Brightburn Review

This. Is. Not. Good. Enough.

Brightburn was released in the Colonies on May 24, 2019.

It was released in Germany on the 9th of May.

It’s released in the UK (I caught an advanced screening) on the 19th of June.

If your in Turkey and waiting with baited breath to see this film (for some as yet unknown reason,) you have to wait until the 19th of July!!!!

For. No. Reason.

This isn’t 1964 where film is hard to make and transport, it’s digital. It’s not because there’s a three ring circus travelling the world publicizing the thing, beyond a poster on a handful of buses and an email asking me to an advance screening, Id have no idea it was coming out.

A global release date (both for streaming services and the silver screen) should be the standard for film. It would cut down on piracy and allow the global film community to discuss new films without worrying about spoiling it for people who have not yet seen it for no other reason than geography.

Global release dates now.

Ok, deep breath.

In 

And…

Out

And toys back  in the pram and lets get on with reviewing Brightburn, a film which can be summed up with the phrase ‘What if Superman was evil.’

On a budget of roughly £6.50.

Which is a seriously limiting factor. I mean, imagine what you could do with an evil Superman? You could force him to hang around with Richard Pryor, blow out the Olympic Flame and straighten  the Leaning Tower of Pisa, waylay an oil tanker and breach the hull, causing a massive oil spill! Then you fight a supercomputer, defeat it with some random acid that that the bad guy had hanging around and then realize your film forgot to have Lex Luthor in it before making ANOTHER film with no budget and…

Actually…. Don’t do any of that thing.

Instead, lets set the film when he’s still in Smallville… I mean the town of Brightburn (seriously? You called your town Brightburn? You were just waiting for a super-villain to show up with that name.) But here you have erm… Buperman just discovering his superpowers and beginning to cut loose.

An interesting idea for the first third of a movie but that’s the whole film. I mean it’s great that someone has finally noticed that superhero films and horror movies are, beat for beat pretty identical.

But that’s one of this films major flaws, for maybe 90% of the films run-time if you swapped out Brandon Breyer!?!? No. The super-villain is not called Brandon Breyer. For maybe 90% of this films run-time, if you swapped out Clint Thrust with Michel Myers, I wouldn’t have noticed and when he does go full Buperman, you see what this film could have been.

The films got a really solid cast who do the best that they have but no-one’s really got much to develop and we never really get a chance to understand what makes Clint Thrust tick. Was he born evil? Was he turned evil by his spaceship? Was it the reaction of people to his developing powers that sent him over the edge?

I mean, the kid playing Clint is fantastic as someone who discovers that he’s basically a God but again, what makes him tick? There’s a reason that the Smallville stuff never really plays much of a part in any Superman films it’s because we get that he has powers, now we want to see him use them. Here though, it’s the entire film.

I would have preferred it if Clint had gone to the big city and defeated it’s superhero and ruled over it with an iron fist or even if he had ruled over Brightburn, effortlessly defeating all those who oppose him by transforming them into Jack in the Boxes or  banishes anyone thinking unhappy thoughts into the otherworldly cornfield from which there is no return…. Oh wait, that was a similar episode of the Twilight Zone, never mind.

Unless somehow James Gunn thinks the audience needs a film to explain the concept of people with superpowers because that’s one thing this iteration of cinema really doesn’t need any help on that front.

It feels constrained by it’s horror movie beats. I should not be able to swap out a super-villain with a generic horror movie monster and be unable to tell the difference. It’s all so by the numbers and constrained. For some unknown reason I get the feeling that Eli Roth might have been a good idea. I mean with a budget this low you can afford (relatively) to go for it with the gore and horror.

Look, Brightburn is a fun twist on the superhero genre and if there’s sequels then I hope that the filmmakers get to explore this universe a little more. Possibly with Blumhouse support. This feels very much like their wheelhouse. It’s good but if it had really gone for it’s ideas and developed its characters, then it could have been great. In a dark, twisted, sick way which would have been a fantastic antidote to yet another helping of 12a CGI infested focus tested sludge.

