The Lego Ninjago Movie starts like a strobe light and ends like a night light. At first, it's bright, loud, fast, and in your face — a constant barrage of visuals and sounds. Then it slows down considerably, focusing on the story and character development. One part is better than the other but neither is great, and, unlike Legos, they just don't fit together.
Imagine you were 10 years old and given five minutes to tear through a toy store. You'd sprint in, grab everything you wanted, and fall down from exhaustion at the end. It would be an amazing time, but with so much happening so fast, what would the real, lasting memory be? That experience, in movie form, is Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
It's been a long time coming to theatres, but It turns out to have been worth the wait. The cinematic adaptation of what is arguably Stephen King's most famous novel is absolutely an excellent horror film, but its real success is how it exceeds just horror — it's dramatic, funny, and, most impressively, has way more heart than any movie about a terrifying clown should manage to have.
TCL's latest mid-range C2 LED television gives you just about everything you could want from a TV at a surprisingly reasonable price, in five different screen sizes. You get Android TV, with built-in Netflix and Stan apps and Chromecast, HDR video support and an integrated soundbar. So why wouldn't you buy it?
Wireless headphones normally mean you're compromising on sound quality versus wired headphones. Normally. Audio-Technica's new ATH-DSR7BT are so committed to the highest possible Bluetooth sound quality, though, that they don't even have a 3.5mm wired headphone cable, nor anywhere to plug one in. These Hi-Res Audio over-the-ear cans are all about hi-fi wireless, with a unique speaker driver and amplifier setup that promises the best. Can they deliver?
Sony's not the first to the party with a big-screen OLED. That honour goes to LG, which has cornered the market for a few years with its excellent panels. But, after those were joined a few weeks ago by Panasonic's Master OLEDs, it's time for Sony's Bravias to turn up: and boy, has Sony turned up.
I think, I think, that this just might be the best TV you can buy.
Annabelle: Creation is the latest in the ever-growing Conjuring universe, and it aims to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about how that damn doll went from merely creepy to pure evil. This makes for plenty of frights, and if the movie hits a few too many predictable notes, at least it makes you shudder along the way.
It's rare that a modern scifi movie shows you something you've truly never seen before, but that happens a lot in Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. There's innovative action, wondrous landscapes, creepy aliens, awesome weapons and technology, all of which combine to create a massive, magnificent universe. Unfortunately, all the focus on the setting causes Valerian's story to suffer.
Team Voltron is back, but everything has changed for the Paladins, and not for the better. But while the new season of Voltron: Legendary Defenders greatly expands the universe of the show, fans eager to see the crew find their footing after season two's tragic cliffhanger might find these new episodes a little lacking.
A couple years ago, I declared the JBL Everest Elite 700 the best alternative to the pricier, trickier Beats. They sound great, cost less, and even look a heck of a lot like the Beats Studio Wireless. Now, JBL has released a new model that offers even more — the Everest Elite 750NC — and boy are they excellent.
In many ways, aspects of Atomic Blonde will be really familiar to fans of high-octane action movies. It invests a lot in ambitious set pieces and fight choreography, and features many predictable character archetypes. But it manages to tie together its Cold War setting and character arcs into a larger theme very, very well.
After a couple of years of LG OLED TVs ruling the roost in top-end picture quality, Panasonic has an OLED TV now too. In fact, it has what it says is the best OLED TV, taking all the experience its engineers had from years of amazing quality plasma TVs. The EZ1000 is the top in its Master OLED range, and as well as being a badass OLED panel it incorporates a top-of-the-line built-in soundbar using Technics audio. Is it worth nearly $9000 of your hard-earned cash, though?
It sounds like an insult to say that The Defenders is exactly what you thought it would be, but it isn't. It's a show that's very aware of the expectations put upon it and the problems encountered by the other Marvel Netflix shows, and it knows how to best utilise its cast and its time. In other words, it's great.
Castlevania became a classic video game franchise on the strength of labyrinthine level design, endearingly stilted dialogue, and bombastic aesthetics. The Netflix series based on the Konami property doesn't use those elements in exactly the same way but finds its own path to being a great adaptation of the games' whip-cracking, demon-killing lore.
There have been eight episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return so far. With the show on holiday hiatus until July 9, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on the amazing, baffling, terrifying things we've seen so far, seemingly beamed directly from David Lynch's astonishingly highly-caffeinated brain.