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Infinite (2021) Film Review

Infinite (2021) Film Review – The big idea of the film is what if people were reborn with their past memories, essentially living forever, except through different bodies?

Infinite, the latest film from Antoine Fuqua, is an intriguing example of how a really interesting concept and top notch script can get bogged down in production and sadly ‘blandified’ beyond all recognition. The concept, originally taken from The Reincarnationist Papers, is given an action refresh, moving from a serious philosophical piece to a more Fast & Furious-style romp.

The big idea of the film is what if people were reborn with their past memories, essentially living forever, except through different bodies? Now, this has been done before, but the little things they nod to in the film, such as the characters’ flashes of memories across the centuries and references to major historical events, suggest that angle could have been a lot more fun to explore beyond the thrill ride that movie soon becomes.

That said, it’s an exciting ride, and there are more than enough set pieces to shake a stick at,  all well executed, with just enough originality to make it worth your while. The best example of this is the armoured car chase through a police station, which screamed originality and gave off a general ‘what the hell will happen next’ feel to the film as it veers towards another death-defying moment.

The acting is workable, but again, it feels like some better casting would have resulted in more pathos and character development. The standout performance is without a doubt, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the menacing Bathurst, who looms over the story, and hams up the part when necessary, with a touch of Shakespearian eloquence. On top of that, Jason Mantzoukas’ screwball Artisan adds some much-needed levity in his far-too-few appearances. Mark Wahlberg is serviceable as the part-everyman who the audience can relate to and follow, but when you leave your rather convoluted exposition to Wahlberg, you’ve got a problem.

Infinite will offer you an entertaining thrill ride over 106 minutes, without requiring much thought, and that’s the main takeaway – with a concept like this, having a bit more thoughtfulness, playfulness and fun with it, would have gone a long way to making something a lot more memorable.

Nobody Film Review

Nobody_2021_Film_Poster

You can never go wrong with Bob Odenkirk, right? Well, that’s the logic behind why I sat down to watch his latest movie, the action killathon that is Nobody.

Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a man seemingly stuck in a rut at a 9-5 and mocked by pretty much everyone, including his wife and son.

However, a chance break-in at his house reveals there’s a lot more to the straight-laced man than we were initially led to believe. Hutch flips back into killer assassin mode, cripples a mob boss’s brother and things escalate. A lot.

From the writer of John Wick, you get a one-man killing machine employing an eye-openingly fun variety of different ways to kill the bad guys. It’s exciting, extremely well-paced, and Odenkirk is superb, channelling droll humour and world-weariness to perfect effect, on top of some real stunt prowess.

As you’d expect, the fight choreography is top-notch, with innovative set pieces really pushing action film making to the limit, without too much dependence on special effects, which always adds a little bit more magic and weight to the film.

But it’s not just a one-man show, with Connie Nielsen offering up fantastic chemistry, RZA speaking volumes despite a relatively small part, and Christopher Lloyd as Hutch’s adorable dad.

A simple, fun and extremely effective Saturday night action thriller, and one we may be lucky enough to get a sequel to in the future.

2021 Games We’re Looking Forward TO

It’s that time of year again when you’re making resolutions, goals and plans for the months ahead – and it wouldn’t be complete without a list of the top video games that you’re eagerly awaiting to sink your teeth into! So here’s our curated selection of which games you’ll be frantically waiting to install on your various platforms in 2021.

Bravely Default 2 (Switch)
The series which takes a refreshing spin on the traditional RPG is thankfully returning to wow us with its intricate storytelling, marvellous world building and stunning soundtrack. The demo has already got us excited, with its idyllic introduction to strange lands and an intriguing set of characters, and we can’t wait to get return when the full game is released this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Switch)
The follow up to arguably one of the best ever console launch titles, Breath of the Wild 2 has much to live up to, but we’re hopeful it’ll astound us just like original game did back in 2017. It appears the game will re-use the original lands of Hyrule, but with addition of many areas, stories and game mechanics. The trailers eeleaes so far suggest a darker tone than the original, with nods to 2006’s Twilight Princess.

Bayonetta 3 (Switch)
Developer PlatinumGames are on a bit of winning streak of late, with major hits like Nier:Automata and Astral Chain under their belt, so the third entry in the Bayonetta series is definitely going to be one the slash ‘em up to beat in 2021. With more cheesy supernatural battles than you can shake a high heeled shoe at, Bayonetta’s return is bound to be unforgettable (TBC 2020)

Hollow Knight: Silksong (PC/Switch)
Originally intended as a smallish add-on to the original platforming classic Hollow Knight, this game is now set yo be a full-blown sequel. With its unique art style returning, this entry will take Hornet on an adventure you’ll be dying to get your claws into.

