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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 58 – The Predator Film Series

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a casual discussion on the Predator film series.

Here’s episode 58:

Over the last few days I’ve rewatched Predator, Predator 2 and Predators in preparation for the new film that will be out next week and while watching them I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about the series as a whole and share my nostalgic memories as well as talk about the pros and cons of each film and share my thoughts on what I think about The Predator considering the trailers I’ve seen so far.

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on September 8, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #40: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Eps 1-12)

Howdy ladies and gents, and after AGES I’ve decided to resurrect What I’m Currently Watching, a blog series where I give you an update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 40, and like I said before, it has been AGES since the last time I talked about any TV-related material on here. I have watched a handful of shows here and there over the course of 2018, but recently I’ve been revisiting Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and I’ve been enjoying it so much that I just had to write about it. Be careful of mild spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Ah, Gundam Wing, I have fond memories of this show and yet, upon rewatching the show recently I realised how little of it I actually saw. Before getting into this review let me give you a little history, Gundam Wing was the first mecha anime I’d ever seen back on Toonami in 2000 or 2001 and while I didn’t really understand what was going on and it was a lot slower in pace to the anime I’d seen before that Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, but I was enamoured by it because of the difference in serious tone, art style and of course the awesome robot suits and music. I had at least 2 episodes recorded on VHS which I watched many times as a teenager and over the years since becoming a big film fan and becoming well-versed in anime in many genres, I had been meaning to go back to this and watch it properly ,but because I was binging so much live-action TV at uni from late 2011 onwards I just never got around to it until now.

So with that mini history lesson out of the way, what do I think of Gundam Wing? Honestly? I love it. No word of a lie, this show had me intrigued from the beginning from a nostalgic point of view but as the episodes progressed I found myself being more and more captivated by the story and characters. And let me just say this, the first 8 episodes are some of the most engaging TV I have seen in years, for real. This may seem like a bit of an exaggerated statement, but I’m serious, this show has a great sense of intrigue, mystery and style that just gets better as it progresses.

So whats the show about? Well, I’m going to borrow a wonderfully written summary from redcommander27 on IMDB: “In the future, humanity has constructed several space colonies. But the corrupt Treize and his organization Oz have manipulated the United Earth Sphere Alliance into controlling earth and its colonies with an iron fist. To counteract this extreme measure, rebel colonies launch Operation: Meteor; an attempt to smuggle Mobile Suits made of Gundanium alloy to earth to combat the corruption and free earth and the colonies from Oz’s control. One of these “Gundams” is piloted by Heero Yuy, who is shot down and is forced to blend into enemy society. Now up against social issues with a girl named Relena and Oz and its puppets, Heero must unite with other rebels and save his people.

What I love about this show is the way it drops you into the middle of the action and keeps things moving, and while you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, as the show goes on, it fills in the blanks about how we got the present point of the show, why there is so much conflict and the motivations of all the main characters involved. The show also throws a fair amount of information at you when it comes to organisations, certain notable characters and key past events, and while it can be a little hard to follow (especially if you’re not a fast reader of subtitles like me), it can still be understood as some of it gets repeated in the following episodes allowing to connect the dots. I loved learning about the motivations behind those who were for and against war, seeing those in power trying to keep hold of it while others lurked in the shadows waiting for their moment to rise up and seeing people who are committed to their cause and those who have doubt or may wish to defect to the other side. And as I mentioned before I love how engaging the show is, each episode brings up new and interesting scenarios involving the heroes and villains that have short-term and long-term ramifications, and the amount of showing twists and turns that happened in the first 10 episodes was just crazy to me.

And when it comes to the characters I love them all… For the most part. Firstly there are Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Wufei; the 5 Gundam pilots who are part of the space colonies plan to take down Oz. Each of them has different personalities, talents and means of accomplishing their missions, and seeing how they operate individually and then eventually come together in pairs and then as a group is fascinating and fun. Quatre is a calm and interesting pacifist, Wufei is very honourable and values strength, Duo is crafty and hilarious, and Trowa is fairly quiet and emotionally closed off. But it is Heero who is the most notable character, he has the most amount of screen time and he’s quite incredible, he’s very smart, strategic, efficient and committed to his mission. And then there are the bad guys, firstly there’s Zechs, he is OZ’s ace mobile suit pilot, and while he’s bad, he has an interesting backstory, a cool presence and a moral code that makes him someone to root for. Treize is the main villain of the show and is the leader of the OZ, he’s calculated, always calm and plots ahead so when he makes a move it has a massive impact. I also really like Noin, another character who is part of OZ but has her own interesting part to play and Lady Une, Treize’s right-hand woman… Man I hate her, she is such a mean, self-righteous bitch who causes so much trouble for the heroes and you just want to see her get her comeuppance. And finally, there’s Relena Darlian, she happens to be the daughter of someone quite important and because of her unexpected interactions with Heero, she becomes quite important as the story goes on.

