Year: 2021
    Genre: Animation; Adventure; Drama
    Duration: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
    Director: Mamoru Hosoda

    Set in modern Japan, where virtual reality has progressed to a point where you can enter the world of “U”; an interactive online reality where your device scans your physical being and creates an avatar.  In U you can do and be whoever you want. Belle follows the story of highschooler Suzu Naito, a shy and traumatised girl who enters the world of U and becomes a viral sensation with her singing as the character “Bell”. Suzu goes on an emotional and grand adventure, online and in the real world, to grow and discover herself and find out the true identity and mystery behind a beast.

    I won’t beat around the bush, Belle is fantastic. Director Mamoru Hosoda is responsible for other internet based movies such as Summer Wars (2009) and Digimon Adventure: Our War Game (2000). With an amazing eye to detail and storytelling skills to match, Belle is one of the best looking animated movies to come out in the last decade, even becoming Japan’s third highest grossing film of 2021. With a beautiful blend of 2D and 3D animation, fantastical character design, and fantastic sound design and music Belle is to its core a musical, but in its own unique way. Song’s are always sung by Suzu/Belle and are critical to the story. I won’t lie, I even cried in the third act of the film.

    Animation to an older demographic is often considered to be “for kids” because it’s “not real”, yet I believe that, when it’s usedin this way it’s the highest form of media expression. To be able to create characters that feel more human than most actors and create worlds that feel more familiar than our own city. If I can recommend any film to watch, whether it’s by yourself, with your loved ones or the kids, I’d highly recommend Belle.



    Year: 2022
    Genre: Action; Comedy; Superhero
    Duration: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
    Director: Taika Waititi

    Taika Waititi’s highly anticipated sequel to Thor Ragnarok, and the fourth installment in the Thor franchise…was a let down.

    The gist if it is that Ragnarok, the older sibling, is perfect in every sense of the word. Thor L&T is the younger sibling, doing everything they can to be better and get recognition from their parents, but ultimately trying too hard and making a fool of themselves.

    One of the few positives to note is Christian Bale as “Gorr the God Butcher”, a villian in the MCU I could generally root for, Bale’s acting was top notch despite him only having about 4% of screen time. The action set pieces were pretty Marvel, everyone gets to shine in beating some weak baddies and the set design and cinematography for some scenes were pretty good too. However, that’s as far as I can go for the good parts of the film. Thor L&T suffers in it’s attempt to one up it’s predecessor; the plot and pacing of the film is all over the place.  Character growth and any and all serious plot developments are hindered and by the film’s need to include as many one liner jokes as possible, to a point where Thor is the dumbest and most incompetent he has ever been. If you don’t like the jokes the first time, buckle your seats because it’s going to be a LONG movie.

    Marvel’s VFX and CGI have unfortunately taken a turn for the worse in Phase 4, with Disney wanting Marvel to pump out 4-5 films and 3-4 streaming shows out a year, the VFX artists are underpaid, understaffed and being told to meet unrealistic deadlines. Hence we get some pretty average effects all across the board.

    Thor: Love & Thunder is a bit of a mess, if you want to see Chris Hemsworth’s nude butt and have some mindless fun then sure, a decent movie to see. But if you are looking for some substance I can recommend a few other movies that are better worth your time.



    1. The Boys Season 3 – Amazon Prime
    2. Barry – Binge
    3. SPYxFAMILY – Crunchyroll
    4. Minions: Rise of Gru – Cinemas
    5. Elvis – Cinemas

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #96 May 2024

    Recent editions



    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles