By Annabel Sutherland and Esta Chen
Spider-Man: No Way Home
After all the hype, Spider-Man No Way Home did not disappoint. First off, this film had A LOT of fan service. I will refrain from spoiling the specifics, but the many appearances from beloved characters of the Spider-Man universe, and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, were extremely well-received. On the day of its release at the 12 a.m. viewing session, each appearance was met by rapturous applause, many “NO WAYYYYs” and “LETS GOOOs”, and the overall sense that this was a historic film for fans of the beloved superhero. However, the fan service was not the main reason for why it was such a good film. Rather, Tom Holland’s portrayal of a Peter Parker navigating his dual identity in such extreme circumstances, managed to stand up to the likes of Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s own authentic portrayals. Moreover, the script’s numerous light-hearted quips and jokes were contrasted to more serious and heart wrenching moments, overall producing a well-balanced film which left many upset that it had to end.
After all this time, imagine discovering you’re an NPC (non-player character) inside a brutal, open-world video game… Welcome to Guy’s (played by Ryan Reynolds) life! Fresh, unique and colourful, ‘Free Guy’ definitely lives up to its hype. Packed with cameos from some of the biggest names in pop culture such as The Rock, Ninja and Mariah Carey, definitely expect an exciting story filled with frivolous fun! After all, what less could you expect from such a charming cast? This action-comedy brings excitement, never-ending laughs, and a little bit of romance as it explores interpersonal connection, betrayal and courage. Definitely the go-to movie to brighten up your day in the times we’re in, and a fun, wholesome movie to enjoy with family and friends.
Action wouldn’t be action without The Rock, just as comedy wouldn’t be comedy without Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot ties it all together. ‘Red Notice’ is an action-comedy film set in a world of international crime, where FBI agent (Dwayne Johnson) reluctantly teams up with renowned art thief (Ryan Reynolds) in order to catch an even more notorious criminal (Gal Gadot). This is all for Cleopatra’s missing 2000-year-old bejewelled egg, one of three that symbolised Marcus Antonius’ devotion in marriage. An entertaining, action-packed movie, ‘Red Notice’ doesn’t disappoint in delivering funny action sequences, plot twists and an amazing dynamic between the characters. Looking to laugh out loud and be swept up in a thrilling adventure? ‘Red Notice’ is the movie for you!
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
A relatively new Marvel film, Shang-Chi pushes iconic cultural identity by genre mixing with period Chinese martial arts flicks. Having escaped from his father’s brutal training at an early age, Shang-Chi must now confront the past he thought he left behind after being drawn back into the Ten Rings organization. Alongside the intense, action-filled scenes with epic special effects, the audience also embark on Shang-Chi’s journey, understanding the importance of family and friendship. With many twists and turns along the way, this beautiful movie is definitely worth a watch!
The French Dispatch
‘The French Dispatch’ is a Wes Anderson film, split into three short stories, and follows the fictional Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun newspaper by the same name. Like any Wes Anderson film, his unique storytelling and direction is captivating from the beginning, producing a quaint charm which exudes character and decadence. This “Wes Anderson” aesthetic alone elevates the film to an already “pretty good” movie to watch for anyone who appreciates beauty. However, Anderson goes one step further to produce a film that explores significant themes such as isolation, young love, and being a foreigner in a foreign country in a delicate and endearing manner. Without even mentioning the all-star cast, The French Dispatch is definitely a must-see for all film enthusiasts out there.
Remember the Disney movie with 101 dalmatians, and that darn villain Cruella de Vil? Well, this movie is definitely something different. Introducing Estella, a young, clever grifter who’s determined to make a name for herself in the fashion world, who ultimately embraces her wicked side to become the raucous and revenge-bent Cruella we all know. Born with a head of half-white, half-black hair, Estella was meant to stand out. Despite experiencing looks of disdain from adults and bullying at school as a child, her mother was her greatest support… until she was murdered. Throughout the movie, we follow along Estella’s ups and downs in crime and high-end fashion, love her friendships and hate on her enemies. The jaw dropping plot twists and iconic fashion statements are sure to keep you on your toes!
Based on the American sci-fi novel by Frank Hubert, the 2021 Dune adaptation follows the journey of the House of Atreides to the desert planet of Arrakis, and ultimately sees Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet) navigate his destiny. From the grand, galactic scale of world building to the realistic CGI, accompanied by a bewitching film score, the film can simply be described as “epic”. One fault is the slow pace of the film which can be attributed to the fact the adaptation only covers half the novel. Regardless, the film is a captivating sci-fi which transports the viewer into another world, and definitely warrants a watch.
Raya and the Last Dragon
Disney movies are timeless and manage to capture the hearts of various audiences, ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is no different. In Kumandra, a prosperous land ravaged by evil spirits that turn people and dragons to stone, the people are divided into five tribes: Fang, Heart, Spine, Talon, and Tail. A powerful gem – holding the magic of the last dragon Sisu that saved the people from the evil spirits long ago – is the possession each tribe is greedy to retain. Once it is broken during a scuffle between the five tribes, the evil spirit is once again awakened and plagues the land. Along Raya’s journey to find Sisu and heal the world, we experience betrayal, appreciate her friendships and learn that trust and love is the most important in unifying Kumandra once again.