Songbird: Film Review

SONGBIRD

Given that everyone’s lives have been derailed this year by the Covid pandemic, it was only a matter of time before a movie was made about this unprecedented situation – and who would have thought we would have one already, considering we are still in said pandemic?! Director Adam Mason, producer Michael Bay, and co. certainly didn’t hang about and now Songbird is in cinemas.

This thriller is set a near dystopian future when the Covid-19 virus has mutated into Covid-23 which is more fatal – this strain is now airborne and attacks the brain tissue. There have been 110 million global deaths and only people who have yellow encoded bracelets that signify their immunity are allowed outside. Nico (KJ Apa) is in the 0.1 per cent immune population and he works as a bicycle courier around Los Angeles. The movie focuses on him trying to save his girlfriend Sara (Sofia Carson) from ending up in the Q Zone once her grandmother gets sick.

Mason co-wrote Songbird with Simon Boyes during lockdown and it began shooting in July, the first to film in Los Angeles after the pandemic caused productions to shut down. The turnaround has been quick and it shows because the screenplay hasn’t been well thought through. The movie is seriously cluttered. It seems like Mason and Boyes came up with so many ideas and did no quality control and just threw them all in. The film has so many characters and subplots and doesn’t know how to fit them together to make a cohesive story. They should have picked one or two and done them well rather than this scattershot approach. As a result of its overstuffed nature, it spreads itself too thin and so the characters are flimsy and their stories are largely unexplored.

Given how rich the setting is, I felt there was definitely a better story that could have been told. Mason and Boyes decided to focus on the love story of Nico and Sara, perhaps to give us all a little hope in the darkness, but their relationship wasn’t well written or believable so I didn’t care whether they managed to be physically together or not. Out of the selection of stories in the movie, I would have liked to know more about Demi Moore and Bradley Whitford‘s black market business and Whitford’s effed up relationship with wannabe singer May (Alexandra Daddario). I was most intrigued about them and I wish their stories were delved into more.

To give it some credit, Songbird is technically impressive and I liked how Mason and Boyes visualised how things got worse between 2020 and 2024. I appreciated their imagination and creativeness with the dystopian world-building, even small details like the decontamination postboxes, and it did have some thrilling moments, with Peter Stormare being particularly creepy as Emmett.

Some people use cinema as a way to escape from reality so will not like Songbird because it reminds them of the pandemic we’re in, but I personally found it interesting seeing our current reality being reflected in a Hollywood movie, although I never expected it to happen this fast. I get that Mason wanted to be the first to bring out a film inspired by the pandemic but he should have taken more time to do it well because Songbird feels rushed, cluttered, and forgettable.

In cinemas and digital platforms now

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bumblebee: Film Review

The Transformers franchise hasn’t exactly been held in high esteem for a while now (although I didn’t mind The Last Knight, in all honesty) but I let out a groan when Bumblebee was announced because it seemed like an obvious cash cow. Turns out, there was an interesting story to tell and it is so good it has revived my interest in the franchise.

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Transformers: The Last Knight global premiere – My pics

This evening, it was the global premiere of Transformers: The Last Knight in London’s Leicester Square and here are all my pics!

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Anthony Hopkins at the Transformers: The Last Knight filming

anthony-crop

As you will all know from my previous post and my social media promo, I saw Anthony Hopkins down at the filming for Transformers: The Last Knight on Saturday in London. I shared pictures of him and mentioned him in passing, but I’d like to go into more detail now because he was very cool and deserves his own post.

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See behind-the-scenes of the Transformers: The Last Knight car chase in London

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

Today I learned that Michael Bay had shut down The Mall, a very famous (and expensive to close!) road in central London – on a Saturday no less – for the fifth instalment of Transformers, The Last Knight. So of course I went down to check it out. This was the first time I have ever watched on-location filming and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – I saw multiple car chases, explosions, Anthony Hopkins and Bay himself – and you can see it all below!

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Mark Walhberg confirmed for Transformers 4

I think we all groaned when Michael Bay announced there would be a Transformer 4 ESPECIALLY when Shia LaBeouf had already said he would not play Sam Whitwicky anymore.

However, Mark Wahlberg has signed on to be the lead role of the next instalment which does intrigue me. I would still see it because I want to know how the story is going to work. Is he playing older Sam? Will any other characters return?

I just feel like this is such a cash cow. Bay knows they make a lot of money so wants to do more even though it was only intended to be a trilogy. Let’s be honest, the third one wasn’t that great (although better than two) so you know the fourth is going to be rubbish. I’m amazed someone like Mark agreed to this.

Bay said, “Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on  Pain and Gain  and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his calibre is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the  Transformers’ legacy.”

The movie will begin shooting next year and has an estimated release date on June 2014.