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EPIC REVIEW: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So yesterday night, after month and months of waiting I finally got to see the last of my most anticipated films of 2017; Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The amount of waiting I’ve had to endure in the lead up to this film’s release has been painful, with all the marketing, rumours and speculation about the story and characters, you almost had to jump off the internet to have a clean viewing experience. Luckily I avoided most spoilers and watched all 7 main series films and Rogue One in chronological order over the last 3 days in preparation which was fun. So with all that out of the way how was the film, well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.”

I don’t want to go into too much detail so I shall be brief. This was a really interesting chapter in the SW saga, one that had a lot more depth, intrigue and surprises than I expected, and I love the film for that. Rian Johnson confidently steps into this universe with a sense conviction, darkness, intelligence and style that is clearly his own if you know of his work and it shakes up this world in really compelling ways. This film definitely channels Empire Strikes Back in terms of the tone and certain story aspects, but it is its own beast. There are drama and emotion on a level I’ve not seen in this series for quite some time, but there’s also a sense of levity to balance things out when necessary. This was also the most thought-provoking film of the series to date, it is very psychological and causes you to think about certain things in a different light. I really enjoyed the themes of the past coming back to haunt you, feeling out of place, good and evil, and the moral and ethical shades of grey. There were also a lot of bold decisions made that I did not see coming which gave me joy, heart-pounding tension and plenty to think about. And finally, I loved how this film expanded the mythology of this universe with history and visual and verbal details that makes you look at what you know it in a different light.

As for the cast they were great, everyone in this film does a great job, whether they were main cast, secondary or just had cameos, everyone had a moment to shine. Firstly there’s Mark Hamill who was just wonderful as Luke Skywalker. This time Luke was crumpy, defeated, yet a knowledgeable and witty old man who had to deal with the mistakes of his past and deal with issues of the present via Rey and Hamill was just as captivating as ever, he had so many scene-stealing moments. Daisy Ridley as Rey was really good, I enjoyed seeing her learn about her powers, see her interact with Luke and search for answers about her past. Ridley’s very charming and engaging and has definitely improved in this role since the first film. Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa was great, Leia had a big part to play in this film and I loved it. I enjoyed seeing tough yet humorous demeanour and her perseverance in the face of adversity. Fisher had great moments individually and with others and at times I did feel like shedding a tear. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was great, I’ve been a fan of this character since the previous film and here we get a character really wanting to prove his worth, but also find a sense of purpose and focus and Driver plays this role with flair and subtlety. John Boyega’s return as Finn was great, he still has a great sense of humour but is also has great dramatic moments, he has a lot of good moments and Boyega’s charisma shines through.

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron was also impressive, I enjoyed seeing more of him in this film and seeing a different side to his character. Isaac certainly has a commanding presence and stands out whenever possible whether it be for dramatic or humorous purposes. Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke was good, it was nice to learn more about this guy considering the mystery surrounding him in the previous film. Snoke was sinister and intimidating and Serkis was captivating in the role. Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux was interesting, he had some good moments, also Anthony Daniels as C-3PO was just as fun as ever, Gwendoline Christie returned as Captain Phasma and definitely had a presence and Lupita Nyong’o had a great performance as Maz Kanata. Newcomers Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro do well as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and DJ, the former had an interesting role to play and I enjoyed her performance a lot, and the latter was certainly not what I expected but he was a memorable character for sure. But the most memorable of the new characters was Kelly Marie Tran as Rose, from the time she’s introduced she’s smart, decisive and loveable and I really enjoyed her story arc and interaction with Finn.

When it comes to the presentation it was fabulous. Visually the film looked lovely. I paid extra attention to the cinematography and it looked like everything was painstakingly crafted with certain tracking shots, zooms, use of lighting and framing, everything felt like it had a purpose and was done to the highest degree possible. The space battles felt like a mix of The Force Awakens and Rogue One with its own interesting elements mixed in, certain chases sequences looked lovely and the lightsaber moments were wonderfully choreographed in a classic yet unexpected manner. The CGI was very detailed, clean and realistic, while the practical effects continue to impress me with how much these characters, creatures and robots can be make-up, animatronics and puppetry. Also, the film score from John Williams was awesome. The Force Awakens had good music, but wasn’t overly memorable, whereas this film had a score with a much stronger presence which enhanced every scene it was used in. The themes he introduced from the last film stand out even more and some of the new music he creates is wonderfully varied yet consistent with what’s come before.

In the end, The Last Jedi, was a good film, a really good film. It surprised me in many ways, it also met and exceeded my expectations in certain areas and while not everything in the story and the use of certain characters didn’t go the way I would have liked, the film was still thoroughly engaging and entertaining. After looking at some responses to the film online I know this film won’t be for everyone but I say give it a try.

