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Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Review (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents, it is time for another one of those big reviews that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, I am talking about the final Netflix show before Defenders comes out later on this year, I am of course talking about Marvel’s Iron Fist season 1. Now this show’s had one hell of an interesting ride before and during its release with early episodes getting pretty negative press from critics and then having fans slamming critics for their opinions because they think the show’s great. Either way my hype for Iron Fist super high, but the early reviews did make me worry. However, I finished the show yesterday, I’ve had some time to think about it and I’m ready to share my thoughts.

So what’s the story for this show? It can be described as the following: “Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.”

Okay, so Iron Fist’s story. The words that immediately come to mind especially for the first half of the series would be dull, frustrating, repetitious, contrived and convenient. Those are words I never expected to associate with this show. Now none of the previous Marvel Netflix shows have been able to fully escape moments of bordem or tedious material, but show has them from the beginning. Unlike previous shows where I was on board within three episodes, this show took until episode six for me to start to get into it which was crazy. On paper this story sound like all sorts of fun and with Danny’s backstory and how it ties into what’s happening in New York with the criminals running around, it should be captivating, and yet we spend too much time on small/unimportant things, take too much time on plotlines that spread over several episodes instead of one or two or set or mention certain things that have no pay off (like the mysticism and backstory with K’un-Lun). I think it the script that does the most damage to this show with dialogue and scenarios that felt unoriginal, weird and silly. The show felt incredibly slow and it honestly felt like a chore to get through, sometimes I stopped completely paying attention to mess with my phone or play some video games. By the time the show ended I was curious as to why things unfolded in the way in which they did and if the writers had shortened, changed or simplified the story from what we had gotten, the show would have benefited from it immensely. That being said, there’s still some redeeming qualities in the story, mythology and characters especially from episode six onwards, while not consistently good there’s still elements to appreciate.

Episode highlights include:

  • Immortal Emerges from Cave
  • Felling Tree with Roots
  • Black Tiger Steals Heart
  • Dragon Plays with Fire

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 other didn’t fare as well. Firstly there’s Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, here’s the thing, I like Jones as an actor and I thought he did the best that he could, that being said I didn’t like Danny Rand that much. He was a well-meaning guy with some cool martial arts talents and a sense of justice, but my god he was such an annoying, naive and frustrating person to follow. I understand the he’s endured a lot with the loss of his parents and the years he spent in K’un-Lun isolated away from the normal world, but he came across as a very childish, irrational and illogical individual. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing fared a heck of a lot better, she had an interesting personality, code of conduct and her initial story and character moments felt far more engaging than Danny. Unfortunately because of the writing I felt like she ended up doing a few things that made her less engaging to watch but otherwise she was solid.

Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Stroup as Ward and Joy Meachum really fluctuated in terms of how much I liked them. At first they were both incredibly dull, surface level characters with no interesting qualities and I wondered why they took up so much screen time besides the fact that they were tied to Danny’s childhood. It wasn’t until later when Ward’s story started to get interesting and I was curious to see where his character went and Joy, well I liked her, but she seemed to change her motivations and moral code a few too many times for me to like her on a long-term basis. David Wenham as Harold Meachum was a lot of fun at times, but then other times he was a little generic and plain, Wenham committed to his material hundred percent and I thought he did well in his role. Ramón Rodríguez was really effective as Bakuto, he had a very cool and intimidating presence, and seeing the return of Wai Ching Ho as Gao was great though not utilised to her fullest. Sacha Dhawan as Davos was awesome, he was a stern, aggressive and badass warrior who stole a lot of shine from Danny and was one of my favourite parts of the show. And finally Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, man I love this girl. While her integration in this show wasn’t as natural as the previous shows, she did have some of the best charisma, humour and logic of all of the characters, at this point she needs her own show or at least a more meaty role going ahead.

