’s initiated project Ragnarok, which brought the demon Hellboy on earth from the depths of hell. Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane), the chief of B.P.R.D adopts and raises him to fight against the dark forces.

A below average villain

Mila Jovovich plays the role of a 5th-century sorceress (Nimue-the blood queen). She was defeated and dismembered by King Arthur in the ancient time. In a wicked turn of events, her disjointed body parts are retrieved from different corners of Britain in order to resurrect her in current time. Nimue and her pig giant henchman bring wrath upon the earth and she also has a crush on our main man Hellboy.

Nimue miserably fails to impress as a villain. She might have a similar agenda that of Thanos’, but her character lacks any kind of persona a baddie should possess.

Forgettable cast

This movie has an ensemble of forgettable supporting characters. There’s M11 special agent Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim) who can evolve into a wolf by injecting a super serum. Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), a medium who can foresee the future teams up with Hellboy but for us she was a sidekick reject.

Only acting that warrants respect in this film is Ian McShane’s Bruttenholm. David Harbour is unquestionably the heart of this film. He delicately portrays a funny yet ruthless demon beneath the layers of his brilliant makeup.

The worst comic book movie of the decade (probably)

Ron Perlman and Del Toro’s Hellboy was not something we will root for in the future. Both Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008) were average flicks and earned passable box office money. But at least they were miles ahead in comparison with the reboot version. Lionsgate is going to lose a lot of money as the film fell flat at the theatres.

Another great comic book character wasted on the silver screen.


Watch Hellboy if you love the comics. There is an MCU style post credit scene which hints a sequel (which we don’t want for God’s sake). The soundtracks are cool. Check out the Smoke on the water cover by 2WEI.

Hellboy is now running in STAR Cineplex. Get your tickets from here.