So have you seen The Last Jedi and if so what did you think of it? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on December 15, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Howdy ladies and gents, what’s up? So I just got home from a fun little hang session with my friends and saw that a teaser for the new Sony animated Spider-Man film entitled, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse had dropped online, so you know I ain’t to watch it and give you my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Wow, that’s much better than I was expecting.” Now I know that sounds mean but this project had me a little concerned from an animation point of view, Sony Animation’s movies have been good, but they’re not known for the same quality that comes from Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks on the odd occasion, and with an all CGI Spider-Man film I was concerned with the art style and quality of the animation… But then I saw this trailer and damn, these guys aren’t messing around. The art direction feels a mixture between something realistic, comic book illustrated and a video game, there’s a great level of detail in a lot of things like the buildings and cars, the colours are very striking and vivid and the animation flows well with a sense of speed and grace. And while the animation moves in a choppy many like there are some missing frames in the movement, I’m assuming its a stylistic choice and I’m fine with it as long as the animation is fast and fluid during the action scenes, which so far looks great. And let me quickly just talk about the cinematography, since 2002’s Spider-Man, filmmakers have been finding new and interesting ways to show off Spider-Man’s movements through the city, and this film continues to show different angles and shots we’ve not seen in any Spidey adaptation so far and it is gorgeous! Beyond the visuals, it looks like the plot will follow Mile Morales’ story of him picking up the role as Spidey after the death of Peter Parker if that gravestone is anything to go by, and later on he’ll learn about the multiple Spider heroes in different universes? At least that’s what I assume, and I’m cool with that, I really like Miles Morales and want to see his story on the big screen and see what sort of stuff he has to deal with both as himself and Spidey, and see what’s happening in regards to this Spider-Verse.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • That first shot of the cityscape looks lovely, it looks realistic yet illustrated. I also like how the colour and brightness is lighter at the top and gets darker towards the bottom.
  • The shot of Miles in front of the moving train looks great.
  • Clearly, that’s Miles in front of Peter Parker’s grave so the filmmakers are definitely borrowing certain stories from the comics which I like.
  • Seeing Miles in his suit leap off that building and fall towards the buildings upside down in that wide shot, it is incredible!
  • Seeing Spidey chance after that guy on the motorcycle while dodging traffic, looks great. I love the fluidity of Spidey’s movement and vivid colours.
  • I like the look of Miles’ face under the mask and seeing him ask Peter about how many of “them” there are in the subway was an interesting moment to leave on. I’m looking forward to the other Spidey peeps who show up.

In conclusion, this teaser ended up being way more interesting than I expected, the visual style is very distinctive and the cinematography looks delicious. I can only hope that the story, characters and use of multiple Spider-People will be good, and those casual audiences will grow to appreciate Miles Morales the fans do.

So have you seen the trailer for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #39

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 39, and I’m gonna keep it brief since I don’t have much time this week so I have seen a lot of TV over the last few months that haven’t reviewed from The Punisher to Bojack Horseman season 4, so today I’ll be giving you my thoughts on Lucifer and Crisis on Earth X. Be careful of spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Lucifer (Season 3) “The Sinnerman”

This week’s episode of Lucifer was great, it explored a lot of great stuff when it comes to the relationship of many of the main characters, but also with this Sinnerman character that was spoken of towards the start of the season. Firstly I like how the Sinnerman’s affected both Lucifer and Pierce, with the victims of this week’s episode tied to Lucifer and the favours he did for said people and Pierce because of the death of his brother. It made the episode feel personal and had a sense of urgency. As fun as it is to see Lucifer running around being the fun, witty and charismatic man who I like, it is more interesting when he’s put in a situation he doesn’t have a way out and in this episode he’s not only trapped by the Sinnerman, but then towards the end of the episode he tried to interrogate him with his powers but can’t because Sinnerman’s gone and cut his eyes out! Like fucking hell, what a crazy yet smart thing to do. This Sinnerman ain’t no joke. Also, let’s talk about Decker and Pierce, I know this show’s really trying to push for this new relationship but it doesn’t feel natural, their relationship feels very hot and cold, sometimes you can see some normal hints toward something, other times it feels like it’s coming out of nowhere. I like that these two have opened up about the family loss that they’ve suffered and had a sense of teamwork developing. And speaking of couples,  Linda and Amenadiel have finally hooked up, I mean they’ve been getting too cosy recently for things not to end up this way. Too bad Maze is back and she doesn’t like that relationship because of her friendship and previous relationship with these two, I liked how Lucifer forced her to confront her feelings about them and how she ultimately told Linda to stop seeing Amenadiel… The only problem is that Linda looked pretty worried, I mean she took a little too long her office door and while we don’t see anyone else in that room I don’t think she was alone. I sense complicated times ahead for Maze, Linda and Amenadiel. And finally there’s Charlotte, I’ve liked where her character’s gone, from being possessed by Lucifer’s mother to a woman trying to right the wrongs of her past by assisting the police. I appreciate how she’s finding the transition hard and that she’s not quite good at doing the right thing, but she’s got her heart in the right place and seeing her and Dan have that heart-to-heart in the men’s room was sweet, if a little strange and awkward haha.

