Top Anticipated Movie Releases of March 2018.

3) Tomb Raider (Roar Uthaug) – Initial release 15th March (Germany)

Women have recently been given some bad ass representation in Hollywood, thanks to films such as Wonder Woman and the Hunger Games. Now, we are going to be given a kick ass blast from the past with the revival of Tomb Raider. Lara Croft has been a heroin for many of us, for both lovers of the game and film series. Now the adults are being given back a character they love and the youngster will be given a new female to admire in the movie industry. Win Win. After the success of the previous films, it is essential to pay homage to the original whilst putting their own spin on it. We just need to wait and see how good the film actually is compared to the previous products and how they choose to movie the story forward.

2) Love Simon (Greg Berlanti)-Initial release 16th March (USA)

Love Simon is from the same producer of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns so already you can understand the tone of the film and that it will defiantly be a success amounts a specific demographic… a chick flick basically. Love Simon explores one guy’s story about his sexuality and his life at high school. This gives teenagers a movie to help them through the stress of coming out and being accepted by both themselves and others. It looks like an entertaining film with a strong ideological plot.  From the looks of the trailer it seems like a feel good comedy that includes serious themes about love and sexuality. A celebration of love in all of its forms! I do feel like people are already accepting of the LBGTQ community so I will be excited to see how they go about this representation accurately. For me, I want to see this film simply because I love films that have this film good romance tone.

1) Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg)- Initial release 29th March (USA)

Firstly, the film is by Spielberg so you know that this film is going to be a spectacle of both plot and visual. Nevertheless, taking into consideration his last films, there is a risk that the film could not be one of this best. The pressure is on!  By the looks of the marketing material, however, it does look like an awesome movie. It’s a big action movie with brilliant visuals and enough references for all audiences to understand at least one. I am keen to see the end result. Will plot outweigh the visuals?  It does just seem like an exciting nostalgia fest and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Everything Sucks (Netflix, 2018-)

Netflix has made yet another show about a bunch of teenagers at  high school. They may only have one location for their shows but luckily what they lack in settings, they make up for in plot and character design. With the broadcasters latest release, this is no exception. Everything Sucks (2018-) brings us once more, a story about youngsters overcoming something dramatic. However, unlike programmes such as ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Riverdale’ they are confronting believable problems, compared to aliens and murderers.

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Plot: In 90’s Boring, Oregon, the AV and the drama club are rivals but must band together for a bigger cause. Meanwhile, Kate Messner (Peyton Kennedy) and Luke O’Neil (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), struggle with their relationship as Kate begins to accept her sexuality.

Trailer:

Review: As previously suggested, with a show like this, plot is a massive part of the success of a show (obviously). It is essentially based on a love triangle between a black kid and two lesbians. I love some great diverse representation when watching any show and Everything Sucks really pulls it off. As well as diverse characters, we are also given an number of themes, such as young love and the idea of accepting your own and others sexuality. This is done in a way that both provides supports and celebrates coming out. They even chuck issues of bullying and parental issues into the mix. Perhaps, a few more themes could have been adopted but maybe they didn’t want to remove the power of the few they do show. This method of acceptance is done through the characters making a science fiction movie about love between a human and an Alien (I was wrong, they are putting Aliens into the show). The production did mean that the show often felt similar to ‘Me and Earl and The Dying Girl’ but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Likewise, the live broadcasting of the morning announcements and the behind the scenes of their film was a nice addition to those interested in film and television. As someone who works in the industry, it was exciting to see.

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The character development, like a lot of great shows, was well carried out over the 10 episodes. Everyone moved on from how they were at the beginning of the series in a way that was unpredictable. One great thing about the show was that you just didn’t know how it was going to end. Characters you hated, you ended up loving and most had a decent amount of screen time, which allowed their story to be told.This can be down to both brilliant storytelling and acting.  Nevertheless, there are still some characters put into the background. They are only seen a few times and would make no difference to the plot. Everything Sucks, would be no different without them. However, from what you do see of them, you can tell that if given enough screen time, they could really shine. Maybe in season 2? It also doesn’t help that each episode is only 25 minutes long. This is great for binge watching but bad for story telling. I watched it in 2 days so now I have the ‘Now what?’ feeling. That’s the problem, you finish a show in a day then you need to wait a year for the next season. It doesn’t help that the series ended on a cliff hanger.