My Score- If Nothing Else 

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Dark Phoenix Review

You kind of have to feel sorry for the X-Men franchise given that, well, you could make a pretty good argument that they saved the superhero film as we currently understand it. (12a, way too much CGI, each one treading a fine line between telling their own story and setting up five others but that’s a debate for another time.) Consider it, The circus show that is Batman & Robin had killed the Batman franchise in 1997, and all that was left were niche properties like the R-rated Blade and the dark, horror-infused Spawn.

But X-Men was different, it was fun but grounded with loads of action figures… I mean characters but it never felt overburdened. Amazingly, it pretty much still holds up today although it seems very constrained compared to what we get now.

With no hint of sarcasm or humor, I genuinely think that X-Men, with all of it’s flaws (and there are many,) might be one of the most important and underappreciated superhero films of all time.

It’s just a shame that this grand old franchise, spreading over 12 films (according to Wikipedia, different people might have different versions of that number) the seventh highest-grossing film series, having grossed over $5.7 billion worldwide (again, depending on how many films you consider to be in the franchise). Goes out on such a damp squib.

So damp in fact, i’m 227 words in and haven’t felt the slightest urge to actually start reviewing the damn thing.

Especially when this might not even be the last X-Men film! There’s always The New Mutants, which has been filming since July 2017, with an April 2018 release in mind. This was then delayed for two years, allowing for re-shoots  (happening God alone knows when) in a bid to make the film more frightening. Which, in a franchise whose films have ranged from the dizzying heights of ‘passable’ all the way down to ‘My God what where you people thinking?’ Seems fitting somehow.

But back to Dark Phoenix (there’s no X-Men in the official title but I’m going to be calling it X-Men Contractual Obligation from now on)  sadly falls towards the latter category. It’s a compete failure of a film with a few frustrating signs that it might, maybe have been interesting.

Full disclosure, I’ve never read the comic book story-line and since it’s easier to work out the plot of Memento than this Franchises  timeline, I’ll try not to draw too much on what has gone before because life’s too short.

Anyway, in X-Men Contractual Obligation we find that after a mission in space goes wrong, Jean Gray (played by Sansa Stark who is trying her hardest but just gets acted off-screen by Fassbender, Macavoy, Jessica Chastain….. among others.) gets possessed by… something, and becomes a McGuffin who is being pursued by the X-Men, Magneto and his mates as well as some Aliens who want to yet again do a Thanos because that’s the only plot in superhero films any more.

And yes, I did just mention Aliens, because their in this movie despite never so much as hinted at before. They just turn up. All with no personality (with the possible exception of Chastain but more on her later.) All of them have the ability to shapeshift but don’t really use it, their all bulletproof except when they aren’t, indestructible except when plot and pose less danger to our main people on set that a biscuit does to a nice cup of tea and can’t seem to decide if their a few ragtag refugees or an invading army of hundreds if not thousands. Oh, and you could edit all of them (bar Chastain) out and not really impact the film in any way, shape or form.

Aside from that, their a great addition to the franchise.

But leaving those disasters behind, on paper this could have been a good flick- opening with a cool space seen (aka the obligatory quicksilver scene), Sanas gets new powers, freaks out and then well, stuff happens.

Except, if all falls so flat. I didn’t care about any of the characters in any way, shape or form, the action scenes were over-edited, no-one was ever injured, they were either immortal, invulnerable Gods or dead, pretty much everybody seems to be bored and un-interested.

Except, no-one told whoever was doing the soundtrack that they could just work half a day and head to the pub because the music is amazing. It’s sweeping and epic and deserves to be in a much. much better film than this. Oh, well, it’s not like it was some legend in the industry who’s worked on The Lion King, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1995, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Interstellar, Gladiator, Inception, Dunkirk, and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Huh? Whats that? They did? They got Hans ?!”?!@ Zimmer to do the soundtrack? Hans, bubby, what were you thinking!?!? Someone get him another award – Dd you know he has four Grammy Awards, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award?