Crisis on Earth-X

This Now I’ve not been keeping up with all of the CW superhero shows, I dropped off of Legends of Tomorrow a while ago and I got aways into season 2 of Supergirl I forgot to keep watching haha. The Flash and Arrow I’ve kept up with and I’m enjoying them so far, especially Arrow that’s really good at the moment. So when I heard about this Crisis on Earth-X I was always going to watch it, I just wasn’t super compelled to see it. But after I heard a lot of hype around to first two episodes I decided to watch it and damn it was a lot of fun. The people behind these shows understand what their fans want but also throws some curveballs too. I also appreciated how the show quickly caught you up on what’s happening in the world of each TV show, so in case you weren’t up to date or just weren’t watching any of them, you never felt lost as the story was its own adventure, though if you were up to date it did give you a greater level of appreciation for the characters. What I really liked about this four-part event was the story and characters. I liked the idea of a secret Earth where Nazis won the war and you had these dangerous versions of the heroes plotting to rule over Earth in different realities. There was a lot of drama and surprises especially in regards to the death of Martin Stein, he was one of my favourite characters on Legends and to see him get shot, have that heart to heart with Jefferson before he died, I got way more emotional than I expected and Steins’s funeral, that was frigging beautiful. On top of that it was fun to see all of the different characters interacting and there’s too many to highlight, let me just say that seeing Wentworth Miller again as Captain Cold was delightful, the evil versions of Oliver and Kara were really cool, seeing Reverse Flash was fun and the action scenes were pretty well done.

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of this show? 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 December 7, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: In Bruges

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m talking about In Bruges. So this is a film I’ve been meaning to watch for a while now, I’ve not only heard a lot about it via some film critics/fans I follow online, but also from my mate at uni who told me to check it out back in 2012 or 2013. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.” I have to say that was engaged from the beginning due to the fact that I not only liked the two main actors but also because of their current situation. They had essentially come from a hitman job that had gone wrong in the UK and had to lay low and wait for instructions, and while it wasn’t clear what had happened yet. I liked the mystery that surrounding these characters and suspense surrounding the call from their boss, Harry. While it was fun to get to know both characters and see their differences in personality, I wasn’t super captivated by the story. I was interested but was waiting for something to hook me. And then when you found out what happened with Ray and why these characters are in their current situation, that’s when the film got me. And from there, what followed was a series of unexpected scenarios that ranged from being hilarious to shocking to strange and crazy. I liked the film’s sense of humour, it was dark, twisted and blunt and while not all of the dialogue landed for me, some of those lines were frigging funny as hell, and luckily the humour never came at the expense of the serious moments as it was well-balanced throughout the film. The cast was great. First you have Colin Farrell as Ray who is a charismatic, straightforward and rude kind of guy who I found  little funny but mostly unlikable for a while, until I saw what happened to him in the past and how he acted around some other characters, he isn’t a complete douche, he has a heart and can be good occasion and Farrell was just delightful. Brendan Gleeson was great as Ken, I have yet to see a film where Gleeson disappoints me and the same rules apply here, he’s serious, yet witty and is a nice counterbalance to Ray. Farrell and Gleeson have great chemistry, they’re like an old married couple bickering, but you can see that there is a solid bond there. But it might be Ralph Fiennes who steals the show as Harry. Good gravy, what a guy! From the time he’s introduced via a phone call he leaves a solid impression, and from there he has so many scene-stealing moments with his magnetic presence and his hot and cold personality, he’s cool, but when you piss him off he’s merciless and crazy, and this might be one my favourite performances from Fiennes ever because he reminded me of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. I also enjoyed Clémence Poésy who was delightful as Chloë Villette and Jordan Prentice brought some good humour as Jimmy, and I also liked Thekla Reuten as Marie and Jérémie Renier as Eirik. In conclusion, In Bruges was a film I enjoyed far more than I expected with interesting themes, great performances, good humour, a really nice and melancholy film score and unexpected revelations.

