Category: Movies

Black Widow Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers! Nilesh this week gives us his thoughts on MARVEL’s latest blockbuster, Black Widow. Released just last week, the movie is already a fan favourite.

17th July 2021

By Nilesh

Black Widow (Movie, 2021) | Trailer, Release Date, & More | Marvel

Fan favourite character Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, finally got her highly anticipated and long-awaited standalone film. It only came 11 years after her introduction in “Iron Man 2”. The events of this film take place following “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016, in which the Avengers are disbanded via a disagreement over the Sokovia Accords. This is prior to her death in “Avengers: Endgame”. (Seriously, 2 years on, that cannot be classed as a spoiler).

A star-studded cast is assembled around Scarlett Johansson includes Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), David Harbour (Alexei Shostakov), Rachel Weisz (Melina Vostokoff), and Ray Winstone (Dreykov).

The Good…

The opening credits scene is by far my favourite scene of the movie. It captures the trauma that Natasha and Yelena had to endure in their Red Room training to become assassins for the main villain Dreykov. Polaroids depict the true cruelty of the child kidnapping and antagonises Dreykov from the get-go. Not only this but he is shown with numerous world leaders (e.g. Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin). All this is accompanied by the main theme song for the film, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” originally by Nirvana but performed by Malia J. This perfectly sets the nostalgic and harrowing theme of the film.

Florence Pugh’s performance as Yelena was also a standout in this film. Her on-screen chemistry with both Scarlett Johansson and David Harbour led to some comedic moments to break the ice in an otherwise serious film. One moment, in particular, is distinctly memorable. This being an exchange with Natasha at a corner shop where Yelena mocks Natasha for having a “superhero pose”. This becomes a running gag throughout the film, in which its climax is when Yelena herself ends up doing a superhero pose. She immediately regrets her decision, shrugging it off in disgust.

And The Bad…

However, there are some major problems in this film. Primarily, the plot is very thin and uneventful. The movie took some time to reveal the true endgame (pardon the pun) of the plot. When it finally did it was the stereotypical superhero plot: hero seeks vengeance on a figure from their past for causing them pain in life. The fate of Black Widow is already known in “Avengers: Endgame”. Therefore, the writers did not have much room for creativity in the storytelling of this popular character. It felt, in a way, almost like a filler film. The MARVEL fans have demanded this solo Black Widow film for so long. But, now it is here it feels slightly underwhelming.


Moreover, certain characters are extremely underdeveloped. Dreykov, who is the main villain makes a brief cameo at the beginning of the film and then does not appear for the next 90 minutes. There is very little substance to his character and no clear origin story is given. Without a doubt, Dreykov is one of the worst villains to be written into existence by MARVEL Studios.

An Underwhelming Taskmaster

Taskmaster, who is a masked combatant that can mimic your every move, is severely underwhelming. No dialogue, no character, no evil. This is a character I found very difficult to antagonise as there is so little flavour to it (even when it is hunting down Natasha). The grand reveal of the identity of Taskmaster ends up being Dreykov’s daughter (who Natasha believes she had killed in an attempt to assassinate Dreykov). Natasha, throughout the film, had been struggling to come to terms with this killing. She gets her salvation in the end by freeing her from the villainous clutches of her father. She too had been manipulating similar to Natasha and Yelena and thousands of other Widows across the globe.

Is Black Widow A Filler Film?

MCU’s phase 4 has taken route on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+, with the introduction of new series such as Wandavision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki. This signals an evolution in the everchanging MARVEL Universe, following the end of the Avengers era. This film, however, is very much a blast from the past and takes a deeper look into the origins of the elusive Black Widow. In my view, this film fails to meet its hype and does a disservice to its extremely talented cast. As I have previously mentioned, this film feels like a filler and does not seem like a proper goodbye to the much-loved Black Widow and Scarlett Johansson from the MCU.

A Return For The Widow?

A silver lining, perhaps, is that indicated by the post-credits scene, Yelena will return in the upcoming “Hawkeye” series, which will debut on Disney+ in the not too distant future.

White Chicks – Movie Reviews by Devin

Devin reviews the film White Chicks. Notorious for being hilarious (and probably not your typical comedy) the film is packed with statements about philosophy and racial politics. Take a peek!

17th July 2021

By Devin

White Chicks

“Your mother is so old, her breast milk is powder” – Tiffany Wilson, White Chicks

The last time I tried to write a film review of White Chicks I had to take a hiatus after hitting many writing blocks. I have now gained the emotional strength to attempt to fully review this film. I will not leave this computer until I finish this blog. Either the blog gets written or I die. (Editor’s Note: we are glad our movie guy did finish his blog because we don’t know what we’d do without him!)

Art I tell you, ART

Now you may ask what is all this fuss about. Surely it is just a film. No. It is not just a film. It is an artistic statement. The difficulty I had in previously writing this review was fully capturing every philosophical aspect of the film in a respectful and fulfilling manner. After watching the full 1 hour 55 minute run time, I did consider a great many things.

Money, money, money, and racial politics?

First of all, I considered the fact that on the long film production line this film was chosen to be made on a $37 million budget film. White Chicks had a box office of $113.1 million. Wow.  