As for the presentation, well, it was significantly less impressive than I had hoped. Like the previous Marvel Netflix shows it is shot well for the most part and the style and presentation of New York is lovely. What was a little hit or miss was the action scenes, anyone who has read this blog knows that I LOVE me some well choreographed martial arts and considering who Iron Fist is and his comic book source material I was expecting something on another level. However, what we got at best was some interesting and fun fight sequences that borrowed from some classic and more recent films, but then were times when the fights looked okay to really dull lacking a sense of urgency, style, flair, impact and speed that was really required for characters so closely associated with martial arts. As for the soundtrack by Trevor Morris wasn’t all that impressive, unlike previous Marvel shows (especially Luke Cage) the score has no presence or does little to elevate what’s happening on-screen. The most memorable piece of music is the opening theme and that’s all because it reminds me of “The Game Has Changed” from Tron Legacy.

In conclusion season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist is a disappointment. The show is not complete garbage as a lot of critics have made it out to be and there is some fun to be had once you get into the latter half of the season, but as it stands, I feel like the bad outweigh the good with a lot of issues relating to the dialogue, pacing, characters and most importantly the martial arts. It isn’t fun, there’s no real sense of personality or flair and compared to the comics and the shows that preceded it, it should have been much better. If you love the show, more power to you, but I can only recommend this show if you’re curious or a completest of MCU material.

So have you seen season 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist and is so what do you think of it? And how would you compare it to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episodes 27 & 28: Logan & Kong: Skull Island

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. Since I never made a post about episode 27, I decided to release both episodes in the same post with the topics relating to reviews for Logan and Kong: Skull Island.

Anyway here’s the episode 27:

And here is episode 28:

I’ve already written about Logan and Kong: Skull Island, however if you’re not into reading then I believe you’ll find my audio commentary to be a little more comprehensive, entertaining and possibly funny. 🙂

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island

Howdy ladies and gents, its review time once again and today I’m talking about another one of the big blockbuster films of 2017 in the form of Kong: Skull Island. Now this was a film I was hyped for especially with the cast and after watching the first trailer, but with the subsequent trailers my interest waned due to the use of humour and the reveal of King Kong (which I wasn’t overly keen on), and with the mixed reviews that recently came out I was bracing myself for disappointment, but after watching the film last night I now have my thoughts on the film ready to share.

The plot can be described as the following:

“When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man.”

I thought the story was good, it had a little more depth than I expected being set during the 70’s with the ties war and intriguing mythology about Skull Island and King Kong’s origins too. But the best things about this film was that it was straightforward and fun. The pacing felt good and didn’t drag and when the action was going down it was very entertaining. That being said I do feel like the film had some tonal inconsistencies and some of the humour felt a little forced at times, plus it didn’t help that some of the funny lines had been shown in the trailers already. I also wish that there had been a better sense of fear, dread and stakes in the film, not that the film didn’t have those elements, it just wasn’t to a high enough degree considering the situation these human characters got into. Oh and finally there are some cool ties and references to other notable monsters throughout the film and in the post credits scene too which was great if you like your classic kaiju films! 😀

Now when it comes to the cast it is stacked to the maximum with a lot of notable faces including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz and John C. Reilly among others. And here’s the thing, everyone is fine, but it really is the actors that elevate the characters as the dialogue doesn’t do well to give the characters depth or character arcs, though some people fare better than others.

Firstly you have Tom Hiddleston as Captain James Conrad and he was pretty good, he was a smart, tenacious and tactical badass and while I was surprised by how good he was at almost any situation he was put into, overall he was good. Brie Larson as Weaver was fine, Weaver was clearly the most kind and caring of the characters, she was fine but it was Larson that made her more engaging. John Goodman was really good as Randa, he’s a part of the government organisation who gets everyone on Skull Island and I like how his stern yet humourous demeanour and how he was determined to see his mission through. Next up is Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard, and here he had an interesting character who was deeply effected by the Vietnam War and had some interesting and personal stuff that he dealt with once on the island. Sam Jackson was great and added a lot of personality and flair to the character. And then you have John C. Reilly as Marlow, of all the characters he had the most substantial depth and character arc, when I saw Marlow in the trailer I thought he’d be very annoying and at first he was a little too zany, but by the end of the film he ended up being my favourite character. Corey Hawkins as geologist Houston Brooks was good, he had good screen presence and charisma. Also Shea Whigham and Jason Mitchell as Earl Cole and Glenn Mills were two of my favourites, but that was more the actors than the characters. Toby Kebbell as Maj. Chapman was fine though I wish he’d had more screen time, oh and his accent was a little wobbly. And finally John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Jing Tian and Terry Notary were fine.