So have you seen In Bruges and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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SUPER LATE REVIEW: Marvel’s The Defenders

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for a review and this is a review I should have done at the end of August. But it’s been chilling in my draft section for ages so I thought I’d finally finish it. I am of course talking about Marvel’s The Defenders. Now this was a show I was eagerly anticipating for ages up until Iron Fist came out and that brought down my hype by a considerable amount (review available here). But with some solid trailers I was ready to love the show. But now the show’s been out since August and before I review The Punisher (which I’ve already seen but will give another watch), I wanted to share my thoughts on this show. So if you’re still interested in my thoughts on this show read on and find out. 🙂

So the story can be described as the following: “Set a few months after the events of the second season of Daredevil, and a month after the events of the first season of Iron Fist, the vigilantes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist team up in New York City to fight a common enemy: the Hand.”

The Defenders primarily furthers the plot and characters of the Daredevil and Iron Fist shows, however you don’t have to have seen the previous shows in order to understand whats going on here as it is a self-contained like The Avengers, that being said watching the previous shows helps you care about the characters and the significance of the stakes involved. The story starts off a big slow re-establishing the characters and storylines from the previous shows, but by the latter half of episode 3 things really pick up and start to become fun and from there you feel like you’re getting the show you were promised with fun crossover character interactions and cool fight scenes. There’s also some good action, drama, mystery and revelations. However, by the time the show ends, I feel like things could have played out in a far more captivating manner. The plot takes time to set up certain elements that will have pay off later on, the only issue is that once everything is laid out on the table it feels rather lacklustre and unsurprising.

Episode highlights include:

  • The H Word
  • Worst Behavior
  • Royal Dragon
  • Take Shelter

When it comes to the cast, I think they did their best considering the material they were given and some actors/actresses were good while others didn’t fare as well. The Defenders themselves were quite good. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil was one of the most effective characters besides Jessica Jones. He probably had most character development and it was cool to see how he evolved from the end of DD season 2 to this show and see how he interacted with the team. Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones was great, all of her wonderfully bad and good character traits were on display, she didn’t like to play with others and was very rude, but did do some investing and showed up when it counted. Mike Colter as Luke Cage was good, still the strong and smooth dude from his own show, he was good though I wasn’t keen on what they did with him and Claire’s relationship. Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist was weird, it was almost like they did a bit of a course correction for the character as he comes across smarter and more confident not only in his personality but his fighting skills too. Alas, it doesn’t take long for the character to fall back into his childish and foolish ways, he’s such a weak link it is painful. The Defenders have the same sort of group dynamic that makes team formations so much fun to watch like the Avengers of Guardians of the Galaxy, they have that different personalities and ideologies and seeing them but heads and team up was great especially with Matt and Jessica. Oh and Elodie Yung as Elektra, part of me likes her, but at the same time considering how her character was handled it was just messy, a tad confusing and annoying.

Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra Reid has some moments of interest but ultimately adds up to a forgettable/boring villain. She makes a lot of sinister speeches but rarely does anything that directly impacts the heroes and the way her story arc concludes is one I not only saw coming but also felt like a slap in the face to anyone who had invested time her character. As for Scott Glenn as Stick, e was one of the best parts of Daredevil, but here he was less compelling and a little more annoying, just talking about how bad the enemy was. Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple is still the same likeable character from before, she’s good. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing was good too, she had some decent action scenes, nice interactions with some other characters and some story stuff that carried over from Iron Fist. Simone Missick as Misty Knight was cool, sassy and proactive and while she wasn’t always on the right side of the heroes, she had some solid moments in the show, though I wish she was utilized a little better. Seeing Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page was nice as they brought a nice bit of flavour from their respective shows

As for the presentation, it was good for the most part. Visually the show was solid. One of the things the show did well was the action, I feel like the fight choreographers brought back the flair and intensity that was sorely lacking from not only Iron Fist but also Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to a degree as well.The fight scenes here were faster, better in choreography, sometimes reaching that Daredevil quality. Alas, the action isn’t always consistently good with some fight scenes looking unrealistic, slow and silly, and it also doesn’t help that some of the sequences are shot and edited in a strange way to be stylised when in fact they’re less interesting than they should be. As for the soundtrack by John Paesano, it was good. I think it was a smart choice to bring him back considering the solid work he brought to Daredevil. In this show, Paesano brings a more bombastic, intense and dramatic sound that I think the show needed especially when it comes to the opening theme. There were points where it felt a little overly dramatic but for the most part, it was really nice.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s The Defenders is a decent show that has some great moments but didn’t live up to its potential. I really did enjoy the character crossover not only from the main heroes but also the secondary cast, and when the action, dialogue and soundtrack were on-point it was a fun show to watch. However, this team up series didn’t give me the compelling story that I wanted, there were some bad decisions made with the use of the villains and Iron Fist, the action scenes weren’t consistently good and there was a lack of payoff/satisfaction that I felt once the show was over. The Defenders wasn’t terrible and was easily the best material Marvel and Netflix have done since the first half of Luke Cage, but as it stands, Marvel and Netflix are really gonna have to step up their game if they want to keep the fans coming back for more.