Sod it, the soundtrack was scripted by his… brother Brams Trimmer and we shall speak no more on the matter.

I would be inclined to go softly on the films third act because it was massively re-shot as it got really bad test screenings results and allegedly (I wasn’t there, I don’t know for sure) it was too similar to Captain Marvel and Captain America Civil War. Which would have been an awesome ending instead of the poorly shot snoozefest that I was lumbered with.

Which brings me back to Chastain. You see, I have a spurious un-researched feeling that she wasn’t supposed to be real, she was supposed  to be the manifestation on the shoulder of Sansa, whispering into her ear and to be honest if Jessica Chastain started whispering in my ear then I would probably pay attention. But it feels like the in re-shoots some suit somewhere decided to make her the leader of basically redshirts. It doesn’t really fit and to be honest, if you strip out the aliens and make the villains say, the US Army, nothing would have changed. Which is what happens when you take Aliens out of their spaceships. And forget to give them guns. And personalities. And explain what they can do.

Hell, they half seem to have wondered out of a slightly below average episode of Doctor Who half of the time.

Is this a good probable send of to an old and venerable franchise?

No.

Is it a good film?

No.

Does it have a single stand out moment that i’ll remember this time next week?

No.

Which is a shame because if i’d given half a stuff about the characters there was a moment or two which might have been affecting, surprising or memorable in the slightest.

Which they weren’t.

It’s nowhere close to being the worst superhero film of the year but it’s probably the most disappointing.

Which sums up the whole franchise really.

See you next time.

My Score- Skip It 

Secret Life Of Pets 2 Review

When I saw with some trepidation,

that that cinematic home of mediocrity – illumination

had released another film upon my poor blighted nation

I decided that it was time

to do another review in rhyme

… at the time I might have been in the pub with my partner in crime.

Today the Secret Life of Pets 2: Pet Harder I’ll review

Because frankly there’s nothing else to do.

Except watch the Cricket world cup

and even I’m not that hard up…

Seriously though, for those playing Illumination movie bingo,

You’ll hit a full card and go

Eureka! I’ve wasted 86 minutes of my life!

When I could have been writing poetry about my wife

Or watching Dumbo, The Nightmare Before Christmas or Tory Story

infinitely better films from the animation category.

Because as usual, what is there to say?

For professional voice actors this studio won’t pay

For them, countless celebrities are the order of the day

The animations solid, although being CGI

It’ll look dated before this films on DVD to buy.

And if I didn’t know better, i’d swear that this film was three episodes edited together

of some TV show that I’d watched never

An 86 minute film should not have 3 stories!

Especially when they come from three different categories.

And don’t even really tie together, even at the end

which is the kind of thing the sends me around the bend.

I don’t mind a subplot here or there

Even in a kids movie that’s only fair.

It keeps my nephew distracted and quiet

but it wants me to start a riot!

Even IMDB doesn’t know what to say!

“Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.”

It sounds like a pitch, a vague story outline!

Not the story of something that’s already leaked online!

(allegedly, I wouldn’t know)

Pirating films online doesn’t help cinema grow.

But each of these plots alone could have been an interesting flick

but all mashed together their all very anaemic

fairly generic as well, no moment stands out

because with no time to breathe each story exists in plot drought.

Hell, it was 20 minutes before the plot turned up

Just when I was starting to wonder if it had been locked away

And I’ve seen higher stakes in games of croquet!

In two of the three stories anyway

there might have been in the third where it given time to go the whole way

but 1/3rd of an 86 minute run-time allows no time to breathe

so honestly, I think you should leave

this glorified toy commercial to be found online

because whilst as a film it’s perfectly fine

but there’s nothing more to be said

and these rhymes are hurting my head.

It’s yet another film from illumination

who’s relationship with trying isn’t even a flirtation

Just wait a few weeks until Toy Story 4

Even though another pointless sequel it won’t be bore

it’ll have characters, light, stakes and fun galore

Everything missing from this cinematic bore.

But it’s bright and maybe a few moments were okay

If your desperate one rainy day

then Toy Story with dogs will have to do.

