2018, Uncategorized

Dir. Duncan Jones

Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Seyneb Saleh, and Robert Sheehan


This is another release where the movie almost seems secondary in the conversation. Following on from last months audacious release of The Cloverfield Paradox by Netflix, we are again discussing the streaming giants. Mute is Duncan Jones’ passion project. One he says he had in mind before he burst onto the scene with Moon, and one he’s been talking about ever since. The problem is no studio would fund the project. Netflix stepped in and rescued the film, and, as they seem to be setting themselves up as a creator driven company, gave Jones autonomy over the film. I loved Moon, and have been eagerly awaiting Mute ever since I saw the first bit of concept art years back. The experience of watching Mute was a far cry from the experience I had watching Moon. I saw Moon on its initial release at the cinema, becoming completely engrossed in it. Mute on the other hand, was watched in two halves, on two different screens, with a nap in between.


Mute is set forty years from now, in a futuristic version of Berlin. Flowing with immigrants, it’s become a cultural melting pot. We follow Leo, an Amish bar tender played by Alexander Skarsgård. Leo was involved in a boating accident when he was a child. His mother decided against him receiving any treatment due to her belief that God would heal him, and Leo is now left scarred and voiceless. When Leo’s girlfriend goes missing his search for her will lead him on a collision course with the seedy under-belly of Berlin, and two surgeons played by Paul Rudd, and Justin Theroux who work for the Russian mob.


Mute has has a lot of problems. One of them is timing. In terms of its future noir setting, it owes a huge debt to Blade Runner, it doesn’t help that we’ve just had a very good Blade Runner sequel which this film just can’t measure up to. We’ve also just had The Shape Of Water, where a mute lead character was used in a much more satisfying way. It’s biggest problems though lie with it’s lead character, and the story. Alexander Skarsgård is a charisma vacuum in this role, having him not speak doesn’t help one bit. The only time he interacts with other characters is to ask questions, which leaves him a complete enigma. He’s supposed to be the emotional pull for the film, but it’s hard to relate to him. His Amish roots don’t feel believable either. You can see why Jones has made this decision, when he interacts with future tech which requires voice activation it places him as an outsider, but these situations feel too contrived. He’s charaterisation is almost bi-polar, one minute being the gentle giant, and the next being an explosion of rage. There seems to be no motivation for these mood swings except to service the story, which in all honesty is hugely underwhelming. It meanders along from one scene to the next, there are moments of spark, but by the end I found it really hard to care.


There are some redeeming factors though. The cinematography is lush in places, and combined with another fantastic score by Clint Mansell, create moments of beauty and melancholic atmosphere that the film just can’t maintain. There’s also some ingenious worldbuilding. Justin Theroux standing out the roof of a car as his head passes through holographic road signs is a gorgeous sight to behold. In fact the film is at its best when following Rudd and Theroux, they maybe the films most repugnant characters, but there also the most interesting. There’s a manic energy when they’re on screen, which borders on black comedy, owning more to Terry Gilliam than to Ridley Scott. If only the rest of the film had the same energy.


Mute isn’t great, but nor is it wholly bad. It’s more of an interesting misfire from a talented director. There’s enough good moments that will win over some fans, and there’s a fantastic nod to Moon which, for me, made the movie worth watching. If the film was just based on Rudd and Theroux, I think it might have become a cult favourite, as it is there are too many moments which rob the film of any momentum, making it a rather dull affair. It’s a strange time for Netflix, they seem to be heavily investing in projects that other studios have avoided, and with the double hit of Mute and Cloverfield, you can’t help but feel they’ve been avoided for good reason.




The Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018 – Part One

2017, Uncategorized

2017 is drawing to an end, and so it’s the perfect time to look ahead at 2018, and see what movies will be filling our theatres next year. This article will be looking ahead at the most anticipated movies of next year. First of all, this blog is based in England, and whilst there are some movies coming out next year which I’m really looking forward to, they have already been released in the US. These films, such as Three Billboarda Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or Lady Bird, have been omitted from this list. They have already been received incredibly well, and this list is more about films where the anticipation is high, but we don’t know how they will turn out. This list might also be slightly heavy on the big blockbusters. Anticipation is a subjective thing, and it’s hard to predict how smaller, independent films will do. Get Out was one of my favourite films of 2017, but if you’d asked me in 2016 what I was looking forward to seeing, it wouldn’t have made my list. There are surprises every year, and I’m not trying to predict them.