And then there’s the presentation. Visually the show is very nice, I enjoy the various designs of the mobile suits from the Gundams to the OZ suits like Leo, Cancer, Pieces and Taurus and how they transform and fight. For a show in the 90’s I think it still holds up pretty well, the action is dynamic, explosive and well-done for the most part, sure there is a fair amount of reused animation for fight scenes, transformations and explosions but I can look past it because it never feels too offensive to my eyes. But what is even better than the visuals is the music, the soundtrack from Kow Otani is frigging fantastic! The music really helps elevate what’s happening on-screen, it covers an emotional spectrum whether it is soft and uplifting or cold and ominous or bombastic and intense. I absolutely love the music during the action scenes whether it is scenes of chaos, heroism or terror, there are some absolutely killer tracks that have a jazzy kind of sound that sounds so gorgeous to the hear that it makes you want to go and buy the soundtrack. Yeah, it is that good.

So yeah if it wasn’t clear already I really have enjoyed my time with Gundam Wing over the last few days, it has been far more enjoyable than I could have imagined and though I am far from the end I am very hyped to see where the story and character go. I would recommend this if you’re interested in some classic mecha anime. 🙂

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen Gundam Wing? If you have any thoughts be sure to drop a comment below and let me know what TV shows you’re currently watching too. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout & Ant-Man and the Wasp Reviews

Good day to you ladies and gents, I know it has been a little quiet on the review front, but I have been watching films, I just have been busy with my job and other personal projects to upload in a decent time. So today I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Ant-Man and the Wasp via my podcast, Film Focus. 😀

So first up is my review for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I have seen the film twice and would like to see it again before it leaves the cinema, I had originally posted this review online around 2 weeks ago but I didn’t have the time to upload it at the time. But anyway check out the review below:

Next up is Ant-Man and the Wasp, the film us UK viewers had to wait for AGES to see, I saw the film last week, twice, but had a lot of stuff to do and work was busier than usual so I pushed the review back by a week. Anyway check out the episode below:

So have you seen both films and if so what did you think of them? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Favourite Trailers From San Diego Comic-Con 2018

san-diego-comic-con-logo

Good day to you ladies and gents, so San Diego Comic-Con has once again come and gone, and even though I’ve been interested in this convention  each year it’s come around, this year, in particular, I actually found myself way more hyped than before even though I wasn’t entirely sure of what was going to appear. And this year had a lot of really cool, fun and interesting reveals. A good chunk of which we have gotten to see, and some that we haven’t unfortunately. But anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post about my favourite trailers releases from this year’s Comic-Con. 😀

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Trailer

Now if you’ve followed this blog for a while then you know I was a big fan of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014, I know the film has it’s fair share of issues, but I still believe it had a great sense of atmosphere, tension, distinctive visuals, a great film score and brought Godzilla back into the public consciousness in a good way. And while I thought last year’s Kong: Skull Island was fine, a lot of people really liked it and the film teased the larger universe where all these characters exist, and it feeds into this trailer. Good gravy I loved it. The sense of dread and chaos going on throughout this trailer is excellent. I like the choice of that classic piece of music (though I can’t remember what it’s called), I also love the visuals, there’s a love of striking colours from the skies to the creatures, and speaking of the creatures, we’ve got good old Godzilla back but we also see brief shots of Mothra, Rodan and frigging King Ghidorah! I’m also curious to see how this new family fit into the film, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are great talents and clearly, their family has gone throw some stuff due to Farmiga’s pursuit of the monsters, and it looks like their drama will only get worse. I just hope this human element will be stronger than the last film.