So have you seen Marvel’s The Defenders and is so what do you think of it? Did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Also, how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So I just got home from work around 40 or so minutes ago and just remembered the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released a few hours ago, so I just watched it and wanted to share my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Oh my god, I’m in love!” I don’t think my words will be able to do the trailer justice and while I don’t want to watch it too many times, I’ve already seen it twice and I’ve got goosebumps! I want to avoid spoilers, but at the same time, I REALLY want to watch it like 10 more times! All throughout the trailer you feel the weight and significance of what’s happening, not only is this all the heroes coming together to face a threat larger than anything that’s come before, but it is the culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you can see it with the Marvel logo sequence, the number of characters, locations and glowing items, but also audio-wise with Nick Fury’s speech from the Avengers being spoke by him and few other heroes, and of course they put in the Alan Silvestri Avengers theme song in there as the icing on the cake in both a darker and positive light too. That was just gorgeous for me as a massive fan of that theme song! And Thanos, wow, I REALLY pray that he’s the villain we’ve all been hoping for, not another Hela or Ultron who look cool from the trailers, but only end up being decent/average. So far he looks and talks like a badass, he looks pretty intimidating, his words feel menacing and he’s just messing people up left right and center including Spider-Man and Iron Man.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • There’s a massive battle in Wakanda with Black Panther, his army, plus the Avengers and some aliens? Sweet!
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch look close which means their relationship is finally happening on-screen! YAAAY!
  • Vision’s probably screwed as he’s shouting as someone’s trying to get that infinity stone out of his head.
  • Spider-Man’s new suit looks much better in motion than it did near the end of Homecoming.
  • Peter Parker’s arm hair stands up, spidey sense confirmed!
  • How badass does Steve Rogers look now?
  • I’m curious to see how Banner ended up with Doctor Strange and Wong, and how Tony Stark ends up there too.
  • The sense of scale in this film is immense with all the big ships, and the way the cinematography frames some of those battle sequences.
  • That last scene with Thor meeting the Guardians in their ship, love it.
  • The overall tone feels dark and dire and I love it, very Age of Ultron, I really hope Marvel commit to this tone in the film and give us some damn good drama!

In the end, I’m stupidly excited, I’m not gonna lie, I think my experience of watching the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron may still be my favourite of the Marvel Studios films so far, but this trailer, this trailer had so much going on and carried a lot of significance. It is a delicious trailer full of so many moments of hype, excitement, curiosity, mystery and seriousness. If this film is half as good as I hope it’ll be, then I will frigging blow up in May 2018, no joke! 😛

So have you seen the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Dead Man Down

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m talking about Dead Man Down. Now, this is one of the many films that’s been on my watchlist on Amazon Video for AGES, and since I wanted to watch a film that wasn’t too long, but was also on the overdue section of my watchlist I decided to give this film a watch. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.

Now I don’t want to say too much about the plot in the summary above, so just check out the trailer below if you want any additional information. I watched this film completely blind and I thought this film was fun, but not too captivating throughout. If you have seen any thriller with a revenge plot then you’ve experienced a lot of these story elements before, and at first, you’re intrigued by the main character and his ties these criminals and this mysterious woman. That being said, certain things start out a little slow and there seemed to be a few moving parts to story that I wasn’t sure how they’d serve the main story. However, once some plot twists and revelations come to light the picks up and gets quite exciting. While some plot points play out as you’d expect, there were some minor aspects that turned out differently than I expected which was nice. One of the things that elevate the film is the cast, firstly there’s Colin Farrell as Victor, he doesn’t talk much especially early on, however, as the film goes on we get to learn more about him and understand his motivations, and it also helps that Farrell can be intimidating and likeable. Noomi Rapace as Beatrice is also really good, she’s a woman deeply affected by an accident that left her physically and mentally scarred and at first, it was interesting to learn about her backstory and how she tied to current events of the plot, and Rapace is so charming, strong and cute in this role, and I think this is the most attracted I’ve been to her as an actress so far. Farrell and Rapace have solid and cute chemistry together. Also, Dominic Cooper is good as Darcy, I liked his connection to Victor and how he played detective to find out the truth of an important death earlier on. Also, Terrence Howard did play a decent villain in the form of as Alphonse Hoyt, he’s smooth yet aggressive and has some great moments to chew scenery and in some ways, this character feels like a precursor to his role in Empire. And finally, Isabelle Huppert as Beatrice’s mother Maman was nice, offering light-hearted and subtle moments of drama with her daughter. Visually the film is pretty good. It felt like there was a strong sense of direction when it came to the action as it was shot and framed well, had some nice violence and gunfights, and the final action sequence in a house was pretty damn cool. Also, the film score from Jacob Groth was good and had some lovely dramatic and emotional moments. In conclusion, Dead Man Down was a decent film, it wasn’t overly original and was a little slow and predictable at points, the performances, style, action and latter half of the film kept me engaged.