Visually the film is pretty good, the cinematography was solid and there’s some absolutely beautiful shots of scenery and action, the use of colour is very rich and striking during the day and night scenes, and the action sequences when they’re on-point they are ferocious, aggressive and brutal. I will admit that while that some of the action wasn’t as creatively choreographed as I would have liked, and though the CGI was really good, at the same time some of it wasn’t always as sharp or consistent as it should be. The film score for Henry Jackman was decent and did well to add to the action and subtle moments too.

In conclusion Kong: Skull Island was pretty good, not great, but better than I expected considering some of the early reviews. While I had some issues with the characters, some of the humour and visual effects, overall the film was solid fun and I’d recommend it. 🙂

So have you seen Kong: Skull Island and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Logan (NO SPOILERS)

Howdy ladies and gents how’s it going? So after months of waiting with really solid trailers and ominous black and white imagery, we’re here in March with the release of Logan, one of the most notable blockbusters of the year. I’ve been hyped for this film since the first trailer and with the early reviews I got really excited to see the end result, so after checking it out last night I’m ready to pass judgement.

logan-movie-poster

The story can described as the following:

“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.”

What I appreciated about this film was how different it was. The best way to describe this film is that it is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, you’ll be laughing one minute and be super sad the next or be shocked one second and super tense later on, this film covers every emotional base. Tonally it’s not only different to the rest of the X-Men films, but also comic book films in general, the direction and approach to story, character and drama felt dark, mature, melancholy and surreal. If it weren’t for mentions of mutants, verbal and visual cues to previous films and the use of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, you probably wouldn’t guess this was an X-Men film at all, and that could be a good or bad thing depending on what kind of fan you are of this film series. The overall story is solid and unfolds in a lot unexpected ways, if I had anything I would nitpick about, and I mine the tiniest nitpicks would be that the film’s story unfolded differently than I expected and there’s a few questions the film presents that never get enough clarification, but otherwise I really enjoyed this story.

logan-professor-x-wolverine-patrick-stewart-hugh-jackman

The cast as excellent and all did great in their roles. Firstly thee’s Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine and he kills it in this film. Jackman’s been fantastic in this role for the last 17 years and has only gotten better with each film, and he we get Logan at his lowest point, he’s troubled by his past, is in bad shape, not healing properly and his lifestyle is hardly ideal but he has no other choice. Jackman really channels the core elements of what makes Wolverine such an interesting and endearing character in the comics not through the physicality of his performance but also through dialogue and facial expressions. Patrick Stewart’s return as Charles Xavier/Professor X was incredible, while I’ve always liked what Stewart brought to this role, in this film because of Xavier’s old age, condition and certain story elements we get to see a totally different side to this character, one that is fun, strange and hard to watch at times and as usual Stewart puts his talents to good use here. Oh and of course we have to talk about Dafne Keen as Laura, good gravy, I dunno where Jame Mangold and the casting people found this girl but she was damn good! Laura is an interesting character not only because of her origins but also due to her interactions with other but in the conversational type and physical type, she’s quiet yet feisty and she doesn’t say much but says a lot though facial expressions and kicking ass and Keen is such a humourous little badass but also quite serious too. Boyd Holbrook was really good as Donald Pierce, Holbrook was always physically intimidating, charming and cool as the tenacious villain, Stephen Merchant was also very interesting as Caliban, he had a more substantial role than I expected and I liked his interactions with Logan too, and finally Richard E. Grant was also quite memorable in the film too.