Just lower your standards and prepare for a sleep

Because doing anything else will just make you weep.

My Score- If Nothing Else 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review

First appearing in 1954, where he was a man in a concrete suit (the studio couldn’t afford rubber) menacing a bunch of matchbox toys in a bathtub  and some cardboard sets, Godzilla has been menacing Japan right up until the present day  meaning that it is recognized by Guinness World Records to be the longest continuously running movie franchise, having been in ongoing production from 1954 to the present day.

And yet, despite all that, Godzilla’s never really broken into the mainstream. I mean most people are aware of Godzilla but ask the average movie goer to describe his rogues gallery and I’m willing to bet 95% of people wouldn’t get more than two or three.

That’s probably because most peoples knowledge of Godzilla comes from the 1998 Roland Emerich version (myself included). I caught Shin Godzilla when it came out, wasn’t terribly impressed as the special effects would have been laughed out of town in the ’70’s but I went into Godzilla: God harder looking forward to the experience.

I mean, Pacific Rim is one of my favourite films, I love big monster movies (even if the genre is probably going to go into ‘hibernation’ for a few years) and this film seriously delivers on the whole skyscraper sized monsters going at in multiple environments.

Forget the 2014 versions bright idea of always having Godzilla slightly off-screen until the end (The director claims he was inspired by Jaws but the two films place people in VERY different mindsets which is why most people were miffed. It didn’t help that the human characters were flatter than if Godzilla had stepped on them)

But pretty much all of those flaws are fixed in this film because yes, the human  characters are still flatter than if Godzilla had stepped on them and they spend all their time searching for a McGuffin and staring at screens whilst all the military tech gets shown off to such an extent I had to check the Michael Bay wasn’t  involved.

But you forget about all that cardboard the second that the Titans come on screen and start going for it. Each titan unique and distinct from the other, each with it’s own color scheme so you can quickly identify who’s on screen.

And they look so… beautiful. There are so many frames of this film that would look amazing as posters and the soundtrack!

The traditional Godzilla theme has been turned up to eleven, hell, the whole soundtrack sounds like the composer was told that “This is a movie about skyscraper sized monsters beating the living snot out of each other. Go for it.” And a bonus to whoever put Go Go Godzilla over the end credits. I loved that song growing up and it’s so great to have been reminded of it.

Sadly though, for some reason, a film cannot be two hours of CGI monsters screaming at each other and whilst I like the way the camera panned from an awesome fight to the humans trying to get the hell out of there and then back again. Because that’s the part of the movie that your actually going to care about.

As, well, within about five minutes you’ll have worked out every single piece of cardboard’s complete story ark. I mean, don’t get me wrong, It’s great to see Charles Dance getting work on the silver screen and Millie Bobby Brown again proves that as long as she can stay on the rails she’s going to be one hell of an A-lister in about ten years. It’s just that it’s all wasted. Apart from Ken Watanabe, he’s slightly less wasted than everyone else as he gets, if you squint hard enough something that might resemble a character arc except that you’ll see it coming a mile away.

So, what I’ve said 632 words trying to say is that this film about giant monsters fighting features of lot of giant monsters fighting. It’s tense at times, exciting at others and all the best characters can only communicate in screaming roars.

Sadly though, whilst the giant monster battles are amazing on the big screen, when it comes on the TV, your going to notice that the humans speak only in exposition, their either staring at screens or having some of the worst choreographed gun battles I’ve ever seen.

Yes, gun battles, in a Godzilla movie.

No, me either.

Also, what is it with seemingly every villain in blockbusters wanting to be Thanos? Look, I get it, I’ve worked in retail and try to live in London so I approve of a decrease of the surplus population, but it’s just getting a bit tired as a motivation and doesn’t really make sense here. Debating whether to try to work with or destroy Godzilla, reconsidering our place in the the food chain and desperately trying to work out how to survive against beings that are so far beyond us that they might as well be Gods seems to me to be enough issues for one film.