So have you seen Dead Man Down and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 43 – Justice League Review (Spoilers!)

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year 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. As for the latest episode, it is a recap/review of the summer movies of 2017!

Anyway here’s the episode 43:

I’ve done already done my written review for Justice League, however, there was so much more for me to say about this film that I couldn’t put in my original review. So in this podcast episode, I just expand upon some basic points and then get into full-on spoilers after 21:39, so for those who have seen the film and want to hear my thoughts about some of the more significant elements of the film, both good and bad, then that section is for you.

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 you can. 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 November 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Justice League

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for another review and today I get to talk about one of the biggest films of the year, Justice League. Now to say that the lead up to this film has been rough would be an understatement, with the mostly negative feedback to Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad and the success of Wonder Woman, the odds were stacked against this film. Add on top of that the fact that Zack Snyder left the film because of family tragedy, Joss Whedon had to step in to finish the films and since then there were numerous conflicting reports about what had changed, and how much of the film was changed because of Whedon’s involvement. Anyway, the film’s out, the reception’s been mixed and now its time for me to throw my thoughts into the mix! 🙂

So the plot can be described as the following:

“A new evil force comes to Earth threatening to bring about the end of the world, and so Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman work together to find and recruit a team of special individuals including Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash to stand against this newly awakened threat.”

So the plot of the film was good, not great, but solid. Firstly I liked the backstory involving the main villain, different races and the Mother Boxes, that along with certain dialogue about locations, history and characters helped flesh out the world and create mythology that was interesting and intriguing, it not only built on what we got in Man of SteelBatman V Superman and Wonder Woman, but helped make this film more engaging and left the door open for future films to build on. I also appreciated how the story was simple, yet layered with themes relating to teamwork, death, leadership, moving on from the past and finding courage in the face of uncertainty. There was also some wonderful references to the comics with certain scenes and dialogue which made me smile a lot too. That being said there were some issues, certain scenes dragged or felt boring, there were some tonal inconsistencies, and some of the humour was good and some of it fell a bit flat and ill-timed. And some of the plot decisions were a little basic and certain dramatic or important elements were resolved quickly without enough time to simmer.

As for the cast, I liked them, some more than others. Let’s start with Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, now some people like him as Batman, some hate him, I fall into the former category. Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was one of my favourite parts of BvS and he’s put to better use in this film. I liked how Bruce was strong-willed, focused, yet reckless and uncertain. Gal Gadot was quite good as Wonder Woman, it was interesting her in the modern world, dealing with issues not only with her past but also with some of the actions of her teammates too, Gadot has certainly found her groove with this role and besides being super beautiful, she’s confident, strong and smart. Ezra Miller as The Flash was a worry for me before watching this film because of my love for Grant Gustin’s version, but I did like this cooky, strange and lighthearted guy, he was mainly there for comic relief, but he some serious and smart moments too, and Miller’s charisma was magnetic. Jason Momoa as Aquaman was cool, he’s this serious, yet chilled out and funny kind of guy who does the right thing when the tie is right. The real surprise was Ray Fisher as Cyborg, I thought he looked like the most boring character from the trailers and he ended up being one of my highlights of the team with his attitude towards the way he was created, his interactions with the team and his importance to the plot, Fisher’s portrayal was quite engaging. The team as a whole had a wonderful dynamic filled with humorous and aggressive tendencies which made their eventual formation and scenes on and off of the battlefield nice.

Ciarán Hinds had a nice intimidating presence as the voice as Steppenwolf, unfortunately, the villain was a little on the generic side. I also liked Henry Cavill is definitely in the film and he was quite good (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailers), Jeremy Irons as Alfred was just as fun, as he was in BvS offering insightful information while providing some good jokes here and there, seeing the return of Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, was welcomed, Amy Adams and Diane Lane was fine as Lois Lane and Martha Kent, Joe Morton as Silas Stone was fine, but I thought it was more interesting that he was the guy from Terminator 2 in this film haha, and Amber Heard’s introduction to this world as Mera was cool. And finally, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon was good and liked his version of the character, I just wish there was more of him, there wasn’t enough! 😛

When it comes to the presentation it was good for the most part. Visually the film was nice, the was some lovely attention to detail with the way certain shots were framed and the cinematography the action sequences were a mixture of creative and fun scenes that ranged from the heroes fighting the bad guy, to the heroes fighting each other and many others, and it looked great. But there were a few moments where following the action was a little tricky, the GCI was also a little dodgy with certain faces, body movements and locations lacking in detail. The music from Danny Elfman was something I was paying attention to from the beginning and I quite enjoyed it. Elfman’s score is one that has a presence, it is full of impact, drama, triumph, playfulness and while it isn’t as memorable as some of his previous work, the way he worked in the classic Batman and Superman themes, from Batman 89′ and Superman 78′ was delightful.