logan-final-donald-pierce

When it comes to the presentation it was really solid. Visually the film was damn good, the cinematography was really good with some lovely landscape shots, good angles and tracking shots during the action scenes and a good use of colour too. But I seriously have to commend the filmmakers on the action, holy crap this film was gorgeous. This film puts that 15/R-rating to good use as people get cut and stabbed left right and center, there’s brutal gun fights and explosions, and it is handled with great style, violence and brutality. Wolverine and Laura go to work in this film with some of the best choreographed action scenes in the superhero genre, plus some of the kills are some of the best, most filthy and creative material I’ve seen for a while. And the film score from Marco Beltrami was pretty solid, at times it was really impressive, dramatic and had presence in the action sequences for sure, that being said some of the instrumentation felt a little too heavy or strange in parts.

logan-movie-fire

In conclusion Logan was a pretty dramatic session with a lot of unexpected elements with the story and characters. Loved the action, violence and quiet character moments, it isn’t your conventional comic book film, but it’s definitely the Wolverine film fans have wanted for years and I would recommend it.

So are you going to watch Logan or if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Be sure to drop me a comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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My Thoughts on the Passing of Bill Paxton

Howdy people of the internet, this is a blog post I didn’t expect to write any time soon. So yesterday the world was made away about the passing of Bill Paxton and there’s been a lot of condolences and beautiful thoughts shared about him from celebrities and fans alike, so I just wanted to share my own thoughts.

So after I left work yesterday evening and was waiting for some fast food I decided to check the internet for some superhero news and then I saw on Comic Book Movie and saw a headline about Bill Paxton passing away at 61 years old. Honestly I thought it was a joke, so I had to check Google straight after and it was confirmed on multiple sites and honestly I got so frigging sad. Now a number people state that getting sad about celebrities that you don’t know is silly/unnecessary, but screw it I can’t help it. Paxton is one of those actors I’ve been aware since I my childhood and while I never really knew who he was specifically until I was a teenager, he’s always been one of those guys you not only knew by face, but also knew he’d deliver a solid performance as well.

I don’t know if I saw him in Aliens or Twister first, but Twister was the film that put him on my radar, I saw that film a good few times when I was younger and as I got older whenever I watched a film with him in it, I’d be like “Hey it’s that dude from Twister, I like that guy.” It wasn’t until 204 when he made a good few appearances in films and TV that he really started to ascend in my favourite actors. And even now going through his filmography, I’ve seen him in a good number of films that I never even knew he was there, and that doesn’t mean he’s invisible, but it just shows how much work he’s done over the decades. We got films like Weird Science, Predator 2, Titanic, Might Joe Young, and even 2 Guns, a film I enjoyed at the time I forgot about his appearance there too.

edge-of-tomorrow-recensione-anteprima-bill-paxton-sergente-istruttore

But my favourite roles were the punk dude from The Terminator, Bill Harding, the leading man from Twister, the stringer Joe Loder from Nightcrawler and one of my favourites, Master Sergeant Farell from Edge of Tomorrow. And then of course you had his appearance as John Garrett from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., say what you want about the Marvel show especially in season 1 but he brought a lot of fun, humour and badassery to Hydra and the show in general.

What really stung about the news of his passing was the fact that I met him. I got to meet him at London Film & Comic-Con in July 2015 a few years ago and he was the nicest dude ever, so kind, welcoming and funny, and getting my picture taken with him was honestly one of the highlights of my life. I look forward to checking out my of his filmography, and though he’s gone he’ll never be forgotten because he was 100% badass.

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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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BRIEF THOUGHTS: Oscars 2017 Results

Howdy people of the world, today is the day after the Oscars and like previous years I’m gonna share my thoughts on it.