Except with dialog that most of the time sounds like were in a video game cut-scene just before the player gets handed their objective, maybe it’s best that the villains have such a simplistic motivation.

So, see this on the biggest screen that you can, buy either The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters so that you can see those mind-blowing images again and again because on the small screen a lot of the flaws that have been covered up by the sugar rush of the fights are going to become really, really obvious.

Great sugar rush though.

My Score- See It 

 

Aladdin (2019) Review

One day, someone is going to explain what the point of all these Disney live action remakes is because if the studio was on the verge of bankruptcy then I could understand. Except it isn’t that. Disney owns EVERYTHING. Their shutting down franchises left and right. If I boycotted every non-Disney blockbuster for the rest of the years i’d be reviewing Hobbes and Shaw as well as that ghastly new Terminator film and that would be it. Probably!

But as long as the Fantastic 4 show up in the MCU and people with creepy DevintArt accounts can giggle like Japanese schoolgirls over the fact that the Xenomorph is now a Disney princess I guess no-one else cares that DISNEY. OWNS. EVERYTHING.

And it’s not like their using that money and power for good! Poeple that work for them have to live in their cars, their decimating the environment and their releasing films like Aladdin (2019- not the 1992 one.)

Now, I want to make it clear that i’m going to make no reference to the first animated version. There’s no point as it would be like comparing Hellboy (2019) to Hellboy (2004) Everyone knows which one is better and doing the old compare and contrast isn’t going to help anybody.

No, I will judge this pointless film on it’s own meager, fleeting, pitiful charms.

Starting with the director who 20 years ago was the toast of British cinema with two stone cold classics in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, then made arguably some off the worst films in history and then defiantly made some of the biggest bombs in history in The Man From Uncle and King Arthur: Legends Of The Bored.

He does a mostly passable job here which is all that Disney seems to ask from these films which I imagine make a hell of a lot from toy and merchandise sales because they ain’t gonna make much from this film

For those of you unaware of the plot of one of the most well known fairy tales of all time, the plot is simple: According to IMDB, this film is about A kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

My wish for that 183 million dollars budget to be spent on a Dredd sequel has not yet come to pass.

Now, it’s a very simple plot and I’m fairly sure that with a couple of interesting songs and a competent villain as well as some interesting practical effects mixed in with top of the line CGI (massive budget remember, nothing less than top of the line will do.) This could work….

Oh.

Look, I applaud the fact they actually hired non-white actors for the lead roles and erm… give me a second.

There must be other things this film did well. The CGI monkey and parrot are pretty good but their going to age very poorly, very quickly as is the fate of all CGI creations.

The songs are watered down from what you might remember and were I comparing films I would state that the original films songs were faster, better, got stuck in your head and were generally more fun to watch as if cartoons are better at being cartoons than live action CGI hybrids with over-inflated budgets but as I’m not, then I wont.

What I will say is that these actors who all seem to be perfectly nice people and i’m certain that this is a star making turn for at least one of them (no, not you Jafar. You go back to… The Mummy? Ben-Hur? What Happened To Monday? Mental Note: Avoid anything this guy is in if possible. ) But none of them have the slightest bit of chemistry with each other.

The pace drags with unneeded and unnecessary characters and subplots killing what little momentum the film has. Did the genie need a love interest? What’s the point in another prince hanging around? He could have been a viable and interesting competitor for Jasmines affections but instead he’s a joke who could  have been cut completely.

And Jafar, the cool, interesting, manipulative, sophisticated villain what have they done to you? He’s played by yet another very dull, very nice piece of cardboard who like every non sultan male in this film has yet to discover that shirt buttons have a function and is about as  cool, interesting, manipulative and sophisticated as Donald Trump. Which is what they’ve turned him into. They’ve stupidly given him a backstory for no reason I could work out- Disney villains (much like James Bond villains) don’t need backstories. Giving him a song would have been nice. Jasmine gets a song, it’s irrelevant, kills the pacing, the choreography during it sucks and it gets sung twice for some ungodly reason but it’s THERE.

