A Monster Calls review “A visual and storytelling masterpiece”

J.A. Bayona is one of the most exciting directors working today, a bold statement that maybe, but in this review, I’ll tell you why. His knack for creating superbly shot, engaging films like The Orphanage and The Impossible has meant many in Hollywood have been keeping an intrigued eye on him.

His hard work paid off in 2018 when it was announced he would be taking over directorial duties on the Jurassic World sequel, Fallen Kingdom, and despite a less than stellar critical response, no-one could argue that it was the most beautiful film in the Jurassic saga. Before he took on that behemoth of a movie however, Bayona was busy working on A Monster Calls, based on the book of the same name by Patrick Ness. But how does it stack up when compared with the rest of the director’s resume?

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review “A bold new era”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom poster“We’re not on an island anymore” barks Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady towards the finale of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. And he’s not wrong, the fifth film in the Jurassic franchise says goodbye to Isla Nublar in rip-roaring fashion, transforming itself into a a family friendly gothic horror film in its last hour.

Ok, ok, let’s start from the beginning. The Jurassic franchise has often been criticised for relying too heavily on the same story points to make a film. 2015’s Jurassic World, whilst becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time, was lambasted for being a modern-day reimagining of 1993’s classic, Jurassic Park. And while some of that criticism was justified, it was still pure sugary, popcorn entertainment.

Now, three years later, director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls) takes over from Colin Trevorrow to bring us a film that starts out like we expect, but ends on a note that will transform the series beyond recognition. The question is, does it actually work? Continue reading