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Now for the last few years I have made a habit of watching the Oscars because as a film fan I naturally gravitate towards award shows especially one as notable as the Annual Academy Awards. But in recent years it has become apparent that a lot of film fans aren’t as invested in the award show or films/people that get nominated whether its down to generic/obvious Oscar bait films or the voters of the academy being too being blind too old or unaware of specific smaller films that deserve attention. Whatever the case is, there’s a been a decrease in the care relating to this award show from what I’ve noticed online. With all that being said, I was in two minds about watching the Oscars, on one hand I’ve been doing it for years so it felt right to continue, but on the other hand I just wasn’t feeling too good after work to try and stay up. In the end I attempted to start watching, but gave up and watched some anime and YouTube stuff instead. I kept up to date with some of the early winners and then fell asleep around 3am.

So unlike previous years I can’t talk about the show as a whole or know how well Jimmy Kimmel did as a host, but what I will do is talk about some of the wins for this year that stood out to me. So here we go:

  • Mahershala Ali Winning Best Supporting Actor: Of the people who were nominated for awards of the night, this was not only the one that I saw but also the one that I wast he most happy with. While I haven’t seen Moonlight, I’ve seen the strength of Ali’s acting talents elsewhere and when you take into account Moonlight in addition to Luke Cage and Hidden Figures, the guy had one hell of a year. He’s been around, has done great work and I’m glad he’s being recognised for it. His speech was beautiful and just like his interviews, he’s as humble and cool as ever.
  • Zootopia Winning Best Animated Feature: This was something I expected but the same time didn’t. With two Disney films nominated in the same category I knew the outcome would probably come down to these two films, and while I enjoyed Moana a lot, Zootopia was different and was unexpected so I’m happy for its win. However, I REALLY wanted Kubo and the Two Strings to get it, I really loved that film and it would have been great for Laika to get a win for their incredible work.
  • Jungle Book Wins Visual Effects: This was almost a given considering how masterfully that film was put together, though I thought it would be tough considering what Deepwater Horizon and Rogue One. But I am happy for the filmmakers, Jungle Book was a technical masterpiece and it deserves the win.
  • La La Land and it’s awards: Now for me, La La Land was a really fun time in the cinema, but not this amazing masterpiece that some have made it out to be. So while some of the awards I can understand, some of them I’m not too sure about. Firstly when it comes to Best Cinematography and Best Production Design I can get down with those awards because La La Land was shot so well and some of the set design was really great too. And with Best Original Score and Best Original Song anyone had seen the film knew that this film would clean up, I do like “City of Stars” so I’m happy for that win, but if “You’re Welcome” from Moana had been nominated I would have loved that instead. And there’s Damien Chazelle who I thought a great job with this film so I’m okay with Best Director and with Best Leading Actress I’m happy for Emma Stone, she did really well in the film, however, I unfortunately haven’t seen any of the other leading actress film besides Emma Stone so I’m happy for her win also,

Now I can’t really comment on many of the other departments because I’m not all that interested or haven’t seen the films myself, at this point Moonlight, Fences, Manchester By the Sea, Loving, Hacksaw Ridge and Lion are still on the watch list, so I’ve still got research to do.

The full list of winners can be found here:

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Director

  • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
  • Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Damien Chazelle – La La Land (winner)
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
  • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
  • Ryan Gosling – La La Land
  • Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert – Elle
  • Ruth Negga – Loving
  • Natalie Portman – Jackie
  • Emma Stone – La La Land (winner)
  • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight (winner)
  • Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water
  • Lucas Hedges – Manchester By The Sea
  • Dev Patel – Lion
  • Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis – Fences (winner)
  • Naomie Harris – Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman – Lion
  • Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea

Best Original Screenplay

  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • The Lobster
  • Manchester By The Sea (winner)
  • 20th Century Women

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hidden Figures
  • Lion
  • Moonlight (winner)

Best Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Foreign Language Film

  • A Man Called Ove – Sweden
  • Land Of Mine – Denmark
  • The Salesman – Iran
  • Tanna – Australia
  • Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Animated Feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia (winner)

Best Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Passengers

Best Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book (winner)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad (winner)

Best Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge (winner)
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Sound Editing

  • Arrival (winner)
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (winner)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Original Score

  • Jackie
  • La La Land (winner)
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Original Song

  • La La Land – Audition
  • La La Land – City of Stars (winner)
  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

Best Documentary Feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • O.J: Made in America (winner)
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets (winner)

Best Live-Action Short

  • Ennemis Intérieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing (winner)
  • Timecode
Best Animated Short
  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper (winner)

In conclusion the 2017 Oscars wins were partly expected but also not as satisfying as previous years bar a few specific films.