Kids were fidgeting during my screening, I was fidgeting, the while thing was just falling flat for me. And it shouldn’t have because all the ingredients were there but there was just something not clicking for me.

The whole thing looks very… set like. It was hard to believe in the world because it didn’t look like a world. It looked like a bunch of sets in a made for TV movie. Moments that should have excited and charmed were dull and uninteresting. Instead of allowing Ritchie to put some grit in this world it all seems so wholesome and… Disney. I don’t mean go full Dark Knight on this film but a speck here or there would have ruled.

And then there’s the big issue with this film. The big blue (some of the time) issue. A role (in this film) portrayed by one of my childhood icons who in my eye could no wrong until After Earth and then has just seemed to be flailing around trying to recapture the effortless cool that he just used to have. It’s the same here- when he’s doing his Will Smith thing he’s  fine but when he’s trying to be the genie he first of all falls victim to some really bad CGI and second, he just seems lost, waiting for direction that never seems to come.

What else is there to say? This is yet another live action fail from Disney with the same issues that Dumbo had and that The Lion King probably will have. It’s bloated, padded, dull, in dire need of a serious visit to the editors suite, some serious re-shoots and some new sets.

Apart from that it’s yet another Disney masterpiece.

My Score- Skip It. 

Detective Pikachu Review

For those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s, the pokemon universe is a dark, twisted place where schooling is held in such contempt that parents would rather their children roamed the land attacking each other with wild animals before heading to the gym.

But enough about daily life in South London, I want to talk about detective merchandise sales because I was actually quite surprised.

Not because it’s being described as ‘the best video game movie ever because that bars so low it could be reached by each screening burning down the auditorium.

No, I was surprised because, well, this is a good film. Not a great one, but a good film in and of itself which stands alone. No setting up 15 other films or being constrained by 15 previous films but an actual good standalone film. I mean I thought they’d all gone extinct.

Its not perfect- it’s hero played by Justice Smith ( not one of Will Smiths, I checked.) Is called Tim for one, which is possibly the least heroic name ever and as such will be called Clint Thrust from this point on. Clint teams up with… erm… a female reporter who wants to prove that even though she’s really, truly, insanely badly written, she has a purpose in this film beyond pleasing creepy fanboys.

It’s not to give Clint someone to share action sequences with as that goes to the person who steals the show- Ryan Reynolds as an amnesiac, coffee addicted pikachu  who promptly steals the show along with every other walking toy.

I mean pokemon.

Because the big success story of this film isn’t Clints attempts to find out what happened to his dad. It certainly isn’t trying to spot the villain (unless you’ve never seen a film before). It’s not even really the fact that this film sort of confirms that Home Alone exists in the pokemon universe.

It’s firstly the fact that this feels like a world. With a history and stories different to ours that seems to actually exist rather than being a collection of set pieces and dialogue scenes.

Secondly, despite the fact that the CGI varies from the amazing too the clearly running out of budget, the pokemon themselves are amazing, unique and colourful. Also their not so overdone as to send anyone over the age of 12 into the nearest bar for… help, which was a serious weakness of the original film. Seriously, if.your parents took you to that in the cinema, then firstly you need to call them more and secondly, you have no idea how truly, deeply loved you are because that thing is almost unwatchable.

It’s got good pacing, a few fun twists and it was a fun place to spend 100 minutes reliving my childhood.

It’s not perfect though. Not by a long shot, the first two minutes need to go. Not tinkered with or altered, they just need to go. Along with 20% of the dialogue. Giving Clint and all his friends more depth than a jelly baby that’s recently had an argument with a steamroller would be amazing. As would just one practical effect. Is that really too much to ask in a 150 million dollar film? Also, making the script seem slightly less like it had been sitting on a shelf since 1995 and then made as was wouldn’t have hurt.

Is this the best video game.movie ever? Until that doom movie comes out, yes.

Is it a masterpiece? God no. It’s a good fun diversion and an interesting , fresh look into an old property that i have no intention of ever watching again.