Far Cry 6 (PS4/5; Xbox One/X; PC)
The vast open world shooter returns for the sixth time with the drama and acting ramped up with the inclusion of Giancarlo Esposito as the menacing dictator of the Caribbean island that’ll be your playground for countless hours.

God of War: Ragnarok (PS5)
With the triumphant return of the self titled God of War on the PS4 back in 2018, the new found narrative and storytelling focus was a welcome surprise and that game’s framework is likely to set the tone for this PS5 exclusive.

Halo Infinite – (Xbox Series X; PC)
Despite being lauded as the must-have new Xbox launch title, the fact the long awaited sixth main entry in the Master Chief’s story is having a bit more development time is nothing to complain about, especially considering the recent issues with Cyberpunk 2017.

Horizon Forbidden West (PS5)
It’s incredible to think that the groundbreaking first game in the series, Horizon Zero Dawn, was only released in 2017, and we’re lucky enlightened to have a sequel in 2021 that will make as much use of the PS5 as the original did on the PS4. With its gloriously beautiful open world, memorable characters and pitch perfect combat, this is a sequel well worth getting excited about.

Resident Evil Village (PS5; Xbox Series X; PC)
The first person reboot which was Resident Evil 7: Biohazard scared the bejesus out of us back in, especially the VR version, so we’re eagerly awaiting to have the hairs stand up on the back of necks in Capcom’s follow up, which takes you into a creepy village setting, recalling the classic Resident Evil 4. Let’s hope that the famous chainsaw scene returns in some form of another!

Elden Ring: (PS4/Xbox; PC)
This much hyped project combines the do or die combat of the Dark Souls series with the narrative stylings of a certain George R R Martin, which by our estimation, makes it the must-have action-RPG for 2021. Fingers crossed it lives up to the hype!

Another Round / Druk LFF Film Review

Another Round / Druk London Film Festival 2020 Movie Review

Druk (“Another Round”) is the latest feature from Danish director and Dogme 95 co-founder Thomas Vinterberg, reuniting him and actor Mads Mikkelsen some eight years after the Oscar-nominated Jagten (“The Hunt”). This dark comedy follows four disillusioned high school teachers who decide to rejuvenate their lives by embarking on an elaborate drinking game.

Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe) and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) are all in a mid-life limbo, with the lead, Martin, increasingly isolated from his wife and children, mocked by his students, and reconsidering his life choices. Following an enjoyably boozy birthday meal, all four agree to engage in an experiment based on the work of a Norwegian psychologist, who claims humans are born with a deficit of 0.05% blood alcohol.

Faced with the four characters’ pathetic plights, the audience easily begins to root for them as they unleash their new selves upon the world. The early scenes are brilliantly funny, with the four adjusting to their new inebriated states during their school lessons, and are uplifting for the characters as they take their new-found confidence to help engage better with their students and lives outside of class. The physical humour is uncannily inspired, with the actors perfectly embodying the swaying bodies, alcohol-fuelled swagger and the odd bumping into walls and collapsing that occurs. Mads Mikkelsen in particular, effortlessly captures the progression of Martin, from lifeless to boisterously playful, along with more subtle levels of anguish, despair and catharsis.

Despite the comedy, a sense of dread builds as their plans become perilously close to being uncovered. The film slowly cranks up the tension as they progress from Hemingway rules (no drinking after 8 pm or at weekends) to Tchaikovsky approach (adjusting alcohol levels for optimal social and mental ability) to last but definitely not least, the Total Oblivion – maximum blood alcohol level. While they attest to their drinking being a scientific experiment, they begin to fool themselves into the logic of it, with increasingly farcical reasoning to go further and further.

As the film has been hinting, this ship they’ve embarked upon can only come crashing down on the rocks, with the first incident after the Total Oblivion, leading to the study ending “due to immense, negative social effects and the danger of alcoholism”. The event that leads to this, results in Martin’s separating from his wife, Nikolaj crawling into bed with his wife and wetting himself, while it leads Tommy down an even more dangerous route. In the face of a horrifically bleak ending, the film comes full circle with the friends in the harsh daylight, celebrating the successes of their students and culminating with an cathartic, impromptu jazz ballet dance piece from Mads Mikkelsen.

