Rapid Reviews: July 2021

Greetings, Gothamites! 

The cinemas are open once again and it is time to get our movie back on! I have been so happy to, gently gently, return to a sense of normalcy in terms of attending the cinema and theatres. I do find myself attending the cinema less frequently now than I used to, but also I will generally try to see 2-3 films while I am there instead of just the one — so it all manages to work itself out!

Over the past month, I have been fortunate enough to see the movies we’re about to discuss but also see the magical Frozen the Musical at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne.

I’m also still working my way through rewatching Criminal Minds, which I am loving. And watched Train to Busan for the first time, which I’m glad I watched because it came often recommended but it wasn’t a film I really enjoyed. It wasn’t bad but zombie movies aren’t really my favourite thing in the world anyway.

But without further ado, let’s get into this month’s rapid reviews!

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow is everything a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie should be and so much more. It has loads of action, characters who tease each other while fighting tooth and nail to protect each other, well made fight scenes, and great humour.

I don’t believe it’s a spoiler and believe it’s important to note that Black Widow takes place chronologically between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. However the end credit sequence does seem to take place well after the events of Avengers: Endgame

Every member of the cast is perfect in their role. The backstory into the life of one of my most-loved characters in the MCU was a welcome glimpse into what has made Natasha the powerhouse she now is. The end credit scene is a great teaser for the next chapter of the Black Widow universe’s story.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)

Space Jam: A New Legacy is a fun sequel to the 1996’s Space Jam. Let’s face it, if you put Bugs Bunny and his crew of Looney Tunes in anything, it is going to be fun to watch. And Space Jam: A New Legacy is indeed fun to watch. There’s a delightful self awareness to the film that adds another layer of humour to the Tunes’ shenanigans. 

One of the things I absolutely loveloveloved the cameos from the Warner Brothers/Universal universes — King Kong, Batman and his rogue’s gallery, Harry Potter characters, the Flintstones, Game of Thrones characters and even Pennywise the clown all make cameos — just to name a handful.

If you loved Space Jam then Space Jam: A New Legacy brings everything there is to like about the original and gives it a modern twist. 

Cruella (2021)

Full disclosure, I wasn’t going to see Cruella because I didn’t see a lot of appeal in the backstory of a woman who ends up wanting to skin puppies for outerwear. But I had time before seeing another movie and it was the only one that finished in time. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cruella is a fun journey through the childhood of a creative outcast. Though I feel Cruella is more akin to Maleficent in that it is a retelling of the character’s narrative and therefore a retelling of the story as a whole, rather than a prequel or origin story. Because I can’t see the Cruella shown in Cruella becoming the Cruella of either 101 Dalmatians movies. 

The cast are all amazing with Emma Stone and Emma Thompson leading the cast practically perfectly in every way.

And absolutely worth mentioning is the kick-butt music featured in Cruella. From The Clash and Blondie to Judy Garland and Doris Day, the music is used perfectly to accompany the story being told.

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

I love the Conjuringverse. It is one of my favourite modern horror franchises. But I do always feel the films that aren’t directed by James Wan are that little bit weaker, The Conjuring 3 is no exception. Though The Conjuring 3 is still quite an enjoyable horror flick, it does lack some of the spine-tingling scariness that Wan brings to his films.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play Lorraine and Ed Warren respectively with the grace that they brought to the roles from the first film and, I’m pleased to say, we see a bit more of their back story in the context of this film.

The Conjuring 3 would, in my opinion, be an okay film as a stand alone but I feel to get the most out of it, you’re best off watching at least the first two main Conjuring films, if not their spin-offs as well.

Once Upon a Time: Season One

I can’t believe it has taken me 10 years to start watching a TV series about fairy tale creatures and characters, but here we are. I recently finished the first season of Once Upon a Time and I thought it was pretty good. It does suffer from the affliction haunting a lot of 20+ season narratives in that I find it to be quite bloated in a lot of places. But that aside, I love how we flick between the fairy tale world and the cursed real world. I lost my nerdy little mind when I saw Sebastian Stan, of Winter Soldier fame in my mind, featured and then when we learn who he is in the fairy tale world — well, I nearly went quite mad.

I really enjoy the premise of the show and the characters are delightful, which is fortunate because ,as I mentioned, I am really out of practise with 20+ episode seasons and find they often drag the pace in order to fill the seasons. But I can’t wait to watch the second season regardless!

If you have a different take or would like to chat about what you’ve been watching and reading, drop a comment here or hit me up on Twitter.


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