Any way, 2018, there’s a lot of good stuff to look forward to. We have Marvel movies, Star Wars Movies, video game adaptations, auteur returns, and some original properties, all vying for the blockbuster crown. Here are our most anticipated movies of 2018…



Black Panther

The first Marvel movie out this year, and the first Marvel movie in our list. Black Panther sees Chadwick Bosman reprise his role as King T’Chala, last seen in Captain America: Civil War. With Creed writer/director Ryan Coogler behind the camera, the trailer for this movie looks fantastic. It also serves as a lead in for Avengers: Infinity War, but more of that later.

Anticipation level: 9/10



Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World was a huge hit. Whether you liked it it or not, there’s no denying it was a box office phenomenon. Whilst many felt it was the perfect mix of new and old, some felt it cleaved to close to the original, but with the world now reastbalished, Fallen Kingdom can now venture into uncharted territory. Yes, the trailer was awful, but apparently it only contained footage from the first act. So there are still plenty of surprises left in store.

Anticipation Level: 7/10



Tomb Raider

Lara Croft Tomb Raider looks the perfect video game for a big screen adaptation, but, as we all know, it’s not that simple. Whilst some enjoyed Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of the titular heroine, those films were largely awful. Can Alicia Vikander break the video game to film curse? The trailer looks promising, and focusing on the grittier origin story of the most recent games seems to be a smart move. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

Anticipation Level: 6/10



Isle Of Dogs

The first original property on this list. Isle Of Dogs is the new stop motion animation from indie auteur Wes Anderson. The story is set in Japan, and follows the tale of a boy as he goes in search of his new dog. The trailer showcases all of the style and charm that we are used to from Anderson, along with a fantastic voice cast. It’s also his first stop motion since Fantastic Mr Fox, which was great. So we can expect this to be another instant classic.

Anticipation Level: 7/10



Solo: A Star Wars Story

Any other Star Wars movie would instantly be a must see, but Solo comes with baggage. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired off the project only to be replaced by veteran film maker Ron Howard. Tracing the origin of charming rogue Han Solo, this could turn out to be great. We just wish we could see the Lord and Miller version, as we love their left field vision. We’re excited for this, but apprehensive too.

Anticipation Level: 7/10




The next movie up on DC’s slate is Aquaman. It’s the first movie to be released after Justic League, and a reshuffle behind the scenes at Warner Bros. but that shouldn’t effect it much as it’s too late to change much now. It’s still got a lot going for it. James Wan is in the directors chair after showing he can do big budget with Fast and Furious 7, Jason Mamoa’s take on the character has been well received, and it’s stand alone, with the makers even saying that the under water dynamics which didn’t work in Justice League will be different in this one. Here’s hoping for the next Wonder Woman.

Anticipation Level: 7/10




Set 40 years from now, and about a mute bartender in Berlin going up against gangsters to find his missing partner. Mute could be the sleeper hit of 2018. It’s Duncan Jones’ return to more personal film making after the disappointment of Warcraft. Starring Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd, it’s an idea which Jones has been teasing since Moon came out. We can’t wait.

Anticipation Levels: 8/10



Ready Player One

Who isn’t excited to see a new Steven Spielberg movie. We can’t wait. Adapted from Ernest Cline novel, the film see’s a future where people escape the day to day by entering the Oasis. A virtual reality world. The creator of this world dies, but leaves behind an Easter egg which will grant the finder access to his fortune, and control of the Oasis. Mixing together a whole bunch of pop culture, including Freddy Krueger and a DeLorean, it’ll be great to see Spielberg play around with the pop culture he helped to create.

Anticipation Level: 8/10



The New Mutants

Set within the same universe as X-Men, and directed by The Fault In Our Stars’ Josh Boone, The New Mutants follows the Fox playbook of experimenting with their properties, as seen with Logan and Deadpool. The film follow a group of teenagers struggling to come to terms with their mutant powers. So far, so generic, but The New Mutants is positioned as a straight up horror movie. The trailer teases the scares, but most exciting is how little we do know about it.

Anticipation Level: 7/10


Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2

Following on from where they left us in 2004, 2018 sees the return of our favourite super hero family. Not much is known about the plot, but the teaser trailer shows that Pixar haven’t lost their touch when it comes to physical comedy. Pixar sequels have been hit and miss, but their reluctance to bring out a sequel to Incredibles makes me think they must have had a prettt good story to bring them back.

Anticipation Level: 8/10


So that concludes Part One of our Most Anticipated Movies Of 2018, tell us what you think in the comments below and keep your eyes peeled for Part Two.