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Much like ‘Stranger Things’, this Netflix original gives its audience a sense of nostalgia. However, instead of the 80’s, we are given 1996 (the year I was born). Us Millennials are given a little blast from the past with this feel good show. Everything from music to movies, clothes and technology. Someone whips a tamagotchi out of their overalls!

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Even though they have the creative side down, I felt they struggled with the technical side. By this I mean the camera shots. Some of the angles and framing was unusual for the genre and didn’t seem to fit with the tone of the show. It just felt odd. Some shots were well known to  documentary/mockumentary, copying the famous zoom from ‘The office’. Other shots were famously from the action genre with quick pans. Some were even from the horror genre, mainly the use of cameras lurking on their subject. It may have been a creative decision to incorporate a number of famous techniques but it just did not pay off. The average watcher may not have noticed but some hard core TV fans would have.

Overall, the show was great in terms of the genre. It is a feel good high school show with some great characters and ideologies. Does it make the show original? No, but it is a show to enjoy. I would suggest a watch to anyone who loves a bit of high school drama, just try to look past the filming techniques.

 

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler,2018)

We have been blessed this year with 4 Marvel movies being released. The first of the 4 is of course, Black Panther. This cinematic wonder had the pressure of kicking of 2018 with a bang by bringing Ta’challa (Chadwick Boseman) officially into the MCU. With an African king as the main hero, there is a lot of pressure to REPRESENT and they bring it! This film is really empowering and is truly badass

black panther poster

Plot: T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns to his home Wakanda, in order to take his rightful place as king.

 Trailer: 

Review: From a film so highly anticipated. There will be a lot of questions from fans.  It is difficult to know where to start so I will begin by answering ‘Is it any good?’ From an origin story point of view within the MCU, the film is incredible and could easily pass the league of, dare I say it, Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017). It’s not just the plot that is strong and entertaining throughout that make this film stand out but the amazing representations. One, the characters are fantastic at showing how you don’t need to be white American man to be a badass, a stereotype shown so much in Hollywood and past superhero movies. They do this so gracefully, whilst showing a lot of culture and tradition. The characters and the entire design of the film is empowering to everyone.  All the main characters are important to the plot and given their moment to shine. No one is chucked in the background to be a secondary character. This truly is a rare piece of cinema.

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Black Women are also given an opportunity to stand out through the characterisation of the general, the princess and the entire army. The tribe’s army is made up entirely of women. This may be a lot like Wonder Women but it is still awesome to see girls kicking ass and taking names. In addition, the princess is not the typical Disney royal but a technology nerd who can rock any outfit. Honestly, the film should break the box office on characters alone. The only drawback to having so many main characters is that The Black Panther himself is sometimes drawn out of the limelight. He is also occasionally seen as the weaker character, compared to the women (I mean, I’m not complaining). He is a superhero who gets his arse kicked! But this does show is flaws and human side, giving us mortals someone to connect with on screen.

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The film design also has one hell of a wardrobe. By this, I mean the set design is incredible and colourful and the costumes of the characters slay. The clothes are traditional to Wakanda and beautiful to look at. If only an entire outfit could fit inside my necklace. Just to let you know, if anyone wants to cosplay as one of the characters of the film, they are going to have a lot of fun and maybe one hell of a bill. With a film that has a look this strong, there is a bit of pressure to keep the image flawless throughout. Therefore, it is noticeable when the CGI looks a bit weird. Marvel is known for incredible special effect so when it goes wrong, it goes wrong. Luckily, this only happens once or twice. The first time the CGI looks off, is when The Black Panther is jumping onto a wall. This isn’t as bad as CatWoman (Pitof, 2004) but it is noticeable. The second time is the animated rhino’s. Nevertheless, it is hard to animate animals so we can let this slide.