While mostly adhering to a realistic style, with hand-held camerawork, natural lighting and a simple setting, warm colours and flare are subtly added to the drinking scenes to emphasise their enticing nature. On top of that, the rising pressure and descent of the quartet is incredibly well matched by the cinematography of each of the seasons. The documentary-style is further heightened by the silent movie style black dialogue cards that flash up, alerting the audience to the various characters’ blood alcohol levels, as well as the short clips of various politicians famous for their drinking, such as Yeltsin, Sarkozy and even Boris Johnson.

This bittersweet tragicomedy is a meditation on attitudes to alcohol, ageing and masculinity in a nation that “drinks like maniacs”. While we see the bright positives and the grim negatives of intoxication, Druk instead wants to focus on why people turn to such destructive behaviour – is it boredom, stress or the desire to re-engage with their lives? In one sense, the alcohol is merely the springboard from which to take a deep look into the male psyche through these four very different characters.

While the quartet’s humorous, yet brutal trials and tribulations with alcohol set the scene, Druk is a bold examination of the thirst for life, love and friendship.

Siberia LFF Film Review

Siberia is a spiritual journey filled with metaphors and symbolism that even the most observant viewer may have trouble keeping pace with. The sixth collaboration between director Abel Ferrara and a for Willem Defoe, this dive into the abyss of the soul is a cold, harsh and biting ride.

There’s some fantastic landscape cinematography, with Defoe’s Clint sledding through bleak snow filled valleys, lit in a surreal green light that adds to the mystery. This, coupled with a minimal piano based score help craft an atmosphere you’ll not be able to shake.

In terms of narrative, the protagonist is seemingly thrown across several scenes in a non-linear fashion, with both him and the audience attempting to piece together the meaning of the strange, weird and often disturbing things he’s confronted with.

Definitely one for fans of the surreal, this is a journey not for the light hearted.

How to Watch 2020 London Film Festival Movies At Home

As we get into autumn, it’s movie festival time in London! However, things have changed up a bit at the 2020 London Film Festival (LFF) this time around. From October 7 – 18, you can enjoy a selection of the 2020 LFF programme all direct from the comfort of your own home.

How to Watch 2020 London Film Festival Movies Online Via BFI Player

The general public can now buy tickets to stream via BFI Play. Virtual premieres are £12 per movie or £10 for BFI Members. To stream, you must have internet access and a BFI Player compatible device. Remember that BFI Player screenings are available to view in the UK only and the movies are not available with Smart TVs and BFI Player’s Amazon Prime and Apple TV channels and you cannot download films.

Most films will require you to start watching within 30 minutes of the advertised start time. So you will need to hit play within this time frame or miss out on seeing the film – and throwing away your money. Once you click play, you have 3 or 72 hours to watch the movie – all depending on the film, so if you can’t watch immediately, click play and then pause til you’re ready to enjoy.

Given the restrictions, we definitely recommend you to schedule your viewing. You can find a full overview of the movies available here.

Now, that’s all out of the way, here’s the important part – the movies we’re most looking forward to!

The Best Movies to Stream From the London Film Festival

Another Round
Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.

Supernova
Sam and Tusker partners of 20 years, who are traveling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.

Stray
The world of Zeytin, a stray dog living life on the streets of Istanbul.

Wolfwalkers
Follows a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

Mogul Mowgli
A British Pakistani rapper is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.

N.B. Festival favourites including Mangrove, Nomadland and Ammonite are not available to watch online

Tips to Prep Your Phone for Your Next Trip

To ensure stress-free travel on the road,  Ting Mobile, shares savvy smartphone tips to take before you hit the road.

  • Secure data and personal info: Enable your phone’s screen lock feature and use a strong password to protect your information on the go.
  • Plan your TV & movie binge: Not everyone wants to watch the same program, so be sure to download all your favorites movies and shows ahead of time. Platforms like Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime let you download movies and shows to your device.
  • Take your maps offline: Sometimes you’ll end up in an area without cell phone reception. Using Google Maps, download your maps in advance over Wi-Fi you don’t need to use your cellular network to navigate.
  • Monitor and limit app usage to avoid huge data charges: Apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook all see upticks through extensive usage. Control your data in the app’s setting. You can set how much data the app can use, and you can prevent photos from loading in your feed until you’re on Wi-Fi.
  • Charge your phone faster on Airplane Mode: Although you’re not going to be on a plane, this hack can come in handy. If you’re low on battery life and in a crunch for time, put your smartphone on Airplane Mode to cut down the time needed to charge your phone.
  • Use your phone as a GPS tracker (for friends or children traveling with you): Google Maps lets you share locations in real-time, so you can see where your travel companions or kids are. This is an awesome safety tip for parents of slightly older kids who might want to do their own exploring.
  • Be more mindful: Put down your phone and unplug every once in a while. Take a mini digital detox during the drive and get some much-needed rest or enjoy the scenery. Your phone will thank you too.