Its satirical nature is a genuinely insightful commentary of racial politics. Albums like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly pale in comparison. No pun intended. The cinematography, acting, editing and the like were all average. Like 99% of films, the script was the most significant part. Containing black people pretending to be Mexicans and white Americans, fart jokes, and Terry Crews, the film is a statement that one can only fully understand by genuinely watching the film. 

While I have given this film a hard time, there were some moments I believed to be genuinely humorous. This film falls under the category of ironic watching with the central idea that a studio genuinely decided to fund this film, and it paid off.

Fight Club: Film Reviews by Devin

The first rule of fight club is don’t talk about fight club. The second rule is you can only talk about fight club if you are writing Decablogs about fight club. Hence, here is a blog about fight club.

29th June 2021

By Devin

The Fight Club of Revision

I must attribute my absence to the massive wave of work in the ocean of revision and exams. Thankfully, I was not pulled under and drowned. Now I have a whole sunny summer to relax on relatively dry land. Despite this mini dark age of film blogs, I did watch a few films here and there.

A Fight Club of Dead Poets?

Looking back, I think the two best films to me were Fight Club and Dead Poet Society. The two primary films for guiding male youths through the deadly maze called life – what wonderful influences. Whilst both films were incredible, I think, with my Decaqualifications to back me up, that Fight Club stands as a stronger film. However, this is probably due to the fact that Dead Poet Society gave me flashbacks to GCSE English as if I was a war veteran traumatised by ‘Nam.

Brad Pitt’s Abs

Another possible reason I preferred Fight Club was the attractive lure of violence, anti-consumerism, and Brad Pitt’s abs. Fight Club is everything a teenage boy would want from a film. However, some have been critical of the film, theorising that the film misled some viewers and that they missed the anti-consumerist messaging. This point is neatly presented by the rise in real-life fight clubs. However, I believe the vast majority of viewers understood what the film was attempting to say.

The film follows a discontented white-collar worker as he meets a soap salesman named Tyler Durden and forms a relationship with Marla Singer. The film plunges one into a world of explosions, comedy, terrorism, and philosophy.

Fight Club

Oh Yeah, Movie Stuff

The film has solid acting, editing, CGI and boasts many famous quotes such as: “I felt like destroying something beautiful” and, “The things you own end up owning you”. However, I felt that there was a great deal of irony when millionaire actors spout anti-capitalist messages. A great example is when Brad Pitt states, “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that we’d all be millionaires and movie gods.” Despite this mild nit-pick, Fight Club is a great film. However, if you don’t like violence, I would not recommend it.

A dope motherfucker called Devin (insert Devin’s page)

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4th May 2021

By Devin

Over the years, I have heard some incredible things about Psycho. I had heard it had revolutionised the film industry and practically created the slasher genre. I had heard that it was hated by critics, but over time its genius was appreciated more and more. Like most people, I knew about the iconic shower scene but wished to see more. I wished to see Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece. So, I watched it. I watched it on a Saturday night with the lights turned down, curled up on the sofa, munching on some Oreos. 

The film opens up with an attractive young man and woman in a hotel room. They would like to be together, but his debts weigh him down. So, she decides to steal money from where she works. The film then follows her as she flees. She then has the misfortune of entering the Bates motel, where she meets Norman Bates, the proprietor of the motel. The rest is history. 

Over the years I have heard film critics complain about crappy jump scares which ruin modern horror films. Psycho is the perfect guideline for tensions and jump scares. The film offers an overall ominous vibe from the get-go. An incredible score complements the twists and turns of the story. That and the unnerving acting from Anthony Perkins. I left the film shaken up and enlightened as to what a masterpiece truly is.

However, I must say I did take baths for a while. And every shower, when I wash my hair with shampoo and I am forced to close my eyes, I am compelled to open them to see if a shadowy person is looming over me with a kitchen knife in their hand.

Editor’s note: it was also the first movie to include a flushing toilet!

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27th April 2021

By Devin

Clerks is a 1994 buddy comedy film that was written, directed, and co-produced by Kevin Smith. Considering that the budget was kept to $27,575 by certain cost-cutting techniques such as using stores where Kevin Smith worked in real life and shooting in a cheaper black and white film, a gross of $3 million in theatres is very impressive. Rightfully, it has become a cult classic and a notable landmark in Indie films, mainly due to the fact that Kevin Smith maxed out five credit cards to fund this film, showing and inspiring determination and love for cinema.

It follows Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, two clerks (hence the name) throughout a single day after Dante is called into work on a Saturday. The most notable concept of this film is that it hooks you with X rated and dark humour while appealing to your emotions with Dante’s complicated romantic relationships and his deep philosophical discussion with Randal about the philosophy of being a clerk and whether he should improve his life. Despite the inherent randomness of the film, which is cut up into chapters each starting with a different title, these two strands interweave at key moments in seamless ways.

While the characters, themes and plot of the film are very solid, I can understand why some people would not enjoy the film considering its niche and dark humour. The directness and explicitness of the humour in the film will make some people laugh out loud and others shake their heads in embarrassment. I would recommend watching this film with a crowd of people who you know have this type of humour.

In conclusion, this is a very humorous and interesting film that is considered a staple in cinematic history, as indicated by the fact that in 2019 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. However, I recommend choosing very carefully who you watch this with.

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