So what do you think of this year’s Oscars? Did these films deserve to win or not? If you watched it this year did it live up to your expectations or were you disappointed? Leave your comments below and I’ll catch ya later. 😀

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 26 – Double Review: John Wick: Chapter 2 & The Lego Batman Movie

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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. The latest episode of the podcast features a double review for John Wick: Chapter 2 and The Lego Batman Movie. And in case you wondering where episode 25 is, it exists and you can listen to it here.

Anyway here’s the episode 26:

Now I really wanted to do a podcast episode about both of these films because not only did I have a little more to say about John Wick: Chapter 2 beyond my written review, but also because I didn’t do a review for The Lego Batman Movie and I knew I had to share my thoughts somehow so I included both reviews together because I wouldn’t have much of an episode if I talked about each film individually.

Here’s the time codes for the specific reviews:

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2 02:49
  2. The Lego Batman Movie: 15:10

As I mentioned before in each episode I’ll cover a different topic 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 on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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What I’m Currently Watching #33 – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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. This is week 33, and I know its been almost a month since my last TV reviews but February’s been a hella busy month for me. So because I’m short for time today I’ll just be talking about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and careful for spoilers…

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 4) “Self Control”

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Mate! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was crazy this week, I wasn’t sure if I’d be fully invested with this body switching robot angle, but Jed Whedon and the rest of the people working on this show did some really interesting and incredible things with the story and characters.

Man I was pretty tense throughout this episode, just seeing Fitz and Simmons trying to figure out how to deal with the LMDs lurking around was intriguing, but then later have to question which of them was the LMD in a secluded location was even worse and yeah the assumption about Fitz being a robot has come to pass although I thought it could go either way during that scene because he was pretty convincing. Aida also had a notable episode with her conversation with the Superior dude in recovery mode only to be cut apart, that was creepy. But I loved the conversation with Radcliffe about why he created the Framework, and how Aida’s logic determined that Radcliffe was a risk and no longer relevant so she cut his wrists and let him bleed out while in the machine? Bad times. I also enjoyed how Daisy and Simmons were the only humans left, how they proved each of them was real and come up with inventive ways to single out the humans from the LMDs and escape. It was some tense and dramatic stuff. Loved the fight between Daisy and the LMDs, when she was powering up her vibration attack it reminded me of the Rasengan from Naruto (just a reference for anime and manga fans).

It was cool to see the LMDs on the base trying to execute their plan for replacing Daisy and Simmons while also trying to round up and exterminate the Inhumans. Thank god LMD May’s corrupted programming allowed her to see sense allow our heroes to escape. Her conversation with LMD Coulson was really thought-provoking, I liked learning about the LMD logic of why being in the Framework would be a good thing and why LMD May was against. When she blew everything away I had to wonder, how big was the explosion? Did it take out a section of the base or the whole thing? Was there any survivors and if not did a good number of agents along with the remaining LMDs get taken out too? I have too many questions! 😛 Oh and that ending when you find out what worlds everyone was in was really interesting. I knew when Daisy stepped into her room that I’d be Ward and not Lincoln just because their history together would make this relationship in an ideal seen more tangible. It was also nice to see Mac living life as a family man and seeing Coulson as a teacher. Fitz’s world went from being pretty cool to pretty dark if I am to believe that he’s a successful person but with someone else and Simmons is dead? Grim. Oh and to see May in that elevator ascending a Hydra building that looked a lot like the Triskelion felt very ominous. The end scene with Aida was fascinating to see what she did to superior was mental. The dude’s just a head! But it’s been preserved so that he can project his consciousness into a LMD body? That’s pretty cool and I guess a more authentic experience than a brain replication? I like how Aida wants to feel emotion, wonder how that’ll play out towards the end of the season.

