Haunted Mansion Review

 Ready for a little spookiness in August? I'll be honest the desire to throw on a jumper, buy pumpkins and embrace all things spooky has hit me early this year, mainly due to the depressing summer weather here in the UK. But something still feels slightly off about releasing a ghost movie in the middle of summer but that is exactly what Disney have done with Haunted Mansion. Haunted Mansion is the second film of its name release by Disney, The Haunted Mansion (Rob Minkoff, 2003) was my go-to childhood scary movie, although there is no link between the two films. It is also the second film to be based on a Disney ride, the first being the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The ride features at five Disney Parks, under three names: The Haunted Mansion, Phantom Manor and Mystic Manor, and the film makes numerous nods to the dark ride. So, join me foolish mortals on a journey to the Haunted Mansion.  Haunted Mansion's opening act is perfect, scary and full of mystery. As we open

Creed III Review

Last night I had the amazing opportunity to join Warner Bros. and MGM at the multimedia screening of Creed III. A trip to the cinema to watch Creed III was the prefect escape from the never ending cold, bleak winter we are having in the UK at the moment. So, I have a little confession to make, I have only ever seen moments of the Rocky and Creed films to date. What a mistake that was, if Creed III is anything to go by, I've been missing out on the whole boxing sub-genre of drama movies. And this lapse is going to be corrected asap, Creed III hooked me in a way that has made it imperative that I watch its predecessors. Creed III marks Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut and what a debut it is! I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you all, so please read on for my full review of Creed III. (Possible minor spoilers). 

Round One: Plot!

Creed III is centred around the rivalry between Donnie Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and childhood friend Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors). Damian pops up outside Creed's boxing gym after serving a long sentence in prison, with a need to prove himself as a boxer, ready to build on his pre-jail boxing prodigy status. The Creed Damian finds is retired and living life as a family man, supporting his wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and daughter  Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). Whilst the narrative is predictable, its highly satisfying, everything I wanted to happen, happened. The film managed to perfectly combine hugely emotive and trauma fuelled moments with euphoric, tense hyped fights. In parts the film does lag, the slower moments perhaps too slow the pacing slightly off, perhaps a short run time than almost two hours would have worked to have created a slightly slicker film. But those moments where the film takes pause do offer us insight into the characters and their motivations, which makes the fights, the stakes, the drama all that more engaging. I left the cinema feeling thrilled and satisfied. 

Round Two: Cast

This is not going to be the only time I say this: Jonathan Majors is an absolute powerhouse of an actor. He plays Damian with incredible conviction, mastering the intricate details of the character. Both Majors and Jordan are playing characters that have so much trauma from their childhood, but despite this they showcase two very different ways of dealing with trauma. Lesser actors would not be able to give the layers of depth, emotion and power to the characters of Creed and Damian yet Jordan and Majors make it look effortless. The relationship created between Creed, Bianca and Amara is beautiful, it would be so easy for a film like this to gloss over the sentimental, family narrative. Yet Creed III places family at the very centre of the film, creating a family where each person supports, motivates and challenges one another. The whole cast is impressive, delivering convincing performances making every moment believable.   

Round Three: Style

The film has two main styles, the seemingly mundane day-to-day life which is comprised of shots that stick close to characters as the camera follows them on drives, at dinners and during conversations. And the euphoric, thrilling fight scenes, both training scenes and actual matches. These scenes play particular attention to the body, the movements of each fighter and their psyche. Michael B. Jordan has credited anime as the inspiration for some of the fighting style throughout and visually you can see why, the close up on the punches and the impact of each hit is shot beautifully, as a viewer you can feel each punch, causing the temptation to recoil from the screen. The film features a perfect mix of score by Joseph Shirley and soundtrack by various artists, the combination creates a great vibe, that hypes you up, adding to the investment in the action.    

Overall, Creed III is a fantastic watch, taking us of a journey filled with past trauma, thrilling but emotive fights and a wonderful family dynamic. I got so into the film that when I got home I found myself looking up tickets for the upcoming Anthony Joshua boxing fight next month! (Anyone want to go?). Michael B. Jordan makes an incredible directorial debut with Creed III I cannot wait to see what's next! Creed III is in cinemas on the 3rd of March 2023. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

Thank you for reading xx