Shazam! Trailer

So we finally, FINALLY got a trailer for Shazam! and it looks good. Now I’ve never been a massive fan of Shazam, but I have really liked him in the animated stuff like Young Justice and Justice League Action, and from what I know of him, the film feels pretty accurate to the source material. This trailer really gives off a fun kind of vibe, the tone and overall presentation are brighter than most of DC’s previous films except for Wonder Woman and there’s a relatable factor that comes with Billy Batson becoming a superhero. Oh and the costume definitely looks better in motion than the recent images suggested. However, some of that humour was a bit hit and miss, and that stupid floss dance made it into a frigging superhero film and that just irks me. Otherwise, bring on April 2019!

Aquaman Trailer

And then there’s Aquaman, I liked this. What really impressed me was the visual style of this film, it feels like a combination of the Zack Snyder style with what was done with Wonder Woman when it comes to the scenes in darkness and scenes in the daytime with muted and vivid colours. I’m liking the sense of scale, the underwater world of Atlantis looks cool and some of the sea creatures look great. And while I know a lot of this material has to be in CGI, it looks a little inconsistent, but I know there will be time to fix it up before release. Right now I’m a little less excited for the film than before because I was hoping for something with a little more of James Wan’s style, but whatever I’m still gonna see it.

Young Justice: Outsiders Trailer

Hooray for Young Justice‘s return! I don’t know if I mentioned it on the blog before, but I LOVE Young Justice, it was one of my favourite TV experiences while I was at uni around 6 years ago, and for the longest time, I thought there was no hope of a third season, but for it to exist and for there to be a trailer, I couldn’t be happier. While I would have liked a fully new trailer without the mini recap of season 2, at the same time it was great to see the crazy and emotional highlights from the last season, and then transition into this new material with all the new and familiar faces, new locations, Darkseid and a whole load of other stuff. I’m just happy to know that it exists and I can’t wait to see it next year!

Disenchantment Trailer

Once I heard about this new project from Matt Groening I was intrigued, but seeing it in action only enhances my excitement for this new show. As much as I’ve loved the classic episodes of The Simpsons and certain elements of Futurama, it is refreshing to see Groening on another project that is different, but feels like it has his style all of it. And that’s the best thing about it to me; the fact that it is different yet familiar, and the fantasy setting mixed in with the humour feels like a nice and strange mix.

Glass Trailer

I quite liked this trailer, so much so that I recently rewatched Unbreakable and Split, and it got me super excited to see what Shyamalan comes up with in this new film. It looks cool, unique and strange. I like how Mr Glass, the Beast and David Dunn have somehow ended up in a mental institution and are being interviewed by Sarah Paulson’s character. When she says that she’s looking at people who believe they are superheroes it does make me wonder how many people she’s come across and if there will be more seen in this film. Either way, it is great to see Samuel L. Jackson back after so many years along with Bruce Willis, I’m very curious to see how their lives have changed and what brings them back together, There’s a lot of possibilities with Glass and that’s the most exciting part for me.

Christopher Sabat and Sean Schemmel Yelp Reviews

This is something I had to include, it was just too good not to. Now while this brief IGN interview was in relation to the upcoming Dragon Ball Super film and the dubbing process of the film and Super tv series. But the main thing that I took away from the interview was Chris Sabat and Sean Schemmel reading angry Yelp reviews as Vegeta and Goku. These are such silly, silly reviews, and hearing Chris and Sean bring their energy to these Yelp reviews really helps sell you on Vegeta and Goku in these scenarios and makes you wish these moments would be animated. 😀

And so that’s my highlights from this year’s SDCC, what was your favourite trailer or announcement from this year’s Comic-Con? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Dragon Ball Super: Broly Trailer

Good day to you ladies and gents, from out of the shadows I have emerged again to talk about something very, very important to me; the first trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

Now I really liked Battle of Gods and thought Resurrection F was decent, and while Super was one of the most up and down experiences I’ve had with any TV show, however when it was good, it was hella good. So Dragon Ball in recent years has gone from being fairly invisible and nostalgic to being right back in the conversation of current anime and media in general, so when Toei Animation announced a new film and the teaser dropped with the new art and animation style, I was surprised but so intrigued. Since last year I’ve been following this guy online called Ajay who is really knowledgeable about animation and people who work on Dragon Ball and did a great job to detail the pros and cons of Super.