So have you seen or plan to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? 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 February 23, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 2

Today I get to talk about John Wick Chapter 2, a sequel I’ve been looking forward to for some time. I saw the first film not too long ago and really enjoyed it, and while I wasn’t in love with the idea of a sequel, I was curious to see what the filmmakers could do with this series going ahead.

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.” What I appreciated about this film was how it similar to the first but also how it found a way to be different at the same time, this sequel not only advanced John’s story, but also expanded the world and added extra layers to certain characters and information about the Continental and the nature of the assassin business. The plot felt like a natural progression from what’s come before and it was a fascinating and cool ride that added so much more to this series than I expected.

The cast was all super effective. Firstly Keanu Reeves as John Wick, what a beast. Reeves really suits this kind of role, he’s intimidating, tough and acts with a physicality and purpose that makes Wick so fun and engaging to watch. Riccardo Scamarcio also made for a great villain as Santino D’Antonio, here we had a character with purpose, motivation and a cool and charismatic demeanour. Common was also really great as Cassian, this is probably Common’s most notable role for years and I loved his performance and how integral his character was to the plot. Ruby Rose as Ares was pretty effective, while I didn’t think much of her too much at first I feel like the end of the film I did enjoy Rose’s performance especially with her fight scenes. Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King was also quite interesting, while Ian McShane was really good as Winston,and the appearances of John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Peter Stormare, Franco Nero and Peter Serafinowicz was very much appreciated. Oh but the best part was the visual presentation, good god, this film brought it! This film had good lighting, a striking use of colour and sweet cinematography during the action scenes, and speaking of the action scenes… Dear god, I thought the first film handled the action pretty well, but this film cranked things up to eleven! The gunfights were longer and more intense, the hand-to-hand combat was brutal and car chases were fast and chaotic. And the violence, damn, there was a lot of great broken bones, car crashes, blood splatter and so on, and the way everything was set up was incredibly creative, and some of the death scenes were just badass!! I also really enjoyed the film score by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard, it was very energetic and helped accentuate the action on-screen. In conclusion John Wick: Chapter 2 was a lot of fun and far better than I expected, with a solid story, good characters, awesome action choreography and violence, this is a sequel that’s worth watching.

So have you seen John Wick: Chapter 2 and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Hidden Figures

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for my first review for a while in form of Hidden Figures, a film I’ve wanted to watch for months mainly because of the involvement of my girl Janelle Monáe.

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.” What I appreciated about this film firstly was the story, the fact that these events actually happened at NASA was really fascinating, and regardless of how true to life this film was, I found the story to be quite captivating and engaging with all of the drama and segregation the main women faced, but also because of America’s efforts to beat the Russians in the Space Race. And while some of plot points and scenes play out in ways you’ve seen before if you’ve seen a drama based on true events, tis film was still very effective in its direction and execution of its themes and emotional content. As for the performances they were all really impressive. Firstly you have Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe who played Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Each of these characters were smart, had very specific skills and had an uphill battle trying to follow their dreams, while Johnson was the primary focus of the film, I was also very intrigued and interest in the lives of Vaughan and Jackson too. Henson was really good especially during one specific speech, Spencer was as great as she always is and Moná, she was lovely and acted with such flair and conviction. I also really loved Kevin Costner in this film, Kirsten Dunst showed a different side to her than I’ve seen in the past which I liked, Jim Parsons who I don’t like in The Big Band Theory was actually tolerable/pretty good here, also Glen Powell was likeable and Mahershala Ali was really charismatic and charming too. Oh and the soundtrack crafted by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch was really good, the original songs were super catchy and film score was also solid. In conclusion Hidden Figures was a really lovely film, it was very insightful, emotional and humourous with great performances, awesome music and an uplifting tone. I was so glad I got to see the film in my local cinema and I would highly recommend it.

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

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

 

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