Sunday 29 May 2022

REVIEW: Top Gun: Maverick (2022) - Starring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris & Val Kilmer

Review by Jon Donnis
It may have taken 36 years, but we finally have a sequel to legendary film Top Gun. And with Tom Cruise about a month away from turning 60, I was interested to see if he still "had it".

The film's basic premise follows Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's return to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (also known as "Top Gun"), where he must confront his past as he trains a group of younger fighter pilots, among them the son of Maverick's deceased best friend Nick "Goose" Bradshaw.

The film starts off with Maverick (Tom Cruise) serving as a US Navy Test Pilot. We have the classic story of someone avoiding promotion so they can keep doing the job they love, I am thinking Captain Kirk straight away!

Maverick finds out that Rear Admiral Chester "Hammer" Cain, (Ed Harris) is going to shut down the hypersonic "Darkstar" scramjet program and move the funds to other projects, mainly unpiloted drones, Maverick decides to "take" the Darkstar and fly it to Mach 10 speed before Cain arrives. This would be the fastest that any jet plane had ever flew. Of course, he reaches Mach 10, but then decides to push it a little fast which results in the destruction of the plane. Maverick ejects and that is that.

Before Cain can ground Maverick for good, The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, 4-star Admiral Tom "Iceman" Kazansky (Val Kilmer) orders Maverick to the NAS North Island where he is needed to train an elite group of pilots, to take part in an urgent mission to bomb a Uranium enrichment facility. (I wonder if Hillary Clinton was the one who gave the Uranium to the enemies of the US?) Anyway, due to the location of the facility the mission will require a low level approach at high speed, to avoid enemy radars and defensive missiles, doing this will push the aircraft past their limits and will take expert flying.

What follows is a film that is as much about teaching young expert pilots to be even better as it is about Maverick dealing with the demons of his past. The biggest of those is the son of Goose, Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw. For those of you who have not seen Top Gun, Goose died while trying to win a leg of a competition, his jet is accidentally sabotaged by Iceman (Val Kilmer), and Goose hits his head on a piece of the airplane while trying to eject. Maverick blames himself and carries that guilt with him to this day. Now he has to deal with Goose's son, who Maverick happened to block his promotion, which took years off his progression in his career.

Now I have to be honest here, it is a LONG time since I saw Top Gun, and I had forgotten a lot that had happened. So, before I watched I did read up on the first film to remind me everything that happened. With that said, while watching this film, they did a pretty good job explaining everything, and even if you have never seen the first film, you can come at this fresh and follow pretty much everything that happens.

The film is a little long at 130 minutes, and a few scenes could easily have been cut out without affecting the film, but for some reason they need to justify a large budget with a 2 hour + run time.

Considering this film has a budget over 10 times more than the original, you would expect everything to look incredible, and I am glad to say it does, the flying scenes are amazing, was tough to spot any visual effects although I am sure there are plenty in there.

For nearly 60 Tom Cruise looks incredible, and there are even a few age related jokes at his expense.

There is a nice scene with Val Kilmer, where Val "speaks" which is done really well, and even ends with a joke in their final meeting.

Overall a thoroughly good film, which will please fans of the original, as well as new fans to the franchise. There are plenty of light hearted moments and nice one liners.

The Good
Excellent visuals, good acting, nice emotional scenes, I was pleasantly surprised, as I kind of expected to hate the film.

The Bad
A few unnecessary scenes could and should have been cut, and the film gets a little soppy towards the end. 

This is the biggest film of 2022 so far. Simple as that. Go watch it in the cinema to really get the most from it.
Girls will love it; guys will love it. Ticks all the boxes. 

I score Top Gun: Maverick a solid 9/10

Out in Cinemas NOW!

COMPETITION: Win Drive on Blu-ray

Drive - Released from 6th June

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Fasten your seatbelt for the ride of a lifetime as the ‘very brutal, very slick LA pulp thriller’ (The Guardian),  Drive gets the Limited Edition 4K UHD/Blu-ray treatment. Arriving on 6th June 2022, the exquisite collectable, bonus-filled box set is presented by Second Sight Films and Nicolas Winding Refn. The film will also be available individually as a Standard Edition 4K or Blu-ray.