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With a great hero, there must be a great villain. This seems pretty simple but you would be surprised at how often that doesn’t happen. They usually have a ridiculous plan to destroy the world without any reason why. This is not the case in the movie. The villain Erik killmonger (Michael B Jordan) has a well-developed back story, even more so than Ta’challa, and a strong reason for ‘improving’ the world. It is not often with superhero movies, that I can see the villain’s point of view. This can be seen as both a pro and con of the film.

black paqnther villian

From a film designed to break traditional superhero Hollywood, it is not just about culture and character design but the underlying themes. Based on the knowledge on what the Black Panther will represent, it safe to say that it would piss off a few angry far rights who have nothing better to do but complain on the internet about there not being enough white people in the film. Well the film is pretty self-aware in this way and does make a few comments on the world’s history. It is amazing! They are pretty much sticking their fingers up to these people, whilst remembering what their ancestors went through. Marvel knows what they are doing. Some of these ‘Fuck you’ moments are done through jokes. This just makes these ‘well said’ comments more light-hearted and can avoid pissing of the angry Trump supporters. My favourite joke is about Martin freeman being an oppressor. The film has a few Laugh out loud throughout to show that Marvel doesn’t take themselves too seriously, keeping with the tone of the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Overall, just watch it! It is a great adaption to the MCU and should be adored by all fans of the Superhero genre. It brings a lot of strong representations and is a truly badass film.

The Maze Runner: Death Cure (Wes Ball,2018)

After a good few years of waiting, the last film instalment of the Maze Runner is finally out. Time for another dystopian teen movie to have a dramatic climax, kill a few people off, have our OTP finally get together and live happily ever after in a nice field. Maze Runner does follow these tropes but surprisingly makes for a great movie. This is by far my favourite film out of the franchise.

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Plot: The final part of the Maze Runner franchise. The shanks are finally safe…nearly. Mino is captured and brought to WIKED. Thomas and the others attempt to rescue him from the grips of the evil organisation.

Trailer:

Review: Out of the three movies, this is the most action packed. Its fight scene after fight scene, chase scene after chase scene. This may not be your cup of tea but it defiantly is mine. I like my films with explosions. Due to this dramatic change, the tone is different from the films before. It felt more like World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013), with all of the cranks running around and eating people, compared to a film about boys escaping a giant maze. Well at least they didn’t pull a Hunger Games and put them in the maze twice. The slight change of mood gives the film horror elements. There are a few jump scares, horrific zombies and a lot of gore. This is a huge change from the first film and a development from the second. This is all fun and game if you are a horror fan but to a 12 year old, it might be a tad scary. The 12U rating might just be a little low. Nevertheless, films aren’t technically rated on how scary they are just sex, gore and violence.  On the other hand, these zombie like characters are in the books. The following of the traditional text is a big thing in movies based on novels. The film does about half of the overall book but keeps in most of the major events (sorry). Luckily, I do think the ending in the film is better than the book so you have that to look forward to. Plus, gives fans of the book a little surprise.

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Despite the horror, the film is very good at emotional trauma. You will spend one minute screaming and the next sobbing. This is the end movie so you got to except it guys. Even if you do see it coming, you will still cry. The love triangles, the character deaths, the bromance, it all gets a bit too much. I would have liked the love triangles to develop a bit more, rather than one character just watching the other two and getting emotional (sounds like my Valentine’s Day). This just isn’t good character development. The level of good character development in this movie was very mixed. Some characters changed dramatically from bad to good and vice versa. Whereas, some of the main characters from the book were chucked in the back ground and ignored. Films need to stop ignoring the mains!

death cure characters

The film has an action packed plot, with some heart to create feels, so what about the techniques? Well, the film uses a lot of foreshadowing and omens. This is a creative way to give hints as to what will happen later on in the narrative. This should be a hint but the film seems to scream it in your face so it’s obvious how the plot will go. Once one character was saved by good timing from rescuers then it’s clear that this could happen again. This is usually only happens once or twice but for the Maze Runner, this happened again and again and again. Other techniques they try to use is slow motion. The film doesn’t slow things enough so the action just looks bizarre and gives the impression that the danger could have been easily avoided. Not cool guys! This just pisses off the movie fanatics.

Despite these flaws, the film is an entertaining and emotional watch. It sums the franchise up well and shouldn’t be missed by people who have watched the first two. Just bring tissues.