Best retro trainers you can still buy in 2020

From the Cortez to the Gazelle, this is our ultimate throwback to the best retro trainers you can get your hands on. Some trainers just never go out of style. And, apparently, neither do some cliches.

These classic designs are just as popular now as when they were first released, undoubtedly becoming some of the most iconic trainers of all-time. Since there are so many awesome vintage kicks to choose from, we’re running through the best retro trainers you can still add to your collection today. Let’s get nostalgic. 

10 best retro trainers you can still buy

10. Vans Old Skool

Release Date: 1977

First launched as a skate shoe way back in 1977, the Vans Old Skool is instantly recognised all over the world. It was the brand’s founder, Paul Van Doren, who had the real lightbulb moment all those years ago, doodling on a sketchpad until he came up with the famous “jazz stripe” we all know and love today. Not bad for a day’s work. 

This is the quintessential Vans look. An invincible trainer. 

9. Nike Air Jordan IV

Release Date: 1989

You just can’t go wrong with a pair of Jordans. Inspired by the greatest basketball player to grace the court (apart from Bugs Bunny), the Nike Air Jordan has continued to evolve over the past few decades, but the fourth generation is arguably the pick of the bunch. And people will argue about it. 

8. Adidas Stan Smith

Release Date: 1971

Timeless. It’s actually quite easy to forget that the Adidas Stan Smith was originally named after a different famous tennis player and that the design of the 60s was instead called the “Haillet”. Yeah, I know, it definitely doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

7. New Balance 990

Release Date: 1982

Possibly the most underrated trainer on this list, the New Balance 990 is arguably one of the best sneakers the American brand have ever produced. Launching back in 1982 with one hell of a price tag, the 990 was a high-tech running shoe which truly pushed the boundaries of innovation on the track. Hence the eye-watering price. 

6. Reebok Club C

Release Date: 1985

Ah, the Reebok Club C. Yet another classic tennis shoe which makes us all grin a little with nostalgia. Once you’ve stopped grinning, though, you might even feel inclined to open up your wallet and bag a pair, because this is honestly a trainer that goes with just about anything. You could wear some to your mate’s wedding if you really wanted to. 

5. Nike Air Max 90

Release Date: 1990

Following up from the hugely-popular Air Max 1, it’s fair to say that these trainers had pretty big, um, shoes to fill. The Nike Air Max 90 introduced us to a much larger Air unit, featuring a colourway which drew attention to the increased size, while also throwing up all kinds of fresh new materials. 

4. Puma Suede

Release Date: 1968

The Puma Suede isn’t just a giant. It’s a giant that’s sat at the heart of modern culture for over 50 years, wrapped in tough suede materials and refusing to move from its seat. New trainers might come and go, fashion trends might change like the tides, but this is a trainer which will outlive absolutely all of it. 

3. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

Release Date: 1917

It’s crazy to think how few changes these trainers have had over the past 100 years. Okay, so huge improvements were made back in 1970, but the Converse Chuck Taylor is still very much the same shoe as it’s always been. With its black upper, white toe box and classic “All-Star” logo, this is just about as vintage as trainers come these days. 

2. Adidas Gazelle

Release Date: 1966

Dating back to the mid-’60s, this is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic trainers. The first Adidas shoe to be made from suede, the Gazelle burst onto the scene absolutely packed with colour and invention. All these years later, the colours and stripes are still there, but it’s now very much seen as the classic Adidas look – rather than anything spectacular. 

1. Nike Cortez

Release Date: 1972

You don’t have to be a Forrest Gump fan to know how iconic this trainer is. Launched during the 1972 Olympic Games, the Nike Cortez didn’t just introduce us to a legendary sneaker collection but also became the main building block for a global brand. Make no mistake, Nike would not be where they are today without the impact of the Cortez. 
To shop the retro look, head over to Footy.com