This cult-classic sees Ryan Gosling as the formidable driver, in an outstanding performance that confirmed his status as a major Hollywood player, alongside another rising star early into her career, Carey Mulligan Bryan Cranston also stars, and Christina Hendricks gives a show-stealing turn in this stylish, wild, high-octane thrill ride, that’s filled with wickedly astounding action and awe-inspiring car chases that will leave you in a spin.

Hollywood stuntman and best in the business getaway driver (Gosling) has a strict professional code, but his loner lifestyle is turned upside down when he falls for his neighbour Irene (Mulligan). With her ex-con husband owing protection money, she’s sucked into the dangerous criminal underworld and there’s only one person that can her save her… the driver.

Drive Limited Edition comes in stunning premium packaging with new artwork by AllCity and includes a 240-page hardback book with new essays, an exclusive interview with author James Sallis, original storyboards, stills and behind-the-scenes photos; the original novel with exclusive new artwork and art cards. All versions come with new exclusive audio commentary by Nicolas Winding Refn and Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw, and a 70-minute conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn, editor Mat Newman and composer Cliff Martinez. 

Order from Amazon at

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 13-06-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Licorice Pizza on Blu-ray™ and DVD

Licorice Pizza  - Released from 6th June

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on  Blu-ray™ and DVD to give away.

Alana Haim, from the Grammy® nominated musical group HAIM, and Cooper Hoffman deliver incredible star-making performances in LICORICE PIZZA, available to own for the first time to Download & Keep now and on Blu-ray™ and DVD 6th June, 2022 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From multi-Oscar® nominated director, writer, producer and cinematographer Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread), the Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh film received an impressive score of 90% and is hailed by critics as “The best film of the year” (Time Out) and “Filmmaking perfection” (Little White Lies). A delightful depiction of one of life’s most treasured feelings, MGM’s LICORICE PIZZA on Blu-ray™ and DVD includes limited-edition art cards and a double-sided cover art. Additionally, viewers can go behind-the-scenes with all-new bonus features such as camera tests, a deleted scene and in-universe commercials featuring cast and crew exclusively on the Blu-ray™ and DVD.

Showcasing an all-star, Critics Choice Award® nominated ensemble cast, LICORICE PIZZA stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Academy Award® winner Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk), Academy Award® nominee Tom Waits (Seven Psychopaths, The Dead Don’t Die), Academy Award® nominee Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born, Silver Linings Playbook) and Benny Safdie (Pieces of a Woman, upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi).

LICORICE PIZZA is a timeless story of Alana Kane (Haim) and Gary Valentine (Hoffman) growing up, running around, and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. Nominated for over 180 awards to-date including three Academy Awards®, eight Critics Choice Awards, and a total of 22 Best Picture nominations, the film is “a joyously nostalgic coming-of-age tale” (The Observer) that “crackles with genius” (Metro).

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 13-06-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Lansky on DVD - Starring Harvey Keitel

Lansky  - Released from 6th June

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Screen legend Harvey Keitel (The Irishman, Reservoir Dogs) stars in this powerful new crime movie, based on the true story of one of the most ruthless gangsters in American history.

David Stone (Sam Worthington, Avatar franchise, Hacksaw Ridge), a renowned but down-on-his-luck writer, has the opportunity of a lifetime when he receives a surprise call from Meyer Lansky (Harvey Keitel). For decades, authorities have been trying to locate Lansky’s alleged nine-figure fortune and this is their last chance to capture the ageing gangster before he dies. With the FBI close behind, the Godfather of organised crime reveals the untold truth about his life as the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate. Lansky is written and directed by Eytan Rockaway.

Dazzler Media presents Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel (The Irishman, Reservoir Dogs) in powerful true crime biopic Lansky, coming to DVD from 6th June.

Order from Amazon at

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 13-06-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Wednesday 25 May 2022

REVIEW: X (2022) - Starring Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, and Scott Mescudi

Review by Jon Donnis
Set in 1979, aspiring pornographic actress Maxine Minx (Played by Mia Goth) is on a road trip with her producer boyfriend Wayne Gilroy (played by Martin Henderson) and fellow "actors" Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow) and Jackson Hole (Scott Mescudi), along with director RJ Nichols (Owen Campbell) and RJ's girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega), they are off to film a porn film called "The Farmers Daughter". They have found the perfect location to film it, at the farmhouse of Howard (Stephen Ure) and Pearl (also played by Mia Goth in makeup)

RJ is trying to sell the whole idea of the film to his religious girlfriend as a piece of serious cinema that just happens to include porn.