In conclusion, what can I say? I liked Justice League, it was much better than I expected considering my low expectations, and while this film doesn’t reinvent the genre or does anything in an amazing fashion, it was pretty fun with some good action, good characters and solid music. Besides issues with the story, tone and villain, the film was certainly a step in the right direction for this cinematic universe,

So have you seen Justice League and if so what did you think of it? Was it better or worse than you expected? Also, how does it compare to the previous DCEU films? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #38

Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to What I’m Currently Watching where I give you a tiny update on what TV-based stuff I’m watching and give mini reviews/impressions on them. It is week 38, and today I’ll be giving you my thoughts on Big MouthInhumans, Lucifer, and Star Wars Rebels. Be careful for spoilers! With that out of the way let’s talk about some TV! 😀

Big Mouth (Season 1)

So at the request of a mate from work, I decided to give this show a chance and its been an interesting watch. Big Mouth’s very bizarre, crass and overtly sexual, and sometimes you’ll be surprised by what the creators of this show were able to put into this cartoon. The style of humour which focuses on sex-related material has never been my cup of tea as it can sometimes feel juvenile, crude and over-the-top just for the sake of shock value, and while not every joke this show threw at me worked, there was something oddly captivating about this world, cast of characters, storylines and humour that kept me coming back, Big Mouth is surprisingly fun, creative and relatable in a strange and stupid kind of way. What I really liked about this show is the core concept of these main children hitting puberty and transitioning into teenagehood and having these physical manifestations of their hormones contribute to their real-life decisions. While episodes could be treated as singular episodic adventures, the plot points started in certain episodes continue throughout the season with some interesting and hilarious outcomes. It is a simple, smart and creative way of providing a fictional yet realistic way to why teenagers at that age would act in such an erratic, impulsive and bizarre manner. While some of these scenarios could only exist in the realm of fiction, the show presents os many real-life issues when it comes to relationships, friendship, being affected by physical body changes or problematic parent relationships. I could see some of the same anxiety and issues I experienced back in school in some of these situations. Visually the show’s solid, the animation is good, but it is the art that starts out the most. Like the show’s humour and the concept it is a bit odd, most characters have exaggerated body features especially when it comes the big heads and lips. The character designs are a tad simple not that appealing to the eye, however, they certainly are distinctive and if you don’t like it at first you’ll eventually adjust to it after a few episodes. Oh and the cast and characters are all good, but my favourites would be Nick Kroll as the creepy yet entertaining Maurice the Hormone Monster, Jordan Peele as The Ghost of Duke Ellington (he’s so weird and funny) and Maya Rudolph who kills it as the sassy and crazy Connie the Hormone Monstress.

Inhumans (Season 1) “… And Finally: Black Bolt”

And so after 8 weeks, Inhumans has ended its first season with episode 8, and all I can say is wow, what a waste. To talk about the recent episode briefly it ranged from okay to terrible, there were some decent parts here an there, but as a final episode, it left me wanting more. The fact that Gorgon was able to be “cured” of his madness from his resurrection via terrigenesis from having Karnak and Black Bolt talk to him was horrible, I wish it had been an issue that had taken longer to cure. I did enjoy seeing Triton fight some dudes and the final scenes with Black Bolt and Maximus was good, thanks mainly to Anson Mount’s body language and facial expressions, and while Black Bolt sealing his brother away on the moon alone instead of killing him is a plot element I have seen done before, it was one of the better moments in the series. Clearly, those markings on the chair in the throne room means something, but I doubt we’ll see a follow-up to that anytime soon. As for the Inhumans little triumphant moment on Earth where Medusa makes her speak about changing the status quo and making a new life, it felt so unearned and cheap.