My Score-. If Nothing Else

The Wandering Earth Review

So this is where we are…

China’s second highest-grossing film of all time, 2019’s third highest-grossing film worldwide, the second highest-grossing non-English film of all time, and one of the top 20 highest-grossing science fiction films of all time….

Is based off a idea that when Superman had it, Batman rejected it out of hand two seconds later.

Superman: Maybe I could move the Earth out of the Way

Batman: If we had a week I couldn’t list all the reasons that won’t work.

(Justice League: Doom 2012.)

Because that’s the plot of this film. Based on a novel which apparently went the Starship Troopers route as aside from the title they appear to be completely separate things sharing only the loosest of themes and possibly a few characters- I would’t know.

But, comparing this to Starship Troopers doesn’t help anybody (aside from reminding me that I am in dire need of a Verhoeven binge) as Starship Troopers was made in the corrupt, decadent, debauched, Capitalistic west. Whereas The Wandering Earth was made in the glorious peoples Republic of China and as such operates under some relatively minor restrictions which are including but not limited to the following:

1)Defamation of revolutionary leaders, heroes, People’s Liberation Army, armed police, national security apparatus, public security apparatus, and the judiciary branch, etc;
P2) ornography and cheap taste: prostitution, rape, masturbation, incest, homosexuality, hentai, sexual assault, sexual violence, extramarital affairs, one-night stand, sexual freedom, wife swapping, prolonged or provocative scenes of physical intimacy;
3) Feudalistic ideology which is pseudoscience: spirit possession, reincarnation, witchcraft, etc.

4) Showcase excessive horror, psychological pain, hysteria, causing strong stimulation to senses and emotions with uncomfortable pictures, lines, music, and sound effects, etc.

And since a lot of big films these days need Chinese box office Renminbi to turn a profit that means hey have to abide by these rules as well. And you wondered why blockbusters have gotten so bland and simplistic in recent years

But back to The Wandering Earth and we discover that the sun was dying out so we built a giant bomb and sent Cilian Murphy to go and debate God with a man made out of pepperoni for some reason.

Oh no, sorry, that was Sunshine- Danny Boyle’s attempt to do the same. I think. That film was weird.

Here, the solution is to instead build 10’000 giant thrusters on the Earth and then push it to a new solar system. A journey which will take 2’500 years, kill everything on the surface which means that giant citys have been built underground to ensure that humanity/morlocks will survive, all the while following… I think one of the space ships from 2001 A Space Odyssey.

As you could imagine with such a simple plan, things go south, a lot of VERY SERIOUS PEOPLE along with an irritating ‘comic’ relief seem to be in a competition to see who can have the noblest death scene set off to try and put things right. By journeying through a load of CGI with a McGuffin in the back of their truck.

And that’s one of the main issues with this film i that there’s no antagonist. No sign of anyone asking if this massive sacrifice is worth it or even a movement to turn the Earth around. Which I gather was a massive part of the book. Instead it’s simply nature as the main villain of the piece which is a shame as without other points of view or even someone to oppose, the films slightly dull. All the characters are generic one dimensional slabs of cardboard who’s ultimate fate you can guess at without much trouble, the CGI ranges from looking like a PS3 cut-scene to slightly above average and it’s all very dull to look at.

Which is a shame as I do like the idea of  a film or TV series about people of a long journey who will die and be forgotten long before the mission is over. The idea of people working towards a goal that they will never see and might be nothing more than a pipe dream to that humanity can go on eking out an existence underground for a few more years is a fascinating idea.

But everyone here is so determined, so committed to this plan that I wound up playing a game of who’s the next to die? Which is never a good sign.

The Wandering Earth is a film that I think would be better as a TV Series. There is a lot of potential in this idea but it needed more interesting, developed, conflicted characters, something to oppose other than the weather and to be honest some more money spent on the special effects.

Which is a shame because seeing films from a different cultures point of view is fascinating but this is just a slightly dull, generic film which wastes a very interesting if slightly far-fetched premise.

My Score- If Nothing Else