Upon arriving at the farmhouse, filming begins without the knowledge of Howard and Pearl. Pearl sees some of the sex being filmed, and starts stalking Maxine, Pearl is turned on and wants Howard to have sex with her, but due to his age and bad health he refuses. Pearl makes an advance on Maxine, but is rejected.

As night falls things start to get even more freaky, and this is where the killings start.

As horror films go this is a proper old school slasher type of horror, not only is it set in the late 70s, it almost feels like you are watching a film from that era, and although there isn't really anything new in the killing scenes, everything is done in a classic style, with decent special effects.

My one complaint with the film is that because they are making a porno within the film, we have some of those scenes in it, along with the exaggeration of such a scene, now I like to watch films through my speakers, but I found myself having to quickly turn down the volume as the last thing I want is my neighbour thinking I am watching a real porno on full blast! Usually, sex scenes in films usually have music over them. I felt that the same story could have been told without the sex scenes.

Also, there is nothing supernatural about the film, and there is no big twist that you usually get in horror films, so for me the ending felt a bit flat.

The Good
Everything looks great, nice direction, the actors all play their roles well.

The Bad
A flat ending and pointless sex scenes, not to mention it takes a LONG time for the actual horror elements of the film to start, at least an hour before anyone is killed!
The name of the film is terrible too, how is anyone supposed to find the film in a search engine?

X is a perfectly passible old fashioned slasher film. Although it doesn't offer anything new, it does have a decent story, and some creepy as hell antagonists

I score X a fair 7/10

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Monday 23 May 2022

REVIEW: Choose or Die (2022) Starring Iola Evans and Asa Butterfield

Review by Jon Donnis
Iola Evans stars as Kayla, a college dropout working as a cleaner who is drawn into the nightmarish world of CURS>R, an 80s style text video game that can affect reality. I have the feeling that I have seen a film with a near identical plot line to this before?

The film starts with Hal (Eddie Marsan), a collector of old video games, who is clearly neglecting his family, he gets his hands on a copy of an old text based, interactive computer game called CURS>R. (That was the original name of the film by the way). 

Hal starts up the game assuming it will be another classic 80s adventure game, but before you know it, objects around him in the real world are starting to interact with what is happening in the game, before you know it the lights have gone out and his wife has cut out the tongue of his teenage son.

We quickly fast forward a few months and to college student Kayla, she is working as a cleaner to help pay for her studies, she also collects new and old technology which she gives to her geeky friend Isaac played by Asa Butterfield, in exchange he helps teach her computer coding which she can use in her college classes.

Kayla's homelife is tough, her mother Thea (played by Corrie legend Angela Griffin) is a drug addict suffering with mental health issues, as well as abuse from her landlord Lance, (Ryan Gage) who has forced her into prostitution to pay for the rent.

After visiting Isaac after work, Kayla discovers the CURS>R game in his apartment, along with a phone number offering a $125k prize. She calls the number and receives a recorded message from the Terror Director (voiced by horror icon Robert Englund) telling her if she has completed the game, to insert the number code after the tone to win the money. Intrigued by the offer, Kayla accepts the challenge, thinking it will be easy money, and arranges a deal with Isaac to share the prize.

Kayla starts playing the game in a café that evening and before you know it, the game is affecting reality and the waitress is eating broken glass. Kayla makes a binary choice in the game, that then affects reality and if you make the right choice, you complete the level, but that usually ends up with someone else suffering.

What follows is a decent little horror film, roughly 80 minutes, so easy to digest. An early scene sees Kayla on the phone to her mother while playing the game, we as the viewer are only seeing Kayla and the 80s style graphics on a CRT TV screen, yet as the Kayla is trying to help her mother escape from a monster, it really surprised me how invested I found myself in the scene, despite visually only seeing the text based game, really well produced scene which I thought deserved a special mention.

Although the film is rather predictable, and as I said I feel like I have seen something very similar before, I thought overall the film was well made, and delivered pretty much what it promised. With a nice twist at the end of sorts.

The Good
The film is the perfect length, I thought Iola Evans and Asa Butterfield played their parts very well. And the growing tension in certain scenes was really well done.

The Bad
Angela Griffin despite being the second most famous actor in the film is no more than a cameo, which is just a misuse of her talent. I would have also liked to have seen Robert Englund given a more physical role.