As for the show on a whole. Everyone knew it’d be bad especially from the trailers, but it is sad that there weren’t any hidden redeeming qualities for the show beyond what the marketing shared. I thought that the first 3-4 episodes were underwhelming, but had some decent elements and showed promise for something decent. But annoyingly the issues that the show had from the beginning when it comes to bad dialogue, okay to weak action scenes, dull cinematography, basic visual effects and set design, unlikable characters and a painfully basic and unsatisfying story continued right into the end of the season. From the beginning, things are spelt out pretty clearly, the royal family are unlikable protagonists and Maximus is the antagonist who will rise up and overthrow them, and because of the bad writing, you’re on the side of the bad guy. Until later you see he’s a selfish asshole with an inferiority complex who will dispose of anyone who isn’t on his good side, so you want to see the heroes take him down even though seeing them in power wouldn’t rectify the issues that existed when the show started. However, because of their experiences on Earth, they’re changed people which means they’ll be better rulers. And by the end of the show it feels like they’ve learnt some life lessons, however, I don’t feel like these characters should have been like this in the first place. Most of the characters are boring, generic, selfish and cliché, lots of supporting cast members come and go whether they are human sidekicks or Maximus henchmen, none of them stand out in a significant or memorable way, at least not in a good way. The only good characters were Black Bolt and Karnak, the latter I liked because of his ability and character arc, but it was mainly Black Bolt I enjoyed. While his character doesn’t change much from episode 1-8, he has the best scenes, interactions and screen presence, and that’s thanks to Anson Mount who basically carries this show on his shoulders, without him the show would have been so much worse. And Iwan Rheon as Maximus, there was an inkling of a good villain, a tragic one that would have worked, but he was given such terrible material to work with that he became more of a nuisance than an engaging character. So after this, I doubt Inhumans will be back for another season unless it was extremely overhauled or rebooted, and as it stands while Iron Fist pissed me off with how boring it was, this show stands right next to it as an example of how to waste such good source material and turn it into a disappointing and meandering mess.

Lucifer (Season 3) “Off the Record

This week’s episode of Lucifer was not only the best episode of the season but also one of, if not the strongest episodes of the show so far. I thought it was interesting to see Reese, a man who apparently escaped death on this path of revenge after finding out his wife had been cheating on him with Lucifer. That alone was an interesting story for an episode, but considering that all of the revelations that showed up as the episode went on was nothing short of brilliant. Firstly having Patrick Fabian from Better Call Saul in this show was awesome, he’s an incredibly talented actor and he plays crafty characters so well. Seeing him pretend to be friendly to Lucifer and Decker, but then plotting and scheming in the background was very engaging. At first, he’s just on this simple path of vengeance, but after he seeing Lucifer’s face he goes to great lengths to take him down and by the latter half of the episode he’s made so many mistakes and missteps that it’s no surprise that he met his end by his own doing. I also loved learning the reveal that Reese and Linda were married and he’s still trying to rekindle the marriage, this was the best material Linda’s had since season 2 as it gave Rachael Harris ample screen time to do some really lovely work opposite Fabian. I also liked the case with the mysterious serial killer and his eventual reveal as the guy Reese seeks out to get Lucifer, his turn while talking to a dying Reese in his office was so sinister and cool. Tom Welling as always has the right level of charm, wit and humour that makes Lucifer such a captivating character, Decker didn’t get as much screen time as usual but I enjoyed her as well as the appearances of Maze and Dan. Also having the ending play out the same as the beginning was a smart/intriguing ending. Now it makes me think if that’s happened in the real world already and if so when? Oh one more thing, Lucifer’s devil face, if the events of this episode happened recently does that mean he has the face back? Or did this happen prior to the events of season 3? I’m so curious! 😛

 

Star Wars Rebels (Season 4) “Rebel Assault”

So far season 4 of Rebels has been pretty cool, the first two episodes “Heroes of Mandalore Part 1 & 2” and “In the Name of the Rebellion Part 1 & 2” have been great, and I enjoyed most of “Kindred” too. And “Rebel Assualt” is the first taste of the tone, atmosphere and seriousness that I’ve been hearing about and looking forward to before this season started. We’ve heard for a while now, that season 4 of Rebels was when the Empire was going to step up and become a real threat and the rebels would start feeling the pressure and be less successful than before and that was certainly felt here. Hera and her assault team were able to break through an Imperial blockade but were mostly taken out by the second legion of ships, and while Hera, Chopper and one other guy did well to fend off that assassin Rukh, but in the end, Hera was captured by the Empire. It’s been a while since the heroes faced a real danger, where the odds we staked against them and the bad guys have felt competent at stopping the rebels. While Rebels hasn’t been the best debut for Grand Admiral Thrawn, he has shown moments of strategic talent, and this episode was good because it showed that he had planned ahead, so even if the rebels got through the space battle, on the planet he had another wave of ships to take out the enemy with ease. Good stuff. Also, I loved how serious and urgent this episode felt, from the beginning, you’re thrown straight into the action and get all these cool moments of hand-to-hand combat, dogfights between X-wings and TIE fighters and some small moments of dialogue, heroism and sacrifice. I really liked the way this episode looked, some of the cinematogrphy during the action sceens were great, and the colour scheme on Lothal epsiecally when the rebel ships were falling out of the sky, beautiful. I am curious what the Loth-Wolf told Kanan to do, guess we’ll have to wait until later to find that out.

Well, that’s what I’ve been watching. So have you seen or plan to watch any of this show? 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 November 14, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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