Now it was recently revealed prior to this trailer that this new film would feature Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan from Movie 8 and the two subsequent sequels, and this caused a mixed opinion from the DB fans I saw online, some people were hyped for this character to come back, some weren’t so happy and some just didn’t care. But with word that Akira Toriyama would be involved in the story and would be finding a way to integrate Broly into the official canon of DB, that’s what got a lot of us fans hyped that the character would return with more depth and purpose than before.

And last night the first trailer and it is glorious! Check it out either the Japanese or English dub below:

Simply put, this film looks insanely good. It looks like a lot of stuff will be going down and all of the key players from Super will be back to play a part in this film.

From the teaser trailer, I knew this film would be special and interesting because of its art style, colour palette and animation, and this trailer just dialled it up to one hundred. The movement of the characters is so smooth, elastic, expressive and is so fluid when compared to anything Dragon Ball has done in the past. The art direction is notably different from the recent/current DB animated material, with art that looks more illustrative or from the pages of a manga with detailed line art and a colour scheme that feels in line with the old DB manga. I also appreciate the camera angles and scaling as it makes this film feel more cinematic than the TV show.

Here are some personal highlights:

  • The facial close-ups look great: There are some nice shots of character faces up close and especially with Goku at 14 seconds, Broly at 27 seconds, and wonderfully detailed shots of Vegeta and Goku at 29 and 30 seconds. It all looks so beautiful.
  • Broly looks intense: While there hasn’t been any of his classic “Kakarot!!” shouting just yet, I do appreciate how he comes across in the trailer. He’s mostly quiet, stern-looking, emits powerful energy and when he is fighting he packs a punch. There’s a shot of Goku in Super Saiyan Blue looking shocked at Broly’s power, so that has to tell you something about this dude’s strength.
  • Vegeta looks cool: Vegeta is one of my favourite characters and he looks like he’s getting his time to shine here. I love how when Broly first punches him and he smiles, such a classic Vegeta thing to do, I love it!
  • Frieza’s back: Now in a different reality, seeing Frieza again would be a major turn off, but because he was handled so well in Super I love the fact that he’s getting be part of this film and witness Broly first-hand.

So yeah if you couldn’t tell already I’m really excited by this trailer, it was everything I wanted and then some. I reminded me of some of the best moments of Super but magnified on a whole new level with crazy slick animation and artwork. I really hope to see this at the cinema when January comes around.

So what did you think of the trailer for Dragon Ball Super: Broly? Did it increase or decrease your hype for the film? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next video, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2018 in Films, Media

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Incredibles 2 (Audio Edition)

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how are you all doing? It is time for another film review and today I will be giving you my thoughts on the long-awaited animated sequel; Incredibles 2 via my Film Focus.

I literally saw this film yesterday morning at the earliest screening and I was thinking about doing a written review, but I felt like an audio review would be best. So yeah please enjoy the sounds of me talking about this film.

Anyway here’s the review:

So what did you think of Incredibles 2? Did you like it more or less or the same as the previous film? Whatever your thought are be sure to drop them in the comment section below and I’ll see you on the review, laters! 😀

Also check out my podcast on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Whitney

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to my first written film review for a while and today I’m going to talk about the new documentary released about Whitney Houston entitled Whitney. Now I only heard about this film around a week ago and I just happened to be in a city where the film was being shown, and while I’ve never been the biggest Whitney Houston fan, I’ve liked a lot of her music and wanted to see what light this film could shed on her that I wasn’t aware of, and I believe this film did a good job.

Most people are probably aware of who Whitney Houston is and know of her music unless you’re super young, but for those not aware, the life of Whitney Houston is one of triumph and tragedy, she started out so well, ascended into the stratosphere and then unfortunately fell and never quite recovered. and after all of her success, there was a lot of media coverage about Houston’s life mostly all in a negative light with many accusations, rumours and big reveals, but as we all know there’s a lot more to the lives of celebrities beyond what the media presents. I recall how much she was brought up in the news from the good stuff in the 90’s the all the bad stuff in the 00’s because of the drugs or marital issues with Bobby Brown. And while this film wasn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, it was emotionally charged, haunting and informative.