I do like my low budget, Indie Horror films, and this one, ticks all the right boxes. I actually grew up on those 1980s text based adventure games, so I think people from my generation will appreciate the story more than say someone under 40.

Choose or Die is a decent horror film which deserves your attention. Give it a shot, it is only 80 minutes after all.

I score Choose or Die a solid 8/10

Sunday 22 May 2022

REVIEW: Dark Cloud (2022) - Starring Alexys Gabrielle, Emily Atack and Hugo Armstrong

Review by Jon Donnis
Before you get too excited, although the lovely Emily Atack is in this film, it is only her voice, which was perhaps a smart decision for her as it meant she could get her job done in a single day from a studio.

Chloe (Alexys Gabrielle) has volunteered to try a new rehabilitation process after suffering an accident, this seems to involve moving into a house that is controlled by an AI called AIDA (Emily Atack).

AIDA, runs everything in the "smart-house" and is given the job of keeping Chloe safe and helping her rehabilitation. Chloe becomes friends with AIDA, but AIDA starts to think for itself, I am sure there was a movie in the 1980s that warned about all of this! If only we had listened, well they never listened in this film, and of course the AI becomes self-aware and the inevitable happens.

I use the word inevitable very purposely, since this is an incredibly predictable film. It also seems to have been filmed in the dullest possible way, there is a total lack of colours in the film, which doesn't help keep your attention as the viewer.

The film is relatively short at 80 minutes, but really it could have been half that and not really lost anything. This is no more than an episode of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone, but stretched to 80 minutes.

The Good
The film starts off promisingly enough, and there is a story there to be told. Oh and the poster looks really cool.

The Bad
The film is rather dull, and by the time anything good happens, you may have lost interest. Plus why on earth would you hire Emily Atack (the most famous person in the film) and only use her voice?

Unoriginal story that drags at times, and sadly doesn't use the cast it has in a way they deserve.

I score Dark Cloud a poor 3/10. Just not very good.

Out on digital and DVD -

Saturday 21 May 2022

REVIEW: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) - Starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong and Jamie Lee Curtis

Review by Jon Donnis
First of all, what a great name for a film, how has no one thought of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" as a film title before?

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as "Daniels", hence the "Film from Daniels" on the poster, the film is an absurd, crazy, multiverse genre, big-hearted, sci-fi action adventure. Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Quan Wang, an unhappy and overwhelmed laundromat owner, who is facing an audit from the IRS and the threat of losing everything to the tax man. Evelyn is married to Waymond Wang, (Ke Huy Quan), he is a calm, patient, meek and goofy husband. And together they are trying to bring up their daughter Joy Wang played by Stephanie Hsu. You may also recognise James Hong as Gong Gong, Evelyn's demanding father, who has just arrived from China. James Hong has been in more films than I can think of, and at 93 years old, is an absolute legend in the business.

The film is separated into 3 parts, Everything, Everywhere and All at Once, hence the name of the film.

The family are being audited, so go to the IRS building for a meeting with Deirdre Beaubeirdra, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. While on the way to the meeting, in the elevator Waymond's body is taken over by another version of Waymond, this Waymond is known as Alpha Waymond, as he comes from the Alpha Universe.

Alpha Waymond explains that many universes exist since every choice made creates a new universe. The people of the Alphaverse, led by the now deceased Alpha Evelyn, developed "universe-jumping" technology that allows people to access the skills, memories, and bodies of their parallel universe counterparts by fulfilling specific conditions, this may involve giving yourself paper cuts before activating the jump, or tapping a surface, just weird things that need to be done first, and a few rather hilarious ones too which I won't spoil. Alpha Waymond explains that the multiverse is being threatened by Jobu Tupaki, formerly Alpha Joy (Evelyn's daughter). Her mind was splintered after Alpha Evelyn pushed her to extensively verse-jump, leading her mind to overload and fracture across the multiverse. Jobu Tupaki now experiences all universes at once and can verse-jump and manipulate matter at will. With her godlike power she has created a black hole-like "everything bagel" that can potentially destroy the multiverse.

Evelyn is given verse-jumping technology to fight Jobu Tupaki's verse-jumping minions, who begin converging in the IRS building. Evelyn learns of Waymond's plans to divorce her and discovers other lives where she made different choices and flourished, such as by becoming a kung fu master and movie star instead of leaving China with Waymond, who becomes a successful businessman. Alpha Waymond comes to believe that Evelyn, as the greatest failure of all Evelyns of the multiverse, has the untapped potential to defeat Jobu Tupaki.

Some of the different universes are hilarious, I wont spoil them all, but I will say you will probably start seeing memes about hot dog fingers. There is even a universe where life never evolved. Yes really.

What follows is a true masterpiece of cinema, visual effects that should be in a film with 5 times the budget. A mixture of Chinese language and English, the viewer is taken on one hell of a ride.

This is undoubtable the film of the year, and will win all sorts of awards. We get short glimpses of the multiverse, some crazy, some downright absurd. This film will be compared to the new Doctor Strange film, but this film just does the whole genre so much better and more imaginative. If I was a Marvel exec watching this, I would be very pissed off, because Everything Everywhere All at Once is a better film. Simple as that.

The Good
What a ride. What an excellent imaginative film. Has something for everyone, and even some really cool Kung Fu scenes.

The Bad
There is a "fake" ending after about 90 minutes, and then the film carries on till about 2 hours 10. I thought the film overall was a little too long. I think a length between the fake ending and the real ending would have been better.

I loved this film, it is easily the superior "Multiverse" film of the year.

I score Everything Everywhere All at Once a nearly perfect 9.5/10

Watch it!
Out Now on Apple TV -
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Friday 20 May 2022

REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - Starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen

Review by Jon Donnis
I have never been a fan of the Harry Potter films, so not sure why I am reviewing what I believe is the 11th film in the J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World series, but here we are.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third of a trilogy of films, I don't think I saw the first 2, I may have but I see so many films, I have probably forgotten them.

In the time before the events of the Harry Potter films, there is another dark wizard who wants to take over. Isn't there always. Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) gathers an army around him and it's up to magic zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop him. Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) can no longer hold back and must intervene against Grindelwald's crimes, and a man he once called his friend. Together with a group of wizards and a brave Muggle, they go to war against the bad guy.

Now if you think this all sounds familiar, that is because it is, it is basically the same story as the previous films from what I can gather, but then if a franchise is making money, why not ring it dry.

The biggest problem with this film is that if you are not deeply familiar with the books and previous films, you will find it rather hard to know what the hell is going on, who is who, and what is what. I hear the name Scamander and I first think of an old ancient Greek God, and then I think of the bad guy from one of the old James Bond films!

Once the first part of the film is finished with, which I had no idea what was going on, things picked up when Newt gathered a group of people, and talked about them having to take on Grindelwald who has the ability to see the future, so they need to fight him using lots of ideas at the same time, as to create chaos. So, I understand this bit, group of good guys teaming up to take on the bad guy.

Grindelwald is also building up his power and hoping to rig an election, so he can become the wizarding-world leader, a bit like Joe Biden in the 2020 election, I guess.

There are fantastical creatures, (beasts), my favourite being a little stick insect thingy. There are stunning visual effects, CGI etc. And the acting is all of a level you would expect from the actors involved.

I have to be brutally honest, I struggled with this film, I found myself totally lost at points and wishing I had a Harry Potter dictionary on me to tell me what everything meant. As such it was hard for me to take in everything the film was trying to deliver. Although I could follow the main story, which is easy enough, it is all the added things that seemingly make these films so popular, and if you have not at the very least seen the first two films in this trilogy, you may find yourself lost as I did.

The Good
CGI etc is all brilliant, this is a big budget film and you can tell. The characters are likeable if confusing at times, and the basic story is understandable if totally unoriginal.

The Bad
You really need to be a fan of the franchise to get the most out of the film. This is not a film for newbies to the franchise.

This film was not for me, it was a bit like turning on a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, in the final quarter, and trying to understand what is going on when you have never seen a game of American Football in your life.

I am not gonna score the film, as it wouldn't be fair. I will say that if you are a fan of the franchise, go watch it I am sure you will love it.
If you are not a fan of the franchise, don't waste your time.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

REVIEW: Monstrous (2022) - Starring Christina Ricci and Santino Barnard

Review By Jon Donnis
It has been a while since I have seen a Christina Ricci film, so long in fact I cant remember the last one, so with that I was looking forward to seeing Monstrous.

The basic story is as follows

"A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened."

Although there are a couple of other characters in the film, this story mainly revolves around Laura (Christina Ricci) and her young son Cody (Santino Barnard), the film starts off with Cody in his bed, hiding under the sheets, your typical child hiding from imaginary monsters. We quickly change to Laura driving Cody to their new home.

As the film progresses we learn that Laura is seemingly escaping an abusive ex, and with Cody they can start fresh in a new town, new school for Cody, and a new life in a house by a lake.

Of course, things are never that simple, as soon enough it seems that there is a lake monster. Add Laura's ex getting her phone number and keep trying to ring, and you have two frightening issues to deal with.

Now at this point I don't want to say any more except for one thing, there is a twist in the film, now usually at this point I will tell you how I saw the twist coming and it ruined the film for me, HOWEVER, I never saw the twist coming. And that fact alone made this film ten times better for me.

Although the film in advertisements comes across as your typical horror film set by a lake, it does have extra layers, that I cant reveal for it would spoil the film, and I don't want to do that.

Christina Ricci puts in an excellent performance, and really delivers emotion that you the viewer can feel, and up the last scene, she grabs you as a viewer, and that is something very few actors have the ability to do.

The Good
Christina Ricci is excellent in this film, completely believable and portrays every emotion needed to sell the story.

The Bad
Some of the monster special effects could have been done better.

This is so much more than just a film with a monster in it, it is a horror/thriller with extra layers, and at just about 85 minutes it is a decent length that never dragged for me.

I really enjoyed this film, and made me want to watch it again.

I score Monstrous a very strong 8.5/10

Out Now on Apple TV -

Monday 16 May 2022

REVIEW: 9 Bullets (2022) Starring Lena Headey, Dean Scott Vazquez and Sam Worthington

Review by Jon Donnis
Written and Directed by Gigi Gaston, 9 Bullets is a film about Gypsy Moon (Lena Headey - Game of Thrones) is a novelist by day but when night falls she dances to earn her keep. However, when the family next door is brutally murdered Gypsy finds herself on the run from crime boss Jack (Sam Worthington - Avatar) and his thugs.

Finding herself as protector to a young boy and his dog, the only survivors of the brutal attack, Gypsy realises she is the only thing that stands between them and their survival in this truly edge-of-your seat thriller.

The film starts off with Gypsy off to perform her last gig as a burlesque dancer, she is also about to finish an autobiographical book that will soon be published.

While this is going on, we cut to a young boy Sam getting a call from his terrified father, he is told he needs to enact the emergency escape plan and grab an iPad with important information. Sam's father tells him to exit the house and meet him in their secret spot. Unfortunately, just as the father is reaching the meeting point, he and the rest of the family are murdered. The killers are looking for the iPad, while this is going on Sam is watching it all happen, along with his small dog from a distance. The killers leave and Sam goes to find his family murdered.

Sam finds his way home, and gets into Gypsy's house who is his neighbour. She has no choice but to look after the boy, and take him on a road trip to a guardian who is not interested in helping.

Now people are after Sam and the laptop, one of whom happens to be gypsy's ex.

What follows is a strange road trip, thriller, with some interesting side plots thrown in. For example, a woman who appears in the back of a stolen car, and then joins them on the road trip for a bit which adds a comedy tone to the film.

Add a gratuitous sex scene between Gypsy and Jack, and an ending that goes one way and then the complete opposite, and you have a rather unusual film.

I am however a HUGE Lena Headey fan, I loved her in Game of Thrones, but long before that I thought she was great in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She is easily the stand out in this film, and her acting chops elevate the film to a level that without her it would have no chance of reaching.

This is a strange film to judge, as it was very different to what I was expecting, where as it is advertised as more of an "on the run" thriller, it is actually more of a story about how two unconnected people end up merging into a mother and son relationship, and the love that creates.

The Good
Lena Headey is outstanding, an excellent actress, and also quite the performer if you watch the burlesque scene at the start!

The Bad
The story gets lost a few times in the film, and the side plots seem a bit "stuck on with cello tape" if you know what I mean. I would have preferred if they had just been part of the main story from the start.

Anything with Lena Headey in it gets extra marks from me, a great performance, only dragged down by a confusing story.

I score 9 Bullets a solid 7/10
Out now on Apple TV -
Pre-order from amazon at