The Shape of Water (Cinema Review)

15 – 123mins – 2018


MUTEY AND THE BEAST

As we enter awards season, Guillermo del Toro’s allegorical fairy tale is a strong contender for swimming away with all the glory, garnering a staggering 13 Academy Award nominations – for a strictly adult-only dark fantasy, no less! I was fortunate enough to attend a Cineworld Unlimited Screening on Tuesday evening, ahead of The Shape of Water‘s UK theatrical roll-out on February 16th, although I must confess my appreciation for this Oscar frontrunner was not without impediments.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.5 – “Choose Your Pain” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 16th October 2017

Story by: Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Kemp Powers

Teleplay by: Kemp Powers

Directed by: Lee Rose


 

SURVIVAL MODE

“Glory must be earned from sacrifices… and PAIN!”

While the sets and lighting are as opulent and dazzling as ever this week, the showrunners behind Star Trek: Discovery are instead taking a different tack in their efforts to make this new prequel series darker and more mature by inserting scenes of brutal violence and random instances of foul language into what has fundamentally always been a family-friendly show set in an optimistic future striving for a universal utopia.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.4 – “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 8th October 2017

Series created by: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman

Written by: Jesse Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite

Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi


 

UNIQUELY INTERESTING

“Let’s send our Klingon friends a message they won’t forget.”

Settling into its new post-‘second pilot’ direction, episode 1.4 of Star Trek: Discovery gave me the distinct impression that it was panicked about how grand, impressive and memorable it was, and frequently felt the need to throw everything at the audience in a shallow attempt to impress. While it’s by no means a complete shipwreck, “The Butcher’s Knife…” is both the busiest and my least favourite of the new series thus far.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.3 – “Context is for Kings” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 2nd October 2017

Story by: Bryan Fuller, Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts

Teleplay by: Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Craig Sweeny

Directed by: Akiva Goldsman


 

ENTER: ME

“Sometimes down is up, up is down. Sometimes when you’re lost, you’re found.”

For the second time in its first three instalments, Star Trek: Discovery has a ‘pilot’ episode, as 1.3 shoots forward six months from the USS Shenzhou’s clash with the Klingons and Captain Georgiou’s death, following Michael Burnham’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) heavily-contested and unorthodox efforts to save the ship, her captain and crew. Now, the woman who will not reply to “Mickey” is a silent, resigned, person-adverse prisoner being transferred to do mining work to help the Federation’s war effort.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.2 – “Battle at the Binary Stars” (Netflix Review)

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Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 25th September 2017

Story by: Bryan Fuller

Teleplay by: Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts

Directed by: Adam Kane


 

A HERO’S DEMISE

Following immediately on from the cliffhanger which left jaws agape at the close of “The Vulcan Hello” (reviewed HERE), Star Trek: Discovery episode 1.2 feels more like the second half of a two-part story than an isolated instalment in its own right. It is now clear why CBS and Netflix aired/released both episodes at the same time, because this is essentially the conclusion of the new show’s prologue; the televisual equivalent of a comic issue zero.

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STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, 1.1 – “The Vulcan Hello” (Netflix Review)

Streaming on UK Netflix from: Monday 25th September 2017

Story by: Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman

Teleplay by: Akiva Goldsman and Bryan Fuller

Directed by: David Semel


 

LIGHT THE BEACON

“They are coming.”

After a century of only fleeting interaction between the Starfleet of Earth and the warriors of the Klingon Empire, a war is on the horizon as the Klingons pursue a “crusade of self-preservation” against those who purport to “come in peace.” Captain Philippa Georgiou’s (Michelle Mechanic: Resurrection Yeoh) USS Shenzhou is the Federation starship which first encounters the oncoming storm…

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The Bye Bye Man (Film Review)

15 – 96mins – 2017


 

VISION MESS

Purportedly based on the real-life anomalous phenomena detailed in the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” from Fortean Times contributor Robert Damon Schneck’s book The President’s Vampire, this supernatural horror adapted by Jonathan Penner is an admirable attempt to conjure up a modern-day bogeyman in the same vein as Freddie Kreuger and Candyman. Sadly, director Stacy Title’s film was crucified upon its theatrical roll-out in January, so it seems quite likely that the legacy of The Bye Bye Man will die out sooner than anticipated.

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