I feel like the film did a good job of introducing itself in a positive manner highlighting the best/fun part of Houston’s life but then changed things up immediately with some darker/negative elements, and that felt like it set the tone for the rest of the film as there were plenty of moments where the film changes its tone at several points throughout. The film confidently goes through a lot of her life from childhood to her first tv appearance to her initial explosion onto the music scene to marriage to problems with drugs and her downward spiral towards death. It is fairly comprehensive with great use of audio and video archive footage which shows every side of her whether she’s playful, funny, shy, sassy, aggressive, sad, exhausted and so on. I loved seeing her in her youth being so cute and crazy but also seeing how human she was dealing with some of these insane situations with varying degrees of success. The editing and use of sound are excellent, making you feel immense joy at one point, but then feeling scared or depressed in another. There’s also plenty of interviews from everyone close to her from her mother to her brothers to her ex-husband to family friends to music management, and so on. And they all give very detailed information about Houston’s experiences, the good and the bad and how some of them contributed to the long-term issues that became major hurdles for her later on. And the film isn’t afraid to go to those really dark places and ask questions that were dark or uncomfortable, there was a lot of rumour and speculation in the media about what Houston got up to, and while not every question is answered, there was a fair amount of clarification and certain revelations about Houston that was quite shocking and highlight that her life was anything but simple and that there were many factors that made things turn out the way they did. One moment, in particular, was a pretty major eye-opener that left me in stunned for a little while too.

And of course, the watching this film frigging hurts especially if you’re a fan of Houston, to you see this beautiful lady with such talent rise and then fall so hard that it’s hard to watch at times. I wasn’t alive or old enough to experience the Houston in her prime, but this film really highlights how much of big deal she was, how she changed things and made an impact with America and the world, black people, female singers and so on. When the film ended I really just felt like crying. This documentary did a great job of revealing Houston’s life, showing off outside influence and showing off what she meant to people, how big of a star that she was and highlighting her raw talent.

In conclusion, Whitney is pretty solid documentary that is emotionally engaging and very insightful, and if you are even remotely interested in this documentary I would recommend it, Kevin MacDonald did a fine job at asking the right questions and presenting the life of one of the world’s most interesting, brilliant and tragic celebrities. If you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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E3 2018 Recap & Personal Hightlights

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? It is currently June and we’ve just experienced what can be described as the Christmas-like period for al gamers known as E3. And even though I haven’t been feeling up to doing much blogging these days, there was no way I wasn’t going to comment on the recent happenings in video game news and reveals. So what I’ll do is discuss the conferences I saw and enjoyed and talk about the pros and cons, and then highlight my favourite games below. Okay with all that out

Press Conferences (Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft & Nintendo)

With the press conferences I watched what was relevant to me, so naturally, I skipped EA because why not? I don’t play Bethesda games so I skipped that one (not that I hate them, I just don’t play their games). I’m not a PC guy so I skipped that show and since I knew most of Square Enix’s material would show up in other places I skipped that one too.

Firstly you have Microsoft, the press conference that I didn’t have much hope for, I mean I had a feeling Microsoft would show us something, but I feel like they went far and beyond with the conference just dishing out game after game after game with additional information about Game Pass, new developers they’d acquired and stuff like that. And while not all of the reveals were exclusive, the fact that they even got shown at all was really fun and compelling for the games I wanted to see. I really feel like Microsoft took what Sony did before and just blasted us with games and I loved it. And sure not all of them had immediate release dates, but to know they existed made me happy. Starting off the conference with a look at a new Halo game, Halo Infinite was pretty cool, and from there we were bombarded with game announcements with some of my favourites being the super cool-looking Sekio: Shadows Die Twice, Devil May Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Cuphead DLC, Jump Force and the gorgeous-looking Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Also seeing stuff like a new Battletoads or another Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer was cool, and Forza Horizon 4 looks absolutely amazing

Ubisoft was also really good, well, for the stuff I liked anyway. The way they started with the Just Dance sequence was strangely interesting at first but then went on for too long and after a while, I was wondering when they were gonna end it. The stuff I liked started with the Mario and Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC which looked really fun and I’m definitely considering picking it up later in the year, seeing Trials Rising was really cool as I really liked playing Trials Fusion a few years ago at uni and Beyond Good and Evil 2 used another cinematic trailer, but it was far more story-driven and cinematic and made me way more interested in the game than I was last year. Starlink: Battle for Atlas was another game I saw last year and liked the look of and the inclusion of Star Fox has only made my interest increase, but the real surprise was Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I honestly wasn’t expecting the game to be all that intriguing, but I was quite taken back by the visuals, gameplay and story elements. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game yet but I really am curious to see how this one turns out later on in the year.

As for Sony I’m not gonna lie, they disappointed me this year. I understand what they were trying to do with their stylised presentation and wanting to focus on specific major games. But the way it was presented was pretty bad, it just felt clunky, slow and took a little while to get going. That being said, when it did focus on the games we were treated to some good stuff. Last of Us 2 looked very compelling and brutal and Death Stranding still has me with more questions than answers but I enjoyed what I saw. But the two games that really stood out to me was Ghosts of Tsushima and Spider-Man. With Tsushima, we had the cinematic trailer last year but no gameplay, but this year we saw the game in action and it looked gorgeous with such striking camera angles, lighting, beautiful art and interesting story and gameplay elements. I love samurai stuff so to have a big budget game tackle this kind of subject matter has me hooked. And then there’s Spider-Man which has only gotten better each time its been shown and even though the game’s out in September, I still found myself gushing about the new story and gameplay elements. But the real surprise was Resident Evil 2, after hearing about the remake for so long, to see it finally revealed was great.

I thought Nintendo did well, but I have seen online that the reception on the Direct was very mixed, some loved it, while many were disappointed. So let me just say this, I think some people expected a lot and were disappointed by the lack of appearances from certain games like Yoshi and Metroid Prime 4, which were both teased last year but have had no additional details. Animal Crossing fans didn’t get their new game and none of the rumours surrounding the Star Fox racing game, F-Zero and some other stuff didn’t come to light… So yeah if you’re not overly hyped for Smash and some of the other game reveals then I can understand the disappointment. That being said, I LOVE Smash Bros., and while I didn’t expect it to be covered for so long, it’s pretty much the big release of 2018 so I was delighted to see so much of it. The rest of the Direct had some cool stuff especially with Daemon x Machina, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC, and third-party games in that montage. And while the leaks definitely took away a lot of the surprise, I was still happy to see Dragon Ball FighterZ and Overcooked 2 shown. The Treehouse segment really did well to highlight Pokemon Let’s Go in action and good gravy the nostalgia started to hit me hard when I saw Viridian Forest and Pewter City, the visual enhancements are insane from visual aesthetic to all the minor and major detail in the animation and art direction, but it was really the music that grabbed me, good gravy I need to get this game so I can listen to the music.

My Game Highlights

Now I’m just going to list all of the games that stood out to me or that I am super looking forward to from now until next, and this was a tough list to construct in some ways but I think I have a solid list here.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

This was easily the first game to jump out at me and grab my interest. I LOVE action adventure games and samurai stuff, and the fact that it is coming from the developers of Dark Souls makes me happy and nervous. I’m excited for the gameplay that looks fast, intense, methodical and satisfying with movement and combat, but because it is coming from FromSoftware, their games are hard as hell and I dunno if I want to jump into that kind of game just to have my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. We’ll see. but the game does look hella cool.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I think I recall seeing this game last year and I thought it looked good, but I don’t recall it looking this great. Ori and the Blind Forest is a game I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now, but this game just looks like it’s on another level with its sense of scope, colour scheme, lighting and overall beautiful and atmospheric visuals. I know graphics aren’t everything but those graphics really are stunning and it just looks even better in movement in gameplay with the combat and platforming. I’ll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

Jump Force

Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS and how I had hoped that they’d make another game, and while this isn’t a 2D Smash Bros-like fighter like the games I just mentioned, it is a crossover fighting game featuring the noteworthy characters from Shonen Jump in an arena-based fighting game and I’m down with the idea. When I saw the trailer and saw Naruto and then the appearance of my boys Luffy, Goku and Frieza I got very giddy. Now so far from what I’ve seen this game has potential with the super over-the-top attacks, scene transitions and fast combat speed, but the movement also looks very choppy and animations needing a lot of refinement. I know this is an E3 build of the game so they have plenty of time to polish things up, I just want something fun to play with some of my favourite anime characters.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I’ve only become a fan of the new Tomb Raider games last summer after playing the first game last summer, I still haven’t played Rise yet, but I will. Either way, I really liked what I saw of this new game especially when it comes to the story. To see Lara is such different mindset, so hasty, self-centred and causing chaos in pursuit of her own interests is very intriguing to me. Beyond that, I am curious to explore this new world that is apparently much bigger than the previous games and I really want to try out all those new combat mechanics. I was pretty stealthy when it came to playing the 2013 reboot, but there are so many more options for distraction, camouflage and stealth kills which are so much more brutal than before. I’m very excited about this one.

Kingdom Hearts 3

What can I say about Kingdom Hearts 3 that hasn’t been said already? I want it, I need it, sure it sucks that we have to wait until January 2019 to play it, but with the amount of the game that we’ve seen I think its close completion so we can actually play the bloody thing after all the years of waiting. I didn’t expect there to be multiple trailers released, I watched them all and the game still looks fantastic and crazy with the Keyblade transformations and summon abilities, but it was the new worlds revealed that really caught my eye. With Frozen it was an inevitability that it’d make its way into KH considering how big that film is not only for Disney but just in general. I think the world and characters look great, but I was actually more interested in the return to the Pirates of the Caribbean world with Jack Sparrow and all of those characters look so much prettier and the world having such a great sense of scope.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

I had heard a lot of talk about this remake for a while and I wondered when we’d get around to seeing it, I just didn’t expect that it would drop during Sony’s press conference. The game looks SO good, I don’t even play Resident Evil games, but I’ve appreciated them from afar and have waited for this particular remake for a while and man it is delivering with its modern gameplay aspects, but still keeping the spirit of the original and horror elements intact.

Ghosts of Tsushima

If it wasn’t for two more games below this would be my game of E3. Last year when this game was teased I knew it’d be something to look out for, but I did not expect something on this level of polish and detail. The game looks absolutely stunning with the lighting, camera work and fluid animation and the combat is just how I’d imagine a samurai fight going down with fights that have precision, weight and timing, what they showed in that E3 demo was so beautiful. This is the samurai game I’ve always wanted, and at the same time, it is the one I didn’t know I wanted as well. I watched a panel with some of the developers on the game and it was so insightful and you could see that these people really care about the source material they are drawing from and want to make a deeply captivating and immersive experience that pays homage to Japan and the samurai films it draws from.

Spider-Man

Oh Spider-Man, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It looks great, the web-slinging looks amazing, the combat looks varied and creative with what you can do upfront or in a stealthy manner. I am seriously digging the E3 trailer that showed off The Raft prison and several of Spidey’s key villains including Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion, Vulture and this mystery guy we couldn’t see off-screen. I am just in love with the game with everything I see and hear about the game, I just need it to be September so I can grab this game already haha.

Fire Emblem: Three Kingdoms

I remember when this game was announced last year and I was really hyped to see what a home console Fire Emblem game would look like after playing Awakening and Fates on 3DS and Three Kingdoms looks really good. It is essentially taking the core mechanics from the 3DS games and upgrading them not only in the visuals but with some cool extra game mechanics. The visuals look lovely and I like the new sense of scope and verticality with the environments that obviously couldn’t be done on 3DS but can be done in HD. I also love how the transition from the grid to watching your attack animations also has multiple soldiers on the battlefield with you enhancing the feeling of your fights feeling like a major battle. And I’m really liking the new squad formation attacks and special moves that you can perform now, oh Spring 2019 can’t come fast enough haha.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Holy crap, like dear god, what even happened when this part of the Direct dropped? I had so many hopes and fears for Smash 5 in terms of the roster, whether it’d be a new game or an enhanced port and what kind of stuff would be shown. And Sakurai and Nintendo just blew my frigging mind. Seeing the game’s new shiny visuals were great, and all the new stages, music, assist trophies, Pokemon, and tweaks to the game mechanics were great. But it was that roster that really got me. When they said everyone was available, I bloody lost it. 😛 I got so giddy to see Snake and Wolf come back, but then there was also Young Link, Ice Climbers, Ryu and Mega Man and more, and they all looked great. And to top it all off they frigging added my girl Daisy and then bloody RIDLEY at the end!!! Good god, it was like every wild dream come to life, fan service overload!!!!! It feels so surreal that it’s real, but all I can say is that December can’t get here quick enough! I NEED SMASH!

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say I had a good E3 viewing experience. The games I wanted to see exceeded my expectations, for the most part, I got what I wanted and while there wasn’t much in the way of surprises, what did catch me off guard was very pleasant. I’d say the future of gaming looks bright for us gamers for the next several months and good gravy by the end of the year my wallet will be destroyed because of all the game I need to buy haha.

But anyway how about you? What did you think of E3 2018? Was it good, bad or indifferent for you? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Media, Video Games

 

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So What’s Happening With Me & This Blog?

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you keeping? If you follow this blog then you may have noticed over the last few months this blog hasn’t been nearly as active with content as it has been especially when compared to last year. So today I just wanted to address what’s going on and what the potential future of this blog will be.

Rise of the Podcast

One of the main factors that have changed the way I operate on this blog is due to my podcast; Film Focus. Before 2016, I had wanted to get back into doing audio-based reviews of films like I did on YouTube before I fell off in 2014. The only problem was I didn’t know how to get back into the groove. After a while of debating and listening to John Campea on YouTube I bite the bullet and set a podcast on Soundcloud, and slowly over the last two years I’ve found my groove doing what I love; which is talking about films in a loose, fun and unfiltered manner (well for the most part). And while I have had scheduling issues here and there, I do feel like it is my true passion project and it has certainly taken priority over the blog on multiple occasions.

Lack of Passion

Now I started this blog almost seven years ago, and while they may not be a long time to some, it feels like a heck of a lot for someone in the blogging space. I had a lot more free time when I started because I was a uni student with so much free time, these days I have a job with hours that don’t afford me the kind of freedom I’d like. On top of that, I have watched a lot of change in the world of blogging in terms of the way in which things are done, a lot of people come in and out of blogging, and just seeing how much quicker you have to move in order to stay relevant and that kind of stuff. And in addition to that you need to have the passion to talk about what you’re interested in, otherwise, you might as well not bother as your work won’t be of the best quality. And that’s part of my current predicament. I still love, TV, video games and so on and I love to talk about that stuff. But most times when go to I sit in front of my laptop to write, I just don’t feel the need to write like I used to. And that’s why I do the podcast just so I can still get my thoughts out there into the world so those who are still interested in my opinion can hear me.

Lethargy

Lethargic. That’s the word I would use to describe myself these days. Since last summer when I came back from Canada, I honestly haven’t felt the same on a physical and mental level. I have occasionally felt tired, but what I feel these days is like advanced tiredness. I used to a night owl working best between 11pm to 4am. But now I can barely stay awake after 6pm and crash out on multiple occasions. I can just about watch a film or a bit of TV, but these days I have shifted to doing things in the morning and afternoon because I can’t draw, edit or play games at night because I am just too tired. The lack of energy has also contributed a lot to the lack of content on this blog which is why you haven’t seen as much from me as I would have liked.

Possibly Packing It In

Before some of you fear that this is the last post you’ll see from me on this blog, don’t worry. I’m not shutting this down just yet. However, in the last year, I have given it some thought. I’m not nearly as swift as I used to be with the latest film reviews and I don’t review TV shows because I have fallen behind and have too many to catch up on, and those two things made up the majority of the content on here. I’m only on here these days to promote the podcast and to talk about the occasional trailer. I could almost shut this place down and start over with another website dedicated to Film Focus specifically… That being said, I couldn’t dash this place that easily. Blogging on WordPress intrinsically part of my life and I love to do it, and to walk away from over six years of work especially considering how many drafts that need to be completed would probably bother me for ages.

Conclusion

In the end, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen, I know that this blog won’t disappear any time soon, but for anyone still following this blog I would say just please be patient and know I haven’t given up on this project just yet. Okay so if you’re still here after all of my rambling, thanks. I appreciate it. Laters. 😀

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Double Review – Deadpool 2 & Solo: A Star Wars Story

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? Today I return with not one but two reviews in the form of Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story via my podcast, Film Focus!

Timecodes:

02:23 Deadpool 2 Review
18:37 Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

Check out the review below:

I was originally going to do a written review for Deadpool 2, but time got away from me and with Solo coming out a week later, I thought it’d be better for me to just pack both reviews together, and like I have stated beforehand, I feel like I can communicate my raw thoughts on a film much better than a written piece of work.

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/film_focus or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

Anyway if you have any thoughts on Deadpool 2 or Solo, whether you like or dislike either, be sure to drop them in the comments section below! :D, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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